Discernment

I was able to salvage the post I’d lost the other night from a previously saved version on WordPress’s website. So thankful for that nice new (to me) feature!! Here it is:

Junk food is bad for your body. Not much of an arguement there. Consider the Big Mac and fries. They usually tastes fabulous to me, but give it about 20 minutes and I start to feel gross. Entire documentaries are dedicated to the harmful effects of fast food on our bodies. If I want a healthier body I have to eat healthier food. That’s so much easier said than done when junk food is so readily available, I’m accustomed to eating it, and it tastes so darn good! As I was indulging in a cheese coney from Skyline this afternoon I was considering how our minds are much like our bodies. There is a direct correlation on my emotional and mental well-being based on what I feed my mind–what type of music I listen to, what type of television I watch, and the type of things I read. I’d like to think that I’m intelligent enough not to let music, television or reading material with negative overtones affect my beliefs or my character. However, I don’t think it really has anything to do with intelligence. Toxic information is incapable of being processed as anything else. Much in the the same way that our bodies are incapable of metabolizing junk food into proper nutrition. Back biting, disrespect, hate, malice, discontent, the sensationalism of teen pregnancy and casual sex. I know it’s hard to turn away from the entertainment value of these train wreck shows when it seems like that’s all that’s on. But when I watch them I am grieving and contradicting the Holy Spirit that lives within me. The Holy Spirit will always be there, but if I feed It junk, I’m lessening Its power. By lessening the power of the Holy Spirit unbelief sets in, “Maybe this is all just coincidence.” Disbelief will short circuit your faith before you even realize what happened. If someone hoping to get in good shape is feeding their muscles lard instead of protein, they are lessening their physical power. Lard contradicts the rebuilding of muscle tissue. Eventually heart disease and other problems set in. A slow and gradual process that one doesn’t even notice happening until it’s too late. In these days I need every bit of strength available to me from the Holy Spirit.

I started listening to a Christian radio station (K-LOVE) awhile back. I was sick and tired of the same old songs on the other radio stations. Now that I was riding around with kids in my car Sir-Mix-Alot and Snoop Dogg were no longer appropriate travel companions. I was prompted to hit the “scan” button in hopeful search of undiscovered territories on the FM dial. This was in the days before Pandora was invented. K-LOVE advertises their station as being “positive and encouraging” and hey, what do you know!! It really was! It was actually kind of refreshing to hear songs that breathed hope and affirmation instead of one night stands and relational discord. I didn’t have to worry about what the DJs were going to say next when my kids were present. It wasn’t like a switch was suddenly flipped and I made the decision right then and there to only listen to Christian music. I listened to it here and there when I was in the mood but still favored my Downtempo Pandora station (after Pandora was invented *wink*).

A few days after my world came crashing down into tiny splintering shards I needed that Christian radio station like I needed air to breathe. The perfect song at the perfect moment… There were so many of them. They are prayers set to music when I felt like I didn’t know or have the right words to say. Throughout my pregnancy it was the only thing I listened to at every possible opportunity. Now it’s just habit and it’s honestly my first preference.

I don’t mean to imply that everything else is “the devil’s music” (shaking my fist in the air at damn kids in my yard) . I just want to point out the direct correlation between the mind and what it is fed. A simple bit of discernment can make all the difference in the world, be it music, TV, magazines, etc. I’m not talking about discernment out of obligation or guilt either. Discernment because I want to! I like the joy that resonates after I’ve read or watched something uplifting. I don’t get that from reading tabloids or watching Honey Boo Boo. I savor the hope that resounds from the music on K-LOVE. I don’t get that from mainstream music. Again, I’m not knocking mainstream (or alternative, etc.) music. If it were food it might have a disclaimer on its label, “Not a significant source of spiritual nourishment”. I can ingest it. It “tastes” good to my ears. It’s not always necessarily bad for me, but it’s just empty calories. So obviously when I am in a broken state, as I was upon receiving the news that my unborn baby was “incompatible with life” (haha!!!) I needed every bit of hope and encouragment that I could possibly glean. If I were medically compromised in some way, diabetes for example, I would have to alter my diet in such a way that would benefit my physical health. Really not much difference in altering my spiritual health when I’m mentally and emotionally compromised.

When I am discerning about what I listen to and read, I strengthen my faith and gain a true sense of joy in my life throughout ALL circumstances! I’ve made that conscious choice and I know that my life is better because of it. You might feel that you can handle everything just fine on your own right now, just as I once did. That it’s not important to be discerning about what you consume. If you can only know one thing, know this: NONE OF US ARE IMMUNE FROM TRAGEDIES AND HARDSHIPS. There will come a day when you just can’t take another breath on your own. The Holy Spirit is right there in place to kick on as a backup generator–to give you supernatural strength that you cannot possibly give rise to on your own. Do you have the right fuel?

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
(Philippians 4:13 NIV)

And now here’s Nornor:

“Oh hi! I like baffs! Have I mentioned that before?”
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“And afterward I had a party at my crib!”
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“Only for a few minutes though because I went and got all tired.”
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“I put in an order for some milks at the baff house. I was FILTHY from my nap and needed another baff.”
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“I’m so happy when these little people get home from school. My eyes light up when I hear them come home!”
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“Thanks for checking on on me! I love you!”

Nornor

WordPress app is acting up and I just lost an hour and 45 minutes of a post. About to crumble my phone up in my fist right now…

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
(Ecclesiastes 7:9)

Anyway… Here is what is left of it:

Here are pictures from the past few days! Nora is finally over her cold and is just as sweet and chunky as ever!!!!

Saturday
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“Hmmmm… I think it’s time for another baff!!”

Sunday
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“Baby!! That’s me!!”
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“That’s my brudder about to race the car down the street. Who do you think will win?”

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“Smart middle-of-the-street-brudder knows Daddy won’t run him over!”

Monday
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“My brudder and sister love on me before they have to leave for school!”

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“Hmmm… Time for milkies, I think…”

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“This is the song sparrow that comes to sing outside of Mommy’s window. He was there last year when I was still inbelly-o.”

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“I’m a sister too! I’m the baby one!”

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“Goodnight! I love you!”

Concert

A two hour delay facilitated some extra cuddle time for Nora and her big brother this morning.
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It seemed that Nora was on a two hour delay as well! She fell back asleep during a time when she is usually awake which enabled me to pack lunches, make breakfasts, clean up the kitchen, straighten hair, brush hair, go over spelling words and administer kisses before sending the big kids out the door. Seconds after the bus was driving away Nora was up and placing orders for milkies and baffs! It all worked out rather nicely!
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This evening we took the kids to the Winter Jam concert at US Bank Arena. We’d planned on doing this for a long time and I was so thrilled that we were all healthy and able to go! Nora, of course, stayed home but maybe we’ll get to bring her to one when she gets older.

It was a PACKED house! We couldn’t find 4 seats together any where! While Greta and I were waiting to see if William and Gavin could find anything I had the pleasure of meeting Diane who recognized us from the blog! Hi Diane! It was so nice to meet you!! :)

After we finally found some seats the kids started noticing all of the “fun” venue paraphernalia that other people had around us.
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Greta had her eye on a sparkly blinking fedora hat and Gavin was mesmerized by the set of drum sticks someone was posing in a picture with a few rows down. We told them we came to see a concert not to buy a bunch of junk. They were disappointed and tried to barter with me. Meanwhile William excused himself to go get some water.
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While the kids were bestowing me with offers of vacuuming the whole house, and babysitting, someone showed up behind us playing the back of the seat with drumsticks wearing a pink sparkly blinking hat!!! “Daaaaadddyyyyy!!!!” Little faces lit up and they were happy as can be until they started getting tired.
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What an awesome, awesome concert!! I loved seeing the kids get excited when they recognized some of the songs. To see them singing along was so sweet!

I got choked up when Matthew West sang Strong Enough. That song was my personal anthem during my pregnancy and throughout the early days… admittedly still is from time to time. It came on the radio in the delivery room while I was in labor, and again in the hospital just before we were about to be discharged. To hear that performed live in all of its glory squeezed the tears out of my soul!

The last artist was Tobymac. I’ve always liked his music, but after seeing him in concert I am a huge, huge fan! I absolutely love his new song Eye On It. Unfortunately by this point Greta was slumped over onto my lap from William’s lap sound asleep. We were able to catch glimpses of the stage between everyone standing and dancing in front of us. I couldn’t help but smile the whole time they were on!

It was a late, late night for the big kids, but I’m glad we went! Hopefully they will sleep in tomorrow!

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
(Philippians 4:13 NIV)

Pictures

Wednesday

Hopefully pictures are worth a thousand words because I don’t have many words tonight. Verrry tired! Love to all! :)

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Thursday

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Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.
(1 Peter 1:8)

Check out my Phat Crib!

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Monday

Oh good mornings! It’s me, Nornor! I woke up a little sleepy today and had to get some milks. I’m like a zombie without my milkies!!!!!!!

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Then I’m all set and ready to go!!!! Ready to go and all set!!!! Ready, set, GO!!!!!!
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Would you look at this how my hands are all lit up like this? This is incredibly interesting. Look at my boyfriend in the background. He thinks it’s really interesting too.
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Then you KNOW what time it is!!! Aaaaahhhh yyyyeeeaaahhhh!!!! That’s right!!
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It’s BAFF time wiff my Mom!!
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I stayed home with my nurse friend Miss T while Mommy and the big kids ran some errands. Mommy went down to Daddy’s office to unearth all of the baby boy clothes in storage for my new cousin. Then they all went out to IKEA to get me some new things. Since Parker needed the bassinet back I needed a replacement. They came back with a SUNDVIK and a VYSSA for me with a couple sets of LENs. Best of all is the beautiful KILOMETER set that they strung up over my SUNDVIK!

Here’s me staring at the KILOMETER set before they were hung up! My sister was reading a book to me too!
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Isn’t it pretty??!! It’s much bigger than I’m used to, but the VYSSA is pretty comfortable! And the KOMPISAR will keep me from bumping my noggin.
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Here’s me in my chair!
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Hanging out with Dad!
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Tuesday

I woke up nice and happy today! I had a LOT of squealing to do!
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I had my milks,
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Then my baffs,
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And even a nap. When ever I wake up I immediately try to figure out what time it is on my invisible watch. I always say, “Wha? Who? What time is it? How long have I been sleepin??! Is this thing working?”
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Ahhh it was a great day!
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Until…. The nurse showed up to give me my stupid Synagis shot. That hurt my fat little leggie SOOOO bad. I cried for a long time about that. Mommy even put me in the baff again to see if that would cheer me up. It didn’t work at first…
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Mommy kissed me and loved on me until she eventually coaxed a smile out of me.
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I’m very forgiving and don’t hold grudges for too long. I’m sure glad I only have to get one more of those dang things!!!
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Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
(Ephesians 4:32)

Nora – TEN MONTHS OLD!

First and foremost I must introduce my new baby nephew Parker Allan who was born today February 17th weighing in at 6 lbs. 2 oz!
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It was incredibly exciting and a great honor to be in the delivery room for his birth!! I’m over the moon happy for my sister, her husband and my nieces!!

BIG Miss Nora is thrilled to share her 10 month birthday with her new baby cousin!
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Friday

William and I celebrated Valentine’s Day with a nice night out to dinner at a local steakhouse.
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With it being Valentine’s Day we got a complimentary photo to commemorate the night! Sweet!
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Of course we haven’t really been OUT OUT in such a long time. We had fun making fun of ourselves in our state of self-consciousness (or at least I did). First we pulled up in my filthy crumb-ridden “ordinary” vehicle to be valet parked among a lot full of Porsches and Mercedes. (Madame gracefully exits the vehicle with a granola bar stuck to her coat.) It would have been of same consequence had we pulled up with a team of oxen in our covered wagon. I’m so used to living in yoga pants and sweats within the comfortable confines of my own home that I have no idea what “all the cool kids” are wearing anymore. After digging around in my sparse closet for over an hour for something that might possibly still be in style, I felt like a fish out of water. As if though I ought to be standing in the corner in slippers with an afghan and a TV Guide in my grip. Funny how something that was such a part of life two years ago is all suddenly foreign and unnatural now, not so important anymore. Not to say or imply that I didn’t enjoy myself, because I truly did have a wonderful time. I have the sweetest, funniest, greatest hubzbind in the whole wide world who so obviously loves his homely prairie wife. I’d take that ANY DAY over fancy clothes and cars!

Saturday

Just a lazy morning laying around… back in my element!
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We did get out to go see a movie with the big kids. Nana and Papa met us at the theater and we had a fun afternoon with them! It’s always good to get back home to see Nornor! :)

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Sunday

I wasn’t at the hospital for 20 minutes before Parker was born! He couldn’t wait to get out and see his aunt!

Later in the evening we celebrated Nora’s 10 month birthday. William made a delicious dinner all by himself with the help of Aunt Jill in Texas. Lots of phone calls were made, but he actually did it and it was DELICIOUS!! I’d been concerned as to whether or not he knew what that strange square appliance that sometimes gets hot in our kitchen was. ;) Nora joined us for our delectable dinner with ice cream sandwiches for dessert!
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There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.

That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 11-13 NIV)