Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Starlight, Starbright



My baby boy is six months today. A whole half a year! How did it happen? I suppose time marches on, regardless of our willingness or awareness of its audacity. Six months ago there was suddenly upon my chest a squirmy, squawling, beautiful boy that I could hardly believe was my very own son. As soon as I lay eyes on him, my heart did a flip-flop and was inevitably captured. The only way I know to describe the feeling at that moment is that I knew there was nothing in the world that could ever make me stop loving him. My beautiful Elisha Aaron.

My love for him only grows with each day. He is such a little miracle. As he reaches for anything in front of him now and picks it up, concentrating so hard on what he is doing, then looks up at me with a triumphant look that shouts of his excitement for life, or when he catches me watching him and his face squishes up into a joyous and contagious smile, I can still hardly believe he is real and so very perfect. I can only thank God every day for this wonderful gift with which he has entrusted us.


I have been reading a lot lately. Tonight I finished In Search of Eden by Linda Nichols. It is a beautiful book with a wonderfully-crafted plot about forgiveness and finding one's "Eden"- in this case, a long lost child, but also, a symbol of perfect peace and paradise. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely be looking for more books by the author. Here is a particularly thought-proking quote from the book.

"Part of her cried out to run, but another part, just as obstinate, sat down and refused to budge. It was funny what made her decide. The little spiky rock, the meteor her father had given her, was on the bedside table. She picked it up and ran her fingers over the sharp surface. She thought about a meteor, flaring swiftly across the sky, illuminating and taking the breath away for one brief moment on its journey. She set it down and went to the window and looked out at the night sky. It as full of bright stars, shining softly, giving light, and she knew then the difference between the two."

Which are you? How do you view life? A meteor shining gloriously for a few short moments and then disappearing as fast as it had come, or a star shedding soft light each and every night?

Food for thought.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Massachusetts. Prayer.

Elisha and I just got home from 5 days on the North Shore of Massachusetts.
We visited my good friends Dawn and Lisa. The coast is just beautiful, the trees blazing with color, and the company was wonderful! I thought I'd share a few of my pictures...


Massachsetts is a simply pleasant state. I was very impressed.



We went into Boston on our last day there. Such a beautiful city. These pictures are from the Boston Public Garden.



It was a great time, but I am so happy to be back with my hubby :). Longest time we've been apart since we've been married!

***********************

Next, I am going to beg all of you reading this who are praying people to pray for my best friend.

Pray for restoration in her marriage. Pray for strength and peace. And most of all, pray for protection from the evil one in every area of life. Pray for renewal.

We are begging God to move.
Period.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Till We're 99 1/2

Today was a breath of fresh air.

As fourth-graders, we were amazed to find our dads were owners of the same sort of business and we both had pet dogs named Maggie. As sixth-graders, we shared notes and giggles through every class and gave our "crushes" code names of sodas. As eighth-graders, we dealt with some deeper issues like disagreements and misunderstandings, came through it stronger, and promised to call each other up when we were 99 1/2 years old. Throughout high school we played tennis together, learned French together, studied at each others' houses, laughed through field trips, and no matter what, were just ourselves together. In twelfth grade, we looked reality in the face as it took the shape of a child and adoption- and what this meant for life. We looked back on memories made and hugged each other jubilantly at graduation. We did it! Best friends through school and an unspoken bond promising friendship for the future.

As 21-year-olds, we share a cup of coffee and talk about life- one as a mom and wife, the other as a college senior contemplating life careers. She is still so dear to me. A few hours with her makes me feel safe and secure, just because our friendship is.

This is my Leah K. Till we're 99 1/2.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tae-bo, Chili and Cold Weather

My husband is a huge tae-bo fan. He has at least a dozen videos/DVDs of Billy Blanks himself, teaching and leading the martial arts/dance combo with high-octane music and energy.

One day this week when we both had woken up early and Elisha was still asleep, he convinved me to try one of the videos with him. I loved it! I continued onto Day 2 and today, Day 3, trying three different work-outs. It is intense. Close to the hardest workout I've ever done. But I enjoy it. I feel newly motivated to get back to my pre-baby self.

Yesterday the turn of the weather inspired me to throw together my Black Bean n Pumpkin Chili. I've already had one request for the recipe (shout out to Julie!), so I thought I would post it here :). It is a delicious body-warmer that will fill you up and delight your tastebuds!

Black Bean 'n' Pumpkin Chili Recipe
Photo by: Taste of Home

Prep: 20 min.
Cook: 4 hours

Ingredients
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups chicken broth
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
2-1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions
In a large skillet, saute the onion, yellow pepper and garlic in oil until tender. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; stir in the remaining ingredients.
Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until heated through. Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).

This can also be prepared in just a regular pot instead of slow cooker if you are short on time. It will go together quickly and simmer wonderfully on the stove until you are ready to eat.

*******

Today the temperature was a balmy 40 degrees. It's only October! When did winter decide it was time to move in? I much prefer the warmer weather.. or at least that of fall! We are learning to bundle Elisha up and make sure he stays warm. I'm excited for the holidays to come with him, though! Also, it looks like his cousin and aunt and uncle will be around this winter- they're moving home from Kansas City, Missouri. How great! We have missed them a lot- my brother-in-law and his wife.

Tonight is Mexican Lasagna with Chicken, Corn and Black Beans. I love cooking out of Taste of Home magazines~ endless inspiration and healthy and delicious meals.

Be blessed today!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Homemade bread is a special treat.

I've recently recovered my mom's bread machine from storage. With my already-inherent love for cooking, how exciting the possibilities are now before me with this new toy in my kitchen!

So far I've only made bread twice, but today's recipe was much better than the first! I'm not sure what made it fall in the center (anybody have any ideas?), but the first bite melted in my mouth, if bread can do that. (I believe homemade bread can).

Multigrain Bread Recipe
www.cdkitchen.com

Serves/Makes: 1.5 lb. loaf

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups bread flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup rolled oats, toasted
3 tablespoons dry milk powder
3 tablespoons cornmeal
3 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
2 teaspoons active dry yeast


Directions:

Place all ingredients in bread machine pan and process on basic or whole wheat cycle.

The flours in this recipe will vary in water absorption and so you may need to add more flour or water to get the right consistency. Let your machine knead for 5-6 minutes before adding any additional water or flour.

Yum!


On another note, as the days get crisper and the leaves begin to turn color, I am realizing how fast my little boy is growing. He's learning so much every day! I am also savoring the moments I have with him while we are nursing. I don't think I am going to make it to a whole year, because my milk supply just does not seem sufficient to help him grow and gain accordingly. I have the goal set for myself to make it to six months- which is only a little over a month away! I'm already starting to dread not being able to feed him.. so I may stick it out a little longer. How I love those moments where we can cuddle and be so close~ and I can just adore and love on my beautiful baby boy. I think my love for him grows every day. God created this parenthood thing to be so beautifully rewarding. I am so thankful!

My hubby is at class again this evening, which makes for a long day at home! Tuesdays and Thursdays are my days off work, which also happen to be the weeknights that Tim has class. I try to get a lot accomplished, but often I have to be satisfied with what I do get done. Elisha is a full-time job :).

I feel so very blessed at this season in life. God is so good. I cannot praise Him enough. I will live to glorify my King.

Here are a few pictures of Mr. Cutestuff himself:



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Blessings from Above

I know five pregnant ladies. Four due in May, one in March. Amazing! Since being pregnant, I am just so intrigued and mesmerized by pregnant women. How incredibly strong they are! What a miracle it is that God has created our bodies to foster a human being's life!

I am visiting my grandparents with Elisha in Chambersburg today. I drove down Letterkenny Road for what may be one of the last times! They are planning to sell their home and move into a retirement community. So naturally, Grandma and Grandpa are sorting through the attic and basement and everything in between. Today at lunch, Grandma oh-so-casually brought up something she had for me that brought tears to my eyes.

"When your mother was in physical therapy at Cherry Tree in Hanover, they brought in crafts for the patients to paint. One of the times the project was a shelf, and after she painted it and brought it home, she said to me, 'I want you to give this to my first grandchild.'"

It was painted in the fall of 2000- two years before Mom went to be with the Lord. It is blue. Can you imagine? Can you imagine how blessed I feel by this gift from my mother- who knew to paint it blue for my son nine years before he was born because God placed it in her heart to do so?




Don't we serve an awesome God?


Here's another highlight from our day with Grandma :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Waiting for the Rain

And though I'm poor and needy,
I will wait.
Through the fire and the flood,
I will wait.
In the midst of tears and pain,
I will wait.
Until I see Your face,
I will wait.
Until Your hand touches mine,
I will wait.
Until your Spirit falls anew,
here I will wait.

I will wait in the river.
Wait for the rain.



For here I have waited
time and time again
Here for you I've waited
and you have not failed me yet.

Here in this river I have waited
On my knees, crying out
and you were not slow to hear.
You, my Lord, came to my rescue.

So though I'm poor and needy,
And when my heart is aching,
I will wait.

Though I'm parched and tired,
Though what I hear is faint,
I'll hold on for You.
Here in the river I will wait.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's On

Answer in song titles. All answers/titles belong to one band, though several albums. Don't think too much about these answers; I sure didn't.

Your Artist: Superchic[k]

Are you male or female: One Girl Revolution

Describe yourself: Me Against the World

How do you feel about yourself: Beauty from Pain

Describe where you currently live: Stand in the Rain

The first thing you think of when you wake up: Get Up

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Rock What You Got

Your favorite form of transportation: Crawl (Carry Me Through)

Your best friend is: Super Trouper

Your favorite color is: Pure

What's the weather like: So Bright

If your life were a TV show, what would it be called: Breathe

What is life to you: So Beautiful

What is the best advice you have to give: We All Fall

If you could change your name, what would it be: Na Na

Your favorite food is: Real

How I would like to die: We Live

My soul's present condition: Help Me Out God

The faults I can bear: Cross the Line

How would you describe your love life: I Belong to You

What are you going to post this as: It's On


Carolyn, I thought you would appreciate this :). Aren't you a S-chick fan?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Do not be anxious in anything...

But in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 Friends, we are blessed! Let's give God our burdens, thanking him at the same time. Here is my beautiful 4-month-old. Elisha's newest things are discovering hands and feet, reaching for things placed to his fingertips, and becoming ever-more expressive, delighting us with his reactions. He is also rolling over from back to tummy quite frequently- but then he gets frustrated that he can't make it back over again! He is a joy. It's been quite a month since I last updated- our busiest month of the summer! But things are starting to slow down a little and Tim has started classes. So far they are going well! It's hard to believe summer has left so quickly, and now we are left with crisp weather and memories of the long, warmer days. But I am looking forward to pumpkins, apples, autumn leaves and the cheer of the holiday season- this year, for the first time, with a son! Here is a video of Elisha laughing. It's a little dark, and also, there's a mildly embarassing part at the beginning where Tim burps.. haha. It is otherwise adorable!
video

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hope is here

You do your work the best that you can
you put one foot in front of the other
life comes in waves and makes it's demands
you hold on as well as your able

You've been here for a long long time

Hope has a way of turning its face to you
just when you least expect it
you walk in a room
you look out a window
and something there leaves you breathless
you say to yourself
it's been a while since I felt this
but it feels like it might be hope

It's hard to recall what blew out the flame
it's been dark since you can remember
you talk it all through to find it a name
as days go on by without number

You've been here for a long long time

Hope has a way of turning its face to you
just when you least expect it
you walk in a room
you look out a window
and something there leaves you breathless
you say to yourself
it's been a while since I felt this
but it feels like it might be hope

"It Might Be Hope" by Sara Groves

It feels like it might be hope.
That thing that leaves me breathless when I walk in the room, when I look out the window, when I catch a glimpse of something that makes my spirit soar,
It feels like it might be hope.
Hope is here, in this room.
Hope is grabbing ahold of my soul.
Jesus is hope-
My hope for life.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Love, exercise and chai

Things that make me happy:

"You guys arrre... done!"
-Angie, instructor of our 45-minute high-intensity water class

The Love Dare

Watching Elisha react to our smiles and voices



Eating with a spoon with a fat, square handle

Iced Chai Tea Lattes (even better, not spending money for one!)

Kisses from my hubby

A/C

---------------------------

I'm part of a water class on Monday nights instructed by one of the ladies in our house church. She is an excellent instructor and works us hard, but it feels so good to work out, especially in the water. It's been nine long months + now of just gaining weight and making baby, haha, and I am so ready to get back into shape. There is such a great group of ladies that come, too.

So afterwards last night I was invited to Prince St. Cafe with some of the ladies, but seeing as to how I had to make a diaper stop and waited in line for nearly a year and a half :), I just ended up heading home. I have been craving chai lately, though, and so looked up this recipe for a Chai Tea Latte. I'm sure it can be made cold with the addition of ice.

Tim and I are going through The Love Dare and really learning a lot. I believe the Lord has appointed it for this time for a reason, before Tim starts classes here in a few weeks and after we've just come through the first three months with Eli and figuring out what this baby thing's like :) and actually getting sleep again! It's so inspiring and a wonderful feeling to be challenged to find ways of blessing and loving your spouse, and also challenged to look at your own actions, personality and temperament and see where there is room for improvement. I would recommend it for any couple willing to take the dare. The link in the first part of my post is to a youtube video about the book.

Buy it on Amazon here

Looking forward to today.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Life is fragile.

This morning I saw one of my childhood friends for the first time in years. I saw her shell lying peacefully to rest. Her spirit has gone to be with the One who sent her here to bless the lives of many.

Life is fragile. We are here for but a blink of an eye and then we are gone. What we do in our time on earth is up to us~ and God has given us the responsibility of living wholly, purely, justly, lovingly, and doing what we can to bless and love those he puts in our lives.



Cheree was 22 years old and married just short of a year. She was killed in a car crash Tuesday evening. I haven't talked to her in probably five years, but we were friends as children at church, and grasping her death is still a big feat. I wonder if she knew her life would be short. God did, and I'm sure that's why he gave her such a sweet and compassionate disposition, a loving and caring spirit- in order to bless the lives of others.

I trust in God's goodness.

***********************



Elisha isn't gaining weight as he should be. We're working with a lactation consultant to figure out how to increase my milk supply. I'm concerned about him; he's two pounds underweight and only in the 25th percentile. Apparently there are a bunch of herbs said to help stimulate milk production as well. I'd never heard of Fenugreek until now! I will try anything at this point, even supplementing with formula, if it will help Elisha gain. It sure takes a lot of time to make sure I'm feeding him frequently and/or pumping milk.

Now to spend some us-time with my hubby since Eli's gone to bed :).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Change

I am at my grandparents' in Chambersburg with Eli. Today we drove a long hour and a half on the turnpike (during most of which I worried he was in danger of bursting a lung with the hunger cries, or screams, he put forth) to Roxbury- camp of my childhood, camp of today, and camp of the future. And I think it is ever more becoming camp of the future. Before I left today I was thinking about tradition- because "it is the way it is" and it's tradition. People come to Roxbury every year because of tradition just as much as to meet with old, familiar friends. Older ladies wear skirts and head bonnets and talk away the hours, embracing tradition. Young children look forward to Roxbury's bread and peanut butter (maybe apple butter too) as a familiar tradition. I was thinking how Roxbury has always been the same, and it's comfortable that way, even if it's a little old(er). But as I first pushed Elisha in his stroller across the grounds today, I could tell that something new and different has come to Roxbury. I believe it could be something called change. A new age, a new building/bookstore, new dress, new people, new color (skin), new music! To move forward we must cherish the past and embrace the future. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, but I believe He is always and forever using new ways to reach and speak to our ever-changing world.

So Elisha and I made the trek to Roxbury for a sort of reunion ourselves. All the past STEPers currently available and in PA were invited to a reunion by none other than the great Mike Holland. :) It turned out to be a rather small crowd, consisting of most of the team from '04-'05, but it was so fun to connect, hear about changes coming to the STEP program, and pray for each other, Honduras and STEP. We figured about 30 people have come through STEP now, including this year's team. Wow! And God has taken those participants all over in work and language opportunities. I was truly blessd. I was blessed to hear the highlights from each person of their time in Honduras and blessed to hear what God has done/where He has taken them in each STEPer's life (and I mean even the ones not present, as Mike did a run-through of every one!) Praise God for family.

Which brings me to my second topic. Tonight we called my parents via SKYPE. Grandma and Grandpa have a webcam here, so they were able to see Elisha almost like in person! It was good to hear from them. They reported that they feel pretty safe in spite of all the political chaos the media reports- and said the media really makes it out to be worse than it is, in hopes of arising support for ousted ex-president Zalaya. It will be so good to see Dad and Darin at the end of August. Hard to believe Darin will already be a senior this year and checking out colleges!

It's getting late quickly, and we have a long but exciting Missions Day ahead of us tomorrow!

Friday, July 24, 2009

True love

I haven't written since two months before our beautiful baby boy entered the world!!

Re:
Elisha Aaron Mummert was born Monday, May 18, 2009 at 9:04pm. He was 20 1/2 in. long and 7 lbs 10 oz. That was the moment I fell in love.

The minute I saw his beautiful face emerge from within my own body, I knew there was nothing in the world that could ever, ever make me stop loving him. This is true love. I don't think it can be understood or estimated until the responsibility and awesome wonder of one's own child is suddenly the biggest part of life. When your own son is placed in your arms and for every moment with him after that- when you live each day helping him grow and learn, only then do you begin to understand how much love you are capable of feeling and showing.

I will try to update more to come. For now, be blessed.

God's love supercedes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Flutters of life

My little one moves so much! What a joy it is to feel him kicking. He will be with us before we know it!

This weekend Grandma and Grandpa Horst brought us news and pictures of Honduras, as a result of their recent two-week jaunt in Tegucigalpa. Turns out their trip turned out to be longer than originally anticipated due to unforeseen complications (as can be expected in a "developing country") and physical ailments. But they have returned safely and got to spend some precious time with my family, whom I miss dearly. They also helped us move our washer and dryer (!) into our basement, which is beyond exciting for me. I feel I can successfully fulfill one of the most important duties of wifehood without bumming off Carolyn & crew (although I must say I enjoyed the time spent hanging out while waiting for the wash) or carrying laundry across town! hehe.

I think my family is doing really well. Grandma and Grandpa said they are happy and really beginning to adjust and fit in, both culturally and linguistically. How I long to visit! I promised myself when I left two years ago (already?) the next time I came it would be with Tim. (I also told myself that as I flew out of Paris a year before that. haha. God had sure given me some assurance we would be together!!!) Not only that, but hear me on this. Call him somewhat of a prophet, but my host father, dear Papi Pompilio, also told me (at the time I had been dating Tim for about a year) that the next time I came back to visit I would come with my husband Timoteo. :) How wonderful! There are so many people I want him to meet and places to go when we visit. Now I will be able to show little Elisha as well.

God is good! We have so many reasons to praise Him, they are innumerable! And He is so faithful.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The birds of the air and the lilies of the fields

I look out the window the birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune or out of place
I look at the meadow and stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl on her wedding day

So why do I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need

Your love is
Your love is
Your love is strong



Jon Foreman's lyrics have really been speaking to me over the past week, as well as Jesus' words in Matthew.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matt. 6:25-34

What more is there to say?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The sun has come again

Spring is trying to break through.

The sun is showing its glorious face again after a long winter of cloudy skies and bone-chilling wind.

This time of year is so perfect, so wonderful, for as we consider new life springing forth again, so can new life spring up in us! How I long for my spirit to be refreshed and renewed, as a new tulip bud comes from the ground!


I suppose you could say I'm getting a little anxious as each day passes and the months till Elisha's arrival dwindle. They say every prospective mother deals with a certain amount of tensions and fears, and I guess I have my share. I wonder how life will change. I wonder about the effect Elisha will have on Tim and my relationship and if we will still be able to stay as close as we've become. I wonder about finances and knowing how to do everything right...

But really, worrying won't do any good. Obviously that is not a new concept. Jesus told us not to worry about tomorrow, for it will worry about itself. I know he clothes the lilies of the fields with beautiful garments and he will just as much take care of us.

And so I trust!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Elisha Aaron Mummert


Sons are a heritage from the Lord,
children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one's youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame when they contend
with their enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-5
I feel blessed to have the honor of raising a son. I look forward to the challenges and the joys, and raising Elisha with my best friend and the love of my life~ how wonderful to embark on this journey of parenthood with the one I hold dearest in my heart.
Praise to the High One for giving me joys
Peculiarly sweet, I'm the mother of boys!
Mud puddles, torn blue jeans, toads, whistles and worms.
The furred and feathered and whatever squirms.
Black knuckles, bats, arrows and thundering noise.
They're all in a day for the mothers of boys.
But, ah, 'tis a dear joy to turn the blue eyes
To the manifold wonder of earth, sea and skies.
And, ah, 'tis a dear joy to watch a small hand seize
The hand of God in the knowledge of these.
Spare me, oh High One, to praise Thee more when
This mother of boys is the mother of men!