Thursday, February 4, 2016

I am Unoffendable

I wrote a post back in 2011 called Easily Offended. That really used to be a struggle for me.

I have definitely grown in this area as I have become more confident and matured in my relationship with Christ. When you really examine it, I believe being offended is often rooted back to insecurity and/or pride. These days I feel like errrrrybody is offended about errrrrrything, and I have no desire to be like everybody else. In fact, I was CALLED to be SET APART. (And if you’re a believer, so were you.)

A couple weeks ago, one of my really good friends went to a women’s conference and called me afterwards to share some nuggets. I am SO thankful she did that! I love to hear what other people are learning and how the Lord is growing them, but in this case, she shared something I needed to hear. {That all Christian women need to hear.} One of the notes she jotted down from the conference was the phrase “I am unoffendable.”

That stuck out to me and I’ve been meditating on it ever since. Y’all, that is POWERFUL! It’s something I am reciting over and over until it becomes truth. I do not want to be one to easily take offense (like the rest of the world).

Don’t misunderstand that. I am not suggesting to have a hardened heart or “tough guy” exterior. I am not suggesting to ignore advice and constructive criticism from loved ones. I am simply saying that when others say something rude, negative, judgemental or harsh; something you don’t agree with; or something that hurts your feelings, TAKE IT TO THE LORD. Do not react in the flesh. Pray to have the mind of Christ and view it through his lens and filter.

Sometimes the “offensive” things people say to you need to be heard. Maybe it’s an area in your life that needs growth & it’s coming from a place of love. This is HUMILITY. But sometimes it will be worth letting go in one ear and out the other. (Not everyone has your best interest at heart.) Wisdom is being able to tell the difference, and not reacting when it’s the latter.

When I think about arguments or disagreements I’ve had in the past (as in earlier this morning…ahem), it usually roots back to the fact that one of the two of us (usually ME)  is offended and unwilling to give up being “right” (me again.) **Read: insecurity & pride.

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So, here’s WHY I am unoffendable.

I am unoffendable because when someone says something wrongful or hurtful to me, that is a reflection on THEM and not on me. (How I react is a reflection on me.)

I am unoffendable because I am so strong in my convictions, that it does not bother me if someone doesn’t agree with me.

I am unoffendable because we live in a generation where the world is always offended, and I am called to be set apart.

I am unoffendable because my eyes are on eternity and I will give account for my thoughts, words, and actions. I choose not to let others steal my joy or take my focus off eternity.

I am unoffendable because I know WHOSE I am…I know to whom I belong. And really, that is the only one that matters.

{I am a child of the one true King. Dearly loved. Fearfully and wonderfully made. Chosen.} Say it with me now…“I am unoffendable.”

 

P.S. Thank you for ignoring my poor grammar and misspellings. I am using a new program that doesn’t check spelling errors or typos (boo!), and as for the poor grammar…I decided I want to write like I talk so people can really hear my voice.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Jase Update

Hey buddy!! You are growing up SO fast & we are having such a blast watching you grow. Your daddy and I are loving your toddler phase & we are beyond thankful the Lord entrusted you to us…because you are a TREASURE, Jase Butler. And I mean that.

We still pray Luke 2:52 over you every day- that you will grow in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and man.

  • And you are definitely growing in wisdom and stature! You weigh 35 lbs and I think you’re 3’3” (or maybe even taller now?). You wear a size 10 shoe, 3T pants & 4T shirts, 4T pjs (which are getting snug), & 5T socks. When new people meet you, they always ask you how old you are and typically guess 4 years old. They’re always shocked when I tell them you’re only 2.5.
  • You are brushing your own teeth before naps and bedtime (although I go back in after to get those back ones especially). You also had your FIRST dentist appointment on 1/13, and you did pretty darn good for your first visit. You did a great job letting them clean your teeth, but got a little antsy by the end and didn’t want to lay down for the dentist to look in your mouth. They were great though! He told us it’s time to stop the thumb sucking while you sleep because you’re an aggressive sucker and it’s messing with your pallette.

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  • You love to tell stories & it is hilarious! You’re so animated & detailed, even though sometimes we can’t understand part of it. You love to tell Daddy all about Puggles and play dates when we get home & it always amazes me the details you can recall.
  • You’ve started saying some really funny things. For example, when me and daddy are dancing you’ll hold up both of your hands and say “Stop you two. Stop being silly guys.” Or “Oh WOW! Thank you so much!” Or “Brother, mom’s going to make us a juice and it’s going to be loud. It’s okay brother, I’m right here. Don’t be scared.” Or “Ohhhhh,I see what now what you’re doing here.” We don’t even know where you get half of it but it cracks us up.

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  • You have started to really enjoy being read to and reading on your own. Your favorite book is about a little girl named Annie and her consequences for disobeying.
  • You love to draw! (even on walls) Daddy taught you how to draw “wheels” (although they look like creepy eyeballs) so we came down to a wall full of “wheels” all over the basement one day. 

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We like to paint pictures for Grammy, Granddaddy, Papa, & Aunt Jade.

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  • I think you may be a little scared of dark and sometime have a hard time falling asleep. We got you a lantern (you acutally won it as your white elephant gift at Christmas) and it helps some. You have definitely taken shorter naps since potty training. (1 1/2-2 hours) It seems like you always have to go #2 before nap time.

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(This doesn’t happen often.)

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  • You are doing great with potty training. You still wear a pull-up to sleep and when we are going somewhere in the car sometimes, but you rarely have an accident even if you are wearing a pull up. You will sometimes hold your hands up and say, “Mom, I gotta go pee pee. I’m gonna do it by myself, you stay right here, okay?” And sometimes you holler from the bathroom. “Helllllp! Somebody help me pull my pants up!”
  • We’ve been enjoying time at the library. (Don’t worry, we actually read books.) They have some awesome “story times” at our local libraries.

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  • You can count backwards from 5 to 1 and pretend you’re a rocket ship.
  • If we don’t understand what you’re saying, you shake your head and say “no no no no” and then repeat yourself slowly & enunciate for us.
  • You still love to help me in the kitchen & you’re seriously a great helper. You help me wash produce, make juice, set the table, put away dishes, make snacks, etc.

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  • You really enjoy taking baths & would stay in the bathtub all night if we’d let you. When your little fingers prune up you say, “Oh no, what happened to my fingers?”

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  • You will wear your hat and mittens when we go outside but you don’t like wearing a jacket. (We make you anyway.)
  • You love to play with your toys. You like your cars and trucks, your tools, and you love to bounce on the ball. You also like wrestling with dad and anytime we will run with you and chase you. We usually spend an hour before bed every night playing in the playroom as a family.

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  • You love to go on walks to see the lake and the “cows in the pasture.”
  • You are such a sweet brother and so helpful. You get me toys and diapers for brother, always tell me when he’s crying, and like to help me get him out of bed or up from naps. You still talk to him in such a sweet voice and think “he’s so cute.” You tell me and Dad to “talk to him.” You randomly run up to him and give him kisses on his cheeks or forehead. I pray you two always have a super strong bond and are best friends.

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  • You are your daddy’s mini me and love to help him with anything/everything. He is the BEST, best, dad I have ever seen. We are truly so blessed. He is so patient, so intentional, so loving. He has high expectations & teaches you allll kinds of things.

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  • You were sick for about 2 weeks. It was a runny nose/cough and I ended up giving you breathing treatments for about a week. I also used a homemade vapo-rub with essential oils and coconut oil on your feet and started running a humidifier in your room.
  • While you were sick, you wanted me to hold you a lot. (And I didn’t mind one bit!) Sometimes you would ask me to put brother down to hold you.

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  • Your favorite shows/movies are Curious George, Winnie the Pooh,& Clifford.
  • Your favorite foods right now are boiled eggs, crackers with peanut butter, Ezekiel cinammon raisin toast with Greek yogurt, yogurt, green juice, chicken, tuna, fish, bread, carrots and hummus, beans, & bars. You love burritos from Moe’s. And you are such a breakfast guy! Pancakes, eggs, & bacon is your fave…just like daddy!

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  • You blow us away with some of the things you get, understand, imagine, and say. We LOVE watching your little mind work!!
  • Sometimes I feel like you are a little teenager trapped in a 2.5 year old’s body.

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  • We went with Papa to Nights of Lights @ Lanier World & you had a BLAST! You especially loved the fake snow.

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  • We are still working on being consistent with your manners, but for the most part you do pretty well. You’re pretty good about sharing & playing with your friends.

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  • You enjoyed playing in the snow this year!

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  • You refer to yourself in third person.

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  • We pray with you every night. First we pray as a family, and then we let you pray for every member of our family.
  • You know a few Bible verses that we’ve been working on.
  • You LOVE music lately! You love to sing (really loudly sometimes) & dance. You love to play guitar & piano, and we have dance parties every night. For the last week your Daddy plays for us in your room before bed and me and you get down dancin. I hope we keep doing that for years to come and it’s something you and your siblings always remember.
  • You are a rule follower & enforcer.
  • You are crazy about your family!! You LOVE your grandparents, aunts, and cousins and get so excited to spend time with them. (As I clearly did not capture in this photo.) We are really blessed to have so many people who love you and spend time with you.

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  • I LOVE being your Mama, sweet Jase! You bring such JOY to me and to our family.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

You Can’t Change Someone…

But you have access to the One who can.

Have you ever spent time trying to change someone? A friend, a family member, a spouse, a child? It was/is probably with good intentions…because you see their potential…and if you can just help them change that onnnne littttle (or big) thing, right?

I totally get it. I’ve been there, and I know how frustrating it can be to want something so badly for someone who doesn’t want it for themself.

But here’s what I have learned, come to accept, and even embraced.  Unless they WANT to change, or it’s something the Lord does in them, my efforts to change them are in vein.

Sometimes it’s a selfish desire to change someone for our own benefit, and in this case it is a control issue- so it’s important to look inward & examine your true intentions. But sometimes it’s because they are making bad decisions- choices that are negatively impacting their life. And you know think if you can just do/say/give a little bit more, they’ll change and it will solve everything.

Hear me on this, friends. Although God is omnipotent, He gives us free will. We are not puppets on a string. And there are a million reasons someone can end up in a less than ideal situation. Sometimes it’s sinful human nature, bad habits, attacks from the enemy, societal pressures, difficult circumstances, etc. When it’s someone we care about, we desparately want to “fix” it…to change them. (I think the one I see most often is wives trying to change their husbands, but it can be in many different relationships.)

Here’s my encouragement for you. Control the controllables. If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ve heard me say this before. This is one of the number one life lessons I learned from playing college softball. Some things are simply out of your control, no matter how desperately you want to control them. Rather than wasting your time and energy trying to change something out of your control, focus on what you CAN control. Your attitude. Your habits. Your actions. Your reactions. Your thoughts. And most importantly, your prayers. Because although you can’t change someone, you have access to the one who can.

Pray!! Pray, pray, pray, and do not give up. We tend to pray with an ASAP mentality and expect God to operate on our timeline. His ways are higher than our ways, and many times he is working things out beyond what we can see. But HE IS WORKING. He is hearing you. So adopt a new mindset…ALAT. (As long as it takes.) Pray ALAT.

There is such a peace in relinquishing control and trusting God to take over. It’s so exhausting, frustrating, and stressful trying to change someone on your own, but y’all…it is SO rewarding watching the Lord answer prayers. Watching him work in people you have prayed for and in ways beyond your expectations.

And honestly, it might be worth asking him to change your own heart. Ask for HIS eyes to see that person, because sometimes that shift in perspective, or removing the plank in your own eye, will change everything.

Stop trying to change others…& take it to the Lord. He can.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Kade Update: 6 Months

Here is Kade’s 6 month update! He officially turned 6 months on December 14th while Jonathan & I were out of town. Kade is still the sweetest, most charismatic little guy and we are so thankful for how he has already blessed our family. It is a JOY being his mama!!

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  • We are working on him sitting up completely unassisted. He can do it with pillows and can sit up without falling over when he has back support (like in the high chair). He is definitely getting better and I think he’ll have it mastered soon.
  • Still no teeth! Jase had a mouthful by this time. We keep waiting for them to bust through because he is the drool monster, but nothing yet.
  • We started Baby Led Weaning about a week after Kade turned 6 months. And holy moly, I forgot how STRESSFUL it can be in the early days. He gagged multiple times, even to the point of throwing up. Jonathan was super stressed about it (he wasn’t home full time yet when Jase was learning to eat) and I almost decided to throw in the towel because it made me feel so anxious. I’m tellin ya, the first few days were such a doozie. (I’m not sure if it was worse this time or I just forgot having that anxiety with Jase.) But, I believe in BLW. And I know that gagging is not choking. After a few more days, he really started to get the hang of it and I started to feel more confident. He is still learning & I feel like he gags more than Jase did, but he’s definitely doing much better. The first food he has was avocado and the second was broccoli. Since then he has had asparagus, pears, sweet potatoes, bananas, chicken, squash, green beans, carrots, apples, mango, oranges, steak, zucchini, an orange slice, scrambled eggs, and toast. His favorites are definitely pears, squash, & asparagus. (Every thing is boiled/steamed/baked so it’s soft enough and then cut into fingerlike strips. DEFINITELY read the book if you plan to try this.) Kade loves eating and likes being a part of meal time. I know as he grows that he’ll be a good eater like Jase, and it only makes sense as our family continues to grow that they eat what we eat and are able to feed themselves.

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  • I forgot how much fun poopie diapers become when they start eating solids!
  • He LOVES water out of sippy cup! I have to hold it for him, but he drinks from it really well. In fact, I have to be careful he doesn’t get too much water so it fills up his belly and he won’t want milk. Of course I only offer it after he has already nursed.
  • He HATES to be on back and is always rolling over to his tummy as quickly as possible. This makes changing diapers interesting.

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  • He has the strongest neck and best head control of any baby I’ve ever seen.

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  • He is SO ready to crawl! Ihave some cute videos of him rocking back and forth. He wants to be up running around playing with his brother.

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  • I still use a Swaddle (I use the Woombie because he has control of his movements, yet it keeps him contained enough that he doesn’t flail and wake himself up. He also takes a paci to sleep but spits it out after he falls asleep. Kade started sleeping on his tummy a good bit and that helps him sleep more soundly. We always start him on his back (he goes right out if we cover his eyes up) but he sometimes rolls to his belly.

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  • His sleep is so inconsisent. I think it’s a combo of that grey line on the Wonder Weeks & his 6 month growth spurt.

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  • When we first got back from our trip, he was sleeping GREAT for us! He takes 3 pretty good naps during the day- the first two about an hour and a half, sometimes 2 hours, and the 3rd about 30 minutes or so. I’m thankful for that because it gives me some alone time with Jase, and plus their sleep is so important to their growth and development. He goes down for the night between 8:30 and 9 and sleeps for about a 6 hour stretch, wakes up to eat, goes back to sleep, and then wakes up with a full pee diaper at about 6 am. He screams when I change it so I nurse him long enough to soothe him back to sleep. I know he’s able to sleep fully through the night, but I can’t bring myself to do any CIO because his room is right next to Jase’s and I don’t want to wake him up.
  • He is talking/squealing!! He is always smiling and seriously the happiest little guy! He is very easy going, but I feel like he is going to be super charismatic and have a magnetic personality. His dimples are seriously irresistable!

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  • He is long and lean. I’m a little concerned about his weight gain and wondering if that’s part of why we’re having sleep issues. My supply is good, but I’m wondering if he’s getting full feedings? I can pump a pretty good bit even after he eats, which leads me to believe he may not be getting enough during the day (thus the reason for the night feeding). At his 6 month checkup he was 15 lbs 5 oz at the beginning of the appointment. I fed him a bottle I pumped on the way over and he weighed jumpeed on the scale to 5 lbs 11 oz, which put him at 20%. At home he is weighing consistently around 16.2.
  • He has the sweetest bond with Jonathan. He’ll smile at pretty much anyone, but he LIGHTS UP when Daddy walks into the room or talks to him.

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  • He is such a wiggle worm and constantly moving. I think that might be part of why I can’t keep weight on him. He burns off all his calories!

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  • He got a little runny nose on 1/6 and we had a rough few nights. He was having a tough time falling asleep and wanted me to hold him, so of course I did. (Although Jase had a yucky cold at the same time and wanted me to hold him too, so I had to split time with both of them.) I busted out the humidifier, saline nose spray, and Jonathan got some handy dandy little booger sucker thing that is way better than an aspirator but doesn’t make me wanna gag like the nose freida. He is doing MUCH better after a couple of days!
  • Kade and Jase are the sweetest brothers!!

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I mean, if this doesn’t scream brotherly love, I just don’t know what does.

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  • We celebrated your first Christmas!!

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  • You were our the highlight of our 2015! My Instagram “best 9” pretty much all included YOU.

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