Friday, November 27, 2009

I AM Thankful

I AM Thankful
Lest my last two posts deceive you, I am feeling thankful on this Thanksgiving. I'm just also prone to discouragement...I could blog now about how our car needs a new ignition switch and therefore was towed from the grocery store to our garage and we had to borrow a car to make the 250 mile trip to my parents, or how halfway there in Wal-Mart I realized I had failed to pack some necessary clothing for any girl having gone through puberty. Or how expensive that was to buy at Wal-Mart...
But I won't, because really, I do have sooooo much to be thankful for.
So here's my list:

1. My salvation, and included in that, a God who is amazing and loves me so much that He died for me. Can't get any better than that.

2. My absolutely amazing, unbelievable, indescribable husband. He's God's perfect companion and leader for me. I love and respect him sooooo much!!

3. My soon-to-be-born Son. Have I ever mentioned that I'm sooooo glad we're having a boy? Don't get me wrong, I love girls, and I had always thought we would have a daughter first. That is, until I got pregnant, then I just knew, it was a boy. And for Andrew's sake, I was glad. But now, I am so enraptured with little boys, and the thought of having my own.

4. My family...It's soooo good to see my parents!!

5. Friends!! New and old, young and old...j/k!! I get to have breakfast with my two best friends from highschool tomorrow...I love them and their kindred spirits!! There's never any gaps with them, no matter how long it's been.

6. Our church family!! Because they really are a family, God knew what He was doing there. I can't imagine what the first 3 years of our marriage would have looked like without them.

7. My Puppy Dexter. He's a constant source of joy and consternation in my life. And a wonderful companion that I would miss so dearly.

8. A warm home.

9. Jobs that we get payed for. :-)

10. God's grace and mercy as I learn and grow to be more like Christ. For putting up with my unthankfullness and mistrust of the past few weeks. And teaching me to trust Him no matter what.

And so, I'm thankful, no matter what comes our way, the Apostle Paul got it right:

Philippians 4:11-13
11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Which includes being thankful for the hard things. And so I'm thankful for trials in my life, and for a God who gives me grace and mercy no matter how I respond.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

To be Held

I think I sounded very melodramatic and depressed in my last post. Not sure this is going to be much different. I've realized I mostly am just having a really hard time trusting God that He's doing the right things...
Which, I have absolutely no right to do, so that whole "What are you doing God?!" attitude is definitely out.

We had our second childbirth class last night, and then we went to the grocery store to buy milk. And then when I forgot my WIC folder, we didn't buy the milk, I was crabby, and the car wouldn't start. You have got to be kidding me!! That was my attitude. We've known the car was tempermental for a while. It's actually just the ignition, it only likes to let you turn the key if you rub it and say nice things just the right way. Well last night it was done, no turning the key. So after many tears on my part, Andrew was a hero and walked home and got the truck to come pick me up. Thankfully we live less than a mile away. Anyway, we're supposed to be driving the 250 plus miles to my parents house tomorrow morning...and there's no way in my 30 plus weeks of pregnancy that I can make that drive in our very bouncy old I cried a lot.

Now, God is gracious and Andy's former roomate is letting us borrow his little Saturn to make the trip. So 1. It gets great gas mileage. 2. It's a stickshift, so it'll be fun to drive. But unfortunately 3. It's teeny tiny, and I'm not...enough said.

Basically, my attitude of gratitude is lacking deeply right now. Doesn't God know that we don't have the money to fix our car?! Doesn't He know that Andy can't take the time off work to go get the car towed home this afternoon? I know, He does know this and His answer is obviously...chill...I've got in under control...

These really are minor things, and we do have AAA praise the Lord, so the towing should be free, and we are blessed with friends who take care of us. But really,
I'm discouraged. I shouldn't be, I should be thrilled that our son is growing stronger everyday, that soon, I'll be holding him. That I have an amazing husband who I DON'T DESERVE who is soooo patient with me and loves me unconditionally. Not a lot of women can say that.
Yet, I dwell on the negative. And I let my emotions rule me. And I'm scared. Scared of how God's going to make it work, scared of what the future is bringing.
And yet, God is gracious and keeps giving me songs to comfort my heart.

"This is what it is to be loved and to know that the promise was that when everything failed, we'd be held..."

"Sometimes the way is lonely and steep and filled with pain, so if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then cry to Jesus, cry to Jesus, Cry to Jesus and live.

"We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessd beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace ...
But, Jesus, would You please ... "

So I'm going to cry, and ask God for His mercy and grace that I don't deserve to sustain me, and I'm going home to my Mommy too! :-) And really, God is gracious, I'm just discouraged. And I know He can handle my honestly. And He loves me anyway.

AND, HE GIVES US SNOW!!! IT'S SNOWING!!! What a reminder of His cleansing forgivness.
I have a lot to be thankful for, most of all, a God who loves me and holds me when I cry.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

True Gratitude

I've been reading lots of blogs and facebook messages about being truly thankful this time of year. Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and I really sense people, especially Christians, attempting to have a greater attitude of true Thanksgiving. I haven't been ignorant of this, and really, I agree. But somewhere deep in my heart this past week, I've been rebelling. Because I don't feel thankful.

I've always struggled my whole life with how God takes care of us and other people. For example, in college, I worked my tail off trying to pay my bills and not rack up credit card debt and get good grades. And then I'd listen to other people who played sports/did music/ didn't work talk about gifts (of money) that God bestowed upon them to pay their bills. And really, the attitude of "NOT FAIR!" crept into my heart. Okay, I was wrong, God is not fair to us, praise the Lord!! He is merciful and gracious and I certainly don't want what's "fair".

That said, I struggle with how God provides for others and seemingly not for us...which I've been so convicted of this week.

I have sooo very much to be thankful for, the biggest of which is my salvation. Then comes my husband, my soon to be born son, my extended family, my amazing church family, I could go on...but that's not the point either.

The point is this, I need to have an "attitude of gratitude" no matter what. Even if I have no physical possessions and poor health and no family. I'm loved by God and He's gracious enough to allow me to be saved and to serve Him. That's more than enough for an entire lifetime of gratitude.
There is a single gal who's been coming to our church lately. And she's teaching me a lot. She has so much she could complain about, no job, few possesions, no car, and she's trying so hard!! And whenever I talk to her, she's smiling and just thankful that someone picks her up for church. I managed to lay hold of some clothes this week that expanded her wardrobe by leaps and bounds. And I was convicted.

Money is tight for us, we've been pouring everything into our savings account for when I'm on maternity leave to be able to pay the bills. And so, Christmas is going to be interesting, and people don't understand that. I keep realizing how much a baby "needs" like sheets for the crib to start with! But then, when I'm freaking out because we don't have a dresser/changing table to put the baby's clothes in, I'm thankful we already have clothes for our baby and really, if we can't afford a dresser for him, he could care less that his clothes are stored in a rubbermaid.
And really, we "can" afford it, I'm just not willing to dig into that savings account. So I'm praying really hard and trusting God...because as these lyrics that have been going through my head all day say, what we "want" and what we "need" are so different!
"Oh, the differences that often are between
Everything we want and what we really need"
So, I'm going to meditate on this verse "And my God will supply every NEED of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus"
and this song will be in my heart as well...
and I'm grateful, for a God who loves me and died for me, for a husband who's doing such a great job of taking care of us, and for my son, dresser/cloth diapers/clothes and whatever else excluded...
And thank you Lord, for everything.

Nichole Nordeman "Gratitude"
Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case ...

We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case ...

We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view
If no roof is overhead
And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
Everything we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case ...

We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessd beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace ...

But, Jesus, would You please ...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lots of Pregnant Bellies in One Room

We started Childbirth classes last night. And yes, I know there are tons of people out there who say they are pointless or that you'll either laugh or cringe through the whole thing. But really, I was so excited for them and so relieved to be there. I went through the whole "panic we're actually having a baby" phase a while ago. Now I'm in the "PANIC I HAVE TO GIVE BIRTH TO THIS BABY" Phase...And unfortunately, I don't think it's a phase...

So I've been really, really looking forward to these classes. I'm not expecting to be told tons of new information that I haven't already read or heard. I am expecting to be calmed down a bunch, and for it to open discussion between Andrew and I about what we hope our baby's birth will be like.

So after our first class last night, I am feeling much more assured. Frankly, it was fun just to be around lots of pregnant women!! As the teacher said, look around, these will be the parents of the kids your kid will go to school with. It's fun to realize all our babies will be born so close together, and to not feel as big as a house when I realize how small I am compared to others. Or how big I am, and that we're all normal!! And practicing breathing, I know how to breathe, but it was a great reminder to chill out!! This baby will come no matter what.

Next week we take a tour of the maternity floor and delivery and all that good stuff. And I'm excited again. I really just need to think and process all of this without being overwhelmed. And these classes are helping me do just that.

Now for the funny stories...I know one girl in the class, met her husband, couldn't remember her name or why I know her...oh yeah, else do I know anyone in this town?! I need to pay more attention to my customers. It was a relief to know someone though, and fun to compare bellies! :-)

When I walked into work yesterday, my boss, and good friend, was laughing. I basically ignored this until she came into the back room where I was putting my apron on and said "now don't be offended" and I though uh oh, what did I do? "But you're starting to waddle." And I laughed so hard because she was right, I was waddling because my hips hurt and it was easier to walk that way...I just didn't realize it. That seemed to solitify how far along I actually am. I'm almost 30 weeks for crying out loud!! I keep feeling like I have to defend how far along I am, when really, 3rd trimester baby! We're having this baby soon!! I guess I was used to it since we announced SOOO early that we were pregnant. But it's been fun that way too.

So, 3 more classes to go, then it's Christmastime and then it's a month to kill until baby comes. January's looking pretty long, but I for one am ready for the Holidays this year!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Belated Veteran's Day Thought

I do realize that Veteran's Day was almost a week ago, but I've been pondering a thought all week and am ready to share it.

The morning of Veteran's Day our local AM talk radio station played a prayer prayed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the morning of June 6, 1944, D-Day. I was sooo moved by it because
1. the president prayed publicly
2. the war was one that had to be fought
3. the things he said, I highly doubt we'd ever hear our president saying them
4. He called the nation to a lifestyle of Prayer!!!
Rather than try to explain the significance, I'm posting the audio from YouTube and I'd like to copy a text of his prayer and let you see for yourself why it's so powerful. It's long, but bear with me please.

"My Fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Franklin D. Roosevelt - June 6, 1944

I hope this impacts you as it did me. I won't make a lot of comments other than to say this. We need to PRAY FOR OUR PRESIDENT!!! I was moved to tears over the realization that he doesn't believe what FDR prayed. That the very word "republic" is a "bad concept" to him. (Please, no political discussion, this is my viewpoint, and if you don't share it, great!) FDR prayed for faith, for an "unconquerable purpose" he called the nation to daily prayer, to prevail against evil, and that God's Will would be done. Amen!! That's all I can say. Whether or not you think we should be in Iraq or Afghanistan, we can all pray those things!!! And pray that our President has such a love for our country and God that he is willing to do what FDR said HAD to be done.

And let us pray for our troops as FDR said, for strength, courage, and hope.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


My husband is doing the dishes. I love my husband. That's about it!!

Yeah right, like I could say so little. The great thing about this situation is that he's rather slow at doing the dishes. So I usually do them. But tonight, I came home, he's doing the dishes. And I'm letting him, because he loves me and I love him. That's about it!

Lesson Learned

I married Andrew for many reasons, but one of the things that I liked about him was his awareness and caring of what goes on in the world. He's not obsessive mind you, but especially working in the news field he's very much aware of the news and how that will affect our lives. Call it personal responsibility I guess. Anyway, I loved and admired it. I still do, I just have to know when to walk away and let him be informed by himself.

Take Saturday night for example. The U.S. House of Representitives was discussing multiple amendments and then voting on the ever infamous "health care bill". Which I have issues with the name alone because EVERYONE in this county has access to health care. Not everyone has health insurance. Two VERY different things. But I digress.
We, even though we don't have cable, have an abundant 13 or so free channels through the VHF/UHF *I don't remember which* stations in town. Including C-SPAN, which growing up, I always thought was pointless, who would watch people talk and vote? My husband, that's who. So I spent my Saturday evening watching the House discuss the abortion amendment and then eventually, like way late at night, vote on the bill.
While all this "discussion" was going on, I made Andy change the channel at least once, because I was in tears.
Now, I will note this in the beginning, because it's not really my point of argument for the day, the abortion amendment was good, and it was bad. Good, because it's right and moral and Biblical. Bad, because it being added to the bill caused a lot of on the fence Democrats to vote in favor of the bill which they might not have without it because they are actually pro-life. So yes, if the bill is going to be passed, it needs the amendment, but without it, the bill might not be passed. It's kind of a win/lose situation. Just a thought. Anyway...

The main problem that brought me to tears wasn't the screwed up "health care" bill (I know, politics, don't even go there) or the fear of what kind of nation we're bringing our son into, it was the female representitives discussing the abortion amendment. I about died listening to all these women discussing how horrible it was of all these people to try to take away their "right" to have an abortion or their "right" to buy supplemental insurance that paid for abortion. "Women have the right to control their bodies, they have the 'right' to pay for an abortion if they want to". Putting aside the illogicalness of that "rights" argument, it was devastating to listen to. All I could think about were the lies these women had been told, the lies they are speaking, and the countless lives ruined as a result of them. First of all, we don't have a "right" to our own bodies, but that's another Biblical discussion.
Secondly, abortion is a lie!! I've always been strongly pro-life, but I admit, being pregnant has changed how passionate I am. When I was 8 weeks pregnant (so really, 6 weeks from conception) we saw our little son's heart beating on an ultrasound screen. We heard the incredibly fast beating over the speakers. I heard my son's heart beat, and I was in awe. He was so small, not even recognizable as a baby, except for the precious heart beating. You could see it beat and pumping and hear it's rhythm. And you want to tell women that at that point it's still all "tissue"?!!
I was in tears because if only we could have an ultrasound machine in every crisis-pregnancy center, or planned parenthood. If only women would have to have one before they had an abortion. Because really, it might not change some women's minds, but it would show the truth instead of speaking more lies to them. So many women know, and understand what an abortion is, and don't care, but so many women don't know or understand that their baby is alive!!

And so my heart broke, because all these female representitives were selling the lies and doing so it so passionately. And I cried, for all those babies who feel pain and hearts beat, and never get to be held or loved. And I cheered for the passage of the amendment to ban abortion funding, but I cried for the loss of lives and the destruction that this "health care" bill will cause. And I pray, for women who don't know what it is they carry, and how quickly they could love those babies, or of how many people who are willing to love them for them.

So lesson learned, don't watch emotional politics while pregnant. And yet, maybe it's good, because it gives me more to pray for and care about.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

What a Life!!

I'm hoping my last post didn't sound too's rather ironic and funny now, after the fact. But that's hoping that this week is much less traumatic than last week.
My ankle is better, my burn is healing, and I had to have a root canal on the tooth that died...not fun!!
But, overall, I'm on the mend and doing better.

I did get to take the fun GD test yesterday at my Dr. Appt...gross...sugar high for hours is all I had. But saw our little boy, and little is now a relative term. He now weighs approximately 2 pounds 7 ounces and is kicking sooo much!! Andy couldn't make it to the appointment so I asked the Dr. to triple check that baby was still a boy, no fear, he is! Not sure why I thought it would have changed, I'm just so excited to have a son!! I couldn't even imagine a girl at this point, so I'm a little paranoid I guess. I look at my husband and get so excited to have a son like him!

Speaking of Andy, we spent the weekend in Sioux Falls with his parents and sister. We had a good time, got to see some friends and do some shopping. It's getting so hard to find anything in my closet that fits over this growing belly!! So I got a few new clothes to help! There's a trust issue for me, money. We really are trying to save as much as possible right now for when I'm on maternity leave and so the budget is really tight...and Christmas is upon us and the heat bill will be getting bigger, which is a stretch in normal years, let alone trying to save money. But like I said, it's a trust issue. God knows what our bills are going to be and me worrying isn't going to help any. I did buy some new and used clothes (I've now experienced Savers, love that store!) which leads to a funny story.

We were shopping in the mall in Sioux Falls, I had bought a shirt at Sears and then Andy and I were picking out new tennis shoes at Famous Footwear (buy one get one 50% off!) because his are falling apart, literally, and I need some shoes that didn't have laces, can't really breathe when I bend over at this point! Well, I left the Sears bag with Andy while he paid for the shoes and I went to pick out some clothes at Motherhood Maternity (love that store too!). Long story short, Somewhere in between Andy no longer had the Sears bag, I freaked because we didn't have the money to start with, let alone lose a bag with a shirt in it, we raced around the mall, never found it, drove to the restaurant where we're meeting his parents, I cried, I got upset, he felt soooo bad, we resolved with each other, but I was still heartsick that God would allow this when we don't have ANY extra spending money anyway. So at dinner Andy's parents asked if I felt okay, and I said to ask Andy, and we both laughed, because by now our drama was kind of funny, mostly because I cried in the store :-) So Andy told them what had happened and his dad (who was in the shoe store with Andy) says "Oh, you mean that bag that I said I'd carry for you?!" I start laughing in giddy relief, hit Andy on the arm, and he goes "oh yeah, he said he'd carry that bag since I had the shoes." WoW! I love my husband, but good grief! Great timing to remember these things!!
But I learned a big lesson, chill out for one! And two, I really do doubt God at times and not trust that He's taking care of us and Sovereign. Even if we had lost that bag, God is still in control and that was His perfect plan.
I'm a slow learner...

So anyway, it was a fun weekend and Dexter had SO MUCH FUN playing with all the dogs at our friends house. I had a good time visiting with Jessica and Lando, who have one year old Diem and are expecting again in March. I realized how fun it is to talk to another pregnant woman. I need more of that sometimes...

And like I said, our son is moving like crazy! Sunday morning Andy felt him kick his hand specifically, and the look on his face made me fall in love with him all over again...

I did get the H1N1 vaccine yesterday...much prayer and discussion occured, and we felt I should. So I feel somewhat relieved and pray God still protects our family and our son.
I've been struggling lately with how expectant mothers talk about loving their unborn child. I do love him, but it wasn't this feeling of love I have when I look at Andy, or anyone else for that matter. Well, now that I feel him responding when I push on my belly, and kicking so strongly, and I can picture holding him in 3 months, I do understand better. I love him soooo much!! He's my son, and while I don't understand all that that means, he's my precious gift from God, a mixture of my beloved husband and myself, and a sign of all God's given us, and I love him!