Hope

1015OH.

MY.

GAW.

Can you believe it is already 2015!???! Insanity. Pure insanity. I feel like 2014 went both fast and slow at the same time. Have you ever felt that way? There were certain parts that I thought for sure would never end (like having a colicky baby haha) or a whiny 3 year old (well now she can be a whiny 4 year old 😉 but hey, she isn’t 3 anymore! HA!) but then there are parts that seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye, like the super cute 8 month baby stage that I so love, or half of my oldest daughter’s first year of Kindergarten (say what!?) or Christmas (which I am kinda sad about because this year it didn’t ever fully FEEL like Christmas, which is not normal for me).

I hope that all of you had a fabulous Christmas and holiday season with your family. I hope that your children had a good break. Are you happy or sad they are back in school? Or yes to both? HA! 😛

oneI have heard a lot of things over the last few years that instead of making a whole list of new years resolutions, that, let’s be honest, we won’t follow anyway… choose ONE. WORD. to symbolize how you want your year to be. How you want to change. How you want to grow. How you want to live.

What will YOUR one word be? Have you thought about it? What word would you choose that can encompass EVERY.SINGLE.THING. you hope to achieve, accomplish, or do in this year?

I had 2 that I was going back and forth between.

JOY & HOPE

Choosing Joy is something we must actively pursue in order to fulfill anything else in life really. We must CHOOSE to be joyful regardless of circumstances. It is the only true secret to contentment.

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.” Philippians 4:11

However, I think HOPE is an even MORE all encompassing word. It is through HOPE in Christ that we can have JOY in the first place. 

“The hope of the righteous brings joy…” Proverbs 10:28

Hope is what holds us together when everything is crashing around us.
Hope is what binds people together that may be struggling
Hope is what allows us to trust in our Father even when we don’t understand
Hope is what allows us to have joy
Hope is the catalyst for SO. MANY. THINGS.

We can survive a lot IF we have Hope.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul” Hebrews 6:19

And if you are a child of God, you ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. have Hope. Always. No matter what your circumstances. No matter what you are going through. No matter what you are feeling. No matter what you have done. No matter what consequences you may be suffering because of sins. NO. MATTER. WHAT.

Hope is what allowed Jesus’ disciples to be willing to die for their faith. Hope of MORE. Hope of eternal life. Hope that this life on THIS earth is not the end all. It isn’t our real home. Hope that we are made for greatness. Hope that God can, does, and WILL work all things for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28)

My focus passage for this year will be Romans 12:12

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” This passage sums up the word perfectly to me. We can rejoice in all circumstances, if we have hope, even IN tribulations. It is that hope which allows us to trust God and be patient THROUGH those times of tribulation. Constant in prayer is what will allow us the proper focus to remember where our hope lies. It is through constant conversation with God, which is what prayer is, that our minds can stay focused on Him. Focused on Hope. And that Hope will lead to SO. MUCH. MORE.

So this is my one word: HOPE

because with Hope, you can change everything

Hope-593x348

not a baby anymore

My first daughter is 3 now. She turned 3 on Wednesday, August 31st. I cannot believe that 3 years have already come and gone. What happened to my little baby!? She isn’t a “baby” anymore. She is my little big girl. She is a helper. She is a little mommy to her little “big” sister (since Holly is all of only 4 lbs less than her and 5.5 inches shorter haha – I think she will end up being the “big” sister soon, she definitely must have gotten the families ONE, maybe 2, tall gene). I just cant believe it. I just can’t believe she is already 3. I  have been really emotional over this birthday. This 3 years thing. Why? I don’t know. When we had her, I was so excited about her turning 1. Then 2 was fun too! For some reason now, I wish time would slow down. I wish she would stay my littel princess forever. I know she won’t though. Well, to me, she always will be. I know that soon enough will come a day when the infamous words “I HATE YOU!” come out of her mouth. Oh, I am not looking forward to that day! Her turning 3 has got me thinking…

Sometimes we rush thing. Sometimes we want life to move faster. Sometimes we miss out on little things that God wants us to see in THIS stage in life, because we are too eager to get to the NEXT stage. Better job. Better house. Better car. New town. New job. MORE money. Etc… Even sometimes when things are GOOD, we are still focusing on the LATER, rather than the here and now. I think as moms we do this sometimes. We think. UGH! more poopy diapers? I can’t WAIT until they are potty trained! UGH! another nighttime feeding!? I can’t WAIT till they are sleeping through the night. UGH! I hate being pregnant! I can’t wait until the baby is here! GET IT OUTTA ME! UGH! The terrible 2’s SUCK. I can’t WAIT till they are 3! UGH the 3’s suck even WORSE!!! I can’t wait until they are 4! I can’t wait till they are in school so I can have some ME time…FINALLY. UGH this or UGH that. I can’t wait for this or I can’t wait for that! I do this. You do this. We all do this. Suck it up and admit it moms. WE ALL DO IT! GOT THAT!?

I am not saying we always sit around and talk like this 24/7. I am also not saying it isn’t ok to GET frustrated or need to vent. The Lord has given us friends and family to help us in these times! (and I am SOOO thankful!!!) I know many wonderful mothers that treasure each stage in their childrens life. I do as well. I love each stage for a differant reason. I do admit, my weakness is about the first 8-9 months. I love babies, but I dont’ understand babies! Its H-A-R-D for me. You know, some people  just have that knack for the baby thing. I am not so lucky. The baby stage sends me back to my high school days when I KNOW I KNEW the answer, but for some reason I would tense up, my palms would sweat and my mind would draw a blank. Good old test anxiety. To me, thats what the baby stage is! A giant test. Except you CAN’T study for it! LOL. Yikes. I love babies, don’t get me wrong. i love the chubby chub legs, the so cute you just wanna pinch the crap outta their little cheeks stuff…but its HARD for me. I cant talk to them, they cant talk back (really) I cant understand them, and when I don’t automatically KNOW what they want, I freak out and think I cant do it and Im a terrible mom. SO. I admit. I wish this stage by all to fast some days. I shouldn’t.

Katie turning 3 is a turning point for me. The last 2 nights I have rocked each child a little longer, holding their precious bodies, kissing on their faces, stroking their hair, rubbing their backs, whispering “I love you” over and over and over… I know that all too soon, they will screaming at me to “GET OUTTA MY ROOM!” “I HATE YOU” “I WISH I’D NEVER BEEN BORN” – so tell me? why would we want to fast forward to that!? I am going to miss these days. Its going by too fast. I need to stop thinking “I can’t wait until “fill in the blank” and start saying – Wow, I am really loving the ‘fill in the blank’

I think that we have something to learn and to gain from everything in life. every stage. Every stage in our life is beautiful. sometimes, it may not appear that way, but every stage, every experience, every snotty runny nose (boogy wipes people! THEY ARE AWESOME! LOL), every potty accident, every puke filled bed, every teething baby, every whiny attitude, every cry, every whisper, ever fear… all of it is molding us into the mother that GOD wants us to be. The mother that all of have inside of us just waiting to emerge, BUT we have to let it. It won’t emerge if we complain about the here and now, wishing for the future…. yes, there are plenty of “yucky” stages, but there are also many of every cuddle, every kiss, every nighttime snuggle, every story read, every I love you said, every first word, every first step, every first day of school, every smile, every laugh, every family vacation, every wonderful memory, every picture hung on the fridge, every proud moment…

Stop wishing to get out of something and on to the NEXT something, because truth is, if we have that attitude now, we will only have that attitude when we get to that “next something” we were wishing for. Lets love the here and now, no matter WHAT stage we are in! Good or bad, hard or easy, fun or boring, joyful or frustrating…truth is, there can be something found in EVERY experience, we just have to look hard and find it 😉 Sometimes though, its not as hard as you might think 🙂

ENJOY THOSE LITTLE ONES WHILE THEY ARE LITTLE!!!!!!!!! For, all of them will soon be grown and we will be wishing for those days back…

My “little” big girl, Katie Rene’, 3 years old

My “big” little girl, Holly Grace, 9 months

 

By the way, this book “Let Me Hold You Longer,” by Karen Kingsbury, is a great poem about this. A great reminder to enjoy the here and now. The stage we are in with our kids 🙂 Its great, get it! (click on the title)