Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Month 1 of Becoming a Healthier Wife, Mama, and Friend

January has FLOWN by for me. We have been busy celebrating birthdays, getting back into our routine, and doing so home projects.

My first goal for 2012 was to plan meals, cook and grocery shop. I actually did a really good job of it this month. There is always room for improvement, but I have TONS of motivation to keep going. I'm beginning to enjoy the time at the grocery store. I get excited about trying new recipes, and I LOVE having time outside of the house with Julia. Last week I felt like it took us an extra long time to get through the grocery store because everyone wanted to stop and talk to Julia. She was so smiley, and she had LOTS of admirers. Especially the little old men that were shopping. She was very flirtatious.

I feel like we did a better job of planning and getting to the grocery store than we have in the past. And the 2 weeks I didn't make it we had stuff in our house that we could eat so we weren't eating out as much. I've been watching Rachael Ray and she had some recipes I wanted to try and we both really enjoyed it...I think Julia did too, but she pretty much eats anything ;).

My goal is February is to Fall in Love with My Savior all over again. I actually started that in January too, but it is my main focus of February. I found a website through a friend called Inspired to Action, and I started reading through Psalms in a study that she has on her blog. It has really been changing my heart. I LOVE it!

We have been really bad about going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting up to make it to worship service on Sunday. I have been listening to the sermons during the week, but I feel like I am still missing out on something. I am going to make it a goal this month to go to bed no later than 10pm on Saturday and get up earlier so we can make to worship service at 9am, and not just to serve at 11:15 am.

I'm excited about this next month. I'm looking forward to knowing Jesus in a deeper way, and really seeing how He changes my heart! (And I'm gonna continue to make it to the grocery store.)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I have a dream...

I have started a study over at Inspire to Action. I signed up to receive her free e-book and the first post I got was about Martin Luther King Jr. We all know his famous "I have a dream..." speech, and she encourages us to write down our dreams for our children. 

I have a dream that my children will have hearts that are softened to Jesus.

I have a dream that my children will walk closely with their Lord and Savior.

I have a dream that my children will seek God's will and purpose for their life, and follow it with all that is in them.

I have a dream that my children with love the fatherless and the oppressed. That they will live their lives caring for them.

I have a dream that my children will deny themselves daily and take up their cross and follow Christ.

What are your dreams?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pet Peeves about Adoption

Sometimes I feel like I have a lot of pet peeves. I feel like there are a lot of things that just drive me crazy. But today I realized there is just one. One thing that drives me so crazy I can't see straight. It's so bad that I literally have to take a breath and calm down before I punch someone. (Okay, I might not really punch someone but I feel like doing it.)

Here it is:
When I post about adoption on Facebook...I hate hearing "Don't forget there are children in our own backyard who need homes too." When I talk to others about our adoption and here "Why Haiti? Why not America? Kids here need families too."

It DRIVES ME CRAZY. It makes me so angry. I really just want to look at them and say "So what are you doing about the orphan crisis?" Maybe I should.

I guess we all feel defensive when someone subtly or not subtly challenges what we are doing.

But I think what people fail to realize is that adoption isn't just applying, paying for it and getting a kid. Adoption is like being pregnant. You wait with anticipation and expectation. You are excited about this child you don't know yet. You pray they are safe until you get to hold them in your arms.

Emotionally, adoption and pregnancy are very much the same. Comments telling me that I'm adopting from the wrong country is like telling me I shouldn't have gotten pregnant because there are kids who need families who are already born. Because just like people bond with babies while they are pregnant adoptive parents are emotionally bonding with their kids before they come home. You worry about them, love them, and pray that they are safe.

God has called ALL of us to care for the fatherless. That doesn't mean we are all called to adopt. For some that might be fostering, for some that might be supporting others who are adopting, for some it is adoption. And I know that in our case we prayed and God made it clear that Haiti is where are children are. Adopting from anywhere else would be a sin for us because it would be going against what God has told US (the Coppingers) to do.

Friday, January 6, 2012


I've realized over the past year how much I have to be grateful for. We started 2011 with the hope of a beautiful baby girl making her way in March, and a little fear that something would happen and we would lose her like we lost her brother.

Now it's a year later. Not only is this sweet little girl here, but she is healthy. She's perfect in every way. We've been battling illness at our house the past few months. We've had hand, foot and mouth twice, and bronchiolitis. As soon as one thing clears up it feels like she just gets something else. This week we went to the doctor and she has RSV, Bronchiolitis, and an ear infection. Giving breathing treatments and antibiotics seems overwhelming when you have a screaming baby who doesn't want it.

In these moments it's very easy for me to complain. It's easy for me to see how hard having a sick baby is. I'm sure mom's out there can agree. Sick babies are no picnic, but that doesn't mean my focus needs to be on how hard an frustrating it is.

I think back to a year ago when we were scared, anxious, frustrated about how our pregnancy was going. And I look at the blessing I have in my life now, and I realize that there are good things about having a sick baby...she snuggles with me. She's moving everywhere now, and when she gets worn down she wants mommy snuggles and it's so nice. I love her snuggles. When she's not sick she's exploring. She's very curious. She gets into all she can find, and then she looks at us and giggles. She enjoys life. She is my tiny blessing.

So I'm learning during this time of sickness to be grateful to have her here. I learning to be grateful for the sweet snuggles I get, and that this too shall pass, and she'll be on the go again soon.

There is just so much in life that it's easy to complain about, but there is always something to be grateful for in those times too.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Come ye Children

One thing I really miss about teaching is the creativity I got to use to teach kids who were struggling to learn. The kids who had a really hard time because their educational foundation was a little shaky.

Now that I am not teaching, I am constantly feeling the need to fill this void in my life. I've always wondered what it would be like if I could have had access to those struggling kiddos before they got to school. If I could have had the chance to lay the foundation for their education. Would things have been different?

Paul and I started working in the nursery at Austin Stone Community Church when we found out we were pregnant with Julia. We started with the crawlers because I figured that would be easiest while pregnant. After Julia was born the couple that was coaching were getting close to having their sweet little boy and needed someone to sub for them. After praying about it we knew God was calling us to do this. They ended up deciding that they didn't want to come back to coaching so Paul and I have stayed in that position. Through lots of conversations with some friends and other leaders we realized there is a great need for a story time in the nursery. I know it seems overwhelming when we have kiddos who are beginning to HATE being away from their parents and are screaming, but kids LOVE structure so this is one opportunity to help have structure in those classrooms.

So since I'm a stay at home mom who has SOME extra time, and this is something I really want for Julia too...I volunteered to write the curriculum. I LOVE that the KidStuff team came up Six Basic Truths for the kiddos to really understand and let penetrate their hearts. So that's where I started. I took one story from the Bible for each truth to teach the little ones, and am coming up with activities for them to do (in the older classes...those kiddos that are walking). For the little ones (babies) we are just going to work on telling them the story and highlighting the Basic Truth for the month.

I know you might be thinking that they are so little, but we read "Come ye Children" by Charles Spurgeon and one of the points he makes is that we are doing an injustice to children when we think they are too young for God's truth. So we are starting with the babies at The Stone. We are going to tell them that God created EVERYTHING including them. We are going to tell them that they were born sinners in need of a Savior, and that Jesus is the Rescuer because even though they probably aren't going to look at us and say "I think I want to ask Jesus to be my Savior" at 8 weeks old...we are laying a foundation for them to know these truths about God as they grow up. And when they are old enough to admit they are a sinner and need Jesus to rescue them we will have followed Jesus' command to let the children come to Him by pointing them that way starting in the nursery.

So right now I'm writing. I'm writing about who God is in a way that little ones can understand, but as I do it penetrates my heart and God reminds me who He is.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It's a New Year!

I've been thinking about my resolutions from last year. They were GREAT, but I also failed to realize how having a baby last year was going to make things a little more challenging.

Couponing seems like a great idea, but I have spent LOTS of time looking through coupons and I just don't buy that crap. I watched Extreme Couponing and I just thought to myself "why am I going to buy 40 boxes of cat litter when I don't have a cat just to get something else for free?" Seriously.

I did do some consignment shopping and got some GREAT deals on stuff for Julia that we needed like shoes! I got some for $2.50!! I was so stoked. We were also given a TON of clothes from our neighbors that helped a lot. I'm positive we have NOT spent as much on clothes for Julia as we could have.

Reading my Bible everyday is hard for me. I do GREAT some days and not so great others. I'm still working on that.

We did do better with out budget, and I started planning meals more...but that has fallen down on the priority list recently.

The other thing that I realized was that I make these lists of things I'm gonna do because it's a new year. I had 7 on my list last year, and that's a lot for me to feel like I have to check off daily before I can get to the other stuff I have to do. I read Jamie's blog, and loved her idea of having ONE big goal, but 12 things to work on throughout the year...ONE each month. What a FABULOUS idea!! So I'm gonna copy her format for this year. I think it will help me make changes that are hopefully more permanent.

BIG Goal: To become a HEALTHY Mama, Wife, and Friend!
1. Plan meals, Grocery Shop, and Cook! Yes, these were on my list last year, and even though we did better, there is TONS of room for improvement. This needs to become a habit because we either waste the food we buy or we don't have anything and then we eat out. And let's be honest. I don't need to be eating fast food. I need to be eating healthy food. I need to have the recipe and enter into Weight Watchers online and track it. I need to look at the recipes on Weight Watchers and use those. I need to use the recipes out of my Cooking Light Magazine. These are the things that are going to help me eat healthier, but also make healthy meals for my sweet baby who is eating real solid foods.

2. Read my Bible. I LOVE God's word. I LOVE that it challenges my heart, teaches me and gives me wisdom. But I fail miserably at doing it consistently. I'd much rather watch TV or look at Facebook. Who doesn't? But my Grandmother said something when we went to visit the other day that shook me to my core. She was talking about Free Will and our relationship with God. She said it's one thing to have a monkey on your shoulder who will say "I love you." It's another thing to have your child scream "Mommy" or "Daddy" when you walk in the door. The point is that I can say to God "I love you". I can say it E.V.E.R.Y.D.A.Y., but there is something different about me running to Him and being excited to see Him. To meet with Him. Parents you get this. You get that when you have been gone and your sweet little one sees you and screams your name out of pure joy to see you that it is different than them just sitting there saying "I love you" just to say it, but not really mean it. So this year I want to Fall back in love with my Savior. And February is a great month to start that!!

3. Exercise. Yes. This goal is on EVERYONE's list around the new year. It's the one we wall say we are gonna do and we join the gym, but 3 weeks later we have lost our motivation completely. That's not happening this year. Having a little one really changes your perspective on things. I have friends who have time outside with their kids EVERYDAY. Instead of watching a movie or TV all day they are outside going for walks with their kids. Exploring, teaching, learning, enjoying. We have a beautiful neighborhood. And Julia needs to get out and "Soak up some Vitamin D" as my Grandpa says. I need to as well. So does our poor dog. She gets more walks when we are out of town than when we are home because our pet sitter takes her. So as much as I probably need to lift weights and all that jazz I'm gonna start with walking. Everyday for as long as Julia will allow.

My other motivation for this is the "Chosen: Marathon for Adoption" in October. I have babies in Haiti waiting for their momma and dadda to come get them. We can start a team and raise money for our adoption. What better way to get healthy and raise money to bring my kiddos home is there?

4. Read. I like reading. I've always been a good reader. I've always enjoyed books, but I have lost some motivation as an adult. A lot of it is probably the dang TV. But I have parenting books I want to read, spiritual books I want to read, and fun books I want to read. I have a list. So I'm gonna start reading instead of watching TV.

5. Date my Husband. Yes, we go on date nights. 3 weeks a month we are dating each other. And we enjoy it. But I feel like I need to put more effort into it. I need plan something. Make it more centered on him and not so much of just being without the baby.

6. Nourish my Friendships. 2011 was a year where many of my friendships changed. I think it has all ended up being for the good, but some of it was easier than others. But this year I really want to plan play dates with other moms, dinner with other couples, and just hanging out. With our kiddos or without our kiddos. But really invest in those relationships. Nourish them because they are so valuable and precious.

7. Get Organized. My sister in law doesn't clean she organizes. Because she hates cleaning but loves organizing. I'm home during the day now, and I look around my house and realize that we have stuff that needs to go, or we need to find a home for it in our house. I watched an episode of "Hoarders" and was mortified by what I saw. One of my biggest fears is ending up like that so I want to start organizing so that I can have what I need around, a place for Julia to play and a comfortable, welcoming home to entertain our friends.

8. Serve the City. We LOVE our church. And there are many opportunities through our church to serve Austin. We don't have any reason to sit at home and say to ourselves "I'd really like to serve others, but I don't know where to start." We have a place to start, and there are needs all around us. We just need to make it a priority.

9. Sew. I think part of being emotionally healthy is having a hobby. We did some sewing for hostess gifts for my baby shower, and I really enjoyed it. I've been asked to make a couple of quilts for a friend and I'd LOVE to add some sewing projects to my list of things to raise money for our adoption.

10.  Build memories with Julia. This seems a little weird to put on here, but I have vivid memories of stuff I did with my grandparents and parents growing up. Times that were special and I still cherish. I want Julia to grow up remembering Story Time, trips to special place like the zoo, going to the Nutcracker. I want to be build these memories so when she grows she will know she is loved because of the memories she had.

11. Garden. Another hobby...I've wanted to do this for awhile thanks to my friend Beth. She has beautiful plants growing and I've been inspired by her for awhile. I want to take time this year to make our backyard look a little more beautiful with some fresh herbs, some veggies, and LOTS of beautiful flowers.

12. Advent. I really wanted to do Advent with Julia this year, but just didn't find it feasible. I couldn't find anything I really liked. But this coming Christmas she will be closer to 2 and will be able to understand more of what is going on. It will still have to be simple, but I want her to LOVE Christmas because of Jesus. And I think Advent is a great way to start that.

So that's what I'm working on this year. I'm excited. I have A LOT to do today. I need to get busy!! I can't wait to see what all y'all are doing!!

Happy NEW YEAR!!