Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Hannah!

WOW! Where did this past year go?!?!?!?! I can remember everything about this moment, a year ago, so vividly. Feelings of complete peace and tranquility and strength as Hannah came into this world. I have never written down my birth story of Miss Hanns so I thought, what better time than on her precious, precious one year old birthday.

On Monday, July 26, 2010 I went into my midwife's office where she said I was dilated to a 3 and 80% effaced. Typically for me, that means I will be going into labor quite soon. I felt very encouraged leaving her office with Ben and excited for truly embarking on my first natural labor.

From the moment I found out everything was ok with Hannah's pregnancy I began to prepare mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually for a natural labor. To me, this was extremely important. I would practice making my body completely limp and relaxing every ounce of me, section by section. I had Ben create a "birth music" playlist with Kari Jobe and Hillsong songs that sang of God's provision, faithfulness, strength and power. Hannah's pregnancy was nothing short of a miracle so I wanted to make sure that I felt the Holy Spirit during the entire process.

That afternoon Ben and I went to Logan's. I ate, what I already knew, as my last real meal before welcoming Hannah into the world, tilapia with fruit salsa, steamed vegetables and plenty of yeast rolls. We drove to the bank for a meeting and then came home. The slight cramping had begun but nothing to special so I started moving around like crazy.

My mother in law was in town to help with the kids so as she played with them I made sure my bag was packed, my music on my ipod was set and that my house felt clean. There was an internal excitement welling up inside of me, an almost ultra peace and it was a matter of time. I didn't want to slow down because I knew the contractions might stall so I kept going and going and going.

Finally, that hot July evening we put the kids to bed and I asked my mother in law if she wanted to walk with me. Of course she said yes :) We walked and walked and talked and talked. We walked past the local coffee shop, down the sidewalks that radiated the day's heat off of them. The sun began to set and we continued to walk. I remember walking down a twisty sidewalk and the contractions beginning to increase in intensity but I walked through the contractions praying that they would only become stronger. As we walked in the darkness, sprinklers popped up around us and sprayed us with a cool, refreshing mist. Headlights were now everywhere on the oncoming traffic and we walked back into the quiet neighborhood and headed home.

I sat down, drinking water and felt each and every contraction but now I needed to have the slight pause between them. The kind where you just can't quite talk through them. I focused on the up and the down the release and the build up. I was doing this, I was going to do this natural!! We tried to play a pathetic game of banangrams but then I stopped and asked Ben to walk with me. So, away we went.

We talked and talked and walked and walked. I remember passing our neighbors and them asking , " So, when are you due?" and saying " hopefully tonight!". I remember listening to the quietness of the night and the constant chirping of the crickets. The air was so heavy from the heat of the day yet being outside, in the vast openness of the night gave me a sense of freedom and not confinement that I had felt in the hospital.

The contractions were now at the point where I did need to stop, let it pass but it was " discomfort". I was very careful this time around to label my "pain" with words that gave me strength and not fear, " this hurts" makes you feel 100% different that " this is uncomfortable". We finished our walk, Ben's mom had gone to bed and I decided to transition into our bath tub to relax.

Ben set the bathroom up for me, candles, music and warm water. I relaxed and relaxed. I would get up, and go to the bathroom and then come back and continue to relax. As each contraction would come I simply would let the running water of the faucet relax me, make my body fall completely limp with my head drooping to one side and allow the wave to rise and fall. The strength that I felt during these moments was amazing. I felt the presence of God so strongly in my bathroom. The same bathroom where only months earlier had caused me so much heartache and grief. The song " Stronger" by Hillsong playing " You are stronger, you are stronger, sin is broken you have saved me. It is written, Christ is risen, Jesus you are Lord of all" encouraged me through each contraction and I labored with the Lord- this scene in my mind was the most beautiful experience of I have ever felt.I literally felt as if the Holy Spirit was behind me and breathing through each contraction with me. Breathtaking!

As the water continued to run and I started feeling stronger and stronger waves I knew I was transitioning. I remember this feeling with Jayden- right before I became stuck at an 8 for three hours with him and ended up getting an epidural. However, this time I remained calm, in constant prayer and moved into the bathroom where my body continued to empty out. I do not throw up during my pregnancies however, I knew I was transitioning because I started to feel extremely nauseous and asked Ben for a trashcan where I threw up about 4x.

After that episode, this was around midnight, I got back into the bathtub but my mindset was getting bored of laying and the waves were getting much, much stronger so I told Ben, " one more walk". Walking out into the night with complete stillness under a moon that lights up the sky is a beautiful beautiful sight. However, I had transitioned so I felt the openness and calmness of the night but the low moaning had begun. The crickets were chirping, all the lights were off in the homes around us and it was silent completely silent except for my moaning. We would walk a few steps and I was able to walk through the smaller waves, but then a large wave would form and it would build and build and build until the only thing I could do was become totally dependant on Ben's strong body for support and allow myself to fall limp into his arms and moaning long and loud. Yes, labor is loud , and it is very loud for me!

We rounded the bend, the half way point in our walk near the park and I knew I could not make it any further. If you know me, to stop a walk midway is something I NEVER do. However, I was at the point now where I could hardly walk. Fear started to creep in a little and I prayed, " God give me strength, you know how much I want to do this natural". When you go through something so hard, as I did with Hannah, you want to feel the labor because that is a constant reminder of all the work and prayer that has been associated with bringing a new life into this world. Prayer brings blood, sweat and tears.

We somehow made it back to our home. I honestly canNOT tell you how. I remember the crickets. The darkness. The waves, oh the strong, STRONG waves of contractions coming over me with about 30 seconds between each contraction. To say I felt that we were close to the end was an understatement. Typically, I curl my hair, apply sweet touches of makeup here and there and head off all cute to the hospital. Umm, no, I looked at my pitiful face in the mirror with half wet hair from my bath and the inability to stand upright and thought if we don't have Hannah in the car I will be amazed.

I crawled, literally crawled moaning through my bedroom, living room and kitchen while Ben scurried around putting things into the car, getting the a/c on and backing it out before lifting me up and putting me in the front seat. HAHAHA! I could not even lay down, let alone sit. I moved myself to the back seat on all fours and pretty much moaned, yelled and grunted while he drove all the way to the hospital. I remember streetlights flashing, fear starting to creep in and strength all in the same moment. I remember pushing my face into the back seat cushions and yelling, literally yelling as the contractions came on so strong I could hardly breathe at times.

When we arrived at the hospital, Ben pushed me in the wheelchair and registered me. That was a joke in and of itself. They were asking me for my birthday. " Mam, mam, we need your birthday in order for you to go up and HAVE YOUR BABY!" No, actually you don't need my birthday. I worked in a hospital; this information is simply for insurance reasons so you get PAID. Yes, typically I am a very collected person- at that moment I was not open to a Q & A session. Ben answered the remaining completely frustrating questions as I sat under sterile, fluorescent lights in an ER waiting area with the sounds of heart monitors and the buzz of a tv behind me. Then it hit me, I was in pain and I wanted an epidural. Why, because someone, somewhere in that hospital could take every ounce of this pain away from me and my focus started draining, I was getting tired.

After hearing me moan and yell from the confines of  the wheelchair the nurse came down and said, " Oh, WOW! She is in active labor" and rushed us upstairs. The brought me to triage and quickly scratched that seeing that yes, I was beyond triage stage and brought me into labor and delivery room. Ben called my friend, Angela, who I had asked to be our doula and as I waited for her to come  I tried relentlessly to convince Ben that in between waiting for my midwife, Ramona, or Angela that an epidural was our saving grace. I was completely dehydrated so they hooked me up to an iv and I just kept saying to Ben, over and over, " No, really, its ok I lied, I do want an epidural". Displaying more strength than I could have ever shown someone in that much pain kept saying, "Amanda, you are almost there and will be so mad at me if I let you have one." He even went so far as pushing the "epidural release" form away when they brought it. Finally, Angela and Ramona arrived - those few minutes of being at the hospital felt like a thousand years. I hated being there, yet loved my very supportive team. Ramona, oh Ramona, she came in and I felt like I had a mother there. She was so strong, encouraging and supportive. She kept saying, " you are almost there, you can do this." She put a peanut looking ball between my legs to allow me to relax and continue to dilate. I am literally surprised I did not kick anyone as I kept trying and succeeding at kicking and pushing that thing away from me.

However, when contractions came I went limp. All of my practice was paying off and I kept praying, " God, please I want to do this but I am at my most vulnerable and weakest right now so please, don't let me stall like I did with Jayden"

The amazing thing is, when you have no epidural, you feel the need to push. No one needs to tell you. You feel power and strength amidst your weakness. I feel a spiritual application coming on, Hallelujah. After what felt like an agonizing TEN hours I said, " I need to push, I need to push" and my midwife said, " alright, let's go!". I pushed and pushed. Pain, let me tell you about pain, that my friend is pain. What did the puff fish say on Finding Nemo, " The ring of FIRE!!". Oh yes, my child,  the ring of fire. How can I describe that sensation- nothing less than a bowling ball trying to be pushed through a pin drop opening. I screamed bloody murder, then the contraction would subside for a split second and starting building and I would push and scream bloody murder again.

Now, I am sure there are more " collected" mothers than I - "jolly good" for you. I have never screamed like I did that fateful night never before in my life and never again. That was the LOUDEST labor I have ever had. The nurse from the hospital quietly slipped over and shut the door. Sweet, sweet nurse. I pushed and pushed and screamed and screamed until I felt the most burning sensation and thought I am a gonner and then all of a sudden there was sweet Hannah's head and I pushed again and time stood still. The room was dim, there was no heavy fluorescent lights, everyone's actions around me slowed to a fraction of their pace and the noise dwindled as the most amazing miracle emerged from the warmness of my body and now was being held in my arms.

Do you know what that's like? To hold someone who you never thought you would have the chance to hold, to kiss someone who you never thought you would have the chance to kiss. Tears streaming down my face as I recall that moment of triumph. Kissing, kissing her wet, warm body, her sweet puffy face with a little bruise on it from being pushed out so quickly. Hannah, Hannah, Hannah- God's favor and grace sought with much prayer. I sat there, shaking from adrenaline pumping through every ounce of my veins and clutching her with everything in me, afraid to let go, afraid being woken up from this beautiful dream and thanking God over and over. My precious, precious Hannah.

After time stood still for me, kissing Hannah, kissing Ben, I cannot express the amount of gratitude that I was pushing heavenward. I was in love, with Ben, with Hannah with God. The moment will be forever carved into my mind. I stood up ( which is a huge thing when you are used to epidurals) and used the restroom, WALKED to my recovery room and relaxed. I had no numb legs, no side effects, no tearing just a beautiful, perfect miracle, a supportive husband and an amazing family back home. This is what life is about! This was pure ecstasy. The next few days I sat in the hospital, never once letting Hannah leave my side as she slept on me all night, holding her all day and enjoying the truffles, tea and food all prepared for me while watching the news and TLC - things I do not quite have the time for at home.

Leaving the hospital was an amazing experience. The last time I left, with Riah's birth, I felt robbed. I will tell her story one day. This time I felt deposited. However, I will say these last few things. From the time we arrived at the hospital to the time I had Hannah was only an hour. I am so thankful I did not come earlier because pain is not something, we has humans desire. The option to break down and have an epidural is much higher once you position yourself some place that has them. However, I have had three epidurals and I will tell you that they are amazing- if you get them, I do not judge you. For me, this was my goal and my prayer to God. " I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" Also, my midwife reassured me and said natural labor is loud :)

Hannah, you have grown so much this year and have blessed us beyond words. I love watching you sit and in a high pitch tone try to say "hi" while rotating your wrist with true Miss America fashion. You slept with me for 3/4 of the year which I am so grateful for. You began to crawl in Michigan and developed calluses on your two big toes, you became sick on Christmas Eve and threw up where I prayed and prayed and rocked you over and over. You cruise everywhere and investigate everything by putting it in your mouth. One of your favorite digs is my purse. You enjoy emptying out its content and dumping it all over the kitchen floor.

You are in love with your brothers and sister. You wish you could play legos with them. You enjoy swinging, giving kisses, eating bananas, not a big fan of the ole' bread, frozen peas, applesauce, barley soup and for someone who sputtered and could hardly take a bottle at 9.5 months, you ended up being able to self feed yourself quite well at 10 months when you decided you had lost interested in me, your food source. To say I feel blessed is a " cliche" but I do not know how else to pen words that would describe this past year. I am humbled, "starstruck" , in awe and speechless that God would fulfill the desire in my heart for children and to be a mom. There is no greater joy than this. Happy 1 year old birthday my sweet Hannah Brielle Louise!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thankful List

Today I am adding to my thankful list
21. A place to live
22. A mind at ease
23. packing with a purpose and destination in mind
24. new paint, new carpet new blinds
25. a secret room in the boy's new bedroom to play and imagine
26. God's mercy
27. a house with peaks and a porch
28. the search is over
29. a littig girl who woke up a little to early to eat and the opportunity to kiss her floofy, fine hair
30. a NEW day and Jesus' love for me.

You All Knew This Blog Was Coming :)

Wow, can I actually write this blog? After all of this time and tears and worrying and trusting and then worrying again. I feel like this blog is so surreal, like I shouldn't be writing it, not yet, not until we are physically moved into our new location. Yet, I will because I need to give God the glory.

As you all now the emotional roller coaster we have rolled ourselves up and down on for the past couple of years just figuring out what to do with our home. It's over, Praise God it's over! We transitioned our thought process from buying to renting after much time and hours spent with our realtor. After hundreds of houses screened, and probably close to 50 houses viewed and 2 unsuccessful offers made we realized maybe this is not the direction God is desiring for us at this moment. Sooo, letting go of my need and desire to feel "instant" stability in a much larger home relinquished and Ben and I just prayed, " God, if you want us to rent, that's fine. Please take us out of the renting rat race, the competition, I don't think we can handle much more. Please God, just give us atleast 1400 sq ft so I can hopefully have  school area and a decent location. In Your name Amen".

At one of our lowest points we were searching a rental site and found this house, funny it resembled the house that I wanted more than anything in the beginning, the house that would have had AWESOME neighbors ( you know who you are). It had come on the market just that previous day. I called the property management company ( armed in my possession a " check list" of what to ask for to ensure our 'representation'). They said, I can't meet for the next couple days, I said, " I can only meet today" They made it work.

Ben had taken the boys to see Cars 2 and spent the afternoon with them enjoying some much needed Daddy time after us being gone so long.  I had the girls, we prayed. I drove through the previous neighborhood that I for sure thought our rental was going to work out and didn't notice any apparent rental signs, jumped on the highway and drove to this new neighborhood.

We drove in and Riah goes, " This is my neighborhood, I like this neighborhood". I'm thinking, well that's a positive sign. It was a very cute neighborhood, very midwest feel but newer. I met the girl at the door, the house has a front porch and a peak! Two things I so desperately wanted in my permanent home. We walked in oh wow, two living spaces! Score, one can be a school room! Three large bedrooms- ok, how do we sign the application and get this moving? I literally looked at the house for 1.5 minutes. The girl told me the investor just closed on the house the previous day, I was the first to look through it and here was my application.

I sat in the car, filling out as much as I could, faxed it over and waited until Monday. I called on Monday and the property manager said that she recommended our application and was waiting on owner approval. So we waited but felt encouraged. Yesterday, we received a phone call. Apparently I wrote down the "wrong" amount on the application but the owner approved MY monthly rate over hers!!! I know that was God. I did not even mean to write the wrong amount down and yet rushing through the application it was like totally Holy Spirit driven. THEN! because it had been a foreclosure and just closed on I stated that it needed to be cleaned, carpeted, painted and all new window coverings ( kind of a tall request I felt). The owner approved every last request! Things that we would have had to put money into a home that we were buying are now being done for us without our added expense!!! Praise God!!!! Also, at the rate we are paying most of the homes we were looking at were between 1200-1600 sq feet.....ours is 2100!!!!!!! Never, EVER before in our lives have we had this much room, EVER! Our first apartment was 795 sq ft, our second 900, our 3rd 1000 sq ft and now our home is 1100- to us it feels like a mansion!!!

To say we feel blessed with this temporary home is an understatement- I am crying with tears of relief that this journey is over. I am ok with it being a rental, that give us time to just get out of "mls" world and set up my school room and live life for a little bit. This burden is lifted and I am so thankful, thankful to have this opportunity in a safe location. I can't explain why God allowed every experience to happen to us- I think in the end of my life it will make sense,  because I could have handled without much of it. However, the answered prayers of God literally seeing we were at the end of our rope emotionally and Him moving through this was such ease with many simple "yes"s is just humbling.

I emailed our wonderful realtor  on Monday which probably sounded more like an insanity letter stating that I couldn't do "it" anymore, looking at homes. My brain could not handle short sales, loan modifications, refinance, traditional sale, foreclosures, auctions, etc. any more. We needed a break from looking and prayed God would provide a rental. She emailed me back, in short, with such a sweet email and that she would be ready for us when we were. We are so thankful. Thankful for God for providing this temporary relief, thankful for people that He put in our lives to help us and guide us through this process. Thankful for family and friends that spent countless hours praying- this is part of our testimony. Life, will not EVER  ( let me just say EVER from now on) look how we planned it to look or even think, but I am slowly learning that as long as I cling to God's strong hand, I will make it. Praise you God, thank you God with tears welling up in my eyes and gratitude overflowing from my heart, thank you for providing a place for my family. Thank you!!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happy Be late Birthday Moriah!

Sooo, I was gone during Moriah's birthday and truth be told, we celebrated her birthday with family but I wanted to wait until we got home to give her our presents and do a little celebration with Ben and that has " ahem" not happened, after Hannah's birthday we will do Miss Rys.

this was taken on her 3rd birthday at Lake Michigan
Moriah, how can I express what is feels to be the mama of a sweet, energetic three year old daughter. I laugh and laugh watching you dance, skip and hop everywhere. You never walk ever, unless you are upset and you drop your arms as far as they can go, like an ape, and hunch your back over with the most elongated frown on your face. Your spirit energizes me. " can you pway with me?". I love playing with you. I love sitting with your doll house dolls or carrying your wrapped up blanket as a pretend doll. You are caring, kind, sensitive, sweet, loving, energetic and full of life.

You love to read, you live princess. For someone who has never officially watched any princess movie ( sorry, we are still stuck on "boy" mode over here) you love your princess, you tell everyone you are a princess. You make me laugh as you position princes stickers all over your walls to make them beautiful.

I love how you say because " petuz". I love you. I am so excited to see where God will take you. I am so proud of you. This past year you have come so far. You are potty trained, you became a big sister, you stopped getting out of bed 20x per night. You are much more obedient and kind and work really hard, MOST of the time, to be kind to your brothers. Although " Ramona" comes out and so does that little beady eye, at times, we are in love with you.

To be made a mama of a daughter is an amazing experience. Thank you for giving me the privilege of watching you grow up, to make mistakes on you but be resilient enough to not let it falter you. You have a powerful spirit; God has created you for mighty, MIGHTY works. Your name means, " Jehovah is your instructor" May God mold your spirit for teaching and working with others. To encourage them to learn new things and to have a powerful witness for Him.

I love you Moriah, I love your bouncy wispy hair, stick legs with knobby knees, your facial expressions and beautiful blue eyes. I love how you sing everywhere you go, making up songs and praising the Lord. I am blessed Moriah. Happy be late birthday. I cannot believe you are three! I love you!

Thankful Heart

So a friend of mine who has an amazing blog cultivated lives does a "thankful " list you could call it. She lists the things, every day things, that she is thankful for. Amdist all this open ended chaos that has been going on over here, I believe now is the time to start mine. My goal is to get to 1000 .

Today I am thankful for:
1. Sweet cuddles in the morning
2. blonde wispy hair brushing against my face
3. boxes so I can pack
4. Jayden's excitment of finishing Humphrey's Summer Adventure chapter book
5. cool mornings
6. my children's health
7. Ben and my health
8. electricity to continually run our a/c
9. friends that are so supportive and loving
10. family that is so supportive and loving
11. quiet chatter of my children in the morning
12. dancing to the meaningless/funny song of " hot dog" from Mickey Mouse Club House and smiling and laughing with my children with Moriah in my arms
13. for moments like the one above where it brings me back down to earth with childlike concerns giving moments for emotional "freedom"
14. God's love- something I am learning more and more about each day
15. life lessons- the character that is somehow getting chizzled out of me even though at times I feel like I'm failing
16. God's grace
17. God's mercy
18. watching Jay's anole attack the calcium covered crickets in his terrarium
19. the sound of the morning dove
20. the refreshing feeling of a new day.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Love- changing hearts one moment at a time

Yesterday at church I listened for the FIRST time,yes first time since I"ve been gone our new pastor. Wow, I was blessed. I was blessed beyond belief. He challenged me to not focus on changing this part of me, than that part of me but to focus on Love. " And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ and then " Love your neighbor as yourself"- if you do these two things than you fulfill all the commandments.

I thought about this and couldn't believe how true it was. If you are loving, your are not being selfish, envious, jealous, full of rage, discontent, fearful, angry, telling lies because in each instance you are loving God first and others second and loving them as ourself.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with my " to do" list, but I just need to live in the moment. Focus on the task, the moment at hand and love through it because then I will be displaying the heart of God. If the new anole cage has A&D ointment oozing into it and the 30 crickets that I now need to feed w/ bits of apple and a cotton ball full of water have been sprayed with water and are floating in their NEW, expensive cricket carrier dead and the anole has pooed in his water and the heating lamp has yet again fallen and bulb broken, I need to love in that moment. Why? Because I have a 7 year old who is trying his hardest to care for his anole. He sprays it diligently because the humidity levels start dropping and he LOVES his anole, he cares for it, it is HIS.

Is this not what how Christ feels towards us, we make messes we require a LOT of maintenance yet HE has never given up on us. IS this not a model I want to follow for my own children even when I feel like giving up on the anole mess. Messes that are not mine, messes created by someone else ( A and M), messes created by something else- "Frisky" our dear, dear anole.

Well what if we don't love ourself? That's why we love God first. " In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." He loved us first so I can look to Him to observe love, model His love. If I am that valuable to someone to allow their son to be sacrificed for my horrible things WHILE I am still in sin than how can I not receive that love and apply it to my heart? What a gamble. God sent His son while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He did not do it knowing we would all come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ but " For God so loved the world".

So my challenge for you busy mamas and wives- Love. Stop trying to beat yourself up over all the things you need to change about yourself, focus on loving God first, than your families and then the world. God is Love. Be encouraged, I know I am!

"Love is patient, kind, it does not envy , it does not boat, it is not proud, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered..."

Hebrews 2:17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

1 John 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
1 John 4:9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Heart to Heart

So this past week I freaked out literally, had an all out sobbing fest. We have been thinking of how to sell our house for the past 2 years, trying to buy a house for the past 2 months and then decided that since buying was just not working out that we should just rent for awhile. However, apparently rentals are in very high demand at this moment as well so the minute you find one that would be nice for your family, they are already under " contract" with another family. A phone call enlightening me of this very scenario sent me into an all out tail spin. I would like to say that I stay composed, literate and logical but that would be nothing short of a FAT lie. I could not pull myself together. It was a matter of everything, piled on top of each other over and over and this was one more thing that was apparently that one thing that pushed me over the edge.

After I got through my extended moment of contemplating whether or not ripping my clothes, throwing ashes over me and running through the streets of my small town was a practical solution I sobbed to Ben and we prayed.

Why do I do this over and over? At times, I feel that being a first born has already landed me "controlling" tendencies. I want to plan, be prepared and execute something to the fullest of its extent so I can take care of things. Ben is like that too, so the two of us together should make us very efficient people. Yet, time and time again as I look back at the major areas of our lives, finances, jobs, children and housing....not one time has it EVER gone to plan, our plan. Each time I give over that area to God, but not other areas until he goes through that area and then I give it back. Yet, I feel I give it temporarily because I feel that ultimately, I"m here on Earth so obviously I can move a bit faster and make things happen a little better than He can. I know this all sounds foolish but the more and more I write the more and more I realize this is exactly my illogical train of thought.

There have been times that God has allowed doors to stay open that we have walked through that probably wasn't the right timing, ie: testing for jobs in Nashville or going to Phoenix prematurely. However, we learned. Ben ended up with a leg injury that took months to heal, he trained harder, became stronger and passed all of his tests the first time....then on to phase 2 of his testing they had to stop a particular test due to a physilogical instead of trusting God and waiting on Him we pursued another area altogether. WE ended up at the very end of that hiring process only to find out they were looking to meet their EO/AA quotas or something like that. Again, at the end of our rope, I'm back at working and having two kids feeling totally backed against a wall and Phoenix calls and offers him both phases in testing right before Thanksgiving, he passes and we move within 10 days.

Children, planned on waiting for at least 5 years before having our first.....I went to college yet was on a death tract. My goal was to finish has fast and furious as I possibly could not stopping to really ever think what I truly wanted to go into.  I always talked about having a family and getting married but ultimately I wanted to be a wife and mom more than anything. So instead of pursuing cosmetology ( which to this day I am still glad I did not) I went to college. I loved college, excelled there and completed my BA within three years but could not figure out what to do with my education. I was already researching masters programs for who knows what when we found out that in September of my senior year, we were expecting....yep, three months after getting married. Talk about a blessing from God- but at the time  a little crazy. We now have our family because of our initial, God sent blessing - Jayden. If you have read my blog long enough you know the miraculous story of Hannah's pregnancy and Austen is Jayden's " Jonathan" while Moriah is a beautiful blessing after my first miscarriage.

I could go on and on with the house issue. We have prayed and trusted God with our finances yet when it came to moving to an area with the average house price 250k back 4.5 years ago there is no way that we could have actually afforded that in reality. Again, I cried and cried. I know, something is majorly wrong with me. God again provided.

Flash forward to now. I am more than determined after my last break down not to let that happen again. We have no idea where we are moving . Our house will be sold in 3 weeks. But I throw my hands up God and release this control to you. Life isn't always good, but You are. Help me to trust you in this area, yet again.

I looked  up peace in the bible, according to strong's concordance:

1) a state of national tranquillity
a) exemption from the rage and havoc of war
2) peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord
3) security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)
4) of the Messiah's peace
a) the way that leads to peace (salvation)
5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is
6) the blessed state of devout and upright men after death
- here are some verses to meditate on:

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.

I have no idea what this week will bring. I am packing in faith of being somewhere safe, a little more spacious than we have now and affordable. But I am determined to press on, to shed this negative air that I have carried for much too long and to walk in confidence. Forgive me God for not trusting You. Thank you for making me a planner and a hard worker but forgive me when I take it too far- your peace is what I ask you for right now, a peace like this " 5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is". With arms high and heart abandoned- I TRUST YOU!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Five Years Old!!!

5 year old bday

2 year old bday

Austen, I can't believe you are five. I love how you express yourself so much with so few words at times. You are sensitive, creative, innovative. God has blessed your hands. I am so excited to see where you will go with your hands. You care so much for your sisters and Jayden. I love watching the excitement in your eyes when you build a lego and show me your " ceeation". Your sweet, sweet round face with "cushy" little ears and nose makes me want to kiss you and squeeze you. I love how you are "Toad" and Eeyore, melancholy to the bone. I can't imagine you any other way, though at times I wish you weren't always such a "doomsday" boy I love you, for you. " This is my sad time of day".

I love your confidence, I pray you continue to grow confident in the Lord and in His mighty works. You love stickers, mazes, and coloring. You trace your finger ever so carefully through a challenging maze track and find such joy in completing that task. You are a good listener, participate in church and you bless me. Your emotions can be extreme, your voice is much louder than the rests. I laugh, thinking back, how you used to wake up from your naps as a two year old, coming out of your bedroom slowly with your blanket in hand and mouth wide open just crying and yelling very, VERY loudly. Now, when you wake up its just a scowl, sit on the couch and let me be for a few minutes. At this moment in life, you think milk is spicy in cereal, love peanut butter and jelly, broccoli, carrots, and most other vegetables and I would have to say you are my most solid, healthy eater. I love you so much, I am so proud of you and I can't believe all that you have accomplished this past year. You bless me Austen, I love you! Happy "be late" birthday!

We're back!

We arrived home after a very amazing and long hiatus from life out here in the desert. There is something so refreshing about being around lots and lots of family. That I miss terribly. However, there is something refreshing about my life out here too. Its a strange place to be in but I'm ok with that. We accomplished so much while we were in Michigan. Here are a few things, beach trips( multiple times), public museum, multiple family gatherings, 3 VBSs, two movie theater trips, a bee learning visit, two 4th of July parades, fireworks, campfires, pool swims, park days, play dates, out to eat, carousel rides, bide rides, slip and slides in the backyard, Wed. night church, many stops to Starbucks, smores, farmers markets, pet stores, cuddles with family dogs, did I mention family get togethers, Ben and I went away for a few days together and visited Mackinaw City, bought loads of fudge, kisses and hugs and early wake up calls with precious children, two reading programs completed, the zoo, critter farm, hagar park castles, pedicures for Riah's birthday, jazz at the zoo, Kent Trail walks - wow I miss those trails covered with thick, green foilage and trees so tall that they create a canopy as you walk under them, special visits with Great Grandparents, releasing a dove caught in a squirrel trap, an Aunt's open house,  meeting and playing with lots of cousins, and finally the last thing I can think of this early in the morning enjoying cool summer mornings, warm summer days, hot, thick, muggy summer days and exciting thunderstorms at night