Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More of a promise, less of a resolution

Readers, scanners, and perusers,

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and read my thoughts. My deepest and most sincere hope for this blog is that it will be an outpouring of what the Lord is teaching and revealing in my life that I hope will build you up as well. Since becoming a mom, I have battled endless inner-tension about ministry. I have never really been in a stage in life where I have to come to the conclusion that the ways I am serving my family, child, and home are what the Lord has laid out for me, but here I am. I am so used to finding a ministry and throwing myself into it...whether I like it or not, that I don't totally know how to function with this new call. However, God is continually affirming that we are starting anew. (And can I just say, praise Him that His mercies are new every morning! I am almost sure that by the time morning comes each day...without that new mercy...God might be getting a little annoyed that He has to keep repeating Himself. Ok...that was a little too humanizing, but you get my drift.) Being a new stay at home momma, a pastors wife (oh man, I still giggle at that a little in my head. I know for a fact that as a teenager I claimed that being a pastor's wife was the LAST and I mean last role I would ever want), a new home owner and therefore new housewife, is a huge job...and for that matter, it's a huge ministry. I am so excited for the day when I can throw myself into the local church again and serve in new ways, but for now...despite much stubbornness, I am discovering the excitement of supporting my man's ministry, loving my man and my little buddy with the love of Christ, and creating en gedi in our home(if you are wondering what on earth en gedi is, go here). However, I can't ignore the pure joy I get from this blog. The Holy Spirit is stirring a passion for writing and sharing and learning in my life and I believe that He is allowing me to use this blog as a ministry.

I am confessing here and now that I am constantly fighting the lie that "no one wants to sit and read what I have to say. What do I have to say anyway? Who am I to say anything?" So please, keep me accountable friends!

I have a couple of blogs stirring around in my heart and head that I am very excited about. But in the short moment that I have now, I wanted to make this declaration and promise that I will be obediently writing and sharing with you as much as my full time ministry allows ;)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Homesick

Warning: I'm going to be honest, the kind where you admit stuff.

When I was single and thought about Heaven, especially the return of Christ to take us home, I often thought to myself, "that will be so awesome, but I have to get married first." When I was engaged I thought, "I can't wait for that!...Except that I really want to know my husband first" (in the biblical sense. I said I would be honest, but my dad might read this or something, ew.) Once I was married I thought, "Dang, when Christ returns it will be so beautiful, but I really want to be a mom first." Since having a son, it was "yea great, except I want to see Lyric marry a ballar woman of God first."

Recently, with all the current events and happenings of this generation, I have found myself thinking "Where can we go? Where can we move that will shelter Lyric from all this?" and then...boom. This longing feeling, its for home. Home. Then last week during worship it really hit me. And no, I can't even tell you what song or what prayer or what scripture changed my heart.

If marriage is a tangible picture here on earth of the marriage between Christ and the church, then why am I so eager to wait and see Lyric take part in the knock-off? It will be a happy day when Christ comes back for us, but it will be exponentially more beautiful seeing Lyric join the bridegroom. I'm so thankful for this insight, but a little sad that it took becoming a parent to see. Being a mom has given me this new and fresh desire for whats best instead of what feels best. This new gift of insight about the coming of Christ is just that, a gift; but its also a challenge to seek the perfect will of God for myself, not just for my children. (those born and yet to be born)

Thanks for letting me be honest.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thoughts on surrender

So far I am still pondering over my next actual blogpost. However, I came upon this quote from Beth Moore's study "To Live is Christ" and recently shared it with a friend. It just keeps floating around my mind and I think that this is valuable for so many of us. Thinking of surrender in this way is so foreign to me, but I absolutely love it. I hope that this tid bit serves you as it has me.

"We sometimes feel as if we're playing tug of war with God. In bitter tears, we sometimes let go of the rope, tumble to the ground, and cry, 'Have your way, God! You're going to do what you want anyway!'

Please recognize that God is not playing a game. He wants to say yes to us so badly. He knows how desperately we want some of the things for which we are asking. God doesn't jerk on the rope just so He can win. In fact, He doesn't want us to let go of the rope at all. Rather than see us drop the rope and give up, He wants us to hang on and let Him pull us over to His side.

God's will is always best even when we cannot imagine how. Surrendering to His will does not mean you lose. Ultimately, it means you win. God does not want you to feel defeated when you realize He's overruled in a desire of your heart. God is not asking you to give up. He's leading you to give over. Keep hanging on to that rope and let Him pull you over to His side. One day you'll understand. And you'll see His glory."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

God has a southern twang.

Ever since I started doing the Beth Moore study, To Live is Christ, the Lord started sounding a little different when he spoke. As a southern girl, plucked out of the south and planting new roots in the midwest, getting to spend a little time with a truly southern woman via video lessons each Tuesday morning is a treat. I love southern twang, in fact I wish mine was stronger sometimes. More than southern twang, I LOVE southern attitude. Which brings me to the Lord's voice. Lately, God has had a southern twang about Him. Two examples, and hard life lessons:

1. Recently some friends from Texas came up to visit. So of course all the long term plans for decorating our home became short term plans in my mind and heart. You know how it is, you want every project done, every decal and frame hung in its proper place. So, we have this big (and oddly lightweight) old brown frame. I decided that it would look awesome hanging on our bathroom mirror (right in the middle to give a little more ambiance). I looked it up online and found that all I needed to do was glue it with epoxy glue. So, being the thoughtful woman I am, after Lyric's four month shots and home with no other helpful adults to assist me, I decided that this was the time for that little project. (I know, its so obvious...just wait until Austin gets home!) As you can imagine the project was a flop for many many reasons. Now the only ambiance our bathroom has is the huge glops of glue all over the mirror. The next day armed with Goo Gone, I scrubbed that mirror for two hours (during nap time, I wised up a little). I scrubbed and scrubbed. And you know what I heard? "Girl, you can scrub that mirror as much as you want, but until you get that heart right it won't matter...even if you do get the glue off." My heart was so set on getting all my cool stuff up and looking good and impressing our friends. How could I be so blind? The gift of hospitality wasn't given to me because I know how to decorate on a dime, it was given to me because I love having people in our home. I love the warmth that comes from sharing a meal with friends. I love using our physical home to be a ministry to others. And so, our mirror is riddled with dried glue, but my heart is joyful.

2. I started doing yardwork. I know, its laughable. I am such an amateur, but I'm trying and I'm enjoying it. I was cleaning up our flowerbed and discovered that we have terrible weeds. Knowing the little bit of gardening that I do, I know that you have to attack the root of these things. Its not enough to pull off those ugly leaf things and call it a day. So I dug and I dug and I dug. As I was breaking a sweat and beginning to grunt, I heard that sweet and strong and now southern voice. "Girl, you have to get it at the root. We're gonna have to do this with your sin." Enough said. I'm becoming excited to brace myself for the uprooting of some nasty roots of sin.

As much as I love this new southern twang speaking to my heart, sometimes my Loving God still whispers gently to me.

Naptimes have gotten a little tricky and a little emotional around here lately. Lyric is a champ at rolling over, but at naptime he can't keep himself from rolling and getting stuck in a corner of the crib. Then he just cries and cries. Today (with the advice of losts of helpful moms) I decided to just let him figure it out and check on him lots to make sure he was ok. But I wouldn't get him out of the crib, he has to learn how to nap with this new found ability to roll. So I did it. And eventually it was a great nap. Then when he woke up (at the appropriate time) to eat, he of course cried and cried. I made a bottle and then went to go get him. My sweet and typically smiley boy was redfaced with big tears streaming down his face. I picked him up and told him "Baby baby, I always hear you when you cry, but I have to do whats best for you." My sweet sweet Savior. I hear you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Don't Eat the Grease!"

So as my gal pal Adrienne so delicately put it...this is a semi-devastating event that I encounter seemingly daily. I love that gal.

So today we are doing second coat of blue on the bathroom walls and a first coat of beige on the ceiling. Don't worry, no paint fiasco. However...there was a doggy incident, but all in good time readers, all in good time. So, Austin and I got really pulled into the bathroom project and instead of stopping at 4:45 to get ready for date night (starting at 6), we did not stop until a little after 5-somethingish. So we were both rushing around and not ready on time for our sitter. As I am rushing downstairs, I notice that Austin is putting on new door-knocker thingies and Max is right behind him in the entry way standing over a pile of yuck. Thats right yuck. What is yuck? Yuck is what happens when your small dog gets into a very large Dickeys BBQ cup full of maple bacon grease. If by chance you think that its gross that we have a cup of bacon grease sitting around....please, tell me what you do with your left over grease (seriously, because there must be some other alternative). So I volunteer to clean it...without knowing that its full of bacon grease (and apparently forgetting my unspoken vow as a women to never clean up a dog's vomit if I don't absolutely have to). So I go down to clean it up and.......and nothing....I cleaned it up. But it was extremely yucky and gross. If you were wondering which consistency wins when it comes between dog vomit and bacon grease...its bacon grease, it holds its smell and texture very well. Ew.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Not cute shower head, not cute.

I'm on a blogging roll here, three posts in three days?!

So tonight we are going to Cedar Rapids, which is about 1.5 hours away to see Andrew Peterson play. This means I have to be on my A-game while Austin is at work. On the To-Do List (in chronological order) 1.Wake up (if you know me, you know that this is a to-do) 2.Play with Lyric and give him his "breakfast" 3.Make myself a healthy breakfast 4. Play with Lyric again 5.Take a shower 6.Put on face and fix hair 7.Give Lyric a bath 8. Start Laundry 9.Give Lyric "lunch" 10.Eat lunch 11.Update iphone 12. Put Lyric down for a nap/catch up on laundry and semi-packing for the night 13. Get dressed in cute outfit for cute family togetherness 14.Hit the rode!

So now that you know what my day consists of, you need to know what NOT CUTE thing happened. After #6 I thought to myself "wow this is possibly the best hair day I have had in a long time, yesss." (ok so pause. the arrangement on this blog is that i get to share my more shallow moments as well as deep ones and you can't judge. ok go.) So then I take out Lyric's cute little baby bathtub and set it in the bath tub. I turn on the water and...simultaneously realize "I don't think I pushed that shower/tub lever back down. I think that my head is out of the way." And....gush. On my head. Tons of water, because we just had to upgrade our shower head to have maximum pressure and coverage. Water ALL over my best hair day. Worse than it being a perfect hair day...it was already crossed off my list. Remember #6, yea I am on #7 now and don't have time to work in reverse.

So now, my sweet boy is squeaky clean and I think my hair survived after I rigorously tried to buff it dry (yes like a car wash) with a towel.

Good hair days turned into mediocre to poor hair days. This is the price we pay for motherhood.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Me vs. Me

Do you ever have those days where something or some feeling just lingers inside you? When you are dying to talk to you husband, sister friend, and/or mentor about "it", how "it" makes you feel, what to do about "it"? The thought crosses your mind, if this is so big to me right now, then I should pray about it. I know I should seek the Lord. But that nasty flesh side of you says "that takes too much effort, doesn't give you instant solutions, and frankly you might not hear what you want to hear." And you know (excuse my lack of grammar in this post) that all day long all these thoughts are just leading up to the moment when you finally do seek the Lord about "it," so you might as well go ahead and jump in head first into some intense talking and then listening (and listening some more) to Him.

Yea me too. Thats where I'm at.

So, don't call me. I might just need a little help resisting that nasty flesh of mine. Sometimes its harder to be still, then it is to stay busy. Oh geez, look at me now...using the internet as a gal pal. I'm stopping now.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Quick Updates

Sometimes I love to blog about deep and reflective things, and sometimes I just want to talk about our life. This is one of those times. Austin's parents are here visiting us on their trip to Virginia for IMB training before they leave for Serbia in January. They got here on Friday evening and are staying until Thursday. Since they would be here for awhile, we decided this would be a perfect time for Austin and I to have our first night away. We were blessed with one night at Sofitel Hotel in downtown Chicago, which was AMAZING! We ate dinner at Ra, a small sushi joint, enjoyed a quick and tasty breakfast (possibly the best omlette I've ever had) at Tempo Cafe, went shopping at H&M for winter clothes, and then had a marvelous lunch at Uncle Julios (the first legit mexican food we have had since leaving Texas). We had such a wonderful time, there is nothing better than being married to your best friend. Lyric did great with his grandparents who treated him to a shopping trip for warm clothes! Having fun is exhausting, waiting for Lyric to have his next feeding is killing me; I'm ready for bed now!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Awake

Last time I wrote a little blog, my little babe was crying and screaming and not sleeping. Here we are again. Undoubtedly, it was a cruel childless person who invented the baby monitor. Unless you are completely deaf or live in a mansion there is no missing what is going on in there, but since we have the monitors of course I'm going to use them...just in case. But, this blog has much bigger fish to fry than ranting about crying it out moments.

Awake. Every day here I feel a little more of it. Living within the call that God brought to our lives 8 short month ago, is utterly fulfilling to say the least. You know when you wake up from a weird dream (like say you and your husband are driving in your father-in-law's nice new truck and then accidentally drive right off a nearly finished construction site thingy into a large and deep body of water and have to swim to the surface in the pitch dark...just for example) and you wake up, but not really, and you are so completely confused and definitely disgruntled? That is what life was, how it felt at least for awhile. Then you have those nights where you sleep like a baby (if you have the sleeping type that is) and wake up refreshed, prepared, and one could even suggest...jubilant. That is what life is. I know that I still have a life time of sacrifice and difficult times ahead, but in the last 8 months (pregnancy, loss of my job, Austin's transitional and income-less couple of months, living with friends and family,having Lyric, enduring our first child's first surgery, Austin's new job, moving, new friends, buying a house) I have seen God's promises come to realization. And I have experienced (for the first time out of what I hope and plan to be many more) the complete and full joy that comes from picking up my cross and following Him.

I've been putting off writing this blog, I think because it felt weird to me. It felt like bragging about my great life. Then it dawned on me, how does being embarrassed about His abundant grace glorify Him? It doesn't. If you have known Austin and I any length of time, I hope that you know that no aspect of our life now is any result of US. There is no reason that we should be where we are with what we have and no way that we could have worked hard enough to make it happen ourselves. God is good. God is gracious. God knew the inner most depths of our hearts, even we didn't.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Crying it out and other life changes

Moulin Rouge soundtrack, if there is any distraction, is probably the best contender to do the job. I'm currently letting Lyric "cry it out." So far there is lots of crying not so much it-outting. The last few nights have been super inconsistent with sleep and I've realized how inconsistent nap time is. So, even though it would make more sense to wait 7 days until we move into our own house, here I am trying to gain a little piece of order and sanity...not to mention a sleep cycle. This is hard, no doubt, but not because it breaks my heart to hear him cry (I'm not totally callous, but growing up with a special needs sister helped build an immunity to this sort of thing), its hard because I just want to skip this part and be at the part where we are all sleeping happily. However, more than ever before in my life, I see how precious the hard stuff is. As Lyric's mom, I know that this is ultimately what is best for him, not easiest, but best. As a believer, I know that God has a plan and that this whole living out of a box(es) and other people's house(es), is the hard part which will eventually (next week!) make the sweet part one million times sweeter. I truly and deeply believe that going through all this transition with a new baby is perfect timing. In the same way that Lyric does not understand what we are doing, but he has to rely on his parents...we are equally clueless to what all the Lord is working out, but dearly cling to Him. Such a beautiful daily reminder. And my little reminder will hopefully fall asleep soon...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The House

Here is a picture of the house we are in the process of buying. (I feel like I can't call it our house until we officially close!) Also, our house isn't crooked, just my picture taking skills :)


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Now

I have started this particular blog way too many times. How can I possibly put the last few months into words? I decided to keep it simple.

In the last two months we have:
welcomed Lyric into the world (June 16th)
watched our little one endure his first surgery (July 15th)
moved to Iowa (July 25th)

Currently:
living with the Rowlands who graciously opened their home to us (That picture of us in front of a house is their home)
Austin is working at Harvest Bible Chapel Davenport as the worship pastor
Lyric is plumping up
I am slowly but surely developing a stay-at-home-mom routine

We are looking forward to:
closing on our house! (August 30th)

God has shown Himself as:
Provider
Sustainer
Creator
Healer


I truly cannot find the words to reflect on all that God has done in our lives. I am beyond elated at what is to come in our next stage of life!





Friday, July 16, 2010

Evening Update on Lyric

Lyric has built up to and held down the necessary amounts of food all day! His IV is being taken out right now! We are waiting to be discharged from the hospital!! It seems that the hardest part of the recovery process is over! The doctor says that in a couple of days he won't even know that anything happened and he will be good as new!

Lyric's Health Update

I am using this blog for the one thing that I hoped I never would...hospital updates about my son. Ok, let me start by saying that Lyric is ok, now we are just working on a good recovery. Also, please be gracious with me when you read this, on top of being physically exhausted we are emotionally fried. So please don't read this post with a grammatical eye.

For the past week to week and a half Lyric has been vomiting up all his food. At first we questioned that maybe we were just being typical first time parents who were easy spooked. But within the last 4-5 days, Lyric's vomiting became more frequent and (there is no polite way to say this) bigger amounts. We saw our pediatrician Monday (june, 12th); Lyric weighed 8lbs 6oz, which was a lower weight than expected. Our doctor spoke to us about a couple of possibilities and came to the conclusion that Lyric was suffering from reflux. He started a safe medication to treat his reflux, which should have been affective immediately. By Wednesday morning, nothing had changed. After getting a second opinion and much appreciated advice from my uncle (also a pediatrician), we visited our doctor again Thursday at 11:30am to have him weighed again and re-evaluated. Lyric weighed 8lbs 1.9 oz, which was not only less than he weighed Monday, but was also less than he weighed at birth. (Yes, we know that babies' weights go down and then back up, but we had already done that by his two week visit.) Our pedi told us that we should go straight to Children's hospital so that they could do a sonogram, since he suspected that Lyric had Pyloric Stenosis. We came to Cooks Childrens Hospital (and have received the best care we could ask for) and they found that Lyric did in fact have Pyloric Stenosis. Pyloric Stenosis is basically when a muscle that is donut shaped at the bottom of the stomach is too big and bulgy and therefore squeezes any food back up instead of allowing it to be properly digested. Apparently PS (my abbreviation only, not an official nickname) is very common in babies (1 out of 250-400) and especially in first born caucasian males. Lyric was in surgery by 6:30pm last night (the surgery is scheduled right away since he can only begin the road to eating after that). We spent the night at the hospital last night and when we leave totally depends on Lyric's recovery. He has to work his was back up the food chart slowly. Once he can hold down Pedialyte (basically Gatorade for babies), then he can slowly work his way back to milk. So far as of 8:48am, Lyric has not been able to hold down anything. Our nurse was just able to get ahold of one of our doctors and he said that it is completely normal for babies to have a hard time holding food down at first and that he will eventually be able to, its just a matter of time.

We will keep updates on here and on facebook (probably mainly on here though). Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. The Lord has been very near to us (as He promises in Psalm 46) . We (well mainly me) are clinging to Psalm 28:7. Prayer for rest and recovery and for Lyric's tummy to be at ease would be awesome.

Oh! The nurse just came in and took him off his monitors so now he is only hooked up to his IV and we are able to hold him and rock him!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Adventures

Ok, this is probably going to be a lengthy one, but I guarantee both life updates and much needed reflections.

**If you already know our life updates, you can skip this outrageous paragraph and go straight to the "reflections"

life update: (I have to admit, I am not looking forward to retelling all this for the 1000th time) So in order to explain where the Tullos family is going, you need to know where we have been. Last year-ish I was working at a part time job, Austin was working at one part time job on salary and staff at The Church on Rush Creek and another contract part time job at Lake Pointe Church as well as picking up any random gigs or events, we also both served as a CARES Team in our apartment complex (working roughly 70 hours a month combined between us) in exchange for the apartment we lived in. In January I lost my job, in March (could be April?) Austin's job at Lake Pointe ended. So while I am getting bigger and more pregnant everyday and we now had only one part time job and our CARES Team apartment to live off of, we knew that God must be bringing something new for us soon. Since Austin had recently graduated (December 2009) he took matters into his own hands and thought he would pursue certification to teach. It seemed perfect, a steady income, a rewarding job and summers off. Austin's boss Eric, at Rush Creek, encouraged him to do some hardcore praying over the decisions we were coming close to making. Austin and I took a week of fasting (don't worry I did not fast from food) and challenged ourselves to more prayer, both together and separately. During that week, Austin heard from three different churches, all interested in him as a worship pastor. Neither of us could deny that God clearly wanted Austin to remain in the ministry, somehow, somewhere. Quickly, a church in Iowa (if you are a Texan I know you are thinking "Iowa?!") a church plant out of the Harvest Bible Fellowship, rose to the top. Austin started going through early interviewing processes with them as we read and listened to everything the church had to offer online. After a few weeks, Rob (the lead pastor) and his wife Becky, came down to visit us for less than a day. Austin and I immediately felt great about them and even better about their church, Harvest Bible Chapel in Davenport. We heard back from Rob and the other pastors within the next few days that they would like to fly us up for a visit and to attend their annual Harvest University (a time when all the Harvest churches come together). After discussing probable time lines, the unofficial decision was that we would have Lyric here and then move up to Iowa one month later, the last week of July. We went up to Davenport and immediately fell in love. From the biggest things (the church, the staff, the people) to the smallest (the neighborhoods, the community life, ect.) every detail was/is exactly what we have always said "someday I really would like...." Even though our trip was not intended as a retreat or spiritual revival, we left feeling more refreshed in our faith then we have in a long time. While we were there, Harvest formally offered Austin the job as their worship pastor, which we accepted. Thankfully, we had packed several boxes before even visiting out of our belief that God wanted us in Davenport (aka Quad Cities). We decided that packing and having a baby and remaining the CARES Team would be too much. So now, I am blogging from our new temporary home...Austin's parent's house (and yes, they are here too). Everything we have is in a box stored in an extra bedroom or in the process of being temporarily unpacked (clothes and bath stuff). June 22nd is Lyric's due date, Austin and his dad are going up a couple of weeks later with a Uhaul to do the big move, and July 24th we are planning to pack up our baby and our puppy and drive to our new home. We don't know exactly what that home looks like, we are still pursuing rental options and a couple on staff has graciously opened up their home to us for a few months if we need it. Ok...wow, that was alot. I think that is the full life update. And I'm too tired from typing it to proof read it, so if something is funky let me know.

In the last couple of days as we have actually started phase one of our adventures, I have obviously had a huge mix of emotions. Sadly and shamefully, a thought passed through my mind recently that I will continue to pray against. I thought to myself "wow, we are living out of boxes, kinda homeless and making these huge changes all while we prepare for our first child. We have given so much to answer the call of Christ," mixed in with fleeting thoughts of worry "Oh my gosh, are we going to be really poor in our last months in Texas? How can we meet our financial obligations while still having money to spend having fun?" Today, I have been catching up on lots of reading and journaling and I was straight up called out as I read. One of the books I am reading is Crazy Love by Francis Chan. The first slap to the face was a section about riches, "Which is more messed up- that we have so much compared to everyone else, or that we don't think we're rich? That on any given day we might flippantly call ourselves 'broke' or 'poor'? We are neither of those things. We are rich. Filthy rich." This was a reminder of sorts that I, unfortunately, needed. Then came the even harder hitting, second slap in the face, a section titled "Offering Leftovers." Malachi 1:8 "But when you present the blind for sacrifice, it it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?' says the LORD." Chan and the Holy Spirit then deliver the blow-- "They assumed God was pleased because they had sacrificed SOMETHING. God described this practice as EVIL." I can joyfully share with you that I have been knocked off my high horse this morning. How could I compare the sacrifice of my STUFF with anything that Christ sacrificed that I might live? Even comparing myself to what many of the saints have given to answer His call is arrogant and selfish. Especially when giving up access to our stuff or total privacy for a season, means that we get to live and serve in what we have jokingly refer to as "the promised land."

Phew, sorry for the self-loathing, but when God brings realization in my life I can't help but share.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A.T. + K.T. Forever

I truly believe I am a part of the most
epic
beautiful
defying all odds
weak in the knees
movie montage
love is a drug
fun
best friend
I rarely have to confide in my journal cause I have you instead
soundtrack inspiring

romances of all time.

And I deeply believe that I will always feel this way.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sacrifice

I have had this particular blog whirling around my head for awhile now, time to attempt to write it out. So pregnancy being a nine month process is no doubt part of the Lord's divine preparation process. Just when I think I have learned the biggest/heaviest lesson I think I will ever learn, I learn another. First, a little brutal transparency (something which I have been desiring for this blog, yet now it seems a little terrifying). Growing up with a sister with special needs definitely shaped my life and character and without Kristen, I would not be the person I am now. However, seeing the weight and responsibility those special needs carry at times, it's not a situation that I ever HOPE to be in as a parent. I have more respect and admiration for my parents then words could ever describe. Now, with little baby Lyric growing in my tummy, I have spent many-a-night falling asleep just praying that Lyric will develop "normally." Of course I will love my son immeasurably regardless of his needs, be they "special" or "normal." So...all this to say that one fateful week as I was preparing for the high school small group I help lead, I was hit with a big huge ugly brick. I was consumed with fear and resistance. So fearful in fact, that filling in to help with a little girl who had special needs one Sunday morning had me driving home in tears. What I thought was a normal week of reading the given scripture and jotting down some notes, knocked me straight into the Truth. The main passage for the week was Genesis 22. The story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac, a story I knew since my felt board days. And yet, new things jumped off the page. Abraham had to travel for THREE days with Isaac before they reached their destination, that's alot of time to stall or even bail on the plan. Also, there were two servants with them (young men at that), capable scape goats as I would see it. So when they finally reach Moriah (geez I have a lump in my throat just typing this), Abraham had every chance to change his mind and head home. But instead, he was obedient. He was sacrificial. "Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, 'Abraham, Abraham!' and he said 'Here am I.' He said, 'do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." Gen. 22:11-13. As I read this I knew why God had brought this scripture before me. I had withheld my son, my only son. The Lord could not have been more clear. I could nearly audibly hear Him "I did not withhold my only son, why are you withholding your son?" My fist was clenched so tightly to the dream of a perfectly healthy son, that I was separating myself from the beauty of sacrifice. Granted, nothing physically changed in that moment, but I began to see a more full picture of the love and grace that the Lord has for me and what is required from me as a mother. Right now, I am called to love Lyric blindly and unconditionally. If he wants to be a jock or an artist, if he is funny or awkward, if he is normal or if he has special needs; I will love him just as much. I will continually strive to be a model of Christ's love. I will continue to pray for my son's health, but now I pray that his life will glorify the Lord, and that my parenthood will glorify Him --even in these days of preparation.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A little of this a little of that.

Sitting down to drink my hot tea, eating my bowl of cereal and listening to Death Cab...this is a blogging moment. Its slightly gloomy out, but still bright. This is the perfect. Sitting here I feel like right now, at this very moment all my fears and failures are colliding with my hope and excitement. Normally I would feel like the previous sentence was just one big cliche, but now its all too real. I have had a full helping of each of these: fear, failure, hope, and excitement. My heart leaps inside my chest just writing this. Its almost like writing out the recipe to your favorite meal and not realizing it until you are finished. In all the spiritual and emotional growth spurts in my life all these things were present. There is a very prominent part of me that just wants to feel the blissful cloud of happiness, but I know that where I am is better. I know that this season is a season for learning the hard lessons and learning about myself.
A couple of weeks ago I had a crazy pregnancy moment, at its fullest. If you have ever visited us here in Arlington or visited my old DBU apartment, you know about our table. It was an awesome First Monday find. It is a big, old, beautiful table. Its off white with hints of a little gold (or yellowing over the years...but either way). It has its flaws. In one corner, it looks like someone took a saw and just cut a line straight down, in the middle there is a huge scuff-like black mark, and in a few places it looks like someone set a newspaper down on the paint before it was completely dry. So, in my craziness, I decided that I needed to paint this table. I wanted it too stand out, but also still look kinda worn down. I took out some of my acrylic paint (yes thats right, you can already tell this is going to be bad) and mixed some green and white (to what I thought was a nice light shade of green) and started painting. I completely ignored any voice in the back of my head that was saying "hey shouldn't you sand this thing down? Or at least investigate what type of paint you should be using?" I gleefully painted away. My sweet husband just stood back and let me have my hay day. He even asked those questions that were already in the back of my mind, but I assured him it would all turn out perfectly. And some part of me also thought "I'll just paint the top." Dumb. So now, everytime I look at this, once precious table, all I see is a bad (seriously bad) paint job that is easily scratched to reveal the off white color and all too closely resembles a billiards table. I wish I was exaggerating.

Thats all for now, and yes, those two paragraphs are disconnected from one another. Maybe somehow they relate, because both thoughts were screaming at me to be blogged. Oh, and if you know how to fix my table and make it cute again, or even how to properly paint it I would be so grateful to hear it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mrs. Tallus, Tellos...Mrs. T

I just got home from my first day (basically, I'll elaborate later) of substitute teaching. I had a third grade class for half a day and it was a joy. I have to take a moment to brag on the staff that I worked with today, they were all so welcoming and friendly. Friendliness was the answered prayer of the day. First days are the worst, I dread them. God acts everyday, and am making it a priority to recognize Him as much as my little mind can.
When Austin and I got married I was unemployed and finally after several months of the easy life, I became a sub. I worked for two days and decided that I could not handle it. I need to explain, my first day I had a bilingual kindergarten class, my second day I had 4th graders with behavioral and/or learning issues. Those classes were a tough initiation, not to mention that this gal is not a morning person. Did you know that some schools start class at 7:15 AM?!?! Now, that I have a baby to prepare for and I've gotten used to working, subbing was great. I have a feeling that teaching may be in the future. Growing up the child of a teacher was so great. I am just realizing as an adult and soon to be parent, how wonderful teaching is for a family.

Countdown for finding out if we are having a baby girl or baby boy: 9 days!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thoughts for now

Sitting at home watching Martha Stewart's episode on blogging has me realizing that it has been far too long for me. My writer's block is not rooted in the issue of having nothing to write about, but from having far too much to blog about. Frankly, I am deliberating over what is appropriate to blog about and what belongs in my private journal. This is truly a crossroads. When I started this blog, my vision was to post both the mundane and the difficult. Now that I am in the midst of the excitement of pregnancy and also riding the emotional roller coaster of losing my job, I am finding that sharing all those feelings is a challenge. I deeply desire for transparency, thinking back to some of the challenges of single-hood and engagement I always looked back and wondered why the Christian women who had taken a role as "leaders" in my life (my mother excluded) had withheld so much about what that road of life held. Why, knowing the road that is traveled, would you not share those things? I made a commitment to transparency and accountability during engagement. I knew that marriage would bring many lessons and growth along with having children. I never factored losing my job into the heartbreaks and growth that I would be facing. Just typing that makes me feel so arrogant. Why not me? As difficult as any loss is, this experience is only opening my eyes to the deep heartbreak that is a daily occurrence for people everywhere.

So this is not a conclusive post, but I don't feel concluded so that's fitting. I hope this isn't too much of a downer. And in more mundane news, I'm still reading "The Help" and its amazing. I recommend.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Puppy and Pregnancy




The cruise is just days away and I'm so excited. However, it just hit me that I think I am actually going to miss our dog. Of course I have already told our sweet Max that I am going to miss him, but that was just the obligatory-good-parent/owner-thing-to-say. Now, I really do think I'm going to miss our little pup. I'm sure I'll get over that pretty quickly once I am enjoying all the perks of vacation. I have a few small goals for myself during this trip. Goal #1 catch up on all my maternity book reading, goal #2 read all if not most of The Help, goal #3 become a delightfully slimming shade of golden brown (I'm convinced my face is gaining weight along with the rest of me). So as you may or may not have put together, all these goals have one thing in common...I can do all of them while laying out and exerting little to no energy. Geez, I just looked up from my computer and the apartment is almost completely dark, that happened fast.

Also, upon request of my dear Cali friend Katie, I will be intentionally using this blog as a forum for my pregnancy experiences. Almost as soon as we found out we were pregnant, Austin laid down some boundaries...social media boundaries anyway. Since I believe that all (at least at this point) of my readers here are actual friends and not just internet "friends" I feel that using this blog is a good compromise. Hmm, what is the most commonly asked question these days??(curser blinking, blinking, blinking...) I think the biggest conversation I have held about pregnancy is how is still doesn't completely feel like a reality at this point. Fat-ness, however, is an ever present "reality." It's weird, and maybe you gals can understand, but I feel more self-conscious today as a pregnant woman than I ever did as a teenager. I guess whenever you add some weight any other time, you never really notice it until you notice it. At that point you eat grilled chicken instead of fried, cut out the sweets, and hit the gym. Problem solved. As a preggo, you know you will be gaining weight, you intentionally gain weight, and the future mirror holds a much bigger you in it. Please don't send this into Tyra or Oprah (maybe my beloved Bonnie Hunt though, just so I could meet that gal), I know and deeply desire to nurture and protect my baby. All 99.9% of me is willingly and happily eating those extra calories, but that .01% of me really hates that my already big butt is turning straight up ghetto booty. All this to say, I can't wait to #1 look pregnant and not just like a chubster and #2 to be healthier and more dedicated to exercise than ever in pregnancy and more intensely after pregnancy. Ok, I am sure that I have cyber talked your ears off at this point.

Oh gosh...there is that tiny voice in the back of my head needing to reiterate that I am ok with gaining weight and I know that I am still a beautiful person, no matter how my body changes. Ok, I feel more secure now knowing that no one thinks I have lost it. When I blog my mom's voice is always echoing her advice from my 5th grade note-writing/passing days, "whenever you write something down you can never take it back, so be careful what you put out there." Ah motherly advice...but thats for another day.