Monday, July 30, 2012

Home made finger paints

Going to try this today : )
Warmest thoughts and prayers, Chantel Dillard

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I was made to praise Jesus

(I do not own this image)

In all I do, let it bring you praise

Warmest thoughts and prayers, Chantel

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What it is like to (NOT) sleep at night

Taken from the Amber Dusick Blog
*Note: If you view this on site please be aware I edited word(s) so as not to offend

I've always been jealous of my husband's ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. It isn't his fault that he is a deep sleeper.  But I can't help it.  It totally pisses me off.  
We climb in bed at 9:00PM...
By 9:03 my husband is completely asleep.
I'm nursing my youngest and haven't even begun to think about sleeping yet.  I lay there motionless, pretending to be calm and relaxed so he'll fall asleep. Anyway, I'm cold since the blankets aren't on my top half.
So I pretend to be sleeping but really I'm going over the "to do" list or re-winding conversations from earlier.  Or having pretend conversations that might happen in the future.  On a good night the baby settles pretty fast.
Finally, around 10:00PM he is asleep.  Success!  He rolls over and my body is my own for the first time all day.  I can pull up the blankets a little.  I close my eyes for real.  Start to relax and let go...
Until I hear a noise.  
Becoming a mama has given me heightened spidey senses.  A tiny noise a mile away wakes me up like a mama bear, ready to protect her young.
My husband did not inherit this quality with parenthood.
Wide-eyed, I strain my ears to hear.  This particular noise is one I'm all too familiar with.
Enter 4.5 year old.  I thought he was asleep by now.  He has no concept of being quiet while people are sleeping, so he barges in loudly asking for random [stuff]*.  I have to jump out of bed and rush him out of the room so he doesn't wake the baby.  This attempt is successful about 50% of the time.  Lets assume it was successful tonight.
So now I'm in the hallway, hearing my 4.5 year old's demands and bargaining with him.  Water, bathroom or covers on or off, etc.  I have no real power here, I'll agree to anything to get him back in bed quietly.  When he has exhausted all the standard stuff, he finishes by needing to tell me somethingvery important, like "I saw a rock today on the ground and it had dirt on it and I forgot to tell you! " and I steer him back to his room.
By the time I head back to my bed, the baby has turned into a starfish.  Legs and arms stretched out, taking up my whole side of the bed.
I slide next to and under him being careful not to wake him.  I can't move.  I'm scared to breathe.  This is a very delicate situation.  I have to move him.  I have to risk it.
The first attempt to move him just makes it worse.  He swings both arms and legs on top of me.  He is stirring now so I can't move a muscle.  I'm like a statue while I listen to his breathing to hear when he is in a deep sleep again to move him.   
Finally, it is midnight and I've successfully moved him.  I haven't heard my 4.5 year old in a while so he must be asleep too.  I fall asleep for the first time!
Until I'm woken by a foot in my eye.  I try to ignore it.  A foot in the eye is a sign that he is starting to move into a lighter sleep.  This means he'll wake up completly to nurse soon.  
So we're nursing again.  I'm half asleep but not mostly just feel like a zombie. My mind wanders to weird stuff.  I close my eyes and see flashes of people and places like a dream except I'm awake.   
Finally he settles again and rolls away.  It is 2:30AM and I can finally get somereal sleep!  It is very unlikely that either kid is going to wake me up again. Sweet sleeping bliss.
Until the two cats come in at 5:00AM and announce that they are hungry.  They continue make this announcement every 15 minutes or so.  I ignore them.  But they know.  They know I'm their target. They know I'm awake no matter how hard I pretend.  They finally settle on my feet so that they will be alerted the moment I stir.  I get a few more minutes of sleep.     
Only to be woken at 7:00AM for a new day.  My 4.5 year old skips into our room and gleefully sings, "Morning!  It's morning time!"  Which wakes up the baby who replies with "Mownin!"  Then they start jumping on our bed.  
Even this doesn't wake up my husband.  He is sound asleep. Sometimes I look at his chest rising and falling with his breath to confirm that he is alive before unleashing the kids on him.  
"Go see Papa" I grumble. 
They have to poke his head and repeat "Papa!" over and over and he finallywakes up.
And what is the first thing out of his mouth?  The one and only thing I DON'T want him to say?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Water Over Rocks

Our Adventure at the River 

"Mommy, my girt is wat"

skipping rocks ( or throwing rocks at his sister, hmm)

A Happy Mother

Psalm 113:9 NLT
He gives the childless woman a family,
making her a happy mother.
Praise the LORD!

It dawned on me that this is not exclusive to biological or even legally adopted children, but I believe this happiness is fulfilled through or spiritual family.
There are children in our neighborhoods in need of the compassion and nurturing a mother provides. There are children in our churches, or young mothers in need of a mothering figure to lend a hand in carrying for little ones.

The Lord gives the childless mother a family in many ways, making her a happy mother indeed.

Warmest thoughts and prayers, Chantel Dillard

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Letter to my brother

I went back and read a letter I wrote to my brother some time ago. It brought things back to memory that I want to stay in the front of my mind. I hope it also brings encouragement to  some of you as well.
(C)2012,2008 Chantel Dillard


Dear Brother,
 I was elated to have a letter from you. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to write back, but things are as they are to be right?
I just came back from an awesome conference and it has ignited my soul so fiercely. God spoke to me while there and told me to do a thing that seems so unthinkable. I know he is prompting me to trust him so much more deeply than I have been. I know he is giving me an opportunity to exercise my faith and I can watch him do the things that /I think are outside of his care. It is just so hard to do. We say we trust God but when it comes to it in reality we are so quick to take back what we said out of our mouths. God help me.
God wants me to spend the majority of my time with him. He wants me to give him most of my time of the day, not just more of my time. I said God then what about the house and what about the children, and what about dinner and what about this and that? How do I balance it all? God spoke so clearly to me when he answered- Don’t. You are not supposed to balance it- that is the problem. You are trying to control what is not yours to control. You are trying to play God. I humbly had to ask him to forgive me. I asked him to forgive me for worry, because I had no idea that worry was in my heart, but me wanting to control every detail of my life, is worry’s ugly sister. 
I must admit that I have still have not done well on that front. I have still, even this day, kept putting my time with God on the back burner- thinking to myself, okay well let me just get one more thing done. Okay just one more thing and that way I can talk to God without distraction. Excuses, excuses…
Boy is it hard for me to let go and trust that what is, is what must be, for if I am in his plan, then every aspect of my life is going according to his plan no matter how much it seems to be taking me the opposite of what I think his plan should be for me. As much as we know it in our hearts and minds, it is still hard to grasp how much GOD really IS In CONTROL. He is. We have to accept that, and lean into that. It is my comfort. I am learning more and more each passing day to see each moment of my life- the frustrations and the elations (and everything in between) through the eyes of a loving and merciful God. He said ALL things work together for my good, and I have to live like I believe that.

Welp, enough about me. How are things going for you? I am glad to see that you are communing with the Lord. I pray you find each day your “place” of worship- and never come out of it. I pray you run hard after God, like never before, and you let this be the beginning of greater things to come...
Be strong in the Lord, brother. Keep talking and listening to the Lord. Keep humbling yourself under his mighty hand. Trust in him, that this is his plan- for he has the expert ability at making the crooked paths straight. I love you and will try to write again to make up for the lapse in time.  Remember your royal heritage and walk and talk like the kingly priest you are.

 Linked up at


Monday, July 16, 2012

His reward

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Just about halfway there at 2 days shy of 20 weeks!

I want to share a response to a blog post I wrote over at Olive Plants all Around my Table. My response encouraged, well, me! 

"We are welcoming number six very soon, and we are excited. It is somewhhat intimidating sometimes, knowing these are God's children that he has put in my care, knowing that I myself am a child in some respects and need the ever-present guidance of my Father in rearing these little ones. But I am proud of them all. I am happy to go out with them and show the world they are in my care, and my care is the best for them, and I am proud of the work of the Lord through our family. Praises be to God for my children and  what we show the world when they see our family. God's grace."


Just Not Today....

 I am in a negative mood this morning. I got on my blog site to get those feelings out (and I don't like to use my blog as a vent area) in  hope that it will therapeutically  bring me to see even this feeling of heaviness in the light of his glory and grace.  The thing is I feel bad, guilty even, for feeling like this. But then I feel  like I am entitled to my pity party some time. I don't have the energy to put on a smile, and say Kind words and be cheery.
I know, I know- or maybe I don't know.
I could barely pray with the children this morning because I grew frustrated too quickly. Oh Father help me, as my fruit of temperance, and long-suffering are definitely  in need of cultivation.
I had a headache that grew with my impatience. I grew hot and irritated- maybe it's the hormones- but i had to turn off the fan in order for us to hear one another well during our devotions.
I just wanted to get it over with.
 I don't want to be strong today.

my strength is made perfect in your weakness

But God that seems like an excuse for me to not try. I mean I want to do nothing that demands my attention, responsibility, my delegation; I want to kneel on the floor by my bed and hope for an audible voice from heaven to direct my every step today. I just want you to say, hear do this, it's laid all out for you-- like the step by step directions in the "adult assembly required" furniture box.


<------ That's a pressure builder. Who came up with that quote? I know my feelings of heaviness are related to my inability to control my children's happiness and contentment. I can't keep them from crying, from fussing at one another, from having disagreements, from taking pleasure in less-than-godly things ( like right now one is laughing and pointing and sharing a pic of an immodestly dressed cartoon  female heroine). I can't control their resistance to cleaning up the messes they make, or their need for me to constantly keep them focused on a task at hand that can barely reach completion unless  I am breathing down their necks ( making me want to just do it myself).

I can't control that they just don't seem to understand my passion when it comes to their salvation and protecting them from the obvious and subtle evils of this world,  especially those oozing from this tube of hypnosis called the television.

I can't control it. And trying is tiring.
I'm tired today.
I'm too tired, and I wish I didn't care so much.
As much as I try to just say "forget it" or "do what you want", I can't keep my mind from thinking on them. I can't keep my mind from being concerned with their care, and their growth and their needs. I can't help redirecting their emotional reaction to ones that are more Christ-like, having had  personal experience with those reactions and their consequences.

I've  been around and have seen the result of irresponsible, un-caring, selfish parenting.

But today I'm tired- mentally
 It's overwhelming- this responsibility of other human beings with varying personalities, and preferences, and dispositions, and maturity levels.

And then how can I demand of them, what I am still working toward?


my grace is sufficient- for you and for them
my strength is made perfect in your weakness

Maybe in my weakness there is a a testimony to grace. In my short comings, they see that mommy is imperfect, but striving, no, pressing, to perfection by God's grace.
I pray that the times I am short-tempered, God's grace fills in the cracks. I pray that when I am in a less-than-sociable mood, that God's sufficient grace provides them comfort.
I pray in those times, that I too find grace, and the strength to carry on , after I have found rest for my soul.

"When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I"- Psalm 61:2

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Parent Saver Tip #1

Anticipation Deflation
As much as we parents love to see the look of anticipation and excitement on our little lambs faces when we reveal a planned trip to a special someplace- do resist. I repeat, RESIST. Unless you are heading out the door, or are already in the car en route,  things like
 " I'm thinking to take you guys to the library", or 
" How about we take a ride to Grandma's?", or
 " This weekend we're going to  splash park wonderland!"
are not a good idea.
Unless, like I said, you're actually on the way.
 Because the children will not care if an earthquake ensues. Once it all dies down, they will bat their eyes and say 
 " I thought you said we were going to _____ ( fill in the blank). "

Then try explaining that "things happen" to 3, 4, and 5 year olds. Go ahead, do it.  Smiley

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Motherhood, better yet, parenting, is not a hobby

Mother hood
 is not a hobby,
 it is a calling.
You do not collect children
 because you find them cuter than stamps.
It is not something to do if you can 
squeeze the time in.
It is what God gave you 
time for.
-Rachel Jarkovic

Sharing from Time Warp Wife blog:
Warmest thoughts and prayers, Chantel Dillard

Fun on the fourth

Warmest thoughts and prayers, Chantel Dillard