A Grateful Heart

In this busy season of life, I am finding it more and more important to SLOW DOWN and BE GRATEFUL! By doing this I am able to soak in each moment more fully and live in the present. Today I have found a few very important things to be grateful for.

1. I am thankful for a healthy pregnancy so far. I recently found out that someone who is 31 weeks, just like I am, is in early labor and her baby may be making an early appearance. Although I know that they have great care for preemie’s, I am thankful that things have gone smoothly so far for me and Baby Baum #2.

2. I am thankful for time with close friends. I love having intentional time and conversations that are heart deep instead of ankle deep.

3. I am thankful for a husband who is willing to make my dreams a reality. In particular, I have been wanting to create pumpkins out of plywood for our “Pumpkin Patch” in our front yard to decorate for the upcoming holidays. This is not something I am good at doing on my own and I appreciate his willingness to help and creative abilities that made it all come to life.

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My hubby knows how to work a jigsaw so well.

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Not the best picture but it came out super cute and I even have lights around it so oyu can see it well at night.

4. I am thankful for a knee that works! Today marks ONE YEAR since my ACL/meniscus surgery. It was by far the most difficult physical challenge I have encountered so far. I am so thankful to be able to walk, run, exercise, play with James and do all of the other things that I could not do for a long time while recovering. I am so looking forward to running my next half marathon after having this baby!

5. I am thankful for James and his friends. We are so very blessed to have a great community of friends that have kids around James’ age. It is so fun to enjoy parenthood with close friends and to watch our babies grow together.

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James and his best pal Harrison. They are just 5 weeks apart.

6. I am thankful for a God who tells me to SLOW DOWN and REST in Him. This makes my goals/to do lists/worries seem so trivial and allows me to soak it in, be at peace and live in JOY!

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Pumpkin Patch Fun

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Today we had the chance to check out the local pumpkin patch with a group of friends and all of our kiddos. The last time I went to a pumpkin patch must have been when I was in first or second grade so I think I might have been more excited then James. James’ Grandma gave him a book about pumpkins and Halloween a few weeks ago and we started reading it right away. He loved it and now points out any pumpkins he sees. The best part is when he says pumpkin it comes out more like, “bumpkin,” so all I day long I hear, “bumpkin, bumpkin.”

Anyways back to the pumpkin patch, they had a pretty sweet set up. Pig races, pumpkin cannons, train rides, sweet bouncy inflatable thingys, and of course picking pumpkins. I think it is safe to say everyone had a good time and we all succeeded in getting pumpkins! I had one of those surreal life moments while we were riding the choo choo train. I thought, “How is it that we are here in this stage of life? Married with kids? Riding the choo choo train?” I still can’t believe it sometimes. Life goes by so quickly but OH what a SWEET time in life it is!

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Watching the pig races with the daddies.

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Love this. James is pointing out the plane in the sky.

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Checking out the piggies.

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Trying to get this many kids to take a picture is impossible.

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Picking out his pumpkin.

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And did I mention the sunset was INCREDIBLE!

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Me and my boy.

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Those cheeks!

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Trick to getting lots of kids to take a picture=give them something sweet to eat.

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Gahh he melts my heart.

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Family pumpkin patch pic 2013. I’m so blessed.

Celebrating the Gift of Life

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Already this week I have had the privilege of celebrating the gift of life in both birth and death. Although it can be strange to be in a time where you are celebrating both, it is also such a beautiful reminder of the gift of life and what this life really is all about.

Birth truly is a miracle. Every aspect of it. The whole process just makes me sit back and thank God for this beautiful, mysterious gift that allows us to celebrate so JOYFULLY! Our dear friends just had a baby three weeks ago. We got to meet him today and celebrate with our friends on this joyous occasion. Just watching a newborn and seeing new parents holding them so sweetly is blessing. We are so thankful for the opportunity to be parents again. The truth is we had a miscarriage before we had James. It was hard, really hard but the Lord carried us through. Then we came to find out we have had many friends who have as well. We also know many who have struggled with infertility. These things are so hard in life and because of this we do not take the honor of being parents lightly. The gift of life is exactly that and I want to remind myself constantly to be grateful to the Creator for this gift!

Death can be scary, hard, and most of us pretend like it isn’t going to happen, BUT IT IS! Our dear neighbor passed away this morning. She was 93 years old. I wrote about her and her husband in a previous post actually. You can check that out here. She and her husband have been married for 70 years! 70 YEARS! Wow talk about a life of love and devotion. They have 5 children and lots of grand children and great grand children. They have lived in our neighborhood since the 1950’s. I only knew her for 1 of her 93 years but she impacted me greatly in that year. Although she was sickly the whole time I knew her, I never heard her complain about her ailments. Well one time she did complain because her hearing aid wasn’t working and she wanted to be able to hear me better. She was always happy to see James and I as we to come say hello. When she found out we were pregnant she always asked me how I was doing and always told me to make sure I was taking care of myself. You could tell she was in pain, and uncomfortable but she always wanted to know how I was and talk about what was going on in my life. What an awesome example of selflessness. The past few weeks her family has been around a lot and I could tell that she was getting worse. It is one of those things that is inevitable when your neighbor is 93 that the day will come but it doesn’t make it easier.

However, there is HOPE and CELEBRATION to be had! Jesus promises this HOPE in our salvation in HIM. My neighbor had placed her HOPE in Jesus and because of this I do not have to mourn her loss but instead I get to REJOICE because we will meet again. Her life can be celebrated for what it was here on earth and what is NOW IS in heaven! Talk about JOY! Talk about CELEBRATION! Talk about ETERNAL HOPE! That is what life is all about.

Don’t get me wrong death is still hard. My heart is broken for her husband of 70 years who does not know life with out his love. My heart is broken for their children and grand children and great grandchildren. I have personally experienced a lot of death in my life. Cancer that happened over night, long term cancer diagnosis, suicide, car accidents, children with rare diseases, old age. And I have determined that it is just as hard no matter what the stage in life. The life lived fully until 90 something or the 20 year old that dies tragically. There is so much loss in all of it when it comes to our earthly perspective. But that is where Christ comes in and gives us life, ETERNAL LIFE!

Have you ever been to a funeral or memorial service that was a TRUE celebration? I have, and let me tell you what a difference it is! To be able to CELEBRATE a life not just for what it was here but what it still is now in heaven brings HOPE that never ends and JOY that is unspeakable.

I know these verses are used a lot but it is because they hold so much truth.

“For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ” John 10:10

Celebrate life in every season in every way in every moment. We are blessed beyond measure because we have been given the opportunity to be apart of it all in heaven and on earth.