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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: October 2008

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has been moved to new address

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

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Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: October 2008

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

October 25, 2008

Ahh...The Nesting Instinct

With Baby Noah's pending arrival (assuming I don't become the first woman in history to never have her baby...which is the way I feel these days. LOL) I finally got the house entirely clean. I had never heard of the "Nesting Instinct" until I started reading "What to Expect When You're Expecting" (The must-have pregnancy book for anyone having a baby, by the way.) But apparently, it is our instinct as women/mothers-to-be to prepare our "nest" for the impending arrival of a newborn. And yesterday, my instinct hit. Josh and I had been meaning to clean the apartment anyways, like we do every week, but yesterday was like Spring Cleaning. We clean the house up together every week-dusting the furniture, making sure all of the junk is picked up around the house, sweeping, etc. Yesterday, you would have thought that a bomb had exploded and it was imperative that we clean every surface. I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. Anything I could get my hands on. I cleaned every surface in the kitchen with Comet, then wiped over it again with Mr. Clean. We washed every stitch of clothes, blankets, towels, and all of the baby clothes. Josh cleaned the carpet, the furniture got dusted with Mr. Clean, the floors swept and mopped...I think at one point I even started washing the walls. Now, I feel like everything is ready. The baby's room is in order-aside from the Glider Rocker my parents are getting for us when they come to visit. All of his clothes are either washed and folded, or hung up in the closet (arranged by size and style...yea I know, pathetic huh?) The suitcases are packed, except for the things we are still using, and now I feel like a sitting duck! Which is most likely why this extremely pointless blog is being posted...nothing to do now, but wait on the little guy to decide he is ready to make his debut to the world. Nursery pictures are coming soon, so keep looking for those!

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October 19, 2008

"Happily Ever"...After

I have really been struggling with some personal issues lately. And I don't mind putting them out there on the computer for people to read about because, one day, they will all be in a book anyways (Yes, I have intentions of writing a book...and will.) Alot of the things going on, probably have a lot to do with the fact that I am pregnant (38 weeks if you want to get specific) and for those of you who have been there, you know that your hormones go haywire. Up and Down-over and over and over again...it's like being on a roller coaster that you can't get off of. Most of my issues have revolved around the ideaology of marriage. I know a few people who are newlyweds and are still in that blissful state of perfection with their new spouse. I know a few people who are engaged and about to enter that same blissful state. I was the same way. I floated around on cloud 9 with my new husband...everything was perfect, we were in love (and still are, don't jump to that conclusion), we were going to move away and live "happily ever after." Isn't that the cliche they use in all of the fairy tales? Happily ever after? What they don't tell you in stories like "Cinderella", "Snow White", and "Sleeping Beauty" is that "happily ever after" lasts for a few months...then it's just "after." The "Happily Ever" is that first couple of months that we know as the honeymoon period. Things are new and fresh. For most people it's the first time that they are living together, moving into their own little houses, and getting used to falling asleep beside that person that you are supposed to be with for the rest of your life. Things are perfect and you think they will stay that way forever. Then, somewhere down the road-I'm not exactly sure where-that "happily" part, just becomes the "after." It's like you wake up one morning and everything is different. You roll over in the bed, and prince charming is just some stinky guy that fell asleep in your bed without a shower the night before and woke up with some serious morning breath. Or that beautiful princess that said prince "rescued" from a life of hardship...looks like she got hit by a train sometime during the middle of the night. Hate to break it to all you romantic "newlyweds" out there, but all of that just doesn't last. I was sitting at home yesterday, as I said before, reading old journal entries and stuff that I had written. Most of what I had written in one particular journal was about the time right before Josh and I got married, the time right after (when I found out I was pregnant) and the loong period where he was gone to Jersey right after we found out we were having a baby. I sat there for about an hour reading and reflecting before I pulled out my current journal. This one is full of the ups and downs and complaints of everyday life. How quickly things go from the perfect fairy tale dream, to just ordinary, everyday life. Bills, Groceries, Work, Laundry...all of those not so glamorous things that we tend to overlook when we think about marriage-all of those things they fail to advertise and neglect to show on TV and in Movies. But as I sat there and compared the 2 sets of journals, it occured to me: No matter how stressful things get during the day to day routine, I still have Josh. I still have my husband. You want to learn to appreciate someone and really become thankful for what you have? Send them away for a month or so...you will definately wish they were back with you-morning breath and all :) That month that Josh spent in New Jersey was probably one of the most depressing and loneliest times in my life. I couldn't talk to him but a few minutes a day, if then, and I couldn't see him (duh). It was hard...it was miserable. Looking back at that I realize how lucky that I am and how much he means to me. I have such a respect for military wives who's husbands spend months and months at a time overseas in harms way. Josh was at a military base-safe and sound-for only 30 something days. These women who's husbands are in the Marines, Navy, and Army are over there battling car bombs, terrorists, etc. Who am I to complain? Josh is home every single night (usually by 4:00 in the afternoon), never has to go overseas and fight, and the only danger I worry about him getting into is when he has to drive several hours away to put the CG boat in the water. We laid down to get ready for bed last night and-my hormones being the way that they are-I couldn't help but get a little teary eyed, just because I was so thankful and grateful for having him around. We layed there watching the Rays/Red Sox Game, laughing and joking and I realized that no matter how stressed out we get, or how bad things become, as long as he's right there beside me, I know that I/we can get through anything. We may not spend the rest of our lives in "marital bliss" with candles and romance 24/7...but it's the other things, the simple things, that make marriage worth it. Fixing dinner together at night, being able to relax around our own house watching TV and goofing off, buying groceries together (trust me, that's always a laughing experience with the two of us), and in the next week or so, raising our son together. Those are the things that mean the most...the things that, whether you realize it now or appreciate it now, matter the most and will be remembered the longest. "Happily Ever" may fade away...but if this is the kind of "after" that I am left with, I would rather have that anyday.

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Are we ever satisfied?

So, I was doing some "reflecting" today while Josh was at work...reading some old journal entries, looking back at some old pictures, and realized that we (as humans) are completely and totally incapable of being happy. Seriously. Think about it. No matter what goes on, what situation you are in, where you are in your life...we are never satisfied. We always want something else...something more.
First, I pulled my journal from my Freshman year at Troy. Back then it was all parties and fun. But, even though I was surrounded by good friends and tons and tons of things to do and keep me busy, I was lonely. The only thing I kept saying that I wanted was "that someone" that I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with. Pretty much the whole time I was at Troy, I remember my roomates ALWAYS having someone. Always going out to the movies, always having guys chase after them, always meeting up with some certain guy at a party or something. And me...I got to play 3rd wheel. I was usually never dating anyone. Which was partly my choice, because I simply had no desire whatsoever to just date around. I've always been one for a serious relatioship, and that's extremely hard to find in a college town surrounded by frat boys that have no intention of growing up and settling down. Then, when I came back home from Troy, I wanted to be around my friends. I had a good job making pretty good money. But, aside from that, I was miserable. At that point, I still had no "someone" and all of my friends lived an hour away. And even though I made good money, it was expensive to drive back and forth to Troy all the time to hang out. Then I met Josh and we started dating. Pretty soon I had my "someone." But even then, even though I had Josh and we knew we were going to get married, I decided that even that wasn't enough. We were dating seriously, and knew that eventually we would get married. But I was ready for more than that. (Fortunately, so was he.) When we got married I guess I expected everything to be peachy from there on out. He was going to be in the military, we would get to travel all over the place, and I would have the opportunity to make tons of new friends and we would have this picturesque lifestyle that everyone else envied.
Not that I don't love the life that I am living right now...because I do. We have a nice house, Josh has a steady job (and doesn't have to worry about ever being laid off...which to me is a big deal the way this economy is going), and we are about to have our first baby. But, even though I have so much that I know other people want, there is still a part of me that wants more. That feels like I should have something else. We're doing a bible study at church on Linda Dillow's book "Calm My Anxious Heart" and it's really hitting home. The first couple of chapters have been about finding contentment in our lives. Why is it that no matter how wonderful things seem to be going, we can always point out the negative and find a reason to not be happy?
Is it just our human nature to make ourselves miserable, even when everything is going exactly the way that it should? Or do we live in a society today that gives off the constant vibe that "you will never have enough?" I think, that it's a little bit of both...I think they feed off one another. Society is screaming that we should hope for more, strive for more, and achieve more. The economy failing the way that it is, just yells out that "If you want to make it in this world, you need to work harder for a better job. Work longer to get ahead." Media tells us that we need the most expensive and best of everything...the designer clothes, the flashy cars and jewelery. Magazines everywhere exemplify women as sex objects with 25 inch waists and toned bodies...sending the statement that that is what we should be...that's what we should break our necks to become.
So what do we do? We buy big expensive houses or cars, spend money on designer clothes and accessories (or knock-offs) to show off to people, we kill ourselves at work putting in ridiculous hours, bending over backwards to get ahead-which takes away time from our families for those who have them, we buy gym memberships and over exert ourselves to become something that we aren't. And for who? How many of those things do we do because we want to and how many of those things do we do because that's what we think others want? Think about that...ponder it for a while. How often do we cast aside what we want and what we truly desire, just to please those around us?
This isn't really a blog with an answer...not really anything that I can come to a conclusion about...or even anything that needs a conclusion. Ultimately we are the only ones that can be happy and satisfied with our lives. We have to find whatever it is that makes us that way. Does true satisfaction exist? I don't really know. I haven't found it yet. I know that the bible says that our contentment and satisfaction should lie in Jesus Christ. That we should strive daily to rely on him and know that he has our lives under control and will provide for our every need. Paul says in Phillipians 4:9-13 that he "learned" it. He learned how to be content and satisfied...I guess rather than putting our emphasis and our effort into the "things" that we think will make us happy, we should focus our attention on the "one" that can give us that...Jesus. That's the only real answer that I have.

October 7, 2008

#19: Read Atleast 1 Book per month (September)

I did pretty good the month of September. I read 2 books, and started 2 others (I just didn't finish them in time for them to count for September.) I read "Captivating" by John & Stasi Eldredge and "Jesus Freaks" by dcTalk...both of which were AMAZING for anyone who hasn't read them. "Captivating" was without a doubt my favorite of the two, and I would instantly recommend it for every woman that is or has ever struggled with who they are and putting their past behind them. It gives a very good, biblical perspective of how God sees us and how we should see ourselves. I didn't realize it until I started reading this book, but so much of how we see ourselves is based on the way we were raised, the influences we had in our lives from other women, and our relationship with our mothers. Whether we realize it growing up or not, most of who we become is based on what we see. Our marriages are influenced by the marriages we witness, the way we raise our children is based on how we were raised and how we were treated. It was a real eye opener. It's definately one of those books that will influence and touch each person differently, so my rambling about it won't really do the book any justice. "Jesus Freaks" was the other book that I finished. I had started it earlier, but never finished it. Josh read it really quick and talked about how good it was, so I decided that it was time to finish reading what I had started. It's a really good "how-to" book. Not really filled with guidelines and rules, but more or less full of the way we should want to live for Christ. Reading our bible daily, spending intimate time in prayer, witnessing and sharing the good news with others...And it's full of stories from people who have been there and done it, particularly of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and died sharing the word of God with those who have never heard it. It was a real eye opener to how mediocre we tend to live our lives compared with some of those others out there who are sold out for Christ each and every day. I encourage EVERYONE to read both of these books. They are really uplifting and inspirational. Coming up for October, I'll have finished "The Bondage Breaker" by Neil Anderson and "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian. Hope everyone out there in cyber world is doing absolutely fabulous!

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