Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Open Heart, Open Home

We were blessed with many great books this Christmas. Most of our family loves to read, and they find some really amazing reading material. My grandma gave me a book called Open Heart Open Home:The Hospitable Way to Make Others Feel Welcome & Wanted by Karen Mains.

Open Heart

I started reading it this morning at the gym. I am a person that tends to put chores and tasks before people. I have improved in this area, but it is still a struggle in my life. She recounted a time when her children were young. They were having a slow morning where she let them play and she sat on the couch and read a book. Well, we who have children know what happens when you sit on the couch and the kids “play.” Her house was a mess. Someone from church knocked on the door. She was horrified at the thought of letting someone into her messy house. However, she remembered her parents’ philosophy-hospitality before pried. She opened the door to the lady, and let her in without making apologies for her messy home and enjoyed the lady’s company. After their visit, the guest commented “I used to think you were perfect, but now I think we can be friends.” Powerful! Here are some other quotes that really stood out to me:

“True hospitality comes before pride.”

“Visitors may be more than guests in our home. If they’d life they may be friends.”

“When we planned and evening of dinner and fellowship, my husband began to ask guests to contribute to the meal…It was no longer important for me to do everything in order for the occasion to be a success. I had four children to raise, a God to know, words to share, wounds to heal. Because I put away my pride, lovely things occurred. People discovered they could be hospitable to me.”

May I be a person who puts people and hospitality before my pride!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Some New Year Goals

Many of my friends have posted on their blogs about some resolutions or goals that they have for the new year. I am a goal oriented person, so I usually always have a few goals that I am trying to achieve. Here are some that I have for this year:

*Setting aside time to be in God’s Word and pray. For me it is so easy to let this area slide. It is so easy to get caught up in the demands of the day or my agenda, and not get to reading and praying. Living in the here and the now rather than focusing on eternals things is a constant struggle in my life.

*Keep our home clutter free and organized. After spending some time organizing and donating a lot of unused items to Goodwill, I hope to maintain the organization.

*Adjust to life with THREE kiddos. It took me a while to adjust to life with two kids, so I am expecting the same. I am really hard on myself after I have a baby. I think that I should be able to carry on as normal (cleaning, cooking, errands, playdates, exercise, etc). I feel like I am failing if I don’t get right back at it. This leads to exhaustion and frustration. Hopefully, I will cut myself some slack this time :)

*Enjoy my kids and this time of life. It is not easy physically, emotionally, or spiritually to have little kids. You don’t get much time to yourself or alone time with your husband. There is rarely peace and quiet. There is constant training that needs to take place. Messes everywhere. Lots of questions and requests. However, it is a short season in life. Along with all of the hardship, it is such a precious time. It is so easy to please your kids. It is the little things like letting them help take out the trash, pushing the garage door opener, going to the park, tickling them, reading a book, making popcorn, etc. that bring them such delight. They are so simple! If I just stop and think about it, I don’t ever want it to end. I firmly believe that in God’s design He knew that parenting young children is hard work and demanding, but yet He keeps them simple and easy to entertain so it isn’t totally overwhelming.

*Start Chase’s educational journey. We are investigating our options at this point. We are applying at different schools, and waiting to see what happens. One way or another he will be starting Kindergarten this year. Starting this new chapter in life is somewhat daunting, but I am looking forward to helping Chase learn and develop intellectually and spiritually.

*Getting Parker potty trained and in a big boy bed. Parker will be moving in Chase’s room in the next 6 months. We will have the baby in our room for quite a while, so there isn’t a huge hurry to get him out of the crib. We hope to move him by his 2nd birthday. I also hope to start potty training him around 22-23 months. I have read that there is a little window of time in their development that is prime for potty training. We missed it with Chase, but I think Parker will be ready.

*Get back into pre-pregnancy shape. My goal is to lose the baby weight and get into normal clothes sooner than later. I want to be able to get rid of maternity and “fat” clothes. For the last 5 years I have stored big, bigger, and really big clothes for the next pregnancy. Since our baby girl will be our last, after I lose the weight I can get rid of it all. That will be very nice :)

Talk, Talk, Talk!

Yesterday, my mom made the comment that she doesn’t think she has ever met a more talkative child than Chase. After thinking about it for a minute, I agreed with her. I told her we should have known something was up when he was holding full on conversations at 18 months. I am truly grateful that he has been blessed with the ability to communicate. After hearing about some children that struggle to talk and develop in that area, I know I should only be thankful. However, while Chase is awake he literally does not stop talking. He wants to have constant communication. It can get wearing on my nerves. It leaves very little room to think.

He loves to talk about everything from our daily plans, cars, movies (especially Star Wars and Toy Story), and other topics. We have some very interesting conversations. He asks hard questions that really get me thinking. He is very interested in spiritual things. He often talks about God and Biblical concepts. I am so grateful that he shows an interest in these things. He loves to pray! I love to hear him. He is so sincere. Hopefully, as he grows and matures his love of communicating will develop into a very active prayer life. He is on his way :)

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Long Time, No Blog!

It has been way too long since I have blogged! One of my goals for last year was to not focus so much on capturing memories, but being more in the moment (cliche I know, but very true for me). I focused more on just being with my family. However, I am ready to jump back in and devote a little time to this. Some big things have happened since I last blogged. We found out we are having another baby, Chase turned 4 and is now wearing glasses, we found out we are having a baby GIRL, and Parker is a talking, walking toddler.

Hopefully, I will have some interesting things to write about in the future. I hope to post about our family, God’s work in our lives, some crafts that I have working on, and some recipes that we have tried lately.