Monday, December 31, 2012

Lisa-Jo on writing again

I have a new favorite blog:  Lisa Jo writes about being a woman and a mother.  Her words are simple and heartfelt.  She doesn't exaggerate to prove that she is a good writer; she just is.  Nearly every post I have read produces deep emotion and recognition (and often tears).  What interests me the most is her suggestion that the small things count.  That being a "writer" doesn't have to be a grand production of perfected words.  She suggests that life and motherhood create the perfect backdrop for writing. 

I love writing, and reading, and nearly everything to do with words.  I have always wanted to write, but have never thought of myself as a "writer" in the formal sense.  "Being a writer" seems too persnickety, a title that belongs to the dark clad, chic woman, sitting in a cafe thinking deep thoughts.   Since I quit teaching, I have stopped considering much of anything other than babies, meals, and the gospel (not in order of importance, but rather in order of daily time consumption), and while I do think deep thoughts, I rarely, if ever write them down.  If I do happen to make the time to write a blog post, I tend to spend too much time unconsciously trying to imitate another writer and not enough time trying to achieve my goal: to honestly communicate and connect to the outside world.  Lisa-Jo proposes that writing may be one way to avoid isolation. She seems to believe that pouring your words out - even if no one reads them - is significant. 

Dealing with hard things is even more difficult in isolation because satan, the enemy of our souls, seems louder.  More convincing.  Motherhood seems harder alone, without an outlet.  Perhaps I have an outlet right here, on this blog.  Where I can write a sentence or two in between diaper changes, kitchen duty and sweet dreams.  God's Word tells us repeatedly that we are stronger together.

My dad called today; my mom is in the hospital.  I have nothing witty or charming to offer about the situation.  Fear sucks, but I refuse to open doors to satan by entertaining "what if" fears.  I am determined to speak God's words about the situation:  she is a child of God, cared for by His mighty hand.  She is light; there is no darkness in her.  God will never leave or forsake His children. So, I'm going to pour a glass of Hilary's wine, think truth, pray, speak in tounges and continue preparing my sweet potato casserole for our party tonight.  At least until the kids wake up from their naps.

Lisa-Jo has this chain of posts (find it here: Essentially, she challenges her reader to let go of their perfectionism and just write, for the pleasure and release of writing.  I think I'll give it a whirl.  So reader  (if you're reading) know that I will make typographical errors.  I am writing for content; for pleasure, for connection.  God knows I do not need another project to work on, to finish.  If you'd like, join me this year and begin writing...again. 

Monday, October 1, 2012


Meet our newest, Miss Sophia Grace Newman!
Born August 11, 2012 at 11:55pm
9 lbs 15 oz and 22 inches

Sophie is delightful, and her birth has certainly brought a new dimension to our family. At 7 weeks old, she is finally sleeping 3-4 hours at night.  Whew!  This mama is happy to get more than 2 hours of sleep at a time.  Caleb and Evelynn have really matured into great little helpers; they have adapted well to Sophie.

Caleb loves to help Sophie find her "binkie"; Evelynn kisses her toes.  Both kids are very sweet to their new little sister.  Seeing my three babies together, interacting and having fun reminds me of God's love for us.  I am still amazed at the faithfulness of God.  Left to my own strategies my life may be completely different right now.  Miraculously God changed me - a distraught professional, divorced, single mother into a blessed wife and stay-at-home mother of three children!  God truly works on our behalf.  

Here a few pics of the kids that make my heart glow!

 Evie reading books before nap time. 

  Papa found a frog!

Caleb is coming into his own!  
He is becoming more adventurous and learning how to climb, run, and jump with more accuracy.  Larry is coaching Caleb's T-ball team this season.  Their team, the Rockies, get better with every practice.

The kids are learning and so are we!  Larry and I continue to see how the gospel really produces fruit in our lives. The thing about staying home (we both work out of the house) is that everything is raw.  There is no buffer.  We are with each other day in and day out.  Our home life has been challenging, even more so since Sophie's birth.  God really walks with us through difficult situations (sleepless nights, financial challenges, arguments, etc.).  

The gospel continues to stand in direct contradiction to our circumstances, challenging us to hang on to truth or believe the lie. For example:  So we don't have money for rent or groceries right now...are we going to believe what God's word says in Phil 4: 19 (My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus) or our circumstances?  So I feel am feeling judged by Larry because the bathrooms are not clean and dinner sucks and all three kids are screaming at I going to believe what God says in Romans 8:1 (There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus) or accept the lie that says I am no good, worthless as a wife/mother? See what I mean?  Marriage and motherhood certainly makes the perfect backdrop for proving God's word!  I can see, in some areas, how believing and thinking God's thoughts has produced fruit!

I have more peace in my life than ever before.  I have comfort and freedom that I didn't know existed five years ago.  I am able to truly relax (at times) because I no longer feel I have to work for God - I no longer have to complete some self-help check list in order to be pleasing to my Maker.  I stand as completely acceptable as Christ himself before the Almighty God!  How wonderfully freeing.  

Watching Sophia grow and change (she is already 14 lbs!) shows me how God covers.  I was anxious over her birth.  She was nearly 3 weeks late.  I was huge; she was big, too.  The doctors wanted us to have a repeat C-section; they played the "dead baby card" (that's what our mid-wife and friend calls it when doctors try to scare a woman into having a medically unnecessary C-section).  In the end, she was delivered naturally.  She's healthy as an ox.  She's beautiful.  God's grace is so big!  He is so loving and kind.  Satan defames our father with threats of illness, disease, and the like.  God gently reminds us that He loves us, that He is a faithful father.  The more I stick to this gospel message, the more God has room to work in my life, and boy is He ever working! 

 Sophia Grace, 6 days old.

She is such a gift.  I cannot keep my eyes off her!

I want to stop trying to resolve my own life - it's exhausting.  Rather I chose to believe that "God is faithful, through whom [I] was called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ [my] Lord" (1 Cor. 1:9), and let the blessings flow! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Growing together

It has been so long since my last post that the entire look of Blogger has changed!  The weeks have gone by so quickly in our household.  Our in-home business has shut its doors for good.  We are no long "Abundant Living for Seniors" which means that we are looking for a new home.  This has been a challenge in trusting God and my husband. 

Caleb is now three and a half and acting every bit his age!  He is very challenging lately.  His newest development is a cast on his right wrist (it smells strangely like peanut butter - that's a story for another time).  He has taken to using his cast a hammer and seems to enjoy the additional attention he receives from the other mothers at my mom's groups.  We are really praying about how to discipline him as he is a very bright and emotional little boy. 

Evelynn is one and a half and really coming into her own around here.  She copies her brother incessantly and wants exactly what he has.  I think I finally have them on the same nap schedule (12:30 pm) which has been really great. If the girl is rested and fed, she's a dream child.  If not, take cover!  She managed to climb out of her crib yesterday; I found her sitting on top of the changing table squeezing the baby powder all over everything. 

The kids and I have finally found a couple play groups that we really enjoy.  We meet for play dates 3-4 times a week.  Although it sounds like a lot, it is wonderful to have a group that knows us and feels "safe."  Tonight is my first moms'-night-out with the group; I am excited but a little nervous.  Social events without my kids happen so infrequently, I have withdraws and end up rushing home.  Weird, I know.

The new baby, who will remain nameless and genderless until July, is bumping right along.  The demands of having two toddlers while being 7 months pregnant is not to be discounted, but our family is getting stronger everyday.  Larry and I went through scripture a few nights ago and came up with our "family's doctrine" - -  a five-point document that is obnoxiously posted in every room of the house:

- While we were disobedient, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:6,8,10)
- Honor your father and mother.  This brings blessings from God. (Eph. 6:2-3)
- God our Father will never leave us.  We have nothing to fear. (Heb. 13:5-6)
- Be kind to one another in brotherly love, in honor preferring others. (Rom. 12:10)
- Be kind and gentle; forgive others as God forgave you through Christ. (Eph. 4:29, 32)

The idea is that we cannot discipline the kids without first giving them a solid foundation of doctrine from God's word.  So, Caleb is learning words like "honor" and "prefer" right now.  Whew, talk about a challenge.  Really working with his heart instead of his behavior has been the most difficult for me.  If God works in you, please pray for me as I daily (hourly! moment-by-moment!) seek the Father for answers regarding raising Caleb (and Evie) in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

On another note, Larry has joined a volleyball league! Apparently, he is the only white guy, which I find amusing for some reason.  He's enjoying the exercise and having a good time.  Summer is definitely here!  We are all in shorts and the kids are finally playing outside nearly all day long (praise God!). 

Well, Caleb just walked in my bedroom.  He's awake from his nap.  He was all smiles as he told me "Mom, I'm refreshed now!"  This Mom is now back on duty.  :)

I hope your family is also growing the good news of Christ FINISHED work and enjoying all the benefits available to you. We love you! 

- The Newmans

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Caleb, Larry and Mr. H. (our elderly resident) are out for a walk to the mail box (Evie is napping), so I have a few minutes to write.  Mr. H. has been here for nearly two weeks.  It has been a very difficult transition for all of us.  Today, maybe it's the rain and gray weather, but I just feel like being home with my family.  This is not really possible because of our new living situation.  I am just waiting to see how God is going to provide for us in this situation.  He knows our family's needs (a full night's uninterrupted sleep, privacy, income, room for the kids, etc.), and I am becoming more and more confident in His promise to see and provide.  I just wonder when it's going to happen...and how.  I've been exploring housing options for quite some time now and have not found the right home for us yet (to rent or buy).  I keep praying that God's provision will manifest its self at the perfect time.  My favorite time to pray is while putting Evie down for nap or bed time.  I've finally weaned her (SAD day for mommy), and our routine is to read, sing and pray before bed.  She is a warm, heavy cuddle bug - - perfect atmosphere for a daily heart to heart with my Father. Well, the boys are back from their short walk (Mr. H. was cold), so I had better get back to my post.  If the Father works in your heart to pray for our family, please do so.  Love from the Newmans!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Latest

Well today we have officially opened our doors for business; Abundant Living for Seniors is on the move!  We have our first resident and are excited to watch God provide the next five.  Our new resident, while he will be a lot of work, seems to be a good fit for our family.  Namely, he loves our children.  He walked in the door and almost immediately picked up a very willing Caleb.  I was a bit nervous to watch a frail 75 year old man carry my son around, but the joint attention seemed to do them both good.  We had dinner tonight with our new resident and his family - - spaghetti and meatballs!  After a long, long couple of weeks of planning and preparing, I am relieved to have our newest addition finally settled in his own comfy room.

Speaking of new additions, we are pregnant and expecting our third baby in July!  There are so many changes that require so much stretching and sacrificing, it seems appropriate that God has blessed us with a new baby right now.  We are all very excited.  We have decided not to find out the gender.  The first trimester has flown by, and I am now feeling pretty good.  Caleb has had a peculiar reaction to the news of a new baby...he walks around telling everyone that he has a baby in his tummy!  He tells us all that he will feed his baby and take care of it.  That little boy blesses my socks off daily!  He's very intuitive.  This evening in the midst of trying to get dinner together, babies changed, house cleaned, baby bear found, etc, I was very frustrated.  I didn't say anything out loud, but Caleb must have sensed something.  He walked up to where I was sitting on the floor and took my face in both of his hands.  He looked into my eyes for a second and then abruptly hugged my neck.  Then he reassured me by saying, "I'm just lovin' on you mommy."  Melt my heart and frustration!  So I am certainly the blessed mommy of two, and a resident, and a baby on the way. 

Right now all my "babies" are sleeping (including my husband passed out, tired on top of the comforter).  I suppose we'll just continue to take it one day at a time, looking to the Father for guidance.  God's such a faithful Father.  Oh! One more story, then I'll go to bed:  our washer has been flooding our laundry room with water for nearly two weeks.  Last week Larry finally said to stop washing clothes while he figured out the problem and got it fixed.  Two days go by.  Three days go by (you moms of kids know that three days of laundry stacks up pretty high!).  Finally, on the fourth day, I asked what I should do about the dirty clothes.  Larry said to go ahead and wash like normal.  The washer worked perfectly!  God knew we didn't have the resources (time, money, energy, etc.) to deal with a faulty washer, so he took care of the problem for us.  Our God truly does see and provide!  The small things add up to a "great, big wonderful God" (a quote from the kids' favorite gospel song).  Anyway, I'm off to bed.  Love from the Newmans!