Wow...the past few days have kinda been a blur. First Luke had two days of strange bowel movements. I really didn't think too much of it because he was eating fine and acting normal and he's been chewing on his hands so I'm figuring it was due to teething. Taylor's was getting all 4 molars and another tooth at once so I thought the same thing with her although she usually has the opposite problem and I'd been giving her Benefiber. Taylor had a few days of it and then it got really bad. SEVERE diarrhea. I've never seen anything like it. The poor girl. After the last full breakfast she ate I heard her go from across the room. She had it up her entire back...through a onsie and it covered her legs and filled her socks. She had this severe diarrhea for 2 days. I took her to the doctor and he said this intestinal virus has been going around and his family had it too. Nick was up one night with it right before Taylor's got worse. Then it went from that to throwing up. Now we're to the point that she's eating lots of cheerios, Pedialyte, bread and I just tried giving her some bananas and a little plain chicken which I hope stay down. She was so miserable yesterday, she just wanted to be held all day. When she was ready to throw up she'd hold onto me really tight. I went through some serious laundry the past few days. I learned that 2 diapers helped but didn't stop the blow outs...wearing PJ's seemed easier and I eventually learned how to use towels to catch puke...and get her into a towel filled pack and play. She got me a few times but we got better at it. I hated seeing her so sick. :( Luke was NOT happy about her getting extra baths...he stomped and screamed about it. lol He did however love the constant snacking of cheerios. The stinker would hold his bowl up into the air when it was empty and say...O's PEEZ! lol Luke did not like sleeping in their room without Taylor. We all cuddled on the couch and read lots of books. Taylor didn't want me to put her down at all except for her to go pick another book when she felt good enough. Cuddling with her was worth being puked on. :) Praying this is on the up swing now. It's crazy how I didn't get it at all, Nick had a night of it, Luke had a mild 2 days and poor Taylor had 2 mild days and 4 terrible days. Doctor said some kids hold onto it for 2 weeks. NO THANKS!
Last week Luke got to go to his very first wrestling match with his daddy. Nick wanted to see some of the junior high kids he coached wrestle as seniors so he planned on going to the match that was closest to us. He decided to take Luke last minute and I think all of us had a blast. Nick said Luke stood and watched from floor level. In his words he said, He was trying to get on the mat Robin. I don't know if I believe all that. I think Nick was just a little excited and Luke got tired of staying still. :) Can you imagine a toddler heavy weight? :)
Taylor stayed home with me and WOW is it different having one kid. She was so calm and sweet. She didn't have to fight for attention or fight over toys. She didn't scream or whine. She was all cuddly. We played Ring Around the Rosie just her and I and she was so darn cute. She'd jump on me when we "all fall down" and every time she'd touch my face and say...mommy in the sweetest voice, then she'd rest her head on me and say MORE and grab my hands to help me up. After Ring Around the Rosie we read. BOY did we read. She loves being read to. We laid on the couch and she laid on me and we read every single book in the room. We'd read one and if it was a goody she'd want to read it again and then she'd hop down and get another. I counted when I was putting all those books away. We read 27 books at least once and some several times. I could never relax like that with both of them. It was so nice. We have to do that more often.
I read somewhere that at 1-1/2 toddlers language kicks into high gear. I can't believe how many words they are saying. They are way beyond keeping track. It's so fun to hear them say new things and they get so proud of themselves. Luke this morning said shower, gentle and O's. Taylor tries to repeat everything. I love hearing Taylor talk to her little people and people in books. She had them lined up this morning on the table and was saying CHEESE to them and was smiling. lol She tells them to STOP IT, says Hi and BUH BYE to them. She also cracks me up because she says lots of words she knows together rambling on and on. Like...this morning....BUNNY JUICE AWW A BABY MOMMY DADDY MEE MEE BUNNY JUICE. It's like she's bragging and smitten with all the words she knows. I crack up at them talking to each other while "cooking" at their kitchen. Like they are discussing things.
Luke is QUITE obsessed with hair. He LOVES playing and brushing Taylor and my hair. One night he kept brushing my hair and then it would end up in my eyes and he'd gently pull my hair out of my eyes so he could see me and then smile and brush again. He CHASES Taylor around trying to brush her hair. He'll use whatever. I took combs and brushes away because he yanks her hair when she has piggy tails in. So he uses the play knifes to brush. She'll tolerate it for a little but she gets tired of it and tells him to STOP IT! He LOVES it so much and when he's gentle it's adorable to watch. Taylor on the other hand has been "feeding" Luke with their kitchen utensils. She'll make a bowl of something and then feed it to him. So cute this morning watching them. He said thank you every time she gave him a "bite" and then they would giggle.
If they get up before I get a shower I put them in there with me. They amazingly sit in their bouncer and swing which they've way outgrown. But they sit there and read baby magazines, eat cheerios and drink their milk until I'm done getting ready. I LOVE hearing them talk to each other when I'm in the shower. They point to things in the magazines and show each other. Luke points out apples, balls, cars and babies. Taylor is very into pointing out the Mommy's, Daddy's and babies as well as counting things. They both smack their lips when I open the drawer with lip balm in it and when I put lotion on they NEED lotion too. It's so cute. They also brush their teeth when I brush mine.
Anyhow.....I wish I could just take every little bit of them in and not forget a thing. It's such a cute time and they are becoming little people and it's so neat to see who God has made them.
Write WHO AM I at the top of a piece of paper. List as many nouns describing who you are as possible. (roles and relationships) There are no right or wrong answers...it's a process of discovery. So write away.
Example: Daughter Sister Wife Mother Graphic Designer Friend Small Group Leader Mentor Child of God
Cross out anything that could be taken away in this life. Example: If something happened to Nick, I would no longer be a wife. If my worth and identity is based on being a wife and something happens to Nick, then who am I? If I lost my job or got into an accident where I couldn't perform my job? Then who would I be?
Hopefully at this point you realize that no earthly role or relationship is eternal.
If your relationships and roles can be taken away, then what's left?
My testimony relating to who I thought I was: I grew up a ballet dancer. I started young and quickly became very into it. I had classes every day, was in a performing company and danced until I was 17. Traveled in the summer for more instruction and I was always the one instructors used to show the others by example. I worked hard and I was good. I wanted to pursue my career as a dancer. However God had other plans, I dislocated my hip and had intestinal problems. I wasn't able to keep the pace I had. I was DEVASTATED! My whole life of work towards the goal of being a dancer was gone. All the things I'd sacrificed flashed before me and I was very depressed. I didn't want to dance at all because I couldn't on the level I wanted to. I quit all together and felt like a failure. I felt I had disappointed my family and friends and I didn't know who I was. I was always known as the little dancer. That was what made me feel loved. So when it was time to graduate I did the only other thing I was good at and that was art. I'd always enjoyed drawing in the car and in between classes. So I went to art school.
I did very well in college. I majored in Graphic Design and I had a job lined up before I was even done school. I ended up working for the same agency for 11 years. I was successful, made good money, had good evaluations, got lots of pats on the back from clients who insisted I do their work, I found my identity again, this time as a Graphic Designer. I worked lots of hours and constantly strived to improve and be the best.
This was the hardest time of my life though. I still felt so empty and no ones approval of how good I was was ever enough. I hit a rock bottom moment and gave my life to Christ. I thought I didn't have anything to lose.
My life changed drastically but one thing I still had trouble grasping was my worth. I still wasn't fully getting who I was or my purpose. I was serving at the church a lot and loved it but something was still missing. I still felt unworthy of God's love.
I got married to Nick and then eventually got pregnant with Luke and Taylor. Nick and I decided that I would quit my job to stay home with them. When I stopped working as a Graphic Designer and became a stay at home Mom I had to learn who I was again. Now my identity as a Graphic Designer was changed to a Mom. I still freelance at home now but I left the workplace. No pats on the back, no job well done, no salary. I never felt that Luke and Taylor weren't worth it. I never regretted it once, I love being home with them, but I still felt the need for that approval. What if I'm not a successful Mom?
What was I worth now? God's been speaking to me about this very thing.
Another story. I have one main client that I've worked with for almost my entire career. I work on projects for beautiful architecture that his company designs and builds. I love this guy. He's the best client in the world because he's creative. He is a very visual person, he love all things beautiful and we share a love of design and photography. He travels all over the country selling to very wealthy clients. I called him right before Christmas to ask him a question about a job and he said he was just leaving his eye appointment. He's in his 50's and he had degeneration in his one eye and had a few surgeries. He had just received the news that his other eye started the same process which would eventually leave him blind. This client is not a christian and any time I've ever mentioned my faith he's kinda brushed it off. I was in shock and actually bawled when I got off the phone. Everything he does is visual. He emailed me and apologized for upsetting me with his baggage. I told him that after all the years of working together I certainly want to know how I can pray for him. He said he was going to look at as much as he can for as long as he can. I've never heard him sound so sad in all those years of talking to him. He doesn't have a relationship with God and he feels he is losing what he's worth.
What I'm trying to tell you from my story and my client's is not to spend your life defining who you are by what you do.
The truth is God made you who you are. He created you for a purpose that no one else can fill. You don't have to accomplish anything to be who he made you. You already ARE who he made you. He wants a relationship with you so he can show you who you are and help you accomplish your purpose. He gave you gifts. He wants you to use those gifts. Who God made us doesn't change. Who God made me has been the same all along even though I thought my identity was based on my achievements, my job title, my success, my relationships. Who God made my client hasn't changed even though he may go blind. Who God made you doesn't change when your parents divorce, it doesn't change when your boyfriend cheats on you, it doesn't change when you fail a class, or don't make the team. It doesn't change if your parents abused you. Who God made you, his love for you, his purpose for your life will never change.
Ya see if you live your life thinking your identity is in what you do, who your related to, who your friends are, how successful you are, you will face one disappointment after another. You will feel lost time and time again because only God can tell you who you are and why he put you on this earth. He will be there for eternity. His love for you never changes.
Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things (including us) were created by him and for him.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 I know this is a common verse but listen to it carefully and let God speak to you For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Do you believe it? Do you believe God made you for a purpose? Are you willing to seek him to let him show you who you are?
This is one of my kids books. "You are Special" by Max Lucado. It gets me every time I read it.
Are you willing to meet with your maker every day so he can remind you who you are and who he made you?
Are you willing to believe that what he thinks is more important than what others think?
Who could possibly know us better than who made us?
Who could possibly love us more than who created us?
He made us who we are...and he wants us to have a relationship with him so he can keep reminding us how much he loves us and who he made us.
Follow up ideas...
Spiritual Gift Evaluation Click here for an online test.
Ask others what gifts they see in you? Have 5 of the closest people to you list gifts they see in you. Then after praying over that list, ask God how he wants you to use your talents and gifts.
Tell someone Meet with a youth leader or trusted friend and talk about what you discovered.
15 Minutes a Day Spend 15 mins a day reading the Bible and praying. Can you give God 15 mins out of a whole day to fill you up? See if you can stop at that once you get going? :)
Read more about your purpose. Read the Purpose Driven Life book by Rick Warren. I read this a long time ago and it's a great book on the topic of why we are here.
I hope you have discovered that a relationship with God, his love for you, who he made you and the purpose he gave you is eternal and nothing can take that away or change it.
I don't expect you have "arrived" at WHO YOU ARE by reading this. I do pray you will ask God to reveal it to you. The fun part about having a relationship with God is that he will reveal who you are and your purpose as you need to know it and as you can handle it. He won't speak when you aren't listening. So listen. He won't ask you to do more than what he's given you the ability to do. He made you who you are. He doesn't make mistakes. AND There's nothing wrong with having goals and dreams...just know where they are coming from. Are they for your glory or God's? God will bless you with more than you could have dreamed of if you just follow his lead. The relationships and roles you crossed out are added blessings from him because he loves you. Enjoy the journey with him and remember it's HIM who gave you life, made you uniquely you and gave you purpose. And THAT will NEVER change.
Romans 8:35, 38-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.