Category Archives: Parenting

A Confession, Apology and Update.

Standard

A Confession:

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

1 Peter 1:13

Self-control. This is my greatest struggle. I think that the underlying cause of all sin is selfishness. We sin because we put our own desires first; we fail to control ourselves. I am lazy, thus the name of this blog, and I struggle with motivating myself to do the things I know I should be doing. And I feel bad, guilty, ashamed but I fail to truly grasp the importance and implications of my actions (or lack of action). The verse I quoted above is really only useful if taken in context. It begins, “Therefore.” My first youth pastor always said, “If you see a ‘therefore’ in the Bible, you should ask, ‘What’s it there for?'” In this case it is there to connect the directions and guidance for living with the reason for those directions. Why do we need to be self-controlled? 1 Peter chapter one begins with Peter addressing the persecuted church scattered throughout the nations. He is talking to believers and he starts by reminding them of the hope they have in God. He reminds them of their salvation and then tells them, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action..”  The passage continues and he says in verse 17:

“Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

1 Peter 1:17-18

My life, your life if you are a believer, has been bought, redeemed, saved. We were not purchased with money, silver or gold or any other perishable thing of this world, but with the perfect, priceless, blood of Christ. What more motivation could I possibly need to do anything?! And yet, I struggle…

I struggle with getting out of bed first in the morning when I would much rather snuggle with my handsome hubby and get a few more minutes of sleep.

I struggle with staying active and caring for my body in a way that glorifies God.

I struggle with self-control in the area of reading. I have always been a bookworm, and reading can be a great thing, but for me it is also a temptation, a way to escape into fantasy worlds and avoid dealing with the chores and day-to-day monotony of my life, a life that Christ died to give me, but I dare call boring.

I tell my husband that I would, “go anywhere for a year,” meaning a foreign mission field or California, where ever. I have always dreamed of living in a third world country and I would go in a heartbeat given the opportunity, but I can’t manage to keep up with the laundry or minister to the people in my community here. I once heard a sermon where the pastor compared our service to God to different denominations of money. He talked about giving our “quarters” and not just our “thousands.” I would give my thousands in the form of moving, leaving home and family and everything familiar, but I fail to give my quarters, the small, daily sacrifices that life is composed of.

I think the only real cure for this is a better understanding of the sacrifice made for me, for all of us. The convicting work of the Holy Spirit working in my life so that I can fully understand the importance of my actions.

I seek to serve God, please my husband and care for my family, in that order and I ask your prayers for me as I daily struggle to control my sinful self and to “live as a stranger in reverent fear.”

An Apology:

I lied to you. My last post indicated all of these great topics that I was going to write about and how I would blog once a week and it was going to be great. Well, if you read my confession above then you know that blogging is not the only thing I have not been doing that I should be. I love having this blog and the opportunity to share with the world and I hope that ya’ll benefit from my writing. I hope to write for you move often in the future, but in the meantime I hope you will forgive me for misleading you.

An Update:

Oh how time does fly. I read a quote a friend posted on Facebook the other day that said: “the days are long but the years are short.” That is exactly how I feel. Micah is incredible. He keeps me busy and I am often tired and suffer from cabin fever so that my days feel long but I can’t believe his birthday is just over a month away. No way has he been here a year already! Yet, in someways it seems like he has always been here; it’s hard to picture our family without him. Just this week he learned to clap, so that is his new favorite thing and he grins every time  waiting for me to say,”Yay!” He is super active, crawling and pulling up on everything. He has learned that he can lean against the back of our couch and then stand without holding on to anything so he can play with his toys. He is really close to walking but hasn’t yet gotten brave enough to stand on his own. I’m excited to see him grow and learn new things but I’m in no hurry for him to grow up or become any more mobile than he already is. He is so cute. I need to take some pictures and share on here. But, for now I am going to go get him; I can hear him waking up from his nap.

Advertisements

Upcoming Topics

Standard

I have realized that Sundays are the best time for me to be able to sit down and type up a blog post. We have church in the morning, then come home and have a quiet afternoon while Micah naps, before heading back to church in the evening. So, Sunday afternoons would be the ideal time for me to try and work on this blog. I’m not promising a new post every Sunday (since I am really bad at sticking to those kinds of promises) but I think you will see more posts, more often.

Here is a list of topics that I have been wanting to address for quite a while now. If any of you have other ideas or things that you would like to see me write about, feel free to leave suggestions in the comment section.

So, in no particular order:

1. Cloth diapering: I LOVE CDing and get a lot of questions about how it works, how much it costs, etc. This will probably require two or three posts to do it justice.

2. Going “No Poo”: this will also be a series dealing with eliminating the poo in our lives. I will detail some easy, practical ways to do this while saving money.

3. The problem with marriage: why so many marriages fail and what we can do about it.

4. Homeschooling: what does the Bible have to say about it?

5. Confessions: my testimony

6. Vaccines: what you should know beforehand

7. The problem with accountability partners, and another confession.

8. Confession: why I want to be a missionary, and why I would be really bad at it.

9. Amber Teething Necklaces: what’s all the hype about?

10. My room-a-day home cleaning schedule.

11. Some recipes we love.

That’s all I have so far but it will probably take six plus months to cover them all. Again, if you have any other topics you would like me give my opinion on, please leave a comment letting me know.

Family (Un)Planning

Standard

If you read my page Radical Faith, Radical Obedience, Radical Life, you will see that Christian and I don’t practice family planning. I sometimes say that we are “quiverfull” for simplicity because most people know what that means, but in all honesty we don’t really identify ourselves that way. For us it’s simply part of being radically obedient to our Lord and Saviour.

Once, during a discussion in an Introduction to Ethics class in college, I stated that I would never enter into a relationship with a man who was not a Christian. There was a lot of (mostly) respectful debate over the issue and most of my classmates disagreed with me, but for me it comes down to this: what good is religion that doesn’t change your life? If I say I am a Christian and try to live a Christ-centered life, why would I want to try to build a relationship with someone who does not have the same worldview or who has a completely different set of values than I do? It doesn’t make sense. What good is religion that has no impact on your daily life? None. It has no value.

So, when it comes to family planning, housecleaning, child-naming, wall-painting…everything should be evaluated in light of what the Bible says. Some things, the Bible is very explicit about, somethings not. When it comes to grocery shopping, there is no verse of scripture that I can look up which tells me if it is ok for me to purchase soda, potato chips or one brand of cheese over another. However, there are many verses which instruct us to care for our bodies as temples of the Lord, or to work and care for the Earth which we were placed here to tend. There are also many, many verses which address fiscal responsibility and proper money management. It is up to me to prayerfully make the best decisions that I can, based on the information available to me. The same is true for family planning.

The Bible actually has quite a bit to say on the matter of children, pregnancy and childbirth, but before we get to that, let me just explain how I came to the realization that family planning is bad.

Christian and I were married August 7, 2010. I was on the pill at the time and had been for a number of years because I suffered from Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) which basically meant that I had PMS on steroids and was bed-ridden for the first day or two of my cycle each month. The hormones delivered via the pill, prevented my symptoms from becoming so severe and allowed me to function more or less normally during that time. However, it did some very weird things to my emotions. I felt completely out of control of myself. I would get mad for no reason, and intellectually I knew that I was being unreasonable, but I didn’t feel like I could control it. I would go days of barely speaking two words to Christian for fear of biting his head off if I opened my mouth. We knew that we wanted kids but when we said “I do” we were both unemployeed and had thousands of dollars of student loans, so we didn’t think we would be able to afford kids for quite a while.

A couple of months into our marriage I was really wanting to get off the pill but I was terrified of what would happen if my PMDD symptoms returned. We considered alternative contraceptives but didn’t find anything we thought would really work for us. About that time, the Lord began working on my heart. I heard an interview on the radio of Steve and Candace Watters talking about the book they co-authored titled, “Start Your Family.” Basically it was designed to challenge Christian couples on their world-view. And it worked. It really made me stop and think about how I was viewing children. The Bible clearly states that children are a blessing (Ps. 127 &128). However, the American culture says that children are expensive and the prevent you from having a fullfilling career, or being able to travel or sleep in late on Saturday. I was very convicted that I had been thinking of children as an expense we couldn’t afford rather than a way that God may choose to bless us.

I approached Christian with what I was feeling and while he understood what I was saying, he wasn’t immediately convinced that we should do away with the contraceptives. I was still very nervous about what to expect if I went off the pill and while he was working and we were making ends meet, we still didn’t feel that we could afford a child. So, we prayed about it, and talking about and read what the Bible had to say. In the end we both became convinced that to try to exert our own influence over our family size is hubris. Basically, if we believe what the Bible says about children (that they are a blessing and reward from God) and what the Bible says about God providing for us (He will never give us more than we can handle and He has plans to prosper us), then, in light of all that, trying to plan our family according to our own wants, we are looking God in the face and saying, “We don’t want your blessings. Why don’t you bless us some other way, but not with children.” or maybe, “We want you to bless us in two or three years, but not right now, right now we want finacial blessings.” We are assuming that we know better than God how many kids we should have and when we should have them. Otherwise, if we trully beleive all of those things the Bible has to say about children and providing for us, then we would be willing to let God act in our lives, bless us as He sees fit, when He see fit and provide for us in the same way.

So, in January, after about six months of marriage, we agreed that we would never again use either contraceptives or fertility treatments. Instead, we would live our lives as husband and wife, striving to honor God in our daily lives and if He chooses to bless us with kids, great, if not, that is ok too. Ironically enough, after going off the pill, not only did my PMDD symptoms not return, my emotional state significantly improved, as did our satisfaction with our physical intimacy. We felt liberated and like the stress of constantly thinking, “Did I take my pill?” or “When should we have kids?” all of that was no longer an issue.

In May, we made the decision to move to be closer to family. This meant that Christian quit his job and at the time we moved, he had not yet found another job. So, when on July 13th I took a pregnancy test and saw that positive sign, we were super excited, and also super under employed. As a testament to God’s faithfulness, He blessed Christian with a part-time job the same week we found out we were expecting. So, we then had income  but there was no way we were going to be able to afford health insurance for a baby. I, being young, am still on my parent’s insurance, so we were able to afford my drs appointments.

So, we began to prepare and plan for the birth of our child. Our family blessed us with many hand-me-downs, and gifts all the while making not-so-subtle comments about bad timing or unplanned pregnancies. Then in January 2012, when I was seven months pregnant, Christian was promoted to manager which came with a $3/hr pay raise. Now, we would be able to afford health insurance! Again, God had proven himself faithful and provided for our needs in His time, not in our time.

Micah was born on March 16th. You can read all about his story on my post, Micah’s Story. Long story short, our planned out-of-hospital birth ended up in a c-section. Immediately after his birth, I was so happy and excited. We loved him to death and were so happy to be parents, but we both also experienced some doubt and anxiety concerning our committments about not planning our family. Doctors kept telling me that I should wait 18 months before conceiving again, which gave Christian pause as he was concerned about my health. The health concerns is not what worried me though, it was our family. Everyone was very excited about Micah, but it didn’t take more than a couple of weeks before I started hearing comments like, “We sure hope you’re going to wait a while before having another.” or, “I bet you changed your mind now that you know what you’re getting yourself into.”

It took a lot of prayer and repeatedly reading Psalm 139 to quiet my doubts and stop worrying about what others think. We are at peace with our decision and honestly believe that to really trust and honor God with this area of our lives, we must leave things up to Him. If it weren’t for my less-than-supportive family, I wouldn’t have any qualms whatsoever. I feel that my health is better and mine and Christian’s relationship, as well as our relationship with God has only grown stronger and closer since we decided to (un)plan our family.

I hope this has given you some food for thought. Please, feel free to contact me with any questions or (respectful) comments.

An overdue update

Standard

I haven’t posted in quite a while, so here we go!

Micah is almost 5 months old…crazy! He had a doctor’s apt. this week to get a couple of vaccines (remind me to post about vaccines, what we’re doing and why). While there, the nurse weighed him. He weighs 14.7 lbs. My little man is growing up fast! He rolls over in both directions, plays with his feet and is REALLY close to sitting up by himself.

This past Sunday I discovered kinda by accident just how close he is to sitting up on his own. We got to church late for Sunday School and I needed to nurse Micah, so I fed him then stayed with him in the nursery playing with the other babies until it was time for the service. After he had eaten, I sat on the floor with him on the floor in front of me. I was holding onto his hips so that he had to support and balance his upper body. And he just sat there, sitting up straight and not wobbling around at all. So, I let go, and he just kept sitting there! I had no idea he could do that! He sat for almost a minute unsupported before falling over. I was completely amazed. So, he can sit up for brief periods and is getting better everyday.

Christian is going to Wisconsin on a business trip this week. It will be the longest we have been apart since getting married and the first time we have been apart at all since Micah was born. I’m sure it will be hard, but he is also really excited about the trip. Then, as soon as he gets back, he will begin teaching a math class at our local community college. Also, I am going to be caring for a little boy whom I will refer to as “A,” beginning Friday. He is 6 weeks younger than Micah, so I’m sure I will be VERY busy. So, this week coming up is going to be a lot of firsts and some big changes, but I’m excited to see how God is working in our lives and we are very grateful for the new opportunities He has blessed us with!

On another note, I am venturing into the world of cloth diaper sewing, and so far I have had a lot of fun, but I’m still not sure how well my creations are going to work. I’ll keep you posted!

Neighborhood, with a capital “N”

Standard

When my parents were married, May 24, 1986, they began to build a house. It was completed in October of that same year and by the time I came along in May 1988, they were well settled. From the day they brought me home from the hosiptal, until August 19th 2006, that is the only house I ever called home. Not many people can say that, at least not anymore. But from August 2006 to today, I have moved 11 times. Most of these were very small moves across campus from one dorm to another, but they still involved packing up everything I owned and relocating. Now that I am married, I want to settle and be able to provide Micah with the kind of stable childhood I had. But I don’t know if that will ever happen.

I find myself reluctant to get involved or build relationships because I don’t know how long we will be living here. And the weird thing is, I have no reason to feel this way. One, we have no plans to move, and two, this is the same community that I myself grew up in, so you would think it would be easy for me to fit in, get involved and get to know people. But, for some reason, I just don’t feel settled. Maybe it’s a result of renting, or perhaps it is God’s way of telling me that He has something else planned for us, I don’t know. What I do know is that I want to get involved, build relationships and “settle down” at least for now.

One way I am trying to start doing this is by starting a babysitting co-op. I want to develop the kind of friendships that make a neighborhood, a Neighborhood, full of people who really know and care for each other and hopefully provide a safe and lovingI environment for Micah to grow up in with close friends and other adults we can trust. After all it takes a village…

Serving God, running, diapers, ipads and rolling over

Standard

So, here is an eclectic post about recent happenings in the White household.

Serving God:

Christian and I have been really convicted recently about our lacsidaisical prayer life. We have never really made a point to pray together on a regular basis and lately, neither of us have been praying much on our own either. We have been feeling rather lost for a while; searching for purpose and trying to figure out where God is calling our family to serve. In other words, we feel like we are just existing and not doing anything to make a difference. Two Sundays ago we attended Stony Hill Baptist Church for the first time and loved it! I was comfortable leaving Micah in the nursery (really big deal!), the people were friendly and welcoming and we both felt the Sunday School lesson and sermon were written just for us. (Joshua 1 and Ecclesiastes 1) After that I attended a ladies bible study, which I wrote about and again, I felt welcomed and comfortable. The book and discussion were very relevent in my life and only served to convict me more about my lack of relationship with God. I feel that I have gotten into a rut of performing and not worshiping. Obedience is more than just not sinning…a lot more.

So, Christian and I have started doing a devotional together: “A Call to Die” by David Nasser. It is gritty and asks some tough questions while leaving you no room for excuses. We are also making a point to pray together at least once a day and I have started praying over Micah, out loud, when I put him to bed.  I am also doing an Inductive Bible study by Kay Arthur studying the pentateuch. Christian is going through “Solo” a one year long devotional which uses The Message. I already have noticed some subtle changes in how we are relating to one another. Since we are going through “A Call to Die” together and discussing all of the questions  out loud it has opened up some doors of communication that we needed to open. The book asks some very personal questions which has required us to really confess our sins and weaknesses to each other and God; a humbling and bonding experience.

We have spent a long time saying, “What does God want from our family?” We have tossed around ideas of graduate school, military service, seminary, serving over-seas, adoption/fostering and many others, some of which we have seriously persued, only to come up short either because of finances, God not opening the door or lack of serious interest. So we go through the daily grind, doing the same-old-same old and not committing to anything. I still don’t know what the big picture is for our family, but I do know that if we serve Him and make Him the focus of our little, everyday decisions, we will be serving Him. It is stupid of us to sit around waiting for a booming voice from Heaven to tell us to move to Africa, enlist or enroll. We have His Word right in front of us, why not just do what it says and wait and see how He decides to use us?

Running:

Starting this week, Christian and I are training to run a Half Marathon. However, I am the laziest person ever and seriously lack motivation, so we are starting by training for a 5k, then a 10k, then the half. I have a nicely typed out spreadsheet with all of our workouts planned for the next 20 weeks (!). Today was day 4 and, surprisingly enough, I’m really excited with how things are going! My goal is simply to finish the distance and (hopefully) lose 20-30lbs of baby weight in the process.

Diapers:

I just received an order of 16 Kiwaii cloth diapers and I am super exicted about them! The price was excellent and the reviews were encouraging, now I just have to finish pre-washing them so I try them out for myself. 🙂

iPads:

We bought one.

Rolling Over:

Micah rolled from his back to his belly for the first time this morning. He has done it twice today, but he wasn’t very happy about it. 🙂

Two months and counting…

Standard

Micah was two months old yesterday. He is so big now, it is hard to believe that he ever fit inside me. I know everyone says “they grow up too fast” or “my, how the time flies,” but it really seems like a lot more than two months has passed since he was born, not because the days drag by, but because it seems like he has always been a part of our family. Christian and I were talking about this the other day. He said that he feels like the family dynamic didn’t really change that much, though of course it has, but he fit so seamlessly into our lives it is hard to point to a single moment when things really changed.

I am completely healed from the C-section and have recently started exercising again on a regular basis. I am starting slow and aiming for at least 30 mins of cardio every other day, in the form of running or riding my bike. On the other days I do yoga, go for a walk and/or do strength exercises like crunches, push-ups, etc. I am curently about 12lbs heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight and 20-25lbs heavier than my “ideal” weight. Having never been overweight before, I feel surprisingly energetic and spry. I guess I just assumed that if I was 20 lbs overweight I would feel really yucky, but I have always had a pretty healthy self-image and I still feel good about myself. So, I’m not stressing over trying to lose weight, I just want to be healthy.

As for Micah, he is doing great. At his last Dr. appointment, he weighed 10lbs even and was 23 inches long. That puts him in the 35th percentile for height and the 20th for weight. I find that rather amusing since Christian was in the 90th percentile for height and the 75th for weight. But both my dad and my father-in-law are a little shorter than average, so perhaps Micah will take after his grandfathers instead of his father. I don’t care either way as long as he is healthy, which he is. 🙂

The night before last (Tuesday night) Micah slept from 10pm-4:30am, the longest he has slept at one stretch. He is a good sleeper (at night anyways) and normally goes to bed somewhere between 9 and 10. He wakes up to eat every 3 or 4 hrs but always goes right back to sleep, so it really isn’t bad and I get plenty of rest since I have the luxery of sleeping in with him until 8 or 9 most mornings. But, when he slept 6 hours straight I got all excited thinking that maybe he was going to start weaning himself off of some of his nighttime feedings. I was quickly disabused of this notion last night when he woke up at 1:30am, 3am, 4:30, 6 and 7. Clearly, he doesn’t really NEED to eat that often but I nursed him each time because I knew that he would go right back to sleep if I did. However, I can see this leading to some bad habits developing if he wakes up to nurse for comfort and not because he is hungry. I am going to wait until he is three months old, and if he hasn’t begun to wean himself from his nighttime feedings, I probably will make some effort to do so. At least to space them out more. If he can sleep from 10-4 one night, there is no reason he can’t do it every night.

Other exciting things happening in our lives: we sold Christian’s car two weeks ago with the intention of purchasing something bigger, automatic, with decent gas mileage. He had a 2003 Ford Focus ZX3 (2 door, hatchback) which was manual. I am capable of driving a manual if I have to, but I don’t have much experience or confidence and would rather not if I can avoid it. My car is old and very beat up (not my fault!), though reliable so we wanted something a little newer that is big enough for a car sear or two that I can drive and Christian can drive my poor old car to work. We sold his car within 12 hrs of posting it on Craigslist, but two weeks later we have yet to purchase anything else. Which means that either a) Christian rides his bike to work so that I can use the car or b) Christian drives to work and I am stuck at the house all day. This really hasn’t been too bad because Christian can ride his bike, but if he closes, then he doesn’t get home until 9 or later and I don’t want him driving up and down Capitol on his bike in the dark. So, he takes the car on days when he has to close and I stay at home with Micah, but this means that I can’t go look at any othe cars, which is the main reason we haven’t purchased anything. So, to summarize: we need to buy a car so that I have something to drive while Christian is at work, but I can’t go buy a car becuase I don’t have anything to drive while Christian is at work. 🙂

On Monday we had a Five Generation photo shoot, below are some of the pictures from that, courtesy of Bekah Morton.

Image

 

Image