May 14, 2014

a lesson in love, a talk on gratitude, a tutorial on infant baptism [finish this linkup]

A lesson I learned from my mom … is to love unconditionally.

 

My mom and at my wedding in 2006.
 

I could write for hours about all of the things my mom taught me (both intentionally and unintentionally). My mom is one of the most opinionated, most loving, most independent, strongest people I know. In her 50s she achieved a lifelong goal of completing her master's degree. Because she could. She never backs down. She gracefully and respectfully shares her opinions (about everything) but never expects anyone to do as she says (in her words "it's a choice to be wrong.") She was adamant believer in proper manners and respect and from a young age would force me to walk up to men and women in uniform and thank them for their service. I was shy and awkward but being forced to do this as a child helped me understand that part of life is getting over your fear and doing what is right. My mom let me fail. She let me fall. She led by example not words.

But by far, the most important lesson she taught me is to love and to love unconditionally. She taught me a love of family, of God, of friends, and of strangers. She taught me to serve others. She taught me to humble myself. She taught me that love is what really matters.

In that vein, while she never spoke of this and never told me this, through the whispers of her experience I learned that there is no more important job in the world than that of a mother (and this was taught by a mother who worked full time to a so-called latch key kid). She also taught me through her respect and love for my dad that there is only one job in the world equally important to motherhood, and that is fatherhood.

 

My family circa 1985. I'm the baby.
 

To burn calories, I … grow people. I have either been pregnant or nursing since June 2012.

I am above my ideal weight (Obviously. I'm 30w pregnant. No one would describe me as thin!). In my defense, when I was pregnant with the twins I was on bed rest or restricted activity. The entire time. So no calorie burning. I heard many moms lost weight while breastfeeding so I had that to look forward to. Right? Sort of. When I started nursing, I ate more than when I was pregnant. I was ALWAYS hungry! I mean ALWAYS. So I did lose some weight, but not as much as I hoped. Then I found myself pregnant again. (Totally unexpected. Against all medical odds. People with a less than 0.3 AMH level don't get pregnant!) And so no dieting going on now either.

I am on the toddler exercise program. I spend my days doing arm curls and arm lifts when I pick up twin toddlers. I get my cardio by chasing them around the house. I do leg lifts when we play airplane. I do squats each and every time I need to bend lower to get down on their level. This is accompanied by the toddler eating plan. Every time I try to eat something I either have to listen to the begging and whining or share with the vultures that descend upon my food. This means I eat early before they wake up and then during naptime, or I don't eat much at all.

 

My best hair day was … not the period where I dyed my hair brown. We can all agree that wasn't a good look for me. I had a great updo on my wedding day. I love my hair in our engagement photos. Although to be honest, I'm pretty happy with my hair right now!

 

Clockwise from top right: wedding updo, engagement hair, current hair, unfortunate brown dye job
 

I am grateful for … a God who loves me unconditionally. I am thankful for my covenant baptism that marked me as a child of God and is symbolic of God's covenant with me (“The Holy Spirit works within you, that being born through water and the Spirit, you may be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.” from the United Methodist understanding of baptism). There is nothing I can do to break this covenant because God is perfection and he doesn't break His word. It is a statement of His love for me and while I can fall down on my end, He always upholds His; therefore, the covenant is never broken.

I know that in many Christian faith traditions baptism is viewed as an expression of human choice, and therefore infant baptism isn't performed because an infant is too young to make that choice (Although I have to say I don't comprehend how a first or second grader is equipped to make that choice either. Heck I'll turn 30 this year and I'm not sure I'm equipped to make that choice!) but in the Methodist faith tradition (and many others) baptism is not a human choice but an act of divine grace. On the day of Jesus' baptism, God descended (a top down act not bottom up -- not an act done by us but by Him) and said "This is my Son." My baptism symbolizes God's choice of me as His daughter and through this He acknowledges and knows me intimately as a parent. How powerful!

 

Tripp and Davis' baptism at Munger Place Church
 

I don't have any pictures of my baptism. One of these days I'll have to ask my mom if she does. But, I was baptized into the church as an infant. My baptism was one of "prevenient grace" which means that God's grace and God's initiative in the process of salvation were working in my life before I was even cognizant of it. God was bringing me to faith through prevenient grace from the earliest moments of my childhood.

I take comfort in knowing my baptism is not a human choice or human act but rather descends from God and God's covenant with me, which never needs repeated or redone because in His perfection His Word is never broken.

 

 

Join in the fun and "Finish This," by finishing the above prompts and linking up your post with the hosts of this party: Nicole {Three 31} Lisa {Coastlined}, and Becky {The Java Mama}.

In case you missed it -- I posted twice yesterday (whoa overachiever). In the morning I posted our house tour: kitchens and dining rooms so y'all come on over and nosy nelly your way around my house. I also posted my most recent pregnancy update with never seen before comparison (singleton/twin) belly shots!

 

8 comments:

  1. HOLLA TO ANOTHER METHODIST, I just felt like saying that. LOL I love all of your responses this week! The tribute to your mother is awesome, what a great woman, friend, and mother you have. She sounds a lot like mine. What a blessing she is to my life! I totally agree with you about the eating thing. I exclusively pump now (I nursed Kamden until he was two months then started pumping to build a freezer supply. Now I'm a freakin' Bessie the Milk Cow with a VERY abundant supply. So much so, I'm a donor at the milk bank. HA!) There are days, I feel like moving a chair into the pantry or in front of the fridge because I'm hungry/eating all the time. No joke. Thankfully, I'm at the gym nearly every day. I've struggled with weight my entire life but I made lifestyle changes when I was pregnant and I'm continuing them now. It's a choice every day. One step at a time, right?! I love your piece on infant baptism. My husband was raised in the Baptist church but I was born and raised as a United Methodist and that's where Kamden is now too. It wasn't my first choice of dates, but Kamden was baptized several weeks ago, on Easter Sunday, while my parents were visiting us from Kentucky. It was a super special day, indeed.

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    1. Ha!

      I had to exclusively pump in the beginning because my boys were too little to latch (preemies) so I know that torture. I never managed to switch to exclusive nursing so always had to pump. We made it until they were one (barely!) but by that point my supply was tanking because I was in my second trimester of this pregnancy. Luckily, I still had TONS in my freezer and got them another month on frozen milk. I also donated a few different times. I'm hoping my supply is as good for this new baby!

      My husband was also raised Baptist but started going to church with me in college. We had some serious discussions about baptism when the boys were born and I was a bit surprised just how important it was to me that my little guys get baptized as infants. They were baptized on Father's Day last year! A very special day indeed.

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  2. Your wedding day hair is fantastic! And your boys are so cute!

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    1. Thank you! Funny enough it was actually my mom who did my hair that day. She did my hair for all of my formal dances in high school and got really good at it. After being unhappy with hair consultations with two different stylists, I asked my mom if she was willing to do my wedding hair!

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  3. Your excerside routine would make a great video. REALLY.

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    1. Ha! I can just picture the jumbo sized pregnant lady throwing around toddlers. Scary sight!

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  4. Hello, I found you via the Finish This and wanted to say hello! I loved reading your lessons from your Momma. Very touching. Sounds like you were raised right. I love the part where you say she gives her opinion of EVERYTHING but doesn't expect or get upset when people don't take her advice, after all it's their choice to be wrong, hahah. Right on!!

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    1. Thanks so much for popping by!

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