Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Doing 2 Jobs at Once

It's tough being a mom. Period.

It's also tough being a mom and then having to do different jobs too...

I'm fortunate that I get to stay at home with all 3 of my kiddos. I don't have to work outside of the home, and really, I don't have to have an outside job that I do from home...although I am alway trying to find one that fits me!! (I'd love to make some extra money - and home-based businesses aren't on my radar right now!!!)

But, THE reason we moved to Colorado is to work for Connection Church. And we love it. It is our church.

And I've been able to be involved in being a part of the ministry. Either singing on the worship team, running the media, or teaching kids church...I'm doing something every Sunday, and I love it!

But, it's been a little difficult with a newborn. We have a young lady who works for us on Sundays...and my kids absolutely adore her...but now with Breelee, it's a challenge for me. I have to nurse her extra early before I leave the house and get the kids ready (all with major hopes that she doesn't poop or spit up on everything)...and then she's usually asleep when we get to the church...but it means that at some point before or during service, I'm going to have to nurse her again.

This past Sunday, she woke up screaming...we were about to rehearse the song I was leading, and Breelee was just ready to nurse. Our rehearsal time is very limited because we have to set up everything before practicing...and then we have a short meeting before service begins...but I still had to get off stage to go nurse a baby while the worship team continued practicing. (yeah, that was a little awkward!) It's just a challenge.

And it would be easier if Breelee took a bottle, but she doesn't. She gags and screams. And I don't feel like it is someone else's responsibility to soothe my screaming child when she's hungry and I'm the only one who can do something about it.

It's also a challenge to teach kids church for the same some point I know I'm going to have to nurse my baby.

I know that this is a season. And really, it's a short season. Before I know it, Breelee will not be this little. My babies will be all grown up.

But right now they are not...and I want to enjoy this season. I want to embrace it for all of its glorious moments and its challenges. I do not want to spend this time frustrated or stressed out.

I'm a part of a great group of people at Connection Church. The nursery workers love snuggling Breelee, and they've told me that she usually falls asleep almost as soon as she hears the worship team start playing. That's so awesome...and it's wonderful that there I have amazing people there to take care of my babies.

It honestly feels weird at times knowing that I almost have to let her go. I can't take her in kids church with me. I can't have her on stage with me. And although I can have her with me when I run presentation, she has to be asleep for that...and there are no it is just a part of it to leave her in the care of someone else...just for a little while.

It can be difficult wearing 2 hats at once...

What are some times when you feel like you are doing 2 jobs at once? How do you handle it?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Marriage Maintenance:: Lessons from a Grapefruit

Growing up in Plaquemines Parish, citrus fruit was available to us all winter long. It really is an industry down there. I mean, the parish festival that represents the best that we have to offer is the Orange Festival.

There is just something about the soil down there. So rich...and it produces wonderful fruit!!

My dad always planted trees: navels, satsumas, and grapefruit.

Some trees lasted a long time and others struggled to produce any fruit at all.

His grapefruit tree was huge though. Seriously, it was like 15 feet tall. There was no way our family could eat all of the grapefruits it produced.

People would come over and just start cutting...they would carry away bags of grapefruit, and there would still be more.

It was a blessed tree. These were the largest, sweetest grapefruits I've ever seen or tasted.

Marriage is like cutting a grapefruit.

You can never cut it in half evenly. One half will always be larger than the other.

Lee and I were told by a very dear friend of ours this:

"Lee, if you cut the grapefruit, give the larger half to Bri.

Bri, if you cut the grapefruit, give the larger half to Lee."

This has stuck with me for almost 10 years now.

Marriage quickly showed me (and it continues to show me) how selfish I can be, but this lesson reminds me how selfless I need to be.

Selflessness is hard. It is not natural. Our human nature automatically wants to look out for itself...and to constantly put someone else's best above one's own all the time is not an easy task to successfully accomplish.

The Five Love Languages book by Dr. Gary Chapman has helped me and Lee. We know the way that we each receive/feel loved, and we work hard to show each other in those ways.

Giving Lee the larger half of the grapefruit is not just about physical when we literally split a snickers bar in half...Or only when things are going good...

It's about doing unto others as you would have them do unto you...treating someone the way I want to be treated.

There are days when I don't want to do that. It would be easier to be selfish. To focus on myself and what I want...

And I know that there are times when it drives Lee crazy that my car is a mess...but he cleans it without complaining...even though he may give me a little bit of a hard time. :) He still does it for me even though he's not the one who made the mess.

Selflessness requires action...and it is definitely a way to make a marriage better.
Selfishness will only tear a marriage apart.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Celebration of Discipline Challenge

The beginning of the year is a great time to begin working on self-improvement.

Sure, this can be done any time of the year, but in January, there is just a sense of a fresh start. A new beginning. An opportunity to do something within the 365 days that you didn't do for the last 365 days.

I've seen a lot of challenges, and I've decided to do one of my own.

One of my favorite, life-changing books is Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. It's a phenomenal book...and honestly, it's not best to read this one all in one sitting...just going from cover to cover.

This is a book that should be contemplated...and practiced.

The Diversity Project for Chi Alpha Missionaries in Training in Louisiana does this study every year for the interns. I had the privilege of teaching it for a few years...and now I am taking this study on for myself again.

The book focuses on 12 spiritual is not an exhaustive list or the only spiritual disciplines to work on, but these are the 12 that Richard Foster chose...4 are inward disciplines: meditation, prayer, fasting, study; 4 are outward disciplines: simplicity, solitude, submission, service; and the last 4 are corporate disciplines: confession, worship, guidance, celebration.

So, this challenge will go from February 2013 to February 2014.

I will read one chapter, and then on the first Tuesday of the month I will write an "action plan" of what I plan to do to incorporate that discipline into my life. And then on the last Tuesday of the month I will write how I feel like I did.

I cannot emphasize this enough...this was a life-changing experience for both Lee & me...and I am believing for great things again!!

Now, this doesn't mean that I will give up on or only focus on this one discipline within the month...but I'm going to be extra intentional about it.

Doing this is a step that I'm taking to accomplish the goal of growing in my relationship with God.

I would love for you to take this challenge with me! You can buy the book from amazon by clicking here. It's also available on the kindle.

I'm also available to holding each other accountable through email or Facebook!! We are stronger when we grow together!!

This is a great spiritual investment...and by next year, I know I will be closer to God. That is my goal!!

Please let me know if you are interested in being a part of this challenge by leaving a comment!! Of if you have any questions or comments, I'd love to hear from you!

Let's grow together in 2013!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Month of Sickness

My little family is normally pretty healthy. We don't have to go to the doctor a lot...

Brennan has had some sinus/ear infections...and Bella had some issues like that when she was his age...but that's about it.

But this almost 6,000 feet above sea level has brought our immune systems down!! :)

Multiple people in this house have had stomach bugs and colds for the past month now. It's insane!!

We just can't seem to get rid of it. Even company that came in over the holidays got sick while they were here!

And poor little Breelee has a cold now too...I'm just thankful she didn't get the stomach bug...that would have scared me so bad!!

The cold is bad enough. We're all miserable. At one point in the car, there was 4 of us coughing at one time! My nose is head has been hurting...and Breelee is about the same too...

It's been a long time since I've been sick back to back...and it has not been fun at all!!! And I have to be careful of what I take since I'm breastfeeding...but really with a cold, I am just treating the symptoms and not really curing anything!

And it gets difficult taking care of kiddos while I'm sick. I've had to pray for extra grace to be nice to my kids...the little irritations that I can normally handle seem magnified while I'm not feeling good. Thankfully we've had friends to play with when I've been at my worst...and Lee's schedule has cooperated too...he hasn't had to take off or miss a shift yet.

But we are making it. I feel so behind on housework, but I know I'll catch up someday.

It is fun to find a Netflix show or movie to watch with the kids and just relax while we all recover. I know that these days are rare and I need to enjoy every moment that I can!!!

And I know that this too shall pass...and we'll all be better soon...