faith

One Word for 2013

I’ve never been big on resolutions. I talked about that a bit last year when I posted a list of things I hoped for 2012. I’ve just never been one to keep to something for too long… a workout plan, a devotional, a cleaning schedule. After awhile, I just fizzle out.

So this year, I decided to give the “One Word” concept a whirl. The idea is that you choose one word that you focus on throughout the year – a word that kind of guides your thoughts and actions.

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Here’s what I really like about it… it’s not a list of resolutions or hopes or goals. It’s something that I hope will challenge me to really look at my daily behaviors. And then hopefully I can listen to how the Holy Spirit is guiding me to change.

So my word for the year is:

Intentional

I feel like I can go through my days being fairly unintentional. And while I like that in some aspects [I've never been one to enjoy a rigid schedule!], it can backfire in other ways. So here’s how I want to be intentional this year…

  • with my husband.. spending time together where we’re not wiping butts and noses.
  • with my boys.. really looking at how they appreciate time spent with me, and pouring into their lives in specific, prayerful ways.
  • prayer.. being more intentional about spending time talking to the Father. And listening.
  • simplifying.. really intentionally choosing things for our home and choosing things that need to be purged, so our house isn’t filled with “stuff.”
  • how I spend my time.. with a new baby coming into our family, I know I’ll have even less time to spare. I want to be intentional about spending my time wisely – it’s so easy to just waste time with things that don’t really matter.
  • spending money.. I’ve let myself have a few too many impulse buys lately. Really, do I need every super cute thing that Target comes out with? [want? sure. need? not so much.]
  • rest.. I’m not good at this. I have a hard time sitting and doing nothing, even when my body needs it. I need to intentionally plan time to rest.

Those are what comes to mind right now… there’s so much that being Intentional applies to. And there are definitely some repeats from last year. Obviously I’m still a work in progress. I just hope I can kind of keep this word in the back of my head as I go about my days, and let the Lord use it in whatever way He chooses.

There are some other lovelies that are sharing their One Word for 2013 too… pop over and give them some love too, would you?

Alida at Alida Makes
Jessica at Me Sew Crazy
Kirstin at KoJo Designs

If you have a word for this year, will you share it with me in the comments? And share a link if you’ve blogged about it. I’d love to read about it.

Saturday Thoughts

I can’t remember ever being so sick in my life. I’ve had a horrible flu for four days now, and I’ve spent most of it in bed.

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And even in the midst of feeling so, so, so miserable, I can’t help but feel grateful.

Grateful that my babies are here with me and healthy.

Grateful that my husband has the kind of job that he can take two days off to take care of the boys.

Grateful that I have a warm house and a bed to sleep in.

Grateful that this babe, tucked inside, kicks and pokes to remind me of his presence.

Grateful for a full fridge, full bellies, and enormously full hearts.

Grateful that I can’t remember ever being so sick in my life.

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There is so much suffering, so much sadness… here in the US and all over the world. Today I cling to the Truth:

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Revelation 21:4

Unexpected miracles.

All my life, I have wanted to be a mom. I loved playing with my dolls and creating a world where I could care for little babies all day long. Preferably lots of them. I think at one point my sister got a set of quintuplet babies that I was pretty much obsessed with. I knew that one day, I wanted a house full of babies.

My journey to motherhood didn’t come without tears. Before becoming pregnant the first time, I saw lots of doctors and took medication and peed on more sticks that I could count. And the day I saw those two pink lines, I could hardly believe it. My day had arrived. I was becoming a mom.

I have been that girl who cries when she hears someone else’s pregnancy announcement. Cries, thinking, “when will it be my turn?” Not just the first time, but also the second time around. More medication, more negatives. But eventually, a joyous moment, realizing that our family would be growing.

I had resigned myself to knowing that getting pregnant would always take effort. It wouldn’t ever be something that just “happened.” There wouldn’t be a surprise, because how could there be?

But when we were ready to welcome a third baby into our lives, we decided to wait before refilling my prescription. Just to “see what would happen.” This, my friends, is where I felt the blessing of the Father. After the countless tears I cried, always wondering, never convinced my body would carry another baby, I felt God wrap His arms around me and wipe my tears. “I heard you crying, my daughter. Don’t try so hard this time. I am making you new, from the inside out. Let me grow this baby my way, not yours.”

And make me new, He did. After three healthy, amazing, and wonderful babies came into our lives, He has continued to heal my body and work miracles in our family.

For the past 14 weeks, little baby new has been growing inside me. An unexpected miracle that we cannot wait to welcome into our home. A baby that we didn’t plan for, but one that has already shown us how big our God is. How He knows us, better than we know ourselves. And sometimes, He likes to surprise us in really big, unexpected ways.

On Motherhood

This afternoon, a dear friend stopped by my house for a visit. We chatted about her upcoming wedding plans, and I shared some things that have been going on with my kiddos.

At one point, I said, “This parenting gig… it’s hard. Really good, but hard.”

She responded, “Most things that are worthwhile usually are.”

Oh isn’t that the truth.

I love being a mama. Everything inside of me loves it. Even when I hate it, I still love it. But being a mama means so much more than just changing diapers and feeding babies. There’s the worry, the guilt, the doubts.

And always the wondering… Did I make the right decision? Should I have taken the paci away when I did? Should I give it back? Is it okay to let him cry? Should I take him to the doctor? Can I let him play outside by himself? Am I giving each of them enough attention? Are they independent enough? Is that normal??

The last few weeks have been tiring. Between illness and dealing with some other parenting challenges, I haven’t done anything I thought I would do. The house? A constant mess. The sewing projects? Abandoned. The blog posts? Postponed. The playdates? Cancelled. The laundry pile? Ever growing.

And this mama? Exhausted.

Truly, being a parent is so.darn.hard sometimes. Maybe more often than not. But even in the midst of the hard times, when I’m not sure what to do and feel like I’m just sifting through the mess, surviving on caffeine and chocolate, I can do nothing else but lean into the arms of a Father who never tires. He knows how hard it is. He wants to carry me through it.

So I’m going to let Him.