Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Must Read

I am more of a blog reader than a blog writer for sure!!!!! I have been thinking a lot about this post recently. I am sure that I am not the only person that needed to read this! I do not know how to post a link to her blog on here so I am going to put her in my blog roll if you want to read more.

That's when we quit.


We: my husband, myself, and our sweet baby girl.

Quit: we quit staying up late; going to bed at different times; watching television; watching dumb movies; bringing in two incomes; trying to publish a book; prioritizing bosses, friends, extended family, and strangers over each other; competing with one other; using the same old murderous words in every argument. We quit not talking to each other; not knowing what the other one was looking at on the Internet; not reading aloud in the evenings; not playing games with one another; not holding each other and saying, “thank you”.

And life. slowed. down.

And got wonderfully quiet.

And very, very small.

(Ooo, savor that quiet pause with me…)

The details of our marital crisis are “another post for another time”. What is important here, is that through the reordering process, God built a kind of spiritual “front porch” around our home – you know, like the lemonade-and-creaky-swing front porches that went extinct with the Waltons – on which we sit in the evenings, just rocking back and forth, appreciating the fruits of our labor, the glories of creation, and the beautiful humans who live right here, in this little house with us.

As I said, we live a quiet little life nowadays. We spend most of our time and attention on God himself and our family, believing that Scripture advises this type of investment. Itʼs only five years later that we’ve finally gotten more deeply involved in two local ministries: one that saves babies, the other that saves marriages. But we do it together, praying, and working side by side.

I can’t begin to know all of the construction that God did in order to build our “front porch”, but I do know that He had to tear down ugly addictions that had locked me into the go-go-busy-boots lifestyle most folks complain about these days.

The demolition project looked something like this: in order to respect my husband, I had to throw off independence, competition, and whimsy. In order to stay home with our daughters, I had to surrender my love of accomplishment, compensation, and approval. In order to love God truly, I had to sacrifice my aspirations of “making it big for God” as a
Christian speaker or author, because all He wants is for us to love mercy, do justly, and walk humbly by His side.

At times, the sacrifices hurt: I turned down a book offer, speaking opportunities, teaching positions, friendships, and a favorite TV series.

But the building process made it all worthwhile. Because now, I have the freedom to appreciate my husband and live next to him with open arms, saying “sure!” (not “it depends”) when he asks for my help. Nothing – nothing – competes with him for my devotion.

Now, I have the blessing to enjoy and train our children with an open schedule. Nothing- nothing – competes with them for my heart.

Now, I have the privilege of practicing silence, hospitality, generosity, and grace. Nothing competes with these virtues for my attention.

Now, I have the relief of living in quiet communion with God and learning over and over again that nothing – nothing – competes with His jealous affection for me. Quiet, little me.

Day in and day out, God ravaged my heart and soul – only to rebuild me through His Word so that I could write to you today, utterly convinced that my humble walk with God and my Christian love for our home is worth all of my attention for the rest of my life.

If my sphere of influence only extends beyond the walls of our home by way of my well-respected husband, our well-loved children, and our cared-for neighbors, I will have lived a fruitful life. Because here’s the mystery that I am counting on: by walking away from a busy, accomplishment-oriented society into a quiet world of deep relationships, service, and home-life, I will establish a far-reaching legacy that extends throughout many generations. In my estimation, a happy and contented life is one that is poured out in the secret places of prayer, service, and home.

Sometimes it’s just time to quit.

“…study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

More about Laura -
Five years ago, I would have focused my byline on my education,
teaching experiences, and public honors. I’m happy to provide those
details when they’re necessary. But, these days, I’d rather have you
know that I am happily Ryan’s wife, Vivienne’s and Lia’s mommy, and a
child of God: I’m blessed to have a life that can focus on these joys.
I love finding the Truth in unsuspecting songs, books, poems, and
people. I adore teaching our children well and watching them fall in
love with Jesus. Currently, my husband and I serve together on the
Board of Directors of our local life-affirming pregnancy resource
clinic. Ryan and I are also the Facilitator Couple for Marriage Savers
Ministries at our local church and are in the process of training
approximately 6 couples to be Marriage Mentors. We have had the
privilege of working with several couples who have been near divorce;
some of whom are wholly restored to the glory of God! We will continue
to develop a solid Marriage Ministry by preparing engaged couples,
enriching married couples, restoring broken marriages, and developing
a step-family support group. Most recently, our family worked together
to plan and teach our church’s first Family Retreat, equipping
families to develop a “Family Vision”, practice “Family Worship” and
build honoring “Family Relationships”. We are currently focusing on
developing a love for the Lord and the Church within our own home. We
are home-educating our children and have engaged a thorough research
process of curriculum and theory, and have been teaching our daughters
about God – as we wake, as we walk through our day, and as we lie
down. Most of all, we treasure our Creator, who leads us through
moments big and small and hides us in the shadow of His wing.

Laura may or may not be a speaker at the upcoming Relevant Conference {ahem} ;)

You can find Laura at her blog, 10 Million Miles.

Monday, October 26, 2009

PLEASE VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am soooooo excited I cannot contain myself!!! I am one of five finalist in the Granville room make-over event!!!!!! I don't mean to annoy anyone, but who wouldn't want to win all new furniture!!!!!!!!!!!! This is awesome! Please go vote at RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Clifford Farm Day

Thanks to Tim and Gina for a fabulous day out at their family's farm! They organized a fabulous day of fishing, great food, fires, hayrides and tons of fellowship with good friends. We look forward to it every year! It was the perfect way to spend the first cold weekend of the fall! Finally!

Daniel and Katherine on the Hayride

Madeleine on the hayride. We saw several deer. Madeleine claimed to have spotted many more :)

Trying to get everyone settled to go! Sorry..... these pictures are in reverse :) Maybe I'll atleast have the right post above each picture this time.

Our attempt at a family photo

Madeleine and her buddy Jackson..... King of the farm!

Sweet Katherine

Gina, Coleman, Lindsey, and Katherine. They are just a week apart!

Madeleine caught her first fish! Say Cheese!

Baby Kat hanging out on the couch.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I messed up all my posts above/below the photos:) Sorry!

Tiny Tot

My sweet little Katherine really is little! She had her 4 month check up today. (she is actually 5 1/2 mths) They have her appointments messed up but she will get back on track by 9 mths. Anyway, she was 13 lbs 10 oz and 25 1/4 inches. That means her weight was in the 5th percentile!!!!!And her height in the 45 %. I wasn't that surprised because I was having some breastfeeding issues and finally got her to take a bottle. She is even taking a little bit of rice cereal for the last month now and she was still tiny. Dr. Glover thought that it was possible that at one point she may have even lost weight since her percentiles had dropped drastically since the last time. (I'll have to go back and see exactly how much) Anyway, I think she is waaayyy happier and has even slept through the night the past 2 nights....7pm-7am. Things have been so up and down and I have had so much guilt. Finally after today I really feel like I'm doing the right thing. I am still nursing and pumping as much as I can. I even took an herbal supplement that I think actually helped, but it was giving me terrible headaches so I had to stop. Overall, Katherine and I are much happier and doing great.

Katherine loves to stand like this. A lot of times it is hard to get her to relax enough to sit in your lap. She is soooo stiff and rarely relaxes unless she is in a deep sleep. Madeleine was the same way when she was a baby!

I tried to get a cute pic of them in their matching PJ's but, Madeleine was not up for it.

Katherine has started turning sideways in her swing. I guess I need buckle her in :)