Wednesday, March 30, 2011


In April of 2003, my youngest niece, Carmen, was born. We lived in Augusta, GA and they (Eric's sister, Dawn, her husband, Brad and my oldest niece, Audra) lived in Florence, AL. We visited often while we lived there but when I got the call from Brad that Dawn had gone into labor, I took Isaac (who was about 15 months old) and set out by myself for their house. The plan was that I would stay at their house and take care of Audra while they were in the hospital and then help for a day or 2 after they came home. I think that my mother-in-law was sick at the time and couldn't be around a newborn. That's why I got to go:) Anyway, that whole experience was wonderful. We arrived at the hospital just a few hours after Carmen had been born. It was so neat to see Audra (almost 3) and Isaac love on the tiny baby. One of the most wonderful things I remember was fixing Audra's hair in braids and pony tails; things I hadn't gotten to do as a mother yet. Anyway, fast forward 5 weeks and we were back at home. I got a call in the very early hours of the morning from Dawn. With a teary voice she said,"I have a very sick baby." Carmen had somehow contracted meningitis. I don't remember all the details but I remember her telling me that her white blood count was really high. My comment was how amazing, that this little tiny body is doing exactly what it's supposed to---what a grown up body does---in the face of infection. Carmen came through and recovered and has been a joy to watch grow and mature. She'll be 8 in a couple of weeks!

Here's Carmen and Audra then

Here's Jaylie and Carmen this past Thanksgiving

You may be wondering how this post, so far, can have much to do with bodies, which is what this post is titled. Well, I'm getting there. Or at least, I'm trying to.

I have had brief stints with exercise in my childbearing life. You see, it may surprise you to know that I didn't always look like a mother of 3, but used to have a more petite figure! I never really had to exercise. But then, as with most people I know, you get married, have kids (gaining and losing a ton of weight in the process) and then YIKES! before you know it, you're in your mid-30s and you sorta don't really look like you used to and losing weight is not easy. I don't know about you, sweet reader, but I go through phases of being fine with how I look and then really being sick to death of how I look. I don't really expect to ever look like I did (or even weigh what I did) before I was a mother of 3. After all, I was 24 when I had Isaac and let's face it, having kids changes so much about you, not just what your body looks like. So, yeah, although I would really like to someday have a slightly smaller jean size and also a smaller number on the scale, I'm not after reclaiming my high school size 4 prom dress. Those days are gone forever...and I'm fine with that...really...

Lots of you know that I have started running this year. I've started to run in the past but never for this long, with this much success and with this good of an attitude. I ran 3.26 miles on Monday this week. That's the farthest I've ever run. As in ever. It took me a solid 40 minutes which is pretty darn slow if you ask me but you know what they say about slow and steady winning the race. I'm running a 5K at Isaac's school in 2 weeks. I'm not expecting to win it (especially when I know people can walk about as fast as I run!) but this will be a major milestone, both mentally and physically.

Back to the bodies thing though. I have been amazed at my body. (How many times have you said that about your body?) What amazes me is that what I used to not be able to do (run a mile without stopping, run for 10 minutes without stopping, run for 20, 30 minutes, 2,3, miles) I can now do. Conditioning, or training is what you call it, I guess. (You can tell I'm not an athlete) I used to not do something, and now I can. That's amazing to me. Now, it hasn't made all that much difference on the scales, yet...I think I'm only off about 8 pounds since I started in January. But I know I'm doing what I should be, and I'll keep doing it and trust that at some point, my metabolism will kick in and help out a bit!

God has made our bodies perfectly and amazingly. From Carmen's white blood cells to my super-soft mother-of-3- tummy---perfect and amazing. Capable of doing things we wouldn't think we could do. I'm fully aware that David said it much better than me in Psalm 139:

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

But then again, I doubt David ever had squishy abs.

Enjoy the rest of the week!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Half a Decade

This past weekend was rather momentous for the Livingston family. (Mostly for me because I'm the one who keeps track of things like this) It was the 5 year anniversary of our arrival in MS, this house, Meadowbrook and full time ministry. As many--or most of you--probably know, I moved around all the time as a kid and even the first 10 years of our marriage was pretty transient. This address is by far the longest one I have ever had...EVER in my life (and I'm getting pretty old) Jaylie just turned 5 and a half, Ethan will be 7 in May and Isaac turned 10 in December. Subtract 5 from their ages and you'll see that this house is pretty much the only one my littlest ones know of. This house was Isaac's 5th one when we moved here; he was 5 then. Meadowbrook is the only church they have really known. Jaylie learned how to walk in this living room. Isaac learned how to tie his shoes in this kitchen. Ethan learned how to play Mario Kart in this house. I've become a runner in this neighborhood. Eric has become a vessel used by God to serve others in this community...

Thank you so much to those of you who have loved us and our kids so much. Thank you for allowing us to be here to serve with you. We couldn't ask for more.

And Mom and Dad, your own 5 year anniversary is coming up in May. Thank you for coming with us, for loving us more than TX. Isaac and Ethan and Jaylie have no idea what life is like without you. That is a gift that is immeasurable. And thanks is really not enough. I do love you so much.

So this is what roots feel like :)

Blessings to you