Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Meeting Goals

Tuesday nights in the Koehler household include me going off to my Weight Watchers meeting at 5:30. Usually the kids stay with my kisa, but alas, he had duty tonight. The meetings in which I have the kids with me are always interesting. I think I'm the only one concerned by them, but I'm a bit....anal, I suppose, in trying to insure they aren't disturbing anyone. I fill by bag with a few books and some cars (unless I forget the latter like tonight when that's all my little prince wanted) and pray they allow me to get something out of my meeting.

I've been a member of WW several times in the past few years, but never before have I learned so much and felt like a contributing member of the group. There is an amazing group of women - and now one man, who attends with his wife (a lovely man he is too - this couple spends their Christmas season portraying Father and Mrs. Christmas around the island, which is disturbing to my husband who is worried about Santa being on WW as he is supposed to be fluffy). Anyway....I think it's really taking a toll on me.

Tonight I went to weigh in and during Christmas week I lost 2.8 lbs, bringing my total weight lost since Oct. 6 to just over 15 lbs. I also lost my first 10%, so I was extremely excited. I think I was glowing. However, the kids did well, so they asked for fries for dinner. Off to the drive thru we went and I ate less than usual, but still more than I should have.

I'm trying to determine my ultimate goal. I've been trying to figure it out, but I'm wavering between 125 and 135. I think for now I'm going to leave my ultimate goal up in the air and just go for 135, which is what I weighed when I got pregnant with the princess - after losing 15 lbs with WW.

I feel so accomplished and cannot wait to get started on those next 7 lbs to get to 135. I'm so glad that GOD changed my thought process on why I need to get healthy. I'm no longer just focusing on the numbers, but on actually being healthy and taking care of the body He has blessed me with. I could not do this without him, or the help and support of my amazing husband. He is as excited for me as I am.

Oh, and I have to admit: it certainly does feel good to need new jeans, buy them, then after only a few hours of wearing the new, lower size realizing you should have gone one more size down.

Monday, November 2, 2009

This is the Day

Today has not been my finest day. It has just been a really bad day.

The princess (who has been potty training/trained for about 3 or 4 weeks now (I can't remember anymore - I know I'm awful for not keeping up with these things) has been refusing to pee pee for the past few days. I'm talking to the point that she just starts leaking. She always gets so embarrassed and cries when she does it, which makes me feel awful. I hate seeing her sad. I know she needs to go, b/c she walks around holding herself all the day long. She says it hurts, so I sit her on the potty and massage her belly/bladder area and she cries and wants me to stop, causing me to cry, but then she goes potty. Whew. Tonight, while eating dinner, she peed and didn't even realize it, I actually had to say something to her and she looked totally surprised. If this continues for another day or so I may be making a call to the Dr. As an infant she had kidney reflux, but it hasn't given her any problems since, but this CAN'T be good for her to hold it so long. Lovely.

This morning the kids wake up at 6 a.m. Yup. Both of them. This isn't TOO terribly early for the prince, but princess usually sleeps until at least 8, usually I have to wake her up at 8:30. I want to interject that I LOATHE time changes, whoever thought of them did NOT have kids. Anyway, when when we get up this morning, we go downstairs and snuggle for a bit, then I end up being kicked and hit and elbowed and having toys shoved in my face. *sigh*

Ok, snuggle time is over....obviously. Then they start arguing over toys and books and fight me while I try to change a diapers and put panties on a certain little girl - I'm not naming names though.

It doesn't help that when my kisa (knight in shining armor) gets up with the kids he always tells me how good the kids are and how much fun they end up having, even though he's tired and didn't really want to get up with them. WHY can't they do this for me? Every morning is a struggle, it seems.

Don't get me wrong. Everyone tells me how wonderful and well behaved my kids are - even people who don't know me. I know they are great kids, but we've been having some testing of limits at home lately. I'd much rather them test at home, than in public or with sitters.

Back to my day. I decided to make a nice breakfast. I have no idea what possessed me to do this, but I just wanted something warm and not oatmeal. I find a recipe for which we have ALL the ingredients. Yippee!'s only 3 points (yup, doing WW and it's going great so far). Bonus.

I start making breakfast and princess wants on the counter to help. Ok, fine. Then she wants down and up and down and blah, blah, blah. Finally, she has an accident, so I get her settled and run upstairs to find her some more undies and pants and clean up. All the while kisa is sleeping. I'm glad he is though. He deserves it. He is far too good to me and he deserves to sleep in.

He comes down a bit later and attempts to herd the cats - erm, kids - so that I can finish breakfast. Finally, it's finished. It took an hour and a half when it should have only taken 45 minutes. But it's finished and it's an ok breakfast. Princess refuses to eat anything but her apple, but she's not a breakfast person. The prince loves it.

This was just the beginning of my day. It continued on like this all day. We attempted to go for a walk, but kisa and I started arguing as soon as we got out of the driveway, so we didn't walk far or long and I was steaming.

This is NOT something we are used to....arguing, that is. We really never had many of them until we had kids and we had been married over 5 years at that point. It's getting worse, it seems, these days. We discussed it later and realized that we feel all our energy is put towards being "mom and dad" and we just feel like we don't have any left over to be "husband and wife". Not only that...we also haven't done a nightly devotional in a long time and our nightly prayer time as a result has greatly suffered. Any recommendations on couples nightly studies?

After putting the kids down for nap I ran out to the grocery store. I came home with a few things, including a couple gallons of milk. Pulling into the garage, I run into the tool bench, denting it. I think the car is ok, but I'm too upset to look at it now. As I bring the groceries in I realize I'm getting wet and have NO idea why. Then I look down to see a milk trail from the car to the door and milk all over my jeans and shirt. I get inside and and say out loud with a voice filled with tears, "I HATE this day!"

And then GOD spoke. I heard Him LOUD and CLEAR. "This is the day the LORD has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24)

I don't want to hear this right now. I can't find anything to rejoice about today. So I pushed it aside and ignored that thought. Meanwhile, things kept getting worse. The verse came back. Again. And again. And again.

Finally, the kids are asleep and I've been stewing about my day. Kisa and I have apologized, but he's at work and we both are still....not ourselves yet. I hate this. I love him so much and just want to hug him, have him hold me and tell me he loves me that that it will be a better day tomorrow.

So I sit here, at 10:25 p.m. writing this when I wanted to be in bed at 9:30. God had different plans. He nudges me again, "This is the day the LORD has made. REJOICE! Be glad!"

So, why am I glad?

  • I have a Father who loves me and speaks to me and brings me to my knees when I need tonight.
  • I have a husband and two amazing children who love me despite my MANY flaws.
  • My kids tried their hardest to make me feel better tonight by snuggling on the couch with me for over an hour while watching tv (yeah, shouldn't have watched so much today, but hey, I wasn't up for much today).
  • And so, SO much more.

If you made it this far, thanks. Sorry I rambled. I needed to get this off my chest and really have no one to talk to right now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Songbook Sunday

Songbook Sunday is back! I'm not sure I'll do this every Sunday, but hopefully once a month.

This week we sang an oldie, but goodie...It is Well With My Soul. And you know what? It really IS well with my soul! I realized while singing the last verse, that I think for the first time in my life I really do believe with all my heart that it is well. Do I have things to work on? Absolutely! The beauty of it is, that God's grace covers me. Read the words to the last verse with me:

And LORD haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, the LORD shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Horatio G. Spafford, 1873

Is it well with your soul? I pray so. I realized today, that even though it has been a rough week and with all the things going on in the world around us, that you could not wipe the smile off my face while singing praise to GOD this morning. Shouldn't it be like that every day? Not just Sunday's, not just the "good" days? I'm going to strive for that this week. How about you?

Moving on a little bit:

We decided about a month ago that we were going to start taking the kids into church with us for worship, then taking them down to the nursery when the kids are dismissed for children's church. This way they get used to being in service and they love to sing, so they really enjoy it. The first week or two was a bit of a challenge b/c my little prince likes to clap and shout "yay" after every song.

I decided to talk with one of my sisters about how I should get them ready. She suggested starting a quiet time where if they wanted to talk, they could whisper only. We did this every day, starting with 2 minutes (b/c they are 2 years old) and we are now up to 5 minutes. The next week was SO much better. I've now gone two weeks in a row by myself since the husband's been working or gone and they have done great. I'm usually holding the prince since he loves when I sing with/to him while the princess sits on the pew with Peach (our friends daughter) reading a book. She sometimes wants to be held, but not very often. When daddy's there though she will be held by one of us.

I love that I go to church with my best friends - especially since I can't go with family. I love that our kids are "interchangable". The kids move around and sit with ALL of us. I love it. I got choked up on the way to church this morning just thinking about it and how in just eight short months we are going to be moving away. I dread going to church on our last morning. I'm going to be a bumbling mess and they bring families up on the last day to get our "ooo, ahh" gift (I'll explain some time) and have prayers said over us. Yeah, I may just have to skip that.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I have a lot of things going on with me right now. I haven't made a post since July. Why? Eh, I'm not sure. I have intended to sit down and do it, but then something would always happen. Usually I was just exhausted. Sometimes just not feeling very well - been happening a lot lately. An unexpected trip out of town. And just LOTS of soul searching.

Let me start off with the unexpected trip. I received a phone call from my dad at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, July 5 informing me that my grandmother had passed away in the middle of the night. I'm SO thankful that we made the trip out this past Spring to visit and that she was able to see the kids for the first, and only, time. I loved that they brought a smile to her face. This wasn't an unexpected phone call, but a sad one nonetheless.

Funny though, I haven't cried once about it. I think my initial reaction was to cry, but I went into flight/trip planning mode and pushed the reason out of my mind so that I could find a flight. My husband was SO understanding. He was out of town for work and I got myself and my two toddlers packed and flights arranged from AK to FL in a few hours and was home less than 24 hours after the phone call. I'm so glad that I could be there for my dad and it was great to have that time with family.

Take time to learn from your elders, ask questions. You never know when they won't be able to answer you any longer. I think the reason I haven't cried since is because my perspective changed. While I miss her on this earth, I know that she is happy, healthy and square dancing with Papa in Heaven. I know I will see her again one day.

As for not feeling very well - I've been sick pretty much all summer. Nothing major and nothing that anyone else saw really, except for my husband, but not doing well. On our 7th anniversary (Aug 10) we had to come home early from out date b/c I was sick. I got scared enough to call the Dr and luckily she had a last minute cancellation right before I called. Ok, so LUCK had NOTHING to do with it. It was a complete GOD thing. I went in and she referred me to the general surgeon on the island.

He wanted to see me that day, but it was too nice of a day and we already had plans to go to the beach with the family. So I went the next day and have a test scheduled for this coming up Wednesday. Please pray for me. They have an idea of what may be going on, but I'm praying they are wrong. I don't want to go into details right now, but please be praying for me. The test isn't anything too major and I'm not really worried about the testing, but more about the results. I do know that even if it is what they suspect, it can be dealt with, it just won't be fun.

I'll get to the soul searching in another post. It's a long one in and of itself. Just pray for discernment as I seek God's will for my life.

Meanwhile, we have been picking berries and enjoying any sunny days we get here as this will be our last Alaskan least for a few years.

I do plan on being back more often now and will make my next post very soon.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Week Two Weigh In

Well, this week was a little off. I had a couple of meals that weren't on plan - thanks to my soul sister Melissa who had us over for dinner (it was great btw and the fellowship was worth it) and a couple bowls of Honey Nut Cheerios - but I watched portion sizes and I did skip a few meals due to timing of my day.

SO - I lost.....a big FAT "0". Yup...I got the dreaded goose egg. You know what though...I'm completely ok with that. Any of the previous times I've tried to lose weight I would have been devastated and eaten away my sorrows. This time, I'm still ecstatic that I have lost 5 lbs in two weeks!

I did realize that this book is probably written for people who have more weight to lose than I do, since the daily calories are around 1500, so I'm going to kind of start scaling it back by decreasing my portions so that I'm eating about 1300 calories a day.

I also need to start walking more. I've been seriously slacking in that department this week. I have been working out with the Sports Active, but I would like to walk as well.

So we'll see how much this changes things this week. Hopefully I'll go down another lb or two.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Week One Weigh In

Ok, so the first week started off with a major withdrawal headache that lasted about 3 days and didn't go away for anything (yes, mom, I took medicine). HOWEVER, I still prevailed and stayed on plan and worked out at least once a day (except for that one day that we won't talk about). I started off with a 20 minute walk and am adding 2 minutes daily. And the's delicious. Worth the diet just to eat the good food, just wish I could find everything on this tiny island we're stuck on (but love).

I didn't do measurements like I should have (maybe I'll take them tonight after putting the kids to bed and start that this week), but the scale was VERY good to me. [cue dramatic theme music] I'm down 5 lbs!!!

I know, I can't believe it either. So I won't be surprised if I don't lose much this week. I've got to tell myself that so I won't set myself up for disappointment.

I think a major contributor to my success this week was that the man followed the plan with me. The only day he couldn't was yesterday when he unexpectedly went to Adak for a SAR case. As a side note, did you KNOW that if he flew the other way, he would have flown just south of Prince Rupert, BC. Yup, puts it into perspective, huh? He ate junk, but didn't overdo it. He is down 4 lbs!

I'm very excited b/c I've never beat him in lbs lost, especially the first week! YAY ME!!!

Please pray for me though. I'm at the end of day 8 and I'm having a hard time staying on track. I want all the oh-so-good-but-oh-so-bad food [insert brief daydream about eating pizza and ice cream here]. Ok, daydream over. I really want and need to do this. On top of the cravings, I'm not drinking enough water, I know this, but I can't seem to do it. I'm just not drinking anything either. Any tips?

And my headache is back. I think my body is rebelling once again. Like I said, please pray that I muscle through this.

I highly recommend EA Sports Active if you have the's fabulous! If you are new to working out or don't work out much, start with low intensity, trust me! I'm doing medium b/c I started working out about a month ago then got sick and went on vacation and man, these are the hardest workouts I've done in forever!

Anyway...first week, a success.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Songbook Sunday and FATHER'S Day!

Ok, so Songbook Sunday is an idea that I've been mulling over in my head for about a month and a half. Every Sunday (I hope) I will post the lyrics of a song sang during worship services that day and what it means to me. I am going to be working on a pretty little clipart/button and may even end up with a link widget so that you can all link your blogs on to mine if I get an interest. Please spread this around. I would LOVE to see what is inspiring you in your lives each week and what song spoke to your heart. For now, leave me a comment, please!

Before I get to that though, today is also another special call all say it with me Father's Day!!! My family blog today is dedicated to the earthly father's in my/our lives. But there is another FATHER in our lives.

At our church in FL, before we moved to wonderful Kodiak, a lot of emphasis was placed on messages that were relevant. Boy, was today's message ever relevant. Matt Douglas, a missionary supported by our church, serving in Sydney, Australia (rough life, huh?), shared with us about Romans 15:13.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
His points were so simple, but things we all to often forget:
  • The hope to live our Christian life comes entirely from GOD!
  • As long as we have GOD, there is hope for all of us.
  • Paul wasn't talking to unbelievers in this scripture, he was talking to THE CHURCH!!!
He also shared the biblical definitions of some of the words in this scripture, that many of us define differently - based on cultural acceptance.
  • joy : an inside out satisfaction of what GOD is doing in my life. It is NOT happiness, which is the result of what happens.
  • peace : an acknowledgment that GOD is good, knows what is best for us and has the power to DO it! It is NOT an absence of conflict; no war.
  • believing (some translations use this instead of trust) : understanding what salvation is all about [I am currently studying Beth Moore's Believing God and she mentions that believing is a present active participle - currently taking place or takes place repeatedly/continually]
  • abound (some translations use this instead of overflow) : more than you think you can handle, faster than you think you can handle it
So why did I think this is relative to today? Father's Day? Maybe that it is that it is customary to give our father's gifts on this day, but instead, HE gives US gifts this and every other day. He WANTS TO FILL US UP!!! It is up to us to accept His gifts.

This brings me to my first installment of [drumroll please] Songbook Sunday.

This is a song I have loved for many years, but still just makes my skin tingle and heart burst when singing it. It is a praise to GOD for who He is. It is my gift to GOD, a gift of thanks for all He has done and will continue to do for me.


My Jesus, my Savior, LORD there is none like you.
All of my days, I want to
praise, the wonders of your mighty love.

My comfort, my
shelter, tower of refuge and strength.
Let every breath, all that I am, never cease to
worship You.

Shout to the LORD,
all the earth, let us sing.
Power and majesty, praise to the King.
bow down and the seas will roar,
With the sound of your (wonderful) name.

I sing for
joy at the work of Your hands.
Forever I'll love You,
forever I'll stand.
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You.

It's amazing how much this spoke to me today. Today, of all days, I wanted to truly SHOUT how much I love Him. He is my Father, my Abba, my daddy. It sounds (and feels) SO odd to say it that way, but it is true. If the mountains and seas are calling out to Him, how much more should we? Let's all remember to take in His beauty and thank him for it. His name is all mighty, all powerful and so amazingly wonderful. We aren't even worthy to stand in His presence, but through the blood of Jesus Christ we are welcomed into his arms and called daughter (or son). There is nothing in or on this earth that could come close to comparing to him and the promise He has given us.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's a New Dawn...

It's a new day......and I'm going to be using it to start taking care of the vessel God has blessed me with. I've had a really bad self esteem for years when it comes to my looks and wanted to lose weight, but the past month or so I have really felt God telling me it was time. Why He chose to tell me it was time during the best time in Kodiak for cookouts and bbq's, I don't know, but I need to listen. SO, I'm going to be starting the Biggest Loser 30-Day Jumpstart program today.

This program really is just a book with an outline of all your meals (5 of them) laid out for you with recipes included and exercise for 30 days. I'm really looking forward to doing this and seeing where I end up. The problem is going to be sticking to it, but also what about after those 30 days? I'm hoping that I'll have learned a lot and will be able to meal plan a month at a time by then, but if not, maybe I'll just start at the beginning of the 30 days again. Eating healthy sure isn't very healthy on the pocketbook though. Sheesh. I'm hoping that after the first week a lot of the items are re-used.

How does this relate to being molded by our Potter? Well, as I mentioned, I really feel like God led me to this point at this moment in my life. For another, I have just been hit with the desire to take care of the vessel God has blessed me with and I want to teach our children to do the same thing. God gave us our bodies and it is up to us to take care of them. I have some pretty severe medical issues that run in my family, from diabetes to heart disease, and if I don't take care of myself now, then I have a feeling I'll be having some of these issues in the not-so-distant future.

So, my goals:

First 30 days: 8 lbs
By Feb 20, 2010 (my 30th birthday): 30+ lbs

I will be updating my progress weekly and will have a weight loss tracker in my sidebar. If you feel this may be something you need to do as well, please share your story if you would like. I'd love to offer my support and encouragement and have an accountability partner.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Matthew 6:34 (NIV) says, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

This is a verse that speaks volumes to me. I have been a worrier since I was a child and I get it honest. My mom is a worrier too, and I think I partly picked it up from her, but some of it is just one of my struggles in life. Last night my husband and I were talking about sin. Specifically how we are all born with an innate sin that we will struggle with. Some may seem worse than others (i.e. murder vs gossiping), but they are still sins and they hurt God. Sure, the consequences of these sins very, but they should still be avoided.

We all have many struggles, but today I'm going to focus on the one that I'm struggling with right this very instant - worry. Tomorrow morning, I am leaving my small island in Alaska to travel to my hometown of Pace, Florida (just outside Pensacola). Not only will I be traveling for nearly 20 hours (also gaining 4143 air miles apiece - yay Alaska Air), I will doing so with two children by myself. My last layover (in ATL) is only 45 minutes and I may have to switch terminals. I have my BOB ready and will just throw the kids in there (who will likely be tired and cranky considering we are on a red eye and will arrive in ATL at 6:40 in the morning) and run, but I'm still a bit anxious.

This is the first time I'm traveling by myself with the kids. Not only that, I'm going to be away from home for nearly 6 weeks. I'm SO excited to see my family, but it's getting there that I'm concerned about. I'm trying not to live in the "what if's", but it's really hard for me.

I awoke at 3 a.m. and pretty much just laid there tossed and turned for an hour and a half before I finally gave up to come downstairs. My poor husband was probably relieved when I finally did that, but he was gracious and kept trying to relax me by telling me everything would be okay and rubbing my neck (which is killing me). I have the pre-vacation stress headache and insomnia. This happens quite often for me before a big trip, but it usually doesn't happen until the night before I leave. I've still got one more night.

Anyway....back to the point of the post. Worry is something that is a constant struggle for me. I know that God is in control and that everything will be great, but it is also in my nature to like to have control - shocker, right? All of you that know me....stop snickering....I hear you! If we miss our flight, it really isn't a big deal, there is another that leave a couple hours later that I'm sure we could get on. But that's just it....there isn't a reason to worry and yet I do.

If you could all pray for me, I would greatly appreciate it. Not only that I will let go and let God, but that I won't kill the kids on the trip. *snort*

God, you sent your son to live as an example of how we should live and to die for our sins, so that we can spend eternity with you. Thank you for that and thank you, Jesus for your immense love for us that you were willing to suffer on the cross for me. Little ole me! Help me with my sin of worry. Remind me that You have everything under control. Place others in my life that will remind me to let go and let God. And may I meet the kindness of strangers while on my journey. Thank you for your son and I am so sorry for my constant sin that held him to the cross. Amen.

Here is another look at the same passage above. Here it is from The Message:

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday

I wasn't sure that I would have much to contribute to the Works for Me Wednesday bloggy goodness (from We are THAT Family) I got to thinking about what would I say is something that works for me?

Just then, my son (bless his almost 2 year old heart) got frustrated and threw one of his cars, right into my favorite green wall and chipped some of the paint. Great....I know what I'll be doing during nap time now. Luckily it will only take a fix.

Years ago, there was a magazine called Budget Living (which I love and dearly miss - I still have all my copies and still look at them), and one of the tips listed in there said to take baby food jars and keep a small amount of paint in them, with a small paint brush to do touch ups when it is needed. This is one of the best things I have ever learned and has saved me a lot of anxiety and frustration. I used to have to find the right paint can in the garage (if I could find it) and hope that the paint was still good, then find a paint brush, then drag it all in, yadda yadda yadda. NOW, I just grab the jar from under my sink and the small brush attached to it, swipe on the paint, wash the brush and put it all back under the sink.

By the way, my son and I had a small chitchat about how God wants us to handle our frustration and how throwing our toys is not the best way to do this. So, anyone got any tips on how to get a 2 year old to understand that?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Baby Blessings

Tonight I had the pleasure of hosting a baby shower with a few friends for our friend Nita*. She is pregnant with her first child, a son. A good time was had by all (or so we were all told) and mommy and baby were both showered with many blessings.

I am SO blessed with this group of friends. We all come from different walks of life and are all at various stages of our lives. God was totally at work in bringing me into this group of women. When I joined the group, the rest of them had been meeting for coffee every other Friday for a year. They began this tradition after hanging out at a women's retreat for local churches. I was invited to join them for coffee by Nena and that's where I met the rest of the group. Little did I know that this group of women would change my life. One day I may share a little about each of them, but not until I get their permission to do so.

Moving back to the shower...

One of my favorite parts My favorite part of the evening was the devotional. Bridget was in charge of organizing the devotional and she handled it brilliantly! She had all of her sisters, mom and mil write and read something for her - mil's had to be read by someone else b/c she currently lives in the lower 48. Many tears were shed in love. Two of her sisters were unable to attend due to being out of town, so one of the sisters read all of the letters. They each shared wisdom, encouragement, love and, most importantly, biblical principles on which to stand. It was so amazing to be in a room with SO many Christian women praying over and pouring blessings on Nita and her unborn son.

Until I moved to Kodiak, I don't think I ever attended a baby shower with a devotional - even ones with Christian women or those affiliated with church. Here, one of the women shared that she didn't realize this wasn't the norm and I've been amazed that almost every shower I've attended has had one - the exception was one for myself. This is a tradition I will carry with me and any shower I am a part of will have a devotion.

While this was the best part of the day for me, it was also the hardest. It really made me realize how much I missed during my pregnancy and these early years of my motherhood experience. My sisters and their families have yet to meet my children (who are now 17 and 23 months) and my parents have only seen them for 5 weeks and it's been a year since that time. It truly breaks my heart. I am SO grateful to have the love and support and godly women around me here, especially my soul sister, Melissa, but there is just something missing.

Listening to Nita's mom and sisters read letters to her....I just wished I had been able to have that experience. Family is so important. I'm one of those people who tends to be "out of site, out of mind", so most of the time I can trick myself into believing that I'm fine without living near them, but the honest truth is, I want nothing more than to have my sisters and mom near me to share their wisdom, support and just a hug.

These are the people who have known me my entire life, have loved me at my most unlovable and have helped pick me up from my lowest moments. I'm so thankful that we have the technology to talk on the phone at any time (if you can get over the 3 and 4 hour time differences) or video message one another via skype, but there is nothing quite like sitting together while the kids play and experiencing life together. I'm truly looking forward to doing just this in a few weeks, when my kids meet their cousins, aunts and uncle for the first time. I'm picturing many laughs, possibly a few tears and a lot of love. A good time will be had by all.

*Names are changed (other than Melissa's) b/c I haven't asked permission to blog about them yet!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~ Feb. 23, 2009

FOR TODAY February 23, 2009

Outside my window...
The sky is turning a beautiful shade of blue, making it look deceptively warm, though it is only 20 degrees outside and the ground is icy.

I am thinking...
that today is what we make of it, and I'm going to make mine great!

I am thankful for...
my family and the snuggles we have shared this morning.

From the kitchen...
the dogs are waiting at the threshold for their command to eat while my husband gets their breakfast ready.

I am wearing...
a Coast Guard Choppers long sleeve tee, black adidas comfy pants and hole-y Alaska socks (in brown, so I totally don't match)

I am creating...
hopefully my first quilt will be closer to finished at the end of the day!

I am going...
to the grocery store for more milk. Those kids drink a TON!

I am reading...
The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order and The Birth Order Book.

I am hoping...
that I can have some "me" time today.

I am hearing...
the luscious sound of coffee dripping into two coffee mugs, my daughter wiggling around on the couch, and my son down the hall playing with the door to the office.

Around the house...
are toys.....lots and lots of toys. We are BLESSED! Someone want to take some of these blessings off our hands?

One of my favorite things...
when my son brings his sister a cup or toy or anything, just to be sweet.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
try to find twin beds for the kids. They can't be big enough to be out of their cribs already, can they?

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Here I am with my soul sister, Melissa. This was last month at the base post-Christmas party.

To see other daybook blogs, visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Breaking the Mold

Today is my 29th birthday. There, I've said it. I've joked for a while now that this will be my last - that from now on I will celebrate the anniversary of my 29th birthday. In actuality, I'm kind of looking forward to my 30's. I've heard it said that they are the most fun, simply because you are more comfortable with who you are and where you are going. We'll see...

So...what am I going to do with the last year of my 20's? I'm going to try focusing on the present, instead of re-living the past mistakes and worrying about the future. It's not going to be easy for me, but I feel that is what God desires of my heart and life. Who am I to question Him?

To help, I'm going to journal my way through this year. This isn't going to be just any journal though. I'm going to use bible studies to aid my change, because I can't do this alone.

The first study I'm going to follow is Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs. In her introduction, she says this book is for four types of women: 1.) former bad girls who have given their lives to Christ and struggle to find their fit in the church; 2.) temporary bad girls who grew up in church, but put that aside for a while to [in my words] "find themselves", but fear they can't be truly forgiven; 3.) veteran good girls who want to grow in their understanding and compassion for the "bad girls"; and 4.) aspiring good girls who think there has to be something more to life, but don't know where to look.

I am most definitely in the second category. That's where my reliving the past gets me. Not a day goes by that I don't remember something horrid I did or said. I know I'm forgiven, but I don't KNOW I'm forgiven. Hopefully that makes sense to some of you out there.

There was another quote in the intro that resonated with me. I find it kind of poetic that we share the same first name - even into the spelling - some may say coincedence, but whatever.

The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian,
but the fact that I'm a Christian does make me a different kind of woman.
- Elisabeth Elliot

I'm truly looking forward, not only to this study, but also to this year. This journey to thirty. I may not be where I thought I was going to be at this stage of my life, but I know that God meets us where we are, we just have to be willing to allow him into our lives.

Father, throughout this next year, help me learn more about You and who You want me to be - not living in the past or worrying about my future. Help me to forgive myself as You have forgiven me. Amen.