Monday, March 23, 2009

Girls Girls Girls

This weekend was our annual girl's getaway/retreat. I don't really know what it was, but it was powerful and fun.
It amazes me that I sit down to talk to a group of girls several time over two days and I learn so much myself, both about myself and about God. I 'knew' going in that I was the same as they are... that I've been there... I've felt that way... I've been wounded. I found out though, that I still have areas in my own life where those "wounds" affect me. It was nice to be able to teach a lesson and to have one of the girls say, "Hey, you're supposed to accept that compliment," which is what I had taught them previously.
A girl's struggle with self esteem and self image run so deep, it changes everything. It effects who she is and who she can become... it effects her decisions, her relationship with others, her relationship with Christ. It is vital, and though no where do I believe we should be cocky and arrogant, we should completely be satisfied and confident with who we are in Christ and who He is molding us into.
I can't stress enough, I really feel that as the weekend went on the girls were walking with more poise, they were laughing more, interacting more with people they didn't know... loving each other more... all because they were loving themselves a little more. It's amazing the difference it makes to love yourself. There is a reason Jesus said to love God and then to love people as you do yourself. You sure can't love others very well if you can't love yourself very well.
All in all, I loved it, it was wonderful! The girls all got along, laughed together, there was very little drama... I really do just love them dearly! And to think, all these girls are from such different walks of life, such different friend groups... it really did just rock my world!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Difference Change Could Make

Having a baby makes you do a lot of things you never thought you would do and you never thought you would enjoy. In seeing Bryton grow up, however, there's this long list of changes I'd love to see happen in our family in order to raise him well. Here are just a few:
-For the family as a whole to watch less tv, because he's already catching on. It may just be the lights or the colors, and I'm not nixing the idea of tv for good forever, but I want him to know there is more to life then sitting and staring at a big empty box. Rather than watch the world be bad on the news constantly, to actually BE some good in the world, rather than watch other people on reality tv, to embrace our own reality and savor the moments that pass us by every second of every minute of every hour of every day.
-For us to spend more time outside, because the world is outside. God's creation is outside. There's this positive energy that comes with being outside, this energy that makes you feel good. I want him to know our neighbors, and to know how to hit a golf ball, and throw a football, and ride his bike. I want him to play in the dirt and realize it's where he started. I want us all to play horse in the driveway in the midst of summer when the lightning bugs are dancing around us and you can here other neighbor kids out running and yelling.
-For us to spend more time with our friends, because we all need to realize how important our friends really are to us. Because we take them for granted, and, unfortunately, you don't realize it until they aren't accecessible anymore. Because I want my kids to see that friendships are important, no, that they are vital. I want them to cherish those people in their lives they call friends. I want them to learn to share and to play well with others, to not always get their way, and to learn to care about people.
-For us to have more meals at the table, not lined up in front of the empty black box, because there is importance in sitting together, face to face, and sharing about your day. Sharing about your day opens up opportunities to share about your life, to share about your struggles, to share about your pain and disappointments, to share about your mistakes, not just at the dinner table, but always. To show my kids that I deem important what is going on in their lives, and that I care enough to sit and eat with them. And to show my husband that as well.
Side note: Before tv, what did people do? Oh, probably spend quality time together, really know one another, not get divorced or have kids that were in total rebellion. They probably played board games together, laughed together, talked together.
-For us to have more real conversations. Conversations that go past, "how was your day," ... "fine." Conversations that reveal to one another who we really are, the good and the bad. Conversations that help build us and grow us as a family unit and as individuals. Conversations that REQUIRE us to really invest in each other's lives.
-For there to be less gossip and less slander, so that my kids understand that mommy and daddy really do care about people. They care about the pain that may be caused by harsh words. So they understand that just because you've been wronged doesn't mean you have to be bitter. So they know that life goes on and we aren't defined by and should not be entertained by the lives of other people.
-For there to be more Jesus talk, more devotional times, more praying together, not just at meals or in response to other life events, but in response to life. In response to the human need for response. That Jesus would be prevelant in our day to day musings, not just at church, before bed and before we eat food.
-For church and church people to be positive things. For us to dote upon and love unconditionally those in fellowship with us. To never make light of the importance our church family is to our faith and to our relationship with Christ, because when our kids graduate, the statistics say that church will be the first thing to leave, and I want them to know how much they need that support system.
-For us to spend less time we have available to be together on the computer, text messaging, talking on the phone. I'm not saying it'll never happen, life does move on outside of a family's time together, but it seems that after a hard day at work, or school, or the babysitter, or wherever, families, rather than coming together, withdraw from one another. One is on the couch in front of the big black box texting a co-worker who they've seen all day and will see again tomorrow. Another is on the computer, staring at the lives and profiles of 200 different friends, when she doesn't really know the lives of the people in the same room with her. Another has an ipod attached permanetly to the ears, rocking away without any regard to what is happening in their own lives.
When did it become okay, in our list of priorities, for television, the internet, music, reading, ANYTHING to come before God, and time with our families? When did it become okay to allow a television to raise our kids. Not to mention a television with poor ideologies, poor morals and integrity, with graphic images, with harsh language. When did it become okay to "relax" after a long day of work in front of this big black box. Please don't misunderstand me, I have my favorite shows, and I'm not giving up television forever, but I want it to be okay if we did. I don't want the majority of what happens on our evenings together to be tv. I want to go on walks, and play outside, and cook dinner together, and play boardgames, or even video games for that matter, as long as it's spending time together, communicating, talking, loving.
I'm sure it is easier to just watch tv, but I refuse to waste away the little precious time I have with my family for every episode of my favorite show on the big black empty box. What I have been given (by God mind you) is much more beautiful, much more entertaining, and much more important than anything any writer or reality tv star can offer.

Monday, March 2, 2009


So I didn't know the simple pleasures of life could be so grand. In my arms is held a little bundle of love (as Aaron's dad so lovingly refers to him) with no limit to the potential he may reach. It's amazing the pride you can feel when your baby rolls over for the first time, or actually hits the button to start the music on his jumper... on purpose. Seriously, I want to throw him a little party. It's these little milestones that are going by day after day as I watch my baby grow up. It really does make me sad.
If I were being honest, I would say even when Aaron and I decided to start trying to conceive I was a little hesitant. I was hesitant because I knew nothing about how to be a mom, I loved my independence, being able to go where I wanted to go, do what I wanted to do, and frankly, I didn't want boldly decorated toys scattered amidst the decor of my home. But I had finally had that "urge", I was finally willing, after 2 1/2 years, to start trying, and it didn't take long.
Now, if I were being honest, I'd confess that the simple pleasure of independence pales in comparison to seeing Bryton smile at me, and motherly instincts, they most definitely kick in, and right now, seeing Bryton interact with those toys is precious to me. For that joy, they can live in my family room forever.
I'm not saying it isn't tough and trying sometimes, and right now, when I'm sick, I'll admit that it is hard, but he's so worth it. I love having my own family. Aaron and I are more than a "couple" now, we're a family... and I'm so excited to watch it grow, in whatever way it does.
I really love the momma role. I really do.