Friday, March 25, 2011

I should be sleeping...

But, instead I write. Weary from being up at midnight, 3, 4:30, 5:30, and awake  for the day at 7. I don't think I knew what I was getting into when we decided that we should try for another wee one. I am not sure I knew the toll it would take. I feel so ridiculous for complaining. It makes me seem weak. It makes me seem like a crybaby. People have kids all the time. There are lots of families that have 2+ children who are doing just fine. But, here as I confess to my computer screen, I am struggling. It could be that sweet Isley is a crabby girl. Not always, but she has/had colic, and is very sensitive to the food I eat. It could be the guilt that Boden has to take second place to a needy 13 week old. It could be the guilt I carry for not being able to accomplish it all, for not being the fun mom I used to be, for feeling angry instead of compassionate when my little girl won't just give in and fall asleep. Why do I feel so...empty?

Perhaps this is a bad day. Perhaps since I have been reading Ann's book, I have come face to face with my ungrateful heart. It could be the extra weight around the thighs that mocks me from the mirror. Perhaps, mama just needs a vacation. Perhaps it is because winter seems unending and I have cabin fever. Mostly, I think it is because I feel as though no one understands. I think in some ways I feel abandoned. I am quite competent in my life. I don't often need help and even when I do I usually don't ask. I don't like being needy. And now, when I do need help - the people that I would want to help me have chosen to turn away instead of stepping up to the plate. I am praying that this season ends soon, that God will begin to heal the brokenness in my heart. I ask that I don't screw up my kids.  I pray that the old Jesica would come back and scoot this grouchy Jesica out the door. Mostly I hope that the one who is merciful and abundant in loving kindness will help and comfort me.

I always feel that when I write a post like this I need to have a disclaimer, so here it is: 

I adore my husband & children. I am not a horrid mother. We laugh, play and smile together. I have amazing friends, who fill the gaps for me in amazing ways. Without you I would be a wreck. I am not having a breakdown, though sometimes I wonder. And, most of all - I am incredibly thankful for the life I live. It is amazing. I have so much and feel so awful that I would have any reason to complain, because I really don't. I know several sweet friends that would trade almost all for one more day with their wee ones, so please know that I try not to take my precious babies for granted. But, sometimes a mama just has to let her heart feel those things, lay them before the cross, and ask for His perspective, grace, and healing. This is one of those times. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

God Gave Us So Much by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Thanks to Blogging for Books - I recently received Lisa Tawn Bergren's, 3 story collection, God Gave Us So Much. The book is wonderfully illustrated by Laura J. Bryant.

The first story : God Gave us the World takes this young polar bear family through the local museum and helps answer questions about the creative nature of God, why we are different, and why we are here on the Earth.

The second story: God Gave us Love lets us tag along as Grampa and Little Cub go fishing. This story focuses on God's gift of love to us and how He desires we love others even when we might not "like" them. My favorite part of the story is when Grampa explains how God show's us His love through the unconditional love of Jesus.

The final story: God Gave us Heaven focuses on answering those difficult questions little ones may ask. The beauty and freedom found in heaven are expressed. The author also explains why  some go to heaven sooner than others. This book ends with a beautiful picture of salvation, using the bridge illustration.

We really enjoyed these stories and while some of the concepts are a little difficult for my not quite three year old, he loved the illustrations. I am confident that as we re-read the stories and he matures they will be a great resource. These are adorable books with a strong biblical message of creation and stewardship, love and grace, and the ultimate gift of eternal life with God would be a perfect addition to any child's library.

P.S. - If you want to help me win an Amazon gift card go rate my review!

Disclaimer: I did receive this book for free in exchange for my honest review. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Congratulations to From Snowflakes to Hotcakes on winning the $20 Dayspring giveaway!

Check your inbox for my email!


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A Dayspring Giveaway and Review!

I love getting mail. Not junk mail or bills, but real mail. The mail that shows up with the familiar handwriting of  a long distance friend or my closest Bible Study gals. I am also a card fanatic. I have been known to spend hours in the card aisle (this was before I had children) and spend much of my meager earnings on special greetings for special friends. This is why I was ecstatic when the  Hope and Encouragement 2011 card pack from Dayspring arrived at my door.
Hope and Encouragement 2011 - 10 Premium Greeting Card Assortment

Encouragement - Life Is Hard Sometimes- 6 Premium Greeting Cards
Praying For You - When Words Are Hard to Find - 6 Premium Greeting CardsI know, I too have been disappointed with packaged or boxed cards. You get one or two good ones and the rest become scratch paper because you can not think of a time or person whom you would send that sentiment. Friends, these are not your lame-o cards. These cards are premium card stock, not that flimsy stuff. They have beautiful designs and heartfelt words. Some even have embellishments and embossing. The best thing about them - I know that I will use each one of them to spread a little Jesica love across the miles (or even just across the street). I have already addressed half of them while the remaining five will be sent to sweet friends at a retreat next month.

In the interest of full disclosure I got these cards for free in exchange for my honest review. Free is the best price, but right now you can purchase these same cards for only $19.99 (or $12.99 if you are a Heart Connection Card Club member).   I guarantee that you will spend at least $35 for the same quality of cards at your local retailer.

Maybe you would like a chance to win twenty bucks to use at Dayspring? The only catch is you will have to pay the S&H charges.
For your chance to win:
1. Leave me a comment telling me what you would buy, along with your e-mail address (so I can contact you if you win!)
Want a second entry?
2. Become a follower or subscribe to my RSS feed - and leave me a comment telling me about it! 

Now, hop on over to their site and browse around at all the goodies! I don't think you will be disappointed and if you have time and a warm drink settle in at (in)courage for some good reading.

This giveaway will close on Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 9:00 PM, MST. Comments now closed!  

Gotta run. I am off the check the mail.

Friday, March 04, 2011

When I look in the mirror ...

...I see a woman with bed head and spit up stained sweats. I see the little girl my heart longed for, nestled in the crook of my arm. I see hips widened by the miracle of childbirth and thighs quite a bit bigger than any magazine cover model would be sporting. I see a weary smile as I weather through this harder than I imagined season of newborn neediness and two year old troubles. I see the woman I never thought I would be. A woman who even though she bares obvious scars (stretch marks) and not so obvious scars (heartache) - she is whole. Whole in the love of a God who redeems and sustains. Whole in the love of a man whose dirty work clothes are piled behind her mirrored reflection. Whole in the fullness of being a mom. Whole because nothing can take away the deep joy of knowing that above all things this life I have been given is pretty amazing!

This 5 minute post, with no editing, was written to participate in Gypsy Mama's 5 minute Friday. Link up and see what other ladies had to see when they looked in the mirror!