Jamee's Musings

Run with perseverance…

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3

I have recently started trying to hone the practice of praying specific scriptures over my life and the lives of others.  This morning I dug out my trusty scripture box and pored over the countless verses that God has drawn my attention to over the years.  I flipped through each one and selected nine that are just perfect for this season in my life.  I also found scriptures for Gilbert, for William, for friends and extended family.  Some overlap and I pray the same verse over multiple people, while others are specific to individuals in their present circumstances.

I stumbled upon Hebrews 12:1-3 and set that card aside for me.  I have read those verses, spoken them, and reflected on them throughout my life, but they called to me with new significance this morning.  The message of running a race with perseverance perfectly fits this season of motherhood and I seized upon them.  As a new mama, I am in a marathon, not a 5k, and need God’s continual provision to remain faithful in living as the wife and mother He has called me to be.

When I prayed these verses out loud this morning, I imagined myself running in an actual race and vividly pictured the scene.  Hair in a pony tail, sweat running from my brow, I could see myself jogging along, the sound of footsteps and shallow breaths filling my ears.  When I got to the portion about “fixing our eyes on Jesus” I paused to consider what that would look like in my scene.  Am I looking ahead of me?  Looking at Him running beside me?  Running with my eyes up to the heavens?

The more I thought about it, the more I pictured all of the other things that would be vying for my attention as I ran along.  Different portions of the race would yield different temptations to take my eyes off of Him and focus elsewhere.  Knowing myself, there would be times that the temptation to check out the crowds to my left and right would steal my attention.  Are the people around me cheering or are they snickering about how slowly I am running?  In other moments, I know I would be tempted to look down the road—how much longer do I have to go?  Are there hills up ahead?  In still other times, I would be tempted to look behind me, indulging in pride about how far I had run.  Look at me!!  These are common temptations I face every day in the race I am running—I’m not even going into the distractions that come when obstacles arise, when weariness sets in, or when the weather changes.

There are so many other places to set my sights that I have to be intentional every day to focus my eyes on Him.  For me, this means taking a cue from Psalm 5:3 and going to God in the morning, before the day is in full swing.  I complete Bible study homework, read scripture, and spend time just talking to God.  There is a noticeable difference in the days that I do this—I am more centered, I have greater peace, and my perspective on life is tremendously impacted.  Without this focus, I frequently veer off course and barely limp along.

This is a race and running well requires dedication.  While I am not competing against anyone else, I am called to take every day that God blesses me with and run it faithfully.  This will not happen by accident, I must be intentional.

In the end, I decided that fixing my eyes on Jesus, means that I am running while looking directly in front of me.  That’s where I imagine Him to be—a few steps ahead so that He can guide me along the path, while in the perfect position to encourage my every step.  What a mighty God we serve.  Oh that I would be so faithful to train my eyes on Him alone.

Uncategorized William


So we took the long-awaited family trip to the pumpkin patch!!  William was decked out in his fall gear and we were beyond excited.  There is an adorable patch down the street from our house and we were so looking forward to sharing it with him.  Unfortunately, it was about a million degrees, even though we arrived after 5 so the experience was much less “fall like” than I had hoped.  William was not a fan of the heat, but was a definite trooper through my seemingly endless desire for photos…86 to be exact.  :0)  He seemed to be absolutely fascinated by all of the pumpkins–loved looking at them up close.  We ended up purchasing 15 pumpkins in all, including a precious little pumpkin for our little pumpkin!

This gave such a taste of the excitement that is to come with holidays.  What fun it will be to share all of the different traditions and festivities with him!!!


Jamee's Musings

Sometimes, quiet.

There’s a lot to be said for quiet.

Every day, William and I go on several walks.  We take a walk mid-morning to get fresh air around the neighborhood.  We walk to the pond in the afternoon to feed the fish and the ducks.  More often than not, we will sneak in a third walk in the evening to decompress before we start his bedtime routine.  He absolutely loves being outside, so I seize every opportunity to nurture that love.

On most of our adventures, we chat constantly.  The teacher in me can’t resist pointing out different sights and providing explanations for new experiences and encounters.  I ask him questions about the things we pass and I tell him stories that randomly come to mind.  We talk about the blessings in our lives and how cool our God is to have made such an incredible world.  His responses vary from humming and chirping to blowing raspberries and I love them all.  These “conversations” are absolute treasures to me in our days together.  It blows my mind to think that, in time, my monologues will give way to two-way communication.

All that said, I find time on at least one of our walks every day for us to simply enjoy the quiet.  My mini-lessons are tabled and my musings are silenced.  We walk together and simply enjoy the sounds around us.

Quiet has been a dear friend of mine for as long as I can remember.  This may strike you as odd, given that my chosen profession was public school teaching, which is not known for its serenity.  Quiet is something often sought but seldom found in the fourth grade world and yet, I loved every minute of it.  Cherishing quiet doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the beautiful chaos of being with other people.  I adore being right in the middle of kids’ hustle and bustle and relish opportunities to socialize with friends and family whenever I can.  When my tank is empty, however; it’s quiet that refuels me.

These days, if you want quiet you have to intentionally seek it out.  There are 9 million voices (both spoken and written) clamoring for our attention at any given moment.  As a result, many people have developed a discomfort with quiet and seek to fill every second void of sound. I don’t want that for William.  I frequently wonder if the noise in our lives is the single greatest contributor to stress and anxiety.  When was the last time you sat at a red light and just thought?  When your ears are always filled with something to dictate your thinking, do you ever have time to truly reflect?  To remember?  To process?  To pray?  To grieve?  When we distract ourselves from sadness or pain so that we never face it or feel it, do we ever really heal?

My fear is that the lack of quiet is stunting our emotional growth.  We are so preoccupied with external voices speaking all day long that our internal voice is often ignored.  I don’t want that to be the case in my life.  Rather than constantly allowing someone else to control what I think about, I want to choose daily to walk through the experiences in my life and be fully present within them.  This means spending some time every day just thinking…expressing my gratitude, reflecting on my victories and struggles, acknowledging my hurt, praying, remembering, and hopefully, growing.

I know quiet can be hard, but I believe it’s worthwhile.  Regardless of how often William chooses to pursue it, I don’t ever want him to be uncomfortable with it.  Rather than viewing quiet as a lack of something, I want him to see it as a gift of time for just him.  And so…we walk.  And while I treasure the chats we have during the rest of the day, sometimes our most incredible conversation can be found within those quiet strolls.




Letters to William

Babee Boy,

I hope one day you will know with every cell of your being, how much I delight in you.  Sure, I’m your mom and moms are “supposed” to love their babies, but saying that I love you doesn’t capture every dimension of the way I feel for you.  Because you see, I don’t just love you, I genuinely ENJOY you. I have spent every day with you (today marks 225) since you were born and I literally can’t get enough.  There is no where else I would rather be than hanging out with you on any given day of the week and I thank God constantly that He has blessed me with the privilege of being your mama.

Each and every day, you make me laugh and smile from deep within my heart.  Yesterday, we were playing in the backyard and Liza started to run around you.  Your eyes sparkled as you watched her tear around.  While you can’t yet walk, you were stomping your feet and pulling my arms as if you wanted to chase her.  Without warning, you let loose a series of giggles that brought me to my knees!!  You do joy so well, bud…I’m learning a lot about that from you.

You amaze me with your intelligence (already!) and I love watching you learn new things. You have loved books since you were just a couple of months old.  You will sit in my lap and let me read story after story to you and I absolutely treasure that time.  You recently started turning the pages as we read and I get so tickled by it.  When you are officially “over it” your page turning speed increases exponentially, further proving your exceptional problem solving ability.  ;0)

You melt my heart with your hugs and snuggles.  You stretch your arms up for me and when I scoop you up, you have this way of burying your head in my neck that makes me tear up almost every time.  When I lean in for a kiss, you put your sweet hands on my cheeks and pull my face to yours.  Honestly, I could cry just thinking about it.

When I hear your chirps in the morning, I don’t get to your door before a smile has overtaken my entire face in anticipation of seeing you.  I get positively giddy when I hear your little laugh of relief, knowing that you are being rescued from your crib once again.  I soak up every minute I have with you during the day and I’m going to be honest…when I lay you in your crib at night, there is a little pang of sadness in my heart knowing that our day is over.

Reading this, you might think that I love and delight in you for all of the things you do to make me smile.  You would be right, but only partially.  For you see, today was a tough day for you.  The tooth that is coming in is giving you fits and had you feeling tired and cranky.  There weren’t many laughs today and the smiles were labored.  Our playtime was dotted with fussy spells and you just weren’t yourself.  Even still, I found myself flooded with gratitude that I got to spend the day with you.  I didn’t wish the clock would hurry up or that bedtime would come sooner.  Even in the midst of a cloudy day, I still wanted to be no where else but doing life with you.  That, my boy, is delight.  It isn’t dependent on your mood or what you have to offer me.  I delight in you because of who you are, not what you do.

Someday, I hope you’ll understand but until such time, just know that without fail, every day I thank God for giving me you and blessing me with the privilege of being your mama.
The smile that melts my heart.


An Unexpected Reunion

Today I had the awesome privilege of reuniting with an old friend.

As I know many of you can relate, having a new baby makes it extremely difficult to maintain relationships.  Shortly after becoming a mama, things move into overdrive with days and weeks blurring into a deliciously abstract rendering of your former life.   Before you know it, it’s been months since you truly connected, sometimes even with those you treasure most.

Today out of nowhere,  I found myself with unexpected time before me.  I wasn’t sure exactly how long I had to enjoy, so I knew I needed to make every minute count.  Many possibilities of what to do flooded my mind, but ultimately I decided to invest in a relationship that has gone by the wayside since William arrived on the scene.   Before he was born, this friend and I used to get together at least a few times a week.  Toward the end of my pregnancy, we were having dates daily and I absolutely treasured those times.  I always emerged from our time together feeling renewed, refreshed, and with an overall improved outlook on life.  The more I thought about this friend’s impact on my life, the more I became convinced that we had to reconnect.  I may have only had 10 or 15 minutes to spare, but whatever I had would be worth it.

Once the decision was made, I couldn’t wait to see her.  I became almost giddy in anticipation, but knew I had to stay calm, lest I ruin the short amount of time we had together.  Without hesitation, I hurried to the couch, snuggled down deep into the cushions and ushered in my old friend…the afternoon nap.  Oh sweet mercy.  Initially my body and mind were in stunned disbelief.  It had been so long since I attempted a nap that I was clearly out of practice.  “Really?  Really???” my tired eyes fluttered.  “This can’t be happening,” my brain buzzed.  Oh but it was…it WAS.  Football was on TV, the Sunday sun was streaming through the windows, and before I knew it, my old friend had wrapped her arms around me and carried me off to dreamland.  Absolute bliss.

I wish I could adequately capture the magic of this incredible and long-awaited reunion.  I am quite convinced that I slept the entire time with a goofy smile on my face.  There were no dreams, no alarming wake ups, just perfect contented rest.  I savored every scrumptious minute we had together and just like I remembered, when I awoke I found myself renewed, refreshed, and ready to take on the world.  What a difference a nap makes.  Thanks old friend…hope to see you again soon.


And so it begins.

The pressure to be profound on an initial blog posting is quite intense.   I have literally typed and deleted 10 different versions of that first sentence.  Yes, you read that correctly–the first sentence…all 13 words of it…the one that said, basically nothing.  “That’s edited?” Yes.  Let me just say, that I am the mother of a busy 7 month old baby boy and if I waited for the “perfect” words to start this blog, it would never get off the ground.  So with that in mind, let me just say…welcome.  ;0)