Monday, February 28, 2011

he loves me.

So I discovered a few things tonight.
I discovered I am self absorbed, proud, selfish, and judgmental.
{I'm sure there are other things I could add to this list
but these were the specific ones brought to my attention}.

Not by a person but by the Holy Spirit.

Ouch. Not the way I'd like to describe myself.
God revealed these things to me but the point of revealing them was not
to bring me down or point out all my flaws
{I do believe he pointed these out because they need corrected}
but after pointing them out he said,
"I love you"

He loves me.
This woman full of pride and selfishness.
This woman who judges and puts herself higher than others.
He loves me.
He calls me beloved.
He delights in me.
He calls me daughter.

I've been thinking about this all day.
Why? How?
How can God love a person like me?

I will never understand his love for me.
But I have felt it. I have experienced it.
It is real. It is powerful. It is life changing.

No matter where you are,
No matter how terrible a person you may think you are,
He. Loves. You.

His greatest desire is for you to know that love.
Really know his love.

We all carry baggage, we all sin, we all fall short..
don't let those things keep you from experiencing Christ.
The devil will desperately try to hold those things over you
to keep you from the love of God, because he knows if you experience
God's love, you will be FOREVER changed and he will no longer
have a grip on you and your life.

God sees past our ugliness. He sees past the mistakes.
He knows our failures and our weaknesses--yet

He loves you.
Is your heart pounding out of your chest as you read this?
That's him.
Let him love you.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

in awe of my freakishness.

How is this even possible?
I am pregnant as I type this
yet I cannot wrap my head around the fact that
a human being is growing inside of me.

I cannot wrap my head around the fact that my skin
is able to stretch the way it has.

I cannot figure out how I do not just topple over
whenever I attempt to stand or walk .
{i did topple over last week much to my family's amusement}

I am still in awe at the complexity of our bodies.
How God has designed everything to work together.
Every tiny detail.
It truly is amazing.
Mind boggling.

And down right freakish!

6o weeks pregnant

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

receive the blessing

I can't believe it's the end of February.
Time has been dragging, yet it has flown!

As we enter into March, we enter into a season of major transition.
Baby Byler will be making his debut and we will be moving.
(and we'll be saying goodbye to winter--hallelujah!)

The last several months have been filled with
anticipation, stress, surprises, worry, decisions, excitement..
well pretty much every emotion a human can feel!
(mixed in with raging pregnancy hormones, bless my husband)

As we begin this adventure our prayer is that
we would receive the blessings God has poured out on us.
We would not allow anxiety or stress or feelings of being overwhelmed
to cast a shadow on these events that are to be SO full of JOY!
I know there will be challenges.
Sleepless nights.
Long days.
Sleepless nights.
Lots of painting.
Sleepless nights.
2 young children adjusting to a baby and a new house.
Sleepless nights.
(i like my sleep if you haven't caught on)

But I pray I (we) see the good.

I pray I allow myself to experience these moments.
I pray I can look into my sons eyes even at 2am
and be filled with pure joy.

I pray my days would be intentional and productive.
I pray this time of change will bring my family closer together
and cause an even greater dependency on Christ.
I pray for a spirit of peace and calmness in our home.

I pray that we will look back at this year -- 2011
not as one of chaos but
as one of the greatest years of our lives.
A year filled with memories.
A year filled with God's goodness.
A year of blessings.

Would you join us in praying for these things?
I know there will be challenges and moments of frustration
but I also know that he hears our prayers and his heart
is for us to live a good, abundant life full of his joy and peace.
All we need to do is ask for it and then receive it.

Thank you friends.
Things may be quiet here for a while as we are busy preparing,
but feel free to check in or send your hellos!:)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

proud mama

I'm overwhelmed with pride at this moment.

This morning I was not feeling well.
(we've been fighting the stomach bug since friday)
Andy had left for work and I was laying in bed thinking how I
was going to get these girls up and organized for school.

Just then my early {early} riser waltzes in my room
with a cheerful 'Good morning, mommy'
Then she spotted "the bowl"
The bowl has been making it's rounds,
and you do not want to be in possession of the bowl!

She said "oh no, you have the bug!"
Can I get you a Sprite?
My heart melted.
As I lay there sipping my Sprite, I heard lots of banging in the kitchen
She returned to my room shortly after with 2 bowls of fresh fruit,
and said 'I'll feed Ruby breakfast, mom.'
My heart {still melted from the Sprite offer} ooozed with pride.
About an hour later she came in completely dressed, backpack and coat on.
She then informed me she laid clothes out for Ruby
and they were on her bed when I was ready to dress her.

I am feeling MUCH better
{the Lord spared me from what my family had experienced}
I left my bedroom to begin disinfecting and found:
A made bed with Ruby's clothes {completely color coordinated} folded nicely on top.
A toothbrush with a drop of toothpaste ready and waiting for her little sister.
And the empty fruit bowls in the sink.

My six year old completely and totally took care of her mother
and little sister with no one asking her to do so. She went above and beyond
anything I would even think to ask her to do!

I am one proud mama.
{just had to brag a little}

Sunday, February 13, 2011

making memories

I'm not a huge lover of Valentine's Day.
I probably would be but my husband has convinced me
it's a commercial holiday
(smart man, convincing me to dislike a day set aside for flowers and mushy cards).

But I do like to feel special and
I enjoying making my loved ones feel special.
I was laying in bed last night thinking about ways I could make
my family feel {extra} loved on this day set aside for love!

As I was thinking, memories from my childhood filled my mind.
My mom ALWAYS made me feel special and loved,
especially on holidays.
{every holiday: Valentines, St. Patty's, Easter, Flag Day..}
That didn't mean she bought me elaborate gifts but she did small things
that to this day I remember and they still make me feel loved and special!
A treasure hunt leading to a basket of goodies,
a note waiting for me on the counter
next to a plate of heart shaped cookies,
small things that in my eyes were HUGE.

My girls are old enough now to begin making memories.
I want them to have memories to look back on like I do.
It's such a special thing.

So laying in bed I came up with the grand plan
to have a special candlelit dinner.
As much as I wanted to go all out, I also did not want to spend money
and I only had 12 hours to be creative. So it would need to be simple.
I decided to go through the house and gather anything pink or red.
I came up with a decent amount of things and got decorating!

It turned out cute enough,
{the kids thought it was gorgeous, that's what matters}
and we had a special candlelit dinner in the dining room.

I hope and pray this will be something they remember.
A special night of feeling loved.
A special memory to look back on when they are mommies.

And an extra special surprise for mommy
My favorite!
Not only were they delish
{i already ate 5...what? I didn't want them to go bad}
But they made me feel {extra} loved.
Thanks babe.

So we're not huge fans of the 'commercial holiday'
But come on who doesn't want a little love?

Have fun lovin' on your loved ones:)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

small steps on this big journey

If you recall a few weeks ago I received a
great revelation from the Lord,

If you also recall I was a bit surprised
at the simplicity in these instructions
and was hoping for something a little "bigger" or more "spiritual"

I figured I should not argue..
there must be a reason for this.

I have been successful in my new routine and have reaped the rewards.
Here are some of the things I've been seeing and learning:

1) I am wired for routine.
I love waking up and doing the exact same thing every morning.
I love to eat the exact same thing for breakfast.
I love walking out the door at the exact same time every day.
Like I said,I am wired for routine
(ok and have a mild case of OCD).

Just having a routine has helped start my days off on a good note.

2) I have seen major changes in my whole family!
I think I wrote before that this saying applies to our house
"If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"
For whatever reason my attitude can set the whole tone for our house!?
Since I've begun this new routine
the whole vibe in our house has changed.

No more struggling to get the kids ready on time,
no more yelling before the sun has risen.
Instead we all sit and have breakfast together.
Why? Because we have TIME!

What better way to start the day.
No more rushing, yelling, or slamming of doors.

3) I am learning my new routine is actually 'self discipline'.
And I'm learning I apparently don't have much self discipline!
Just getting to bed early is a fight
but I'm learning I must discipline myself.

Some mornings I wake right up and have my coffee but then
I don't feel like reading my Bible
but I open it regardless of what I feel like doing.

This discipline has overflowed into other areas..
Cleaning up the kitchen before bed, making my bed in the morning,
brushing my hair everyday
(you'd be surprised the things I try to avoid doing in a day).

I have a long ways to go but I'm learning. And I like it.

4) The biggest reward from all of this...
Meeting with God every morning. Hearing his voice.
I often think, 'I wish I heard from the Lord like So and So.'
They must be so spiritual.

No. They must spend time with the Lord!
I've been hearing the Lord so clearly throughout my days the last week.
He has given me words to encourage others with,
he has prompted me to make phone calls that I wouldn't have otherwise,
He's shown me the areas I really need to be working on,
And he has been present throughout my day in a real way.

The original instructions of going to bed and waking up early
may have seemed simple, even silly at first.
But I'm seeing now how huge it is going to be in my life.
In my everyday practical life, and in my spiritual journey.
I think this simple act of obedience will lead to greater revelation
and a deeper growth than I thought possible.

I'm excited for this journey.
Excited to see where these little steps lead.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

a balancing act

We all know what a balancing act life can be.
Family, friends, work, God time, fun time, alone time.
How do you prioritize?
How do you make sure every area gets the proper attention?
How do you avoid burn out?
Do you do things to please others?
Are you being selfish with your time?

I'm not writing to give you some profound answer,
I'm writing because these are the questions I've been asking myself.

The last months have been quite the balancing act.
I rarely feel well, so I put a lot of thought into "what will I do today?"
If I choose to clean for the day,
that means no going out with girlfriends in the evening.
If I choose to go to the party, that means no cleaning or dinner for my family.

I'm doing my best to balance everything and everyone
but it is honestly overwhelming trying to decide
everyday what/who is most important.
I have come to the conclusion that until the baby arrives and we are settled
into our new house I need to be home.
Plain and simple. Home.
I need to use all my energy in being sure my family is taken care of.
Clean clothes, dinner on the table, energy to play and read with the kids,
not to mention packing!
..and all with a smile:)

I'm sorry if you've felt neglected by me.
NOT my intention. My friends mean so much to me.
But my family must come first.

I'm happy to report that my first week of hello mornings has
been super successful and has helped me so much
with this fine balancing act
(and has also helped me come to this conclusion).

to the day I can resume life as I once knew it
but for now forgive me (and please take no offense)
as I hunker down and love on my family for the next 6 weeks
(actually give me 10 weeks as I'll need to recover, adjust to baby AND move)!

My blog and facebook shall be my lifeline until then:)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

prayers for kate and michael

I feel sick in my stomach.
In the last 5 minutes I read of 2 sweet little children
and their battles with cancer.

So many questions?

Would you please take a moment to pray for these sweet
children and their families?
I know I feel so helpless in these situations,
yet I know the power of prayer.
Take a moment to lift them up, would you?

First is beautiful, precious Kate.
She is 6 and battling a rare form of brain cancer.
They received devastating news today.
Click here for an update from her mom, Holly.

Pray for Kate

Second is a little preschool friend, Michael.
They found a tumor on his kidney on Christmas Eve.
They found more on his lungs.
He will have his kidney removed tomorrow.
He is 4 years old.

Please lift these sweet little ones up in prayer.
Cover their families.

I'll never understand things like this.
I have the same question as innocent Kate
"Why didn't Jesus heal me, daddy?"

Still believing for miracles!