Monday, October 20, 2014

how Rend Collective saved our morning | Day 20

Oh, how I wish I was able to post this for your Monday morning, but it looks like afternoon will have to do!

Let me back up though, and tell you a true story. It happened this morning. Our three biggest boys were gathering around for a quick breakfast before school. I announced it was a yogurt and cereal bar/Kind bar morning and one of our three oldest boys threw a fit. Went into full complain mode and even yelled that he didn't want that! I spoke to him gently (praise God) and reminded him he couldn't talk to me that way and that if he didn't eat his breakfast, he wouldn't be having a snack when he returned home from school. At first, he said he didn't care, but when his brothers came to eat, he decided maybe he should too.

But, then. Then, there was a dreaded banana on his plate and he lost his ever-lovin' mind! Oh. My. Stars!!! The child was out of control!!! He was screaming at the top of his lungs (which is window-breaking loud) so I made him go to the laundry room, for the rest of our sakes. He continued screaming and after five minutes, I was about to lose my ever-lovin' mind!

So, what did I do?

It was Rend Collective to the rescue!!! I pumped up some loud, foot-stomping, dance around, praise music, the song My Lighthouse, to be specific! Our other two boys were eating and dancing and the next thing we know, out walks the one who had been screaming with a pleasant face and a silent mouth!! BOOM!!!! We were then able to talk about what the song meant and finished the start to their day pointed to our Lord!!

Ahhhhhhhhhh! Relief in so many ways!! I am such a fan of Rend Collective! They are an awesome, inspiring band from Ireland and I'm smitten! I've written about them before, but if you haven't heard of them and like singer/songwriter/folky/praise/preachin it good music, then you should check them out!!

I'm thankful for the light Rend Collective gave our family this morning! Here's their official video for My Lighthouse and the lyrics below!! Enjoy!!

**Also, don't forget if you have littles and are interested in any of the Fall books I mentioned on Saturday, leave me a comment telling me which one by noon tomorrow, and I'll pop your name into a drawing for a free copy!

My Lighthouse

In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won't walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea (oh oh)
You are the peace in my troubled sea

In the silence, You won't let go
In the questions, Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea (oh oh)
You are the peace in my troubled sea

My Lighthouse, my lighthouse
Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
My Lighthouse, my Lighthouse
I will trust the promise,
You will carry me safe to shore
Safe to shore
Safe to shore
Safe to shore

I won't fear what tomorrow brings
With each morning I'll rise and sing
My God's love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea (oh oh)
You are the peace in my troubled sea (oh oh You are my light)

My Lighthouse, my lighthouse
Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
My Lighthouse, my Lighthouse
I will trust the promise,
You will carry me safe to shore
Safe to shore
Safe to shore
Safe to shore

Fire before us, You're the brightest
You will lead us through the storms x 4

My Lighthouse, my lighthouse
Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
My Lighthouse, my Lighthouse
I will trust the promise,
You will carry me safe to shore
Safe to shore
Safe to shore
Safe to shore

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall books for your littles (and a giveaway)! | Day 18

They say it's not how you act when you win that matters, but how you act when you lose that counts. Or something like that, right?

Ugh. I'm coming off fresh from a Baylor Bears loss. #4 goes down to an unranked team. Bummer. And, what I really want to do is kick and cry and pout, but my sweet and wise and amazing Hubby, who also bleeds Green and Gold, encouraged my boys (and also me, it turns out) to handle ourselves in a much more positive way. Plus, he said we'll get em next game! So, tough loss, guys, but we still love you, BU!!!!

So while this was us last week, when we were in Waco, at McClane Stadium for our amazing win over TCU, we are not looking like this now!

And just because I want to throw in another pic from that game, I'll also acknowledge that I missed my FYI Friday post I had planned for yesterday. You could say I was asleep on the writing. . .

You just melt me, Buddy!

But anyway, moving on. . .

I intended for yesterday's FYI Friday to be about fall books for the littles. A little light reading! Wink!

I was inspired by our recent trip to Target where Luke was eager to use his recent birthday gift card. While he was busy finding his perfect item, I was glancing at the end of the aisle book display. There were lots of Halloween type books for children. Several board books, lots of character books (think Dora and Clifford do Halloween) and a couple of counting pumpkin books.

We don't own any of them, but as I glanced through them, they don't hold a candle to our 3 favorite Fall books we do own! You ready?

Our Fall Faves--3 books for your child's library

1. The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz -- We absolutely love this book! Our oldest was given this book as a birthday present when he was 3 and we've laughed and eagerly awaited the first seasonal reading of it each year since. Maybe because Chad reads it with the best voices and enthusiasm around, but I also think it's because it's kinda endearing! You can make a lesson out it, I do, or you can just enjoy it for it's rhythm and rhyming and happy ending! Just a fun little book to have! *I do need to add that though the pictures are whimsical, and in my opinion not scary, there is a skeleton in the book. Just FYI.

2. P is for Pumpkin, God's Harvest Alphabet by Kathy-jo Wargin-- This book has cute childlike and colorful Fall illustrations as well as a rhyming text. I'll admit that our 9 year old might be past this book, but it's definitely one our 6 and 4 year old can read and enjoy! A gentle remind of the Lord in this beautiful season!

3. The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs-- My personal favorite for the season! I just love how the Farmer in the story grows his pumpkin, cleans it out and puts a light in it, and it is compared to how God grows us up, washes our sin away and gives us His light! So simple for young children and yet such a miracle for all of us!! This is the sweetest Fall book around!

And okay, here's why this could be even more exciting to you. . .I'm going to give a copy away to one of you! And even more exciting than that? I'm not some huge blogger, where you might have a 1 in 888 chance to win! If you leave me a comment on which book you'd choose to win, and maybe some other sweet comment (think, Poor Baylor! or You have the cutest family! :) ) you will probably win! Don't get me wrong, I'll do this the fair and square way. . .like put names in a hat and have Hubby draw or something like that. . .

Because it's Saturday afternoon, I'll keep this going to Tuesday at noon. Afterall, I can't wait too late into the season to send your book to you! Happy reading!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

we are lightweights | Day 16

You know those days when you feel like you just. can't. do. it? I do. My husband does. And sometimes? Sometimes even our little boys feel it.

We can feel overwhelmed. We can feel discouraged. We can feel like failures in all of our sin.

I've been praying recently that the Lord will show me my sin. Because honestly, I can go through a day thinking I'm pretty good and pat myself on the back. But I miss or justify the way I speak to my children or my husband. Or, I let bitterness grow because someone hasn't called to check on us and then I do the same thing in response. Or I allow envy and pride to invade my heart, but sweep it away with thoughts like, "It's okay to feel this way, you're his Mommy. Of course you want him to be noticed."

All of it is sin. Period.

But, take heart!!

Psalm 73:26 says,

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

We mess up daily. We will stumble again tomorrow. But God is our portion and He holds us through it all. He is the strength of our heart and no matter how heavy our hearts are, we are lightweights compared to His strength. He is strong enough to carry us all!

So when we are overwhelmed, tuckered out, or discouraged by our sins, we can know that the Lord is our strength and all we need. He loves us!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

almost wordless Wednesday | Day 15

Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life.
The evening beam that smiles the clouds away,
and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.
--Lord Byron

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

a light shining halfway around the world | Day 14

I flew halfway across the world this summer out of obedience. The Lord made it clear that I was to obey Him and go. So I did. I was a little fearful and a lot excited, and I had no idea what to expect.

Except that I knew I was going to meet a woman named Dina and her little girl, Abby. We had already spoken via Skype and I knew the premise of our meeting would be Down syndrome. She has a daughter with Down syndrome and was leading a group for mom's of children with Down syndrome in Kyrgyzstan. I also happen to be a mom of a child with Down syndrome and she was hoping that maybe I could tell about our story with Way and also shed light on some resources we have in the US, as well as therapies, activities, best practices, etc.

photo credit: Catherine Burns
I spoke twice to her mom's group and perhaps the real light I shed on Down syndrome was not as much about our therapies, etc., but it was that we kept our baby, even after finding out at our 20 week ultrasound that he would have Down syndrome. And, that he brings us joy! They were astonished to know that we chose to keep our baby and believe all life is precious. The moms were also amazed that we receive intervention and therapies from our state. The government in Kyrgyzstan is not as advanced as it is here in the US. The public still believes one is cursed if he/she has Down syndrome. There is not a lot of hope found in families when they birth babies with Down syndrome. In fact, children with DS are often hidden. It is heartbreaking.

So, while I was there to possibly shed light on other viewpoints in the world and maybe give them some tools to use for their own children, Dina and her friends were the ones who really shined.

My friend, Dina, struggled when she first had her daughter, even though she had faith in the Lord. How would she get support for Abby? How would she figure out what to do in a culture that viewed her little girl as a curse? She and her husband grieved and prayed. And then? Well then, they got to work. Dina reached out to other moms she heard about and placed ads in the paper in an attempt to reach other moms with children with DS. Perhaps they could be each other's support. And sure enough, they were. They are. All because the Lord put it on Dina's heart to encourage. What a light Dina has been to those moms. What a light she has shined on Down syndrome.

When I saw and met these moms, who live in the hardest of conditions, often without husbands (because they have left their wives), and with little financial or family support, and full of fear, I was forever changed. They had met their little ones and were still choosing to fight for them. These moms were able to see their babies as precious--even though they didn't know exactly how to help them. Even though they were afraid, they answered that ad in the paper and showed up to join together with other moms who knew.

This weekend my family was able to meet Dina and her family! She, her husband and two children are in the States for a year, and are taking Child and Family Life classes, with the dream of being able to take back what they've learned to share with their friends in Kyrgyzstan. I was beyond thrilled to have my hubby meet Dina and her family and for our Way and Abby to meet as well. What a light Dina has been to me and to the other moms she is encouraging in her home country. I am so very thankful the Lord took me halfway around the world to meet her and then brought her halfway around the world for us to meet up again!

Monday, October 13, 2014

not light | Day 13

If I'm being honest, I'm not feeling really light right now. We got home late last night from a wonderful weekend in Waco, TX, where we watched our Baylor Bears come from behind to beat TCU in a fashion that has the entire sports world buzzing! And we were buzzing too! The weekend was such fun and our boys had a blast! So many people asked us if we were taking our entire family to Waco for the long weekend. Of course we were!

But now we are back and I'm exhausted. Because the boys had off of school today, all four of them came to the grocery store with me. I usually only go with my younger two, who are sitting sweetly in a grocery cart. But today wasn't like that, and my boys were most definitely not feeling tired, in fact, quite the opposite. And that's kinda funny to me because one of them fell asleep on the bathroom floor last night, just after using the bathroom before bed. We arrived around 10 and they were tuckered. But, that was last night. 

Anyway, after a morning of OT for Way, and a doozy of a therapy, which essentially told me that I need to get to work with Way (in the most encouraging way), where I didn't take it so lightly, and then the grocery store with all four (where the older boys almost flipped our cart over with Way in it), I'm just not feeling light. Oh, and it's pouring down rain outside, so it's not so light out there either.

But all hope is not lost. I've made some tea and I'm baking brownies for my small group of girls coming over tonight. Oh, and I declared pizza night and my husband is wisely so sweetly, not arguing! :)


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