Friday, March 30, 2012

Five Things Friday: What I Am Loving Right Now

1. This Recipe - I make a big batch at the beginning of the week and we reheat and eat for breakfast almost every day.  We just add whatever fruit we have and omit the pistachios.  It's yummy!

2. The Hunger Games - My student teacher is done teaching her units in a week or so, so I have been making the most of these last precious days with her running the class and carving out some time to just read.  I picked up the Hunger Games on Tuesday (I'm a little behind the rest of the world, as usual) and am about to finish the last couple pages within minutes of hitting publish on this post.  It's good!

3. Running - I'm back at it, running 3 times a week and using this schedule.  I've decided to focus on the distance and stop worrying about being slow.  I'm just a slow runner.  But I am running!  And that's what counts!

4. Our new bed - Horray for being a grown up and finally having matching furniture in our bedroom!  This was our gift to ourselves using our tax return.  I wish I had a picture to show you, but every time I walk into our bedroom I really just want to go to sleep in it.  Sorry!

5. Bible Reading at Night - Still using the chronological reading plan I talked about here, but Calvin and Patrick wanted to do it too so we started reading it as a family, which has been most awesome.  About 10:30 every night, before we all head off to bed, we do our reading for the day together.  We have been wanting to do some sort of Bible Study as a family and had a hard time working out what to do, when to do it, etc. so this has been perfect.  We started reading Joshua together last night. 

If you don't read together as a family as of yet, I would definitely recommend doing it and even using this schedule.  It's very doable, just a few chapters each night.  There are other reading plans available here.  I was a little scared at first that it would be kind of cheesy to all sit down together and read aloud, but you know, it's the Word of the Lord.  And that is never cheesy.

Happy Weekend! 

We have dinner plans with my dad and grandma for Mexican...yum! 
And a track meet on the schedule for Saturday.

I'm also hoping to make my way to Christiansburg to see this new face that entered the world on Wednesday!  Congrats Cassidy and Ryan!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Advantages of Starting with a Teenager

I ran into our good friend, Tabitha, at the coffee shop the other day after school on my way to cheerleading practice.  She flagged me down and waved me frantically over to her table.  "CONGRATULATIONS!" were the first words out of her mouth as she hugged me excitedly.  I had to stop and think for a minute what she was congratulated me on.  "I heard about your new addition," she replied in seeing my puzzled expression. 

"Oh, thanks!" I said.  "Yeah, I guess we did things a little backwards, you know, starting with a teenager and all..." 

"No!" she exclaimed, "That is SO y'all!  When I think about you and Patrick both, I never know what to expect! But I know that you guys always do crazy things and just don't care what people think.  Seriously, when I heard, I just thought, 'That is so Emily and Patrick.'"

I don't post those words to boast, but the opposite.  To say just what a sweet, precious blessing they were to my ears from the heart of a good friend.  At a time when I so needed to hear them.  Isn't that just how God works?  At just the right time...  Have I said that before?

And they have just stuck with me all week long... What a crazy, radical, backwards-seeming thing we are doing, but also just what a blessing Calvin has been to us in return.  I have been pondering starting out this whole parenting journey with a teenager.  I'm watching a lot of friends around who are having babies, and we will be there someday too we hope.  But today, I'm very glad that our first child came to us as a ripe ol' teenager.  There are some great advantages to this.

I think I've come up with a pretty stellar list:

1. They sleep through the night. (I think this is appropriately placed at the top of the list!)
2. They inspire you to exercise. 

3. They can actually express their feelings. Sort of. Most of the time.

4. They help out.  And they can lift heavy things. 
5. They can drive you to school so that you can actually eat breakfast.

6. They are pretty dang funny.
7. They can play Words with Friends against you and put up some pretty fierce competition. Or real Scrabble when you get tired of sitting in the same room together both of you absorbed in your iPod touch or SmartPhone.

8. They can make their own food.  And sometimes make your food!

All joking aside, if you are considering foster care or adoption, please believe me when I say that it is already worth it.  Don't be scared of teenagers. Yes, they can be quite a handful at time.  And you will be a tremendous blessing to them, but the guarantee I can make you is that, more than that, you will be the one blessed in return. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Moments of Grace This Week

Despite this busy week of coming and going, of being a wife and mother and teacher and mentor and friend and and and...

The Lord provided a few gifts of time.  Just a few snippets of calm and quiet to gather my thoughts and rest my soul.

On Monday, I got up early and had some time in the Word before school.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

On Tuesday, I came home after school and took a nap while Calvin was at track practice.  I was much nicer after a little sleep.  I usually am.

On Thursday, I got to walk with a good friend, like a second mama to me, and catch up.  It had been too long. 

On Thursday evening, I dropped Calvin off at tutoring and then spent a quiet hour alone at the library with a big stack of books and a cup of coffee.  Even the walk across the street was refreshing.  I lingered and walked slowly, enjoying the usually warm breeze on the first evening of March.

God is good.  He continually provides exactly what I need, exactly when I need it. 

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."