Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Behind the Names

Names are incredibly important. Throughout Biblical history we see God giving new names to people over and over again. The names given speak something about that person, something about what God is calling them to accomplish, or what He is speaking into their life. The meaning behind a name can go easily unnoticed. When you think about the power behind our words and what we speak into our lives, can you imagine the power a name holds? A name is something you are called and referred to on a daily basis, not just once a day, or twice a day, but multiple times during the day. That means the meaning behind that name is what is being spoken over you multiple times throughout your day.

This concept was an incredibly important one for my husband and I to keep in mind when naming our children. Before deciding on Jase's name, I remember looking up the meaning behind my husband's and my name and being astounded at how much it described who we are as people. It described our personality, little things within us that we didn't even realize were there. It described passions we had. It described the heart behind who we were in ways that really surprised us.

In discovering this, it became that much more important to not just choose a name for our children that we loved the sound of, but a name with a meaning behind it that we wanted to speak over our children's lives. There would be names we would come across that we really liked, but then when we dug into the meaning, we didn't feel like it was the right one. It definitely made it a lot harder to find a name for our child, but we knew that God was guiding us on the perfect name for our child.

Contrary to popular belief, we did not hear Jase's name on the popular show Duck Dynasty, we actually had never seen the show. I had an app that we downloaded on my phone that we would go through and favorite names that stood out to us. I had gone through and added a few to my favorites when Chad was at work, and when he later went back to look he came across Jase and asked me why I hadn't brought that one up yet. I told him I wasn't entirely sure about it yet, but just in case was sure to favorite it. Up to this point, Chad had been extremely picky with finding a boys name, this was the first he had finally thought a possibility. He decided that Christopher flowed well as a middle name, and just dwelt on it for awhile. After a few days we both really fell in love with the name and it's meaning and knew it was the perfect name for our little man. I couldn't imagine him as anyone else. I can't wait to see the name come to life before our eyes in his personality and character.

We came across Elyse in an entirely different way. My grandmother passed away shortly after Chad and I were married and she was never able to meet Chad. Due to a lot of family history, I don't have much extended family a part of my life, this grandmother, my dad's mom, was the only steady grandmother I had my entire life. I was extremely close to her. I have so many fond memories with her, it was so hard to know she would never meet Chad or my future children. So I asked Chad if we could use her name in one of our daughter's names one day, and he sweetly agreed. My grandmother is from Greece so she has a very long Greek name that I don't even know completely... But she went by Ann. When we looked up the meaning of Ann, I knew it was perfect, so we held on to it until we found a middle name we loved with it. One day in conversation, we tossed around Elyse, and when I looked up the meaning I loved it. When paired with Ann, we knew it was the perfect name. I look forward to being able to speak it over her, and to see the way it plays out in her life as well.

Look up your name, what does it mean? Can you see any of your name's meaning in your life?

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Second Baby

Their kicks may be missed all day long as you chase around a toddler, but it doesn't make them less meaningful. They may not be consuming your every thought, but they still are in all you think about. You may not be reading every book and every blog, but it doesn't mean you're not rehearsing everything you learned the first time around. You may not be sitting for hours doing nothing but dreaming about her, and spending hours preparing for her. In fact you may realize it's three and a half months away and you have not one nursery item and barely any clothes for her. But she is not less thought of, or less important, or less anticipated. As you're playing with her brother you imagine what it will be like when the two play together. Every time you walk into what will be her room, you picture her in it. Every time you pack away another too small item of her brother's, you thank God for blessing you with another small one to hold soon.

Oh the second baby, the second baby is oh so different. There isn't time to think about her 24/7. There isn't time to plan for her 24/7. There is a toddler you're constantly chasing around demanding all your attention. But never once is that second baby unappreciated. She is loved more than she will ever know. She is loved in the stillness found in the chaos of a busy toddler. The glimpses of quiet you seldom find yourself in. When you imagine how she will fit right into the family like the piece you've always been missing. When you lay down at night, the toddler fast asleep, and she begins to move and flip and dance within and you think, there she is. Gently reminding you of the blessing within. She may not be all you think about, she may not be consuming every second, but she's dancing her way through every thought going through your head as you picture her in this already crazy busy life of yours.

Her kicks mean just as much to you as the first ones you ever felt. They remind you of the miracle that carrying a child is. The love that is produced the moment you hear that life is present. The overwhelming love that will saturate you when she breathes her first breath. Just because you may not be counting every kick, doesn't meant you're missing anything. You're constantly reminded of the blessing within as you see the blessings right in front of you. She's your second baby. She's your treasure in the midst of the already so busy. She's your sunshine on a cloudy day. She's the miracle, the heart beating life within you. Her life is just as important as any life that God entrusts in your hands. Even if things get a little busy, and a little chaotic. She is loved. From the top of her head to the tips of her toes, she's your second baby.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Living in His Presence

Any new role you take on in life and any new season you step into brings so much change that it can really tend to rock your spiritual life. When you get married, you have an entirely new person in your life to devote time to, and if we aren't careful we can neglect the time that we should be spending with the Lord. Then down the road, add kids into the mix and it's learning that balance and what it looks like to you all over again.

This past year has been up and down for me. There have been seasons where I found it incredibly easy to get to a quiet place in the morning and have at least half an hour in the Lord's presence. Then there have been seasons where I couldn't find a moment to myself to breathe, yet alone get a good solid devotion time in. It was a struggle for so long for me. A struggle that devotions weren't looking like they used to, or that I had in my mind they were supposed to, or what the Christian culture around me says they should resemble. I was feeling defeated in that I could never hold up to this standard that I should in my relationship with Christ.

But there is something I have realized over the past year: God is with me throughout my entire day. He meets me in the stillness in His presence. But He also meets me in the chaos of raising a child. He meets me when I am up before the first peep is made in the house. But He also meets me when my eyes don't open until my child babbling in his crib comes through the baby monitor. When I find time to just sit and be in His presence, He meets me there. When I dwell on Him in the chaotic moments of motherhood and housekeeping, He meets me there.

There isn't a framework, guideline, or list of rules to how my time in the Lord's presence should look. That's because there isn't just a time set aside in my day that I should be devoting to Him, I should be walking out my day in it's entirety in His presence. As I am taking care of the house, I can worship Him. As I am playing and wrangling a toddler throughout the day I can worship Him. My relationship with Him is nurtured by walking in His presence daily. Some days, this will look like quiet time curled up on the couch with my Bible and journal. Other days, this will look like prayers amidst my responsibilities for the day.

I believe time spent in the presence of God is one of the most important ways to spend our time. I know that God graces me through these days, that He isn't upset when that time doesn't look like the poster for perfect devotional time. He calls us to live our day in His presence. No matter what that looks like to me today or tomorrow, whether it's in stillness or in chaos, time spent in His presence is what really matters.

Don't get caught up and burdened by your devotional life when it doesn't look poster perfect. I believe that condemnation isn't what God would want us to feel about being in His presence. Focus on living your day in it's entirety in the Lord's presence. Soak up the quiet times that you have. Make time in the chaos to worship Him. Remember to wrap yourself in His presence AND His grace.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

You're Gonna be a Dad....AGAIN!

 So, I am finally getting the time to sit down and write the story of how we found out we were expecting baby number two.

We knew that we wanted our kids to be between 2-3 years apart. So as Jase approached his first Birthday we started talking about when even more. After going off birth control before I got pregnant with Jase, my body was very irregular and it took eight months for us to get pregnant with him. We decided then to stay away from any hormonal birth control in hopes my body would straighten out after having Jase. When I stopped nursing Jase, my cycles continued in this irregular pattern so we decided maybe we would just leave it in God's hands at that time. It took us eight months the first time, so we expected it would take that long again. That would mean possibly getting pregnant when Jase was a year and a half, so that's right in the middle of our age difference desires, so why not!

Well, my cycle continued to be crazy, in fact I just wasn't having one. That was going to make it pretty hard to get pregnant, and since I was testing negative I decided to have some blood work done to test my hormone levels. My thyroid levels were slightly high, so I was going to take a round of progesterone supplement to see if it got things normal again. Well the day I was going to start the supplement, I felt the need to take a test just in case. Mind you, this was just ten days after my first pregnancy test, which was negative. And a week after running all this blood work to see what was going on. To my surprise, it was positive! I fully didn't expect to get pregnant within the first month of finishing nursing!

So, I decided to head out with Jase to get together a fun little surprise to announce the good news to Chad. I knew if I stayed home during his lunch break I would spill it, so I grabbed lunch out with Jase and headed to Hobby Lobby. I had an idea in mind originally that I wanted to do, but it wasn't going to be finished that day and I knew I couldn't wait any longer. So, I had to come up with a new plan. It was really important for me to involve Jase, so I thought the more simple the better. So we found this adorable little chalkboard easel at Hobby Lobby. When we got in the car I wrote, "You're a great dad" on one side, and "I thought you should be one AGAIN!" on the other. By the time we arrived home, Chad was already home from work. I am glad I managed to remember to snap a photo really quickly before running inside, because after that I completely forgot!

So I got Jase out of the car and taught him how to hold the chalkboard. Then walked up to our front door and knocked on it. Chad opens the door, and Jase walks in with this chalkboard telling him what a great dad he is! Chad looks at me with an odd look on his face, slightly confused and says, "Okaaay." So I responded, "Jase just wanted you to know what a great dad you are." Then Chad looked down and realized there was something on the back of the chalkboard so he picks Jase up and read it, then looks at me with a big smile and says, "Really?!" I started laughing and shouted "YES!" He looks at me, smiles, and says "and you were worried." What a guy response there, right?

We were definitely thrilled and surprised! I was worried with my cycles that it was going to make it complicated to get pregnant, but God proves time and time again that His timing is perfect, and He moves despite what our body does. It was a little quicker than I expected, but I have really wanted more and more to have my kids close because it wasn't something I had growing up. I know I am going to be awfully busy with two under two for a little while, but I know God's going to grace me through it. We are so excited to be welcoming our baby girl soon!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Made With Love

This blog is venturing into some new and exciting territory in 2015. I am so excited about all the dreams and visions that have been stirring, and I just only hope that you love it as much as I do.

I am excited to announce that You Are More will be featuring a shop spotlight series titled "Made With Love." "Made With Love" recognizes that every product made by a small business owner is made straight from the heart. There is a lot of care that goes into the products being made, and I believe there is a story to be told in each creation.

"Made With Love" will be featuring different shops periodically throughout the year. What is even more exciting is that the series will be kicking off in February with shops specializing in home and nursery items for all of you moms, moms to be, friends of moms to be, and more! There are some excited shops being featured each with their very own giveaway, so make sure you are following along with me on Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin', or Instagram so you don't miss it! This will be one of the biggest features on the blog as we lead to a big nursery reveal for our little Elyse, so you are not going to want to miss it.

If you are a small business owner and want to know more about "Made With Love," be sure to check out my connect page for details and shoot me an email. I would love to hear from you!