Monday, August 29, 2011

A Kitchen and a Kingdom

We have been savouring August. Loving what is left of summer. At 7 1/2 months Rylyn started crawling. Finally. After watching 2 1/2 months of what my aunt calls "Yoga Baby." We were excited once her little arms started progressing forward.

Rylyn 7 months+

Speaking of progression, I have never been a fan of the my kitchen. Not that I don't like to cook or bake, nor that I am horrible at it...I just seem to find "better" things to do with my time. Delving in to the world of making baby food has certainly (and enjoyably) expanded my culinary expertise experience. Pureed sweet potatoes with broccoli turned into an adventure of making yummy sweet potato fries with left overs. I didn't use a recipe for either endeavour! If you want to dapple in your own kitchen, check out my friend Mary's new blog Recipe Exchange.

Bible Reflections:
Matthew 13 (NLT)
Parable of the Mustard Seed 31 Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”
Parable of the Yeast  33 Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”
-God's people are The Kingdom of Heaven. We can have a domino effect on the lives of others by loving them. That is what Jesus did. He loved people. Chris and I have been collecting backpacks and back to school supplies for Community Care through iCare Smithville (our unofficial, non-profit, "love your community" organization). What effect will a simple kindness have on others? Have on faith in a dark time? Just like the magic of the mustard seed and yeast, it greater than our intent.
-For more National and Global ideas and inspiration, check out my friend Nathan's new blog Nate's National Post and for a movie with a similar theme, check out "Pay it Forward."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Faith in the next 15 minutes

Hebrews 11

New King James Version (NKJV)
By Faith We Understand
 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

I was sick with a virus this past week. For the first time ever I felt incapable of taking care of Rylyn, because I could barely take care of myself. I called my sister. She said she would be there as soon as she could and asked, "Would you like me to call before I leave?" I had told her, "No." Here is why: It is a 15 minute drive from my sister's home to mine. Provided I was not waiting for a phone call, my hope was renewed every 15 minutes. In my mind, it was only 15 more minutes until help arrived, even if it took an hour and a half. To wait 15 minutes was manageable for me. It felt as if I had to wait longer, then she was not coming.

I liken this to the verse above. I have to trust God for the things I can't see. It reminds me that He is in control.  When I trust Jesus for the things I can't see the evidence of our relationship is faith. God has been placing surprises in the lives of those I love lately. Some good, some not so good, some great. We have to trust in Him to do the miraculous. Have faith in the unseen.

A song by Delirious?, Deeper, starts off by singing, "I wanna go deeper, But I don’t know how to swimI wanna be meeker, But have you seen this old Earth?, I wanna fly higher, But these arms won’t take me there"...then by the time we reach the bridge the singer realizes it is not in his power, "It’s time to walk the path where many seem to fall, Hold me in your arms, Just like any father would, How long do we have to wait?, How long?" The voice realizes that his own strength will only take him so far, God must do the rest.

So, how long do we have to wait? For the things unseen, for unanswered prayers, for good testimony?Maybe years...but it also could be 15 minutes. Sometimes the future seems too far, but I can handle that God will be with me in the next 15 minutes and the next 15 after that.

-Aside: Although they are no longer touring, I have seen Delirious? live and when I think about how empowering their music was in that moment, it still brings me chills. I hope you enjoy the song as much as I do.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Baby Brain

I have a sheepish confession: while pregnant, I feared baby brain. I thought having baby brain meant that having a baby would somehow denounce my intelligence. This is a myth. I do, however, suffer from baby brain.

Baby brain is the condition where a parent's (usually mother's) mental power is all-consumed by looking after their precious little one, such that other thoughts and deeds get interrupted resulting in forgetful, silly situations. I liken it to a memory disorder. Your working and short-term memory are preoccupied with baby thoughts at any given moment and there is no room for anything else. Thank goodness most of my knowledge is stored in long-term memory!

You know you have baby brain when... (yes, these are true accounts)...

1) You pay a $19.00 parking ticket instead of putting money in the meter.

2) You lock your keys, cell phone and wallet in the car while at the grocery store and have to call CAA to bail you out. (Don't worry I did not lock Rylyn in the car with keys, I was holding her or I would have added and took a large object to smash in a window and retrieve child).

3) You can rarely find your keys anymore because they are not in their designated location. Instead you find them in strange places like the bathroom or refrigerator.

4) You start preparing food, walk away and then find your snack still awaiting you more than an hour later. (Although this does not beat the time, pre-pregnancy and motherhood, I put an ice-cream bar in my hoodie pocket to eat in 5 minutes...I'll let you guess what happened.)

5) You have worn various pieces of clothing either inside out or backwards in public.

6) You take your baby to the ER and do not bring a single diaper or wipe and hope baby does not poo for the almost 4 hours you are there.

7) You forget to buy stamps at the store at least 3 times in a row when checking out.

8) You know there is one more really good example of baby brain...but you just can think of it while typing....

On the plus side, I know my creativity is still in tact as Rylyn and I have been enjoying hamper time together. Rylyn can scoot, giggle and coo, but she does not like to practice sitting on her own. I thought the laundry hamper was the perfect size for her to practice while having distracted fun. She can catch herself and as the pictures show has learned to pull herself up too! So much for practicing sitting....

Bible Reflections:

2 Timothy 1:7

New King James Version (NKJV)
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
-I frequently need to take my thoughts captive to avoid them from getting away from me or to just focus and rid my mind of distractions. To do this I will pray, "Lord, captivate my thoughts and give me a sound mind." This verse also reminds me that we have a power over our thoughts that comes from God.

Monday, August 1, 2011

One Cornflower

For our first Valentine's Day Chris bought me a bouquet of three roses, Vanilla Fields perfume and chocolate. I don't think he'll ever top that, it has been downhill ever since.

I can't criticize him. Neither of us are romantics. Meaning I am not much better. I think the best I have done was a love poem he had to puzzle piece together or a self-made book "101 Reasons Why I Love You." Once again, both made early in high school.

Chris was doing yard work today. He stopped long enough to bring his daughter a single perfect cornflower in from the garden. I put it in a vase and Rylyn stared at it while she had snack and he went back to work.

He couldn't have done better if he had bought me a dozen roses. I guess he topped that first Valentine's Day today. Romance needs to be found in the in between. The unintentional.

Happy 4th Wedding Anniversary, Chris. (August 4, 2007) I still haven't made or bought you a card, but that is okay, I don't think you have mine either.

Bible Reflections:
Song of Solomon 2:11-13

New King James Version (NKJV)
11 For lo, the winter is past,
      The rain is over and gone.
       12 The flowers appear on the earth;
      The time of singing has come,
      And the voice of the turtledove
      Is heard in our land.
       13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
      And the vines with the tender grapes
      Give a good smell.
      Rise up, my love, my fair one,
      And come away! 

-How easy it is to forget that God woos us with His creation. That longing we have to be loved by others can be satisfied by His Love. He is waiting for us.