Friday, August 22, 2008


Well, in vain hopes of sleeping better on those nauseated nights, I searched storage and aired out my pregnancy pillow, called a Snoogle. It didn't help me at all, but Carter found a new favorite toy. At first, he was a little frightened of the pillowy heap on the floor by my bed, but as soon as I reassured him that it was only a pillow and told him it had a name--Snoogle--he was hooked. He claimed it as his own and calls to me various times throughout the day, "Mooooommmmy! Come Snoogle with me!"

He is in a momma's boy stage, hugging me constantly and saying, "I love my mommy." (much to Ryan's chagrin). He loves his daddy too, but perhaps he has an inkling of what is to come in 6 and a half months and he's latching on a little tighter.

I have also finally seen him love books. Both Ryan and I love to read (though Ryan, the business major, reads more currently than his English major wife), so I kept wondering why my active little boy hadn't "discovered" a joy for books. Now, he loves stories. His current favorites are The Very Hungry Catepillar (because he can count all the foods) and a story, called Little Buddy, that I made up to pass time with Carter in an airport. He'll settle for any book, though. I took him to the public library again, recently, and I can't understand why the Mission Viejo branch fills the kids' section with toys. Of course, he doesn't sit and read. He wants to play with blocks, puzzles and Legos. I'll have to try a different city branch.

Anyway, enjoy the Snoogle pictures. They crack me up.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Because I said so

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."

Carter has definitely been exercising his little will lately. His preferred expression after any statement is "Why?" This can be an innocent, curious why or an insolent, challenging why--much in the way you would imagine a teenager uttering the phrase. The disrespectful why usually follows an imperative which he doesn't like--pick up your toys, turn off the TV, do not eat that now, etc. Sometimes I take the time to explain my reasoning to him, giving him the valid safey reasons, affecting circumstances, or motives behind me asking him or telling him to do something. More often than not, however, I have reverted to the expression, "Because Mommy said so, and God tells you to obey mommy." I shouldn't always have to explain my thought processes or reasons to a two year old. Sometimes I want him to understand, but sometimes I just want him to obey--regardless of whether or not he understands why.

This week has been a hard week for many in my extended family. In one week, they will have faced trials of a miscarriage, job loss and surgery. It was one of those weeks when, much like my two year old, I was required to obey God's plan and direction, but I was tempted to pout and ask "why?" However, I know that rebellion and anger is a futile exercise. God is sovereign. He is in charge. God is perfect and has a plan for each of His believers that will all work out for good. I have limited understanding before an omniscient God.

My sister-in-law has been a perfect example of firmly trusing in the midst of a very difficult trial this week. She and her husband have never wavered in their faith and love for God, even when He asked for a large sacrifice and loss. She has been an amazing example to many at our church who are undergoing trials and might be struggling to stand firm. With grace and humility, she has gently submitted to God's will with obedience and hope.

We don't always know the reasons why things happen. We do know God has complete control, and only those things which He allows can enter our lives. Instead of mimicking the stubborn attitude of a two year old, may we have the maturity and hope to obey our sovereign Creator--even when all God reveals to us is, "Because I said so."

Monday, August 11, 2008


Okay, one of my ways of combating self pity and the blues during my days of morning sickness is to constantly give praise to God and thank Him for His goodness. It is such a reality check when I take the time to just list the gifts he has POURED into my life. I urge you to do the same if you are ever tempted to compare your life to another or feel that life has been or is somehow unfair.

Thank you, Heavenly Father for:

--My salvation. I am a sinful person washed clean in your blood and sacrifice!

--My husband. He makes me laugh, he loves me for who I am, and he understands me. I love him so much! Help me to always Biblically serve him and love him unconditionally.

--My son and our second baby on the way. I love my children and am in awe that you entrusted them to me to teach Your ways. Give me strength to do better!

--My church body. I love our church. I love the teaching. I love the desire for God's truths. I love the fellowship and encouragement. I love the support. I love the opportunity to serve your beloved. I love knowing you are growing me each and every day.

--Thrive. I love our marriage ministry. I am constantly encouraged and humbled in this group. There are so many men and women who show me how far I have to go. They are amazing slaves for Your kingdom. I love working on my ministry to Ryan and growing closer to you, God.

--Friends for Carter. There are so many great friends at church for Carter. You gave me a very social little boy, so the plethora of little buddies is such a gift!

--Your Word. Each day I learn more about You and what you are teaching me, and I find such a peace and comfort from the truths you present to me.

--Our home. I forget to be appreciative of this. Cleaning, gardening and household duties get my mind off the focus of the blessing of having a bright, happy home for our family. May I do my best to represent You correctly to anyone who enters here.

--Ryan's job. Though it is long hours, you have provided tremendously for us. You have given us stability and financial blessings. May we use this gift to bless others!

--Friends. It really wasn't until I was a Christian after college, and my focus began to turn outside myself that I came to realize the blessings of friends and serving others. May we sharpen one another and encourage one another--never forgetting to tell one another how thankful we are for our friendship!

--Family--It is such a tremendous blessing that you have given us much of our family living within minutes of us. Most importantly, we are all believers--like-minded and understanding the hope we all have in even the hardest times.

--All the parks we have around us for Carter to play his little heart out.

--Books. I love to read, and I love that you have given me a great enjoyment for reading.

--Creativity. This might sound strange, but I love that I can escape while baking a cake, drawing a picture or writing a story. I enjoy being creative and using a gift you have given me. It gives me great joy!

--Health. God you gave me a body that has relatively few issues with disease or illness. Thank you that I can get out of bed each morning and that even morning sickness is doing its purpose in my life right now.

--Football. I love watching autumn football games--the band playing, the whistles blowing, the helmets crashing and the crowd cheering. It is a fun hobby every year!

--Cooking. I love to cook, especially in the cool weather of fall and winter. Simmering soups and crock pot creations smell so comforting when you enter your home from a chilly day outside.

--Sleep. I do love to sleep! It is amazing how much you realize the gift of sleep when it eludes you. Thank you that my body can rest and the flurry of life takes a break.

--Music. What a special gift you give us in music. We can express our feelings and enjoy something beautiful.

--Trees. Strange, I know. I love trees. If I ever took a painting class, I would paint trees. When I was little, I would sit still and listen to the quiet rustling of leaves in the forest near us as the wind would dance through the Eucalyptus trees. Lacy Birches and stoic pine trees are some of my favorites too.

--Fun. You are an amazing God to give us fun breaks. Trips to Disneyland, vacations, family get togethers, dinners out. What a treat that with the labor of life, you give us enjoyable moments sprinkled throughout.

--Prayer. It is staggering that I can speak to the Creator of the universe. You hear me and respond. What a privelege!

Okay, this post is getting long, and I could go on forever. Truly. Once you start your list, you get on a roll. I could go on and on. I feel lifted with gratitude to God! He is such a loving, gracious Father. Thank you, God!

Monday, August 4, 2008

God is Faithful

Lamentations 3:22-23 "Because of His great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness."

Well, I haven't had much energy or concentration to blog, as morning sickness has settled in for a little while. I have a huge praise that, though it is hard and more than what most people experience, my nausea is much less than the severe sickness I had with Carter's pregnancy. I would have required help to take care of Carter if I was as sick as before, so it is a huge answer to prayer that I am making it through my days without trips to the ER for hydration or hours spent curled up on the bathroom floor. God is truly good!

Today I went to the doctor's for my first prenatal appointment (8 weeks), and it was so wonderful! I saw the baby on an internal ultrasound, and I got to see his or her little heart fluttering away. The baby is measuring about three days bigger than my due date (March 15th), but this is quite normal. Carter measured big early on too, but then he was an average size baby at birth (7lb., 7 oz).

Seeing as my tummy is already quite protruding, I was nervous about twins, but only one little baby was there! Again, I showed early with Carter too. I dread it when people ask me how far along I am, as they expect me to say "about 16 weeks." I have already been asked by two strangers if I know the sex of the baby--I am assuming they thought I was about halfway through my pregnancy journey. Oh, well. I know the baby is a healthy size, and my tummy certainly will provide plenty of padding for this little one.

Seeing all the blessings God has poured down upon us, and realizing He gets me through each day of morning sickness with His grace, a song that has been stuck in my head these past few weeks is "Great is Thy Faithfulness." I have been singing it in the shower, the car and around the house. Carter asks, "What you singing about, Mommy?" He asks me this whenever I start singing any song. Seizing the teachable moment, I am able to share with him that I am singing about God's goodness, His promises, and His provision. I love the lyrics to this song:

"Great is Thy Faithfulness,

LORD God, my Father.

There is no shadow of turning with Thee.

Thou changest not. Thy compassions they fail not.

As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy Faithfulness, Great is Thy Faithfulness.

Morning by morning new mercies I see.

All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided.

Great is Thy faithfulness, LORD unto me."

God has provided abundantly for me through this time of sickness. May I not forget His daily examples of faithfulness and love, even when it is difficult. All praise be to our faithful and merciful Heavenly Father!