Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Trust and Obey for there's no better way...

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

We used to sing that song a lot at my former church. And I love it. I love the feelings that the song resurrects in me. As a relatively new Christian... the zealous passion... the inability to fight the tears during worship... ahhhh. Sweet memories.

I wrote a post on Tuesday and wasn't sure if I should post it. Wasn't sure I was ready to make the words real. Perhaps for fear that I might have to make good on them... But the truth is, publishing the post doesn't make it real. The thoughts, feelings, and intentions are there long before the words are even typed out.

The ultrasound went great. The baby is healthy and growing. All the problems have apparently healed so well, that the ultrasound technician couldn't even find evidence of where it had been. God is the greatest physician. And Healer.

And now that the ultrasound is over... I realized that I still have to trust God the same as I did when the outcome was so uncertain. Because, all outcomes are still uncertain. Not only for my unborn child, but also for my 2 strapping sons, my husband, myself, my family...

It is really about not taking one moment for granted. And still begging God to have mercy on us and please help prepare us for His will. Whatever that may be.

Because, while I wanted to pray for the Lord to heal the broken parts of my body, and continue to knit together my unborn child in my womb... I knew I couldn't. I prayed for the Lord to prepare me. And heal the broken parts of my spirit. So, that I would be able to bring glory to His name, no matter what His will would be. There were lots of inner struggles. And total chaos. Flat out, I was sad. Then mad. Then blame shifting. Then mad again. Then numb. Then aggravated... You get the idea.

This is the first post:

I guess I don't really know how to start this post...

Over the past year or so, I have cried, prayed, and hoped with some pretty amazing women.

Destiny, Angie, MckMama, and many others have given me a new insight into the blessing that parenthood truly is. To empathize with a friend over the loss of her child. To mourn the loss of a stranger's child. To hope and pray for the heart of a stranger's unborn son. To mourn the struggle with infertility through someone else's shoes. To not have to experience all of the pain first hand...

Tomorrow, I go for an ultrasound, that will give us some information as to the well-being of our 10 week old child in my tummy. It was a real struggle at first. To deal with the uncertainty. To surrender all feelings of control. To just stop thinking and worrying about it long enough to just fall asleep. It was hard to get to the point of just saying, "It's up to you God, and no matter what Your will is... You still ROCK." It was even harder to actually mean it. And I know that the Holy Spirit is the one that stepped in and showed me how to calm down. I can say, that today I feel at ease. I know that God is still the same. Up there holding the deck. And no matter how the cards fall for this family, He knows what is best for us.

I think that God has used these women to prepare me for this. To show me how to love Him when life is hard. To experience joy in troubled times. To know the happiness that is being carried by the Lord. To know the liberation that comes with surrendering to the Lord, and not worrying. Being careful for nothing.

Through this all (a whole week, whoop dee do... could be worse) I want to be sure that I am learning what it is that the Lord is trying to teach me. I know there is a reason for this to be happening. I know that there are no coincidences in life. I want God and I to be tight enough that I don't miss it. I certainly wouldn't want all of this to be in vain, because I missed the point.

I don't even think I will publish this post. I don't want to publish it, especially if this isn't bringing glory to God.

I think I learned, first hand, that there is joy in sorrow. There is much to rejoice about. When you are hurt, turn to God to carry you. Let Him call the shots. And love Him the same no matter what. There is joy there. A real joy. An honest happiness. Nothing shallow like the alternatives that the world has to offer.

And God has blessed me beyond reason already. Salvation... hello?! I don't have to experience the judgement that I deserve. My amazing husband. Wow, he is awesome. And continues to knock my socks off everyday. It is so easy to submit to a man that I respect so much. My 2 sons. They are a source of comfort that isn't like anything. They can make me laugh when all I want to do is cry. And my family and friends are fabulous. Bringing me magazines, flowers, cookies, and checking on me... God has not only provided me with a heavenly Father for support, but has blessed me with a support network of people that really astound me.

I know that my Lord loves me. And I know that He only wants to bring me joy. And I now know that joy isn't joy with out the pain of sorrow and trouble.

So, I guess the reason why I wanted to go ahead and post this is... just in case someone out there is struggling. Try to know the liberty that comes in trusting the Lord.

I did a google search for photos of the development stage of a 10 week old fetus... and this is what my little bean looks like...

Monday, April 20, 2009

I was born on Mother's Day...

Coincidence, I think not.

I can't really put into words the joy that being a mother brings to me. My awesome friend Bri tells me that we both have a "mother's heart". And it made me realize that not all mother's feel the way that we do...

A mother's heart...

made me lay on the floor next to Oliver's bed last night, while tears streamed down my face, and softly rub his hair as I listened to him sleep. I would rest my head on his legs and let the tears fall onto his blankets, while praying for his safety, wisdom, and future.

A mother's heart...

was beating so strongly last night as I rocked Liam to sleep on my chest in the recliner. I imagined my love for him just seeping through my chest, my shirt, and right into his little body.

A mother's heart...

is what allows me to love my little baby so much, as I sing lullabies to my child inside. It was a grateful mother's heart that brought tears to my eyes as I heard my child's heartbeat, so strong. So lovely.

A few weeks ago, I was at a baby shower for a friend of mine from high school. There were a couple of girls there that I graduated with. One of them is pregnant. She asked what I was doing these days. I replied that I got to spend my days at home with my boys. And she asked if I go crazy... and stated that she doesn't know how I do it. And the truth is, that I wouldn't want it any other way. I don't want to miss the successful trips to the potty. The fights over toys. The tickle fights. The lunchtime talks. The nap time fits and tantrums. I love the good and the inconvenient. There were times when Justin and I only had one car, that I thought I was going to go cuckoo without a way to get out and do things... and I realize that yes, it is nice to have the option to run and get baby wipes if I run out... but ultimately, I am happy here. Not content. Not okay. Not it'll do. I am happy at home. And I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. And I wouldn't want my boys anywhere else.

(DISCLAIMER: All of this to say, that it is a mother's love that also makes the difficult decision to go to work and to have daycare for her children. Sometimes, love has to do what is hard... and it is a wise woman that can recognize that she would not do her children any favors by staying home, when she is miserable there...)

Growing up, I never said that I wanted to "just be a mommy". I wanted to be a movie star actually. I am grateful to have a God that knows what I am really best at. And for his patience as I fought tooth and nail the idea of being a stay at home mother and wife.

I have never known happiness like I do now. As a wife. As a mother.

And I am so very grateful...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

so tiny...

This is Hayden Allen. Remember these photos of Brandy? Tada!

(and just think... I am going to have a tiny one in 7 1/2 months! ahhh... sigh... warm fuzzy...)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

hip. hip. hop. and ya don't stop.

Some Easter bunnies for my boys' baskets. These were really easy to make. I used the free pattern by Wee Wonderfuls . I was quite pleased with the outcome. I could even see adding a bell on the inside and making these as baby rattles as well.

I do hope that everyone remembers that Christ rose from the grave and that is why we celebrate Easter. It isn't about bunnies, jelly beans, or new clothes... I am trying to get Oliver to understand the meaning of Easter and I think he is catching on. That being said, he loves jelly beans.

So...go on! There is still time to make your own bunny!
Happy Easter.

P.S. There are loads of great Easter craft ideas at the Craft Crow.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

guess what?

We are having a baby!

(Edit: I just realized that I should've waited to post this until tomorrow. :) It is for real! Due date is December 3!)