Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Trip Home

Today is one year since my grandmother, Meme, went home to heaven. I have been thinking about her a lot this past week. I miss her. I so badly wish that my son could know her, be rocked by her, have her read to him. I wish I could still talk to her, get her emails, listen to her stories. The overwhelming comfort though for me is the reminder of the life she has now, fully healed and experiencing the glory of God.

During Meme's last week we were encouraged to continue to talk to her because she could still hear us. I was about 12 weeks pregnant so I talked a lot about my baby with her, told her stories about what my husband and I were doing, how much I loved her…what I would talk to her about if she were talking back. My mom suggested that I read to her from one of her favorite books, Traveling Light, by Max Lucado.

It is a study on the 23rd Psalm and uses the metaphor of the excess luggage we carry that is unnecessary. Meme loved this book. We joked that she was going to suggest it to King David, the author of Psalm 23. I had not read it so I flipped through it to find a chapter that seemed appropriate. Well, I came to the last one titled "I will lead you home". It describes the final piece of baggage that we, as Christians, must release which is the burden of the grave. We carry a lot of burdens on this earth because we live in a sinful world. But we have the joy of getting to give those burdens over to God for him to carry for us. The greatest burden we have is death, the punishment for our sins. God is loving though and also offers to carry that burden for us through the gift of salvation. This is what is written about in the final chapter of the book. Mama and I cried as I read it but it was one of the best things we could have heard at that time. It was a real reminder about what Meme was about to experience. Though she fought it hard, cancer had stolen her earthly body but it could not steal her life. When she took her last breath, Meme left this earth and was greeted in heaven. As painful as it was (and still is) to lose her, how can I not celebrate that for her? In the moments after her death, my mom said to me "she put down that last piece of luggage." What a comfort it was to think of that during that painful time. I spent a lot of time after that trying to picture what Meme was getting to experience at that time. I don’t know exactly what heaven will be like, but I do know that she was experiencing beyond what we could even imagine.

Actually, reading that book was the second best thing I could have read that week. The best was something I read privately, a few mornings before she passed away. Meme left us a list of her favorite Scriptures. One morning that I couldn’t sleep, I opened my Bible and looked up each passage on the list. It was such a sweet time when I got to learn even more about her faith. I was surprised to learn that we shared a favorite verse. I read some of the Psalms she liked and wondered at what point in her life they brought particular comfort. I was also amazed at the strength of her faith when I read other Psalms because they did not waver in praise to God. But one in particular was the best gift she could have given us- John 14:1-14. The reason that one was so important was because it told us without a doubt what she believed and because of that, we could celebrate he home going to heaven.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23:6

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Heavenly Medal Ceremony

I loved watching the Olympics. The skill involved, the excitement of a race, the patriotism...I love it all. My favorite is the medal ceremony- when an athlete stands proudly on a stand, singing his or her country’s anthem as the flag is raised, experiencing the reward for years of hard work.

I was thinking about the life an Olympic athlete leads. To be the best in the world the athlete must spend hours each day perfecting their skill. Their diet, their habits, even where they live is all influenced by their sport. And they do it for a race that may last less than a minute, for the chance to stand on a podium for a few more minutes. And in four years it is likely that they will be replaced by someone who broke their record. Why do they do it? Well as someone who hates working out, I really have no clue as to why they would!

I then began to think about why most people do not pursue their goals with such dedication. Even further, shouldn’t Christians pursue their calling with even more determined commitment because their end goal was infinitely more rewarding? But then I remembered that someone else also had that thought and already taught that lesson…

I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
1 Corinthians 9:23-25

Okay, so Paul beat me to this bright idea. He was probably even referring to the types of races the original Olympics grew from in Greece. Anyway...

Do, I follow God with such dedication that everything I do is in response to my race? Do I run hard, all the way through the line, every time? Am I ever satisfied with anything less than gold? The answer is a sad “no”.

There is not a successful Olympic athlete who does not commit whole heartedly to their training. Sure, some have the right physique for their sport and have natural ability, but they also must work extremely hard. Well, God has given me everything I need to be “a natural” at my task and fully equipped me with everything I could need for the race. The prize is mine to run after.

And can you imagine that medal ceremony?

Final "I love my church" Post (for now)

I have been slow to write about this because every time I started, I couldn’t figure out how what exactly to write. I’ve written three or four drafts already but they never quite addressed what I wanted.

If you have read my blog in the past, you have read about the church I have been a part of and how much I love it. Well, the decision was made to close it a few weeks ago and we no longer meet together. That was a very difficult thing for me, as it was for many of my church family. We have since moved back to the sending campus and are transitioning into new roles there.

I have debated what to write about. Do I write about what I miss? I miss my church family who were so kind to us, I miss serving with a group that was such an amazing team, I miss my husband leading worship, I miss getting to play the keyboard, I miss showing up early and staying late, I miss knowing I was a part of something great…but that wasn’t really what I wanted to write about.

So do I write about what I loved about our campus? I loved the people, I loved the sense of community, I loved the atmosphere of worship, I loved watching the Body of Christ in action, I loved the leadership team my husband was a part of, I loved the challenge…but that too wasn’t what I wanted to write about.

Do I write about the feelings that have come from this? Denial, anger, confusion, sadness…no, again that is not what I wanted to write about. Plus, it would probably just get me in trouble.

So, what do I write about? I think it is what I have learned through this. Or, maybe I should say am currently learning. We went to this new campus over 2 ½ years ago knowing that God called us to go. We knew we were called there a year before that. I still have no doubt that we were obedient in going. So why would God lead us to something that would end so painfully? I’m not positive, but I do know that I am still grateful that He did. In that time I got to experience real community in a church, find real joy in service, met some amazing friends and built genuine relationships, learned so much about ministry…I will probably never know all that I learned. As much as it hurt, and still hurts, to have the door close on something we had poured our hearts into, I would not think twice about doing it again. So, the most important thing I have learned is that God is trustworthy and faithful. It makes it much easier to be obedient to the next thing He calls us to because I know that God has another incredible experience in store for us.

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3

Saturday, August 9, 2008

New Diapers

What a strange thing to be nostalgic about but my baby's new diapers make me sad! We found a brand and style that worked for him and stuck with it. I quickly learned that diapers aren't an area of trial and error when using them because the error is not much fun. Anyway, these diapers have Sesame Street characters on it that grow with the diaper size. They start at a newborn size where the characters are tiny babies- Bert wears little sleepers. The next sizes up has Big Bird with a teddy bear, Zoe has a pacifier...they're all little babies. Well, now he has grown enough that he has to move to a new style. They're no longer made for newborns but active babies. These Sesame Street characters are all grown up! Elmo plays with a train, Ernie plays with blocks...I'm not ready to have him grow up enough to not be considered a little baby anymore!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Closing the Library

I love to learn. If I have a question about something I go to the internet or a book immediately to find the answer and I don't stop at one person's answer, I look up multiple sources on the subject. The main reason Ph.D work is still tempting for me is because of all of the research I will be able to do for a dissertation. I took a test at a previous job regarding personality and strengths (or something like that) and the clearest response for my personality is that I enjoy learning new things and doing the research for the topic.

So, having a new baby has allowed me plenty of new topics to learn about! You see, I had no clue about what to do with a baby so I read all through my pregnancy and have tried to read a lot whenever a new issue with him arises. I am sure that my husband, mom and anyone else I talk to are so sick of hearing "well I read this and they said..."

But, I am learning more and more that I need to just stop reading all of that stuff and stick with the mommy gut. No, not the gut left over from pregnancy but that voice inside that says "he is your little boy and you have been with him for the past almost 4 months, not that researcher." So, I am shelving some of those books so to speak. Sure, I'll keep reading just because I like learning but I am not going to base who I am as a mother on what they say.

The way I see it, women have been mothers since Eve had Cain and Abel. She didn't have books to read or a website to search. Sure, some may say she didn't do so well seeing as how one son killed the other but that is another story :). The point is, God made me to be my son's mother and no one else so I have to know that God will give me the wisdom to know how to care for him. Remind me of that the next time I quote a message board.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wake up, I'm pregnant!

I woke up my husband from Sunday afternoon nap with that statement on this date, one year ago today. It is pretty incredible that I have been a mama for a year now. My world changed on July 29, 2007 and I am so grateful for the amazing blessing God has given us.

On another note, had I known how precious those Sunday afternoon naps would become I would have let him sleep a little longer!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Baby Dedication

Today was a really special morning. We had our son dedicated at church along with our friends and their little boys. It is our understanding in Scripture that the dedication of an infant is not for their salvation. That is a decision that I pray he will mcaake one day and until he is able to understand his need for salvation, he is under God’s protection. Instead, it was a ceremony of commitment. It was a public commitment from my husband and me to raise our son under the leadership of God. It is also a time for our church family to commit to join with us in praying for our son and supporting us as we strive to be Godly parents. A special moment in the service came when our church family surrounded us as we were prayed for.

Being a mother is the most important job I will ever have. It is the hardest job and, at the same time, the most rewarding one. Just the responsibility of making sure he is physically cared for, developing well and happy is full time and tiring work. But I am not called to just meeting those needs. The most important part of my job as a mama is to lead my little boy to know God.

How do I do this? Of course I have the task of teaching him. I will read to him from the Bible, sing songs about God and teach him that the trees he loves to look at were created by God. I will tell him how much God loves him and teach him that he can talk to God and that God wants a relationship with him. All of those messages will mean very little though if my life does not reflect what I teach. My son will watch everything that I do and it is my prayer that my life reflects the Lord in such a way that my son will want to know God more. He needs to see the joy that comes only from the Lord, not from the world. He doesn’t need to hear from me “don’t worry” as much as he needs to see me trust God in difficult situations. He needs to see me confidently obeying God, even when it is different than what others do so that when he has to resist peer pressure he will have seen my example. He needs to see me reading my Bible and praying on my own so that he will learn the priority of having a personal and growing relationship with God. It is not the responsibility of the church to teach my child about God, it is my husband’s and mine. The church will continue the teaching that we do and provide support and encouragement.

The Israelites were given a clear command in how to raise their children.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:5-9
What stands out to me in this passage the most is that the teaching of the children is not a formal structure such as a daily family devotional time. While that is a great practice, parents are commanded to teach their children at all times, in all activities. A parent cannot do that if they themselves do not have a growing relationship with God that is reflected in their daily activities.

What a high calling…I know that I personally am not able to do that. I pray that God will use me, in spite of me. I pray that He will equip me in every way necessary to be the parent that my son needs. I pray that I will constantly seek God in order to live a life that glorifies him and that my son will see the Lord in me. And most of all, I pray that my son comes to know the Lord as his savior and is fully sold out to honoring Him.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Back to the Blog World

I have slacked off in my blogging- I guess a baby changes how I spend my time :). I'm going to try to start posting regularly again. I just need to start thinking of topics now!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Voice Only a Son Could Love

Wow...two blogs in a week! I've done well to get one in a month! He's taking a nap :).

This post is purely because I want to share something that makes me so happy. It is just a mama post, not really for the benefit of anyone else!

My son loves for me to sing! Now, if you have ever heard me you know that I struggle to carry a tune. You also know that I have a husband with a wonderful voice. So, you would think that my son would not enjoy my singing too much, but he does! Sometimes it is the only thing that will get him to stop crying and it will almost always relax him. I love it! I just turn my Ipod on, put one of the earbuds in and start singing along with whatever is playing. Sometimes we dance around, other times it is quiet singing. We both enjoy it! He doesn't even mind when I forget the words, as long as I hum or sing la las.

And in case you're wondering, he prefers David Crowder and Charlie Hall. No real lullabies for this kiddo (I tried, I don't remember the words)!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I have a one month old...actually he is one month and one week. How did that happen? I always heard "they grow up fast" but wow! Not only does his age surprise me but I can look at him and be made fully aware of his rapid growth. I see him daily, all day and even I am surprised to see how much bigger he gets. He was a good sized baby from birth and continues to grow in size and his face matures so quickly.

This has made me stop and reevaluate my attitude. There are many times I have found myself looking to milestones and thinking "I can't wait until he is old enough to..." These early weeks have had me looking forward to the sleeping through the night and less fussy period stages that I read about. But, then I stop and look at my sweet boy curled in my arms and think about how it won't be much longer that I will get to hold him like that. As each new milestone is reached, another stage of his life will pass that we will not experience again.

Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that he continues to develop so well and want him to continue that progress (and I am definitely looking forward to the sleeping through the night and less fussy stages!). But, I have to remember to enjoy and appreciate the stages he is currently in. Even if that is the "don't put me down" day- because one day I will want so badly to be able to hold him and he'll be off running.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I am a Mama!

I am now officially a mama! I have a new son who is a little over a week old and life as I knew it is completely changed! I have gone from every emotion- from crying in complete frustration to laughing of pure joy at the sweet expression of his face. And all of that was in a span of 5 seconds! I can honestly say that I have not had a lot of time to think much this week. That is a strange thing for someone who likes to stop and ponder the moment. Luckily, my husband brought up something that has remained on my mind and it seems like a good post.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

This is a verse from the Bible that probably everyone is familiar with, whether they go to church or not. The first part of it is what struck my husband and me as we spoke of it. Our son was a few days old when we had this conversation. We are needed to meet every one of his needs and he does not have to do one thing for us. In fact, he takes away some of our needs being met, such as sleep! But, there is nothing in the world we would not do for him, including give our own lives. We would be willing to do whatever it takes to protect him from any kind of pain or harm.

That has given me a new perspective on grace. This verse is probably the first one I learned. I have heard lots of sermons and messages based on it but never really understood the magnitude of “he gave his one and only Son” until now. God chose, for the salvation of us, to allow his son to suffer and die. God also had to turn his back on his son in the midst of all of that anguish. That is about the worst thing I could imagine. How incredible is grace, that God was willing to do that for my life? I could not imagine a greater pain than seeing my son suffer and turning away from him.

When talking about Jesus dying, we often focus on his suffering. I am not downplaying that at all, I am just beginning to understand the absolute sacrifice God made at the same time. It makes me appreciate the incredible gift of salvation in a new way. Right before I had my son a friend, who is a young dad, told my husband and me that he had been a Christian for a long time but never quite understood grace until he became a dad. I was not quite sure at the time what he meant but clearly understand it now.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lessons from the First Parenting Guide- 1

In the months that I have been pregnant and anticipating being a mama, I have become much more aware of the many lessons in the Bible that relate to parenting. I thought I would share some of them here. I am going to break it into multiple posts so it doesn’t get too long.

First Lesson:
This one was brought on by a blog from one of my good friends about her son and his desire to be like his daddy. My husband and I have talked often about how our son will mimic us or want to do things just because we do them. Will he have our personalities? Will he enjoy music, sports, drawing, reading? What will he quote us on? What will he do just because he saw his daddy doing it?

I am reminded of Philippians 4:9- “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” This is an exhortation from Paul to people who have heard the Gospel from him. He says to them here, and to others in other letters, that they should look to him as an example because he is following after Christ as his example. What a heavy statement to make! I don’t think I could recommend to others to put into practice what they have seen in me. But, I am about to have a little boy that will do just that. It won’t matter to him though whether or not I am imitating Christ because he will imitate me no matter what. It is my responsibility to be consistently modeling a Christ-like life because my son will always be learning from me. My biggest responsibility as a mother is to lead my son towards Christ and the most important way that I will do that is in my character and actions. If I have ever had a reason to seek God’s direction and “be holy as he is holy,” it is now.

Friday, February 29, 2008

35 and 5

Today marks the beginning of the 35th week of pregnancy, which means I have 5 more weeks until my baby's due date. When I first learned I was pregnant, I was 5 weeks along and had 35 weeks to go! To say time has gone pretty quickly would be an understatement.

The most common thing I have heard while pregnant is "You have no idea how much your life will change." I know that change will encompass all aspects of our life, from schedule to emotions. Before I became pregnant, I knew to anticipate these changes but I thought they primarily came after the baby is born. I had no idea how our lives would change the minute we learned that we would have a baby though. We immediately became Daddy and Mama to our growing child.

Today is a fun milestone to think about how our lives have been transformed already and makes me even more excited for the life to come.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Creation vs. Chance

I was sitting in a room in my doctor’s office last week and was bored as I waited for my OB check up. I don’t know how many times I have read every poster in that room and every cartoon on the bulletin board over the last few months. One poster in particular caught my attention that day. It illustrates the changes in a baby from conception to when he is ready for delivery. It is not anything I have not looked at before, or read about, but that day I was again struck by the amazing thing that is the development of human life.

I cannot fathom what has happened inside of me for the last 7 ½ months. My son has gone from being the size of a cell that could not be seen without a microscope, to the size of a poppy seed when I first learned that he existed and is now supposed to be about 19 inches long and weighs about 4 ½ pounds. Not only has he grown that much, but in that time his brain, heart, eyes, fingers have been formed along with every other necessary organ and body part. He has developed all of his senses and the ability to think and even if he was born now, he could fully breathe on his own. He already has a personality and temperament. He has gone from a tiny cell to a fully developed human being. How absolutely amazing is that?

During my pregnancy I have continued to be in awe of God as the perfect creator. Random chance cannot possibly explain the development of human life. It is too intricate, too perfect and too unique to each person for it to be done by anything other than a loving Creator. God has formed my son to be a unique individual with an appearance, a personality, a DNA and fingertips that are like no other person that has ever been created. That is nothing less than incredible.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things- Pregnancy Edition

In reading one of the many pregnancy websites, I came across a question asking “What is your favorite thing about being pregnant?” I am in the home stretch of pregnancy and getting more uncomfortable so I think it is a good time for me to stop and think about that right now. Now, I have had a really easy pregnancy so I really have little to ever complain about compared to stories I have heard. But, it is still a good thing to think about.

Here are some of the things I like about being pregnant:

  1. I love feeling him move- it is like his one way to regularly communicate with me. Each kick lets me know that he is growing stronger and is active. I thought I would eventually get used to his movement but it is still miraculous.
  2. I love how my husband responds to him. He already loves our son so much and talks to him often. He is already a great daddy and it is fun to see the start of their relationship.
  3. My husband has been so encouraging to me. When I am feeling extra big, my husband reminds me that it is a good thing because it means our son is growing. That makes it easier to think of it as the baby getting larger, not me! He has never been inconsiderate but on the contrary, he has been incredibly supportive and has spoiled me.
  4. I love that my baby is with me all of the time. I really cannot ever ignore the fact that I am pregnant but it causes me to think of my son often, rather than being annoyed at the changes to my body. I feel like this has been such a special time for me to get to be with him.
  5. It is an absolute miracle that I get to be the one to carry my son as he grows and develops. I have always heard women complain that men don’t have to go through pregnancy. I view it as an incredible and blessed responsibility though that only I get to experience. As involved as my husband is, he still misses out on the miracle of pregnancy.
  6. People are really kind to me and often ask about my wellbeing. This one took some time for me to get used to and appreciate! I have never in my life been asked "how are you feeling" as many times as I am asked in a week! What I eat has never been commented on so much and certainly my size has never been talked about like it is now! At first it bothered me to have so much attention but I have learned to understand that people are just being thoughtful.
  7. I became a mama as soon as I was pregnant. There is really no way to know what it is like to be a mother unless you are one and I have now begun to understand that.
  8. I have been spoiled since August! Sometimes it is frustrating to not be able to things but for the most part, it is really nice to have an excuse! My husband has not let me lift a finger!
  9. I have a new understanding and appreciation for God- as Creator, Savior and Father.
  10. I get to have a little boy when all of this is over!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

To Vote or Not to Vote

I heard something on the radio this afternoon that bothered me and I want to share my opinion. Now, I know better than to start a discussion on politics but I am making an exception. I won't get into who I plan to vote for, just why I plan to vote.

If you know me well, you know I am patriotic. I was raised to be proud to be an American and to appreciate and respect the privilege of voting. My mom says that I watched my first inauguration at age 2 when I was sick and she was home with me. I enjoy watching the State of the Union and the election returns. The option of voting really is not an option, it is something you do as a citizen of the United States. Too many people fought for the right to vote for me to take it lightly. I try to be an informed voter and stay informed of the candidates' positions. I am also a social conservative though and ultimately my voting reflects that.

This afternoon I was disappointed to learn of a conservative, evangelical leader saying that he will choose to stay at home and not vote if he does not like the candidate for his party. James Dobson (whose work I usually respect) has said that if John McCain receives the Republican nomination, he cannot vote for him and keep a good conscience. Dobson disagrees with some of his beliefs about family values. But, he says he cannot vote for the Democratic nominee of Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama due to their liberal views so he just will not vote for anyone. It may just be me, but that seems like the cheap way out.

My question is, would you not rather vote for the less of two evils (at least the evils defined by Dobson)? To rephrase it, instead of looking at it as a vote for one candidate, look at it as a vote against another. Here is where my political views will seap in. There are some conservative issues that I do not agree with McCain on (though I do not think Dobson is correct in his reporting of all of McCain's stances) but there is a lot more that I disagree with Obama and Clinton on. I would rather have a president that I pretty much agree with, than one I really don't agree with at all. That just seems like the logical choice. I find it strange that Dobson has not said he would not vote for Mitt Romney, someone with a complete different theological belief, because he thinks "we're facing such a point of crisis in our country, that we're going to have to have the strongest leadership we can. And I think I could deal with that in the polling booth." What he could "deal with in the polling booth" is a referral to Romney's understanding of the foundational Scriptures of evangelical faith. Now, again trying to use logic, how is that different than his disagreements with McCain? In my opinion (and remember I am very conservative about social issues), there comes a time where you have to choose a person who would be best overall, even if you struggle with one or two issues.

In my opinion, it is irresponsible of Dobson to say that he will choose not to vote. If conservatives don't vote because of McCain being the nominee, they are guaranteeing that a much more liberal person than McCain will be the president of the US. Dobson was clear to say this was his personal choice but he must know that he is very influential on many voters who will not take the time to look at the issues on their own. Even if there was not a tough fight in store for a conservative to win the presidency, it is still irresponsible of Dobson to choose not to vote. There is already too much voter apathy in the country and someone who is as vocal about political issues as Dobson should never discourage voting.

Dobson is reflecting a common belief of conservative evangelicals, that who our president is will determine if the US is a Christian nation or not. Yes, the president is influential of the issues of the time, but they are no guarantee of the result. The president is not the moral compass of the country, the citizens are. For example, same sex marriage has been an issue in government decisions for the last few years. The concern should not be who the president is because of a bill that might be passed, rather, the concern should be why our citizens allowed this to become an issue in the first place. The president does not determine family values, the family determines family values. Do not get me wrong, I want a leader who reflects my views but I am also realistic about the state of the country.

Well, I stepped on more soap boxes than I thought I would!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Letter to Me

There is a country song out right now called “A Letter to Me” by Brad Paisley. The basic premise of the song is what an adult would say to his 17 year old self if given the chance.

It has caused me to think of what I would say as a 25 year old to myself when I was in high school.

  1. You really are smart enough.
  2. Those boys you try so hard to impress are nothing compared to the man you will marry (and get this, you won’t even have to try and impress him- he’ll like you flaws and all).
  3. Spend more time downstairs hanging out with your family.
  4. You will one day be able to talk to those girls who make you feel inferior and actually feel good about yourself. And you’ll realize that they really weren’t all that cool.
  5. Treat everyone in such a way that they will be glad to see you if you run into them in 5 years.
  6. There are a few people who will be lifelong friends and it might surprise you who they are.
  7. Don’t be so trusting of some of those girls because you’ll find out later they will turn their back on you.
  8. Be less concerned about fitting in and be more concerned with having character that you can be proud of when you look back.
  9. Appreciate the really good teachers you have. Learn from their expertise for more than just a class credit.
  10. Stop putting things off because it is a very hard habit to break as an adult.
  11. You have no idea how happy you will be as an adult- and it is completely different than you imagine.
  12. And a line from the song that I think is a good one: "These are no where near the best years of your life."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mommy 101

In my short experience as a counselor, I really enjoyed doing premarital counseling. I believe in the importance of that time of preparation for a healthy start to a marriage. I now think there needs to be a new form of counseling introduced: Premothering Counseling. I am blown away at how little I know about being a mother! I have not been around a lot of babies so I knew there was a lot to learn about feeding, caring for, etc. But, I am now beginning to think that will be the easy stuff compared to everything else I have to learn!

I took part in a Bible study with my church last semester called Motherwise, thinking that it would be beneficial to me as I learned how to be a mother. I loved the study and being with other mothers but I always left the study with an even greater awareness of how little I know! Sure I can learn about his development and basic care techniques from a book or another mom but what about the other things? I can handle a scraped knee but I am not sure how to “kiss away” the sadness that comes a friend that is mean, his first failure, when he has to make a decision when experiencing peer pressure, when life just isn’t fair…all of the events in life that are inevitable but still hard.

I tripped over some steps a few days ago (still not remembering to adjust to a pregnant body). I was completely fine and my husband caught me before I hit more than a shin so there was no reason for alarm, just embarrassment. But afterwards I couldn’t quite shake it off and I realized it was because I was so upset that I could have caused my baby any harm. I even wondered if it had scared him when I fell, knowing full well that medical knowledge would say no. I caused me to think about how I will react to the times that I can’t prevent him getting hurt, physically or emotionally. I know that those times will happen and I also know that he has the chance to be a better person from how he learns from those things happening. But I am already learning that as a mama, logical thinking doesn’t mean as much when your child is hurting.

I have so much to learn! I only have about 3 months left before the big test arrives and there are no retakes. Still, the most important lesson I learned from Motherwise is how I can find the wisdom a mother needs. I have a perfect heavenly Father that not only knows me but he knows and loves my son and has promised to meet all of our needs.