This quote has really resonated with me lately. I am to a fault a creature of habit. I can eat the same thing everyday and have the same routine every week and I love it. Habit is sort of a safety blanket for me. When I don't have it, it really throws me off. However once Ive done something enough times, It's hard for me to break from that. I found that specially true at our old house. I had a schedule (not a good one) and I had a hard time breaking it. I want things to change so desperately but I haven't ever changed my habits, I just expect things to be different! Ive heard this quote in the past and I always thought of it for big desires, like money, or success of some sort. But what about small changes? Things like being in shape, being more organized, being a better mom, a more disciplined Christian. We all have "small" things we wish would change. Ive never been in what I consider great shape, but I've also never really done anything about that!
So what if I made tangible changes to get desired goals? I have come to understand that I make outlandish claims on a regular basis. Like when I said I would give up sugar for a year.... here we are in October and I think I actually managed to eat more sugar this year (the ice cream is good here, y'all). I am just not the type of person that can do big picture goals, they start to get too unreachable for me. I have come to learn that I can do small achievable goals. So I'm doing a new series challenge, where I come up with new "challenges" every week (or couple of weeks) in order to change a habit. Have you heard it said that you can do anything for 1 minute, well I challenge you to do something for 1 week. I will have the first challenge tomorrow! I think with the right goal and the right support we can do it. Things that maybe seemed like they would never change. We don't always have to have drastic proclamations, sometimes its the small victories that make the biggest difference.
I'm not sure how many times I've heard my single friends make a reference to their loneliness and lack of a love life. I don't know how many times I've said it's not a bad thing to be single which is usually met with eyes rolling. Understandably so, I've had a boyfriend for as long as I can remember, and I met RJ when I was 14. We got married when I was 22, and I had Jed at 23. What do I know about singleness? Maybe not a whole lot, but I can tell you what I know about being hitched to someone else's wagon (yea, I said that). I'll splain....
I will start off by saying that I LOVE my family! This is not a cautionary tale on why not to get married or have a family. Some of you might take it that way (and that's ok). I didn't choose the family life; the family life chose me. That sounds so much better the other way (which also applies to me), so here it is.I wake up every morning feeling like Lois Wilkerson. Grab a bottle and a burp cloth, and I'm ready to crush this feeding. I have genuisly(?) changed the lyrics to more accurately reflect my life, because I do not in fact wake up feeling like P. Diddy. I don't even wake up on my own. My alarm is a screaming hungry baby, and a toddler who wants to go downstairs and have cereal. My husband walks in the door from his workout, and I start making breakfast, all while looking like Matthew Perry (post friends). We all have breakfast, then I start making his lunch, and he's off to work. I throw some laundry in the machine, clean up a little, and start playing blocks with my three year old. The baby wakes up. It's time for another feeding and diaper change. He's awake, and he wants to be held. We play, laugh, snack, potty, and fold clothes. The baby is sleeping, and Jed wants to see the iPad. I say, " No." He has a meltdown, and the baby is awake again. I rock the baby back to sleep, Jed has come to his senses, and we continue folding clothes. This is followed by more cleaning, dishes, and more crying, myself included. Nap time! My three year old takes a nap, but not without the Nap-Time Routine. The baby wakes up right on schedule. I feed him; we play a little and he's back to sleep. I read, watch Netflix, or blog, but usually fall asleep. I wake up to a hungry Jed, usually he utter the words I'm hungry about 10x. The baby wakes up, and he's hungry too. I quickly make my son something and feed the baby. I put some cartoons on, and all is quiet for about 20 minutes, which I usually waste online. I clean some more, we play with toys, all while still looking like Matt Perry. It's time to start dinner! Hey! My three year old wants to help! Oh, look! He spilled rice on the floor. Husband is home, and we have dinner. I might take a shower. Then, we all usually hang out together in some way. Jed gets a bath, and goes to bed. We usually watch TV (still feeding the baby in between). Sometimes we're in bed by 9pm!!! And by we, I mean my husband, because I'm up with the baby until he decides he's finally going to sleep through the night. And we do this all over again, or at least variations of it. When I'm lucky, we get to leave the house.
This is my life. I do not get to wake up when I feel like. I rise to the needs of the others. (Sounds really cool when I say it like that) I can't sleep-in. I can't just go to the movies. I can't just buy that really cute outfit because we have to eat and pay bills and other nonsense. I can't talk on the phone for two hours or even thirty minutes because chances are someone is going to want something. I can't do something without thinking about how it will affect my family first. While I really love my family, I wish I would have enjoyed my single life more. I remember that feeling of wanting to get married or have children, and just "wanting my life to start." What I wish my past single self would have understood is that theres a season for everything! Enjoy life right where you are. I'm sure if I live to be 60 I will tell my 30 year old self the same thing. Enjoy the freedom to serve without any distractions. Enjoy being able to get dressed without someone pointing out that you have a belly or eat without someone flinging rice at you, and riding in a cart without listening to the same song 30 (you think I'm kidding). Being married and having kids is really awesome, but so is not having to worry about where you put your gum because someone might eat it. Enjoy where God has you! Don't try to make something happen that isn't right for you. You know what will make your life suck? Choosing something contrary to what God has for you. So while it's not wrong to want to be married and have kids, it's wrong to be discontent. Take advantage of all the opportunities you have to freely serve, give, and get up and go. Although it will be awesome, one day it will take a lot longer to get up and go (2.5 hours to be exact).
Is anyone else ready for this election to be over? Watching last nights debate was rough. This whole election year has been rough, and can't wait for it to just be done. So I keep asking myself where Christians are suppose to stand on this impossible choice. In good conscious I don't think I can vote for either of them. It's heartbreaking that these are the candidates, out of all the people in America, that we put forth. How did that happen?! The more I think about it, the more I am reminded that Christian does not equal republican, and that we have a heavenly citizenship, not an earthly one. I think its really easy (at least for me) to get caught up in everything that is going on in our country and the world. It's easy to loose hope, but I think we've missed the point completely.
The enemy has done a good job of keeping us distracted. The winds are changing and we're coming to a place where saying you're a Christian will actually mean something. The other day RJ and I were talking about Jed going to college and I made a comment about not knowing what the world will look like when he's 18. It's a scary thought but I think It's a very real thought. RJ's uncle put it perfectly when he said, "persecution like we have never known before is coming to Christians in America regardless of the outcome of this election not simply because the current ideology in America is anti-Christian. I think this is the end of the road, here. My concern is that Christians have for too long squandered the freedoms that God originally granted to America and persecution, it appears, will separate the sheep from the goats." There is coming a time where it won't be so easy to say you're a Christian in America. Heck! It's tough now. There are a lot of assumptions that come with that title. But I think we're getting close to real persecution here.
Instead of worrying about who the next president will be, I think we should be incredibly intentional about taking every opportunity we have to tell people about Jesus. I can't help but feel convicted that I have spent my time concerning myself with earthly matters. That's not to say that we should keep our head in the sand. I think that we are responsible for making informed decisions to the best of our abilities. But when we concern ourselves so much with things going on here that we forget whats really important, then it becomes a problem. God is ultimately in control, wether we participate or stand idly by. We cant know the outcome of this election or any of the ones after that, but we do know whats going to happen, and we can prepare for the future. The bible tells us that persecution is inevitable, wether for us or our children or their children. So we can prepare for the future. We can be strong Christians and we can raise strong Christians that will face persecution with integrity. That can confidently say, like Daniel, and if not, He is still good.
Life has been like a crazy tornado around here. I hate to admit that life was kind of a breeze with just Jed. He drove me a little crazy at times but I was able to give him individual attention and we were still able to go out with him fairly easily. Having two kids seems to change everything. It's like theres not one free minute in the day. If I can manage to have them both take naps, which they are doing right now (hallelujah), I try to nap too. Jed has adjusted pretty well considering everything that has changed. New brother, new house, and visitors all in the same month!! He has had his, umm moments, but for the most part he's been pretty helpful. He also finds it necessary to kiss him and hug him everyday. It's pretty adorable! Nothing can prepare you for a newborn! I can only describe it as someone throwing you in a foreign country and making you get a job. Is that a weird description? Ha. But thats how I imagine it. Even after Jed, I still feel like I don't exactly know what I'm doing. He's already so different from Jed, and our life situation is very different too. Being away from family is probably the most difficult thing this time around. Even if just for the moral support, you miss that. I'm even starting to miss my mom telling me that he's always cold and needs socks. It seems like life is speeding by with two kids. How is he a month already!? It feels like we just brought him home the other day. I'm looking forward to seeing how different he is than Jed, and to them playing together, that day cant come soon enough for Jed! He loves having a brother. As you can see by the pictures above^^ Funny story, those pictures were so hard to take. Jed was being a complete butt head during the whole thing. A toddler with attitude is exactly like being pecked to death by chickens (whoever thought of that is wise beyond their years)! RJ says he's 3 going on 13 year old girl (hahaha). So I will forever laugh at these picture because they just don't tell the whole story, but pictures never do ;)
Its been almost two weeks since we welcomed Lucas into our lives. It has been a very crazy two weeks, we are really tired, but really grateful to have him. Life with a toddler and a newborn is exhausting, but so much fun. I mean I'm walking around with milk stains, messy hair, and sweats! I forgot how much work it is to have a newborn. And we've talked about HAVING MORE!! Are we insane or what!? It's amazing how your heart opens up to love a whole other person. How can you love someone you just met so much? How can I already have hopes and dreams for this little guy? Motherhood is such an amazing thing, and a new baby just grows your love more than you thought was possible. You're responsible for a human! And as much as I want to take credit for making him, I know that God made him perfectly for us. We are the very best parents for Luke and he is the very best for our family. Can't wait to see him grow up and play with his brother, who is already (surprisingly) so in love. It could have really gone either way, and the first night we thought it was going the other way, but we're so grateful that Jed seems to really like his brother. He kisses him and hugs him everyday, and he tries to help in any way he can. He is just the sweetest! And even though sometimes I feel like Cinderella (before the castle), it is totally worth it!