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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Culmination of Anticipation

Am I the only one with a twinge of sadness on Christmas Eve? I'm excited, but it all ends so quickly. Really the anticipation started for me near the end of September and early October. Not that I really start a countdown to Christmas. It's more that autumn ushers in a time of many traditions and purposeful family togetherness that all culminate in the celebration of Christmas.

As we slide into the new year, things will calm down. Life will pick up it's usual steady pace. People will buckle down at work and school for the winter months knowing that the next real break is quite a ways down the road.

I am okay with this. It is the rhythm of life and our greatest revelry would be nothing without these cycles.
Still as I sit back and watch my little one's eyes sparkle with excitement and anticipation I can't help but think it all goes by so fast.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Time to Reflect

The season of advent is upon us. I cannot quench the childlike expectancy that begins to rise in my heart as we enter the season of joy, family, and togetherness, I don't pretend to believe Jesus was born in December. I understand so many rituals have pagan origins. Yet I am grateful, because He was born we have redemption. The invasion of our Saviour to our humble world is worth celebrating whether that time was chosen to be February, June, or August.

What I love about this season is how the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Plain houses suddenly become dazzling light displays, a family meal suddenly becomes a special occasion, the fire dances a little higher, and our hearts feel just a little fuller.
What a beautiful picture displayed of that amazing event.  When Jesus made his grand entrance it was into a plain, broken, and ugly world. The setting wasn't dazzling. The conditions far from perfect, but this was from the natural perspective. For some brief moments shepherds, mere mortals, got a glimpse of what was happening in the spiritual realm  It was something glorious. A force that was transforming what was broken and ordinary into something that would be extraordinary.

It is this that gives me cause to reflect and cause to celebrate. I could rant and rave about the commercialization of Christmas, but there is only credence in this if we let our hearts be led towards this.
I for one will celebrate with lights, gifts, food, and family, but it all means nothing without the Light. It all means nothing no matter what the season if we don't have the Light.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Home For the Medranos

After many painstaking months walking through the process of praying, selling, praying, packing, moving, praying, house hunting, and of course some more prayer sprinkled in for good measure, we found our house!!!! The initial contract was signed almost two weeks ago, and we began the inspection process this past week. We were excited, but a little hesitant to get too excited. The first inspection yielded some concerns with the roof and foundation.Since the inspector is more of a generalist, he suggested we have some experts come in to give a second opinion. It was a difficult process for me. There is an old Caedmon's Call song with these lines:

My faith is like shifting sand Changed by every wave 
 My faith is like shifting sand 
So I stand on grace, stand on grace

Yeah that pretty much sums up me. How many times have I seen my God come through? Hmmm I think I could write a few books. Somehow each new wave of circumstance erases my memory. The bottom line God reminded me time and time again is that my home is not a house built of brick and mortar. Whether this particular house came through or not it did not change His love for me or His promise to never leave me or forsake me.

So here we are two weeks later and every issue we had with the home has been signed off on and given the thumbs up. Our little laundry list of small repairs is being completely taken care of by the sellers. As of midnight our option period will end and we will be only 3 weeks out from moving our family into our new home. God has been faithful even when things don't seems to  go our way. He has been gracious to meet the desires of our heart, and even more gracious to mold our desires to make them more like His desires.

Our dream for our new house is to make it a place of God's peace and love for friends, family, and people we have yet to meet. We want to fill it will people, love, fellowship, and the sounds of laughter as we break bread together. To all who have prayed and listened as we walked through this process, thank you, We have been so blessed along the journey. We can't wait to continue the journey with so many of you!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Why Labor?

Two years ago when I gave birth to my son Isaac, I had no idea of the lasting impact that choosing a drug free birth would have on my life. The lessons I learned from labor recently hit me like a ton of bricks as we started our move over a week ago. I'm a generally not fond of big changes. It's not that I like to stay stagnant, but I tend to enjoy putting down some roots and letting changes happen slowly. After 7 years in our first home that welcomed my two boys and saw us through many life altering changes, I started finding it hard to let go of this constant in my life. I knew this change was only for the best. I was generally excited about what was to come, but the fear of leaving behind the familiar and the walk through the valley of change and discomfort was starting to paralyze me. I instinctively began to do what comes naturally to all humans when discomfort comes into play, I began to fight. Hmmmm this seems vaguely familiar to that labor experience two years ago. As I prayed, God really began to pour His peace into my heart gently reminding me of why labor is important, and I'm not just talking about labor to give birth to a child. I am talking about the labor it takes to give birth to any worthwhile endeavor. Labor forces us to let go. It forces us to dig deep and find out what we truly rely on. Is it ourselves? Is it stuff? Is it money? When your are in the throes of labor most of that stuff really starts to pale in comparison to the magnitude of forces working within you. One thing I treasure most about my labor with Isaac was the sweetness and nearness of God that I felt. I believed in the work He was doing within my body. It caused me to let go of the past so my heart was opened wide for the future.

After this comfort from God the week proceeded to be one of those most challenging as we grappled with some difficult decisions. As I reflect back on this week I am grateful that every moment in our lives is orchestrated by God. The fact that He can take completely unrelated experiences in our lives and reveal His truth to us at other points along the journey is amazing to me. When I labored with Isaac I was focused on the task at hand. I had no idea God would work this thread into the tapestry of my story down the road.
I just want to encourage those of you who are laboring. It is often easy to become bogged down and lose site of the promises that lie ahead. There is purpose in labor. It is an exercise of faith, and this is true regardless of what you believe.
I hope in this week you find peace and joy unspeakable!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Are You Done Yet?

When I was pregnant with my 3rd child everyone felt the need to ask the loaded question, "so are you done yet?" Seriously, at a critical, emotional juncture in my life you feel the need to jump into my personal life and demand an answer about something that is frankly none of your business.
Ok, ok, I know that is a little harsh, and for most people this is an innocent question used to spur on casual social interaction. Still for some people it is filled with a twinge of judgment, as if they feel the need to make me think about the dire consequences my procreation will cause.

*Just a little side note for anyone who may be concerned: we currently home school with money out of our own pocket  and personally take care of our children's basic needs. I do not say this to pass judgment on those who require government assistance. All children deserve the best start in life. We all need a little help from time to time.

Now I am do not personally subscribe to the quiver full mentality, but I also have changed a lot of my thinking about family.
I am happy where we are as a family. I am not actively pursuing a larger family, but I believe in a sovereign God and I'm just saying I'm not closed off to anything anymore. I used to need ultimate control in my life. The older I get the more I realize how silly that is. Of course I believe in wise planning and decision making, but I also believe that sometimes when all is said and done we just have to let go.

Tomorrow I am letting go of many baby items I have kept for many years. It is perhaps one of the hardest things I will do. There was something comforting in knowing they were just a few steps away in the attic. I realize now that clinging to those items is not what will determine the future, more children or not. For now I believe it is the season to let go. Who knows what the future holds, I am excited, scared, but mostly excited.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

and it's Wednesday

Do you ever feel like your failing miserable at this mom thing? I know I can google and find many mommy bloggers who all feel overwhelmed, tired, at their wits end. Of course as much as we try to relate there is something deeply personal about this experience. It is a walk that even  though billions of mothers will walk you must walk yourself. It will be slightly different. You will have to deal with all your faults and failures. All of the things you so carefully try to conceal from the world will meet you face to face as you  fumble through. I find it especially troubling for me today. I have known from the beginning that mothering did not come naturally to me. The hardest part is knowing I love my children more than anything, and yet feeling like I am completely inadequate at meeting their needs.
I start off Monday with the best intentions. I have a plan, I've prayed, I know God is with me. By Wednesday I am ball of tears huddled under my blankets trying to fight off depression with a dwindling little stick. Why during the most important endeavor of my life, raising the little ones who will be the future, why am I such a wreck? As I see all the flesh in me that is selfish, impatient, quick to anger, come bubbling to the surface, I am disgusted.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Watch Out World, This Little Man is About to Be Two!

Almost exactly two years ago to the hour I began to labor my dearest Isaac into this world. He barely missed being an April Fools baby by a mere hour and 40 minutes. Since the moment he was pulled from the water and laid in my arms he has been stealing my heart every day. I have grown as a mother in so many new ways. His strong willed spirit challenges me to dig deeper in God, and his boundless love and sense of humor remind me of the joys in simplicity. There was a time I couldn't imagine how anyone could juggle three kids. Now I cannot imagine how I could live without this precious force of life that makes our home so complete.
He has developed quite the singing voice. I personally have never met a child that picks up a song the first time he hears it. Every time he visits grandma's house he manages to find her ipod and request some crazy 70's song. Then we all get a kick out of watching him sing and dance his little heart out.
I cannot be grateful enough for God's perfect will that granted me the privilege of raising this awesome little guy. Happy Birthday Isaac Timothy Medrano. My love for you runs deeper than the oceans.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lessons on Parenting from My Own Rebellious Heart

It's official, those terrible twos are kicking in with my sweet, little Isaac. He has been unfortunate/fortunate, to gain a very strong stubborn streak that runs in my family. I have been party to some very intense screaming fits as of late. Patience with children does not come naturally to me. These little tantrums become even more difficult to deal with as I try to teach Kaylie and keep Micah busy.
This has led to a lot of frustration and tears as I try to work through this challenging stage in life.
I have been praying daily for God to show me the best way to  handle these outbursts. On one hand I don't want to completely ignore them. I feel he needs to understand what he is doing is not right, but I also know this is him trying to assert his independence and I don't want to be too heavy handed.

Today he started up over a little tiff between he and  his brother. He turned red and began screaming and kicking. Without really thinking I scooped him on my lap and told the other kids to continue playing. I sat holding him as he squirmed, screamed, and kicked. I began to whisper to him gently telling him to calm down and that I loved him. I would not let him go until he was in control.
A quiet whisper came to me as I sat there, and a situation that would normally frustrate me out of my mind became so peaceful.
God reminded me so gently of how often I have wanted my own way. It was not always kicking and screaming on the outside, but my heart would reel in rebellion. I wanted my way and no one was going to tell me otherwise. Even in those times He never let me go. He held me close, just as I did with Isaac, speaking His love and truth to my spirit. No matter how long it takes God will not let go.
After awhile Isaac's protests began to abate. Between his sobs I asked him if he could calm his spirit. Twice he emphatically said no. I told him I know how hard it is. Mommy has been there too. Finally he nestled close to me and gave a sigh. It was a sweet victory for both of us.

Sometimes I wake up and think I have no idea what I am doing as a parent. I try to read up and come up with my own ideas and plans. Usually I end up more overwhelmed than when I started. As I still my own hear I realize the best parenting skills I have found come from the example my Father God has laid out to me.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Selling a House and Other Fun Stuff

We took the plunge. After close to 7 years of living in our home we finally made the final decision to sell our townhome. We have mulled over this for years as our family has grown, but the time was never right.  The year 2012 was a year of personal transition for us, and by the end of the year we knew it was time. On January 27th we put it up for sale by owner. I've heard home selling can be quite the roller coaster, and our short experience has not disappointed. I do not do well with change. I know many people spend their lives moving. I spent the majority of my years growing up in the same house. The most I moved was after getting married, and each move was still difficult for me. As much as I long for a new house, this is still home. It is the only home my children have known. It is where I have rocked each of my babies to sleep. It is where we have celebrated birthdays and holidays. It is where  I have loved and cried myself to sleep. It is home.
I know that with time I will learn to love a new house. I do long for a yard my children can run around in and a fireplace for that rare cold night in Texas. For now I am learning to let go, and be grateful for all God has done in this house, and all He will continue to do at the next home. Where we go, He goes, and that is a blessed promise indeed.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Can I Borrow Some Change and See How it Works Out?

I want change and I hate change. It is the conundrum of my life. I stand at the foot of the mountain and the sheer enormity overwhelms me. Have I always been this way? Is it something that has come with age?
I sit here confused tonight. It's nights like this I miss being a child.