Saturday, March 31, 2012

Can it Be?

For so long I thought my dream was to get pregnant once again.

And then last year I met you.

Can it really be possible that you are 1 today?

I don't believe it.  Where has this year gone?

You are the most beautiful baby girl I have ever known.

You are sweet, and funny, and so smart.

You keep me on my toes.

You put everything in your mouth.

You are faster than lightening and fearless... a mother's worst nightmare combination.

You are a terrible sleeper, and at 1 still do not usually sleep through the night.

You love food, especially chicken {preferably from Cafe Rio... I'm raising you right}.

You melt my heart every time you hug me and pat my back.

The best sound in the world is your adorable belly laugh.

You came into our family and you made us complete.

I love you forever Penelope Susan Blakely.
Happy, happy birthday sweet girl.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Don't Tell Me You're Not Judgmental

If we are being honest {and I like to be, so let's}, we are judgmental people.  Our first reaction to any circumstance is to judge.

Every time we yell at another driver... we judge.

Every time we wonder, did she think that matches?... we judge.

Every time we think, how could she let her son drink queso dip out of a straw?... we judge. {That was for you Jessica and for the record, I did not judge you for that one... I would have ignored Beau doing that if it was keeping him quiet.}

It is in our nature as sinful people.

I am not trying to make you feel bad for being judgmental.  I am simply pointing out that we all do it. 

I happen to be extremely opinionated and outspoken {in case you hadn't figured that out by now}, which means that my judgments don't just live in my head... they often come out of my mouth.

I have always known that this was as issue that I struggled with, but to be perfectly frank, I just didn't really see the need to do anything about it.

This year the Lord has challenged me on that.

My pastor gave a great sermon a little while back about judgment.  It was one of those sermons where you know that the pastor is actually just talking to you, but being kind enough to act like it is a sermon directed at the masses.  It spoke to my heart.  His point was that there are moments in which we need to address differences of opinion... when the truth is being called into question and it is a salvation issue.  But there are more often moments in which the more Christ-like thing to do is just love.

It got me to thinking {a thought that I am now amazed took me 34 years to get to}: how many more people can I win over by showing them love rather than judgment?

This year I have found myself in situations where I could have been very judgmental, but chose instead to be loving.  What a blessing to see how people respond to love rather than judgment.  

Jesus wasn't condoning sinful behavior when He spoke with the woman at the well, or the Tax Collector, or the adulterer... He was simply winning them over with His love.

I want to win people over with my love.

I bought my friend Lisa Leonard's keychain today to remind me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Week of Highs and Lows

What is it with this week?

Fifteen years ago this week, my mother in law died suddenly of a very unexpected Heart Attack. 

Last year this week, my cousin died suddenly of a very unexpected Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

This week, I attended the funeral of a friend's 31 year old sister, who died last week of a very unexpected Amniotic Fluid Embolism while delivering her second baby.

My grandma also died last Monday, and while she was old and not in good shape, this was a very unexpected death caused by Kidney Failure.

I am not a superstitious person, I do not believe in curses or anything strange like that... but I find it odd that this week is often surrounded with tragedy in my life.

On the other hand... one year ago this week we got news that would change our lives forever, and forever make this week one that is also surrounded with great joy: we were matched with our sweet Penelope and she was born just a few days later. 

Isn't it wonderful how God can redeem anything?