Thursday, April 24, 2014


I recently posted on FB that I think it's really strange how trendy it has become to take a picture of yourself in the arm-extended, camera in front of your face fashion. Or as we now know it, taking a "selfie." And to make it even cooler and more relevant, we'll throw in a hashtag. Why? Because things are just cooler with hashtags. #truth

But my point was, this whole #selfie thing isn't new! I've been taking pictures like this since I first started taking pictures with disposable cameras, in my limited 27 shots (better make them count!), and paying to have them developed at CVS or Wal-Greens.

So, I went on a quest to prove it! I searched through all my Facebook pictures (so, keep in mind, this is just limited to the thousands [seriously] pictures that I have on Facebook. I'm sure there are some that date back even further in printed form), and picked out just a few of the many selfies I found. Disclaimer: Some may argue that true selfies should only involve yourSELF and no one else. In which case, I don't have as many of those. But I DO have some that are not new! 

Enjoy the #selfiegallery

#scenicselfie Great Smokey Mountains - 2013

#mirrorselfie - 2011

#babyselfie - Me and my niece - 2009

#selfiefromabove - 2012

#walkingselfie - 2011

#zombieselfies - 2011

#sillyselfie - 2011

#tropicalselfie - 2010

#brotherselfie - 2004

#sisterselfie - 2010

#dressyselfie - 2003

#sexyselfie - 2004

#BFFselfie - 2004

#scaryselfie - Halloween 2009

#selfiefrombelow - 2005

#photobombselfie - Dover Beach 2007

#emoselfie - 2007

#featherboaselfie - 2008

#newglassesselfie - 2011

#awkwardselfie - 2012

#feetselfie - At The Globe Theater in London - 2007

#kissyselfie - 2008

#newhaircolorselfie - 2005

#tipsyinLondonselfie - 2007

Again, that's just a few!'s not new. Can we all agree? So, what is the big deal???

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Favorite Time of Day

In my last post, I mentioned how many things about motherhood has surprised me. Well, here's a BIG one -- I'm a morning person. Yes, a morning person! Waking up in the morning used to be one of my least favorite things. I would have to literally list off things in my head that would make getting up worth it each day, just to motivate myself to pull back the covers and drag myself away from the warm, snuggly comfort of my bed.

I probably called in sick a few too many times because I didn't feel good...which really meant I couldn't come up with enough reasons to motivate myself to get out of bed. Because sleep is just so good! And I would happily sleep until 10 AM or later on the weekends.

Now that I have a baby? Sleeping in means anything from 7 AM to 8:30 AM. There is no sleeping later than that. Ever. And between still waking up for night feedings one to two times a night, working 40 hours a week, and trying to still find time for exercise and spending time with friends and family...I'm definitely going to fall asleep on the couch if I try to stay up past 9 PM. I literally cannot function.

But mornings are these wonderfully sweet and simple times. I wake up with the anticipation of spending time with my sweet baby before taking him to daycare. I wake up excited to spend time snuggled up in bed with Scott and Grayson while we eat breakfast and do Bible study together. I look forward to a warm cup of coffee. I cherish those times! Everyone is in a good mood. Everyone is fresh and rested (as rested as we can be!). Grayson babbles and laughs and smiles and snuggles. Scott reads me scripture and we reflect and discuss it. We pray together. We laugh as we dress Grayson and play peek-a-boo and "sock head" (a silly game where Scott puts a sock on Grayson's head and Grayson laughs. Gotta love games with babies!).

And while some mornings I am still tired and longing for a few more minutes of sleep, and it's really hard to pull myself away from the warm cuddle of Grayson sleeping up against me to go shower, and some mornings I'm running late and we're all a little stressed....while all of that still list of motivating reasons to get out of bed never runs dry. :)

Loving my family and this stage of our life together!

What is your favorite time of day?


Friday, April 18, 2014


A lot of things about motherhood have surprised me. I do, say, and feel things that I never expected. I think one of the biggest surprises has been how it feels to be chosen by God to raise Grayson.

I never expected to feel so honored. One Sunday at church, when I was pregnant with Grayson, I looked over during worship and saw a group of college guys. They were singing and lifting their hands in praise. I was suddenly overcome with the beauty and power of this.

You may disagree, but I think it's harder to raise Godly men than women. (Though I realize there are challenges for both!) I think there is a lot of pressure from the world for guys to be and act a certain way. They are expected to be tougher and stronger than women. They are expected to not show as much emotion. They seem to be expected to care less, in general. But to be Godly, to embody the characteristics of Christ and to genuinely worship Him, you have to be willing to be vulnerable, emotional, and loving. I think it's easier for girls to act in this way without being scrutinized. Young men may face extra pressures from their friends to act a certain way, and may be more hesitant to fully submit to God. Because society doesn't teach men to submit.

I have been tasked with the biggest responsibility of my life. To raise this little boy to live for God. This starts with meeting his basic needs to survive, and reaches all the way to teaching him who Jesus is, showing him how to worship God, showing him how to love others, providing a nurturing environment for him to feel safe and secure while he gets to know Jesus personally, and instilling a value system that will guide him in living according to God's word.

Wow. That is a huge responsibility! To be honest, when I first thought about having kids, I didn't realize the magnitude of that role. That day in church, when I realized just how much God was entrusting in me, I couldn't help but cry.

Everyone knows babies are a blessing and a gift. This is true. I think of Grayson as a special gift from God, and I thank Him every day for allowing me to be his mommy. But I think more than just a blessing, parenthood is a calling to a challenging and important ministry.

I am beyond honored that God would call me to minister to this little boy -- to love him, care for him, and instruct him. The calling is too great and too difficult to do on my own. I have to lean on God daily to be able to do it. And I still mess up. I'm not a perfect mom. I make mistakes, and I have a million more mistakes I've yet to make. I am thankful God gives me grace, comfort, strength, wisdom, and guidance to be the mom he wants me to be. I could not do it without Him in my life. I'm also beyond thankful for Scott. God has brought us together to serve Him and grow His kingdom as a team. And a large part of that is raising our children. Grayson needs Scott as his example of a Godly man. A big responsibility, indeed!

I hope I never forget how I felt that day in church, overwhelmed with the implications of the identity God had called me to as a mother. I have a big job ahead of me, and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to live that out!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Who Am I, Really?

Yesterday, Brandon Williams preached an awesome message at Connection Church. (The message isn't up yet at this moment, but when it does post, you should find here -- click on "Week 4" for this week's message.)

He talked about how we see ourselves and portray ourselves, and he talked about God giving us an armor to protect ourselves from Satan (Ephesians 6:10-20). He emphasized that Satan is always attacking us, especially when we are doing God's work (the one thing he would hate for us to do the most!). He encouraged us to remember that we belong to God and that God sees us as righteous and holy, thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, so we should not fall victim to the lies of the devil.

Brandon had us write down a word or phrase on a piece of paper that represents something we are holding on to that distorts our true image. Maybe it's a mistake we made in the past, maybe it's a sin that we still struggle with, or maybe it's just a lie from the enemy. Well, as difficult as it is, I want to share with you what I wrote down. And also what I wrote on a separate sheet of paper--words that represent how God sees me and who I really am.

I wrote "sexual sin."

If you've been reading for a while, you probably know some of my story. You know that I struggled with sexual sin for a long time. I lost my virginity at 17 and continued to have sex, even though I knew it was wrong and felt terribly guilty-to the point that I felt sure I would go to Hell. I did this up until Scott and I dedicated ourselves to God and decided to wait until we were married.

Another sexual sin that I've never talked about on this blog is pornography. I used to look at pornography online -- mostly through erotic stories but also some videos as well. I gave that up close to 5 years ago, but you can never un-see or un-read something. Those images are still in my mind. While I may not actively think of them much, they are still there. They pop up involuntarily sometimes. It's impossible to undo it, and it's very hard to forget it.

In today's world, this probably doesn't seem like a big deal. Everybody's doing it, right? Doesn't that make it okay? No, no, NO! It IS a big deal because it's a big deal to God. And these mistakes haunt me still. Satan uses my mistakes and the immense guilt and shame I feel to feed me lies and paint my self-image into something that I'm not.

Sexual sin and the remaining scars make me feel dirty, unworthy, impure, and unfaithful. It destroys the true beauty and design of sex. It impedes my ability to enjoy sex in the way it was intended. It trains me to equate sex with sin. Which is the furthest thing from the truth.

This is not something that I constantly struggle with. But it's always there--in the back of my mind. And these negative feelings sneak back in every so often. Usually when my guard is already down, whether it be because I haven't been spending enough time with God or because other things in life have already made sex challenging (hello, 6 month old baby!).

The Devil uses these opportunities, these seeds of self-doubt, to grab hold of me and force-feed me lies about myself. And it doesn't take much in those moments of vulnerability, before I start to see myself and my situation in ways contrary to how God sees me. I'm often not even aware of the thoughts, it's just a feeling. A feeling that something isn't right. A feeling that I'm not good enough. A feeling that I'm undeserving. A feeling that any feeling might be impure or wrong, so it's best to not feel anything at all. Which becomes a whole new issue.

Man, the devil is a tricky, sneaky thing! He sees my marriage with my husband. He sees how wonderful it is. How happy we are. How we strive to serve God together. How we draw closer to one another as we draw closer to God. And he wants nothing more than to tear that apart. And he starts by simply trying to make me believe lies about myself.

But here's the thing. The awesome thing.

That IS NOT who I am!!! I am NOT dirty. I am NOT unworthy. I am NOT impure. I am NOT unfaithful. Because Jesus lives in me. He died to cover those sins. His blood washes away the stains of my past life and my past mistakes. And his Holy Spirit within me has given me a heart of love and worship. And because of this, God sees me as CLEAN, WORTHY, PURE, and FAITHFUL. I may not walk in this identity every moment of the day, but due to God's grace and mercy, he still sees me as such. As long as I love and follow Jesus as my Lord, I AM NOT WHO THE DEVIL TELLS ME I AM!

So, I wrote those new identities on a separate sheet of paper, to remind myself of who I am in Jesus. This is how God sees me. It is how I should see myself. And I should walk in that each and every day, portraying those things to the world, to my husband, to myself. Shame and negative self-talk is the easiest way to give the enemy a foot-hold to continue serving you lies about yourself. You'll start believing them before you realize what is happening.

Don't let that happen. Remember who you belong to and who you are because of it. You are God's child. He loves you. He saved you from the devil and from yourself. So, let's start living that out! I pray that I will.

What lies do you believe? What truths should you remember instead?


Thursday, April 10, 2014

6 Months!

I can hardly believe that my little boy is already 6 months old! This whole growing up thing is really bittersweet. I love seeing him develop through each new stage, but with each new stage means the passing of another. And each one has been so sweet! It's hard to watch the baby in him fade away each month. But it is exciting to see the big boy he is growing into! :)

First time being worn by daddy! :)

Cool Things He Does:

+ babbles more articulately (baba, dada, mama, tata, etc)
+ Rolls in both directions. For someone who used to hate tummy time, he sure spends a lot of time rolling from back to tummy now!
+ scoots around. Mostly backwards and sideways, and can turn in circles on the floor. He has just started to sort of move forward. It won't be long, though!
+ sits up mostly unassisted. He still topples when he reaches for things.
+ holds his own bottle (daycare tells me!) 
+ has fun in the bath. He likes to splash in the water with his legs, try to catch the water when we pour it out of a cup, and he likes chewing on a rubber ducky while we bathe him.
+ sometimes puts himself to sleep. I still mostly nurse and rock him to sleep, but a couple times he has still been awake when he's finished eating and he has managed to fall asleep on his own after I lay him in his crib.
+ He can definitely spend all night in his own room, but I still move him to our bed a lot - especially when he wakes up around 4:30 or 5 AM to eat and I have to get up soon anyway.
+ He slept through the night once. He went through a phase of only waking once to eat. Then he regressed to 2-3 times per night. Now, the past two nights, he has been back to only once. I'm hoping that will be the norm again for a while!
+ We gave him some avocado yesterday on his 6-month birthday. As you can see from the picture, he had some mixed emotions! He wasn't too sure about the taste, but he was definitely interested and had no trouble picking it up and putting it in his mouth! He even chewed it a little before spitting most of it back out. :) [why was his first food not cereal or pureed baby food? We're doing "baby led weaning." Learn more here.]

Things He Loves:

+ mommy and daddy! Especially Daddy! Sometimes I can't even get him to finish eating because he's too excited to see Scott!
+ playing on the floor, rolling and scooting around
+ his monkey rattle

+ snuggling :)
+ naps with mom in the bed (okay, maybe I like this more than he does!)
+ bouncing, rocking, and jumping -- he is almost always moving around! Even when I sit him on my lap, he kicks and rocks back and forth like he's ready to go!
+ his exersaucer - we put him in this when we get ready in the mornings. 

+ Being in his stroller and going for walks. We recently started taking him out of the carrier and putting him forward facing in the stroller. He loves it! He stays so calm and just looks at everything as we walk until he eventually falls asleep. :)

+ The kitty cats. They are very exciting!
+ music of all kinds, daddy playing the guitar, mommy singing
+ books! He loves being read to and trying to hold and turn the pages himself (though he can't help but put them in his mouth! He especially loves the soft books that can go in the bath)
+ Sesame Street and other small doses of TV. We limit his screen time to only Sundays, when we usually watch a movie as a family and sometimes an episode of Sesame Street. He enjoys watching it for maybe 15 minutes. The rest of the time he's just scooting around and playing.

Doesn't Like: 
+ changing shirts. He has always enjoyed being on the changing table for some reason, and has no problem with diaper changes, but when it comes to working his arms through the holes of a shirt, he always fusses!
+ Getting out of the bath. He usually cries while we dry and lotion him.
+ Having his nose sucked (go figure!)
+ getting strapped into his carseat carrier, though he's usually perfectly fine once we get in the car
+ when he has to be patient to get milk! After drinking bottles during the day, he gets a little angry that nursing doesn't offer the same instant gratification! 
+ being kept up once he gets sleepy. he gets very fussy close to bedtime. 
+ Doing anything for too long. He likes variety and when he gets bored, he's SO over it!
+ not being able to do things. He gets frustrated when he can't crawl forward to get a toy or when he throws his blocks too far away. But I figure it helps him get motivated to crawl!

I love watching Grayson figure things out. I can just see his little mind working as he watches us do things or handles his toys. I love to hear his sweet voice and little giggle. I love his open mouth kisses and big, wide smiles! He is the sweetest little boy ever! It makes me nervous to have another one because I figure I can't possibly be this lucky again! :) Now if time will just slow down a bit so I can enjoy it all a little longer!!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...