Thursday, October 21, 2010

Better Than a Desert

I hope living with me is better than living in a desert.

This morning I was stirred by the words of Proverbs 21:19:
"Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife."
In general, I think my husband arrives each evening to a happy family and inviting home. I do my best to listen intentionally as he tells me about his day, offer encouragement and praise when warranted, and then share honestly about the joys and challenges I encountered while we were a part. I know that love is an active choice, not a passive feeling. So I seek to love my husband in action and in word.

It can be easy to critique other people's they bicker about everything, lack appreciation, or try to control one another. I can be glad that I'm not like her, and then start to feel pretty good about myself. Proud about what a fantastic little wife I am.

But I am not perfect. Not by a long shot.

I am not immune to being defensive, responding with a blatant edge to my tone, and even being plain rude. I have allowed tiredness to be an excuse for not being kind. I've knit picked about things that don't really matter and cared more about being right than being loving.

But this is not the kind of woman I want to be. This is not the kind of wife my husband deserves.

I want to be more like this. And this. And this.

No, I don't have to be perfect. And neither do you.

Just make sure living with you IS better than a desert.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Reviving Wisdom

After days (or weeks) of letting TV, dishes, laundry, sleep, paperwork, grocery shopping, and Facebook consume any quiet, kid-free moment I had, I was finally still enough for long enough to hear God whisper to my heart, "Come, be with me." And I was just weary enough not to fight it. I knew I needed to obey.

I opened my Bible and read Psalm 19. These words were meant for my heart.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
My soul NEEDS to be revived. I want to feel alive. I want to walk in cadence with my God, knowing that each step I take is directed by him and he is right there beside me. No more trying to be super-mom, -wife, and -friend on my own strength. No more sulking in the hum-drum of daily life. I was created for a purpose. I want to live life to the full and be fully me.

I NEED to be made wise. Disciplining a boundary-testing toddler. Saving money for my family. Finding the balance between seeking community and seeking simplicity. Getting out yet staying rested. How to love my husband, train my children, and do it well. Yes, wisdom for all these small decisions that make up my life...that's what I need.

Will my soul be revived by watching one more episode of America's Next Top Model? Will I find wisdom in reading one more status update?

No, I'll find what I'm really looking for, what I really need in the perfect, trustworthy Word of God.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

10, 20, 30...SHRED!

I'm taking on a 30 day fitness challenge and I'm inviting you to join with me!

Last week I was over at (in)courage and saw this post by Jen from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam. She talked about creative ways to build community, one of which was working out.

Fitness has definitely been top of mind for me lately. Since giving birth to my second son 12 weeks ago, I have been eager to shed these prego pounds and get back to feeling like me. I've been watching what I eat and taking long walks while pushing the boys in the mega-heavy double stroller. But I'm still not getting the results I want fast enough. So when I saw Jen's invitation to 30 days of fitness, I knew this was the kick start I needed.

So what is it and why did I choose it?

WHAT: It's a workout DVD by Jillian Michaels called 30 Day Shred, which combines strength conditioning, cardio, and abs.

WHY: First, I have 10 more pounds to lose to get back to my pre-prego weight and into my favorite pair of jeans (you know the ones that are comfortable and figure flattering...oh, how I miss them!) Second, I can commit to 20 minutes a a busy mom of two under two, any more just isn't realistic. And third, 30 days is long enough to get real results, but short enough that I knowI can follow through. (I like to set myself up for success.) Plus, I know that fitting even 20 minutes of intense exercise into my rather intense life would be challenging, so I liked the idea of joining a community of other women who were doing it, too. And when I found the DVD on for $5.99 it sealed the deal!

Today I endured the first day of shredding. It felt good (and bad) to feel my out-of-shape muscles burn, wipe some sweat from my brow, and know that I am one day closer to a do-my-body-good accomplishment!

I'm sharing this with you all NOT to toot my own horn about buying a silly workout video and doing it for one day. I share this with you because I NEED accountability, and I'm thinking maybe some of you might, too. I'll be updating you at least a couple times with my progress over the next 30 days.

PLEASE feel free to jump in and join me any time!
Only 20 minutes a day away from a healthier you, me, WE!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Keenly Aware

Have you ever noticed that we are all more keenly aware of our own imperfections than anyone else is?

A friend and her son recently came over for a play date and remarked how clean my house was. She jokingly asked Noah if he was sure he actually lived here because she was certain it was way too tidy to be the home of a toddler.

My house, clean? I was keenly aware of the breakfast dishes in the sink, the layer of grime on the refrigerator shelves, the rust ring in the bathtub, and how well my tile floor hides dirt.

On Saturday I went to my childhood best friend's engagement party. Several people commented on how good I looked for just having a baby two and a half months ago. A single gal told me I must share my slim-down secrets with her if she ever has a child.

My body, slim? I was keenly aware how the waistband of the only nice pair of pants I could squeeze into was digging into my soft tummy each time I exhaled.

I entertained a new friend for lunch last week and she complimented me on how beautifully decorated my home was. She enjoyed the selection and placement of art and accessories in every room.

My home, decorated? I was keenly aware of the huge blank wall above the fireplace that has been begging for a canvas to cover it since we moved in over a year ago.

Perhaps it's time to transfer my keen awareness to something other than my imperfections. Maybe I should be more keenly aware of how blessed I am to have a home to weclome friends into and an abled body that has given birth to two precious boys.

Because, really, no one has a perfect home or a perfect body. (Except maybe a celebrity with a professional decorator, cleaning crew, personal trainer, and private chef. And even then, she is probably keenly aware of her imperfect marriage, unhealthy self image, and lack of hope.)

So here's to being keenly aware that perfection isn't as important as perspective!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Little Moments

The way she holds your little finger
The way she coos when you are near
The way you calm her every whimper
And cast out all her fear

The way he giggles with excitement
The way he cries when you’re apart
The way his eyes light up with wonder
And his smile melts your heart
It’s in these little moments
Shared just between each other
That make you know for certain
You were meant to be a mother