Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Anger, Sadness, Hope

This just wrecks me. Confession: It is so easy for me get into my American bubble and try to avoid the "depressing" news of what is happening in this world.

Then, I read this: "Hussein's mother, Najah, was breastfeeding him when the rockets struck. Najah was killed by the rubble, but her body sheltered Hussein." and I immediately feel a connection with this woman.

As I read this story, I realized I was doing the very same thing she was when her life, thousands of miles away, was torn from her, it was 11pm here, the time when I change, feed and lay down with Bella for bed. Both of us women doing such a natural, mothering thing; loving on our babies.

My mind goes there. Did she know it was coming? Could she hear the bombs around her? Did she try to comfort her baby boy as she heard the noises, watching over the rest of her family sleeping? Was little Hussein aware of what was going on as he waited for help wrapped in his lifeless mother's arms?

I am broken. I sit here, my biggest current grievance is the annoying fly who will just not leave me alone. How easy I have it! I feel so helpless, so useless in world so big with so much pain. It is why I go in to my "ignorance is bliss" bubble, because it is all so overwhelming.

I got a postcard in the mail today with a little boy Archer's age on the front, starving and sick. WHAT CAN I DO?!!??!? All the money I can throw at it is not going to touch it. Sure, I could put a $20 in the mail and feel better for a whole 5 minutes, until I remember there are countless other babies and children in the same situation all around the world and half the time corrupt governments and organizational overhead get most of that money.

My heart is stirred and I truly am asking, what can I do to make a difference? I am the same as these people, flesh and bone. This mother who was holding, loving, feeding her baby. The Lord just chose us to be born in two different places. I will never know why and I could call it a blessing but at times I think it is a curse, because I feel trapped. I want to do something that will truly HELP someone. I want to love these people with more than money, with action.

Adam and I joke that our "retirement plan" is to go be missionaries, but we really aren't joking. When I know my kids are situated, I am gone. Not running away, but running to a hurting people who I want to show God to. His LOVE, His humility, His grace, His forgiveness. I want to show them a God that does not require them to be perfect and loves them even in their failings. I want them to know the freedom I know. I want them to have the bread of LIFE. I want them to have more. More than physical food and water (although that is something I want them to have as well) but I want them to have what Christ offered the woman at the well. I feel it deep in my soul even as I type now, a yearning to shout it out. FORGET MY MONEY, I WANT TO GIVE YOU ME!

D e e p  b r e a t h. In His time. He has called us to a purpose here and now, where we are, in this life situation. So, for now, I will pray and contend for these mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas who are suffering so. I will pray for a wise government; for God's mercy and swift justice. I will remember that He is a just God. I will love these families from afar in the feasible ways that I can now. I will not allow myself to get in to the American bubble. I will faithfully support and pray for the sweet face on the picture that hangs on my fridge. I will thank God daily that my children have not known that suffering while at the same time praying that He will open their eyes to the lost, suffering world around them as they grow. That seeds of compassion and love will be planted deep in their souls and they will know that this world is so much bigger than their limited experiences. That He will give them the opportunity to be His hands and feet to some of the pain we see all around us.

I will hold my babies closer, knowing I am not entitled to ANYTHING and that they are not really mine but His, to use how He wills. How scary and freeing it is all in the same emotion it is to know we are not really in control of anything.

This passage has really been ministering to my heart recently so I will leave you with it.

Hebrews 10:

19Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mommy Labels

This post may go all over the place, but all this has been spinning around in my head and I am finally sitting down to get it out. There are so many labels out there for moms. I cannot count the number of times I have heard a mom refer to herself by a particular parenting style, as though it defined her total being, or been asked what category I fall into. The mommy wars are fierce and seem to be fueled on even stronger by these labels we give ourselves. Yet, inevitably, I find myself racking my brain, wondering...what am I?

I guess I am an independent, leaning more towards attachment parenting in someways but not so much toward the peaceful parenting movement (not that I don't want my house to be peaceful, but "no" is a part of our daily vocabulary). I went through a phase where Babywise did help with feeding Aidyn (who was on formula and very colicky), but with Archer and now definitely with Bella, I nurse on demand and really couldn't be farther from Babywise. We follow no schedule other than the one her body has regulated itself to.

My parenting style has changed so much since Aidyn. I at times regret some of the things I did with her, wish I had tried is so easy to look back and beat yourself up. But I saw this Maya Angelou quote the other day...

Oh how true that is, I cannot change the past, but I can do better now. For me, with Bella, that meant fighting tooth and nail to make breast feeding work. Researching things for myself and seeing what I truly believed and then standing firm in those beliefs. We co-sleep. I would not want my baby anywhere else. Trust me, I have researched statistics, SIDS, etc...there is no place I feel my baby is safer than tucked next to me. I have more than once woken to her having a problem (not caused by co-sleeping) I would not have noticed had she been in a separate bassinet. I "babywear", I have to. I have two other people who need attention and hands, it would be crazy for me not to; and I love having that little face right there where I can give it a kiss anytime I want :)

I am not "spoiling" my baby. I am loving her, meeting her needs, helping her make sense of this big scary world she was kind of thrown in to. She is not being damaged for lack of me making her learn how to "self sooth". Studies have shown stress levels in babies that do not go away even once they have "self-soothed" Those babies are STRESSED. There will be enough things in this life to stress out my people, this does not need to be one of them.

So, what changed in me and what effects have I seen? I have seen too many momma's loose their babies. There is nothing harder I have gone through in this world than being witness to this tragedy. I have grieved for and prayed for these mommas, and I have held my babies tighter, never taking a second for granted. I have seen how time speeds up with each baby. They grow faster, hit milestones faster, before you know it you can no longer even call them a baby. I want to cherish every moment, every snuggle, every "I love you". I do fail at this sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life, but I try to let my children know in every way I can that they are wanted, loved, their needs will be met, and they are safe.

What has been the fruit of this? Aidyn, my "self-soother", formula fed, CIO baby was my most dependent/fearful toddler. She was a colicky baby and still has some strong fears when it comes to being at all independent. Archer fell somewhere between Aidyn and Bella on my parenting spectrum as a baby, and his personality falls between them too. He is a bit more out going, he is quick to make a friend but only if I am not going anywhere. Bella? My Little Bit who sleeps tucked into my arm, goes most everywhere I go, breastfeeds, and doesn't get left to cry? Has a smile for everyone, is by far my happiest baby. She will let most anyone hold her. Heck, the girl had a double ear infection and it took me 4 days to figure it out because she is just such a happy baby.

This is just my experience, my opinion, and what has worked for my family. I am not writing this to judge anyone for how they parent. I am writing this because I feel like the Lord has done such a work in me through parenting and the lessons I have learned. I feel like our society is one of fear. Fear that we are going to screw up our kids forever if we do/don't let them cry, do/don't breastfeed, do/don't co-sleep. Well, newsflash, we are going to screw up our kids in some way, because we are sinners. We are human. We don't know everything. But Christ has GRACE for us. So, do your best. Research things for yourself, don't just go off what a pediatrician or even I say. Know what you believe, pray about how the Lord wants you to raise your babies and know, when you fail, He is there to say "it's okay, try again". Stop fearing and start LIVING! I wish someone had told me that 4 years ago.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Grain Mill

I want one of these SO bad! Check out this awesome giveaway!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Diving In

I am going to begin cloth diapering Bella. I am putting it here for the accountability I need. For financial reasons mainly, I need to not be lazy and do this! Wish me grace, not luck, because I am sure I will fail occasionally, lol. Here we go again!

Plus, cloth butts are so cute!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Coolest Scale - you can win!

Perfect Portions – Food Scale with Nutritional Calculator

I would LOVE to win this scale! Adam and I are really trying not so much to loose weight (we need to) but making our focus on just living healthier lifestyles/being better examples for our kids. We had a conversation just last night on portion size and portion control. This would make figuring all of that out so much simpler!! It would be an item that got daily use in my home!!

Check it out below if you want to enter to win too.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Check it out...

This is a pretty great giveaway from Hellman's, you should check it out!