Wednesday, November 23, 2005

" I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country...The turkey is a much more respectable bird." -Benjamin Franklin

Life feels like a rollercoaster so often, but if most of us think about it we have it pretty good. Even if we have been through some tough stuff, I always think to myself it could be worse. This this list is not complete by any means, it could be pages long and I am sure you want to read it as much as I want to type it. Here are some of the things I am most thankful for...

my Savior Jesus Christ, who has shown me he is the only way the complete truth, and my only hope for life. A life I will share with him in Heaven someday to glorify and enjoy him forever!

my husband Justin Robert,who is the leader in our home, a wonderful father, always laughs with me, is always there for me whenever I need him.

my firstborn son Maxwell Jared, who has not been sick once since he has been born (what a blessing that has been), is so adorable, and a talker like me so we always have a blast together. I would not trade my everydays with him for anything!

my parents, who rock!
My Mom has such passion for Christ, is wonderful with reaching out to others, and a fabulous cook.
My Dad, (the man who is an expert in everything, well if he does not know he can make something up that sounds really good!) is an incredible Doctor, who many love and respect, as do I .

my brothers, Alec, Carl, and Peter.
Alec and are close, talk about anything, and tease each other well, If you have a computer problem, Alec is your man.
Carl and I have this understanding between us so that we need to say no words. He is REALLY into music, and an amazing writer.
Peter, my baby brother who slept on the floor in my room every night until I went to college is so fun. He is a great skateboarder and wants to be a pirate...I don't get it either...I think he saw Pirates of the Caribbean one too many times.

my in-laws.
My father-in-law, John, a man I respect so much, who has the most gentle heart, has given me so much guidance and helped me through tough times in my life.
My mother-in-law, Jane, the best at scrapbookerI know has the best sense of humor, and shares an understanding with me about those Swanson men! She has been so great to me.
Jared, I am so thankful for him, an incredible friend, in my college days he and I would chat on the phone about everything and anything, he was always ready to listen.
Julia, the best nurse I know, is so kind and has so much love for others.
Jordan, besides the fact he always breaks something when he comes over I am always so happy when he comes. He has a compassionate heart and is always talking, he has some fun stories. Joelle, who reminds me of myself when I was her age, has INCREDIBLE fashion sense and the best personality. That girl could open a music store with all the CD's she owns.
Jaimee Grace. Maxwell's best bud, she is always willing to play with him. She has given us so many of her art masterpieces. She is quite the artist, and I always have something from her on the fridge.

my extended family, all the Swansons, Van Dinters, Thomsens, Wojciechowski's, Melchers, Heidkamps, Tantillo's, Boss's, Zoefel's, and Schmits.

my Aunt Sue and Uncle Don who were like a second set of parents to me growing up. They are both so hospitable, humble, kind, and generous. I will never forget getting my mouth washed out with soap though!

my best friends( and cousins) in the world, Nicole and Vanessa. Nicole and I are only a month apart, Nessa a year older. Nicole and I were married a week apart, and talk so fast to each other our husbands often get confused. Vanessa is soooo good about talking with me and checking to see how I am, as she does Nicole too, she is such a great listener. We always have a blast the three of us! And, their husbands rock too! The six of us can always have fun together!

my dear friend Sara who is also my neighbor. It is so nice to have someone so close, to grab a cup of coffee and just chat about nothing and everything. She is also a fabulous shopping buddy! I can't help but wonder... (he he, I had to through that in Sara!) Kevin rocks too!

old friends who do such a great job keeping in contact with me, because sometimes, I am not so good at that. Thanks you guys, you know who you are.

to be able to live in this country with all the freedoms I have. I am thankful for a roof over my head, plenty to eat, more than enough clothes to wear, and all the other luxuries I do not need but have.

I have so much to be thankful for, and I thank God that he has blessed me so much.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Welcome and prayer for this new little one.

Congratulations to the Deleeuw family on the birth of their new baby boy, Samuel Reid. Please pray for Samuel as he is having surgery for a pulmonary stenosis in his heart, and for his parents, and siblings who are eagerly awaiting for him to come home.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

First snow

As my feet escaped from underneath the covers and hit the floor this morning I realized that perhaps we should reconsider using our heat. For some reason, our room is freezing, like North Pole freezing. The kitchen, living room, bathrooms, and Maxwell's rooms all stay warm, but our room is that room that all homes have that seems to always be cold.
Anyway, as I gazed out the window into another overcast day, my eyes soon hit the ground where I found snow! Yes, snow. I really was surprised. I just was not ready for it yet. But alas, there it lays, and it shows no sign of stopping at this point. All the thoughts of winter came rushing into my head, the love/hate relationship I have with it.

I hate winter, because I hate feeling the cold bitter wind rush unto my skin even though I was sure I covered up every inch of exposed skin. I love winter because of bundling up and putting on fabulous mittens, scarf, and hat.

I hate winter because I hate getting out of bed in the morning. I want to stay under the blankets all day. I love winter because my morning cup of coffee never tastes better!

I hate winter because I hate wearing socks. I love winter because I am thankful for socks to keep my toes warm.

I hate winter because I hate the slushy dirty snow. I love winter because I love going out to a quiet space late at night when it is snowing and feeling the snowflakes on my face and enjoying the peace and quiet.

I hate winter because I hate driving in the snow. I love winter because I love playing in the snow!

I hate winter because of the cold, I love winter because it is more fun to snuggle up with your husband...and intertwining your freezing feet in his warm ones.

Mostly I love winter, it reminds me of one of my favorite books, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (coming out Dec. 9th!

But most of all it means that Christmas is coming; time to celebrate our Saviors birth! What a wonderful time of year!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Gloomy days...not all that bad.

Gloomy days. They are the days you can stay in bed late without feeling too guilty. They are the days you can justify spending more time in the shower. They are the days that you realize you are so immersed in God's word you forget about your coffee and it gets cold. They are the days you spend watching Thomas the Train with your son. They are the days you can spend hours in the bookstore, or as long as you son will be content. They are the days where you can put a little extra cocoa in your hot cocoa. They are the days you get the urge to clean. They are the days when you are so thankful for your fireplace to curl up next to and read a book. They are the days that snuggling up with your husband feels really secure. They are the days that make you look forward to sunny days.This has been our life for the last 4 days and it has not been all that bad.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Our night...

"Yes, I'll marry you, my dear, And here's the reason why; So I can push you out of bed When the baby starts to cry, And if we hear a knocking And it's creepy and it's late, I hand you the torch you see, And you investigate." - Pam Ayers

The above quote holds very true in our house!

Justin and I had a wonderful evening. We went out for a nice dinner, and then Just surprised me with a trip to Starbucks. I can always go for a cup of coffee no matter what time of day. Although I will be paying for it tomorrow because here it is 12:30 and I have a long day tomorrow that begins early in the morning.
Justin is not known for his Romaticism, but will plead his case. He and I are quite opposites, he is more reserved and I am more outgoing. I remember when we first met the Swansons my parents kept urging me to pursue a friendship with Justin, and I was like who is Justin ( ok I knew who he was) because the first time we went over to the Swansons I only remember Jared and his friend Joel, who had personalities similar to mine. Justin and I got to know each other better on a vacation our families took together and you know what I liked the guy.
Fast forward eight years, and here we are married with a baby boy, and I can say I love him more than ever. We have been through a lot, if you know us well, you know I am not kidding! But we have made it through thick and thin, and I would not want it to be with anyone else.
He hugs me at least once a day if not more, we ALWAYS say I love you on the phone before good-bye or before one of us leaves the house. That is something I cherish very much. We have tried the whole "don't go to bed angry" and we have done fairly well, but nobody's perfect. But we really have a good time together, we tease each other in good fun, and laugh a lot. We just get each other. I love him!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


"A mother…by her planning and industry night and day, by her willfulness of love, by her fidelity, she brings up her children. Do not read to me the campaigns of Caesar and tell me nothing about Napoleon’s wonderful exploits. For I tell you that, as God and the angels look down upon the silent history of that woman’s administration, and upon those men-building processes which went on in her heart and mind through a score of years;—nothing exterior, no outward development of kingdoms, no empire-building, can compare with what mother has done. Nothing can compare in beauty, and wonder, and admirableness, and divinity itself, to the silent work in obscure dwellings of faithful women bringing their children to honor and virtue and piety."
-Henry Ward Beecher

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Unconditional love

The day we got home from the hospital with Maxwell, Justin and I were so exhausted. Both of us could have collapsed into our bed and have slept for three days! However, with a newborn that was not an option! I think we had it a little harder than most new families, my labor lasted over 36 hours and Maxwell was having really hard time breastfeeding, but by the time we got home we thought things would settle down and get easier.
We were both in bed trying to nap, and Maxwell wakes up wanting to eat, and breastfeeding is not going well and so we give him a little formula, and he is still upset! I am crying by this point mostly through exhaustion but also from frustration with this child! He finally calms down and goes back to sleep. I look at Justin and burst into tears, "What were we thinking?" I bawled. He began to cry too (from pure exhaustion) and I went on, "Why didn't anyone warn us?". Now, let me tell you, all of us have pre-conceived notions of becoming parents, yes we know it will be hard, but it will be worth it, and it will be mostly good. Boy, were my ideas way off! It was nothing like I expected! Those first few weeks, were so long and tiring, I thought I would never ever leave the house again. I did not see how it could be possible to have anything else to do but to tend to this baby!
Then came our rescue squad, my Mom, and my Mother-in-law. They took turns coming every day so for about a week we had someone there to help us out. It was such a blessing to have that, they were so great!
To my friends planning on starting a family soon, or are soon expecting their little one, I warned you! It is hard, really hard! Those first few weeks seem like they will be your doom, but it gets better. SO much better. You get to know you baby and what he/she needs and my advice is to call upon our Savior. Seek him, and his comfort and help. Take help from family and friends, you will be so thankful in the end you did ( I always said I did not want people to be around, just us and Max, I quickly changed my mind). But most of all seek God. He will put his arms around you and comfort you, he will fill your cup. he will give you hope, he will show you his unconditional love, he will remind you that he is in complete control of every second of your life!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The ultimate purpose of the universe is to display the greatness of the glory of the grace of God.

"Or to put it most simply and starkly: the ultimate reason that suffering exists in the universe is so that Christ might display the greatness of the glory of the grace of God by suffering in himself to overcome our suffering. The suffering of the utterly innocent and infinitely holy Son of God in the place of utterly undeserving sinners to bring us to everlasting joy is the greatest display of the glory of God’s grace that ever was, or ever could be. " -John Piper

I recieve e-mails from Desiring God on a regular basis and this one could not have come at a better time. I have been feeling sorry for myself all week, dwelling in all the suffering I have been through over the last 4 years. I have been through a lot, but today I realized I have been buying into the worldly view of suffering, and feeling sorry for myself. I have been trying to love myself first and make me happy. When I realized I was acting this way I was ashamed.
From the quote above "...suffering exists in the universe is so that Christ might display the greatness of the glory of the grace of God by suffering in himself to overcome our suffering." The ultimate sacrifice. Jesus who was and is perfect took our place to bring us to the Father for eternal joy but furthermore to show his amazing grace to us. To bring glory to himself.
Life on this earth is so short, and dwelling on all that is wrong in our lives serves us no purpose at all. Rather, we should be resting in the arms of our Savior. Waking up each morning worshipping our Savior, spending time in his word, and living our life for him! Easier said than done right? Of course, so my prayer is that I and you, will seek Christ daily, even when you have no motivation to crack open his word, and honestly talk with him so that his glory may shine through in your life. Do not waste your life.Those of us who believe, love and know Christ are forever prosporous in him and his glory, so share that proserity with our broken world!