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Small Beginnings

If you’re just joining us, welcome! We’re just over halfway through our ½ marathon blog challenge with CMBA! So far we’ve shared tips on ways to intentionally relax (even if only for a few moments!), prepare for the inevitable, bless your wife, and fight against sin…together. To read all the posts in this category so far, click here.

When David and I were discussing what we wanted to share, one of the first things he said was “pray and read together.” Now, I know what you’re thinking…at least I think I do. Prior to having our babies I was convinced we would have no down time. We didn’t. Ok, we had some snatches here and there but nothing like what we had before we were blessed with our munchkins. Then, we could go to the prayer meetings and spend time reading book after book in our CCEF online course we were taking. After we had them, for many months, we collapsed when crying babies were finally settled to sleep. We knew we had a very short while before we’d be forcing our eyes open to begin it all again at 4am (one of my favorite tips on this is coming soon!!!). Our prayers consisted of the short ones we uttered throughout the day. And our reading now was made up of trying to read with blurry eyes the emails at work (for David) and Facebook statuses while nursing (for me. obviously.).

Excellent resources!!!

Life is still super overwhelming even as the babies have reached a year old. But we’ve moved into a little bit more of a routine. We now know when our “down moments” might be. And while there aren’t many of them, we are working really hard to make praying and reading together a priority. We’ve found that it is easier for us to start small and grow from there.* So we’ve set aside one night each week to pray together and one night to read together. During the week, we keep track of all the various prayer requests we come across (through conversations, Facebook, etc.) and go through the list to see who the Lord would have us lift up to Him together. (It’s been amazing to see the Lord answering prayers! So encouraging!!) And currently we are reading “What Did You Expect??” by Paul David Tripp and “Teach Them Diligently” by Lou Priolo. We’ve decided that, for us, a couple of chapters each week is a realistic and rather easily met goal. It will obviously take us quite some time to complete both books, but we felt that it would be helpful to read something that focused on us growing together as a couple and something that helped us to develop our parenting goals and desires (since as yet we have few!).

Of course, we both hope to grow in both these areas. I am an avid reader, he is not. He is very disciplined in going before the Lord, I am not. And yet, we both have seen the blessing of spending this time together as we have each grown in the areas in which we are weaker. As our children grow, we hope to lengthen our little family devotional each night at the dinner table from reading one story in “The Jesus Storybook Bible” by Sally Lloyd-Jones to including prayer time with them. For now, David and I are grateful for the ability to come to the Lord together to both talk with Him and to learn how He has called us to live.

* Just a quick note…if, while reading this, you were tempted with condemnation that this seems impossible or overwhelming, let me encourage you to simply have a conversation with your spouse about what the Lord is giving the two of you grace for – maybe it looks nothing like the above. Maybe it’s way more than the above! Having a baby is nothing like what you could ever have imagined – it’s more wonderful and more challenging!! And there is much grace as you adjust during this season. So please do not feel condemnation over what you are or you aren’t doing. Comparison wasn’t the goal here, sharing ideas was! We trust the Lord to lead you as He did us. Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of the Lord! Amen?

Day 8 of the marriage blog challenge from CMBA. To see other CMBA bloggers, click here.

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1/2 Marathon – My Style

David and me on our wedding day!
PC: Kristen Leigh Photography

I love a good challenge. That’s why I had triplets! (Kidding!) But seriously, I love challenges. I love working towards a goal. Life is so much more exciting to me when I work under deadlines. (I’ve found myself complaining a lot more these days about my deadlines, but that’s a story for another post.) So, when I saw a dear friend (Debi from The Romantic Vineyard) encourage fellow-bloggers to take this challenge, I thought it would be fun. I immediately knew what I wanted to write. I’m starting after most of the other “competitors” because I’ve had quite a bit to write about with our babies’ first birthday stuff (pictures, birth story part 1, birth story part 2). So, who am I writing to? Newly married couples! I know, I know…technically I am one myself. Specifically, I am writing for those without children yet…or new parents.

But wait. Let me rewind a bit, for those of you just joining me. My husband, David, and I were married in February 2010. In March 2011 we found out we were expecting. While we didn’t exactly have a “honeymoon” baby, we certainly have been propelled into parenthood very quickly. During our first year, we both worked. We enjoyed regular date nights. We were each other’s best friends. Countless evenings (well, maybe not countless – it was pretty much 365) were spent talking, walking, holding hands, fighting and making up. We made dinner together, slept in together and went grocery shopping together. Now, don’t get me wrong – life was busy. Oh, so super-busy!! In addition to working and caring for our home, we also were each taking a class with CCEF.  And we were an active part of our local church, Metro Life Church.

But then I got pregnant. And then we were parents. And life changed. There was suddenly no time for walking and talking, though there were plenty of opportunities to fight and make up! Dinners were thrown together…or not made at all. Grocery shopping? Well, let’s just say they became phone calls to the hubby on his way home. Sleeping in was non-existent and we didn’t make it to church for months (part of this was our “unusual situation” and would certainly recommend making every effort to remain connected, if at all possible). I think it was four months after becoming parents before we went on a date and then wondered why we waited so long to get out for a bit! Communication, which happened so regularly and freely such a short time ago, was now sporadic and always revolved around the babies.

So…how have we survived so far? Well, we have by no means “arrived.” But we have learned a few things during this first intense year. The next 12 days will be intensely practical. They won’t require a lot of time to read (because let’s face it – “time” is a vanishing thing as a new parent) but will hopefully be something you can return to when you’re feeling your relationship with your spouse is dragging. They also don’t require a lot of thinking or preparation to execute. Amidst the challenges of adjusting to a new baby, I hope you’ll pick-up some tips that may help you to keep your orientation towards your spouse. It is super easy to be distracted, overwhelmed and exhausted in those first weeks, months and even years (one of the reasons I’m excited to even be writing on this – it will be refreshing for us, as well!). So, David and I both came up with a dozen simple ways we have “focused” on one another over the past year. Please join me – and let your newly married friends and new parent-friends know they may join us as well!

Day 1 of the marriage blog challenge from CMBA. To see other CMBA bloggers, click here.

 

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Guest Post on CCEF’s Blog

Last year I blogged about the “Sex Matters” conference CCEF wanted to host at Metro Life Church. It was a wonderful experience and we met, and enjoyed our time with, the whole team. I learned so much and am so grateful for the opportunities with which CCEF provides the Christian community to grow in knowledge and wisdom. David and I completed the first course through their online School of Biblical Counseling – and loved it! Then we had babies. So we’re a bit busy right now, but we hope to begin taking courses again!

Anyways, Barbara Lane recently saw a status update on my facebook page and asked me if I would be willing to turn it into a blog post for their blog. I said, “Sure!” So here it is:

You get word that your friend just had a baby. But mixed in with the excitement and rejoicing is trepidation and concern: the sweet baby was born prematurely. You want to help and be a blessing, but what can you do? With all the tubes, wires, doctors and medical terminology, sometimes caring for couples with a baby born prematurely or in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can be quite daunting. My husband and I know because we were on the receiving end of others’ care when we delivered our triplets last year.

Our babies were born at 32 weeks, 8 weeks premature, and spent 30 days in the NICU… (read the full article here)

To all our friends in the CCEF offices (Wayne, Tim, Barbara, Winston, Ed, Mike), the babies asked me to tell you “hello!”

I’ve found it’s near impossible to get three babies to sit still and look at the camera and smile – at the same time.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in CCEF, Triplets

 

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