From the monthly archives: "April 2013"

 

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It’s common knowledge that actions speak louder than words. So what are our actions saying?

I’m sure there are days when my actions don’t say Joy. When I’m frustrated with life, and just trying to get through the day – yup – not much joy there, and I’m sure that whoever I encounter that day can feel that.

So what are things we can do to show Joy in action, not just in our marriage or our relationships, but everywhere.

The verse that has been stuck in my head all week when thinking about this topic is 2 Corinthians 9:7. God loves a cheerful giver. Cheerful; a synonym for joyful. God loves a Joyful giver. I know that this verse is common for tithes and offerings, but I think it can apply to so many things. I give my energy to so many things in a day or week. So what’s my attitude during that? When I’m making meals for  my family, or someone else’s and I being joyful? Am I joyful while cleaning my house? What about folding laundry? When I’m grocery shopping am I leaving the impression of joy on the others I encounter? What about when I’m out for a walk?

There are so many little things we do in a day that when we put joy into our actions we can impact so many other people.

So this week I’m challenging myself to put more joy into my actions.

Our link up is next week! I would love to hear from you all about how Joy has impacted your month.

Sweet Aurora,

Today is the day you were due to arrive, yet I’ve held you in my arms for almost 8 weeks. The last 8 weeks have been some of the best of my life. You are truly my little light. There are so many things I want to tell you about life.

Life gave you an early start, but that won’t matter 5 years from now. You and I fought the hardest battles of our life before you were even born, and in those early days, you’re a fighter my little light. Anything you come up against in life doesn’t stand a chance because I know you have the strength to beat it.

Miracles happen every day! I know this because every day you cooked on the inside was a blessing and miracle to me. God blessed us with 32 weeks of you cooking despite you wanting to arrive 9 weeks earlier.

hugs from Gray

 

 

Your big brother loves you so so much. He is constantly kissing and hugging you every day. When you need your soother, or your swing stops he’s right there helping you. You are so blessed to have a big brother that cares as much as he does.

 

 

 

 

Daddy holding Rory

 

Your father will always be there for you. The only time I have seen your dad smile more with his eyes was on our wedding day. Every time he looks at you he smiles, he can’t help it. No matter what he says about your wardrobe as a teenager (we’ll have a conversation in 12 years), he will always love you, and you will always be his miracle babE girl. To him you will always be a little 4lb babE, and he will always remember holding you in one hand, and the first time he held you.

 

 

 

 

first time holding Rory

 

 

I will always always be here for you! No matter what the time of day or night, the conditions, I am will always be your mom. We will argue (ask Gramma S about the talks we had when I was a teen), we will fight, you will tell me you hate me, but nothing NOTHING will change my love for you. I will always look out for you and tell you how it is even if you don’t like it, that’s my job as your mom. I won’t always be your friend, in fact I probably won’t be your friend till you’re in high school, and even then there will be days. I’m not here to be your friend first, I’m your mom first, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

 

Aurora Elizabeth, I am so blessed to be your mom. I thank God every day that you are my daughter. You are one of the biggest blessings in my life, and I will do everything in my power to protect you every day of my life.

 

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I’ve got the Joy Joy Joy Joy down in my heart, where? Down in my heart, where? Down in my heart!

Did you ever sing this song in Sunday school? When I think of joy this song always pops into my head.

When I think of this I always wonder how do I get joy deep down in my heart? I think the biggest thing we can do to get joy deep in our hearts is to be thankful. I find the days that I really focus and bring attention to the things I’m thankful for I’m a more joyful person. On the tough days, like the last few, I can take a deep breath and remind myself of my blessings and that joy comes back, maybe not with a huge big smile but even just a little one.

Brian and Gray spent last night in the ER. Gray and I have been hit hard by the flu, and after talking with Telehealth last night they suggested that G needed to be seen as soon as possible to rule out severe dehydration and a chest infection. Talk about feeling like a horrible parent. In a matter of a few days G’s gone downhill and become a completely different little man. We originally thought it was just a reaction to being home so much while we were potty training. And what we assumed was food poisoning with Brian wasn’t and now we’ve all been sick (except Rory thank God).

Grayson on the couchSo as horrible as I feel, and as rough as it’s been for Brian and Gray, there are some things that I can be grateful for. Brian was supposed to go back to work today, but his employers are great and he is able to stay home for one more day to help me out, and sleep himself. Gray is not his usual run around like crazy self, but that does mean more snuggles from him. Rory isn’t sick! And the fact that we’re nursing means she’s getting my antibodies to hopefully protect her from getting sick.

I do really feel that being thankful contributes to being joyful. Even on the really hard days if we look for something good, something positive to be thankful for, we’ll find it and we’ll be able to find a bit of joy in our day.

And just because I now have this song stuck in my head, we’ll do some old school Sunday school and here’s a video of it. Not me or my church, but cute kids and a good reminder.

 

There are two people who give the best hugs and I am spoiled enough to get hugs from these two people on a regular basis. These two people are my god parents, my Aunt Barb and Uncle Ralph.

Our Wedding

These two amazing people have blessed me more than I can ever express. They have supported me and loved me my whole life. They prayed for me before I was born, they prayed for Gray and Rory before they were born.

Almost 5 years ago they walked down the aisle in my parent’s backyard minute before I walked down the aisle. As part of our wedding we used sand to symbolize our lives coming together. But we also realized that we wouldn’t be who we are without those people who have poured their lives into us. So we asked key people in our lives to pour sand into our individual vessels as part of the ceremony. I wouldn’t be who I am without their influence. And I am so thankful for their example of marriage in my life.

Today those two amazing people are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. 50 years of choosing to love each other, to serve each other, to honor each other.

There aren’t many couples who will make it to their 50th anniversary especially those in our generation. I don’t know many couples my parent’s age who will either. Which makes me unbelievably sad, but that’s a post for another day.

Ernst-0921Today I am unbelievably thankful for the example that they have set for Brian and I. The example of laying down self for others, staying by the others side no matter what, and the amazing feeling of knowing you married the person God created for you.

 

Aunt Barb and Uncle Ralph,

I am so thankful for you in my life, and my children’s life. Thank you so much for the amazing example you have put forward of what marriage really is. The love you have for God and each other is a beacon to the world.

We love you so much!

Jacqueline and Brian

Grayson and Aurora

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So I’m sitting here writing this post Sunday night and as I look at my planner to see what’s planned for Godly Wife this week I’m almost in tears.

Today has been a day. Like a DAY, well maybe just an evening but I really hope that I don’t have to repeat it ever. My kids have decided to gang up on me tonight. I spent over an hour making one of our favourite meals, Chicken Parm, only to have Gray decide he didn’t want to eat it. We’ve been having this battle a bit lately, one that both Brian and I have agreed we’re not going to give in on. Missing a meal isn’t going to hurt Gray, he’s usually a great eater, but when he decides he doesn’t want to eat something he’s not going to eat it, and we’re not going to give in an give him something else. Which is really really REALLY hard when he’s sitting at the table pouting and crying, and you haven’t slept well in about 3 months. And then on top of that Aurora has been unsettled for the last few days, I don’t know if it something I’m eating, or what might be happening, but all she wants is snuggles and to scream. So tonight as my son was screaming at the table, and my daughter was screaming in my lap, I was crying trying oh so hard not to give in, and not to feel completely defeated.

In that moment could I have chosen to be joyful, probably not. But it does remind me that I can choose my attitude. That I can choose how to react and I can choose what my next steps are. I could have given in and set a bowl of apple sauce in front of Gray because he wanted it and it was easier. I could have handed R over to Brian, who would have been as baffled at her screams as I was. Instead I stuck to my guns with Gray and agreed with Brian that it was time for bed if he wasn’t going to eat. And I snuggled up Rory, rubbed her back, and prayed that she would be comfortable soon.

In marriage, just like parenting we’ve come up against some less than agreeable situations. There have been things when I’m amazed at the actions of others, and the fact that Brian and I are left to pick up the pieces. There are times when I could just give in, go for a run and ignore what’s going on, the same applies for Brian. There are times when all we want to do is just make the situation go away. But we’re adults and marriage doesn’t work long term if you just put band aids on things, so we make a choice. We choose what’s right not what’s always easy.

Choosing our attitude and reactions in marriage are so key. Choosing to be joyful despite what life it throwing at us is hard, and sometimes the first step is to choose not to let a situation defeat us. Choosing our attitude and choosing joy sometimes starts with just taking a deep breath and reevaluation the situation and deciding to put one foot in front of the other and make the choices that are right, and not the easy ones, and choosing to be okay with that.

This week is a busy week, and even though I’m not sure how I’m going to get through the whole week, I do know that I can take one day at a time, and one moment at a time, take a deep breath and choose how to react and what my attitude is.

April banner

It’s April! We missed March, but I think we’ll catch up on March come January 2014 when things have gotten back into a rhythm for both us and Virginia too. (baby 3 is on it’s way for V and her family and I’m so excited for her).

I have always believed in God’s perfect timing, and well this month couldn’t be better timing. The last 7 weeks of life have been more than a bit crazy! And to be honest there have been times when I’ve let my circumstances choose my attitude rather than choosing it myself. Now we’re home and getting used to life as a family of four.

Now that I’m home and after being in bed for so long and G not being used to me being his primary caregiver. Really not unexpected, for almost ¼ of his life I’ve been in bed or in the hospital with Rory. Listening skills and acknowledging my authority haven’t been happening. Definitely not what I’m used to. So there have been moments in the last few days when my frustration has threatened to take over. So instead of letting the frustration in I’m choosing Joy.

Choosing joy isn’t easy! And choosing joy in your marriage is sometimes even harder!

 

Definition of JOY

1a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires

b : the expression or exhibition of such emotion

2: a state of happiness or felicity

3: a source or cause of delight

 

 

Hmm!! Emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune. A state of happiness. A source for delight. Yup – none of those apply in moments of frustration. So how do we choose it and why?

I remember in the first year B and I were married he traveled a lot. And I mean A LOT! He would be gone for weeks on end, home on weekends, or one day a week, but gone quite a bit, I think when we totalled it up he was out of town for more than 8 months by the time we hit our first anniversary. During that time my attitude stunk when it came to say good bye to him. I hated his job, I hated that he had to leave me home, I hated pretty much all of it. Since then my attitude has changed. Although I’m not excited when he leaves, I am happy that he has a great job, and that his boss trusts him with the responsibility of some of these jobs.

To be joyful is to maintain a good attitude even when faced with unpleasant conditions.

My attitude in that first year; not good! But since then I’ve turned that into joyfulness. I started to look at it from the other side of things. Brian and I got to spend concentrated time together. We were able to have Jac and Brian weekends, and the time we did spend together was so great! We were really purposeful with our time. It was still hard to say good bye, it still is, but I always look forward to seeing him again, and I try to plan something that we can do together just us for when he gets home.

This week we have a crazy week! And the fact that Grayson is still adjusting to being a big brother and having me home full time too has made it even crazier. But before Brian popped out the door to another appointment this afternoon we made a date for Friday night. A movie date at home, but still a date. A time for us to sit and just be for a bit and enjoy some us time.

No we don’t always have something to look forward to when we’re in the middle of something. That’s when it’s hard. I have no idea when Grayson will get used to listening to me again. I have no idea when we’re going to have a day without multiple timeouts before breakfast. And that makes it so hard to choose to be joyful, to choose to have a good attitude despite the frustration. There is no end date, there isn’t a day I can mark on the calendar. So now it’s a practise in choosing joy. To take a deep breath and put a smile on my face and remind myself that this too shall pass, and it will feel like it passes a lot faster if I have a smile instead of a scowl on my face.

This month I’m working on choosing joy! The morning B goes back to work, I’ll choose joy instead of letting the thought of no help take over my day. I’ll choose joy when I have to send Gray for his 10th time out of the day (pray with me that we never have 10 time outs in a day!) And I’ll choose joy when I’m getting out of bed after a long night with Rory, and not let my exhaustion affect my attitude towards everyone else.

 

Sarah and Amber are joining me this month! I’ll be introducing them a bit later this week. But pop over to their blogs and get to know them a bit more. They’re amazing women!

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