Friday, July 29, 2005

Living hand to mouth

But not in the way most people mean it. :) Jonathan lives "hand to mouth" all the time now. Anything he can get in his hand, goes directly to his mouth. That is, if it stays in his hand long enough. He doesn't quite have the idea of opening and closing his fingers yet. :) But he's learning, more and more each day!


I have a job for the coming year! It's a wonderful, perfect, God-given job that will only require 3 hours of classroom teaching, and one (or so) hours of prep at home. So right now, in between the laundry and the lullabies, I am dreaming up the best way to teach 90% of the california standards for 7th grade math in two class hours a week. I'm loving it. :) As much as I like being a mommy, teaching is my vocation, my calling, my fascination. I can't wait to go back.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Karate update

It's too hot to do anything, and Jonathan is still in the middle of his afternoon nap, so a quick update.

It's going ok.

It's incredibly hard on my body, which I think is actually because it exacerbates a problem I'm already having: namely that Jonathan gained weight faster than my muscles could keep up. So I'm tired and sore almost all the time anyway, and when you hurt at the beginning of a karate class, that's a tough place to be.

But I'm enjoying re-learning and remembering all the forms (I have 6 of them back completely now, and another two are starting to solidify again.) And sparring is still fun, which was a bit of a surprise, and one I'm quite happy about.

Leslie keeps telling me to take it easy. I'm trying. It's hard to find a balance, because I want to work hard and at the highest level that I can...but I also don't want to really hurt myself. And I don't want to burn myself out with less serious hurts either.

I'm going to keep it up. Remind me of that if I start talking about quitting again. :)

If I were...

My sister at my life tagged me a few days ago with the "if I were..." game. So, Sarah, here it is. :)

If I could be a doctor...I'd want to be independantly wealthy first so that I wouldn't have to charge much, and would never have to belong to an HMO plan. Then I could spend as much time as I wanted with each patient, and be able to really listen and help them.

If I could be a gardener...I would need a greener thumb. Somehow half of everything I plant seems to bite the dust much sooner than it ought. However, now that I have my own backyard, Gabe and I are making some serious attempts at creating a green oasis as part of our household retreat. We'll see how well it works. My dreams currently include a patch of lawn (real, lush, green, soft, mmmm!) a small veggie and strawberry garden, and a flower garden with white roses, daisies, white day lillies, honeysuckle, and anything else that strikes my fancy.

If I could be a musician...well, I am one. But at the moment my talents are directed more toward "eensy weensy spider" than Verdi's Requiem. Sometimes that makes me sad - I love to be part of a really good choir and have the joy that comes from being one voice in a great soaring sound rising to heaven. Maybe when Jonathan is a little older and not nursing quite so often, I'll be able to join a semi-professional choir and have that again. I'd also love to (someday in the future) start a homeschool group choir, and maybe a good kids choir at my church many possibilities!

If I could be a missionary and a linguist...I'd be just like Sharon.

If I could be a wife and a mother...and I am...I refer you to Sarah's post here. She says it much better than I can, and I wholeheartedly agree with her. It's harder than it sounds to actually do it, though, and I'm finding myself appreciating my own mom so much more these days. Mommying is all about giving up what you want...all the time. And that's hard to do! I think that God gives women husbands so that we can start learning how to deny ourselves, and then gives us children to finish the job. Being a wife and a mother is learning to sacrifice self to others without grudging it; learning to walk in Christ's footsteps.

If you'd like to play, please do! Here are the questions:
If I could be a scientist...If I could be a farmer...If I could be a musician...If I could be a doctor...If I could be a painter...If I could be a gardener...If I could be a missionary...If I could be a chef...If I could be an architect...If I could be a linguist...If I could be a psychologist...If I could be a librarian...If I could be an athlete...If I could be a lawyer...If I could be an inn-keeper...If I could be a professor...If I could be a writer...If I could be a llama-rider...If I could be a bonnie pirate...If I could be an astronaut...If I could be a world famous blogger...If I could be a justice on any one court in the world...If I could be married to any current famous political figure...If I could be a wife...If I could be a mom...

I'd really love to hear from Jessica, and Elena, and Amber, if you don't mind taking the time. But if you're busy mommying, I completely understand!

Kisses, exploration, and heat.

Jonathan has discovered that kisses are happy things. He now responds to kisses on his cheeks with big smiles, and kissing noises get out and out grins. It's fun to see him starting to associate acts of love with happiness.

Also, he now knows how to bring things to his mouth. And he brings EVERYTHING to his mouth! He doesn't know how to reach for things yet, but if you put anything in his hand, or if something happens to be in grabbing distance (his hand closes on it by accident) then into his mouth it goes! He just wants to experience the whole world through his mouth right now. I'm having fun giving him things with different textures to chew on.

It is abominably hot. God grant that I am never 8 months pregnant during July.

Jonathan and I are doing our best to keep cool...we go out to the pool in the afternoon when it's worst in the house, and I have a fan blowing on him as much as I can (the best seems to be putting him in the swing with the fan on him.) It's hard, though, because holding him doesn't really make him happy because he's sad 'cause he's hot and holding him just makes it worse. Only he doesn't know that, and so he's just unhappy. I feel bad for the poor kid. I'm miserable too, but at least I understand why. He's just miserable, and I can't make it better.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


I've been reading Charles Swindoll's book The Grace Awakening this past week or so, and wanted to share an epiphany moment. Ok, here it is:

I am a new creation in Christ. I don't have to sin. In fact, the normal state of my life now should be not sinning.

Ok, now, that's all very nice and good and sunday school and we've all heard it, right? But bear with me here. :)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I grew up being told, effectively, "God's grace covers you when you do sin. Just be sure to confess everything...and if you're not sure, confess whatever you can't remember." The focus was on what to do when I sinned.

The result of this was an incredible guilt complex. Every time I tried to confess, I'd wrack my brain trying to think of everything I could possibly have done wrong...and when I couldn't think of anything, I felt even worse. After all, if I couldn't think of anything I'd either forgotten it all (how uncaring!) or was so prideful as to think I didn't have any sins to confess. Right?


As a new creation, my normal state of life should be not sinning! If I can't think of anything sinful to confess, then I should in all humility and joy thank God for his abundant grace that has conquered sin.

Maybe this is old hat to you, but it is huge and new and joyous to me.

More on birth control

I wanted to clarify a few things in an actual post, rather than in an increasingly long comment string. :)

First, I don't believe that procreation is the be-all end-all of sex. It is one aspect of it, along with pleasure and unity with your spouse. I think that if any of the three are absent, something real has been lost. It's a package deal that we have only very recently unpackaged.

Second, I am not making a blanket statement that all couples should take this position. I hold a very strong position that this is what we are supposed to be doing...but my position on what others are doing is held loosely if at all. Every couple will have a different situation, and since there is nowhere in the Bible that says "Thou shalt not use birth control", I see no need or justification for being dogmatic.


Two weeks ago I happened to sit next to a pregnant woman in church. I hadn't met her before, but we exchanged handshakes during the peace, and chatted for a few minutes about her duedate and how Jonathan was know, mommy talk. ;) In the course of that three minute conversation, she asked if I could use baby boy clothes, as her coming child is a girl, and she was going to give the boy clothes from her first child away to Goodwill. I said yes, please, but didn't really think that it would happen. Things like that often get said and then forgotten, you know?

But last Sunday there she was with a HUGE sack of baby clothes. Seriously, there are hundreds of dollars worth of clothes in that bag. And she just gave it to me. She said she was glad to give it to someone, rather than just to a charity.

The amazing thing is that this happened just as I was wondering what I was going to dress Jonathan in once he finished outgrowing all his clothes. Which he is doing right now. Silly us, we forgot to budget for baby clothes...but they must be bought!

It is amazing to me how God blesses us in such immediate response to our worries and needs. It is hard for me to trust him for our daily bread...but he provides so abundantly when I do.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Well, I did it. I started going to karate again. This is a bigger deal than perhaps it sounds, for a variety of reasons. One is that I haven’t done it for 12 months. That’s a long time. And it’s incredibly difficult to return as a brown belt, with brown belt expectations (at least my own, if not other people!) without having even thought about it for a year. It’s astonishing how difficult it is to get back into something at that level, even just from a physical angle…and the mental/emotional one isn’t any easier. On the other hand, it is also astonishing how much I remember, and how quickly it comes back.

It’s going to be hard, I think, to try to pace my return. I want to look like a brown belt again NOW, thank you very much. But surgery is a big deal, and so I really do need to say, “no, I can’t do those types of kicks now. Maybe in a few months.” This is hard. Maybe these next months of karate are supposed to be more about the internal aspect (keeping still and calm inside even when outside events are frustrating) than anything else. That's very likely.

I’ve been to two classes now. Thursday’s was the first, and I came away from it remembering all the reasons that I didn’t ever want to go back to karate, ever again. I almost didn’t. Tuesday’s was the second, and that one reminded me what I love about martial arts, and thinking that I care enough about the fullness of the discipline to put up with the not-so-great parts.

Thanks to Jenny and Stephanie who helped me remember why I do this.

Who needs Curves?

when you have your own personal 24 hour fitness right here at home?

Just strap on a 15 pound baby and vacuum the house.

I think I deserve some chocolate cake now. ;)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

It's a TOY!

And Jonathan is figuring out that he can play with it. :) We've hung a little stuffed giraffe rattle on his car seat, and today he started using his hands to bat at it (wow, it makes noise!) and pull it to him to chew on it (it tastes good too!) :) He entertained himself for quite a few minutes with this, while Gabe and I watched surreptitiously and enjoyed his new accomplishment.

It is amazing to watch his brain process things. He's learning cause and effect! And he seems to be enjoying it too. Yesterday he held an animated and quite happy conversation with the same giraffe.

It's just a stuffed giraffe, and it's just one tiny little action. But it's a huge step in Jonathan's learning and development, and I rejoice that I get to be here to see it happen!

Friday, July 08, 2005


Jonathan has connected "Mommy" and "milk". When Gabe is holding him, and he's hungry, he'll cry until he catches sight of me - at which point he stops for a moment. Of course, if I'm not quick enough about actually feeding him, he'll start again...but he definitely understands the connection. I think that's pretty cool.

Gabe also thinks that Jonathan has some connections between being in the kitchen and expecting to see me. I do spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen with him. The other night I was late getting home, and Jonathan was hungry and upset, and Gabe said that when he went into the kitchen Jonathan would quiet down (just for a second!) and look around like he expected me to be there.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Loving God

What does it mean to love God? Love is such a difficult term…hard to quantify, hard to define. I love my parents, my sister and brothers; I love Gabe, and I love Jonathan; I love my closest friends. Each relationship is different, and the love that I feel and the actions that follow are different as well. So when this abstract term is applied to God, I have a hard time knowing what is required of me.

I’ve often been told that loving God means being obedient to him. This is a fairly straightforward answer, but leaves me feeling that I’m missing something. After all, my love for Jonathan has nothing at all to do with being obedient to him. Love for Gabe could include obedience under some circumstances, but not often. And even my love for my parents no longer includes this component. Love for those closest to me (Jonathan and Gabe) plays out in my life primarily in two ways: as a (very strong) feeling, and as the action of giving to them. This includes giving up for them.

I can give things up for God, and often I find that obedience to him requires exactly that. So in that sense I can see the parallel between love for God and love for others in my life. But I can’t give to him, at least not in the same way that I give to Gabe or Jonathan. (Side note: I give scads of time to Gabe and to Jonathan. Is this a way in which I should be loving God, and am not?) And so I am left with love as a feeling…and I just don’t know how I’m supposed to feel love towards God. Every time I try to work this out, I come up with a complete blank. Love God. Love God. Love God. What does that feel like?

I don’t get very far with that attempt at understanding what loving God really is. So is it just obedience that is required? Gabe says that his concept of loving God is much tied up with the concept of duty…of doing that which is required of him. Since he also sees his relationship with me and with Jonathan in terms of duty, this makes sense. But I’ve never fully understood the idea of duty in a love relationship. And so that really hasn’t helped me much.

In some ways, having “loving God” mean “obeying God” only would be an easy answer. Not that it is easy to obey God 100% of the time, but that at least then I’d have a clear-cut answer of what I’m supposed to be striving for. As is I’m left with an uneasy feeling that I ought to be obeying and feeling…something. And I don’t know what that something is.

Comments are welcomed. :)

Teeth, smiles, and consonants

No more news on the possible tooth. It seems to just be moving around at the moment, which is too bad, because when it moves it hurts him! I wish it would just break through and be done with it.

On the other hand, I'm happyI still have his lovely toothless grin to gladden my heart. I wish I could capture it in a's this incredible outburst of pleased joy that just makes me want to scoop him up and laugh and cry all at once. I can't get it in a photo, because as soon as the camera appears, he stops smiling and looks confused. Cameras are strange beasts, evidently.

So I try to engrave that smile in my memory now, and hope it stays there. Sometimes it seems that he's growing up so fast I'll never be able to truly relish each stage as he's there...because he's through it so fast! And then I remind myself that at least I'm here to notice.

He has a new consonant sound, as of this morning. Now he can say "guh" AND "buh". I have a funny feeling that he may say "Gabe" before he says "dada". :)

Stay-at-home MOMMY

I woke up this morning with a million things whirling through my head. I needed to clean the kitchen, pick up the house, clean the bathroom, take care of half a dozen phone calls, appointments to make, etc. Pay the bills, balance the checkbook (three months worth), take another look at the budget that won't balance.

Jonathan started making waking up sounds, and my first thought was "no, no, stay asleep, I have too much to do and I can't do it with you awake." And then I caught myself. I'm a stay-at-home-MOM. Not a stay-at-home-wonder-woman-who-keeps-a-perfect-house.

So Jonathan woke up to a smiling mommy who took him on a walk, sang nursery rhymes, read poems, and thoroughly enjoyed him. Lord Jesus, help me to be that kind of mommy. After all, that's why I stay home.