Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
Wish we could send one to everyone! :)



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Daddy's (and Mommy's) Little Present!

Just thinking back and thanking God.

Just as He sent his son for us at this time many years ago, on Christmas day last year, we found out, following a miscarriage in September, that He would be blessing us with a little one.

Best. Present. Ever.

Happy 4 Months my sweet baby girl.

(yes I'm up at 3:30am writing this. We take off on a very long adventure today and Brooklyn woke early for her feeding and there just wasn't a point to going back to sleep. :) Please pray for safe and uneventful travels!)






Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thank you.

Thank you thank you for all that commented or contacted me about my worry post. I even received a couple things from people I wanted to share today real quick. How awesome to have this forum where we can share, cry, laugh, surprise, and learn from one another!

This is from my friend Leah, she happened to be reading that day. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the part about how God's No's are stepping stones to His amazing yes'. Please read:
* Lynn Cowell

"The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, 'Follow me.'" John 1:43 (NIV)

Illuminating a small circle just in front of our feet, the flashlight provided safety and direction for only our next step as Rose and I took our pre-sunrise walk. Anxiety eventually gave way to comfort as we discussed the day ahead. We knew the light would lead us in the right direction. We just had to take the next step...

Taking the next step is something Jesus recommended a very long time ago. "Come and you will see." "Follow me." These were the words Jesus spoke to the disciples as He called them. He didn't sit them down and reveal what the next three years would hold. He knew they would be overwhelmed; possibly even turn around . He chose to keep it simple. "Follow me" was all He said. Take the next step...

As a teen, I wanted to know my future. Will all my dreams come true? What college will I attend? Will I work in a church; marry a pastor? Will I live in Iowa near my family?Jesus knew the answers to those questions all along. I didn't go to college. I don't work in a church, nor did I marry a pastor. He knew. In wisdom, He chose to reveal only enough light for me to take the next step.

Sometimes, I catch myself wishing again that I could see my future. I get wrapped up in fear or worry. Career worries: Will I still have this job in five or ten years? Mom worries:Will my children marry spouses passionate about Jesus? Marriage worries: Will my husband and I enjoy a long retirement together? I can spin around issues that really don't have anything to do with this day, with my next step.

Jesus knows. He knows which answers are "yes" and which ones are "no." He knows when and where to reveal to me my next step. My part is simply to take the next step in obedience.

When I was younger, I did not understand those times when He said "no" were stepping stones to His amazing "yes." I learned in the dark that when I step forward in trust and obedience, blessing is down the path. I also had to learn that even those pathways that held pain where part of the process. They were stepping stones in my journey of choosing obedience over worry, fear and control.

Now, when fear and doubt surface in the dark I silence the "what ifs." I remember Jesus' words, "Follow me," and get back on the path that is flickering just ahead-and simply take the next step...a step of trust. I ask Him what I need to do for just today. I walk away from worry by expressing my concerns to Jesus and trust His ability to take care of each and every step.

Dear Lord, the dark can be frightening. Jesus, sometimes my ability to trust seems s o much smaller than the step I need to take. Help me to build a history with You. A history of seeing You will help me trust You over and over and over again. I want that. I put my trust in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

*My blog friend, Kelly, also shared that this is one of her favorite verses when she is feeling fearful: God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.

* And, last but not least, this was my devotional last night. Anytime during a time of suffering or hardship I will be saying this verse to myself over and over and over. Just so perfect. No one can convince me that God doesn't speak to you. :)

December 15

Rejoicing in Suffering?

We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3, 4).

Scripture: Romans 5:1-5

Song: "The Joy of the Lord"

When my husband died suddenly, I was so devastated that I thought my own life was over. However, at that time the Lord began to work powerfully in my life, teaching me to persevere in my loneliness, molding my character, assuring me of the hope of eternal life.

As I went through that challenging time, the things on earth lost much of their value as my eyes focused more on spiritual things. My hope in Christ became clearer and dearer to me. God showed me that adversity is part of life, that it is temporary, and that He wants me to focus on Him instead of becoming entangled in fears and worries.

The apostle Paul reminds us that the early Christians suffered much. Even though they were persecuted for their faith, they rejoiced amidst their tribulations because they had set their eyes on the hope of eternal life. Even in times of trial, God showers us with unconditional love as He draws us closer to Him, imprinting eternal values on our hearts. That is our hope, and in that we can rejoice.

O God, creator of Heaven and earth, thank You for the joys and the challenges You bring into my life. Please help me to persevere in times of trouble, knowing that Your love is sufficient. Give me more perseverance, more Christlike character, and an ever-deepening hope. I pray this prayer in the name of Jesus, my merciful Savior and Lord. Amen.



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Santa?

Santa.
To believe or not to believe.
That is the question I'm struggling with this Holiday season.

This has been a bit of debate in our house hold.

I'm for it, the hubs is against it.

I totally understand and can see the point of his arguments. Christmas is about the birth of Christ, not a fictional character. There's too much emphasis on Santa and the giving of gifts, rather than the true reason for the season.

I agree, but....

But last Christmas when the hubs turned to Bella and told her that Santa was not real, I saw the heartbreak and disappointment on her face and I was crushed, for her.

Thankfully she has completely forgotten this devastating moment. So in talking to the hubs about it, I told him I thought as long as we are sure to stress the real reason we celebrate Christmas and that its better to give than receive, then what's the harm in letting her have a little childhood fairytale. She's not going to grow up believing in Santa or worshiping Santa. There's just things that are fun to do or participate in when kids are little. I mean would you not have a tooth fairy!?

So that's kinda where we left things. I'm not going to tell her he doesn't exist but we're also not going to put too much emphasis or talk a lot about him and his involvement.

Ha. Easier said then done. He's everywhere. :)

So I was feeling good about our decision with Santa, until I talked with Jessie. (you know who you are!) She was telling me that their kids don't believe in Santa (ages 6, 3, 1, and almost here!). When I asked her how come, her answer made me question everything. She said that they're raising their children to believe in God, Jesus, etc.-things we can not see, so she didn't want to ever lie to her children about something that doesn't exist. Wow. That makes total sense! What is keeping our children from thinking God doesn't exist, when we clearly pretended Santa did and then one day told them he doesn't?!

So now I'm torn all over again.

I want my kids to have the joy and innocence of childhood fantasies but I don't want them to be confused or, heaven forbid, become distrusting of me and their daddy.

Part of me wonders if I want them to believe in Santa because others kids do and I don't want them left out (but also not having the fun that comes with it definitely makes me sad too). But I know that is wrong. God calls us to be different.

"Having faith often means doing what others see as crazy. Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers." - Francis Chan

Not that believing in Santa is crazy- but you get my drift. :) God wants us to make unbelievers wonder, "What's makes them that way?"

Agh. But then Bella's crushed face comes to mind and I'm confused all over again. :(

Anyway, my brain is on thoughts of all things Santa right now and was just wondering your thoughts on the matter.

I was just going to stay clear of the whole topic since the girls hadn't really asked questions about it, but then Bella got curious.

Today, while coloring a picture of Santa going down a chimney (which she got from church by the way) she asked me how Santa fits down the chimney?

Ahhh....

I kind of avoided the question but then she asked where our chimney was. Ah, we don't have one honey. How will Santa get us our presents? Ahhh...

Then she says, "Santas-fart."

Huh?

Hes-sfart. He'll figure it out.

Oh, Santa's smart.

: )
(joys of a child that has trouble saying her blends (sm words))


Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Post that was not my idea......

So I need to take a break from my light and fluffy posts for something deeper. Not sure why, but I've felt led to write about it. Its not something I particularly want to share about but when I feel God nudging me, I'm inclined to listen. : )

Perhaps, hearing my struggle will help someone out there struggling with something similar. Or perhaps He wants me to come clean about my short comings. Or perhaps He just wanted to give me some good material for a blog post. : )

Here goes...

I'm a worrier. When I was younger I worried about everything. Everything. Being a people pleaser also, it usually revolved around issues with friends. Or school. Or a boyfriend. Or whatever. You name it, I could worry about it. I remember something my dad would always tell me. He said 99% of the time the things we worry about don't happen or aren't as bad as we imagine. He was right, 100% of the time. : ) I always imagined much worse than the way things would turn out.

As I've gotten older my worries have become even more intense. Now I have a husband to worry about. Three daughters to worry about. Parents and siblings. Cancer in my friend's parents seem to be on the rise and it has me worrying each time one of my parents call. I see people going through such hard things, especially since entering the blog world. My eyes have been open to so many families going through unimaginable things. And I find myself worrying that something like that is going to happen to me, my husband, one of my kids. I have been SO, SO blessed. I have great parents and in-laws, a fortunate up bringing, great friends, 3 beautiful girls, a husband that loves and takes care of me.

All these great things, and I find myself worrying about when its all going to fall apart.

I know everyone goes through hardships in their life. And although my life has in no way been a breeze, comparatively, it has. I have this great, great life. And instead of enjoying and being thankful for it, I find myself wondering how long it will last?

Now I could be, and sometimes am, paralyzed by this fear. I could constantly worry about everything and never do anything or let me children go anywhere. But what kind of life would that be?

My only saving grace? Trusting in the Lord's Unfailing Love (hence the name of this blog : ) ). The only thing that keeps me from sinking into the pits of worry is I know that the Lord has great plans for me.

Do I worry about vaccines? Yes, but my husband and I are going to do what we think is right and trust that the doctors have in mind what's best for our children's health and trust God with the rest. Do I worry about something happening to one of the girls? Absolutely, but I will not succumb to that fear or I wouldn't truly be enjoying the time I do have with them. Do I worry about not having enough money to pay our bills? Everyday. But since I've put my trust in the Lord there has never been a day in which He didn't provide.

What comes from worrying? Nothing. Except being miserable and missing out on all the good in your life. Worrying about it doesn't make it better, not happen, or improve. So just let go.

This may surprise some of my friends to hear about me. I think I come off as a very easy going, go with the flow, come what may type of mom. And honestly, I try. I try very hard. And again, its only by God's grace that I'm able to.

Every now and then new things arise, like the horror of all things BPA, and I find myself panicking. But the Lord Almighty reels me in, I take a deep breath, and let it go. Along with my worrying flaw is my lovely nature of being control freak. And since there is no possible way for me to control all, my worry sets in. But listen friends. Let go, let Jesus take the wheel. We could worry till the cows come home (I know that makes no sense : ) ) and its not going to change a thing. Come what may. And if something does come, we have the King of the Universe by our side to see us through it.

I leave you with this verse that I meditate on when the worry threatens to sink me.

Joshua 29:11- "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

He intends only good for us. Unfortunately, sin has entered the world but even with hurt and evil He has promised to be with us always and never give us more than we can handle. (the worrier in me of course worries about how much can I handle then, or does He think I can't handle a lot and that's why things have been good, but then I'm ok with that, but then maybe Satan will try to attack my comfort.... I'll told you I'm crazy. Only God can reel in my crazy. : ) )

And in case, the imaginable does happen, we have these, and many, many more words from God himself to cling to:

The verse from John 9, where the disciples have just asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus’ reply: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” (9:3)


Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143:8

And my blog's theme verse:

But I trust in your Unfailing Love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord's praise, for He has been good to me!


Sorry way longer than I intended! And since I can't post without a picture, I leave you with my 3 cuties, who I love with all my heart and I put in God's hands!



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Program

This last Saturday, Bella had her Christmas program at school. I look forward to this every year, its just so precious. This year since Bella was in the older class she got to do the bells during their song performance. It was SO cute! I'll try to get video up tomorrow. She did ok with it but kept looking around and missing her cues. : ) Here are the pics from the day:
All dressed up in their Christmas dresses!
Two of Bella's closest friends- Alyssa and Nolan (might have a little crush on Nolan : ) )
Ready to ring her bell!
Making her Jesus in the manger craft.
The dad's- Mr. Joe being silly, didn't have a baby to hold. : ) Brooke and Landon are 3 wks apart.
The snack was also a Jesus in a manger that they had to put together. I actually caught myself saying, "Don't eat baby Jesus!" : )
Then they acted out the birth of baby Jesus. Bella was an angel again this year. Then they sang a couple more songs.
Such a fun family day! Thanks to the Droesslers for coming and being Bella's "family" too!
All the classes came together and sang one more song.
Bella was really in to it! : )


Monday, December 6, 2010

Bella

So last week my blog was a little Brooke heavy, but who can blame me with such a cute subject, but I thought this week I'd make things a little Bella heavy. :)

Almost daily I am truly amazed how much God blessed us with this one. Bella is truly one of the most well behaved little girls I know. Oh believe me, she has her moments. But overall, I could not be more thankful for the way she is. She is so helpful, eats anything, does what's asked of her, is so polite, usually a good listener, she loves to please the hubs and I, and cares for her sisters. Although issues do arise, for the most part, we are spoiled with this one!

From day 1 she was the easiest baby ever!!!
(besides being up at night every 2 hours for 4 months, but being our first I just figured that was normal!)

And now even as we near the 5 year mark, she is still more than we could have ever asked for! We love you Isabella Kathryn. You are so polite, a good example, so helpful, I love your competitive nature and your thirst for learning. I love how girly you are and how much you love princesses and Barbies. Most of all, I love your knowledge and heart for the Lord, and I pray it only increases as the years go by.
Don't grow up too quickly little one and never stop posing so adorably for the camera! :)








Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

All dressed up and no where to go!








So we'll take a bunch of fun pictures instead! :)

Funny story: Yesterday, I was doing laundry and getting other things done around the house. So Bella took it upon herself to start making me a list of things I needed to do.
Bella: You need to do dishes, the laundry.....
Me: What am I your maid?
Bella: What's a maid?
Me: Someone that cleans up for you, cooks, cleans...
Bella: Then yup!
Ha! I guess when I put it that way, my occupation does sound a lot like a maids, except without the pay! :)


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Look Who's 3 Months!!

Cutest baby ever, that's who!!

I can NOT believe my little Brookie Cookie is 3 months!
(actually 3 months and a week, I'm a little behind- story of my life these days!)

She's still the best baby ever. Never makes a peep, other than lots and lots of cooing and other cute baby gibberish.
She is SO squirmy. The girl is always moving. Makes me a little nervous for when she finally becomes mobile!
She is finally starting to out grow some of her 0-3 clothing and I'm going to buy size 2 diapers next time we need diapers. :(
I know its great she's healthy, and growing, but it makes me so sad when they move up sizes! Its going way to fast, and the chance that this could be my last newborn makes me even sadder.
I'm soaking of every minute of Brooklyn and lovin' it!
She makes it from 8pm-5am at night which I can totally handle, especially when I get to see this sweet face smiling back at me.
We, however, are having nap issues! She likes to wake after only 45 minutes and I have to quickly get to her and reinsert her paci before she wakes up too much (then she goes back down for another 2 hrs.). Its so hard because unfortunately we are always on the go for her morning nap. So she naps great on the go but horrible at home. So trying to figure out how to get her past that! Any suggestions?

Besides constantly squirming, Brooke is always making the silliest faces!
She's not quite as serious of a baby as Bella was, but not nearly as smiley as Brynn.






Oh I could just eat her up, she's so precious!!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hoping to Share Pics.....

Well I was excited to share pics from our Thanksgiving festivities but I just discovered none of the pics from this last week downloaded and I cleared the camera!!! I am praying my mom has copies since she likes to steal the pics I take. So hopefully I will have them to share. :(

But we had an absolute blast with my whole fam. My parents, 2 bros, SIL, and my grandpa all stayed with us this last week and it couldn't have been more fun. Unless, of course, they stayed longer. :) Needless to say our house looked like a tornado had gone through it and its finally back in tip top, Christmasy, shape!

Thanks family for celebrating Turkey Day with us, we are thankful for each and every one of you!

(taking a pic for my parent's xmas card so Papa Bear wasn't in it)


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving family and friends!

I'm so, so thankful. That's all I can say. So, so thankful. :)






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    I used to be an elementary teacher but am now a stay-at-home mommy with three sweet baby girls. Bella is 6, Brynn is 4, and Brooklyn is 1. We also have a sweet Golden Retriever named Beckham. I have been married to the love of my life, Vincent, for almost 12 years. Although I hate the cold I am a Chicago girl through and through. And thats about all I've got!

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