Last week Simon Edison Karulkar was born. It’s been one week. One crazy, long and amazing week! A whole array of emotions and a new routine and really, no routine. Just day by day. Life with two children. Who in the world would have thought that this would be my life in the Fall of 2012, at 34 years of age. You couldn’t have told me it would be like this, and honestly, I couldn’t be happier with what it is. Life is great. God is good. I feel overwhelmed by God’s grace. I have no idea how to do any of it…but walking with God makes it less hectic and more enjoyable. It’s learning how to walk in step with Jesus and the Holy Spirit that he promised. No, I can’t say that I’m great at it. I have my moments of panic, or anxiety and sadness. I get emotional (of course I can blame it on pregnancy and babies, etc haha!) But, the one constant in our lives is the grace of God. No way I want to walk away from that, no matter what might happen.
I can’t say thank you enough to those who have been our support system, both near and far. It’s a wonderful thing to have friends, family, church, and neighbors looking out for you. Hopefully more writings and adventures will be shared on here in the coming days and months. If I can keep up with two sweet boys, a fantastic understanding husband, an exciting church and whatever else life brings our way!]]>
Today on POTSC there was a story written by the lady who it belongs to. She did something really bad, and she got caught, and now she’s apologizing, and trying to pick up the pieces of her life. And people are upset. And they think they have a right to be.
They think they know her, and know everything about what she’s been through. They want her to pay for what she did, some want really bad things for her. They think she’s trying to get away with no punishment, they think it’s too soon. What makes them think they know what’s right for her? Why do we feel that it’s our right to judge each other?
It’s hypocritical. Any of us have the potential inside of us to mess up, badly. None of us are right(eous), not one. If we think it couldn’t be us, we are foolish. Sin is sneaky, and it creeps in wherever we are weak. Most of the time we are able to manage our sin, which is another scary thought. But, it’s rare that you or I get caught doing something illegal, so we assume we are better and stronger, and wiser than a woman like this. How ridiculous and naive. What if it was you or I? We would want grace.
We will reap what we sow. So watch yourself.
Most of the time our mess ups hurt ourselves, or others, but often we get grace, that we don’t deserve. And often they seem like a “no big deal” mess up. But hers is so big. Why are you angry that her mistake is a crime? Isn’t sin, sin? Doesn’t the Bible say that if we have anger in our heart, it’s the same as committing murder? Sounds like God’s sin scale is a bit different than ours.
Isn’t that the point of grace. That we don’t deserve it. Yes, we don’t get to pick the consequences for our actions, but we don’t get to decide others’ either.
I’m just hoping that the people saying the negative things about her are not the ones calling themselves Christ followers. I don’t think that’s anything like Jesus.
So much to say. Just so thankful that God helps us on our journey to be like him. There’s no way I would make it without His grace and mercy. I’m choosing to err on the side of grace. Call me crazy, get mad. I love you. I want to love everyone, the way Jesus does.
I’m choosing to look for the good in others. No matter how badly they’ve messed up.
For Father’s Day I bought The Husband a trash can. I also got him some grilling utensils. And then on Sunday, I made him grill his lunch, in the pouring rain. While we were eating I was thinking about how awesome of a wife I am. Or, more honestly, I was thinking about all the ridiculous and hilarious and adventurous things we do, or that happen to us.
I’m not a perfect wife, or mom, but I love that I get to live life with The Husband, who is also an amazing dad. We’re still newlyweds by some standards, and brand new parents too. But that’s ok. We learn, we laugh, we fix the problems, and trust God to grow us. Probably the best part is that we stick together.
The Babychild turned 1.5 years old on Father’s Day. He also started saying “love you daddy.”
Food at our house is kinda a big deal. I mean, we eat it every day. We spend time together while eating, and we enjoy it! I’m posting my menu for the next couple weeks, it’s not really that exciting, but I will share.
A week or two ago I used FB to ask for suggestions on how to feed a 1 year old (particularly vegetables) and I got some great suggestions. I am happy that Elias is eating more of the same things we eat. He’s been doing awesome, especially since I’ve been getting creative with the veggies for him. He loves to sit with us at dinner, and if daddy is eating it, he’ll usually participate. Sometimes I just feel blah when it comes to the menu, and stuck on making the same things over and over. I find that I have to try new recipes, ideas and experiment often. I’m really thankful for friends and social media that makes sharing so much fun and easy! Your suggestions helped me a ton.
Today a funny thing happened. My husband informed me that while food is one of his loves, it’s not actually his love language. Huh. Who knew!?! He reminded me that I don’t have to make elaborate and fancy meals, just meals will do (nutritious of course). This is awesome, takes the pressure off, helps me to be able to spend energy on things that need to get done. Especially helpful in keeping life in perspective. I think I could spend most of my time in the kitchen if I’m not careful, but there’s so much more to do than housework. And for that, I praise God!
Menu (I don’t necessarily make them in this order)
1. Red Beans and Rice (didn’t miss her) with Zuchinni
2. Spicy Chicken with Spinach and Orzo
3. Slow-Cooker Braised Pork with Salsa, Veggie side *New for me!
4. Homemade Pizza with Salad (Whole Wheat crust from Netta Chilton!)
5. Slow Cooker Chicken with Squash and veggie on the side
6. Turkey and Maple Sloppy Joes with Green Beans
7. Pastina with Peas and Carrots
8. Green Chicken Enchiladas
9. Spicy Spaghetti with Chicken Sausage and veggie on the side
10. Chicken Curry and Peppers with rice
11. Mushroom Tacos
12. Burger Soup and Bread
13. Honey Chicken Skewers with veggie on the side
I always plan about 14-15 meals for two weeks. Then I can choose each day what I’m making, sometimes I plan out a few days based on ingredients that need to get used up. I try to buy meat and bulk items once a month, same with non-perishables. Dairy, veggies, produce and specialty items I will go twice a month, sometimes more if we’ve run out of fruit for snacks. It’s a little unpredictable with a little one, we go through A LOT of bananas!!
I’m always looking for new recipes to try, share your favorites!
Oh, and more on Love Languages later…
Being a mom is a wild adventure. Some moments difficult, confusing, tiring, exhilirating and hilarious. But at any moment you can look at them and fall in love all over again. It’s unreal, and the greatest feeling in the world.]]>
At Real Church we did an event called Joy To The D. We gathered new toys, and organized a toy store where parents could come and pick out a free gift for each child. While they were busy shopping, getting their gifts wrapped and enjoy cocoa. prayer and conversation….their kids were doing crafts, hearing the Christmas Story and having a blast in our kids ministry. We also got to take Christmas to a handful of families in Detroit who needed some extra help this winter. All in all I loved it. Personally and as a Christians it’s so easy to get caught up in my holiday, my gifts, my money. This was a perfect outlet to give, and promote generosity. Families were really blessed, and we were able to touch over 350 families in our city! What a way to head into Christmas.
In our house we had decided that we wouldn’t exchanged presents, but last minute I changed the rules and surprised Mohan with a handheld espresso machine! It was something we discovered this past summer while on vacation in Seattle, and I knew he’d love it. My hope was that he’d be as excited as a kid getting a new toy on Christmas. Supplies!! He was. Since then he’s been making espresso at least once a day. Oh my, what have I done?! I can’t complain though, I get wonderful yummy Americanos at home!!
Some of the best times were the quiet times around the house, sitting by the tree, sipping a coffee, thinking, reading, just enjoying every blessing around me. I spent a lot more time at home than expected, only because the Babychild came down with a cold/flu and was pretty miserable for almost a week. He turned one right before Christmas, and I think he knows it :) He is changing at an unbelievable pace. I used to keep a journal where I would record as many of his little milestones as I could. I just can’t keep up with him these days. He has no problem keeping up with me though, he loves to be in the kitchen, watching and “helping”. He got a toy broom for his birthday, he loves to sweep and sift through cabinets of course. Lately he’s on a quest to eat an entire banana in one sitting. He finally succeeded yesterday. He is such a joy. If I begin to think of all the lessons I’ve learned just from being a parent, it’s unbelievable.
I’m so thankful for this time as a mom, and a wife. I’m overwhelmed and overjoyed by the people close to me. This year it was people that made my holidays beautiful. My goal this year is to be present in life, and to put others first. Thanks friends for reading and sticking with me.
Elias is practically a professional when it comes to flying, he doesn’t even get uptight when they take his stroller at TSA. He loves all the attention, I’m pretty sure. His parents on the other hand, can get a little nervous, but we’ve never had any problems flying with a squirley babychild yet, so there’s really nothing to backup those jitters, it’s just a lot more to coordinate! Upon arriving in Minnesota we were full on for 5 days. Not to mention the preparation before arriving. It was nonstop family, and eating once we got to my parents house. It was also a special weekend to celebrate my parents marriage of 35 years. All six of my brothers, 3 sister-in-laws and all the neices and nephews were there. Some from far away, others from the next small Minnesota town. It was a joy, and a full house. Uncle Paul was there too, sleeping on the futon. Random.
Elias was like a kid in a candy store. So many people to give him attention, and so many new places to explore. He had been experimenting with walking some, but as soon as he saw his cousin, he just took off wobbling all over the place on his own. It felt like we were watching him change right in front of us, probably because we had no distractions of home, work, or responsibility (almost). That’s the joy of getting away, you get to just BE with each other.
Before we went i mentioned that preparations were made. Yes, there were details and work, like Mohan collecting and editing a video as a surprise for my parents. And making sure all the details of the big Anniversary Celebration were taken care of. There was almost a last minute cake fiasco, and in the rush to get to the airport I forgot to bring a coat!
Anyway, all of these things are small details in the big scope of life. The biggest preparations are these - How do we approach this Holiday Season differently? What do we really want God to accomplish in us and through us? How can we make sure we don’t have regrets on the other side of the Holidays. What big things are we expecting God to do? At Real Church Pastor Chilly has been sharing messages about this in a series called Holidaze: Overcoming the 2 Month Coma. And each week with our RCUnited group we get to discuss and share with each other. Preparing our hearts is the best thing we can do for the Holidays.
I am certain that we can make the most of every moment, even if the days and weeks are flying by. The best part about Minnesota was the people. Spending time as a family, catching up since we don’t get to be together much, laughing, playing together, hugs, meals, encouraging words, prayer. The list goes on. I’m thankful for my parents example to us. It was so great to be able to honor them for the years they have been faithful to God and to each other. As we landed in Detroit Mo asked me what my takeaway was from this trip. I think for me it’s the encouragement that so many people need. The opportunity to speak courage into my sister-in-laws, and share my life with them was powerful. Also, I think both of us have a new commitment to simplicity, in all areas of life.
How was your Thanksgiving? What will Christmas be like for you? More to come about celebrations and birthdays, and such as!
Here is epic family photo! Take by the wonderful Mohan Karulkar.
Well, Fall has come, and it’s beautiful. I’m privileged to live in the Midwest again, and I am enjoying the changing of the seasons. Especially the whirly birds and helicopters falling from the trees. Michigan is about the same as Minnesota, until you get into Winter, then it’s nothing like MN! Of course, no matter where you live you’ll hear folks complaining about the weather, and it just makes me laugh. I think we’ve had some awesome days this year. Afterall, the days are what we make of them.
Ok, enough about the weather. See what I did there? The first few moments of our conversation were about the weather! It’s so typical.
Now lets talk about the kids. Babychild is the only one we have, but he is enough! Ha, he’s a handful…of joy and fun! I’m reading a book about “The Art of Nurturing Boys”. I have two opinions. Yes, it is an art (one that I’m just beginning to learn), and the title of the book is Wild Things. Yes, that completely summarizes the Babychild. You can have a little glimpse of what I mean here. Enjoy!
I love having daily adventures with Elias, he’s at a really fun age, he’s starting to interact and becoming more of a BOY! I know this is old news, but here’s his haircut from last month.
Since becoming a mom, I have a completely new outlook on relationships, time, life, God. My prayers have changed, and my days are so full. Everything changed. They said it would. I love it, I wouldn’t change where God has me for one minute. Yes, there are challenges and there are changes that have been really hard for me. But, as I reflect on the changing seasons, and get ready for the Winter (and for the Babychild to turn 1) I can’t help but remember that God is the giver of life, and the one in charge of my life. He knows exactly what I need. Having a solid relationship with Jesus is exactly what I’ve needed to carry me through the shaky moments, and the weaknesses, insecurities and challenges that life brings. I pray that your life is full of love, joy and Jesus.
Lot’s going on. So many challenges, excitement, growth. Plenty of things to deter me from writing, but I haven’t forgotten you. Speaking of growth. Um, the Babychild won’t stop growing. All of you who kept telling me they grow up fast, take lots of pictures, and they’ll be out of the house before you know it….yea, I think I kinda understand that. Where in the world have the last 9 months gone!?
Life is so great. No matter how busy I get, I can think of a hundred things that make me happy, that make me thankful and that put a smile on my face. My to do list has never been bigger, I’ve got dreams that are waiting, hobbies that are resting for the time being, new adventures in the works, friends that need a phone call and some catch up. Oh, life is FULL. And I love it.
Yea, I do wish at the end of every day I could feel “finished” with everything. Ha, I have no idea what I’d do if that happened. I don’t think I function well without multi-tasking, and being busy. Although, I have been making a point to find quiet times. Usually before the little one wakes up, or late (too late) at night when he’s sleeping. Funny how much of life revolves around sleep schedules now. Oh my, this is my scrambly brain, but hey, what else is a blog for if I can’t dump out these thoughts?!
Well, here’s a picture of the babby a few weeks ago, right before his big boy hair cut!
Love you all.
Ever heard these thoughts rattling around inside your mind?
- What was he thinking?
- I’m not valuable. No one needs me.
- I can’t believe she did that.
- I would never do that.
- How could I be so stupid.
- I don’t trust them.
and the list compiles…
These subtle thoughts seem harmless, but when offenses and lies are left alone, they are deadly. There’s this idea that if we’re not hurting another person, then it can’t be wrong. It’s not true. Sin, even just inside our minds, is still sin. No matter how we’ve justified it.
Once a thought has sprouted in the mind, it enters the heart and eventually it comes out in action. Personally, when I’m not paying attention, or maybe when I give in to laziness, I save up all my negative thoughts, and let them turn into unforgiveness towards the offender.
We happen to have a small vegetable garden in our backyard. We love that at the end of the summer tomatoes and peppers and squash will begin to appear. The only problem is that weeds appear too. At the beginning I was good about picking out even the smallest weed. Then I got busy, then we went on vacation. A couple weeks ago I went to check and had to look really hard for the actual plants, the weeds were bigger and unrecognizable.
If I don’t deal with the thoughts inside my head, eventually my heart will become tainted and unforgiveness will make itself a comfortable place to grow. When unforgiveness grows, it takes over, quickly. Just like weeds. It shows itself in ugly forms.
If you and I are going to be like Jesus, we must live in a place of constant forgiveness. Jesus was never beyond forgiveness. He forgave sins, but he also forgave the small offenses. The opportunity to be offended, hurt, sinned against is there every day. So, How do we handle daily living in forgiveness? Is it just the big deal breaker situations that we work on forgiving? Or, are we prepared to forgive with no limit?
In Matthew 18:21-22 the disciples question Jesus on the number of times they should forgive. Do you think Jesus really meant that we only need to forgive 70 x 7 (that’s 490) times? I’m pretty sure he wasn’t referring to a number, but to the condition of forgiveness. There are NO LIMITS when it comes to forgiveness. Jesus didn’t limit his forgiveness, to me, to you, or to the worst of sinners (um, that would be you and me also).
Let’s be people who live with a condition of forgiveness. Let’s forgive each other and forgive ourselves (quickly). Let’s live in freedom, so our hearts and minds and actions can be ready and useful to do good and show grace.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Check out People of the Second Chance for more on radical forgiveness!]]>