Friday, July 30, 2010


I miss going to church.  I miss all aspects of having a church family; the good, the bad, and the snobby.  I miss walking into the building on Sunday morning, slightly frazzled (ok? A LOT frazzled) after having gotten 3 little girls dressed, hair brushed, and shoes (that match) on.

I miss walking each of them to their class rooms, applying their name tags and threatening them with their life encouraging them to be on their best behavior.

Mostly, I miss the worship.  I miss standing beside my husband (with whom I've glared at and argued with most of the morning about absolutely nothing) uninterrupted by skirt pulling, "mommy-mommy-mommmm-eeeeee" and random questions that our 3 little girls ask us on an minute-by-minute basis.

Truly, truly- I miss the worship.  There is something to be said about "Corporate Worship".  There's something more to be said about worshiping along side my husband.  The entire Sunday mornings' woes and frustrations melt away.  We are reminded of why we are here- not just in the building- but in the world/ on this Earth.  We were MADE to worship.  And in that 30 minutes, each of us are doing exactly what we were created to do- We are Worshiping  the Lord of the Universe.  The God of the Heavens.  The Creator of Life.  We are fulfilling our part of our purpose in our worship.

I do have an understanding that singing songs inside a building isn't ALL that defines "Worship".   None the less, I miss corporate worship.

I miss sitting in a chair, listening to a pastor explore the revelations that God has given him.  More so- I miss TRUSTING that the pastor is "real" and that he is, in fact, teaching and preaching, and ministering to the body through the Holy Spirit's revelations to him.

I miss church.  I miss having FAITH in going to church.  I miss having FAITH that the people that we go (went) to church with are "real".

If ever there would be a time that I questioned my personal Faith in Jesus Christ; it would be in this season.  We experienced the "fall of man" in a deep, personal way.  A pastor that proved NOT to be who he claimed to be.  A church body that acted like they were already in the Promised Land, but showed themselves to be nothing more than Desert Wanderers.

It wasn't just the fact that the pastor had an affair that disappointed me, and turned me "off" from church in general.  It wasn't just an affair- but I'm not willing to delve into exactly how bad his actions really were.  Let's just say- it was a man that took advantage of his authority- or should I say- a man that allowed Satan to take advantage of his authority.  He lost the ever-going battle of the spirit and the flesh.  The flesh won- lead into battle by Satan himself.

 And after it was all said and done-after he was called out and asked to leave the church- the situation then became "a man that simply FELL".  He messed up.   What took me over the edge- as far as "church" goes, was the way that our "church family" handled the situation.  Some were "let's forgive, and let him back in the pulpit", some were "let's tear him apart, limb by limb".... not many were willing to look to THE WORD for answers- they seemed to be lead my emotion- and emotion alone.

All of the "people" who seemed so "righteous" were lost.  Lost.  Lost.  Lost.

This fallen pastor wasn't the "cause" of the church breaking up.  It was the BODY that caused the break up.  It seemed that the body depended too much on the "pastors" leadership; they looked more to a man than to their Savior for answers.  And it turned out; the pastor wasn't their savior at all.... Now what should they do?

The entire situation led me to assume that PEOPLE (church people) were nothing but FAKE.  How can we go to church- when inside the church- it's full of hypocrites, and liars, plastic bodies wandering around in a desert; acting like they've reached the Promised Land?

And who's to say I'm any different?  I don't claim any sort of righteousness- I am beyond imperfect.  All I know- and all I (hopefully) ever claim to "know" is that MY JESUS is the only one I should look to in times of need.  My Savior is the only one that reached perfection; so no man (or woman) will ever look perfect to me.  My Father is the revealer of all things- and NO MAN can represent my GOD well enough.

In order for us to go to church- as a family- we will need to get stronger and stronger in the understanding that  human-beings are nothing more than Fallen Men. We have ALLLLL fallen- and come short.  All of us.  The challenge- in true honesty- is getting past the anger and bitterness that rises up when I'm around those that act "righteous".
Imagine if you will:
 (Big Plastic Grin: "Well hallelujah sister, how ya doin'?!?!  Praise the Lord it's so goooood to seee you!!!! My  name's Fred, and I've just been having a GLOR-EEE-US week with my perfect wife, and my perfect kids..... )
And... gag.

How bout a nice handshake instead?  Maybe a,  "How's it goin'? My name's Bob.  I'm a sinner! This morning I had an argument with my wife about always being late to church 'cause she spends too much time in front of the mirror.  I'm imperfect. And over there are our imperfect kids."

Dude- if I didn't now Jesus, I'd WANT TO KNOW HIM after an honesty-shot like that!!!!

I miss going to church.  But I wouldn't trade this season for anything!!! When I stepped back, (a little further back than I intended) I was able to check-myself out.  Who am I?  Who do I want to be? Who does GOD say I am? Who is HE telling me to be.  I pointed my finger at "them", one by one, and judged.... and slowly turned my finger toward myself and questioned "What right do I have to make these judgments?"

I'm peeved at those that abandoned this pastor all-together.  He didn't need a pat on the back "It's alright- come back into the pulpit.", but he SHO didn't need to look around himself and see backs turned against him either.  I understand those that felt the need to "break fellowship" with him- based on their own convictions- but.... anyway... I'll move on.

I'm proud of those that stand beside him, with out coddling- but in offering accountability and JESUS-like friendships.

I'm proud of those that said "Let's move on.  Forgive... and JUST move on."

I'm sad that an entire body got ripped apart, but thankful and grateful at the same time.  I'm sad that I don't trust ANYONE, but humbled and in awe that the Lord chose to reveal the importance of NOT trusting anyone to me.

I miss going to church.  But I'm glad I've been gone.  When I walk through the doors this Sunday morning, I'll have new eyes to look out of, a new heart  to love from, and a new humility to remove judgement with.  It all came free- but it sure didn't come to me cheap.  There's been a high-price to pay inside our walk and in our lives being in judgement of others, and having an 'attitude' toward God.  But we're on the mend.  We're getting there.  We're growing in the valley; looking forward to the mountain top.

Working Woman?

It's coming 'round the corner.  The possibility that I'll be a "Career Woman".  (And soon.)

Normally I'd pour out all my cool plans, and write out how stankin' excited I am to be..... OK!!!..... I may as well:

A couple times here and there I've pursued the cool fun-ness of opening and operating a Thrift Store (or Resale Shop).  And- each time, it's all fallen through, the building I looked at got rented out, finances were way too out of order, I had a baby (and another baby!) and then homeschooling the girls, and on, and on, and on........... my passion kinda dwindled out.

Recently, another door FLEW wide open to make (another) attempt at pursuing THE PERFECT RESALE SHOP in my hometown.  I'm making phone calls, and getting license information, and creating a business plan, and researching.... and I'm PRAYING.  Most importantly- I'm praying!

A while back I posted my desire to work in a few different fields. Counseling, Marketing, ASL, etc.   (I know- I know- PICK ONE already, right?)  Nah.  I don't think so.  I'm still young.  I can still go to school (online) while I work the shop you know?... my options are wide open.  This just puts us in an opportunity to own/operate a business that I would be really gooood at.  And enjoy.  AND- make money..... and possibly allow for some degree of financial freedom.  (who knows?)

Still a big-time-decision that we've not made yet.  I'm excited and hopeful.  It's gonna take a few thousand (Yup, that's THR33 zeros!) to get the doors open.  Obstacle numbers 1-10.  Money, honey!  I ain't got none (enough).

I'm hopeful.  Not totally sold on whether or not it's something we are MEANT to do; but knowing that the desire of my heart is to do something like *this*, and knowing that God has a sweetness in offering us the desires-of-our-heart; and knowing that the place-to-be-rented is an amazing deal/location/space.......

Ya.  I'm SUPER hopeful.

School. Decision MADE.

  The girls are going to public school this year (and possibly next year).   

The hardest decision I've had to make- sending them into the public school system (one- for the first time, and the other for the 2nd time- after a 1st times AWFUL experience.)  Did ya catch all that?

Anyone who's read this here blog-spot of mine KNOWS how tough this decision has been.   And- though I'm confident that God has a plan, and He's in control- I can't deny that I'm still broken hearted that my sweet baby-girls are being sent into the world, all alone..... from 8:00 AM until 3:00 PM.... to be cared for by people I know NOTHING about. (I've considered stalking the kindergarten and 2nd grade teachers..... )  To be surrounded by children that may or may not be mean or nice, or hateful, or friendly.  To be told to walk in a straight line, and no talking, and no silliness (Wait? We have that rule for the grocery store. Am I being hypocritical here?)

Maybe the saddest part is being away (ok- wide open- the flood gates are pouring) from my girls for such a long period in the day time- 5 days a week- and not knowing how to meet their needs in those FEW hours I'll get to spend with them in the evenings. (Especially if I'm to be a working-woman in my near future).

God is good.  He knows my equipment is failing in the home school department, and I need some major repairs before I can take on that task again.  He loves my daughters WAY more than I do (and how that's possible will forever baffle me!).  His plans are for their GOOD; and that rocks.

So? I believe God whispered a tender little "You know who you should get in touch with?" in my ear- and prompted me to send the school counselor an email.  This school counselor and I- we're "Facebook friends"- cause we went to the same church; how great is that??? The few times I've talked to her I felt like she was a genuine person.  So? We emailed.  And I don't know how she did it- I've read the emails several times; there's nothing super profound in what she said- but this sweet lady made me feel a welcomed relief in the fact that we could totally make this school year a good one.  We're going to meet this coming week- and I'm so thankful to have an empathetic ear available to listen to our concerns, and our hopes, and our needs.

I'm praying for THE PERFECT teacher for each of our girls.  I'm praying that the transition from being late-morning-risers (8:00-9:00 AM) will be easy-enough, and that we'll have a cool routine in the mornings that will allow us time to PRAY together, and eat together, and CHILL-ax for an easy morning ride into a busy school day.

I'm praying that I can quit crying long enough to get a grasp on how important it is that I TRUST GOD in this time.... understanding that HE is awesomeness, and I am NOT- and He sees what's ahead; and knows what is best for us- in this time- here and now.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Empty Vessels Can't Pour


We. Pour. Out.
And pour, and pour and pour.

If we have full time jobs- we pour ourselves into our career through out the day.
If we stay at home with our children- we pour ourselves into our children, and our home.......
If we DO BOTH- our pouring out has to manipulated in a way so that we have enough LEFT to offer our children when we come home from a long day of pouring into our career.

And it's likely, that at least half of "us"  are married.
Divvy it out girls- we got to save some of it to pour into our husbands, too.

And if we're gonna survive parenthood and marriage and the balancing act it all requires- we gotta have some solid friendships to offer us accountability and a degree of sanity!

Pour it out......

And what about our family- the siblings we grew up with, the parents that molded us (good or bad) into the adults we have become....



Pour. Pour. Pour. POUR!!!!!

The "woe is me" Mommy that I (usually) am cries:
"I'm empty. I have nothing in me to pour into anyone or anything else. "  (I can get a rockin' pity party going, too.)   "I take care of it ALL.  No one helps me. I'm alone in responsibilities, I'm alone in my suffering, I'm alone in my troubles.....I can't do it!!! "

But the Holy Spirit (in me) responds:
"NO ONE ELSE is required to pour into you. Just come to ME.  I have everything you need."

And I know how true it is that My Father-God has given me The Word, and His Spirit, and all I have to do is SURRENDER and submit myself unto Him- and He will fill me up, and give me Joy, and Peace.... sigh... peace...... joy.....

I've been an empty, bone-dry, dust-collecting-vessel;  attempting to pour myself into my children, and my friendships, and my family, and my marriage.... having a small degree of hope that somehow, my children, and my family, and my friendships, and maybe even my marriage would be enough to fill me back up.
Wrong- super wrong.  Crazy wrong.  I know better.  I knew better.  What was I thinking?!?!
Nothing in this world is enough to fill me up so that I can pour back out.... I gotta get my refills from the LORD- lest I stay empty.

And I'll be honest here; I know that's what I need to do.  Most of us who have been born-again-saved-by-Grace-Jesus-loving-church-going Christians ALREADY know that we have to spend time in our Word, and in prayer, and in worship, and in Christian fellowship.....

But do we do it?

I think the obvious answer, should any of us question ourselves in that area- is going to come from a question we ask ourself: "Are We Empty Vessels?" .............................................................

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It JUST galls me.....

Once upon a time, back in the day, a little old lady made up the saying "Well that just galls me."

What. Does. THAT. Mean????  I just assumed it meant that it bothered you.  Annoyed you? Frustrated you?

And now,  present day,  this not-so-little,  not-so-old-lady,  got a good grip on what being "galled" actually means.

A few months ago, I was experiencing the most intense stress in my adult life.  Had I been  placed in just "ONE" of the stress scenarios that I was experiencing, I could have deal with it (better).  But? I was presented in dealing with stress from all directions of my personal life.  Perhaps if, during that stress, I had seen that there was a hope to a decent conclusion, I wouldn't have handled it all so poorly.  But-  I had no certainty of a pleasant outcome.

Mentally, I shut down in the worst possible way.  Physically, my body couldn't handle my mental state.  Coupled with a poor diet, intense stress, and little sleep; my body responded and my gall bladder took the hit.  Long story short; after a week of throwing up, diarreah, and dehydration, I went to a doctor.  MD.  No help. I needed blood work and extensive testing to determine my issue.  No insurance.  So? Not gonna happen.  I researched my issue, and decided I was going to make an effort in going "the natural" way.

Off to Miss Acupuncturist I went.  A great friend  recommended Flourish Acupuncture, and I took the plunge into Chinese Medicine via Tamara Clarke's expertise.

I can't say that I wasn't skeptical.  I CAN say, however, that I was willing and open to give it a try- which in effect- made all the difference.  Tamara sat down with me and asked me many questions about my health history, eating habits, and the all important , how much current stress am I experiencing.  In the process of the acupuncture, she determined that the gall bladder was indeed the issue.

I left the office feeling so much better- an hour in a serene atmosphere was only part of the improvement.  I whole heartedly believe that something to do with the acupuncture allowed my body to re-energize.  Tamara educated me on the foods I needed to avoid (mega important!) and "prescribed" two different supplements based on the Chinese Medicine methods she has been trained in.  And- I was asked to find a yoga class to take, and practice deep breathing to help deal with stress.

I felt better.  So. Much. Better!

Today- I'm kicking myself in the BUTT for forgetting everything that lead up to my gall bladder issue before.  I have less stress, absolutely, but I've been dwelling on a very specific stress- losing sleep, self medicating with 'food', and not taking my supplements.

Stupid. Stupid. STUPID!

I'm right back where I started before I 'got better'.  Tired, to the point of ridiculous.  In pain, but not like before- because I'm not puking.

In addition- I have a toothache.  Apparently, there's a cavity up in one of my teeth.  Side note to my ailment, I have something called Enamel Dysplasia.  SO? When I get a cavity- it moves into the root faster than it would normally.  When I have a toothache, it's likely that I need a root canal.  Suckville.

And- I have an ear ache.  It could be due to the toothache- the pressure from my jaw could effect the ear drum.  Whatever.

All in all- not having insurance, dental or medical- means that,  for the most part, I have to suffer.  I have to endure the tooth pain until I can make my way to a big-fat dental bill. And seeing an M.D. to help  alleviate  the pain and discomfort associated with this STINKIN' gall bladder problem; eh- it's unreasonable.  I know that I'll have to hit the E.R. if I get a fever, and that doesn't help me any at all- because STRESS flairs up a gall bladder- and I am a little "flipped out" at the idea of a few thousand dollars for medical attention that could lead to surgery.


So, ya.  It galls me!  I'm galled.  I'm stressed about the ever-important decision  concerning how I will choose to educate my children.  Homeschool or not?

I'm stressed about finances- the need for a new car, and a bigger house- and dental care.  It 'galls' me that I have to suffer through pain and discomfort as WELL as care for my 3 little-bits-of-joy because we don't have family that can take on the care of our girls during the day.

Not anywhere NEAR the stress that I had to deal with a few months ago; but stress none the less.

I'm ready for things to 'be normal', whatever 'normal' looks like.  It's annoying to have 'big issues' present themselves into our life so consistently.  

Not a fan of being 'galled'.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Back in the Day.... When I had Babies.

It's not like I don't still have babies.  I do. They're just not baby babies.  They're a little bigger.  Being a (youngish) mom of THREE (young) girls- it's often that "new-to-be-mom" friends of mine ask me what they should purchase for their upcoming arrival.

So? I decided to create a "What I Liked and What I Used" blog page- complete with pictures and links for all things New Mom and New Baby (up to the first 6 months)

 The Bedroom:  Where it all begins

Most baby beds these days will also convert into a  toddler bed.  Some will even convert into a full-size headboard and foot board! The conversion into the toddler bed is the most practical; and will turn out to be the most useful.

The baby crib below pleasantly transforms from a standard crib to a toddler bed, and then some. 
 (NOTE: The ability for the side of the crib as well as the mattress frame- to raise and to lower is most important.  When laying a newborn down to sleep, having to bend over to a fully lowered mattress along withbending over a fully raised crib side = "good morning sleeping baby".)

Changing table? Or no changing table?  
Good question

To be honest, my first two daughters had most of their booty-changes either on the couch, on our bed, or on a well placed blanket on the floor.  It wasn't until we had Number 3 that I discovered how much EASIER it was to have that wiggly little bottom secured nicely into the buckled up strap of a changing pad.

Nope.  We didn't have a changing table.  I purchased this  kind of changing pad at the advice of a genius mom-friend; who apparently didn't have time to mess around with useless furniture.  We had a long dresser that served a multipurpose use in number 3's nursery.  The pad had "grippy" things on the bottoms so that it would not slide around, a removable cover (accidents happen), and a restraint strap.  We stuck it atop the long dresser, and Voila!!!  
I placed diaper-changing supplies (*diapers, wipes, and butt-cream) in a cute little basket beside the changing pad to make sure I could keep my eyes and my hand on the baby, and I always made sure she stayed buckled up.  Morning time and bedtime changes were SO simple; and being that the baby was literally on top of the dresser- getting dressed for the day or night-night was just as easy.
*links to my favorites

Rockin' and A Rollin'

Glider. Rocker. Swivel Rocking Recliner?  IT won't matter!!!  Just as long as the new droopy eyed mommy can have something to lay her head back on as she rocks and soothes her newborn into dreamland!!  A glider with an ottoman would be ideal, but if the nursery is want of some 'space', and/or the pocket book is feeling a little too light, then use what you have, where you have it, and it will do just fine. I used something different for each child-o-mine, and they all ended in the same result;  Snoozing baby......  Snoozing mommy.  (Word!)

GEAR(heads): What's YOUR style?

As much as I'd love to pick out all of my favorite styles of baby-gear; I won't.  The kind of baby-gear a new-mom uses will be 100% up to her personal style.  I'll outline a list of the basic baby-needs, but will not link to a site for pictures.

* INFANT CAR SEAT (and base) 

* SWING (Do yourself a favor- don't bypass the swing- it'll save your LIFE (or so it would seem) when you need to sooth the baby and cook dinner and answer the phone, and coddle your husband- all at the same time!

*STROLLER (Ok.  I lied. I am going to detail this one.) 
If you're a mom on the GO, I'd really recommend foregoing the typical "Travel System" and go with something really EASY!!!)  For the first year, your baby is going to be ridin' in style via their infant car-seat.  New mommy will have developed MASTER biceps from lugging around the infant carrier. A travel system stroller is typically HEAVY, and bulky.  This type of snap-n-go stroller weighs maybe 5 pounds? 
And!! Typically- you can find it used via Craigslist or a Consignment shop for about $25.  (I did, anyway!)  Later- when you have an understanding of what mommy-hood is going to look like for you (cause honey- you're NOT gonna have a clue until after those first few months) you can decide on the perfect stroller for you.  They make ALL kinds, for all different levels of mommy-life.  You may be a home-body mommy that doesn't get out much- you may be a mall shopper mommy that needs an awesome swiveling maneuvering stroller, you may be a runner/jogger/mountain climber mommy and  you need something that will go EVERYWHERE you go.  See? That's the key.  What's going to work for you?  
(I was a busy on the go mom, and if I had been able to afford it- I'd have bought THIS baby! (It's a BOB Revolution Duallie Stroller)

Unless you're planning on co-sleeping, a bassinet is a sweet little piece of furniture to have to keep that baby with in arm's reach.  I had c-sections, so- literally, I invested in the Arm's Reach Cosleeper/Bassinett.  It saved my poor abdomen from the reaching in and out of a standard bassinet; but truly, a standard bassinet will do just fine as well. 

The pack 'n play is awesome! It's something the new mom will use for (atleast!) the first 2 years.  Dang.  I lied again.  I have to show the 'type' of play yard that TOTALLY rocked my world! 
 For mom's with dogs/cats or small children running around- this thing is another one of those "life savers".  I had mine put up in our living room.  It stored all of my diapering needs (we're on a split level- imagine the exhaustion of running up and down stairs for diaper changes!) and was a safe place to let the baby nap while I cooked, cleaned, or tended to my other children's needs.  Each mom's situation is different.  Perhaps you don't have animals, small children, or perhaps you're nursery is stationed right next door to the living room/kitchen area.  IF that's the case? You may not feel the need to buy one.  On the other hand? If you think you may travel or have  Grandparent sleepovers in the next 2 years of your life;  it's a worthy investment. 

What Else....?? 
Will you be a baby-wearer or a stroller pusher? Maybe both!
Will you nurse or bottle feed?  Again..... maybe both!
There are so many options out there; and the next few things I put on here are going to be from my personal experiences of having to do (almost) BOTH of (almost) everything!

The Boobies Or The Bottle?
Boobie feeding is not easy.  Don't let anyone tell you it is.  Not only do you feel the physical effects of nursing your baby, but there are an equal amount of emotional effects to consider.  
I'm gotta be frank- breast feeding is, for sure, the absolute best possible thing for your baby (and YOU!).  If you are informed enough, and make sure you utilize the (nipple-grabbing) lactation consultant provided at most hospitals; the physical pain, if present, will quickly disappear.  
Emotionally?? HELLO hormones.  And hello guilt (Is she getting enough? Maybe I'm not doing it right? Why does he keep falling asleep?)  As they say; This too shall pass.  It's worth it.  It's so worth it to at least TRY your hand at boobie-feeding.   Will you get stretch marks? Will your boobs turn into prunes?  Don't ask me.  It's all genetic, baby!

In my personal experience- the emotional hardship was also about the fact that I had to supplement.  It broke my 'new mommy' heart to have this understanding that booby-milk was the best, and I had to use (gasp!) formula.  

Guess what!?!  Whatever.  I gave my kids breast milk as long as I could, and formula kept them alive through that 12th month.

SO?!?!    If you're going to breast feed.  You're gonna want to get: 

*A breast pump.  You decide what's gonna be best for you.  I loved the manual Medela pump, but I also used the electric mack-daddy Medela double pump.  Both worked great- the manual was just a tad-bit more time consuming.  Avent makes a manual pump- they're awesome, too.  The cool thing about the Avent is that these particular bottles are GREAT helpers in keeping that baby from getting "lazy".  They have to work at getting the milk out of the booby- and the Avent bottles make them work to get it from there, too.  

*Nursing pads (unless- by chance, you enjoy having the sound of a babies cry automatically enter you in to the nearest Wet T-shirt Contest).  

*Lanolin cream.  Dry, cracked nipples?  No thanks.  Buy the $8 cream.  And apply liberally.  

*Nursing Bras (talk to the chicks at the maternity shop- they'll hook you up). 


Invest in an ace bandage thingy and a sports bra that's about  a size too small.  I've never had to do this- but I've heard alllll about the pain that comes along with getting that milk to "dry up".  Ouch.  Ouch.  OUCH!


I tried (most) of them.  The Bjorn.  The Infantino.  The Ring-Sling. (Ok.  It's actually awesome, too.)  The Native. And blah-blah blah.    And finally?!?  I found THE ONE I LOVED THE MOST!!!   I didn't buy it.  (Or steal it!!!) 

 I made it.  

I'm not crafty or artsy or anything awesome.....  I'm just budget-conscience. (Or poor- whichever term you wanna use.)

I found the most amazing baby-carrier on the planet; but we could not afford it.  If you CAN... here's the link.  If you can't.  GOOGLE is your friend, sister!!!  Find the instructions (They're basic.  Seriously.  You just need some Jersey Knit Fabric, basic sewing skills (can you stitch a straight line?) And some scissors.  
Also- secondary to the awesomeness of the hug-a-bub... THE MOBY.  Same concept.  Less Moo-lah.

IN THE END..........

This is the basics; the bottom line  of what you may want to get before that bundle gets home from the hospital. 
(Well? You might wanna consider some clothes; but- you know- that's totally up to you.)  

Just know- everyone is different.  What worked for me, may not work for you.  The good thing is.... there are LOTS of mom's in the world to glean from- so ask around as often as you get the chance.  

The price list for baby gear can get EXTREME!  If the baby showers and grandparents aren't able to meet every need; I would HIGHLY recommend checking out your local resale shops, Craigslist, or maybe even Ebay?  

Baby gear is used for such a short period of time.  Most of it is completely sterilize-able, and washer friendly.
 (car seats and strollers have removable cloth) and lysol wipes will eventually become you're new friend, so if buying used, you may as well get acquainted.  

As far as the "little-things" go? Will you need a wipes warmer or a bottle sterilizer, what's the best diaper bag, and will a diaper genie really come in handy or can I wad the stank-diaper up in a grocery bag?  Honestly- it's person to person. You know you're lifestyle the very best.  

I will leave you with one of the "little" things that I've found to be handier than any handy convenient baby item out there:  The JJ Cole Essentials Diaper and Wipes holder-thingy.
It keeps diapers from getting all squishy and crumbled.  It has a wipes container and a changing sheet-pad-thing in case you're somewhere gross and can't stand the thought of putting down the baby-blanket for a quick diaper change.  It wipes CLEAN (Hey. Lysol wipes.  New friend.) and the strap will  un-strap and re-button so you can hook the Holder onto ANYTHING you need it to be attached to.  

And there ya go.  Happy searching.  Enjoy the newness of it all.  It may seem stressful- the whole new mom thing... but it pales in comparison to when that sweet baby-bump turns into a Terrorizing Two-Year Old.  

Thursday, July 1, 2010

If We Are The Body......

Casting Crowns.  Have you heard the song?  Press play.  Listen for a minute; and then read.

God has been speaking more and more to me this phrase "You're a PART of the body."  Just a part of it.  It's one of those  things that I hear Him say, and I get EXCITED!!!   I'm different.  So different, in fact, that after taking a detailed personality test, it seems that I am one out of 3-5% in our population that has this type of personality.   Whoo Hoooo!!!  I'm weird... and it's because God TOTALLY made me this way.  Uh-huh.  That's right.  OH-YEAH!  (My favorite phrase "Jesus Loves Weirdos"_

I've been reading this book- and I can't help but have this sense of "YAAAAY!!!!" after studying it, and grasping this concept that my personality is rare, but not abnormal.  I'm unique, and it's for a PURPOSE.
This book- it separates the population into 4 Temperaments, branching each of those four temperaments out into 16 total personality types.  Whew.  I'm not smart enough to figure all that out.

What I am, though- is analytical.

4 Temperaments.
4 basic portions of the body.  (The head.  The arms. The legs. The torso.)
4x4 = 16.  Tah-Dah.

I'm thinking about it- and I'm like getting this serious brain freeze because there's too much information to soak in, and I don't have the capacity to hold it.

The head: Has eyes to see, Ears to hear.  A mouth to speak.  And a brain to think.  
Do you see the example?  One of the FOUR basic parts of the body; has 4 basic functions (usable in reference to the Body of Christ)

Ok.  Really?  I can't go on.  I'm just jabbering and talking about stuff I am not that certain of.  I'm just trying to make a point (to myself).  God made us different.  And inside our differences, we're different...  (Ouch.  My head is throbbing.  This is some deeeep stuff!)

We.  Are. The. Body.  We not only have different functions, but we have different abilities within our different functionality.   Golly-Gee-Whiz.  This is amazing!

Why then, if it's so obvious that The Body of Christ was designed to be different, with different functions (I'm feeling a bit repetitious) is it that the Body (The Church) has such a hard time EMBRACING one another's uniqueness.  

Before defenses start rising, and thoughts lean toward "No. But?  I embrace differences....." let me give some examples.  Ahem.  Baptist. Methodist. Pentocostle.....  Bluejeans, Suit and Tie, Knee-Length Skirts.  Long hair, short hair, Gucci shoes or Jesus sandals?   Even the standards of a denomination and  how the people in the church look can wreak havoc on the operation of The Body.  It's simplistic, but who can't admit to the reality of the example?  (Not me.)

But? What about the real issues.  Should the church focus on Evangelism? Teaching? Prophesy?  Preaching? Worship?  Is it normal to speak in tongues, heal, discern spirits......?  Should we give our money? Should we be showing mercy, and sharing knowledge? I don't know about anyone else, but my vote is YES.  All of the above.  'Cause it's called THE BODY OF CHRIST.  Not a "portion" of Christ.    Isn't the Bible clear? (Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:11, 1 Corinthians 12:1-14)  It's all relevant.

There are church denominations that don't "believe" in speaking in tongues .  I've been witness to churches that require you to speak in tongues if you're "really actually spirit-filled".  There are churches that take on the belief that those that are Christians are part of the "elect" and that those that aren't "elected" just have to- well?- for lack of a better phrase... Burn In Hell ('What's up Calvin? There's some verse in the Bible that says something like The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise(B) as some count slowness, but(C) is patient toward you,[a](D) not wishing that any should perish, but(E) that all should reach repentance.)  (I apologize for that soap box moment.)

If you say Shit,Damn, or Hell!!!  you're probably not really saved.  Someone just peed their pants reading that. (Oh, Lord.  Save her.  She's swearing....)  (P.S. I know this really awesome Spirit-Filled chick that, to make a point in conversation- will throw out a swear word here and there.  I can't question her love for the Lord.  It's evident.)

But how quick are we to JUDGE those that aren't "like" us.  How fast are we to force our convictions on someone else?  I don't want to just be a part of the "head" or the "feet".  I want to be a part of the WHOLE. ENTIRE. BODY.  I want to operate inside of my function; whatever that may be.  (Knowing how far I have to travel to even come close to righteousness, I'm guessing I'm just ear-wax right now.... but guess what? EAR WAX has a purpose.  What's up!!)  

Ok.  Seriously.  God is huge.  HUGE.  He won't fit into our personal "box".  Whatever box it is that we try to put Christianity standards into- it seems- we're as well, putting a BIG-GOD inside a Small Box.

We all have a purpose.  All. Of. Us.  But? I think we so quickly get discouraged putting so much effort into defending who we are inside OURSELF, that eventually, we decide to try to "cut off our square edges to fit into society's circle".  

Who are we?

We are the body.