Why blog?

It's therapeutic... specially for dorks like me who communicate better when they have the chance to process their thoughts, select their words, and write precisely what they want to say. As much as I'm a "talker", I stumble, stutter, and don't always say things right. English as a second language might have something to do with that (unfortunately, I don't think I could blog in Spanish... I lost my grammar in that language). I like to pour out my thoughts and leave it out there in the cosmos (or the world wide web) for other people to mull over...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

So Everything Is Working Out Ok

The kids are blossoming. I don't know how else to describe it, but I love it. I love being witness to it. Any parent can testify to how amazing it is to see a child grow.

Anakin is becoming so socially mature; he greets other kids, introduces himself, tries to befriend everyone. He listens better to me. He's so cute and supportive. When I work out infront of him, he cheers me on like a good coach, "C'mon Mommy! Push yourself! You can do it! One more!" How could you NOT work out to inspiration like that?

Brielle is learning to go to the potty. I have to admit, at first I thought her teacher was lying. Apparently, at school she's already fully potty trained and stays dry all day. It wasn't happening at home at all. But slowly but surely we started seeing her tell us, or go by herself... It hasn't been an accident free weekend, but we've done A LOT LESS cleaning up. I'm so proud of her - and her confidence in herself is so high! She throws less temper tantrums and communicates more. It's hilarious to hear her say, "Mommy! Bubba's bothering me!" It cracks me up.

Paul is putting them to sleep right now...

Caleb is just all smiles. He barely fusses on an easy day. On a more exciting day, he has a hard time going to sleep - a little over-stimulated. It would freak me out more, but being the 3rd one, I know there's no harm done in letting them cry for a bit. But he wakes up and smiles at you, tries to talk to you, and sometimes flat out laughs at you. He's only 3 months old, going on to 4. It's amazing: I thought that baby #3 would make me exhausted and miserable. I find my self with new strength and new love every day! I love him so much! And the Lord is with me. He gives me more than enough to go around!

I find myself truly experiencing that I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. I run out at times, I feel worn out by the kids or on a short fuse. And then I stop and catch my breath - and pray - and I feel a "second wind" charge me up. Lets me do one more household chore... play one more game... read one more story... rock Caleb one more time. Without getting grumpy, without wishing I was asleep. With full joy. I know it's God.

I also know that He is with me in going back to work. My kids are flourishing at day care - it's meeting a need in them that I guess wasn't being met when they were home all day with me. They love it, they are doing great. I have peace of mind at work, and I know why I'm there. God has ordained all my steps for a reason - a good reason! I don't think it's a coincidence that I end up being the only pro-life, "Bible-thumping", Republican-to-be conservative in my work place. I firmly believe that if I allow God's love to shine through me, and I am a person whose character and personality is agreeable and maybe even likeable, then there's a better chance that my values would be held in better respect by those who possibly would not have considered my side before. It's hard to "represent". But God is with me, to help me BE a blessings to those who come across my way. I'm not braggin' on myself, it's just what I'm trying to accomplish. I don't want to leave a bad taste in some one else's mouth, so to speak.

I guess the Bible describes it as a scent. Somewhere in 2nd Corinthians He says that we are a fragrance, either of life or of death. To some people, our scent means death to them - they don't like it, or they are allergic. To others we are refreshing, like the smell of lavender. But you can't have a bad smell and cover it up with a good smell. Have you ever forgot clothes in the washing machine? The smell doesn't come off unless you wash it again. And how many kids have you seen come out of P.E. and spray cologne all over, only to STILL knock the nose hairs off with their armpit smell? I have the same perspective for being a Christian. Personally, I don't want there to be anything in me or about me that offends someone else - because if I repell them, then they won't "smell" the goodness of Christ either - and they'll turn away from HIM as well as me.

Not everyone likes lavender though. So I know that even with out trying, even "smelling my best", there will be thsoe that are still offended by what I stand for and what I believe in. And they'll be turned off, and turned away, no matter how hard I try. I won't compromise my God and how good He's been to me for anyone.

And God helps me. He helps me at work and at home. He helps me to exercise. I don't know if I've lost weight, and I don't know why, but exercising and eating healthy is DEEPLY tied to my walk with Christ. I never would've thought one thing has anything to do with the other. But it goes back to "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength". If I'm not deeply nourished by Him, I don't have the energy or will power to exercise. But when I'm in communion with him, I'm on a roll working out. And I feel like I owe it to Him to have my body in the best condition possible - specially after 3 kids and it's effect on my body. It's not even about how I look (though flatter abs would be great!) but more about how I feel. And the biggest thing is that I want to have the discipline to be consistant: I want to know that I can command my body to exercise, eat healthy, and make good choices. I guess it's because if I can discipline myself in this area, then I know that I can discipline myself to fast, to watch my tongue, to pray without ceasing. And somehow my faith in God's power and His work in my life is hanging on Him helping me meet simple physical goals. I learned this week I can't do it on my own strength. But I definitely CAN do all things through HIM who gives me strength when my own is run out.

So it'

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year, New Stuff

Well, I had to call in sick today because it felt like my head was snow-plowed. I was in bed till about 2 in the afternoon, when I realized I was really hungry and I had to pee. It was nice to be able to give my body the rest I needed while the kids are in day care. And even though right now I don't feel exactly great, I definitely feel capable of going to work tomorrow. My God knows what I need.

The kids had an awesome time at day care. Anakin and Brielle LOVE going to school, and they come home tired, which is excellent for me. I know I'm doing the right thing. Caleb also did great at his babysitters house and came home a happy talkin' baby. Sometimes I panic but God always takes care of my fears and shows me that He is with me.

And I mean that... He is WITH me. Sometimes we believe that God is against us, or that He may be indifferent to the things we care about. But He has shown me that is not the case; He cares about what is important to me. He cares about my dreams! The things I desire. And somehow He manages to incorporate it all into His big plan - which is a big thing. How many times have you been stuck in the conundrum of wondering whether something you want is also something God wants? And then which way do you go? And what happens when you go with what you want... do you feel guilty? Like you somehow betrayed Him, and now He may not bless you?

I don't know where I began struggling with all these questions; they are not even biblical. Maybe because it's the cliche that other well-intending christians use when they don't like a desire you are pursuing... "Well, are you sure that's what God wants for your life?" Maybe it's some really bad theology when it comes to understanding the "will of God" and the "fear of God" and somewhere down that road we lose trust in the One we can count on through anything.

What 2009 taught me is that you can have a relationship with God. It's not a one-way dictatorship. You can tell Him the desires of your heart and then earnestly believe that these things matter to Him and that He loves YOU enough to want them for you too. That's why it's called a "Christian walk" and not a "Christian drag".

And this is where it can get tricky, because the road is narrow, and any concept taken far left or far right will distort Scripture. God will not compromise His holiness to give you what you want. So He may answer "No." Or "Wait." He is the Almighty God - not a genie in a bottle - and He won't be manipulated. But in a relationship with Him (a true relationship, like with your spouse) there is an interchange of desires and ideas and a working together... like a beautiful dance with the Holy Spirit, where both dance partners agree on the steps to take; us being led by Him, but in willing submission, to enjoy the masterpiece that is made together. Am I making any sense?

Knowing God's word helps tremendously. When you want to know Him and the things He desires, you read His Word. Then you get to know His heart. And then you'll find that His desires become yours. And you have the confidence to share with HIm your desires because you can see that His faithfulness to us brings Him glory. And in a relationship with Him you learn to distinguish between desires so that you do not pursue those that would fall contrary to His nature.

One example I can give is my job. I wanted to go back to work, and stop being a stay at home mom (my desire). I was praying about different goals that Paul and I had for our family, like get out of debt, get Anakin into a school setting, and save for trips (our desires). I wanted to reach outside the four walls of my home and be able to touch other people, to meet knew people and use my skills in a way that would help others (His desire), so that His light could shine through me (His desire). And He opened a way for me to get a job that I feel I am uniquely capable of doing, that meets the financial needs of my family, that allows me to "minister" to others, where I'm getting to know people I otherwise would've never met. Only in Christ would it all come together. It did mean that I had to turn down another job I wanted because I felt that the one God was suggesting was better (obviously - after all, He IS all knowing!).

So now to a new year! May God take you this year in the greatest adventure of your life, where you will have no choice but to walk by faith and not by sight. It will try you like nothing else, and you will be incredibly upset at me for praying this upon you! But in the end, when you look back, you'll be greatful that you were that stretched and pressed. He is a good stone to fall on to if you are going to be falling anyways.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New year! Woo hoo 2010!

I'm coming into this new year with much better expectations than the previous years. I'm excited about all the things God has done last year and the things that are still in the works. I'm also hyped up over the things I don't even know God has prepared for me.

The kids are starting school on Tuesday - which should be awesome! Anakin is excited about that. Paul and I are enjoying our jobs. Vanessa is enjoying her time up here. And the freezing weather is not that bad.

I'm seeing Caleb give the toothiest grins! Except he has no teeth. It's all gums. But he smiles and talks to you and it makes me happy that he's happy. The same with Anakin and Brielle. Brielle learned her right from her left, and she learned to rinse her mouth and brush her teeth with regular tooth paste over the holidays. It's a blessing for me to see the kids adjusted, growing, and being happy.

Not a lot of kids have that. Some kids are suffering, others are struggling. I know I've put my own kids through a lot of instability in the past. It just finally feels like the dust is settling and we can build upwards from here.

And I have to thank God for that. And for covering my kids from all ill effects.

I'm also thankful for the relationships that I have; with friends, with my husband, and with the Lord. God is so there for me and I know He hears me when I pray. My friends are fun and awesome and I'm glad for friends that "stick closer than a brother" because otherwise this transition to Anchorage would've been rougher.

And Paul and I are getting along great. We have a great relationship, we work as a team, and we love each other. We balance each other out between fun and responsibility together. He is truly my other half - which is precisely what God designed us to be.