Friday, January 31, 2014

Comparison: The Joy Thief

"The more we compare ourselves to others, the more we miss out on our own lives." -Caroline Rothschild 

Isn't this profound! We (people in general, but I am specifically speaking about women) have comparison down to an art. I feel I can speak to this topic just as professionally as the next woman. We all compare ourselves to each other...constantly.

If we are not careful, we begin to have a keeping up with the Jones' frame of mind. Frankly, I cannot afford to keep up with any Jones. I choose not to afford it monetarily and if I were to try and afford it emotionally it would cost much more than I could ever imagine. I know that from first hand experience. The moments when I begin to compare what I have or don't have to others, I instantly lose my joy.

When I heard this quote at a women's conference last weekend, I wrote it down and etched it into my mind and heart. I need this reminder! Can I hear an amen?

Caroline was talking about how social media has made comparisons even more of an issue for our generation of men and women. We are constantly exposed to everyone's "best." So true! This challenged me to check my heart and mind on a regular basis. To be thankful in the good and difficult moments and to always give God the glory and thanks where I am at in my process of life.

Side Note: The conference was called Fresh Grounded Faith and is put on by Jennifer Rothschild. Caroline is her daughter in law. I encourage you to attend if there is a conference at a church near you. Very real, raw and encouraging. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Possibilities in 2014

Right after Karrington was born we were advised not to have any other pregnancies. Doctors had diagnosed me with what was thought to be a pregnancy related heart issue. At first I took the diagnosis and took time to process. I wrote about my process here.
After a couple of years, many tests, and some of my own research, I started asking lots of questions about what the tests were saying and what my research was telling me. Things were not matching up. At my last two appointments, I went in with a list of questions. What I found is that I had been locked into my diagnosis. I wasn't getting any answers that made sense to me. Don't get me wrong, I really like the cardiologist that I was seeing. While seeing him, my heart function improved back to mid range normal. He just wasn't willing to look at other possibilities. 
That is when I decided to get a 2nd opinion. I have heard many stories of the value of a 2nd opinion. Sometimes, different eyes see different things. Also, I didn't go in being diagnosed. It was like there was a blank slate. 
I had taken my mom with me to my last cardiologist appointment, so I asked her to go with me to see the 2nd opinion doctor. I was really nervous. Nervous that I wouldn't get my questions answered yet again. Nervous that the current diagnosis was correct and the slight possibility of ever having another baby would be forever gone. 
All of my nerves were put aside immediately after meeting with the nurse. She was extremely friendly. Next was the doctor. He came in and acknowledged the fact that I was far too young to be in his office. I always joke about bringing the median age of a cardiologist office down several years. He looked over my last heart test and within a few minutes stated that I had the wrong diagnosis. Without replaying the whole doctor office visit, he was able to answer every single one of my questions. He also said that he didn't see any reason why I couldn't have another baby. As you can imagine, it took every single ounce of my energy to hold back the flood of emotion that I was feeling. I felt validated in my search for answers. 
It is like I have received the most precious gift in the world. 2nd opinions can mean 2nd chances. I still have a heart issue, but it will be treated differently and we know it wasn't caused by pregnancy. I still have some work to do in the process. My next step is to meet with the high risk ob (my appointment is made). We will see what they have to say. I am content either way. I feel I have been given a gift, but I know that there is still much to process and to think through. 
I say all of this and am excited at the possibilities. Who knows, there could be a baby Bossio announcement in 2014. We will see. 


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Our New Wake Up Goal

We have made through our first week back at school after Christmas break. It was fast, like full throttle fast, but we survived. Since it was our first week back, I thought that I would try something new in our morning routine. It was a long shot, but with a little pep talk and preparation on my part I knew that we had a chance at success.

I set an alarm in Karrington's room for her to wake up each day. Her instructions are to get up and go potty and then get dressed for school all by herself. I set her clothes out at night before bed. She has coordinated dress at school, so there really aren't many choices anyway (which is a beautiful thing, if I might add). During our fall semester, morning were mostly a battle with her struggling to get up and wanting me to get her dressed while she acted like a limp doll.

This idea came to me after several of my friends posted things on Facebook about setting goals for their children. I thought this would be a great opportunity in teaching responsibility and time management. So far, we are doing great. She got up each morning this week and got herself dressed. There were a few days when her time management was lacking, to be expected, and she had to eat breakfast in the car, but all in all I will say it was a success.

What goals have you set for your children?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Part of my process...learning to be content

It's baby season in our neck of the woods. I have 5 friends who will give birth in the next two months. It was crazy when all of the announcements rolled in last fall. I am excited for each one of the families. A few will welcome their first child, a few their second, and one their fourth. 

If this had all happened a few years ago, my reaction might not have been the same. Four days after Karrington was born, I was told that I would not be able to have a pregnancy again. It was devastating and shocking. Four years later, I have learned to be content. 

When I started on the road to contentment, it wasn't easy. It felt like I got knocked off the road more than I was on it, but I was faithful with the process. I started with thankfulness. I was and continue to be thankful for the pregnancy that I did get to have. I am thankful for the beautiful and smart little girl that I get to spend each and every day with. I am thankful that I get to learn to be a parent alongside my best friend. I am thankful that I have gotten to go through this process. I am thankful that the Lord is the supplier of all of my needs. 

Like I said, it definitely wasn't easy at first, but the more I reminded myself of all the blessings that I have, the easier contentment became. Along the way, we have experienced a few adoptions that fell through. Those were great tests to see how far I had come in the process. I can honestly say, though the hurt and sorrow was deep, I continued to be thankful for where we were. If I hadn't learned to be content, then I believe that I would live in bitterness. I can't begin to imagine what type of mother, wife or friend I would be in that situation. 

I think of all of this as I help plan baby showers for all of my dear friends. I love each one of them dearly and am so excited to see all of them be mommies in their season of life. Its my honor to share in their lives. I am also excited to plan baby showers. What is more fun than planning a party? 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A lesson in responsibility

"Do not hand your child everything his/her little heart desires. Permit him/her to know the thrill of earning and the joy of achieving. Grant him/her the greatest of all satisfactions, the pleasure that comes with personal accomplishment."

This is a quote from a handout I received at a parenting class that I attended last month. The parenting class was about age appropriate chores, but also shared a great deal of information on how to raise a responsible child. We started a commissions system with Karrington last summer. She has specific jobs and when she does those, she earns commissions. These jobs are in addition to the things we require her to do for just being apart of the family. 

This has been a great tool to start the conversation on responsibility. If she doesn't get the job done, then she doesn't get paid and vice versa . Fairly simple! And she caught on really fast! Each time she gets paid, she splits her money into give, save, and spend envelopes, adding another element to the learning. Not only is she learning the value of work, but she is also learning the value of money. It doesn't grow on trees. 

The first time we took her spend envelope to the store was a fun experience. We stayed in the dollar section. I figured that would be the easiest, seeing as everything is the same price. She picked up several things before finally deciding on a little toy tiger. She was so proud of her choice. The little tiger has been apart of her toy collection for over a year now. 

She has gone on to make larger purchases and has also had moments when she had to leave with nothing because she didn't have quite enough to get what she really wanted. She has a great foundation that I know we will be able to expound apron in years to come. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Let Your Light Shine

Today the lights on our house came down and our Christmas tree was unplugged. Time to take down Christmas. It amazes me how much light those things really put out. As I look outside now, it is so dark. Even with the porch light on, it feels very dark. Same with our living room. All of the lights are on, but there is just something about the lights on the tree. 
The lights are so welcoming and bright. There is comfort in the light that they give forth. I feel joy and happiness when the lights are on. It makes me think of why we celebrate Christmas...Jesus. He is the Light of the world. 
Even though all of the Christmas lights are getting put away, I am challenged to continue to let His light shine through me...even on the bad days. We studied this for a few days through our advent calendar. As a family, we talked about what we can do to let Jesus' light shine in and through our lives. The enemy is always working to put out our light, but we must continue to cultivate the flame. 
Let your light shine!