Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What to do when motherhood's through with you?

It's no secret we have 3 outstanding, bright, beautiful children.  We've also had 3 miscarriages.  The second one was really hard.  We were about 12 weeks in when the midwife still couldn't find a heartbeat.  She said not to worry but, deep down, I knew something was wrong.  I called her after my appointment and told her of my concern.  Understanding as she was, she ordered an ultrasound at a local hospital.  The tech immediately informed me she couldn't give any results.  We would have to wait for the radiologist to read them and send the report to our doctor.  (Well, NUTS!)  I called my midwife and she, in turn, called the hospital to get them.  Not long after, she called me with sadness and told me our baby had stopped growing at 8 weeks 4 days but, my body, naturally, taking longer to catch up, hadn't figured this out yet and everything else, the placenta etc., had grown to 10 weeks.

All my hopes and dreams for this baby, all the wishes and plans I'd made all went out the door.  That was the saddest for me, letting go of our dreams.  My husband was so excited, he'd already begun telling people (to my dismay).  So, to pile more tears on, we had to "un-tell" people.  

Have you ever found that it's easier to grieve the loss of someone or some thing by yourself or with the closest to you?  I do but, no, we had to rehash our grief again and again and again.  It surely didn't make things any easier.  I didn't want to hear people say, "I'm sorry for your loss."  I wanted to contain my grief in a little box and stuff it way, way under the bed, in the very back corner.

Then, there was the actual miscarriage.  We opted to do that at home and not have a D&C, which was a little tricky being that far along.  It scared me, I'm not going to lie.  On top of sorrow and grief was fear.  And then the bleeding.  It didn't stop for 8 weeks.  My hCG levels weren't falling fast enough and they were worried about that.  I kept going back and back and back. I was a mess mentally and physically for a great long while.

Jump to present day and we're here again in the land of sorrow.  I'd known that my OB doctor was retiring and so, I'd begun the search for a new doctor.  I'd figured out a birth plan.  I'd thought about names (though only for a second.)  Because my husband and I had been pretending all along that this pregnancy wasn't happening.  We were cautious.  We didn't dare tell a soul.  We even gasped when the other might bring it up at night after everyone was in bed, fast asleep.  We knew there was an "if".  A chance that things wouldn't be.

Again.  I knew something wasn't right.  I hadn't decided on a doctor yet therefore, we hadn't seen a doctor but, there were signs.  Signs that things weren't quite right.  So, after some really obvious signs and a good ahead from my retiring doctor's office (he was away on vacation) I went to the ER.  They confirmed my suspicions.  This baby grew to 6 weeks 1 day,  My body was currently 10 weeks 2 days.  

I had a few moments when I broke down.  Tears flooded my eyes and spilled down my cheeks but, all along I knew God was with us.  I knew no matter the outcome, tomorrow would be bright and full of promise.  That he would pull us through.   He had in the past and he would again.  There's so much promise in his word.

    Psalm 30:5 – Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
    Matthew 5:4 – Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
    John 16:33 – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
    Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    Isaiah 40:31 – but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
      James 1:4 – Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
      Joshua 1:9 – Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
  • Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

The list goes on and on and on.  Reading through these scriptures in troubled times gives me assurance that no matter my struggles and sorrow here on earth, the best is yet to come.

Monday, February 22, 2016

playing catchup

With wisdom comes much sorrow, I heard Chuck Swindoll say this morning.  Boy, he's got that right but, then again, he quoted it from the bible - Ecclesiastes 1:18.

With sorrow I never find myself on here anymore. (Ok, not really.)  I've learned that with 3 kids, a household to button down and lots of opportunities in ministry plus, plus, plus my time is valuable.  I enjoy coming back here from time to time, say once every 6 months or more.  I catch up, see what my favorite bloggers are doing and how much their kids have grown.  It's kinda silly when you think about it but, I've learned lots from their pages so there's an odd connection.  Call me weird.

My kids are growing like weeds.  One in high school, one in elementary, and one still here at home.  They take up a grand amount of time.  Scooting them off to youth group activities, sports, school functions.  I still find time for myself.  Bible study, two or three times a week.  Crazy, I know but, wasn't Jesus' love for us scandalous?  Absolutely!  So I'll take scandalous love of bible study and Jesus any day.  Breakfast with friends, that's turning itself into an entrepreneurial thing.  I laugh with disbelief every time we're together.  Oh!  And I'm getting ready for a trip to TN.  All in the name of furthering my Southern Heritage and bonding.  

You know road trips are aren't my thing.  I like structured activities, knowing what I'm going to be doing.  We do have somewhat of a plan.  I also prefer flat road driving vs. mountainous.  But, Thelma's going.  It's sure to be a blast!  Eight hours in the car together.  Eight hours is all she can handle in a day's time, so we're pushing it.  Still.  Time with Thelma is always well spent.  Stay tuned, I'll put up some crazy pictures of our escapade in the coming months.



Monday, November 16, 2015

a different lens

As minutes become hours, hours become days, I see life through a different lens.  One that realizes my time here is fleeting, my life is half over and what to do with the rest of it?  

In high school, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered truthfully, "a chef".  Mrs. Wolfolk, the guidance counselor gave me a smirk.  "That's not a 'real' job", flashed into my head.  Ok, IT it is.  And so, I have a crumby degree in IT that I will never do a thing with.  Lesson learned.  Be you.

Years later, God is still using my gift and love of food to minister to others.  I am perfect in Him.  Degree or no degree.

In high school, so much emphasis is put on sports these days.  Really, when I look back at my high school years and the sports I played, so much is trivial.  So much.  I don't remember the softball tournaments we won in our parks and recs division or what great plays I made on the JV team or how many girls I struck out during my first varsity game.  When I look back, I remember being in relationship with my teammates.  My friends.  I recall fun times with them.  Car rides.  Bus trips.  Giggles.  Singing "Thank you LORD" as we pulled into the school parking lot late at night.  I remember people.  And isn't that what this life is about?

My baby girl is growing up and will soon be off to college.  Our influence into her world is coming to a close.  She'll make her own decisions, vote for public officials according to her vision for the future, wash clothes and mess them up, burn Hamburger Helper.  She'll be her own.  Set out from the nest to make her way.  I've learned that doing the fun things - shopping, little trips to town with extras - coffee or ice cream, are the times I'll remember. Not really ever remembering what those things were but, memories of our time spent together.

Our whole lives are centered around being in relationship, forgiveness and people.  Relationship with the LORD, relationship with His people.  Forgiving as He forgave, and forgives us daily.  Being ambassadors of Christ.


So many times, I forget I'm an ambassador.  In the school pickup line when I want to rant about the people who got their license from Kmart.  Or how the school officials get under my skin with their arrogance.  Even people driving with no lights on when it rains.  How forgiving of them am I?  What am I teaching my children by being disgruntled over the small things?  Behold, there's a world of God's majesty in front of our eyes if we would just focus our lens a bit differently.

For instance, glance the morning light during the different seasons - in fall, it's a beautiful golden yellowish-orange; in winter, it's a cool blue-gray.  Look at a sleeping child and see the face of an angel.  Taste a homegrown strawberry and taste God's glory.  If you've never read "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp, I encourage you to do so.  It will open your eyes to a different light, a way of seeing God, face to face this side of heaven.

There will be phases, I know, but I pray we will always return to the light.  To seeing His presence in everyday life.  That we wouldn't dwell in the darkness but, learn to embrace those times as we draw close to him. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says... But he said to me, "My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

doughnut do this at home



Let's talk food.  A couple weeks ago, I saw all these pins for homemade doughnuts.  

This girl likes some doughnuts ya'll.

Ok, let's all be honest here, what don't I like?

There's not much.

So I did my homework and I looked at all the recipes, the ingredients, the effort. I was in. What's a girl to do but, get online and order a doughnut pan! It arrived and I was stoked to make my first pan of cake doughnuts. 

You know, start off easy with cake doughnuts, then work up to the yeast doughnuts that call for the extra work of rising and frying, etc., etc.

So I opened up the fridge to find I'd used my last stick of butter with not a spare left in the freezer.

Aaaaaah!

Well Handsome Husband came to my rescue and was picking up a few things from the store for me so I added butter to the list.  Little did I know, that our week would grow increasingly busier and there wouldn't be a minute of time left to make doughnuts.

I mean, doughnuts are on my list of frivolous foods.  Just not necessary, more a treat than a healthy, power-packed breakfast. 

Here we are, weeks later and the doughnut pan that I tracked and waited days to get, has been washed, dried and put away.

Today, I've had a real craving for doughnuts but, to make a long story short...Miss K took on the challenge to cut sugar out of her diet for 10 days.

Yes, she's 13. 
No, she's not overweight or whatever else would run through one's mind.
This was a challenge from her history book.

Here's the background...When Daniel was captured and later "taken in" by Nebuchadnezzar, he was offered the finest of foods but, he had a hunch the meats were probably sacrificed to false gods and such, so he refused to eat them and instead ate only fruits and vegetables.  So the challenge was to try giving up sugar (something that's super serious if you're a kid - kind of like steak is to men.  See where I'm going here?) for ten days.  I have to give it to her, homegirl's stuck with it.  I would've said, "Yep, tried this for an hour or three.  Now I'm done."

My willpower is weak like that.

So, my poor little doughnut pan sits patiently in the cabinet, awaiting the day when I'll take it out and actually cook a doughnut or six (or twenty-four).  And maybe I'll try not to eat a pan full while the others cook. wink.







Monday, February 24, 2014

to catch you up to speed

Hi there!  Long time, no see...guilty as charged!  It's been four score and seven years ago since I even logged into my blog.  Handsome Husband's given me nudges, "you need to go back to it, you need to write something."  I just haven't had the time, the words, the energy.  Home school takes a great majority of my time these days and after we're done with a day's work, I'll be honest, I just want to crash before I go about my usual duties of cleaning house, making dinner, blah, blah, blah.  Just want to relax, find some "me" time in all the hub-bub of our busy day.

Lots of things have happened since I last logged in here!  Let's see...


Miss K turned into a teenager overnight.  Just kidding, she did hit the big 1-3 though.



Hmmm, what else??

I would tell you I've been enjoying all of the snow and blustery weather we've had here in Illinois BUT, I'd be lying.  I'm completely convinced that my body is incapable of producing body heat and therefore, made to live in a warmer climate.  hint, hint.  These days, I'm just happy to see the sun shine and luckily, our living room is a great place for soaking up the rays.

Seems like some of the most important men in my life are enjoying warmer weather at the moment.  One is in Panama where its currently in the 90's.  Another is in New Mexico, headed west to Cali.  Can I just say, can I?...You men make me sick!  No offense, of course.

How are things on the spiritual home front?, you ask.  I'm patient, I'm faithful, that The Good Lord has a plan for us.  (There's growth!  I have not always never been patient!  Not always faithful and trusting either.)  As always, I don't know what the plan is but, I know it's perfect and will come in His time.  

What I will tell you, is that I'm prepared to move on.  Again, no offense.  But, this place is just not for us.  While, I'm not homesick anymore, I still long to sip sweet tea in the hilly - preferably mountainous, but I'm not choosy -  south from a tall cool glass, I long to hear the word y'all and yes ma'am, I long to be a little closer to family.

It's easier to come "home" these days.  I don't cry when we leave Virginia anymore.  At least I didn't when we left after Christmas.  That was a first!  Not even after a crazy journey back where our trailer blew a tire mere hours into said journey, having to replace all the tires on the trailer (a major unexpected expensive - right after Christmas I might add - I never knew trailer tires were so expensive!!)  And, it set us back 2 hours.  All the while, we had to hang out in Wal-Mart for the aforementioned two hours and eat McDonald's for lunch while dealing with a sick child.  Nope, not a tear.  You should be proud.

Life calls, I'll try to return soon.  No promises.



Friday, September 20, 2013

the view from here

The Man lost his two front teeth on a hot summer afternoon a month or so ago.  Since then, he's been terribly insistent that we not take pictures of him smiling.  So, while he was working away, I tried my darnedest to snap a photo of him.  He was hard at work when he heard the cl-click of my camera and then he saw me slyly holding it, pointed in his direction.  Three words, folks, he. freaked. out.  "No! Mom, don't take my picture!"  I kindly put it down and took out the remote.  He noticed but didn't object.  So, when I started snapping again, I caught a glimpse of a half-smile, half-WHAT-ON-EARTH-ARE-YOU-DOING?! face.  He's tried ever since to thieve my camera and delete said photo(s).  Lucky for me, they're downloaded to my laptop and the rest is history.



Tell me, please, why a mama can't have a picture of her favorite son missing his toofies?  OK, so he's the only son.  Is there any harm in it really?  'Course not.




Tuesday, September 17, 2013

while i'm here

We have some special friends in Albania.  Although I wish we could've spent more time with them, we had the opportunity to enjoy them while they were here.  

Well, Miss Ellie is a big fan of frogs.  And it just so happens we've been finding little frogs on our windows (in at least two rooms!) every night.  Not on the inside of course, but on the outside and from having the lights on, they are feasting on the tastiest tiny moths and other bugs attracted by the light.  (I guess moths are tasty - to frogs.)

Since I'm here and had a minute, I thought I'd post these for you Ellie!  Plus a couple others, not of frogs though.

I tried my best to get some shots of these guys in action grabbing a bug or two but, I couldn't.  So, here's what I did get...


One of him (or her?) climbing up to get a moth.


Excuse the dirty windows!  I'm finding windows don't stay clean long in Illinois
because the wind is always blowing stuff on them, ugh!
Not to mention climbing frogs!


Oh boy, a close up!  Look at those suction-y toes!



And a praying mantis (that was actually hanging upside down from the roof but, 
for easier viewing, I rotated the photo.)




Lastly, a cicada.  I found him quietly enjoying the sunrise one morning.  
He's a strange looking guy!  Ha!  Looks like he has whiskers!


Hope you're enjoying your adventureous new life in Albania!