Friday, January 29, 2010

A few highlights...

Just a few highlights to share from the last couple days....
Yesterday was I think one of the busiest days I've had on record as a mom, in fact this entire week was. I had Titus playgroup in the morning, my women's bible study in the afternoon, making a dessert for the evening event which was mom's nite out soup swap at Blackhawk (our church). I was able to swing everything and still had energy at the end of the day which was a blessing.

I had a really good time of prayer during my quiet time yesterday while Julian was taking his morning nap. I've felt the Lord bringing my prayer life into the open and find that it was pretty sparse of late. It felt so good to have a solid time of prayer and the Lord brought so many people and things to mind to pray about.

The mom's nite out soup swap was a really neat idea. Everyone was to bring up to 6 quarts of soup that were all placed on a table and when they called your name you got to pick a soup so I ended up taking home 4 different soups (turkey chili, chicken corn chowder, white chicken chili and chicken with wild rice & almonds). They will be good eating for these cold days we've been having! I made an African peanut soup which I'd never had and never made before it just sounded neat and exotic. It ended up tasting good so I'll have to make some of that in the future.

Today was a nice and relaxed day with nothing planned in the day but plans for bowling in the evening. Julian and I went to the library in the afternoon and he always has fun there. He was really excited when he saw all the fire truck books I had on hold and checked out for us. So excited that he was whining to hold one of them on the way home. He is really into fire trucks so he's going to especially love the DVD I found. He's got a little cold and his nose was running all day. He would come up to me and say "tissue" and I'd wipe his nose for him. He's gone from hating to have his face touched to asking me to wipe his nose for him!!! How sweet.

Our small group from church got together for a nite of bowling. Julian's a bit too young yet for that adventure so Karen our friend/sitter came. This was actually the first time that someone other than Lanty and I have put Julian to bed! And it went really well, she said he was an angel. We have been so blessed to have a child that goes to bed (and naps) so easily and sleeps through the night (since he was 8 mos. old). Thank you Lord! We came home (after bowling horribly - me a 51 and Lanty a 58) to some cute stories about Julian. Karen just gets his diaper on and he jumps up and runs into the closet, playing a little game of come and get me. Then he crawls underneath the crib and says "hi!" to Karen. He went down easy for her and she was so glad.

Looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend too, with nothing big planned.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

In the Potter's hands...

I continue to be touched by what the Lord has been showing me over the last couple weeks. I sense that I'm in a growth period, like if I were a garden this is a period where the ground is being tilled and prepared so that new seeds being planted can grow healthy and strong. As God has impressed upon me just how much I've been forgiven for (as I mentioned in a past post), that's stayed in my mind and I've had things come up that I'd forgotten that the Lord has forgiven me for. What stands out about that is often those memories trigger shame and guilt, but now God's using those memories as a way of growing my thankfulness, and I'm noticing more freedom from the shame and guilt as I embrace real forgiveness. There are some things of my past that have been especially hard to feel forgiven about. So this is a huge area to see God helping me to grow in.

There's something else that has come up a few times now and that's verses that refer to the potter and the clay (Jeremiah 18:4 , Isaiah 64:8). Whenever I see or hear the same verse from a few different places I always take note that God is speaking something to me. It has me search my heart. When I first saw the verse and some commentary on it I liked how it talked about pressure being placed on the clay to mold it into place. How times in our life where we feel very uncomfortable or feel pressure are times to picture him molding us and shaping us which is causing us growing pains. When I saw this verse again the person had shared a prayer that the Lord would give us grace to bend and mercy when it hurts. Seeing this prayer and taking some time to really think about it brought the question am I really open to God molding me? I thought about some areas I'm struggling in right now and can see where I'm resisting being molded by him and instead wanting to keep my "old shape" instead. I pray for the grace to allow him into those areas even though it invites discomfort and even some pain. These potter verses have given me the courage to let him dig deeper into that garden of my life that it would produce fruit in these areas I have to keep surrendering to him. I have sensed the Lord showing me he is beginning redemptive work in me in some of the areas of past forgiven sin that only now am I ready to do. For he wants to redeem those areas as another part of my healing from the past.

Yesterday Julian and I had a pretty quiet day on our own. We made a quick trip to the grocery store in the morning and then out to the YMCA before lunch and other than that we were hanging out inside. I happened to open the front door to check if a package had come and Julian came to take a look outside. Being a cold day, the storm windows filled up with steam from the warm air of our oven from baking muffins. We were soon "finger painting" in the steam and taking turns one after another to make our little squiggles and blotches. It's amazing how something small like this can capture my son's attention and be so much fun.

On a friend's blog we found some fire truck videos and Julian just loved watching them drive around and around sirens and all. We watched them a few times and still I don't think he was tired of them. A little milestone is I've noticed he's finally using the duplos to build small towers, which is something he's never done. He liked handing them to me so I'd put them together and then he'd tear them apart. He also likes it when I build something and then he'd knock it over. So the building part is new. He's also taken an interest in the bristle blocks he got for Christmas and had them all over the living room in various Julian designs.

There's something about those Little People that Julian just loves. We keep finding them in different places around the house. Usually they're just behind things in our living room or in the hallway far away from his toy bins. But we really got a chuckle when we found his boots in the back hallway and inside each boot he had stuffed one of his Little People. It's something silly like that which touches my heart. It's just so cute.

Today we went to our MOPS group and the muffins I made actually worked out. I've never made them before so I wasn't quite sure how they'd turn out. I'd only had them at my baby shower. The recipe is on my Tracey's Kitchen blog that you can get to from the link on this site. Julian did really well in the nursery which was great since last week he had a hard time. We had just a nice relaxing afternoon watching PBS and hanging out together. We did a little finger painting and then played with his little music kit Julian banging on the drums and me playing the tambourine.

Now I need to go and get some rest since tomorrow will be a full day. Play group at Blackhawk Church at 9am, my women's bible study at 1pm and then Mom's Nite Out at Blackhawk where we are doing a soup swap. More on those things later I'm sure.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The things the Lord reveals

Had a pretty good day today. I am an outdoors person and so is my 20 mo. old son so it's getting hard being indoors so much now that it's been below freezing so many days. I like the fresh air and exercise and taking my son out in his "car", a red car with a steering wheel, horn and handle so I can push him. Well today we were finally able to go out and we took our half-hour morning walk. It was a little cold at 27 but the wind wasn't bad. Julian chatted away while we were walking and I like to use the time for prayer. Julian and I had some time later to worship as I found a really great CD with 100 classic Bible songs for kids. He loves music and I love singing to him. He moved and grooved a little bit but then was off playing with his Little People.

Julian still takes a morning nap (what a blessing) so I had a nice quiet time. I'm moving along in my Women of the Bible study and this week we're reading about Deborah from Judges. I've done a study of Judges in the past so this is good review. It amazes me how the Lord puts her in an incredible place of leadership and she has such a heart of faithfulness. It was pointed out how Deborah makes herself available to the Lord and this is where I started getting convicted ... I thought deeper about that and asked myself, am I making myself available to you Lord? Really available? Or just available for things that "suit me" or that I like to do (or have to do). I feel the Lord stretching me in this area to really lay some things down and open myself up for other areas & ways he may want me to serve him.

I had some worship time and it was really nice. I haven't for a long time just sat and been still before the Lord in this way, listening to worship music and opening my heart for whatever the Lord may speak and bring to mind. I was especially moved by Fernando Ortega's song Give Me Jesus. I've heard this so many times but today it really touched me. Being still before the Lord and listening to this I thought about the lyrics "you can have all this world, give me Jesus" and again felt the nudge of conviction. I was asking myself, can I really say that and have it be true for me? Am I that surrendered to the Lord and not in love with the world or are there some things in the world that are capturing me and pulling me away from Him? I can come up with a few areas of my life (eating/leisure time/prayer time) where I battle to have Him first. Thank the Lord that he continues to show me these things, but better still Lord give me a heart so on fire for you that I act on these convictions and take ground in these areas I struggle. That is my prayer. So it was a really good time with the Lord today.

We had an invitation for lunch so we joined my friend (and babysitter) Karen at Culver's, literally our favorite restaurant. It's great for kids. Plus we get free ice cream with the child meal which he and I share. All he really ate were the fries! He ate a few bites of cheese & some crackers but kept going back to the fries. He loves to say hi to people when we're out it's so cute. Later we ran some errands at Target and he kept saying hi to people he saw in the aisles. He kept asking for different things off the shelf saying "tank-oo" which is the way he says thank you, as if by saying thank you I'd grab it for him. We came home and the first word out of his mouth was a pretty close "groceries". He loves helping me put groceries away. If he can lift it out of the bag he's all over it. He hands it to me, I say thank you and he's off to get the next item for me. It's one of the things I look forward to now after shopping. My little grocery partner.

He had an afternoon nap and when I got him up he surprised me with his game of peek a boo. Normally he hides his face with his blanket and says "peek a boo" and I say "Where's Julian?" and he pulls the blanket from his face. Well this time he put his blanket over my face! He's never done that before so it caught me off guard but within a second or two I was the one saying "peek a boo". It's wonderful to see him initiating games.

What a fun day.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This will be a first

Well I never expected to have a blog of my own but here I am typing out my first post at our new blogsite. I've been inspired by others branching out into blogs on the internet so I decided to give it a try. Today has been a normal day, went to church in the morning (we're in a study called Breathe focusing on the Holy Spirit) since my husband Lanty is having friends over to watch the playoff game tonight. I do know who's playing (Minnesota and the Saints) but am not personally a huge football fan. I'll be hanging out with our son, Julian who just turned 20 months on the 22nd. So that should be fun. We'll have pizza & cake since one of his friends is turning 49.

I just finished a wonderful book, Tramp for the Lord by Corrie ten Boom. She is a Dutch woman who spent time in prison during World War II for hiding Jews. She tells of that journey in The Hiding Place, and Tramp for the Lord tells of her travels around the world sharing her story after she was released from prison. It is incredibly inspiring. She truly had the faith of a child. Over and over again you see her giving up all control, throwing caution to the wind and following His inner voice inside her. It is very moving and captures my heart to see what a surrendered life she leads.

A couple things I'm studying....
  • I've been going through the book of Hebrews. I read through it twice and now for the third time I am journaling chapter by chapter the verses that stand out to me. It has been really good to focus on Jesus, his supremacy and authority to just name a couple themes that stand out.
  • I'm also in a Bible Study going through the workbook Women of the Bible. We just finished a study of Rahab. She is the prostitute that hid Joshua's spies and made a promise to them that she would not speak of them and in turn they spared her life and the lives of her extended family. I was so moved by this study as I was made deeply aware of just how much I have been forgiven for having come to know Christ as Lord. I sat and thought about just how many things I've been forgiven and was overwhelmed. I cried tears of grace, the kind of tears that aren't sad per se but tears that say thank you Lord for how much grace you've shown me, I do not deserve it.

Finally, after browsing through this blog site I was able to make and add my playlist, create a link to my other new blog on recipes but I haven't been able to successfully add a customized layout from another website ... hmm... I'll keep trying on that one.