Monday, January 21, 2013

In a Little Jam

Hubs went back to school today. I already miss him. Mondays has been our family days for a while and now they are not. In order to take my mind off of him being gone, I made jam. Productive. A few weeks ago Kendall and I went strawberry picking with some friends. We loved it! 

However, when we got home I found out no one was going to be eating the said strawberries except me. So I made jam instead. I've always wanted to try canning and I took this as the perfect opportunity.

Once the jars were done boiling in my pot and cooling I heard them all pop (the heavenly sound of a good seal)! Woohoo! I used the recipe on the ball pectin jar and took some pointers from Pioneer Woman here and here. I am looking forward to tasting them. :)

Then it was time for the laundry soap. I made some and used this "recipe"

What are you up to today?

Friday, January 18, 2013

To my beautiful girl...

You amaze me everyday. Yesterday, you read for the first time. It was awesome. It wasn't a lot of words, but you read! Daddy and I were so proud of you! You were so proud of you!

I want you to know how much Daddy and I love you! How blessed we are with your life. Especially that God chose us to raise you. You are my sunshine! You are intelligent, beautiful, funny, loving, curious, caring, sensitive, talkative- I could go on forever. Already you love, forgive, and rejoice with ease. I hope you never lose that!

Life is hard. You're not always going to get everything that you want. Everything won't always go your way. Things won't always be "fair".

Sometimes, I will push you. Because I know you're capable of more.

Sometimes, I will let you fall. {Not literally. You did get my grace though, so I am sure you will be taking a few spills I won't be there to catch you for.} So that you learn what it's like to get back up again.

Sometimes, I won't always give you all the answers. {I may or may not even know the answer. What?!}  I want you to be able to think for yourself.

I remember the first time I took you to the park I was a nervous wreck! I was sure we were going to be in the E.R. There were so many open spaces! I just knew at any moment you were going to fall right off the side of the playground equipment. I didn't say anything I just nervously wrung my hands and prayed while you tottered around. I smiled at you and watched you discover a whole new adventure.

I'm pretty sure it's going to be like that from here on out. Everyday since you born you have grown farther from me. More independent and more self sufficient. God willing that will never change! I wish already that I could take your place for the hard times that will come. You have to learn to think, to problem solve, to fight for yourself- to live! I can't do that for you. Lord knows I wish I could! It's my job to equip you with the knowledge to make it one day on your own.

People are going to break your heart. They will disappoint you. People won't always be who you expect them to be. You won't always be who people expect you to be either. Love them anyway. Forgive easily.

Most of all, I pray you know God. It won't make your life easier. It won't mean you won't face adversity. It does mean having a relationship with someone who loves you more than I do- crazy right? He created you and wants to have a personal relationship with you. He created a way through His son. I pray you give your heart to Jesus. That He changes you. That you chase after God. To be more like Him, to know Him better, to love like Him, to give like Him, and to forgive like Him. You're not good enough to get into Heaven on your own. You'll never get there without Him. I want to dance on the streets of gold with you one day. {Don't do it just for the dancing though! While I am sure it will be epic, you're walk with God will be better.} It won't mean that you will do it all right just because you're a Christian. You will mess up. You will fall on your face. Get back up. Repent. Dust yourself off and keep fighting the good fight.

Don't forget to live! Don't forget to dream! It's your life- you only get one before Heaven!

Last night as we prayed for your future husband, and you were quick to pray for Dylan as your husband. Be patient- you're 4 years old! {Secretly, I hope it's Dyl too. However, that is still a long way off! I am good to wait until you're 40. Seriously. Kidding!} God knows exactly what He's doing. He doesn't disappoint with His plans. If you're disappointed you haven't been patient long enough- it comes. You don't need to know His plans. It's better when it's a present. Don't try to grow up so quick! Enjoy the moment!!

Know that with every step of the way I will be loving you. I will be praying for you. As long as I'm breathing. {Probably still wringing my hands though...}

Thursday, January 10, 2013

As long as I can remember...

Growing up I always wanted to be a Mom. I remember telling my mom I wanted to have a million kids when I grew up. I won't even tell you who I wanted to marry. That would make things awkward and you may judge me. ;o) I've always wanted a house full of children. Somewhere between more than 1 and a lot less than a million- max 5. My maternal grandmother had 3 kids, but 5 pregnancies. My paternal grandmother had 8 kids. Maybe it's genetic?

After Kendall was born I knew I wanted more children. I was an only child and I hoped Kendall would have someone to share her childhood with when she grew up. Someone who could relate to crazy relatives or the best christmas ever.

We started trying for another when Kendall was two. She will be five in July. It's been three years. Some of those years I spent angry or guilty because I already had an amazing little girl to call my own. Was I being selfish? Crying every month that I didn't see a plus sign. Watching my dreams of "more" slip away. The disappointment that ensued. You get the picture.

Well meaning friends would smile and say, "Okay! It's your turn!" or "When are you guys going to have another one?" or "Time for you guys to catch up!" I hear it all the time. It cuts deep- if even for just a moment. My standard response is  "We're good with one." Not wanting to elaborate about our struggles.

One day during my prayer time and discussion with God He spoke to my heart so clearly. He made me a mother which was what I was really asking for again. Then to trust him with my family's future to put it in his hands. He already knows how it all ends. It gave me such a peace. Now, I'm not saying that I won't continue to pray about it. I think God is big enough and wants me to talk to Him about the desires of my heart. What I won't be doing is praying with the same attitude I was praying with before.

Last week Kendall asked God for a brother (without any prodding). She went around telling select people she was getting a brother which made people think I was pregnant. I'm not. It made me think of this verse though, "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24  She keeps praying earnestly and I love listening to her prayers.

Thank you Lord for all my blessings! 
Especially for my family!

In His Amazing Love, 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

One, two, three, four, five!

Today my husband and I have been married 5 years. It seems crazy that it's been that long and at that same time it all flew by.

We have had some difficult trials during our marriage. Trials I wasn't sure we were going to make it through. We trusted God and five years later we wouldn't change a thing. We would do it all over again  especially all the hard stuff. You have to use your faith muscle-- the more you use it the stronger it gets.

Happy memories from this day are:
  • Getting my makeup done with my sister-in-love.
  • Getting my hair done with all of my girls.
  • My mom and mother-in-love helping me get dressed. 
  • Laughing because my soon-to-be husband wanted the same color tie as the groomsmen.
  • My Dad walking me down the aisle.
  • Crying as soon as I saw Joey.
  • Crying more when I saw he was crying.
  • Our sweet friend Pastor Jeremy marrying us.
  • Pastor telling Joey that he could now kiss his gift from God. 
  • His wife telling me I looked just like Carrie Underwood. :)
  • Celebrating with everyone we loved. 

In 5 years I have learned:
1. Love is a choice.
2. Continue to put God first. 
3. He's my best friend.
4.. It's not all about me.
5. Don't ever stop dating your husband. 
{I'm still learning new things about him.}
6. He is never going to stop drinking 
out of my glass. 
7. I love getting to watch him be a Daddy 
to our daughter.
8. Pray together.
9. Listen to each other.
10. Fight for your marriage.

Happy Anniversary Babe! I love you so much! I thank God for every step of the way! 
Can't wait for the next 100 years!

Friday, January 4, 2013

When doubt meets reality...

So a few weeks ago hubbs and I went to dinner with some of our good friends, Justin and Megan. During the course of the dinner Justin let my husband borrow a book. Megan and I always tease about our husbands and their books. I thought nothing of this particular book. Except last week when my husband decided he's going to the mission field. Have you heard of this book? It's called FIVE Who Changed the World by Daniel L. Akin. My husband is encouraging me to read it now. 

I will follow where He leads. I'm just a little terrified scared of the mission field. My husband-- he isn't helping. He keeps saying stuff like, "Just think how easy a mud hut will be to clean!", "I wonder what kind of wild diseases we will catch?", or my least favorite "Could you imagine having a baby on the mission field?".  Not exactly the kind of encouragement I am looking for. Especially bringing my daughter. All I can think about are anacondas and malaria. 

I know it's mostly about comfort and fear of the unknown. Here everything is at my fingertips. If someone gets sick we go to the hospital. If we're hungry we go to the store. What do we do there? What will it be like? 

Pray for me that I'll remember that His provision is bigger than my doubt. That in the time between now and then God would change my heart for missions.

In His Amazing Love,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Out with the old...

In with the new! Hope the eve of the new year finds you well!!! We are celebrating in style! ;o) Dinner together and a movie! I doubt we will even be up at midnight, but you never know! I am excited to see what God brings us in the new year! Hubs and I are starting it off eating better. We have plans for the end of 2013 so we'll be saving for that-- God willing. Tonight I am reflecting on our year! Here are some of my favorite moments! 

I am going to apologize ahead of time if it's too long. I love pictures! 

Happy New Year from me and mine to you and yours! 
Praying God's best for you in 2013!
In His Amazing Love,