Monday, October 20, 2014

Baby Brown is not very cooperative

I have been counting down the days until I can find out if we are having a boy or girl. I'm too much of a control freak to wait until the end of my pregnancy. I want to start planning right away. I went today to get an ultrasound and the baby would not be still long enough to see whether or not its a boy or girl. It moved the entire time. I'm a little nervous as to what this may mean in the future. I've heard that babies personalities are pretty similar to how they were in the womb. I can see that with Avery. She would have bursts of energy, but would also be quiet and still a lot. Right now though she is never quiet. She is going through a phase where she is all energy. I've never seen anything like it and I wish I could just have half of the energy she puts out.
I also finally got a pair of maternity pants this weekend. I ended up getting the skinny maternity jeans from Old Navy. I really like them. They are flattering, a good color and much more comfortable than wearing a rubber band around my waist. Plus, they only cost around 30 which is 40 less than any of the other stores I looked at. The only downside was they seemed to have a strong smell to them even after I washed them. Hopefully it will go completely away with a few more washings.
This week has been off a to a good start and I'm hoping that by the end of it I will know if Baby Brown is a boy or girl.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's Time to Buy New Pants

This week was great. We had our fall break and spent a lot of time playing. I've been almost obsessive lately with wanting to enjoy my time with Avery before we add another baby to the mix. I'm a firm believer in gratitude and trying to enjoy every season of my life.

Enjoyed the park.
We spent lots of time painting.
Spent time watching Daddy on the soccer field again.
The same goes for this pregnancy. It's not easy for me with all the changes my body makes on what seems to be a daily basis. I've always struggled with constant change and pregnancy seems to amp it up. I'm still adjusting to the limitations carrying a baby puts on my body. I am hungry all the time. I'm trying to eat healthy, but I can only hold out for so long. I normally don't like much meat, but for some reason I absolutely adore it pregnant. Hamburgers, ribs, deli sandwiches...all of those are on the top of my craving list lately. I do need to break down and buy some maternity jeans now. Sixteen weeks seems early to need them, but I can't stand the tightness of my jeans on my belly. And wearing that belly band drives me crazy. It's not comfortable to me. I took Avery shopping with me this weekend hoping I could find just a bigger size of jeans, but those weren't comfortable either. Baggy in the butt and tight in the tummy. I've been looking at Gap and Loft's maternity sections, but are waiting until they have a sale on pants. It's unreal how expensive a good pair of jeans are. Especially ones that I won't wear for very long. Avery was a great helper shopping and even carried my clothes around. I am just thankful we made it out of the mall without needing a potty break.
I can't wait until tomorrow. Not only for church, but also for the nap I get to take after. It's the small things in life. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend as much as me!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Becoming Alive Emotionally

I blame it on the pregnancy, but this week all I have wanted to talk about is emotions (my poor husband). For years I lived in such emotional deadness, that you couldn't get me to feel anything if you tried. And I was a Christian during those years too. I just had learned to shut down my emotions and numb them because of all the pain and trauma I had experienced. Of course God was working in that too and I spent many years gathering amazing knowledge and learning to apply godly principles to my life. I would have brief moments of feeling like when I was working through certain events from my past, but I just didn't know how to walk through life with a tender and open heart. I literally had no clue.

For so long I had kept my heart closed. It was my way to protect myself. I didn't realize until later that by trying to keep the bad out I was also keeping out the good. I may not have been able to be hurt horribly anymore, but I also had numbed the part of me that felt intense joy and hope. I learned that being emotionally dead isn't living, it is just surviving.
Change didn't come easy for me or all at once. At first I didn't even realize that God was starting to awaken my heart relationally again. It started with me reading the book "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. That book was beautifully written and something about it started stirring places in my heart. Many times during the course of that book I would find myself sobbing without knowing why. I see now that God was slowly working to bring my heart and emotions back to life. I started keeping a gratitude list and spending more time in the Word and prayer. Very slowly did I start feeling myself open up again. I began to want something more than the existence I had been stuck in for the last years.
For so long I had felt like there was nobody looking out for me or accepting me unconditionally where I was at. The more understanding I received of God's heart for me, the safer I began to feel. Yes people still hurt me and bad things happened, but I began to believe that God was good. That He had a hope for me and nothing could separate me from His love. I found myself opening up to others and experiencing more joy and pain than I ever had in my life. Even the pain was sweet because it kept drawing me into Jesus. I started loving more. My relationships grew deeper and stronger. I found myself crying and laughing more. It has been such a beautiful season for me emotionally. I still struggle with wanting to put walls up the second I feel any type of uncomfortable feeling coming (like rejection or hurt), but I never want to go back to just surviving. I want to live and live abundantly.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Emotions tell me where I'm at

I spent a long time in the land of emotional deadness. The only emotion I was really ever aware of was anger. I learned at an early age that to survive I had to deaden my heart. The reversal process can take quite awhile.
After healing and becoming more alive emotionally, I've learned something about emotions. Contrary to my knee jerk reactions in my younger years, emotions don't actually tell me what to do. They tell me where I'm at. I believe God gave me emotions for a reason. They are normally good indicators of what is going on with me internally. And like everything in my life I have to take them to God to process them.
What I'm feeling isn't always truth. I can overreact to a situation or person. And there are even times my feelings lie to me about God. Instead of listening to them solely I now try to look at what's going on with me in the heart, especially if I'm angry. Normally behind my anger is another feeling like frustration (especially if my goals are blocked), rejection, hurt, and fear.
When I listen to my emotions and process them before acting them out, my relationships and life runs much smoother. There are times when I've been unable to pinpoint exactly what I was feeling and this is why I'm such a firm believer in discipleship. It's always great to be able to have someone you trust help you work through what you are feeling.
All of this becomes especially helpful in parenting, like this morning when my toddler pooped in her pants right after taking her off of the potty. I flipped out and spent about 20 minutes lecturing a 3 year old. Such a waste of time and most of it was pointless. After my tantrum (because I am so far from perfect) I thought about why I had gotten so angry. She's only three so its not like this was done in an act of rebellion. I was mad because my expectations of the morning were ruined. I also had not planned our time wisely this morning and was already rushed so when that happened it pushed me even farther behind. If I had laid out two outfits the night before and gotten in the shower earlier I wouldn't have been so frustrated.  Fortunately I have learned the art of apologizing (I've had a lot of practice) and after extra hugs and kisses all was right again. What should have been a 15 minute annoyance turned into a 45 minute ordeal and all because I didn't process my junk first. So as you can see this is just one of the many reasons why it is better to be proactive than reactive with emotions because you don't get to erase the times you act out like a child.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Week 14- The week I didn't take a bump picture

So no baby bump picture for me this week. I totally missed the boat because I have been sick for the third or fourth weekend in a row. I seriously get a cold every week lately. This can be attributed to the fact that I spend part of my week working in a room with two year olds and they share everything with me: hugs, toys, and even colds. And unfortunately since the medical field hasn't caught up with the natural field I am left treating my colds with Tylenol and saline drops. Those two don't knock it out very quickly. That is one of the most frustrating things for me being pregnant, that I can't take the supplements and natural remedies (like oil of oregano)  that I am used to taking on a daily basis. I've been using Thieves oil on my feet and I think this week I am going to break down and order the Young Living essential oils kit. I have heard so many good things about it and am eager to try it.
I tried taking Avery to the park today, but we only made it about 30 minutes. Georgia hasn't gotten the memo that it's fall yet, so it was hot and my head felt like it was going to explode. Jared and I did however manage to teach her to swing on the big girl swing.
Lucky for me Avery was really good at playing by herself today which allowed me to just veg out on the couch and read. I am praying that I start feeling better tomorrow and that the good feelings of the second trimester will start to kick in.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Catching up

I have been so behind with blogging this week. I stepped on my laptop, broke the screen and wasn't able to get it replaced until today. I should not be trusted around any breakable electronics. It hasn't been all bad not being connected as much electronically and I've enjoyed the break. The weather has been beautiful and we have spending a bunch of time outside.
I seem to have a soccer player on my hands.
Soaking up the sun.
Practicing with Daddy before his game.
This week God has really been speaking to me on forgiveness. I would like to think of myself as a very forgiving person, but truth is there are certain people in my life that I have an extremely difficult time forgiving. It's so hard for me to let go of things when it involves being taken advantage of, lied too, etc... And some of the anger does come from a right place and reveals to me some changes I need to make so I don't find myself in the same situation again. But, then there is some anger that comes from a place of judgment and wanting justice. Which is really crazy when I think about all the sins Jesus' blood has covered in my life. God knows if I got what I deserved I wouldn't be here right now.
It's very easy to love and forgive someone when they haven't wounded us too badly, but letting go of deliberate wrongs is a whole other story.  
"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives His best- the sun to warm and the rain to nourish- to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that." Matthew 5:43-47 (MSG).
I love how this version says to respond with the energies of prayer. I have found myself doing that a lot lately and I've realized that it really does take God working in me to produce that kind of forgiveness. It sure doesn't come naturally to me on its own. I'm also seeing how forgiving is a process. It's a choice that I keep on making. Anytime I start feeling those old feelings of resentment and anger, I have to choose to take those to God, process them, and leave it in God's hands. My energy and time are precious and I don't want to waste them stuck in unforgiveness.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Week 13- The week God met me right where I was at

My baby bump is 13 weeks now and what a week this was! 
 I love cooking when I actually have the energy and Avery loves to help me. She helps me with everything in the kitchen.
Even though I planned a weeks worth of meals, I only ended up cooking two nights this week and the rest we ate out. I hate eating out so much, but Avery loves it because she gets things like ice cream cones.
This pregnancy has been difficult for me.  I have really struggled with feeling like I'm not keeping up enough with certain areas of my life. This week I had an incredibly rough day. I managed to wake up early Tuesday morning to spend time reading my Bible and of course that was the one day my toddler decided to wake up early too. Then someone said something to me that hurt my feelings and the day just kept going downhill. I worked and by the end of the day couldn't muster up enough energy to exercise hard or spend time catching up on my Bible reading like I planned. I found myself so angry that I wasn't living up to my expectations and I wanted to run and hide from God because I felt like I was failing Him. I realized something (or rather God showed it to me) while I was sitting there berating myself. This whole first trimester I have spent feeling overwhelmed, like I can't get a handle on my days. Instead of running to God and asking Him for help and wisdom, I have been running away from Him in shame. Why I let myself fall back into performance mode, I have no idea, but it seems to be where I go when I am feeling stressed. Instead of receiving love and acceptance through Jesus, I have been wasting time heaping criticism and condemnation on myself which we know is not from God at all. It was such a relief when the Spirit revealed this to me and I actually got it. I felt like such a load was taken off my shoulders and I found myself thinking of the verse that says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened.." (Matthew 11:28). I immediately felt a strong need to repent for not relying on the finished work of Christ or going to God first. I also prayed that God would help me figure out how to handle everything in this new season. As always, He has been faithful and I have found myself a lot less stressed and getting a chance to enjoy this pregnancy now. And Wednesday when I went to read my Jesus Calling, this was the first verse I saw:
Amazing how God meets me right where I am at.