2.26.2017

Nothing to Prove


Jennie Allen is one of my favourite authors and people in general. The way she writes and communicates speaks directly to me. There aren't many non fiction books where I just can't put it down but Jennie's writing does that to me. The Spirit speaks so clearly through her so when her book Nothing to Prove  came out in February, this momma read every nap time and evening. I honestly feel like I could have highlighted this whole book.

The theme of the book is realizing that freedom comes when we realize and accept we are not enough, but recognize that God is. And with that realization God becomes all we need and this world offers us nothing. Our freedom comes when we accept who we are in Christ and that we have nothing to prove to this world or God.

Here are some of my favourite quotes, and please go get this book (or email me and you can borrow my copy)

"God already knows we are not enough, but He's not asking us to be. We are the ones who have chosen to walk through the desert with enormous packs strapped to our back full of everything but water. As if the Kingdom of God were held up or together by us. So I purpose a great experiment. What if together we name the junk we are carrying around and figure out what to with it? What if we name our limitations, our fears, our imperfections, our striving, our sins, rather than try to escape them? What is heavy for you right now? (p 33)

"But she had to name what she was carrying before she could ever get free of it. And you and I have to do the same if we want to ditch our backpacks. I want to be clear: This will take courage. Because to get to the place where God can be enough, we have to first admit that we aren't." (p 40)

"When we see ourselves the way God sees us, we don't have to strive. Being near to God doesn't produce pressure of legalism; it produces worship." (p 44)

"You are I actually know what our mundane, eternal stories are leading toward: Jesus coming back and seizing His people and building a kingdom that won't end...The small things aren't only building eternity; we also find Jesus as we live in them. Jesus is in the midst of each ordinary, messy, mundane moment.... Vision and rest and work and joy and Jesus and difficulty are meant to coexist." (p 55-56)

"I realized that night that I have been living a lot of my life for God instead of with God. And this is a lot of pressure on a girl." (p 61)

"We want to do things for God without spending time with God. It is an epidemic in the church, and we wonder why we are so empty and unhappy. God built us for Himself, and all our attempts to manage life apart from intimacy with Him only further expose our ache for Him." (p 94)

"Here's what I believe is happening: We are so lonely and we do not feel known; we do not feel understood. We do not feel connected to people in a really deep way because we are expecting them to fill something that only God can fill. So, in our pursuit of deep connection, we have to recognize that we can often look to good things like community, authenticity, confession to take the place of connecting with Jesus. Loneliness is meant to be an invitation to draw closer to God. But our tendency is to try frantically first to meet that need with people, to prove to ourselves that we are lovable and funny and worthy of attention. We are made for dependency on God. We were built for that. Because God is invisible we put our neediness on people, and that becomes unhealthy one hundred percent of the time. It's called codependency. If we connect with people and we don't connect with God, we end up asking people to be our enough. People will always eventually disappoint you. Don't be surprised. They aren't enough either. Only God has the resources and ability to exhaustively meet your needs...When we begin to find our deepest, most fundamental needs met in God, then we will go from using people to meet our needs to enjoying people despite the ways they disappoint us. Community is meant to point us to Jesus, not replace Him." (p 109)

"It is terrifying to be caught in our brokenness. But more terrifying than being caught is being alone and in the dark with all of our pride intact." (p 119)

"If you and I could hold on to a clear vision and hope of a secure home and a God coming for us, I believe it would rest and still our fearful self-protective hearts." (p 131)

"Like Moses, we begin to believe that since we are not adequate, then we shouldn't do what God has called us to. And we lit the work of God through us because we think it is all about us, our abilities, our resources. But it is never about us. It is always about hungry people in bondage whom God wants to set free." (p 134-135)

OK, I'm only halfway through the book but this post is super long. Gah, re reading these quotes makes my heart stir and get excited that I have nothing to prove to no one. I love being able to rest in who God says I am, to be defined by Him. So I end this post as a part one and will write some more of my favourite quotes in the coming weeks!

Hope you had a restful weekend and are ready to do the work Jesus has for you this week, not in your  strength, but only in His.

xo
Maddie

2.19.2017

Dear Jackson // Nine Months


To my not so little baby anymore,

Yay for nine months. You have been out in this world longer than you were in me. That is so crazy. Pregnancy was the longest for me and I didn't like it but some days it feels like you were just born, how are you nine months already?

Yet when I look at all you do in a day and accomplish I can see how far you've come. Your daddy and I comment almost every day how it never takes you long to learn a new skill. For example: you climb up onto everything. You got this skill late December but now in February you are figuring out you can climb up on everything. Stairs, play pens, our fireplace/bookshelf, refrigerator and the most fun/annoying one our legs. It only takes you a few tries to figure it out.


This month as your personality is more defined it is clear how determined and risk taking you are. Both dad and I are super determined (....stubborn.....) so we know you get that from us but the risk you take fully trusting and confident in your ability is definitely not a trait from Momma. You climb all over the furniture and move around even if both your arms aren't holding on anymore. You have had a few nasty falls in spite of these risks but overall you've been good. You know how to get down (most times you get down by eating whatever thing you are getting down from) but it is still a bit scary.

You have a zebra walker that you use to get around. You crawl up to it, pull yourself up and off you go, walking around the house. You are a busy busy boy. In no way could you walk yet without the walker but with it, you are a star! You walk so fast sometimes it amazes us. It's crazy to me to think of the days where I didn't have to chase you around all day and where you sat in your chair looking around at everything. I am so thankful for your new skills but man it's exhausting.


Sleep - last month I was typing that you didn't sleep and this month I can't type that we have a pattern. I didn't really experience much postpartum when you were born but at eight months I was loosing it. I send some really awful thoughts and was just so tired it was hard to have a good perspective. I felt like I was failing as a momma and couldn't see it getting any better. Mark obviously picked up on my emotions and we made a plan. He said he would help in the night times and we would do cry it out with one feed. I have done all the nights since Jackson was born because 1) Mark works in the morning and I can nap when Jackson naps and 2) I would always nurse in the night time when Jackson would wake up so Mark couldn't be helpful since he didn't have any milk (and pumping didn't work for me... nothing would come out and it was painful so that was out).

Anyways, we did the cold turkey cry it out. Jackson your determination set it. You cried nine nights for over an hour bloody murder cry. Most of the articles said each night the crying time would get less and less but for you it wasn't. Some nights it was 1.45 hours and others just over an hour but it was awful and painful and you cried/fought hard. Your daddy was so helpful and we would switch every other night watching you on the monitor to make sure you were OK. It was super discouraging and really dark week+ because we thought it wasn't working because your crying time never decreased. And then just like typical Jackson form on night ten you just slept through the night and woke up at 5am for a feed. I am still doing a night feed (5am) because you are pretty tiny (not even 16 pounds) so I want to keep giving you milk. I think around 10 months we will cut the last feed. I am excited to stop breastfeeding soon but at the same time I am cherishing every time I feed you. There is something so beautiful and so natural about feeding you.


You sleep 7-5am for a feed and then back to sleep till around 7/730. It is amazing! I have my life back! We have also worked on naps and every other day it works. I don't think we've ever had two good nap days but when its a good nap day you will sleep twice for over an hour. This is huge and I am just so happy.

Words you know now: KISS - you give kisses to everyone it is the best thing ever
- you can TURN PAGE like a pro with books (you've been doing this for a couple months but I think you know the word now)
- you know SHAKE IT - whatever is in your hand you will shake
- KICK THOSE LEGGERS - when I chant that you kick your legs..mostly in the bath and splash everywhere and my heart explodes with love every time. I don't think this will ever get old
- NO - you know NO and sometimes you listen. You will now leave garbage and most cords alone but you fight me every time with your owlet sock charger. There is something about those lights on the charger that memorize you.

Still no Momma or Dada.. .even though we work on it every day! We also work on CLAP every day but you just smile at me.


Since its 9 months we are introducing vegetables. You love sweet potatoes and butternut squash, hate peas and don't care for carrots. We still mix in fruit along with protein powder and good oils/fats. I also give you vitamin D drops and cut open iron pills that I mix with your food twice a week. When we stop breastfeeding (whenever that day is) I will not be introducing cows milk or formula but we will go to water. You already drink some water in a zippy cup but you are getting more nutrients from the oils/fats I give you than you would ever get in cow's milk. You actually get 4x the amount of nutrients so I'm very confident after getting educated and meeting with my nutritionist that I won't be doing cows milk. But eating is going really well. You are a good eater and eating lots and it's working. I am so thankful for this and our nutrition plan! It's so important that every family is happy with their feeding schedule (whatever that looks like) and I am thrilled with ours:)


Alright my sweet baby! Happiest of nine months to you:) Every day we spend together is an absolutely JOY. Thank you for sleeping better and giving me back some routine...aka.. your Daddy and I workout now together 3x a week and you love running the track in your stroller with us. Routines are my groove and I love them and this month I can we are getting some routine down and I am ecstatic! Let's keep this up.

LOVE YOU TOO MUCH! XO

Momma

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