Friday, April 22, 2011
Webster's proceeded to define passion with a series of descriptions defining lust and immorality and sex and ended with the definition the sufferings of a martyr.
As much as I'd like to say I'm writing about the last definition, I'm actually writing about the first. No, not the description of lust and immorality, the other first.
As a teenager I was one passionate kid. I mean, seriously.
It got me into trouble. Big trouble. But then again, it also served as a strength. I made foolish decisions out of passion while lacking in wisdom but I lived life to the fullest every second. But now, having lived a little, fell
Don't get me wrong, I'm passionate about my God and my family, yes... But even in that, there's passions placed in my heart for a reason and a purpose that I just seemed to have let go of.
And sadly this seems to be the case for most adults I know.
What is it about growing up that causes us to stop pursuing our dreams, to give up and give in to the mundane day to day living out mediocrity at best and forsaking the youthful dreams we once had?
Ok, so some of them are out of reach (let's face, I will never be a professional dancer) but does that mean that because I can't reach the moon I have to give up my love and pursuit of it altogether?
I sure hope not. For the sake of my family and unto the glory of God, I sure hope not.
I had a Daddy who was passionate about music. Playing it, hearing it, making it. I remember growing up, having watched him play every percussion instrument in the salsa world and the effect it had on me to see the passion in his heart being poured forth into music. It's always been an outlet. It's always been his way to worship... He is an outstanding Daddy passionate about his children, but he is also an outstanding man passionate about music.
And I think that's what we forget. At least I have.
I am a wife and I am a mother. But I'm also a woman with God-given passions, dreams and desires. I can't be great at one if I'm not great at the other. It is not a separation of identities, but rather the completion of who I've become. I cannot be an outstanding mother and wife if I am incomplete as a woman, and I cannot be an outstanding woman if I am forsaking the very ministry of family I have been blessed with.
I pray that my children grow up seeing how absolutely passionate I am about them and their Daddy, but I also pray they will grow up seeing how absolutely passionate I am about the Lord and how I worship and adore Him through the various gifts and passions He has ordained upon my heart.
I want to dream again. I want to dream as an adult, alongside my husband and children. I want to pursue the things I love to do with them and for them, so that they may see the complete me and not just half. I want both my girls to see Mommy do something that makes her come to life through Jesus. Whether it be dance, hospitality, teaching or painting...
I want them to see me worship Jesus through the passions He has placed within me.
Well, here goes nothing...
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Well, I did it!
Well, not all of them of course... But I'm on my way! On Monday I made my very first batch of baby food and may I just say it was super easy and kinda fun!
On the menu:
Peaches && Yogurt
I wanted to start off easy so that I didn't frighten myself and convince myself out of it. I'm glad I did because with this first batch, I'm gaining confidence and I'm ready to take on the entire world (okay, maybe not the whole world, but I'm loving this cooking from scratch thing-- I think I can do it!)
Here is a memory book post on my "homemade baby food" journey... =)
I started off with the peaches. I used frozen ones because I'd heard fresh fruit turned brown when frozen. I allowed the peaches to be thawed, and then went ahead and threw them in the blender. I want to be able to do the baby food by the bulk since I'm using a blender and not a food processor. (*note: The blender glass is dirty because this was round 2 on the peaches. I forgot to take pictures the first go-around.)
On to the sweet potatoes! Peeled, cut and boiled, check!
She looked a little concerned at first, but I promise she liked it ya'll! =)
What about you? What have you cooked up from scratch in the kitchen this week? Are you inspired to make your own baby food yet?
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Chaos has ruled in my home entirely too long. And it. must. stop.
A great little lady named Sarah Mae over at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee wrote a book that has intruigued me. She called it "31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha house the Mary way."
Wait a second...!
I can have a Martha house with the heart of Mary? Is that even possible?
Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and forsook the mundane! Martha was obsessive compulsive in her heart of service and forgot the man whom she was serving.
Wait... I can have both?
Yes, please. Where do I sign?
No, but seriously. I struggle with this.
You know, being the wholehearted lover of Jesus who sits at His feet all day. Who forsakes everything else just to be with Him. Oh, wait... The baby's gotta eat. Oh and there's laundry. Oh and hubby's coming home... Gotta make the bed and look presentable, and make sure dinner's ready.
Oy. It seems the Martha syndrome comes with marriage and children. Yet my heart yearns for the heart of Mary.
Hence, the chaos.
But, I know I can do both. I can be both! He has called me to this according to His good purpose. So I know I can do it. After all, I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens me.
So this week, I fully intend on leaning and gleaning from His strength.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
I feel like I've been busy all day and yet have accomplished zilch. Hubbers will be home in an hour and the house is definately less than presentable, as am I.
Is this just me or does this happen to you other Mommy-gals out there? (Please don't say it's just me... I will officially go down as worse homemaker wife everrrrrr!)
Something's just got to be done. I can't continue to have my husband come home to a messy house and a pajama wearing wife. He works hard outside of the home all day and has a paycheck to prove it. I, on the other hand have nothing but the manner in which he finds me, our home and our children when he gets home as "proof."
So far, I should probably get fired.
Now, don't get me wrong-- this isn't an every day thing (no, really, it's not...). But part of being a Proverbs 31 wife is a consistent and continual honoring of our husbands. In everything! The way we look, the way our home is when they come home from work, etc.
Mike Bickle from IHOP-KC did a teaching series called "The Power of a Focused Life." In it, he mainly discussed the importance of scheduling our time in prayer and in the Word. He encourages us to schedule out our day so that we may be consistently using our time wisely and for the glory of God.
So, a few nights ago... I came home, sat down with my calendar, prayed and came up with a daily schedule that will provide me with structure throughout my day. I've scheduled in my time with the Lord, our little family's devotion time, Mommy's shower and "getting ready time" (yes, believe it or not, I have to do this... Otherwise I'll stay in my pj's all day and take a 2min shower right before bed) as well as daily homekeeping and cleaning.
I seperated my day into two routines; morning and afternoon. I much prefer it this way because it's not overwhelming. Seeing my entire day in one glance tends to overwhelm and discourage me, so breaking it down into two portions of my day makes so much more sense for me and keeps me encouraged at pursuing it rather than discouraged.
I also went ahead and stopped this scheduled routine when Daddy comes home. I didn't want to be too rigid with a routine when Daddy came home so that we were free to spend time as a family, without additional "requirements" for Daddy to fill. I tend to be a strickler when I commit to routines and schedules like this, and understanding my weakness, I didn't want to become a "dripping faucet" to my husband. ;)
Additionally, we have designated nights for things in our homes and I feel like that's routine enough. =) Tuesdays are family prayer nights, Wednesday's Mommy attends a class, Thursdays are date nights (hoorahhh!) and Fridays Mommy works and Daddy has Daddy-Daughters Date Nights!
Naturally, like Mike Bickle said, "we can't keep a schedule 100% of the time, but if we keep it 80% of the time (and that's high), then we are greatly increasing our productiveness..." as Mommies, Wives and Homemakers. Pretty much as individuals.
Having this routine this week has greatly helped me. It's been a busy week and I haven't been able to keep it super consistently, but it's already provided me with such a better ebb and flow to our day!
What about you? Do you keep a daily routine? If so, how did you break it up and how does it work for you?
Monday, April 11, 2011
As we continue on our trek with Hannah, we have learned that Hannah had three great loves in her life... Heaven, her Husband and her Home.
She was the ultimate homemaker, bride and follower of God.
In her love for her husband, we have learned that she selflessly submitted to her husband despite her personal emotions and struggles. She took submission to the death of feminism... She said "Yes, my lord" and trusted the goodness of her Heavenly Bridegroom.
Today, I want to talk about the love story between Elkanah and Hannah.
Those two loved each other.
The few verses devoted to their mutual affection for one another carries a greater romance than any chick-flick I've seen... "The Notebook" has nothing on Hannah and Elkanah.
Let's just start at the beginning. I know what you're wondering... "Umm, Nicole, there's no way he loved her that much. He had another wife." Well, yes. He did. But remember that Hannah was barren. She was unable to have children and culturally speaking a man was without honor if he had no sons to carry out his name. So, technically speaking he didn't have a choice.
**I am by no means making an excuse for Elkanah in taking another wife. Personally, I'm not entirely sure polygamy is the way to go.**
However, regardless of that fact, Elkanah consistently showed Hannah his favor and his love. Even though Penninah consistently hurt and taunted Hannah, Elkanah showed his favor upon her by granting her double portions during the sacrifice (1Sam 1:4-5).
In this, I see that Elkanah prayed most for Hannah.
Although Penninah had children (many, in fact), Scripture shows us that he gave most to his barren bride. Because he loved her and she loved him back (she showed this by her submission).
Then, when Hannah had enough. When she'd had a break down and was crying hysterically over her misfortune and the lack of children, Elkanah spoke one of the most tender phrases in Scripture...
"Am I not better to you than ten sons?" (1Sam 1:8:b) In essence, Elkanah was saying...
"Baby, I know that your heart's desire hasn't been met. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but I want to be your hope. I want to be your good thing. I love you for you not for the sons you may or may not give to me, I love you Hannah for you. Please let our love be enough."
Oh. My. Goodness. This is love. A true picture of God's heart for us. Sigh.
How easy it is to respond in submission for such a love. :)
And won't you know it... Hannah loved Elkanah right back.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Most of the time I am candid and vulnerable with my husband. When things don't seem to go my way and I just can't seem to see the light at the end of the very dark tunnel, he tends to guide me and two of course are better than one.I remember one time, when I was sharing with him how insecure I was feeling (one of my many ongoing struggles) he very lovingly and yet very sternly asked me... "Don't you ever just tell the flesh to shut up? Pull out the Word of God and quote it. Just beat that thing with the Word of God."
Gasp!How dare he? Here I am fishing for pity and some sort of compassion and instead I receive loving reproof. I would love to say I answered correctly and submitted and saw my wrong. Yeahhh, I didn't. I saw the value in what he said, but because he didn't give me butterflies before saying it, I chose to become offended. It didn't stay that way for long of course, but it happened nonetheless.
In 1 Samuel 1, when Hannah was teased by her rival, Peninnah (her husband's other wife... ooo the nerve!) she withdrew herself and did not partake of the celebration which they were in the tabernacle for.Hannah was hurt! Her hope was deferred and that little...
And yet, Elkanah, her husband, in love does what every husband should do. He comforts her, reproves her and says one of the most romantic things a [natural] man tells his wife.
"Then Elkanah, her husband, said to her, 'Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad? Am I not better than ten sons?' " --1 Samuel 1:8[enter pause... fanning tears away from my eyes]
One of the things that stirred me about Hannah was her response. "She did not harden herself not grow sullen" in her grief nor her reproof.She didn't call him an insensitive jerk who married another woman (like our matriarch Sara did to Abram).
She didn't withdrawal and refuse to be vulnerable. She didn't sulk for days and give Elkanah the silent treatment.She submitted to her husband, strengthened herself in the Lord and prayed.
Although the reason for her avoiding food is never made clear, that reason (whether pity, fasting or just a lack of appetite because of heartache) becomes second to Hannah as she responds lovingly and submissively to her husband. She does the very thing he mentions and asks of her.
Monday, April 4, 2011
I am truly beyond the moon.And, I am also exhausted. This is only day two of hosting them and although I absolutely love love love them and I love having them here, I am also exhausted in more ways than one.
Truthfully, I have set myself up for massive failure. Once again, in my *almost* perfectionist state, I have set unrealistic goals that I just cannot meet. I once again forget that regardless what I think, I am not supermom and I am not a professional at hospitality.
I desire to be hospitable, I am willing. Even with limited resources I am willing and I am *trying* to do everything wholeheartedly unto the Lord.But even in my willingness, my ever-faithful, ever bothersome companion, insecurity has crept in and made me wonder if I'm really any good at anything.
It has made me feel like my limited resources are an inconvenience and disqualify me from my willingness and hard work.
It has made me feel like I am a horrible mother because I don't mother like her.It has made me feel like my faults are exposed and repulse every individual around me.
It has made me feel like I just don't have it together.
Frankly, insecurity is a big, fat, mean jerk.And then, I hear that sweet, gentle, unmistakable Voice whispering to my ear;
And enter in my reality check.I remember that my Jesus values my willingness and delights in my servant's heart, despite the blunder that results therefrom.
I remember that regardless of what little I have, He is pleased because I'm willing to give it away, even if that means I might skip a few meals.I remember that He is molding me to be the mommy that I need to be and He will complete the work He has started because I am willing.
And most importantly, I remember that He is working His salvation out within me, individually and uniquely.I am not my sister(s)-in-law and they are not me. And although they *almost* have it all together (or at least it so seems to me), I am where I am because He has wants me here.
So, down goes the necessity to ensure that everything is perfect, and in comes in me actually enjoying my family while they're here.Hmm, who woulda thunk?