Friday, January 25, 2013

25 on the 25th

Today is a very special day.... It's my mom's birthday!! As usual she is turning 25 *wink*wink* just as she has been for as long as I can remember...literally! Can't remember celebrating a birthday when my mom has not turned 25. :-) But really, my mom does look pretty young (and yes, she is young. Today is the day for flattery after all hehe.) People are always shocked when they see my mom and find out that this is the same woman that had me and five other kids, the youngest of which is 16 years old. My landlady even thought she was just a friend or sister when my mom came by once! Hehe. Glad I have those "young" genes from her. (And my dad too, actually! But today's not his birthday lol.)

In honor of my mom's birthday, I'm sharing something I wrote a couple weeks ago that was really just an overflow of emotion from my heart. With my own daughter's birth day being right around the corner, this writing really encompasses how, in this new stage of life, I'm learning to celebrate my mom as she celebrated me in my birth.

Complete emotional breakdown as I thought about seeing baby girl's face for the first time. What came to mind is the story Mom always says is "her story", telling it proudly of how she knew the day I was born, she looked into my face and said, "She's gonna do something. She's going places!" And now here I am, 23 years later with my own daughter due in less than 3 months, and I bawl my eyes out wondering what I will see--what I will see IN HER when I first see her face. Will I have that same insight that my mom had? Will I be able to raise her up and train her and lead her and be a mom to her the way mine was to me, with the knowledge that from birth she has a future in store? I think just now is when I've had the greatest appreciation for my mom always sharing that story. I don't think I really understood how precious and significant that moment on my birth day was, and even still I may not fully understand it until after my own baby girl gets here. I can only hope and I can only pray that the LORD provides me with a fraction of the wisdom and foresight and overall "motherliness" that I received from my mom throughout my life. And that I, in turn, would be able to pour that into my daughter as well.
Happy birthday, Madre! I love you!

Here are a few pictures (all from my wedding rehearsal/wedding day) that have my mom in them that I just love! I'll have to upload more recent pictures soon. :-)

My pretty mama :-)
Praying before the ceremony...
She's been praying over me and for me since before I was born; my wedding day was no exception!
Madre and her daughters :)
Me and the parentals :-)

Again, Happy Birthday, Ma! With many, many more to come!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

"I Promise", "I Swear", and Other Oaths/Vows We Typically Don't Mean

The 57th Presidential Inauguration took place a few days ago, and I watched it from the comfort of my home, chilling on the couch, just me and baby girl, who was kicking away in my womb. I wasn't as into it as I was back in 2009, but you can read more about that in my last blog post.

I was probably more impressed by the singing than anything else that took place that day to be honest. But I watched everything straight through, from the arrival of the guests to the oath of office to that super boring poem (sorry Mister Sir, whoever you were). After all that had died down and Facebook and Twitter weren't quite as alight with statuses and tweets, I came across this status from Mark Driscoll that a friend had shared:

"Praying for our president, who today will place his hand on a Bible he does not believe
 to take an oath to a God he likely does not know."

Controversial, eh? Last time I checked his Facebook page, that particular status had a whopping 2,735 comments and 3,189 shares. Talk about putting your stance out there and really getting a response! But let's get this straight now; this post is not meant to support or refute what Pastor Mark said, so let's just keep this moving.

When I read that status, my memory rewound to years, years back when I was young. I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home with parents who loved the Lord and loved each other and sought to teach their kids (all six of us!) the love and truth of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. They also instilled in us the importance of faith in the Word of God in it's entirety, as well as having a reverence for that same inspired, God-breathed Word.

Growing up, "I swear" was not a phrase that we were allowed to say. Maybe because "swear" can have more than one meaning...? Looking back, I can't even say for sure, but my I remember my parents feeling better about the phrase "I promise". And even when "I promise" was used, there was a heavy, daunting task that lay ahead of us, before those words even flowed our our lips. My parents would bring out...dun dun dun dunnnnnnn...... the BIBLE. Lol. So intense. But really. They put the fear of the LORD in us, so when we made a promise, many times we would put our hand on the Bible to show that what we were saying was in all truth, no lies. This didn't happen when it came to things like, "I promise to clean my room and do the dishes." No, this was more like when we got in trouble and my parents had nothing to go on but our word. So when we were honestly telling the truth (well, I speak for myself) I'd say, I'll put my hand on the Bible and promise I'm telling the truth!
Even at a young age, I didn't take that lightly. Though I didn't accept Christ as my personal Savior until I was 11 years old, I had a healthy enough fear of the God of the universe to know that swearing/promising anything on His book that was anything less than the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth could have devastating consequences for me. And it helped that I was a terrible liar, so no way was I even going to attempt lying to God and my parents and having both of them see right through it. (Oh, my childish mind those days...)

So anyways, back to the quote from Mark Driscoll. That thing really weighed on me! I wonder whether all these presidents, past and present, really realized that what they were doing was not simply a tradition; they were making an oath, a promise, a vow to the God of creation on His holy Word! Some may say that I'm looking at it in too extreme a fashion, but when I view how big and great and holy and righteous and perfect God is.....and then there's me. What a blessing that He meets us where we are, but when we swear by His Word, we better realize that we swear by One greater than ourselves! And if we say we do realize that, do we actually live like it? In fear and reverence and obedience to Him? Hmmm. Asking myself that question too!
Hebrews really sums up all my rambling in these few verses:

I don't think it's necessary to expound much more on that; pretty straightforward if you ask me. An oath, a promise, to pledge do something is and should be considered more than just a good intention. James even goes as far as to say this:

The fact is, we're human, and as humans even our best plans and intentions can come to naught. Unfortunately these days "my word is my bond" isn't sufficient to most people, and why? Well, for one people don't take their word as seriously and also just because people fail. As believers, we should be seeking to do just as this verse says, let our yes be yes and our no be no! This is shown in our actions, not our intentions. Just do it! Keep it as simple as the Word says, because when we intensify that with an oath, we run the risk of falling under condemnation for not being able to keep that which we've confirmed we'd do before God. (That's part of why marriage vows are so, so, SO important!! Another blog post, hmmm....)

Thank God for grace in the midst of all of our imperfections and failings! I know I've had my share of them, and the Lord has been merciful in light of them. However instead of making the same mistakes over and over again, we can glean from the guidance we find in God's Word and align our actions accordingly!

Are there things you do or specific steps you take in order to make sure you're able to do and keep up with all the things you agree to do or not do? 
I'd love to hear about it! I'm sure we can help each other grow and learn how to keep our word-- to the best of the ability the Lord gives us!
(I'll use myself as an example: I've learned to keep my planner with me and keep it updated and accurate so that I don't overbook myself and end up having to go back on something I already agreed to do. Yes, it can be as simple as that!)

Hope to hear from ya'll!

Monday, January 21, 2013

This Day 4 Years Ago

I'm awake! I'm awake! It's 10:30 am, and more often than not these days I'd either still be sleep or at least lying awake in bed. Baby girl is zapping my energy, pre-arrival. Even now as I write this, I'm feeling myself fade, but I'm forcing myself to keep my eyes open and not take a mid-morning catnap. So what makes me stay awake this day versus other days, you ask?

Well, as you know (or as I hope you know) today is not only Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, it is also the day of the 57th Presidential Inauguration. I learned very quickly last election to keep my politics private, so this has nothing to do with red vs. blue today. Today I celebrate America! and the blessing it is for me to have been born here and live in this imperfect but great and diverse nation. I think it is so awesome that the first black president of the United States is sharing this day with MLK, Jr., because President Obama definitely wouldn't be in this position without the work and sacrifice of Dr. King and so many others in the past! This is happening in my lifetime, and if my kids ever ask me what I did this day, I don't want my answer to be that I was sleeping it away!
Photo courtesy of Google Images
Anyways, I was attending Howard University when Obama was elected in 2008, and words simply do not describe the way campus felt those days. There was so much...electricity! a good way! It was so memorable and incredibly amazing. So when Inauguration Day rolled around in January 2009, you simply can't imagine what DC was like. It was PACKED and so diverse (more so than normal, which says a lot!) and there just seemed to be so much camaraderie between everyone (I think in the political realm they call that bipartisanship haha).

The Husband and I weren't officially dating yet (that would happen the next month!) but I remember that we spent Inauguration Day together this day 4 years ago. I cannot remember ever being as cold as I was that day. We were so bundled up and had those little hand warmers that you shake up and everything. Didn't make any difference though; we still felt like popsicles. We walked from campus through Chinatown and attempted to make our way to the Inaugural festivities. Apparently half the world had the same idea because the streets were overflowing. It was great though, because even though the weather was bitterly cold, spirits were so high and there was so much unity. I remember pausing for a moment and taking it all in: the many races and nationalities represented; old men and women struggling their way through with everyone else; young children just old enough to remember the event; American flags waving everywhere; people standing on top of trash cans and climbing up light poles for better views.... I remember pausing and taking in all that and more and tearing up because this, the first election/inauguration I was able to participate in, this was my America, and my America, for the very first time, was inaugurating an African-American man to the highest office of the United States. I had family members who were involved in civil rights, and to see the fruit of their work was overwhelming to me as a young black woman. No matter your or my political opinion, it would be tragic to take for granted the liberties afforded in this nation that simply would not be experienced in many places elsewhere in the world.

The then-almost-boyfriend-now-husband and I
sometime around Jan-Feb 2009!

As enthralling as the experience was, ya girl was freezing that day lol, so the Husband (then almost-boyfriend) and I ended up not being at the entire inauguration in person. We made our way back to campus and watched the rest on tv. Being out and about on campus and other parts of DC throughout that time was an unforgettable experience though.

This year, I'm tired, pregnant, and not as connected to politics and world events as I was back then. Some may say that's bad, but honestly I simply don't care that much. I hate all the bickering and division that I see among those who name the name of Christ because of a mere man; whether he's Democrat or Republican makes no difference to me. (Christ reigns supreme! Only what's done for Him will last.) So today, I will still experience this great little bit of history, this time at home on my couch with my unborn baby girl kicking away in my womb with my hope in God and not my government.

Today we experience democracy at work!
No matter your political views, don't take that blessing for granted.
What are you doing this 57th Inauguration Day 2013? Working? Out and about? Ever experienced your own little bit of history that you've never forgotten? I'd love to hear!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Weeks 26 to 29

I guess I should note that I as of today I am 30 weeks! But I don't have any pictures to share to go with that news, so we'll just ignore that til the next blog post ;-)

So I was trying to do this every two weeks, but it hasn't really worked out that way... Oh well. I feel like there have been some significant changes since the last time I blogged, so I'm excited to share!

1) I am officially in the third trimester! Woot woot! That happened at Week 28.
2) I started having regular heartburn. Sad day. It started the day of the first trimester. I guess it was baby girl's welcome to me...? :-/
3) I've gained weight! I know, I know. Who cares, right?? Meeeee!!!
4) Okay, can't think of anything else right now. Onto the fun part: pictures!

26 Weeks. Just lounging around, ya know.

26 Weeks. Aww look at that belly :) ...and that cute maternity dress! ;-)
 26 Weeks. Bad lighting in our room.
26 Weeks. Aww, I love it. 

Hmm, so let's see what I can remember from being 26 weeks. Seems so long ago! Well for one, I was in Miami, Florida to celebrate Christmas with the Husband's side of the family when these pictures were taken. It was after we went to Sunday service at the church the he grew up in (same place where our wedding was held!). We drove all the way there! It took 21 hours to get there (long food stops hehe), and it took 16 and 1/2 hours to get back! That's actually crazy because I needed more bathroom breaks on the way back. Hubby was speeding lol. (In his defense, he had to go to work the next morning, and I didn't do any driving...)

So me in all my brilliance realized for the first time during this pregnancy that DR. PEPPER HAS CAFFEINE!! Gasp! I was drinking that stuff like water (slight exaggeration) on the road back home from Florida. So now my husband has been keeping a close eye whenever I grab a drink from a convenience store or somewhere. I still crave it and still drink it every now and then, but not nearly as much as I was before. Don't worry, baby girl is fine :-) I did plenty of research once I realized I'd been consuming caffeine; I was worried that I'd inadvertently done something super bad and damaging. Good news is that I never came close to the daily limits of caffeine that most medical professions suggest for pregnant women. Whew. Definitely a relief.

I'm trying to remember if I had any interesting cravings during Week 26... Well when we got to Miami, all I could think about was chicken fried rice from this hole-in-the-wall place called Cafe Rui or something like that. BEST. EVER. Haven't had any since we were down there for the wedding, and the Chinese places up here simply do not make it like this Cafe Rui place makes it. Yum. That was the biggest craving I can remember, besides the Dr. Pepper. Oh, on the way back I wanted Arby's and almost cried when I thought we wouldn't come across one. Yes, it was that distressing. Okay, that's all. Onward!

 27 weeks.
 27 weeks.
 27 weeks.
 27 weeks.
27 weeks.

You're probably wondering why I have thirteen hundred of the exact same picture. Sorry guys. Couldn't figure out which one was the best. Oh well. So. Yay belly in these pictures! I remember this week. I was having wardrobe issues. (Read: I was trying on clothes in my closet and they simply weren't fitting.) I wasn't going anywhere special, but I was determined to not wear sweats and wasn't feeling like squeezing into jeans. This dress used to be a date night dress, now it's a dress that's stretching right along with my belly, which sadly makes it shorter, but I did not care this day. I felt like I was dressed like a normal, non-pregnant person, and that made me happy :-) I'm sure every pregnant woman, excuse me, every woman in general, has days when they feel like they don't look good in anything, and so this was a good day. Too bad by the time I got dressed and everything, I was exhausted. Boo. Oh well. I'd wear it again, if it hasn't gotten shorter anyway.

 28 weeks.
 28 weeks. I kinda think I look like I'm hiding something under my dress in this picture, not like I'm pregnant hehe.
 28 weeks. Ignore the junk. Yay red shoes! And nails! :-)
28 weeks. Tried to get in better lighting. Unsuccessful.
28 weeks. Just one more! :-)

Yep, more of the same pictures. Sorry, guys. Ignore the junk you see in some of the pictures. Ignore my fuzzy hair too. I can't remember where the Husband and I had gone, but I fell asleep on the way home from where ever it was, hence the hair. Let me just say, the lighting absolutely sucks, plus these are taken on the Husband's phone, which is really good but still not as good as a real camera. Oh well. 

These picture doesn't do justice to this fabulous dress my parents got me for Christmas. A maternity dress, of course :-) It is THEEE most comfortable fabric that I have worn thus far during pregnancy. It's so light and comfy I forget I'm wearing something :-/ haha. I wish you could see it better. It's awesome. I felt so pretty this day :-)

So yeah, yay for the third trimester! Even now as I'm writing I'm blown away at how quickly the time passed. I remember like it was yesterday being 10 weeks and being excited about reaching 12 weeks because the midwife showed me this life-model of how big the baby would be--fitting in the palm of my hand!! *worship moment* God is SO freaking AMAZING!!! I mean, seriously.

I got the worst heartburn ever on the first day of 28 weeks. It could have a little something to do with the fact that I'd eaten nachos, tacos, pizza, burritos and the like within the last 24 hours... Anyways, I tried to go to bed that night but was scared to go to sleep for fear of choking on bile. (TMI? I'm kinda sorry.) I guess it's more like acid reflux than heartburn. Thankfully I haven't had it that bad since that day. I've definitely still had it though. 

29 weeks.
 29 weeks. Yay belly!
 29 weeks. Fuzzy, but it's me and the man behind the belly.
 29 weeks.
 29 weeks. He looks so intense hehe.
29 weeks. My favorite one!

So I've gotta say... I have a pretty awesome belly. I love it :-) I also have a mom who knows me quite well! (Total subject change haha.) This is another dress I received as a Christmas gift. I had been looking at this dress in Target forever, basically ever since I found I was pregnancy and was comfortable enough with my belly size to feel justified to look in the maternity section. However, aside from the fact that I was rebelling against spending any money on maternity clothes, I simply could not get with the prices. Whyyyy is maternity stuff so much more expensive? Geez. Anyways, back to the point. I'd been looking at this exact dress, but never bought it. Then my mom saw it when looking for a gift for me, and with no knowledge that I'd been looking at it, purchased it for me! It's now one of my favs. That's actually a bad thing because now I'll want to wear it all the time. Don't worry, I'll exercise self-control. :-) An awesome thing about the day I wore this dress is that the weather wasn't as freezing as it typically is in January, and I wore it without leggings, stockings, or tights! Happiness! I felt so freeeee.

So to celebrate 29 weeks, I had this awesome (total sarcasm) doctor's appointment. The only reason I was looking forward to it was because I'd get to hear baby girl's heartbeat. Besides that, I was sad and irritable that I had to do this glucose tolerance test. Basically how it works is they give you this bottle that looks innocent enough.

Then they're like, don't eat or drink anything for an hour before you take this test. Then drink the entire bottle within five minutes and write down the time you finish it. Then race to the doctor's office because we have to draw fifteen thousand vials of your blood an hour after you drink it.

I hated every single one of the people who ever conceived the idea of this test as I struggled to get it down. It was partially my fault that it was so hard for me. I had made it into this big thing in my mind. Even while telling myself that it was no big deal, I nearly gagged on the first sip. "Tastes like orange soda" my foot. *angry face*

Anyways, so in the hour before the test, I didn't fast. I ate a bag of chips instead. Oops. I forgot. *shrug* I haven't gotten any calls that the results warrant me coming back into the office, so I must be okay :-) I was on this serious sugar high after the drink, which sucked. Sugar highs for me don't equal energy; I get all shaky and jittery and my heart races. Not cool. And then, I crashed. Hard. I slept at least 4 hours after I got home from the appointment. At the same time I crashed, the sugar must've reached baby girl because man was she hyper! Bouncing all over and really testing the limits of my womb/her living space.

Well, I usually use the questions as a guide for the current week I'm on, so I'll just shut up from my rambling now and move on. :-)

How Far Along: 30 weeks today! But we'll talk about that next time. ;-)

Total Weight Gain: As of my doctor's appointment last Friday, I've gained 20 lbs.!! That officially put me at where I should be with my weight gain. Woot woot! The thing is, in order to get to that 20 pound gain, I was gaining 2 lbs a week for ten weeks. Now that I'm on track, I can change to 1 pound a week. We'll see if that happens lol.
Maternity Clothes: I have really been upping (is that a word??) my maternity wardrobe! Thanks to Target and the thrift store, I have some great finds, including 2 shirts, 1 cardigan, a coat I can actually close, a pair of jeans (haven't worn those yet), 3 dresses, and two skirts! I thought I'd hate having maternity bottoms, but that extra fabric thingy they put on it actually gives some additional belly support. Who knew!? :) It's also great because it was getting depressing when everything in my closet was getting too snug or short because of my burgeoning belly.
Stretch Marks: Nope! And I'm happy about it. I do daily belly and hip inspections, and besides the linea nigra, they are both still clear! Still lotioning up with Jergens Ultra Healing.
Sleep: Pillows are SO my friend. I use three right now, but I may add more. I remember a day when I didn't understand the concept of sleeping with pillows under your head AND under your hips AND between your legs PLUS something to support your belly. All of the above are typically needed these days, especially the stomach support. Without it, I'm guaranteed to not sleep. Most nights, at least this past week, I've had super insomnia, going to bed/falling asleep as late as 5am. Alas. 
Best Moment of This Week: I've had a pretty great week overall, and I'm not sure I can identify one specific thing as the best, so I'll just share a couple things. On Sunday after church (where there was an awesome and timely sermon), the Husband and I went over our pastor's house, and a couple others were there too. Super fun and great food! I had a productive time doing apartment searches. Really great Bible study Wednesday that the Husband led. Convicting! Great time last night meeting with people a part of our church's upreach. God is going to work!!
What I Miss: Good sleep at normal hours! And not feeling like I have to rush to the bathroom every twenty minutes.
Baby Movement: Baby girl moves around all the time :-) I think the best moment of movement of late was when I was at my parents' house and I could see her moving around through my shirt. I called my youngest brother over (he is so excited about his first niece's arrival) and showed him. He was like, That is amazing!! And then proceeded to race out the room and yell to my siblings, You guys, have you seen Ashley's stomach!? Haha, such a precious moment. :-)
Craving: Idk. I've been eating a lot of mini M&Ms, and since I'm eating chicken again, I've rediscovered Panera's Frontega Chicken sandwich. Last Wednesday after church I really wanted a burger, so the Husband and I had a spontaneous dinner date to Ruby Tuesday, which reminded me of our dating days :-) I ended up having a really tasty turkey burger with avocado and bacon. As I type it, I think I may go back again soon...
Queasiness: Typically, no. However at this moment I feel like crap. I haven't wanted to eat all day because my stomach feels so gross. Happy 30 weeks? :-(
Pregnancy Side Effects: I'm so tired of having to pee all the time. Can't I have my normal, non-smushed bladder back?? Geez. I guess I'll have it back in ten weeks...!!!! My back has been hurting more. Counter-pressure (i.e., the Husband massaging it) seems to help quite a bit though. Sometimes I get headaches, but they're manageable. Heartburn off and on. Thanks to some Facebook friends, I now have a list of natural remedies to deal with it when it comes!The sleep thing is the main thing that's been off.
Mood: Anticipation! (same as last time, hehe) There's so much that'll be changing soon--where we live, stuff going on at church, and of course baby girl's arrival, ahhh!
Looking Forward To: Baby shower! :-)

See ya'll back again soon!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chicken about Chicken

Photo courtesy of Google Images

I've always eaten chicken. Always. I mean, I am black. (Way for me to perpetuate a stereotype right? Haha. I had to do it.) Anyways. Chicken is good. Who doesn't like chicken?? (Vegetarians don't count.)

Anyone who's spent any significant time around me or even perused my Facebook page know that I have been going through this super weird and crazy phenomena of hating chicken and everything about it during this pregnancy. Actually, at first I would eat it, but only in the form of Popeyes chicken wraps. Then, while I was going through morning sickness (and when I could actually keep food down), I'd eat obscene amounts of Wendy's chicken nuggets or McDonald's hashbrowns. (I now find both of those very unappealing.) Every now and then I'd eat a Tendercrisp Chicken Sandwich from Burger King as well. You know what you're not seeing here?? Fresh chicken. It absolutely, positively grossed me out. I was literally disturbed by the thought of eating it, especially off the bone. Eww.

When the Husband and I got married in February 2012, we ate chicken all. the. time. Like, good grief! Ridiculous amounts of chicken. I guess because we were able to get it for cheap at the store, and we were young newlyweds strapped for cash at times (not that we aren't now at times, but whatev). There is definitely a such thing as overdoing it though, and after about five months of every other meal having some form of chicken, I can't help but wonder if that some how contributed to my hatred of chicken when I got pregnant. (I don't like that phrase, "got pregnant." Just a side note.)

Like I said, I was particularly grossed out by fresh chicken. I didn't want to see it raw. I didn't want to see it cooked. I didn't want to see pictures of it on Pinterest, or commercials, or anywhere. I didn't want to smell it. I didn't want anyone to offer me any. I didn't want to think about it. Period. But as life goes, I did see it raw on store shelves, and pictures would come up on Pinterest and commercials, and gosh darn it, every single time I went somewhere it seemed like I would smell it. I went to people's houses, and they'd offer me the chicken they were cooking, and at random points (like when passing by a KFC or something), I'd envision a piece of freshly fried chicken falling off the bone, and you know what would happen in each of these scenarios? I'd feel like I was about to barf. Get the picture? Chicken was off. limits.

Actually, that still looks kinda gross...
Photo courtesy of Google Images

Well, all that being said, it appears that finally, finally I can earn my black card back as I am once again eating chicken. And not only am I eating it, for the first time in nearly six (yes, SIX!!) months, I am COOKING CHICKEN. Oh em geeee!! Yes! I actually asked my husband to stop at the store on the way home from work to pick up some chicken! He was probably rejoicing that this phase is finally over lol.

I'm sure you're wondering if there's any point to this blog post. ....Nope, not really. Just thought I'd share my excitement. I mean, come on. Is this not a reason to rejoice? I've read that while babies are in the womb, they can somewhat taste the flavors of what their mama is eating. How sad would it be for baby girl to grow up not liking chicken because her mama despised it!? Well, no longer. Those days are over!!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I'm making Italian chicken tonight. Some tasty concoction my mom made the other night which I tried when the Husband and I stopped by for a bit. Yumm! Hopefully my first chicken dish in months is a success!!

Thank you, Google Images, for providing me with a picture of
Italian baked chicken that doesn't look like mine. Whatever.
I bet mine's better. :-)

Are there any foods in particular that you are just totally repelled by, in pregnancy or just life in general? I'd love to hear (it's rather fascinating). :-)

Monday, January 14, 2013

A New Day Is Just As Amazing As A New Year

So. When is it officially time to stop saying "happy new year" to people? It's probably been about a week since I've said it to anyone, and I don't foresee myself saying it to anyone for the remainder of this year.

I usually feel a lot of pressure at the end of the year/beginning of the new year to make sure I have a post ready to share. That's when everyone's starting to put their goals into action, and in the blogosphere, I know for many inconsistent bloggers (such as myself at times) the new year is the perfect jump-start to hopping onto the regular/consistent blogging bandwagon.

Well, at the end of December 2012, to be honest I was far too busy to even think about blogging. The Husband and I went to Miami for Christmas (will share about that in a different post), and when we got back we had just a few days before New Year's Day, and because we are on the planning committee for the NYE event at our church, we had lots of last minute errands to do. In spite of the time crunch, the event went well, and the Lord was glorified. Afterwards I hung out all night/morning (til 7am!) with the Husband and some friends like some young, unmarried, un-pregnant college kid. (Geez I sound like such an old woman lol.) Might as well; won't be doing that anymore once baby girl gets here!

Anyways, all that to say that I didn't have time or energy to really put into writing a blog post about the new year. Plus, I felt like I was saying the same thing every year. How was 2013 going to be any different? What is it about the new year that is so special anyway? What makes people really look forward to the change in date? My personal conclusion is that for most people, a new year equals a new start. Typically we'll look back at the ending year and determine whether it was good, bad, or just okay. Did we keep our goals/resolutions? Did we start off the year strong only to lose our motivation and slack off as the weeks and months passed?

Let me start off by saying that making goals for the entire year is not a bad thing. To give foresight to some positive changes that need to happen in your life is great, and giving yourself a year to meet those goals is certainly generous. However, I think the problem arises when we set goals and make resolutions for our year and are not intentional about how we are going to stay on track to make them happen. In my experience, having an idea of what you want to happen simply isn't enough.

A friend shared this blog post with me, and it was so great in helping me bring focus and purpose to my personal goals. If you've already made your goals, I still suggest using the outline found in the blog to help you stay on track! When setting my goals, I also tried not to overdo it, what with baby girl coming along and everything. Setting unreasonable expectations for ourselves doesn't really do much for helping us meet our objectives! Here are two thoughts I'd keep in mind going forward:

In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps. ~Proverbs 16:9

Many are the plans that are in a man's heart,
but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.~Proverbs 19:21

So even though you may have great plans in mind, remember to submit them to the Lord first and foremost! He is in control over all and may His sovereign will be priority our our temporary plans.

Last thought: A new day is just as amazing as a new year! I absolutely love these verses from Lamentations 3:

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning
great is your faithfulness.

What a promise! God's mercies towards us aren't limited to a new year coming around. GREAT is His faithfulness---how?? Because His mercies never come to an end; they are new every. morning. How awesome is that!? 

Don't get discouraged and totally lose hope if/when you get off track from your yearly goals. Thanks be to God, He has already made provision for His children and has new mercies available to us for this new day, not just when a new year rolls around.

So no, I'm not going to say "Happy New Year" to you guys; it's too late in the month for that anyway! But I absolutely will say HAPPY NEW DAY, everyone!! :-)

Photo courtesy of Google Images
So what goals have you set for yourself this year?
What steps are you taking to achieve them?