All Things Thursday, Birth & Babies

Peace Beyond Me

Oh my ten month old. He has a cold, and is really struggling with the challenges in his little life. He is also discovering that he has choices, and has desire. Right now I am watching him randomly chuck pieces of food from his high chair. He is dividing his cheese and strawberries into two piles. The ones that pass the ten month old inspection, and the rejects. Rejects go on the floor. The good enough ones are eaten. There is no rhyme or reason to this process.

This short week has been long. Weird stages bring a lot of different challenges. I feel like my list of when he’s not happy has been much longer than when he is happy the last two weeks.

When my son is happy: 

Eating snacks that pass inspection

Climbing over top of me

Being held, sometimes

Watching me dancing to keep him from crying

In the bath, sometimes

When my son is upset:

Being put in his high chair

Being placed in his crib

Being put on the change table

Being buckled into his car seat

Being placed in his stroller

When I turn my back for three seconds

When I’m not watching him play

When I try to put food in my own mouth

When I’m not giving him my constant undivided attention

When I unload the dishwasher

When I try to make supper

etc, etc, etc. I won’t bore you with all the details.

So today I managed to distract him for about 3 and a half minutes with a colander, a pot and a wooden spoon so that I could inhale my toast before screaming and crying ensued. I sat down at the kitchen table quickly, trying not to waste a second that could be used for getting some caffeine in my body after four really long nights. I laughed to myself at how this moment of rest came while the house was filled with the loud clanging sound of a pot being smashed repeatedly. Before this would have annoyed me or gave me a headache.

The verse that came to mind was this;

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:7)

I have been kicking myself repeatedly for things I’ve been doing that I know are creating bad sleeping patterns this week. Today was the fourth morning in a row where he wouldn’t fall asleep on his own so we drove around. I couldn’t justify missing a nap when he’s fighting a cold and can’t breathe well.

As I sit in the line up for the Tim Horton’s drive thru finishing this post, I see a few other moms in the line up with babies in the car seat. They’re probably trying to snatch a few minutes of peace too.

Life changes and the moments we treasure are much different from the ones we used to.

Mom’s: you know that you can easily be engulfed in discouragement. Guilt, exhaustion, frustration, and confusion can get the better of us quickly, and we can be sent into a tailspin of discouragement and despair. You might have the same swirling thoughts that I do sometimes;

“he’s never going to fall asleep…”
“I’m never going to sleep…”
“will we ever sleep…”

I am so thankful for the promise of the Lord’s peace that goes beyond our comprehension. And this is the peace that will guard our hearts and minds. We need our heart and mind to be guarded. Proverbs 4:23 gives this decree

 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. 

I just hear the cry from the writer of that wise saying, conveying to us the destruction that can come from not guarding our hearts. If our hearts are full of despair, discouragement and disillusionment, then how we treat our family will flow out of that filter. If we let the Lord’s peace speak truth to our heart and we actively take thoughts captive to guard our heart, we will relate to our families from a place of love, joy and peace.

Jesus, guard my heart today. Replace the enemies lies with the truth of your Word. I can do all things through you who gives me strength, and I receive your peace that does not make sense considering the circumstance. You are the God of the impossible, and I am so thankful that it’s a Savior like that who I serve!

 

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Try It Out Tuesday

Bring out the barbeque!

Ah, spring is here. The sun in shining, the air is warm, new possibilities seem to be waiting around every corner. Another thing that excites me about this warm weather is barbequing! Ok, well my husband barbequing. I’ve never done it before. I think it’s on purpose (honey, don’t read this), so that I don’t have to cook the food, I just prepare it! I can have everything ready and he seems to enjoy some alone time at the barbeque when he comes home. It’s a win-win. I think.

Anyway, here is my favourite homemade hamburger recipe. You can find the recipe that I adapted this from here.

My husband goes crazy over these burgers. I love it. When something so simple as these burgers can get you so much praise and admiration from your spouse, you can’t go wrong! Now combine this with the homemade barbecue perogies recipe I shared before, a caesar salad, my husband’s favourite drink; root beer, and I have a sure to impress summer fun supper. A nice summer dessert with this would be the S’mores Cookies I posted a while ago.

I hope these work as well on your husband as they do on mine 🙂

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef

10 whole wheat crackers crushed, or 3/4 cup fine bread crumbs or 3/4 cup oatmeal (depending what you have on hand)

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided

3 tbsp. chopped cilantro, divided

1 egg

1/8 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tbsp. barbeque sauce

1 tomato, diced

Directions:

Combine the ground beef, crackers, 1/4 cup of the cheese, 2 tbsp. cilantro, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder together. Shape in to patties. Brush with barbeque sauce. Top with remaining cheese while your husband is cooking them.

Combine the diced tomato and remaining cilantro and top the burgers with it. We love ours with lots of mayonnaise, mustard and relish. Eating these on toasted buns make it even more delicious!

Variations: For spicy burgers replace half the cilantro with 2 tbsp. of salsa. If you don’t like the flavour of cilantro, green onions can be used instead.

Next time we make these I’ll get a picture to add to this post!

I hope you enjoy these. Who knows, these burgers may just make you feel like you’re eating outdoors in a place this this!

But I’m not making any promises…

Motherhood Monday, Wives & Husbands

A little bit of honesty

“Create in me a clean heart O God. Renew a loyal spirit in me.” Psalm 51:10

I have shared a bit lately about how the Lord has been working in my life in terms of praying for my husband and my son. There is a phrase that we repeat over and over in our Student Leadership class that has been hitting me this morning.

This past week…no, this past month has been one of the biggest tests I’ve walked through in a while. I haven’t written about this, but my sister and her son who were living with us suddenly left, extremely abruptly. It was a huge shock. Then a week later we had our fire. A week after that God revealed some marriage issues that we needed to walk through (that will be a post when it’s not so recent and I’ve fully processed the lessons we’ve learned), then I hurt my neck twenty-four hours later.

All of these things were weighing on me to some degree or another. During the Married for Life course that we have been taking we felt our prayer time as a couple grow exponentially. Instead of praying generally, we are more organized, and issues are actually being covered in prayer. Out of that, our personal prayer and devotional life has began to soar again.

Some of the struggles that have come up haven’t been as hard. Honestly, the fire was kind of exhilarating when it was all said and done. We had an incredible story of protection, the insurance money came through and covered everything and we didn’t lose much that was important. I was overflowing with thankfulness, but not tested in the same way as you are when your relationship are tested by fire.

A week ago today I cried all morning. I asked the Lord what more he wanted me to do. He said to me that phrase again.

He didn’t want me to strive in these tests any longer. He wanted me to BE close to him, and know his heart, and ask him to change me, instead of trying to change myself.

I prayed a scary prayer that morning. It was all to do with the Lord putting his finger on me, and working out the issues in my own heart. Then I cried out to the Lord in true desperation for my husband and for my son. I prayed with AUTHORITY. When I didn’t know where to start, I picked up my Power of a Praying Wife and Power of a Praying Parent books and shouted those prayers up to heaven. My tears turned from tears of sadness and discouragement to tears of joy and thankfulness. Something broke in our home that morning. The enemy lost any hold he had. I have chosen to build upon that every day since.

One day last week my husband came home and said to me that he didn’t know what was going on but he felt like he was walking in the greatest sense of victory and was just having an amazing week in the Lord.

I didn’t say anything, except that I was proud of how he seeking the Lord and actively loving us. I knew God showed me in that moment that my prayers (and Andrew’s prayers) were changing our lives quickly.

There are big things the Lord wants my family to do. We know that. We’ve known that since we got engaged. We were not put together to simply enjoy life, although we certainly do. My gifts are combined with my husband’s gifts in a way where power, anointing and authority are multiplied a hundredfold.

I know it hasn’t been long, but we are continuing to pray protection over our home, and we will springboard off what the Lord has been doing in us over the last month. And then as high as we get to in our life time, will just be the springboard for where our kids jump from.

As I have become closer with God this week, and laid my burdens at his feet, the “doing” has become much easier. The Lord gave me fresh feelings of love, so much deeper than I could have imagined for my husband. The times that the three of us have spent together, has been so much fun. I remained calm on Sunday, didn’t panic about what to wear or how tired Caleb would be for missing his morning nap at church and we went for breakfast before church. We got to really enjoy our family time, instead of making family time happen.

Letting God transform my heart is a lot easier than me trying to transform my heart. It’s a little bit scary, and not an easy journey. I’ve had an emotional week as the Lord continues to bring stuff up to me. But the healing he brings is much quicker, much deeper and much more whole than any other I’d find somewhere else.

I look forward to sharing more of this exciting journey with you and I believe I will continue to testify of the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness in working in our lives to see us live whole, passionate and purposeful lives serving our King here on earth.

Uncategorized

My 100th Post! (Starbucks Giveaway)

I want to take a post to say a huge THANK YOU to all my readers! You have no idea how much of an encouragement you have been to me. I started writing in September (see my first ever post here) as a way that God showed me to overcome my baby blues and hopefully encourage others through the things He was showing me. Since then I have tried to share my heart and life with my readers, and have had an overwhelmingly positive response.

I take this post to thank you because it is a special post. This is my 100th blog, and I want to show you my appreciation. I am giving away two $5 Starbucks cards. Here is how you can enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post in the comment box below telling me which post that I have written is your favourite. Please leave it in Wordpress, not Facebook, if you are having issues let me know. Make sure you include your email address so I can notify you if you win!
  2. BONUS entry #1: Like My Red & Purple Life | Blog on Facebook
  3. BONUS entry #2: Follow @myredpurplelife on Twitter

The winner will be chosen on Sunday, April 8th, and will be notified by email.

This draw is valid for residents of Canada, The United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. My apologies to my readers outside of these countries!

So thanks to you, my beloved friends. You each have a piece of my heart, and I don’t take for granted the fact that you take the time to read about my struggles, triumphs, tears and joys.

 

Much love to you all, and all the best in the draw!