Sunday, November 27, 2011

To Like It

"She did not ask, 'Do you do the will of God?' She always asked, 'Do you like the will of God?' That question goes deeper than anything else. I remember once she was having a controversy with the Lord over a certain matter. She knew what the Lord wanted, and in her heart she wanted it too. But it was difficult, and I heard her pray like this: 'Lord, I confess I don't like it, but please do not give in to me. Just wait, Lord -- and I will give in to thee.' She did not want the Lord to yield to her and to reduce his demands upon her. She wanted nothing but to please him."

~ Watchman Nee

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bigger and Better

  • Happy Thanksgiving! This will be our first Thanksgiving in our own place, and we are thankful for that. My parents are coming here to celebrate with us and arrive tomorrow. One thing we are going to do to cultivate and express gratitude is place three corn kernels on each plate, then go around and share something that we are thankful for from this past year -- one at a time, three times around the table.
  • I have been desperate for my parents to get here before Micaiah does, so that we can do my massive "prepare-for-a-new-baby list." {I think my nesting instinct has kicked in :)}
  • Pregnancy: Well, technically, I am at full term (over 37 weeks) and so feelin' it. My skin is stretched further than I thought possible; I look like I swallowed a gigantic pumpkin. I'm exhausted but sleeping poorly. Peeing all night (Ricky's favorite part of pregnancy!). Back and hips hurt. His feet are crammed into my left hip, and he won't move them. No lap, Bending or leaning means no breathing. Gotta love the last month! Good news: I went to the OB doctor yesterday, and I am already 2 cm dilated -- YAY! Thus far, I have gained 28 pounds (and Aolani weighed 26 pounds). Also, I got to meet with my doula, get that "mandatory" echocardiogram, and go see a chiropractor this past week.
  • Great news: Within a week's time, we found someone who wanted to tackle modifying our second crib, took the crib, and returns it tomorrow morning! He goes to the church we are going to join. We are just so elated!

  • Potty-Training: Miracle story. Basically, I have been preparing for months to try this new method about potty-training in less than a day (supposedly works for most children over 20 months old, and Aolani is over 21 months). We did the training Saturday afternoon (should have started in the morning). While there are several things we will do differently for future children, the main problem was that there are pretraining experiences that we should have been doing with Aolani for two weeks prior to the big day and we just did not take them seriously enough, despite her passing the readiness tests. Anyway, Sunday and Monday were not showing much improvement, just much laundry! I was getting so discouraged, and we were contemplating giving up, quitting, and bringing out the diapers. But, she was showing some promise in that she had the sequence down -- potty, wipe, pick up pot, carry pot to toilet, empty pot, flush toilet, carry pot back, and reinsert pot. She just wasn't approaching her potty when she had to go -- because she could not pull her pants down. I don't know what happened, but suddenly, Tuesday was amazing. No accidents. She self-initiated going to her potty every time she had to pee or poo! [We're practicing pulling pants up and down but for now, she is bottomless.] We cannot believe we almost quit! Anyway, everything is not perfect, but we have a super foundation and highly recommend this method!

  • Verses to memorize this week: Romans 8:31-3 ~ What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Harsh or Gentle?

THE verse for toddlers (and husbands!):
"Now which do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of correction, or with love and in a spirit of gentleness?" ~ 1 Corinthians 4:21
Note: Sorry so short -- in need of grace after a weary weekend of potty-training...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

All Over the Place

  • I so meant to mention this before it happened! This past Sunday was the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). If you did not know this, please spend some time interceding for our persecuted brethren and give them the honor of remembrance! Visit Voice of the Martyrs for more information.
  • We have finally found a home church, but we haven't made any commitment yet.
  • We just finished reading aloud as a family Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember by Barbara Rainey and highly recommend it! It took us over a month to complete, but we only read it for five minutes most nights.
  • It's been 22 months since my last haircut, which is how long it takes for it to grow out long enough to donate to Locks of Love. So, to celebrate eight months of Micaiah, I whopped off a foot and the "Mommy 'Do" has returned ;)
  • Now that this pregnancy is almost finished, we decided we should at least take one picture -- better late than never, right :) So, here I am at eight months. I had a doctor's appointment last week. I have almost gained 25 pounds. We're good, but the DiMartino's opinions are conflicting with the doctors' at this clinic, so it is all a little touchy right now. I meet with my doula (birthing coach) for the first time tomorrow. And, I have to get an echocardiogram (a heart screening test) on Friday -- or else my clinic won't see me as a patient anymore (yeah, yucky).
  • Aolani's antics: closes doors behind her by pulling the door knob (she's a runt or she would've been doing this sooner) and two days later she figures out how to twist the knobs and open closed doors (not fun; now we have to lock the doors from the inside), unzips her pajamas, started bringing books to me to read to her and wanting up on my lap...
    • Storytime: We pulled in the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant only to discover that Aolani had drenched her pants. Soaked through to her knees. So, holding my hand, we escort her by all the onlookers to the restroom, remove her wet bottoms, change her diaper, and... that's it. No backup britches. So, we proceed to our table and bypass the stares with a toddler in a coat, diaper, and shoes. We tried to keep her legs warm with a blanket (do I get credit for that?) while we ate. Sigh.
    • Verses to memorize this week: Romans 8:28-30 ~ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (see archived post on these verses)

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Pumpkin Squatter

    We've had a pumpkin by our front door this Fall season that Aolani loves! We cannot pass through without pumpkin-love ;)

    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    The Interceding Spirit Brings Comfort

    "...because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people
    in accordance with the will of God."
    Romans 8:27

    This is the last bit of the verses I memorized this past week, but oh man! I just cannot get over it. This has got to be one of the most comforting verses in the Bible.

    Why? For two reasons:
    1. There are just so many things to pray for, just in my own life! Same goes for every person, no doubt. I cannot keep up with all of my own prayer needs. What could be better than knowing that the Holy Spirit is literally praying for all of my needs and constantly bringing me before the throne of God in prayer?! So, even when I either haven't shared a certain prayer request with anyone or feel like a certain need isn't being prayed for -- that specific request is being prayed for by the third person of the Trinity Himself! Have no fear that you or a certain ("forgotten") need is going unacknowledged!

    2. The Spirit is interceding for you in accordance with the will of God. I know that is a given, but still, it is comforting to know. I often feel unsure of His will for specific situations or needs in my life. Therefore, I'm a little hesitant about how to pray specifically for such and such a need I might have. But, the Spirit is able to pray very specifically for each need I have as He prays according to God's will! And we know that God hears the prayer that is prayed in accordance with His will (1 John 5:14).

    Hallelujah! We are not only being prayed for, but our requests are being presented to God according to His will! Phew -- how comforting -- that takes a load off of me :)

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    It's Always Something!

    • Ricky's parents came to visit over the weekend and kept us busy! They brought their dog, much to Aolani's great pleasure! She wore new clothes, played with some of Ricky's old childhood toys, went to a park, wore pigtails for the first time (yep, I cried), and dressed up like a ladybug ;)

    • We ordered another crib, but we are still searching for someone to put doors on it. Please pray as we would like to have this done before Thanksgiving. Anyway, I am postponing a tour of our abode since much will be rearranged for Micaiah.
    • Aolani's antics: knocks on the front door as if to trick me into believing someone is out there and I need to open the door, climbs onto the kitchen chairs (and the table from there!), says daughter and butter, picks her own outfits out of her dresser and places the clothes (socks and shoes, too) on top of the changing table, is good at wiping her mouth and hands while eating, heard her say Mommy twice, makes the yum sound and smacks her lips when I go over to the snack cabinet, and...
    • Aolani is now climbing on her toy bins to reach the door knobs and deadbolts, which she quickly learned to unlock. So, we had to go get some deadbolts that are keyed on both sides. The little stinker!

    • Since we moved to a new city, we have started using Seventh Generation disposable diapers. It was a little sad and a little tough for us to give up the cloth diapers. However, the cloth diapers (BumGenius) needed a little extra TLC that I was unable to give them (stripping, able to sew, time in the sun...). If I was able-bodied, then we would definitely still be using them and certainly recommend them!
    • Verses to memorize this week: Romans 8:25-7 ~ But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    Gift-Giver Versus Grace-Dispenser

    "The Cross has been given to procure salvation for us; the Spirit has been given to produce salvation in us. Christ risen and ascended is the basis of our salvation; Christ in our hearts by the Spirit is its power."

    "We think of the Christian life as a 'changed life' but it is not that. What God offers us is an 'exchanged life,' a 'substituted life,' and Christ is our Substitute within."

    "God will not give me humility or patience or holiness or love as separate gifts of his grace. He is not a retailer dispensing grace to us in packets, measuring out some patience to the impatient, some love to the unloving, some meekness to the proud, in quantities that we take and work on as a kind of capital. He has given only one gift to meet all our need: his Son Christ Jesus. As I look to him to live out his life in me, he will be humble and patient and loving and everything else I need -- in my stead."

    ~ Watchman Nee

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Hand-Holding Mozart

    • We drove to meet up with my brother and his family, who were vacationing in the mountains, for dinner over the weekend. And, we finally got to meet our second niece, Caroline, who is going on two months. She was having a tough day, so I didn't even get a picture of her. However, here are the older cousins (Kylie and our own rascal) holding hands as they walked around ;)

    • 34 weeks and counting... The doctor's appointment actually happened, and I now am in with a clinic should Micaiah debut. Our second crib arrived in the mail, and we are searching for someone to put doors on the front of it. November is a full month for us with a ton of preparation (but lists help with the sanity)!
    • Aolani's antics: eats her toothbrush (I finally got her a toddler toothbrush; we were just wiping her teeth with a cloth), brushes my hair, attempts to feed herself with her toddler utensils (that I finally got -- yeah, I think I am far behind in getting my act together!), says toys, sticks her tongue out when focusing, climbs climbs climbs, nanni might mean naptime or night-night, throws trash into the toilet, and understands most everything we say (we're already starting to spell). We gave her some instructional activities to test her language development and/or comprehension, and she passed with flying colors. Now I know she knows what I'm telling her!
    • Verses to memorze this week: Romans 8:22-4 ~ We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?