a year of firsts.

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We spent today recovering from birthday weekend.  You could tell Eden was wired from all the people and sugar.. today was full of happy spurts and frequent melt downs.  Her one year well child visit was this evening and that capped off an exhausting day.  The first exhausting year is over.

My first year as a momma has been full of dramatic highs and lows, but God and my family have been constant.  Days that were hard to deal with only took a baby snuggle to correct my perspective.  This child needs a mom who is focused on her and advocates for her.. and I am resolved to be that mom.

She has grown from a fussy newborn to a chatterbox toddler.  Nothing in my house is safe from her exploring.  She is fearless and outgoing.  She smiles at strangers and blows kisses to her daddy.  Her joy is contagious.

She also started whining and screeching.. where did that come from??  She isn’t good at interacting gently with other kids.  She clings to me more than is convenient.

I love both the amazing and the exhausting things about her.  I pray that I can train her properly and that my weaknesses don’t overlook bad habits.  I spend significant time hoping that I don’t turn her into a brat.  I think that especially since I became a stay at home mom the weight of making sure she turns out okay is very heavy on my mind.

I am so excited for the year to come.  We get to experience her getting steadier on her feet, learning to talk, really getting to interact more.  My two big goals for Eden are to get better at reading books in order (rather than turning pages randomly) and learn how to be gentle and sweet with other children.  Good luck with that, eh?

Well, we both got shots tonight and it is time to get to bed for me.  I thank God for where we are right now, for this beautiful year that we have had, and for the exciting years to come.  He is so good to us!

The Practice of Hospitality

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I have been working on my mom’s blog and neglecting my own.

Tonight I have potential childcare clients coming to meet us and decide if they want me to watch their baby, and so my house is getting a top to bottom clean and declutter.  (Hard to do with three children underfoot.)  I asked a few friends to pray that the family would choose us because I want to watch kids around Eden’s age, and a friend of mine said that my family knows how to make a house feel like a home and they will pick up on that vibe.

I want that to be true so badly.

I am married to a naturally hospitable man.  Because of him, I don’t have to try too hard to find people to practice hospitality with.  Watching kids in my home is also affording me great opportunity to practice making kids feel at home.  But I haven’t found a way to really reach out to other women effectively yet.

My hospitality goal is this: that when you are sitting at home and you feel lonely, or when you are in need of a place to hang out without taking advantage of anyone, you think of us.  You know that whether you come for supper or the night or the week, that we will welcome you and we are excited to have you here.  Our house can be a place to escape, a place to talk through your issues, a place to relax, a place to find fellowship and encouragement without expectations.

Now that I am not burdened with the stress of a full time job, I want this to be a priority in my life.

So, that is an open invitation.  Come on over and hang out with us.

From Winning the Bread to Baking it

bethyherself:

I shared this post on my mom’s blog a few weeks ago about learning to be content at home and not bringing home a paycheck!

Originally posted on The Happy Wife of a Human Husband:

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I came into marriage with a well established job in a cushy office and a decent paycheck.  During the first year Jason’s job fluctuated, but my steady income kept us afloat during the rough patches.  Then, when our daughter was 7 months old, I tried to make a career change and ended up unemployed.

The situation had done a number on my confidence and I felt completely inadequate to jump back into the workplace, but I knew that we couldn’t function on one income.  I finally decided to try starting a home daycare, and have slowly been establishing that.  But it has been crazy, going abruptly from dressing for success and rushing the baby to daycare every morning to wrangling rambunctious children and finding the best recipes for homemade bread.

In one sense, I am happier.  I feel like I actually live in my house, the dishes get washed, I make…

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God Weeps With Us – Tears of Pain

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My dear friend Amanda shares her heart in this post about losing her unborn son.
She is the first guest blogger on The Happy Wife of a Human Husband, which is my mom’s blog that we are revamping into a community where women can encourage each other.

Click to read this touching post!

God Weeps With Us – Tears of Pain.

This job has been given me to do.

0b63f2555bc76f8d7562c3d6c6f90967 My mother is a big fan of Elisabeth Elliot, and I remember reading her books “Let Me Be A Woman” and “Through Gates of Splendor” as a young teen.  But it wasn’t until I was an apprentice at MMR and went through the Preparation for Marriage class with Matt and Jenni that I really was convicted and changed by her writing.  I read “Passion and Purity” in that class, and later my friend Kezia bought me a copy because she knew how much I loved it.  On the inside cover she wrote: “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.” – Prov 31:10 Beth, May you continually move toward being that virtuous wife.  May your thoughts, words, and actions be Christ honoring and filled with purity.  And if you never become a man’s bride remember that you are Christ’s bride and seek to be holy for him. I love you Betania, Your friend, Kezia My tattered copy of this book is filled with highlights and underlines.  It was 8 years after she bought this book for me that I became a wife, and I found that I could relate to Elisabeth and Jim’s story in my years of waiting.  But her words resonate with me now maybe even more, because the exciting dating/engagement/wedding is over and now the day to day obedience stretches out ahead, and each day the choice needs to be made to die to myself and follow Christ. 729d0d1c5636ad38b8d0ed84d33fc602 Elisabeth Elliot was always very blunt and straightforward.  She wouldn’t say to follow your heart, she would say to sacrifice your heart on the altar.  She wouldn’t say dream big, she would say do cheerfully what God is asking of you today whether that is to forgive your brother or give up your deepest heart’s desire or die for the gospel. I am no good at this, and I hope that I don’t pretend to be good at this.  But I am trying to apply her words to my life: THIS JOB has been given me to do, and therefore, it is a GIFT.  It is an OFFERING that I can make to God.  It is to be done GLADLY if it is done for him.  It is HERE, not somewhere else that I may learn God’s way.  In THIS job, not some other, God looks for faithfulness. In this daily washing of dishes.  In this dealing patiently with kids who hit each other.  In this choice of how to spend my free hour during nap. The question is always, do I love him?  And if the answer is yes, my life needs to show it by sacrificing my will on the altar of obedience.  Trusting that God does not ask us to die merely in order to be dead.. we die in order to live. 21fcd63ac3e77021ea21b4eb747786bd