reshaping it all: still going

Awhile back it became clear to me: I was asking for the wrong thing. Matthew 21:22 says, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask in prayer.”

First, believe. Believe in God, believe in His Word and believe in yourself. The stronger and deeper your belief goes is what changes the next part.

Whatever you ASK in prayer. The better you know His Word (i.e., the more you believe), the better you know what to ask for.

All these years, I had been focusing on the wrong thing. And a part of me knew it too because I didn’t like to pray about it. I didn’t want to present God with my pity party. I figured, “How selfish when I can be praying about the health of my family and all the problems of the world- why would I pray about my weight and image?”

Reading, He began to speak to me. The words “discipline” and “perseverance” kept appearing. I realized, wanting to be thin, creating a better image of myself was not what I needed. I was focusing entirely on the wrong thing and that was directing me in the wrong way like unhealthy diets, low self-esteem, etc…

I soon realized THAT is what I needed to be praying for. Strength to keep exercising, guidance to make healthy choices, courage to say “no.” Discipline. Perseverance.

My game plan had changed. Those were things I needed to present to God! Not, “God, please help me get into a pair of size 4 jeans.” You can’t build something without the proper tools. You don’t ask for a new house, you ask for the tools and material – then He will guide you on how to use them.

I’m still working on it. Discipline is incredibly hard, however, I have found having it to be one of the most beautiful things. Nothing makes me feel healthier or more beautiful than when I have the strength to run that extra mile or say “no” to a certain food choice.

So, what are you asking for? Whatever it is, break it down, tear it apart and look at the basic structure. The foundation is what you need first (God) and then it is the materials. Keep persevering and being consistent with prayer. Pretty soon, you’ll have all the tools and materials you need to build and strong and healthy you.


To Daddy, Love Baby

Today is not only a day where dads get to sit back and be exempted from lawn mowing or house projects. It is a day honoring the amazing things that happen when man becomes “Dad.”

The man that you knew to wear a rugged beard, dirty jeans and fix leaks morphs into someone who speaks in a high-pitched baby voice, knows how to swaddle, sings nursery rhymes and glows every time he hears “Daddy.”

I’ve never seen my husband so full of love and so sleep-deprived than in the past year. Man doesn’t know patience, energy or his true hair strength until he has children, especially little princesses. Just ask my dad.

So when my monthly column fell on not only Father’s Day, but also the first birthday or our daughter, Audrey, I thought nothing would be better than to write a letter to my husband from Audrey. Although she can’t really speak, I believe this is what she would say.

Dear Daddy,

I know you were a little scared to have a girl and trust me, I would be too. But you and I have something special: You are my leader, my example and my best friend. When I came into the world, you swept me right up and have been giving me that unconditional love ever since.

Thank you, Daddy, for holding Mommy’s hand and cheering her on throughout my arrival. Sorry that she may have broken your hand. And while she was passed out, thank you for recording video of my first bath and asking the nurse all the important questions.

You sure knew how to swaddle me just right, Daddy. Thank you for practicing before and redoing it every time Mommy tried to. Thank you for learning the secret 5 S’s and working so hard at them to help me sleep and be comforted in this new place.

Thank you, Daddy, for being there for Mommy when she was emotional. Thank you for getting up with me in the night and letting me fall asleep in your arms.

I’m sorry about all the pink Daddy, but Mommy can’t help it. I promise that I will wear my Cabela’s overalls, hickory shirts and boots too. And although I am not a boy, I can’t wait to fish, hunt and explore the woods with you, Daddy. I’m excited to get that pink gun you keep talking about.

Thank you for growing tomatoes in the garden for me even though you and Mommy don’t like them, reading me Curious George 10 times in one night and giving me clean diapers. You are always thinking of me and taking care of me.

Thank you, Daddy, for being the faithful leader that you are. You are such a good example, and I can’t wait for you to start teaching me all you know. Your faith and patience will come in handy when I start having boyfriends and periods.

You are so brave and strong, Daddy. Thank you for always assuring Mommy that I’ll be OK when she is worrying and for letting me do the fun things that she won’t. You are always making me laugh.

I’m sorry I’m so expensive, Daddy. But just like how you acquired Mommy’s debt from Grandpa, hopefully some man will take on mine too.

Thank you for taking such good care of Mommy and me, Daddy. You are always working hard so we are happy and comfortable. I hope I meet a man just like you some day.

Thank you, Daddy, for this wonderful year. I’m already becoming a reflection of the wonderful person you are.



dinner chat

husband & wife remembering when they became mom & dad, a year ago. 
B: How did you feel with Audrey first came into the world?
C: I was glad it was over, glad it went fast, glad both mom and baby were healthy, and happy. I couldn’t wait to get home and start our family – and get out of the hospital.
B: I know! I remember us both being so happy because I my water broke at 11:45 p.m. and the hospital starts charging at midnight. That way we didn’t have to pay the daily charge for only a few hours.
C: I liked getting to sleep with you in the hospital bed after Audrey was born.
B: I was constantly waking up checking to see if she was breathing. Funny, I still do that.
B: Those first few weeks are so exciting, but so exhausting.
C: That excitement about getting up every hour with the baby wore off after the first night of no sleep.
B: Was that the most tired you’ve ever been in your life or what?
C: No, I’ve been more tired at work.
B: Oh, so the life of a hard-working, middle-of-the-night rising logger help get you in shape. Nothing could have gotten me prepared for the first few weeks.
C: I quickly learned that everyone has a lot of advice. It was obnoxious. I was ready to figure it out on our own. “That’s great this worked on your kid, but let me figure out what works for us.”
B: That drove me nuts. Wait. Uhh, I write a column and blog…with daily advice. Crap.
B: There is just so much baby stuff too. You say you won’t be the parent with kid things taking over the house and then it happens.
C: No, it just all goes inside the boat. “Just put it in the boat!”
B: (Chris is a little bitter that the boat hasn’t been used, but works well for storage).
C: I never got that gun either. You are supposed to get a new gun when you have a baby girl.
B: Are you going to get Audrey a gun?
C: Yeah. I’ll get her a little pink gun. They make pink guns now.
B: But I did say that you could have good beer for the rest of your life because you have a girl. That was a good deal, huh?
C: Yeah.
B: What are some things you like doing with Audrey?
C: I just got done reading Curious George. I never thought I would read the same book ten times over in one night.
B: What about different things you go through with a girl?
C: I wouldn’t know. I don’t have a boy.
B: But things that are unique to a girl?
C: I’ve got boyfriends, periods and a wedding to pay for.
C: I really like when she is excited to see me come home from work, goes to the patio door and pounds on it yelling, “Da Da!”
B: So you like being a dad?
C: What do you think? Why would you even ask that?
B: Because it just occurred to me that people ask me that all the time, if I enjoy being a mom. Like I’m going to say, “No, I really don’t like it.” (Laugh)

a day in mommyland

I wonder how many times I pick up your toys every day.

I wonder how many paper towels and baby wipes I go through cleaning your face, hands, hair and everything else after you eat.

I wonder how many diapers I really go through per day because that diaper pail gets full so fast.

I wonder how many more cell phones I will have to get because you ate the battery.

I wonder how many times I will have to put the kitchen stuff back in the cupboards and drawers because you learned how to open them.

I wonder how much laundry detergent and Shout! I will go through on your juice stained clothes.

I wonder how many times I’ll have to pick up food off the floor and empty out the high chair.

I wonder how many times I will have to say “no” until you finally get it and stop testing me.

I wonder for how long I will need to dance, sing and jump up and down to get you to stop crying.

I wonder if I’ll ever stop just watching you in awe that you are my daughter and so perfect.

I wonder if I’ll miss your infant car seat now outgrown, your Binky now in the drawer and your bottle because you would rather use a cup.

I wonder if I’ll miss feeding you because you now feed yourself.

I wonder if I’ll ever love anything more.

I really just wonder what my day would be like if I didn’t have you and I can’t imagine. I’m so glad my day is spent getting peanut butter out of your hair, having you yell while I try to get you to hold still cleaning your diaper, giving you numerous baths, having to repeat a certain book or song because you love it, tickling your toes and watching you crack up, turning on music and laughing while you bust a move, listening to you chat with all your stuffed animals and watching your eyes light up when I say, “daddy’s home!”

Although it takes a lot out of us, being a stay-at-home mom is absolutely the best “job.” I’m blessed I get to do it.