Friday, November 21, 2014

Adventures in Motherhood: Love Is Patient

One thing that always amazes me about the Bible is that I can read a verse that I have read hundreds of times before and have God speak a totally new message to my heart. 

Since becoming a mother, this has been happening a lot to me. And not just on verses with stories or analogies about children and parents. Often it's verses about love. Most recently it has been 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient ... Those 3 little words have a totally new meaning to me now. For much of my life I feel like I've been learning the lesson of patience in one way or another. 

Learning patience while waiting to find out if I got into the college I wanted to attend. 
Love is patient
Learning patience while waiting for God to show me the man He had for me to marry. 
Love is patient
Learning patience while trying to start our family. 
Love is patient
Surely I would have, should have, learned the lesson of patience by now...right? When I'm up at 2 a.m., and have been rocking Rebekah for over an hour, praying that this time when I lay her in her bed that she would stay asleep ... Love is patient

Because I love her so very much, I (*try to*) remain patient. Soothing her, rocking her, helping her learn when it is time to sleep and when it is time to be awake. Starting the process over for the 6th time when her little eyes fly open as soon as her head touches her bed...Some days I know that it is only God's love in me that is keeping me from screaming into a pillow out of frustration and exhaustion.
(deep breath)
Love is patient. 
Being patient with Rebekah is a way that I can show her my love for her. How much greater is God's love for me that He is continually patient with me...when I don't bring my concerns and worries to Him first, when I try to do something without His help, He is patient with me. 
Love is patient. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Adventures in Rebekah: 3 months old

I feel like I am going to start every post about Rebekah the same way: how has another month already past!? Well, here we go again....

Dear Rebekah, 

You have had a very busy month, filled with lots of firsts! You took your first trip to Minnesota to visit your Grandma Deb and Papa Ron...

While you were in Minnesota you got to meet two of your great- grandpas and lots of other family members. You were bashful for the first time and it is so fun seeing you develope new emotions! You even got to meet some new friends from Minnesota!

You went to your first wedding and I was so happy when you slept during the ceremony.
You got your first fever after you got some shots...Mommy cried almost as much as you did.

You also got to meet your cousins from Colorado for the first time this month. You loved watching them play! 

You are such a sweet happy girl! You love playing on your activity mat and in your swing. Your new favorite place to play is in your jump seat! 
Tummy time is not always your favorite but you tolerate it most days.

You have been learning lots of new noises and like to practice them all the time - especially when mommy is changing your diaper. You usually stop when I take out my phone to capture them on a video ( little stinker!) About a week ago you laughed a real big girl laugh but we haven't gotten you to do it since. You are getting good at grabbing things with your hands (like mommy's hair) and have also started to discover your feet and ears.
Sleep is something we are working on. Some nights are better than others. Most days you only want to nap if I am laying next to you. But mommy and daddy are trying hard to teach you about good sleep. We love you so very much, sweet Rebekah! 

(On a side note, it is getting more challenging every month to get a good picture of her! So wiggly! But it makes for some good outtakes...)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Adventures in Motherhood: Nap Time

I'm laying in bed as I type this...typing with one thumb. Why just one thumb ? Because my left arm is the being held hostage by a sleeping baby. Before Rebekah I thought nap time would be when I got things done around the house... But not today. Or yesterday... Or all last week. You see, Rebekah has been going through a phase of not wanting to sleep during the day. (Thankfully once she falls asleep at night she has been sleeping pretty well.) 

I feed her. I rock her. She is totally asleep. I put her down. Slowly back out of the room and about 3 minutes later... She is awake. Not just awake. "I took a nap and am ready to play" awake. We try again with the rocking but with the same results...

So today there is a new plan in motion. Just get her to sleep.  More than 20 min at a time. Because, you see, on days when she doesn't sleep more than 20 min at a time during the day - the afternoons and evenings are a grouch-fest. Nothing makes her happy. Fussy is the name of the game. 

Everyday I learn more about what it means to be a mom...

Mom lesson I learned today:

Yes, I have other things I could be doing right now. We are having guests over tonight - I could be cleaning. I should probably be cleaning. But I'm not. I'm snuggling my sweet girl because that is what she needs me to do right now. I'm working on letting my plans go and enjoying each stage of Rebekah's life. Being there when she needs me. And I know someday I will wish she wanted to snuggle with me and take a snooze. So I'm taking full advantage of this snuggle bug's nap time today. 

Hopefully our guests tonight will understand that baby snuggles are more important to me than a clean kitchen. 

Any tips on babies and sleep? :-) 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Adventures in Reading: Where Treetops Glisten

Normally I have a very strict "NO Christmas before Thanksgiving" rule. And it is a VERY big deal for me to break this rule. But I did it. I broke the rule. I read a Christmas book...I started it before Halloween even! (But let's be honest here, Hobby Lobby has their Christmas trees up already, so I'm not the only one who is doing Christmas stuff already!)

The book is called "Where Treetops Glisten" and it is actually 3 stories, by 3 authors, about 3 different members of the Turner family. Each story is set in the Christmas season of a different year of World War II. And each of the members of the Turner family have a different lesson that God is teaching them. Mystery, romance, forgiveness, learning to trust... All elements to make a great trio of stories.  

I originally wanted to read this book because one on the stories is written by my favorite author Sarah Sundin. But I enjoyed each of the 3 stories equally and wished they were their own full length book. The characters and story draw the reader in from page one. I was satisfied with the conclusion of each story and since each main character was a part of the same family, the stories all tied into one another. The 3 ladies must have had a fun time writing this wonder piece of historical holiday fiction together! 

If you are looking for a fun read this Christmas season - I would totally recommend Where Treetops Glisten. 

I did receive this book for free from litfuse publish but the opinions are my own. 

Adventures in Rebekah: 2 Months Old (a few weeks late!)

Rebekah is actually a little closer to 3 months now that she is to 2...but I guess that is just life with baby!

Dear Rebekah,
What a month of discovery and learning for you (and your mommy and daddy!). You really discovered your voice and you love to make noises. You love looking all around you and smile when mommy or daddy walk into the room. Some nights you let mommy sleep for almost 6 hours! 

You love to wiggle and move around, making it a bit harder to take pictures! You are such a joy, even when you are having a fussy evening. We love you more every day!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Adventures in Reading: The Brickmaker's Bride

There have been many times in my life when I have had to wait and wait and wait on the Lord's timing. Can you relate? It's a hard lesson to learn and one that was a main theme in the latest book that I have read:

Post Civil War reconstruction is in full swing and bricks are in high demand. Laura has the expertise in the brick industry. She learned from her father, who was killed in the war. Though her father was dead, her pride in the company he built was not. Ewan isn't new to the craft of brick making, he learned the trade from his father, but he new to the business aspect of the trade. But Ewan is more than eager to put his whole self in to learning so that he can become a partner with his uncle in the business...a task that proves to be less than easy. His uncle is a gambler and a poor decision maker. Laura and Ewan work together to save the business, but success and happiness allude them despite their best efforts.

I really like a story when you can observe personal and spiritual growth in the characters, and Judith Miller did a wonderful job of fleshing out the characters and their growth through trials. While I enjoyed the characters, I did feel that the story started a bit slow. There was a lot of historical detail, as well as brick making detail, which gave a lot of background information but kind of slowed down the momentum of the story for me. That being said, I did enjoy the book and was satisfied with the ending and would recommend this book for a good weekend read.

Judith Miller The Brickmaker's Bride

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Adventures in Reading: The Daughter of Highland Hall

65 days until season 5 of Downton Abbey starts in the USA!! Yay! I've been careful not to see any spoilers, but I just love that time period and show so much that I'm a sucker for anything related to it. So when I saw that Carrie Turansky's new book The Daughter of Highland Hall takes place in the same time period in England, I knew that I would enjoy it! 

Katherine Ramsey doesn't see what all the fuss is about - a simple curtsy in front of the Queen - how hard can it be? Since she has turned 18, Katherine travels to London for her 'coming out' into society and hopefully find her future husband. Her Aunt Louisa insists she must secure a proposal from a wealthy young man to save her family's estate. When a scandal seemingly crushes Katherine’s hopes for the society season, she uses her time time to volunteer with Jonathan Foster, caring for children in one of London’s poorest areas. As she serves with the handsome medical student, a romance blossoms. Katherine’s faith grows and she begins to question her aunt's plan as she can now envision a different future with Jonathan helping in the poor East End of London. When wealthy suitor reappears, Katherine must make a choice...

Having not read the first book in the Edwardian Brides series, The Governess of Highland Hall, I was worried that I would feel a bit lost when I picked up this book (that has happened other times when I read book 2 before book 1 in a series), but I found Turansky's story telling to be excellent. This story definitely can stand alone. I enjoyed the story, characters, and the historical aspect of this story but what I most enjoyed was the spiritual aspects. At one point, Kate realizes that she has spent most of her time focused on herself and the task of finding a husband before the end of the season. She then grows to understand that these things are not the most important things in life. She changes her focus from herself to Christ and helping others. I will be going back to read the first book and looking forward to the next in the series.