Wednesday, February 25, 2015

It's Time to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying

"Patient eliminates worry. The Lord said He would come, and His promise is equal to His presence. Patient eliminates weeping. Why feel sad and discouraged? He knows your needs better than you do, and His purpose in waiting is to receive more glory through it. Patient eliminates self-works. "The work of God is this: to believe" (John 6:29), and once you believe, you may know all is well. Patience eliminates all want. Perhaps your desire to receive what you want is stronger than your desire for the will of God to be fulfilled. Patient eliminates all weakness. Instead of thinking of waiting as being wasted time, realize that God is preparing His resources and strengthening you as well." -From Streams in the Desert

I'll admit I haven't been the most gracious, loving person these last couple weeks. I'm 34 weeks pregnant now and am incredibly uncomfortable. I've gained 38 pounds and an assortment of cellulite and varicose veins. I can't work out except for walking 30 minutes a day due to my veins and we found out Friday the baby is in a breech position. Not to mention we only moved into our house about 3 months ago and nothing is even close to how I want it. We have a significant amount of fixing up to go. Avery's room is the only decorated and the nursery is just now coming along. I've been overwhelmed and focusing on all the wrong things. Wanting to hurry away these last couple weeks that have been seemed to be full of frustration.

I've been giving into the sin of discontent and impatience and it has done nothing but make me frustrated, angry, anxious, and irritable. Instead of spending this time enjoying all the blessings God has given us like a house, I've been focusing on what I don't have. These are also the last weeks with just having one child in the house and I could be soaking up my time with her instead of rushing this time away. I'm so incredibly thankful that God opened my eyes to this before it was too late. I have 5 weeks left and I'm going to try and spend this time counting my blessings, spending quality time with Avery and not worrying over things that in the long scheme of things don't even really matter.

Friday, February 20, 2015

When You cant sleep....Blog

I've pretty much come to the realization that my times of getting a full night's sleep are over. I'm almost 34 weeks pregnant so that means I have about 6 1/2 weeks plus another 3 months before I can even hope for a good 10 hour snooze fest. Please excuse my while I go sob in the corner over this loss.

I'm getting incredibly uncomfortable and can't remember the last time I could actually breathe through my nose. This makes for a frustrating night not only for me, but also for my poor husband who has to listen to me continually sigh followed by the squirting of another round of saline drops (which by the way don't do much). That is why I ended up on the couch at 3 am this morning reading about how Kate Middleton is not dying her hair pregnant and letting her roots show.

Since it is absolutely freezing here, we have spent the majority of our time inside this week. Avery has discovered the game hide and seek. She loves it, but hasn't quite gotten the concept down of not yelling out from your hiding spot or saying "Daddy, I'm behind the couch". She has also gotten to where she loves taking showers and last night she informed Jared that she was going to use big girl soap from now on.  We all use the Honest Company body wash so I'm not exactly sure what she meant by big girl soap except maybe the bar of soap that I can't seem to get my husband to part with.

We haven't had much else going on this week, but today is my last ultrasound and I am really looking forward to getting a peek at baby girl again.

Jared brought Avery and I a flower home for Valentines Day. She was so excited and lasted a whole hour before she ripped the head off.
This is my new favorite food. I seriously can eat it all day. So yummy!

Snuggling with my girl before bedtime.
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Helping My Toddler Navigate the World of Emotions

My three year old is currently going through a stage where it feels as if we are all on an emotional roller coaster 24/7. It doesn't take much to leave her lying in the floor crying hysterically over a stuffed animal that wouldn't lay the right way. Anything can set her off. This morning she couldn't get a sticker where she wanted on her coloring page and the next thing I knew she was dumping everything in the trash and then stomping off to her room.

I'll admit this can be incredibly frustrating at times. It's easy to want to dismiss her feelings and tell her to get over it. But, how I teach her to handle these emotions is going to have an impact on her for the rest of her life.

I didn't feel safe expressing my emotions growing up which lead me to basically deaden my heart for a long time. I don't want that for my girls. I want them to be alive emotionally and keep a tender heart. It's important for children to know that God gave them emotions and feelings for a reason. They help us know where we are at and what needs processing or healing in our lives. There is nothing wrong with feeling anger or frustration, it's the step after it that can lead us into unhealthy patterns. If I deny my toddler's feelings or scare her into not expressing any, that doesn't mean her feelings magically dissapear. If anything they are going to have a much stronger hold on her life then before. Resentment, anger, unforgiveness...these can become strongholds in her life if she isn't taught how to handle them in heathy ways. It's my responsbility as a parent to be a safe place for her.

Our family is still figuring out what that looks like on a daily basis. Some days go better than others. The biggest thing I have found that works is allowing her to feel what she is feeling without shame or guilt. For example, when she is verging on the edge of frustration and informs me that she has no toys to play with I can go either one of two ways. I can shame the heck out of her by telling her how spoiled she is and how much better she has it than other kids. Or I can get on her level, listen to her frustrations and let her know we all feel discontent sometimes. I can work with her to make a gratitute list on all that God has blessed us with. This can even turn into a great opportunity to teach her how we can bless others who don't have as much as we do. If I start with shame and guilt though, I am going to shut down that precious heart and spirit.

I also try not to discipline her for having emotional fits. I do discipline her if she is yelling in my face or kicking at me. But, most of the time she goes into her room and does her screaming there. This is all new for her too. Imagine if you had all these emotions running through your body and had no idea what to do with them. In fact, I was like that in my early twenties when I started allowing myself to feel things again. It's scary and can be overwhelming.

Our kids need to know that feelings don't have to control or scare them. They can be excellent opportunities for growth and drawing closer to God.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Fighting Pregnancy Acne

Ever since the first week I was pregnant, my skin has looked like a 13 year olds halfway through puberty. It's been awful. In the beginning there was the hope that my skin would clear up once I reached my second trimester. I kept waiting for the morning when I would wake up and my skin would be glowing, but instead it just looked like I had eaten a ton of pizza and drank a six pack the night before. It took lots of trial and error, but I have finally found a good facial routine and products that work on my skin.

I found this amazing brand called Suki and I use their exfoliating cleanser in the mornings. It smells delicious and can be used on sensitive skin like mine. Every couple days I spray on their clarifying toner also. I can't use this one too much because it will irritate my face if I put it on everyday.

At night I use my Clarisonic with a Burts Bee's cleanser. I have to have a gentle face cleanser or else my face breaks out in red splotches that make it look like I'm constantly embarrassed over something.

On my actual acne spots I use the Burt's Bees acne spot treatment.  I have tried countless acne products and this one works the best for my skin.

For my moisturizer I use Korres moisturizing cream. I am obsessed with this lotion. A little goes a long way and it leaves my skin feeling incredibly hydrated.

This routine has worked the best for me when it comes to fighting my pregnancy acne. I have come to the realization that I am not going to win this war with my acne, but I can at least keep it at bay. I would love for my skin to look absolutely flawless, but I've given up hope that it's going to happen right now. Instead I'm learning to be thankful for a healthy pregnancy, and let the rest go.

*This post does not contain affiliate links.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Jesus and the Grand Canyon

This week we took a trip to the paint store to pick out our colors for the nursery. If you live anywhere in Augusta and need paint, go to Gerald Robinson's paint store. Not only is he incredible at helping paint illiterate people like me pick out beautiful color combinations, he also doesn't say a word when you're 3 year old manages to pull out at least 30 of his color swatches and lay them out on the floor and table. While trying to get the dresser color nailed down, I heard Avery calling for me to come look at something. She was doing her usual routine of trying to touch every single item in the store and had stumbled across a picture of the Grand Canyon. It was to this that she looked at me with her eyes wide and in all seriousness said "Momma, this is where Jesus lives". She was in awe. After our paint store outing we took a trip to Target to get her class valentines and she insisted that ring pops were the treats she wanted to give out.

Last night Jared and I had a date night to the Winter Jam concert. And while I basically threw a tantrum over him wanting to get there so early, this was one of those times when I was very thankful he held his ground despite my emotional outburst about being pregnant and having to sit in a concert arena for so long. The night was amazing and I walked away having been encouraged and challenged in my relationship with the Lord. My eyes were opened to some new truths and I plan on writing about those, but need a couple days to process all I learned. If you have Winter Jam coming to your city and plan on going, I definitely recommend signing up for Jam Nation. You pay more for your tickets, but you are able to get in the doors about an hour earlier than everyone else. That means you don't have to wait in line or rush with everyone to find a seat. Not to mention the extra money you pay goes to help offset the operating cost of the Winter Jam concert so they can keep offering the tickets at such a good price. It made this very pregnant lady's concert outing go much smoother. All the bands that played were terrific. We ended up leaving before Skillet came on because it was 1030 by that time and my varicose veins had handled all the standing and sitting they could take. It was a great night.

We won't be doing much for Valentines Day since Jared has to work. Avery and I plan on baking cookies using the pink and red M&M's. That is the extent of our holiday festivities. However, any night where I have an excuse to devour chocolate and rent a movie sounds like a great weekend for me. Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Because People Pleasing is not the Best Option

I love how relevant the word of God still is today. This week I've been reading in 1 Samuel and came to the chapter where God rejects Saul as king. It started with Saul going into battle with the Amalekites. God commanded him to destroy everything in the village. Nothing was to be left. Saul ended up sparing the king and keeping the best of everything that nation had to offer. When Samuel confronts Saul, he tells him in chapter 15 verse 17 "Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king of Israel." After a bit of justification Saul finally decides to admit to his sin and says in verse 24 "Yes, I have sinned. I have disobeyed your instructions and the Lord's command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded".

I took away from this story two things about Saul. He didn't think much of himself and he was a people pleaser. He blames his disobedience on his fear of man. As much as I hate to admit this, I can completely relate. I don't like conflict or the feeling that someone is upset with me. In the past I've been known to do anything to avoid this. My fear of man has been known to trump my fear of God in certain situations. This is never a good place to be. It cost Saul his kingdom.

Why was Saul afraid of the people? I think it had to do with what Samuel questioned him about. He didn't think highly of himself. He saw himself as little. In my own experience, it is insecurity that has led me to being a people pleaser instead of a God pleaser. However, there is nothing little about where God has placed me in my life. I can't allow my own inadequacies to keep me from fulfilling my God given responsibilities.

That was the point I believe Samuel was trying to get across. There was no reason for Saul to think so little of himself. God had appointed him King. Just like God has appointed me to be a wife to the man I married and mother to the children He blessed me with. Knowing that it is God who placed me in these roles gives me a great confidence. When I'm in the will of God, it is He who strengthens and empowers me to do the great work He has called me too. This work won't get done if I go around consumed with worrying about pleasing man.

Monday, February 9, 2015

32 Weeks

Just reached week 32 of my pregnancy. I am starting to get uncomfortable at this point. It will be nice to have my body back at the end of this. I feel like I don't even recognize it right now. I took some pictures with Avery in the backyard with my new camera lens, which I absolutely love. I want to get in practice before the baby gets here.

Nothing much has changed for me pregnancy wise except I keep getting bigger. I honestly did not think I would gain as much weight as I did when I was pregnant with Avery, but it looks like I'm going for almost the exact amount of pounds gained. I've eaten so much healthier and worked out this pregnancy, but I guess my body responds a certain way to pregnancy.
Pregnancy loves: Feeling the baby move constantly, how fast my hair is growing, being able to sit down and put my feet up, that I only have to shave my legs every couple days (weird, but awesome)
Pregnancy Dislikes: My weight gain, acne, ordering clothes (I'm over maternity shirts), varicose veins and cellulite
I'm hitting the nesting stage and want to spend my time organizing and decorating every square inch of our house. I keep coming up with different ideas for the nursery and will be trying to narrow it down this week. I still have a ton of stuff to do before this baby comes.