my son is one today

The birthday boy.

The birthday boy.

Today is my son’s first birthday! Any parent knows that this is a special day. I’ve been thinking about how a year ago today, I was in labor for 17 hours before he finally decided to arrive. I remember asking my husband, “Is he out?! Is he ok?!” when E. finally did decide to grace us with his presence. I’ve also been thinking about how helpless and small he was just 12 months ago and now he’s jabbering and on the verge of walking.

I feel very blessed to be his mom. Heck, I feel blessed to be a mom in general. I always wanted to be pregnant, but I honestly didn’t think I’d have any patience with children. So far, it’s been amazing how much patience I’ve had with my son. I just don’t get irritated with him. How could I? He is only a tiny fellow who doesn’t know right from wrong. Thankfully, though, he does mostly right. His biggest wrongs so far are trying to pull my hair and bite, but he normally quits after a few “No, no, no” and “Be easy” statements.

We had him a little birthday party at our home on Saturday with immediate family and it was so nice. Most of the people that have helped us so much this past year and when we were pregnant were there. Our son got spoiled with gifts and had fun destroying the cake my sister made him. Then, my husband and I got to watch him play that afternoon – he was feeling pretty silly and making all kinds of noise.

He’s celebrating his birthday by sleeping in. He’s never slept this late as far as I can remember. He slept from 8 pm to 6:30 am, drank some milk and is still asleep at 9 am. He had RSV and an ear infection a few weeks ago and hadn’t been sleeping well since. Then, we just had this full moon and that was waking him up, too. Last night, I muttered, “It would be great if he slept through the night again like he used to” and he did!

Happy birthday to my handsome, blue-eyed blessing.

My son at his first birthday party on a bouncing turtle he got from his aunt and uncle.

My son at his first birthday party on a bouncing turtle he got from his aunt and uncle.

Advertisements

book review: “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”

Omnivores-Dilemma-cover

 

Oh boy! I just finished this up last week and now I’m looking at all food differently. If you care about your health and/or your family’s health, you better read this book. I stumbled across it when trying to find a library book for my Kindle, so I downloaded it. I’m glad I did.

Michael Pollan takes you on a trip on where our food comes from and what process it goes through before we eat it. He points out how much corn is being grown now and how high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is in the majority of food we consume. He reveals the nasty way our meat is raised and slaughtered and how the animals we eat are forced to eat corn and other food they were not created to eat.

Some of the most shocking things I read were about the chemicals industrial food companies are using on our food. How if the chemical sprayer breaks in a corn field, they won’t send a worker out there for days because the chemicals are so toxic. Also, the potatoes used for french fries are so toxic that they have to leave them in storehouses for 6 months before they can be processed and distributed.

Not all hope is lost, though. He visits a farm in good, ol’ Charlottesville, Virginia (yay, Virginia!) where farming is happening the way it’s supposed to. The animals are treated well and the food is safe and sustainable for the environment. I honestly wanted to be a farmer by the time I was done reading the book.

I live on a farm, but I don’t really work it. My husband’s family have dairy farmed for years, but a couple of years ago they quit for a while, switching to beef cows. However, the talk of milking is back in the picture now. I’m happy to say that the cows on this farm get to roam around and eat grass in wide, open pastures.

I also decided (before reading the book, but it confirmed my thoughts) to help my husband’s grandmother with her garden this spring and summer. She has this amazing, huge garden and I can access it easily. So, this year, I’m going to work and grow some of our food! I think I’m going to plant some small plants around our house to make a quick salad patch, too.

I sound ambitious, don’t I? 🙂

 

shame on me

Recently, I’ve had three chances that I can clearly recall to witness about Jesus, but I’ve only taken advantage of two of them. This makes me really sad, because I shouldn’t deny Christ. At the same time, I’m glad I can “discern” how I need to improve.

On Friday, a little boy shared my lunch with me. Before we ate, I should have grabbed his hand and asked him if he wanted to say grace, but I quietly bowed my head and blessed my food. This same little boy had mentioned just a few days earlier that he’d been playing with an Ouija board. Certainly, he needs to pray. Shame on me for not asking if he wanted to join in the blessing.

Then, I was at a dinner with some non-believers and again, I didn’t volunteer to bless the food and they didn’t think twice about digging in. I should have asked to say a blessing or at least bowed my head to bless my food, but I did not. Why? I guess peer pressure. Shame on me.

Thankfully, I’d been thinking about these instances quite a bit today and last night, so when the opportunity arose today to witness, I finally did it! A lady I know is very down in the dumps and worries about everything all the time. I mean, everything all the time, no kidding. Either way, I was being my happy, silly self today and she made a comment like, “You don’t have a worry in the world, do you?” I told her that for the most part, I don’t worry because I know I’m not in control of anything. I did tell her I worry about my son’s eating habits, watching too much TV, and little things like that, but I don’t stress too much about it. I’ve learned that it doesn’t pay to be stressed or worried. I truly have decided to give it to God and let him handle it. He’ll tell me what I need to do.

So, my prayer today is this:

Dear Lord, be with me and lead me when I don’t have the words or I’m embarrassed to speak out on Your behalf. Don’t let me be ashamed of You, because I don’t want You to be ashamed of me. Let me be a shining light in this dark world. In Jesus name, Amen.

my sisters

My sisters and I one Halloween dressed as ballerinas (I'm the middle one).

My sisters and I one Halloween dressed as ballerinas (I’m the middle one).

My younger sister is in Tennessee tonight for a job interview and I’m so proud of her. She just graduated with an environmental science degree less than a month ago – the first in my immediate family to get a Bachelor’s degree. I wrote about “discernment” the other day and I have to say she definitely listened when God called her several years ago.

After she graduated from high school, she ended up in the banking industry. Several years into it (maybe 5 or 6), she realized that’s not what she wanted to do with her life. She said God told her to go back to school, so she did. I talked about changing jobs of almost 9 years, but I can’t imagine quitting a good paying, full time job to go to school and work part time.

Now, she’s been asked to travel about 7 hours away for a job interview. A big one, from the sound of it. She said she got an “interview agenda” which outlined 2 different interviews of 45 minutes by a panel of 3 different people (in each session), then a tour of the facility, then lunch with the plant manager. I’ve never heard of such a thing! I’m praying that if this is the right job for her that she gets it. However, at the same time, I’m really going to miss her if she goes away. We’re only about 16 months apart in age and have always been close. We see each other at least a few times each month and to think she won’t be here to spend time with me makes me sad. But, I want her to be happy and successful.

I miss my other sister who moved to California in November 2011. I haven’t seen her since and I do hope 2013 holds an in-person meeting for us. Before California, she lived about 6 hours away and I didn’t see her for almost 2 years before she left for California.

Isn’t it strange when you’re growing up that you just think you’ll always have your siblings right there? I’m so thankful mine are alive and well and that I’ve not had any permanent good byes with them. Oh, the memories I have of growing up. We actually all got along fairly well – we had our spats, but we never physically hurt one another.

My younger sister (that’s gone for the interview) has influenced me a lot over the years. I got to thinking about how she introduced me to hummus, whole wheat pasta, and ground turkey. I still eat those things, but she’s gone back to regular pasta and ground beef. She also turned me on to reusable shopping bags before it was a big deal.

The older sister (in California) has this inner strength and free spirit that I admire. She just goes with the flow and lives life day to day. I like to think that I picked up that trait from her. She also has the prettiest handwriting – mine stinks because I’m always in a hurry. I’d rather type.

My son will be a year old at the end of the month and I’ve really always thought he should have a sibling to keep him company and to grow up with. Part of me still feels that way, but at the same time, our little family trio seems perfect right now and I can’t imagine it any other way. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the Man upstairs has to say about it.

Mom told us to act scared like "Lions, and tigers, and bears...OH MY!"

Mom told us to act scared like “Lions, and tigers, and bears…OH MY!”

discernment

The word “discernment” has been popping up a lot here lately. It’s funny, because I remember the first time I was really introduced to the meaning of the word. I was taking an art class in college and the teacher talked quite a bit about it. That same teacher taught me about Mondrian and a few weeks ago at my sister’s graduation ceremony, I saw a cap decorated with his famous black, white, yellow, blue, and red lines. But, I digress.

Either way, discernment is a neat thing if you think about it…”the ability to judge well.” If you are like me, you’ve had your fair share of bad judgement calls in your lifetime. Hopefully, you’ve had far more good than bad.

I recently read an article (I think in my daily devotional journal?) about a woman who thought God was opening doors for her in her career because she kept advancing, but she finally realized that her relationship with God was suffering while she was climbing the ladder. It wasn’t until she gave up spending so much time in her career that she truly felt satisfied.

A few months ago, I decided to change jobs after nearly 9 years. I loved the job I was at…until my son came along. I knew that God was calling me to make a change and it was darn scary. Eventually, I gave into His leading and it was a really good judgement call. I was just telling my husband the other day how content I am with my life. I mean, I’ve got it REALLY good. Ask some rich folks looking in if they agree and they’d say “That girl is crazy! She doesn’t have a thing.” But, I really do feel richer than most folks in this big world.

prayer works

Prayer really does work. Yesterday, I was having a time relating to someone very close to me. This person was very upset and was showing it outwardly. Normally, I would have said something that sparked an argument, but instead, I googled something like “prayer for upset [type of person]” and this really neat thing popped up…

“Lord, nothing in me wants to pray for this man. I confess my anger, hurt, unforgiveness, disappointment, resentment, and hardness of heart toward him. Forgive me and create in me a clean heart and right spirit before You. Give me a new, positive, joyful, loving, forgiving attitude toward him. Where he has erred, reveal it to him and convict his heart about it. Lead him through the paths of repentance and deliverance. Help me not to hold myself apart from him emotionally, mentally, or physically because of unforgiveness. Where either of us needs to ask forgiveness of the other, help us to do so.

If there is something I’m not seeing that’s adding to this problem, reveal it to me and help me to understand it. Remove any wedge of confusion that has created misunderstanding or miscommunication. Where there is behavior that needs to change in either of us, I pray You would enable that change to happen. As much as I want to hang on to my anger toward him because I feel it’s justified, I want to do what You want. I release all those feelings to You. Give me a renewed sense of love for him and words to heal this situation.”

The article also pointed out “Sometimes anything we say will only hinder the flow of what God wants to do, so it’s best to, well, shut up and pray.”

Later yesterday evening, the offender apologized to me and said he was going to work on his behavior. I confessed to him that I had prayed for him and had chosen to bite my tongue instead of saying anything to start a fight. He said it was funny because he had been planning in his mind what he was going to do if I spouted out and tried to start a fight.

So, that prayer worked and saved me an argument and hurt feelings yesterday!

Also, the prayers I said for my son’s recovery from RSV have been answered. No fever since yesterday morning and he’s on the mends! It sounds like a small prayer to be answered, but it could have really turned into something earlier like a hospital stay or even death. I think we take life for granted sometimes – our own lives and others.

One closing, unrelated thought. I get the “Daily Hope” devotional by Rick Warren and there was a line from one of the recent devotions that said “The problem is not that our culture believes nothing but that it believes everything.” Boy, ain’t that the truth?

 

you got to have faith-uh

The sun shining through the ice covered branches

The sun shining through the ice covered branches

Ah, George Michaels said it best when he said “You gotta have faith-uh, faith-uh, faith-uh.” That’s what I did this past week and it worked out well.

Last Friday, my son (now 11 months old) came down with a cold. It got progressively worse with a fever, cough, and terribly snotty nose. By Wednesday morning, he was a very sick child. Nowadays, it’s drilled into parent’s heads NOT to take their kids to the doctor. I can see that in most cases, but after a fairly sleepless night on Tuesday, I decided enough was enough. Besides, he had run a fever since Saturday and that was 4 days.

I took him to the doctor where they reported a 104 degree temperature. After checking for the flu, they decided to test for RSV. Before the doc came back with the test results, I knew that was going to be it. My nephew had been hospitalized with RSV a couple of years ago and it worried me a little. When the doctor told us to take him to the hospital for x-rays to rule out pneumonia, inside I cried a little, but my outer shell was not showing it.

Thankfully, he didn’t have pneumonia, but all you can do for RSV is give tylenol and ibuprofen and wait it out unless they get really bad off. So, for the past 3 days, he’s rested a lot and now he’s starting to act like the little fella I knew last week.

I write all of this to say that through this all, I honestly had a peace that things were going to be fine, no matter what. I trusted that God would take care of him – one way or another, and He did. There were folks around me in the family that were all to pieces, but I just had faith that he would be fine. It’s funny to think that I’m the mom and I seemed so hard, but I’ve realized in life that it doesn’t pay to worry. Of course, I do find myself worrying sometimes, but I’m quick to put it away.

I wish I knew the verses from the Bible that talk about how we shouldn’t worry about things in life…what we will eat and wear. God takes care of the flowers and the birds and they don’t even know where their next meal will come from. If He cares for the animals and plants like that, surely he’s going to take care of us.

On another note, we had a small ice storm the other day and I was fortunate enough to get some pictures and a short video of the ice melting when the sun started rising. It was beautiful!