Friday, August 23, 2013

I Wouldn't Let Go

  So here's the thing. I haven't let go. That is, until a few days ago. If you read my story about the ordeal with Owen, then you are all caught up. He started shaking. I called the Doctor, she feared seizures and sent us to the ER. We waited and waited to see a neurologist and after seeing one we were told Owen was self soothing. All should be better, right? It should. But I wouldn't let go.

I wouldn't let go.

   I let fear win. I let fear take over my emotions. I let fear disrupt my family. I let fear dictate my thoughts and actions. I shouldn't have. We saw multiple Doctors and had tests run and all came back fine, but I didn't want to believe that. A dear friend knew I was struggling with letting go of my fear and called to say, "Trust. Trust what the Doctors are saying. We prayed for answers and a clear report for Owen and you got that. Now trust it." After listening to that message and thinking about it for the next few days I realized I was choosing fear. Every morning, I would wake up and choose it, and carry it with me the whole day. I would let fear weigh me down.
   God walks us through trials and when we're on the other side, we have a choice. We can rejoice in the Lord and thank Him for bringing us through. Or, do what I did. Choose fear. Hold onto doubt and worry, let anxiousness overwhelm our hearts and minds.

    So today, instead of carrying fear of  "What if" I will rejoice in the victory. 

- Grace & Peace

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


" I am weary with my moaning; 
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with weeping.
My eye wastes away because of grief;
It grows weak because of all my foes.

Psalm 6:6-7

   Ok- this is what I read this morning. My first response while reading it was " YES! Lord, that's me! That's my life!!! Everyone hates me and everything is going wrong!!!" Then I felt the Lord respond. In one word.


  Uh, say what? Lord, life is really hard right now, can't you respond with something else? Here is one of the definitions of the word Perspective: "the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance."

It is true. I need perspective. David was a king and had enemies that wanted to kill him. I am just overwhelmed by life. My emotions and fears are not less important to God than those of King David, BUT what I think God was trying to show me is that I am so quick to swing my emotions and feel like my world is ending. But it isn't. I actually told someone last week that I felt like Job. Then I realized how ridiculous that was and said "Except, no one died. And I didn't lose everything." I had to laugh at myself. Things have been intense for us lately, mostly weird sicknesses on our family. The scariest one was thinking Owen may be having Seizures, but after a trip to the ER and an appointment with a neurologist we found out that he was shaking his head to self sooth. By nature, I am a glass half empty person so whenever anything hard comes my response is to cry and feel overwhelmed. Luckily for me, The Lord gently reminds me that I need to keep it all in check and have Perspective. I need to rejoice in the health of my baby boy and believe that God will heal the rest of us just as he did for Owen.

Can I just encourage you to have perspective in moments of chaos or emotional distress Take a step back and let God work it out. He always does.

Grace & Peace

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bad Idea

CONFESSION: I spent nap time Insta-Stalking other Moms. 

   What is "Insta-Stalking", you ask? Well, it means some how finding a friend of a friend of a friends, sisters, next door neighbors, hair dressers Instagram and looking through all their pictures. All the while, comparing your house, kids, style, workout routine, culinary abilities, and hair color with unknown Cyber moms. It's an awful thing to do my friends. Yet, I still do it... All the time. I usually walk away from my phone feeling super bummed at my lack of Super Mom-ness. Today was no excpetion. I stumbled upon this amazing mom with a gaggle of kids, a cute house, cool hair, athletic, and she loved Jesus. So what was I to do after feeling like an uber lame Mom? I know! Lets have a pedicure party! BAD IDEA. Why did I think painting nails would be a good idea on my 21 month old crazy Olive? She smudged her mint green toes on EVERYTHING, including my wet toes. Ava dropped stacking boxes on the only 3 toes Olive missed and I found myself more frazzled then I could bare. All the while Owen is sitting in his Bouncer like an angel, then I realized he was probably overwhelmed by the nail polish smell! So I scrambled to open every door and window in the house. But don't worry, it's only over 100 degrees outside. Sigh...

   I couldn't help but laugh. I did my best to fix our toes, but they're still a little funky. I was texting a good friend of mine today about how well put together the amazing Mom I found on Instagram was and how she seemed to have it all put together. Ya know what my friends response was..."Yea... lol. Doesn't everyone?" She is so right. I only ever post the BEST pictures of myself, when my house is sparkling clean, and my children are well behaved. I never post pictures of the other 90% of life when I am covered in Spit Up, chasing around Olive who is always half naked and yelling at the dog, while Ava explains to me her deep reasoning on wanting to be a grown up and not a kid. It's funny how filters on a photo editing social media site make me look better, huh? 

   So here's my confession: I am not Perfect. I get frustrated with my kids sometimes. My house is usually a mess. I haven't brushed my hair in 3 days. And the only fruit or veggie my kids have had in the past 4 days is oranges, because I haven't made it to the store in a week.

   So if there are any Mom's out there who feel like they aren't the perfect "Insta-Mom" all the time, it's ok, you're not alone. Try not to compare yourself, everyone has hard days. You're awesome, your kids are cute, you are in great shape, you look like an incredible cook, and you seem to be getting a full 8 hours of sleep every night! ;) Ok, the last one may be a stretch...

Grace & Peace 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Sunday I Need

There is something so magical about early summer mornings. The benefit to your daughters getting up at 5am, is that you get to watch the sunrise and sit outside in the crisp summer air. This morning is especially sweet... Ava and Olive are switching between snuggling with each other and playing in the back yard, Owen is sweetly sleeping in his bassinet and every so often he lets out a deep breath that reassures me he is happy, and I am enjoying the company of my most special Husband. I sat and watched as Daniel and our daughters ran through the yard smiling and laughing. Olive would occasionally yell out, "Runnin! Runnin! Runnin!" with a smile on her face. The sound track to our morning has been a mixture of old John Mayer, Bon Iver, and City and Colour. Here is my favorite (or watch & listen here in case the embed below doesn't work):

Coffee with my Beloved. Joy filled laughter with my daughters. Sweet sounds of a newborn baby. Good music.

I would call this morning a success. And it's only 8am. Happy Sunday to you! I pray God gives you the Sunday you need.

Grace & Peace

Saturday, May 18, 2013

But Am I Searching

It is still astounding to me how high and low my emotions can get in the matter of minutes regarding my kids. There are times when I am so overwhelmed with love and joy that I feel like I could pop. Then there are also times when I get so frustrated that I want to slam my head into the wall. (You probably think I am over exaggerating about wanting to slam my head into the wall. I assure you, I am not.) My child induced emotional highs and lows came to a head the other day in what I consider now to be a funny situation. However, in the moment, "funny" would have been the last word I used to describe it.
  So here are the things that happened. In order:
1- Terrible nights sleep. Owen was like a baby vampire who wanted to eat non-stop
2- Olive woke up on the wrong side of the bed. And by wrong side, I mean, continents away. Galaxies away.... She was ANGRY! She literally screamed non stop, all morning.
3- Ava decided that she would begin her quest of self awareness and all together stop listening to anything and everything I said.
4- My kitchen smelled awful and I could not figure out why. (It turned out to be a rotting Pear that was in the fruit bowl on the counter. YUCK!)
5- We had a weird swarm of tiny little flying beetle bugs that were covering the side of our house and shed.
Here's where it all went down hill... Olive's screams wore me down and Ava's bad listening made me angry. So, when one of the tiny little fly bugs ended up inside I wanted to take my anger out on them. I went outside without a plan, but convinced I could get rid of them by some act of will. As I stomped my feet out the side door and over toward the cluster of them a carpenter bee dove bombed for my face!!!
** Now friends, let me inform you of the terror that is a Carpenter Bee. They are GIANT black bees that fly in an erratic pattern searching for flowers. Meaning, they fly around like maniacs and dive for my head. I hate them. They are awful, and every time I see one I either scream or run.**

After the bee dove for my head I ran inside and broke down. All out ugly mom cry. Olive continued to scream, Ava kept asking me questions, and poor Daniel was so confused. In that moment when I wanted to bang my head into the wall I asked Ava to sing Jesus Loves Me. I don't know why. I just did. After she finished I started singing this song. " Lord you have my heart. And I will search for yours..." There was something that happened to my spirit when I sang Praises to God. It calmed me.
  It wasn't until later that I realized the significance of the song I sang. Those words that I unknowingly professed... God has my heart, and I need to be searching for His. Because when I do, like in that crazy moment of anger, He can do miraculous things. It may seem silly to you that just singing a song can change your whole day, but let me tell you, it isn't silly at all. It is amazing. I wasn't trying to have a deep devotional time with God, or even meet with Him at all. I was just trying to control my temper and keep my heart in check. He met me where I was and used the circumstances of my day to teach me something. Even the smallest gesture, if I reach out for God, He meets me there.

Grace & Peace

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I Just Want To Be With You

Mothers Day.
As a child, it was a day when Dad was in charge. He planned the day's events, bought the cards for us to sign, and directed us in our tasks to show my Mom how wonderful she was. It is a fond memory. Looking back on those days makes my heart smile. Knowing what I do now, I understand my Dad's deep desire to show his wife how marvelous she was. How hard she worked. How unconditionally she loved. And for a kid, we just thought it was a day to give our mom and extra hug and eat BBQ for dinner. Do I think I undervalued my mom on Mothers Day as a child? Yes. Do I think it mattered to her? No. Because of one thing. There was always one thing she wanted. The same every year, without fail. The days leading up to Mothers Day when we would ask my Mom what she wanted she would respond in a quiet and sweet voice, "I just want to be with you." As a kid, that was the best answer ever. I always feared she would ask for something HUGE. Like cleaning my room. (My room was referred to as the Black Hole. Once something went in there, it was rarely seen again.) Now, being a Mom to three little humans I understand her simple request.
   I was reminiscing this morning about my first Mothers Day. May 10th, 2009. One week before my due date with Ava. I spent the day with Daniel preparing for the arrival of our precious girl. Fast forward four years and I now have 3 children who call me Mom. Three little loves that I nurtured in my belly and now they are here. Living, breathing, tiny humans. When I think about Mothers Day and what I want to do, I think about wanting to spend time with my children. It is because of them that I get to be celebrated on this day. It is because of them that I get to experience things like laughing so hard someone shoots milk out of their nose. It is because of them that I get to experience the joy of giving birth. It is because of them that I get to experience the wonderment of learning something new. It is because of them that I get to Mother.

   So here I am years later asking for the same thing my Mom always did. I am sure that in years to come that will still be my answer. And when my children have grown and gone their own ways and I think back on my past I will remember moments like these, when all I wanted was to spend time together. To let life slow down for a while and enjoy my family. And no matter how old they get or where their lives take them, when they ask me what I want for Mothers Day I will quietly and sweetly say, "I just want to be with you."

Grace & Peace


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Learning to love my Veggies

So here's the thing, I know God uses whatever you're going through to teach you things. However, I find that fact to be even more prevalent through parenting. Maybe it's just because my job as a Momma is to encourage  love, correct, guide, support, and teach my children how to Love God and Love each other.

This evening we had another interaction with our very smart and quite emotional 3 year old. Over the past year as her vocabulary has expanded so rapidly, so has her ability to vocalize how much she doesn't like the food I make for dinner. Let me assure you, I am not exaggerating when I say that 6 out of 7 nights when dinner hits the table I hear opposition from Ava. It doesn't matter what I say or how I compare the food to some other person or animal that loves to eat it, she is adamantly against consuming it. I wish I could just explain to her how important having a good diet is. So this evening when she started complaining about eating her potatoes and veggies I wanted to just throw my hands up and give in. It is exhausting having to battle my child on the same issue 3 times a day. Luckily for me Daniel was there to handle it and talk with her, and I just took a deep breath. Fifteen minutes later as she is still sitting at the table taking mice bites of her veggies I had a thought:

I wonder how God feels when we continually try to do something that is against his will for us or is blatantly bad for us. Is he sitting next to us at the hypothetical dinner table,  coaxing us to eat our "vegetables"? 

Bam! Jesus punch to the face! I can't even tell you how many times I'll do something with my own thought process and logic and I am faced with a ton of opposition, ultimately leading to me going to God with a repentant heart for not doing it in the way He would have me to. He is my Father. He knows whats best for me. Unlike me, He never throws His hands up and walks away shaking His head. God is always patient. He loves me with a supernatural love that is interwoven with divine wisdom. I could gain a lot by modeling the way I parent after how He parents me.

Grace & Peace

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Sick Girl and a Tired Mama

What a week it has been... Oh my goodness. We woke up Monday morning to a VERY sick Olive Grace. She had thrown up everywhere. So sad. And so gross. The rest of the day was spent cuddling, sleeping, crying, but luckily no more barfing. (hallelujah!) Our usually rambunctious girl was out of sorts and very sad. It is the worst thing in the world to have a sick baby! We thought it might be food poisoning, but there's no way to tell for sure.

She only wanted her Daddy, which made him feel Oh-So-Loved and by Monday evening when she went to bed we were all exhausted and heavy in prayer that whatever she had wouldn't spread to the rest of us. It's been a long week, and a slow recovery for our girl. She is still so tired and uninterested in her usual favorite activities. Ava has been a trooper. She was SO bored this week. We stayed home all week just to be sure no one else was sick and because we didn't want to possibly spread anything. Sharing is NOT caring in this circumstance. 

She got to meet the dog my brother is taking care of for 6 weeks for a friend. This girl is an animal lover! I can't remember the dogs name for the life of me, but Ava talks about it all the time. Mommy fail moment. Owen had a rough few days, maybe because things were crazy around here for a while. But I swear that little dude is getting cuter by the second!       

It was a LONG, emotional week for us. I am glad things have wound down and everyone else stayed healthy and Oli is on the mend. I had a conversation with Daniel at one point this week regarding some nostalgia I was feeling about how my relationship with God used to be. How it was when Daniel and I first met, when I was interning at our church and trying to figure out God independently. I was constantly learning new things and going deeper into the word. As of today, in my life now, with 3 kids, its victory to even find my Bible. Ava likes to carry it around and pretend its her "pretty book" while talking in a British accent. I can't complain, it's outrageously cute. But non the less, my spirit is thirsty for new life and fresh discovery of Gods word. Daniel listened intently to my thoughts and desires and encouraged me to fight for time whenever I could. But something hit me a few days later as I did find a spare moment to read the Word of God. Psalm 51:

As  I read through those verses something stuck to my heart that I thought about for the rest of the week... The thought of God not wanting sacrifice, but a spirit that is broken and needing to be put back together by Him. My relationship with God can not be limited to or categorized by the number of times in a week that I have deep devotional readings and exploration of the Word. And that's not what He wants from me. He wants me to be broken before him. Unable to carry the load of being a mother, especially in difficult times when kids are sick or needy. When I can't find the desire or strength to pick up another toy or clean another dish, lay my sad broken spirit at His feet. Let Him do with me what He pleases. Make me into the mother and wife, the daughter, the friend, He wants me to be. Lucky for me, I have a God that continually reminds me of his Love and Thoughtfulness for me. Thank you God for refreshing my soul with your insights. 

Grace & Peace

Monday, April 1, 2013

Owen Daniel

I would like to introduce you to my son,
Owen Daniel Horning.

Born on March 17, 2013 at 12:52am. He was 8lbs 8oz and 20.5" long. 

Owen is such a dream. He is a wonderful addition to our family. Ava & Olive are so in love with their new little brother, They run to his side whenever he cries and shower him with hugs and kisses all day long. My delivery of Owen was a whole new experience for me. Even though he is my third child, he is my first one to be delivered with no medication to induce labor. Both of the girls were induced and I had an epidural. I labored for 12 hours with Ava and for 6 With Olive. My prayer throughout this third pregnancy was that God would let me experience labor on my own and I wouldn't have to be induced. I wanted to know that my body could do it on its own. And here is how the story goes...

The two weeks leading up to Owen's birth were spent cleaning, organizing, gardening, cooking, and doing anything else that would keep me busy. As my due date began to creep closer my mind would wonder to places of defeat and frustration, I had already given into the idea that I was going to be induced. My hearts cry to God was that I would go into labor on my own and I would pray every day that He would let it happen. Every night when Daniel would rub my feet I would pour my heart out to him and try my hardest to better explain my desire. I felt silly wanting labor so badly. I knew that either way I would end up with a sweet new baby and that I would labor for hours whether with Pitocin or without. 
There was a particular verse that I would say in my mind whenever I would pray about it. " 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." (Jeremiah 29:11) I would meditate on that verse and try to remind myself that God knew exactly how he wanted Owen to come into this world. 
On Saturday March 16, (One week and one day before my due date) my parents came over to help us get some house projects done. Daniel built a fence in the front yard, my dad did some electrical work, I organized in the house, and my mom gardened. At one point in the early afternoon I went out front to see how everyone was doing and sat down on our walk way. As I talked with my mom I began weeding in between some of the Paver Stones lining our walk way. It was really awkward and uncomfortable to lean over my giant belly and get down to those weeds, and I remember looking up at my mom and sarcastically saying, "Well, if this doesn't put me into labor than nothing will!" Little did I know, I was only hours away from the beginnings of labor. 
As late afternoon came around and we had all showered and cleaned up from the days work I was beginning to notice that I was "cramping". They would come and go and were getting stronger each time. I thought it might be labor, so I quietly packed mine and Daniel's bag for the hospital. We went to my parents house for dinner at 5:30pm and I had a good friend who was visiting from out of town stop by to say Hi. As time went on at my parents and the "cramping" continued and intensified I began to wonder if I was indeed in labor. Around 6:30pm I was contracting every 10 minutes. I told my mom what I was feeling and asked if she thought I was in labor. Her response, "Maybe?" Gee, thanks Ma! I was hoping for a little more affirmation. But in the next 45 minutes sitting outside it was evident that the time had come! Daniel and I took our girls home and did their normal bedtime routine, with occasional breaks for me leaning against a wall or dresser trying to breath. We got the girls in bed and I began to gather last minute things and clean the house. Although, looking back I wasn't really cleaning, I was just carrying things around and setting them down somewhere else. My contractions were about 7 minutes apart and getting more intense. Even during contractions I was trying to talk myself out of labor. I was so worried that it was just a false alarm and my contractions would stop. I didn't want to get my hopes up. Around 9:15pm as I was laying down I had a contraction that made me realize it was "go time". I looked at Daniel and told him it was time to go. We excitedly scrambled to get stuff together, my parents came to stay with the girls, and off we went to have our son.
Once arriving at the hospital they took me to what they call the "Prove It" room, where they check to see if you're actually in labor. I was at 7cm. Go time!!!! They put in an IV and rushed me off to a labor and delivery room. After getting situated in our room and finishing all our paperwork around 10:30pm my nurse came in and asked if I wanted an epidural. And there it was, the million dollar question! I hadn't decided if I wanted one or not. I knew I wanted one if I had to be induced, but to my surprise I went into labor on my own. I turned to Daniel and asked him what I should do and he lovingly said that it was up to me. I looked at my nurse and told her I wanted to wait and see how far I could make it on my own.... Little did I know there was no turning back!
My contractions intensified quickly. In between contraction my nurse repeatedly complimented Daniel on his glorious beard and reminded me while in pain more than once that I had a hot husband... It was funny, but very true! By 11:15 I was doing the crazy lady moaning with each contraction. I remember looking up at Daniel and the nurse Jewel and apologizing for being one of those weird ladies you see in the birthing videos. They both laughed. By 12am I thought the world was going to end. My contractions were so intense and so close together I felt like I couldn't catch my breath. They lasted for over a minute but were only 45 seconds apart. It got real crazy real fast. In those last 52 minutes of labor, when I was at my weakest, in the most pain of my life, I leaned on Daniel for physical and emotional support. He was incredibly kind and reassuring in the moments when I felt like I couldn't go on. He reminded me that if I could just keep going I would get to hold my son. He was right, and it was so worth it. At 12:52am Owen Daniel was born. He was perfect. 
Daniel and I don't name our children until after they are born because we want to see them first. Naming our son was the most difficult of our three children, but so special for me. I knew I wanted him to have Daniel's name, because of how wonderful he was to me during my labor and delivery. 
Owen means "Well Born" and Daniel means "God is my judge".

I didn't plan on it and I don't know if I could do it again, but having a natural delivery was an incredible experience. Being that aware of what is going on is both excruciating and invigorating. Owen's birth story is unique and new to me and I wouldn't change it.

Grace & Peace

Thanks for checking out my blog. The writings found on these pages are just sincere thoughts, questions, and feelings I have about life, God, and banana slugs.