State of the Goad’s

Ivy is just about 3 months old and we are feeling so blessed to be entrusted with her.  I am extremely tired most of the time but I didn’t expect this to be any different.  The Lord mercifully answered our prayers for a good little sleeper and I am incredibly grateful!  I thought I’d write about how we are surviving these days.  Motherhood is an incredible blessing and is incredibly exhausting.  Being a mom with a chronic illness is extremely challenging and sanctifying.  I am called to be a joyful mom despite how I feel physically.  Thankfully, the Lord is using my weakness to continue to keep me relying on Him for the strength and grace to persevere in this joyful, but difficult calling.

Here are a few of the keys to our survival.

1.  Morning Help – Keith, my faithful husband, has woken up early with Lillian since she was born (mornings are difficult for me).  Now, 3 years later, he wakes up, gets her ready and he takes her to preschool 3 mornings a week.  On the other mornings he is teaching her to read and to memorize Bible verses/catechize.  This helps me to get extra rest and to have some special time with Ivy.

2.  Naptime – We’ve trained Lillian to stay in her room for 2 hours of quiet time.  Sometimes she falls to sleep and sometimes she plays “quietly.”  At times it sounds like a party in there but we’re working on it  =)  It’s been tricky scheduling the girls naps together but I usually get about an hour to nap.  If Ivy is awake I just put her play gym next to me and she plays while I rest lying flat.  (Here’s a pic of Lil when I went to get her up from naptime recently…)

3. Grocery Shopping Service – We are utilizing Harris Teeter’s grocery shopping service these days.  It’s a huge help to me as shopping for groceries takes a lot of energy.  (During the summer we are a part of a produce co-op and pick up our share weekly)

3.  Easy dinners – I’ve been using our crockpot almost nightly.  I’ve found a bunch of really good recipes that require very little prep which equals very little energy on my part.  If I were to make a typical dinner that requires prep at dinner time,  I would end up crashing and not being able to enjoy my family in the evenings.  I plan to post some of our recent favorite recipes soon.

4.  Outside help –

Family: Our moms stayed with us for about the first 6 weeks.  I have no idea how we would’ve made it without them (thank you Debbie and Mom!).  My mom has been continuing to come once a week to help clean and keep up with laundry, etc.  Such a blessing!

Friends: We have numerous wonderful friends who are constantly offering to help – especially with childcare.  A huge help!

5.  Giving up on perfection – I really crave order and tend to be a perfectionist.  Messes drive me nuts!  I have to daily let this go.  It’s a battle for me, but the Lord is using it to sanctify me.  Having a clean and orderly home, most of the time, just can’t happen during this season.  I’m trying to see the messes as signs that I am blessed with 3 lives to pour into and to love.

These are a few of the things that help our family to keep up these days.  We are truly blessed!

Gripped by fear or dwelling in His house?

As my due date approaches, I’ve found myself in a constant battle of putting off sin.  I’ve allowed myself at times to be gripped by fear, and it hasn’t been pretty.  The months following Lillian’s birth were some of the hardest I’ve ever experienced.  My body felt as if it was shutting down and it was really scary.  My emotions were all over the place and I found myself often feeling a sense of despair.  Here I was with this precious gift from God, my little girl, and in a sense felt like the early weeks/months were a whirlwind of pure survival.  I realize every mom experiences “survival mode” and emotions that don’t make sense, but this was so intense that I often have to run to the Lord with the thoughts and feelings that accompanied this time of great trial.

As I approach another delivery, the battle has begun.  Will I trust the Lord and His plan for me?  Will I trust that even the most difficult of days are for my good?  In a sense I feel badly that I even have this battle.  After losing a precious child to a miscarriage last summer it seems almost ridiculous to be approaching this season with anything but joy and thanksgiving – yet, the reality that my body may not respond well is so real and feels so near.

I’ve been trying to prep my heart and mind for this season.  Listing out verses of truth to fight the lies that will try to creep in and arming myself with songs to make my meditation.  One thing that’s come out of these efforts, as of late, is the realization that the answer to fear and anxiety is immediately turning to God in prayer.  It seems so simple, yet I so often dwell on my fears first, not bow in prayer.  Phil. 4:6 has been ringing in my heart, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Will you pray for me that I will trust my loving, faithful God and quickly turn to Him in everything?  Over the next few weeks/months I’d love to hear (through comments or personal emails) verses/songs of comfort, courage, truth, peace that will help draw my heart and mind to where they are called to be, humbly bowing before my Savior in complete trust.

Psalm 27

“1 The Lord is my light and my salvation —
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked advance against me
    to devourme,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

Then my head will be exalted
    above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
    be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face! ”
    Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
    do not turn your servant away in anger;
    you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
    God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
    the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
    lead me in a straight path
    because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
    for false witnesses rise up against me,
    spouting malicious accusations.

13 I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.”

 

It’s a girl!!

So sorry for the delay!  We’ve been busy!  I’ll post some Easter Pictures and pic’s from Lillian’s 3rd Birthday party soon as well.  First things first though, we’re excited to announce that we’re having another girl!  So thankful that all is looking good with this sweet baby so far.  Praising the Lord for His many blessings to us!

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Rewarding

Lillian just finally put together what “Thank You” means.  I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to give her something like a cup of milk and hear her say “thank” (as she says, along with the sign for it) without any prompting.  Yes, it probably took 2,000 times of me prompting her, but it is oh so rewarding!  =)

These pic’s are from last weekend when we went to the house of a family from church.  They’ve got tons of animals and even beagle puppies.  Lil is still talking about it!