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.