Into the New Year

Happy New Year’s Eve!

This past week I’ve been looking over my calendar, trying to get organized and ready for the new year.  Having a fresh start and clean slate it so nice!  At times it’s been kind of overwhelming though, trying to figure out how to do it; how to set reasonable goals and make plans that I know will ebb and flow.  It’s a lot to keep track of, but I know getting the hang of an adjustable schedule will be helpful for our family.

As I was reading my Bible last night, one section stood out and I reread it a few times:

“The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;

By understanding He established the heavens;

By His knowledge the depths were broken up,

And clouds drop down the dew”.

Proverbs 3:19-20

 

God, the Creator and one who knows everything, used wisdom.  He made decisions and created the world with understanding and knowledge.  It may seem like a “um, duh” point – but think about it.  If He used wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, shouldn’t we?

We don’t know all that’s coming each year, but if we choose to we can have influence over how we set ourselves up at the start.  We can try to figure everything out on our own, which can work to some degree – or we can ask God for wisdom, understanding, and knowledge and make decisions with His help.  That sounds like a much better, more productive option doesn’t it?

“For the Lord gives wisdom;

From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;

He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;

He is a shield to those who walk uprightly”.

Proverbs 2:6-7

 

As we’re getting ready for tomorrow and the days to follow, let’s ask Him for wisdom.  He knows the days to come and He can help us prepare for them.

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One Week!

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The magazine launches one week from today!

Because issues will be released three times a year, I’ve created a Facebook page and an Instagram account so mothers can still find encouragement and inspiration all year.  Both have been beneficial thus far — I encourage you to follow along and invite mothers you know.

Visit www.strengthandsong.com to read more about the magazine and find out how to purchase it.  May it be a blessing to those it reaches!

Train of Thoughts

Wow, it’s almost 2018!  I hope you had a wonderful, meaningful Christmas this past Monday.  We enjoyed the day at home and were able to spend some of it with my family.  This was the first time we’ve really been able to host people at our house, and it was so nice.  Having some extra space has been great, both for our own family to spread out and for us to have more people over.  (If you’re new to this blog, we were previously in a 672-square-foot condo, and are now in a multi-story duplex.  Having a kitchen and living room separate from each other is lovely to say the least!)

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This Christmas came and went so quickly, I almost missed it.  It was barely before Christmas day that I realized where in the calendar we were.  That bugs me a bit; I did thank God for His gift to us but I didn’t spend time reading Jesus’ birth story or thinking and focusing on it like I usually do.  Much of the busyness and sleeplessness is out of my control, but I wish I had made more dedicated time to stop and ponder.  Good thing our salvation isn’t based on our works.  :)

With the new year coming right up, I’ve been getting my schedule organized.  Sometimes (okay, often) I feel like I fly by the seat of my pants and I’d like to add a little more consistency.  I’ve given myself leeway to adjust to a new baby and his needs, and I’ll continue to do so — but I’m itching to ease into a new schedule that works for our family.  Anyone else felt that way?  ;)

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The magazine launch is almost here as well; it goes live on January 6th!  I’m excited and nervous and praying that it will be exactly what God wants it to be and reach everyone He wants it to reach.  It’s been quite a bit of work, but it’s been fun and fruitful.  I’m already looking forward to the next issue and seeing how it grows.

Naptime is almost over now and my little munchkins will be running around all cute.  Well, one will be running and one will be squirming.  Hope you enjoyed reading my train of thoughts and getting a quick update on life over here.  Have a great weekend and New Years!

In Mary’s Arms

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The angel – Gabriel – he told me You’d be coming.  Told me not to worry, that I had somehow found favor with God; that God was giving You to me.

A Gift, though for most of these nine months I think I might be the only one who sees You as that.  Joseph has married me still and believes – I’m so grateful God told him too.  He knows You’re a Gift.

At first I thought You’d be like any other child, but special, maybe? since I’d never known a man and didn’t see how I could be pregnant.  But he told me You were from the Holy Spirit, and therefore You would be holy.

It took me a minute to catch up with what he’d said after that.  Holy.  The babe inside me, holy?  How could this be?  It humbles me.

How do I nurture a holy child? …

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Thankful

0w2a8884-14Hi friends,

Have you ever stopped and gotten lost in thought about all that you’re grateful for? If we really think about it the list goes on and on.

Having a newborn means my schedule changes quite a bit… I don’t have much time to write and get things done but then I have time throughout the dark night as he feeds to just sit and think. (If I can keep my eyes open and brain somewhat enagaged. 😉)

Through the adjustments and chaos, I’m thankful.

Thankful for a warm little body snuggled up to mine.

Thankful for friends and family who provide meals for us.

Thankful for our oldest son learning how to love a sibling.

Thankful for a husband who pitches in and changes diapers and lets me cry on his shoulder when in overwhelmed.

Thankful for bright sunshine on cold winter days.

Thankful for oil in our tank and heat in our house.

Thankful for a quiet, dark house lit only by Christmas lights.

Thankfuk for a God who always, always provides in every way — physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

What are you thankful for?

Introducing: A Magazine!

You may remember me talking about a project I’ve been working on for months now — I’m thrilled to be able to introduce it today!

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I’ll let you visit the website to read my whole story, but the short version is that I’ve created a magazine specifically for moms. For at least the first year of Levi’s life, I found motherhood to be incredibly lonely and challenging. There were very few other moms my age, and besides that I struggled to find moms who desperately wanted to grow in their relationship with God. I craved friendships with other moms who sincerely wanted to see God in the everyday, to push beyond the mundane and seek to know God even when quiet time is nonexistent.

As I’ve prayed over the last year+ of motherhood, the idea for this magazine came and I pursued it. God has pulled all the pieces together and I pray it’s exactly what He wants. It doesn’t take the place of personal relationships and community; those are crucial. Its purpose is to provide mamas with encouragement and inspiration through Scripture, stories, photos, testimonies, and other content. It’s simple but full, and only available in print form so that we can pull away from social media every now and then.

I was excited to announce it this week, as it launches and can be purchased January 6th — but I’m even more ready to share it since little Caleb was born. It’s already printed and most of the prep work has been done to launch it, so I don’t have to think about that part as much; instead I keep thinking of how valuable it can be to an exhausted and overly worn-out mom (ahem)! To have a relatable story or a timely Scripture verse laying open on the counter throughout the day — I pray this magazine is a huge blessing.

The website is www.strengthandsong.com and I’ve created a Facebook page and an Instagram account (both @strengthandsongmag) that will be updated on a regular basis, in between magazine issues. The issues can be ordered individually or as an annual subscription (3 issues); you can visit the website for all the info and a preview.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what God does with this magazine. I’ve had the Facebook and Instagram accounts active for about a week, and I’m encouraged by the response from other moms. There are so many moms who desire to know God more and see Him in their mothering; may He get all the glory!

He’s Here!

Our littlest bundle of joy arrived not long after I wrote my last post.  December 6th, not-so-bright but very early at 4:52am.  (Did you know the most common hour for babies to be born is 4:00am?  At least it is according to the nurses we had.  :))

He’s one week old today!

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Meet Caleb Daniel, the little cutie patootie.  He’s been so calm and peaceful — we’re grateful for that.  Bit by bit we’ve seen more of his personality, even at days old, and it’s pretty funny.  We can’t wait to see how he develops and matures over the next months and years.

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He and Levi get along well — also very thankful for that!  It’s fun to watch them together and see how Levi interacts with a baby.  So sweet.

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I have some more exciting news coming as well, so keep an eye out this week!  Can’t promise when you’ll see the post because I’m not sure myself.  It’s been sleepless nights and long days where I forget I even have a blog (don’t worry, I eventually remember); slowly we’ll make it into the swing of things and there will be more consistency.  I’m sure many of you can relate.

So look for the news, and enjoy these photos.  I’m off to tend to the boys.  :)

Waiting Thoughts

Just like that, it’s December.

It’s been busy around here, as some of you know.  Getting the house decorated and things ready for the baby’s arrival, visiting with friends and family, and regular household things.

And in this past week, we’ve been anticipating the little one’s appearance.  I started pre-labor last Friday and here we are at home, still waiting.  It’s like having a baby for the first time, since our oldest was a c-section.

As I wait and manage the pain, I’ve been thinking about this song: Mary Did You Know.  The expectancy that comes with giving birth is unique and intense, and I often wonder what Mary’s thoughts were.  She knew she was giving birth to the Son of God — how do you process that?!  It’s enough to process the fact that you’re giving birth to a little human being with specific qualities and interests and personality.  But she had the added fact that she was delivering the Savior to the world.  Wow.

Listen to the song below, sung by Peter Hollens.  Doesn’t it make you wonder?