Thursday, October 10, 2013

Life After The Miraculous

He's 6 months now.

And I am just beginning to get a grip.

For the last several months, I have struggled drastically with the mental affects of my 10-week bed rest!

I spent so much time alone with God in that room that I forgot how to be a participant in the lives of my family. 

We have 5 children, the oldest of whom is 5 and started his homeschooling Kinder year in September.

To say that we are a busy household is somewhat of an understatement. We have what I have dubbed as Crazy Chicken Syndrome. 

I'll translate. 

We have these twinkies running around potty-training and mess-making, learning how to obey the first time, and coming into personality growth with their individual explosions of estrogen.

They keep me on my feet. 


Then we have this one:

Yes, you get it. This face explains it all. 


She is!

She is my relationship girl, always talking a billion words per second, and faithfully pushing the chair into the kitchen to help cook when my brain is still waking in the morning.

And then, these 2:

These are my easies.

Malachi needs milk and snuggles... Simple and doable!

The big boy is my logical learner who is super responsible and constantly asking to work ahead in school.

You see, this home of ours, this place we do life daily, it has been trumping me for the past 6 months. 

I went through, and still battle, selfish habits that I developed from having no one to serve in the hospital. 

I am finally getting on top of that one.

I am finally balancing the everyday tasks with loving my family well.

I am just beginning to reacquaint myself with the noise level in our home without having to holler at the kids to quiet down because "mommy's brain is on overload from all the noises."

I am getting used to talking a mile a minute, 4 sentences at a time to 5 different directions.

Above all, I am reminding myself daily of how much I need God; how desperately hungry my mommy soul is for Him to speak words to my heart in a quiet place while the children ALL nap.

It has only taken 6 months.



My encouragement to you, my dear friend, keep pushing, keep seeking, keep pressing in to Him. Seek to serve those around you and find a moment in a quiet place to ask Him to speak healing to your heart. 

He is faithful!

Monday, May 6, 2013

To Be Continued

I trully have no idea where to begin this post.

When I packed my bags to head up to the hospital closest to us with an immaculate NICU, I never suspected that so many days would go so painstakingly fast.

104 days.

That is the total number of days since the beginning, that crazy saturday that my water broke at 21 weeks and 6 days pregnant.

What has transpired since that day is still being comprehended by my mind. Part of me feels like it has been out of body, while the other half remembers perfectly and is still recovering from 55 + 14 days of bed rest and 35 days splitting life between home and the NICU.

In short, we are home. ALL of us... our preemie son, born at 31 weeks 6 days, included.

I never thought I would have lived that experience. I never thought I would EVER be "the one" to have a Preterm birth story, but I do. We do. Our family does.

I hope to elaborate on this journey more as the days progress, but for now, rest assured that I am not the same Daughter of The King as I once was. There is much of God that I have yet to discover, but there is a bit of Him that was revealed to me over the last 104 days.

I hope you will stay tuned as I am able to add chapters to the pages of our story here on this blog.

Friday, February 22, 2013

It's a Battle Down a Narrow Path

DISCLAIMER: These posts are getting longer because He is speaking a lot that I believe He wants shared. I pray that His lessons reach you and help you in some way.

"Because she has set her love upon Me, therefore I will deliver her; I will set her on high, because she has known My name. She shall call upon Me, and I will answer her; I will be with her in trouble; I will deliver her and honor her. With long life, I will satisfy her, And show her My Salvation." 
Psalm 91:14-16

This post almost never was.

I have been apprehensive to write these following thoughts for others to read because they sound a bit radical and can be a lot to process for some.

However, my husband and I have extensively discussed my blogging and have emphasized the importance of me writing through this current journey that we are on, and I feel as though you may be able to connect in some small way.

At the beginning of my bed rest at 22 weeks, I was praying and most likely crying when I heard a gentle voice whisper, "I will deliver you." 

My Father has spent many days teaching my ears to hear, so when I heard this, I immediately felt peace come over my mind that was racing with the thoughts planted in there by the doctors' "what-if" scenarios.

Fast forward a few days and I remember continually thinking out the potential ways that God might deliver us from this situation. I will spare you the long, drawn-out "If-Then" cases that I played out in my mind. What God pushed through and said in rebuttle to my thoughts blew me out of my sad thought process.

His profound words?

"Stop trying to play out how I might deliver you and just let me do what I've said I will do."

Daddy, say whaa?!?! (Excuse my urban roots.)

I pretended to be confused, but really, I knew what He meant. I am VERY good at hearing from God and then playing out how I think He might work it all out. I used to think it gave me hope for the days ahead when faced with a trial. I have since learned differently. This statement from Him has led me on a journey that I hope to NEVER veer from.

We always say, "let go and let God," but it's my experience that we humans have a lot of trouble actually following through with that. However, in my current position, would you like to know how much PEACE comes from just letting Him play it out and not trying to force the process through thinking it out all day long?

TONS of peace. That peace allows me to "dance" through my days laughing with nurses, doctors, dietary personnel, housekeepers, and many more. 

When I let my brain get in the way, and begin to think about all of the stuff we don't want to happen with this pregnancy, I get frazzled, emotional, and don't feel like talking to anyone for more than 3 minutes. I know because that was my mindset yesterday. I am human and just couldn't help it. 

Despite all of the reassurance and Scriptures He has given me to hang on to during this time, I was slipping.

I woke up this morning and He gently reminded me to focus on one of these promises, Psalm 91:7, "A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at you right hand; But it shall not come near you." He has whispered this to me a gajillion times in the last week when I had bleeding, thought about infection, got nervous about Malachi being breech, and a host of other things.

This Truth from Him obliterates a thousand fears and lies that try to come to steal my pulverizes them. The key is that I have to allow myself to hear the voice of God louder than the voice of my circumstances.

Sure, it looks bleak from many standpoints and the road to 34 weeks and a natural delivery is N.A.R.R.O.W., but guess what?!

The God that loves me is a PRO at navigating narrow roads. He calls us to walk down the narrow path and to not turn to the right or left. 

Forward, Kingdom focus is what propels us through the battle that goes on in the mind during times like these. As I am learning, hold on to His Truth and promises and let Him go before and carry you down that narrow path, always listening for His voice to whisper through the storm of the circumstance.

That is how we learn to experience victory.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Pepsi Machine Took Me to School

The Revelation that we can learn through life experience while looking for God in everything amazes me. I've had many moments in my mommy days that have reminded me of Who my Creator is and what His character is like.

The key though, is that I have to be searching for those teaching moments from Him. It's just the same when I am parenting our littles day in and day out. I can easily get caught up in repeating my "mommy phrases" and forget to add in His lessons throughout the process.

The Pepsi Machine Lesson that I have learned came to me a couple years ago. I journaled about it and it has continuously stuck.

When we lived in our apartment, the Leasing Office had a Pepsi vending machine right outside the back door, so we could drive down and grab a cold drink for $1.50 and return home in a matter of 2 minutes.

On this particular day, my hubby sent me down with all my coins to collect a soda for him, and I stomped my feet for several minutes before deciding to go was joyfully willing to oblige.

I drove down to the office, put in the first few coins, and then the machine ate a nickel of mine.

Oh, those machines.

I had only taken EXACTLY what I needed to get his soda pop, but went back to the console of the car to see if I had more somewhere.

No dice.

So, I did what any LOGICAL mother would do.

I went back to the machine, punched pushed the "return my coins" button a handful of times, then reinserted all of the coins I had... sans the nickel that it had stole from me.

The machine counted $1.45. It knew I was shorting it a nickel, but I pushed through.

I hit the key for the soda he wanted and prayed for it to supernaturally spit out the goods.

Once again, NO DICE. I was delightfully frustrated that this ignorant vending machine would not give me what I wanted from it with a MEASLY .05 in the balance. I trudged back home to the hubby to recollect another nickel for the greedy machine, but on the way, I learned this Holy Spirit-inspired lesson.

My walk with Christ is JUST like that vending machine and I.

I can't short-change God, expecting that He's going to just lavish all sorts of crazy blessings upon me if I don't fully commit my life to Him; if I refuse to let Him control the outcome and refuse to trust Him with every once of my existence.

I have to put in what I expect to get out. Easier said that done for this momma; how about you?

Not to compare our walks with Christ to that of a slot machine...where we put in our coin, pull a magical lever, and receive the jackpot, by any means.

BUT, we DO have to learn to surrender self, turn our Spiritual eyes on, tune our ears to His radio station, and live out the Truth of Scripture. And to know what all of those things mean and how powerful our lives can be when doing those things, we have to spend time in His Word and presence. Both of those life choices and time commitments will NEVER let us down.

As a matter of fact, I have learned that His Word and presence teach us all about who the Creator is and exactly what kind of character He has, and let me tell you, He is passionate and majestic. However, don't just let me tell you that.

Press into Him and see what He has to lavish you with each day. Our God is a giver.

I'm so glad I let the Pepsi Machine take me to school. Because during this hospitalized bed rest stay.... where we are praying for miracles, I realize that my God is relentless. If I fully surrender and trust His power, He will never fail me.

He never has.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Perspective on Bed Rest

Bed rest: Day 15


Just reading that and realizing that I've been down for that long is eye-opening. I almost can't believe it.

Almost; my body feels as though it's been MUCH longer.

I used to stand on the outside of the fish tank named "Strict Bed Rest," and peer in on what I thought might be a relief for a busy momma.

Honestly, the medical situation that placed me here has caused me fear, worry, or sadness for approximately a total of 6 hours because, and I'm about to sound super "crazy Christian" here, God's peace and comfort on delivering us from this whispered long and hard to smack those flesh reactions into their place.

My most difficult aspect of bed rest, you ask, considering that I now sound like a weirdo...

Idleness, which is the opposite of being diligent, which my wonderful Father was really teaching me before I was permanently positioned on my couch.

Dare I say this...

I miss ... cleaning and cooking!

Oh, dear. I can't believe it, ladies, but yes, I sincerely can not wait to get up, hug my family while standing upright, and clean up after them then cook these treasures din din with my 2 hands while singing and dancing loudly.

Then, I'll bake some cookies.

Next, you'll find me sewing. I may just be sewing straight lines on scrap fabric, but...

I will be sewing!

And praising our Almighty Healer for immaculate deliverence, connecting my creator heart with His Creator heart.

Friday, February 1, 2013

When Bed Rest Finds Me Reading

After a few adolescent years of poor choices, I was covered in the Blood of The Lamb and began a journey through transformation.

Transformation into a being that lives by the guidance of the Spirit, listens for the voice of God, and allows Him to open eyes and doors on His timing.

I sit here, 3 months away from my 6-year rebirth anniversary, and find NEW scales being peeled from my eyes.

We've been in our new town since September and were still searching for a new church to call home. Having been "unchurched" growing up, our last church was our first and only true experience in an environment of Christ followers. We were very Spirit-led and the church, meaning the people within the central infrastructure, are AMAZING people, leading lives by example.

We had it good. Real good.

Fast forward to now.

We know we were trained up and called out of our comfy friendship circle for HIS purpose and timing.

We just have been unsure of the details to this point. He opened every door for us to move here, and has paved way for new friendships to form. He has moved many teenage fellers into my husband's hemisphere of supernatural influence and I am beginning to thrive in my many hats. (Ironic that I type this from my couch on bedrest at 24 weeks pregnant because of some pregnancy glitches that He is supernaturally mending.)

And that is not boastful. I fail several times a day, but He loves me through it and reminds me that I put my hands to my work for His glory. That failure means I get to experience grace that saves, and start all over.

However, I tell you, all 5 of you who are interested, I am getting new eyes again. My physical vision still has issues, but my Spiritual eyes...

Scales are coming off, y'all.

I'm reading a book. Not a "3 Simple Steps to A Better Christianity," book. It's more of a, "Dearest Daughter, I have been telling you ALL of this, but I needed this woman to write down ALL of your thoughts on the subject so you would connect it from head to heart" sort of book.

It's called, "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess," by Jen Hatmaker. No, of course I'm not being reimbursed for my praise of her title.

From this, I am seeing His church; what I want my family to be doing for His people that aren't already saved and aren't already blessed.

And I'm referring to the people in my backyard, the homeless, the women fleeing from abuse, the children ravaged by pain from life, and oh so many more.

I want to go to them and whisper, "I now see you. I'm so very very sorry I didn't see you before. Please forgive me for thinking that the $5 you received from us each month meant you knew how deeply God loves you. Here are my clothes that never get worn, here is a meal without any strings, here is a hug full of love and free of condemnation. Here is my Jesus, the One who can be counted upon to deliver you from all of this. Please don't forsake Him because I was blind to how much you needed me to come to you."

A quote from Jen's book,

"John the Baptist says if we have two coats, one belongs to the poor. The early church sold their possessions and lived communally, caring for one another and the broken people in their cities."

I see now.

They dont need my tithe without my face. They need my face and then...only then do they see my tithe. Giving attached to sacrifice of time and love and compassion.

Everything Jesus stood for.

Friday, January 18, 2013

That's Not a Diaper, It's Toilet Paper

As for the title of this post, please be patient, it'll all be clear soon enough.

Many days, I feel rushed. I feel like so many things are happening in our home that my brain just needs a time out. I'm frequently standing, rarely sitting(reserved for nap time when all 4 littles rest together).

Typically, I am doing 2 things at any moment, and have to always be prepared to switch to 2 ENTIRELY different tasks in the blink of a tiny eyelash.

I'm sure no one else on the planet feels the same way. :.)


Honestly, we moms have one word that we typically use to sum up the strand of days that can seem to flow together.


In one way, or another, we are all busy.

Our days become filled, things(or children) come up missing, we do the best we can, and assume that busy is just that daunting way of life that God has for us right now.

Although I rarely leave home, because I have become a PROUD homebody, I can frequently be caught thinking, Ay Carumba Batman, this is insane! Honestly, I am SO entirely occupied during my days that I find myself doing totally random things that make ZERO sense.

Here's your list of examples:

-Backing into my hubby's PARKED car as I removed our van from the garage.
-Leaving our van door wide open at the park or in the garage after unloading the one child I was responsible for.
-Leaving the bathroom with a roll of toilet paper only to find myself thinking, That is not a diaper, it's a roll of toilet paper. Not as effective at holding in baby waste.
-Finding the piece of bread I was eating for breakfast that I sat down on my way to change the laundry a good 20 minutes before.
-Spotting the dryer door, wide open, reminding me that I had neglected the load in the washer that I was supposed to switch over, but got distracted from.

You see, we ALL get soo busy in our "dailies" that sometimes, it just feels chaotic.

I once posted on my Facebook that my days are not defined by the absence of chaos, but they are defined by the power of His presence.

Chaos, in my home, is inevitable. Four children under 5 with a pregnant mama, we ride the Crazay Trainnn, every 10 minutes.

It makes life interesting, BUT I recently had one of those, "Jesus, if you know and have experienced everything we ever will encounter, why do I feel like you could NEVER comprehend the busy-ness of my days?" moments.

Ever been there?

What He reminded me of in His Love Letter to us is Jesus' story if ministry. You can find it in all 4 Gospels. You often find Jesus busy. He's ALWAYS surrounded by people who need something from Him, they all require His attention, and He rarely finds a recluse. Sure, He gets away briefly to nap or whisper a few words to the One who sent Him, but often, we read of Him giving of Himself.

Jesus was busy. I bet His flesh grew tired. I bet He felt ALWAYS NEEDED by those seeking healing, a word of encouragement, a dinner at the tax collector's place, a prostitute desperately desiring to be cleansed, and the list goes on and on.

So, Jesus does know. Not only does He see our battle with busy, He has felt it. He later died to free us from the burden of feeling too busy to function. He died so that, in the busy days, we can still live abundantly.

Since that reminder, I have aimed to remember that He understands my busy, always moving from one thing to the next, state of life because that is how He lived His. He was, and still is, always needed.

So am I. And now, I'm elated by that.

How about you?

Pulled in a million directions?
Frazzled because all the activity?

Remember Him. He lived it too.