Little Lips, Drool and Teeth

I love the view of my son's face when he's snuggled up against me sleeping. Once in a while, he does that little sucking motion that babies often do when they're dreaming of food. He's been extra cuddly today. I'm pretty sure he's teething. He's constantly trying to fit his entire fist in his mouth, drooling more than a Saint Bernard, crying at the drop of a hat, and fussing when he's trying to eat (unless I pat his bottom the entire time). His gums have been looking a little puffy as well. I'm sure glad I have all my teeth already. Cutting teeth doesn't look like very much fun!

How NOT To Lose Small Parts

Once in a while I come up with a great idea that sort up comes up behind me and clunks me on the head. I use a Medela brand pump and it's fairly easy to clean, especially if you just load all the parts into the dishwasher. Up until this morning, however, I was always stuck cleaning the little white membranes by hand. These things are as thin as paper and easy to lose considering they disappear whenever you place them in a white sink. I have a package of spares, but that's not the point! All of a sudden it dawned on me that I have the perfect little container to keep these things from falling through the cracks in my Munchkin dishwasher basket...

A Tea ball! (And I'm not talking about a bunch of tiny children wacking a baseball off a stick.)

I wish I had ideas like this more often.


The Truth

To say nothing about the relationship I have with the Lord would leave a deep hole in my story, which is essentially the heart and sole of this blog. Because of this, I am compelled to share the journey I have walked with Christ and proclaim the good work he has done in my life. Though many Christ followers are quick to throw off the label of "Christian" in an effort to save face and avoid criticism, it is a part of my identity I cannot deny. I am sorry for the sins of past and present believers, but I do not apologize for the God that I serve. I know that His Word is rejected by the majority of the population, religious or not. That does not change the fact that it is truth.

I always knew about Him. After all, I grew up in a Christian home. But, I didn't really meet Him until I was 18 years old. We met at a conference. I've been to a lot of Christian conferences: this one was the Evangelical Free National Youth Conference in Atlanta, GA, in July of 2002. We had these huge rallies in the Georgia Tech dome each night. Chris Tomlin was the worship leader that week. I don't remember the name of the speaker the second night we were there, but it was during his sermon on Isaiah 6 that the Lord rocked the earth under my feet. It was a breathtaking, bone-crushing, heart-piercing experience that left me speechless for hours afterward. The Lord had confronted me with the reality of my sin and the sin of the world. The weight of that sin and its consequences - death and eternal separation from God - was laid on my heart. It was a burden that rested very heavily on me. I felt a physical pain and in my distress and shame, God reminded me of his mercy. I accepted his gift of grace with all my heart. This time it was for real. I was a changed person from that day forward.

Before God got in my face, I was a self-centered, hypocritical teen, lacking in integrity and control of my emotions. I struggled with intermittent depression that largely stemmed from an inward focus with a critical spirit. I had absorbed the negative, become somewhat bitter, and abandoned my identity in Christ to pursue popularity. I was totally unaware of my need for God's grace. A pivotal moment leading up to my true conversion happened during study hall when I was seventeen. A teacher interrupted me while I laughed and scoffed at the photos of disfigured people on a popular website. "Aren't you church people supposed to be nice? I thought religious people weren't supposed to make fun of people like that." I was wearing a church t-shirt at the time.

I went to the conference the summer after my senior year and I entered college with a renewed spirit and a hunger for truth. When I got to college, God used InterVarsity Christian Fellowship to teach me what it really meant to walk with the Lord. It was in college that I began to witness first hand the power of prayer. It is also where I began to really study God's Word and discover the character of God.

Today, I know God as my comforter, my provider, my King and my salvation. It is through an eternal perspective that I endure life's hardships, knowing that one day this temporary home will vanish like a vapor and I will walk with the Lord in Heaven for eternity. Until then, it is my desire and purpose to continue to be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God... [To be] strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified [me] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered [me] from the domain of darkness and transferred [me] to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom [I] have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. [Colossians 1:9-14]

Gourmet Tuna Salad Wraps

Mix in a medium bowl:
  • 1 (12 ounce) can tuna
  • 1 dash of dried minced onion
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup seasoned slivered almonds
Mix in a small bowl:
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
Combine the contents of both bowls and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture onto tortillas and top with shredded lettuce and shredded muenster cheese. Bake in a 350 oven for ten minutes. Fold into a wrap and enjoy!

I made these for lunch today and my husband loved them!


Children Are a Blessing

I know that many of the topics that are discussed in Lies Women Believe are difficult. Also, some of the truths, out of context, can seem unreasonable. For example, in my recent post No Higher Calling, the assumption is that you are married with children. Clearly having a career is a noble pursuit if it does not mean neglecting your family. I do believe, however, that if you have chosen to have children, any job you hold should come second to raising those kids, no matter how much you enjoy your job.

I work at home as a writer, and I choose to complete my work while my son is asleep. I do this so my job does not interfere with raising my son. I have had offers to work outside of the home, or to work hours that would require getting childcare, but I have turned these opportunities down because I believe that I am the best parent for my little one. The best place for a young child is at home with one or both parents. They need our constant attention and guidance. Unfortunately, I recognize that I am in the minority when it comes to my views on raising kids. Most kids grow up outside the home these days.

Children are a blessing, not an inconvenience. In this society and many others today, children are seen as something to work around, delay, drop off, or avoid. Children should be embraced! They teach us lessons that cannot be learned anywhere else. They bless us in ways that no one else can. They will shape us into responsible, caring, humble people, if only we will allow them.

Last night's topic on children was particularly difficult for one woman who desired a family, but for reasons unknown to me, she and her husband were never able to bear children. Unfortunately the author of Lies Women Believe did not touch on this subject and I believe it led this woman to feel guilt for her loss. She ended up leaving before the end of the study. Children are indeed a blessing, but not all of us will have the opportunity to receive that blessing. Childless families should not be condemned for failing to have children; we do not always know the reasons behind the circumstances. Sometimes women are unable to conceive, and sometimes there are difficult health issues involved - it may be too dangerous or life threatening to conceive a child. God always chooses life. It is understandable for a woman to use non-abortive methods to avoid having children if her life is at stake.

Next week we are discussing women and their emotions... this should get interesting!!


Cherry Stems

When the baby sleeps a little longer than expected, when there's a bowl of cherries on my lap, when our favorite show is playing, when we steel kisses in between tossing our stems and seeds onto the same plate... these are the moments I remember the first time we sat on a couch and I couldn't get my mind off the fact our shoulders were touching. These are the moments I forget we have a mortgage or a thousand other bills to pay. These are the moments I forget about our jobs or the sink full of dishes... And the love I hold in my heart, for the man who gave my son those distinctive eyebrows and dimpled smile, it overflows.