Wednesday, August 23, 2017

full to loathing.

One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet. 
Proverbs 27:7

Christmas has always been one of my most favorite times of the year. When I was a child, my whole family: grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, would come to stay at my family's house for the night. To see them, eat a big meal, and open presents together was the highlight of our Christmas break and the event my brother and I anticipated all year long.

My parents always had a tradition of letting us open one gift the night before Christmas morning. Our immediate family was the only one who had this particular custom, so all the aunts, uncles, and cousins would sit nearby watching while we unwrapped the first gift of the season.

One year, when I was about 10 years old, we gathered as usual in the living room for our Christmas Eve tradition. As my parents were getting the film and camcorder ready to capture the moment, my brother and I both sat in the middle of the brown, carpeted floor surrounded by our family. We were thrilled to find out what lay inside the two neatly wrapped presents in front of us.

My parents gave us the go-ahead, and the camera began to roll as we tore into our gifts. The expression on my face as I opened mine went from eager delight to sheer disappointment when I discovered that my present appeared to be... a package of socks.

I examined them more closely only to find that they were indeed, socks. Then, with the entire room watching- cousins, aunts, and uncles, I threw the package down in front of me, curled my lip with disgust and cried, "Socks!?!"

It was a moment I would be ashamed of for the rest of my life.

I'd like to think I've grown up since then, but I'm not sure I've changed much at all.

Today at 34, I look in the mirror at my postpartum body, curl my lip, and cry out with disgust..."Fat!!"

More than 20 years later, I am still despising the blessing of the practical gifts of God. Like the package of socks I was given to keep my feet warm, God gave me a body that works perfectly, grows a baby, and then delivers and feeds a child exclusively for more than half a year. But I want something else. Something skinnier, something less flabby; something I determine is better than what He gave me.

Just like the petulant 10-year-old version of myself, I loathe calling what I need a gift.

The reason? Because I am spoiled.

I am full and ungrateful.

Just like the 10-year-old who already had socks in her drawer, I have so many blessings and good gifts that I am blind to the fact that even having one healthy baby is a blessing, much less the gift of the perfect food He gave me for my baby to eat and grow.

What a sinful, wicked wretch I am.

Oh Lord God, please forgive me. I don't deserve your good gifts. Please turn my eyes away from worthless desires and make my heart clean through your Son who defeated sin and death and rose again. Thank you for salvation, for your love for me... for redeeming me while I was yet a sinner.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

tuesday talk: brighter days, eclipse action, & experimental cooking

Our Tuesday has been much slower than our Monday, thanks to a feverish big kid. We are all camping out today, enjoying lots of episodes of Octonauts while we keep her company in the living room. :)

Yesterday, however, we managed to do school on schedule and it was much brighter thanks to these kind of smiles all morning:

Then before we knew it, it was time to watch the eclipse:

Luckily, we had a couple of options with which we could view it: these pinhole plates...

They definitely worked, but it wasn't super interesting to see a teeny tiny shadow: :)

But these glasses were awesome for looking right at it:

Even with the glasses, we still made the kids look so quickly they nearly got whiplash. :) While they were entertained outside, I started experimenting with grilled flatbreads:

I made some experimental curry dip to go with it- just sour cream, salt, parsley, and a little pre-made curry seasoning to go with our basmati rice. It was actually a great combo!

We had Bible study in the early evening so we had to make dinner much sooner than usual. Of course I had my little sidekick close by while we rushed around:

I love her. :) This baby girl is only 6 weeks old and is not supposed to be growing up this fast!

She's back in the sling again with her older sister crowding her for a spot in my lap as I'm about to start dinner (pasta, salad, and bread!) and then (Lord-willing) exercise before it gets too late! :)

Monday, August 21, 2017

a few to-do's, being an encourager + menus this week

It feels like Monday comes so fast these days! It must be school that makes me feel that way. :D I keep reading about people wrapping up their summers, but for the first time I kind of feel like we didn't have an official summer break. (It could be that a ton has happened since we took our little summer break in May!).

I'm hoping that everything might be settling down soon so if the Lord wills, we can take a week off from school and do a few more summer-like things before the weather changes. :) (Good thing we have until November before it starts to cool off!)

With all the activities we have going on today, I have just a few minutes to pop in and share my goals and menus while the littles are all napping! :)

Here are my goals this week:

:: do ::
pray alone
exercise 4-5x 
write more thank yous
clean den walls with magic eraser
blog every day :D
go birthday grocery shopping
make Isabella's birthday dinner + cake
final midwife appointment 
attend Bible study group + do homework
mop floors
start thinking of September goals
finalize pantry shelving design

:: read :: 
1 Samuel + Psalms

:: learn :: 
listen to 2 teachings/ sermons

:: be ::
an encourager
I would like to encourage my husband and my children more. With so many new stages at once, I'm finding myself in correction mode all.the.time right now and I want to be able to praise more often than correct. I may have mentioned it before, but I remember the Duggar family saying that they want to give praise 10x more than correction. I want to be like them!! (Or at least shoot for 5x to start, ha!)

:: meals ::
rosemary garlic chicken + red potatoes + green beans + artisan bread
red lentils + salad + flatbread
tri-color rotini + marinara sauce + salad + bread
tacos + refried beans + rice
biscuits + turkey bacon + scrambled eggs
dinner out

What are your goals for this week?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

what a story: blessed assurance

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:19-23

Saturday, August 19, 2017

our saturday in pics: tornado parties, sewing, and pizza night

Our Saturday started with yard work for the boys and coffee and baby holding for the girls. :D Surprisingly, we've only had to water the grass maybe once or twice in the front yard thanks to all the rain we've had this year. It's getting close to needing it in the front yard (and maybe fertilizer again thanks to our clay dirt mix!), but we're happy to have saved money so far!!

After everyone cleaned up, we decided to go out for lunch to a local diner instead of cooking. We all enjoyed not cleaning and the kids love getting their favorite meals. (Now that the kids clean up after meals regularly, they all appreciate a dinner out even more! :P)

After lunch and errands, we came home and got back to work after a little rest. We had to repair the curtains after a little one pulled another rod out of the wall. ;) Isabella is always a big helper to her dad:

In between nursing the baby (she's eating often these days!), I threw some dough in the mixer for dinner:

And got to work on my to-do list from Monday. :) I had a couple of kids pull off the sofa cushions so we could wash them upstairs. This is what happens when the kids get to work- it's like a mix of tornado and circus party: :)

Does that happen at your house too? :D I think they have a little too much fun tearing apart the sofas. :P They make everything exciting and somehow always have a good time working. (I could learn from them!!)

And then while those were in the wash, these well-loved "Oso" pajamas (as Zane calls them) got a new pair of sock feet:

Thankfully, I had a helper of my own to watch Naomi while I sewed: :D

And while the pizza dough was rising and the covers were washing, we went on a family walk:

We didn't take a long walk, but it was long enough to work up an appetite again. :) 

After last week's pizza fest, you'd think we'd be tired of pizza, but the kids were looking forward to eating the barbecue chicken version again:

The one thing about making pizza versus grabbing takeout is the amount of dishes in the sink! :) I'm off to help clean them all and get ready for Sunday. I hope you have a restful day tomorrow! :D 
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