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Month: July 2012

Bumpdate

Bumpdate

How far along?  FIVE months!! Wahoo!

Feeling: Been feeling pretty good.  Morning sickness is beginning to end (praise the Lord!) and I have some energy in the morning and in the evenings if I rest in the afternoon.  Even though we have come up to the week when we lost our stillborn, my heart is still so confident in the Lord that He is answering our prayer.  Not worried, simply trusting. 

Maternity clothes:  Definitely wearing maternity bottoms…. people still keep telling me “You don’t even look pregnant!” which makes me wonder if I look like I feel…. like I’m just getting wider! 🙂

Sleep: I’m sleeping better than I was a few weeks back thankfully!!

Food cravings: Nothing currently. This pregnancy is weird like that… I don’t crave something most days like I have in the past.  Something might sound good one day, but it might sound awful the next day.  Weird! 

Movement? Thankful to be feeling kicks and flips!  They are getting stronger!  My hubby really wants to be able to feel the movements, but every time he tries to the baby stops moving!  Little stinker 🙂 

What I miss?  Hmmmmm, nothing at the moment.  

Best moment this week: Having some alone time over the weekend 🙂  I LOVE my kids, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little quiet too! 

What I’m looking forward to: Holding our baby in my arms!!

Next Appointment: August 6th!  It is my anatomy scan and my hubby and I are going to make a date of it since my mom will be here.  We get to go on a DATE!!!   I’m super excited to have some alone time with my man!!

Milestones:  Well, baby is supposed to be the size of a Mango and can suck his/her thumb.  The baby can also hear us which is fun!  The kids love talking to the baby and it is so sweet 🙂  They are both very excited to add a new family member to our family! 

CAN’T WAIT to see our baby 🙂  

 

Provision

Provision

Several years back when my husband and I traveled for missions work, we saw the Lord’s provision (and protection!) in amazing ways.

We would get our bank statement each month and the numbers just didn’t make sense on paper!  We were making so little money and yet each month we managed to either stay the same financially or we got a tiny bit ahead.

It has been that way all through our married life really.  Working in ministry, we don’t make a lot, but we make enough and it is ALWAYS neat to see how the Lord will provide.  Not even just financially, but other ways as well.

Why I sometimes still struggle with doubt and even trusting God when it comes to needs (and maybe some wants) we have I don’t know.  I mean, you would think by now I would totally be a believer beyond a doubt!!

How has the Lord provided?

Oh, I could share story after story!  One way He has provided is by allowing our vehicles (which we use allll the time) to keep running without any major problems.  The vehicle we got rid of just about a year and half ago was pushing 200k miles and the only problem we had with it was the ac going out.  Even then, one of our supporting churches stepped in and completely covered the cost!  We could tell the vehicle was planning on giving up the ghost soon so we looked and looked and dickered and the Lord provided us with a perfectly good used vehicle for us at a low cost.

Another instance, just last Christmas we weren’t really sure how we were going to be able to afford Christmas gifts for our kids.  Not a huge thing really, but it meant a lot to me to be able to get our kids some things.  The week before Christmas we were handed gift cards to ToysRUs and BabiesRUs that were more than enough to give our kids gifts (along with others) on Christmas.

The Lord’s provision has been amazing really.

This past spring we became debt free and not long after that we found out we were expecting.  We have insurance, but you know how it can be with deductibles and all.  Well, we began getting bills in the mail from all the tests and appointments I’ve had.  Which is a lot!  My husband and I had several conversations about these bills and though we did not want to go into debt, even medically, we know it is for a good cause.  We both said, “All of these mean we have a healthy baby on the way and it is SO worth it!” and we left it at that.  We’d make payments and eventually the debt would be taken care of.

Yesterday we got GREAT news.  Our medical bills are going to be covered 100% for this baby and me.  Seriously.  WOW.

Sometimes God’s provision is not in allowing us to become wealthy, but rather it is in Him just taking care of our needs and many times it is in ways we would never expect.  Honestly, we hadn’t spent much time praying about this new medical debt, we’ve spent more time praying for a beautiful healthy baby than we have about money.  Yet, God in HIS goodness, saw fit to provide anyway.  Wow.  That is how good and generous our God is.

I’ve been reading this certain blog for a few years now and right now the author and some of her family are over in India on a missions trip.  She has posted numerous photos of the people, their *homes* (if you can call them that), and things that she is learning.  I was telling my husband about it last night and my mind has continually been pondering, “I have been blessed!  I have SO MUCH in comparison to these other people and STILL they constantly smile.”  The people they are ministering to would probably even tell you they have been blessed, and how humbling is that to my own heart?

We have a great God who sees all of us and all of our needs all over the world, and if we are seeking Him and following Him, He will provide and meet our needs simply because He takes pleasure in doing so because He loves us more than life itself.  Matthew 7:11

I just had to take this time to brag on my God a little bit.  He is SO good even though I am very undeserving and I am very thankful that He is MY God!

Raising a family

Raising a family

Since we still feel like we are kinda new at this whole parenting thing, any chance we get to talk with parents who seem to have done it *right* are parents we WANT to talk with.

A few weeks back at teen camp we discovered that the camp speaker (a preacher from Colorado) had raised 4 children now adults and all love the Lord and are serving Him.  Something that seems rare to find these days.  It seems that many teens who turn 18 desire to never darken the door of a church again and only make the Lord a tiny part of their life if any part at all.

That scares us.

At the same time, we know we don’t know it all when it comes to parenting and we try to not ask our peers about parenting advice because, well, they are in the trenches as well!  It is much wiser to seek counsel from those who have raised their children and they are living right.

So when we found out about this Pastor’s children living for the Lord we felt like we wanted to grasp onto of all of his advice!  The Pastor told us that when he was our age with young children he did the same thing, asking advice of parents who had already raised their children.

He said without a doubt parents with whom he spoke said, “If I could do it all over again, I would spend more time with my family.”  The Pastor then looked at my husband and said, “No matter how busy you get, ALWAYS make sure your family comes before your work.  Take vacations throughout the year.  Go away for a day or two at a time.  Go on dates with your wife.  Make sure you are home for dinner at least 3 times a week and go to all of their sporting/music activities.”

We know that in and of ourselves we cannot raise these children to love the Lord, we need the LORDS help to do that!  I remember speaking with a dear sweet lady two years back and she said, “We parent how the Bible tells us to and then we pray that the Lord would make up the difference where we fail or lack in our parenting.”  Because of those words, I find myself praying the very same thing for my own family.  I fail SO. MUCH. it seems, and yet the Lord is so good and I know He can make up the difference where I fail.

I think one huge key to raising children who love the Lord is to spend MUCH time in prayer.  We are in a spiritual warfare for these little ones hearts.  They know when we are being real or a hypocrite, they know when we have messed up and should apologize but don’t.  They know when our patience is lacking and how unkind words can creep out and yet we tell them “Be kind!”

When I pray for my children I ask the Lord first of all to save the soul of my little guy at a young age.  I praise the Lord for answered prayer with our daughter asking the Lord to be her Savior.  I ask the Lord to help our children to always love the Lord with everything that is in them and that they would never desire to rebel.  In the wicked world that we live in I also pray that the Lord would blind the eyes of those who would want to do harm to my children/family.  Blind their eyes so much that they wouldn’t even see my children/family.

Prayer is such a huge key in raising a family to love the Lord.  Oh there are so many more things I would love to share, but don’t have the time to right now.  I’ll have to finish up this post another time, but keep encouraged!  If you are in the trenches of parenting right now, stay strong!  Stay close to God’s Word and spend much time in prayer.  God’s Word will not return void.  If we are planting seeds in the hearts of our children the Lord will give the increase!

Thought Provoking

Thought Provoking

I saw this today and it definitely made me stop and think.

What am I living for?

Are the petty worries that cloud my thoughts worth Christ dying for?

Are the things I find worthy to stress about, worth Christ dying for?

Is the desire to please others more important to me than my desire to please Christ?

Am I living a life that is worthy of Christ’s death for me?

It caught my attention and simply thought I’d share.

Baby Update

Baby Update

A few days ago I had a Dr. appointment and though I was nervous as all get out waiting and waiting for the Dr. I was SO thankful for the good news we were given!  My Doctors office is actually pretty great about not having to wait forever to see the Dr…. unless of course you really just want to get right in and hear your baby’s heartbeat and THAT’S when it seems to take FOR-EVER!  🙂  Isn’t that how it always goes?

My mind was all over the place (I often think like a plate of spaghetti looks…. my thoughts are just as jumbled and all over the place like a plate of pasta, but it all makes sense to me 🙂 ) and I kept repeating verses to myself in my mind to try and keep my spirit calm.

The Doctor came in and after talking for several minutes it was time to take a listen.  As soon as I laid back I felt a little kick inside and I was so thankful for that kick!  Soon I could hear the heartbeat of my baby along with the heartbeat of mine on the doppler.  It was so incredible to hear those two heartbeats beating together 🙂  I’ve heard it before, but it never gets old!

Baby is still doing perfectly well and we could not be more thrilled!

We are quickly approaching the week where we lost our stillborn son Eli and if I let my thoughts get away from me I can really begin to fear and panic.  Yet, when my mind is stayed on Christ, my heart is completely at peace.  (Is. 26:3)

We are SO thankful for a great update and it is beginning to seem *real*!  Like this is really going to happen!  In just a few months we will have our baby in our arms!  Excited doesn’t even seem to be the right word to describe how we feel.  Incredibly thankful and blessed is definitely near the top of how we feel!

Thought you might enjoy seeing a comparison of how big our baby is this coming week 🙂  To think that our baby started out so microscopically small and is now nearly 5 inches long and gaining weight is incredible!  How Great is our God!  I am so thankful that the life of this baby is in the hands of the Lord!  We have definitely been blessed!

Happy Birthday, Little Miss!

Happy Birthday, Little Miss!

On this day 5 years ago I was in pain!  The greatest pain of my life, actually.

Five years ago I was in labor with our first little baby.  I was already a week past my due date and we were scheduled to move out of state in 10 days.  My Dr. had already tried inducing me twice before and on this day she came at me with the real stuff 🙂  Pitocin was started at 6 in the morning and began working slowly as the hours progressed.

Though I tried to have an epidural, the magical medicine didn’t work for the pain.  Instead it numbed my right thigh and that’s about all!  So when the real labor began I felt every little bit of that pain!

The urge to push came about 3 o’clock in the afternoon.  There is nothing quite like that feeling.  I remember thinking, “GET. HER. OUT!” 🙂

At 5:30 in the evening our sweet little Miss made her appearance.  All 7 pounds and 14 ounces of her made me a Mommy! The love we had for her while expecting her grew by leaps and bounds when she was placed in our arms!  Oh, she was so sweet.

As she has grown these past 5 years it has been fun to watch her develop her own personality.  She is the epitome of sweetness.  Always wanting to help, most always loving, compassionate, and friendly!

We wondered if she would ever walk way back when 🙂  She was completely content to scoot along on her rump, she never did truly crawl, but she scooted around from point a to point b 🙂  At 15 months she began taking her first steps and she hasn’t stopped since!

A highlight of her 4th year of life was when she asked Jesus to be her Savior.  It was such a sweet moment!  She has been a witness to her brother ever since, reminding him that he needs to ask Jesus to be his Savior 🙂

It is a joy to be a parent.  What a blessing it is to be able to experience raising a child/children for the glory of God.  Though there are some days when it seems the little years may last forever, there is never a day that goes by when joy and laughter are not brought into our home by our children!

Little Miss, you are such a ray of joy in our lives!  Your sweet spirit and tender heart are so beautiful to see.  The Lord has great plans for your life and we are privileged to raise you to be a woman after God’s own heart.

We love you so much sweet girl and are so thankful for the 5 years of life you have had so far and we look forward to experiencing many many more years with you as you grow up!

We love you to the moon and back a bazillion times, more!

Walking By Faith

Walking By Faith

It has been a bit on the crazy side over here in our neck of the woods!  Summer is definitely a busy time for us, but it’s been a good busy!

The last several weeks the Lord has really been working hard on my trust in Him.  How much do I really trust Him?  How big am I willing to pray?

A few weeks ago I felt burdened to begin praying for something big.  Really big, to me anyway.  When the thought came across my mind I thought, “No way!  Like God would really answer that prayer?  It’s huge! Plus, would He even WANT to answer it?”  Then I was reminded of James 1:6, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”  My God can answer BIG prayers!  I was also reminded of Matthew 7:11 which states, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”  The Lord DELIGHTS in answering our prayers, even the huge ones!

So, when the prayer request crosses my mind, I pray and I do my best to pray in faith with nothing wavering knowing full well that God can answer if it is His will.  Maybe one day I’ll share my prayer request with you, but for now I’ll just keep praying and see how God works!  It is a stretch of my faith for sure because it is something only God can answer but stretching my faith is a good thing!

Another way God is stretching me is by trusting Him with the life of this baby growing inside of me!  I am already attached.  I am head over heels and am SO excited with every flutter and kick!  Fear is something that likes to creep in at times though.  Sometimes I feel like I am in a battle of joy and fear!  When I think about this little one I feel just as much love for him/her as I do for my other children here with us.  I think of Psalm 139:13-14, For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”   The Lord knows this baby and loves this baby even more than I do.  How can I not trust Him all the time with the life of this little one?

Earlier this week I had a few days where I didn’t feel any movements inside my tummy.  This week is also a milestone week for us.  This is the week that I have lost our last two babies since our stillborn.  I was already a bit emotional, but not feeling movements, no matter how much I poked, prodded, drank caffeine, nothing, was just nearly unbearable!  It was hard and there were many tears and much praying!

A song, that is also a Psalm, came to my mind.  It is one that my children enjoy listening to and it is from Psalm 56:3-4, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.  In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”  I read those verses, I sang the song and peace came to my heart.  I knew that God was hearing my prayers, along with the many others who are praying, and peace swept over my heart.  The life of this baby is in the hands of the Lord, whether on earth or in Heaven, and I can trust Him.

I laid down that night and there they were.  After two days of feeling nothing, the kicks and flips were back!  What a wonderful peace and joy they brought!

Trusting the Lord is a journey for all of us to take.  It isn’t something we just *get* one day and never have to learn about it again.  It is a constant lesson most of us have to be reminded of.

Our God is so good, isn’t He?  I am so very thankful to belong to the King of Kings!