this past month has been a time of tearing down and building up, spiritually speaking. i have been getting bogged down by my sin, discouragement about my personality and disappointments with ministry (not seeing a lot of life change in people). reading a book about being introverted was helpful in some ways, but also a difficult internal struggle to grapple with the limitations of my personality (especially since all the ministry roles i value are designed for extroverts) and understanding better the misconceptions and stereotypes our extroverted society has for introverts. i want to be thankful for the way that God designed me, but its a struggle at times. at the same time, i have been praying a lot about the lack of growth (spiritually) in my ministry to others. am i doing something sinful that i need to repent of? do i need to learn better methodology? do i just keep slugging away because ministry is slow? these are the things i have been asking God. i don't know the answers yet. but reading a book about the innovative missionary to china hudson taylor has been an encouragement spiritually speaking, to see his faith in God for everything and his relationship with God that allowed him to say "i sacrificed nothing" after years of what most people would consider immense sacrifice. i need to trust God with people's souls more. i need to pray for them more. Lord, give me the grace.
speaking of reading, i have finally gotten back into reading, and its been such a breath of fresh air. i love reading, but for some reason since baby girl came to us, i have started 5-10 books and couldn't finish them (or even get more than a couple chapters in). this is rare for me. but recently i picked up several books at the library that were enjoyable easy reads, and it helped get me back into things. now my relaxation time is spent reading, and not on the computer (hence the lack of any blog posts for many weeks!), which i find to ultimately be much more refreshing. in the past few weeks i have read extremely loud and incredibly close, the introvert advantage, shopping for time, growing a farmer and right now i am in the middle of hudson taylor's spiritual secret and knowing God. each one has been a blessing, encouragement and informative in different ways.
baby girl continues to capture our hearts. she has totally surpassed her fussy stage and has moved right on to the sweetheart stage. she loves to laugh and she can't move yet so she doesn't cause any trouble. so, at this point, she's basically perfect. :) the lil' chunker has gained five pounds in the past two months, and has almost blown through one whole clothing size in a few weeks. her visits with her mom are progressing and going well. she and esther grow closer day by day, which is bittersweet. i love their relationship, their friendship. but my heart also breaks to know that there is no way to tell esther that her sister is not a forever-sister. at the same time, it is such confirmation that we were *not* crazy to get another baby so soon, and we look forward to the day that God blesses esther with a forever-sibling (we hope many forever-siblings).
esther continues to capture our hearts, but in a different way. every day she tries out new words, figures out new furniture that she can climb onto, or does a new motion to one of the songs we sing together. she continues to think that "pwee" (please) is a command for us to give her whatever she wants, rather than a request for us to grant her what she wants. and the louder she says it, the faster we will give it (or so she thinks). she loves to do what i have termed "nurse-nastics", standing up and doing a dance while on my lap nursing. she has an uncanny habit of mimicking our most mundane actions, like clearing her throat, blowing on her food to cool it down (even when its cold yogurt), wiping baby girl with the baby wipes and offering her hand to hold when praying before a meal. seeing her copy these seemingly insignificant actions is a sober reminder that she will also be copying our most important actions. Lord, give me more grace.
march's life goal was to take a self-defense class. it didn't happen. i did email the guy i want to take the class from, but never heard back (i think its an old email address). i also have a phone number and another email, but i haven't tried those yet... my fault. so it didn't happen, though i kinda tried. i still want to do it, hopefully soon.
on the upside, i have already accomplished april's goal, and started on may's goal. my april goal is to plant a new crop and i have already planted beets, peas and cabbage (in addition to tomatoes, spinach, basil and lettuce). my may goal is to sew some simple clothes, and i went to the store to buy the material today, and hope to start cutting the fabric as soon as it comes out of the dryer (i hate the pre-shrinking stage! i always want to start things right away and i always have to wash it first :P )
so that was march in our home. what did you do last month?