Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More Than a Bump...


I haven't posted "bump" pictures for awhile.
Mostly because I haven't bothered to actually get myself ready for pretty much the month of January.

I dislike January in Iowa. Bleh.

These pics are already 2 weeks old...That's how long it took me to actually hook the camera to the computer. I think I'm in my own form of hibernation here.
Kinda like Odie.

As you can see...I'm not sure the term "bump" is still appropriate. We're well past the bump stage, heading into the "Wow, when are you do?!?" stage. I get huge. Fourth baby, fourth time getting huge. Been there, done that.

It's just how it is.




Only 11 more weeks to go. The funny thing is...I'm really excited to meet this little baby and all, but I've learned a few things along this journey of motherhood. No matter how huge and uncomfortable I may get towards the end of the pregnancy...it's still WAY easier while the little one is still in there. Way. And, I know I'll miss this huge body once it's gone. I'll miss the feeling of that little one squirming around. So, I'm just gonna enjoy every minute...and eat like a horse.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Because it Matters...

Can I just say...it has been a week. As in, many friends and loved ones with hard stuff going on in their lives.

Phone calls, emails, lots of feeling helpless to help. Beginning and ending with telling them I'm covering them in prayer...and yet feeling like it sometimes seems insignificant.

And then I came across this in my Beth Moore homework.

We are so culturally indoctinated to be fast-paced, high-energy, hands-on kinds of people that we tend to think of prayer as a passive, nearly "do-nothing" reaction. We tend to pray when we don't know what else to do. Beloved, nothing shakes the heavenlies like prayer. Nothing moves the heart of God more than prayer. Furthermore, I'm not sure anything takes more energy at times than fervent prayer.

Prayer matters...more than anything else.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's the Little Things...


It happens occasionally...I awaken from a deep sleep with an overwhelming sense of fear and hoplessness. It usually involves those life circumstances that I struggle to hand over, to relinquish to my Savior...to believe He can do anything in.

It's a spiritual battle. I know it is. The Bible tells me it is.

Last night it happened again. And I found myself praying fervently, in the darkness. Replacing fears with truth. Truth that nothing, nothing is too big for God to handle. No circumstance, relationship, financial situation, etc is beyond His reach. And in the darkness, as I claimed those truths (for the millionth time) His peace replaced the chest crushing hopelessness...and sleep came quickly.

But the battle doesn't end. I awoke early to...

  • My husband letting me know the furnace had stopped working sometime in the middle of the night, he'd talked to a good friend and something must be wrong with the gas line. Ben heads off to work.
  • I wake up and find that school has a 2 hour delay because of fog (also learn that it's the 6th day in a row without sunshine)
  • Call the gas company and they send someone out.
  • Teenager comes down stairs ready for school, not knowing that it's a late start. Not happy.
  • Two day care kiddos arrive.
  • Gas guy comes...gas is not the problem.
  • Call friend who can fix the furnace.
  • A dear friend calls, a tragic situation has happened in her family that lives far away. My heart hurts for her...
  • Load 5 kids up in order to take 2 to school. Buckle everyone in. Gripe under my breath about the cold.
  • On the way to school, someone drives right through the yield sign without ever looking...it wasn't super close, but close enough to make my heart pound.
  • Get back home unload 2 preschoolers and a 7 month old. Walk into the house to have teenager tell me their ride to school over slept. Load preschoolers and baby back in the van, pick up teenagers friend, and take to highschool.
  • Someone calls and needs a babysitter, I say no...which makes me feel bad for not helping.
  • Friend comes and takes 5 minutes and furnace is fixed.
  • Feed kids lunch, delay nap of 7 month old because...
  • in 30 minutes I would need to load 3 kids up again to take one to preschool.
  • My head hurts, my back hurts, my pregnant self is tired, my patience is tested...
But in reality, this is an average ordinary day. Sure, some stuff's been a little extra annoying...but nothing too far from the average day. It's life.

And then the realization hits me. It's not the big life-altering situations that bring me to my breaking point.

It's the tiny little ones. The every-day-ordinary ones. The freezing weather, the dishwasher not getting loaded/unloaded, whining, piles, my cell phone that never stops ringing, on and on and on. Nothing significant...until you put it all together.

I know what I should do. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Knowing is generally not the problem for me...it's the doing.

Looking at the daily craziness of life as a blessing, rather than a huge pain. Some days it's easier to do that...but I want to get to the point where I choose quickly to see the "inconveniences" of life as opportunities instead.

I'm a long way from that point. God has some work to do...I have some yielding to do.

How about you? What brings you to your breaking point?


Monday, January 18, 2010

Upcoming Giveaway...

Can I just say that the de-lurking post blew. me. away!

83 comments and I didn't even give anything away. You made my day(s) and I'm going to start making the rounds to visit you. Yay for lurkers!

I do have a little preview of an upcoming give-away. Now, listen...I'm not giving it away yet...but it will be coming soon!

Lisa at The Preacher's Wife is going to be sending me her new book, You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes, that will be available February 1st!

Lisa's blog was one of the first I stumbled across when I began blogging. She runs the Married to the Ministry blogroll (which is a great way to find blogs written by wives of guys serving in all sorts of different ministry capacities.) As she was in the process of writing the book, she would occasionally put questions out there for ministry wives to share their opinions or experiences on. My opinions tend to outweigh my experience. But...

I'm even quoted in the book, during the round table discussions. I think that makes me a little bit famous. At least according to my low standards it does. Oooh...I could even give a copy to the tiny town library! Oh wait...I'm the only pastor's wife in tiny town. Three churches in town, one has a woman pastor, one has this pastor's wife, and the other doesn't even want to be called a church but rather an "assembly"...they don't like the term pastor either...I digress.

I had a point. The book, I'm quite sure, is going to be fantastic. And when it's available (February 1st) Lisa is gonna send me one to read, and one to give away.

YAY!

And I'm going to give it away to you. And if you're not a pastor's wife, you can give it to your pastor's wife and then you will be her favorite parishoner (I never use that term, by the way. In real life I would say "lady in her church.")

There is something you can do in the meantime. LifeWay has an excellent description of Lisa's book and a super fun giveaway for you to enter your pastor's wife into. I checked it out (no, I did not nominate myself...I promise) but it is SUPER easy to enter her into, and trust me people...your pastor's wife deserves it. For real.

Did I mention I'm quoted in the book?

Excuse me while I go let God deal with my pride issues...

Happy Monday!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Say Hello

I normally pay very little attention to my sitemeter. However, yesterday I decided to check up on my stats and junk. And then I wasted some more time looking through some of my old posts.

And then I started to feel a little bad.

Next month will mark my 2 year blogging anniversary. TWO YEARS. I spent the first year trying to build a group of blog friends. And once that happened, I got totally lazy. I'm lucky to blog twice a week now.

I also realized that the number of visitors a day that I used to have to blog for, now visit whether I've posted or not. And then I thought to myself...poor people. Here they are, clicking over hoping to find something new and instead, there sits the same boring post from 3 days ago.

Sorry 'bout that.

I've gotten lazy about posting, lazy about reading and commenting, and especially lazy when it comes to visiting any new blogs...and I know I'm missing out on some really great people and content.

Time to figure out where I'm going with this thing again. I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. Either I do this, or I don't...but this barely maintaining is just not gonna work for me.

Time to jump back into this! And...I've heard that today is National De-lurking Day...which means if you are one of those lovely readers who reads but doesn't leave a comment because you're sick of my lack of posting, then today is your chance say hello...and then you can go back to hiding, I promise.

Or you can just say hello. And if you blog, then I can come visit you, and we can be friends.

Introduce yourselves.

Happy Day to you!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Boring

Funny thing about blogging...lots of thoughts in my head equals zero posts.

Probably because all of the thoughts have beginnings, but haven't been totally worked through yet.
And the other thoughts...too boring or random to blog...even for me...yet I'll do it anyway.

  • Took the boys bowling for the first time. I know! They'd never been bowling. We're terrible parents. Happy to report I won both games. Turns out I bowl better with a preggo belly. The bad news: I'm still totally sore from it. Sore from bowling...good grief.
  • Started and finished (in the same day) Ted Dekkar and Frank Perreti's book House. Weird. Very weird. Turns out, a friend told me it's his worst one...so (at her recommendation) I'm going to read Black next.
  • My kids were supposed to have their yearly dental check up last fall. We never made it. Now, with all my prenatal appointments and juggling everyone's schedules already driving me crazy, I've decided to wait until summer to take them to the dentist. Maybe that makes me a bad parent. Oh well...at least they've been bowling now.
  • I hate winter in Iowa this year. I do. I've tried to look at the positive side of it, and well...I just can't find one. I think I need some more vitamin D.
  • I ran 1.8 miles on the treadmill the other day. It wasn't actually running, more like walking with a hop, but I'm totally counting it. The boys just stood and watched me for a few minutes, because the sight of it caught them by surprise. The sight of their pregnant mama in running gear was a little shocking to their systems.
  • Odie smells like rot. I'm not even kidding. He desperately needs a bath...and I desperately wish I was not the one who had to give it to him.
  • Wishing will not make him smell better...I've tried.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Things He Does...

How my four year old eats a Grapefruit...unsupervised.


Take a wild guess who's not allowed in the fridge without supervision. If only that worked...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Just Like Everyone Else...

I'm bad at reflecting back sometimes. I'm very good at forgetting lessons I've learned. But this past year has been a big year for The Parsonage Family...and one of huge change for me spiritually.

I so don't want God to let me forget.

  • Started my first Beth Moore Bible Study in 2009. Now into my 2nd one. God has used her tremendously to help me get into His Word and understand it better. I've been so blessed by the annointing He's placed upon her.
  • Friendships grew and deepened. I may not get to see some of you often, or ever, but your presence in my life encourages me. For those I do get to see often, thank you for putting up with me.
  • I trained for a 1/2 marathon. Something I never thought I could do. Turns out, I was RIGHT! But with His strength, and kick in the butt every now and then I ran distances I never thought possible. I learned spiritual lessons through physical ones. I'm hoping 2010 has more of that in store...because otherwise my clothes may never fit again.
  • Saw my oldest son, Noah, desire to be baptized. Saw my husband get to do the honor. Realized that, more than anything, I want my boys to grow up to be men of faith...just like their daddy.
  • Decided to host an exchange student. Preparing for Julie, and having her here has been a once in a lifetime experience for us.
  • Watched friends and family suffer tremendous loss of loved ones. A good friend's son diagnosed with cancer. Watching them press on, one day at a time...fighting the good fight.
  • Unexpected blessing of finding out our family was going to grow by one more. Barfing and sickness for 18 weeks. Choroid Plexus Cyst...and the disappearance of it...news of a healthy baby.
  • Torturing others with the "secret" of the baby's gender. A growing belly, pants that won't stay up, and the amazing feeling of that sweet little baby kicking around in there.
  • Unexpected expenses, car repairs and stuff. Wondering how it would all work out...and seeing God work it all out. Blessed.
  • Learning and adjusting to parenting as the boys get older. Trying to deal with heart issues, school issues, brother issues. Loving them more than they'll ever know.
  • Watching a ridiculous amount of football.
  • So much other stuff.
As I start this new year today, I plan on cleaning. my. butt. off. Something about January makes me want to organize EVERYTHING. This phase will end. It always does.

But while I'm cleaning, there's one thing that I just can't get out of my head...

What is too big for God?

Nothing that 2010 holds will take Him by surprise. And nothing nothing nothing is too big for Him to handle. Not even me.

With God by my side, bring on what He has in store for 2010.