I'm excited for those of you who are joining us in our Faith & Fitness challenge starting August 1st! We are going to have a blast. Truth is, when it comes to feeding my body correctly I am all about it, but taking the time to workout is not necessarily my forte. I find it hard to fit time in to workout and if for any reason I get out of my groove I tend to put fitness on the side burner! Needless to say, I am so excited to have you all in with me to keep me accountable and so we can cheer each other on!!
Yay for accountability!!!
But what has me even more excited is the "faith" part of this challenge! If you have never read a Jen Hatmaker book you are in for a treat! What I love about her is her down-to-earth approach to faith, being a lover of Jesus and how to shine your light and love towards other. Her approach makes sense to me, not to mention she is HYSTERICAL - and who are we kidding we can all use a little laughter in our life amiright? I'm not going to lie, in my mind Jen and I are BFFs!
I love the idea of taking that same down to earth approach and applying it to a bible study- that is what I'm all about. You see, since February of 2015 I decided to read my Bible from Genesis to Revelations and I'm excited to learn how to dive into a specific book and explore more of God's word. I've never done that and I think moving forward it would just be nice to get deep into a study...the Bible is full of amazing teachings and lessons and stories.
I'm not sure if most of you are like me, but I didn't grow up in an environment where being in the word was a top priority not to mention even taught. I grew up believing all the lies of religion and because of that I never grew up having a genuine relationship with Jesus and cultivating that relationship and my faith.
My grandma, a devout Catholic tried to encourage church and sacraments, but none of what was being taught in Catholic mass on Sunday mornings truly stuck with me. Instead I felt unworthy of God's love any time I made a mistake or failed to make confession on Saturday. I grew up thinking God's love for me came with stipulations and if I ever came short of those exceptions there would be a disconnect between me and God, period.
When I was in my late teens I recall stepping in to Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California on a Monday night bible study and accepting Jesus Christ in my life. As life would have it, a few years after that day, I proceeded to live life in the world and the relationship I had planted in that church those years prior was put on the side burner and I began to live life thinking my ways were far better than His.
If I am being completely honest, it wasn't until the end of 2014 that I finally decided to listen to the nudge I kept feeling for a few years prior. That's when I finally decided that enough was enough and I knew there was something extremely big missing in my life and that is when I realized I was missing my faith and my relationship with Jesus.
This is when I decided to redirect my path, head back to church and live my life with intention. What has transpired since I made that decision has been the cornerstone to the person I am this very minute. I find so much lightness in my heart and in my soul and I cannot imagine what life would be moving forward without this newfound relationship. I discovered that despite the fact that I've worked hard for the beautiful life I currently have, it wasn't until December of 2014 that my blindfold was removed and I realized how blind and lost I had been.
Losing my religion has been the best part of my life since that day in 2014. My life is no longer led with the guilt I was brought up with and the lies that religion tried to feed me. I now get that my God loves me and that Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for my sins...and that even if I made a few bad choices along the way after that day in Costa Mesa that He loves me regardless and it doesn't matter that it took me this long to realize that.
My life is different, my faith takes precedence, and my relationship with the awesome God I now know is my priority. I lost my religion and gained this beautiful relationship I never knew could exists. In losing my religion I was able to decipher His voice and be lead by His everlasting love in my life.
Doing this study with you all will now bring this new me to a full circle. I have been intentional about being in the word but now I look forward to learning with you guys how to dive deeper into His book. If any of you have good tips, pointers and advice on how to dive into this study based on techniques you have used in the past to study your bible I would love to hear about it.
On the fitness front I am excited to blend this faith and fitness challenge and I cannot wait and see how we all come out of this challenge both physically and spiritually at the end of this whole process! It's scientifically proven that exercise not only has amazing benefits physically, but it has a tremendous positive effect on our mental state I think combining that with strengthening our faith muscles we will be forces to be reckoned with. #Jesusgirls #faithandfitnesschallenge
Wow! You are 4 today! Where did time go? I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with you. I cried...a lot! Your dad and I were trying a little longer than usual for God to bless us with you, but when it happened I felt sad, scared and worried that we had gotten too used to just having your big sister, who at that point was pretty easy to manage. At that moment I felt incapable and unprepared to be a mom again...after so many years.
But now you are 4 and we couldn't be happier to have you in our lives. You came into this world as one of my best labors to date and the minute I saw your face I immediately knew I wanted another baby! Funny how that happens, I was totally convinced your sister would be my only child and you brought so much happiness into my world that I just knew you needed a younger sibling.
Max, the great...my prayers for you are that God speaks into your ear and guides you through this crazy life. That you grow up knowing, loving and following Him and that you one day can be that wonderful example to your own kids. I pray you continue with all the wonderful characteristics that make you YOU, even when they make us totally crazy! I would not change one single thing about you.
I hope the result of your Batman Lego obsession will be that you've built crazy skyscrapers in Gotham or fight bad guys for a living. I hope you continue to be so passionate about spending time with your older sister the minute she walks into the door and that you have the all or nothing personality like your mama when you grow up.
I am proud of you for the little boy you are and the man I know one day you'll be. I just feel it in my bones that you will do great things in life. I have always felt in awe of you even as a baby...you just have that "vibe" about you!
I love you to pieces and I love that today out of any day in the whole wide world, the eve of your 4th birthday, you said to me, "I love you mommy, you are my girl!" Words you have never spoken and said with so much love, my overly sappy momself melted in a puddle of love for you right then and there!
Happiest of Birthdays Max. The definition of your name: greatness could not be more true for you.
You are my sunshine.
Guess what today is?
Eve is officially one month old. I know where did time go, right?
So in the last month I can make an honest assessment that having 3 kids is a whole lot of fun and a ton more work. I guess it doesn't help that I have two big-ish kids home from school, needing their own attention and time...so at times that can be a little overwhelming. But overall the timing couldn't be better. We needed a break from our school routine, I literally could not imagine getting two kiddos off to school on time plus feed, change and love on a baby all before 8 AM. God's timing is ALWAYS perfect - we needed his baby to be born in the summer.
Eve has been our best baby by far. Let's keep that between us mm-k? She cries very little, sleeps all day and is pretty freakin' cute if I may say so myself. Being a mom for the third time has had its ups and downs but I think I've officially gotten the swing of things and with a ton of prayers I'm finally starting to feel like I'm in a groove.
I remember the Thursday I was scheduled to get an ultrasound to see if by chance there were placental fragments left after delivery (did you know that if there is ANY placenta left in your body after delivery you do not produce milk??? Bananas right??? The body thinks it is still pregnant and will continue to produce colostrum...trippy stuff. Again God is just amazing) I sat in bed pumping. 20 minutes and a few drops of colostrum later in the small pumping bottles and I started sobbing...praying and asking God to take the desire away. If it wasn't in His plan for me to nurse or produce milk to remove the desire I had so bad in my heart and gut to be able to breastfeed my baby.
The boob envy was getting bad ya'll. I kept seeing moms that had recently commented about nursing or random pics pop up on Instagram with pictures of new blogger moms nursing their littles and I was literally jealous. I wanted that bond, I deserved that bond and I could feel anger creep in. After I cried (a lot), I started praying...and I started thanking God, for her. For her health, for her fingers and toes, nose and eyebrows and eyes that can see and ears that can hear. I started thanking God for giving me the natural labor I wanted and another quick recovery. An uncomplicated birth and the ability to see, hug and kiss my other two babies. I wept and I prayed and I thanked Him for blessing me. And asked him to forgive me for disregarding those blessings and getting caught up with the one little thing I was not able to accomplish over those last two weeks.
The day after my ultrasound, without conclusive answers to why my milk never came in I allowed God to remove my desire. I realized that giving my baby a bottle wasn't making me less of a mom. It wasn't what I wanted but I came to peace with myself and with God and I looked at my baby and thanked Him for her. For my beautiful family and my amazing husband and my tribe at the studio keeping the fort down while I loved on my kids. My tribe in the Facebook group that prayed for me and my friends and family around to help with my other two kiddos.
I realized I had forgotten to count my blessings, and when I finally did God showed up like He always does and wiped my tears and showed me the way to appreciate the gifts that I have been given, with new eyes and a new heart.
Because God is always faithful...and bottle feeding is nothing to be ashamed of.