1.23.2017

Margins


"We are care about the poor. We care about our neighbours. But if we don't have margin to help them, what can we do?" - Rachel Kincaid 

The influence network held a conference in Nashville and Rachel was one of the speakers. I wish I could have flown down and been apart of it but thankfully I follow most of these ladies on instagram and they posted so many insta stories I felt like I was right there. This quote came across my stories and I took a screen shot of it, knowing that I wanted to reflect on it later. I often take screen shots of quotes and 90% of the time I forget about them...but this stuck with me and days on end I would ponder it. I didn't need to open my phone because I had it memorized after the first hour. I honestly have no idea where she was going with this (cuz I wasn't at the conference) but God used this to speak something strong to me anyways.

Margins.

Leaving space for the Holy Spirit to move.

Not scheduling my life so close together that when the Holy Spirit speaks I have time to do the thing.

Recently when running errands I will sit in my car and pray "Lord, open my eyes to what you are seeing, give me an opportunity love your people like you do." I'm trying to have a different mindset instead of my normal get in and get out as fast as possible and it has been incredible. I've had conversations with a mother in Walmart, had the time to small talk with a girl at Starbucks, wasn't annoyed when my order was taking to long etc. Even at church, when I've scanned the room and whispered to the Lord "who needs encouraging this morning" it is incredible to see who I've chatted with that Sunday and then had follow up conversation or something happened in their life and from that conversation I was more useful. Sometimes nothing happens and that is OK. I think it has more to do with my willingness to be used and my heart to slow down and focus on Christ throughout the day.

But those are the few times I've been intentional about it. More often, I get in/get out and live my tightly scheduled day unable to leave room for the Spirit to move and unable to hear his voice if He wanted to speak.

I want to get better at this, I need to get better (only by His strength) because I don't want to miss out on opportunities to be Jesus to this hurting broken world.

As a child of God, I am light to this world, I am hope. I want to have more time to bring that hope and light because it is so refreshing and so life giving.

I really care about the poor, the widow, the orphan. I want to love my neighbour and serve them. & I really believe so many of you do too. But how effective can we be when we don't allow time for us to love and serve them? If we only give God ten minutes to speak into our day how are we suppose to hear him, or if we do hear Him how are we supposed to do the thing when our ten minutes are already up?

I'm all for working and working hard, but I am also learning to be more flexible and pray more about how I can help, love and serve others better. I don't want to miss these opportunities and I know I am because when I truly take the time and posture my heart God shows up. I can hear Him more clearly and am amazed at what I can see.

Remember God isn't a distant God and far off. You have the Holy Spirit living inside of you, sanctifying you into the likeness of Christ every single day. You have God living in you, right there with you, leading and guiding.

Push into what He is directing you to do so we can love the poor and serve our neighbours better, all for the glory of God.

xo
Maddie


1.18.2017

Dear Jackson // Eight Months





Dear Jackson,

My happy lovely baby who doesn't sleep! You are eight months and each day, each month keeps getting sweeter and sweeter.

Your curiosity keeps getting stronger so does your determination. You are never still unless you are sleeping and cuddling you or you sitting nicely on my lap doesn't happen anymore. You just want to see the world and discover everything. You are very active!



We celebrated Christmas with you this month and that was the most fun. I wrote an entire Christmas post because it was so wonderful. Expect for the fact that Dad and I were sick for most of Christmas you never got sick and that is such a miracle and we are so blessed. You loved scratching the paper even though you didn't understand that the gifts were behind it. You also loved meeting Santa. I dragged you and Daddy to Conestoga Mall and we waited for an hour for that picture. It was so worth it. You again were just curious to get to know Santa. You scratched his beard and were checking him up and down and trying to figure him out... but you didn't cry. You enjoyed it and I was thrilled!


You are on the move! That is your massive accomplishment. You can pull yourself up on any and all toys, couches, end tables etc. You love it. This happened December 29 and after you got it you've just mastered it and do it all day every day. It is hilarious. It has been hard getting you to sleep because you love to climb up on your crib and walk all around it. The one night I was watching you on the monitor and you walked around the perimeter of the bed six times before deciding to crash. You love falling in your crib and often times we hear you giggle as you drop. When you're not in the crib you are most hesitant falling and we have had lots of head bumps but we are learning having you fall on the bum. Also as you walk around the crib I've noticed bite marks all over. You love to have some snack as you move.

I'm writing this late but January 14 you climbed up Grammie and Papa's stairs! You were so proud of yourself. Daddy put up gates on our stairs to keep you safe but man, you are on the move! You still slither around (haven't gotten crawling down) but I think you might just slither/army crawl and then move straight to walking.



You got your first hair cut on January 12 (exactly 8 months). Jenna cut it for you and just cut off the huge combover. You still have some style as its longer on the top and shorter on the sides but we got rid of some of it. You sat on my lap and did ok. I had low expectations with how much you move so I think it was successful.



You are the cutest thing and everyone tells you that! Strangers constantly approach me and tell me they have never seen a cuter baby. Then you smile at them which makes them love you more and I smile because you love the attention. You love people and that is so much fun to watch you interact with everyone. You still don't play strange but you like to know I am close by. Each day it seems like you are learning something new and your Daddy and I keep saying how much you are growing and learning and picking things up so quickly. It is amazing to watch you grow!


The only thing that isn't good about life right now is your sleep. You hate sleep and I am loosing my mind. You go down to sleep perfectly around 7-7:30 every night and sleep great until midnight and then its all downhill and unpredictable. Then the time you wake up is different and I am so sleep deprived that I just want to stay in my pj's all morning because I was awake for hours on end with you. You also fight naps. You will go down after 1-3 times going back in your room. Sometimes you go down for naps and like today we fought with you both naps for over an hour. I keep telling myself it's a season and one day you'll be a teenager and sleeping in till noon and I won't even remember this but right now it's tough. Parenting is tough. Your dad and I are taking turns staying up now as we try to teach you how to sleep. I've probably read every article on the internet about sleep training. Everyone has a different opinion including my friends and family. It's hard to hear them all and try to figure out what to do, especially when I haven't slept a full night in eight months and I'm exhausted. But it's a season. I just keep repeating that to myself over and over again. And every season is worth it.



I will end this by saying how much we adore and love you. You are the best thing that has happened to me and I can't get enough of you. I am so so blessed to be your momma to have that privilege. Keep growing my sweet Jackson. I can't wait to see what new milestones you will accomplish this month. I know there will be many. Oh and you weight 15 pounds 4 ounces at eight months!

xo
Love you so much.

Your Momma


1.08.2017

Jackson's First Christmas


I married a guy who adores Christmas. Mark starts the countdown and most days declares that it is almost Christmas. Mark loves buying gifts for people and spends hours thinking about how he can bless them. Also our tree is up mid November (we normally try to wait after Remembrance Day). I love Christmas, the magic of it, the thrill of hope reflecting on Jesus as his birth but being married to Mark makes me love Christmas so much more.

then we had a baby....

and Christmas is literally the best ever! Even though Jackson will have no memory of his first Christmas I am so thankful to my family who spoiled him and celebrated with us! I can't wait for next Christmas where we talk about Jesus and how this holiday was created because of the Christ child coming into the world to save us.

Here are a few of my favourite Christmas pictures! ( There would be too many for his 8 month letter so I thought Christmas photos deserved their own post- enjoy!)






 Jackson, thanks for making Christmas 2016 the best ever. We love you! xo



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