Poke. Stick. Ouch. Instincts

Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day. We’re starting off the morning with Liam’s first round of immunizations. I’m prepared for some flack. We’re a full year behind according to the recommended schedule for vaccines. It’s already raised some eyebrows with our local health unit when I have called to book this appointment “When were you last here & which shots did he receive? Oh you haven’t been here? He’s had no shots before?? Oh. Um. Well. K.” Awkward silence. However, I am going to raise a few more eyebrows tomorrow when I refuse, or rather postpone, two of the three shots he’s slated for. Yea. That’s going to go over well.

I’m not actually against immunizations. In fact, I can see how beneficial they are. I’ve heard how harmful they can be. I know the arguments are fraught with extreme emotion on both sides. I’m not interested in arguing or choosing sides. I am interested in my child.

I have chosen to delay my son’s immunizations based solely on my gut instincts. I have chosen to delay them as well as stagger them because I have felt very uneasy about having them administered to my child before now. I still don’t feel comfortable with him getting all of the ones recommended all at one time. So we’ll be scheduling a few appointments over the next few months. By the time he’s 2 years old he will have had all of the ones he’s supposed to have just a year behind. I feel good about that. My husband is okay with that. It’s what works for our son and our family.

Here’s the part that makes me wonder about my gut instincts though – I never felt this way with my older two children when it was time for their shots. On schedule at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months & a year I took them into the local health unit and they received those pokes in the thighs and arms. They received every shot available at the time. I didn’t have a moment’s doubt or hesitation. I knew it needed to be done and I did it.

So why the difference? I honestly don’t know. What I do know is this: I’ve been a mom for almost 14 years now. Whenever I have had a gut instinct about something, I’ve had a choice – listen to it or ignore it. I trust my instincts. I can’t remember very many occasions when I have regretted listening to them. That doesn’t mean I blindly follow whatever my stomach is telling me – I do research. I talk to others who have been where I am contemplating going (or not going). I pray. I seek advice from professionals. I gather as much knowledge as I can and then, at some point, I sit back and check my gut.

If there is any message I wish I could tell every new mom unsure of things, every experienced mom facing a tough decision – listen to your heart. Trust your instincts. Don’t ignore them. The outcome may be veiled from view and the possibilities may be scary at times but trust. You’ve got this.

 

*Due to the nature of the “to immunize or not to immunize” debate, any comments with regards to that from EITHER SIDE in ANY tone will not be approved. I AM NOT HERE TO DEBATE THAT ISSUE!! I will be delighted to approve any comments that deal with the heart of this post if they are respectfully worded. Thanks. – Jocelyn

When I Leave The Room

My favorite time of day is the moment when I walk with Liam into his room , sit down in the rocking chair beside his bed, settle him into my arms and begin to sing –

Nighty night
Sleep tight
I will see you in the morning light
Mommy loves you
Daddy loves you
And Jesus loves you too

This is the same lullaby my mom sang to me every night for many years and that I sang to Emily and Isaac as well. Now it’s Liam’s turn.

If you were to ask me just what I was telling my children as I sang those words over and over, night after night, I don’t know that I could have put it into words. Tonight ended that.

My Babies & I - August 2013

My Babies & I – August 2013

Tonight, after snuggling for a little while (several repetitions of our lullaby), Liam decided he just wanted to snuggle (rather than nurse & snuggle) so I decided to change things up a little. I found a new song by Natalie Grant, a lullaby, in my music library on my phone and pressed play.

It was only moments before the tears started to flow. This is what I have been saying to my children every time I have sung this song. This is what my mom was saying to me every night as she tucked me in and every day, every night, after until she finally left the room.

Poor Liam. Tonight he had to wipe my tears off his face as they dripped down and gently fell on him. I cried for my children, for my mom, for loss and for love.

Then I left the room.

Check out Natalie’s song “When I Leave The Room” here – grab a tissue though – you just might need it. I’ve included the lyrics below.

Good night looks like we made it through the day
The moon sighs and I know that we’re okay
Sleep tight I love to watch you drift away
I would come with you but on my knees I’ll stay
 
Good night five little fingers holding mine
Take flight into your dreams and lullabies
There’s nothing more that I can do
But just fall more in love with you
And ask the angel armies to stand by
When I leave the room
 
I’m gonna fail you I already have
Ten thousand times I will fall down flat
You’ll have a seat in the front row
of everything that I don’t know
And all I’m trying to be you’ll see
 
Good night there will be storms that we come through
In time we will slay dragons me and you
I’ll always wanna hold you tight
Keep you safe with all my might
So I will leave Jesus next to you
When I leave the room
 
And you will run ahead as if you know the way
And I will pray more than one should have to pray
There will be words we can’t take back
Silences too
And I’ll be on my knees you’ll see
 
One night when I am old and unsteady
You’ll want me to fight
but I’ll tell you that I’m ready
When there’s nothing left to do
I will still be loving you
Then you’ll fold your fingers into mine
and I’ll let Jesus hold you tight
When I leave the room
 
written by Bernie Herms, Nichole Ellyse Nordeman & Natalie Diane Grant
Lyrics (C) Universal Music Publishing Group
2013

Beautiful Things from Dust

Browsing through my Feedly today I came across a new post by a favorite blogger, fellow mom, Sister-in-Christ, and I was moved to tears of joy and left feeling a sense of wonder at the incredibly awesome God I follow. I have no idea if anyone I know needs to read her words and to hear her story but I want to share it because whether or not the place we have come from, or the place we are in right now, is dark or seemingly unredeemable, GOD MAKES BEAUTIFUL THINGS FROM BROKEN! Take heart! He’s done it for me, He’s done it for Kelly and He continues to do so in both of our lives and will in yours! Let him redeem those broken moments, the darkness that haunts you…and then share your story with others so they too can know the power of redemption.

ON SHARING THE STORIES THAT HURT TO TELL

As I read Kelly’s post, I thought of the song “Beautiful Things” by Gungor. It’s so fitting here! So I’m sharing it as well!! Check it out here

I’ve been looking at Peter, Jesus’ disciple that denied Jesus three times, and I am encouraged by the fact that he walked in the presence of Jesus, LITERALLY, and yet he still stumbled, he still failed. YET GOD REDEEMED HIS STORY! God brought him out of the broken and dark place he found himself after denying Jesus’ and He used him to do good things. Peter didn’t just fail once. He failed, stumbled and fell, numerous times that we get to know about. God forgave him every time, picked him up and dusted him off, and kept on loving him. He’s doing the same for us whether we can see it or not. He is making beautiful things out of the dust and ashes of our failures, out of the failures of others that directly impact our lives, out of the dark moments that we find ourselves in. Tonight I am going to bed thankful for redemption. For unmerited grace. For love that makes no sense and that gave itself for me.

One of Those Days

It’s been a “hard” day around here.

Liam didn’t sleep enough yesterday. Or last night. Or late enough this morning.

Translation of above? I didn’t sleep enough last night. And the alarm went off WAY too early.

Liam & Isaac 6:30 am – Isaac was only awake because I needed him to take care of Liam while I drove Emily to school for 7 am.

Tuesdays are our “busy” day around here – Emily has choir twice – before and after school, Isaac has basketball, both have youth and I have to pick up/drop off our friend Ben in there as well. I end the day tired on a good day. On days like today with only a very few hours of sleep? I can barely think and don’t ask me what tomorrow holds as I have no clue – can’t even begin to think of it all!

Today Liam woke me up before my alarm – that is never a good thing especially before 6:30 am. He usually has to be woken up to take the kids to school between 7:30 and 8. Normally an earlier than usual morning wouldn’t matter too much except SOMEONE decided to wake up in the night for a couple of hours. Or rather, he decided that he only wanted to sleep in mommy’s arms in mommy’s bed (yes, he was that specific!) and that meant mommy couldn’t sleep – sleeping with Liam and Tim in our bed together is close to taking my life into my hands as they are both very restless sleepers!! SO. 4 hours of sleep later I am heading out the door to take Emily to school wanting nothing more than to crawl into bed and sleep another couple hours.

Liam reached that nasty point of overtired where going to sleep is difficult. But when he finally did go back to sleep this morning, I could have done a dance I was so happy…could have but didn’t as I was so tired I could hardly manage to get my glasses off my face as I fell into my bed for my nap! OH GLORIOUS NAP!!

So I didn’t do so great as a mom today – today was just about surviving until the end. BUT I didn’t mess anything up or forget anyone. I knew what we were going to have for dinner even if it was leftovers and Tim was going to have to put it together. I got my work done for choir before I left for choir. It might not have been the most productive of days (I did get laundry washed and dried though) but that’s okay. Today was one in which we simply made it through moment by moment. And despite the exhaustion and the occasional “I don’t know if I can do this” feeling before my nap, it was still a GOOD day. And I am going to head to bed grateful for it’s comfort and the sleep I am about to get there. Tomorrow is a new day and for that I am grateful!

How He Loves Me…

I was going to write a deep post about Valentine’s Day and the joy of celebrating each other and all that romantic gushy stuff that goes along with it – I had it all written out and ready to go but for whatever reason couldn’t post it. However, I spent the whole weekend thinking about love and what it really looks like in a marriage.

Engagement February 2012

On Friday a friend posted the following on Twitter “How would you feel if your husband didn’t do anything for you for Vday? Really hurt! Ask me how I know…” I felt badly for her. My husband didn’t do a lot for me nor I for him but at least we went out for dinner and got a card for each other (the fact that I BOUGHT him a card is just embarassing considering I am fully equipped to MAKE him one but that’s a post for another day!). Then I wondered to myself “What if we hadn’t done those things? Would that have ruined our day?”

Her tweet made me look at and think about all the ways Tim shows me he loves me every day…not just on one particular day each year. As I went to bed last night I was reminded of those things once again and wanted to share them:

* he leaves my bedside light on for me when he goes to bed most nights (he goes to bed earlier than me Sunday – Thursday because of work)

* he tolerates my basket of clothes that serves as my dresser/closet until I decide it’s a priority and he only complains once in a while (could be worse…could be the entire bedroom being used as my clothing storage….)

* he has painted our entire house in the last year and a bit, some rooms more than once, in the colours I have chosen and without complaint – that’s a LOT of hours spent staring at ceilings, cutting in corners, taping trim, rolling paint & primer. Pretty sure he’d rather have been doing something else during those hours but instead he just turned on the music and got to work all because I asked.

* he kisses me and tells me he loves me every morning before he goes to work – even though I don’t always remember later that he did so because I was still sleeping.

* he allowed me to overtake an entire room in our house solely for the purpose of crafting…and hasn’t complained overly much as those projects have spilled out into the living room, dining room, family room and carport.

* he pushes me to eat my vegetables even though he knows he’s going to get no where on that front – I am NOT a fresh veggie lover unless I am picking them directly from the garden – pretty sure he must want to keep me around as long as possible!

* he lets me park in the carport even after getting me a remote car starter for Christmas last year (we had agreed that if I had the car starter I’d park in the driveway and he’d get the carport since he had to be at work so early and at least then he didn’t have to scrape his windows every day)

* he listens when I get all excited about things like cookware or diaper covers even though he doesn’t necessarily see the appeal or the need for more of either!

* he encourages me to follow my dreams and to do the things I enjoy doing

* he loves my kids and treats them like his own

* he thinks I am beautiful even when I am suffering from a bad cold and feeling anything but beautiful AND he doesn’t think twice about taking over care of the little guy so I can get the rest I need to get better

* he didn’t complain when circumstances arose that prevented me from being able to do anything around the house for months while pregnant – he just stepped in and took over and did whatever I needed him to.

* he lets me sleep in every weekend. I think it’s become a sort of special “daddy & son” time – after Liam has had his morning snuggle with me, Tim comes and gets him and I get to sleep for however long I can sleep. This last weekend I was able to sleep in until 10:30!! 😀

The list could go on and on….But I have come to realize that my husband doesn’t show his love in big gestures or gifts on special days. He shows it daily in the many “mundane” things he does that we sometimes don’t even think of as acts of love. I am a gift giver and love to receive them but I am learning to look for and recognize the little gifts I am given daily by this quiet, unassuming man of mine. The little things that add up and all say “I love you” every day all year long.

So while our Valentine’s celebrations may not be extravagant or costly, I feel like I have been given the crown jewels by this man of mine. His daily actions leave me with little doubt as to his love. They are a tangible reflection of his choice to love me until death do us part, for better or worse. I’ll take them any day over flowers and jewelry (although if he comes home tomorrow with some pretty bauble or bouquet, I will be very appreciative indeed!!!)….

 

(Photo credit to Carissa Clark of C’est La Vie Photography in Kamloops, BC)

A Few Pictures…

It’s been a pretty fun week despite having colds and being cold – temperatures have finally warmed up! Hard to believe last Thursday it was -20 and today it’s almost 10 degrees (that’s Celcius for all my American friends)!! It’s spring like!! I can’t help but wonder if maybe we’re done with the worst of the winter and things are going to just keep getting better….?? Time will tell! Anyway, here are a few pics from the last week. Enjoy!

2014-02-11 14.56.51

Hanging out with mom while waiting for Emily to get out of school – Isaac was at basketball practice. Most days Liam just waits in his seat with Isaac entertaining him in the back but on this particular day, he got bored pretty quickly. He ate tea bisquits while saying hello to everyone who walked by our car!

2014-02-06 13.26.39

Our new friend, Ben. He comes and hangs out with Liam and I every day for a couple hours. He’s been coming for about 2 weeks now and it’s great fun! Today we made playdough which we’ll be adding colour to tomorrow! Going to be a fun day!

2014-02-05 16.16.22

The other day Liam was feeling pretty crappy as was I. His appetite was not great but he showed much interest in the pretzels I was eating. So we snuggled on the couch, watched Olympics and ate pretzels together. Turns out he was simply sucking the salt off and then spitting the pretzel bits out (they are large waffle shaped squares and I guess hurt to chew??!!). Pretty gross really!

2014-02-04 08.59.48

Liam has decided recently that clothes really are overrated and he HATES getting dressed. Most days when Emily & Isaac are home, he has no choice. But last Thursday he got to hang out for a few hours in the morning just the way he likes – wearing nothing but his diaper! This embroidery hoop provided much entertainment!

Mmmm...Bacon Breakfast Sandwiches are so good!My little cutie pie this morning at Starbucks! He’s getting SO BIG!! Sat in his own chair and ate a good portion of my bacon breakfast sandwich. We were waiting for Emily as she was at the orthodontist for her regular checkup.

And there you have it. Just a few images to give you a glimpse into the last little bit around here. I thought I had more pictures but apparently I took them all with my mind! I was too busy being in the moment to record it for posterity!!

Keeping In Touch

Currently…..

Obsessing over: Crosstitch. Homemade buns. Diaper covers and all things cute like that. You have got to see these new and awesome diaper covers I got for Liam yesterday!! I’ve had them pre-ordered for weeks now and they finally came in!! The wait was SO WORTH IT!!! Check them out here! I’ll post a picture of Liam wearing them over the next couple of days! I also got a really cute sleeved bib for him with a diaper cover that matches – you’ll see pics of both in days to come!

Reading:  I just finished reading an awesome book called Love Does by Bob Goff. I think I am going to have to read it again because it was filled with so many great ideas and thoughts that are changing how I think about serving others. Highly recommend it! I’ve now started a couple of new books – Cleaning House and Desperate. Two totally different books that are sorta related in that they both deal with mom life stuff. Cleaning house is all about another mom’s year long journey taking her kids from entitlement to responsibility (yes, I am really simplifying it!). I’m into month one. So far so good! Desperate is a book for moms by moms filled with encouragement and hope. I’ve read to the end of chapter 2 and am going back and reading again. It’s a book to be savored and to let soak into your soul. I’m also reading cheesy food-based mystery novels. They are good for escaping reality when I get a chance to lock myself in the bathroom by myself for 2 minutes!

Working on: Helping my kids learn to be responsible for their stuff as per Cleaning House – month one will likely be setting alarms & being ready to go by a certain time for Isaac & I am still trying to figure out what Emily’s thing is going to be (she’s naturally responsible). Getting our house organized and decluttered (need anything??). Engaging with others and being open to all opportunities to love others in tangible ways.

Thinking about: the day…we’ve been up and out already, dropping kids off at ortho appointments, having a coffee date with Isaac & Liam at Starbucks & getting everyone to school on time. But the day continues with several things on the list. Highlight is going to be coffee with a dear friend from church this afternoon – I just have to figure out how to be two places at once (Emily is off school early today unexpectedly so has to be picked up earlier than planned). Somewhere in there are more profound thoughts about the world around me however these are the pressing ones!

Anticipating: as mentioned…coffee with a friend. But also the weekend! My wonderful husband called me yesterday from work to ask me out on a date for Friday night (VALENTINE’S DAY!) and so we are going to dinner at a great restaurant here in town. We don’t have much planned for the weekend which is nice – I’m looking forward to a quieter weekend with the family.

Eating: A week or so ago (Superbowl weekend) I put together everything needed for 25 meals – everything was put in ziploc bags and after labeling them all with cooking instructions (for the slow cooker) they all went in the freezer. We’ve started eating them and wow! It’s making dinner time an easy and very tasty experience! Creamy porkchops, Italian chicken, Beef Dip, Chili, Lasagna, Chicken Gloria (chicken with a creamy cheesy sauce & pasta with broccoli), Stew and a potato soup….We’ve tried the porkchops and chili so far – AWESOME!! I have to decide what we’re having tonight – so many good choices!!

Praying for: Good friend connections for both of the kids; staff & students at Emily’s school as they have just lost a much loved teacher in a tragic accident on Monday; Reuben Loland & his boys as well as David Lauder & family as they adjust to life without Julie (part of her story is here); these are just a few of the things my heart is crying out to God about lately.

Wishing for: Spring! But before that I would love a HUGE snowstorm/dump of snow!! You know the kind…when you go to bed with the snow swirling outside, wind howling, and wake up to a couple feet of pure white, clean undisturbed snow. Maybe enough snow that here in Canada they actually call a snow day?!! Oh yes! THAT is something my heart would love to see…with temperatures warm enough to be able to get outside and enjoy it (so, -5 is good!). And other than that I wish Liam would learn to poop on the toilet….off to deal with THAT little issue right now!

Snowfall on city street...THIS is what I wish for...

Snowfall on city street…THIS is what I wish for…

Giving credit where credit is due….Thanks to Melissa Suominen of Simple Mel for the inspiration for the “currently” topics. You can check her blog out here.