Friday, February 4, 2011

Catching up...

It has been a while.. it is a new season, and with that comes many new things for us.

We're expecting our 4th baby (2nd boy) in June. VERY VERY excited for that! It's crazy to me that despite how heavy the tiredness of pregnancy can be, this time around I seem to have kicked into a new season of wife & motherhood. I have all this motivation & almost an addiction to keeping my home how I desire it on a fairly regular basis, along with a craving to learn more & more about cooking and actually preparing new meals (despite my absolute fear of messing it up). So far, so good.

I have started taking an account of what I've been making, old or new recipes, to show myself that I actually CAN do it! :) The past 2-3 weeks these are the meals I have made for dinner (some are pretty simple, but I've just been writing them down so I can stop getting down on myself and see it on paper, plus.. it's more motivating):

*Stroganoff (spelling?)
*Chicken (seasoned differently than I have before), rice & veggies
*Stew w/corn bread (I tried a NEW way of thickening the broth, not my fave, but I learned from the experience)
*Spaghetti & french bread
*Grilled quasadillas
*Grilled Tacos (THOSE were sooo yummy!)
*Corned Beef & cabbage (NEW, and turned out DELICIOUS!!)
*Coleman's Mexican Street Tacos
*Ham w/corn & peaches (FIRST time cooking a ham.. turned out great)
And tonight, Kevin & I started on our first Chunky Potato & Ham Soup.. I'll have to post how that turns out once we finish it tomorrow.

This morning I tried out a new waffle recipe from my friend Amanda. It was pretty great. She has an awesome recipe where she'll even throw in a can of baby food (like bananas, applesauce, squash, sweet potatoes, etc) to add some flavor. It sounds kinda gross but it's actually really good 'cause it doesn't just taste like bread w/syrup. I didn't have baby food, so I just threw in a large spoonful of the last bit of applesauce that we had and it was great :)

Anyways, lots of changes in our lives. Kevin got a new job with a wonderful schedule. It's the first time in soo long that we've had a STEADY schedule. PLUS, he only works four 10 hr shifts a week so we have Fri, Sat & Sun together every weekend. SOOOOO NICE!!! I'm so thankful. I feel like the Lord truly blessed us with the job because we weren't even looking into it, Kevin just bumped in to an old friend from high school who mentioned it.. Kevin applied, went in for an interview & had the job w/in 2 weeks. AWESOME!!!

This past year has been one of SERIOUS growth in our marriage, in our parenting, and just in life overall. The first half was quite a roller-coaster, and the second half seemed to be a slow uphill climb for the better. So grateful to have had a husband who has stuck it out with me & growth through & past the battles & baggage we had/have. The praise is ALL to God, seriously!

I've been learning so much about how to have a healthy balance in my home-keeping and parenting. I've assigned myself two days a week (Tuesdays & Saturdays) that I finish all of my laundry. And when I say "Finish" I mean that I don't just run all the loads, I actually fold them AND put them away. Before, I kept running into a procrastinating spirit of getting all the way to the folding.. but then leaving the piles there on the couch for far too long. By the time I got to putting them away, I was already bringing out the loads from the next several days of build up. This is such a simple thing, it frustrates me that I am JUST NOW learning a better routine. But, just happy I'm learning! lol

My new challenge (as stated above) is to have 3 nights a week (not set nights) that I am cooking full meals.. whether something simple or trying something new. The point, for me, is to become more comfortable in the kitchen. I'm really seeing how much I need this now that our kids are getting older & eating so much more at a time. I've come up with great "filler" snacks as well, that are pretty healthy, too. (i.e. raisins, carrots, cheese sticks or slices, celery w/PB, apples, yogurt w/raisins & cut up apples, etc)

The kids are growing & learning so many new things.. I can hardly keep up. It's fun to watch, and then of course there are those new "stages" that they enter (like my wonderful 3 year old right now) that I just want to strangle! haha. I'm doing okay learning how to parent with more self-control & patience.. but the past 2 weeks have definitely given me a run for my money. Kyran has been in this stage of asking WHY WHY WHY to EVERYTHING! For the most part, I can keep up with the answering.. but now Alahna has started into her stage of blatant disobedience or just plain ignoring me when I ask her a question. THAT is SOOO WEARING on my patience. For the most part, I'm keeping up with it, but I am definitely hitting those end-of-the-week NEED-a-break-desperately!! Luckily, with Kevin have the 3-day-weekends, I'm usually able to get at least some down time or time out alone by myself or only taking one child. That is so nice.

Anyways, just wanted to catch up, for memories sake ;)

'Til next time....................

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

When the Enemy seeps in...

I felt him... gnawing at my soul, once again. The moment I allowed myself to believe in the lies & allow the fear to seep in, I allowed him in with. Horror grips me & steals sleep each night. I wake, although not really ever sleeping, to sounds that drive me crazy... the worry begins to take over until I can't even get myself out of bed to go to the bathroom. "WHY!??? STOP IT!!! It's all make believe, Brandi... just get up. Stop letting the fear control you."

This is what happens to me whenever I watch movies or TV shows that have anything to do with my worst nightmares-- murder, rape, kidnapping, burglery, etc.

I've been really battling this because I know I'm "spiritually sensitive" or very "aware" of that whole realm... but it's so difficult to consciously CHOOSE to not watch the same movie as someone else just because I know it's going to bug me later or keep me awake at night. I feel like I shouldn't struggle w/it so much anymore, as I've been an adult for several years now. Yet, no matter what, it leaks in to every part of my day like a bad hangover... and it's horrifying during the night.

Tonight I enjoyed a wonderful night out to dinner with the ladies from bible study, and as I was ampt up on laughter & fellowship, I decided I needed to follow up with getting into the Word (I've been lacking the past two weeks). So, while my husband turned on a show, I opted to stick my headphones in, listen to some Christian music on my IPOD, & do some devotions. I'm so thankful I did because I truly feel the Lord led me to this verse in Psalms 94, verse 19
"In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul."

I'm making it a goal to etch this into my mind & praying it will help me to filter out the visions I allow myself to store up, and God-willing, it will also fill me up with His comfort & peace.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hard way to the high way

God has taught me more this season than I can ever recall learning in my life. He has shown himself to me in deeper, more intimate ways than I have ever experienced. His glory absolutely blows my mind. He has covered me in my weakness & lack of wisdom; he has comforted me in my despair & loneliness; and he has filled me to overflowing every single time I have been thirsty & hungry for more of him. .. sometimes even when I haven't asked but he knew my heart & cared for me. The box I kept my heavenly Father in has expanded... or rather, he's burst through it at the very second that I finally said, "Okay.. WHO are you!? I know you are more than what I've made you... reveal yourself to me."

I used to shrug my shoulders hearing Christians talk like this... thinking something like, "yeah whatever I know God rocks but that's just so cliche.. get real, it's just God & I know I'm going to heaven, why do you gotta get so spiritual on me? Geez... let go & relax." Funny thing is that I understand this now so deeply that I want to scream his glory to the ends of the earth! Sometimes the overflow of glee in my heart wants to literally jump out of my heart & attach itself to someone else! lol.. yes, you can laugh... it does seem kind of silly, but.. that's Jesus for ya, far larger.. far greater.. far more mesmorizing than you can even imagine. It's so amazing to me to read his Word just to find out that I only know in part now & will know his glory in full when we meet face to face. He is so perfect right now, how can I even stand before him later? Wow. Pure awe. Genuine thankfulness. Overflowing. From which this poem was birthed,

"In the dark lasts fleeting good, it seems, where through the light warmth repairs
As we fight to break the chains, through fire, lasts momentary pains
The dragons hide between the slits, to close them off gains heavenly bliss
Only when His love's embraced will we see the finish line mark this race
To shine but only through the good would defeat the end goal, without prize
To come out on top we must go through and under, not around
To run away is to take the path most walked and love not found
Medicine in smiles. Sickness in Chains. Prison in the Other's trap.
Freedom where the arms are open when out of chaos beauty's caught
And through the seasons pass many lessons to be taught
It matters not what circumstances change 'til character's been rearranged
Alter not the loved ones near, but rather what's inside the fear
Strong is not where pride is found but where forgiveness renews
And 'til the day of offering, restoration spirals through the drain
Filter out what's not to catch, seek his eyes to unlock the door.
Drain. Repair. Clean. Renew. Or walk the same and must re-do.
Eternity awaits the seeker's heart, even when he must re-start."

The journey isn't always easy, but like our pastor shared this Sunday... "You often have to take the hard way to get to the high way."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

More than a Conqueror

I can't imagine life without Him, again.. Although he never left me, I left him for a time... today I celebrate who I've become since the day I surrendered it all:

"Praise the Lord, oh my soul & forget not all his benefits--who forgives all your sins, & heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit & crowns you with love & compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." (Psm. 103:3-5) he's my forgiver, healer, redeemer, he satisfies & blesses, & He's ultimately my savior! WOW! He really did do it all & continues to do it all to this day.

I read these verses in bible study this week & I realized that God really has healed my broken heart from the many twists & turns life has taken.. He really has forgiven me for my sins, even the ones I commit each & every day from here on out; He has redeemed me & delivered me from all the evil habits of my past, of my youth. Each day He creates in me a new desire to go even higher with him. He satisfies me when I turn to him, and even when I close my eyes from him for a time he lifts up my chin & reminds me that he blesses the pure in heart & he will show himself to me (Mt. 5). He has saved me beyond what any words could describe or express. He fulfills so many of my desires, piece by piece, little by little & sometimes by a lot, day by day. I'm so thankful the veils have been lifted for He IS who he said he was, "Jesus Christ, Lord of Lord, God Almighty, Creator, Healer, Redeemer, Savior of all!!!!!!!!!!" I can only imagine what it will be like to stand before him one day & see his glory in full!!!!!! I will stand in absolute awe, as I stand now.

In your heavenly name, Father God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit that fills me up to overflowing & opens my heart to reality of who you've made me to be, "More than a Conqueror," (((**wow**)))... thank you,


Monday, May 3, 2010

To the best parts of my day

There's very few greater satisfactions than waking up to a big gummy smile & tiny little baby toes. .. Big eyes that say, "You are the biggest part of my life & I love you," without any actual words. .. a smell that I could inhale repeatedly throughout the day & gain a new smile each every time; all this showering over the simple fact that this beautiful being came from my body created by my same Creator. WOW.

Dedicated to my sweet children who bless me far more than they ever drain me.. haha.