Monday, July 14, 2014

I am a Christian

This blog entry has been floating around in my head and heart for several weeks. How can I express correctly what I am wanting to say. How in this day of age can we defend our Christianity without others judging. I guess that's nothing knew though. People hating and constantly judging what is and isn't Christian. Finding any little mistakes and calling us hypocrites. It can actually be very hard to constantly work towards being a Christian in a world that hates.

I guess I want to start with me, my background and story of being a Christian, then loosing that, then really finding what it means. See I don't think it's something you just magically find one day and it all makes sense. I do think you find Jesus, and you choose to believe, but the other things, the really hard stuff is a life long process.We couldn't possibly process and understand all god wants of us until our hearts and minds are truly open, and even then, there are some things we will never know or understand until we enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

So I grew up with my mother singing the church choir as I sat front row admiring her wishing I was old enough to join in. I remember going to play kids during church choir practice, Sunday school, singing in children's choirs, and all the sweet little old ladies doting on me. I am beyond thankful my mother set up this foundation for me and helped me to see the love of Christ early. I was a happy child and into middle school and high school. I had a few rebellion times in middle school like the typical child, but I remember being drawn to reading my bible, devotions, and turning to that when I felt alone and sad. Especially with all the moving my family did. High school was pretty much the same, I did mission work and funny enough went to bed every night praying god would make me a singer, ha.

Although it was easy for me to believe and stay connected to Christ at a young age, I still didn't really understand, or always understand what that meant. When you're young you might believe its a lot of rules to follow, or you're a bad person. At least I did. No drugs, no sex, be kind, etc. Good things to not do anyway. (you know what I mean)

College, I got a little lost for various reasons. I still loved god and prayed, but the guilt of many of my actions in college made it hard to have a relationship with god.  Also at one point I got very mad with god for letting someone I looked up to and cared about die. (something I see somewhat differently now). I lost a relationship I believed to had been a forever deal, which I also see differently today. About Senior year of college god began to put people in my life to bring me back to where he wanted me, and where I need to be, where I want to be. One being my husband.

So why do I bore you with this. I was inspired to write this blog because I have a lot of people in my life who are non believers, or just don't understand what mine and Justin's beliefs are. As well as many people in my life that are Christians. In no way am I judging or asking my friends and family to change. I accept you thoughts, feelings, and I love you dearly. I accept where you are and what you believe and I want to explain a little of where we are and what we believe. Sometimes I think non believers can come to think Christians are naive, simple, just believe what they have been told and teach their children the same. Maybe even blind to the real world. But I assure you, it is a very thought out process and a constant building process to live as Christ has called us.

For my fellow Christians I think many will agree that truly knowing Christ, to the point where you are filled with his love is a constant process, a constant learning experience and even if you grew up hearing and knowing it, there still comes a time you decide and either hear Christ, or don't, or keep trying.

But mainly I write this for my friends that are non believers. Much of the world hates Christians or what they believe Christians to be. Some people might believe all Christians to be the same, so if you meet a few that are extreme you believe they all are. By extreme I mean "Christians" that hate, and clearly are, well, not living what the bible is teaching. I don't mean to sound judgemental in that statement, but it's pretty clear that people who are picketing that god hates whatever person clearly might not be reading the same bible others are.

Anyway. For me at least it has been a growing process that I imagine will continue my whole life. It's really been the past 4-5 years that god has taken a hold of my heart and began to show me what a christian really is. I pray every day for it. Clarity, my heart to be so filled with gods love and desires for us that it just flows through me. But that's the thing, we all sin. Everyone one, christian or not, every day. I sin in thoughts, in words, in loosing my temper, in judging others, in not giving more, in being selfish or entitled. I do it every day. There was a point in my life where I thought, OK, I'm a pretty good person. I love god, I do good things, what a good christian I am.....

Yeah, not the way it works. Also when I was younger I thought; man, god is tough, I am always doing wrong, why even try. He felt more like an authority figure, instead of what he really is.

It wasn't truly until we had children that I came to understand the god that loves us. HE is our father. If you can compare that to the love you have for your own children you might start to understand The kind of love he has for us. He's not a god that is looking down furled eyebrows, and a grimaced face at all we do. Instead he knows what is best for us. Just like a child who hits another child to retrieve their toy, or take it. We correct them out of LOVE, to teach them kindness, respect and sharing. Why do we teach these things to our kids with love behind it and think that god isn't constantly teaching with our best interest at heart, and LOVE in all he does for us. This is what I believe as a Christian. GOD loves us like no one ever could, and everything he tries to teach us, and show us is from the love that a father (or mother) has for their children. He says it about a million times in the bible, sad it took me so long to get it.

I also use to think if I wasn't constantly showing in some way that I was a good christian person that I wasn't. People would judge me, and not believe that I loved god. Wrong again. Everyone sins, every day. That's why Jesus died for us. That's what makes us Christians. We believe in the savior, the saver of our life, of our sin, of our hearts turning mean and mad, and acting in ways that are not filled with love. Christ forgives us. Each time I do, say, think, or act in a way that is of this world, or human nature, and I pray, I feel the burdens being lifted. I feel the peace of god, I feel my heart growing wiser, and I feel Christ showing me more of himself. It can be easy to judge our friends and neighbors and think that they may say they are Christian but aren't acting that way. But the truth is we are all fighting a battle in some way. With or without asking for the help of Christ.

So what do I believe, what does my family believe, why do we call ourselves Christian. Well, to get into every little detail would take too long, but to simplify it; Our hearts live in Christ. Every night Justin and I pray together, about what's on our hearts and minds. About our family, and god is doing in us and our marriage. We pray for clarity to live as Christ wants us to live and not the world. We have felt, heard and seen Christ in many ways in our lives, before knowing each other and now. When we sin, we feel it and we repent. Sometimes it takes each other to help us see are hearts aren't in the right spot. We go to church to worship with other people that believe as we do. To gain a family, a group of friends that love god as we do and can encourage us in this life. We believe Jesus is our savior and forgives us just by asking. He loves us and only wants good things for us. We accept when we are wrong, and instead of trying to justify our mistakes and constant sins, we try to pray for the clarity to know what's right and wrong. We sin every day. We teach our children about God and Jesus in hopes that they will know him as we do, and their hearts too will find him like we did, not to brain wash them. We believe god has been good to us in what he has given and what he has taken away, and will try to always remember that in good and bad. We are doing our best. Our best to live for Christ because he died for us. We have much to learn, but we are trying.

I know not all of this will make sense, and it's not meant to. We all experience life differently. I only hope that the people in our lives that love us understand a little better, and that Christ is happy with the way we are trying to live and love. Because in all reality, it only matters what god thinks. much love to all our friends and family.

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Endless Blessings Spring / Summer 2014

 2014 Blog Book

I am so behind in my blogs.... story of my life this year, we will call this a catch up blog and I can continue on my more riveting entries sitting in my log, :)

Justin has officially started residency. You know to be honest I don't see where this is going to be much different on hours than medical school. For a family doctor anyway. I know there are specialties that are ridiculously intense, but it sounds like it will alternate between crazy months and easier months. Which is kinda how medical school was. In general it seems he will be home for dinner most nights, so I can't ask for more than that of guy studying his heart out to be a good doc. He got all official today, white coat and all, so that's fun. I am so proud of him. He's still coming home every day and taking over the family duties so I can rest, which at 36.5 weeks pregnant I greatly appreciate!

Speaking of... Our sweet baby boy is due via C-section July 23rd. So 2.5 weeks away!! I am very ready, always the case at the end I think. I am ready to meet him, pick his name, have my body back, ha. I imagine he will come out looking just like the other 2, like his dad, :) I have enjoyed this pregnancy. It's never easy to go 9 months through the whole process, but it is a huge blessing to be able to have sweet babies. I remember there was a time I wasn't sure I would be able to, and loosing 2 during the past 5 years has been extremely difficult, but god heals and has blessed us so much with this pregnancy and the 2 amazing kids we have. Even at the end I feel him constantly move and feel so much joy. A new beautiful life, and I get to be his mother and love him. It's awesome! We don't usually pick names for our babes until we see them, so we shall see in just a few short weeks.

36 Weeks Preggo

 Sweet Summer Days!

So far it has been kind of an unusual spring and summer because Justin was off until now, we moved, we had all the graduation stuff and in general been adjusting to all the "new" It's been really great actually! I haven't had Justin around this much in several years so we have just enjoyed that. Date nights when we could, LOTS of family time, probably drove him a little crazy home with little ones all day for weeks, ha ha. But really, its been great!

Now that summer has officially started the kids and I are just keeping busy these last few weeks before another new change :)

Pool, park, Mops play dates, time with our friends. I can't even describe how thankful I feel for the continuous good things in our life. I was driving home today from the berry patch with the kids looking at the beautiful sky, clouds and Kansas fields, and deep inside I think how could get any better. We are lucky in this life, so many of us have it way better than we deserve and times we forget that. I try to continue to make it my mission to see, really see simplicity as the gift it is. It can be so easy to get caught up in our own worlds and not really see around us. I hope and pray god just continue to open my eyes, every day. Here's the beauty of our summer so far :)

 90% of this pics are cell phone pics, but I've come realize if I don't catalog them somehow they will be lost in the ever changing technology some day. :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dr. Justin Legris

The time has come, 4 years ago I started this blog to track our families time during my husband going through medical school. I love to look back at the books I've had made from this blog. We started out August 2011 in a tiny duplex which we lived in until now, with a 6 month old. Now Justin's done with medical school and we are about to have our 3rd child. Time flies by, and you have to stop and look around, record the memories and cherish every moment. The good, the bad, the ups and downs and the in betweens. I will continue our blog to be a memory keeper and to post on things that are passionate to me. Now however you may see a name change. :)

The graduation weekend for Justin was fantastic! To say I am proud of my husband is a huge understatement. We had about 20-24 people join us from KC, California and England for the celebration, which was amazing to have such support for all he has done. I made a little picture slide show and shared a speech about the last few years with the group. I teared up at trying to explain the kind of man I am so lucky to be married to. A man that through all this made me know that I and the kids came first. A man that would work 14 hours a day, come straight home to us. Ask me "what do you need Erin, how can I help you?" Continue to help me get the kids in bed, rest, and stay up half the night studying, only to do it again and again. Not only did he always make me feel loved, never got mad at me for feeling frustrated by the process, but he shows his constant love as father to our two little muffins. He also managed to do spectacular in medical school and excel in classes as well as board testing. WOW, is all I can say. God made an incredibly special guy, and I am the girl he loves and he picked to spend his life with. For that I am constantly thankful.

Th most amazing thing though about my husband is not just that he loves his family fiercely. But that he loves others. He has a servants heart. A heart to help the sick, to help people learn to feel better, not just by medicine, but in life style. He wants to serve as a Doctor to help people with the most difficult mysteries of life. Health. There's much we know about it, but there's even more we don't know, and doctors do their best to treat and help people. Most doctors I will say.

I'm excited to see how the next 3 years of residency training goes for him. It will continue to shape him into the kind of practitioner he will be. As for the family. We will certainly continue to have ups and downs through this. Some months Justin will be around helping as much as he can. Some months I will be a single parent. At least we have a taste of it already and know that the really difficult hours will eventually slow down. All the places and adventures we have been through together give us strength as a couple, as a family, and continues to remind us there is no other place we would like to be but together. God knows what he is doing, if we just sit back and listen.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

In Honor of Graduation Week

To my sweet husband for the past 4 years of being a medical student. An
amazing father, and the best husband a woman could ever ask for. Here's to
this chapter and many more to come.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Road to Suburbia

Last weekend was the big move for the Legris family. I had been looking for homes online for months and when we saw this one, we knew this was a place we could grow into, and even stay a few years after residency. Possibly buy if we end up loving it here. We figured renting for at least 3 more years was a smart move for us. Not exactly sure where Justin will end up working and it would be nice to buy close to where he works and plan on staying! :)  Plus, I continue to see friends buy and then have things to fix and replace, etc, etc. No big deal I think if you have the money saved up to do so. However, we don't. We just barely squeaked by in medical school the past 4 years. So being smart about our future is now the name of the game. Loans to pay off after residency, and catch up time on retirement. We are continuously thankful for this road through medical school and the help we have received along the way. God is good and faithful.

Anyhoo....Suburbia! LOVE it! I like the well kept neighborhoods. The people outside with their family's playing basketball, or working on their yards. The kids playing in backyard. I like the noise and the silence. It feels a little slower in south Olathe, calm, people just living, taking care of their family's. The highways are all very close so getting around KC still isn't a big deal. However, we do drive further, so the days I don't have to get out I don't to save some gas $.

The house I LOVE! We moved into the Merriam duplex 2010 for a 6 month old. Ready for Justin to start school and us to be fairly close to KU med. 900 square feet was fine with one little baby. 2.5 kids later, we were busting at the seams for a bigger place. The kids need to run, a lot. I needed to be in a different room from them at times during the day, hah! It was good for the time, but this is exactly what we have been hoping for and wishing for. A place to call home, with space for play, relaxation, and outside fun. It's a fairly new place, and the only thing at the moment I would change would be new carpet. That too will come someday when we buy our first home. This is more than we could wish and ask for right now. No one is entitled to anything in this life, and I will continue to remind myself and family of that. Our time here is only for a period. Things, nice houses, cars, etc, yeah they are nice, and fun. God wants us to enjoy the beauty around us. But I also believe you can't put much stock in it, and it certainly shouldn't be what makes you happy. You never know what life brings and where it takes you, but the one constant is love. The family god has blessed us with is best gift in this life.

So here we are onto the next step in our story. Justin starting residency as a family doctor, and a growing family with new baby boy due in July. Thankful isn't even a strong enough word to express my heart. There are no words to the joy and appreciation I have in my soul. It is good.

Here's a few pics of the house and starting our daily routine here :)