September 8, 2011 § 1 Comment
It’s been oh…almost 2 months since I’ve been home. Home with my son, home for my husband, home to be a mom, wife, and right where God has placed me. I can’t explain the goodness of how right it is each day I wake up to walk through another day playing, teaching, loving my son, and growing as the woman God wants me to be.
How do you go from a full time job to being at home? Financially how do you drop an income? How do you care for a little one all day? Do you go crazy? Do you long for adult conversation? Do you grow weary? Do you miss the work world?
I had these thoughts run through my mind time and again before we made the decision that God clearly lead us to.
And now here I am on the other side of that decision. Living it out day by day.
Oh the joy. I cannot even describe it. It is truly with joy I greet each day. Being able to focus on the ones my heart loves, focus on the role God has called me to live, it is so full of joy, peace, and good. I love being the one to watch our son learn new things. I never knew that being a mother could be sooo fulfilling. That watching this little tiny boy grow and being there to train him- what else in all this world is more important?
I love being able to keep our home, to be the keeper of the home. I take pleasure in preparing nourishing meals for my family.
And our faith…
Jonah and I have learned to lean on God for our needs. Knowing that my income is no longer there, we have continued to seek Him in prayer asking specifically for Him to meet our needs each month. And you know what? He has.
What about the worry of not having enough?
It’s not there. God is.
Here and there we have seen money trickle in and it’s come from places we never would have thought. It’s amazing, it’s exciting!
I love love love relying on God for our needs. I love stepping out into an unknown, because it’s the only way I can grow in faith. Grow in my walk, leaning hard on my God.
And our marriage.
I am in awe of this man. The one that God clearly placed in my life, by my side. Jonah has become a leader, full of love, full of support. And I don’t deserve it, but I am so humbled and grateful for it, knowing what he willingly offers to me is because his heart is close to God. I love this man so dearly, and I am ashamed to say I take him for granted.
Life is so quick, truly a vapor and I don’t want to miss….waste a moment doing something, working somewhere, dwelling on something that is not what God wants for me. I want to live this life to bring glory to Him. I want to pour into this sweet boy, my loving husband all that He pours into me…as a dear friend reminded me.
And at last I leave my favorite quote that reminds me of these precious days:
Cleansing and scrubbing
can wait unil tomorrow,
For babies grow up,
We’ve learned to our sorow.
So, quiet down cobwebs;
Dust go to sleep;
I’m rocking my baby,
And babies don’t keep.
May 2, 2011 § Leave a comment
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8)
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalm 126:6)
I remember thinking ahead to how much time I had before this month arrived. May meant that it would almost be June. June meant that we would leave for our trip to the Dominican Republic. Leaving for the trip also meant leaving our son behind.
I know it’s only a short time, 9 days to be exact, but looking out at that time frame feels long.
My heart hurts to think about this. But my heart knows that God has called me to go on this trip. I am filled with so many thoughts of anxiety about all that needs to be accomplished this month. Check marks are running through my mind for the endless lists that I have yet to write. I’m scared.
Scared of stepping into the car on June 6 to embark on a trip away from our son. Yes, I’ll be with my husband, and I’ll be with a fabulous group of kids.
But as I read through Psalms this morning, I was gently reminded that God is with me now, and will continue to be with me then. Why am I going on this trip? Why am I choosing to step out of my comfort zone, and choosing to leave our son for 9 days? Why do that?
Because it’s what God wants me to do. He wants me to serve Him. He wants me to follow Him. He wants me to hear Him. To speak to Him, to love Him. And He said, ” Go Carrie.”
My doubts come. They will. I know that sweet little boy that God gave us will be loved and cared for. I also know Satan likes to prey on my emotions as much as he can. And he does. He dances on them so much I just want to pull the rug out from him to let him fall hard.
God has been encouraging me along the way though.
Last week we applied for our passports. It was late to sign up for them, but it was harder to get an appointment than I thought. I remember looking at the little 2 1/2″ by 2 1/2″ photo and feeling a peace. It felt like I was saying, ” this is it…here we go.” And we did. Signed, stapled and mailed. Our passports our on their way. This is how it’s been. Almost a process. A gradual stepping to lead up to June 6. One thing at a time has been checked off, and my heart has been peaceful each time.
Yesterday morning in church, we were singing a song of praise to God and I started thinking ahead to the upcoming trip. I was praying, in my spirit. The kind of prayer where you don’t have words but you sense God hears your heart as it’s moved. And I looked in front of us to see the back of a little child standing there following along quietly. My heart was moved with compassion as I thought of the children in the DR. The faces I have yet to see, the people I have yet to meet. Do they know about God? Do they know how loved they are? Will I be able to show them? Me, a person that doesn’t even speak the language?
My heart is getting prepared. My soul is opening up. I’ll be ready.
But this month is one that will be spent in prayer. I already know it will be hard to set apart that time. But I know I need it. I need my God, I need His help. As I search Him each day I am reminded of Psalm 124:8- He is my help. And I am also mindful of Psalm 126:6- my tears now are for the days I will be away from our sweet boy, but I pray for tears of compassion and heartache for the ones we will meet, the ones we will reach many miles away. That these tears will be turned into joy, for the precious Truth we will leave with others.
February 12, 2011 § Leave a comment
I had planned to have a natural birth.
It wasn’t this way from the start of my pregnancy, but the more I researched, the more I was drawn to natural, no meds, childbirth. As crazy as that sounds to some, after I had learned all the benefits of this choice, I really desired to labor my way through that moment, experiencing the pain, and listening to what my body was telling me.
I had prayed for this as well. All along the way Jonah and I prayed for our son, for his birth, for the hospital staff that would be there. We were excited, I was nervous, not knowing what to expect.
This changed at around 35-37 weeks. We learned our sweet son was breech.
This late in the game it was rare for a baby to turn. But we prayed. We tried everything we physically could to help him turn to head down.We also scheduled a c-section, by the advice of our doctor, knowing we would continue to trust God for the delivery, regardless. But my heart was still set on pushing this baby out.
The morning of my very last OB/GYN appointment (3 days before my actual due date and 2 days before our scheduled c-section) I went into labor. Contractions came quickly and they hurt. After calling my doctor we headed to the hospital. They checked me into triage, monitored me, and at my request did an ultrasound to see what the baby’s position was (we hadn’t had this done in several weeks, since we learned he was breech). The nurses on duty scanned my lower pelvis and told us that he was definitely head down. Oh the rejoicing! How thrilling! Our prayers were answered as we had so desired!
I was checked in, and we went to our room, mind set on getting through each contraction, and the long road ahead, since I was only at 3 centimeters.
Then my regular doctor arrived. She was skeptical. She broke my water, and checked me again, only to say, “No this baby is breech as ever”.
But she did proceed to do another ultrasound, checking my lower abdomen and the upper, only to find, yes, breech as ever.
At this point we heard the words, c-section, now.
Not really fully understanding that meant right now.
Contractions at this point picked up rapidly. Painful, fast.
We felt a little lost in this new knowledge. She did mean right now.
I was handed paperwork to fill out, while I contracted and groaned through labor pains.
The next thing I realized I was being moved to a wheelchair and wheeled down to surgery. I still see the harsh white lights, the narrow bed, the hospital sheets. It was cold in that room.
I was given an epidural at this point, which was painful. In between contractions they inserted the needle into my back. I was glad I couldn’t see the needle. I was too busy groaning through pain and looking for Jonah. He wasn’t allowed in the room with me until I was in position, with curtain up, and lower half of body numb.
We hardly had time to even call family to tell them we were meeting our son today.
Then Jonah was there, surgery began, and a mere 20 minutes later, I heard the first loud wails of our sweet son. Jonah snapped pictures of the whole delivery, umbilical cord and all. Those I treasure, as I wasn’t able to see what was going on, nor really remember due to the shakiness I was enduring. My teeth were rattling as I shivered on that bed.
I then met our son. Wailing and crying out to me. I said hello, I saw his precious face, his bald head, his perfectly formed body, and those squinted newborn eyes focusing on me… and my eyes filled with tears. It was surreal. I felt like it wasn’t me on that bed. It wasn’t really my son in front of me. I was a mom! It was so much to take in.
Fast forward to now.
I have precious memories from those moments together in the hospital. It was a learning experience, to one day be a couple, and the next moment be a mom and dad to our son. I soak in the photos from those days, reminiscing about how small our son was, how helpless. How in love we are with him.
And I forget the labor briefly. I forget what parts I missed and had anticipated for months. The parts I knew I would want to remember that did not happen with a c-section.
Pushing him out. Having Jonah cut the cord. Enduring the pain of the whole labor. Laboring. Lying our boy on my chest. Holding him right out of the womb. These are the things I missed while having my c-section.
I don’t write this to say I am not grateful for our son. I am. I am so grateful for an uncomplicated delivery. I am so grateful for a normal c-section. My healing was painful, but I healed. Our son is and was healthy. Jonah was there with me the whole time. The staff and my doctor were excellent support.
But there was heartache in not experiencing this rite of passage.
I didn’t realize it’s full effect on me until now. My friend just gave birth. It was a quick birth that ended in post delivery scare. Her very life was in God’s hands, and much prayer on my part, and on many friends went up for her and her new little family. God showed His abundant grace and protected her.
The part that reared up in my heart, that I ashamedly write was the jealousy.
Jealousy that she pushed her baby out.
Until I heard about her post- delivery complications, I fought with jealousy that she experienced a labor I never had. I was ashamed at my thoughts and shoved them away, asking God to release them from me, trying to ignore them and trying to rejoice at this new families precious baby.
And then I learned of her complications. Her life was in the balance. And broke down and cried. Ashamed for even thinking the thoughts I did.
How selfish am I?
But the next day I woke up again feeling those thoughts that wouldn’t leave.
I surrendered. I got alone with God and poured out my heart. Writing down what I felt. As ugly and dark as it was. I layed it out before Him, asking for Him to help me. There is much healing in openly stating your weaknesses. Embracing them, so that you can release these to God.
I have a long ways to go on this path of healing. I have much to learn. But in those moments of quiet worship with God, Holy communion with Him, He revealed some precious verses to me.
Isaiah 66:9 states:
Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord; shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. Rejoice with Jerusalem , and be glad with her; all ye that mourn for her; That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out , and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus saith the Lord, Behold I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream; then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
While the context of this passage is referring to Israel, not me personally. The content and the choice of words in it, impressed something on my heart. This passage was randomly selected after I asked for God to direct and speak to me. Of all the passages in the Bible this is where I opened and read. How awesome and humbling it makes me to think that God spoke directly to my mommy heart by using the very words that were in my mind and heart. He could have shown me a Psalm, or Proverb, or passage in the New Testament. He didn’t have to show me this. But it was here I read, and here I found comfort in knowing He knows the very heartaches I endure. He knows my desires. He cares about these things. He cares.
What an amazing God I serve.
My heart is glad, because He made it so. Fullness, completeness, healing come from my Father. And I am in awe. This road of motherhood is an amazing one, and so much more greater with Jesus filling and leading in my life.
January 17, 2011 § Leave a comment
Yesterday was a busy day for us. It was a get-up-and-go kind of day right from the start. By the time we got home and I was leisurely laying in bed, enjoying the comfort of doing nothing, I realized how important it is to just take time to be still.
You know the verse, “Be still and know that I am God?” (Psalm 46:10) I was feelin’ that. I realized how much we need this, physically, mentally, spiritually. While it’s exciting to go go go, learn, grow, and move, if we don’t take time for rest, we are missing a very crucial part of renewal in our lives. I very much needed time to just stop, relax and breathe again. Was I taking this time to study more in the Word, or pour out my heart to God? No. I was just still. I don’t think this was wrong, it was needed. I am taking it as a good reminder to do this regularly, no guilt about it.
On another note, last night we were able to attend church and hear a message titled, “Speak up” by Louis Giglio.
I was excited to get there, to worship God in song and hear from Him through the speaker. I wasn’t disappointed. In all that I have been soaking in and learning this month, one thing that I feel lead to pray for is boldness. Being bold to tell others about Jesus, tell them what He is doing for me, what He will do for them.
It’s been exciting praying for this, I know He is helping me grow in this area, and I so desperately need it.
To kind of go along with this last nights message was key for me. It was a re-affirmation of the direction I am going. Speak up, was actually about stepping out and pursuing the desires/passions that God has placed in your heart. Louis challenged everyone to stop and take time to think about what it is you feel you are supposed to do, what God has for you. And yes you may not know exactly, but you certainly have something you are passionate about. Is that what God is calling to? It was something I needed to be reminded of as my heart has been circling around several areas lately. He then went onto say, think of the fears that are holding you back. These are fears you are allowing you to trust God. A great example he used was found from the passage that says, ” He owns a cattle on a thousand hills…” A wonderful passage that Jonah and I have actually spoken several times this past month as we think about our own finances. 1000 Hills. What a wonderful reminder that God is to be trusted.
Today I did sit and quietly think about what it is I’m passionate about. I prayed for help with this, I wrote out a list, followed by a list of fears that prevent me from thinking I can move this direction. At the end of my list I wrote in big letters, ” 1000 Hills.”
Is anything to great for our God? I’m going to be looking at this list, and praying over the fears I have, and I’ll be sharing it in it’s entirety with Jonah soon.
Today I also finished up reading Crazy Love, by Francis Chan.
I have read this book before, a while ago that is. This time around I finished it much quicker, and I underlined as I went, pulling out quotes and Scripture passages along the way to help me remember what I was learning. It was an amazing book, and so in sync with all I am learning right now. I have so many quotes I could share, but I didn’t want to fill this post with the pages of Crazy Love. I do recommend it to anyone….it’s a huge motivation to get up and do something as a Christian.
I learned that Jesus does not expect us to just sit, worship, maybe say a little prayer, and life goes on. Then back to that cycle again. He expects, actually commands us to go. To follow Him, to share who He is with others. To go to the outcasts, and the regular Joe’s on the street, or right next door, to reach out of my comfort zone. I loved reading one quote that said, ” Life is comfortable when you separate yourself from people who are different.”
How often have I kept myself from reaching out to those that don’t fit into my description of a friend.
I thought about this some more and I realized that I haven’t even made the effort to meet our neighbors. Here I am thinking about those overseas, the poor, impoverished, underprivileged people – which don’t get me wrong are very much needing Christ too, and His love poured on them, but what about those right next door?
I’m not in any way the type to eagerly go knocking on a strangers door to introduce myself. But maybe it’s time. I get scared even thinking about that. Boldness….but also love. Christ loved me enough to break down my walls and surround me with His unquenchable love. He died for me. That alone should be enough for me to open my mouth, to allow Him to use me to show love to others.
Again, I’m hesitant to even publish this. That provides accountability on my part. But I can’t get these thoughts from my mind. I am so grateful for what I am learning right now, and I don’t want to forget it…perhaps it’s time to live it.