Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Three Letters in the Middle...

 You may have picked up on a new social media hashtag being celebrated amongst pro-choicers: #shoutyourabortion 

Just typing the words out makes my stomach turn. It is difficult for me to understand how anyone can ever justify the act of abortion, but the thought that people find it celebratory is just sickening. In response to this hashtag, a friend of mine posted a precious picture of her son and my son together. Both were adopted from the same agency, and both are truly such a gift to our families! For her hashtag, she chose to say #shoutyourADOPTION ! I found this new caption positively brilliant and posted this comment with the picture of Knox and Gabriel: 

"THIS is what I choose to celebrate: two beautiful lives that are able to LIVE their life to its fullest because two beautiful birth mothers chose to GIVE them that life. THAT is something worth shouting out and celebrating!"

After posting it, I received a text from a concerned friend. She had not yet heard of the pro choice hashtag, and she thought I had mistakenly written the words 
#shoutyourABORTION instead of 
#shoutYourADOPTION. I was able to fill her in on this horrible new trend, but in doing so I realized how close the two words are: abort and adopt. The two words may look very similar at a quick glance, but their meanings are far from similar. One word (adopt) means to accept or to take as one's own, while the other (abort) means to terminate or bring to a premature end. Both words start the same, both in appearance and in meaning: adoption begins because of a life, and abortion is chosen because of a life. However, it's those three letters in the middle that make all the difference--and in a sense, it's those three people in the middle of these circumstances that make all of the difference, too. In adoption, there is a baby with a life to live, a birth mother with a choice to make, and a family with eager hearts and open arms to welcome this baby AND their birth mother into their forever family. With abortion, there is still a baby with a life to live and a birth mother with a choice to make, but the third party holds anything but eager hearts and open arms--it holds the ability to end not just the life of the baby, but a part of life that the birth mother would also have had the opportunity to live. Aborting a baby doesn't just hurt the precious life of that baby, but it also hurts the life of that baby's mother. Many women have been lied to about the truth of abortion, and many people even encourage the celebration of such a choice. This is nothing but a horrible coverup for a horrific tragedy though. Many women are told that their life will be over if they birth a baby they didn't want, but in all reality, abortion is doing the same thing: ending a life. The life of that baby will be over, and the life that the birth mother would have experienced will also be over. Many may see this as a positive thing, but I refuse to buy into that lie. After all, there is certainly no proof of that, because that opportunity has never been able to present itself. 

The fact that our society has come to the point of celebrating murder...I just am without words in how it grieves my heart. I grieve over these little lives that were never given a chance, I grieve over the families that so desperately wanted to parent them, and I grieve deeply over these mothers that are so very deceived. Truly, every life is BEAUTIFUL! So, this day, I celebrate the beautiful life I see in my son, and I celebrate the life his birth mother has given to our family. This day, I want to shout it out that every life is truly beautiful. Please don't be silent in this fight for life. Find a way to support the prolife cause, and if you can...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Product Review

I received this product for free from influenster to try out, and I was asked to give a review of it on my blog. Here is a picture of my review--super fun, quick, and easy to use product to get a natural looking tan in a very safe way. I can't say it made a huge difference in color, but it's certainly natural looking and gives a nice tint. Thanks @SallyHansen and @Influenster!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Adventures in (home)schooling!

This year, we are embarking upon a new journey for our family: home schooling! I imagine the reaction to this will be all across the board, and while my own emotions have certainly covered a wide range, DH and I feel an overwhelming peace about this decision.

Being home schooled myself for the majority of my schooling, I always said I wanted to home school my own children. But when it came time for Lucy to actually start school, we felt the Lord leading us in an entirely different direction. We have always stuck by the mantra that we would take it year by year though, so as each school year comes before us, we have prayed and sought God's direction for what He would have us to do, and in Lucy's few short years of education thus far, she has experienced a variety of paths: public school, private school, and now, home school.

Since DH is between jobs right now, we really feel that home schooling will give our family not only the most flexibility as we search for what God has for us to do, but it will also allow Lucy the most stability through this school year. Having already taken her out of one school here, I would hate for us to get her adjusted to a new school only to possibly have to take her out of that one, too. We are also excited about the opportunity that home schooling will allow our family to bond in a new way. I'm sure there are going to experience multiple levels of chaos going on in our house trying to teach a second grader while having one pre-schooler and one toddler under foot, not to mention a tired/nauseated pregnant mommy-teacher and soon-to-be-newborn joining our Toller troup, but overall we are excited to embrace the crazy and enjoy this new adventure!

For this year, we will be using the Sonlight curriculum. I'm so excited to dive into this Bible-based curriculum that's full of so many wonderful books! We decided to wait until after Labor Day to start (I actually remember that's about the same time I started my second grade year, too...),
so tomorrow will be our first official day of home schooling!

Our piano studio has undergone a bit of a facelift with the addition of beautiful new flooring
 (thanks to my amazing DH who installed it!) and an antique school desk that I actually used as a little girl, too! I added a corner shelf to give us some more organization options in the room, too.
 (This curriculum is VERY much literature-based/reading-intensive, so there are a TON of books to find room for!) I am hoping to add a large, magnetic chalkboard to the wall in front of her desk, too, but in the mean time we will utilize our chalkboard cross for our weekly memory verses.
 It's always interesting to me how every time I feel like we have absolutely no room left in our house, God always provides the space we need. As I prayed over how to rearrange furniture, things just fell into place. In fact, with the addition of furniture in the studio, I actually feel like the space is even more functional than it was before! I'm enjoying my somewhat-new teaching space, and I'm excited about the time we will spend in there doing school.

To make the start of school seem a bit more special, I took Lucy school supply shopping today. She doesn't need a whole lot, but it was fun letting her pick out fun colored pencils and erasers and a new pencil box. She was having a hard time deciding which one to get (poor kid has gotten my indecisive tendencies) and said, "I think we should get both of these." I said, "Lucy, we don't need two pencil boxes!" She replied, "No Momma, I think Gabriel would really like to have one, too." It totally warmed my heart to see her thinking of her brother! So, GP will awake tomorrow to an Avengers pencil box filled with brand new crayons,
 along with a preschool prep workbook. (That boy is obsessed with his letters!) and my sweet Lucy bug will have a Cinderella pencil box...filled with Avengers pencils! LOL! She truly is such a great mixture of her momma and daddy! I even picked up some new blocks and playdoh for Annie and Gabriel to be able to play (hopefully) quietly with as Lucy is doing her school work.

We also incorporated some of our previous before-school-starts traditions by taking Lucy out for cheesecake this evening. She enjoyed a HUGE piece of red velvet cheesecake with plenty left to bring home to enjoy later!
After we came home, we laid out her clothes for tomorrow (she has a new outfit that we have saved for her first day of school) and read the same book we read each year before school begins: "Petunia the Silly Goose."
I love how the moral of this book is simply stated in a quote towards the end: "It is not enough to carry wisdom under my wing. I must put it in my mind and in my heart." This so speaks my desire for Lucy's education--I want her to have knowledge always at her fingertips, and I want her to learn how to actually use it in her every day life. Even more than that, I want her to see how Jesus desires to enter every part of her life and show her how He can use that knowledge to work in and through her life if she will have a heart willing to follow Him. So not only will we study reading and writing and arithmetic, but we will also focus on God's Word and see how everything flows together so seamlessly. I'm so excited to embark upon this new journey as a family! Please pray for us as we seek to be organized and yet flexible. Pray for us to teach in a way that is exciting and clear, and pray for an eagerness in Lucy to learn and grow.

Good-bye summer, and hello second grade! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015


The language of tears is a pretty amazing one. As a momma, you learn how to interpret the various cries your children make. We had one yesterday afternoon that was an "I'm too curious to stay away from the wet tile after Mommy just mopped, so I'm gonna slip and fall on the ground..." So I scooped my baby girl up, kissed her owie, and all was right with the world once again.

Then there was the "I'm hungry and need a snack" type of cry, which was quickly resolved with a few gingerbread cookie crackers. (I've pretty much stocked up on all things ginger in my kitchen. Preggo PB is sporting that *lovely* first trimester glow which resembles that of the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz: green.)

Then, earlier this evening, we had the "I'm sleepy but I don't want to go to sleep" type of cry. So I just held my baby girl tightly, because even though she fought me on it, I knew what she really needed was rest....

And then, later this evening, I heard another cry, but this was a different kind. This was a sad cry. This was one of those, "the only thing that will make it better is if momma just holds me" kinds of cries. And so hold her, I did. I held her as she kept screaming.
I pulled her close as the tears fell harder and faster. I kissed her precious forehead as she wailed.
And then I watched her. I watched her gradually calm down and her eyelids grow heavy; I felt her snuggle in close and breathe out those melodious baby sighs; I prayed over her to be granted sweet and peaceful dreams. I simply held my baby girl... 

And as I was holding her, I was reminded of an old song by Natalie Grant. The lyrics say this: 


Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling
Who told us we'd be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We're asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it's unfair
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held
This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held
If hope is born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our Savior
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held
[Repeat Chorus]

As I held my own baby girl close tonight, I was reminded of a beautiful picture of how my heavenly Daddy holds me, too. I have days when I cry out because I'm in need, days that I cry out because I'm exhausted, and days that I cry out because I've been hurt. There are some days where I just fall limp into my daddy God's arms, because nothing else will comfort me. But there are other days where I feel like I'm kicking and screaming, fighting against what it is I really need to do: surrender. We often think of surrender as an act of doing nothing, but surrender takes a great deal of action--it requires a willingness to let go...a willingness to simply be held...

I am so humbled that I was chosen to be the mommy of these amazing kiddos that I get to call mine. I'm blessed that I have had the opportunity to learn their different cries from the time they were fresh from Heaven. I'm honored to be the one who gets to pick them up and wipe away their tears. But even though I'm THEIR mother, I'm also still HIS child, and I'm so thankful that my Daddy-God knows how to interpret the cries of His children, too. Oh what a comfort it is to be held by our Father and to be picked up by Him as He interprets each tear that falls from our face, holding every single one of them in His hands...