Monday, March 24, 2014

"there could be worse things...."

Today is Monday.

I feel grumpy.

I was going to write a post about all the things I'm grumpy about, but I instead have decided I should find something to be thankful for.  Because, as you know, there is MUCH to be thankful for.

Asher was jumping in his jumper and screaming for no reason. I at first thought it was funny.  Then I after several minutes decided it wasn't so funny anymore.  I found myself telling him, "It's ok to scream, but if you're not upset and there's nothing really to scream about we should be happy and laugh instead of scream.  Laughing is more fun!" **insert fake laugh here"".

Maybe Asher wanted to get my attention.  Every time he screamed I would look at him and he would smile.  This I didn't like either.  I also told him, "If you want to get my attention cutie pie, say, 'mama', don't scream.". And I said it with a smile. But he smiled at me, jumped and when I looked away he screamed again.

I wonder if I scream at God like that.  Lately I feel He is distant.  Not distant like He's not providing etc.  but distant like I want to feel His Love.  Somedays I want to scream at Him.  "OVER HERE! I'M RIGHT HERE LOOKING AT YOU! DO YOU SEE ME?". A part of me things the winter is too cold for eye gazing.  He's off (like most of my other friends will soon be) basking in the sunny states while we are here, getting the news, that snow is coming tomorrow and by friday we will have freezing rain.  Yes.  It's a real forecast.

But as I was thinking about all of this and the feeling the Monday blues, I turned on my water to rinse off a potato.  That's when it hit me, I have running water.

I'm so thankful, for running water.  I almost burst into tears because I was so thankful for running water.

Earlier I was looking online to see if we could afford renting a house somewhere in our area.  I checked everywhere I could in a 20 mile radius.  The truth is, we could sort of afford maybe one of them.  But it was in horrible shape.  And I didn't feel that at this time we should make that move.  So here we remain for now.

When I want to take a shower, I go into my bathroom and turn on the water.  Hot water comes out and I can take as long as I want.  I could probably stay in there at least 30 minutes if I wanted.  It's all water for me.  Clean water.  I could drink it if needed, but I just let it pour over my body and run down the drain.  Because at any time during my day I can go back in there turn the faucet and get more.  That's A-MAZING.

780 million people in the world lack access to clean water.  I think that is so strange.  Cuz I live in a country where anyone can go into a restroom at a gas station and use the bathroom, turn the faucet, and get a drink of water.  Some cities have public drinking fountains or fountains you can swim or sit in. FOR FREE!

780 million people in the world lack access to clean water. Thats more than 2 1/2 times the United States population.  2 and 1/2 TIMES!  That's stupid. We have enough water that is being wasted every day.  And I have to believe that God makes enough water for the whole world to drink clean water.  So what's the deal?  water.  a basic thing.  Maybe I should do something.  Maybe I should help.  Even a little helps.

Something to be thankful for indeed.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Onetimeblind retreat


We are on our way to spend the weekend away refocusing and writing for the ministry. I'm asking everyone to please keep us in your prayers as we pray for leading and creativity. 

Thank you! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 - what's a goal?

Happy New Year!

Here we are 2014~  what to do...

Now that I'm well into life with a baby, I'm starting to feel like is there more for me to do. As the new year rolled over I began to wonder what God has for me this year.  I contemplate this year, and there are a few things that I REALLY want to do this year, and a few things that I've realized I have to change/get used to as a new mom.  So a list of goals for 2014.

1. God. 
 I've realized to pursue God I have to be intentional.  I very much want to do a bible study, but with my work schedule I'm unsure how this is going to happen.  I'm looking for a night study, or a Friday morning study.  I'm a study girl, and I work well in bible studies.  So hopefully I will find one soon.  
Sit with Him. I need to do this more. Quiet time. Refocus. Read scripture etc.  
Read the Word. I do try to do this every day, but sometimes it doesn't speak to me.  I do it anyway. That's important.

2. Organized. 
I want a place for everything and a system for my life.  I'm recognizing my time will forever be divided now and I have to live on more of a system.  There are only so many hours in the day and Asher and work take up most of them! 

3. Lists.  Short & Sweet. 
Things need to be to the point.  Less words.  And crossing things off makes me feel like I'm accomplishing things.

4. Memories/Journaling.
 I want to do a Project Life system.  Its a simple way of scrapbooking and will work well in my life right now.  Then I can enjoy creating and not always feel like I'm behind.  
I want to blog and write in my journal at least once a month if not every other week. 

5. Write. 
I want to focus on 3 books this year and will create weekly time to do so.
     a. Children's book
     b. onetimeblind book
     c. my memoirs

6. Home/Health/Finances/Cleaning.
Oh the home. I'm trying to purge and live with less. 
I want things to be clean, but I'm not so good at that, so I'm trying to find money in the budget for a cleaning lady. I know that sounds crazy, but with Asher I just need things to be clean. I do ok with the kitchen, but when I see the dust in Asher's bedroom I feel guilty.  And don't get me started on the NASTY bathrooms....but truth be told, I will probably continue to avoid it and clean myself when necessary (= when company comes). 
I'm figuring out our financial goals.  They are challenging as Drew is in grad school and we now have Asher.  We would like to save for a house, but that goal might be put off a few years as we can't really save for a downpayment right now. All in God's time. 
Cooking. So I'm trying to put together meals once a week and not have to think about it the rest of the week.  This works OK if I have nothing else going on in my life.  It's also harder in the winter, but I will continue to strive for good, healthy meals.  I think this is a life goal that will never change. lol. 

7. Drew.
Sigh.  I wish I had 1000 days and nights to spend with Drew in Hawaii.  Or home.  Or anywhere! I really want to have a date night with Drew.  We both need it and it needs to be a priority.  Asher is still breastfeeding and wont yet take a bottle, so that makes it hard.  Also by the time we get home from work we are tired etc. But regardless, this needs to happen at least every other week.

8. Asher's World.
I love this kid. I want him to experience life to the full!  I want him to have a happy mom and dad.  I want him to get good food and good sleep.  I want him to learn about God and the life and people around him.  I want him to do cool crafts. ;)  I want him to have a schedule but also experience new things often.  This is my hope for Asher this year!

9. Say No. Stay Home. 
Over the past few weeks I've gotten so much done around the home.  I know the reason is because I didn't go anywhere.  I stayed home and organized and just got stuff done.  We also saved money because every time we leave the house we tend to buy something.  So going to try to continue to say, "No" more and say "Yes" to sanity.  And stay home.  :)

Hoping these goals for 2014 go smoothly with adjustments along the way.  What are YOUR goals?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas time is here.....

2013 Christmas is HERE!!!!  and boy did it come quickly.

Before we talk about that...there's a special Happy Day I wish to wish to my lovely husband.  Drew is awesome.  I can't explain how much I love this man that God has given me.  We celebrated 16 years (to which he reminded me the years cuz I can't remember anything anymore) a few days ago and I'm so thankful.  He takes care of Asher and I, he works several jobs that he actually loves and is always asking me if I need help or if I'm ok.  I'm so thankful to live this wonderful, crazy life with the man who made me a Smith.


We are celebrating our Christmas at my sisters house this year.  I haven't been here since last year January shortly after we found out we were pregnant.  When we were visiting I started bleeding and I was 5 hours from home and feeling nervous about the possibilities of miscarrying.  11 months later I sit here with my teething baby filled with joy, hope and love.  God is so good.

I know every year is different.  I know not all years are happy and filled with God's wonder.  I know it's not this happy for lots of people.  And I know we will continue to have our ups and downs. But this year, for us, we are living in a hopeful believing world filled with carmel corn and giggles and we are loving it.

I do wish the rest of my family was with us. I hate celebrating holidays without my brothers & Aiko. :(
Things in life are good.  It seems the holidays came so fast and before I knew it I was back to work. Asher is in daycare, and it's not easy, but it's ok.  The first week was horrible.  It's been stressful for me a little because Asher wont eat from a bottle yet.  I just can't get him to like it.  He goes to daycare close to where I work so I go feed him twice a day.  I don't mind as I like seeing him, but it does take away from work, and I'm not sure how long I will be allowed to do it.  So we keep trying and praying. Asher is irresistibly cute and so it's hard to force him to do anything.  I mean, he's on a schedule, but he's such an easy going baby the only time he cries is when he's really tired or when he wakes up hungry.  (which is only in the morning) Although lately he's been teething and so that is a new world of pain that we are both trying to figure out.  Did I mention how cute he is? Oh. My. Word.

So I have a week off for the holidays and Drew and I are spending the first part with my sisters family and the second with Drew's family.  We hope to see my little bro one day too.  I'm thankful for the holidays, but I always look forward to that time when Christmas is over and New Years has past and we are now just in the boring winter months.  Although they seem long once March gets here, I do like the slower pace of life.  I always try to organize and regroup for the new year.  I feel this year has been about learning so many new things.  So many experiences I never thought I would have.  So many products I never thought I would use. Wisdom I only heard about from friends. Such an interesting year.  I know I will continue to learn new things as Asher grows and I learn what it means to be a mom and a wife in a new way.  I don't always feel like I'm doing the best, but other moms tell me that's my new normal and that I'm doing a great job.  I've learned about the mom guilt and how bad I feel when I forget something with Asher.  I worry that he's not getting enough sleep, or food, or play time. I worry that I don't know what to do when he's sick or when he's sad.  I know I just take each day as it comes, but it's a constant struggle to not think about it or be obsessed by it. I've also realized that I don't want to live in regret or guilt. I don't believe that's the way it's supposed to be.  Was that part of Eve's curse?  Did she live in guilt her whole life and pass it on to all mothers for the rest of time?  Maybe so, but I also believe Jesus died so I didn't have to live in that curse anymore.  So, I am trying to train myself at an early stage to not hold on to guilt.  If any of you know the secret let me know. :)

Well, it's 11:46pm and Santa is about to arrive.  Then I can go to bed as I'm a bit tired.  We've already spread the reindeer food, placed Santa's cookies and watched for Santa on the Santa cam.  Now, we play Santa and put out the gifts.  I'm excited to see how Asher feels tomorrow.  But I also know he will basically think it's a normal day.  Cuz every day in Asher's World is amazing! He wakes up happy, gets food, gets love, gets smiles, gets clean diapers and fun toys.  Asher's World is an amazing place to live.  I pray it's always like that for him. Well, at least as long as we can keep it that way as we know these things don't last forever.  But tomorrow we celebrate!

Merry Christmas everyone! my new normal fashion all things are late.  Here are a few Christmas photos as well!
pps: I'm posting an Asher Blog too.  He has a few things to say...


merry christmas baby!

part of the family...max didn't want to smile :)
reindeer food


AMAZING gift painted by Aiko!  

scarf by Kari

Present Time!
Gingerbread houses - family tradition!

And to all a good night!

Monday, November 11, 2013

This is a test

So...I'm sitting in a chair rocking Asher back to sleep as he's not the best sleeper. He wrestles in my arms now and yawns. He's a good sleeper. A horrible napper. So I thought I would see if I can post while rocking. So far so good.... 

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Many lessons

Traveling with friends over the past 18 years has taught me a lot.  Traveling with their kids has taught me even more. I knew that having Asher I would learn so many things, but there are things that we know that we just forget until we are in the situation again.

Yesterday I was meeting a friend at 1pm.  I knew getting Asher ready, feeding, clothes, diapers etc. would take time so I gave myself plenty of time to get him ready.  I fed him with plenty of time.  I put on new clothes as we were going in public.  (can't stay in our jammies forever) Then I changed his diaper.  This all is normal.  Then he pooped.  Again, has happened before..annoying, but normal.  I got him all ready and...pooped again.  UGH...ok. ok....changed him again.  Got everything I needed, keys, diaper bag, baby, water and then I was out to the car.  Then Asher starts screaming.  For no apparent reason he's just upset.  I don't know why.  He loves being outside. I held him for a minute and he puked.  Then I put him in his car seat and he screamed louder.  Then I took him out and took off his cute little jacket thinking he might be too warm.  Then he puked all down the front of me.  White, curdled milk.  Yes, curdled.  Yes, little pieces of my breast milk sticking all over me, the car and Asher.  And yes, he's still crying.  I wiped us all down, and decided we are now late (15 min late) and I guess I will just put him in his seat and go. So I did.  I put him in the seat and as soon as I started driving (I mean, 10 seconds after we started) he stopped crying and fell asleep.

I realized sometimes in life when things seems so out of control and you try everything you know to fix it and it still is spinning, there are times you just have to make the decision to move forward.  And sometimes if you can just make that decision God shows up and brings Peace to your chaotic world in just a matter of seconds.  Mostly because you didn't give up, you just kept going.  He's so honoring. So even though life may seem hard at times or if we are going through a season that seems to never end, the best thing to do is turn the key, put it in drive and move forward.

I went to the store yesterday looking for jeans.  My after baby body is pretty awkward right now and it's messing with my mind and self esteem.  This weekend we have a onetimeblind program (thus the reason for looking for clothes that fit) in Indiana . I asked Drew who agreed to this show one month after having a baby and he told me I did.  Hmmm...I don't recall....but I know he's probably right.  It's true about pregnant women being out of their minds most of the time.  It's also true that I don't remember 1/2 of what goes on in my life.  But if I would've known the crazy intense pain of childbirth and the challenges of taking care of a newborn, I would've canceled all onetimeblind things for the rest of the year!  But - God calls us, so we are going.  Then I realized my body image was the least of my worries.  What to do with Asher?!?!?!

While traveling over the years I have watched Laura give birth to 4 babies.  I have watch her as she's come back on the road after 1 month and marched on stage to do drama at conferences across the country.  And do it 3 times a week as we traveled full time back then.  There were several times that we had a nanny to watch the baby, but there were several times that we did not.  I watched Laura as she would hand her new born baby to a stranger after asking the sponsor if there was a grandmother figure that he trusted that could watch her baby while we were on stage.  Just thinking about her doing this puts a lump in my throat.  Feeling like I'm expected to do the same makes me want to die inside. Asher sleeps next to our bed. A friend came and stayed with us once and she watched him in the other room one night so I could sleep.  That was hard for me although the sleep was life changing. I like to have him close to me.  I like to see him breathing.  I like to hear him squirm a bit.  I like to have him close.  Laura is my hero.  To have faith and trust God enough to hand her little one to someone because she has to go onstage to do drama is beyond my ability to trust.  And so this past week I've wrestled with my trust level with God.

I read up on the story where God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac.  God gave Abraham a command.  Abraham didn't question him, he just gathered wood, made Isaac carry it and then in a far off place took the rope they had and bound his own son that God had promised him.  And Isaac let him.  Abraham actually lifted the knife to kill his promised son.  Nope, can't imagine.  How could he do this?  God's new command totally negates the earlier promises he had made to Abraham.  If I was Abraham, that fact alone would make me think it wasn't God speaking to me.  I would want a HUGE sign.  Clearly God can do big signs so he could've done that for Abraham.  But Abraham just trusted him.  WHY?!?!?!?

The scripture tells us it's because he knew God was big.  He understood his ability to redeem things. He knew his story wasn't over and that no matter what God said to do, He is true to His Word and would make all things work together for his glory and to the glory and outcome of Abrahams life.  Abraham knew God could raise Isaac from the dead.

That's trust.

I'm praying for even a tiny bit of trust like that with the Lord.  I didn't realize I was going to have to learn to let my baby go so early.  I thought I would have to let him go when he turns 18 and goes to college, or maybe even when he first rides his bike to the store or something like that.  But to let him go at 3 weeks? Yeah, I guess I have to always keep in mind that he is Kingdom property.  He doesn't belong to me anyway.  I'm so thankful to watch over him, but God has a plan for this kid.  I am involved in it but I am not the plan.

God in all his love and understanding randomly had a friend of mine text me to see if we needed help for this onetimeblind program.  So now we have someone we trust going to watch Asher.  I'm so thankful God loves me. I'm thankful He knows my limits and walks with me in them.  I love that He is patient and kind to me.  And I'm praying this weekend will be filled with joy and God's presence as we minister to Jr. High students.

So many lessons to learn in this new season.  I'm sure this is just the beginning.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Asher Harris Arrives!

I'm here and surviving!  Sigh...these past few weeks have been like living in a dream.  Not like trip to Hawaii dream, but dream like, 'is this my life?' kinda dream.  I'm learning new norms.  

I've created a new blog called Ashers World so I can blog just about him there and keep this one for other subjects as well.  If you would like to read and keep up on Asher here's the blog address for him:

The New Norm

It's 10:30 and if I was at work I would be drinking water, working and waiting 30 more minutes for my apple break.  I would be reminding myself that I need to get up and walk around because my feet are swollen and circulation is good for the baby and for my body.  I would be laughing and listening with co-workers about what's going on in our lives.  We would be living it out together in a way.  Our lunch hour was 1pm.  We would be done working most days by 4pm.  Drew and I would either grab dinner or go home for dinner and then rest and enjoy the evening together.  This was the old norm.  It's strange how your life literally can change in just a few days or less.  I know this well from other events in my life, but Asher's birth has once again reminded me that we are now entering a new norm. 
My life now consists of praying that I'm doing the right things so I don't mess up this LIFE that has been given to us.  I'm on an every 2 hour norm.  Feed, Wake, Sleep.  That's the goal.  I'm entering the world of late night parties with wide eyed baby, wet everything (my clothes, his clothes, burp cloths, furniture, pants etc) one priority, fast showers, dr. appts, messiness and the most amazing little boy I could imagine.  Yes, I know things will get better with time and as I figure out this new norm it will become..well...normal.  It's just so strange to be a part of this world and know that so many have gone before me and understand this transition so well.  The strange thing is even though I'm wet and tired and wish I could be sleeping instead of feeding in the middle of the night, it's in the middle of the night that he is so cute to me.  I look down and little Asher is staring at me with those cute little eyes and it makes everything else fade away.  In that one moment I would do it all over again.  I've complained about how horrible childbirth is (you can read that in Ashers blog) but when it's 3am and all you want to do is crawl back in bed with your husband where it's warm and sleepy, and then you look down and see that you are giving food/life to your most precious gift as he looks right at you...oh man...all of it was worth it.  He is the most amazing thing that I could ever imagine.  

So now we move forward.  Drew tells me I can't stay in my jammies all day anymore so I will be showering after the next feeding and heading to the grocery store to get a few groceries. Although we haven't needed much food as our friends have been supplying us with food for weeks now. We are so blessed!  

My new norm is starting to cry so that means its time for feeding, burping, changing, showering, shopping...and...repeat.

Until my next free moment.................