Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Where I Am - March Edition

Where I Am – March 31, 2010

Where I Am: I am hanging out on my couch while the lovely Selah takes a nap…I must tell you all – she slept through the night last night (well, until 5am – which is through the night as far as I’m concerned). Hoping that this is the trend & not a fluke, but we will wait and see. So, I’m feeling quite rested today & looking forward to what lies ahead. As a side note – this is my last week of maternity leave & although a couple weeks ago I was struggling with the quiet I am LOVING it now – isn’t it crazy how so often we want what we don’t have…and then when it feels as though it is slipping away we try to hang onto it for dear life? Lord, help me to learn to settle into YOUR rhythms of life…

What I Am Listening To: At this very moment I’m listening to a new CD I bought yesterday – “Where You Go I Go” by Brian & Jenn Johnson – I’m liking it. I also bought the new CD by Adie…liking that one too! I’ve also been enjoying Sara Groves “Fireflies and Songs”

What I Am Reading: Well, I thought I would do SO MUCH reading while I was on maternity leave, but amazingly I’ve found that often I would rather just watch my little one…BUT I have read a few things:

The Passion of Mary Margaret by Lisa Samson – a good fiction read

I’ll Have What She is Having by Bobbie Houston – honestly, I was a bit disappointed…I think that Bobbie is a fabulous speaker & the premise behind the book was good…but sometimes books just don’t click with me & this was one of those instances…sorry, Bobbie!

The Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg – LOVED this book – mostly I read it in the middle of the night while I was nursing and it was all about prayer & hearing God in unique ways. Margaret shares her own struggles with prayer and as I read I felt like I was reading parts of my own journey with God. It was encouraging, thought provoking, and ministered to my soul. Margaret IS one of those authors that clicks with me.

I am in the process of reading: Sin Boldly by Cathleen Falsani & Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson…I’ll let you know later how they are.

I’ve also been reading LOTS of blogs…my new favorites are:
The Pioneer Woman
Donald Miller – I especially appreciated Miller’s words about Pastors today  – makes me want to call my dad and thank him for the sacrifice he has made all of these years…

What I Am Watching: Unfortunately, I’ve been watching WAY too much TV…so here are a few comments:

The Amazing Race – Josh and I watch this together and talk about what a fabulous team we would be…but this season I’ve wondered if I would come off as ditzy as Caite (she was the Miss Teen South Carolina who didn’t do a good job answering her interview question)…

Kell on Earth – This is for YOU Jenn Beamer – she is so crazy and fascinating to me…interesting to see what certain segments of society sees as a strong woman…

The Biggest Loser – I don’t really care who wins, but I need to give a shout out to my sister Leslie who has lost 28 pounds since January 1st & looks FABULOUS!!!! Love most of all her attitude & commitment to this process – it is inspiring!

Project Runway – still love this show – I want to make an outfit made of trashbags…

Wow, do I really watch that much reality television? It is scary – it will be good for me to go back to work…

Help that I’m Needing:  I’ve decided that my blog needs a name. Paige Allen’s Blog is so uncreative that it makes me cringe…but I can’t decide what it should be. I literally have a list of about 20 ideas. Here are my top 7 (along with thoughts behind the name) – let me know which one you like or if you have a better idea I’m totally open! Basically I want to convey that this is a place where people will read my musings about life, ministry, becoming a new mom, the world & whatever else pops up…I may have to convey this via a subtitle…but let me know what you think:

I Love Ellipses – (seriously…I LOVE them…have you noticed…I use them all the time…they represent the fact that I’m in the middle of thinking…and usually I’m still thinking when I stop writing…)

The Preacher Girl – (because there aren’t too many of us…and I realized that my funniest stories tend to revolve around trying to navigate this interesting life)

Transparent Hope – (this is my goal: to be transparent with my life in such a way that a bit of hope is instlled in readers)

A Little Bit of Fabulous – (I love the word fabulous…and sometimes...well sometimes...I am fabulous)

PaigeBlogs – this is my safe standby

Two Claps for Life – (if you know me…you know that I do a little clap when good things happen)

Becoming Paige – (this is in honor of Jane Austen – my favorite…and also I think it is a true statement…this blog is me…trying to figure out who I am and becoming more of who He wants me to be)

What is your vote?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Counting My Gifts (No.60-73)

60. Sunny days that call for a walk

61. Meeting a new friend that is passionate about justice

62. More small smiles in the middle of the night

63. Day trips with my mom

64. Enjoying a weekend of doing nothing with my girl

65. Finding The Pioneer Woman Cookbook & taking the time to peruse it in a bookstore

66. Visiting with my childhood best friend – loving that after distance we can still so easily connect & share

67. Receiving a baby gift from across the world

68. Laughing at Missy’s crazy mission story

69. Getting mommy advice from my little sisters – love that our roles have changed

70. Watching my church rally around tragedy

71. A random bench at an estate sale that has promise in my eyes

72. The sound of a house with little girls – realizing this is my family’s future for many years to come

73. Josh selling multiple houses since the arrival of our small one – thanking God for His provision

holy experience

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Counting My Gifts (No. 44-59)

I've gotten so behind on counting my gifts!  This is typically a Monday post, and I meant to put it up yesterday...but it didn't happen.  No, I'm not terribly busy, but as I settle into a more quiet life I realize that I'm not in such a rush to be "productive"...perhaps that in and of itself is a gift that I should count!

Anyways, here are a few gifts that God has given me recently.

44. Simple advice that magically repaired my computer.

45. Finding joy in simple conversations

46. Amazing in-laws who love me (almost as much as their son)

47. Welcoming people into my home & truly being okay that it isn’t “clean”

48. Selah’s eyes that now focus on my face.

49. Her little smiles (even if they are simply the result of gas)

50. The inward freedom to ignore work and be okay with it

51. Rediscovering my love of reading

52. Reading in the middle of the night while holding my girl

53. Buying a shirt (and pants) that are NOT maternity wear!

54. The promise of spring

55. A new niece with shocking hair

56. A new warm blanket for my couch time

57. An unexpected gift of flowers from my husband

58. The hubs words of encouragement…telling me he loves me more…loves the compassion he sees growing inside…knowing he is speaking the truth

59. Watching as others fall in love with the world

holy experience

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Enjoying the Quiet

Everyone keeps asking me how I'm adjusting and I think I would say I'm loving the mommy stuff!  What has been more of a difficult transition has been the slower pace of life that I'm finding comes with this baby girl.  For years - literally - at least back until high school I typically go, go, go - and I've loved it.  So, the difficulty has been in learning to be okay simply talking to a baby...reading...going out of the house once a day for lunch or an errand...and learning to be okay with the silence.

I have more to say, but my husband is home now, so I'm gonna go & have some adult conversation!!!!

I thought I would share a few pictures from the last couple weeks of Selah's life...we even made a quick trip to Dallas for her to meet Josh's family!

Until next time, I'm going to continue enjoying the quiet (or at least try to enjoy it)!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Through the Pain

Yesterday I was on the verge of deciding to throw in the towel on this whole world of breastfeeding. I’m a tough girl – I can give you a long list of painful things that I’ve endured…running a 1 mile race with a broken leg…refusing to get off the track…I’ve run 2 marathons & and I have some great horror stories from those experiences…so when it comes to pain – it typically doesn’t scare me.

But yesterday…

Yesterday was the epitome of tough. Turns out that the three things that can go wrong with breastfeeding were all knocking at my door (you might want to stop reading now if you can’t handle my too much information)…

Cracked & Bleeding Nipples – check

Engorgement – check

Mastitis (this is an infection in the breasts that caused me to run a high fever for over 24 hours and feel like I have the flu) – check

So yesterday as I sat on my couch all I could do was let the crazy hormones take over and cry. I cried…and cried…and cried. I cried to Josh…I cried to my mom…I cried when I looked at Selah…and I cried when I saw my pitiful face in the mirror.

And somewhere in the crying I just heard the Lord say – “You will get through this.” I asked Him for specifics (I like to set goals)…but all I heard was there was an end & in the meantime I could know that He was with me.

I’ve been thinking about this today…I can handle pain MUCH better when I know specifics about the end. For example, in labor I actually asked the doctor in between pushes how much longer she was estimating. Josh laughed at me as he said I calmly explained to her that I did much better with “proper expectations.” She seemed taken a back but finally said – I think you have 15 minutes left…I did it in 10.

So, this my reality. I can handle pain so long as I know that I am in control and I can navigate a path to a quick and speedy end…and so yesterday, when there were no specific answers…only a promise of His presence I REALLY wanted to cave.

That is until I decided to embrace His promise…I stopped crying at my hopeless situation and started crying to Him. That was all I knew to do…and yet, amazingly there was peace there – a peace that built up both my heart and mind to know that although the end may be a bit farther – we will get there and in the meantime He will be there to comfort and teach.

One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

It became life to me yesterday – I petitioned…I prayed…I cried…and although I didn’t get the answer I was hoping for – I got the answer that matters most. He is with me and He will guard my heart, mind & even my crazy emotions as we journey through the pain.

FYI – the antibiotics did kick in this afternoon. I’m feeling MUCH better and I’m determined to stick out breastfeeding…

I will leave you with a picture of my precious one.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Counting my Gifts

I had meant to post some gifts 2 Mondays ago but forgot...then LAST Monday I received the greatest gift of my life...and today and decided to share a few more...


February 15, 2010

23. Samantha Brown travel shows – think I could have my own…

24. Receiving flowers 2 days BEFORE Valentine’s so I can enjoy & smell all weekend long

25. Writing a love letter to my man…and remembering why he amazes me

26. Speaking to moms & daughters – watching as the moms tear up – realizing that every mother has a special dream for her daughter – knowing I will soon have dreams of my own for Selah

27. Drinking coffee in my Anthropologie mugs…just makes me happy

28. Writing Thank You notes – realizing that I am loved

29. My niece Madi’s hugs

30. The way Madi immediately says “Josh” when she sees me – she just knows we go together…

31. Feeling God’s love in a tangible way

32. Seeing people give of their time to build dreams

33. Finishing a good book

34. Hearing amazing background stories of Olympians – inspirational

March 1, 2010

35. Life forever changing with just one glimpse at that face

36. 4am feedings when we talk about the things she will do

37. Watching her search for fingers to suck

38. A labor that was perfect for me – even when the epidural didn’t fully numb the pain

39. Tiny clothes that are too big

40. Hearing my dad say, “It’s amazing how quickly you can fall in love with someone so small.”

41. Having him stay home to hold her…to comfort me…to simply be

42. Tears of joy

43. Learning to embrace the silence…a slower rhythm of life

holy experience
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