& Then There were FOUR. <3

Hello All. :]

In honor of my sweet baby napping delightfully, and the lovely cup of coffee in my hand, and perhaps mostly because I have been forbidden to clean my house or do anything else useful for the time being ( ūüėõ ) , I decided to take to the blog to write a little bit about the last little while. Mainly, the arrival of our second daughter, her name, and all of the good stuff that goes along with that. ;]

I can hardly believe that my sweet baby has now been outside of me just a bit longer than she was “overdue” inside of me. haha! I know there’s really hardly such a thing as “over due,” but that doesn’t take away the emotional turmoil of waiting and waiting day after day for that tiny little person to be in your ARMS at last, and out of your tired and heavy belly! Gennavieve, my first, was 6 days “past due”, so I assumed hopefully that bebe #2 would arrive sooner than that. Imagine my horror when she did NOT. :p Luckily for me, my darling Madre had cleared her schedule and took it upon herself to keep me entertained and busy, and to help keep up with my ever-energetic 18 month old, who literally doesn’t stop moving EVER. Even when she’s asleep. [You have to know her to understand.] It was such an incredible blessing!! Every tired and weary pregnant woman should have a mom like mine… The world would be a better place for it! I hope and pray that I can one day be as good of a mommy as mine. :]  She and Ivy made me quinoa pancakes when I was sad in the morning, and took me shopping or sight seeing when I was sad in the afternoon, and cheered me up with silly movies, and made me delicious oolong tea lattes. *happy sigh* Looking back, it was really the life! But so hard to enjoy fully at the moment when sitting down made it hard to breath, and walking around tired me too quickly. ūüėõ

We developed a great birth plan to look forward to, as well!  I was planning a home birth, [something I never would have seen myself considering as I grew up! :p ] & it was going to be FUN. [well. You know. As fun as pushing out a tiny human can be]  Because my first labor was rather long, we planned for about half the time with the second, as that is fairly “normal.” My first labor, I labored for about 6 hours reasonably comfortably before going to the birthing center, where I immediately stalled at 6cm for a few hours. After some herbs to encourage labor to keep going, I continued to 8cm before things got intense enough that I was ready for it to just be over. Transition took almost 3 hours, and I pushed not quite a half hour. So that’s what I was loosely basing my planning on. When contractions picked up a pattern, I would call my Mom and Tanisha. Me & Madre would sip tea and watch a funny movie to distract us while I bounced on my birthing ball, and Tanisha would entertain Bunny (if she was awake). Then I would call the birth photographer, and alert my midwife, and we would take it from there. I was especially excited about not having to leave my house this time around. No laboring in the car, no stalling when I hit a new environment, and knowing exactly which midwife was going to be there to catch my baby were at the top of my list of things to love about planning a homebirth!

…..Then came the fateful day that the real deal actually happened… :]

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. :] Plans were made to be altered!

I had been in “prodromal labor” for weeks now. Basically it means that I had contractions all the time that were stronger than Braxton hicks, but that weren’t really dilating me. I had the same with Genna. They make it awfully hard to take it seriously when real labor hits, because you don’t know if it will slow down again or if it will get more intense. ūüėõ  At 9 days overdue, I really thought it wasn’t going to happen anymore, and I was probably just going to be pregnant forever. ;]

Here’s the short version of the story:

3:30pm “Hey, love, could you stop and get groceries on your way home?” (He agreed)

3:38pm “Just kidding love, I want you to come home. Suddenly the contractions are actually for real.” (He hurried home)

3:39pm “Madre, u might want to come over just in case this is for real.”

3:45pm Husband arrives home to find me panting through contractions that are every 1-2 minutes lasting a min. I tell him to call the midwife and tell her what’s going on but to mention that I don’t know if it’s for real yet or not. (heh. oh Pregnancy brain…)

3:50pm, husband hangs up with midwife, and the very next contraction my water broke. He called her right back but she was already on the way.  So was Madre.

4:00pm I’m trying to remember what was on my to-do list for early labor projects and directing Madre and Anthony in how to do these things. I was most upset that I didn’t have any real early labor to fix the bed and clean things up and prepare snacks for everyone. (*giggle. howwww did that even seem important?!) I noted to myself that this already felt like transition.

The midwife arrived, and sure enough. 9 cm.

5:40, Baby #2 was born in a whirlwind of about 3 minutes of active pushing. Daddy caught her, and handed her to me.

start to finish, 2 hours and 10 minutes. 0_0 (I never even had time to call the photographer)

We had to annoy her greatly to get her to cry, as she was quite content to snuggle with mommy immediately. :p

It was a girl. & We were immediately smitten! & Shocked at how BIG she was!! 8 lbs, 8oz, 21″ long! I whole 2lb, 2oz, and an inch bigger than my first. *shocked face* Oh. and little jelly rolls! She was chubby. Melt me. ‚̧




    

My whole world. ‚̧ԳŹ

She just loves to nosh on her cute little fingers. :] I’m all about that self soothing! ;]

A chubby baby! Oh bliss! hehe :]

I am so enjoying this whole new mommy thing again. ‚̧

Grammy loving on Big Sister. ‚̧

   
  We Named her Irnya Eiris Adiah.

We chose the name because of what it meant for her and for us. After all, names are so very important, because they are spoken over us every day.

Irnya (Ear-Nyah): Peace 

Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of God’s rightful order. The restoration of things to the way that they were meant to be. Peace is not abstract, Peace is active and very much alive. Peace is the calm that is ours to possess in the midst of turmoil that surrounds us. Peace is the power that Jesus spoke over the storm, to cause it to be still.

Eiris (Iris): Messenger

a person who carries a message or is employed to carry messages.

Adiah: Adorned with Nobility

May she always be. ‚̧

In short, every big life adjustment is hard! But I’m determined to rest and heal up and not let the Devil steal the joy of this wonderful time of my life with all the fear, guilt, and stress that our culture pours over motherhood. My darling sister and Mother have been helping out with Genna & the house so I can rest and soak up these newborn days that only happen ONCE. ‚̧ God is good, & being a family of 4 is wonderful. :]

Peace&Love

<3#xoXO

Gianna.

A Young Mother’s Musings on this “Discipline” Thing.

Hello All.

It occured to me before I even started this “rant” that I should avoid the actual word “discipline” throughout the post, since the meaning of the word has become so distorted in people’s minds that as soon as the word is spoken the crowd splits, grabs their pitchforks and baseball bats, and gathers on the battle feild to bloody eachother up over the preconcieved ideas they have hidden BEHIND that word. So for the sake of understanding me and what I am truly saying, I’m asking you to lay those aside and try to listen to what I’m actually saying. This cooperation is much appreciated, as I feel it will save you frustration at your computer screen, and it will save me from having to over clarify everything that I say. ‚̧

I’m a young mother. At 22 years old I have a one year old, and a baby due in the spring. I genuinely love being a mother! I had high hopes and dreams for my life, and what all I could accomplish with it- by myself! But when God changed all that by bringing a man into my life who stole my heart, gave me his last name, and became the father of our children, it was the greatest gift in the world to a heart who loves to dream. You see, my dreams didn’t die when I layed them down and eagerly accepted the heavy calling of being a wife and a mother in this amazing thing called “family”! They only grew, and went deeper and wider than they ever had before. My dreams and hopes were no longer about ME, they were about something far greater. I began to see that for the same amount of effort that I would have poured into my own life, and accomplishing what I felt God wanted from me, I could power and enable the life work of my husband, and ALL of my children. WHAT an opportunity to affect the world! I could have gone one direction with my life, but instead I am raising multiple people who will go multiple directions. & oh the dreams that I dream for them! & oh the hope that I feel in my heart towards them. And my goodness…. Being loved by their pure hearts, and loving them so much it hurts, is just more wonderful than I can explain. :]

As a young mother who sees my children as precious potential, I try very hard to make my parenting decisions based on the long-term of my child’s life. It’s a scary thing being a first time parent!! It’s scary knowing that I’m gonna mess up. It’s scary knowing that no parent is perfect, as much as we all want to be, and that humility and brokenness is something we have to choose to live in every day if we want redemption to come out of our parenting mistakes.

It’s especially scary knowing that whatever it is that’s going on in our culture is not working for raising children. Coming to grasps with the notion that if I want to raise my children in a way that I believe to be right before God, I am going to put them and myself in direct opposition to many aspects of the culture that they must grow up in, is a heavy thing to do.

But ask yourself, If our culture says “ew” but God says, “That’s good and right,” who are we going to believe?

And if Culture says, “That’s good and right,” but God says, “ew,” then who are we going to believe?

The world around us speaks through the negetives of our culture to our children nearly daily. It’s carefully and pointedly driven into our children from a young age that not doing what mom and dad says is “normal”. Moms and dads not staying together is “normal”. Young children doing what they want, where they want, when they want is “normal”. Things like women in skimpy underwear with¬†little left for imagination on full-wall posters in the mall are¬†becomes increasingly “normal”, while things like a mother breast-feeding her baby become an “Ew! Cover that up!” in our culture.

I want to be just as intentional about pouring into my children what GOD thinks about matters. I want them to memorize the Proverbs, and be wise. I want them to know that the only standard of “normal” that we are going to live up to is the standard that Jesus Christ left for us by His walk on the earth. I want them to know WHAT they believe, and how strongly they believe it, because these are trying times.

I want them to learn respect.

Respect for God- the kind the bible talks about, I believe they used the word “fear”.

Respect for Authority- because they will be leaders, and no leader has a hope if He has not learned to submit.

Respect for Others- because you cannot stay inside of the law of God without it.

Respect for themselves- because that’s lacking in our world.

I want them to learn to love with a sacrificial love that GIVES. I want them to do right naturally, and not have to battle contstantly with themselves in their own minds against their natural impulses. I want them to hunger and thirst after God.

But how do I do that? How?! NOBODY WILL TELL ME. I am left standing alone, it seems, in the middle of a bloody battle field with camps on both sides shouting orders through bullhorns. “YOU MUST FORCE YOUR CHILD INTO SUBMISSION!!” yells one camp. “NO!!! YOU MUST NEVER CRUSH THEIR WILLS! YOU MUST LET THEM DO WHAT THEY WILL, AND WHEN THEY’RE OLDER IF THEY WANT TO LIVE A GOOD LIFE THAT’S THEIR DECISION!” shouts the other camp. “DISCIPLINE IS GOOD FOR YOU!” cries the first camp, “DISCIPLINE IS BAD! NOTHING EVER COMES FROM HARSH LAWS AND RULES!” cries the other.

I sigh deeply. You would think that eventually there would be some advice that doesn’t include “yes, definitely physically punish.” or “No, definitely don’t ever physically punish.”

The truth is, I grew up in a wonderful home with loving parents and some great memories to cherish my childhood with. I was spanked as a child, too. Imagine that. & I even retained my sanity and didn’t end up hating my parents. ūüėõ My parents made mistakes, obviously, but the good news is that I didn’t start out my parenting life with a list of things that I was “never going to do” because of any of those mistakes. Years after I had left the age of eligibility to be spanked, my parents discovered this whole new world of spiritual roots causing emotional reactions that result in physical words and actions. Once they applied this to our lives, the picture was finally complete. For example, before this discovery they would have seen repetative outbursts of physical and verbal anger from one of their children as being a discipline problem… But now they realize that if a child has repetative physical and verbal outbursts of anger that discipline isn’t curing, then discipline is certainly not going to change that. So they would take it before God, get to the root of the problem (it’s generally generational when found in small children), repent of it, break it off of the child, then go about life as normal.

I love applying this to my parenting from the beginning of my journey. The hard work that my parents did in parenting and learning all they could gave me a platform to stand on, and from there I plan to move onward- tweeking it to make it fit our lives and the individual needs of each of our children. (since obviously no two children are the same, it would be foolish to assume that they will need the exact same training for life ahead) It’s not a formula. It’s not a recipe for perfection. It’s just what I have to work with, to help me guide my children to Truth.

For example, my 1 year old has recently been trying out her will power. She feels an impulse, and doesn’t know if it’s a right or a wrong impulse, she just knows that she feels it- so she acts on it! Her latest thing has been shaking her head no when I ask her to do something. I say, “Come to Mommy, Genna, I’m going to get you dressed.” and she shakes her head no, then looks at me to see how I feel about the choice that she has made. (NOTE: EVERY CHOICE YOUR CHILD MAKES, YOU ARE EITHER TELLING THEM “THAT’S OKAY,” OR “THAT’S NOT OKAY.” BY YOUR RESPONSE!) Repeating myself is not a good idea in this case, because if I did so she would come to believe that I’m not serious the 1st time I say it, she will only get in trouble if she disobeys the SECOND or THIRD time I say it. So I walk over to where she is, and give her a little smack on the leg. It’s enough to smart a little, and she immediately recognizes that there is discomfort associated with the choice that she just made. I then return to where I was standing and repeat myself. Most of the time she smiles and comes chirping over to me, which I greatly praise, telling her that she is a really good girl and that it makes me happy when she obeys right away. She delights in the feeling of praise, and 2 seconds later she has forgotten the whole episode ever happened. She forgets the details, I mean, but she doesn’t forget the principle. Days, months, and years later she will not know why she feels that saying “no” to mommy is bad, and saying “yes” to mommy gives her a good feeling. It was a small moment of discomfort for her (or maybe a few moments, since this takes consistency), but the LONG TERM effects of it will save her so much heartache.

A good method of keeping behavior in perspective is to “put 10 years on the behavior”. Shaking her head and stomping her foot defiantly at me at a year old is… Well.. Kinda adorable, I won’t lie! :p sometimes I have to hide a giggle. Such a tiny little thing with such a big attitude. Oh my. But if you put it in the long term perspective, and imagine her doing the same at 11? At 21? Absolutely not adorable anymore. It takes so little to correct it now, but in 11 years once it has become a natural response, it will be very, very difficult to change. At that point it will take some serious effort by you AND your child to correct, and take much longer to establish. So save yourself both the pain and stress, and don’t allow it just because it’s “cute”.

It works in a completely positive aspect, as well, this whole training thing. I realized the other day that unknowingly I have already “trained” her to behave certain ways. From the time she was 6 months old (or younger?) and figured out what it meant to “give a kiss,” I have always said “give kisses, Genna!” at specific times, or in specific moments. I never picked up the pattern in my actions, but she certainly has. She now leans in to give her doll, her daddy, or myself kisses at all the same times that I was about to tell her (out of habit) “Give kisses, Genna!” She doesn’t know WHY she feels the urge to give her daddy a kiss when she sits beside him in our bed, or when he gets home from work, or when he reads her a story. She doesn’t know why she compulsively kisses dolls. She does it because she wants to. She wants to because it has a good association in her mind. When I saw that, suddenly a whole new world of parenting was opened up to me…

I suddenly realized that the things that I am teaching her now are going to stay with her as inner impulses for the rest of her life. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is older he will not depart from it” has never been so clear to me as it suddenly became in that moment.

This is serious stuff, folks! It affects the rest of their lives.

When my daughter has an impulse to react angrily when I do something she doesn’t like, I am only hurting her by allowing her to continue in that reaction and attitude without instilling a subconscious reason to turn away from that. I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL SHE IS OLD ENOUGH TO REASON WITH TO DO THIS. Did you know that you aren’t actually able to really reason with your mind until you hit your teen years? And even then, your reasoning abilities are clouded with hormones and a brain and mind that haven’t even fully developed yet! At this point in your life, you have probably already made a connection subconsciously between making the WRONG choice and a feeling of fleshly fulfillment, and making the RIGHT choice and the unpleasant death to natural self that brings. Should teenagers choose still in spite of this to do whats right? ABSOLUTELY. But for the Love of their future, you can make it SO much easier on them NOW! Right now, the pain that it takes to correct bad attitudes and curb bad choices is SO SMALL and SO SHORT LIVED. When they’re older? The pain is so much worse, and it takes so much longer to learn a lesson.

I intend to do my child a favor. I intend to help her to choose to be happy NOW. She is unhappy, and uncomfortable without boundaries to stay inside. Boundaries to a powerful child are a haven of rest for them. They’re free to be themselves if they know that you will TELL them when you’re displeased with them, and correct them, and move on. No child is happy knowing they are making their parents unhappy constantly by their behavior, but not knowing how to fix it. They will give up, and get angry, and act out, and it’s a vicious cycle. I will even take it a step further and state that I think it is completely unfair to a child for a parent to “put up with” their poor and rowdy and obnoxious behavior. Your child looks to YOU to tell him if his behavior is acceptable or not. He does not know the difference between his impulses, he acts out on them all equally. If you tell him by your response of allowing it that his bad attitude or defiant reactions are “okay”, and then get annoyed and frustrated at him, that is completely unfair. I don’t care how good you are at controlling your annoyance, your child is going to feel the emotional distance that comes between you when he disobeys, talks back, etc, and HE DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO FIX IT. You leave him feeling confused, angry, and responsible for something that is not his job to fix or take care of. It is so much kinder to correct in the moment of wrong doing. A firm correction allows the child to succeed by choosing what is right. It allows him to grasp that it was a bad choice that caused a rift in your relationship, and it allows the whole matter to be resolved. This allows the relationship between you to continue on smoothly. Subconsciously it will teach him to crave closeness in relationship, and he will grow up knowing that “I’m sorry” and a correction in behavior brings closeness, and take this with Him to his relationship with God, others, and His future spouse.

My child is exceptionally strong willed, ask anyone who knows her… And it takes so much consistency, but I can already see even just a tiny little bit of the benefits.

I want to know that in 20 years, when she could be a wife and mommy to her own little family, that she has the tools that she needs to have good relationships and a happy home. I want to know that she hasn’t learned to react to everything that doesn’t go her way. I want to know that she has learned to love even when she doesn’t feel life is fair. I want to know that she has learned to forgive. I want to know that she has learned to say “yes” when God tells her something, and that she won’t stop before following Him to count the costs, reason it through in her own mind, and make her own decision based on that. FOR GOODNESS SAKES, I WANT HER TO NOT THINK THE WHOLE WORLD IS ABOUT HERSELF AND WHAT SHE WANTS OUT OF IT!! All of that starts now… With careful training. With regard for the future.

Our world is falling apart because people do not believe in consiquences for actions. They don’t think it matters what choices they make, and they never think about how those choices are affecting the people around them. Our culture is selfish, and God hating, and I will stand against that with everything that I am.

I want my children to grow up understanding that everything they do has good or bad reprocussions. I don’t want it to be something that they THINK, I want it to be something that they KNOW. Something they don’t even know how they know, they just know it, and they live out of it. I want them to fear God with Holy Respect. I want them to know that when they say “no” to authority there are consequences, whether it be disrespect to my wishes as a parent or a more serious issue of rebellion against God. And likewise, when they say “yes” and choose to respect and take guidance from authority, there is reward and favor. I am painfully aware that anything that we fail to teach our children in these areas, God must later teach them before He can truly use them how He intends to. It is a painful schooling, learning obedience and humility and trust if we have failed to. The lessons I have learned from that school are lessons soaked in tears and heartache… They are beautiful, and they run so deep that I can’t separate them from myself anymore. But they are oh, so painful. & they take many, many years to learn. If I can save my child from needing to go through even one of those lessons, if I can teach them to her NOW, how much better off in life will she be? And how much more able to follow God and His will, if He doesn’t have to lead her through years and years of breaking before she learns to say “yes” to Him without question?

As I said before, I have such big dreams for my babies. & One of those dreams is that My children would walk with God further than I have ever gone… That I could pour into them everything that I have learned so far, so that they could go deeper and deeper.

Whether you know it or not, in some way or another, your parents did this for you as well. & I beg you to consider this in your raising of your children. If you’re so much better than your parents were, then thank them for that. Because you’re a product of their efforts. If you’re more spiritual than they are, then thank them for that, because you wouldn’t be if they hadn’t poured into you. If they didn’t do enough of their parenting out of love, then thank them at least for the shell of the right actions that you can draw from, and fill with love to pass on to your children something even greater than you were given.

Honor your father and your mother, that it may be well with you.

Before I go, I just want to say that It absolutely occurs to me that this isn’t going to work outside of God. It isn’t SUPPOSED to. We as Christians have GOT to stop expecting that the method of parenting that we believe is right before God (founded on principles in His Word) is going to work for nonbelievers! Gods ways aren’t SUPPOSED to work for sinners. If you manage to water down any part of Christianity enough that its “idiot-proof” and can work even for a dishonest person, then it has already lost its effectiveness. Righteousness is a calling to become more like God, not to become comfortable where we are at. Parenting, in its righteous form, should call us daily to honesty and repentance before God as we understand that our children are largely a reflection of our own attitudes and natures. We should by all means be convicted when we see our children acting out our own hidden motives. We should by all means deal with our own hearts before God before we try to deal with those same things in our children… And we should understand that the same way that our Father in Heaven favors us and disciplines us in love, we are to reflect that to our children. Its supposed to be about righteousness. Its supposed to be about learning for everyone involved. Its supposed to be about something bigger than us, our actions, and our physical beings. You’re not going to find this is a secular parenting book because it wouldn’t work for them. Ask yourself who’s kingdom you’re raising your children to be a part of, and then make your choices based on that.

If you’ve made it this far, you get a gold star. ūüėČ Thanks for hanging in there.

Peace & Love {& happy moments}
<3#xoXO

Gianna.

Moment Envy

Hello All :]

Today is a good day to be hitting the ole’ blog… In fact, it is the very BEST kind of day to do so, in my opinion. ‚̧

The rain is falling on damp brightly colored leaves, the air is crisp and the wind is cold, and I am snuggled inside of my very own warm little house, safe from it all. I have the ingredients for soup sitting on the stove waiting to be thrown together and blended with every delightful spice and herb I can think of, and I very much look forward to their aroma filling the air while I work on some embroidery later. [how domestic is that?!]

Yes, indeed. It is a beautiful Monday, and it is a beautiful moment.

*sips coffee contentedly*

I just got back from a quick trip to King of Prussia over the weekend. It was rather unplanned and last minute, JUST the way I like it! ;]¬†Sunday morning we woke up and suddenly realized that everything had fallen in place for us to take a quick get-away that we had been talking about all summer and fall. We had been wanting to do something to celebrate our 2nd anniversary, as well as celebrate the completion of a huge job Anthony has been working on all summer, and had decided that a short get-away would be just the way to do that. We had decided to wait for a weekend when my parents were home to watch Gennavieve, so that only one of us would have to deal with separation anxiety, [I’ll admit it, being apart from that child is more difficult for me than it is for her. I don’t even know where she gets her independence, but that’s another whole subject] and to be gone for a day and overnight. In discussion we realized that if we didn’t do it now, we would need to wait until January (every weekend between now and then is full). :] So with a spring in our step, we packed our bags, dropped Genna off¬†at Grammis with about a million kisses, and headed for the Philly area.

It was SO fun. :] I have next to NO pictures, because we were too busy not having to do anything. We went with the flow. We chilled. We went to bed early and slept in until 730 on a Monday!! [Yeah, we are real wild cards]

We didn’t do anything dramatic or really that extravagant (although this long day and overnight of celebratory bliss to me is very extravagant), we just enjoyed the things in life that are hard to come by these days. Like a lazy meal with both hands and eating all of our own French fries (not that I mind sharing with my 1 year old who eats like a teenaged boy), and walking around holding hands in a mall, and spending $12 for a cup of coffee and a slice of cheesecake, and taking a long hot soak in a tub, and cuddling and talking, and all those things that tend to get interrupted in normal life…

There is a point to all of this, I promise.

& that is this.

I think we as women tend to live “moment to moment.”

We LOVE “moments”!

They are what get us through the tough every-day struggles.

That moment when you look at your child for the first time, and hear that first cry, that makes the entire pain of labor seem so worth it!

That moment when your newborn baby smiles up at you for the first time. That moment makes all those sleepless nights seem so, so worth it.

That moment when your teething baby falls asleep on your shoulder, holding onto your shirt, those cute little chubby cheeks drooping. That moment makes holding that baby on your hip ALL DAY LONG and doing your housework with one hand worth it.

I’m convinced that it goes even deeper than that. I think that moments mothers spend before God, catching a glimpse of who their child has the potential to become is what gives them the faith to pray endless nights for their teenager who is living in sin.

I think that God designed us this way, to live on these moments, [on the romantic moments with our husbands, on the beautiful moments with our children] and to live out of those moments to the point where life appears beautiful to us even when life is hard.

I think that the weakness in this strength is that we can become obsessed with these moments, and forget that they are (for the most part) to be found in our every day life.

When you look at a photo album on facebook, when you look at your friend’s instagram feed, you HAVE to remember that you are only seeing MOMENTS. The MOMENT out of their day or week that struck them and captured them enough to want to share it with the rest of the world. It’s so easy to see other people’s “moments” and get “moment envy,” wishing these moments for ourselves. But these moments are much like peace, if you strive for it you’ve already lost it.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying and thriving on these moments, ladies, that’s what they are there for! It’s when we become so enthralled with creating perfect moments that we forget to enjoy the real moments (big and small) as they come at us through every day life.

Because the truth is, almost no moment is perfect. There will be details about it that could have been better, things that you might have changed, and yet the memory stays with you forever, perfect because it was YOURS. ‚̧

We all have those moments. We all do. In a sunset that takes our breath away, in the perfect night out with friends, in an adventure that went wrong but turned out better than we had hoped… Eventually, the moment comes to us. & if we want to ensure that we LIVE that moment, and enjoy it to it's fullest, we should certainly set ourselves up for that by living out THIS moment… Whether it's good, bad, or ugly, or something in between. When we learn to live out each moment in honesty, and to find the beauty around us in each moment, we can be sure that those glorious moments will never be lost or wasted.

I hope to continue learning this, and to enjoy the journey.. Because it really is just so beautiful.

I hope your week is filled with beautiful moments. ‚̧

Peace & Love.
Gianna.

PS I've been spending a lot of my time over on my blog where I rant about all things motherly and natural, if you'd like to check it out: http://www.RelevantModification.wordpress.com

Little girl, when you grow up you can be anything you want to be!
If you’re smart, maybe you could be a lawyer.
If you’re kind, maybe you could be a nurse.
If you’re wise, maybe you could be a psychiatrist.
If you’re giving, maybe you could run a mission.
If you’re strong, maybe you could work with your hands.
If you’re patient, maybe you could grow plants and trees.
& if you want to be all of those things, you could be a mommy.
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Here I am, at 11 oclock at night on a Thursday. My baby has been asleep since 8, and I really should head to bed. But somehow the hours of silence seem to allure me more strongly¬†than I can resist. Gennavieve is a particularly happy baby, and one who brings me so much joy that sometimes I can’t remember what life was like without her. Because of this, I think, her teething weeks are especially hard on me. My happy, sunshine-y baby turns into a clingy little shadow who whimpers for nursing sessions long before they’re due, and lets out heart-breaking cries and crawls after me as fast as she can whenever I walk away from her. *sigh* I give her chamomile to help her sleep, and calcium to help manage the pain as she pushes those stubborn teeth through her shiny pink gums. It helps, but it certainly doesn’t stop her from dirtying diapers every hour, getting a resulting rash, or keep her from feeling the need to be in my arms all day long.

   Dear sweet child. Even on these days, there is nothing that I would rather be than your mommy.

  
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It’s amazing to me right now, because I just came from washing my face in the bathroom and noticed when I glanced in the mirror that my eyes are blood shot and red. My face hasn’t seen makeup for a very long time, and my hair hasn’t been properly combed today. (It’s hard to comb one’s hair with one hand, you see) I’m so tired but exhaustion just keeps me from sleeping right. I’m tired from long days with few breaks. I’m lonely from the long hours husband’s business requires him to keep at work during the summer days. I’m not looking forward to waking up in the morning at an early hour with my brain and body begging for just another hour of sleep… But I can’t wait to see her little face light up when I walk into her room to collect her from her crib and carry her to my bed for cuddles and breakfast. I can’t wait to hear her excited grunts and squeeks and her giggley-crying noise that she makes when she’s anticipating food. :] I can’t wait to spend all day with her, learning to work around her¬† needs and teaching her to fit into my life, as well. I can’t wait for the impromptu “kisses” that she plants on my cheek with her little hands clasping both sides of my head and pulling me close. I can’t wait to see her giggle at herself in the mirror, with some righteous form of pure admiration in her eyes as she surveys herself in all of her glory. ;] I’m exhausted, I’m emotionally spent, and I’m so in love with my little girl.

   
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¬† I want her to grow up knowing that. I want her to know that life is hard sometimes, and that it’s not easy by any means to take care of the people that you love.

   I want her to know that love means sacrifice. You sacrifice what you want, what you need, who you are even, for the people that you love and care about.

   I want her to know that whenever she chooses to give something up for love, that she will get something better in return.

   I want her to know that if she chooses to sacrifice herself to be part of something greater than herself, she will have no regrets.

  
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Maybe that’s why God is working so hard to teach me that. Maybe that’s why life is so hard sometimes… So that I remember those little facts. The truth will set me free, after all. And the truth is that in every area of my life I could use a little less concern about myself and my own needs, and a little more true appreciation for the needs and desires of those around me.

¬†¬†¬† Anyways. I should really go to bed. But before I do, I think I’ll try to come around to the point of my thoughts and ramblings tonight.

[you’re welcome]

¬†¬†¬†I want my daughter to know that she was designed to be something. & If that something she was designed to be is a wife and mother, I will be so very proud of her! Our culture has it so backwards these days… Telling little girls to leave their homes, and leave the security of loving, stable relationships to “make something of themselves” and “do something with their lives”. Being “just a stay-at-home mom” is looked down on and frowned at. But we must all ask ourselves… At the end of life, when it’s all said and done, and I’m taking my last breath… Will I be happier that I traveled, and saw more pieces of this broken dirt clod that we call home? That I got an education, and made money, and got to the top of the administration I spent so much time and energy climbing just in time to retire? That I died with a million dollars in my bank account? That I worked 3 jobs, and people thought that I was useful to have around? That I “found myself” and was an independent person who didn’t need anyone to make me happy??……. Or will I be happier drifting off into eternity knowing that I made a difference in tomorrow because I raised 3 really great women, and 2 really great sons, who are committed to raising their children to be really great as well? Will I be happier knowing that life wasn’t about ME, so my death isn’t the loss of something, but merely the continuance of something far greater than me? That I lived my life choosing to be a part of something bigger than me- something that was before I existed, and that will be after I’m gone? That I lived out a cause that’s being forgotten in this crazy world, and that will be preserved because of my life work? That I loved with my whole heart, even when it hurt, and that it had changed people (even without their knowledge)?

I hope you all know me well enough to know that I am certainly not against world travel. I’m also not against education, and I’m really not against promotions in your line of work. What I’m against is the idea that being a mother is what you do if the rest of your life goals don’t work out. I have hours of preaching to do on the subject, but I won’t go there because I don’t think it’s something anyone can be convinced of. It’s something that happens in your heart, that goes deeper than the mind.

   How do I know this? Because it happened to me.

  
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I was miss independence. I wanted the jobs, the education, the glitz and glam and the world travel and anything else that I could imagine. I felt a call on my life, and so I assumed that the Lord wanted to use me to do something AMAZING (by myself, of course), and that maybe he would bring along a man who fit into that plan.

¬†¬† But to my surprise, the things that God gave to me and put inside of me weren’t for ME at all. They were for the people around me. They were to add to my husband and His life calling. They are to add to my children, and to pour over them like precious ointment as they grow. They weren’t ever about me.

¬†¬† Did I hunker down, and settle for a more boring life of giving up everything I wanted because “it was the right thing to do”? Absolutely not. Did I mention that God is in the business of heart-changing, and that means that it’s actually CHANGED, not that I’m choosing the lesser over what I wanted. When I chose to surrender, God blessed me with a different perspective on all of it, and I became overwhelmed with the weight and glory of what He has called me to.¬†
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I am unworthy in so many ways, of the beautiful life that God has already given me to raise and grow already. But I am so grateful. & So delighted with the chance to do what I was engineered to do!

¬†¬†¬† When I was created, God put inside of me what I would need to understand and care for my daughter when she’s having a hard teething day. The raw ability is there, and the grease to make it work is all the Grace of God! ;p

    So even on hard days, even during teething weeks when I get by on a lot of caffeine and a lot of the grace of God, even during those moments when I feel like I may never do something that I WANT TO DO WHEN I WANT TO DO IT ever again, I choose to embrace the calling that is on my life.

¬†¬†¬† Because “the calling on your life” doesn’t just show up one day when there’s no distractions and nothing to hinder you from “going forth in the power of God”…. The calling on your life is in the here and the now, and whether you reach the full potential of¬†your calling has entirely to do with how you live your life every day.

    I want to be aware of that.

 
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¬† & I would >>LOVE<< if my daughter would want to grow up to be a mommy, even in a world where such things are not considered great. I think it’s great.

    Cheers to the mamas of yesterday, the mamas in the everyday today, and the littles who will grow to be the mamas of tomorrow. You carry a calling that is higher than you know. [maybe more on this some other time].

Peace & Love.

Gianna.

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Love Never Fails

Hello all.

¬†¬†¬† It’s pretty peaceful in this sleepy little house… So early in the morning, Husband is already off to work, breakfast is eaten, and¬†the day has begun¬†(although the sleeping sun and my¬†squinting eyes say otherwise). I should probably be sleeping, but I can hardly resist a little alone time in the quiet. Some time when I can use both of my hands… Some time to think complete thoughts in.

¬†¬†¬† Life has been hard lately. I mean that in an honest way, not in a “I hate my life” kind of way.

¬†¬†¬†It’s hard to¬†bounce a fussing, tired, teething baby in one arm and grocery shop with the other.

It’s hard to try to keep on top of every-day things AND any extra projects that need to be done.

It’s hard to find time for friends. It’s hard to be lonely when I don’t have time for friends.

It’s hard to deal with the brain fog that I go into when hours of the day are filled with the sounds of crying, loud unhappy chatter, and shrieks of discomfort from my 4-month old child who is somehow both old enough to teeth but not quite old enough to hold her own chewy teething toys in her mouth…

It’s hard to deal with being woken up at night again, especially since the days are so long.

It’s hard not to lose focus on what’s actually important.

It’s hard not to get swept away in the things I think I need to accomplish, and it’s hard¬†not to get annoyed when I feel like I haven’t gotten anything¬†on my¬†to-do list¬†done all week.

It’s hard not to “check-out” emotionally, or even just with my attention, when I feel demanded from on every side.

It’s hard to resist fearing the future, sometimes.

It’s hard to understand how mamas of multiples even survive. ūüėõ¬† ¬†[y’all are my hero]

It’s hard to deal with confusion in relationships.

It’s hard to see friends getting hurt.

It’s hard to know where to stand, especially when I’m standing alone.

It’s hard to know which battles are mine to fight.

It’s so hard to find the ballances between good and great.

It’s hard to understand why I feel the way I do.

It’s sometimes hard to remember why I’m here.

¬†¬†¬† It’s not like quitting is ever a thought or an option… I wouldn’t wish anything that is in my life away. I think I’ve learned by now that the issue is never the issue. Some seasons of life are just harder than others… Some seasons take more faith. Some take more courage. Some take more grace. And some seasons simply take the will to just keep going… Because even when a season is brutal, and just seems to linger and linger, eventually it does change. Sometimes it changes so softly that you don’t even realize that it has changed… But it has. And a new season has begun! And you get to enter that season with whatever it is that you learned in the previous.

….Even if all that you realize that you’ve learned is that no matter what, you’re gonna make it through.

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My Dad always said, “There’s something to be said for pain that you go through without ever recieving an answer as to why.

I can’t say that I completely understand that, but I know it to be true.

It seems like when things are just DIFFICULT, and life is just hard, and you feel like you’re treading water- unsure which way land is or if you have the strength to get there before the waves take you under- that’s when you should feel assured that God is near. Even if you can’t feel Him, or hear Him, or see Him. He is so very near. That’s when you know that He trusts your heart. That’s when you know that He cares enough about you to work on things in your heart that go much deeper than your mind. That’s when you have to pick up your courage, and just keep going, and just keep choosing to do the right thing, even when the world feels like it’s just a big mess of confussion and pain…

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I don’t know if I will ever understand what God is doing in me right now. I don’t know if I’ll ever hold in my hand a reason “why”. I don’t know if I’m learning something wonderful, or if God is simply removing the rough edges so that He can shine through me. I don’t know why so many things have to be broken…

But I know that He is a God who heals and restores… He’s a God of redemption. He’s done it before, and He’ll do it again.

& all of the “good” things that are breaking left and right? They must be cheap gold… Surely the fire will melt those broken pieces, and refine the gold, and remove the humanity, leaving behind a purity that can be molded into a masterpiece.

Isn’t that what I want?

certainly. Nothing less.

& While I’m waiting, I want to remember that through any trial, I can learn to love more deeply… More selflessly… More Perfectly.

Love is Long Suffering. It’s Kind.

Love isn’t envious. It doesn’t need to flaunt itself, and isn’t proud.

Love doesn’t behave crudely, and doesn’t demand MY way.

Love isn’t easily provoked, and thinks positively.

Love rejoices in good, and sorrows over iniquity.

Love can carry any burden, find Hope in any situation, and Endure any hardship.

Even when everything else falls apart, Love Never Fails.

{ from 1 Corinthians 13}

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^ (bedtime cuddles) ^

Love isn’t the feeling I get when I go to get my baby out of her crib and she lights up with smiles and giggles at the sight of me. It isn’t the pride I feel when she learns something new, or is a perfect angel when we’re out and about. Love isn’t presents brought home by a hard-working Hubby. Love isn’t my accomplishments, or time spent on special things.

[although thankfully, those are certainly a part of it]

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Love is an unconditonally commitment to the well-being of someone else.

Love right now is my back that aches from hefting bebe around constantly as of late. Love right now is the bags under my eyes because she wanted to be consoled in the middle of the night. Love right now is facing the dawning sun with courage. Love right now is also getting my booty off this computer and starting some laundry and doing the dishes before my baby wakes up for her breakfast. ;]

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Have a good day, everyone.

Peace&Love.

<3#xoXO. Gianna.

Life in black & White

Hello All. :]

   This is my simple celebration of life.

¬†¬†¬†There’s always these little things in every day that just get me.. They make me glad that my life is the one I am living. Those moments keep me going through the mundane tasks that often befall every day life, and they inspire me to find yet more beauty in the little sparkles of uniqueness all around me every day.

   Anyways. A photograph that I found beautiful strictly for its bright colors inspired me to try to find beauty through a black and white lens! So for a week I set my camera to shoot in monochrome, and I snapped a few pictures every day of every day life, and the things that I find comfort and joy in (though they be normal).

  & some of my fave pics EVER resulted.

¬† Here’s a peak. ;]

 

[laundry time with the little]

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[a brand new journal, and a fresh start]

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[the evidence of a Saturday brunch tradition]

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[my coffee corner]

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[the tiny cups I use so that my coffee is always hot –and so that I can have many cups! hehe]

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[how fun it is to om nomm toys]

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[our fave man cooking us brekki…. and being a stunning model. *giggle*]

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[a self-timed family moment]

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[their love that’s just so precious sometimes I can hardly stand it.]

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[entertainment in many forms]

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[rainy paperwork days when this man stays at home]

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[learning new things daily!…like how to pull our sock off… and then omm nomm it.]

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[the dawn of spring]

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[my messy corner that has been consumed by scrapbooking]

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[how every corner of the house betrays that there is a bebe nearby.]

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[taking our Saturday morning brunch tradition to the City]

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[my family.]

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Oh! & another little something that happened this week…

[before]

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[after]

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Husband built me a closet. woot! ;]

 

Anyways. There’s a teensie glimpse at my week in black & white. :]

What are fun things you’ve done to remind yourself of the simple beauty of life? I’d love to hear about them!

Peace&Love.

<3#xoXO.

Gianna.

Valentine’s Day

¬†¬†¬† I’ve never really been into the “dating” thing.. By “Date”¬†I mean dressing up, going out to eat at a nice restaurant, or going to see a movie. In the entire time that Anthony and I were dating/engaged, I think we went on a “date” by these standards once. Maybe twice. But if so I don’t remember the other time. ūüėõ

¬†¬†¬†It’s not that we didn’t like to be together! But most of the time you could find us sitting on a bridge drinking coffee, or taking a motorcycle ride to a lake, or exploring a near-by town, or some other such thing that besties do. Because let’s be serious, life was short, and we were young, and it was the little things in life that made us happy anyways.

   Things like being together.

   Things like making each-other smile.

   Things like sharing our worlds, and our dreams, and our hearts. [&a Triple iced Grande Caramel Macchiato]

¬†¬† That’s why we got married. So we could¬†be together, and make each-other smile, and share our words and our dreams and our hearts and our coffee FOREVER. :]

   & We did. & We do. & We love it!

¬†¬†¬† But when the things that were once a specialty become the norm, it takes more focus to remember that those things are the very things that I still live for. The things that make me¬† happy and fulfilled, and that keep my love bucket full and overflowing. It’s easy to crave¬†moments that are¬†different. Sometimes¬†I want something special, something that is an escape from the normal.

¬†¬†¬†¬† Obviously, women are designed to want to be pursued, so I think to an extent that is perfectly normal. Having a date night, the kind of your choosing, somewhat regularly is certainly a good idea! We crave that because it’s good for a relationship to have special moments of connection. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about when it gets to a point of pushing away what is before you to find real fulfillment in, in favor of getting a momentary rush of emotion from something that you ultimately cannot live on.

¬†¬†¬† [I won’t go into all the other places people run outside of their relationship to try to get a fix for the void they’re feeling inside of it]

¬†¬† It’s so easy to try to “fix” a problem in marriage, I think. And with the resources available today, I think it’s so easy to run to this book or that book to try to find the ultimate answer to the struggle we’re facing [which, in all honesty, is usually just the tip of the iceburg that is the REAL issue at hand]. I even think, with the abundance of technology, that it’s too easy to call a friend for advice, or to seek comfort from another source instead of dealing with the problem.

    Our constant buffet of alternative places to turn for answers has crippled us from ENJOYING THE JOURNEY, even through the rough spots and hard times.

¬†¬†¬† I think that we forget that our relationship with our spouse mirrors and represents the relationship between Christ and the Church. Even just looking at it from that perspective can go so far to show us WHY we have some of the struggles in marriage that we do. Why it’s under such attack from the Devil. Why we’re different from eachother…

¬†¬†¬† & it should prove to us that the POINT of all of this is the journey… A beautiful journey into the depths of one another’s souls. As we step deeper and deeper into the soul of this one person we call our own, we will encounter obstacles built up by shame- and we should not turn away, but go straight through. We will encounter walls built high and strong because of pain from the past, and it is not our job to find a path AROUND that, but to be a safe place for those walls to fall, and to be instruments of healing for those wounds [Christ in you reaching out to heal]. And the journey can be scary, and rough… And it can be terrifying, because sometimes I have to face my own hurts and walls in order to reach out. But the beautiful thing is, that the reward for winning yet another battle is the possession of another piece of the soul and heart of the one you love most. You become even closer, even more united, with every single struggle.

   There is so much beauty in the journey.

   Oh, and there are happy times, too. ;] Those are a personal fave, as well.

¬†¬† I am so very thankful for a God who does this in my walk with Him. He continues to redeem, to set me free, to possess more and more of my soul, and I become more and more ONE with Him. I am so very thankful for a Husband who has been a representation of this to me in our marriage. Is he perfect? Nope. Am I? Certainly not. THAT’S THE BEAUTY OF IT.

¬†¬†¬† It’s a journey. & we will both be better people a year from now than we are in this moment.

¬†¬†I’m preaching to me, here. Reminding myself that the every day journey is when I truly find myself deeply in love with this wonderful man that I call Hubby. Reminding myself that even as life changes, and the kids become our focus, that we were eachother’s first… And that the beautiful lives that God blesses us with are really just something else that we share. Another part of the journey.

¬†¬†¬† I don’t want to give up on the journey… I don’t want to stop struggling and growing and living and sharing everything. Even our coffee. I don’t want to choose the path of least resistance, I want to fight for another piece of the soul of this incredible man. I want to fight for us. I want to never give up on doing the right thing, even when I’m tired and stretched out as far as I think I can go. I want to learn to LOVE the journey, because I honestly believe that the journey is the whole point.

    &I know that the journey is what teaches me to love more perfectly.

¬†¬†¬† Anyways. I certainly don’t want anyone to think I am against dates. I rather enjoy them. I think they are a fantastic way to work on the journey, and to keep in mind what the POINT of¬†it [including the sometimes craziness] is. I just want to encourage all of you wifeys and mothers struggling to keep the world in motion to remember how it all started, and that your relationship and love is still the foundation of¬†your world that you love so much. ‚̧

¬†¬† [& enjoy that valentine’s date with your man!]

 

¬†¬† Yesterday I borrowed a little black dress from another closet. My sister, Tanisha, was kind enough to plan to come over after I put the baby to bed (around 8:45) and stay at the house while Husband and I went out to celebrate Valentine’s day a little bit early. [I’ll just say celebrate our relationship, because Hubby REALLY isn’t a fan of Vday. *giggle*]¬†¬†¬†¬† As I tried on the dress at my mom’s house I mused, “I’ve been trying to dress more ‘like a mom’ lately. I think this dress breaks all of¬†those rules.”

She wisely replied, “That’s okay. On Valentines day, you’re not ‘a mom’.”

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   & Guess what? She was right.

Sure, our romantic picture of valentines day was taken in our living room, and even includes that lovely laundry basket that is probably full of baby clothes and towels that need to be folded and put in their rightful places in the morning. And come midnight, I just may have turned back into a mom. But for the evening, I was His Wife. &We were on a journey.

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Happy Valentine’s day, everyone. ‚̧

 

<3#xoXO

 

Gianna.

 

On the Road Again

Hello All.
   I decided micro updates should be a thing this trip. ;] for those of you who want to keep up with the family and know how to pray.

     Bunny is peacefully sleeping in the bottom bunk of the girl’s bunkroom… the very one that used to be mine. She has taken to road life quite well, and sincerely enjoys sleeping with the gentle sway of the bus and the humming engine sounds beneath her. I’ve been getting fantastic sleep! Baha  ūüôā
    She had seemed to be a wee bit sickly the last few days before the trip and the first couple days of the trip… She didn’t have a fever (thank God) but she wanted to sleep all the time, and CUDDLE. (Which is abnormal. Generally she hassss to see everything going on!) So we enjoyed cuddling her while it lasted, but when she woke up this morning jabbering and smiling non-stop I was quite happy to have my bebe back!
   Unfortunately, a few hours later I realized that my inability to wake up was sickness related. Whaaaaat???
    Indeed. A sinus headache/sore throat has crept through the entire bus and picked its targets at will. (I’m sure you can imagine how hard it is to keep sickness at bay in this small of a space with little to no air ventilation) So do pray with me that we can all have a quick recovery and that Bunny doesn’t catch what’s going around! :\
     Recording went fairly well, and we got both bass songs done, and got a good start on another Jalon-starring song. (If you haven’t heard that boy sing lately, you’re in for a real treat!!) We were blessed enough to be able to push through it even with sore throats before the real sickliness hit. Bleh.
    Anyways. With the 1 solo recording day behind us (the rest will come in Feb) and the prison crusade starting this weekend, we are all excited to have a couple days to spend trying to recover our voices and get healthy again. :]

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(Me, Anthony, &Bunny exploring Bass Pro Shops)

     Pray for us when you think of it. We are hoping to take Gennavieve in with us a few evenings, and the impact that has on the men and women is incredible! Also for health and safety, especially for the little bebe!

Alabama, here we come.

To a New Year

Hello All!

   It seems that life just keeps moving. In the good times, this seems scary. In the bad times, this is my greatest comfort.

¬†¬† Life… Just keeps on going.

¬†¬† It makes me feel so small and helpless sometimes… Like I am the tiniest piece of something that has existed long before me, and something that will go on long after me.

¬†¬† It makes me feel so relieved sometimes… To know that even when I think that my problems are so big that the world must be ending, it’s not. In fact, quite the opposite. While I wasted time freaking out about my problem, life just kept moving.

¬†¬† When I look back over the past year, I can honestly say that it contained both the most painful and heart wrenching moments of my life, and the most incredible and life-changing moments as well. And now, as a new year has begun in all of it’s fresh possibilities, the past year is summed up into short stories and precious, painfully keen memories. That’s how life works, I guess.

¬†¬† So my goal for this new year? Is to have the right perspective on my life. The perspective that in 100 years, all of these battles will be over, and I will be free. The perspective that these precious things that I hold are as fragile as myself, and that they are to be loved and cherished extravagantly while they’re mine. The perspective that no matter how deep the pain, if I can find a way before God to respond with trust and love, in a few years time I will look back and it will be a memory of a time when God brought beauty out of pain and REDEEMED me.

¬†¬†¬† I love that word. God is such a redeemer. It’s written on my heart. It’s written on my life’s story. It’s not there because I deserve it, it’s there because it’s who He is, and when He comes into a life He brings His great Name with Him. Redeemer. Counselor. Prince of Peace. Almighty. Everlasting. [That’s how you can tell if He has truly been given the reigns in your life! If these things come out of your life because HE IS THERE.]

    [that small rabit-trail off the subject was free. hehe]

Speaking of bunnies…

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Some of the very best memories of my life revolve around this little munchkin!

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Her smiles. Her laughs. How she embraces life with everything inside of her…

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How wise her soul seems to be. [sometimes I’m convinced she remembers heaven and sees the world through perfect eyes]

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How she has taught me to Love with abandon.

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How I have fallen even more deeply in love with this incredible man¬†as we¬†immediately fell¬†more in love with our child than either of us knew would be¬†possible. ‚̧

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How I have gained perspective on how God sees me.

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How she brightens every single day.

[insert a million pictures of life since bunny!]

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from this….

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to this! in under 10 weeks. ;]

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The truth is…. Not all moments are happy ones! Some mornings I wake up knowing that without the grace of God [and 3 very strong cups of coffee] there is no way I will be sane or coherent enough to be a decent mommy for my baby [who was up 5 times the night before]¬† I spent entire days in tears and confusion as my previous identity melted away and it seemed I would never be secure in my new identity as “Mommy”. Self gratification and instantaneous rewards for hard work are slim-to-none in the mommy world, and I didn’t always know where to turn to for fulfillment… But with the help of my dear husband, [who rather enjoys my mommy plushiness] and some time spent begging God for answers, I am finally starting to feel more at home in my new role. I am starting to understand what is “expected of me” [from a Godly perspective, I hope!] and I really am finding great fulfillment in jumping into this thing called “motherhood.”

¬†¬†¬† The dishes and laundry and cleaning and keeping my house how I want it have gone to the back burner, and it has become much more important to cuddle the baby who doesn’t want to nap much today because the world is JUST TOO EXCITING FOR SLEEP.¬† The idea of “getting my body back” has nearly ceased it’s pull on my mind or heart. The puffy eyes and slow reflexes that come from not sleeping all the way through the night for 10 weeks now have not become such a big deal. And the minor melt downs that still arise some days when I am tempted to think that it matters that I haven’t gotten anything done all week except take care of my baby and make food for my husband have slowly started becoming humorous.

¬†¬†¬†¬† Because, as I said before, life just keeps going. My Gennavieve Bunny keeps growing and learning. The seasons keep changing. And I know that if I give it my all, with little regard to myself, and find a way to just love and trust… A year from now, I won’t remember the hard times or the growing pains. All I will have are the beautiful memories from the pictures above. The smiles. The laughs. The times that life was changed because it was brighter and more full of love than ever before. The times that matter, because they will last beyond MY life time.

     My perspective for the next year  [& hopefully the years beyond!] is this:

I want to live, and teach my children to live, in a way that defies “just taking up space in the world.” Because we aren’t here to take from the world what we can get while we’re alive only to vanish along with any trace of what we’ve consumed… We’re here to join into a work that is bigger and stronger than any one person that has or will live on this planet while time exists. We’re here to do our part to CHANGE something for the better… to affect as many lives around us as we can with the breath and strength we’re given. & that starts with the people we call our own.

   May God give me the grace to lay down myself every day for the well being of those around me.

& May He give you the same.

& May the world wonder what manner of love this is, and be drawn to something they don’t understand. ‚̧

Peace & love.

<3#xoXO

Gianna.

Recipe for Peace

Hello All.

Today I woke up to a perfect fall morning. The chilly air was creeping in the window, and the lazy first rays of dawn were stretching through the blinds to dance across our cozy quilt that had kept us snug and warm through the night. I blinked my bleary eyes, and they came into focus on my still-sleeping husband, whose steady breathing was the only sound in the room. I love that man so much it hurts sometimes. I took a moment to soak in the familiar scent of the one I love, and to bask in the warmth of being by his side and hearing his heart beating, before I interrupted the silence with a dramatically happy sigh.

All was just so right with the world.

{& believe me, moments of complete satisfaction and contentment are hard to come by in this stage of pregnancy.}

The last couple days had been a struggle to find a place of peace…

First, it seemed, God told me to just trust Him. And so I set out to do that.

Then came things into my daily path that made me question wither or not I am REALLY trusting Him. & Beyond that, am I making wrong choices and doing things in my life that are keeping me from the blessing and favor that He wants to pour out on me? And HOW do I know what those things are??

{Insert more soul searching here}

Only after a tiring day or so of these circles, [after I had collapsed into a pile of slightly-more-spiritual-than-before anxiety and stress] was I finally quiet enough to have some common sense breathed into me.

Trusting God: Step #2 [2? 4? 12? I’ve lost count, honestly…]

Believe that He who has begun a good work in you will continue to perfect it in you until the day He returns for you.

{Lightbulb!}

I guess it’s really that simple.

God hasn’t ever just left me in my sin and mistakes before. He has more of an interest and urgency to perfect me and make me effective for His Kingdom than I ever will. If I am, indeed, walking around in blindness to mistakes and sin in my life (which I can assure you I am in one area or another!), He is going to be faithful to show that to me and deliver me from it in HIS timing, when HE knows it will be the most effective, and when He wants to use it to help others as well. [He’s good at multi-tasking like that!]

So Patience. And Trust. Again. It seems there has been a pattern of these two things in the lessons I’ve been learning this year… Which is good, I suppose, because they are key ingredients to REAL Love, which is what my heart so desperately wants to learn.

{May it be a life long lesson. & May I never tire of the journey.}

I guess the truth is, I could drive myself completely crazy thinking about all the things that I DON’T know, and all the things that I don’t know that I’m not aware of. [heh]¬†¬† & sometimes… when soooo much is uncertain, and I feel completely lost in the possibilities of what could be next… I just need to focus on what I DO know…

I know that God is Good.¬†¬† ¬†I know that He is always in control.¬†¬†¬† ¬†I know that nothing surprises Him.¬†¬† I know that He thinks I’m worth rescuing from the things that hold me back in life.¬†¬†¬† I know that no matter how confused I am, He isn’t.¬†¬†¬†¬† I know that He is working things out.¬†¬†¬†¬† I know that if He says “wait”, that right here is the safest and most perfect place for me.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I know that as long as I continue to say “yes” when He brings something to my attention, I don’t need to worry that I am failing Him.

& I know that Bebe can’t possibly stay in there any longer than another 2 weeks. Heh. ūüėÄ

Happy Autumn, everyone.

Peace, Love, & Patience to all. <3#xoXO

Gianna.