Sunday, July 12, 2015

"The One Who Never Sleeps"

I remember the first time I ever left Beau in his own room for the night.

It was well past the time when many other parents decide to do it for a few reasons. The "right" time was the day he turned 6 months old and I remember looking at his pack n play right beside me thinking no way hosay. I had gotten so used to him being there, my comfort had started to depend on it. And if anything were to happen (and I had thought of every outlandish thing that could) I would be there. By the time I thought I had mustered up enough courage to actually move him, we were in between houses and he didn't have his own room.

A year ago when we moved into this house, I was determined to finally move him. But when night fell, I was so used to him being with me that I set up his pack n play next to my bed like always because I just couldn't do it. What if he gets cold and I have no idea? What if the new place scares him? What if he gets right against the bumper pad? What if his socks are too tight on his cankles? What if, what if, what if? But then I heard a very gentle, familiar voice speak to my heart out of nowhere:

"I will be there to take care of him when you're not there. Do you trust me?"

I hadn't really had the chance to see if I trusted Him. I didn't want to have to know that answer. I hadn't left Beau for more than a few hours a handful of times and every time I thought of him the whole time.

In that very emotional and important moment, I told God that I did trust Him and put Beau in his bed across the house for the very first time.

Beau slept better and more peaceful that night than he ever had and we all made it out better for it. God took care of him just like He said He would and I realized I had not been trusting God like I should.

I was reminded of that special moment in my life tonight because I've been up with Beau who seems to be starting to have bad dreams. I went in and comforted him and prayed for him that God would comfort him when I was gone and help him not to be afraid. As much as I wanted to stay there for longer, I knew for all of our sakes, sanity, and sleep life, I needed to leave and close the door behind me. But I can confidently close that door behind me, it's not hard like it used to be.

There is always One who never sleeps who is with him. And He is the One who gives him even better peace than I can. I believe that with all my heart and nothing will ever shake that. My God is too real in my life to ever doubt. He's so loving and gentle and kind and forgiving and an ever present help. Even though Beau doesn't know God yet, I know he feels His peace and He's a huge part of his life comforting him and helping him already.

I watched Beau listen to his "Jesus Loves Me" bunny that sang to him when I got back to my room on the monitor. He cried a little but was quickly comforted by the song and once again I got to see that he is okay without me.

I know there will be many times I can't be there. He is independent by nature and daily takes his stuffed animals and cars to the door saying "bye bye" and waving to me like he's ready to go. He feels like he can make it without me already, but thankfully I still have some time. I do know that wherever the bye byes take him in his future, the One who loves Beau more than I ever could goes with him and I can always rest in that.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

*The answer will always be YES*

My poppy asked me the other day when I was going to blog and I said very honestly: "I don't know, I've kinda had a mental block ever since Beau was born." My nana just laughed and clearly understood.

It's been 7 months since I've published, but there were some days I got a few words out and just erased it. In the weirdest way, I have a harder time writing about the times in life that are really good because I'm afraid that when I look back and read it, I'll miss it entirely too much. I LOVE this time of life. Being a wife to Brian and a mother to Beau FITS. I finally don't feel like the awkward what on earth am I doing in this thing called life and how am I the single twin graduating a year late and having so many awkward moments and why on earth am I mediocre at EVERYTHING?!

I actually LIKE being a mom and feel like I'm a good one. Even though I do so much in my parenting life that is not vogue, I confidently feel good about it. I don't need my mom style to fit some blog or book or organic google search. I am Abby and God thought Beau should be with me and so I better just be myself. Not all moms let their kid send their lunch plate down the slide in the middle of the living room and eat it at the bottom…and I feel good that I can do that. It's my way and I'm proud of it. I feel content and fulfilled being Brian's lady and Beau's mama. "Abby" as he calls me…we will have to figure out how to get that stopped when he's a little older and has more than five words.

When my blog was on fire, it was literally my THERAPY. I needed it. And looking back, I'm like "Good riddance to college and the hard years, buh BYE" Looking back, I don't mind that it's over. But if I write too much about my day to day life with now, I'm afraid I will just ache for it one day. I know that may be totally weird, but that's how I feel. Even right now I'm not exactly sure if I'm going to keep going with this or not, I feel like just pressing the close button right now. But I have gotten some great spiritual moments from God lately that are worth writing about. And that's something I for sure want to be able to go back and read.

God moments are ALWAYS worth writing about.

I have to admit, sometimes I use the bible like a magic 8 ball. If I've learned anything in my life so far, it's that God is better at making decisions for my life than I am so I really wish I could just open the bible and get very clear directions on what I should do. But the thing is…I think God doesn't always give me the clear answer because He's looking for something more than just directing me. His thoughts are different than mine. There is a much bigger picture than just getting ANSWERS.

My prayer life is a big indicator of where my mind is and I'm realizing that what I focus on are not the most important things to focus on. Like…I pray that I'll have the self control to resist wanting to eat chik fil a waffle fries all the time and that I'll please, please, PLEASE, PUH-LEASSSSE have a daughter next time because next time is the last shot! And when, oh when do we have the next baby? Timing? Can you just send a letter to my house and give me dates? Not really, but I do wish I just had an ANSWER.

When I opened my bible the other day, I got a major priority shift. I know He cares so much about even the tiniest things on my heart and I can pray about anything at all, even chik fil a fries, but I needed to hear some truth. In that moment, I needed to be reminded of what's more important than anything my eyes can see.

"Choose my teachings instead of silver. Choose knowledge rather than the finest gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies. Nothing you want is equal to it." Proverbs 8:10

There is nothing I want that is equal to wisdom. This verse makes that really clear. I spend SO much of my time praying about what I WANT and not praying for what is much more valuable than anything else. That I would choose His teachings above all else and for wisdom that is more valuable than we can fathom. God wants so much more in our relationship than Him just being my magic 8 ball, vending machine, used mainly when I have nowhere else to go. Praying for wisdom can help me in so many ways, especially getting my mind right on what matters most.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1:5

He cares about the details of my heart and what I want and I will continue to pray about whatever is on my heart, but I want to start with praying for wisdom. Because if I don't get anything else I ask for, I know that when I ask for wisdom and don't doubt, the answer will always be YES. And the bible says that nothing I want is equal to it and so I believe that with all my heart.

If I'm not seeking wisdom, if I'm not choosing God's teachings above all else, then I won't be focused on the right thing. What does it matter if I get everything I ask for, if I'm not focused on what truly matters anyway?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

*We Made It!*

Growing a baby, bringing it into this world, and making it an entire year afterwards is a BIG deal.

It's so strange to me how when people get older and the newborn phase fades, they look back on this time in life with one or two sentences. "Oh, I had my first in 87! Labor was LONG." "I have three kids: Timmy, Billy and Marty! We have 8 grand kids now."

I mean...those sentences have more behind them than anyone hearing them can understand. Will this year for me really become one sentence one day? Will I just speak of my oldest Beau born in 2013? That is such an odd thought considering how much this year has been. How much this year has MEANT.

Nothing in life compares to the joy of being a mother. The deep heart change that happened for me the day Beau was born is unmatched. My priorities were completely changed and there's no way I'd ever go back. My heart is more alive than ever, I feel like it could burst sometimes. The want to do anything and everything for him came easily because my love was so strong. (Which is good because there is LOTS to do.)

Even in the times when I was so tired and at the end of my very worn rope, I'd drive down the street for some Starbucks after Brian got home, then want to drive right back because I missed him.

At the age of one, he's teetering between being very new and moving onto being a toddler. His legs still curl up to his chest like he's fresh from the womb, but he drives a school bus through a tunnel like a toddler would. He wants to be babied when he's tired, but when he's not he wants to be free. He's holding on to that baby time but I can tell it won't be long before it's gone. There's too many signs that it's leaving soon. It makes me sad, but I can't wait to know him more. He has to grow up for that.

I know the first birthday is emotional for lots of reasons like how they are growing older and how much has changed, but I'm surprised by the overwhelming feeling of "WE MADE IT!"

We made it through pregnancy and the first year with a baby which is pretty much the biggest feat that out shined four-(wait five) years of college by far. I feel like I need a fancy wall mounted glittering piece of accomplishment like I have for my degree. But rewards like that don't come for us mothers. Our rewards are different. They are intangible, precious, irreplaceable and make it all worth it.

I give total thanks to God for this year who was there by our side every step of the way encouraging us and giving us strength when we needed it. He enjoyed every special moment our family had together and I hope in Heaven one day we can play them over again. Anything right we have done has come from His help and any failures we had, He turned around for our good. He has kept every promise and been my faithful Helper along the way. He has rejoiced with us with every new thing Beau learned and I like to think he laughed at all the cute things Beau did along side us. God loves Beau even more than I do which is very hard to understand. How could there be a love even greater than mine for my baby? It's the best feeling knowing Beau is loved by the One who can love him perfectly. He's known Beau longer and deeper than I ever could. It's amazing to think about.

I'm so thankful that God has gotten us through this year and Parented beside us. He is the reason this year has been a success and for that I am so grateful.'s been a year. A whole year.

I made it, we made it...and I'm truly rewarded far greater than I ever imagined.

Friday, June 13, 2014

*For Brian's First Father's Day!*

A long time ago, I made a promise to myself that I would only marry a man that would be an amazing father to my kids. I wanted to find someone that would love them as much as I would and go out of his way to be there for them through life. I needed to find a husband that saw babies and children as treasures and didn't see them as a burden but something to be
desired and a wonderful addition to life. I had to find a man who would put God first and would lead my children towards Christ with his teaching and example.

I tried to picture what a man like that would look like as my husband and even had my doubts that there was someone out there for me like that. But then Brian came into my life and has once again turned out better than I could've ever dreamed. He is exactly what I was looking for only better. He has met everything I needed for myself and has all the qualities I was looking for in a leader for my children and myself and we both had a heart for starting a family from early on.

About a week into marriage my begging for a baby started: "Please please please, I want one SO bad!" "Me too...but can we wait until after tax season?", was always his reply.

Finally two months in, I got him on board and we were both super excited. He let the logic of waiting till tax season go and that parent heart overtake. We were on a track to have a baby before our first year anniversary and it was completely our decision! Now, you won't find that everyday and I'm so thankful I married a like minded man. He wanted a son as much as I wanted one and as parents, we are the perfect fit.

All throughout my pregnancy, he was my hero time and time again. He sacrificed so much for us all to get to be together right now and I can't thank him enough. I seriously have no clue what I'd do without my baby Beau and he'd say the exact same thing. I asked him if parenting was a great as he thought it would be, and he said it's so much better. I can I not be absolutely head over heels for a man like that?!

He is SO sweet to Beau...every morning he is the one to get him out of his crib and Beau kicks and smiles when he sees him. We put
the little guy in the middle of a parent sandwich for about fifteen minutes to love on him before Brian leaves for work. It's definitely a favorite time of day for all three of us. Beau thinks Brian is the funniest person in the world. (And he is!)

Brian is SO helpful and is willing to do anything we need. He gives him baths, feeds him, plays with him, comforts him during shots, gets him in the middle of the night when he's scared, and cleans up blow out diapers....he truly does it all! Not only that, he has never complained once-not even in the newborn phase! I know that sounds like it can't be true, but it really is!!! He does NOT complain about much. I haven't heard him complain about anything except for basketball refs since I met him. He stays super positive and isn't a negative person at all. He is the most patient, kind, and hardworking man that is always thinking of his family first.

He allows me to not be stressed out over things outside of Beau so I'm able to focus on him and truly ENJOY this special time. He is happy just knowing we had a fun day even if he's in the trenches working hard all day to pay for the fun.

He always wants to spend time with Beau and has never once acted like he is a burden in any way. He isn't ready for him to go to bed because he loves spending time with him so much! It's the best feeling in the world having a partner in parenting who loves a baby just like I do. He is seriously the sweetest heart melts on a daily basis.

Brian deserves SO much more than a Father's Day to celebrate who he is as a dad. When I write about him, he sounds like he isn't real but I'm married to him and he truly is just that great of a guy! I still can't believe how much I've hit the jackpot.

I am thankful knowing my children will be loved by one of the greatest men who ever lived! He is everything anyone could ever want in a father and more. He is my hero, and he's Beau's hero, too. He takes care of us as a family so well. He leads our family in a gentle, caring, and very capable way that makes us all feel strengthened, safe, and sure.

I love him with all my heart and I still can hardly believe he's mine. :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Homebody Without a Home

Well, it's 4:03am and I have no idea why I'm even up and writing this sentence right now.

Ever since we've been homeless from the time we moved our stuff to the new house (that is not officially ours yet), Beau wakes up wanting to get in bed with me about now wondering where he is. I guess I'm just programmed to be ready to get him and let him know things are okay. I'm kinda sad to miss out on that tonight, but I'm glad he's able to sleep. I think I need the comfort of the normalcy of him right now just like he needs me, too.

Our closing date was backed up two more weeks, so right now we're just waiting for the old house to be settled with not nearly enough clothes packed. It's the weirdest feeling not having a home right now.

I mean homebody is not my middle name- it's my first name! I literally stay in my house for weeks on end without seeing the light of day and anyone close to me can attest to this. I don't mind missing out on anything in this world if it means I'm in clean sheets and pajamas in my own home. I am on the edge of hermit and sometimes fall over into actually being a hermit in the dead of winter. My house is my comfort zone and not having that and being in between makes a homebody like me feel completely lost! That's why I had to come back here the day after I found out it was delayed even longer...this is definitely a place that feels mine! Even though I'm grown and gone, this is still where my name is on a plate above the kitchen table and where my mom takes care of me!

Someone I admired said something one time that stuck with me and I think about a lot for my own feelings and when I need empathy for others. She said: "You may not understand why someone else is upset about something, but if that's how they feel, validated in your mind or not-it matters."

Even though this isn't the biggest deal in the world and we've had so many great memories made because of this time, it still matters to me because of my personality and the comfort I find by having a place to call my own. I think about how Jesus never truly had a home here on earth and what that must've felt like. He knew what true home was though and that isn't in a house. He knew that Heaven was the true home and that lasting comfort comes from God alone. Maybe that's why I think about Heaven so much and always have. It appeals to me to have an everlasting HOME.

I always wonder if maybe one day me and God will be in cotton pajama pants in Heaven laughing together about all the times we hung out alone in my earthly homes together.

I sure hope so. :)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

*Tears at a Coffee Stand*

"BRIAN!!!" I yelled louder and more dramatic than I ever meant to as everyone stopped what they were doing to stare.

He walked over with an amused smile trying not to laugh as I filled my coffee with hazelnut creamer. "I don't think I can do this!" I said with desperation and a tear in my eye, "You don't understand!!! I CANNOT do this!"

"Yes, you can." he said trying hard to make me feel like he was taking me seriously. "He will be FINE." He pointed me in the right direction so we could sit down before the service started. I had this overwhelming and unstoppable wave come over me…that wave of needing to cry and not having any capability to stop it. "Brian, I am seriously losing it here! I am about to cry, I am about to cry!!!" "Just focus on the screen…you CAN make it." "You're right..I'll just look like I'm really moved by this song." I kept checking his phone every five minutes just to make sure everything really WAS okay.

Now, I know this shouldn't be this dramatic of a moment in life, but for me it WAS. I promise you, motherhood makes people absolutely crazy. The reason I was freaking out is that I finally bit the bullet and sent Beau to the church nursery this morning and it was NOT easy. I had so many reasons before now that I could use in my mind not to send him: "It's flu season and he hasn't had a shot","He freaks out when I'm not around, I don't want him to fuss for the teacher the entire time", "I can just take him to the video church with me, no problem", "He's too little","Nobody can take care of him like I can","He seems tired","It's crawling with germs in there"!!!

I kinda ran out of reasons now that it's summer and his flu shot has come and gone and he's gotten completely social with strangers. He really is too big to take to video church because now that he's moving, sitting in his seat does not cut it anymore. Plus he scream talks really loud at the most inopportune times like when there's a song about death or something extremely serious. It just really ruins the mood for everyone. And, he REALLY likes people and wants to be in big groups. I knew in my heart of hearts that he was ready. I just didn't know if I was.

"Beau, it's going to be JUST fine." I said to him as he smiled at me bouncing in his bouncy chair while I wrote his name on everything in his diaper bag with a sharpie. I stared at his cute little face and realized that I needed to let go even though I didn't want to. I needed to trust that God would take care of him even when I wasn't around. I was really telling myself it would be fine more than anything. I KNOW that Beau is more God's than mine, and part of acting on that is making myself do things like sending him to the nursery and giving him up for even a short time.

Maybe that's why it felt so big to me. Maybe it wasn't even about the nursery. Maybe it's the fact that one day the feeling I had of just being a normal adult sitting in church without a baby is going to be every Sunday. And, honestly? I don't want to go back to being a normal adult. But I HAVE to do what's best for Beau and in this case, that was sending him to the nursery.

Of course he LOVED it. I came to pick him up and he was in a circle with eight other babies laughing and kicking his feet. Some sitting, some on their stomachs, some bouncing in a chair. Beau had his chubby little arm trying to grab a baby just out of reach. His teacher picked him up and brought him to us and he was absolutely glowing with excitement from being around all his new friends.

He is SO energized by people, it cracks me up. He kept hollering, laughing, and trying to touch everybody on the way out. I mean, this baby crowd was good for him and I love to see him that excited.

That made it worth it. That will make every single time I have to let go worth it. Because no boy dreams of spending their lives with their moms all the time no matter how much we wish that were the case, haha. I know that everyday that I hold him now, I'm just teaching him how to love well and hold his family later. It's not about me.

I know the lesson of letting go isn't easy and takes lots of time. I think of the parents with graduates this month and how they have to feel that same feeling only on a much larger scale.  It's not easy, but it's right. We are teaching our kids how to go and be their own people and be independent. We are reminding ourselves that they are God's and He is the Parent that goes everywhere with them no matter what. Even when we can't.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

*Life Under Construction*

Times like these make you realize the difference between you and your spouse. For example: Brian thinks that a house should be packed up two weeks prior to a closing date, when I am the queen of bringing out something glorious in the final moments. While watching "The Voice" last night Brian asked: "Hey, do you think we can get Beau's room packed up by the end of the week?"


The end of THIS week? As in, a week prior to when my amazing genius juice of last minute starts flowing? What could he possibly be speaking of? Before I could answer him, he already took all the decorations off the living room wall, put together four boxes, and pulled everything from the guest closet like the energizer bunny. "Sit down…REST", I said extremely confused. "I took off work today to drive back, I HAVE to get something productive done."

The other day he looked at Beau playing and said: "That baby has more equity in toys than any kid I know!" That statement says a lot about who he is and a lot about who I am. His wheels are always turning about business and assets and planning for the future/being productive, while I'm thinking about how to make Beau's play life more fun. 

In a marriage book about personalities and how it effects relationships, he is motivated by achieving goals and I'm motivated by fun and achieving goals does nothing for me. Apparently our personality types work the best together and have the least amount of work when it comes to coexisting which is funny because we are so different, but it real does work somehow. 

We decided to compromise and do it halfway in between, but I think I'll just pack it up early because he has enough to worry about as it is. If it makes him feel that much better, why not? I appreciate that he's so motivated and I wish he could give some of the juice to me!!! That would be really nice. I don't know how someone can live such a productive life, but I'm thankful my husband is that way. Even though it's very different than the way I think, it benefits me in so many ways.

We are truly under construction in every sense these days. Not only are we building a house, but Brian is building an office building as well. Everything that our future holds is just grass and dirt and a thought right now. It'll be interesting to see the changes this year both in our physical lives and inner lives as well. I have so many things I want to build on in my heart that God has already started a foundation for. I know that my inner "house" won't be completely built until I'm in Heaven, but the work done on it is important none the less. 

I know each phase of life brings opportunities to experience God in new ways and learn more and become a better person because of it. I'm hoping this transition time is a transition of the heart as well. I feel like I've been knocking on a spiritual ceiling for a while now, and I'm ready to break out and see what's on the other side. Moving here and experiencing the isolation that I have has been really good for me because it's forced me to think about spiritual things that I didn't have to think about before. Lots of times when God is teaching me something, my human mind can only fathom so much of it at a time. That's what I mean by banging on a ceiling…it's like I only see half of what He's trying to say, and when the rest is finally taken in and understood, I'll break free and move on to a new and beautiful place.

I still have a lot of construction to do when it comes to building my new life here, too. I am ready to stop wrestling with God about why He couldn't just bring the love of my life and my sweet baby to MY life in another state. But the thing is…He has me here. That is not MY life anymore and I have to stop fighting that if I want to grow here and build the life I'm supposed to. I have to stop thinking like that because it shadows out the incredible blessings that I've been given here that I absolutely don't deserve. Even though God has moved me from a lot of the things I held on to so tightly, He has given me more than He has taken away and any other thought than that is just not seeing it correctly. He has chosen to shower me with gifts and blessings and most of all His never ending, loving presence and friendship even though I throw fits at times about His plan.

It's taken a lot longer to make this place feel like home and I think it has a lot to do with my own fears and me fighting it. I know with all my heart that in ten years, I'll look back on this time and realize how much I was going in the right direction even if I couldn't see it. 

These days, so much of my life is just grass and dirt and a dream- completely under construction. But I know I'll see those dreams fulfilled in the right time and learn many much needed lessons along the way. I'm thankful for this journey ahead and like the old long haired Miley Cyrus who actually made sense would say: "It's the Climb", right?