"WHEREVER YOU ARE, BE ALL THERE. This is what God is showing me because
in the busyness of life I can easily lose focus. Don’t be longing for
another season and miss what’s going on around you now. This deception
is one of the biggest lies of the enemy of our souls; the distraction
and discontentment with where we are today. Embrace your season: SEASON –
SAVOR EVERY AVAILABLE SENT OPPORTUNITY NOW! Some are more enjoyable
than others, sure they are! Just as changes in seasons bring mosquitoes
in summer or storms in winter, there are extremes in our lives. Some of
you empty nesters may suddenly find yourself caring for both your
grandchildren and aging parents. Some of you young women may be longing
for marriage. Some of you stay at home moms or single moms may have to
go into the workforce for a season to pay the bills. If our entire lives
were one continuous season we wouldn’t have the changes we desperately
need to help us grow. As much as I love to garden, if every day were
spring or summer, I wouldn’t have autumn to harvest, or winter to dream
Embrace whatever season you are in now. RIGHT NOW. Don’t long for
another season. I know the days may be long, but at my age, the years
seem so short. So wherever you are, be all there. Because of Jesus, one
day we will be “SEASONED TO PERFECTION” and live with Christ for
eternity. Let’s get there one day at a time and savor our seasons as God
wills. Because He has made everything beautiful in its time.
I feel like all of us are always longing for the next season. Satan tricks us into thinking the next season will be easier/better/happier/more abundant/etc... and we miss out on the beauty of the season we are in right now. Sure it may be hard. They all are. Life is hard because we live in a fallen (sinful) world. Period. We may look around and think we are the only ones struggling, but we aren't. All are struggling in some way. Its the reality of sin. But Praise Jesus that we have a hope and a future because of His sacrifice.
It's a new year, and that usually means everyone sets out with lofty goals they desperately want to implement in their lives. And I hope all of you accomplish that. Seriously, even if you only last a month something is better than nothing right? Better to aim and fail than not aim at all.
Anyhow, often one big goal is to be in the Word more (at least for Christians). So I thought I would share what my quiet times are consisting of these days, in case it helps you to be in the word more as well.
In October I picked up a Jesus Calling devotional. I have heard so many people rave about how good it is, and I needed something short but good to focus me at the end of pregnancy. I am so glad I did. She has written the short devotionals for each day as if Jesus is speaking directly to you. So instead of it reading "we should focus on Jesus..." it says "you should focus on Me my child." Such a small shift that makes a big impact. I really recommend it. Even if you just have it on hand for days when you know you can't do your longer study or something.
So currently, I start with Jesus Calling. It has usually two or three passages at the bottom that the day is taken from, so I read those scriptures next. Almost always one of them is something I really need to meditate on, so I will rewrite it in my journal and just pray through it.
Then I journal some prayers. I have never been great at journaling, but in September a friend gave me a journal as a sweet gift out of the blue. That motivated me to use it so the gift wouldn't be wasted, and now it's turned into a habit. Yay! My journaling sometimes is long complete sentences. Sometimes it's phrases or single words about what I am praying for bc I don't have time to write the whole thing, so I pray in my head which is much faster.
As of Jan 1st I also added two more elements to my time: scripture memory and gratitude for the day. I have tried to be good at memorizing several times then given up. But I am gonna try once again. So I signed up to do the challenge with Beth Moores blog. You commit to memorize two scriptures a month. It seemed doable to me. So I write my verse each morning in my journal, then look it up to check my work.
After that, I add to my gratitude list. I am just keeping a running list of things I am thankful for. No certain number a day, just as many as I can identify in whatever time frame I have. I am doing this to try to cultivate a heart of gratefulness and the ability to see God's hand all around me. (Great book about that is 1,000 gifts by Ann Voskamp)
So though it sounds long, all of this can be 5 minutes in the morning, or an hour. It's flexible and that's what's working for me right now. I am just not in a stage of life where I can do a long workbook study or something. And in the past I have let that keep me from digging in, bc I didn't feel like it was enough. But the Word of God is powerful. Anytime spent with Him will change you. Period. Something is better than nothing.
I am also going to try a new bible reading plan this year, but take my time with it (so I don't think I'll finish it in a year or maybe even two). It's where you read each book of the bible 20 times. Yep, 20 times. To really let it get in your heart and mind. Find out more about that here: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-to-change-your-mind1#When:08:01:00Z (you will have to copy and paste bc my phone doesn't let me do hyperlinks).
Two other great resources you may want to check out are: - shereadstruth.com : they will email you a short bible study each day, or you can download the app or even order a hard copy of you prefer. Their studies are great.
- doorposts.com : they have several Bible Studies for Busy Mamas in their shop. And they are designed to take 5-10 minutes a day. I did the Colossians 3 one and it was soooo good! Try them out.
So what are you doing this year to get in the Word? Share your ideas in the comments to help others get ideas!
Grady turned 2 months old last Tuesday, and decided to celebrate by getting RSV. :-( Luckily he is much better this week! Praise the Lord!
Some info on Grady at this stage:
- He is long. He is in the 76%tile for length! Ha.
- He is skinny. He doesn't really have any fat rolls, ha. I think he is in the 30ish%tile for weight.
- He started smiling and making excited faces this month. I love love love when they can get excited back when you talk to them. So cute!
- He started hard core kicking legs and moving arms on purpose. He loves to lay on his back and kick his legs like he is running a marathon.
- This kid is a stretcher! When you pick him up he immediately does the "c stretch", which is when he puts his head and arms back, arches his back and basically forms a c. Too cute. He is also a grunter! He is always grunting and making noises. Especially when you lay him down.
- He is not spitting up as much. For a few weeks we thought he was gonna follow in Griffins steps and spit up all the time. Thankfully it has lessened quite a bit now! I stopped eating dairy bc it was making him really gassy and unhappy, and I think that helped.
- He is usually sleeping 5 hr then 3hr now. He has done a few 7 Hr stretches now too. He goes right back to sleep usually so the night feedings don't really bother me.
- He is in 0-3 month clothing and filling the length out well now. He is long and skinny right now :-)
- He is sleeping in his crib now (well he was until RSV hit). I am swaddling him.
- Griffin is still loving him and loving on him. He has started trying to hit him or squeeze him etc when he has gotten in trouble, as a way to act out. It's to be expected I suppose. But he is still over the moon for Grady and always wants him near him.
- Grady is generally a really content baby. He loves to lay on the floor and kick his legs and chill.
- He loves to take naps on his belly.
- He has lost a lot of his hair :-( He still has a thick patch on his lower head/neck and it looks like a mullet. Ha!
- He took his first bottle with no problem! Griffin did the honors.
I have heard this question a bazillion times over the last week. And I have to give a shout out to Mr.Pate for being such a great daddy and always saying yes! It has been sooo helpful during this past week when I have been sick, exhausted, had a sick baby, or been totally over three year old fits. Thank you for being amazing babe! We love you!
Yesterday, we had the best day with Griffin. This Christmas Break has been a real struggle. We have passed sickness around, dealt with massive three year old fits and attitude, been really out of routine, traveled a lot, and had to focus lots of attention on sick Grady. It's been exhausting actually and not at all a break!
But yesterday was nearly perfect! So I decided to document it for my own encouragement on a hard day later.
Griffin and daddy took down the Christmas decorations and Griffin was super helpful. He loves to go to the attic with Daddy and did a great job obeying the rules up there. He went down for his nap without a fit. Once he got up he played some on his own, and some with us.
At one point I walked into his room and his daddy was filming him making a "playdoh video" like on YouTube. Haha! He loves to watch those weird videos. He could watch them all day.
Then he and I decorated and played with some silly photo booth props he got for Christmas, while daddy cooked dinner.
He and daddy played with the nerf guns Santa brought us in our stockings while I cleaned up the kitchen. And wouldn't you know, they started sneaking up and shooting me! After I finished, we played a game where me and griffin would hide in a room and daddy had to find us. When he came in we would shoot him! Ha. Then we switched. It was too much fun. Daddy tends to be the fun one, and so I am really glad I joined the fun this time. I needed that after this long week. Daddy and Griffin also practiced shooting cups.
Then it was time to wind down for bed, so we played Candyland. And Griffin actually let us play the correct way the entire game! I was very proud. He usually decides he wants to move wherever he wants and that's that. Griffin won. Daddy was a close second. Mommy came in way last. Ha.
I needed a day like yesterday. I have felt like I have spent most of the days of this break fighting and disciplining Griffin till I am blue in the face. I know it's part of this phase but it is sooo not fun. Glad to have a whole day filled with good memories and not a single spanking!
This past Tuesday, Grady was diagnosed with RSV. Ugh! He turned 2 months old on Tuesday as well, so RSV is a really big deal in such a young baby.
RSV is basically a bad virus in the respiratory system. In adults we often just call it a cold or a respiratory infection and get over it quick. But in a baby or child, it is a much more serious matter. It causes the airways to get smaller due to gunk, and their airways are already tiny! So the biggest fear is that it will develop into pneumonia in a small baby or child. And that can be deathly.
So normally 2 month olds are immediately admitted to the hospital with RSV. Dr.Fraser said we were right on the brink so we could monitor from home, then he terrified me with instructions to watch for and said if I saw any of them to immediately go to the er, don't call him. Ahhh.
I basically watched the poor child like a hawk, and barely slept at all. And he cough got worse so I was stressing like crazy. But we made it thru! Yesterday we went for a follow up and his chest sounds way better! Dr said he should be completely better by the start of the week. Praise the Lord. Seriously.
So in case your kid gets RSV and you want to know a few things to do, or if one of mine gets it again and I need the list:
- Keep them sitting up at all times except diaper changes. So keep them in car seat. Or we put a few folded up blankets in the rocknplay and put him in there. It is not inclined enough for this on its own.
- Saline and suction. Lots. I got a nosefrida, after always hearing about it and then Haven trying it and loving it. Definitely works better than the bulb syringe.
- A drop or two of peppermint oil mixed into coconut oil and rubbed on chest. Make sure you wash your hands right after and don't let baby touch it either.
- We were prescribed Albuterol Syrup and gave 1 ml three times a day. Older babies and children are usually prescribed breathing treatments with albuterol.
- Things to watch for: when sleeping you can count the number of breaths they take. 30-40 a minute is normal. 60 or over you need to go to the ER. Flaring nostrils when breathing while asleep.
Hope this helps someone. It is so hard to watch your child be sick. It is especially hard to watch a tiny one be sick. I haven't been this worried since Griffin was in the NICU. Whew.
And all the Christmases with my side of the family. I know all of us adults change too, but it is really cool to see the girls (and eventually my boys) grow in these pictures! Gosh time flies!
In 2009, my Mema lived with my parents for awhile. I am sooo glad I had this tradition of taking a group shot now, because that group picture with her in it is priceless to me. Just a few short years later we lost her.
People, this is a very easy tradition. And you just don't know how precious this will be for your family to be able to look back. Now that I have done it for both sides of our family, I am so thankful the Lord has blessed us with such loving families!
I have been wanting to put all of our Christmas group shots in one spot, so I finally hunted them all down to do just that. Apparently I started this tradition with just our celebration at Mr.Pate's Mom's in 2006 and then everyone else in 2007. Looking at these made me miss his Grandma so much. She was a hilarious and feisty woman. Never a dull moment with her around. Loved her.
I am a wife, mother, daughter and sister. By day I am an Office Associate, by night I am a new parent trying to figure out how to balance it all.
And along the way, I take a few pictures of incredibly amazing people. Enjoy!