Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Trip of Reality

This weekend I had the amazing privilege to go away for a few days and visit my dear friend Jamie in PA. Being with Jamie is true water to my soul. It refreshes me and blesses me to my core! I got to spend time with her and her sweet little family which includes a 3 year old precious little girl and a 7 week old new little baby boy and of course Brian her husband! Saturday Brian kept the kids so we could spend the day kid free and boy was it amazing. We hit our favorite shops and eat at our favorite places...we become teens again, enjoying life in our own world.

Of course as Jamie and I are together we talk...and talk...and talk. This visit was no different, but actually being in PA, which is where Volvo is moving us, was a reality check for me. Since finding out about the potential of moving I have tried my hardest to embrace it with open arms. Moving is nothing new to Kevin and I and with each move we have been beyond blessed, so this I know would be no different. As Jamie and I processed through my emotions of actually being in PA and seeing what our life could be like...I was shocked at what I discovered. PA is not our home, it does not sit right in my spirit, and this is eye opening for me.

I realized while being in and around PA that Asheville is where I would love to raise my family, we are so invested in the community here and we love our friends and family. Not to mention our church family is one of the biggest reasons we want to put down our roots here, we are invested in our church and believe in their vision and feel extremely connected.

Kevin and I have always said we wanted to go where God would have us go, we did not want to be stubborn in our ways and stay somewhere because it is comfortable...but in this case staying will not be the easy decision..in fact it will be the riskiest decision, but I believe it will be the greatest more rewarding decision as well.

So my prayers for this move have changed.

Lord you know my heart, we want to glorify you, we want to live our lives making your name famous. We want to raise these children in a way that brings them into a relationship with you and gives you honor. So Lord, we want to stay, you have given us a heart for this area and we long to continue being your hands and feet in the ministries you have given to us. We will exhaust every opportunity to stay knowing that at the end of this journey you still may ask us to move. We will not close our ears or heart off, we will keep our eyes open to whatever you have but we ask that you have a job for Kevin here, a house for our family here, and we ask that you make a way for our family to stay!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Parenting These Blessings

Parenting these two little boys has been beyond a blessing. They are constantly teaching me about love in a way I could never before comprehend. My heart explodes every time one of them calls out "mommmma!!!!!" I tell the boys all the time "if you were not my boys, I would wish that you were..."

Going out in public is also fun, people are constantly asking if they are twins. God is such an amazing and creative God when it comes down to these boys. They really do look like brothers. Ty coming from two dark haired, dark eyed, and dark toned daddy, came into the world with light brown hair and blue eyes and fair skin. Ty is also in the 99% in everything. He is HUGE! He weighs more then Jaden and has bigger feet. Jaden, looks a lot like Liesl. I can't wait to get pictures of them together when she comes for his birthday. What amazes me though is that Jaden with his sandy blond hair and blue eyes, still stands taller then his brother and they wear the same clothes, so they really do favor one another. So this is usually how a conversation in public goes:

Stranger: "aww they are so cute, are they twins?"

Me: "Almost they are 4.5 months apart..."

Stranger (if smart enough to realize that is humanly impossible): "Wow, how is that?"

Me (huge smile on my face): "One is adopted"

Stranger: "Oh wow, what an amazing story, which one is yours?"

Me (who hates hates hates this question..): " they are both mine! If you can't tell then neither can we!"

Stranger: "oh that's sweet...well if I were to guess (yes they really do this) I would say this one (pointing to sweet Jaden!!).

Me: "Sure, He is mine and so is HE (pointing to Ty)

Stranger: "oh... you really are not going to tell us?" (Yes this is most commonly said)

Me: "Nope, have a great day!"

Raising two little boys so close in age also has its challenges as well. Most commonly people say "oh you are a busy mom..." And yes I am, but as I sit here writing this Ty is playing in his room and Jaden is watching Elmo's world. We have figured things out and if we are home things are usually calm and collective (usually...). Now there are those days where I really do feel like I am losing my mind and pulling out my hair, but just like anyone else we have a routine we follow and I find that I am able to function well...we are just doing life together and having two is all I know!

The difficulties I face is being able to really "do" with my boys at this age. I would love to go to story time, swim lessons, the park, a Little Gym, or something similar to these things. The first difficulty is finding the energy to do either of these things with two little boys under two. They are so curious about anything and everything that when we do anything I almost need a second hand to keep up with their busyness. The other hard part of the boys being 4.5 months apart is that they are in completely different developmental stages at the moment. The older they get the smaller the gap will be, but having an almost 18month and almost 24month adds its challenges. Challenges I greatly accept and take but challenges all the same.

I am once again reminded that they are happy boys, they are doing just fine, and they may not be able to do what others kids are able to do and I may not be able to do what other moms maybe able to do, but I don't think my kids are missing out on anything in life...once again God filling in the gaps.

I know that adding a third is just going to add to the fun, and I am ready for it. It may have it challenges, but everyone has their challenges. I am learning to focus in on what I can do and do it to my best ability and leaving the rest up to God!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Undeserving Love

I feel so blessed and overwhelmed this morning...but above all of those feelings, the strongest of them all is the feeling that I do not deserve any of this.

I went on a hunt this morning looking for a blog I wrote about two years ago, I know it is there but I could not find the specific one I was looking for. But in the process I relived my journey through those hard days. When I look back and read the words written by a broken girl, my heart breaks all over again...I remember all of those emotions, they never truly go away. What I can't believe is how far God has brought me and how I feel as though I am unworthy of this journey I am walking today.

I never in a million years thought I would even get pregnant and have a healthy baby, much less get pregnant, adopt and get pregnant again...never ever imagined it. I can remember calling out for one baby, why in the world would God bless me with 3 healthy babies?

A couple of months ago I was studying Gods word every single morning. I would awake before the kids at 6am, sit and enjoy an hour of uninterrupted and much needed time with my God. Since becoming pregnant, mornings have not been that friendly to me and finding time to study with Him has become a struggle. I hate that days add up to weeks that add up to months without me going before the Father and seeking His heart and what I hate more is that this seems to be a cycle of my life.

I find that there are months where I can't get enough of Gods words, I can hear Him, feel Him and long for Him...then life takes over...something throws me for a loop and I go right back into the old patterns that I hate where seeking Him seems to be last priority...and then I feel so guilty. Look at what you have blessed me with and all you are doing for me and yet I can't even spend 10min with you?

I am reminded daily that God does not bless us because of our doing, this is the grace of God...we don't even deserve life or our next breath yet He extends it to us because of His love...in the same light just because we are not doing does not mean God is not blessing...there is nothing we can or can't do to make God love us more...

I think in my human nature I feel as though I can manipulate God...thoughts like "well If I do this HE will DO this..." but this is not how our gracious, loving Father works...He says "I love you no matter what you do or don't do, I love you because you are my child that is all you have to do."

So today I feel overwhelmed and blessed...and Loved.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Well Poop!

I often times hop onto the Internet in the afternoons and scroll through Facebook and my blogs that I follow. Many of the blogs and people I follow are in the same or near the same stage of life of raising a family. I find that I compare myself way to much, do you do this too? I know that people (and even I do this) paint a picture of what they want people to know about their life. However, in the moment this is not what I see, what I see is perfection and I think to myself "oh man she does that with her kids...I need to be like that..."

I scroll through status similar to these (exaggerated...but I think you will get the point)

So and So: is painting with her children while sipping on an ice tea and smelling the dinner that is already cooked, all while admiring the laundry put away and the cleaned house...

So and So: is so thankful I was able to run 6 miles, cook dinner, teach my child to read, all while looking perfect...

So and So: is so amazed by her husband who brought home flowers, stayed up all night with the baby, folded laundry and cleaned the house - all while giving me a massage...

I have to be careful how I let it effect me, I also want to be careful because I do not want to portray my life in this way. I don't want to paint a life of perfection, it is so far from perfect. I also don't want to just complain, because honestly that is just as annoying as the braggers. I want this blog and even my Facebook to be a place of reality...day to day struggles, joys and happiness and even the ups and downs all why giving God the credit and glory!

So today my status would of said:

Beth: was suppose to go to the park and library, however the park alone was enough of a work out, stopped by Chick-fil-a because buying lunch is much easier then making it, brought it home and ate it on the porch because their high chairs still had breakfast on it. Ty had leaked through his diaper so being clever I just took it off and let him run around naked, great idea until I discovered he pooped all over the porch...Jaden sat in it, the dogs stepped in it and I somehow got it all over my leg...all while sitting in sweat pants and drinking a root beer because it is the only satisfying drink...

Reality folks...reality. And now after their nap they are watching Curious George...I am not teaching them to read but I am letting the monkey teach them about how to get on a subway...hmmm....Once again thanking God who fills in the gaps...and thankful for a sense of humor that made me laugh at it all!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dreams to Reality

There have been so many moments over the course of the last two years where I could not believe this was my life. Like right now.

As I type this I am sitting on my deck listening to the joys of my boys little voices fill the air. There is nothing quite like it. I try hard to freeze the moment, making it stand still in time. I know one day I will wish with everything inside of me for these days to be back. But there is no going back, there is only going forward. And so I must learn to embrace the moving forward with open arms and a ready heart.

Raising two little boys is a huge responsibility. I long for my boys to be warriors for God, to have hearts that seek Him, and want to know Him. That is my prayer above all other prayers "Lord give them hearts to know you, ears to hear you, life to serve you..." Because at the end of the day this will be the one thing that will carry them through all of lives difficult times.

Ahh yes I sound so spiritual writing all this out, and yes this is my deepest hearts longing, but can I just say that even two years into my parenting I have failed daily, by the moment. I laugh now at my dreams before becoming a mom....I will pray through each situation, I will never allow my anger or frustration to get a hold of me...that I will quote scripture each morning as I danced around to praise music while fixing them breakfast, looking perfect because "I will never be that mom that wears sweat pants everyday"...um yeah not quite, makes me laugh out loud...instead I often times roll out of bed, put on what I had on yesterday (which is sweats and a T-shirt), come down stairs and put on Word World, or Elmo, depending on what I am not sick of, and fix them a bagel, or eggs...depending on what we had the day before.

Perfection got thrown out the moment my boys enter the world, and my flesh often times gets the best of me. I am thankful that God is a big God who fills in my many missing links and pot holes, taking care of the boys when I am failing. And there is nothing super spiritual about that, just a thankful earthly mom!

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's Time


Hello!!! I can't even tell you how excited I am to be writing again. I have been praying for sometime now about whether to blog or not. The time off was much needed and I think appropriate. God has revealed so many amazing things to me in the last several months. Things I hope to share with you over time.

I believe the time off made me refocus. I played around with opening a new blog and starting over, but then God pressed on my heart the importance of this blog. This blog has always been my journal and I am so thankful for each writing, each entry, each word. They are my heart and my journey and I don't for one second regret anything that was written. I look back and see how far God has brought me, how far this journey has come, and how much God is continuing to do for me, in me, and through me!

I know many people came across this blog because they were dealing with their own loss and ache to be a parent. When I became a mom I did not feel like I could journal any longer because I did not want to cause more pain to those still experiencing loss and grief. I am so beyond sensitive to those dealing with infertility and loss. I feel like I can encourage but how can I speak on that subject any longer when so many have passed me by with so much more grief and pain?

God is showing me though that I still have a story, I still have a journey and although now my joy might be someones sorrow, my story still speaks to those who God intends it to speak to. I have a heart to be open and honest, I am called to this. I am called to journal publicly about the ups and downs of life in hopes that it points to God and God alone.

I want to share my insecurities of being a mom, I want to share my joys of being a mom, I want to share my frustrations of being a mom. I want to be able to speak about open adoption, I want to be a huge advocate for adoption and be a open book on this subject.I want to honest about the big and little things but most importantly I want to share my heart with God, my struggle to put Christ first in a life that continues to move fast at a pace I struggle to keep up with.

And now I am about to enter into a whole new phase to this journey. I am pregnant. (I just have to stop for a moment and tell those of you who are still dealing with infertility that I am so sorry. I did not know how else I could write it or say it. I understand if my blog needs to not be read any more, please do whatever YOU need to do. I believe in a big God, a God of blessings and of joy and a God who is so intimate that He is catching every tear you cry, and holding you tightly in the palm of His almighty hands.) This is complete and utter excitement and comes with an emotion I can't describe. I never ever thought this would be my journey. I will have 3 children under 3!

What amazes me is the fear and grief that still comes with each pregnancy I experience. Even though I hold onto Ty and Jaden I find myself still expecting the worse. I am learning daily to let go of my fears and live in the moment of Life! I am just short of 11 weeks and all is going well so far. We are beyond grateful and feel blessed beyond measure.

The other phase in our journey is the unexpected news that Kevin's job with Volvo here in Asheville NC is coming to an end. They are shutting down the plant here and moving us all to Pennsylvania. This is devastating news to Kevin and I as this has become home over the last 4 years. We can't imagine moving but we feel that at this point we don't see any other way. We have no definite plans as of yet, and are thankful we will have baby #3 here. The move is not suppose to happen until June 2012.

So, here we go and I invite you to come along with me! AS I wrote this post I fed breakfast, watched Elmo, change 3 poops, ended 3 frustrating arguments, fixed 3 toys and now we are outside playing and all before 10am so with that said no my post my not be consistent in timing!