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I am no different from so so so many women I know. Full-time working mom with a commute, kids in daycare and no extra time. Zero. The one thing I want to make time for every day is quality time to sit down, read the Bible and pray, but it rarely happens. I pray throughout the day and think about how much I long for a structured quiet time, but when I attempt to sit down, something goes wrong. I also find myself thinking about praying more than actually praying. You with me on that one? 

Out of the blue one day, my amazing friend sent me this blurb from The LIVE DEAD Journal that talks about how Jesus accepts us at every stage of life we're in, which includes the kinds of quiet times we can have with Him. 

"AN ENCOURAGEMENT TO MOMS AND OTHER SAINTS Life sometimes dictates to us how we spend our time. Not everyone has the luxury of multiple free hours in a row to spend alone with God. Parents of small children barely have time to breathe, let alone contemplate the heaven of two hours of stillness. Jesus understands where you are and loves you for it. I am sure the Lord is not offended at our multi-tasking. Pray when you wash the dishes, worship on your morning jog, pray with your spouse walking the dog in the park, sing in the spirit whenever you drive. We strive for extended periods alone with Jesus, but sometimes the stage of life we are in demands time to be offered in multiple little chunks while we stand , run, walk, drive, or rock a baby to sleep. There is no prescribed way to spend extravagant time with Jesus. The Bible and prayer are, of course, the foundations, but in those and from those there is much variety. God made you unique, and your rhythm and season of life will likely be much different from mine. The point is to enjoy Jesus and to give Him extravagant daily time. However that works best for you … go for it! To live dead is as much about living for and with Jesus as it is about dying to self. Thus the Live Dead challenge centers on Jesus. Jesus is our everything. Giving Jesus extravagant daily time will “life” you. His life in you will give you the courage and desire to die to self. The result will not only be inward joy, it will also be outward blessing— even to the uttermost parts and unreached peoples of the earth."
AG World Missions (2012-09-28). Live Dead Journal: 30 Days of Prayer for Unreached Peoples, 30 Days of Challenge (Kindle Locations 142-153). Influence Resources. Kindle Edition. 

To be fair, this book is not about "how many ways you can spend time with Jesus if you're busy". It's 30-day meditation journal and praying for an unreached people group.* Fantastic book so far. How amazing is this section? How much peace does that give you? And that's only the intro.

God's grace is always there. Whether Logan wakes up when she should be sleeping or OR Payton is begging for us to play with her OR I am falling asleep on the couch while watching our TV shows together as a couple OR sleeping in past my alarm that I sent early so I can read OR leaving work work late and having to rush home OR missing that quiet time I thought I could have over lunch, but a meeting got scheduled instead - God covers that with grace and knows that I want time with him. 

So, while I try to figure out a routine for this new stage of life, it's comforting to know that God understands this multi-tasking-praying-thing. It's also good to know that God isn't keeping count of the mornings I wake up and spend with Him versus the nights I stay awake or the lunches versus the commute time. He wants us thinking and talking to Him all the time. Through all of this, I find myself wondering what I may be able to give up. What can you give up? What can we give up together where we pray to God instead of doing something else? Listening to music in the car? Pray instead. Watching one last tv show? Read the bible instead. Sleeping 15 more minutes? Worship instead. And really, what does 15 minutes do but send you farther into the sleep-drugged state you're in already? Right? 

This whole post came about because of this song I love. Multiplied by NEEDTOBREATHE. "God of mercy sweet love of mine, I have surrendered to your design. May this offering spread across the skies and these hallelujahs be multiplied". Read those words again. That hits home. That is my prayer ... that the short little snippets of time I find in the random parts of my day be multiplied and that I challenge myself to make the best effort in this stage of life I'm in. 

*Here's a summary of The LIVE DEAD Journal: "To live dead is to live life wholly for Jesus. To die to the self is to know God will do a greater work through you and to announce the life of God among those who are unreached. This journal, in 30-day meditations, examines character-based mission among those unengaged by the Gospel. Each day includes an informed way to pray for an unreached people in East Africa and a challenge to live and die for Jesus in order that He might be made famous among all peoples of Earth."

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Funny Faces

We've been doing this since she was a year and a half old and I still love the first one best :) Can't wait to add her sister into these!
















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Baby #2 Update : Weeks 28-31

WEEKS 29 & 29 // 7.29.14
Week 28: This was a big week! We started our bi-weekly doctor appointments and guess what we found out?? You're breech! Just like your big sister. We'll see if you stay that way! 
Week 29: We traveled to Colorado this week! This marks the last time we'll go anywhere until you're born. That was another milestone for my mental state :) at the VERY end of the week, you moved! Goodness, it didn't feel good- wondering if you're going to stay in this new position or move back. You're basically trying to kick out of my stomach and the feeling of the kicks or jabs will randomly make me gasp. Chill, child! We have a few weeks to go!!
WEEKS 30 & 31 // 8.11.14
Week 30: You turned! Wow, I could tell. The movements completely changed and they did NOT feel good. Sometimes your movements would make me gasp, but it's all good! I just push you back in ;) 
Week 31: Sleeping is hard. Breathing is hard. Things are just getting hard! I also feel a lot bigger this week. It's absolutely crazy to think how close your due date is. We're making steps on moving Payton into her new room so you can have the nursery! It's becoming very real and we cannot wait to meet you :) you're still nameless...although Payton still thinks your name is Ariel...or Payton Thomas :)

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Baby #2 Update : Weeks 24-27

 WEEKS 24 & 25 // 6.30.14
Week 24: Had an appointment this week and heard your heartbeat! She said she'll probably check next time to make sure nothing has started in the labor process since your sister was early. You are going to be here before we know it!!!! Payton's not in this weeks picture because she was playing her little heart out with sweet PG! It was nice alone time for mommy.
Week 25: I definitely feel different this week! Trying to breathe...also trying to figure out how to track any "contractions" I may be having. Who knows. You are a kicker! Geez Louise. We can see you moving around everyday. Payton can hardly stand her excitement. She runs up to hug my stomach everyday! She's extra happy this week because she was with Kayla the whole time!! So. Much. Fun!

WEEKS 26 & 27 // 7.15.14
Week 26: Kick! Jab! Contraction? Maybe! Maybe not. When I was pregnant with Payton, I had her 10 weeks from this week. That seems crazy! She started dance class this week - can't wait for you to join her! 
Week 27: Wow, I feel bigger this week! I feel a lot of movement all over and at times. Sometimes, it seems like you're moving every part of your body, as fast as you can, for about a minute! Your Nebraska family got to see how much you've grown this week since Payton and I visited. They are all excited to meet you! Oh, and Payton has decided to name you Ariel :)

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Baby #2 Update : Weeks 20-23

WEEKS 20 & 21 // 6.1.14
Week 20: HALF WAY! How did that happen?? We had an routine ultrasound at the hospital this week. Good thing it was there because if we were going there for the first time in labor, we'd probably have you in the car. That place is HUGE. So many buildings. So little signage. Best news of all- you look perfect 
Week 21: Goodness, you're a mover! I feel you mostly at night, when I'm laying down. If Payton would keep her hand on my belly for more than half a second, she may be able to feel you! You moved this week causing me to chug sprite and look bigger! Things are definitely starting to change from week to week now. Yay!

WEEKS 22 & 23 // 6.16.14
Week 22 :: Shortness of breath has returned. Lots of kicking. She's definitely awake when I go to sleep! 
Week 23 :: Seeing kicks now!! Seems so early! Sick all week. 

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Baby #2 Update : Weeks 16-19

WEEKS 16 & 17 // 5.4.14
Week 16: Ultrasound found that you're breech! We also could NOT get a good view of you because your spiny back was toward us :) So, girl confirmation will have to wait, but I'm pretty sure you are. 
Week 17: Feeling pretty normal now with the exception of shortness of breath. Feeling kicks everyday!!! Can't wait for Matt and Payton to feel :) Payton does not love taking pictures. Hahaha! So I take the best of maybe 2. Week 16 is my fave so far. Mid-sneeze 

WEEKS 18 & 19 // 5.19.14
Week 18: feeling much more normal now. Not tired. Not sick. Feeling good and love feeling the baby :) Payton hugs and kisses the baby daily! 
Week 19: had a surprise ultrasound this week! My doctor confirmed it's a girl!! And she's still breech. Feeling kicks more and more throughout the day now. Onto week 20!! Half way...what?!

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