Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Scaling Back A Little

Our Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers arrived yesterday. Let me tell you how excited I am. VERY. They are currently washing their little diaper selves out in preperation for our baby's bottom. Like I've said before, I'm not a "green" person. I'm a thrifty person. Considering you can spend anywhere from $5-$12 a week diapering a baby with disposable diapers, these puppies will pay for themselves looonnngg before Levi's out of diapers. Let alone the next babies that they will hopefully diaper. And the joy of this generation? No pins, no folding. Simply stuff and snap on. (There are kinds that you fold but we're not using those at the moment.) Now, let me say this, I did buy some more disposables today. I had killer stacked coupons for Target and so I stocked up on wipes and some disposables. I figure in case the baby-sitter feels better with them or I get lazy and don't do laundry fast enough. Or those road trips when you don't want to carry around a bag of wet diapers. Coupons leads to my next thought...

Again, as I said, I've been reading some websites/blogs about coupon using and decluttering my house. So, I'm going to scale back. Not only will we be using less diapers, I'm trying to buy less groceries. I'm one of those people who couldn't tell you exactly what's in my "pantry". So tomorrow I think I'm going to drag it all out, sort by meal plan, and eat it up! Then, my plan is to attempt to have a rough meal plan for the week, based on what's on sale, and shop based on that. Granted, you'll have your odds and ends and general staples thrown in, but overall, that's the plan. Now, when I say menu plan, I see you experienced Momma's out there smirking and saying sure, good luck. Let me clarify, my idea of a meal plan is this: Here are 7 meals that I may want to make/do this week. I'll make sure I have the supplies for them and then roughly decide each day what we're eating based on our schedules. That's the plan, we'll see how it goes...any advice?

Next Scaling back idea:
Garage sale. Unfortunately I don't have quite enough junk...ahem,...treasures for my own sale, so I'm on the search for someone to combine with. I'm not ready to part with any baby items, but perhaps they have enough good stuff to draw in a crowd for my ju...treasures...

Also, thinking about selling our coffee table/end tables. They're a set so they should probably go together. All the coffee table does is collect stuff and when Levi starts walking I see it as a head bonking hazard. Plus, when I do need one again, I'd like one with drawers. So my thoughts revolve around selling ours on Craig's list (I personally think they're too nice to sell on a garage sale. They're solid wood, nice style, and we bought them new for quite a bit. So I'd like to get at least 1/2 of what we paid for them.) buying 2 sufficient end tables, and saving someday for a killer coffee table with lots of drawers...or maybe getting an old card catalog to store odds and ends treasures in...just a thought.

This garage sale idea may mean I have to actually sell some of my books. I really am ready to let go. I doubt I'll be writing many more research papers in my life and frankly, I have too many. Books are treasures I've never been able to part with, and now, I think I'm ready.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

6 Months

Levi, you were six months old on June 18. Your Momma is slow, get used to it. :)
You weigh 6 pounds 1 ounce and are 26 inches long. You are wearing 3-6 and 6 months clothes. You wear size 2 diapers and are almost into size 3's. We're going to try some cloth diapers this month, Momma's excited!
You are so much fun these days!! You can roll over both directions and suddenly love being on your belly so much! You try to creep forward as best as you and can wiggle yourself around several feet in any direction.

You are SUCH a wiggle worm!! People have a hard time holding you sometimes because all you want to do is squirm. You love to be laid down and play with toys, but suddenly you're also preferring to be held (but not closely) I think it's because you like to push up on your legs and be held up high so you can see more things. But you're still not much of a cuddler unless you're super sleepy.
Speaking of sleepy, you're learning to take a good afternoon nap! Momma's been working hard to train you and you're starting to get it. You like to roll over and sleep on your belly for naptime and I can't prevent it so we let you.
You also sleep so well at night! You usually sleep 9 hours and if you wake up we give you your nuk and back to sleep you go. But you have a very set "wake time" of around 7 am no matter how late you go to bed, so we're learning early is good. :)

Your line of vision is more sneaking into your room when you're supposed to be napping. You can see us now. :)

You're starting to get a little shy around strangers. You light up when you see your daddy and love to watch him even when he's busy. I think you can't wait to be following him with your feet not just your eyes.
You love your puppy more and more! Whenever you can see him you smile and talk to him!

You're working on some teeth! You chew on everything you can get your hands on! Which is a lot of stuff! Your hand-eye coordination is getting so much better! You're reaching for things and attempting to put them in your mouth...including the puppy's hair, and Momma's hair...ouch!!

You can sit in your walker from Grandma Otto and push yourself around a little bit. You like being outside in it when we're gardening. You like being outside period! So much to look at and see. You like watching the trees when we go for walks. Momma put you in the bike trailer without your carseat for the first time this week. It took some propping up but you did so well! We like to take you for bike rides! You do okay but sometimes you cry for miles and miles... :)

You want to sit up by yourself soooo bad! If someone tries to hold you laying down in their lap you strain your neck and shoulders to sit up. You like your Bumbo chair a lot these days!! (That's what Levi's in in the pictures!) You had fun trying to get the daisies in Momma's garden when we were taking pictures. You tried to eat the leaf you pulled off.

You love to talk and screech and blow bubbles and make motorboat noises and laugh and laugh. You are so amazing and you're growing so fast! You're breaking so many stereotypes about being a preemie. We're so thankful for your life and you bring us so much joy everyday.
We love you Levi.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Simplistic Irony

I'm on a mission to declutter and simplify our home. I love Ikea, because I love clean lines, high contrast, and modern designs (within reason). Stripes, dots, silver edging, it!! Paisly, floral, can keep it...blech.
All this to say, My home fits more into the second category. Now, I never look a gift horse in the mouth so the fact that we have two couches which have either a floral or southwestern pattern on them, well, I don't care because they were free. So while I may not be able to do anything about the patterns of my furniture, I can do something about the amount of furniture and belongings that I have. So while on this mission I have been reading a blog devoted to simplicity not just in our belongings but in our foods and lifestyles. She speaks of organizing not just for organizing's sake, but to make our lives better and make more sense and be more meaningful. But, just like this hideous wall plaque, there must be irony.

The Irony?

I spent (ack hem...wasted) an afternoon reading the blog.

The good?

I now have tons of ideas for organizing and purging our belongings. Now, if only I can convince husband that we don't need paystubs or credit card statements from 2006...
And I just realized that my blog background seems to have paisley in it. To justify myself I shall say I chose it for the colors. And I guess I do like some floral patterns, depending on the color. All right, I have no consistent style. There, all better.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My View on the World...

These are literally pictures of what's in my view to the world. I'm going to clean it out tonight. Perhaps even throw away the little toy soldier that's been sitting there for 3 years. We found him in our yard when we moved in. It seemed appropriate to leave him staring at the yard. Now he seems like junk. The baby toy needs sanitizing and the flower needs planting and the vases need washing and the dishsoap should be combined with the fuller bottle and the bowl of dried up paint should be thrown away (Note to new moms: using paint to make handprints/footprints of your baby for a Father's Day card: VERY MESSY...Levi now has paint clothes!). OH, and the rather weird clear and blue item, it's to clean your bike chain. You put some fancy solution in it, snap it to your chain, then (while not riding it) move the peddles on your bike to roll the chain around. I think then you have to relube it or something but that's the basics. I'm actually not sure why it's on my sill...maybe Andy knows..
So that's the view out my window.
I'm on a mission to REALLY declutter our house. We might even sell our coffee table and end tables. Less to dust that way. MIGHT is the key word of course.

My other new view on the world is this. I love working at the 'Bou. But the day had to come when I really feel like I've been gone forever. I used to work 5 days a week. I knew almost all of our regulars and could almost always make their drink before they ordered. Some of you keep us guessing but overall, I was good. I knew that "D" has an adorable granddaughter that he adores. I knew if "ML" forgot to order a cookie for Toddler D I better remind her or meltdown would ensue. I knew if "J" ordered plain coffee she was delivering to the hubby...and so on...
Now, I wait patiently for them to order before I make the drink. Because I have no idea what the knew "normal" might be. And it stings a little that I'm no longer that in tune with my customers/friends. But you know what? I know Levi's sleep habits, I know what he loves to chew on. I know what makes him smile. I know what he prefers I don't eat and pass on to him. I know how to make a lot of different meals for dinner now. I'm learning to make a lot of stuff from scratch. I bought wheat gluten so I could use ALL whole wheat flour in a recipe. I'm going to shampoo my carpets someday soon I hope.
All this is a fine substitute for knowing what someone likes to drink. I know my son and husband so much better and I love my new skills... I'd stay home with my baby anyday...

I think I might be getting it...

So this Motherhood thing, I think I now understand a few more dynamics of it...

A family in our church family lost thier precious unborn baby boy 2 weeks ago. I've cried a lot over that, especially when they made an appearance in church on Sunday. I can't imagine their pain. I do know how close we were to losing Levi, and I can't bear what they must feel. Leaving Levi at the hospital when I was released was awful, horrendous even. To leave your child buried in a cementary, well, there are no words I'm sure. So Sunday I couldn't help but cry through worship as I tried to keep Levi from their line of sight...I didn't want to add to the pain, that we had our boy and they didn't. I should have known they were more gracious and loving than that, but I don't know if I could be, so I tried. Then Levi decided to loudly try to eat his fists so out we went...and then I just cried in the foyer instead...
I don't know if I was crying just for them, or for the pain in general.

I'm learning how much pain there is in our world. More than I've experienced or could imagine. Perhaps that's the reason why older Christian folks long for Heaven so. They've seen all the world has to "offer", and they've seen more pain than we have, and so, they're ready to leave it all. They know that the "joys" that we experience here on earth cannot outweigh the pain, and so they long for the true joys of Heaven/the New Earth/Our SAVIOR. I've often thought about how I don't want to die or for the tribulation to start until I've experience such and such a thing...I'm learning that the things that I look forward to cannot compare to seeing my Savior's face...I'm longing for it in fact. The thought of eternity can make me want to puke sometimes...I should know better than to try to grasp an infinite concept with my finite mind, but I do, then I want to puke. But that aside, I can trust that Eternity must be better than this.

Oh, there are many joys in our world, but today, as I had the chance again to be so thankful for my son's life, don't worry, we made a trip to the Dr., there was no blood, he's fine and I'm not saying anything more than that because I'm too embarressed...I pray for the joy of my Savior.
To know Him in His Resurrection. To have such a love and a longing for my Savior that it shows in my face and in my actions. And if the Lord's will is to be 80 some years old and still longing for Him, that all those who see my fragile body and wrinkled face will see Jesus in me and know that I have a greater hope.

We went to a wedding Saturday, a loooonnnggg Catholic wedding. But one of the songs that we sang made me realize that nothing is of greater importance on this earth than living for Jesus Christ and His glory, and then sharing that with all I know. So if you're reading this and you don't know what I'm talking about, let me tell you. I love Jesus. Not in a "religiously crazy" sort of way, but I love Jesus who is God. I'm a sinful person. I'm not good or kind, I choose to do wrong so often, just ask my husband. But Jesus Christ came to earth long ago and died on a cross (very painful!) because He is the only perfect person to ever live and therefore He alone could pay the punishment for my sins. He was God, I firmly believe that. He was not just a good person, but He was God become man on earth. And so He alone could pay the price for my (and your!) sins. I don't deserve to be saved, I deserve death and eternity in hell. But because of God's love, He sent Christ to die so I could be saved. So He allowed me to choose to ask for forgiveness of my sins, to confess them, to repent, and to ask Him to save me and let me live for His glory. I firmly believe because of this I can spend eternity with Christ. And you can too. But you MUST admit that you sin (do wrong), that you can do NOTHING about it, and that you need a savior. You must humble yourself before God, confess that Christ is God and ask for His forgiveness. God is faithful and will hear you. But it's not just a "prayer that you pray". You must believe this in your heart and say it with your mouth. You don't just pray a prayer and get to heaven. It's a heart and life change. And it's worth it...

Because on my own, I am nothing, in fact, I am still nothing. But because of Jesus, I have a hope for the future, and I have a love for Him. When little babies die, I don't wonder how the parents can handle it, when they are TRUE Christians, I know how. They trust in Christ that He has conquered death and punishment for sin, and that they will see their child in Heaven. And in the meantime, when the pain is to much to bare, they can ask Christ to bare it for them, and He will, and He alone can comfort them and give them strength.
If you are even more confused, please ask me, I've been silent too long. I love Jesus, and I want you to as well. He is my Everything.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Day of Chocolate and Jane Austen

Note: Second blog of the day, I'm going for more! Well, I'm thinking about it...

So Levi's officially 6 months old today. And I've officially gotten my monthly "friend" for the first time in about 14 months...let me tell you how NOT COOL that is...I thought I had like 2 years or something. Well, not really, but I'm still depressed. So I spent yesterday on my couch eating about a quart of Chocolate Moose Tracks ice cream and watching the BBC's version of Sense and Sensibility. Thank you Valerie for loaning it to me. So basically I spent the day gaining calories and crying. But it was a beautiful thing. I forgot how much better chocolate tastes at that time of the month. I had told Andy to buy me chocolate ice cream. He came home with chocolate chip cookie dough (vanilla ice cream). Can I tell you how little chocolate there is in cookie dough?! So Andy went back to the grocery store... And I was happier...

I really like the BBC's Sense and Sensibility. It's just a more well-rounded version than the U.S. movie was. Marianne's not quite so childish, just emotional. And Elinor's not quite so uptight and perfect, just restrained and kind. And the little sister who I cannot spell her name right, (Margaret, I looked it up) she's still my favorite. I'd like to think myself like Marianne, but alas, I'm really a lot like Elinor. It may seem like I am outgoing, and really, I am, and it may seem like I bare my heart on my sleeve, but really, I don't. I have lots of opinions and dreams, but like Elinor, I'm afraid to hope for fear of being disappointed. I may seem Marianneish on the outside, but inside, I'm all Elinor. I love the line where Elinor and Marianne are discussing Edward and Elinor basically says she's afraid to wish and be disappointed, so Marianne says "Then I shall hope for you". And that's the kind of friend/sister a person like me needs. Someone to say you'll hope for me when I have no courage to hope. I guess I'm Elinor when she tells Marianne that she has felt everything Marianne has, but without the ability to share it. In my heart I dream of romanticism and passion, but in my life, I'm so like Elinor. Afraid to leap out no matter what others say. But, who does Marianne take lessons from? Elinor. She is sense, logical.

I don't really know where I'm going with this but to say that it was a great way to spend an afternoon. And perhaps to ask you to hope for me...for sometimes I'm way to sense and not enough sensibility (emotion). I'm the one saying we can't afford this, or we can't accept someone's generosity. When Marianne simply is thankful for the opportunities that arise, no matter who or where they come from.

So, if I was to hope and share emotion, I wish I had some funds. If I did, I would take Andrew and Levi to Chicago for the 4th of July. We would swim in Lake Michigan, walk the Magnificent Mile, eat some amazing Chicago style pizza from, well it's the best place ever and I can't remember it's name! We would go to the Field Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Shedd Acquarium, the Plantarium, the Sears Tower. In all my years of my grandparents living around Chicago and all my missions trips, I've never been to the top of the Sear's Tower. We would eat at the Cheesecake Factory and then go to Navy Pier where we would ride the Ferris Wheel around and around and where I would buy a new sweatshirt from there since my favorite is currently sporting more holes than our screen door. We would ride the L all around town and find little diners and shops that I love. We would perhaps take in a baseball game for Andy's enjoyment. I would dream of living in a loft apartment above a coffee shop and art gallery with big windows, tall ceilings, and dusty corners. We would visit Moody Bible Institute where I dreamed of attending. We'd go find that little ice cream shop by college where I always stayed on Summer Missions Trips.
And it would be grand.
But just looking at that list I'd need several hundred I'll dream of someday introducing my husband to the city that I love. And I'll dream of living there someday...but maybe after we raise our kids...
I love Chicago, did you know that? I do...
Maybe it's my Mom's Illinois roots and visiting it so much as a child that brings it out in me. But I love that city, and someday, I'll go back...

A Diaper of a Story

I feel a bit guilty for letting that last rather heavy blog sit for so long, so I shall perhaps write 3 or 4 to make up for it...
I really should blog more often. Because right now, I have so many subjects to talk about and I would feel a bit guilty shoving them all into this post, so again, perhaps I'll write several.

I bought disposable diapers yesterday. Let me clarify and say that I've always bought dispoasables. But I'm hoping these may be some of the last ones. Andy's health insurance has amazing incentives, including being able to earn up to $115 (each of us!) in gift cards for taking some online health surveys, assessments, and "classes". That's how we bought some of the stuff we needed after Levi was born. And that's how I'm buying my Fuzzi Bunz diapers. Yep, I'm going to take the plunge and try cloth-diapering. Please don't preach at me. I'm not green, I don't think we're killing our earth, it's dying nicely by itself thank you. But, I'm cheap, and I've already spent enough on disposable diapers to make me gag, so I'm going to try these. Yes, I know that I'll spend more in water and detergent, and etc... but I'd like to try it. Plus, Levi's pants never stay up so maybe this will help! It's all about perspective.
Anyway, I bought disposables, two different brands because I had many coupons. Well, the gal ringing me up was trying really hard, but for the life of her, I had a few more coupons than she was prepared for, so it was a trial to check me out. The manager lady had to come over 2 times. I felt bad. So when I got home I checked out my receipt to be able to tell my husband how much I had "saved" on these diapers. Then I realized, she (clerk) had rang up my coupon twice, so she (manager) deleted it once, and when she did, she deleted one pack of my diapers. So I brought them home and I hadn't paid for them. I will be honest with you, my immediate sin nature reaction said "YES! FREE DIAPERS!!" Then the Holy Spirit convicted me and I called and went back today and paid for them. I want to tell you I had a great attitude about the whole thing...But I didn't...especially after I drove ALL the way out there today to pay for them and they didn't even thank me for my honesty. Seriously people, really?
But again, the Holy Spirit convicted me and asked me why I do the honest thing. Is it for recognition or because it pleases my Savior? OUCH...

Sunday, June 06, 2010


I've always viewed this blog as more than a daily chronicle of my life, or a diary of my personal thoughts, I've viewed it more as snippets of my walk with the Lord. For anything that happens in my life, physical, emotional, material, they all are a manifestation of the spiritual life that I have and live.
That being said, I'm going to warn you. This is a very honest, very long post. I've been battling spiritually for months now. I'm going to share the inner workings of my heart with you. It's a lot of honesty in one post. If you can't or don't want to handle or share in that, I understand. So leave now. :)

I've shared a little bit about the struggle we had to get pregnant. Now, I don't even pretend to understand what people who have waited years are going through. I don't pretend to understand anything other than what I've experienced. I'm not going to defend my feelings and thoughts or compare them to others. So please don't do it yourself. Okay, moving on:

We tried for about 10 months to get pregnant. Yes, we did discover what the issue was after some time. That didn't necessarily help. I'm not going into whose body was working right and whose wasn't, because when you're married, it shouldn't matter. You are one in Christ and so you both can't get pregnant. Not just one individual person. It's a joint experience. But then again, it was such a deep personal pain I can't even explain it. As a woman, your heart aches, all you want is to bare a child. And you're not. Mother's Day loomed in front of me, I dreaded it with all my heart. God redeemed my tears that day. Not only did I have one of the most moving experiences of my life at Bethlehem Baptist Church that day, but John Piper prayed over us, that our sorrow would be turned to joy, that this day would be bittersweet. And it was, we learned just weeks later that we were pregnant. I now look on the tears of that day with laughter. God knew I had to experience that pain, and he turned it to joy. I will say this. Be careful what you say to anyone. To that single gal in your church, don't ask her when she's going to get married (unless she's engaged of course) She probably wants to be with all her heart and it hurts. Don't ask the couple when they're going to have children. You don't know the pain of their hearts. Don't say "Well you don't have kids so you don't understand" They're not stupid, they may have more common sense about children than you do in their one pinkie. Yes, these were all things said to us...anyway...

It was a relatively uneventful pregnancy. I did have placenta previa which is when the placenta is over the cervix and usually causes some heartwrenching bleeding. We had to commit that pregnancy over and over to the Lord. I kept saying "this is your child, but Lord, we'd really like to keep him here a while". Well, it looked like things resolved themselves. The placenta moved and I got bigger and bigger! I think in my deepest soul I knew things wouldn't be easy. I wasn't feeling the things some people said I should. The baby was "rolling across my belly". Now I know why, he didn't have the room! Basically there is an extra wall in my uterus which kept him breech and in only half of it...You may know the story of this baby's birth, at 34 weeks I had been in the hospital for 3 weeks or so never knowing if we were having a baby that day. The baby never showed signs of distress, but my water had broke, I'd have some contractions, and I had a lot of blood. Somehow, again, in my deepest soul I knew things were going to be okay. At 33 weeks 6 days, Levi Nathaniel entered the world crying his lungs out! He weighed 4 pounds 10 ounces and was 17 3/4 inches long. I was dreading a huge 9 pound baby full term. Instead we got half of that. But he was beautiful. He was perfect and oh so tiny. He didn't look like a preemie, he just looked itty bitty. We spent 17 days in the NICU with him. While he grew, learned to regulate his body temperature, and grew strong enough to learn to eat.
3 days after Levi was born I was released from the hospital. That was the worst day of my life. We were an hour from home, I was in constant pain from major surgery, drugged up to try to help that, and we were leaving our baby alone in the hospital. Andy had to go back to work the next morning and then I'd really be alone...we had to go grocery shopping that night so I'd have something to eat that week. I won't even go into the details of where I was staying except to say God was faithful and some of my angels unaware took such good care of me...In the grocery store that night, we passed a Momma cooing to her baby girl in the grocery cart. I immediately burst into tears, because I didn't have my baby with me. Here I am in the milk section sobbing away. My poor husband, he didn't know what to do so he just hugged me...
Well, to sum it up, that was almost 6 months ago. Levi came home after 17 days only to return to that hospital by ambulance exactly 6 weeks later due to pneumonia and RSV...5 more days and we came home for the second time.

Now, let me say this, as painful as all this was, GOD WAS FAITHFUL. Even when I was all alone holding my tiny baby, I wasn't alone. We had so many friends and family who helped us in ways I can't even describe. God blessed us beyond what we could imagine. And I knew in my heart that we'd be okay physically, but emtionally, well I was a mess. I clung to God's promises to be strong when we are weak. Because really, I couldn't even remember much scripture. I couldn't sing, I could barely pray. All I could do was sit and wait for my baby to get stronger. The prayers of many faithful saints and God's strength were what kept me going. When I had no prayers, many others did for me. But still, I cry, because it was SO hard.

I think I've struggled ever since then with a thought of "Really Lord?!" I've come to terms in my head with what happened, and with all the blessings through it, and with the fact that this may be what the future holds if we can have any more children. But in my heart I've been crying "Really Lord?! How much more can we handle?!" Because not only did we have the emotional issues, we had physical medical bills showing up everyday. Let's skip the explanation and just fast forward to today shall we?

Levi is almost 6 months old. We have many bills still. Now, we are blessed and have been helped so much by more people and things than I can even share. But still, here we are, Levi's healthy, growing so well that you wouldn't know he was early, and yet, I'm still plagued by his birth. I still cry in church and I don't know why. I think overall I've lacked the faith that carried us through...

When we were trying to get pregnant, this song became my lifeline:

Phillips Craig & Dean - You Are God Alone
From the album Let the Worshippers Arise

You are not a god Created by human hands You are not a god Dependant on any mortal man You are not a god In need of anything we can give By Your plan, that’s just the way it is

You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
Your are God alone
And right now
In the good times and bad
You are on Your throne
You are God alone

You’re the only God Whose power none can contend You’re the only God Whose name and praise will never end You’re the only God Who’s worthy of everything we can give You are God And that’s just the way it is

Repeat Chorus

Unchangeable Unshakable Unstoppable That’s what You are

Repeat Bridge
Repeat Chorus
Repeat Bridge Out

The chorus of that song was my hearts cry, "In the good times and bad, you are on your throne, You are God alone." It sure seemed like a bad time, and when I became pregnant, it was a good time, and God had done it.

Levi is a miracle baby, and that should have been enough for me. I should have rejoiced in God's blessing and undeserved favor, and been glad and said "You are God alone." But my heart lost that song, and I have been more and more incredibly frustrated.
Frustrated by being stuck inside waiting for him to get healthy. Frustrated that while the bills kept coming, the income kept getting smaller. Frustrated that while God proved big enough to keep our baby alive, He didn't seem to be big enough to provide a better paying (well paying) job for my husband so I wouldn't feel guilty about staying home with Levi. Frustrated with myself, for being so ungrateful. Guilty for feeling that we had been given so much by so many when all this was going on, but I was still going, where are you God? Frustrated with my husband, with myself, with the crying baby, and with God...I really think I was depressed, but I wouldn't let myself believe or accept it, because what did I have to be depressed about? My baby had lived! He was getting healthier and stronger while other parents dealt with loss or even worse, a handicapped baby to take home. But Grief has no prerequisites...and I've been grieving and holding onto my sin for so long. I've known God has been calling to my heart, saying, "come back Child", but I've been denying Him and choosing to live in my hurt and sadness. And I've been trying to hide it. Because when you're a Christian, you don't admit that you're struggling. Or if you do, you do it after you've conquered it. Heaven forbid that we admit our struggles and ask for prayer and help. But we should. We should be honest and open and share our pains and our burdens and our hopes and our joys.

I pray that today is my turning point. I pray that this teaches me to be more honest.

I broke out in hives 2 days ago. Had to go to the ER because even my throat was getting closed up. And all I could think was "Really God?! Another huge bill?!" Yesterday they came back, worse than ever. Back to the ER we went. "REALLY GOD?!" I was even scared that my beloved patient husband would resent me. Now I wonder if they were from the Lord, to get my attention.
I didn't even want to go to church this morning. I was tired, full of meds to try to get them under control and oh so sleepy...But I went, because it's so hard for me to skip church. I guess the Holy Spirit still had some influence in my heart.

Today in church we sang this song:

Salvation belongs to our God
"Salvation belongs to our God
Who sits upon the throne
And unto the lamb
Be praise and glory
Wisdom and thanks
Honor and power and strength

Be to our God
Forever and ever
Be to our God
Forever and ever
Be to our God
Forever and ever, amen

And we the redeemed shall be strong
In purpose, and unity
Declaring aloud
Praise and glory
Wisdom and thanks
Honor and power and strength"

And then this afternoon I read an article that talked about miracles. Levi was a miracle. I figure we're pretty knowledgable about God's power. But then, this line in the article struck me:
"This is the miracle. 'He who believes in me will never die.'"

And I was humbled. Because I haven't been strong. I haven't declared aloud praise and glory to our God. I've complained about our very meager finances. I've blamed my amazing husband for not providing more. When really, God must not be releasing him from his job, or us from this town. He still wants us here. He's big enough to save Levi's life, why wouldn't He be big enough to provide more, unless it wasn't in His plan to do so?
Salvation belongs to our God, forever. Amen.
Amen means roughly "Let it be so" At least that's what I remember back in my brain from childhood. And that should always be the way we think when we end our prayers. Alright Lord, I've asked, let it be so. But I don't pray or live with that kind of faith. "Faith," says A. W. Tozer, "is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God." I have lost my belief (at least in my actions and heart) that to our God is honor and power, glory and wisdom and strength. I've chosen not to trust in a Saving God. Instead I've asked "Really?!" Essentially instead of asking the horrible "why me Lord?" I've greived that He hasn't been more powerful. I Know in my head and heart that any grace that we receive is more than we deserve, but in my heart I've been asking for more grace than He's chosen to give me right now. I've been selfish and prideful. And it hurts. too much.

Levi has the frustrating habit of grabbing the pacifier out of his mouth and then proceeding to cry until someone rescues him and replaces the pacifier that he's clinging so furiously to back into his mouth.

I'm like that. The very thing that will soothe my soul I pull out and then cry for. I push the Lord away and don't trust Him or acknowledge Him and His power. And then I cry about it...

Something I read today:
"Praying for the impossible works best when I see me small and God big. When I get over inconvenience and get excited about His glory. When I delight in His attention. When I —
And turn to Him."

So today I pray for release. To release my bitterness and hurt and distrust. And to choose to trust and give glory to the Lord. To Him who sits upon the throne. Because really, that's what it's all about. It's not about me and my inconvience. It's about His glory. I can't promise I'll remain faithful. I pray I will. I'm sure there will still be more tears and hard days ahead. Days when the bills are more than the income, days when Levi is showing his sinful nature, days when I dishonor my husband and my God. But I pray that I'll continue to learn to trust and say "Yes, Lord." Rather than "Really?". A friend who's had a preemie told me once that we have to come to terms with our children's births. For each story is their own and the Lord's plan. Levi's birth was crazy and stressful. But it was miraculous too, and it was his own. His story is just that, his, no one else's. And I pray that the events and grace of God will only be used for His glory and perhaps, to one day bring my little one to a saving knowledge of Christ. And maybe, to do big things with his life that was saved, Lord willing twice. That's my prayer. That through my heartache, my son will grow to know and love Christ.

"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is perfectly towards him." 2 Chronicles 16:9a

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

4 weeks and other thoughts

Yesterday was 4 weeks that I hadn't eaten chocolate...and we were at my brother's house for his birthday. His wife is an AMAZING cook. And I don't mean maybe, I mean flat out incredible could rival all your favorites. She's got talent and the desire to do it. She made an amazing chocolate cake with chocolate and brown sugar/pecan ganache (I don't even know how to spell the stuff she makes!). So I said 4 weeks was enough!! And I had some cake. It was pretty tasty stuff. So since I'd broken my fast, I had a white chocolate/cookies bar on the way home. I love white chocolate, I had missed it. Today I have a doozy of a headache not sure if they're related...but it makes me wonder...
Today I had approximately 10 chocolate chips. You know what? They didn't taste that great. It's an interesting thought I'll have to ponder more of.

We have had a Momma & Poppa Robin nesting in one of the awnings on our house. There are now 2 baby Robins to add to the family. Momma and Poppa are dutifully digging up worms and bringing them to said babys' bobbling heads and dropping them in their mouths. It's a rather interesting thing to watch. 1. The baby robins are pretty ugly still 2. I don't want to get attatched lest they die 3. But I'd still like to name them. 4. Levi isn't big enough to care yet, although the dog is rather interested.
5. It really makes me think of how dependent we are as babies. Levi couldn't live without us. In such a way we are like that with God. We are just fumbling around blind, looking for that sustanence...which God never fails to bring us. God is always looking out for our good in His glory, yet we cry and flail and doubt Him...hmmm...then there's the comparison of eating worms...okay nevermind...

We toured the new YMCA in town today. Today was the first official day they're open. It'll cost us about $20 a month more than our previous gym, but it'll be well worth it. Here's why:
1. They have drop off child care for certain hours of the day!!
2. It's amazingly pretty! (I'm a girl, what can I say? I like pretty stuff!)
3. They have a pool! Andy can do laps, I can swim and hottub, oh yeah, and it's warm enough for Levi to swim too! And there's a waterslide!!
4. They're connected to the bike trail. So I can drop Levi off and go biking too!
5. They have fitness classes, cost of which is included in your membership!!
6. This is such a little thing, but it's cool. In the locker rooms is a swimsuit wringer outer thingy. Literally will get 99% of the water out of your suit in 10 seconds. How dang cool is that?
Okay, I could go on and on, but basically, I'll have the resources and freedom to go work out, with Levi taken care of, and hopefully get back to my previous fit self.
Plus we could have some amazing family times swimming!! Yes, we're still broke. But this I know about myself. When I am fit physically (and spiritually) my mental health is soooo much better!! Yes, we have an amazing bike trail and I can walk whenever the weather cooperates. But this way, I can get into a workout routine, drop some weight, and have a routine for the day as well. And frankly, you can't always be hardcore when the baby is with you. Trust me, I know.