Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hi, My Name is Kristy, and I am an Addict

A worry addict that is.

I have recently been working hard on this area of me and am finding that the Lord is really showing me a lot these days. He is pressing me and though it is mighty uncomfortable, I am seeing progress.

I am coming to believe that being a worrier, is much like being an addict to anything else, be it food, drugs, alcohol, whatever. I mean, each of those things are what we turn to when life gets tough and we just need some way to cope. For me I have always worried myself into a "tizzy". I know it doesn't make anything better...not a bit, much like a beer doesn't make the situation better or eating a dozen Krispy Kremes don't make the situation better. (oh and believe me I have tried those too)

In my life pretty much for as long as I can remember I have felt a void. An emptiness in my life and I have chosen many ways of trying to fill that void only to find that nothing really works. Sure the beer or wine might relax you temporarily, and the donuts might increase endorphins temporarily and they DO taste good, yet you just wake up the next day with the same old problems and a few extra pounds or a headache.

I am learning that the only way to break an addiction is to replace that habit with a new one. So one of my recent quests is to STOP the emotional eating. I do it A LOT. I feel good, I eat, I feel sad, I eat, I am bored, I eat. Really, I do love me some food, and while I don't think there is anything wrong with enjoying a good donut or Blizzard from time to time it should not be in an effort to fill that void. I have been replacing my poor eating habits with exercise. When I am feeling upset, bored, even happy, I am trying to just do something physical, and I have to say it feels great.

Tonight as I was spending a little time with the Lord it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, worry is much the same. I mean can I just tell you how many times someone says to me "just don't worry about it, it won't make it better" or they LOVE to quote Philippians 4:6, which, I'll be honest makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs. I mean it is easy to say "Don't be anxious about anything" when you are not the one enduring the trial. Lately I feel like my trials are non stop. So tonight I went to Philippians. And as I examined that verse here is what I saw

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

I find it no coincidence that then tonight as Howard and I spent a little time in the Word and listening to a sermon by Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church, he preached from this VERY verse. I got chills. Literally. I mean God was speaking and he HAD my attention.

Now first I must say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE Andy Stanley and quite often his messages reach me on a level that really challenges me and if you have the opportunity and are struggling with worry at all I suggest you to go to that site and listen to the current series, particularly "Pray until the Peace Comes".

Yes folks...that is it right there...we must pray until the peace comes. Well meaning people quote Philippians but often stop after the Do not be anxious part. It is the rest of that sentence that gives us instructions on how God would have us live. Paul nailed it right there in that verse and finally after years of having that verse thrown at me something clicked when Andy Stanley explained it tonight.


Now if you have been reading for long you also know I struggle with prayer. I often find myself asking, what the heck is the blasted point? I mean He is gonna do what He is gonna do and I just have to accept it so what the heck to I pray for? This message tonight light a light bulb in me that had been dark for quite sometime.

How should we deal with our anxieties? By prayer, well duh! I mean I am doing that... dear God we don't have enough money...please give us more money. Seems silly writing it, but come on, if we are honest many times that is what our prayer looks like. The thing is this verse doesn't simply say when you are anxious, goes on though, being more specific. The word PRESENT literally means reveal. We are to pray and REVEAL to God our deeper needs that are fueling our prayers.

You might say, "Well if God is all knowing, then He already knows our deeper needs."

And you would be right...BUT I wonder if you do? I mean, I know I had never thought of it like this before. When we go to God with our prayers, do we REALLY think about what is fueling our prayers? Do we simply just put our requests out there and expect God to act or do we go deeper?

I know for me, I seldom if ever go deeper. Andy Stanley suggests praying like this: "Dear Heavenly Father, I need _________. If you don't I am afraid __________." That is it right there. Our underlying fear. I can tell you as I prayed last night for a current situation in my own life that I have been very anxious about, my eyes were opened to my true motives. I was able to see what was fueling my anxiety, and bottom line it is fear. Fear of change, fear of being looked at a certain way, fear of losing things I hold dear.

After looking at my motives I was able to gain a little perspective and see that EVEN IF God does not come through the way I am hoping He does, that my motives sometimes tend to be selfish and not so in line with His. I have said it before and I will say it again, God is NOT concerned with my comfort. Comfort often leads to complacency.

So tonight I am digging up the deep, not so pretty, mucky stuff I don't like to think about or present before others, the selfishness, the bitterness, the pridefulness, the feelings of injustice and I am presenting them before the Lord. I know he already knows my heart, but quite honestly I am not so sure I do.

So like any addict, I am striving to replace my anxiety behaviors with prayer and petition, going deeper to dig up that ugly stuff and present it to the Lord. I am just going to keep doing it until the peace comes, and His word says it will, so I have to believe it! And when the peace comes, my heart and mind will be guarded from this anxiety. That my friends is a cure for worry!

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

Fair Fun

We live in a big agricultural area and each year we anxiously await the Albion Area Fair! This year was it's 65th year! We had fun seeing animals, eating greasy food, watching the parade, but the boys' favorite part was THE TRACTORS!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Another Trip to Feed the Fish

We took one more trip to the Linesville Spillway to feed the fish recently! And Daddy decided to kiss a fish! :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My First Giveaway!

My Baby Burrito

There are a few items I have had the luxury of having with Hope that I did not have with Luke or Benjamin that I LOVE. I am typically not a HUGE fan of most baby products as most of them are expensive, gimmicky, and ultimately unnecessary. There are a few exceptions though, and one of those items has been an immense life saver as my girl does not like to be put down and though I love, love, love to hold her, my arms tire from time to time and I do enjoy a shower here and there. :)

One of my very favorite products is the "Miracle Blanket"affectionately referred to in our home as the "baby straight jacket". I am telling you I cannot believe I did not know of such things with my boys and I really wish I would have. It is the ultimate swaddling blanket and when I wrap Hope up and get her to sleep, I can lay her down and she will remain asleep for good long naps! When she starts to show signs of being tired, I grab our Miracle Blanket, wrap her up and it is like instantly she feels relieved and snug. We bounce and Sh Sh Sh for a few minutes and she is OUT! We no longer have inconsolable periods...seriously! I keep one at home and one in my diaper bag (heck we even took her to a movie last night). If you have a baby or expect to and don't know about these things you should! We received two as baby gifts for Hope and I don't know what I would do without them! They are different from the typical swaddling blanket and really do live up to their name.


I was even more psyched when several weeks ago, the founder of the company, Michael Gatten, contacted me offering me a FREE Miracle Blanket for mentioning in a previous post my love for his product. He said that their main advertising is just word of mouth and that he appreciated my passing the love of the Miracle Blanket along. :)

So since I have two already, and since I consider it a public service to get the word out since I just heard of these myself I am going to give it away! Here is the deal...

If you would like to be entered in the giveaway here are the ways to get an entry...

1. Simply leave a comment = 1 entry
2. Become a fan of the Miracle Blanket on Facebook = 1 entry
3. Blog about this giveaway = 1 entry

You can earn up to three entries!

Leave a comment letting me know of each thing you did and I will pick a winner at random in one week. The winner will be chosen on Saturday, October 3rd. Good Luck!

The goal is to get the word out about this product to all new moms! It really has been a lifesaver for our family!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Polka Dot Girl

Here is my girl in the dress I bought in a leap of faith while I was still pregnant with her. I love it and now she has already outgrown it! Praise God for a healthy baby! Something I will NEVER take for granted again!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

He's Got the Whole World

Tonight Howard and I watched a video sermon of Andy Stanley, a pastor from North Point Community church in Georgia. We enjoy his books and messages and since we missed church this morning due to severe Albion Fair hangover and a case of pink eye we thought we would have a little church right here at home.

I digress, the sermon we watched was titled "He's *Still Got the Whole World in His Hands." It was encouraging to me. It didn't seem like a pastor up on a stage, preaching to those in unimaginable circumstances with cliches and fast fixes, or just believe it because it is. It was compassionate and thought provoking.

He spoke about how most often God uses extreme brokenness in this life for the most remarkable things. I often have people come up to me and ask how I go on living after losing two of my sweet children, or tell me how brave or strong I am because I do continue to put one foot in front of the other. I am here to tell you my friends, I am neither brave nor strong. God is. There have been SO many moments in my life thus far where the hand of God seems a miss. He seems completely absent, and yet I know beyond a shadow of a doubt He is there.

There is nothing even remotely remarkable about me. I am ordinary, I am a sinner, and I fail miserably and yet God continues to love me. He picks me up dusts me off and uses me as only He can. When life began to spin out of control on that July day in 2005, the day of Isaac's birth I never for one minute could begin to comprehend how a God who supposedly loved ME could allow such intense pain and heartache into my life and to be honest I still wrestle with it a little. How could he take my little boy from me as I wept and prayed over him? How could he allow that little guy to come into the world only drift back out of it six days later? What was the point? Then to get the diagnosis of our Asher in November of 2007 after being told that we had no reason to be concerned about losing another baby I hit a low. I felt targeted, I felt lost and abandoned.

After Isaac died it took me a while to catch my breath, but I did and I regained my footing, and I put my trust in the only One who could bring beauty from the pain I was living with. To get hit with another such loss seemed like a low blow. I honestly began to question everything. The world was spinning and I was standing still I knew nothing for certain anymore and God? Heck what kind of God would allow such things? And yet again I caught my breath. Then we were pregnant again, there was question about our new baby girl's 18 week sonogram and her brain and head size, then her diagnosis of EB and currently difficult finances. All of these things are stressful, they cause confusion and uncertainty. Yet one thing remains certain. Our God is NEVER uncertain. He works all things for the good of those who love him...eventually. :)

In today's world EVERYTHING seems so uncertain. He is the only constant we can cling to. In those times when all seems lost, can you still put your hope and trust in the One who loves you with a passion you cannot even imagine? How has your faith changed or been stressed in your times of darkness?

In a broken world filled with such uncertainty isn't it just comforting to know that there will ALWAYS be one constant?... He does STILL have the whole world in His hands.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Let's Carry Them

A few months ago I had written asking for prayer for the Tellinghuisen Family. Their Son Aidan was born with a brain defect similar to what Isaac and Asher were affected by but is doing great! He is expecting a little brother tomorrow and there is question about his brain size and development.

I ask you to pray for this family as they accept another gift from the Lord. The road they are walking is all too familiar to me and my heart sinks thinking of the uncertainty surrounding this new baby's birth. The thing I am certain of is that he is loved, and he is a blessing, chosen specifically for this amazing family! If you would, please stop by their blog and offer a word of support and celebration of this new life! God is good and he will use this little one for mighty things I am sure. This family has been through so much and amazes me, please join me in lifting them up and carrying them at this time of uncertainty and joy.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

By Popular DEMAND

So, several, okay, like FIFTY people either commented or emailed me about posting pictures of my refrigerator and two years ago when I started this blog, I never imagined I would ever post about something as mundane and normal as my refrigerator organization. Alas, I am eating up any normalcy I can find. :)

So there it is folks, the refrigerator that brings me Zen, the place that makes sense when no place else does. My GE refrigerator. :) I wrote about it here for those who missed the post. It may seem insane but really there are a few areas of my life that when they are out of order, chaos seems to reign, but if I can keep just a few places of my life in order I at least have that. Is that nuts? Okay, don't answer that. :)

So you see we have beverages on the top shelf along with a fresh pineapple we scored this week. Nothing too exciting there, a gallon of orange juice, a gallon of milk, and our new favorite beverage, a pitcher of water with citrus fruits cut up and stirred in.

The next shelf typically is loaded with yogurt, but this particular day we had harvested pears from my mother-in-law's tree and tomatoes from the garden, so they took that shelf along with the ground flax and strawberry freezer jam, both necessities in this house.

The third shelf is where we keep the eggs (I used to keep them in the door, but did you know you should not keep things like eggs and milk in the door because it isn't as cold there?)

The fourth shelf is my favorite. It is where we store washed and cut up produce, like carrots, celery, strawberries, peppers, etc. Those containers are from Tupperware and were my loot from having a Tupperware party two years ago. They are orange, my favorite color and they are AWESOME. They stack beautifully and I have even more of them than are pictured. Those white buttons on the front adjust the airflow to the produce so your produce doesn't sweat and sit in water. There are also ridges along the bottom to collect any condensation that may happen. Can I just tell you that these things really increase the longevity of my produce?!

Then in the top drawer I keep whole fruits and veggies like oranges, grapefruits, and such and in the bottom drawer, deli meats and cheeses. In the door I keep butter in the butter thingy along with a little container of random sauces from fast food restaurants and Chinese take out.

The rest of the door is mostly condiments arranged by use so salad dressings are together, hot dog and hamburger condiments are together, etc.

So there you have it folks! Not terribly exciting aside from maybe the unmentioned gin in the door or the Yuengling on the bottom of the door, reserved for special occasions, oh yeah and maybe that little purple love note from my husband :).

AAAHH one of my favorite places in my house! :) So how about you? Do you have any refrigerator organizing tips? Come on Devin, I know you do!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hope is Three Months Old!

I CANNOT believe it but my baby girl is already three months old. I apologize for the tardiness of this post as she actually turned three months on the first, but life with a child in school is a little crazier than I had expected!

So here is the lowdown on Hope these days:

She is still wearing 0-3 month clothes (but probably shouldn't, I just can't bear to pack them away)

She is still nursing exclusively.

She is smiley most of the time, especially when her brothers are talking to her.

She prefers to be held by mommy ALL the time

She hates the car still. She prefers to be held and doesn't like the stroller either. So most of the time I wear her. I can't say I mind. :)

She loves the beach.

She LOVES white noise. During fussy times, the hood of the range and the vacuum are our friends.

She is drooling like crazy!

She loves to sing, especially WHILE nursing. Weird but oh so cute.

She is bright eyed and awake for a good portion of the day now.

She HATES taking her Prevacid, but it seems to be doing the trick.

I am not sure how big she is because we have not been to the doctor since her two month visit. (yes that is a record)

She continues to do well. She has not blistered AT ALL again praise God. We do find her skin to be fragile though and she scratches and scrapes easily.

She likes sleeping in her swing.

She is such a joy! We love her so very much and thank God every day for the miracle he is doing in her. I sometimes have to pinch myself when I see how great she is doing. After her diagnosis I NEVER imagined things could ever be this "normal". I pray they continue this way.

Thank you ALL for your continued prayers! We are hanging in there and Hope is amazing us all! :)

Friday, September 4, 2009


Well it has been my experience in the past that God is seldom early, yet he is never late to act on our behalf. We are approaching a big financial deadline in our life and there has been no change in the situation as of yet. I will be honest, I have been a complete mess for the past few days worrying about all of this. I have prayed and prayed and prayed.

I am by nature a worrier. I used to say that "I came by it honestly" as my mother was a worrier, my grandmother was a worrier and my great grandmother was a worrier. I figured for a long time that it was genetic. Something I had no control over so I worried non stop.

I have since learned that worry really IS a choice. Unfortunately it is still a bad choice I make many days. It IS hard to overcome it, but God tells us not to worry and when we choose to allow worry to overtake a situation, we are being disobedient and really, we all know it doesn't help anything.

When I tell you I have been a mess in the past few days, I mean a M.E.S.S. I have literally made myself sick. I have been unable to pull it together long enough to have a coherant conversation let alone be the wife and mom my husband and kids need. I regressed, I let my guard down and the flood of worry rushed in taking over my whole mind.

I have had many offer advice, some wonder why I don't just get a job to help our situation and the truth is, because I don't believe that is what God wants it may allieviate a small portion of the financial stress but it would cause a whole different set of stressors. I feel VERY strongly that the Lord has called me to be home with my children, to train them up in the way they should go and provide an environment for my little family where everyone can thrive, and I LOVE my job,I have never been happier in any position.

I never thought I would be a stay at home mom, I mean I DO have a college degree, and yet life experience has taught me so much more than that degree ever could. I have a better perspective on what is important and in recent times have become more and more convicted about my place being here at home. It may not be the right decision for everyone, but I do feel I am doing what the Lord is calling me to do and I have to believe He will honor that and in turn provide for our every need.

Last night in a moment of self pity and despair, a good friend reminded me again of what matters in this life and that is my loving husband and our three "beauties" (though the boys would likely not be thrilled with her choice of words.) she is right. 100% right. We have been blessed, we are a strong family unit and the love in this house is incredible, we have been through the ringer together and we will make it through whatever comes next as a team and I LOVE that.

I have spent the day without the TV or distractions (I mean aside from caring for an infant and three year old) and have really tried to focus on God and what He would want me to do in this current situation and I know he is calling me to stand by Howard, support him in any way I can, be a wise steward of our money, teach our children to walk in the light and shine the light where ever they go, enjoy the blessings he has poured out upon us, and to ultimately trust in Him. Worry is really a sin. It is a lack of trust and I need to let go. God is not surprised by any of the details of our life, he has orchestrated it all and he will see us through.

It has been our experience that he always shows up at the exact moment when all seems lost, not a MOMENT sooner, and I anticipate He will not fail us now. We never know what it may look like, but he shows up. Sometimes it is hard to see, hard to feel and it hurts, but He is there. This situation is no different. He WILL pull us through. He will provide.

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]?

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25-34

These verses have provided a reminder to me (thanks Corinne) of what God wants for us. He does not want us to waste one moment of this life he has gifted us with in worry. He does not want us to "spin" and spinning is exactly what I have been doing, round and round and round until I am so dizzy I can no longer see the straight and narrow. I have been feeling defeated and low and Satan is attacking on all sides. He has found footing and he is using it to inch his way in and I am taking a stand. God WILL provide. He WILL. He keeps his promises. Worrying won't change a thing, at least not for the good, prayer on the other hand, while it may not change the course God has us set on will change hearts, and I am praying for a change of heart, from worry to complete trust. I am certain it is a decision I am going to have to make each day, likely multiple times a day, but each time it sneaks in my goal is to lay it at His feet and not turn right back around to pick it back up. ( I do that A LOT, I hand it over only to quickly take it back, I tend to be a control freak like that) but it has me spinning my wheels and I am done spinning. I am standing.

Will you please stand with me in prayer? Will you join me in making the choice to stop the worry in your own life? If you have a situation in your own life that you are finding yourself overcome by worry about please feel free to comment or email, I would love to support you in walking this journey with me. One step at a time, moment by moment it can be done, worry is not inborn or even acceptable.

Major Struggles

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to post real quick to apologize and to ask for prayer.

I am sorry I did not get to all of the things I had promised in my previous post. I still intend to do all of those things but right now "life" is happening in our home and we are having a very hard time of things.

First I must say that the kids are doing well, everyone is once again healthy and Luke is enjoying school and in all honesty though I miss Luke we are doing well with the school routine and I can already see a difference in Ben. Hope is doing great and I did get her three month picture with Birthday Lamby and will post it soon.

When we asked God for guidance and then decided to remain a one income family we knew we would struggle and we were okay with that. We make adjustments, but God always provides. Always.

Right now we are up against something that seems insurmountable though. It is a financial thing, a job thing, a scary thing. We are broken and weary and feeling beat down. We need for the Lord to move in a HUGE way in our home financially like this weekend or MAJOR changes will ensue.

I come to you today asking for your prayers for God's provision, Grace and Mercy. We are certain this will all work out one way or another and that God is in control of it all, yet sometimes it is really hard to let go and just give it all to Him. At this point we have no other choice. We know he will provide, but would covet your prayers on the matter.

Thank you all! We love you and are so thankful for your friendships!