Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Corazones Dulces

Yes that's what I picked up last night in Target. Far away from the Mexican border in our local Target I decided to buy candy hearts. When I took them out this morning, I saw the boxes were labeled "Corazones Dulces" (candy hearts). They have hearts like beso (kiss), te amo (I love you), mi amiga (friend), guapo (handsome), linda (pretty) and bella (beautiful). It was fun to dig through them, especially since I speak Spanish (albeit somewhat faltering, but at times very good Spanish).

It brought a smile to my day, and I think I actually prefer them, even though I didn't realize I was buying candy hearts in Spanish. In the boxes I didn't see the stupid ones like fax me (who even uses a fax for fun anymore?), email me, or im cute. I am happy to eliminate those hearts:)

Here's a picture of some on them on a plate before i ate I am thinking about making my own valentine's cards with this photo this year.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Taking Care of Mom

Life has been anything but calm since we hit the New Year. We had another two-day visit in the hospital last week with our little one. We are blessed it was only that long, but we still have a few more months to go before we can fully resume our normal life and be out and about again.

Last night I did something I rarely did - I went to bed at 9:30 pm. I had only slept 2 hours the night before and all the lack of sleep was catching up with me. Today I feel great and it makes such a difference in making it through the day.

While our baby was sick, my grandma gave me some great advice.

Once you are home, be sure to nap whenever you have a chance. Don't worry about cleaning house. The work will wait for you.

Isn't that the truth? I know sometimes I look over and see my almost 2-year-old fussing and waiting for me to finish whatever it is that I was doing and I have to stop and this more important than helping him? Oftentimes the answer is no.

I have peace about the fact I will always have a to-do list, but the biggest thing I have "to do" right now is spend time with my kids and take care of their mom so I have energy to be with them. Easier said than done, but it helps to refocus my energy and efforts where they are most important.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Receiving Help With Grace

I am sure I am not alone in this, but it is 100 times easier for me to offer and give help than to receive it. I would rather be ultra busy helping someone else than need help in any way from any one else.

Maybe it's because I'm stubborn. Maybe it's because I'm prideful. Maybe it's because when I need others to help me I feel so helpless and sometimes hopeless and out of control. I know I can be a bit of all of those.

I love this quote from Matthew Kelly's "Mustard Seeds" book

God loves a cheerful giver, but He also loves those who are able to receive graciously and thankfully.

First of all, I think God allows times in our lives where we need others' help to help us grow in our relationship with him, our humbleness and in community with our neighbors.

This past year has been a lot of needing others' help.

When we moved up here and I was put on bed rest two weeks later, I was reminded how blessed I was with friends and family across the country who sent supportive cards, gifts and phone calls offering encouragement and prayers. When my son was born, we were blessed again with help through the first few weeks with our older son. Just the past few weeks, we were blessed again when we had to spend a week in the nICU wiht our baby and many people stepped up with prayers and assistance.

I hate asking people for help and feeling like I can't make it alone(there's that pride creaping in). While I think you make your own lives, there are times things out of our control temporarily create our live situations and we need to be able to graciously and thankfully accept help when offered or ask for it when it is needed.

I even hate asking God for help, but the reality is none of us would be where we are today with the help and love from our friends, family and most importantly God. I truly believe no one is totally self-made, although many people claim to be, because no one achieves a great success without God or other people playing some role in it. Likewise, no one overcomes a great obstacle without at the very least God guiding us through.

So when I get to that point of desperation and I realize I need help from others, I still initially try to figure out a way to make it work without asking for help, oftentimes turning down well-meaning friends.

Then God gently reminds me that sometimes we are there to give and other times we are there to receive, without shame, without apologies, just with grace. What a great gift God has given us others to help us on our journey and that He helps carry our burdens when they become too much to handle.

Friday, January 18, 2008

New Year's Resolution

So I can finally write a bit about my New Year's Resolution.

Since New Year's resolutions are focusing on making us better people, I had to think about things that I really want to change in my life.

One thing I have a difficult time with are when specific relationships in my life aren't going as smoothly as I would like.

A certain person in my family seems to have a very difficult time with me in general and our relationship is pleasant at best. I feel like she tolerates me because I am part of her family and therefore we share a lot of life together, but oftentimes doesn't tend to like me.

I am big people pleaser, so if I let it that fact alone can start to drive me insane. As difficult as that fact may be for me, I have to remember there are two people in every relationship and there is always more I can do to help create a better relationship with her. I want to create a better relationship with her for so many reasons, most of them private, but am at a loss at what to do to help foster it.

So my New Year's resolution is to pray for her everyday. To pray for our relationship and to show me what I need to change to be doing all I can do to help forge a better relationship. I want us to have a good relationship. I want to not dread time with her and instead enjoy it.

I have done this with other difficult relationships in my life before and God can truly work wonders. Sometimes it is not fun and God really asks me to change things, but I always come up so much happier and more peaceful than before. So now I am lifting this relationship up to Him. I know I can only do so much on my end, but I can still do more to really forge a better bond.

I have been doing this off and on for the last few weeks (amidst the chaos in our lives:) and pray God will show me how to love her more each day.

Here is to New Year's resolutions. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Getting Better

Thank you all for your prayers. Our son is doing a lot better and while it may take a bit for him to get back to normal, he should be just fine. We ended up being in the NICU for a week, although it felt a lot longer.

The doctors have told us were pretty much home bound for the rest of the winter. It can be challenging being home that much, but at the same time if it protects our baby, it's worth it.

Now on with 2008. I can't believe it's already the middle of the month. We're hoping that is the extent of the excitement 2008 brings for now. I think we all need time to recover from the hospital and all of our "fun" in 2007. Whenever we get too stressed we remember though 2007 brought us our second son, which we wouldn't trade for anything:).

Friday, January 4, 2008

Praise God In Your Storm

This week has been a blur and this will be short, but there more be more later after I can get some rest. I was going to write about my New Year's resolution, which will just have to wait for a bit.

For now I just want to ask for prayers for my baby. He was admitted into the NICU at the local children's hospital for RSV and possible other issues. He is doing ok, but not out of the woods yet.

It can be so easy to go through days, months and years forgetting what real problems feel like and look like.

When your baby gets sick, every other worry just melts away and all you can think about is doing everything you can to make them feel better. You forget what time or day it is and what bills need to be paid or laundry needs to be completed. As I'm sure most parents can attest, you would do anything to take the pain they are feeling away and have it happen to you.

As they spent more than a half hour the other day in the ER poking and prodding his arm for a vein to stick the IV in as he screamed harder and longer than I have ever heard him scream I thought how am I supposed to be the mom? I can't handle this. I can't possibly do this without a lot of support. Then I was reminded of something amazing.

In the middle of this storm and chaos, I already had everything I ever needed. I have someone who will hold me up when I can't walk and who will carry me when I can't make it any further. I love the song by Casting Crowns "Praise You In This Storm". You can read the lyrics here.

I honestly believe all the things that happen in our lives, the good, the bad and the difficult all serve a purpose and help shape us into the people we are. They are our chance to grow in our faith and become the people God intended us to be.

It's not always easy. I've struggled with it a lot in the past few days, but it is possible to take the difficulties and create opportunities. I spent a lot of time reciting a photo I still have that my confirmation sponsor gave me oh so many years ago, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

More later, but in the meantime please keep my baby boy in your prayers. He is struggling but we have all hope he will be just fine in the next week or weeks.

About Me

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I'm a mommy, wife and educated woman with an inquisitive mind. I am always looking in ways to challenge and grow in my faith. Many wise people I have known have reminded me if I am not growing, I am going in the wrong direction.