Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Learning to Live Well

As those of you who have read my blog know, I have followed WomenLivingWell for quite some time. I have really enjoyed Courtney's (the writer) challenges on homemaking and marriage. See my posts on making your home a haven.

So, recently, when she asked for applications to be a part of her new book Women Living Well's launch team, I sat down and applied!

I found out this week that I was selected. Yes, I jumped up and down a little. I believe in Courtney's ministry. It touches my walk with God, my relationships, and my home because it is founded on Scripture and is challenging. So I could not wait to dive into my advance copy of the book. EEK!

I have completed the section on "My Walk with the King," and my life has been enhanced already.

I spent ten times more time with God yesterday than I usually do because I had a new resource to hold onto, something she mentions early on in the book.

The idea of a prayer walk through her house.

I could never even remotely describe it as beautifully as it is written (I literally had to stop and read the entire section to my husband), but I am starting this practice in my home. Basically, you pray for your family and give thanks to God as you go through your daily tasks.

I started doing this yesterday, and it was such a wonderful thing to know I was being connected to my life in a new way. I was more productive and a better mom because of it. And it's a practice I plan on continuing.

Spending time with God doesn't have to happen when it is silent, the kids are in bed, and all your chores are done! While I normally throw up a prayer in times of need, I always felt the need to stop whatever was going on to pray. My eyes may be open, but I am doing business with my Savior all the day long now. I cannot wait to see how this discipline changes my walk with my King.

I am so grateful for Courtney's opening of her heart and home with us.
Seriously...grab the book on October 1st!!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My Breastfeeding Journey: The Beginning

I have often wanted to share why I started breastfeeding, especially within the scope of my blog, because it is one of the most pivotal decisions of my life and I am pretty sure it is what has defined me more fully than any other thing I have ever done and led me down paths I never thought I would trek.

So why haven't I, you wonder?

Because I am pretty scared everyone will think I'm a nut.

But here goes...

I was 8 months pregnant with my first son. Die hard "I am NOT going to breastfeed. I think that's great and all, but I do not want to. Thanks." I didn't want something eating from me. No thanks. Those bad boys are mine alone. (If only I knew...)

As I stood there in the shower, this stuff started coming out. I learned later it was colostrum (that magical amazing stuff that my body makes to protect my baby). I was fascinated. For a couple of days I examined how my body was changing.

And then I heard the still, small voice:

You were made to do this.
There aren't a lot of times I can say with certainty that God called me to something, but I have a few. This was one of those few. My sweet Savior, in His infinite wisdom and in His sweet love for me, called me to breastfeed.

Oh boy, am I ever thankful. I have a lot of reasons I am thankful for breastfeeding, and I will get to those in future posts, but my number one reason I am thankful that I was called to breastfeed is simple:

I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would be successful.

So I grabbed a book that had the mindset that I believe God impressed in my mind (that's another post too), and I soaked up what I thought was all the information I would need.

You would be surprised at how the world has screwed all this up. And my journey would have been messed up too, like thousands of other women who believe with all their heart that their body just couldn't provide for their child because someone with credentials gave them extremely bad advice in those early days and then basically told them they were broken. But with my call from God, I knew there was more. And for that, I will be eternally grateful.

Disclaimer: There are some circumstances where a woman cannot nurse her child (but this is much rarer than you find here in America).  I know this is a huge debate because so many women tried so hard only to have to supplement and eventually stop breastfeeding to provide enough nourishment for their babies. This is an emotional topic for many, and my heart breaks for those sweet women. My main goal, through the posts I will share on breastfeeding is to encourage women who wish to breastfeed as they begin and continue their journeys. Information is power. Support is power. I have learned quite a bit since I decided to breastfeed, but I still have to sometimes remind myself of my call when some kink shows up. I hope that the information I share can empower and encourage.

*If you are in need of support, contact your local La Leche League or find a lactation consultant. Try and find a nursing mom's support group in your area. These steps can make a HUGE difference in your journey.