Thursday, August 15, 2013

another fun week of summer....

eating at jason's deli

playing with chewy

sleeping in until 8:30!!!!

coloring, cutting, and....sleeping.  
(clara didn't feel well that morning, poor baby)

eating chocolate.

going to a baseball game! 
(brenner and cole got field passes, batting practice and an ice cream buffet thanks to a friend!)

helping mama water the plants...followed by an outside bath in pajamas.

and a quick drink for elise. 

swimming with friends. 

 and of course some sweet snuggles with my babies. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

something new: a fast.

for quite a while, as i have talked about here before, God has been moving me.  
changing me.  
in so, so many ways.  
and one of the things that has been impressed upon me the most has been the need to think outside of myself.  think beyond me, my needs, even my family's needs and to think of others.  
i read a book a while back that i am sure many of you have heard of that really put into words so many of the things that i have been wanting to change in my life.  
the book is called 7 by jen hatmaker.  
basically she radically changes 7 areas of her life in her desire to fast from/change what the world says is right and instead focus on God and His will.  
first of all, go read this book and if it doesn't impact the way you live...well, you have issues.  
one of the things that she does is a fast involving eating only 7 foods.

"this is a fast.  a major reduction of the endless possibilities that accompany my every meal.  it is supposed to be uncomfortable and inconvenient.  not because i'm a narcissist but because the discomfort creates space for the holy spirit to move.  this shake-up of my routine commands my attention i can no longer default to my normal, mindless, thoughtlessness."    

so this week, while not quite to the extreme that jen hatmaker did, brenner and i are fasting.  
this is the first time that i have ever done anything like this, the first time that i have really fasted.  
but i have felt pressed to do this.  
we are at a time in our lives where great change is right around the corner.  
we have been through so, so much in the last few years and we are very excited to find out what the next step in god's plan for us is.  
and i have felt pressed by god to make more room for God and less room for me to prepare me for these changes.  this is one way that i can spend a week dedicated to more prayer and listening and not do all the talking (because let's face it, i may occasionally have a tendency to talk too much.)
brenner and i (and by that i mean me and i am making brenner do it with me) chose the 7 foods that were in the fast that i read about, but we have also added coffee and tea to the list.  
so for the rest of the week we are eating:

sweet potatoes
whole wheat bread

our first night after dinner i walked into the kitchen to brenner popping a handful of chocolate chips in this mouth.  when i asked him what in the world he was doing, he said, wait, chocolate is not on the list?
later that night he went to the freezer and looked at cream is not on the list either?
sacrifice, brenner, sacrifice.
anyway, i think we have got the swing of it now.  these are some of our favorite foods anyway so it really is not that hard but it is the extra stuff that is more challenging to cut out (like not eating a spoonful of jelly after making cole's sandwich and not eating a handful of cheerios after pouring them out for the girls)
it may sound easy to you or it may sound hard to fast.  but i must say that i do find myself thinking a lot throughout the day why we are doing this and i know that this is something that i needed to do to grow, refocus and spend time in prayer.
here are the things that we are praying about this week as we fast:

sale of our house
next step in active duty air force
two projects brenner is trying to wrap up and one he is starting
the first week of our new head pastor at our church
my dear friend who is battling serious health issues

i want this to become something that we do regularly to make more room for Him and His will and less room for us.
i look forward to sharing with you more when our week is done!  

(photo from danielle burkleo at take heart)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

our week.

brenner came home this week!  woohoo!! 
and now its the weekend too!  we were ready for it!

that was the good news.  the not so good news was that the rest of the week was pretty hard.  the girls are teething which means they have runny noses, are not sleeping well, aren't eating their food and are chewing on pool noodles.  lovely.  add to that a certain three year old who is struggling to use his mouth and limbs appropriately and this week has worn us out.  we were still able to do some fun things with some friends and find new things to do at home which turned out to be a lot of fun.  but seriously, we are tired.  how can parenting be so incredibly rewarding one minute and the next you feel like you are making no progress with your child as you tell him for the 15th time in the last 2 minutes to stop pushing his sisters????  and by that time the patient, polite mom voice may or may not have been left at the curb.  anyone else having this issue?  anyway, by trying to fill our day with fun stuff i was hoping to keep everyone occupied and somewhat happy.

playing dress up in daddy's gear.  every boy needs a bullet proof vest.  we also made banana oat muffins, played with water guns, water balloons and water rockets, we went on walks and used our fun spray fans to keep us cool, we played in the dirt in the garden sensory bin i threw together (credit to pinterest for the idea!), and we colored a lot to name a few of our activities.

i am always so grateful to be the mom to these three kids and i try to embrace the challenging days with determination to practice the fruit of the spirit no matter what comes my way, but lets be honest.  i often fail at this and i am thankful for the lord's grace.  i am trying to find that same balance of grace versus discipline/consequence with my own kids daily but that is another subject for another day.  here's to the start of a new week.  may the teeth come in, the crying be reduced and my attitude of it all stay in check.  the good moments far outweigh the hard ones and even if everyone is crying, i will look back on these days with fondness.