Archive for January 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Me Time


I came across a blog a while back talking about the "Me-time myth." It came to my mind again today and I wanted to share it.

Often my day swirls on and I've barely sat down until 2:30 when both kids are finally in their beds for naps. Nap time can be prime time for my selfishness to reign. Here's how it works: I start thinking, "I've worked hard all day long. At least I deserve a little break-some time to sit and relax for a while. I will feel so much more refreshed if I can just have some peace and quiet/time to myself." Sure, there are countless other tasks that I could be doing, but a nice cup of tea and some chocolate while I read the latest Everyday Food Magazine sure sounds like a lot more fun that diligently serving my family.

Hear me out, it's not wrong for me to sit down or read a magazine or have a snack. Rest is a gift from the Lord. Those things aren't wrong but when I'm seeking my refuge and refreshment in them, craving them and longing for them and believing that my joy is found in them, there is a big problem: "me" time will never satisfy my soul!

Refreshment for our souls won't come from "me-time" or "time to ourselves to do what we want." Really, when we take that time to just do whatever we want without giving thought to the Lord and what He would have us do, we aren't going to be refreshed. Jesus alone can satisfy our souls. I've found it very true that when I seek to give myself some "me" time, I'm usually just left longing for more. The kids wake up from their naps earlier than I hoped and I think, "That wasn't enough! If only I had a bit more time to myself!" Five minutes, a half an hour...it doesn't matter if it's a small snipit of time or large, I still am left wanting more. Why? Because that time will not refresh my soul and satisfy my heart.

As God's started helping me to see this truth, I have found that there's much more time in a day than I thought! If I use my little bits of time to find satisfaction in Him instead of just doing what I want at the moment, I am more at peace, joyful, and diligent. I can spend a couple minutes doing something to help me look to the Lord, and then get busy serving Him instead of indulging in rest. My family is blessed and I am being more productive for God's glory.

I still check my email, look at blogs, drink tea, etc. but I'm trying not to indulge in those things and spend excessive time on them. Living for Christ brings me true peace and joy. Living for "my time" and "my interests" do not. It's a daily battle...

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Friday, January 30, 2009

That Dreadful Iron

It's been a long time since I ironed any clothes. My poor husband has been sticking his shirts on hangers and hanging them in the bathroom while he showers in an attempt to get the wrinkles out (it only sort of works). Well, today I finally decided to put his interests above my own and break out the good ole' iron.

Owey was sitting in his pack-n-play watching while I put the ironing board up and plugged in the iron. Immediately, he started shaking and crying. The poor child was afraid of the ironing board. Does that not tell you something? Um, the sweet boy had never even seen the thing before. I think that he thought it was some kind of vicious creature or something.

Yep. I need not grow proud in my homemaking skills; it appears that I've still got room to grow.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Favorites of the Day

Just another ordinary day over here. I don't want to forget the little things though. Too much sweetness to take it for granted.

Today I said, "Tali, I'm going to go vacuum. Do you want to come with me to the living room?"
Her response: "Oh shuh, Mommy. I'd love to!" (this is a very typical answer that she gives)

After "resting" in her room for a couple hours and never falling asleep, I went up to get her. When I walked in she said, "Oh Mommy! I'm phew-wee! Tan you change me?"

And then there's Owen. He thinks everything that Tali does is just hilarious. Their new thing is to make a spitting sound together and then crack up. It is funny except when they are doing it at the dinner table and food goes flying everywhere. Oh, and he also thinks it's really funny to put his hand over his mouth and fake laugh. It's great.

We had dear friends staying with us this past weekend and before they left my friend, Angie, said, "I've never met anyone like Tali before." Amen. I think that same thought about every single day. I have a feeling that Owen is following in her footsteps though...

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Speaking his Mind

Owey with his Papa ("Bapa" as he affectionately shouts!)

Owey has just been overflowing with cuteness lately and I don't want to forget some of the particulars. Here's a couple of my faves:

* We went to a friend's house the other morning and Owen was in their highchair eating. Tali ran into the room and then quickly ran out again. Owen looked at me with wrinkled brow, lifted up his hands and said, "Goh? Goh? Ssssss?" (Sssss=Sissy)

* Today before his nap, he walked over to the pantry and started banging on it. Then looked at me and said, "Nah! Nah!" I was a little taken aback so I said, "O, do you want a snack?" He got a huge grin and said, "Beee." (please).

* Despite his earlier "incident" with the stairs, this boy always darts for them whenever the gate is down. He was making his way to the danger zone when I scooped him up and put up the gate. He started screaming in anger. Attempting to distract him, I said, "Do you want to go read a book instead...or no?" He started violently shaking his head saying, "No. No. No." Needless to say, we didn't read.

I am spoiled by having super verbal kids. It is so much fun to know what they are thinking so early on.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

These Children Are His

I have struggled for many years to trust in the Lord rather than giving way to the sin of fear & anxiety. Now that I have children, the temptations can be great. There are many fears and anxieties, too many to list. At the top is the fear that their life will somehow cease. God has helped me to fight this fear, and many others, by meditating on His Word and the truth that He is always good and always sovereign. Still, the temptations are there and I need daily reminders.

So, it might seem odd that I am finding such help from this blog, where this "worst fear" actually has happened in the Castro family. I don't think I've ever met them, though we attended their church when we lived in Maryland. Still, their lives are daily helping me to set my mind on things above.

If you struggle in any way with fear or anxiety or trusting the Lord, reading Heather's fight for faith will certainly leave you more in love with the Savior and wanting more to rest in Him. Each day as I read her blog, I am reminded of the gift that my children are, a gift-not a right that I'm guaranteed. But more importantly, I am reminded that even if what I deemed the worst thing ever actually happened, Jesus would still be worth it. Jesus is more satisfying than my husband or my kids or my health or my house or anything. Only He is satisfying Heather's soul and only He can satisfy mine. Reading this blog reminds me that I need to fight to use each moment with my children wisely for His glory. And reading her blog reminds me that the Gospel is powerful to change; only a God that is real and active and alive could sustain someone like Heather is being sustained.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Two Year Old



I neglected to post back in November when my big girl turned two. I thought it only appropriate to do it a bit late, given that I finally got around to posting about Owen's one year mark!

Talitha Lauren Fenska. I have never in my life met anyone like Tali. I sincerely think that there is no one like her in all the world. This girl is simply one of a kind! From her continual chatter to her requests to pray for people to her sense of humor to her inconsistent sleep patterns to her huge vocab, this girl is just a delight. (Ok, so the inconsistent sleep patterns aren't exactly fun.)

Some stats on my girl:

Weight: can't remember...I think it's 31 but maybe I'm off here.

Clothes: 3T

Favorite Foods: Blueberries, yogurt, strawberries, popcicles, m&ms, eggs, Propel

Sleep: 1 nap (usually from 2:00pm until who knows when! Generally 'till 3:45pm), bedtime at 7:00pm but doesn't fall asleep until around 8pm or after. Lately she's been waking up a couple of times during the night and then very early in the morning. Before that, she slept until 7:15am.

Favorite Books: Anything about potty training (though it hasn't caught on yet), construction books, books with pictures of kids. And she always asks, "Wuhs da ah-thuh's name?" :) She still LOVES to read and has a "book time" in her crib each day for about 45 minutes where she listens to music and looks at books. (Like I said, she's one of a kind!)

Favorite Activities: Tali loves to pretend. She basically pretends all day long. Her favorite things to pretend are that she's a mommy and her baby is crying on the "mom-a-dur," that she's Caleb and I'm Mrs. Angie, that she's going to the doctor (sometimes it's "Doc-tuh Owen"), that she's at church (she likes to sing and pretend she's "Missuz Poe-nuh-voe"), that she's cooking or that she's at the library (Daddy is often "Miss Luanne" our favorite librarian). She also likes playing with blocks and building towers as well as playing with Little People.

Favorite Places: Church is pretty high up there for this girl. She LOVES seeing friends and especially getting to run around with Caleb and share his "fishy crackers." During the week she often talks about "Daddy peechin da Wuhd." (preaching the Word) She also loves going to the Village Grind or Starbucks with Mommy or Daddy.

Personality: Tali's sweet and thoughtful. She loves to ask Daddy each day, "How wuz ya day, Daddy? Whud jew do ta-day, Daddy?" Or, "Oh, Mama. I like ya hair tut. It's piddy." (I got my hair cut months ago and she's still complimenting me on it!) Or, "Hi, Damma. How is Papa do-een ta-day?"

I love so many things about Tali. I especially love how she keeps me company all day with long conversations. ("Let's have a ton-ver-say-son, Mommy!" or "Tell me a story, Mommy!") She has taught me many things by her joy, sense of humor, and sweetness. I'm most struck by her love for prayer. She loves praying for people and always asks to pray. She remembers when I tell her that someone is sick and we need to pray for them & she will often ask me to pray for that person later in the day. Josh and I are so encouraged by her very teachable spirit and her interest in reading the Bible and praying. Obviously that's not something to be weighed too much at age 2 but we pray that God will do a mighty work in her even at a young age and save her soul for His glory!

I love you, Tali-lally-lou. Thank you for being my favorite little lady.

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Pride...yuck

I want to confess to y'all that in writing about Owen's reflux, my heart was not right. I was proudly thinking, "No one else knows about reflux and how nasty it really is!" In my comments, I wasn't being compassionate about the challenges of having a "happy spitter" or any other spit-up. Instead, I was just thinking that I know best on this subject. Would you forgive me for my pride? I know that's a sin that Christ had to die for and I don't want to continue in it. I am genuinely sorry. And if I tempted you or hurt you by that in any way, I am very sorry for that as well! So glad that even for this, Jesus died, and stands to declare me righteous before God because I'm clothed in His righteousness, never any of my own.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

My One Year Old



An entire year of looking at this sweet boy's face...it's hard to believe that it's all ready been a year. My little Owey-O had a rough start. The first four months were not easy ones for him, or for us. But by God's grace, a year later this little buddy is one seriously happy dude. Definitely God's kindness. We are grateful for the way that you've stood by us and prayed for this guy.

Owen has such a fun personality. He loves to hide behind things and then say, "BOO!" He cracks up at random things that he thinks are hillarious-usually sounds like "whoo-whoo" or other noises Tali will make. Every morning when I get him out of bed he says, "Sss! Ssss!" because he wants his "Sissy." He loves Tali a ton and wants to do absolutely whatever she is doing. He also loves to suck his thumb and to snuggle. He's so much fun.

So, some stats so that I don't forget (and for the family members who like the numbers!):

Weight: 21 pounds (he's bumped up to the 25th percentile which is a huge leap from the 10th.) Now that he's about 13 months old, he's finally started wearing 12 month clothes a bit. Up until now, he's been in 9 months or 6-12. Little guy.

Height: Oops, I don't remember but he's really short. I think he was at 10th percentile for height.

Mobility: Walking!!!!! He is unsteady, but he can take 5-10 steps now. He is sooo determined and never cries when he falls, just shoves himself back up to try again.

Foods: Loves pretty much everything he gets, especially Chex and crackers. He's still on a bit of a restricted diet. We're working with an allerigist to try and figure out what was going on with his little digestive system earlier in life. So far, all the foods that we've tried have worked well except tomatoes (bothered his reflux). Maybe we'll get to try dairy soon! Sure hope it works because he doesn't want to drink soy and I'm not excited about nursing him for an endless amount of time!

Reflux: It's still there but so much better. About a month ago we noticed a significant change. He still has "bad days" where lots of liquid will come up but it's nothing like the large puddles that he was leaving everywhere. Those of you who think your child spits up a lot don't know what spit up really is until you've had PUDDLES of it all over everywhere. I'm talking at least a cup, often MORE out all over clothes, floor, etc. A little drip, a couple blobs...those are nothing, folks. Count your blessings.

Words: Yep, it's true. My kids just like to talk. It's sort of inevitable, I mean...look at their parents! Owey's not quite up there with where Tali was at a year, but he's close:

Mama
Da-da
Papa
La-la (Tali)
Ssssss (Sissy)
Bah (Ball)
Bayyh (Bear)
By (Bite)
Byee (Bye)
Ny-ny (good night)
Zee-uh (see ya)
Rah-ry (all right)
Noooo (no)
Eh-mo (Elmo)
Be-Beanz (Green Beans)
Da-doe (cereal)
Wah-wah (water)
Peee (please)
Jew (shoe)
zah (sock)
bih-boyuh (big boy)
dee (tree)
no (snow)
muh (milk)
ly (light)
rah (rock)
bugh (book)
nana (banana)
ah-ah ah-ah (all done)
hah (hat)
oh (coat)
a-uh (pants)

Signs:
grandma
please
hot
flower
more
banana
all done
light
tree
snow

And for the record, his favorite person is his Papa Red. He loves his parents but to be honest, no one compares with Papa. He talks about the guy ALL THE TIME!

We love you so much, Owey. You are a blessing to our family!

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