Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm Back!

Sorry for the unexplained absence this past week! I can't remember if I mentioned it here or not, but we officially moved into our house this past past Saturday and have been without internet ever since. And yes I did go through withdrawal, and yes I was very convicted by how addicted to my computer I have become!

Anyways the move went smoothly, and thanks to the help of our awesome church family we were done switching houses within 4 hours! The kids have done really well, though Anna is still a little confused. She keeps asking me if her dolls are really her dolls or if they belong to the little girls who used to live here(lol!)

Thanks so much to everyone who has been praying for us as we've made this transition. This week hasn't been without some difficulty, but we have really felt the Lord's blessing and provision in all of this!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

So far to Go

"Ok, kids, now when we get to church do we throw fits for our teachers?"

"No, mommy!"

"That's right. And we obey our Sunday school teachers, sit quietly during church, and share toys with each other and our friends. Understand?"

"Yes, Mommy!"

A few weeks ago I was having this discussion with my children when I began to feel a familiar stirring in my heart. I felt as if I was being asked, "Jessica, why are you telling Jack and Anna this?"

I tried to rationalize my heart. I tried to say I was giving the kids these instructions because I wanted them to know what was expected. But deep down, I knew that wasn't the truth. 

The truth is I was telling Jack and Anna what was expected of them because I wanted them to make me look good. I wanted people at church to think well of my family. I didn't want to deal with discipline issues that day. 

The truth is I cared more about looking good than my children's hearts.

This is familiar territory. I've struggled with caring too much about what other people think for a long time. And the worst part is that my children will eventually, if they haven't already,  pick up on what motivates me. They'll know whether I'm telling them to do something out of fear of God or fear of man.

On that particular day I stopped and I listened to the conviction in my heart. I asked God to help me get my heart right, and then explained to my children that the reason I wanted them to be well behaved at church was so we could be lights for Jesus to others who might not know Him and that it was also a way to show love to others.

As their mom I feel overwhelmed by the responsibility I've been given to train them up, because I have so far
to go in my own walk with the Lord. But then I'm reminded, I'm not suppose to be God to them. I'm suppose to show them real Christianity so that hopefully, one day, we'll all be in this walk together.

Raising Homemakers


Saturday, March 19, 2011

High and Low

Filled With Praise


I would have to say the biggest high from this past week has been...drum roll please...selling our house! After two years of trying, and then giving up after Lily was born, we had basically given up hope we would ever be out of here. There's a long story behind all of this, but it really is an awesome testimony of how sovereign our God is. We actually sold our home to some close friends, and we are going to be moving to their house while Erik finishes up school.


Well in typical human nature, I suppose it goes without saying that my high has also been my low. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that we don't have "strings" to our town anymore-in the likely event that Erik will be getting a job in a different town than we live that's a HUGE blessing- and I'm so glad we were able to sell to friends who will love living here, and have space for their growing family. However it would be silly for me to pretend that I'm not sad to be leaving the place I've called home for the last 4 plus years.Also practically speaking, we are moving to a place decently smaller in size, so figuring out what to keep and what to put in storage or throw away has been challenging. 


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

How thankful I am to be serving a Sovereign God! That is one truth I keep coming back to in my mind. Honestly we don't know what the coming months have in store. We just know that a lot is coming our way! Between moving, a baby on the way, and probably moving again, I honestly don't think I'd be able to keep it together if it wasn't for knowing that God is in control of everything. And I can rest in knowing that all things will work together for our good and his glory(Romans 8:28.)

For more weekly highs and lows, check out Amy's blog!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I's Putting on Make up!

"I's puttin' on make up!" my gorgeous brown eyed girl proudly declared.

Glancing up from what I was doing, I saw that Anna had in fact carefully dotted diaper rash cream all over her face and was trying to rub it in.

Startled (and a little amused) I picked up the tube of Destin and asked,"Why did you put this on your face?"

Too which Anna smiled impishly and replied,"Cuz I's mommy!"

I've been noticing lately that Anna wants to be where I am and she wants to be doing what I'm doing. She loves to comfort her baby sister, and tries to tell her big brother what to do. It's not at all unusual for Jack and Lily to be playing around me while Anna is asking to help do the dishes. She's only two, but already she understands that her and mommy have something in common. 

I don't know what she'll grow into, and I'm not naive enough to think that Anna will always love helping me in the kitchen. However, God's word is clear that older women should teach the younger women, and I believe that teaching should begin now.

And I feel woefully inadequate at teaching her anything! I have so much to learn when it comes to keeping a home, that I hardly feel qualified to be considered an "older" woman to someone, let alone my own daughter! What's even scarier is that no amount of teaching I give my girls is going to mean anything if I'm not living out these principles. It's a huge responsibility, but I believe the Lord will be faithful to give me what I need in order to fulfill this task.

"We must understand our responsibility to pass on this language from mother to daughter. For while God clearly calls all older women to school the younger women in the art of biblical womanhood (Titus 2:3-5), one of the most important teacher-student relationships is between a mother and her daughter. We have an exciting task, an assignment from God Himself to transfer these feminine attributes from one generation to the next. This is our mother-daughter purpose. Our mission." Carolyn Mahaney

Raising Homemakers

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What my Husband does on His day Off

My husband has been on spring break this week, and got the idea to build Jack a new bed. Jack has been sleeping in a crib longer than most kids because he's been known to do some odd things in his sleep. We think he's mostly grown out of that stage, so we decided it was time for him to graduate to a big boy bed. Originally we were going to use a bed friends of my parents gave us, but there weren't any side rails and Jack would definitely fall out. Erik did some looking around on the internet, and finally decided to make a firetruck bed(Jack loves firetrucks.)  The result...Oh and please excuse the ripped wall paper, the kids discovered a new game(that we did not condone! lol)..

A happy little boy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You're not Fat

You're pregnant! I can't even begin to tell you how often I've heard that in the last 25 weeks. As ashamed as I am to admit it, I have spent the better part of this pregnancy obsessing worrying about my weight. For whatever reason, I've been more preoccupied with my weight during this fourth pregnancy of mine than any other. If I was going out with friends I wanted to be sure to wear the shirt that made me look the most pregnant, if I ate a bigger portion than everyone else I'd be sure to point out I was pregnant and very hungry.  There were times I wouldn't want my husband to wrap his arms around me for fear he'd feel my belly and think I was gaining too much weight(because obviously he'd forget I was carrying his child ;) 

Needless to say I was getting a tad ridiculous.

A few weeks ago some friends and I were lamenting the woes of pregnancy together. One of my friends, who just had her fourth baby a few months ago, was trying to encourage us that we should think of pregnancy as the opportunity to give life to another person. At the time I brushed off her encouragement, and honestly I probably thought it was easy for her to say since she was back in regular clothes again! 

A few days later, though, God pointed me to a blog post, of all things, that opened my eyes to how silly I was being. If you're interested you can read the whole article here, but I'll share the quote that really opened my eyes.

"Our bodies are tools, not treasures.  You should not spend your days trying to preserve your body in its eighteen-year-old form. Let it be used.  By the time you die, you want to have a very dinged and dinted body.  Motherhood uses your body in the way that God designed it to be used.  Those are the right kind of damages…We are not to treat our bodies like museum pieces. They were not given to us to preserve, they were given to us to use.  So use it cheerfully, and maintain it cheerfully.  You want to fix your body up in order to be able to use it some more. We should not be trying to fix it up to put it back on the shelf out of harm’s way or to try to make ourselves look like nothing every happened.  Your body is a tool.  Use it.”  -Rachel Jankovic, Loving the Little Years

I quickly sent it to my friends who were having similar struggles, and then let the truth sink into my heart. 
Who did I think I was? Why did I allow my shallowness to rob me of the joy of carrying our fourth baby? I should know by now that pregnancy is temporary. I mean seriously what's nine months of weight gain and discomfort when compared to bringing another person into the world? 

I resolved that I was at least going to try to have a better attitude for the rest of this pregnancy. I even told my husband that if he heard me complaining about how much weight I was gaining he had to pinch me or something, to which he happily agreed. 

"One of the greatest testimonies Christian women can have in our world today is the testimony of joyfully giving your body [life] to another….My very kind and wise husband once left a note for me on Easter morning after the birth of one of our children:  ‘To my wife, before she even goes near the closet on Easter morning…’ he encouraged me to realize that there was no more fitting way to celebrate Easter than in a body that has been undone on behalf of another.”  -Rachel Jankovic

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Treat your Child..

"Respect your children more than your closest friends.” -Susan Bradrick

Isn't that a challenging quote? How convicted I was when I first read that!

To be clear, I don't think respecting our children more than our closest friends means that we should treat them as our friends. I absolutely believe that God has ordained parents to be in charge.

I do think that respecting our children means that we don't whine to our friends every time we deal with disobedience. That we take them somewhere private when discipline is required. That when a grandmother, or baby sitter, tells us our child acted up that day we don't roll our eyes and trade stories of how they've been acting that same way at home. That we aren't guilty of comparing our child to another child. That we're consistent in our training even when the grandparents are around. And it means giving your children some grace by making sure their basic needs are met before any form of discipline takes place.

I've had friends tell me that I don't always paint a very nice picture of motherhood. I'm guilty of focusing on the negative, and letting my emotions control me. I need this reminder more than anyone else. But I want that to change. I want my children to know how much they are adored, and I want them to know their mommy respects them enough to not air their dirty laundry to everyone she meets. I'm not saying we shouldn't seek the wisdom and counsel of others, or that we shouldn't ask for prayer when a child is causing us consistent challenges. I just want to be careful.

God says that children are a blessing from Him. I want to start acting like it!


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