Friday, December 29, 2006

Pleading for wisdom....

I pray each of your Christmases were so blessed. We really had a wonderful time with our families. We traveled a ton but loved seeing our family. That is what the holidays are about right?
I have been such a perplexed mother lately. I was lamenting to my mother this morning, wondering just how and where new parents get the confidence and wisdom as to how to react as our children grow. Yesterday was a particularly difficult day. We had a friend going to take Abby Kate's pictures in her 1 year dress and I awoke confident that I must find her a cute outfit to wear in a few pictures with Bobby and I. I threw her in the car after her 11 bottle (yes she is still taking a bottle...that is another issue entirely) and took off for the children's stores. We went into the 3rd one and AK began chewing on my wallet. I simply took it out of her hands and what transpired was nothing sort of a nightmare Supernanny episode. She threw her head back, starting screaming and kicking. I started at my demon child in horror and a bit of shock. Let me just stop here and say, I had absolutely no idea what to do. I started frantically scanning my knowledge base from my myriad of Child Development classes (my undergrad major) and could not for the life of me come up with the correct consequence. Swatting? firm voice alone? What? So I tried them all. She continued to scream, I made a hasty purchase that is now added to my growing pile of returns and exited the store, profusely apologizing. I put her in her carseat and she arched her back, screaming. At this point, I just felt clueless. I said again, NO Ma'am Abby Kate, we DO NOT act like that..." and she looked at my screaming. So I just let her scream the whole way home. I am just tired thinking about it. What little I do remember from my classes, this is the age she starts testing her boundaries. She hungers for consistency, someone to love her enough to say "NO, that is too far." But for this compulsive people pleaser, I am ashamed to admit that small but often loud voice in my head argued with me saying, "don't go too far...she may not love you, may not like you, may want everyone but you." Gosh this has been the voice of my sin nature for so long. I am praying about this...
So anyway, staying home is so hard. It is tiny issues of control like this ALL DAY LONG. I remind myself to pick my battles, but I also want to raise a responsible, considerate child that does not throw fits of any kind when things just don't go her way. All this to say, please pray for me right now. I am amazed at parents that have gone before me...props to you! I am being summoned so more later but just wanted to throw that out into cyberspace.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Love never fails...

Man, I have been learning a lot lately. For those of you that are stay at home Mommas, you know how desperate one can become for fellowship. About a month ago, I realized that I had taken a lot on my plate and was doing nothing with excellence. I was not parenting with my heart (as you saw from a previous post), not loving and serving my husband with passion, and definitely not growing. I realized that I desperately missed time with other women...sharing our hearts and learning. I joined a Bible Study that has been incredible. All young women, mostly mothers that stay at home with young children, and ALL authentic. I have been a part of so many Bible Studies where the women were too afraid to bare their hearts...too afraid to let down the facade of perfection. I do not know why in our modern culture that Christian women feel this need to be put together. All it ends up doing is causing the other women that want to be real to keep their mouths shut and begin questioning why their life seems so messy. I hate that. This group is so fun. We are reading a book called The Modern Girls Guide to Bible Study by Jen Hatmaker and I have loved it. She is witty, transparent and real...all things that appeal to my heart and mind. It is a great tool to learn how to study the Bible...something I am ashamed to say, I have never been too good at...I simply have taken what others fed me about Truth and then claimed it as my own. No more...
This past week, I read 1 Corinthians 13, the famous chapter on love. I have read it on my own at least hundreds of times but as always, something new jumped out. Marriage can be so hard. I realize more often that not, I am acting out all the "do nots" from 1 Corinthians 13 rather than all the "love is." But I just felt amazed at the verse, "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all never fails!" How different than the kind of love the world presents. No wonder our marriages are in trouble. This kind of love bears one anothers faults, harsh words and failures, believes one anothers hearts, in the others gifting, endures through the afflictions of living in a fallen world and NEVER fails. I cannot tell you how many times in my marriage that I felt, this is never going to get better. This sin is going to cling to us until we die and there will never be freedom. I can see easily how so many people say, 'this is too hard. I am ending this....' or say 'I deserve to be happy. I am not living the rest of my life miserable.' And then simply dissolve of their marriage. But I am so thankful that hope endures and God promises to complete us! And I am thankful, above all, that His love for me never fails.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I know it has been forever since my last post. I simply have not thought of anything worthy of posting. I will say, I am pumped about Thanksgiving. I loved this picture though Lord knows here in the south, we won't be dining outdoors. Oh how fun if we could though. I love the idea of living in the Italian countryside eating all the homemade pasta, fresh bread, and olive oil my little heart desired. Food always tastes better outdoors. Okay, enough of that tangent. I will share that I am excited about cooking. I have grown to love it when I have the time and don't have a baby pulling at my pant leg the whole time. I fried chicken last night and we had a heart stopping, unhealthy meal and quite frankly, loved every minute of it. But I have found a few new recipes to try and thought I would share...
this one has been in every home magazine there is (I have read Real Simple, Southern Living, Cottage Living...not to mention People and US Weekly and it was in all of them...I promise I do more than read magazines. It is a weakness though)
Double Decker Pumpkin Pie
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon milk or half and half
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups whipped cream topping
1 graham cracker crust
1 cup cold milk or half and half
2 small vanilla flavored instant pudding packages
1 can pumpkin pie filling (16 oz)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Soft Pumpkin Cookies
1 (16 ounces) can pumpkin, 2 cups
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup (8 ounces) butter, softened
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon maple extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
1 cup pecan halves

Southern Living Chocolate Meringue Pie
(My Husband's all-time favorite)
1 cup sugar
3 T. cornstarch
Dash of salt
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
1 square (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate
1 T. butter
1 t. vanilla extract
1 baked 9-inch pastry shell
-Combine first 3 ingredients in a heavy saucepan; mix well.
-Combine milk and egg yolks; beat with a wire whisk 1 or 2 minus or until mixture is frothy. Gradually stir into sugar mixture, mixing well.
-Cook over medium heat; stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; add chocolate, butter and vanilla, stirring until chocolate and butter melt. Spoon into pastry shell; set aside.Prepare meringue; spread meringue over hot filling, sealing to edge of pastry. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes or until golden.
4 egg whites
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cream of tarter
1/2 cup sugar
Beat egg whites and cream of tarter in a grease-free bowl at medium speed with an electric mixture until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 T. at a time, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 minutes). Add vanilla, beating until blended. * sure egg whites are at room temp (out about 30 minutes...this makes great meringue!)
And finally, something besides dessert. (As you can see, my passion is baking. I kind of hit and miss with cooking).
Corn Casserole
(My sweet friend Susan Johnston's recipe)Ummmm
1 box Jiffy cornbread
1 can cream corn
1 can whole kernel corn- drained
1 container French onion dip (small one)
½ cup water
2 eggs slightly beaten
½ t. sage
½ t. salt
¾ stick of butter
Mix all ingredients and pour into glass baking dish. Bake for 50 minutes at 350…last 5 minutes, top with shredded cheese. This has become a FAV at Thanksgiving at our house! We also often eat it during the week. YUMMY!
I truly pray each of you has SUCH a blessed Thanksgiving.  Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 03, 2006

You can now comment...

Thanks Nancy for letting me know you couldn't post! I changed the settings so now anyone can post, even if you are a registered blogger. So post away!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Luminous Mysteries of Motherhood...

This post, I am afraid, will be rather long due to the ponderings of this young mother's heart. The content of this post was birthed throughout this past week. As you read in my previous post, I was sick last week. Sicker than I have ever been I think. My mother rode in on her white horse to save me and my family. She dropped everything, as she has always done, to come to my aid. Not only did she seamlessly take over the running of my household, but also parented Abby Kate, was there to hold my hair back every time I threw up, provided fresh 7-up every time I awoke and had a nutritious, delicious meal ready for my family each night. Once I was back among the living and able to visit the living room in small increments, I watched my child, who normally gets whiny at certain times of the day, play and laugh like a child straight out of the movies. Then the dreaded happened and I went for her and she winched away, only wanting her Sweetie. I have to admit, I have always known my mother was born to be a mother, but in that moment, I had my questions as to my own ability.I know I am blessed to have the mother I do. I know many of you could not say the things I am about to say and for that, I am SO thankful. I just wonder, does it just takes years and years of practice or are there people simply better at parenting than others? I still have such pockets of selfishness that clamor for me to ignore my child and watch E! News or read my newly arrived US Weekly or to go search the internet for cute clothes while my child plays in her exersaucer (I mean its Baby Einstein right? So it has to be educational...much better than anything I could give her, right? Right?). Gosh I can't believe I am admitting this to my friends and family, on the internet no less...oh well, cheers to authenticity! I still feel a right to my alone time. I mean, who cares that the laundry has been sitting in the washer wet for 2 days and there are 4 weeks of ironing and dinner needs to get started. If I don't check my email or read a little, I might go crazy right? Then I watch my mother, who is 25 years older than me come in with the energy of a 15 year old, do it ALL joyfully and well. Not only that but also won the affection of my own daughter, who I am with 24/7 in the middle of the stage where she is supposed to be experiencing separation anxiety! WHY? That question that haunts the heart of every woman, "Am I a lousy mother?" Why the heck did God entrust a child to me? This year alone, I have watched some of my dearest friends struggle through infertility, one lose his child at 9 months, and one that has dedicated her life to children not be able to conceive. I have to admit I question, bargain and sometimes rail at God when things seem unfair. I know we live in a fallen world...I know bad things happen. I, personally, do not feel God judges or punishes, I do believe He lets us live with the consequences of our choices and I often remind myself that is why there are so many unwanted pregnancies, that is why there are drug babies, ect...but it is hard to understand. It is hard to know here I am, struggling so with the inadequacies I feel as a mother, when so many I know would kill for the chance to just try. My child-magnet friend that is struggling with infertility right now and I talked yesterday, and the hardest thing to understand for me is when it seems you have done everything right (as I believe her life is testimony of what is right) and there still is no reward. I know God is not like that, up there keeping a Naughty and Nice list waiting to dole out presents of fulfilled desires but it is hard not to think that way. I mean why when she is a clear choice for a great mother, can't she get pregnant? Though my empathy is crazy strong, I will not pretend to know what those that walk the road of infertility feel, but I am thankful I have had several great friends allow me to walk beside them as they were transparent and real with me. I have learned much through them. All in all, here is to uncertainty. Whether our children are living and breathing sleeping in the next room or whether those children are living and waiting in the hearts of their parents, I am thankful that we don't have it all figured out. I am thankful I serve a God who knows...and as my husband so gently often reminds me, 'if we knew what He knew, we would be doing the exact same thing.' I am thankful that I am inadequate but that my God does not call the equipped but equips the called. I never want to be sure of my own abilities. I know they are nothing in light of what God can do through me if I will just step aside. And I am also deeply thankful that He has given me friends to walk beside on this journey who are REAL and who allow me to share this burden of fear and uncertainty while they share I need to quit being selfish and go check on my child who is at this moment trying to avoid sleep by, what it sounds like, pulling her blinds off the window.
Oh and by the way, I would LOVE for you to post your thoughts to my post. I love knowing who is reading and what YOU all think and feel too! Okay, now I am going...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fall into Reading

Sorry for the delayed post. It was a crummy time to start a blog. I woke up Wednesday morning feeling a little nauseous and 2 hours later, began throwing up (and the other) every 5 minutes for 2 days. My temerature hovered between 100 and 102 degrees ON TYLENOL and I really thought I must be dying. My sweet brother came over after a 15 hour shift (he is a 4th year med student) with IV fluids and hope. However, due to my dehydrated veins, it took he and my RN mother 4 (yes 4 and I am tough) times to get that IV needle into my vein. My body drank the fluids at a dizzying rate and the liter was gone in an hour. I felt considerably better but have not been 100% until today....
Now on to more pleasent things, Katrina at Callapidder Days came up with such a fun idea to do a reading challenge. I am beginning late so my list is not as ambitous as others. Now those of you that know me well, know I am a BOOK WORM to the core and this challenge excited me to no here is my list.
1. Sin Eater, Francine Rivers (re-read)
2. Calm My Anxious Heart, Linda Dillow
3. An Excellent Wife, Martha Peace
4. Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning
5. Little Earthquakes, Jennifer Weiner )
6. Plain Truth, Jodi Picoult
7. We Are All Welcome Here, Elizabeth Berg (numbers 5-7 recommended by my dear friend Heather)

To Read with Abby Kate
1. My Aunt Came Back, by Pat Cummings
2. Big Dog and Little Dog Wearing Sweaters, by Dav Pilkey
3. Spot Goes to the Farm, by Eric Hill
4. Hide-and-Seek Elmer, by David McKee
5. Shoes Shoes Shoes, by Ann Morris

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Well, thinking about my very first post of substance, I could not figure out a jumping off point. So I guess we will start here....I simply love the fall. The cooler weather (I hate the cold but it is always fun at first), SOUP, football (as background noise for a long Sunday afternoon nap...who am I kidding. I have not napped in over a year), the brilliant leaves changing (man is God an incredible artist or what?), opening your windows, fall smelling candles (like pumpkin spice...yum!)....I really do love it. About 5 years ago, I was at a K-Life women's retreat in October and we were having alone time. I was sitting out on a picnic table looking at the lake made clear by the thinning trees. I felt God gave me a clear picture of why He created seasons. This is what I journaled....
As I sit here, watching God’s creation ready for winter, He has shown me that in all things abides a purpose. I have been watching dead leaves fall from the trees thinking they look just like me. The dry, brittle leaves are falling to the ground, just like the empty, scarred layers are being shed in my own life. It is a process…part of this journey. So cleansing, so right. But then, as I look closer at the trees, down the hill and near the lake, they stand bare, awaiting winter and I feel death. Why must the leaves at their most beautiful shining moments be shed? The Spirit then revealed the process does not end there, it begins there. It all must start with the death of an old, meaningless life.
I feel sorry for the trees…For I know just where they stand...and what comes next. They stand there exposed, laying bare for all to see, during the one season of extremes.They must endure the cold, biting wind, abrasive to their newly barren exterior. I know of standing there, playing dead in hibernation. Just waiting for life to begin again.Feeling no meaning, only death.
And then, slowly, you feel the season begin to change. It is so slight you wonder if it was imagined. You do not drastically see change, but before you realize it…life has begun again. You have a new exterior, green and full of life. And finally, as the season change again, you see God work His magic...You see His creativity and perfection burst forth!…For to your life, color has appeared! And you realize, none of where you stand, vibrant and beautiful, would have manifested had God not killed you first.
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Monday, October 23, 2006


Okay...a few background things before we begin....
My Blog is named after a line in a the Caedmon's Call song Manners and Means....this is an incredible song about the constant need for revival and redemption in our relationships and families and for fresh vision in our work and calling. Something in us knows that we have been made to do all things with great courage, purpose and heart. This song laments the ways we fall short and reflects the longing to keep the fire burning and to do all things well. Here are the lyrics...

The heart is a lonely thing to lose in the dead of night
The heart is a sad thing to lose in the throws of a fight
The heart is the match to the fire
And the embers of desire, to keep it burning
I am a shell of the manner and the means
Mine is a story of nothing as it seems
But when we have come this far
And still don't know who we are, does it keep burning?
When it's over, and you see it with your eyes
Would you rather have the truth or a lie?
I call for angels to breathe holy on this rust
I call the snakes to come and slowly from the brush
I need a massive overhaul
A revival to fall, to keep it burning
The heart is a costly thing to sell in the prime of the years
And my heart is thinly veiled in the usual fears
The heart is the dream, and the kiss
That there could be more than this, to keep it burning.

My prayer is that this blog can be a place to be a time of constant movement and activity, it is rare to be able to share the daily struggles, lessons and growth we are experiencing in our lives with those we love. I hope to do just that. Though my first calling is to my family and I will not forsake my responsibilties to them to post but I will try to post often. Most of you know how much I love words so this will be an outlet for me as well. Thanks for joining me on this journey...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

2 blogs you ask?

Not wanting to hijack my daughter's blog, I thought I would create one of my own. Stay tuned for more postings...