Friday, January 24, 2014

Don't wait 5 months to fill in your kid's baby book

So tonight I'm doing something I should have been doing all along: writing in Violet's baby book. As it turns out, she is almost ten months old, and I haven't written in it since she was three months! Luckily with social media and dates on pictures (plus my lovely little blog here), it's not that hard to piece together what happened when and fill in the blanks.

It's been a nice little jog down memory lane. I have a hard time digesting just how much she has changed from this little "thing" to a sweet little girl who has personality and likes and dislikes. Four months ago it was a big deal that we could sit her up, and she could stay that way without any help. Today she started trying to let go and stand without holding on to anything. I realized about a week ago that I probably need to start thinking about what we're going to do for her first birthday party. Yikes!

Some days I think it's all happening too fast, and I long for the little baby who just wanted to be held and sleep in my arms. I feel like I let that time slip away some, wishing for her to be more like she is now. Tonight as I remember each stage and little milestone she has made, I am seeing better how each stage has its precious moments that need to be embraced. I hope that I get better at writing in Violet's baby book, but if not, I hope at least that I can learn to slow down and not wish for what is behind or ahead, but instead enjoy the moment we're in.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A resolution worth keeping.

I don't know if I've mentioned it here, but many know that Cameron and I have found a new home church where I think we will be better plugged in. We joined Oakland Heights Baptist a week and a half ago officially. The first time we visited we left and both admitted that it felt like home.

Growing up I really felt like my church was my home. I was there ALL the time. If they would have let me, I would have kept a sleeping bag there and just moved in. Anytime the door was open I was there. Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, Tuesdays for visitation, Wednesdays for youth group, Friday nights for hangout, and Saturdays when there were events going on. I was always there early, and I always stayed late. My Sunday School teachers were my mentors and my church friends were my REAL friends. They were the ones who knew as much about me as I knew about myself. I loved being involved and feeling like I belonged there.

In college I was adopted into a church that helped me through those years when I was really learning about myself and growing into a woman. I met older women who spoke to me as an equal and treated me with dignity. I had so many people open up their homes and families to me. It was the place I felt most comfortable and wanted.

Since we moved to Longview I've never really felt like I had that sense of home again. Oakland Heights brought that feeling back for me. What's more, is that it makes me want to be that person I was before (not exactly because God has brought me a long way and taught me so much that I wouldn't want to lose)- I want to be the person who doesn't just go to church, but is actually connected to the church. I want to be involved. I want to take ownership, and I want to feel like a contributing member of a community of believers.

One thing I'm very sorry to admit is that since college I just haven't been in the Bible like I should. While I do believe that my relationship with the Lord has grown in many ways and even during our darker moments I've maintained communication with the Lord, I'm ready to return to His word. I'm ready to remember what it's like to study scripture. I'm serious about my resolution to dig into scripture and meditate on the word of God.

To that end, I was blessed to be invited to go to Bible Study Fellowship (look it up online if you aren't familiar- it's awesome). Part of BSF is getting in the word and studying along with answering a few questions six days a week. This past week I only did it two days. I have about a million excuses for that. None of them are really great. The truth is I'm rusty. It's been a long time since I really was in the word and the truth is that it's mentally taxing. I refuse to beat myself up over it. This past week I spent time studying God's word twice. (Note that studying and reading are NOT the same thing- I've done plenty of reading since college). I hope to increase my time studying this week.

Feel free to help keep me on track. I want to meditate on scripture. Satan would much rather I stay up late watching old episodes of Boy Meets World. The things I do instead of reading scripture are not in themselves bad things, but when they replace my time in the word, they become bad things.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

How can our love go wrong if we start the new year right?

The title is a line from a song by Irving Berlin performed in The Holiday Inn (my favorite movie of all time). There is a great New Years Eve song in the musical that I just love and it always sticks in my head this time of year.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how different things are from last year. New Years 2013 we were in San Antonio, missing friends (especially my mommy), and I was miserably pregnant. Cameron was working long hours and I was alone a lot. We were looking forward to coming home to Longview and rejoining our group of friends and church. I don't think we had any idea what we were really coming back to and how much ten months away had changed not only Longview and the people here, but us too.

This year we are starting out as a family of three. We have a different vehicle, new friends, and a new church home. Cameron has a new job that allows him to be home during the day with us and all day on Sundays. It is such a refreshing change to know that I will get to see my husband every day and to have the assurance that once a week he has a full day off. No more traveling. It's been fantastic for us. We are better together. Money is tight, but so is our family. I think it's better that way.

We both have goals for this next year in several areas of life, but the one I am most interested in pursuing is this:

"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it, For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." Joshua 1:8

This little gem is sandwiched between the more popular "be strong and courageous" admonition (it is said twice- vs.6 and vs.9). I feel like there is always emphasis on the "be strong and courageous" part, however, I've never really noticed the call to meditate on scripture with the promise of success in this passage. I probably skimmed over it in the past. This year, I want to be intentional about reading God's word and meditating on it. I don't want to skim over anything anymore.

God has given me an abundant life. No more skimming over God's word (or life for that matter). Let's start the new year right :)