Take my life

•August 1, 2014 • 1 Comment

A friend recently asked me why I had the music and lyrics to the song “Take My Life and Let It Be” (Frances R. Havergal) up on my fridge. I hadn’t ever really thought about it before, but I immediately said, “I feel like it’s my prayer as a housewife, homemaker, and mother.” (Actually, I wasn’t quite that eloquent, but that’s what I meant.) And the more I’ve thought about it, the more I realize how true that is! In fact, tonight as I was washing and cutting up strawberries (my new favorite dessert, thanks to my new, sugarless lifestyle – yes, I’m now one of those people who eats FRUIT like DESSERT!), I was singing it to myself and imagining how the words pertained to the stay-at-home mom. So here is what I came up with:

Take my life and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
My life may look mundane, in all the routine little things that I do (will the dishes ever end??) but it is the life the Lord has laid out for me, and it is sacred. I have dedicated it to Him, so even in doing the never-ending dishes, I am worshipping Him.

Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in endless praise.
I want my children to see me worshipping the Lord in everything I do. If I can live out a life of praise in front of them, how much easier will it be for them to do it, too!

Take my hands and let them move At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be Swift and beautiful for Thee.
So many times I want to just lose my temper. “How many times do I need to tell you to put your toys away???” But instead of condemning and acting out in anger, I pray that I will act out in love. I love these children so much. May my hands and my actions show them so.

Take my voice and let me sing, Always, only for my King.
Do you know how often I’ve sung the song “Let it go” from Frozen??? Well, if you’re a mother of a young girl, you probably know… it’s a LOT! But how often am I singing praise choruses, or even this hymn? I want to be worshipful, even/especially in my singing. (Nothing wrong with singing a little “Let it go“, though! How much longer will my daughter want to be singing those songs with me? But even those precious moments with our children can be worshipful.)

Take my lips and let them be Filled with messages from Thee.
I pray that I would be more bold in my faith. It’s not something I’m ashamed of, but something I cherish. Why do I withhold that precious gift from my non-believer friends? And I want to take every opportunity with my children to tell them about Jesus.

Take my silver and my gold, Not a mite would I withhold.
I pray that I would be more generous and think less of myself when it comes to physical belongings. Don’t I want my children to understand generosity? Do I want them to be spoiled? Or see me be spoiled?

Take my intellect and use Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
So many people think that becoming a stay-at-home mom means that our minds/education has gone to waste. I pray that would not be so. I pray that I can use my intellect, my education, my knowledge to help my children understand more of life.

Take my will and make it Thine, It shall be no longer mine.
Yes, I am a control-freak. (Actually, sometimes singing “Let it go” to myself helps me remember to do just that!) I pray that I would honor God’s calling in my life. Even if it means I have to give up control.

Take my heart, it is Thine own, It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour At Thy feet its treasure store.
More than anything, I want to love Jesus. I want Him to reign in my life. I want my children to see that in me, and I want love Him, too.

Take myself and I will be Ever, only, all for Thee.
And that speaks for itself. That is my prayer. In every aspect of my life, may I live it for the Lord.

No more sugar (but still chocolate)

•July 18, 2014 • 1 Comment

Well, people, I have given up sugar. Yep, that’s right, it’s been almost TWO days since I have partaken. Okay, now you are thinking “Two days is hardly giving up sugar”, but if you are indeed thinking that, need I remind you the name of this blog? I am a self-(and others-)proclaimed chocoholic, and I am trying to give up sugar.

But I’m learning it’s a journey, but one I’m not afraid to be on! Thankfully I’ve gotten used to some of the healthier sugar alternatives: Stevia, Truvia, etc. So it really isn’t “no chocolate”. Honestly, I don’t think I could handle that. In fact, the only thing that has gotten me through those two days (actually, my longest was FIVE days!!) was a sugar-free fudge, made completely of butter and cream cheese. Mmmm, not bad, right?

So I will be updating on here as I continue this journey (just because I’m not eating sugar-laden chocolate, doesn’t mean I should stop my word-chocolate, too!). My next goal is to simply beat those five days! I will let you know.

Dear David

•February 11, 2014 • 3 Comments

I am so happy that you are here with me! I love to hold you and cuddle you and you are just precious to me. I wondered how a mother could love more that one child, but now it’s so obvious to me! You are a joy to have around and have been such a wonderful experience for us!

I am excited to watch you grow and find out who you will turn out to be. I pray that you will love Jesus, like your namesake David in the Bible. He didn’t care what other people thought of him, he just loved God! He danced in the streets and made a fool of himself because he loved the Lord so much. I love to look at David and see his troubled heart be soothed by contemplating the love of the Lord. What an amazing lesson, and one I hope you will treasure in your heart as well. I also pray for your purity, both of mind and body, because I know how hard it is for a man in the society that we live in today.

You are also named after your grandfathers and your daddy, all good men who love the Lord and their families. All have such good work ethics and the desire to take care of the ones they love. I pray that you will take after their examples and be a good man, husband, and father someday.

And finally, David means beloved, just like Amy, so you are also named after me. You are already our beloved, but first you were God’s beloved. I love to think of God calling me his beloved and knowing me and yet still loving me so much. It is the same with you. He loves you because you are his beautiful creation. And I love you, too, not because of who you are yet, although I’m sure that will come, but because you are a part of me. Nothing you can ever do will stop me from loving you like that.

Love,

Your Mommy

Loving God

•July 27, 2013 • Leave a Comment

In working my way through the Bible in one y​ear, as part of my resolutions, I’m currently working through Ezekiel and Psalms. An interesting combination, and not one originally designed by the plan I am reading. To be honest, I got behind in reading Isaiah and Jeremiah, so I skipped ahead and read through the minor prophets, which consequently led me to Psalms. So now in an effort to catch up, I’m working through Ezekiel as well.

I’ve always been fascinated by Psalms, because there aren’t many people in the Bible to be called a man after God’s own heart, like David was. David loved God without restraint, even in the hard times, even when it might be embarrassing (his wife, Michal, hated his singing and dancing and praising God in the streets, but David didn’t care! He had to let it out! 2 Samuel 6:16). But you know what else is interesting about David? He didn’t have the New Testament, all he knew was the God of the Old Testament.

Yes, I know, He is the same God. But so often we take the qualities of Jesus and reflect on those as to why we love God. He is gentle, kind, loving, accepting of any kind of people, even if he rebuked their sinfulness. The God we see in the Old Testament is fierce, just, angry and full of wrath. How can we harmonize these two pictures?

Well, David did. He was able to see God’s loving traits even through the sometimes terrifying picture we have in the Old Testament. And he loved God for every aspect of who He was, not just the parts that are easy.

Reading Ezekiel has put me face-to-face with this terrifying God. The visions that Ezekiel sees are enough to make anyone feel weak in the knees! His body is made of fire, for goodness sake! (Ezekiel 8:2)

But David says that God is our Fortress, He is our Refuge (Psalms 59:16). David is helping me understand how to love the terrifying God, as well as the merciful and loving God. The God that scares me so much is ON MY SIDE! I can run and hide behind his strength and power, and he will protect me, comfort me, and give me peace.

I feel very inadequate at trying to explain what I’m learning here. So I’ll go to CS Lewis for a different analogy. In his Narnia series, Jesus is portrayed by a lion, about whom Mr. Beaver says, “Safe? Who said anything about safe? Course he isn’t safe! But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)

This God, who is all powerful and fearsome, is also good and loving, and on my side. Like David says, “In God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalms 56:11) I should never fear.

So it must have been Providence that led me to read Ezekiel and Psalms at the same time, and not just my laziness at reading certain, more difficult, books! I’m learning to love God for all of who He is, and in doing so, I am able to trust Him more.

A Letter

•April 30, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Hi friends!

If you hadn’t noticed, I just made my April blogging quota by the skin of my teeth! In fact, why am I posting again, when I could just save this until tomorrow and have May’s done as well? I guess I just felt like writing. This is going to be one of those stream-of-consciousness posts, because I don’t really have anything to say. But my last post like this got a lot of feedback, so maybe it’s the only post I’m good at? (I expect to see a lot of “Oh no, that’s not true”s in my comments section!)

My neck hurts today, which is weird because I just left the choir-practor yesterday (thanks, Aunt Dottie, for getting that pronunciation in my head!). Audrey is up past 30 pounds, but still believes she’s my baby (that’s OK, she is!) and wants me to hold her a lot. So my neck, shoulders, and back are always in pain. The choir-practor had really been helping up until now, and the appointment I had yesterday was a bit too new-agey for my taste (what does “You have unlimited life-force” mean?) (No, don’t tell me, not really interested.).

Hugo is driving me crazy! When he has to go out, he prances around the room like a maniac, and his long nails click click click on the floor until I want to kick him. Hmmm… should I not admit that? I’d never do it! *click click click* But I don’t want to take him out right now because Audrey is asleep (for once! she rarely naps anymore) and any movement *click click click* outside this back room might wake her up!

Sometimes I think her light day-sleeping is just an excuse for me to sit and watch TV with my computer or ipad on my lap, but no really, it’s true. I remember telling my cousin not even to open the door, because she’d wake up screaming. She didn’t believe me, opened the door, and Audrey woke up screaming! And now Hugo is pawing at the door, so I have a dilemma on my hands… Wake up the screaming toddler or clean up a pile of poop? What would you do?

*click click click*

Weirdly, I think I’d rather clean up the poop. Having a baby changes your priorities, believe me. And what you can stand… For example, my squeamish husband has cleaned poop out of the bathtub while in the middle of giving my daughter a bath. That is something I never could have possibly imagined him doing pre-daughter!

I’m addicted to dragon games on my iPad. Or castle games. I’m reading Wheel of Time still, and we started watching Game of Thrones. I used to play World of Warcraft, and I fall asleep every night listening to Harry Potter or LOTR. Sensing a pattern here? I didn’t until the other night, while watching Game of Thrones, I was playing Dragonvale, Dragon Story, Castle Story, Lil’ Kingdom, The Sims Medieval, and The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth. It’s getting excessive.

I’m also watching How I Met Your Mother reruns. I’m not sure why. I just like sitcoms, even though this show went seriously downhill after about season 3. I also like to have something on in the background while I work at night. Barney is starting to remind me of one of my friends who reads this blog, too. Not sure why, his sense of humor I guess? Not his womanizing!

The leaves are coming out and the flowers have bloomed and it’s just a gorgeous time of year. Do you know I hated spring during my school years? It always signaled change to me, and that scared me. But now I feel like I’m finally appreciating its beauty. I feel bad for Ryan with his horrible allergies.

*click click click*

OK, Audrey is awake and it’s now safe to take out the dog. The urge to kick has not stopped, but the writing has kept it at bay. At least now I don’t have to make that unpleasant choice!

Amy

P.S. Nevermind.

MOPs and Pinterest

•April 30, 2013 • Leave a Comment

About a year ago, I got it into my head that I’d like to join a MOPs group. But there wasn’t a single group nearby! So I spoke to the leadership at my church about starting our own, and we did! We’ve been meeting once a month (with discussion and craft time), with a scattering of play groups and special events. I’ve enjoyed it so much, and love that it is a way that I can use my love for crafting!

Pinterest has been a huge source of those crafts, but I also am very fortunate that I have a fully functioning pottery studio at my fingertips! So several of our meetings have offered pottery painting. We’ve also had a couple events at the pottery studio, where the moms can get in touch with their artistic side, while their children are cared for and lunch is provided afterwards.

Here are some of the other crafts we’ve tried:

Honey-Brown-Sugar-Scrub-Recipe

Honey Brown Sugar Scrub – This was a really fun one, but a bit messy! Thank goodness for plastic tablecloths!

This was one of my favorites! We did these for our Easter meetings, and after the meeting, I made a bunch more to hang on my pussy willows.

This was one of my favorites! We did these for our Easter meetings, and after the meeting, I made a bunch more to hang on my pussy willows.

Magnets - We did button magnets, but also picture frame magnets, Bible verse magnets, and more! Another fun, easy one.

Magnets – We did button magnets, but also picture frame magnets, Bible verse magnets, and more! Another fun, easy one.

Lip Gloss - we did this one with the scrub (the meeting was on self-care as a mom), and it was a good thing. I don't think it came out great, but it was fun to try!

Lip Gloss – we did this one with the scrub (the meeting was on self-care as a mom), and it was a good thing. I don’t think it came out great, but it was fun to try!

We did bored jars and conversation starter jars.

We did bored jars and conversation starter jars.

This one is so cute! We had it on the wall for the Christmas season, and Audrey had fun with it for about a minute. But still worth it!

This one is so cute! We had it on the wall for the Christmas season, and Audrey had fun with it for about a minute. But still worth it!

That’s a few of them! And oh! I have so many more fun ideas! Thankfully, we will be doing our MOPs group for another year starting in September. If you’re a mom in the area, come and join us!

What I’ve Learned from Audrey: A Work in Progress

•March 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I started writing a post entitled “What I’ve Learned from Audrey” and had so many points listed out, I thought instead that it could be a series, of which this is the second. When I first started writing that post, I’ll be honest, it was just to get one done in the month of May. But it really caused me to start thinking about the past two years, all I’ve learned, and how much I’ve changed through motherhood. And once in a while, a little introspection is probably a good thing.

One of the scariest things about motherhood is the burden that we carry to pass on every lesson that we’ve learned the hard way and the knowledge of the impossibility of the task and the fact that our children will probably have to learn their own lessons the hard way, anyway! But I know in this short time that I do have with my daughter, I can make a (hopefully!) positive impact on her life.

I have to be so careful about what I say, or even how I perceive myself, because whether I want her to or not, Audrey will emulate me, especially in her youth. I want her to be confident, to love Jesus, to be compassionate and forgiving, among so many other things. Because of that, I have to be those things as well.

Even at two years old, I already see trying to be like me. Sometimes it’s wonderful, like when she hugs me tightly and says, “I love you sooo much!” which is exactly what I say to her. Sometimes it’s just in her expressions or silliness. But I know the time is coming when I’ll recognize in her something that’s not good in me.

I guess, in her own way, Audrey is teaching me to live the way I should have been living all along. By pursuing Jesus, by being healthier, by being kind, by prioritizing my time. It’s still a struggle, but now I not only see the results in my own life, but in her’s as well. So this burden that I carry is pushing me to improve myself and be the best mother I can be.

I feel the need to quote Frasier here:

F: “I meant burden in it’s nicest sense!”
F’s dad: “As in, ‘gee, what a lovely burden!’??”

This is indeed a “lovely burden”.

Related:
What I’ve Learned from Audrey: Love