Time

I saw this quote on Pinterest a few days ago and it really caught my attention…

I don’t want to look back on my life in twenty years and realize that I wasted the precious time I had with my children by living in a state of perpetual distraction,” – the Undivided Mom.

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Ouch. 

I only have these girls for a time. I only get to giggle with them, craft with them, hold them, read to them, teach them and raise them for a time.

These sweet hands, praying before dinner, are only going to be at my table for a time.

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I’m only going to be able to tickle this girl while she is in my arms for so long.
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In the moment, or in the day, it may seem long at times. But the years, they fly by. And what am I doing with that time I am given? Am I present? Am I involved?

Outside of my relationship with God and my relationship with my husband, being a mom to my two girls is my highest priority. It is my mission.

This isn’t always easy, and I by no means am perfect. But it is my goal. It is in the back of my mind each day.

How am I going to teach them about God’s perfect love, if I don’t take the time to love them every minute I have the chance. How am I going to teach them that they are so important to God, if they feel like they aren’t important enough to me to have my undivided attention each day?

This doesn’t mean that I can’t take time without them. It just means that when I am with them, I am present. I am there. And it means I am intentional about having time with them, more than planning time without them. It is not without sacrifice, but it also, is not without its rewards.

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Words.

Words have been flying around in my head, bursting for a way to get out. Not necessarily to be spewed here, on the blog (I’ve actually revealed more here than I have to close friends), but to be spoken, from my mouth to others. Asking for prayer. Opening up. Being vulnerable. None of which are easy for me.

Last night it happened though. I spoke about what God is doing in my life. The calling He has placed on my life. The calling that Eric just started to feel…The calling to adopt. We both talked about it. About where we are at. To those we trust. To those who will pray earnestly for us in this time.

Speaking makes it real. It is so freeing and so frightening all at the same time. My calling is no longer just mine…others know what God has asked me to do. There is accountability in that. Sheesh.

My stomach has never known so many butterflies or so much pent up anticipation and nervousness. My eyes have never known so many tears. I told a friend just a few weeks ago about how weepy I am. I literally cannot get through a worship set without having tears running down my face. I cannot pray without the same thing happening there. I cannot speak about the moment that I heard God speak to me without losing all semblance of control over my emotions.

I think that is all part of my journey. I’ve always been a planner, in control of my emotions, tough…all the things.

That is, up until now. All of that is gone. This, this has no plan. Adoption has no timeline I can control. These eyes that cry so easily is a sign of what God is doing in me. He is working. He is breaking my walls. He is prying my fingers open so that I can let go of all control.

He is working. He is working on me.

And I would have it no other way.

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Living Through the Mundane

Do you ever feel as though your life is full of mundane tasks? This is a daily struggle for me.

Diapers, dishes, naps, meals, cleaning, dropping off, picking up…preschool, swimming lessons, basketball, golf…all the things.

These things, these little seemingly mundane things are the things that make up most of my days.

For my devotions lately, I’ve been studying the book of Nehemiah. In chapter 3, there is a lengthy list of all of the people who built small sections of the wall around the city of Jerusalem. They each obeyed, and moved rock after rock in order to build this wall. It wasn’t beautiful or glamorous or anything of the sort. It was mundane.

Just think though, how great is a wall that has holes everywhere? Or even just one hole? A wall with holes won’t keep the enemy out. Had any of those people decided they couldn’t do the mundane, decided that they needed something glamorous, the entire wall would have been useless. Which over the course of history, could have changed the entire story for the city of Jerusalem. There are direct links between the wall built in Nehemiah and the Siloam Pool in John, where Jesus heals the blind man. This is also where Peter later healed the man who couldn’t walk!! These are big things! Big things that were brought about by people, years earlier, doing the mundane things that God had called them to do.

We never know what God has planned for our kids, our husband or even ourselves. We have no idea how He is going to use the mundane to fulfill His plan for amazing things in the future.  Take heart though sisters, because He IS going to use them!!

So enjoy those moments in the car on the way to drop off and pickup. Enjoy the tummy tickles while changing a diaper. Take time let little hands join you in the soapy dish water after dinner. Embrace the mundane moments of life.

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You only get these moments once and you never know what they are doing in the lives of others!

 

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Suffering. A New Kind of Prayer.

I recently listened to a podcast that talked about suffering and forgiveness in a whole new way. At the risk of sounding totally cheesy, it changed my world.

Here’s the link: Podcast with Jami Nato   You should listen to it. Really!

One of the things that stuck with me the most was the challenge to pray for suffering. So often, we feel like God should be blessing us…and most of us think of the word “blessing” to mean: money, big house, easy life, no struggles, no pain, etc.

But what if He blesses us by carrying us through the hard times? What if He blesses me by allowing me to be broken? What if He blesses me by drawing me to a place where I can’t help but rely on Him for every. single. thing.?

Timidly, fearfully, but also filled with hope, I have started praying this prayer. I’m not brave enough to pray it every day. There are some days where I just don’t have the strength to utter those words.

“Lord. Break me. Take me to a place where I can’t breath without asking you for the strength.”

It is painful. This is not an easy prayer to pray. It’s not a prayer I am always willing to pray. To ask for pain? To ask for suffering?

James 1:2-4 says:  Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Perseverance, mature, complete, not lacking anything. These are all words that I want to describe my relationship with my Jesus.

And, in it all, I want to find the joy. Amidst the pain. Amidst the sorrow. Through it all, I want to find joy in who my Jesus is.

Will you pray this prayer with me??

 

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Oh, I love you so.

To my sweet boy or girl,

The first time I ever heard God speak audibly to me, was when He told me about you. I will never forget that day, or the tears that were shed.

It was in that moment that I knew there was a child out there that was supposed to be a part of our family…a child not of my flesh and blood, not of my genes, but a child I was called to love as though that were the case. Just as Christ loves me.

I want you to know these things child of mine…

I do love you. Already. I love you and pray for you every day. And I have since that morning when God first whispered to my heart about you.

In my eyes, you are already a part of our family.

Please know that I am broken. I am imperfect and I will make mistakes. I know that this journey we are embarking upon may be one of the most difficult of my life, but baby, it will also be one of the best.

I can’t wait to learn with you, to grow with you, to watch how you complete our family. I know its not easy. And it won’t be. Its not supposed to be.

There isn’t a single thing you can do that will me love you less. There will be days when you go to bed frustrated, or when I go to bed frustrated. But know, that through that, you are my child, and I LOVE you!

I don’t know your story yet. I don’t know why you get to be a part of our family instead of the one you were born into…I want you to be able to ask me that. When you are ready, child of mine, I want you to ask any question you can think of. I want you to know about your heritage and I want to help you celebrate it.

God is going to do something amazing with that story of yours, the one we are writing and adding to each day…I want to learn how to embrace that with you.

Have patience with me, sweet child, and I will try my best to do the same. We are both learning. We are both new at this…lets remember that, and remind each other of it, when it seems like we have forgotten.

And like I said earlier, always remember, I love you. Always have, always will.

-Mom

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Lessons from a Potty Training Mama

Last week I decided to start potty training my Kennedy girl…I mean, who doesn’t think that is a good idea?? And by last week, I mean on New Years Eve…just the perfect time, right?

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Well, I’m not sure how well the potty training is sticking, and its not without trying hard you guys, trust me, but there are some other lessons being learned…by me, not her.

Isn’t that how it works…you try to teach your kid something new, and end up being the one to learn the most? I find this an obvious pattern in my life.

So, here are the lessons I’ve learned…

*DISCLAIMER: THESE ARE EXPRESSED IN THE FORM OF POTTY TRAINING, AND TEND TO INCLUDE THE TERMS PEE AND POOP…BUT I’M PRETTY SURE I’M SUPPOSED TO LEARN THEM JUST IN LIFE AS WELL.
  1. I am fiercely stubborn. “Oh, you don’t want to go potty right now? Well you are going to sit here until you do, because I am NOT losing this battle. This can be a good thing. It can also be very detrimental when used in the wrong way…
  2. A close follow up to the first one, sometimes its best to just surrender. Sorry, mom, but making her sit there for 2.5 hours is not going to cause her to enjoy the potty training process even a little bit. And it is most likely to back fire in a big way.
  3. Sometimes you just have to let your kids pee in their panties..they have to feel the uncomfortableness in order to understand the why.
  4. Attitude is everything…so get yours in check. How often is it that I get to spend every day, all day, reading stories with my girl in a 12’x 16′ space because it is the only space in our house with hard floors? Not often (thank You, Lord!!!), so enjoy it. Embrace it and all its dimensions. Before you know it she will be married and potty training her child…ok, not really, but still!!
  5. The moment that poop hits the water in the toilet, you think…”ahh this is totally worth it.” No longer will there be a poopy baby in her bed, in your living room, sitting in your favorite chair with only a thin diaper protecting it from what lies within. Sometimes the stinky things in life are totally worth it because of what they bring about.
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Introduction – Hello World!

First things first…every good friendship always has to start with an introduction. My name is Alicia!

 

There are few things that bring me more joy than having a group of the people I love most, over to my house. I love making a huge spread of food, opening up our coffee bar and taking individualized orders, and then sitting around sharing life with those around me…I wish I could do that with each and everyone of you right now. I want to know you..your name, your occupation, your hopes, your dreams. I want to talk about what God is doing in each of our lives, and then spend time praying with and for each other. I wish that were possible.

 

This is the next best thing…

You have arrived at my home on the internet! This is where I will share my heart, the embarrassing and hilarious stories that always seem to find me and my family, as well as our journey to adoption and the call God has placed on our lives. I will share projects, crafts, recipes, and all the things.

View More: http://ellejaephotography.pass.us/ejp2015

 

It will be as though you are a part of my family…you get to see the deep inner workings and the fun things on the surface. Most of all, this is an invitation for you to enter our house and become a part of our family, a part of our life…this life is more than anything we ever could have hoped for or dreamed of…it is OUR FULLER HOUSE.

 

Welcome..do come in!!

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