Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Joyful, Joyful

This post isn't going to contain much, is that relief I hear after my last post?

I read Beth Moore's blog. I LOVE her blog. She posted at Christmas, or maybe one of her daughters did. They asked you to comment about one thing that God blessed you with on Christmas day. I loved reading the comments!!! It was encouraging and amazing and beautiful. What an Awesome God HE is!

It makes me think of a few lines of this song; Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee by Henry Van Dyke.
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

We are blessed people my friends!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Meaning of "Selah"

As you might or might not know, this precious little one is a total miracle. I am compelled to write her story far before she is born. Let me start with what led us here… to having this precious baby. I have PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and while it affects many parts of your body, the most hurtful to many women is that it can cause infertility, annovulation. Annovulation is where your body does not ovulate an egg every month like the majority of women. The struggle with a woman with PCOS is that if she is not ovulating, often she is also not producing the necessary egg. While treatments vary widely, basically a normal month would be several days of fertility meds all of which make you feel like you are losing your mind. Followed by ultrasounds, an injection to make you release the egg you hope was produced, and then timed intercourse or a procedure called intrauterine insemination. Then you are in the middle of something that fills you with hope and dread all at the same time… the two week wait. While it sounds medically complicated, I will tell you it takes a much larger toll on your emotions and faith than anything else. Physically your body takes quite a beating too with the addition of all of the extra hormones. Then you experience month after month of negative pregnancy tests. Hubs and I have experienced more than 30 negative pregnancy tests.

In July I was two days into my fertility meds when I went to go see my doctor, and got the news. My hormone levels were so out of whack that he didn’t want to proceed for at least three months. Not only that he told me if I were to get pregnant in that time I would have an elevated risk of miscarriage. Women with PCOS already have a much higher rate of miscarriage. He referred me to an internist so I could get some of the issues worked out, and told me I had a wait of 3-6 months at least. This was really hard for me. VERY hard. My son (another miracle story, but just not this one) was already three, we had been trying for a long time. The next day I had a baby shower to attend at my husband’s office for another couple who were just about to have their baby girl. I was going to the shower because I was expected to be there, there was just no getting out of it, but it hurt. In the car on the way to my husband’s office this song came on the radio by John Waller. It is entitled “While I’m Waiting” and is featured in the movie Fireproof. It was a song my husband and I had held onto because we are in the waiting period to start the ministry we feel God has called us to, opening an orphanage in Uruguay. That day in my car it took on a whole new meaning for me… we were “waiting” to have a baby. Let me share the lyrics with you.

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

Basically this song captured how I was feeling at the moment. We were in a period of waiting, but that wasn’t going to stop us from loving God, serving God, and trusting in His provision and timing. Waiting is never easy. If you know me at all you know that I am not prone to tears, I do not cry. Driving down the road - in the car - listening to this song – going somewhere I really didn’t want to go, I cried. I almost had to pull my car over. My little boy in the backseat was asking me if I was okay, I know I had him worried. I believe my answer started as “No I’m not okay, but ended in yes honey, mommy is completely fine”. It is amazing to me how the lyrics of a song can touch us so profoundly, because I knew in that very moment that God was in control. Not only that, but that I was completely fine with Him being the one in control. For a semi-control freak, this is sometimes one of the biggest things we have to consistently remind ourselves to give up.

Hubs and I began talking about not proceeding with treatments at all. We were praying about it, and wondering if this was the path God had for us anyways. We had the son God had promised to me years before we ever met. We had begun to think that he was all God had for us biologically. We were completely ok with that since we are headed to Uruguay in a few years to open an orphanage, we will most certainly have the opportunity in the future to adopt. Following Christ was much more important than trying to make something happen that wasn’t in His plan.

In the beginning of August I had started feeling hot. Ridiculously hot, all of the time. I am a hot natured girl anyways. I was completely unable to get cool, during the day I would shower a few times just to try to cool down. Most of the time I was plain miserable though. It only lasted for a few days but I cannot describe how badly I wanted relief! I remember driving home from my parents house on Tuesday night and talking with my husband about it. Hubs tried to get me to take a pregnancy test, since I had been feeling ill as well and was mad that I was possibly going to be on my period during our trip to the upper peninsula the next week. I remember looking at him and telling him that I just couldn’t handle seeing another negative. It was just too much.

With my husbands words ringing in my head Thursday night I ran to the dollar store to pick up a few goodies for our son for the long drive and grabbed the pregnancy test as well. My justification was that it was only a dollar. I wasn’t expecting anything from it.

Friday morning we were scheduled to leave at 9 a.m. so I was up at 7 to finish the last minute packing and get the rental car loaded up. I decided to go ahead and take the test, and I remember watching the window on the test thinking “If this test was going to be positive, that is where the line would be”. That should have been my first clue. I had taken 30 of these tests in the years previous and never had that thought before. It was about two minutes later that I realized that positive line was only growing darker. Calling for my husband I stood in shock. It took several times to get his attention, but he got the clue. When he came in and looked at the test and said something completely normal like “wow”. This isn’t a complaint… I needed his normalcy, I was about to jump out of my skin. I took a few more tests that I had my mom bring over, and I passed each one!

It was at this time when I was so excited that fear began to creep in as well. I remembered my doctor telling me of my elevated risk of miscarriage. For something we had wanted for so long, I couldn’t imagine the loss. I just decided at that moment I would not live with the fear, I would focus on God and trust that no matter the outcome it was in His hands. That being said, fear was constant, and I just have to remind myself daily, hourly, minute by minute, of my initial decision.

One evening at 8 ½ weeks I started spotting and cramping. I knew I was losing the baby and I was powerless to stop it. That night was an intense night for God and I. Outwardly I didn’t want to let on how scared I was, I was trying not to worry my husband or son. Inside I was a wreck. Since I couldn’t sleep I decided to look up baby names. We had felt from the beginning that this baby was girl, and hadn’t tossed around too many boy names. We couldn’t agree on one anyways. However we had always liked the name Selah Grace for a girl. We thought Grace to be fitting since we knew what it would take for us to have another baby, and it is also a family name on both sides. I couldn’t remember the meaning of the name Selah though. We knew it was the name of a Christian bad that we liked, but that was about the extent of it. Somewhere we had found it to mean “rock” but knew it wasn’t right. So that night I pulled up google and typed in “meaning of Selah”. It was one o’clock in the morning and I couldn’t sleep. I was ecstatic when I found it’s meaning, because in so many ways it was God’s reassurance. Here is the email I sent to my mom:

So I did a google search.. and almost cried (insert hormones here)
The name Selah means "Pause and Reflect"

We have the middle name Grace for a daughter. Because it would only be by the GRACE of God that He will give her to us. While it is a family name on both sides, it has double meaning!
So when I looked up the meaning of the name Selah and this is the first one that came up, I was struck by the meaning of the name of the little girl we will one day have (if she isn't in my belly right now!)

Selah Grace:
Pause and Reflect on the Grace of God
Isn't that powerful????

That touched my heart, and because I love you, I thought I would share it with you.
-your favoritest favorite daughter, you are one of my best friends EVER!

The next morning I went to the doctor’s office and found that the spotting and cramping was due to a condition called Placenta Previa where the baby is over the cervix. So while I was not losing my baby I had an all new set of issues to deal with. I was on pelvic rest and told to rest in general with no heavy lifting and such.

At my 20 week appointment we found out our baby is a girl, and that the placenta previa was no longer an issue. Selah Grace will make her appearance into this world as a testament to the grace of God, and as a constant reminder of His faithfulness.

As I went to post this on here I just had to watch the video again, it is incredibly POWERFUL! Tears, yep, tears, sitting here at my desk! God Bless.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Country Music and Contemplation

This beautiful horse looks almost just like mine, he lives at the ranch I volunteered at right before meeting my husband. We go visit a few times a year.

I was talking to my hubs a few weeks ago as we were listening to the radio, and decided to inform him of something he quite honestly already knew. This might come as a shock to you, to some good and others bad, but I am a country girl at heart. Put me in a barn and I am a happy camper, or out riding a horse I don't even mind mucking the stalls. However, I haven't much had the opportunity to do any of these things since marrying him. It isn't his fault, we just had our miracle boy immediately and pregnant on horseback freaked hubs out a bit. Then I was busy being a mommy and my horse lives a few miles down the road. When things were shaping up to make some time to get out and visit my oversized dog (aka Ponderosa, my horse) I am pregnant with itty bitty- my little miracle girl. I wouldn't trade my children for the world, much less my horse though. I do miss it, the freedom of it. God and I have a special connection when I am outside gardening or on my horse.

As this upcoming year starts I know that it brings with it many new challenges a lot of frustration and a lot of joy. I am trying to get back into my bible reading (I am a total slacker on this count) so that I can focus on the joys and not the frustrations. I will be sharing the journey right here with you too.

I don't know yet if I have mentioned to you our dreams of the future. Hubs and I want to start a ministry that does several things, but the one closest and dearest to my heart is that of an orphanage in Uruguay. I see the children in my dreams. For me, if I dream about it then it is deep down inside my soul. Dreams are special, and God absolutely uses them. Now don't get me wrong, it isn't every night that I have these amazing God dreams, but it does happen, and they are world rocking!

When we think of this huge dream we know that God has given us, sometimes we have a very hard time with the patience issue. Right as we were fully realizing this dream He has buried so deep in our hearts we took the Dave Ramsey Financial Freedom class. This changed our financial lives. With very few exceptions we have taken on no additional debt and are slowly digging out of the hole we were in. This is such a contrary to American way, but freedom is within reach! We felt like before we could seriously start raising funds to move to Uruguay and open an orphanage we would need to be close to out of debt. Our conviction is that to present our lives with the utmost of integrity it needs to be shown that we aren't raising funds to cover bad decisions of our own. Also, we want to show that we aren't doing something on a whim, but have a carefully laid out plan, and rely fully on God.

Hubs played the Carrie Underwood song "Temporary Home" for me tonight (we ended up HAVING to buy it off of iTunes!) because it is so incredibly perfect for the children we already love and many have not even been conceived yet! This song is heartbreaking, and has such dual meaning for those of us who love God! Here are the lyrics for you:

Little boy, 6 years old
A little too used to bein' alone
Another new mom and dad,another school
Another house that'll never be home
When people ask him how he likes this place
He looks up and says with a smile upon his face
"This is my temporary home
It's not where I belong
Windows and rooms that I'm passin' through
This is just a stop, on the way to where I'm going
I'm not afraid because I know this is my
Temporary Home."
Young mom on her own
She needs a little help got nowhere to go
She's lookin' for a job, lookin' for a way out
Because a half-way house will never be a home
At night she whispers to her baby girl
Someday we'll find a place here in this world
"This is our temporary home
It's not where we belong
Windows and rooms that we're passin' through
This is just a stop, on the way to where we're going
I'm not afraid because I know this is our
Temporary Home."
Old man, hospital bed
The room is filled with people he loves
And he whispers don't cry for me
I'll see you all someday
He looks up and says "I can see God's face"
"This is my temporary Home
It's not where I belong
Windows and rooms that I'm passin' through
This was just a stop,on the way To where I'm going
I'm not afraid because I know this was
My temporary home."
This is our temporary home

As a christian this IS our temporary home. It doesn't mean that we can't enjoy it, but ultimately this isn't what life is about. CS Lewis has one of the greatest quotes. He says "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world". I love it!!!

Here is the video of the song. God Bless! M

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve

I LOVE Christmas, it is truly my most favorite time of the year! I love getting wrapped up in the joy of the season, the magic that rides in the air, the laughter, and the excitement of the children. Granted, I only have one right now, but he is excited! As are my nephews and all my friends' kids.

I know that there are so many debates as to what is "ok" and "christian" these days, in regards to Christmas. To Santa or not to Santa? Christmas tree or no? Then all of the more "little" things like what to cook for Christmas dinner, and how much money to spend on gifts this year.

When it all comes down to it though, I think I have realized that it doesn't matter. Really, truly, doesn't matter.

I was listening to the XM radio on TV the other day and was cruising around the internet at the same time. The song "Joy to the world" came on. I had to stop and listen, and just soak it in because it recaptured the whole point. The reason, the existence of Christmas. his amazing joyful time of year. Here are the lyrics, edited to remove the repeating lines.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room, And heaven and nature sing, Joy to the world, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains Repeat the sounding joy, No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found, He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness, And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Beautiful isn't it? So many parts of this song just resonated with me. Especially the first four lines. The whole of Christmas is summed up in them.
Joy to the World, the Lord is come- Christmas is about Joy, the joy of Christ coming!
Let earth receive her King- This makes me think about the number of celebrations that have developed nations as a child was born to a King and Queen. Elaborate feasts, and rejoicing in the streets. How much more since the King of the entire world has now come?
Let every heart prepare Him room- I guess this is "key" to understanding the whole season!

As absolutely wonderful as Christmas is, and it so is, ultimately it is the prelude to Easter. That season doesn't even come close to Christmas for the joy and magical-ness, but it is equally important, and also depicted in the song.

Want to see a great video of the song?

Monday, December 14, 2009

So, why the lyrics?

It is something I noticed when I was younger. Early teens. I remember thinking that my life should have a soundtrack. Like any good movie there would be happy songs, sad songs, and melodies that moved you.

As an adult, maybe that original thought hasn't changed so much. Except now I realize that maybe instead of having a soundtrack I need a play list. Soundtracks are generally made up of ten to fifteen songs, and my life contains so much more than that.

So the songs I share are the ones that have come to mind at certain times, like when my son was born, or I was told no more babies, or when I finally decided to grab ahold of the christmas spirit. Sometimes the lyrics themselves about do me in. Sometimes they pull my heart so close to my savior I tears will start pouring simply because I am assured that He cares about me personally. It's unreal, really.

If I can find links to the songs themselves, I will try to share them. Maybe somewhere along the road you will have the same one in your play list.

God Bless!

The Point

Maybe this won't mean a thing to anyone else, and maybe it will. I am not a pastor, a youth leader, or anyone special. I am a wife, a mom, a best friend, a sister, and a daughter. I am overly demanding of myself, and maybe a little too lackadaisical. However, it comes down to one thing, and one thing only.

I love Christ.

I screw up all the time. I make mistakes, I think horrible things about people, I have a bad attitude. Sometimes I curse. I can be short tempered and demanding. The list of my flaws is a mile long, and if you gave it a thought, maybe yours is too. Not that it is ok, but being able to admit that I screw up is terribly freeing. It means that I can turn around and try to do better next time. It means sometimes that I have to be humble (ouch) and ask for someones' forgiveness. Basically, I am not perfect and will never profess to be, and while I do on occasion say that I am, it's a lie and only used for my selfish comfort.

I have learned loads in my short-ish lifetime, a whopping 26 years. I have struggled through secondary infertility, mild depression, self esteem issues, PCOS, marriage, and child rearing. Mostly though, all of the struggles have pulled me back to faith. Not just in a supreme being that exists somewhere out there, but a very personal, real, and caring God. The God told all about in the Bible.

I am not your judge. Condemnation isn't my job.

Loving and encouraging is.

I am not a fan of the "toleration" movement.

I would prefer to not just be "tolerated" myself. Love me or hate me. Jesus wasn't a fan of toleration either... just sayin'.

So, if you are here to read, welcome. Leave me a comment if you're in the mood. Basically, leave encouraged.