Friday, August 31, 2012

Three Months

click for larger view
Hudson is now 3 months old.  I can't believe how fast he's growing. 

He's now outgrown his bassinet in our room so he's moved to his crib in his room.  He's still sleeping great still, though has had some adjustment to his new room and has awakened a tad earlier than normal, but I'm sure once he gets used to it, he'll be fine. Mama on the other hand, gets up atleast once during the night to check on him.

Hudson's been doing a lot of traveling lately as Daddy has been preaching at various churches in Kentucky.  He typically does great and we couldn't be more proud of him.  He's such a pleasant baby and everyone seems to enjoy being around him.

I got a sweet compliment recently, she said she could tell that I was loving being a Mama and it's so true.  I love being at home with Hudson and taking care of him and his Daddy.  God has been very faithful to give me energy and joy in these tasks.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sanctification Lately

God's been busy in my heart lately teaching me things that I probably should have learned a long time ago.  I'm sharing for two reasons.  First, for accountability - so that hopefully one of my friends out there will remind me of these lessons when these sins/temptations arise in the future (and I'm sure they will, I'm a slow learner).  Second, perhaps you are struggling with a similar issue and this will encourage you.

God's lesson of late has been how to be a good helper to my husband.

In Genesis, God declares creation to be "good."  The only thing he declares as "not good" is for man to be alone.  Never fear, God has a solution and he makes Eve and she is called a help to Adam.  As a wife, I am to be a helper to James.  However I find that all too often I am not very helpful.

Not long into being married, a wife (atleast I did) becomes very aware of her husband's weaknesses; probably more aware of them in someways than the husband himself.  God, in his sovereignty and sense of humor, oftens pairs a wife with strengths in certain areas with a husband who is weak in those very areas.  Isn't he kind to do that?  Yes, but of course that crafty serpent uses those wifely strengths, meant to be a help to her husband, to tempt the wife to sin against her husband.

In my life I found that this temptation takes one of two forms. 

First, I am proud of my strength. 
Second, I begrudge my husband my help. 

I'll give a somewhat silly example.  James is directionally-challenged.  Poor guy couldn't find his way out of a paper bag - bless his heart.  I, on the other hand, am quite directionally-aware; take me somewhere once and I can pretty much find my way back with my eyes closed.  When James needs my direction in getting somewhere, you would think I'd just tell him.  But oh no that's too easy .. often I am proud of my internal compass and respond with, "Well, I know how to get there, I can't believer you don't;" gloating over him as I give directions.  Or I deny him help under the pretense of tough love; "I don't know; You need to learn to get there yourself," thereby begruding him the help he needs.  Now, this may seem of little importance, but trust me it occurs in much more serious issues.

The Lord has been faithful to point this out to be in the past few weeks and call me to take joy in being a help to my husband.  I normally don't deny anyone help - my friends, the students I have ever taught, etc... but let James need help and suddenly it seems all to difficult to do.

Therefore, I am asking that you pray with me in asking God to help me take joy in my role as a helper.  I think remembering the following will help me take joy in being a helper: 

1) It's part of our calling as a wife.  If my husband had no weaknesses, honestly I would not be needed. 

2)  Be aware of my own weaknesses. I have weaknesses which are strengths in James. For example, physically I am a wimp but James - well, let's just say he's an ox when it comes to moving stuff - for that, I'm thankful.  And the list of my weaknesse goes on - no clue how to work on a car, procrastinator, fearful of taking risks, etc... all of which are strengths in my husband.

3) Remember my son is watching.  Hudson will look to me as an example of what to expect from a wife.  I want Hudson to have a wife that will be a helper to him, love him, and find joy in serving him and their family. 

4) Christ is my helper.  He can help me be helpful even when I don't feel like it and is continually praying for me before the Father.  This provides a great amount of encouragement.

Gotta love sanctification - it's painful but so worth it in the end.

Sweet baby boy

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fair Day

Friday, Hudson and I along with my sweet friend Maryann headed to the KY State Fair. Kentucky does fairs the right way as almost the entire thing is indoors and air-conditioned - haha! Enjoy these pictures from our day out and about.

About to enter the fair.  Clearly, Hudson is not impressed.

Hudson with Freddy Farmer, the mascot for KY Farm Bureau Insurance (our insurance company).
Again, he's so not impressed - sorry Freddy.

Chilaxing while David Girard performs his magic show. 
I like this picture as it looks like a tiny David is standing on Hudson's carseat :)

I discovered the other day that there is a sad lack of "Mommy and Baby" pictures because I'm always the one behind the camera. I must rectify this situation at once.

Look Rachel and Sarah - a Disney Princess Quilt!

Being a true boy, Hudson was again not impressed.

Sweet Maryann showing off her "Honorable Mention" shawl she knitted.

A close-up of her shawl - Maryann's got mad knitting skills.

A close-up of the other shawl she knitted.

Hudson with Maryann's winning creations.

While at the fair we ran into "Grandma Rhonda" who was super excited to meet Hudson.

Then it was time for a melt-down.

Thankfully, Maryann's a baby whisperer.

Hudson got his fingerprints done. 
So if any of you get any ideas about running away with my baby - I'll find him! :)

With the second place largest pumpkin (954 lbs).
You may be wondering if Hudson was impressed by anything at the fair. 
The answer is Yes ...

Behold - the power of sugar. 
Even through a glass display case it intrigues children (and adults) of all ages.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Home Body

"Are you going back to work in the fall; or are you staying home with Hudson?"  This, my friends, has been the 10 million dollar question.

"We're still trying to work that out" has been my cheap 2 dollar answer.  These past twelve weeks since Hudson's birth been heart-wrenching as James and I prayed, crunched numbers, sought the wisdom of others, and prayed some more in making the hard decision as to whether or not I would return to work in the fall. You see, deep down, I want to do both.

I want it all.  I want to be "Super Woman/Mom." You know, the Mom who works a full-time job, cooks wonderful gourmet and organic meals for her family, loves her husband and children well, and of course looks completely stylish while doing it. Confession - I wasn't that person before Hudson was born so adding a helpless little 3-month-old to the mix isn't going to make me any more inclined to being a "Super Woman/Mom."

The decision was not easy:

Here's the hard stuff of staying home:
  • Financially, it will be very difficult.  James and I weren't exactly well-off with both of us working, so take my salary out of the equation and our finances look even more dismal.
  • I enjoy work.  Since my first summer of college (1998) I have always worked.  I have never not worked and I do fear that I will lose a piece of my identity - who I am - if I'm not doing something outside of the home.
Here's more hard stuff if I return to work:
  • I desire to be home.  My mom was a stay at home mom/wife.  While as a child this was a situation much to my chagrin (no running in from school eating junk food and watching bad TV); looking back I see how coming home to my Mom being there was such an amazing comfort and security.
  • Financially, it will be very difficult even if I do work.  Childcare and fuel to and from work will literally cost 2/3 of my salary.  Teaching is not an easy job and knowing you'll only bring home 1/3 of what you brought home beforehand ... it's simply doesn't make sense.
You see our delimna, right?  What to do?  Pray and seek to be obedient to God's calling on my life.

Since 2001, I have felt God's call into ministry.  This is why I left my home in Nashville and moved to Louisville in 2004 to attend seminary.  This why I have went on numerous mission trips to share the love of Christ with others.  This is why I chose to work at a Christian school, rather than the public schools.  And this is why we have chosen as a family for me to stay home with Hudson.

James and Hudson are my full-time ministry, now.

So please pray for us:

1)  Pray for us to trust God to provide.  God provided in so many miraculous ways during my pregnancy and delivery so I have no doubt that he will provide in the future as well.  James has had the opportunity to preach at several churches this summer so we continue to pray that God will open doors for possible ministry positions for him that will help support our little family.  But if not, we ask that God makes us content where we are and gives us the perseverance to be faithful to him in all, even the little things.  Pray that I find my security in the Lord, not in our bank account.

2)  Pray that I will find my identity in Christ - not in what I do.  Finding one's identity in one's work is a dangerous thing, whether that work is inside or outside the home.  Being a "teacher" or a "wife" or a "mother" shouldn't be my single identity.  Yes, I am those things, but I am so much more in Christ.  This, I need to reflect on much more.

3)  Pray for contentment.  I struggle with this - yes, I usually Mrs. Smiley-Happy, but happy isn't the same as content.  (Doing #1 and #2 will provide contentment.)  This decision is requiring a lot of sacrifice on our part:  Bye, bye cable TV; hello cheaper cell phone plan; Adios Sunday (or any day) lunch out; Hello Couponing.  Deep down inside, this will be a serious blow to my materialism and consumerism genes - a good blow, mind you - but painful nonetheless.

4)  Pray for strength and energy to do this new job.  There are no office hours in being a Stay at Home Mom/Wife - it's a 24/7 shindig and I need the Lord's grace to give me the strength and energy to not only do the job, but to do it well.

Our very first "family photo" when Hudson was 5 days old.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Photo Dump #2

Regardless of how hard Daddy tries to entertain Hudson - he only has eyes for his Mommy :)

We're a week into sleep training and it's going so well.  On average, Hudson will stay awake for between 1.5 - 2 hours, then nap for about 2 hours.  The funniest part is that when it's time to nap, he will start to get fussy, then completely pass out.  We call this is "Christ Crucified" nap pose.

Hudson's first trip to our local library was this week.  It's about a half-mile roundtrip walk so we loaded up the stroller and hit the sidewalks.  He had a good time smiling at the librarian and Mama had a good time getting a good book to read while he naps.

Seriously, why do boys always have the prettiest eyelashes? Sigh

Friday, August 3, 2012


Hello.  My name is Melissa and I struggle with prayer.   It's not due to lack of faith (though deep down, I suspect it is but that's another post for another day).  My struggle with prayer is an attention, focus issue.  It's as if I suddenly develop ADD whenever I sit for a concentrated prayer time.

When pregnant with Hudson, I knew I wanted to be diligent in my prayer time for my son.  So many saints have credited the prayers of their mother as a contributing factor in their salvation, perseverance in ministry, etc... so it is super important.  But, how would I be sure to pray daily and specifically for my little one?

First, I found this on pinterest.  However, I have failed in using this for two main reasons.
1) I didn't get it printed before Hudson's born.
2) I'm a new Mama and honestly have no idea what day it is let alone what date of the month to use this prayer guide.

Good stuff, but not working for me.

So, how do I hold myself accountable for praying daily for Hudson?  Well, it all happened kinda accidentally. (Though as a reformed believer, I doubt any of this was "accidental" but again that's another post for another day.)

After Hudson's bath, I slather him in baby lotion.  Side note:  Is there anything in the world that smells better?  Back to the point: As I was slathering loation on his little body the Lord prompted me to pray for his little body parts.  Pray for physical growth and develop, of course, but also for his future salavation and service to the Lord.

When rubbing lotion on Hudson's face and chest, I pray for his brain and heart.  I pray that they will both develop properly and be strong.  I pray that his mind will understand the gospel of Christ (2 Peter 3:18) and that his heart will love the One True God alone (Deuteronomy 6:5).

When rubbing lotion on Hudson's hands and arms, I ask God to guide Hudson to worship God alone(John 4:24).  I ask that his hands would be useful in serving others (Galatians 5;13).  That Hudson will not use his hands for evil tasks, but for good (Psalm 24:4).  I pray for his future career, whatever that may be, that he will do well and use his gifts and talents for God (Colossians 3:23).

When rubbing lotion on Husdon's feet and legs, I pray that Hudson would walk in righteousness and peace (Isaiah 57:2).  I ask God to give Hudson wisdom to flee evil; to flee even the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

When rubbing lotin on Hudson's back, I ask God to give Hudson strong convictions that are based on the Bible.  I pray that he will have the courage to stand for God's truth no matter what (Ephesians 4:15).

I'm sure praying for my son while rubbing lotion on him is not something I am the only one to do.  However, if you're a Mom and struggle with dedicating a specific time to pray for your child perhaps this will help you as it has helped me. 

There is nothing greater than to be praying aloud for your child and look down and see his/her smiling little face.

Click here to read a short biography of Hudson Taylor (the missionary after whom Hudson is named) who credits the persistent prayers of his mother for finally bringing him to faith in Christ.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Two Months

Hudson has grown a lot since he turned one month old.

click for a larger view

Dr. B gave Hudson an "A++" at his 2-month well baby check up and doesn't have to go back until he's 4 months.

He's growing like a weed (note the double-chin) and sleeping through the night. Yes, you read that correctly.  For about the past 2 weeks, he's consistenly slept between 6-7 hours nightly.  He'll actually sleep closer to 9 hours but I typically get him up after 7, mostly because I'm uncomfortable and need to nurse.  Dr. B told me to try to wait as long as possible before waking him up so that my body would adjust to his new schedule and he'll get the rest he apparently wants/needs. 

We're day #2 on trying to establish a daily nursing, awake time, and nap time schedule and that's going fairly well.

Hudson is definitely showing more personality lately.  I think we may have a morning person on our hands as he's so super happy (all smiles and giggles) when he awakes each morning.  It's adorable and makes waking up to care for him a joy.

Overall, we're so thankful to the Lord for such a healthy, happy baby.