Learning to Wait Well

So, it looks like this little guy will not be following in the footsteps of his big sister – Kaylia surprised us by arriving at 36 weeks, so my doctor told us to be ready this time around! Fortunately, the 36th week has come and gone, and Baby is still right where he should be, so this is good.

Really, it’s GOOD!!

I’m trying to convince myself….In my head and heart, I know it is the best for Baby to be full-term before he makes his debut, but in my back, hips, and pelvis, I was quite sure I could handle another preemie!!

Now this whole waiting thing has become a big mental challenge, because we took the doctor seriously when she said, “Get ready!” We have our car seat by the door, we’ve got everybody’s bags packed, we’ve got the hospital snacks ready to go, WE ARE READY!!

But when the doctor checked me last week, and said there was no sign of anything happening anytime soon, I got a bit crabby for a few days. Wait, I’ve been a bit crabby for awhile already – I got crabbier than usual for a few days.

What hit me one night, though, as I sat alone in the dark, after being unable to fall asleep after the fifth trip to the bathroom, is that God knows. He knows the pain I’m in, He knows how hard it is to wait, and yet I’m pretty sure He still wants me to walk through this with joy!

And then I felt ashamed, because there are so many people who are waiting on much, much harder things in life. Silly me, I know that I won’t be pregnant forever, and I know that I’m waiting for something awesome and joyful and miraculous. But it’s so easy to sink into my own discomfort, and focus on the pain I’m experiencing right now, and forget all that other stuff.

I came across a great blog post on learning to wait:

“Over the years, I have learned that waiting on the Lord is one of the most potentially sanctifying (and necessary) aspects of the Christian life….I pray that God will sanctify my impatience.”

So for now, I’m being sanctified! And I’m trying to smile sweetly at ALL the people who ask, “How are you feeling?”

My answer is, “I feel ready to have a baby!!”

In the meantime, we’re already enjoying some really cute laundry….:)

shirt

 

It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Coming

It’s been years since I first heard Tony Campolo preach his “It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Coming” message, but it will always be my favourite thing to listen to on Good Friday.

If you have time to listen to this today, it is so worth it!

(This is not a video – just audio with pictures.)

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

When I Say “I Don’t”

I found an amazing article this week which got stuck in my mind, and I hope it stays there for awhile: The Amazing Power of ‘I Don’t’ vs. ‘I Can’t’.

Life-changing.

Isn’t it crazy when a couple of words can make all the difference?

I mentioned on Wednesday that it’s been over five years since I changed my diet for health reasons, and during that time, I have always said things like, “I can’t eat sugar,” or “I can’t eat chips”.

EVERYTHING changes when I say “I don’t eat sugar.”

Suddenly, it sounds like this strong choice I’m making for my own health, rather than some terrible burden I must bear because someone out there is not allowing me the pleasure of eating whatever I want.

Try it.

As in right now.

Pick one thing you “can’t” do, and say it out loud. Now change it to “I don’t”.

Amazing. I’ve already been making some awesome, healthy choices simply because I feel like I have the power to do so. I choose to do this for myself. Nobody’s forcing me. I’m not being held back. I can, but I choose not to.

Lightening My Load

I did something hard this weekend: I packed away all of my old cookbooks.

cookbooks

That doesn’t sound as though it should be very difficult, but as with most things, there was so much emotional baggage along for the ride, it was about far more than cookbooks.

Here’s the thing: It’s been over five years since I drastically changed my diet for health reasons, and it’s been a little over a year since the rest of my family joined me. Ben and the girls don’t have as restricted a diet as I do, but we haven’t had gluten, sugar or dairy in our house for a year.

I’ve bought some really great new cookbooks which contain many of my new favorite recipes, but for some reason, I just kept hanging on to those old cookbooks.

I kept thinking I might need them. (Hello, Pinterest. Really, no one would ever need to buy another recipe book.)

I kept thinking that someday, we might eat that food again. (I don’t know why – I feel so much better eating this way, I never want to go back to what we ate before.)

It seemed so scary and final to get them out of my life.

But we have some big changes happening in our house which are forcing me to do some major purging. After living here for a year, we’ve decided to let the girls have their own rooms. We wanted them to share a bedroom for a while, just to have the experience of it, and to learn how to live in a shared space.

With Anika turning 10 this year, and with an increasing need for her own space, we feel it’s a good time to make some changes.

Which means we lose our office. Suddenly, we have a lot of stuff from our office that needs to find a new home, so every drawer and shelf in the rest of the house needs to become extremely useful, organized and efficient.

A whole shelf of cookbooks which I haven’t touched in years does not seem to fit any of those descriptions.

So I packed them up. And I felt a little scared.

And then I felt really, really free.

I kept opening the doors to look at my newly organized space. I love making supper now, and going to my cupboard for a recipe book. I feel extremely organized and efficient as I grab the exact book I need without having to sort through clutter and mess to find it.

It makes me feel happy and comfortable to see only the books I actually use in my cupboard. I’m not being constantly reminded of all the food I can’t have – I’m reminded of how this is my new way of life, and I’m completely happy and settled in it.

cookbooks

“Settled” is pretty wonderful. Why didn’t I do this a few years sooner?

And what else can I get rid of that no longer defines my life or meets my current needs? How can I lighten the load?

I read a blog post on Monday morning which hit the spot: What’s Keeping You From Going Further?

“We often add all these “extras” to our packs, just in case. They could be extra clutter, unhealthy relationships, bad habits or self-sabotaging thoughts. Or maybe these extras give you a false sense of security.

The truth is that while they seem light independently, the weight of all those extras in your pack is unsustainable if you want to lead a beyond-average life.

Those just-in-case items are keeping you from a life of efficiency and focus. They’re keeping you from pursuing your dreams.”

Well now. Keeping my old cookbooks, or pursuing my dreams? That seems like an easy choice!:)

The feeling of decluttering is addicting! I am just getting started, and I can’t wait to keep attacking those closets and cupboards!

Have you ever hung on to belongings because they give you a false sense of security? Ever been reluctant to redefine your life and your stuff?

34 Days of Favorites: Body Brushing

Okay, here’s another slightly weird favorite for you: body brushing.

Body brushing does not make sense to me because it hurts like mad, and then I can’t wait to try it again.

It’s a very simple little favorite to add to your life.

Basically, you run on down to the Body Shop, ask the girl working there to point you in the direction of the body brushes, buy one, take it home, and brush your body all over with very, very scratchy bristles until your skin feels as though it’s on fire, and then you jump in the shower and watch yourself turn bright red.

After that, you think a lot about how you feel all fantastically refreshed, scratched out, and invigorated, and decide to do it again, even though brushing your stomach could almost be a form of torture.

Now, why would you want to do all of this?

Well, there are a number of reasons why it’s really healthy for you:

Brushing exfoliates and tones the skin, slows down the process of aging, increases circulation, and alleviates muscle tension.  Brushing also increases blood flow and improves circulation. The action will tighten the skin, making it less prone to wrinkles. It’s a simple, reliable practice that keeps skin healthy and vital, and leaves you feeling healthy and strong. This proven practice is also known to prevent and reduce the formation of cellulite in the thighs and bottom area, where peroxidized lipids (fats), proteins, and waste products tend to accumulate.(source)

(The whole article is interesting, and you can read it here.)

I do it because I kept reading about body brushing everywhere, and it seemed like a simple, cheap option for improving my health. Because it improves circulation and gets rid of toxins, it addresses a number of health issues I’ve dealt with in the past.

A brush costs around twelve bucks, it’s easy to do, and it feels fantastic and awful at the same time! I haven’t been doing it for very long, though, so apparently my skin will toughen up and not feel so irritated with time.

So, who’s all rushing out to buy a body brush?! You should try it! Or maybe you already have? Tell us all about it!

(Click here to read more about “34 Days of Favorites”.)

Here’s the list of favorites, in case you missed any!

New Camera

New Friends

Serious Music

Happy Music

Apple Cider Vinegar

Movies

Smiling

TV Show

Books

Clothing

Slow Down For Spring

Happy First Day of Spring!

I’m kinda glad it’s “official”, aren’t you?! Anika sincerely believes that the weather (and life in general, really) will be dramatically different, now that the calendar says it’s spring.

We’re celebrating.

We went for the first stroller ride of the season.

We played on the play structure, and Kaylia ran through a snow drift in her flip flops.

And we ended up at the lake.

We decided to truly celebrate spring by practicing the fine art of jumping pictures.

And I’ve been thinking about soaking it all in. Oh, that smell in the air. It smells like spring, and evergreen trees. The sun is so warm, and Kaylia’s toes are so bare. These days, it’s good just to be alive.

I am so, so thankful that my “job” involves teaching my girlies to love spring. We play in the sun, and I try to teach them to notice. To slow down, and notice the little things, like the smell and the way something feels, and all the little things that are so easy to take for granted.

I loved this post about learning to slow down to notice, and to fully live:

“The frogs have returned, the frogs and their song.

 Why does the trilling in the throat of a frog do this wondrous thing inside of me?….

That sound. 

A symphony of sound, trilling low and deep, fills the spaces between the trees, lifts us too.

It is like the water, a looking glass of trunks and limbs, like the water itself croons.

With the everyday eyes, I can’t see the singers at all. It takes time for eyes to adjust to stillness, and only the slow really see….”

I want to have eyes that adjust to stillness. I want to truly see spring with all of its wonder and beauty.

It’s time to go slow, and leave behind “everyday eyes”!

While We’re Still on the Topic of Worry…

I just read a blog post that I loved so much, I needed to pass it on immediately to all of you. It pretty much sums up why I’ve spent the majority of my life worrying about stuff:

“I’d rather think the worst thing is going to happen and then be pleasantly surprised when it didn’t.” (Jon Acuff)

Ha! We think alike, Jon Acuff and I.

And he found the best way to overcome those thoughts. Head over here to find out what it is…

The Culture of ‘Hot’

Yesterday, I asked Ben if he had read anything really great recently that I should pass on to all of you. Being the wonderful, helpful husband that he is, he immediately set up this little link :

Walt Mueller’s blog

Something to read and something to watch! Be sure to check out the video at the end – it’s extremely interesting and very disturbing. Actually, I felt slightly ill after watching it. It’s about how our culture is twisting the views of beauty and the need to be “hot”. Having an eight-year-old little girl who is speeding her way to the teenage years, I’m left feeling sober. And with much more to say about all of this.

But we’ll leave it with the video for today…

How do you feel about the way our culture has spread this message?

One More Post About Witnessing…

So a little while ago, I wrote this post about witnessing. And then last week, I was reading one of my usual favorite blogs, Stuff Christians Like, and what should I find, but this post on….witnessing!

It reminded me so much of what I had been thinking about and trying to communicate, that I figured I would share the link with you all, in case you wanted to do some more reading on the topic.

It’s a good one! Really. I don’t share links on my blog unless I really, really like the stuff.