family is my favorite word

Our weekend consisted of nothing special. We ran errands. We grocery shopped. We spring-cleaned. I swept and mopped. I made meals. Made the bed. Changed the baby. Fed the baby. Bathed the baby. Our weekend involved more mundane tasks than I care to share. But it was special. One of those “best weekends of my life” special. Not because we did anything special. But because we were something special. We were a family.

I know, I know. You’re thinking “you’re a family every day”. And you’d be correct. But with my husband’s impossible schedule, and the fact that he works a lot of weekends, or we’re traveling, or we have other obligations, we hardly EVER have a day for just the three of us. (I think the last one was when Lincoln was 2 months old.)

It was special because life is just better with my husband and Lincoln. Grocery shopping isn’t a chore. Running errands takes on a new meaning when your 7-month old is squealing in his carseat. Sitting outside on a blanket enjoying a warm spring evening is something I know we’ll experience in Heaven. Adding this third person to our marriage hasn’t been difficult. The transition was seamless. Not because everything has been perfect. There are hard days. Today, for example, Lincoln took a 10-minute morning nap. Does anyone want to guess his demeanor by this evening? 🙂 But even the hardest day with Lincoln is better than the best day without him. I cannot imagine what meaning my life had before him. I’m so incredibly lucky to be his mommy. And I love watching Matt love being Lincoln’s daddy. If more daddies were as in love with their children as Matt is with Lincoln, there would be more strong and self-assured boys, and fewer broken and starved-for-attention girls.

I love his little smile in this one:

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I love the sunlight in this one:

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I love, love, love his innocence:

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Don’t let the look fool you, he definitely did not like the strawberries in his mesh strainer!

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Being a good sport and trying it again:

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The next few are attempts at a self-portrait (I refuse to use the term “selfie”) of the three of us:

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Lincoln and Mommy bonding!

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My two sweet and handsome boys:

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Lincoln getting his first Easter egg. He couldn’t have cared any less, because he was sitting in grass. And he HATES grass.

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march 18

My husband did something recently that encouraged my heart and I felt led to share. He came up with the idea of a Family Verse, and he tacked it up on the refrigerator so that we will read it many times a day!

Maybe you would like to come up with a Family Verse with your spouse, something meaningful and personal to your home. For some of you, it may be “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”, maybe something from the Love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13. For us, we chose Romans 8:35-39.

Ask God to reveal a verse to you (and your spouse) for your family. And then hang it in a place where you won’t miss reading it everyday! It won’t be a coincidence which verse He lays on your heart(s)! If you would like to share your Family Verses with me, please feel free to comment below!

without words.

By the title, you may think this entry pertains to something for which I’m speechless – that I simply cannot find the right, proper or effective words to say in response to a particular person or situation. You are right. But mostly wrong.

In the context of any relationship, there are guaranteed to be times that you quite honestly have no words. I find that if I’m still talking, there’s hope! 🙂 If I have gone mute, well.. look out! Aren’t we all like that? I find that when a WOMAN can’t form the words in response to a particular issue or to her husband, then she’s either completely resigned, indifferent or deeply hurt.

But the Bible says something completely different. That there IS hope as long as the woman remains SILENT. I’m not talking about being completely passive (have we met?!) or being afraid to let your voice be heard. No. But this isn’t really about what I’M saying. It’s about what God’s word says: “wives, be submissive to your husband..so..they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives..” 1 Peter 1:3

For the past (almost) two years, my husband and I have disagreed on a particular decision. I don’t normally “air my dirty laundry in public”. Or is it “iron”? Whatever the case, I don’t normally carry my laundry out of the house. 🙂 But, it should come as no surprise that a husband and wife disagree about something. Or many things!

I think all marriages have what I like to call: “the untouchables”. There is usually so much history with these topics that opening dialogue could create another world war. (Let’s just hope it doesn’t last as long as the current “war” we’re in right now with Iraq and Afghanistan!) Anyway, young and inexperienced, Matt and I would engage in this one certain “war” (in the last two years, there’s only been one true, yet constant, issue) and it would almost always result in crossing enemy territory. Everything from anger to hurt feelings to raised voices (:::gasp:::) would be strewn over the battlefield. And let’s face it: it almost always escalated because of MY MOUTH. I never knew when to be quiet. I always knew the exact things to say to get the desired reaction that I was seeking.

In confiding with my twin sister (not about Matt’s opinion/thoughts/perspective, but about mine), she referenced the above Bible verse. I’d love to say I heard it, felt pure conviction, and never again engaged in battle with my husband over this “issue”. But that isn’t true. It took months and months for me to finally realize that my words were of no use. My mouth wasn’t getting me anywhere. Instead, it was having the exact opposite result! Finally, I decided to take it to the Lord. There were (still are) times that I don’t feel like praying to God about it. Times that I feel like God isn’t listening or that He doesn’t care. But I decided to never again mention this subject to Matt (AS HARD AS THAT IS!) and pray that God would make Matt and I equally yoked in the decision. That if my feelings are wrong that God would change my heart, but that if Matt is wrong, that God would make that clear. 

Something strange and unexpected happened when I decided to stop talking and start praying. Contentment entered in. No, I am still not happy with the decision. If anything, it still breaks my heart and I ask God daily to change it. But I know that by being quiet and not saying “a word”, I am doing what’s right in the Lord’s eyes. And that is never wrong! “Winning [him] over without a word” does not mean that you get your way. It means that you decide to obey Jesus and He will do the work. It’s not our job to change and control situations when issues arise. It IS our job, as Christian wives, to submit to our husband’s leadership (unless we’re talking about something sinful or abusive. In that case, please seek help immediately). EVEN when we disagree wholeheartedly.

Wives, we can with God’s help, lay to rest our desires and simply pray for HIS will to be done. Winning our husbands over without words should not be used in manipulation. It is not to be confused with the silent treatment either. It means to commit yourself to something greater. Something higher and deeper. Because a wife that wants GOD’s best (and not her own selfish desires!) honors her husband and the Lord. Commit to no longer engaging in discussions about your “untouchables”. Take your fears, anxieties, anger and disappointment straight to Jesus. Your husband will see you in prayer and reading God’s word and, hopefully, he’ll be inspired. He will also be encouraged that you are seeking GOD’s guidance on the issue. And maybe, just maybe, in the process, you’ll find contentment too.  

the nightly routine.

Most of you clicked on the above title expecting to read a list of things Matt and I do to prepare Lincoln for nighty-night time. However, this post isn’t about his nightly routine. It’s about mine and Matt’s.

Matt and I vowed last January (2013) to read the Bible in its entirety by the end of the year. One of us completed it at the dead last minute. And it wasn’t me. 🙂 Anyway, Matt mentioned something to me before Christmas that he would love a daddy devotional to start 2014. I searched the internet. I even posed it to my facebook friends, asking them to give me recommendations for a good daily devotional for fathers. Not one response. So I thought to myself, my friends’ husbands must not read a devotional. Insert judgment. Okay, not really. But seriously? Not even ONE recommendation? Pitiful.

I went to Amazon and found one that I thought looked good. None of this matters except to say that I totally wasted my time. And maybe it was a sign to me not to pursue this devotional situation when not one of my facebook “friends” responded. Anyway, on Christmas morning, I opened up a package that had his/hers leatherbound “Jesus Calling” devotionals by Sarah Young. Matt’s gift to me: that we would do a daily devotional together. Husband of the year, I tell ya.

So every night we do a daily devotional followed by planking. Yes, you read that right. Planking. The goal for me is just to make it longer than Matt. And I do. Every time. Because when I commit to something, I follow through. Even with something as lame and ridiculous as planking. It doesn’t hurt that it will (hopefully) strengthen my core. And get rid of the post-baby belly I’m sporting.

So, Jesus Calling then planking. And then prayer. Matt prays first, then I do. If he forgets something, I can come along behind him and pick up the slack! So there you have it friends. Our nightly routine. And if you’re lucky, you’re included too! In our prayers 🙂