Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Journey To Contentment

I have seen that a couple of my friends were reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  I checked out Ann's blog, and after reading just a few entries, I knew I had to read this book.  Desperately needed to read this book.  Why?

Because I am a complainer.  Discontent.  And it flows from my heart to my mind and out my mouth.  It's ugly.  It has imprisoned me in a state of negativity.  The pessimism was so thick, I couldn't see the optimism for the half-empty glasses.

The premise of the book is that it is gratitude that engages us into communion with God.  If we can't be thankful in the little things, we aren't worshipping Him, praising Him, or giving Him glory.  She began making a list of 1,000 things she loved, and in so doing, she discovered that each was a gift from God, and the mere naming of these things was worship.

I started a journal just for my list.
 "Every day, I will reflect on my blessings.  I will refuse to complain.  I will refuse negativity.  I will be thankful.  Even when it's hard, I will find that blessing in the pain, the beauty in the ash heap.  I will be changed.  He will soften my heart.  My mind. And my tongue.  I will learn to be content."
I've only been keeping my list for six days.  But I can already tell a difference.  I am not giving my mind free reign.  The minute a negative thought arises, I find myself telling it, "No, I will not complain.  How can I be thankful instead?"  Some of you may have noticed my thanksgiving posts on Facebook.  They arose out of this.  There are enough bad attitudes and complainers on Facebook.  I don't need to make it worse.

And you know what I've discovered?

People like to stop and be thankful.  They like the positive.  They like not thinking about what is wrong with everything.

#3    Dave coming home every day
#9    Felix's coughing laugh
#17  Bob Ross and "happy trees"
#19  My baby in heaven, only mine for a brief moment, but always God's
#20  The way Felix hold's Milo's hand while nursing or sleeping
#24  A heart that keeps hoping
#26  Having my hands full
#31  Sunshine
#32  Hearing the roll of tricycles on the deck
#37  The Helper who helps me to choose the path of holiness and contentment
#39  Lucy's giggle as she runs back to her bed and me trying not to smile

Wanna join me?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Contemplating The Passion of Jesus

Okay, so I have come up with something to talk about (we all knew it would happen).

Lately, I've been really thinking about Jesus and the cross.  It's appropriate, of course, with Easter just a month or so away.  I've always had good intentions to participate in Lent, though I never have.  I'm not normally this contemplative.

There's a big controversy in the evangelical sector over a pastor, Rob Bell, and his new book, Love Wins.  I don't intend to start an argument here in this post, so please don't do that.  I just wanted to say that thinking through the implications of his belief system has had me considering what I believe about the cross and what its purpose was--what Jesus' suffering did, both for Him and for me.  He became sin, not just carried it, but He actually BECAME it.  I cannot imagine what that must have felt like.  I know how I feel when I sin--ashamed, guilty, and burdened by my own depravity.  I can't imagine what He felt especially because He had never known it.

I think about how the Bible says He descended INTO hell.  Can you imagine?  He was the perfect, holy Son of the Living God.  He became sin and descended into the place the Father prepared for Satan and his demons.  Do you think at that moment that Satan thought he had won the battle?  Do you think he rejoiced over Jesus' descent?  I can imagine the look on his face when the Holy Spirit raised Him from the dead.  Shock.  Confusion.  Anger.

I don't ever want to be guilty of diminishing His work on the cross.  It is central to our Faith.  It is faith in this act that redeems us.  God forgive me if I have made light of Your holy sacrifice.

I downloaded a free album called Songs for Lent by New York Hymns.  You can get it HERE (along with some other GREAT music).  It is folky and meditative.  I made a playlist for the babies with it because it is so mellow.  Each song is for a stage of the cross.  As I listen, I am being led through the Passion.  Not only is the music great, but the songs have put my heart in a contemplative place.  I find myself trying to get inside of Jesus' head and see his thoughts and feelings during that time of suffering.

I have to take the stance that Jesus' death on the cross is relevant to now and the hereafter.  I have to believe that He came for a reason.  I have to believe that what He did makes all the difference in my life--because I know who I was before HIM.  I know that I can't make it on my own.  He is so merciful.  He is so gracious.

Take some time in this Lenten season and really think about Him--think about His joys, His laughter, His sorrows, His sufferings, His victory!  And He did it all for us.  Now that's True Love.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Slacking Blogger

That is me. I just have precious little time these days. Sorry it has been a long time! And what is sad is that I really don't have a whole lot to talk about. So, here's a picture of my boys, 12 weeks old:

Peas and Carrots
(Felix and Milo)

The onesies were made by my good friend, Megan. Aren't they adorable?

How about this? Ask me some questions so I will have something to help me blog!!!

Ready, set, GO!!!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 7, 2011

Life Goes On

It's March, and I can hardly believe it.  My babies are 10 weeks old today.  The last couple of nights they have gone 5.5 hours between feedings.  That translates into me getting about 4.5 hours of sleep at once.  I have more of a routine these days.  If I didn't have a schedule, nothing would happen around here.  I'll share it with you though it may bore you to tears.

6:30-7  Wake up and feed the babies (usually).
7-8  Nursing, Burping, Diaper Changing
8  Lay the babies down for naps
8-8:30  Get ready for the day and eat breakfast
8:30-9 Clean up the kitchen and dining room, empty and load the dishwasher, start a load of laundry
9-10  Homeschool
10-11  Nursing, Burping, Diaper Changing
11 Lay the babies down for naps
11-12  Move laundry to dryer, do meal prep for dinner, prepare lunch
12-12:30 Lunch
12:30  Clean up after lunch and get Lucy ready for nap
1--Lay Lucy down for a nap and put her back in bed numerous times
1-2 Nursing, Burping, Diaper Changing
2-4 Somedays I nap, others I crochet or get online, or I watch BBC movies on Netflix (closest thing to "me" time I have)
3--Give kids snacks
4-5 Nursing, Burping, Diaper Changing
5-6 Do whatever needs to be done to ensure dinner is ready by 6.
6-6:30 Dinner
6:30-7 Clean up after dinner
7 Nursing, Burping, Diaper Changing
7-8 Occasional baths, Dave gets the big kids ready for bed and plays.
8-8:30 Showers for me and Dave
8:30-10 We watch TV or Arrested Development on Netflix (or whatever movie we're watching for our project)
10 Nursing, Burping Diaper Changing
3-4 Nursing, Burping Diaper Changing

And it goes on and on.  This is my life.  Thankfully, I don't mind it; it keeps me sane.  It's not easy caring for three kids and newborn twins, but it CAN be done!

So, if you wonder how I do it all, there's my schedule.  I don't clean my house (I hired a VERY reasonably priced housekeeper who comes every other week, and I recently had a friend who is helping on the off week so that it doesn't get too out of hand).  I'm so thankful I am able to do this.  If I wasn't able, I am sure Dave and I would just bust our tails on the weekends.

Life goes on.  People say, "I don't know how you do it."  It's just like any other difficult thing in life--you just DO IT.  We do it because we love these kids--if you don't do it, that's called neglect!!!  You just do what you have to do.  It could be a lot harder, and I am thankful for how smooth it has been so far.  And so you know, you don't have to do it like somebody else--you have got to find your own rhythm.  This is what works for us right now.

Ask me in a couple of months, and I'm sure even this will have changed.

We're surviving.  And perhaps it is premature, but I think thriving is around the corner.