Thursday, October 25, 2007

Catch-up Time

My, have we had a lot going on lately. Last week, Joel's mom came to visit us, and we had a great time with her. Jonah had a blast playing with Nanny every second of the day for five days! He's still talking about her lots and misses her. Last Saturday, Joel had a conference to attend, so Nanny and I took Jonah to the Rose Parade. It's his second year to go, and he's been spellbound by all of the parade participants both times. He especially loved the marching bands, horses, and the Shriners riding around in miniature cars...he called them the "funnymen." Here is what his face looked like the entire two hours:

He's been acting really sweet lately. I'm enjoying it! He seems to have more hugs to give and wants to cuddle more than usual. He's seemed so big lately! I was telling someone today how amazed I am by how much kids change from their second birthday to four months after it! There have been SO many changes in Jonah in the last four months, it seems like he's a different kid. Really, he's changing so fast, it's hard to know what to get him for Christmas because I have no idea what this kid will be like in two more months! There is no question that there have been more challenges in discipline and new things to teach him since turning two, and he's tested me quite a bit during these last months. But the truth is, I'm really having fun with him at this age! (Remind me of that if next week is rough.) Seems crazy. But even with the challenges, there are so many more developments that are really FUN. It's so great to watch his personality develop and especially his little social skills. And then there are moments that just melt your heart: One day a few weeks ago, I was complaining in front of him about something I didn't want to do. It was totally wrong of me to not be careful about what I was saying in front of him. I had to work on this project for a shower I was helping to host, and I had been sick and didn't feel good that night, so I was saying something like, "arrgghh....I don't feel like doing this." It didn't register at that moment that he was listening, but as I walked into the other room to begin working on it, he followed me and said, "Mommy, God will feel you better." Oh. My. Goodness. I couldn't believe my two year old was so sweetly encouraging me and reminding me of Truth! It was so cute how he said it but even more amazing that God would not only convict me through Jonah's words but show me the sweetest kind of mercy in allowing my son to see past my whinyness and be able to give me perspective on God's ability to help me do what I had to do. We prayed together right then asking God to help mommy feel well enough to do her work. It blew me away. We had talked before about God helping him do things and we pray for people to feel better when they're sick, but sadly, we don't talk about it enough. It was neat to see that any truth from God's Word that we talk about in front of our kids has power to actually reach them and get into their hearts enough that they can recall it at appropriate times. INCREDIBLE!

Speaking of him seeming so much older....yesterday my friend Holly came to Tyler with her two punkins, and we hung out at Kate's house for the day. It was so refreshing just to spend time with girlfriends, but it was so incredible to watch our kids all play together. 3-year old Brantley and 2-year olds Jonah and Tyce played so well together the whole day! We didn't have to stay in the same room as them for most of it....they didn't fight over toys or anything. Well, at least they worked it out themselves mostly. We would just listen to them talking to each other and every once in a while they'd crack each other up. Their laughs were precious. But it was such a weird moment to realize that my baby boy was big enough to play with other kids without needing his mommy to intervene every few minutes. I can't explain how strange it was....but I realized in a whole new way how much he has grown and how fast he's changing. I felt like it was a big accomplishment, in terms of his independence. Of course, Brantley and Tyce are two of the sweetest little guys. They all three were so good. And all of us mommies recognized it as the gift from God it was to US, to be able to talk and actually finish most of our sentences and feel like adults for a day! Just a day, but, aaahh, what a day it was! I'm sad I didn't get pictures of all of them, but here is Brantley driving Jonah around in his Jeep:

These boys made me laugh so hard. They got "stuck" at the fence at one point, and it was really funny to me, for some reason. So funny that I was no help to them getting it in forward gear because of laughing so much. Jonah loved it. By the way, Kate found that Jeep at a garage sale for $25!! Can you believe that?! Where are those kind of deals when I'm at garage sales? She should get an award for that kind of bargain.

Today was our last day of Bible study, and I'm a little sad. I really sensed that God did a lot of amazing things in the hearts of so many ladies in that room. It's been really rewarding to hear these ladies share some of the major fears they've been delivered from and the things that they've let go and surrendered to God's control during these seven weeks. All of them testify to experiencing God's peace now. Over half of the ladies told me that they've sent copies of this book to friends of theirs or bought extra copies to send to people...even one lady sent copies to her three sisters (two of which she doesn't know if they're believers) and has invited them to participate in an online version of this Bible study that she plans to lead. I think it's been most encouraging to hear that not only have people in the class been changed by what God has revealed to them and have started walking in victory in some areas that used to be strongholds, but they're reaching past themselves and investing in others' lives with these truths we've studied, as well. It's neat to see God's work continue and see them take an active role in encouraging and leading others. It blesses me so much to see that. I'm very humbled today by the outcome of this class, and not just for them but also the results in my own life. I was excited to lead these ladies through the Calm My Anxious Heart study but I'm struck by how this study was meant for me as well at this time. I didn't realized how much God would work in my own heart when I first decided to lead this one. I learned so much through this journey and have learned to trust God in areas that I honestly wasn't fully trusting God with before this class started. It's just such a neat thing when God does step out to teach others and He teaches you! Like I said, humbling. But incredibly beautiful.

The biggest thing I realized was that I have tricked myself into thinking that I was trusting God and refusing to worry, but really all I was doing was ignoring the problem or the troubling circumstances. That's not trust. I won't have VICTORY in these areas if I can't embrace them as opportunities to let God work in my heart and transform me to reflect more of Him. Pretending pain doesn't exist will get me nowhere. There are blessings to be found in trusting Him....ignoring reality prevents me from going through the process of learning to trust Him even in the most difficult of circumstances. And embracing reality can be really hard. But I've been able to experience God's peace as I've stepped out to embrace some of my own fears and worries over the last couple of months and deal with them according to His desires, so I know for myself that His peace is real and it's good! What an amazing Bible study journey this has been for me.

Hopefully things are a little more back to normal, so I should be posting semi-regularly again! My task for this afternoon is finding a baby-sitter for tomorrow night. We have a community-group event, and all the high schools have Homecoming tomorrow night, so it's been really hard to find a sitter. I better get back to work on that!


the melton's said...

I LOVE that story about "God will feel you better." That melts my heart, too. He is so sensitive. I pray that Luke will one day encourage ME in truth!

Lori, Landon and Logan said...

Jonah is too cute! I still can't wait to meet him! We have to do a playdate in Terrell!!!

Magen Wesson Roberson said...

It's Hannah Luce! I was thinking...who is Hannah E.? I'm so glad you found me. Your boys are really, really cute. I love the story about one of them telling you "God will feel you better." So sweet. I can't wait until Luke can remind me of things like that. Have a great week!

Melody Slaton said...

I'm so encouraged the way you and Joel are training Jonah. You really don't see parents raising their kids with a Christ-centered discipline. This is a huge encouragement for us as we start our family. I would like to know what books you've read to help guide you guys. I've heard that James Dobson has a good one for raising boys.