Thursday, January 30, 2014

On Expectations.

For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with expectations.  Whether it be unreasonable expectations of myself or others, I often have found myself disappointed by unmet expectations. Of course, I carried this whole deal into marriage, and you can imagine how well that went.  In my immaturity, I have spent much of my life living in disappointment due to unfair expectations I have placed on people and situations.  This has sometimes led to having very, very low expectations and the assumption that everything will always turn out worse than I hope.
Thankfully, the Lord has done a lot of good work in my heart on this matter, and I have matured enough to begin to find a balance between the unrealistic and the hopeless.  Begin would be the keyword in that sentence.  It is a journey, and sometimes I am running forward.  Other times, I trip on a root along the way and have to get up, shake the dirt off, and trudge forward.

Our Christmas was incredible.  Like one of the best ever.  And, I wasn't expecting it.  In fact, I almost missed the greatness because I was awaiting disaster or disappointment.  You see, many adoptees have a very difficult time with holidays for lots of different reasons.  I was worried that the same would hold true for Famous, and that his fears would play out in some dreadful way that would ruin the holidays for the rest of us.  I also like to place unfair expectations on my sweet husband when he is not supposed to be working, but let's be real for a moment...when you run your own business, when are you truly ever not working?
So, in the midst of all the worry and expectations, I almost missed the magic.  The wonder.  The holiness.  The love. The celebration.
I'm so glad that the Lord redeemed that for me because it was a truly magical Christmas.
Famous loved every moment, and you would have thought he had been celebrating Christmas with us his whole life (minus the sheer excitement that can only come with seeing this holiday through fresh makes me teary thinking of it).

Any doubts of Chris giving us his undivided attention were a waste of my thinking space.
I think I will look back on this Christmas always and reflect on God's goodness.
I'm just so thankful that my expectation issues didn't allow me to gloss over the blessing of what was right in front of me, and I am planning to keep pressing on with grace.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


It is one of those days that is dreary, drizzly, and chilly, and it is getting colder outside by the minute.  There is a chance of "wintry" precipitation beginning this evening and continuing overnight, and dare I say, they claim we might even get a light dusting of snow.  That is big time in this neck of the woods, folks.
Therefore, all I want to do is wear sweats, curl up with a warm blanket, and do a bunch of nothing.  How do you people that live up north survive the winter and get anything done at all?
In light of the fact that I am anti-productivity in this cold weather, I am going to keep staring at the laundry that needs to be put away from my spot on the couch, and I am also saving my heavy thinking posts for another day.  Until then, here are some good ole iphone pictures of what we have been up to lately.
Celebrated Mercy Project's second rescue with pizza, cookies, and a movie!
These two had a sleepover in Micah's room together.
 We've spent lots more time outside.

 Took a day trip to Houston and surprised Chris by picking him up at the airport.
Witnessed the most amazing sunsets.  Isn't God incredible?
 Went on our first training run for the Girls Just Want To Have Fun 5k in March.
 Currently, I'm poring over paint samples trying to decide on the perfect "warm" gray for the main living areas in our new house.  Anybody found a really great gray that wasn't too "cold" but also wasn't too beige?  Please do share!
Stay warm out there!

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Chris left for Ghana on Wednesday, and within hours, Micah was running fever.  She caught a tummy bug and was so sick and sad for about 24 hours.  Those 24 hours were a battle for my heart.  I was overwhelmed.  I wanted the week to be easy and smooth. Instead, sickness and chaos entered our home. I have not always been gracious in these situations (which seem to happen every time Chris is gone), and I tend to let frustration overtake me. I get cranky and impatient, and I forget that being a mom, even when I am parenting solo, is my gift. 
Being a momma to littles is hard.  It is tiring.  It makes your bones and your heart weary.  Some days it feels like you have nothing to show for your mothering. It is easy to forget that I chose this whole motherhood thing when I am in the trenches and feeling alone and frustrated.  It is easy for me to dwell on my loneliness and how hard it is when it seems as though your two year old screams about everything  It is easy to feel defeated when my kids still act disrespectful and are disobedient (ugh, sinful nature).  It is easy for me to look at my husband and feel like he has it easy because he doesn't have to do this correcting, rebuking, disciplining, shaping all day.  It is easy to somehow start to feel entitled to more help and more time away.  It is so easy to fall into the pit of resentment and to wallow there for hours and days.
 Lately, the Lord has been teaching me a thing or two about this season of being a momma to these little people.  He has been teaching me how to experience joy in the midst of it all. He has been reminding me that this work of disciplining is really molding their hearts and their character.  Every day, I am mothering their souls.  I get to point them to Jesus, and in the midst of that, I get to point my own heart to Jesus, a million times.  That is a pretty amazing job, and my three little people are pretty amazing too. He has been teaching me to reject the lies and the resentment and to fall before the Lord on the days when I feel desperation creeping in and grabbing hold of my heart. He has been teaching me to look at my people and find Jesus in them, even in the midst of the hard parts.  There are still days when the yucky parts of my heart win, and I forget to be thankful and loving and compassionate in the thick of things.  However, I am so grateful for the journey I am on in learning to just love motherhood and to embrace and soak in this season.
So, this week while Micah was sick, I fought hard to choose love instead of bitterness. To enjoy the cuddles and snuggles instead of worrying about and dwelling on the sickness.  To choose embracing motherhood instead of enduring it.  The Lord offered me victory, and it was sweet.  Last night, we celebrated Micah's recovery with an awesome dance party after dinner, and we laughed and danced until we were breathing hard and enjoyed each other.  These are sweet days, friends.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bike Riding In The Sunshine.

For Christmas, all 3 of the kids got 1 big gift from us--bikes.  Chris and I were so excited about these gifts and had been planning this surprise since the summer.  The kids were shocked and ready to ride, but it has been super cold around these parts since Christmas.  We have still managed to take them out to ride in short bursts, but no one lasted long in the cold.  So, when the sun came out and the temperature rose to almost 70 the past several days, we took full advantage of the beautiful bike riding weather.

For those wondering...yes, Famous taught himself how to ride a two wheel bike upon arrival in the US.  He went to a friend's house to play and promptly figured out how to balance, pedal, etc. without having ever used a tricycle, training wheels, or anything.  Amazing, I tell you.
Also, Micah and Beckett got balance bikes.  They don't have pedals and only have two wheels and came highly recommended for the transition to a big bike.  Beckett still prefers the old tricycle!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Our Favorite Muffins.

All three of my children love muffins for breakfast.  They may actually devour muffins more voraciously than they eat up donuts.  Our very favorite muffins around this house are banana bread muffins.  The kids would probably eat a whole batch in one sitting if I would let them, and Chris and I are pretty big fans too. Micah and I made a batch of mini muffins just this week for a play date with one of her best little friends from preschool, and they were a big hit.
We follow this recipe for banana bread from one of my friends from college.  My grandmother has a great recipe as well, but honestly, I think Kerbi's is my absolute favorite that I have ever tried.  I have made both loaves of banana bread, regular size muffins, and mini muffins with this recipe, and they never turn out dry but perfectly moist and delicious.  The only change I make it omitting the nuts because we prefer our banana bread sans nuts in this house (and sometimes I add chocolate chips!).
For the mini muffins, we cut the recipe in half (except the philosophy in baking is that vanilla makes everything more delicious), and it yielded 30 mini muffins.
We also added a handful of mini chocolate chips to the batter.
I sprayed the muffin tins with baking spray and filled them 2/3-3/4 full of batter.  Bake the mini muffins at 350*F for about 15 minutes or until the muffins are set and tops are light golden brown.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Building A House.

We are staying in College Station, but we are building a house, actually, just about 8 miles from where we currently live.  We are really, really excited.
This decision has been brewing for a while.  Nothing made us dislike our current home, and in fact, we love this home, the location, our neighbors, and Famous's school.  But, Chris and I both just felt a stirring in our hearts for something different.  We couldn't quite pinpoint it, but even before Famous came home, we began talking about these feelings we had.  There were only 2 things we knew about this potential move: we wanted more outdoor space for kids to play and explore, space to plant a garden, and enjoy creation, and we wanted a slower pace of life.
So, we just started casually looking at places that fit those descriptions, and my spirit just never felt settled about anything we saw.  We discussed building, but all of the land we looked at didn't feel right.  I knew that moving would be hard with 3 kids, and I wanted to feel complete peace about it if we were going to take that plunge.  Since we hadn't felt that peace, we decided we would just stay where we are and look again in a couple of years.
Fast forward to a week or so after Famous got home while the littles were playing with some friends, we went out to a small subdivision just south of town where a house was being built.  I cannot remember exactly what spurred this decision to go look at this house since we had ceased our efforts at least a couple of weeks prior, but we went to check it out with our new Ghanaian son in tow.  We pulled into this subdivision that boasts of acre or more lots, and I started getting a good feeling about this place.  We arrived at the house and went inside to check it out, and as we went out on the back porch and Famous ran out in the massive backyard, I started to cry.  I knew in my heart that this place was right for our family and particularly for our sweet son.
So, in true Chris Field fashion, we didn't waste any time.  We began perusing available lots and found the perfect one for our family. We bought an acre of land at the end of a culdesac.  We will have more outdoor space, a house designed just for us (with the help of amazing architect friends), and a safe space for our kids to grow, play, and explore.  We will also hopefully be able to cultivate a less harried way of living.
We are beyond excited, and we have officially broken ground on our home.  Our house will hopefully be ready some time in May.
Before the clearing of land began, we took our first family of five pictures on our untouched land.  I'm so thankful that we will always have those special pictures--thanks to my father in law.

We are praying that the Lord will bless our home and make it a sacred place where He is honored and where His Spirit is alive.

Now, time to go make a lot of decisions, which can be a little scary for this indecisive person!  Updates to come.

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 Resolutions.

I am, by nature, a perfectionist.  So when it comes to making resolutions and goals, I can sometimes be a little bit negative.  Goals do excite me, and I absolutely love the feeling of a fresh start that the new year brings.  BUT--I do not want to fail.  If I make resolutions, there is always a chance that I might not actually follow through with them, which would mean that I failed.  I know, totally ridiculous.
While Chris and I were on our getaway to celebrate our anniversary (9 years, baby!), we wanted to spend some time casting a vision about what we wanted our year to look like individually and as a family.  I am really thankful for a husband who pushes me to do things that make me uncomfortable  and who reminds me that I don't have to be perfect because grace has already been offered. So, we sat down, in a movie theater, and began talking through what we hoped for 2014.  A few of the things on my list are:
eat and serve my family more whole foods,
put my phone away more often during the day,
keep exercising,
plant and tend a garden with the kids,
read more,
be more like Jesus on 12/31/14 than I was on 12/31/13,
and let go of things I cannot control instead of worrying.

Over the past week, my heart has continued to wrestle with and get hung up on that last one.  These two words are swirling around in my head a lot: let go.  A popular theme is to choose just one word for the year as opposed to setting specific goals, and last year I read this post that made me really rethink the idea of resolutions and words altogether.  However, I feel the Lord stirring something in me this year, and making goals, and even possibly choosing a phrase, seems like the right thing to do for me in 2014.  So, I am declaring that this will be the year that I begin to really let go.  I am a worrier and control freak by nature, so I spend a lot of my days worrying about something that could happen and living in that fear while "the now" moments fly by.  I want to let go so I can live in the present with my family and not let this time pass me by.  I want to breathe in my little family of 5 just as we are right now and stop wondering if I can control the course of our days, weeks, and years. I want to let go of those things, release them to the Lord, and give in to trusting Him to be the provider He promises to be. I want to let go of needing to maintain a certain image as a mother, wife, and woman and just be who God created me to be in those roles. I want to let go of wishing things were different and just live in the present with what is right now.
I just want to stop wasting time living in fear, doubt, and worry and let go.
I'm already praying and believing that the Lord will be gracious to me in my quest to learn this.  I'm also hopeful that I can accomplish a few of those other goals up there in that list.
Cheers to a new year and a fresh start!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Back At It.

It has been a while since I have visited this space, and while I have missed it, it has been nice.  I needed the break.  I needed the time to just live moments with my family and be present during the changes and transition.  Relieving myself of the "pressure" to write something here and to document every worthwhile and not-so-worthwhile moment in our family's life allowed me to actually fully experience it.  I am grateful for those months where I gave myself the freedom to just be.
I am ready to be back to writing, to documenting, to fleshing out the things the Lord is doing in me and in my family.  This blog may look a little different than it used to.  The time off taught me that I will actually remember events that take place in our family even if I don't record them here. I know, I know.  Crazy and novel thought. I just want to write and to take pictures and to learn and to grow in the process.  I will keep writing about our family because that is where most of my life is lived and most of my lessons are learned, but I also want to keep my hands and heart open to writing about other things.  I want to be true to myself and to honor my family and God in the process.  I want to give myself grace on this blog, and I want to be honest and vulnerable about where I am in life and the work the Lord is doing in my heart.
So, there you have it.  I'm back.
I'm ready for a hope and Jesus-filled 2014!
For those interested, here is a quick recap of 2013.