Tag Archives: God

Finding Light in Strange Places

2 Oct

A couple of weeks ago Bennett picked this flower, roots and all,  and brought it inside as a gift to me.

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I was just a little agitated because I didn’t even plant these this year, it came up in a totally random place, and it sprouted way later than it really should have. It just seemed like it was meant to be there. I’ve really been trying to pick my battles, so I filled a vase with water and stuck it in the windowsill with little hope that it would last.

I haven’t written a post in quite a while. I was really struggling with some things that I needed to figure out and I just didn’t feel like I could write anything without sounding dreary and depressing. I had what I felt was a very rough year at work and as the year continued, more and more things started to pile on. It wasn’t all bad, but when I looked around I saw family members battling cancer, a dear friend doing the same, and a young cousin that lost his life in a tragic car accident. I felt like I had done my very best at school and wasn’t seeing the results I expected to see. I was very much “in the dumps”.

I kept thinking I must have done something to have so many negative things going on around me. As much as I thought of it, I couldn’t find a “why” so I started praying about it more. I started noticing that these people who were dealing with these things on a first-hand basis weren’t asking “why me”. They were praying for God’s help and praising him for small miracles. I saw them finding strength in Him. I saw them helping others find strength. I also saw families coming together and finding peace after the loss of my cousin and then the passing of my friend at the end of the summer.

I know that none of these individuals or their families have completely overcome the issues they are and have been dealing with, but I know that things have been made easier because of their relationships with Him.

I have really been working on my relationship with God and have been trying to praise Him and turn to him in my time of need rather than depending solely on myself. I feel a new peace, less worry, and more strength. I know that He has a plan for me and will not make me carry the weight on my own. I feel better at home and at work and I know that my family and my students are benefiting from my renewed spirit and positive attitude.

Tonight I am writing in honor of and praying for my cousin Lora, her new baby Harper, her husband, and twin girls. Lora delivered Baby Harper last Sunday at 26 weeks. He weighed in at 1 lb 9 oz and is fighting hard right now. You can read more about Lora and sweet Baby Harper on her blog Raising Steppe Sisters.

One of my favorite lines in a Grateful Dead song says “Once in a while you’ll be shown the light, in the strangest of places, if you look at it right”. When I looked at that flower tonight, growing  in a vase with just a little water and sunlight, I thought of myself and the happiness I’m feeling from getting that necessity that’s been lacking in my life and of little Harper thriving in less than favorable conditions. I know that both of us will be just fine as long as we trust in the Man upstairs.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all He has done.  Philippians 4:6

Jaime

Check My Temp ‘Cuz I’ve Got the Fever

18 Jan

Chris and I always had a plan.  We wanted two kids.  We wanted to wait as long as possible to have them. We wanted them both by the time we were 30.  Back then we thought we’d be too old and out off shape to have kids any later than that.  The original plan said one at 28 and one at 29 I think.  What were we thinking?!?

The plan changed though.  We had Bennett when we were 26.  We were so excited.  I had such an easy pregnancy.  Other than B laying on my sciatic nerve and the frequent case of heartburn (fueled by my never-ending craving for spicy food), I really had no problems at all.

This is me at a baby shower two weeks before Bennett was born.  I was fat and happy!

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See those pictures in the background?  Those are two fat babies that grew up and had a fat baby.  Don’t know about you, but I LOVE fat babies.

As much as I wanted to deliver before my April Fool’s due date, my stubborn child refused to come until he was absolutely forced.  He’s like his momma in that we don’t like to wake up until we’re good and ready:). When he finally arrived, I was so drugged up I couldn’t even hold him for several hours, hence the immediate bond between him and his daddy.  I still blame this every time they gang up on me.

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B was a great baby and I love him very much, but no matter how much Chris begged, there was no way I felt ready to have another baby as soon as he did.  Chris and his brother are close in age and get along well.  They grew up around the same time and had many of the same friends.  I, on the other hand, am almost 6 years older than my brother.  We get along very well, too.

I just couldn’t imagine double of everything.  I thought I just wanted to let B grow up some so I wouldn’t be paying the equivalent of a house note to a babysitter each month.  I didn’t want a ginormous stroller.  And I most certainly didn’t want to have to change 50 nasty diapers a day.

Last summer, I caved.  I let Chris talk me into  being ready.  I know it’s not all his fault, but I like to think it is just in case anything goes wrong I can blame it on him (just kidding).  I started thinking that I didn’t want my babies too far apart and I don’t want to be on maternity leave when B goes to kindergarten in August 2014.

Occasionally, Bennett would entertain the idea of our family having a baby.  He usually shrugged this off pretty quickly though.  Over the past few months, he has started talking about wanting a baby more and more.  He will come up with random questions and ideas about things he’ll do with the baby or things we need to get to be ready.  This has become a daily occurence.  He asks us all the time when we’re going to get a baby and we always give him the standard “when God thinks we’re ready” answer.  It seemed like a gentle way of putting it, that he couldn’t dispute, and it would usually get him off the subject.

Bennett’s teacher is having a baby in a few weeks.  She told me one day that, any time her baby is mentioned, B says that we are having a baby too.  If they ask him when, he tells them when God thinks we are ready.  I realized then that he was just soaking in our standard answer.

Last week, Bennett was standing in the living room and just threw himself back on the couch.  He looked up to the sky and said “Please God give us a baby!  I want a baby so bad. Please, please, please.”  This just about broke my heart.

Since last Friday, the following things have happened:  found out one friend is having a baby, another friend found out what she is having, two friends had babies, and one of them told me how excited her little boy, who is the same age as B, was to meet his little brother.  I am so happy for all of my friends.  I know each one of them will be a fantastic mother, whether it’s their first or second baby, but I have been so emotional.

I think part of it is that I didn’t even realize that I wanted a baby THAT much.  I’ve really surprised myself this week. As I looked through some old pictures tonight, I found this picture of my sweet 6 month old baby boy on his first Halloween and I felt that wave of emotion coming on again.

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I reminded myself of something that is the grown-up version of my “standard answer” for Bennett.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I have to remember that God will give us a baby when and if he thinks we’re ready.  I just have to be patient and know that He has a plan for my family that is better than any other that we could make for  ourselves.

Thanks for reading,

Jaime

Daily Devotionals Doing Their Duty

9 Jan

In my first post, I listed my goals for 2013.  One of the goals was to get closer to God.  Today I would like to tell you about my progress towards this goal and what I am doing to work on this area.

First, I’d like to say that was raised in church.  I’m a southerner with a traditional southern family and that’s just what we do.  We got dolled up every Sunday and went to church.  We weren’t deeply involved in any extracurricular church activities.  We pretty much just attended church on Sunday and signed up for the VBS each summer.

As I got older, I began to rebel against the idea of attending church.  I didn’t give up on my beliefs.  I just started to think of going to church as a “putting on a show”.  I felt like we were putting on our prettiest clothes to go make an appearance.  I thought that many people were hypocritical.  Some of them seemed to be putting on the show on Sundays and acting completely different for the remainder of the week.

In college, I began to yearn to return to church.  I felt the need to get closer to God.  Before I had Bennett I did find a church home.  It was the church my grandmother attended when I was little.  It was a small church that was very welcoming.  The people were friendly and the preacher’s message was down-to-earth and felt like it was meant for me.  When I first had Bennett I continued to go to church, but when your church is so small that there isn’t a nursery, you quickly realize you’re concentrating more on keeping your baby quiet so others can pay attention than hearing the message anyway.

I tell Bennett about Jesus and God all the time.  He is so curious and I want to nurture that curiosity and help him to feel God’s love.  I’ve realized while I’m talking to him that I want to know more and feel God’s love as well.  This is a major contributor to my decision to put this on my goal list.  In my quest to be a better mom, I’ve decided that I need to be a better Christian.

I have taken a couple of steps to help myself achieve this goal.  I have began to pray daily  and read from my bible a couple of times each week.  My friend Julie has also introduced me to a daily devotional that is emailed to me each morning.  It has been wonderful.  The very first day I received a message it felt like it was written to me.  It had a message called “Hurry is a heart condition”.  It talked about procrastination and how it takes it toll on you and your loved ones.   I could hear myself saying to Bennett every morning “Hurry up!  We’re going to be late.  I don’t want you to miss the bus.”  I don’t want Bennett to feel like he is always rushing through life.  Since that day, I have made a conscious effort to drop the word “hurry” from my vocabulary when speaking to him.  No matter if I think we’re going to be late, I make sure not to rush him.  I just try to streamline his routine when its crunch time.

I recommend this daily devotional to anyone, especially women, that is looking to get closer to God and welcome him into their daily routine.  You can sign up to receive it here.  When you go to the site, you will see today’s topic.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading,

Jaime