Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Learning how to grow

The quote by Oscar Wilde at the top of this blog has been one of my favorites for a very long time.  It's a favorite because I identify so much with it.  There always seems to be an aspect of myself and/or my life that I've not felt satisfied with and for a while I approached that fact as a victim.  As a swooning teenager, I could convince myself that my circumstances would just magically change one day, the way they do in the movies.  If I hope and pray just a little bit harder, everything could just fall into place.  This quote summarizes the blaring billboard I was missing in myself.  I spent so much time thinking and obsessing over situations and negative circumstances that growing in the midst of life never occurred to me.  I honestly didn't understand that growth was something I would have to have an active part in.  The kind of growth that can really change our life doesn't just happen - we have to facilitate it and be open to it.  For me that usually means doing something different!  And you can't really say "I'll grow later". Trust me, I've tried.  Today is the day for the growth of tomorrow, as corny as that sounds.  I'm down to about 6 weeks or so left before (so I'm told) my life changes more than ever before.  It is tempting to use this stage of my life as an excuse to grow later because growth is happening whether I want it to or not!  But I'm thinking that there is still growth I can learn and facilitate for myself.

How do you grow? Where are you learning to grow?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Prenatal Workout Recommendation

Though I have not always exercised as much as I desired and intended to, I have been able to maintain a fitness level that I am proud of, all things considered.  The number one thing I've been able to do most of the time is walk 5-6 days every week for 30 minutes or more. That's free and relatively easy to do.  But walking can only do so much so before I got pregnant I went on a search for a safe but challenging prenatal workout.  This one came highly recommended and after using it (at least some) throughout my pregnancy, I feel confident in sharing it with those interested.
Summer Sander's Prenatal Workout, if done consistently, does two things that I love.  #1 It challenges your entire body to stay fit, regardless of the changes going on.  #2 It addresses pregnancy pains/symptoms with the program.  For each trimester there is a completely different workout, which is hard to find in workout DVD's like this.  
My one 'testimony' is from about a month ago.  Before I started the 3rd trimester program, I had a lot of hip, pelvic and lower back pain off and on all day.  Within two days of my first routine, the pain was almost gone.  Since starting the 3rd trimester, I no longer have any issues in that area. More than anything, I attribute that to the squats they incorporate into EVERYTHING. But still, the entire thing is sooo good.  So, if you're ever looking for a good workout DVD for pregnancy, give this one a try. It is available on Amazon for $12.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Purpose, Presence & Permission

"No struggle will come your way apart from God's purpose, presence, and permission." -Max Lucado

Last night Randy was late coming home from work because of a special event they were having on base.  I'm not one to care that much if he's late unless we have plans of some kind.  Well, yesterday was Wednesday and in order to make our rounds on time, we need to leave the house by 6:15.  He hadn't been available by phone since 10:00 a.m. and by the time 6:00 rolled around I started to worry.  Not a good thing in general but certainly not when you're pregnant.  Since he has NEVER been this late without calling before, between 6 and 6:25 I managed to work myself into a panic, complete with tears.  Everything was of course fine.  He hadn't had his phone with him, wasn't in a position to leave and didn't realize how late it was.  Just one of those things.

The reason I'm sharing this incident is because it demonstrates a lack of faith.  I prayed for Randy's safety, but I still allowed myself to react as though something had happened to him.  And isn't that what worrying is most of the time?  What if this happens or maybe that will be a problem?  Though I'm as guilty as the next guy, the incident above reminded me that worry - especially panicky worry - is not faith.  Not at all.  Even though our emotions have a hard time accepting the realities sometimes, the quote above is true.  God's purpose, presence and/or permission is always at work in the things we face.  If I can honestly believe that, then the panic and worry should subside into peace.  God's will for me is safe and secure.  Of course, I'm not criticizing grief or emotional reactions to life's struggles.  But the preemptive panic and worry that is usually ignoring God's control of all things - that's what can run rampant and ultimately only borrow trouble.

And while I need to trust God's will and protection of Randy much more, I did make it very clear to Randy that from now until the baby comes, he should never be without that phone! :) And in honor of our 4th wedding anniversary, here's one of my favorite songs with a couple of pretty good singers.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Get Fuzzy

Next to Calvin & Hobbes, Get Fuzzy is probably my favorite comic and as such I have a daily strip sent to my inbox. In the last month or so, there was a hilarious series that daily just cracked me up. That's due partially to the language arts references, which I love, but still is just too funny not to share.  So, when you have 5 minutes to relax, have a few laughs on me. And for those unfamiliar with Get Fuzzy, the premise is Rob lives in an apartment with a generally offensive cat, Bucky and a sweet, but not that bright dog, Satchel.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Potty Training: More Work Than Necessary?

Now, I know what you're probably thinking.  It is way too soon in my experience of motherhood to have an opinion on potty training!  And in my defense, there are some things that are always better thought about beforehand.  However, this is more of query to those with opinions than anything.  Recently I ran across a highly recommended pediatrician that has very radical instructions/opinions about potty training.  At least they sounded radical to me because I'd never heard them before.  His take is to not 'train' at all and eventually the child will do it on his own.  I would love for you to read what he has to say (it's just one page) and let me know what you think.

Dr. Kelly Stephens - Potty Training

Dr. Kelly Stephens - Radical Thoughts

On the way to church Sunday we passed a local nursery and they had pumpkins out! Not sure how handy I'll be in the carving department this year, but it made me excited and nostalgic all at once.  This is last year's adventures.

I made a couple of pumpkin pies from fresh pumpkin - no cans!  And yes, you can taste the difference - they were delicious!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Real Life

It's Monday and life is getting more real all the time.  And for that I'm thankful.  As a teenager and especially in college, I spent a lot of time in my head and less time really engaging with others and my surroundings.  A lot of people are starting new stages in their life right now - new school, new relationships, new roles, even a new season is about to begin.  No matter what your new 'thing' is, you only get this opportunity once.  I'm on the downhill slide now of this pregnancy and the realness just keeps coming.  It is so exciting but I could miss it, overlook it or not really appreciate it.  I've done it before and I'm sure I'll do it again. But, this time around let's really live it, give it our full attention and don't hurry it away.

Last year about this time, we took a trip to Colorado and this was taken at the Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Park.  Talk about real life, after hiking 3/4 of the way to the top, we turned around because of the SAND STORM that attacked us!  It was a great day. :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Book Review: Ministry of Motherhood

I recently read a book that, in light of my impending motherhood, should be on my reading list yearly if not more.  Its a few years old so perhaps many have already read it, but at the chance that some hadn't, I thought it was good enough to share.

The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ's Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children
By Sally Clarkson
In my own preparation for the tornado that motherhood is about to bring me, much of the information and conversations are on childcare, as in diapers, furniture, discipline, and so on.  There is less talk about  the spiritual lives of children and what I can do outside of "set a good example" or "teach them the love God", which, by the way, I expect are core principles to parenting.  The difficulty is that it rarely goes further than that.  How do you set the right example and how do you teach them to love God?  The great thing about this book is that, to me, it showed me several ways to just that AND kept parenting in a healthy perspective.

Just a taste of what this book discusses:
We are expected and commanded to give good gifts to our children.  Clarkson shares her desire to make sure those gifts weren't just physical things and what she came up with.  Below are the 5 sections of the book and within each section are approximately 4-5 chapters that go into detail about how to give that gift.

The Gift of Grace
The Gift of Inspiration
The Gift of Faith
The Gift of Training
The Gift of Service

Ultimately, the book is a mother sharing stories about her own children and what they've learned from each other, but every section was full of things I either hadn't thought of or was not remembering long enough to practice it in my life.  It is sold on  Amazon.com or you can save money like me and borrow it from your local library!