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Archive for the ‘shadows’ Category

It’s been a long couple days of thinking about how Jesus was rejected and abused by man, abandoned by God and then dead.

All to pay for my sin.

Not hopeful. (Imagine being one of Jesus’ twelve disciples!)

Thankfully, though, we know the end of the story.

He is risen!

Irrepressible power and love.

Do you understand?

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A wake-up call.

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If you are tired, frustrated, scared, out of patience, out of ideas, lonely, annoyed, confused, unappreciated, sad or otherwise struggling, go read Running on E by Pete Wilson at WithoutWax.

I did.

And I saw way too much of myself in the past couple years.

But God will change that. If I let Him. And I’m sure gonna try!

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I don’t ride horses. (Or anything that requires a saddle.)

The last time I rode a horse was about 2 1/2 years ago. I was 7 months pregnant with Meg. But don’t worry, it was an easy 5-minute ride around the farm yard on my uncle’s old horse … because Kate (18 mos. at the time) wanted to ride but wouldn’t go by herself or with her grandma. So I did it. And she LOVED it. And talked about it for the next six months.

However, this post is not about actual horses or actual saddles, but another figurative “horse” in my life – my breastpump.

I have a love-hate relationship with my breastpump. I love that it has allowed me to work through several nursing issues and continue to breastfeed two of my sweet kiddos. I love that it’s the best one – for comfort and for performance. (A Medela Symphony, fyi)

Otherwise, I hate it.

But I’m back to using my breastpump. Woo-hoo! Just kidding. About the excited part.

Let me explain. (If you don’t remember the back story of my breastfeeding saga you can see that post here.)

My sweet little man has always been something of a lazy nurser … so he hasn’t been gaining weight quite like he should, despite being happy, content, sleeping well, reaching milestones, etc.

So I’m back to pumping after I feed him and taking More Milk Special Blend Herbal Supplement, both to increase my supply and, hopefully, his consumption, and getting extra breastmilk into Daniel any way he’ll take it – bottle, sippy cup, supplemental nursing system (do you really want to know? Ok, it’s a tiny tube attatched to a syringe full of breastmilk that I try to sneak into the corner of his mouth while he’s breastfeeding to get extra milk into him without it coming out of me).

He will sometimes take a bottle. And he loves that the doctor also suggested feeding him some mashed avocado – it’s the only food with enough calories and fat to even try to compete nutritionally with breastmilk. I’ve never seen a 5-month-old baby eat off a spoon so well from the first bite! It’s like that’s what he’d been waiting for.

Pretend there is a cute video of him lunging for the spoon and kicking his legs in excitement every time I give him a bite – he stopped eating whenever we got the camera out.

This is all more work than I was hoping to be doing to feed him right now. But it’s working! He’s gaining weight like crazy!

I’m glad I can keep working on this crazy breastfeeding adventure. I just wish it didn’t involve copious pumping. Again.

And only God knows what the end will be – as with all things, big and small – and on the grand scale of everything that will happen in Daniel’s life, this is probably small.

It seems big now, though. It looms on my dining room table. Larger than life.

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Too blessed

I am feeling too blessed today. Here’s why:

My children are all healthy and happy – despite the occasional tantrum.

I live somewhere I love with the man of my dreams.

I have more than enough to eat, drink and wear.

I’ve never been without shelter.

My family is wonderful.

I have great friends.

God is building his kingdom here where I can watch.

Jesus died for me. God raised Jesus from the dead.

Not everyone is so fortunate.

Many people don’t have what they want. Or even what they need. Or anything at all. My heart is so heavy today for them.

I feel guilty for what I have. Oh Lord, bless them, too. Draw them closer to you. Hold them. Give them (and me) whatever they need.

And that last one on my list (Jesus’ death and resurrection) IS for you. And you. And you.

If you’ve got a minute (or several hours) click over to My Charming Kids. Her son is a couple weeks younger than Daniel and wasn’t supposed to even make it through the pregnancy. But he did. Now he’s sick again. Something is wrong with his heart. It’s really bad.

I can’t imagine how his mom is feeling right now. I don’t want to try. So I’m praying for them and all who are sick, all who can’t see how what they are experiencing right now fits into God’s plan to redeem this fallen world. Like Justin, my cousin’s husband. Like little Stellan over at My Charming Kids.

So here I am feeling guilty and blessed and almost overwhelmed at the pain and suffering in our world.

It’s hard to see, but the hope of Christ is under there. Somewhere.

And someday we’ll understand. In eternity.

I pray you will be with me there.

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The blahs

The last couple days here we’ve had:

 

more clouds and wind

less sunshine

more whining

less fun

more van trouble

less visiting family and friends

more sugary snacks

less vegetables

more breastfeeding trouble

more runny noses

less kleenex

more worry

less joy and peace

And it’s all adding up to a bad case of the blahs.

 

But two quotes come to mind.

 

“Some days are like that. Even in Australia.”
                                                                                       – Alexander

“In the world you will have trouble, but I leave you my peace.”
                                                                                       – Jesus via Rich Mullins

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Katie-bug

Some days I think this girl is almost fourteen instead of four.

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Kate is every bit as pensive as this picture. She often talks about things that happened months ago and things that might happen.

“Someday, Mama, can I ride on a camel?”

“Someday, Mama, can I feed a carrot to a bunny?”

“I’m not going to tell you, Mama,” is the most common response to my questions about preschool or Sunday school.

Even when I get tired of the endless curiousity (my mom will tell you I had it coming), I enjoy seeing her learn and grow and am blessed to be part of it.

But the whining and sass really get to me. And not only because they are annoying, but also disrespectful and they show something deeper. A heart issue – as one book put it. That same book (I would credit it if I could possibly remember …) talked about how obedience in our children is desirable not so that we can have complete control over them, but so we can teach them to listen to and obey the One who really matters. God.

When I think about that, my job as a parent seems more daunting. And more do-able (is that a word?) because I know God is on my side – and Kate’s too for that matter – and will give me wisdom and make patience and obedience grow in us both.

Parenting is a glimpse of things from God’s perspective. How often do I whine and complain or sulk or sass when all God does for me is EVERYTHING? He loves me unconditionally, perfectly, all the time. He never reacts badly the 75th million time I whine in a day.

God does have the advantage of being all-knowing, all-powerful and – one I really could use right now – all-patient with us.

In 2 Peter 3 scoffers who ask why Jesus hasn’t come again yet and say God must not be keeping His promise to renew the earth are told this:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

God wants us to have every chance to repent and turn to Him – to learn to be obedient – before He brings His righteous judgement to all of creation and finishes His ultimate plan – a new heaven and earth for all who believe. Here is a tiny part of of the description of that in Revelation 21.

Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

But that is ONLY for those who have repented and trusted. Here is the other option for those whose so choose:

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

So that’s something to think about when I feel like I can’t listen to one more second of whining – God is listening and seeing all of us, all the time and yet He is being patient so He can bring us to Himself.

Now that’s a parenting goal worth pursuing!

(If this has confused you or left you with questions, please feel free to email me at abbiemknaub (at) yahoo (dot) com.)

As for Kate and I, I pray we are both learning every day to trust the One who created us and is drawing us to Himself. And I pray that for you.

I also will continue to enjoy Kate in the smiles, cuddles and jokes she so willingly offers each day, despite the hard parts of each day and the parts of each of us God is working on. 

Kate is super-focused when she is doing a “project” so here’s a picture of her darling concentration on rolling out the playdough (thanks to Grandpa G for the mini rolling pin!).

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And just for good measure – or because I’m addicted to taking pictures and posting them on my blog – here my sweet Kate just being silly!

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A crazy night

Good thing not all nights are like this:

8:30 – to bed early

11 – Daniel wakes up and nurses, back to bed by 11:30

12:30 – Meg wakes up crying , back to bed by 1

1:15 – Kate wakes up wet, back to bed by 1:45

3 – Daniel wakes up, back to sleep with the pacifier

4:30 – Daniel wakes up and nurses, back to bed by 5

5:45 – Josh’s alarm goes off, and Meg wakes up crying

6 – Kate is awake for the day

I better get on my knees because it is only by God’s strength that my kids get taken care of following a night like that!

And my day won’t be as crazy as this scene:

“… though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

This is from Psalm 42 and is preceded by:

“God is our refuge and strength, and ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way …”

So even if it seems like my world might come crashing down around me, I do not need to be afraid. God is my refuge. Good thing.

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