Sunday, February 26, 2012


Easter things lined the isles - already. It's not even March, Valentine's Day just behind us. I shake my head at the obvious need to be occupied with anything but now. But I am just the same, as I resist doughnuts and cookies, anything that appeals to me, to bring me happiness or make me feel better. Or so I think.

It usually comes at night, after a full day and my body and heart are tired from caring for a toddler and growing a baby. And all the distractions are gone. The blame falls on my husband. He wasn't enough: didn't listen, talk, fill-in-the-blank enough to make me feel full, happy.

And it comes near my birthday, visits, holidays, anything tied with expectations. The day did not go perfect, so-n-so was not thoughtful. And I'm left disappointed again.

This emptiness... it's so hard to fill. I try to fill it with food, plans, clothes, my husband, daughter, and even my unborn child. Or movies, books, blogs - you name it! The world always has something to offer to "fill" the emptiness we feel... or at least distract us from it.

A wonderful marriage book given to my husband and me by my in-laws, Love and War by John and Staci Eldredge, explained that our hearts are like sponges. They can be filled up, soaked and heavy. But eventually, and quickly, they dry up and are empty again. And we long for more. The wonderful weekend we spent means nothing come Tuesday evening when I feel need more of my husband, like I need food and air.

But even he can't fill my heart. Not completely. And not my children, food, clothes, activities, friends and sunshine all put together. Only Jesus can truly make my heart complete. I know that. I have known that. A dear friend once told me, even before I met my husband, that you will still feel lonely in marriage. And I was able to believe her because I was not currently in love. I had my head on straight. I've always remembered that, but lately I have not been able to put it in practice. Logically, I know I should turn to Christ. My mind does, but my heart holds back. And, honestly, I don't know why.

Tomorrow Lent will begin. In the Orthodox Church, Lent is taken very seriously. It involves fasting from meat and dairy, but more so from sin and whatever else draws us away from Christ. I certainly need a time like this. Personally, I will not be fasting from meat and dairy because right now my body needs the nutrients these foods provide. But I will be taking measures to draw closer to Christ. More prayer. More reading. More quiet.

Maybe I'll be on here, maybe I won't. I'm not making a rule to not be on the Internet, but I'm definitely going to cut it down. In fact, God has already done that by shutting down our laptop for good. My husband brings his work laptop home in the evenings and weekends, but that doesn't allow much time, so that is already built in. And it's a good break to take.

Whatever you are planning to do to prepare for the Resurrection of our Lord, may it be blessed! May it help you to fill your heart with Christ - the only true filler. Pray for me that my efforts will do the same for me.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


So my Sweet Girl had surgery. And lived... and I did too! Except for a few episodes of panic, on both of our parts, it went very smoothly. It began with an early morning, leaving the house at 7 am. I was as cool as a cucumber, thanks to God bestowing me His peace and grace for the day. I was not the least bit nervous - I knew were in good hands. The hospital is great, we liked the doctor, and I was confident that they were all in even better and bigger Hands.

It wasn't until we went to the recovery room that it felt hard. Walking into the only part we had seen that truly looked like a hospital, one of those big rooms with lots of beds and curtains (like the ones in the war movies and all the wounded soldiers)... walking into there and hearing my daughter's frantic wailing. I rushed over as fast as I could shoving my coat into Coach's arms. The nurse was holding her, but she would not be consoled. She was in a hospital gown (and not the cute one she was wearing on her way to surgery), wires were taped to various parts, monitoring her, IV in her hand... and she was sobbing. And for the first time that day, I wanted to cry. She did not stop crying when I held her. She only stopped when she dozed off as I rocked her and hummed. She was out of it. She had just "popped up" before we made it there. And she was aware enough to be scared, but not aware enough to know everything was now okay.

She woke up and cried, then dozed off again two more times. She finally drank something (which was a requirement to go home) and seemed more herself. But when we tried to put her sleeper on, she refused, cried again and went back to sleep with more rocking and singing. This time, she slept for an hour. Coach and I were playing Scrabble on the iPod, eating some Valentine's truffles. I was halfway through mine when Sweet Girl woke up, looked at the truffle in my free hand and nodded her head eagerly as to say, "Yes, I'll eat that!" Now she was herself again - thank God! I popped that truffle in my mouth and we promised her a banana after we got her sleeper on. She downed that thing - after all, it was the first thing she'd eaten all day.

Since then, she has been herself for the most part. However, she is much more resistant to taking her medicine, terrified of getting her temperature taken, and refuses to take a bath. Fortunately, I think we're pretty much done with the medicine and I think her fever has gone away (it was likely that she would have one). I guess we'll just have to see about the bath thing.

Last night I felt the most scared I did the whole time. Mia still had a fever, a rough cough and raspy breathing after waking up, and it was Friday night with Coach out of town. All day I debated when I should give her medicine, if I should call the doctor... whether I know what I'm doing at all. I felt totally inept at caring for her and terrified that I'll make a wrong decision - and fearful of something worse happening (oh, you know - anything!). Where did all my trust go? Where did my faith in those bigger Hands go? I was not prepared for all these little decisions to come up. I was expecting step-by-step, hour-by-hour instructions. There are none and am left feeling helpless. It's humbling that my faith is so shallow that I only trust when I'm prepared to trust. Rarely do we get warnings before something happens. We must always be trusting, every day, hour, moment. Oh how I beg to have trust in the mornings, and when things come up, but I am still weak and it is hard. I am sure I will have plenty of opportunities to strengthen my trust. I pray I can meet them bravely, and leave the experience stronger. I know this experience has given me growth, and I thank God for it, His guidance, and His strength.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Morning Thoughts

breakfast treat

Last night I had a dream that we had our twenty-week ultrasound and they told us we were having a girl. I was thrilled! Maybe it was because yesterday I had read The New Baby by Mercer Mayer a dozen times to Sweet Girl and Little Critter's new sibling was a girl. Regardless, I guess my feelings are clear.

But of course, either gender will be perfect. I am so excited about this baby. As we sipped our strawberry smoothies this morning, I looked forward to having another giggly, squirming someone at the table. I have a lot of thoughts like that.

I'm sure things won't be as easy as these thoughts I have. In the back of my mind, I know it'll be hard at times. But why dwell on that? I can dream and anticipate as long as I keep in check that there will be hard times. For now, I will anticipate the good and pray for grace when the not so good happens.

When Sweet Girl was born, I was knocked off my feet. I was on a hormone roller coaster while sleep deprived... and trying to meet unrealistic expectations. I can't control the first two; they will probably be the same. But I hope I have learned enough from that experience to make this next transition a tad easier. 

Maybe I'll look back on this and laugh, but why dread the unknown? I know there will be good times, but I can't predict how hard it will be. So, for my sanity, and my baby's sake, I'm going to live in the joyous expectation of the good times to come.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Peek Into Our Every Day (newly revised) Lives

I feel as if the pregnancy fog has lifted. My head feels clearer and I'm feeling motivated again. I am sticking to my resolutions, but I am doing more in the home. No more mid-day nap (for now!) means more time. And less fatigue (for now!) means more desire to get things done!

The past couple days, I have felt like our daily life was a bit too unstructured for me, and the house was getting a bit too dirty also. I had dropped the "zone cleaning" that I took from the Fly Lady because I just didn't have the energy to do more than the basics. Yesterday I was noticing the honey fingerprints on the cabinet, a smudge on a curtain, and lots and lots of little girl prints on the glass doors (I do adore those, but after a while, the window needs a freshening!). Sigh. So I started thinking about how I could get the things done that really need to be done once a month or so. Today, I decided to revise my zones. I was going to break it down into 4 or 5 chores a month (i.e. clean cobwebs in every room). As I looked at them, I realized it's really not that much work a week, and if I planned right, I could get it done, or at least most of it. So I deleted a few things, modified a few (like doing cobwebs all at once instead of one room a week), and made a weekly planning checklist to make sure I planned in the zone chores each week!

A couple days ago, I had sketched out a daily routine for us. It's basically what happens on a good, organized day. So I hope it will serve as a reminder to stay on task, get the things done while taking time to read and play too. Here's a peek into my goal for the day with Sweet Girl (of course, Mama's day includes much more!):

*Note: Any time we are done with tasks before the next thing, we'll spend the time reading or playing. Also, for the most part, Sweet Girl "helps" with most tasks, so we are still spending time together.

Daily Routine ·     Get up and get ready
·     Prayers
·     Breakfast and clean-up
·     Read for 15-20 min.
·     Cleaning tasks for the day
·     Tasks for the day
·     Lunch and clean-up
·     Nap time
·     Snack
·     Fold laundry, finish tasks
·     Make supper
·     Play/read
·     Clean-up
Bedtime routine

I feel like running a home, and caring for a child/children, is a constant process or reevaluating the situation, revising, then coasting for a bit, until things get bumpy again! I enjoy the process, thankfully and really feel refreshed when I can find ways to make our lives more efficient, smooth and enjoyable!

As a final note, I felt the baby move for the first time Wednesday evening! As I wrote this, it felt like the baby was dancing. It's such a wonderful feeling! This is definitely a wonderful time of pregnancy; thanks be to God!