Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Busy Hands: A Blanket for Stafford

Busy Hands: A Blanket for Stafford

This fall I crocheted a baby blanket for Stafford. It was made with the same pattern I used to make blankets for William and Adelaide when I was pregnant with them. I also used this pattern last winter to make a baby blanket for a friend

Busy Hands: A Blanket for Stafford

The pattern is called "Homespun Crochet Three Color Baby Blanket," and it is from Lion Brand Yarns. I found it on a yarn wrapper 12 years ago, but it is not available to link to online. If you are looking for a quick and simple baby blanket pattern, this one from Lion Brand Homespun is very similar to the one I made.

Busy Hands: A Blanket for Stafford

Homemade baby blankets are one of my favorite things. I look forward to snuggling with Stafford under the warmth of this baby blanket.

I have several other items I am hoping to crochet for Stafford before he arrives. I hope I will have energy to keep my hands very busy over the next four months!

What projects have you been working on lately? How are you keeping your hands busy?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Teatime Conversations: Being a Mom

It is time for the first question in the Teatime Conversations series. You all asked some good questions! I have received four questions so far, and I plan on answering each of them in the coming months. It has been hard to keep up with blogging in the midst of getting ready for a new baby, but I should be able to answer the first four questions before Stafford comes. If I am able, I will answer more questions too. 

Do you have a question for a Teatime Conversations post? You may email it to me at RachelLundy(at)cranberryteatime(dot)com, or you can send it in anonymously through the form here.

Teatime Conversations: "What are the best and hardest things about being a mom?"

Reader Question: Hi! What are the best and hardest things about being a mom?

There are many things I love about being a mom. I love children, and I really enjoy spending time with my kids. As energy permits, I love to play games with them, read with them, talk with them, and simply enjoy their company.

I love watching my children grow up, learn new things, and become more independent. But I also love the little stage, and I am looking forward to having a little one again next year. Holding a baby is a special thing, and I love the toddler age too. Toddlers say the funniest things, and toddler quotes are something my family is looking forward to enjoying! I think it will be fun to begin the baby stage again while also raising elementary and middle school age children.

It is such a privilege to raise a child to know, love, and serve God. Seeing a child come to know Jesus, and then grow in their relationship with Him, is a wonderful thing. It is a joy to have a front row seat to seeing God work in a child's life, and it is an honor to be able to have an impact for the Kingdom through the work of parenting.

One of the hardest things for me about being a mom is the total exhaustion and limitations that come with motherhood and chronic illness. I wish I could be a healthy, active mom. I wish I could volunteer at my children's school. I wish I could be a chaperone for field trips. I wish I could get up in the morning, make breakfast for my children, and send them off to school. It still grieves my heart to not be able to do those things.

I remember a time when Adelaide was about two years old, and she wanted so much to be with me, but I was too tired to let her come be with me in bed. She was a very active toddler, and she would not have been able to be still and silent like I needed that day. Will had to close the bedroom door and keep Adelaide out. She didn't understand. She just knew that she wanted to be with her mom, and I heard her crying for me outside of the door. As a mom that was incredibly hard to know my daughter wanted me, but that I was not able to meet her needs.

It is hard to always know what to do as a parent in various situations, but that can be a good thing too! It keeps me humble and reminds me of my need for God, His strength, and His wisdom. Motherhood is hard work, but it is worth it. The souls of our children are worth it. God's glory is worth it.

And now we would love to hear from you! If you are a mom, what would you say are the best and hardest things about being a mom? If you have a chronic illness, how does that affect your role as a mother?

Monday, October 30, 2017

Friendship through the Hard Days

Cranberry Tea Time: Friendship through the Hard Days

Gloria and I met for the first time on a hot summer afternoon several years ago when I stepped outside my apartment to water my flowers. Gloria and her family were new to the community, and when she saw me outside she came over to introduce herself. We chatted about life and our families. We only had a few minutes to visit before I needed to go inside to rest, but a friendship had begun. Little did I know how incredible Gloria’s friendship would be in months to come.

We were only able to visit together one or two more times before my health took a severe turn for the worse. My chronic illness had slowly been growing worse that year, but by the time fall came, I was so weak and fatigued that I was confined to bed for 22 hours or more each day.

My husband had already been taking care of all of the shopping, cooking, and cleaning in our home. Suddenly I was no longer able to help out even a little, and the burden of keeping the household running fell to him completely. He had two young children and a primarily bed-ridden wife who needed his daily care, and he needed to manage all of this while also attending seminary. We were overwhelmed, and we were very grateful for our church and friends who stepped in to relieve some of our burden.

Even though we were new friends, Gloria came by to visit me when she heard I was so ill. Then she went above and beyond anything I ever expected from a brand new friend. She offered to help us by bringing a meal to our family every Wednesday evening, by taking our son to Awana on Sunday evenings, and by taking care of our two young children each Thursday afternoon.

I never expected a new friend to be so committed to a friendship with me! Gloria was intentional in loving my family and me well. After a few weeks I let her know that I was doing a little better and that she didn’t have to keep bringing meals each week. But she knew that it would be helpful for us, and she insisted on continuing to help. She brought a meal each week until we moved away nine months later. And she didn’t just bring a meal for one night; there were always leftovers that lasted for two more meals! It was a huge gift and a big help to my family.

Gloria also insisted on continuing to care for our children on Thursday afternoons. She was a busy mom with three children of her own, and a baby on the way, but she gladly gave of herself to help our family in our time of need. Those Thursday afternoons gave my husband much-needed time to study, and they gave me much-needed time to rest in a quiet apartment.

Gloria loved me and served me in a time when I had nothing to give in return except for my gratitude. I will always be thankful for her service and pursuit of friendship during my very hard days and months. Now that we live in different states, we don’t get to see each other very often, but we still keep in touch. I pray for her regularly, and I thank the Lord for the blessing of this kind, generous, and faithful friend.

Do you have a friend who has served you in a sacrificial way? How have you served a friend self-sacrificially?

This article originally appeared on The Irresistible Church.
Photo by Anete Lūsiņa.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Choose Joy Study Guide

Sara Frankl

Through her blog, Sara Frankl showed me how to live a homebound life with joy. If you've been reading here for long, you've heard me talk about her before. Sara had a big impact on my life, and she touched the lives of many others too. She was dearly loved by the chronic illness community. 

I never got to meet Sara in real life before she passed away, but I did have the joy of meeting her sister, Laura, last year. We have become friends, and Laura has been such a sweet encouragement in my life. One way she encouraged me recently was by sending me a copy of her new book!

Choose Joy by Sara Frankl and Mary CarverChoose Joy Study Guide by Sara Frankl and Laura Frankl Pedersen

In January of 2016, some of Sara's blog posts were published in the book, Choose Joy. And now I'm happy to announce that there is a study guide to go along with the book.

Laura Frankl Pedersen has written the Choose Joy Study Guide, and it is now available! This study guide would be a helpful resource for book clubs that are reading Choose Joy. It would also be beneficial for those who are reading Choose Joy and want to hear from Sara's sister and have good discussion questions to think about.

There is also a companion DVD available to purchase with the study guide for those who are interested in this option. Most of the videos are 3-5 minutes long, so this is a perfect length for those of us who struggle with fatigue and brain fog.

I am always challenged and encouraged when I read Sara's words. She has helped me to persevere, choose joy, and keep pain in perspective. Now Laura has encouraged and challenged me, too, with her words and thought provoking questions in the Choose Joy Study Guide.

Laura Frankl Pedersen

It was Sara's desire that people continue to learn to trust God and choosing joy when life is hard. After Sara passed away, Laura carried on the Choose Joy ministry her sister had started. Little did she know, she would soon be walking her own hard journey with illness. Laura was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, and she has been so kind as to share her journey on her new blog, Gitz N Jo

Sara and Riley

Keep choosing joy!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Best Surprise

I’m not one who likes surprises. Pretty much ever. If you want to give me a bad birthday present, just throw me a surprise birthday party (please don’t).

But this surprise… oh, this one is good!

The Lundy Family holding ultrasound pictures of Baby Stafford!

We found out this summer that God is blessing us with another child! What a wonderful, happy surprise. We have a little boy on the way, and his name is Stafford. Lord willing, he will be arriving in March.

Life is going to get harder; that is true! But a new baby is most certainly a happy and good surprise. God is the creator and giver of life, and children are always a blessing from Him. We are grateful that God has chosen us to take care of Stafford and raise this child for His honor and glory.
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