Monthly Archives: August 2014

Suffering & Fear

It’s late and I’m overtired. We drove to several towns today and saw a lot of people. We got home late. It was a busy, full day.

I can’t sleep, though.

You know that horrible, horrible thought that sometimes crosses your mind when you ponder for a second what life would be like without someone you love very much? How that person would be constantly missed — how their absence would jolt every facet of your life? How the sorrow and grief would take a long, long time to lift– if it ever did lift?

I do my best to avoid this mental space if at all possible, but I am wrestling with these thoughts tonight. Because a very dear person to my heart is sicker and more frail than I want to admit. I see this person suffering and I can barely stand it. I’m not one of those tough “suck it up” people. Not at all. I hate to see people suffer, most of all people I love dearly.

The best thing I can do in a situation like this is to get on my knees and pray. So I did. I begged God for the healing of this person. I will ask God again tomorrow, and the day after that. I will keep asking until something changes. I don’t know what the outcome will be. I admit I’m really scared to think of life without this person. But the bottom line is that I can trust God with this person and with my fears.

Tonight I will take my fears and place them in the hands of the Almighty. I will dwell on these verses:

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His steadfast love.” (Psalm 33:18)

And even now, in the dark night when fears threaten to shout and overwhelm, there is a HOPE in Jesus that silences them all. There is a HOPE in Jesus that allows me to face the future with calm because He is good and He is sovereign.

Lord, please bring new mercies in the morning.

 

 

 

 

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Thoughts on Our 5 Year Wedding Anniversary

Today I have been pondering my marriage, because today is our 5th year wedding anniversary.

I can’t believe how fast the past 5 years have gone by. Well, it’s been fast with the exception of our first year of marriage. It’s sort of like how I once heard J.D. Greear (a pastor in North Carolina) describe his 14 years of marriage to his wife Veronica, “We’ve had 13 wonderful years of marriage… and one other one.”

Yeah, that was us too, at least from my point of view. The first year was rough, ain’t way around it! I was total stress-case. I freaked out over every little thing. Even though I had lived away from home on several occasions (3 years in nursing school, 3 months overseas, and 1 year at Bible college) I packed up and moved away from all my friends and family, quit a job that I loved, began a new job, left my church, and started married life fresh in a new town just a day or two after our honeymoon. Looking back, it might have been a bit much for even an extroverted person like me. Change is always hard.

I know pulling up roots and replanting in a new town to begin married life is not that uncommon; actually people do it all the time. But that first year I struggled in a major way. I fought controlling tendencies and occasionally struggled depression. I quickly realized that, no matter how hard he tried, my guy could not make me happy. I began to see that the Lord was exposing hidden sin in me that I had been completely unaware of during my single days. Marriage has a way of sanctifying a person like no other humanly event, short of raising children. The Lord was doing a work in me–an excruciatingly painful work–during that first year. There was nothing easy or fun about it.

But something beautiful came out of that hard first year, something that doesn’t come naturally in this fallen life: Grace. God gave me grace for my guy and grace for myself.

I can write these things with ease today because our marriage is really wonderful now. I hate to be away from my guy. He has become my closest friend. He brings equilibrium and stability to our family. He is logical and analytical. He provides for our family without complaint. He searches me out with care when I am tough to read, and he pursues me tirelessly.  He makes me laugh, even when I’m grumpy.

In short, our marriage has become a thing of beauty.

Last night as we prayed together, I thanked God for our five years together. If the first one hadn’t been so hard, maybe the remaining four wouldn’t have been so lovely. I am grateful for all five years.

I then prayed over the next 5 years to come. I’m sure there will be hardships and I’m sure we will learn new lessons.

Best of all, I’m sure God will be faithful to bring to completion this good work He’s started in us (Phil. 1:6). And that gives me joy!

Happy anniversary sweetheart, I love you!

E&I1315s

 

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5 Months!

Josh turned 5 months this week! I can’t believe how fast time is flying by! Here’s a little (or not so little) update of what’s been happening:

Eating Habits: The biggest news with Josh is that he started solid foods. So far he’s gotten rice and oatmeal cereal mixed with pumped milk. He doesn’t act like he loves it but he opens his mouth widely when the spoon approaches his face each time and gums it right down. It’ll be fun to try some avocado or pear and see if he likes the different flavors a bit more. He nurses every 3-3.5 hours with the exceptions of an extra feeding at bedtime and also somewhere in the middle of the night.

I made what appeared to be a rookie mom mistake and gave Josh a new pacifier about a month ago. We had lost a pacifier somewhere in our house and left one at my parent’s house as well. I happened to have a bunch of the Nuk kind so I switched from the Soothie pacifier to that, thinking I’d alternate to whatever was closest or most convient. Low and behold, a few weeks later I discovered that Josh was rejecting the bottle (we had been using the Dr. Brown). Unfortunately, we discovered this one evening when I was at work and the little guy went without two feedings (poor Daddy) and cried on and off for over 3 hours. In fact, he didn’t fall asleep until 10:30 pm. I knew what was happening at home while I was at work and felt pretty stressed about the situation. We couldn’t figure out if it was my milk (he also tried formula), or the bottle, or because it wasn’t ‘me’ putting him down to bed, or what. I got home around 1:30 am (sometimes they let me work strange hours at the hospital) and Josh nursed well and took a little from a bottle as well. But it was apparent that he was not loving the bottle. It was more of a fight than anything to get him to take it. When I tried to get him to take the old pacifier, he squished it around in his mouth and then spit it out. Then I thought that maybe I’d pick up a Nuk bottle, since the nipple was similarly shaped to their pacifier. I picked one up and to my great relief, bingo! He took it without a hitch. So, lesson learned: If we ever have another child, I will NOT be switching up their pacifier to a different brand!

Sleeping Habits: Josh usually goes down around 7-7:30 pm and gets up around 7-8 am. We’re just coming out of a rough sleeping patch with this kiddo. I’m learning over and over again that teething really ruins all previous sleep patterns. It’s been rough at times! Recently with the addition of solid foods at dinner, I’ve dropped his 10 pm feeding. He wakes up typically anywhere from midnight to 3:30 am for an additional feeding. (He sometimes wakes up at other times too but gets his pacifier instead). Occasionally the kid just wants to play in the middle of the night but thankfully he usually goes back to sleep without too much fuss (unless he’s teething).

Growth/Clothes/Diapers: He’s been growing like a weed lately! Seriously though– yesterday when I got him up in the morning his pajamas looked tight on his feet, and they weren’t the evening before! He can still wear some 3 month onesies, but is generally wearing 3-6 month clothes. Size 6 months pajamas. He’s in size 2 diapers and I think next time I pick up more diapers up I’ll get size 3’s. It seemed like he was in size 1’s for forever and now he’s just speeding ahead…

Development: Josh is getting close to being able to roll from his back to his tummy. So far he rolls on his side and stays there for a bit until going back onto his back. He’s got the tummy to back roll nailed. He loves the jumparoo but hasn’t figured out how to actually jump yet. He’s growing pretty bored with the swing, unless he’s ready for a nap. He can almost sit up on his own but I think it’ll be another couple of weeks at least until he’s mastered that. He’s learning all kinds of new noises to make as well. Lately he’s discovered my face and likes to touch it. He’s also reaching out for things more and more, and has discovered his feet. Last of all, the kid has learned to scream. As in, the “I hope the neighbors don’t call CPS on us” kind of scream. I’m really hoping it’s just a phase (a very short phase).

Likes: This kiddo is still obsessed with his hands. He’s constantly jabbing his fists in his mouth and gnawing on them. Or gnawing on one finger, two fingers, four fingers, his thumb…he also makes himself gag on a regular basis from jabbing his fingers so far back in his throat. As much as he likes his hands, he also likes his pacifier, and he chews on his bib with regularity. He loves his play mat and the jumparoo. He loves to be carried around and watches everything I do with a keen interest. He also likes being in the car and getting up from a nap (it’s the time of the day when I get the biggest grins from him!). He also loves books and looks at each page with interest.

Dislikes: He doesn’t like teething toys very much, especially ones that are chilled. He doesn’t like being overtired and he still hates loud noises. He also doesn’t like waiting for his milk. 🙂

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On the play mat… his favorite place to be in the morning.

 

 

Looking very serious here... a common occurrence from this kiddo.

Looking very serious here… a common occurrence from this kiddo.

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How Easily Forgotten is Contentment

How quickly I had happily forgotten. The years of negative pregnancy tests and the dashed hopes that I might be experiencing pregnancy symptoms. The pain of looking into the empty room that I had hoped would one day be a nursery. The baby items people had graciously given me but that were collecting dust in the garage.

These were long, hard years. Filled with pain and tears, and often the threat of another surgery. I wasn’t sure if or when it would end. I learned to live with it most days.

And then I got pregnant with Josh.

Just like a whirlwind, I was thrust into the world of pregnancy and baby love. As my belly expanded, I could feel Josh wiggling and squirming and kicking up a storm. My pregnancy was filled with chronic pain, but also with so much hope and joy.

But even greater joy ensued. The days that have followed Josh’s birth have been nothing short of wonderful. Getting to know this little boy has completely shattered me. Delighted my heart in ways I could not have imagined. Each day I am eager to get out of bed and see what new thing this little guy of ours is learning. I never guessed that being a momma would be so fun.

And then one day, there was a bit of cramping and spotting, followed by nausea. I was sure my monthly cycle was coming back to wreak havoc. But then it didn’t. The cramping, bloating and nausea ensued. And all of the sudden, something in the back of my brain clicked: “What if I’m pregnant?” As the hope of a second child began to rise and swell to the surface, I choked back tears as I prayed and asked the Lord in faith for such.

But then I did a home pregnancy test, and it was negative. I felt immediate disappointment and couldn’t believe how quickly I had gotten sucked back into the vicious cycle of pregnancy tests and turmoil. A day earlier I had felt complete contentment as I played happily with my son. Instead, thoughts of implantation bleeding, pregnancy symptoms and the hope of a second child consumed me.

The symptoms continued. More negative pregnancy tests followed. I have no idea what is making me feel sick.

But I am choosing, today, to move on.

I’m choosing to enjoy my son as he learns to eats solid foods and reach out to touch my face for the first time. As he babbles endlessly and rolls over. As he giggles when I sing his favorite songs.

And I will not mourn this not being the Lord’s timing for us to have another child.

I will thank the Lord for the good gift He has given us!

 

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