Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pursue One Thing

Hayden and Mark being "robops" (robots)

I just started a new bible study - Growth: Training vs. Trying. I've done a lot of bible studies in the past - on my own and in groups - and let me tell you, I don't remember a lot out of most of them. Not that there was anything wrong with them, but something wrong with me. I didn't come to it with the attitude of - what can God teach me? - but of just doing some "Christian homework" because that's what good Christians do - they go to bible studies.

This time is different - I hope. This week is starting off good as usual - I'm not even 2 pages in and I get hit over the head with this:

"The secret to life is pursuing one thing."

Ooooh...and what is that one thing you ask?

Seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

Which makes me ask myself: Am I pursuing one thing? I don't think so.

I'm pursuing perfection in motherhood. I'm pursuing godly character. I'm pursuing weight loss! I'm pursing a lot of things, but pursuing God is down on the list I'm sad to say.

Yet, He should be first! If I would just pursue Him and nothing else, everything would be taken care of. That's a huge burden to lay down. A burden I created for myself. I gave myself all these goals and "to-do's" when all God wants me to do is to seek Him first.

That makes me sigh a big breath of relief from setting down all that baggage.

Now I have to go let that sink in and find out what that means practically in my life.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. ~ Matthew 6:33

Are you pursuing one thing? What does that look like in your life (or what do you think it should look like if you aren't)?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Go Forth and Conquer

Hayden talking to his "troops".

Monday, April 19, 2010

All I Can Do

I have those days - or weeks - where I have somehow forgotten how to function as a normal human being. For instance, I just spent the last 15 minutes on my hands and knees under my desk chair detangling my headphone cord from around my'd think a person should be able to do that without much difficulty. Yeah no.

Last week I was gorging myself on Nutella and crackers at the computer (while watching Netflix of course) and dropped half a Nutella covered cracker on the floor. 30 minutes later, I was still perplexed as to where that cracker had landed. The next day, Mark discovered it in the sub woofer - how I managed to get it in there I'll never know.

Or this weekend when I got the bright idea to save myself some dish washing work and use paper plates for our breakfasts...syrup and paper plates don't mix...I know this...and yet there I was dumping syrup all over my mail, bible, and the floor. While cleaning that up, I notice Corbin is in one of my cabinets - the cabinet that has the coffee pot in it...the cabinet I know he shouldn't be in...but the light doesn't kick on in my head and he proceeds to shatter the coffee carafe all over the floor.

Let's not mention that the "waffles" I made were horrible. Our waffle iron was left in the car from Mark's waffle fundraiser and since it was raining (and I didn't want to either A.) get wet or B.) get dressed) I decided to use our "sandwich maker" and whip up some waffles, uh yeah don't do that. I knew that it was a bad idea...and there I was making my 3 inch thick waffles. Yuck.

It's weeks like this that I spend hours making chicken stock from scratch and forget to put it in the fridge at the end of the night.

Or roast my chicken upside down.

Or wake up to find my PJs both inside out and backwards.

And when I do all of these things in the span of a week - all I can do is laugh! And hope the fog lifts before I start putting the milk in the pantry or my keys in the fridge.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's Gonna Be Alright

God above all the world in motion
God above all my hopes and fears
I don't care what the world throws at me now
It's gonna be alright

Hear the sound of the generations
Making loud our freedom song
All in all that the world would know Your name
I'm gonna be alright

'Cause I know my God saved the day
And I know His word never fails
And I know my God made a way for me
Salvation is here

Cause You are alive and You live in me
Salvation is here
Salvation is here and it lives in me
Salvation is here
Salvation is here that died just to set me free
Salvation is here
Salvation is here and it lives in me

Lyrics from Salvation is Here (Lincoln Brewster)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Potty Training...It's for the birds. is for the birds. If you look up that saying, it explains:
Meaning that a situation, or event or something went horribly wrong and they didn't like the outcome much. Something could have been better.

Yeah that pretty much sums it up...

Today I cleaned up my one millionth pee puddle.

Yeah. And I'm not looking for advice. I've read the books, tried the strategies, and so on and so forth. So I don't really need another recitation. Honestly, you think whatever it is I haven't tried it? Believe me...I've tried it.

This is just one of those parenting moments where you get to develop that elusive trait called...patience. Knowing what I know about the personality of these boys, I have a feeling I'm going to get to learn all about patience.

And I'm OK with that. I need more patience. I'm the person who would never plant a tree because I'm to impatient to wait for the results. Waiting years?! ACK! I'm "instant gratification" girl. I want it all right now.

I'm finding that this lesson is being repeated over and over in my life - which means I must really need it.

So I'll wait patiently, cleaning their pee puddles and wiping their booty. And one day, it will happen.

Yes, that's Corbin bashing Hayden over the head with a pinwheel.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Let's Do It Randomly

I've been blogging a lot lately without saying a whole lot about what's really going on in our life - haha. Funny how you can get away with that on a blog. A cute picture, a few words - and voila! A post. But at our women's retreat we talked about having real connections and friendships - more than just projecting a "perfect" image of yourself or what you want people to think you are.

So here's real life at the Zavala house (long, but real):

My Kids are...

The Big Boy:
-Hayden is still going to school 5 days a week. He's in the PEAR program at Patsy Sommer Elementary. It's two hours of speech therapy in a classroom setting with other kids with speech issues. They create lessons from a different book each week. All the new words and concepts are from the book. They've done Goldilocks and the Three Bears/We're Going on a Bear Hunt, Knuffle Bunny/Goodnight Moon, and many more! Each week is a new story and new words. They have a vocab "test" on Friday to measure progress.

-It's really hard to wake up each morning for Hayden's school. I'm a night owl by nature. Going to bed early is something I'm working on.

-Hayden got a "note from the teacher" last week that sent me into tears (of course I was a little hormonal that week, but whateva') I'm over it now.

-Hayden is continually cracking us up with his little comments. You never know what he's going to say. My Facebook statuses are generally his hilarious interactions.

-He's a sassy three year old. We're working on it.

-Potty training is, well, ugh.

The Baby Boy:

-Corbin is getting speech and feeding (with sensory) therapy. No words yet. We do joint compressions, brushing, and lots of other stuff daily with him. Won't go into that unless someone is interested.

-Corbin loves going outside now. First thing in the morning he heads for the door and starts jiggling the handle to get out.

-He's completely mastered forks/spoons and prefers eating with utensils. He's also quickly picking up drinking out of regular cups. The other day he had snagged a cup off the table taken a few drinks (without spilling) and was walking around with it before I noticed a thing. I'm still amazed it wasn't spilled.

-His baby sign language has expanded (since it's his only communication). He's got Help, more, all done, cup, eat, please, and we're working this week on hurt.

-He's been off antibiotics now for over a month and I can't tell you how awesome it is not to have to remember that every day. His eating has improved too.

I'm reading...

Calm My Anxious Heart - again. Love this book! One of these days I hope to master "Not complaining about anything - even the weather." Maybe when I'm 90...

Hunger for God - Required for The Lord's Table Mentorship course I'm doing.

I'm watching...

Excessive amounts of Netflix. Every spare 5 minutes!! I'm caught up on Lost now, so I'm able to enjoy the current season. Just finished The Dresden Files - too bad only one season of that. Wives and Daughters 4 part serious was good if you like that time period. Currently catching up on The Dead Zone - used to watch that years ago, apparently they went six seasons so I'm all for that. Also watched Kidnapped - again really good but only one season. Booooo. I enjoy the TV shows the best because I can snatch a spare hour every now and then, but sitting down for a whole movie can be challenging.

I'm reading online...

A lot less blogs!! And I'm happier for it.

The kitchen remodel...

Is done. Well the part we paid for is done. We ended up hiring another guy to finish it. Long story. Now I just need to paint and remove wallpaper - yuck!

My menu planning...

Is non-existent these days...I'm slacking and my budget shows it. I gotta get back at it!!

I'm enjoying...

Mentoring with The Lord's Table. After going through it last fall I decided to apply to be a mentor. After completing the first month of coursework I got accepted and have already started mentoring! I have about 70 more days of the mentorship course left (until then I'm an apprentice mentor) - but it's been awesome. More so for me than anything - keeps me connected and in the Bible daily.

I've been...

On a women's retreat - it was awesome! Really enjoyed hanging out with the other ladies in our church. This was my first retreat and I loved it.

I've been downloading...

New tunes...It Is Well, Flower (Moby), Salvation is Here, Something Beautiful, and This World

I've been thinking...

About how we tear each other down (especially women) through comparing, judging, and criticizing. It's not easy to admit, and it's even harder to stop! Even if it's only in my head, it's still detrimental to my heart. Even worse, if it's not in my head! Ick.

My verse this week:

1 Thessalonians 5:24
Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.
Another reminder that I do nothing of worth without Him, and if He asks something of me, He's the one who gives me the strength and resources to do it.

Favorite story...

At our retreat our speaker, Laura, told us the background story to It Is Well...that left an impression on me and I've been singing it ever since. If you have a few moments, it's well worth reading. you're caught up! So catch me up - how have you been?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Seventy Times Seven

Mat 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Him and asked, "Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?"
"No, not seven times," Jesus replied, "but seventy times seven!
You know what I'm learning? We're all messed up - especially me. Me, especially, because I know all my own junk.

I've let people down. People have let me down.

I've made mistakes. I've watched others make mistakes.

I want to be perfect - but I'm not.

I desperately desire to do good - but I don't.

I've done lots of things that I'm ashamed of.

Which means I'm the least eligible to point fingers.
Joh 8:7 They kept demanding an answer, so He stood up again and said, "All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!"
Yet, how easy is it to take what I know to be right, apply it to another life (but not my own), and condemn. Do you ever do that? Judge. Criticize. Blame.

I have. Ick. On those days, I should just crawl back under that rock I live under!

How wonderful would it be if instead of falling into my old nature of critic, I changed my viewpoint to forgiveness and mercy?

Pretty awesome I think.

Maybe we could all live out the true meaning of Easter - a God who has given us forgiveness and mercy, instead of condemnation.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Something Beautiful

In your ocean I'm ankle deep
I feel the waves crashing on my feet
It's like I know where I need to be
But I can't figure out
Just how much air I will need to breathe
When your tide rushes over me
There's only one way to figure out
Will you let me drown?

This is my desire
Consume me like a fire
Cause I just want something beautiful to touch me
~Something Beautiful/Needtobreathe

I've had a hard time putting anything into words lately. I've been doing a lot of thinking. As Darby on Tigger and Pooh would say - Now it's time to think, think think! (By the way, since when does Tigger get first billing?? And who is Darby? What happened to Christopher Robin?? I'm appalled and confused...but I digress).

Mostly, I've been trying to tune out the world. There is a LOT coming in - Facebook status updates (where we input our every day someone updated that they were on the toilet, ick - do we really need to stay THAT informed?); blogs (oh the blogs, every mommy, environmentalist, or you-name-it spouting their own personal brand of perfection); and then there's the rest of the internet world.

Not to say there isn't something fun or even encouraging about all those things, because they can be wonderful! Staying in contact with friends, getting ideas, and reading about different perspectives all have their place. But, there's something else that comes along with all that.

You're overwhelmed with opinions and judgments! Not necessarily directed at you personally, but they are there nevertheless. Each person completely convinced that this is the way, that they have it right, if only everyone would do this, how can you live like that, it goes on and on.

Heaven forbid you have children - because it's very easy to find out your doing it (whatever it is) wrong with just a few searches or blog posts. And that because your doing it wrong, your kids will probably be messed up for the rest of their lives.

HA! That's what I say to all of that. I'm done with all that crap (btw, I mentally just whispered that in my head...Hayden loves to copy everything I say now, and I must admit I'm a bit of a potty mouth. Generally, I can keep a lid on the major expletives, but I just can't hang up my frequent use of crap, stupid, and other 3 year old profanities). Crap, crap...crap, crap, crap...there, now that I've gotten that out of the way. I'm done with it.

I am by no means a perfect mother - nor will I ever claim to be. But, I refuse to believe that listening to any of this junk will ever do me any good. All it does is make me second guess myself, waste time worrying (and reading all that stuff), and overall makes me feel bad about myself.

I love my children. And I believe they are resting firmly in the hands of God. My trust rests in Him, not the parenting gurus of today. I have learned that I have no power over what happens to them in this life. I can only guide and instruct them. I cannot protect them from every possible danger. I cannot stop a single tear from being shed or their hearts from being broken. I can't make them into someone they are not, nor do I ever want to.

I want to see them for the miracles they are. I want to enjoy them while I am entrusted with them. I want to spend every moment with them in enjoyment, not burden. They are not a project or a duty - they are a blessing.

Now I just need to remember that when I'm cleaning up poop for the 10th time of the day and digging my phone out of the toilet.