Lessons From My Morning Run...

About three days a week I drag myself out of bed to go on a morning run with one of my good friends.  We talk, we laugh, we share, and a couple of times we might have even shed a few tears.  I don't know if it's because it's just so stinkin' early that our senses are dull and before we know it we've spilled our guts to one another. Maybe it's in an attempt to forget that our legs are tired and we feel like a pack of monkeys have jumped on our backs.  But, whatever the reason, we open up and we share our lives with each other.  But it seems like one of the most common topics we seem to always come back to is how as women, wives, mothers we often feel overwhelmed and inadequate.

Why is this?

We worry about laundry not being washed, dried, and folded the second it's dropped in the laundry basket. We worry about dinner not consisting of a grain, a perfect protein, and a vegetable.  We worry that we aren't skinny enough, or that our haircut isn't just right.  We worry that we don't keep our homes clean enough.  We worry that so and so irons her husbands pants before she even hangs them in his closet or that she irons at all (because I do not- but that's a whole other post).  We worry that our prayers aren't eloquent enough or that our bible study time isn't in-depth and intimate enough.  We worry that we aren't liked.  We worry because our kid doesn't have enough friends or that they spend too much time playing video games. We worry that we worry too much!

And what's worse- Is that often times instead of our hearts breaking for one another and lifting one another up in prayer we compare ourselves to each other.  We take intimate information that was entrusted to us and we put ourselves up against it to either make ourselves feel better or to inwardly punish ourselves for not being more like that woman.

In an attempt to be real and transparent- I tell you I'm not immune.  Early in the mornings when I'm out running with my friend- I talk about all the laundry I'm behind on, how my poor husband has to dig through the clean clothes to find himself something clean to wear.  I never iron- I would rather chop my own arm off. There are days where my children drive me to say and act out in ways that would make you drop to your knees and pray for me right where you stand.  Sometimes we eat popcorn for dinner because I feel like the simple act of opening the fridge might bring me to tears.  Sometimes I'm hateful to my poor husband for no other reason than the fact that he walked into the room.  And there are times when my laundry room is so full of clean and dirty clothes all piled high on the floor that I have to re-wash clean clothes because I've lost track of what's what.  I don't tell you all of this to give you ammo to judge me, but to let you know that you are not alone.  All of these things make me feel at times like a failure.  They make me feel inadequate and like I am so overwhelmed with it all that I might cry- and sometimes I do.

And it seems to be universal.  Every women I spend time with seems to share this burden of time spent feeling overwhelmed and inadequate.  We all play the compare game.  We convince ourselves that every other woman has it together and is Super-wife or Super-mom but us.  We find our worth in things of this world- clothes, hair, how clean our house is, how well dressed and put together our families look, how 5 star our meals are, and the list goes on and on.  When the one place we should be looking for our worth and our sense of calm and peace is from our Creator and Heavenly Father.  Isn't that why Jesus Christ died on the cross?  To free us from the burdens of this world.  To free us from self doubt and worry.  To free us from anxiety and comparison.

Dear Friend, find comfort, for "everyone who is born of God overcomes the world..." - "our faith" is the "victory that has overcome the world" (1 John 5:4).  Have faith in our Savior.  Have faith that his promises are real and true.  Don't let the world define you or let the world's view keep you from encouraging and lifting up those women around you  that are hurting and struggling with the same worries and doubts that plaque us all.  For it is in Christ that we have "victory" and that "victory has overcome the world" and all the doubt and peace robbers that come with it.  "Love one another" (2 John 5), encourage each other, and pray for each other.  And "walk in the truth" (2 John 4) knowing that it is only in the truth that we will find our worth and be able to steal our joy back.



Our Life In Collages...

Hello there!

As usual I said that I would be trying to post each week, and as usual- I've not done that...oops.  Sorry.

So this post is going to be a catch up of all things life related- with pictures- so Yay!

To make it easy- I'm going to start at the top left of each collage and work my way clockwise...

Here we go...

1.  We got some BIG news!  We are expecting baby #4!!!

2.  We may need a bigger bed.  On Saturday mornings it's getting a little tight when everyone piles in...including the dog.

3.  Baby #4 will be due around Halloween 2015.  This picture is the picture we used to announce his/her's soon to be arrival.  (Thanks Pinterest)

4.  Baby's first ultrasound

You might not remember but in my last post I announced that we are going through the required steps to get certified to become a fostering family.  I did not know that I was pregnant when I wrote that post.  We are still 100% planning on continuing on that path.  We actually finished up our 10 week certification classes just last night.  We still have some other things until we are completely certified, but we are closer each day. Really the only thing that will change is that there will have to be a window of a few months when we have baby #4 where we do not take in a child. We want to make sure that we don't throw too much change on our kiddos (and ourselves) at once.  We want to make sure we adjust and allow time to bond and get used to baby #4 before we add a baby #5 (I wrote the number 5 with my head between my knees!  Holy cow!)

1.  I'm headed on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic in July!  My passport finally came in and I couldn't be more excited!!!  What a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel and the wonderful hope and joy that come from the truth that is our my Savior Jesus Christ!  And on top of that- first passport ever- Woohoo!

2, 3, and 4.  The wonderful group I am going on the mission trip with is in full swing having lots of fundraisers for our trip to the D.R.  I took these pictures in our churches fellowship hall while we were getting our Spaghetti Dinner prep on.

I know what some of you may be thinking... She's pregnant!  How could she possibly be going on a mission trip?!  (your doing the math in your head right now to figure out how far along I'll be- I'll help you out- I'll be 26 months along- right at the end of my second trimester.)  

I know it may seem crazy- but just because I'm pregnant doesn't change the fact that I feel a huge burden to go on this trip.  I felt that way before I was pregnant and I continue to after the fact.  I've spoken with my doctor and have been given the green light.  I know that things happen sometimes.  I am well aware of the dangers and concerns, but the truth still remains that I have prayed diligently about this trip and the fact that I'm pregnant hasn't changed how I feel.  The truth is I would rather be in God's will in the Dominican Republic and something go bad than to be at home disobeying his call.  I know that may sound crazy and maybe even irresponsible to some, but as Christians we are called to go, to proclaim the gospel, to disciple, and I am so excited at this opportunity.  

I hope that you will commit to praying for not only me, but our team as we prepare our hearts, our bodies, and our supplies for this trip. Pray for our safe travel there and back.  Pray that we will do the work and run the race that God has prepared for us in advance.  Please pray for the people of the D.R. that their hearts and minds will be open to hearing the good news that is our Savior Jesus Christ.

1.  Little Man placed in the top 6 at the Sonata Festival (piano)!  He went up against over 18 other kids some of which have been playing for a year or more than him.

2.  Spring is here!  The weather has been so amazing and the kids are having the best time playing outside.  Little miss loves to take her book and climb this tree in our back yard.

3.  We walked down to our local Square the other day and while we were there I let the kids climb the big awesome tree in the middle of the square.  It was really awesome right up until a city worker came and chased them down.  Oops!

4.  This girl is funny.

5.  We invited anyone and everyone over to our house back in February to celebrate Fat Tuesday with us.  I prepared over 400 beignets for us to eat...it was crazy town!

1.  Wedding photo booth with the brother and sister-in-law.

2.  The girls were Flower Girls in the same wedding.

3.  The wedding was back home and while we were there we took the kids to the trampoline gym.  Ellie had a blast!

4.  My sister went home the same week we did and brought her kids.  Little Miss and her cousin got their pedicure on.

5.  Funny Faces with cousin Landry.

1.  Before it gets unbearably hot and the mosquitoes start carrying off my children we have been trying to get in as much park time as possible.

2.  While working in the kitchen one day I turned around to find the smelly dog like this.  So like any normal person I took out my camera and took a picture.  Duh.

3.  I'm still running.  Around 3 miles 3 days a week.  I'm starting to feel the extra weight though.  My goal is to run up until the mission trip.  We'll see though.

4.  Little man is a reading machine.  Right now he's working on "The Hobbit" and "The Incredible Journey".

We've been in full swing soccer mode around here.

1.  Ellie and I have made the most of it.  We're quite the cheerleaders.

2.  Little man is doing great!  We are hoping to get him onto a competitive travel team in the fall.  Soccer really is his sport.

3.  Little Miss is worn out after every game.  She hasn't scored a goal yet, but we have one more game and we're hopeful.

4.  She keeps on smiling though!

5.  Team Helder- dad's the coach..What a team!

There you have it.  There's of course been some other things going on around here that I didn't have any pictures of.  Nolan preached this last Sunday.  His sermon was wonderful and so convicting.  I am so blessed and amazed to see the way that God is working in his life.  The kids are doing awesome in school- reading and learning like all-star pros.

Hope everyone has a blessed and fun day!  Until next year!  (haha- just kidding...I hope.)