Thursday, October 22, 2009

remembering the birthdays past as I press onto my 30s

This is my last day "in my twenties". Tomorrow I cross over to the thirties. Today I glance over my shoulder, reliving the past ten years [20-29].

I burst out of my teenage years and into the bright and sunny twenties while attending York College. My sister Rachel flew into York, NE to celebrate the big 2-0.

When I turned the legal-drinking-age of 21, we snuck away to Hutchinson, KS so I could use my new purchasing and legal drinking powers. Wink-wink. We're the "good girls" so the damage was pretty minimal.

I don't remember turning 22... But, my 23rd birthday will never be forgotten!! That year, we really celebrated. My dear college friend, Autumn, and my dear friend/sister, Rachel, and I flew down to Ft. Lauderdale, FL for three days of sunbathing and ocean floating. Ah, bliss. We split fancy appetizers at the local restaurant; got sea-sick from floating in the waves for hours at a time; shewed away the tiny fish from the hot pink bows on our swim suits; and lit birthday candles on the beach in the dark. Beautiful, precious memories. Thank, girls! [Oh, and Happy Birthday to my Autumn Brooke!]

My 24th birthday was the first one to celebrate with my amazing and handsome husband. We thought I was pregnant, but the pregnancy test was negative. However, we conceived our firstborn two weeks later, discovering the pregnancy on Thanksgiving Day 2003 [seven months after our wedding].


Isaiah was about three months old when I turned 25 years old. My sweet Duckie friends traveled from NE to TX to celebrate with me. I dyed my hair blond.


I blew out 26 candles while sporting a huge, nine-month-pregnant belly with little Rose inside my womb. Rose was born three days later on October 26th. What a precious birthday gift from the Lord.


By my 27th birthday, I was pregnant again. My Lela Mae was busy growing and making herself known inside of me. We celebrated Rose turning one year old. I do not remember how we celebrated my birthday. Probably my favorite way, with a date!

I felt great when I turned 28! I had lost about twenty pounds of pregnancy weight, I wasn't pregnant and I just felt like ME! The actual birthday day, Jason was working. So, Rachel [who had moved in a few months earlier] and my sweet friend Lindsey helped me celebrate around our tiny dining room table. A week later Jason whisked me off for an overnight birthday gift. We also bought a guitar for me. [Sadly, I don't use that $350 guitar anymore... but, it sure is pretty.] And, I dyed my hair red. It was a great birthday!


Twenty-ninth birthday was eerily similar to my 26th. I was hugely pregnant again, this time with Samuel James. We celebrated my birthday with a sweet dinner to my favorite Italian restaurant and a movie. My belly ached and I contracted the whole birthday date, hoping so much to go into labor. Five days later, Samuel James was born. Another birthday gift from the Lord.


One year later, we prepare for three birthdays. Rose is turning four, Samuel will turn one, and I will be 30 years old. I am not pregnant. [hee-hee] We are planning a BIG Birthday Party on Sunday for all three of us.

It has been a good decade. So many intense blessings. I thank God for the gifts of my 20s and for the things he has taught me. Tomorrow, I step into the unknown world of 30s. I am encouraged by the beautiful women around me who are in their 30s.


Good-bye 20s; hello 30s!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

this and that and a but

There's a change abrewing. Can you feel it in the air? Just as Autumn's crips winds blow across the land and color the leaves, our lives are turning. We may not be long for Virginia.... But, I'll keep you posted.

Jason is working the "swing shift". I am alone in the evenings. Perhaps I'll have more time to write. I hope so. I miss it. Life overflows and pushes out my hobbies.

Although, I did get a beautiful doggie. She's gorgeous. One [of many] birthday presents for my big 3-0 birthday was a little cocker spaniel puppy. We named her Wendy. I love her. I know, I know I have enough to do with four small children. BUT, I wanted a dog. Go figure.

OH yes, speaking of "BUT"... Try to explain to a four-year-old why it's OK to say "but" but not "butt". We don't say "butt" in our house, but we do say "but". Rose totally does not get it. I'll be talking and innocently insert the word "but" and she'll squeal "you said BUTT!" We went around and around about but vs butt to no avail. Oh well.

FYI

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

un-noticed treasures

Do you ever feel un-noticed? Oh, sure, they know we're there, but sometimes I feel like all the many things I do for my kids go un-noticed.

Today I take heart. Today, God hit me with His Word. Check it out:

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.....But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." -Matthew 6:1,3,4

Now, I know Jesus is not talking about mothering [specifically], but more doing good things for the "needy". But, I think this scripture really can apply to motherhood. After all, aren't our children needy? I know they sure do NEED me. "Momma, I'm hungry!" "I'm thirsty!" "I need to go potty!" "WAH!!" OH yes, quite needy.

Sometimes, doesn't it feel like your right hand doesn't know what your left hand is doing? Passing the juicy cup while you're diapering the squirmy baby can be quite confusing.

It is OK that the kids don't always notice because God notices. God sees what is done "in secret", in the privacy of my busy home. He sees the loading and the unloading of the dishwasher. He sees me scrubbing the toilet bowl and wiping pee of the floor several times a day. God sees me washing all those loads and loads of laundry. It may go un-noticed here on earth, but not in Heaven.

Jesus also says, "Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven." [Matt. 6:20] Motherhood offers me many opportunities to store up treasures in heaven. There, my work will pay off. My work of serving and teaching my children. What treasures my children will be in Heaven!

Fellow Mommies, know that we are noticed! God sees us. Keep up the good work. Teach and admonish and train your children. You are storing up treasures in Heaven!

revolutionary love

I have experienced revolutionary love. Love with no strings attached. Jesus Christ loves me and made a way for me to have a relationship with the One True God. God desires a relationship with you, too. If you have yet to experience this revolutionary love, please email me at jandjkeys@hotmail.com so I can share this amazing experience with you. Blessings, -Jess