Monday, September 27, 2010

Porch Picnic + Fall Art

Ivory was very excited about our porch picnic. (Ivory's taken to nakey eating because of her love of messy eating--Mom's tired of excessive clothe + child washing.)

Our little hero was chill with it, like his sister he loves being outside.

I love how such simple things thrills kids. Love this kids fuzzy baby hair.  Do you notice how light it's getting?  The hair underneath + roots are extremely blonde.  I think we're going to end up with two tow-headed young 'uns before long.

Later we decided to try our hand at leaf coloring.  This is how we make fall leaves in Florida...

We even made the ever fashionable masking tape-paper-rainbow bracelet.

...that someone was NOT HAPPY about modeling.  She loved the bracelet, just the standing still for a picture part.

But Daddy's arrival made it better.

And then a sippy cup of "yellow milk" was the cherry on top.

Ivory has been so loving to her brother lately.  I walked in his room this mornign to see her little arm stretched through the slats of his crib as she gently patted her screaming brother on the back and told him "stop crying, Micah!"  She loves holding him, making him smile, and talking to him.  If he's laying on the floor she wants to lay down next to him, touch, him and talk to him.  We're still working on teaching her not to put her fingers in his mouth. 

If she hears daddy playing with Micah she immediately has to stop what she's doing and join in the fun.  She doesn't complain or get jealous--just wants to be included in the fun. Just imagine the giggles taking place in the picture below.

Lately life has been *extremely* busy.  Last week we called a halt on all that, as best we could.  We canceled a lot of plans and minus doctor visits stayed away from excessive Panama City trips & even play dates.  I was exhausted physically, Jason overbooked, and the kids battling illness.  Micah's ear infection affected his eating, which in turn affected the feedings and milk production.  It was a very stressful, emotional, exhuasting week.  I believe it was no accident I started reading in Job that same week  in my quiet times.  Every time I thought I couldn't handle any more I would remember Job and know my life wasn't that bad.  I also vividly remember Job's response to losing all of his possessions + children.

Job 1:20-22 ::

Then Job arose, and rent his robe, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped; [emphasis added]
and he said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah hath taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah.

In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
Worship.  Job fell to the ground in worship.  Not despair.  Not hopelessness.  Not grief alone.  Worship.  I definitely have a ways to go to embrace this life outlook.  I am learning, though, Praise God.

The other day I was imagining what I would want somebody to say if they saw me again after being absent from my life for a long period of time.  In some aspects I pray my character remains the same--that I'm steady.  However, I do desire to always grow & change in Christ likeness that I won't be viewed the same a week, 2 months, 10 years down the road.  I pray the same for my entire family.

Last night Jason invited me to a morning date on our porch swing before the kids (well, Ivory) awoke.  Though a house fire call (Jason's now a volunteer fire fighter--and yes, the people in the house are safe, praise God!) nearly threatened our time together, he arrived home in time.   I really enjoyed our uninterrupted conversation.  We talked about what we've been reading and learning in our quiet times, about the Crown Financial Ministires course we're starting in Sunday School,and a lot about the kind of parents we want to be and the spiritual vision God has given us for our children. 

I vividly remember my dad sitting me down as an adolescent girl and telling me how he desired to see me full of joy.  He wanted me to learn to find my joy.  I really took what he had to say to heart. I began searching for how to find that joy.  I've been a Christian since a very little girl, but joy is something I struggle to continually feel & display.  Not just simple happiness that comes and goes, but true joy that lasts through the rough times--times like what Job experienced.  One day while reading the Psalms a verse almost jump out the page at me.

"Thou wilt show me the path of life: In thy presence is fulness of joy; In thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  Psalm 16:11
I memorized it and decided to make it my life verse.  Every time I begin "losing" my joy I evaluated my personal quiet times and realize they're been a lack of personal fellowhsip with the source of all joy--my Lord, Jesus Christ. Really all lack of the fruit of the spirit results from this same source, but my joy leaving and the black cloud of depression that seeks to overcome me is usually my first signal. 

I'm so grateful for a dad who had the wisdom and sensitivity to the Spirit to cast this vision for my spiritual growth/life.  I desire to do the same for our children.

I'll never forget one time in my college years when I did some things that really disappointed my dad.  I expected him to get upset, be hurt, come down hard on me in discipline, but I never expected his tears.  The look on his face as tears streamed down will forever be branded on my mind.  When I sin I often imagine that same look on God's face.  I NEVER want to do something to hurt my dad like that again.  I carry the same feeling now toward God.  Thank you, Dad, for revealing a glimpse of my Heavenly Father's heart.

I pray that as Jason and I raise our children we will reveal a glimpse into the heart of their Heavenly Father.  I desire to discipline in love.  Spend quality time with them.  Show them we treasure them for who they are, not just what they do.  I don't want to pump them full of empty dreams, desires, and false praise.  I desire to see them pursue that which will bring true fulfillment and praise from their Heavenly Father.

Jason expressed he doesn't want to look back and say, "If I had it to do over again I wish I'd done it differently."  I wholeheartedly agree.  We desire this for God's glory and the benefit of our children, not for our own satisfaction or pride.  If pride motivates our parenting then we're already failing.  I feel so blessed to have godly mentors surrounding us who we can learn from and seek to emulate.  We want so much to learn from the good and bad choices of those around me.  I pray we never take the easy way out but will choose to follow these wise words: "Let thine eyes look right on, And let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26Make level the path of thy feet, And let all thy ways be established.27Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: Remove thy foot from evil." Proverbs 4:25-27

May we see our children, " a tree planted by the streams of water, That bringeth forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also doth not wither; And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Psalms 1:3

I praise God for the truth He has already impresed upon my heart and pray I will only learn more each day.

Thanks for being patient with the ramblings of a young mom...

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