Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Baby Is Getting So Big!

As I was dressing Micah today, I noticed his onesie was a little tight.  You know how it pulls down so you can see half of their chest?  Yeah, that's where we were at this morning.  So I guess it's time to put away the three to six month clothes and pull out all the bigger ones.  How did this happen so fast?  It seems like a few weeks ago when we brought him home from the hospital.  Now he's busting out of his clothes, rolling all over, sitting up on his own (briefly, mind you), and trying to crawl....seriously!  He gets up on all fours and wiggles his little butt in the air.  I remember being so worried about Will...when will he crawl?  When will he sit up?  When will he talk?  Now I'm wondering...when did he start doing that?  How is this happening so fast?  Can't you just stay little?  It's the Syndrome of the Second Kid.  It's fun to watch him grow and figure out his surroundings, but man I just want him to stay little so I can hold him longer.  I guess I just need to cherish it while it's here.  Last night after I got home from work, I held him for two hours while he slept.  Just me and him with no distractions.  It was the sweetest thing.  Thank you, God for giving me this sweet, happy boy!  Just keep him little a bit longer!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jesus, Bring the Rain

I've always liked the song Jesus Bring the Rain by Mercy Me, but when I heard it one the radio this morning it hit a lot closer to home than usual.  It made me think of all that's gone on in these past few months with Eric's cancer.  Sorry, I know that seems to be all I post about lately, but that's kinda what's going on in our lives, and well, you chose to run with us. :)  Here are the lyrics for those of you who haven't heard it:

I can count a million times
People asking me how can I
  Praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

One thing that hit me was how true it is that I feel so much closer to God when going through a trial.  I thought the same thing when I had my miscarriage almost two years ago.  Why is that?  When things are going well in my life I have this illusion of control and peace and it's a lot easier to get through my day without being in commune with my maker.  But when I run into road blocks or circumstances seem to take a turn for the worse I begin to feel out of control (which is really the case anyway).  It's in life's trials that I feel so much closer to Him because it's in these moments I realize He's really all I have that is secure and right and good.  So why don't I, like the song says, ask for Him to bring the rain?  Plain and simple, it's fear.  Fear of the unknown, of letting go of that false sense of control, of actually seeing what He would hand to me.  But...what if it brings me closer to Him?  My perspective needs to turn eternal, and our role in eternity is to praise Him and bring Him glory.  So, "bring me anything that brings you glory...Jesus, bring the rain."

Monday, December 27, 2010

Thankful For My Husband

Being without Gregg really makes me realize how much I need him.  He is such a good husband and I overlook that every day.  He helps out so much with the boys and he always the point I didn't realize how much until he's not here to do the things he does on a daily basis.  They're not earth-shattering things, but they mean so much...especially to a working mom.  Things like get Will his dinner and Micah a bath and ready for his last feeding just as I get home from work.  Things like make sure there aren't dishes everywhere when I get home.  Things like helping with the laundry...especially folding (why is that the worst part?).  He does all of this on top of working hard full time to provide for our family.  He is such a good man...and I can see him relying more on God every day.  I'm actually starting a new job in January and believe it or not he had a lot to do with that.  He saw a situation in which he thought he needed to intervene for the best interest of his family...he just did it.  Even though it was my career, he stepped up to his role as leader and decision maker for our family and just made the move.  I am so thankful for him.  I don't tell him enough.  Wish he was here so I could tell him to his face, but I think I'll do the next best thing and pick up the phone. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Without Gregg For Christmas

So I just said good-bye to my husband on Christmas Day so he could go south to be with his brother.  We found out yesterday that things have taken another turn for the worse and the cancer has most likely spread again.  This brings up so many different emotions in many that it's hard to stand my humanity...if that makes sense.  I feel anger...anger that God is doing this, anger that it's taking away my husband on Christmas, anger that I have to scramble to find childcare while he's gone and I'm a work, anger that I have a job that makes it virtually impossible for me to go as well.  I feel heart breaks for Laura - to have to go through this with a husband and at such a young age, for Landon - will he remember his father?, for Eric - I can't even begin to imagine the things going through his head right now, for Gregg and his parents.  I feel wronged - why am I the only one spending Christmas alone and why am I responsible for childcare when they're his kids, too?  See what I mean...humanity.  It's a nasty thing that takes the focus off of where it's supposed to be and puts it right where it's not...on me.  THIS IS CHRISTMAS!!!  What is it all about?  We've kidded ourselves into thinking it's about family, and kids, and cookies, and Santa, and big dinners, fill in the blank.  Even as Christians this becomes a struggle.  While those things are nice, it's NOT about those things.  This day is about God loving us SO much that he chose to send His only Son to be a savior for us.  No matter what's going on in this world, the ultimate reality is that Jesus came, lived, taught, died, and CONQUERED DEATH...why?  So that we could be with Him for eternity...IF we put our faith and trust in Him.  Big and necessary IF.  Reality is we cannot take part in this promise and be with Him if we continue to follow our own heart and fail to submit to His authority.  We have to realize and acknowledge our absolute need for Him...whatever is going on in our lives...each and every day.  And then we have to give the reigns over to Him in EVERY part of our lives. 

So as I sit here on Christmas Day with just me and my boys, I am thankful that God sent Jesus.  I am repenting of my humanity and sinful nature.  I am so glad that God chose me to be His child. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Loving Will

So we had two Christmas programs for Will last week, and all-in-all they went better than last year's.  Last year he sat up on the stage with a halo on and just shook his head back and forth.  When he got tired of that he wandered around the auditorium aimlessly.  At least this year we got a few songs out of him...but not without some mishaps.  If you know Will, you know that he does his own thing.  He has a really hard time listening and parenting is often very frustrating for us.  His behavior is something I am very self-conscious about when out in public, and subtle hints from people about ADHD don't make it any better.  We were told by one person that "God has given us a challenge."  Yes, I'm aware.  This comment hurt a little when they said it, but it's true.  Will is a gift from God just the way he is.  I have a really hard time seeing it that way and I really hate to say it as a mom, but sometimes I have a hard time loving him when we're dealing with harder behavioral issues.  I have such a fear of how other people look at us with Will that I focus only on that...Do other people think we're good parents?  What do they think when my child won't listen to me?  I compare him to other kids and I compare Gregg and myself to other parents.  I loose sight of the bigger picture and the true gift that he is.  One mom in my MOPS group said it best - "just love him."  (She was talking about her husband, but it applies here, too.)  Yes, Will is a challenge, but he is a challenge that God chose to give us specifically.  So I'm learning to love him for who he is...just as he is.  Does that mean I'm going to just sit back and let him do whatever.  Not at all.  But I am going to be more intentional about loving him even through the hard times, and focusing on showing Jesus to him instead of wondering what the people sitting in the next pew think of my parenting skills.  Amidst all of this, God still gives us precious moments.  Due to freezing rain, canceled appointments, and baby naps, Will and I got a good solid 30 minutes of snuggle time this morning.  I can't remember the last time that happened, and I am truly thankful for it.

Eating his antlers before the program.

Doing the Reindeer Pokey. (On of the cooperative moments.)

 The not-so-cooperative moments.
Saying his lines as a donkey. "Clop, clop, clop."

Then moments later eating his donkey nose.  Man, I love this kid.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Guess Who's Mobile...Sort Of

Micah has been rolling for weeks...just once or twice...back to belly, belly to back.  But just within the last few days or so, he's kind of figured out that he can get places by rolling.  So he's never in one spot anymore.  Gone are the days where I can set him on a blanket with a toy and make dinner.  Nope.  Now he's across the room before I can turn on my burner.  I find him all sorts of places now.  Yesterday I found him sucking on the leg of the coffee table (gross!), today wedged up against the wall in our room.  As I sit here writing this he's found his way over the ottoman and is now stuck!  So out came the baby gate so he doesn't go rolling down the stairs.  

Him rolling all over my floor also means I have to vacuum more...stink!  It's amazing how much dust and dirt accumulates in one day!  Oh, well.  Gives me incentive to clean, and  Lord knows I need incentive.  BUT, him rolling all over also means I have leverage to get new carpet sooner (mostly joking...mostly.  It is purple, you know).  This kid spits up a lot, so now instead of a little pile of puke on his blanket, there is a little trail of puke leading from point A to B.  We'll see...I suppose if we replace it too soon, we'll just have puke on the new carpet.  Either way, watching him figure out his new set has been fun.  Will never figured out the rolling thing.

On another note, one of Will's favorite things to do is play hide-and-seek.  Problem is he only has one hiding place...makes the game go by much more quickly!
He thought Micah needed to play, too so he pestered me until I let him put him in his favorite hiding spot (with some protection, of course).
He looks amused, doesn't he?  That's all for now.  Gotta rescue the littlest man from the ottoman!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Not Really Feeling Much Like Christmas

Well, I finally decided it was time to put the tree up.  This is the first year that Will was interested in helping, so it made it a little more fun.  He wanted to put the lights on the tree...only problem was he thought he could just take the wad of lights and place them on the tree...doesn't work quite like that, bud.  Oh, well.  Also, while I was making my mess putting up the tree...
...he was making a mess of his own in the living room... as usual I have to pick up after two people.  Oh, the joys of being a mom.  :)

I must say that I wasn't even sure I was going to put up the tree this year.  It doesn't really feel all that much like Christmas around here.  As many of you know Gregg's brother Eric was diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer earlier this year.  He was making awesome strides towards recovery, and to be honest I think we kind of just expected him to be cancer free at the screening he had earlier this week.  Sadly, this was not the case.  Tuesday we found out that the current chemo regimen had become for the most part ineffective and there was new growth in other areas.  Not really the news we were hoping for. 

As much as this news pains me, it is ten times worse for Gregg.  This is his brother...his only brother.  I can't even begin to imagine all the things that are going through his head right now.  He's very quiet...doesn't say much.  I don't know how much I should try to get him to talk, and if I did get him talking, I don't really know what to do or say to comfort him.  We know God can take this away.  We also know that may not be His will, although we will never know why if that's the case.  And I'm not really sure if we've really come to terms with this reality...or if we need to at this point.  Is it okay to not even think of this as an option right now?  We believe...truly believe that God can heal him.  We go to God with confidence in Eric's behalf...with confidence God will do what we ask Him to do.  Do we really have to exercise the thought He might not do it?

My first reaction to this news was anger, and the same thoughts and questions that arose when we first got news of the cancer surfaced again.  It seems so unfair, God.  Why would you do this to someone so young, with so much of his life ahead of him, with a new wife, with a new baby?  WHY?  I don't know the answers to these questions.  I don't even know if I should be asking them.  So I've been thinking about all these things and going back and forth between anger and peace.  I think of Deuteronomy 29:29: "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of His law."  He may not choose to reveal to us all the Why's here, but we can be confident in the things He has revealed to us...His promises.  His promise that if we confess our sin, acknowledge Him as Lord and our only hope in this world, then we will be with Him forever.  He tells us that, "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Rom 10:13)  Our health is something that we take for granted, but the truth is it's not a sure thing.  But if we have a saving faith in Jesus Christ, He will never leave us or forsake us.  And that we can have true confidence in.

So I did get the tree up.  If all of this has done nothing else, it has truly made me remember why we really celebrate this time of year.  Thank you, God for sending your Son, so that He may be sin for us and give us hope for life everlasting with You.