Our Journey Home

Monday, January 31, 2011

Do I have to be a fancy girl?

**This picture was taken the other day, after I got through cleaning out our tubs of baby girl clothes. There were four empty containers after all the sorting was complete, and our creative little Wubs made herself this cozy 'dog cage'. She played inside that tub for most of the morning! Here she is, enjoying her string cheese 'bone'. She is so funny!**

I don't have a cell phone. At first it was a big adjustment, but now, I absolutely LOVE it. I feel like I pay more attention to the road (and I need all the help I can get- I have been in many fender benders, wink!) but best of all, I have lots of good conversations with the girls while we are driving. Yesterday morning, on our way to my children's ministry meeting, Wubs asked me a precious question:

"Mommy, you know how I love animals?"

"Yes, baby. I know you loooove animals!"

"Well, you know how I'm going to get big one day? I was thinking... I don't really want to be a fancy girl. 'Cause big girls like fancy shoes and fancy clothes and stuff like that, but I just really love animals. Do I have to be a fancy girl?"

(I have to admit, my heart sank a little bit at this question. Her voice was so sincere and concerned. It made me sad to think that our five year old little girl, even at such a young age, recognizes that our culture has already been teaching her to conform to the world.)

"Wubs, you love animals, because that is how God made you! God makes some little girls who love to color, some little girls who love to ride bicycles, some little girls who love to play dress up, and some little girls who love animals! You don't need to be a fancy girl if that isn't what God put inside your heart. God put a wonderful love for animals inside your heart and that makes you very special."

"Really? I'm so glad I get to love animals forever!" Wubs sat back and smiled at me through the rearview mirror.

We pulled into the church parking lot, both relieved we had cleared that up. wink!

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will."- Romans 12:2

Monday, January 24, 2011

Confessions of a Do-It-All Mama

It's true... I confess. I am a do-it-all kind of mama. I'm the mommy that makes the beds, dresses the children, picks up the toys, cleans up the dishes... the list goes on and on. Of course, I invite the girls to 'be my helpers' and we do lots of little tasks together, but as far as true responsibilities or chores specifically assigned for Wubs and Bella- well, that just hasn't been happening. The Holy Spirit really impressed on my heart that I need to train our girls to be keepers of the home, and whew- I was convicted! I guess sometimes I have been the do-it-all mommy because I didn't think the girls were capable of the task, or perhaps I wanted it done a particular way, or maybe it was just faster to complete the chore on my own, but whatever the case... I was blowing this precious time of instruction with our children!

So starting last Thursday (after a prayerful pep talk from my mentor) I began teaching the girls household tasks and then- here's the clencher- I have been allowing them to complete the chore! And I haven't been going behind them to do it better...instead, I have been praising them and encouraging their sweet efforts! It's been wOnDeRfUl to see their smiles as they proudly stand beside lumpy beds and hear their squeals of accomplishment after changing the empty toilet paper tubes. It's been fun to teach them my somewhat mundance household chores because it makes it more exciting for me, too! Their eyes light up as I'm explaining how to clean the dryer's lint trap and I realize that we've all been missing out! wink!

Yes, our kitchen floors have a few missed crumbs after sweeping and Bella did wear her socks inside out today, but the Lord is certainly blessing our efforts to work together as a family to take care of this home He has given us! I look forward to updating our blog with lots of new skills that our girls have acquired in the weeks to come! It's always a new adventure at our house as we seek the Lord's will for our lives.

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and wordly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope- the glorious appearing of the great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."- Titus 3:11-14

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Midnight Campbell 'McMeal'

We are the proud adoptive family of our very first pet! Midnight Campbell 'McMeal' is our sweet new hamster. (Emma Grace and Bella are convinced that our last name is McMeal, not McNeill. It sounds like we should be featured on the dollar value menu at McDonalds, huh? wink!) Our dear friends, the Campbell family, are preparing to serve the Lord overseas and they cannot bring Midnight on their journey. We love the Campbells and we are excited to watch God's plan as it continues to unfold for their family! This precious family of seven has blessed our lives so much. If you want to learn more about their call into the mission field, click here to take a peek at Christy's blog: http://www.aquiverfull-christy.blogspot.com/
***Warning- If you do decide to click on Christy's blog, be prepared- their story is aMaZiNg! You won't be able to pull yourself away from your computer!

Wubs and Bella love the movie Bolt. We had some fun the other day taking pictures of Wubs, pretending that Midnight was Rhino, a hamster hero from this cute movie.

"No one is as powerful as the Lord our God."- Exodus 8:10

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dear Baby #3,

Dear Baby #3,
I remember the morning that I found out you were growing inside my womb! I woke up really early, and while everyone else was still asleep, I took a pregnancy test. I thought I was going to pop with excitement while I waited for daddy to wake up to hear the good news! I laid back down in bed, just daydreaming about you! The moment our alarm clock went off, I popped right up and daddy knew right away I had something special to tell him. We both rejoiced and thanked God for you!

Your sisters were very happy to learn about you, too! They had all kinds of questions- were you a boy or a girl, when were you going to 'pop' out of my tummy, could they push your stroller, and many more! They had big plans to help feed you, give you a paci, and to hold you. You were so loved right from the very beginning!

Today was going to be the day we were going to meet you. The doctors had given us a due date of January 19, 2011. Although we miss you dearly, we know that one day, we'll get to meet you in heaven! I'm just certain that Jesus will give you a kiss for me today. We love you so much, and even though we only had 10 precious weeks with you, you are forever part of our family.

All my love,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Abounding in Love"

If I had to pick a favorite Psalm, I wouldn't have to think twice! My favorite is Psalm 103.In Psalm 103, verse 8 says:"The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love." I love this particular verse and I have it jotted down on a notecard on my bathroom mirror so I can meditate daily on the way the Lord loves us, and how I should love others.

Last week, our girls were struggling with some sharing issues and the Lord placed Psalm 103:8 on my heart. I decided to type it up and post it by our homeschool calendar on the fridge. Because there are several 'big words' in this verse, I looked up the definitions of compassionate, gracious, and abounding. I wanted to be able to explain this verse to our girls in a way that would be easy to understand, that way we could refer to God's word during times when they were wrestling with making 'wise choices'. wink.

I explained that compassionate means that God hurts when we are hurting. God is gracious, which means that He shows kindness. And wow- 'abounding in love' means that God has really REALLY big love for us... so much love that we couldn't even count it all! After we talked about all these 'big words', we talked about God's desire for us to try to be more like Jesus every day. So when we read God's word in Psalm 103:8, we learn that the Lord wants each of us to remember to hurt when our friends (or sisters) are hurting. God wants us to forgive others quickly...and we should not get mad right away when someone does something that bothers us. God's love is REALLY big and even though we could never love others like He perfectly loves us, we can do our best to show our love in lots of little ways.

We have referred back to this scripture atleast a half a dozen times over the last four days. I have walked the girls by the hand over to this scripture and we've gone over it. Then we have re-evaluated the situation or current challenge and talked about what we could do differently to solve the problem. It takes more time to have these conversations with our children than it would take for me to simply swoop into their room and take away the toy or punish the offender but it's so worth it. I know that it pleases the Lord when we continually pour His truth into our girls.

This afternoon, Wubs really surprised me. I never suggested that the girls memorize Psalm 103:8, but I guess we have enjoyed it so much over the last week that Wubs started to remember those 'big words'. We were cleaning up dishes from lunch when Wubs said, "Mommy, I know what your scripture says. It says, "The Lord is.... come-passionate and gracious, He is slow to get angry, and... His love is abounding." I could have cried!! I covered her face with sugars and hugged her! Oh our sweet Wubs!

As always, we are praying for the salvation of our children and we thank God for the priveledge of being their parents!

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."- James 1:12

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I'm sitting at our kitchen table right now. I'm watching Bella play with Play-doh and all her little play-doh accessory toys. Wubs is in the living room, snuggled up in a blanket while she watches a movie we checked out at the libray. Baby J.J. is on the move in my tummy almost all the time. (His kicks are getting really strong now!) David is home from work because our church follows the school closing schedule for inclement weather, so we get a bonus 'daddy day' this week. It's only 9am and it has already been a wonderful day! wink! I have much more to write about, but for today, I just wanted to share that I am very blessed.

"The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love."- Psalm 103:8

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Being a pregnant mommy, I know a thing or two about cravings! I've craved different foods in all our pregnancies, but this time around, I'd have to say my top two indulgences have been egg nog and grilled cheese sandwiches dipped in ketchup. (But I'm not drinking the egg nog to wash down the grilled cheese dipped in ketchup. I do have some boundaries, friends! wink!)

I was listening to a talk show on my favorite radio station yesterday morning, and the featured guest was an author named Lysa TerKeurst. She has a book study out right now called Made to Crave. She was talking about how God designed each one of us with the ability to crave. Her book is specifically written about food cravings and tools for weight management, but God used that talk show to prompt some questions in my own heart. It got me thinking about the things I crave... and not just food. There are times when I crave sleep, a family vacation, caffeine, or even some extra time during the day.

Although our Heavenly Father created us with the ability to crave, He also made us incapable of being truly satisfied by anything other than Him. He alone can quench my longings, or cravings, and only the Lord is sufficient to meet ALL my needs. Even when I do get a Sunday afternoon nap or I get to enjoy a bowl of peanut butter cup ice-cream, I'll always be left wanting more if I am trying to depend on aNyThInG other than Jesus to fill me up.

What do you crave? Is it 'me time'? Chocolate? The latest, greatest gadget? God already knows the desires of our hearts... and He also already has exactly what we need to be satified!

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."- Psalm 73:26