"I have come that they might have life and have it to the full..." -John 10:10b

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Balancing Act

Life is all about balance.

Balancing schedules,

balancing time,

balancing diet,

balancing the checkbook, etc...

These days, I'm finding it hard to find the balance.

Being a stay at home mom to two children under 5 is a full time job in and of itself. Those girls keep me on my toes at all times!

Then there's keeping up on housework,

keeping up on friendships,

keeping up on laundry,

keeping up on exercise (sometimes) and

keeping up on schoolwork.

Going to school full time while keeping up on life has been very tough.

And I'm feeling a little burned out.

It's times like these when I start to ask myself, "Self, it's feeling a little heavy around here, and Jesus said His load was light...so what are we carrying around that just ain't ours?"

And I wonder...are you feeling weighed down by life? By relationships? By obligations?

If you are, it's time to unload all the things that Jesus didn't hand you to carry.

For me, that's lightening up my school load and making time to do the things I need to do to stay healthy for my family.

It's taking time to weed out the expectations I put on myself that aren't necessarily bad, but aren't really necessary either.

Just some random thoughts for the evening...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Today, I'm reflecting.

And packing for a trip down to see the in-laws for Easter Weekend but mostly

just reflecting.

The girls and I read the story of Jesus' arrest and death this morning in our Jesus Story Book Bible. If you don't have one, I highly recommend it for your little ones.

We're also listening to The Story of Little Tree. If you've never heard it, I also highly recommend for the little ears in your life. I've been listening to it every year since I was 6 or 7 and it brings me to tears every time. The most powerful message the world has ever heard, in the most simple form...humbling.

I began my morning praying...praying hard. Praying like I haven't in a very long time. Years even.

I can feel the Holy Spirit alive and well in me this morning.

And I'm so grateful!


And so, I'm going to do something I've never done before.


Because today is a day of reflection and prayer and remembrance.

And being that I struggle with food and it's perceived power over me,

it's the one thing I know to eliminate today so that I can focus on Christ's power in me.

And His power over death.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Easter is quickly approaching.

Good Friday is only 2 days away.

Cherry Blossom Festival

This is the time of year when Christians start to really reflect on what happened on those two magnificent days.

We also start to reflect on how undeserving we are of the magnificence.

Cherry Blossom Festival

As much as the Resurrection of our Lord is something to be JOYFUL over, the truth that His purpose for coming, the purpose for His beating and death, the purpose of His resurrection was to reconcile us to God, is very humbling.


We are that depraved and unholy that God had to send His only Son to die so that we might Live. Because we deserve death.

It's a hard truth. It's a humbling truth.

Cherry Blossom Festival

In the midst of all my personal reflection on this matter, I'm also reading this book in my morning devotions.

I've been struggling with food and body image for as long as I can remember.

And as much as I know how to get the weight off and I want it off,

the extra poundage is simply an outside manifestation of what's really going on inside me.

And I want to resolve this problem from the inside out.

Cherry Blossom Festival

So, today's assignment in my devotional was to compose a love letter to myself from God's perspective.

Would you know I couldn't do it!

I sat there for half an hour trying to find "good" qualities about myself but for every good attribute, I could list at least 10 not-so-good ones.

And I don't tell you this for pitty or empathy, I choose to be transparent on this blog because I honestly hope that someone who might read this will identify themselves in my words and not feel so alone. That they might join me on this journey.

Cherry Blossom Festival

But even as I compose this post, I can feel the Spirit working in me. Even as I type how unworthy I am I can hear Him whispering to me,

"But I love you. So much so that I died for YOU! So much so that I delighted in watching you grow in your mother's womb and I rejoiced the day you were born. I love you so much that I have placed my hand into your life and blessed you over and over again...abundantly! I love you so much that I have never left your side, even when you felt distant from me. I love you so much that I want you to be with me for an eternity, and I've made a way for you."

So, at the top of my list of redeeming qualities about myself this morning, (and I hope at the top of yours) is that I am loved by the Creator of Heaven and Earth. He has chosen ME. He has carved a path of righteousness for ME by sending His only begotten son to die the most humiliating kind of death so that I might live with HIM forever.

And you know what?

He did all that for you too!

Cherry Blossom Festival

"But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring has Sprung

It's green outside, the temps are consistently in the 60's, it rains often and the deer are eating my daylillies...

Deer got to my day lillies :(

it's Spring.

Spring is more like New Years for me.

There's something about watching new life pop up from the formerly frozen ground that inspires hope and determination in me.

Blushing Bride

I'm always so amazed when my perennials push their way through the earth yet again...and this year, even some of my annuals made a come-back! Yay!


Even the harshest of winters can't keep new life from finding a way. It's really incredible.

And so symbolic.

The Lord really does walk us through the darkest and coldest of times,

only to offer us a chance at renewal when it's over.

Limelight Hydrangea

How blessed we are!

Along with my foliage is blossoming a beautiful friendship between my two girls.

Sisters Share

As Izzy gets older, the gap between them developmentally seems to be narrowing and they have discovered one another in a new way in recent weeks.

My Izzy Bee

I over hear them often telling one another that they love each other. Too cute! I find myself constantly running upstairs at the sound of screaming only to discover squeals of delight...not terror or frustration.

They share well (most of the time) and sing together. As different as they are, they truly do love to be with each other and that does my heart good :)


This is also Charlie's first spring.

Confused Charles

My puppy has LOVED frolicking all over the front yard chasing bubbles,

Charlie licks his chops!

Charlie chasing Bubbles

taking long walks next to the stroller and running leash-less around the green grass at the Parade Field on Post.


He's also loved sniffing around my garden (which I think has something to do with the deer).

Spring also tends to bring all the neighbors out again.


It begins in the late morning,

I'll venture outside with my girls, sidewalk chalk in tow

and as if a radar went off around the cul-de-sac,

kids and moms start to trickle from front doors,

Shelby and Olive

bounding across the small pasture,

arms wide open as the run to greet one another somewhere in the middle.


It's always a joyful reunion.

I love spring in our neighborhood.

Neighborhood KIddos

I love spring period.

Friday, April 8, 2011


One of the amazing things about having two girls, somewhat close in age is how different they are.

Try as I might to coordinate their outfits or convince them that they want to watch the same cartoons,

Izzy and Éva are different.


Where Éva is more shy, Izzy knows no strangers.

While Éva thinks of sensible names for her stuffed animals and dolls, Izzy calls them "Punk" and "Monkey" or my favorite "Ha."

While Éva made me a mother and turned our house into a home, Izzy made it more full, more complete, and more joyful!

Izzy on the metro

Izzy is not a fearful or shy child. In fact, this quality in her makes me nervous at times. She's so willing to talk to someone new that I often fear she'd just walk away with anyone, chatting their ear off as they stole away with my baby.

She's an adventure seeker. Just yesterday, I took her to the park and she proceeded to climb every single part of the jungle gym that I would've rathered she didn't. And she did it well. Sigh...

Izzy has never wanted to be little. She decided right after her 2nd birthday that it was time for her to be potty trained and she did it...all I did was help her onto the potty. I am convinced that this child sees herself as more of an adult than I see myself.

Izzy under the cherry blossoms

Izzy talks incessantly. She. is. always. talking. Her first words to us almost every morning as she bursts through our door are "Hi Guys!" and she doesn't stop all morning long. My favorite things she says right now: "Mom, look how big my am!" or "I wuz you too, Mom" or Paul's favorite, "Guys, here's the plan..." as she pops out a hip and puts one hand in the air.

Izzy is the life of any party and in so many ways, she brought us all out of our shells. Éva struggled intensely with separation anxiety and nervousness, but as Izzy has grown, so has her relationship with her sister and we've seen amazing changes in Éva as she gains confidence watching her little sister do all the things she's wanted to try so badly. Izzy will even look at her sometimes and say, "C'mon Éva, you turn!"

Izzy is most certainly made up of leadership material and she has no problems coloring outside the lines. I love these things about her and I know raising her will be one of my life's greatest challenges. Izzy will always need room to be Izzy...I just pray that I am able to have the discernment and wisdom when to recognize when to reign her in and when to set her free.

Izzy eating her cupcake

She is my joy; My comedic relief through most days. While Éva is affirming and affectionate and sweet and makes my heart all warm and fuzzy, Izzy makes me laugh

and gives my life cheer,

and abundance :)

Izzy on the slide

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Like keeps happening around here.

It happens quickly.

So quickly sometimes that I'm not able to catch it and that kind of breaks my heart a little.

I heard somewhere this week that life with children under 5 means "very long days and very short years."

So true.


Éva and Izzy continue to grow and learn at an alarming pace and I find it hard to keep up.

There are moments that I wish I could freeze in time.

I want to be able to remember this time with my girls. All of it.

This time when I was still the epitome of beauty in their eyes,

when their Daddy can do no wrong,

when an exertion of their will (very strong will) over ours will merely land them a time out instead of a heavier consequence that they might carry with them forever.

It's a time of innocence and humor and I fail sometimes to see it in the shadows of the daily grind.

So here today, I want to document them. Today,


My big girl

Éva is in preschool this year at a local church. She comes home every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon with something new. A new letter, number, idea, friend or attitude. I've loved watching her interact with the other children and her amazing teachers! She graduates next week. I'm making cupcakes (shocker!).

On the metro

Éva by nature is an encourager. She's always ready with a kind word or a helpful tidbit. She tells me daily that she loves me and that I'm beautiful. She's good for the self-esteem :) She also loves rules. In fact, I find her creating new ones all the time.

For example: The other day, as she delicately ate each fruit snack in her daily, highly anticipated package of fruit snacks, I found her holding the last one tightly in her hand and it seemed she had no intention of eating it. "Aren't you going to eat your last fruit snack?" I asked. She looked at me with all kinds of seriousness in her eyes and said, "Of course Mom. But I have to wait until after Veggie Tales is over."

Éva saves things for God. Whether it's her last bite of ice cream or the toy she got out of her Chick-fil-A kids meal, she'll set it aside and tell me that she's saving it for God. I love this quality in her. I hope that she'll always save things for God. Most of all, I hope she saves her heart for Him and all the wonderful things I'm sure He has planned for her.


Éva is an emotional child. She's very in tune with how she's feeling and very willing to express it. While this quality can bring about a bit of unpredictability, I love it about her! Being so in tune with her own emotions means she's also able to recognize quickly emotional shifts in others and she responds with such compassion. She'll be a wonderful friend. While Paul was gone, I had a few "sit-on-the-stairs-and-cry "moments. Éva never hesitated to sit beside me, rub my back gently and ask, "Mommy, do you miss Daddy?" When I would tell her yes she'dlook at me and say, "Me too. But he'll come home soon. It's going to be all right," which are the exact words I'd say to her when she was having "I miss Daddy" moments.

This little girl teaches me lessons on a daily basis. She's actually a lot like me (stubborn as all get out!) and that means that we often butt heads. But behind that strong willed demeanor is a heart that is being shaped and molded by her Creator and I'm blessed with the privilege of being an active participant.