Sunday, June 29, 2008

Encouragement for Hope

...Be their ideal; let them follow the way you teach and live; be a pattern for them in your love, your faith, and your clean thoughts.          - 1 Timothy 4:12

Whether I like it or not, I am an example to Hope.  She watches and listens - therefore learns from me by the example I set for her to follow.  Many times I have failed to set the perfect example, I must admit.

Day by day, moment by moment, I want to improve.  I want to instruct Hope on the need to be there for others, to encourage in whatever way is needed.  The Bible says to do this by example. The little ways count.  I know the Lord will guide me through this struggle.  I have faith He will teach Hope that to grow as an encourager, she can start with small things as they comfort others - and build up from there.

Even equally important, I trust in the Lord that He will guide me to be a good influence before my daughter and show her, even while she is young, how important it is to walk with Christ and to obey His commands.  

Children have more NEED of ROLE MODELS than of CRITICS!!!! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Finding God's Playground

WHEN TWO PEOPLE FIRST MEET...well, three people in this case (we are the exception to the rule) they're often drawn to one another by the fun they have when they're together.  Jon and I got to know one another first - then brought Hope into the relationship by taking her to lunch, somewhere fun, with a playground.  My point exactly.  

By this point the three of us were constantly on the go - our schedule packed with fun filled activities.  I'm telling you, there is never a dull moment with my kid.

But I hear it all the time "before I got married, we could afford to have fun" or "before the kids, we used to go out and have fun."  Excuses, excuses, excuses.  SAD!
Okay, so before marriage it's probably "easier" to have fun.  But once you get married, it's only natural for the stresses of life to build.  There are bills to pay, new responsibilities to be met, and before you know it, life becomes more serious.  Ours did, for sure.  We built a new home (no, I didn't live there), got married (then I got to live in the new home), beautiful honeymoon, our lovely monsoon, took Hope to the beach for Memorial Day (we had to go return the rental), car went to Saturn of Thornton service dept, I'm back in a rental, again my point exactly! Life becomes more serious and unforeseen difficulties.  

No wonder they say "before I got married..." The pleasure of life they once knew has squeezed out the fun they once shared with their families.  I can see how this happens.  There isn't time, energy, or money to have as much fun as they once had.
I see this happen to our young married friends, our friends with small children, and even my friends at work who aren't even married yet, some that are in serious relationships and have been dating for many years - who are devoted to their boy/girl friends and troubled times have hit hard recently partially due to this very reason.

When Jon and I laugh together, we create an emotional connection that I feel in my heart is necessary to get through any disagreements we may have within our marriage.  It also helps maintain a strong and healthy friendship, and allows Jon and I both to be more relaxed.  When we are relaxed, we find that we are able to relate to another in a more positive manner.  

When the busyness and pressure of our everyday life get in the way - our stress, okay (my) stress level builds.  When we are stressed, fine when (I) am stressed , I become more irritable, and impatient. Having fun relieves stress and builds great memories and I am blessed to have a wonderful husband to remind me of this very thing.  

Lighten up and develop a good sense of humor. If not for yourself, do it for your kids.  I have an outgoing sense of humor, while Jon has a great sense of humor, but his is more on the dry side. So dry at times, I don't even get it. Laughter makes you feel better.  It's the best medicine currently on the market!'s cheap.

Hope and I will find something so ridiculous, insanely hilarious and Jon will smile at us and just shake his head.  I'll say "how could you not think that was funny?" and he will say "I did" and I'll ask him, "well, why aren't you laughing then?" and Jon will tell me "I was, couldn't you tell, I was laughing on the inside."

Our little family is developing responsibilities and that is alright. We are committed to serving the Lord and doing what needs to be done and wearing a smile.  Our family is one of cheerful hearts and sense of humors.  We will play to our heart's content and laugh until our sides hurt.

The Lord has taught us not to take life too seriously, not letting the trials and troubles of each day blind us to the excitement and joy that surrounds us. He has blessed us with a fine balance between hard work and solid play.  Reminding us that for six He created, and on the seventh He rested.  Showing us how to rest, relax and play.  He has placed in our hearts a sparkling laughter that can lighten the heaviest burden.  

Our little family is blessed with enthusiasm for all that is good, right and pure.  It is my hope and prayer the laughter in our home will lift up those around us, neighbors and friends and spread beyond those we come in contact with - lifting there spirits and pointing them to a source of all hope. 

There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven...A time to cry and a time to laugh.  A time to grieve and a time to dance. - Ecclesiastes 3:1,4

To My Sister
    * Thank you to my loving sister, whose marriage of twelve years, has been such a wonderful symbol of unity to follow.  You and Chris amaze me daily in your faith and watching you raise your beautiful children.  The Lord worked through your marriage and parenting and used the two of you as a fine example of His amazing love for me to follow. He got my attention.  It's an honor to be your sister.  For if we had not spent Saturday together, this journal entry wouldn't have been possible.  You inspire me.  I love you Jenn.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Masterpiece...Not For Sale

Just one more of life's many lessons to be learned I suppose...

The happy choice - live with it and like it!

The Lord said "free of expectations"...

I pray that our marriage is and will remain to be a natural result of two people making independent choices. I'd like to think of it just as a painting is composed of countless individual brushstrokes, so that who we are is a result of all the choices we have made over a lifetime.

Every decision has left us more alone or loved, angry or happy, weak or strong.

From all those choices, we have created a canvas with a unique color that includes our...
love, needs, fears, dreams, personalities, history, and...Hope.

A priceless painting it is!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Waiting in the Wings

Blogs serve many purposes for a wide variety of individuals.  

If you know me well, you know that I have been journalling since before Hope was born.  You also probably know that when I journal I become a deep thinker and put my heart into what I have to say.  

For the next few weeks I will be journalling on our blog.  At 11:00 pm last night, the Lord put my mind and heart at rest - I was able to fall asleep... after being awake for 52 hours.  

Today I will wait for the Lord.  I will put my hope in His Word and ask that He wash away all my anxiety.  I truly don't want the impatience I'm feeling to stand in the way of all the Lord desires to do in me.  I realize that even when my life seems to be standing still, as long as I am clinging on to Him - I am moving forward on the right path.  I will wait on the Lord.  
If I wait, I know in my heart, the Lord  will help me grow in my understanding of His ways and not succumb to impatience or discouragement just because my time table doesn't coincide with His.  The Lord will shine His light into any dark corner of my soul that needs exposed.  He will strengthen my faith to depend on His perfect timing for my life.  His Word says, if I wait on Him - The Lord will reset me in Him. 

I am thankful for all the Lord has given me.  He has blessed me with a loving husband and a beautiful daughter.  I am content with the step I'm on and the light He has given me.

I'm waiting on the Lord.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I do hope.  My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning. - Psalm 130:5-6

taking a twist...

Well, if you remember...Jon and I originally started blogging because we believed it to be a brilliant way to keep our family, friends, and  bridal party informed and up-to-date on all the latest happenings regarding our wedding plans. (Just in case anyone is wondering, we were worked like a charm!)

However, now that our new home is built, there are no more bridal and/or couple showers to attend, the wedding has passed and we are back from our honeymoon, it's time for "our family with Hope" blog to take a twist in a different direction.  

We hope you will enjoy what is to come!