Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Early to Bed...Early to Sweat!

This Christmas I finally received the gift I have been asking (okay, maybe pleading occasionally) for since last summer. If you are thinking a new diamond or an expensive piece of furniture guess again. What did I receive from my beloved?

A gym membership to the YMCA!!

Some of you (including my husband) think I am crazy for wanting to join a gym, especially as a Christmas present! Since I have been in college, I have enjoyed running or using the elliptical machine and toning up with weights. Occasionally, I enjoy attending a class at the gym too. In college, I went to an abs class twice a week and loved it! When I attended Southern Seminary, a friend and I went running 3x a week. We enjoyed running and exercise is always more fun with a partner.

When we left Southern, I no longer had access to a gym (or at least a "free" membership). For those of you who know my husband, you know that going to the gym is not on his top 10 list of things he must do. Last year, a new friend (whose husband was also a pastor) told me that she had a membership to the YMCA and it was half price for pastors! Immediately I was ready to join, but Josh wasn't (remember I have been asking for a year and a half).

To be fair, there was some definite reason for the delay, other than his desire not to go! I got pregnant last September and a gym membership wasn't at the top of either of our lists. Josh said that he decided that he would get a family membership in November as a Christmas present to me (and of course I hadn't been reminding him how much I would love to go since August!).

Yesterday morning I went for the first time around 6am. It was wonderful rising early to spend time with the Lord and then exercising! As a mom, it is wonderful to have an hour to myself. I was even able to come home and get ready before the kids woke up. It definitely helped me to feel ready for the day by having time with the Lord and time to do something for me.

This evening Josh and I are going together (childcare is provided). He isn't thrilled about it, but he said he would try and I think if we do it together, he will stick with it. We are beginning my New Year's goal early - to be healthier!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

6 Months of Sweetness

My title is exactly how I would describe the last 6 months with Josiah. He really is such a sweet and happy baby. I love going to get him in the mornings, because as soon I walk in the room his whole face lights up! The only time he fusses is if he is hungry or he is overtired (which happens frequently on Sundays).

We took him to the pediatrician yesterday for his 6 month well check and he is doing great! He is in the 80% for height, but only the 33% for weight. Those cheeks sure do fool everyone! Developmentally, he is right on track. He is rolling over constantly and is sitting up well assisted, and can sit up briefly unassisted. Josiah has recently started to giggle and it is the cutest thing in the world!

Josiah has started to eat some food as well. I was very eager with Thomas to start solids, but I waited with Josiah because I learned how much extra work is involved with solids. My goal is to make most of his baby food, and so far I have been able to do it. He has to have prunes everyday, and I am going to attempt to puree prunes this week. If anyone has any tips on the best way to puree prunes, let me know! A book that has been very helpful in making baby food is Super Baby Food.

Six months is also a little bittersweet for me too, because it means soon he won't sit still in my lap or want me to be held as much. These last six months have went by so quickly, and I know it will only be a blink of an eye and we will be celebrating his first birthday. I am mindful of how quickly the time goes and I'm trying to be purposeful in enjoying all these precious moments with my baby.

Here are some recent pictures of our sweet baby:

Josiah with Jim, my step-dad, at our Christmas celebration.
Adorable little face!
Brothers holding hands!
Looking so big in his high chair!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Giving So Others May Know

Lottie Moon's Mirror at our church Christmas 2008.

Lottie Moon is a familiar name for anyone who has ever attended a Southern Baptist Church. When I was little, I thought she was a lady the church gave money to because she was poor! Have you ever seen Lottie's picture? She looks like she could use a little more to eat - at least to a 6-year-old! For all my readers who are non-Southern Baptists, Lottie Moon is our annual offering for international missions. It is always at Christmas, which brings me to the point of this post.

Many church members would probably say that we should have the Lottie Moon offering at some other time, because Christmas is such a busy and expensive time of the year. While both of those things are true, I believe that Christmas is the best time to collect an offering for our international missionaries. As Josh explained Sunday morning before our Lottie Moon offering, "At Christmas we celebrate Christ taking on flesh and dwelling among us. Our international missionaries do the same thing as they take on the culture, language, and country of the people they are dwelling among. They illustrate with their lives how Christ came and took on our culture and language and left the glory of heaven to save us from our sin." Praise God for the over 5,000 SBC missionaries who are dwelling among a foreign people, often in dangerous circumstances, so that all people may hear the good news!

A common excuse for not giving to Lottie Moon is, "I don't have the money right now. I have to buy gifts for my family." Josh and I both know the temptation to not give (or not to give sacrificially) because you want to have enough money to give to your family or do something else, and so we decided to plan to give to Lottie Moon. At the beginning of the year, we talk about what amount of money we want to give to Lottie Moon in December, and then we budget for it every month. We have a savings account and part of what we put into savings every month is a portion of what we will give to Lottie Moon in December.

If you are Southern Baptist and don't give to Lottie Moon, I encourage you to give so that the gospel can go forth to those who have never heard. There are so many people in the world who have never heard the name of Jesus. They don't know what Christmas is or if they do, they don't know why we celebrate this holiday.

If you are Southern Baptist and do give to Lottie, but would like to give more, I encourage you to set a goal for what you would like to give next December and save for it all year. It isn't hard to give more, when you have saved all year.

Lastly, if you aren't Southern Baptist, I encourage you to find out how you can support missionaries your church or denomination sends out.

For those missionaries who read my blog, I want you to know how much I appreciate you and thank the Lord for you. While we may sacrifice a little to give to support you, you and your families sacrifice everything to go and share the gospel with those who have never heard. May the Lord bless you greatly as you continue to serve Him and share with all nations!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Like Father, Like Son

Thomas wants to be just like his daddy! Josh has an old electric razor and when Thomas found it, he decided he needed to shave as well. The only thing missing from this picture is Thomas' sing-song voice, "Shave, shave, shave..."
Oh, and the water all down his shirt is because of one of his other hobbies: playing in the sink!

Monday, December 7, 2009


There is a debate that wages in many Christian circles about Psalm 128:3: "Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table." Other verses included Genesis 1:28 and Psalm 127:3-5. Some think this mean that we have as many children as the Lord gives us (no family planning), while others believe the Lord commands us to have children, but leaves the number to our discretion.

This is a topic that I have prayed about and read a lot about it too. Recently, a friend and I began reading Mark Chanski's book Womanly Dominion: More Than A Gentle and Quiet Spirit and he comments on this verse:

Fruitfulness varies in its manifestation among different plants. A fruitful grape-vine will sport many, many clusters of grapes. On the other hand, a productive pumpkin vine may only generate four or five pumpkins. A farmer is very thankful if a single cornstalk produces two ears! Fruitfulness will vary from womb to womb, family to family. Revelation, providence, liberty and wisdom must be conscientiously blended. p. 32 (emphasis mine)

Let me be up front: Josh and I plan to have a big family, Lord willing. We do believe that children are a blessing from the Lord, but we also believe that family size is an area the Lord gives us wisdom to make decisions. I applaud the Duggars for raising 18 children (soon to be 19), but there is no way that Josh and I could afford to have that many children. They spend $3,000 a month on groceries alone. For many people, including us, we would spend our entire paycheck feeding that many children, and how would we clothe or provide a home?

There is the argument that God will provide for all our needs, and I believe that fully, but also believe that he gives us wisdom and discretion about family size. A family who has a disabled child has to spend much of their time and money to provide for that one child and may be physically or emotionally unable to care for more children. A family who is in ministry and dependent on the support of others has to decide how big of a family they can support.

Chanski's thoughts on procreation and fruitfulness were very helpful to me in explaining why it is okay for families to make a wise and prayerful decision about family size. Each plant is different in its fruitfulness and the Lord made us that way. Families come in all sizes and that is okay.

A caveat: I do believe that Scripture is clear that Christians are to have children unless they are physically unable. It is a sin to willingly remain childless because God commanded us to be fruitful and multiply. And our American culture views children as a hindrance instead of a blessing as anyone can clearly see in how available abortions are here.

There is much more that I can say about this issue, but I will stop for today. What are your thoughts on this topic? I'm sure some of you disagree and I would love to hear your feedback. Maybe what you say will give me a topic for another day.