Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday: Less Room

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I experienced a change that no one told me would happen and I didn't read about in the books. As my belly grew bigger with this new life in me, the room in my life for other people and things got smaller. Not only was my body growing this new life, but my heart was changing too - mostly unconsciously. Friends whom I cared about and wanted to keep up with (but who didn't exactly reciprocate) had to be cut out. Learning and any deep thinking was pushed to the side. My whole mind, heart and body was focused on this precious one inside.

This time around, I felt that some in the beginning, mostly from being so tired. It's not as big of a jump this time around, having been through it before. But I'm starting to feel that crowding again. That need to par down in order to not feel overwhelmed.

I haven't been writing lately because things have be rough from switching Sweet Girl to her new bed. And although I have things to share, ideas jotted down, I don't feel too compelled to write. I don't really miss it. It simply takes too much energy and brain power - things I'm having less of these days.

I was expecting to take a long pause in writing, especially after he's born, but I didn't expect it to be this soon. I intend to write once a week, if I have something to share. However, I might not. Overall, I'm feeling less room for creating, sharing. It's getting close to time to hibernate again. To stick to the basics, the needs, the essentials. And I may have to stay this way for some time yet.

Blogging is a luxury for me, an extra. Now, when the baby comes, and until I feel balanced again, blogging will be way, way on the back burner. Part of me wants to share all I'm trying to accomplish, things I'm learning, and other thoughts in my head, but most of me simply wants to rest. And rest I will. I'm not going to be completely absent, but you will see less of me.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Out of Town

We are out of town today through Monday, visiting the in-laws! I'll see you back here on Thursday! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday: What God Taught Me About Sleep

I could probably write several posts about our experience the past few weeks with switching Sweet Girl into her "big girl" bed. And the journey is not even over. But, for your sake and mine, I think I will just write this one and share with you an important lesson I've learned, and hope to keep with me.

We are now going into our third week of this, each week having it's own difficulties. What I learned during the first week, probably the hardest so far, is what I want to share today. I'm not going to go into details, just some background information you need to understand how my lesson came about. Basically that is that we were all up at all hours of the night, every night.

Sleep is very important to me. When Sweet Girl was younger, I'd add up how many hours I got (or didn't get). I'd do the same for her. I'd analyze. "If she sleeps x more hours then that's y for her and z for me." Fortunately, this time, I was able to refrain. That was helpful, but it didn't completely keep me agonizing about the lack of sleep and dread the coming day with all its activities and challenges. As hard as it was to get Sweet Girl back to sleep, I then had to get in bed and put myself back to sleep. And instead of drifting back off, I'd lay awake - alert and anxious - and pray and pray to be able to fall asleep.

When morning came, I'd beg for grace and strength for the day. And you know what? I got it. Not only did I not feel exhausted, crabby or frustrated, but neither did Sweet Girl - at least it seemed. She was her normal, perky self (most of the time) and I was a joyful, grace-filled version of myself (most of the time). All week little things had helped me try to keep things in perspective. Things like:  "At least she's healthy." and "Christ rose from the dead, He can surely get a tired, pregnant mama through the day."

Finally on Sunday morning, after putting her back to sleep, once again, around 6:00 (you know, when the sun is rising and birds are chirping), I tried to go back to sleep. By now I had noticed that no matter how hard the nights were, the days were fairly normal and enjoyable. So as I began my rounds of, "Lord, help me get a couple more hours!", a thought came to me: "If God is giving you strength through the day, why worry about how much sleep you get?" I realized that all my frustration from Sweet Girl's lack of peaceful sleep is from my desire to get the sleep I think I need. Yet God had proven to me all week that I don't need sleep. I need Him.

All week I had been praying for sleep, which in my mind was strength, when instead God was choosing to strengthen me in a different way. While I was praying for the miracle of her (and me) sleeping through the night, he was giving me a different miracle of grace and joy during the days.

In Matthew chapter 8, Jesus performs many miracles, then sleeps through storm on a boat. His disciples panic (um, that would be me!), and He stops the storm. Then when He heals two demon possessed men by letting the demons go into pigs, the people ask Him to leave. That would be me again. I didn't want God's strength, I wanted the security of a good night's sleep. But that is no security. Only God's grace and love is secure. I accept that now, and I pray I can apply it to all parts of my life.

What I learned can be summarized in this quote, one I try to remind myself of often:

"Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be strong people.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks.
Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle."
~ Phillips

Monday, May 14, 2012

Money Monday: Saving, Part Two Revised

On Money Monday I share ways I'm learning to save, make, and/or spend money wisely.

I basically need to take back most of what I said about our savings last time I wrote! What I learned and hope to do remains the same, but not only was I wrong about how we are currently saving, but we have revised our savings plan.

I checked out the Simple Mom blog a couple weeks ago, like I do sometimes. She had just posted about how they bought a house without any credit (because they don't use credit cards). I found it interesting and in it she commented about how the lady at Money Saving Mom bought their house in cash, which is what we hope to do one day with God's help.

While she has an extensive series dedicated to sharing how her and her husband saved enough to buy a house, most of the content was relevant to them and their situations. I was hoping for some pointers, but there was really only one thing I could take from it for us. That was the idea to set a time frame and amount goal. For us, we were saving some money for a house and a second car, but we didn't have an idea of how much we wanted to save or when we would want to have it saved by. That is because we don't know where we are going next and when we will want to buy these things - and even less of an idea what a realistic time frame is! And while these things are still true (and really, how can one ever really know), I thought it would be a good idea for us to at least set some goals, for motivation purposes if nothing else. If we didn't reach them, then at least we tried and we can set a new one. When there is no finish line, motivation is lacking.

So Coach and I sat down and talked about it. He didn't really like the idea for the house and car because it just seemed impossible when you really put a number on it. But the discussion led us to look at our current saving practice and the list of short term goals that we have - smaller big purchases we want in to near future (like a new computer). We set a number goal and date goal for our new computer. After that we realized the other things on we wanted really weren't practical since we'll be moving next year, so we scratched those off. Then, instead of working on house or car savings, we decided to focus on building up our emergency fund. Since Coach will need a new job next year (He's doing a two year program right now.), we thought it would be wise to save enough money for a few months' expenses in case he doesn't find a job right away. If he does, then we will probably need the money for moving expenses, or at least some of it. If we don't either way, than we have a solid emergency fund for when we do need it. God willing, his next job will pay better and we can simply save more while still living frugally.

It was too overwhelming for us right now to really make a goal for a house or a second car. I still think about owning a home, but it really isn't in our near future. There are other things we need to focus on right now, so we are trying to take baby steps. Hopefully, with God's help, we will soon be in a position to save, save, save for our own home. For now, we're focused on what's right in front of us.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Continuing the Pause

Alas, this transition is taking longer, and is much more difficult, than I had anticipated. Therefore, I'm going to stop posting indefinitely until we are all adjusted and recovered from this. Hopefully that means just another week, but it's really hard to tell. Be sure you can anticipate a reflective post once we have passed through this "storm".