Thursday, January 17, 2013

What ≠ Who

I think that there are things that God puts in place to spur on and encourage and push our gifts and talents forward; cultivating whats already there. A major "pusher" (haha "I'm a pusher Cady," name that movie) for my writing is spending time musically worshipping, especially under my husband's leadership. He is such a vital part of the writing process for me, but I'm going down bunny trails now. 

Last night at church we sang the new Chris Tomlin song, "Jesus, Son of God" and one particular line of it really got me thinking. 
"Be lifted higher than all you've overcome
Your name be louder than any other song....
The cross was enough"

I started to realize how often I associate who Jesus is with what he has done. Maybe I'm alone in this, but sometimes in my mind it goes like this:  

My collection of redemption = Jesus

Maybe that’s confusing. Think of my collection as all the evidence of the grace that has been poured out on me. Everything that has been saved and transformed and redeemed would be in there. I'm so thankful for my salvation, my sanctification, all the sins and trials that Jesus put to death. I love love LOVE hearing the testimony of other believers; I love hearing what Jesus is doing to change lives. But here’s the thing—all those things, still don’t add up to who Jesus is. Jesus isn’t the sum of our testimonies.

Jesus is Jesus. Jesus is one third of the Triune God. Jesus is the perfect one who lowered himself to dwell among us. Because of him we have freedom. Because of him we have life. Because of him we have ABUNDANCE. We benefit from his life, his death, and his resurrection.

Let’s share the stories of salvation and redemption with everyone! But let’s never neglect to say His name. The name of the one who saves. The name of the one who is Holy and Righteous, regardless of what he has done in our lives. The God who stands alone.  Let’s never trade who He is for what He has done. Let’s never shy away from saying His name: Jesus. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

And baby makes 4! (or 5, or more!)

I'm flattered to announce that I have been awarded a Liebster blog award! It is an informal nomination from other bloggers, but one I will gladly accept. I now have to nominate 3 blogs under 3,000 followers that I would like to nominate for the Liebster, so be looking for that at the end of this post. 

On the heels of my blog posts about our unexpected third pregnancy, I thought this would be a great time to write about the transition from one kid to multiple kids. I'm sure I'll have even more to say on the subject after Fletcher joins us at home. For now I mainly wanted to touch on some practical things, but lots of emotional elements of adding kids too. I can't tell you how many of my friends (both real and through social media) are pregnant, adopting, or looking to foster their second child.  For those of my friends coming up on their due dates its a time filled with emotions both happy and sad, nervous and excited. This time last year, I was so ready to have Lily, I wanted to meet her so badly, I was so excited to have a little girl, and anticipating seeing Lyric in his role as big brother. At the same time I was nervous because I was afraid that somehow by bringing a new baby home I would not have as much attention for Lyric or love for Lily. I was sad that my special time with Lyric was ending and I thought our relationship would never be the same. I did realize that Lyric, by being the first born, was the only kid who would ever know what it was like not to share me with any siblings. Some of the things that helped me with the transition were things that other moms helped me see, some things that God gave me to live by, and some things that I just picked up along the way. Because this post is specifically written for those of you who already have at least one kiddo, I’ll do it in outline form. ;)

Great Expectations- Setting realistic expectations is the key to embracing most big changes in life, as you know if you have been married for longer than a few months. Use your mind, not your emotions. Don’t let Pinterest set the standard for your expectations. Let God’s word and character shape the desires of your heart. Expect to be emotional for a bit, expect there to be at least a little chaos, expect “survival mode” and not much more. If you are one of those moms who can still cook and clean and bring a newborn into the family, great for you. Most of us aren’t that mom, most of us will survive and in a few weeks/months we will return to thriving in a state of routine and a resemblance of order in our homes.

The Beloved Firstborn(s)- I think a lot of us get scared, nervous, and overly sentimental about the last months, weeks, and days we have to pour out all our love and attention on our first little ones (if you are wondering about the plural nature of these first ones, its for my girl Camie and all you mommies of twins) Even preparing for our third born I find myself a little torn over wishing I had more time to get to know Lily and excitement to welcome Fletcher to our fold. But the truth is, that even though you will be distracted in the first week or two, you will very quickly acclimate and have just as much attention and love for your older child. If you are a little sad because you are afraid things will never be the same, you are right. Life will never ever be the same it WILL be better. As much chaos as there has been, as many bad days, as many times as I’ve had two crying little ones on my hands…I have never ever wished for the way things used to be. (And don’t worry, the bad days are still far out numbered by good days!) Our family is so much better and richer and complex and laughy and silly and deeper because of Lily. And honestly, your oldest will also always be the furthest developed, and as a result will still get tons of your attention and play time. Plus, just remember the only child who ever knows what its like not to share you is the firstborn. All the other kids to come won’t even know that reality, its more normal to share you than not to. (Unless you only have one kid, in that case…why are you still reading this post? …I tease…but seriously)

“How will I do it?”- I think that every mom bringing home a newbie asks herself this question, regardless of how many she has brought home before. This is a question that pops into my mind sporadically. Well honestly, with this current pregnancy being such a shock, this question was just about the only thing on my mind for the first two months. I’ve dealt with it, but it still sneaks in every once in awhile. Just remember, there was a time in your life when you didn’t know how to be a spouse, there was a time when you didn’t know how to do pregnancy or birth or adoption, there was a time when you didn’t know what to do with a baby/toddler/kid—but it worked out, and it is probably still working itself out. When this question was swirling around my head on nights that I couldn’t sleep I thought that I had to have an actual answer. Then one day someone asked me in all seriousness how we were going to do it…that was when I realized, there is not an answer you can give yourself or anyone else. The answer is—we will give ourselves grace, take advice of those who have gone before (with a tablespoon of salt), and we will have faith that God planned this for our family so He will direct our paths and sustain us to walk it.

Should I Stay or Should I Go- Sometimes you need to hunker down and know that a bigger family sometimes means more limitations. You can’t get out and do stuff as easily as you could with no kids, or one, etc etc. But just as there are times when you need to just say no and stay home, the opposite also applies. Sometimes I catch myself feeling down for no reason and to top it off the kids are grumpy and awnry. Then I realize…oh yea we haven’t left the house in four days! That’s when we make a play date, or go to Chickfila, or Target, or the park or library. Sometimes, your house starts to close in on you, then its time to get outta there! After the first month Lily was born, I was ready to be a little more active and the kids needed something too. So I loaded up the double stroller and twice a day went on a 30-minute walk. It was great for me and wonderful for them. It wasn't always easy, but so worth it!

Mommies, the biggest thing I can emphasize is this: Don’t listen to others when they say “wow you’ll be busy!” or “yea now just imagine this [tantrum, shopping, really any activity] with one more kid!” or “yea it will be really hard for awhile, but one day you’ll be glad.” Do listen to your husband and your kids. Commit to turning to God’s word before you turn to any other book or blog for help. Stay near to the one who created your growing family; you don’t need to be anxious. Everything else will work itself out.

I feel that to be really honest I should share that this blog took a few days to write, because…well sometimes I had to stop writing and read my advice back to myself ;)

So I am supposed to nominate blogs with less than 3,000 followers. I can't do that. What I will do is share my favorite favorite blogs in my feed: