Monday, August 15, 2011

I Do...Again!

In just under 2 weeks my sweet husband and I will be recommitting ourselves to each other. We are having a Vow Renewal ceremony and we are so excited! It will be a lot like a wedding. Since we eloped almost 12 years ago we decided it would be fun to have an actual wedding to renew our vows. :) Some people have asked us if this is a special anniversary but it's not. It's not an anniversary at all! We got married in April. We decided to do this now because my mom and her husband and one of my aunts will be in town at the end of August and we want them to all be here for it. So we kind of crammed last minute like you do for a exam to get all the details worked out and have this thing ready to go. We have a few small things left to do so we're almost ready. Can't wait to share the photos with you here.

There are so many things going on this month I can hardly keep up with it all. Eythan (our 17 year old) was away most of the summer at the boarding school he attended a few years ago in MO. He volunteered for the summer and just came home last week. We thought his stay would be longer but God said it was time to come home. He will be 18 in November and he is itching to get out on his own already. Our older boys were not anxious to get out of our house at this age so this is different for us. We only have a few short months to finish training and teaching him. Once he's out of our house I'm not sure he will have our spiritual protection. I'm actually looking into this right now because I'm not sure. Do kids out of the house lose the spiritual protection the parents provide while they are still living at home? That's an interesting question.

Joseph just turned 22 on August 8. I can't believe how time has flown. Weren't these guys just little boys yesterday? Josh and Christine are planning their wedding for next March. We are excited to see him start this new phase of life! Savannah turns 10 on the day we renew our vows. We thought it would be cool to do it on her 10th birthday. So even though it's not an anniversary, it is a very special day. She is excited about it too. After our ceremony on the 27th we are having my family and Tim's family over for a swim party for Savannah's birthday. We didn't want to take the whole day away from her. Then the following day she is having her friends over to swim for her birthday. After 9 years of experimenting with parties, we decided it's best to have 2 separate parties...one for family and one for her friends. I think everyone's happier that way...including the birthday girl because she gets TWO parties! :)

Our church is also starting a new Marriage Ministry that we are very excited about. It starts in September. Also starting Sept 1 is our small group season. I am leading a women's small group based on the book "Lies Women Believe" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I'm so excited to go through this book with other women! It's a much needed read in our culture...along with another book I just started this week called "So Long, Insecurity" by Beth Moore. I'm only on chapter 4 but it's an amazing book so far. Another MUCH needed book for today's woman.

I just finished Beth Moore's David study. What an amazing surprise! The Holy Spirit prompted me to do a study on David because I had never done one before...all I knew about David was the story about Goliath and the one about Bathsheba. I didn't know much more and I was curious. The cool thing is that God revealed so much more to me about Himself than I knew. It wasn't about David, it was about Him. He revealed things in my life that needed breaking...strongholds that needed healing. I love how He does things. And I'm so glad He's in charge. Aren't you?

Friday, June 3, 2011

A New Jesus Girl

I found a new musical group that I'm totally in love with. Have you heard Sidewalk Prophets? They are amazing...their lyrics are some of the most powerful I've heard. This is one of my favorites...

Lay Down My Life (imagine Jesus singing this to you)

All your pain
Will be made mine
All your troubles
The tears you cry
Give it up
All that binds
I will place it on my shoulders
And up this hill I’ll climb
Father, give me strength
I know there is no other way

I lay down my life for you
This is the moment when all will be made new
I know that you don’t understand
But this is part of a greater plan
So I lay down my life for you

This is love
That had to bleed
To bring you mercy
To set you free
You are mine
I am yours
And I will wear your burdens
Just like this crown of thorns
I will take your place
I know there is no other way

I lay down my life for you
This is the moment when all will be made new
I know that you don’t understand
But this is part of a greater plan
And I lay down my life for you

Give me all your pride
Give me all your fears
Give me all your secrets
Give me all your tears
Give me all your doubt
Give me all your shame
Watch them wash away
Watch them wash away

Give me all your pride
Give me all your fears
Give me all your secrets
Give me all your tears
Give me all your doubt
Give me all your shame
Watch them wash away
In Jesus’ name!


I lay down my life for you
This is the moment when all will be made new
I know that you don’t understand
But this is part of a greater plan
And I lay down my life for you
Though I know that you don’t understand
These scars are part of a greater plan
And I lay down my life for you

Arms stretched out
Upon this tree
To show true love
To set you free

Music is so powerful to my soul. If you get a chance, check out this song at Amazon because it will at least give you goose bumps, maybe make you cry.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy November!

I can't believe it's November 2. When did that happen? This year has flown by. I guess that happens when you're busy. I've noticed time has gone faster since I started homeschooling Savannah and working out. When I try to do both in the same day there just aren't enough hours. But it's because our gym is 30 minutes away so drive time is an hour, work out time is 1-1.5 hours, shower and dress time is another 45min-1 hour. It takes so much out of my day to go. And school takes 3-5 hours so I hardly have time for anything else on those days. Today we just didn't have the time to go the gym...so we bundled up (it's 53 degrees but the wind makes it feel like it's 40) and we ran a mile outside in our neighborhood. Then we got our medicine ball and did sit ups on our weight bench in the garage. Took less than an hour to do both. :)

Okay, I have to preface this picture with a statement...I'm honestly not one of those people who puts clothes on my dogs. I tried it once a long time ago and my dog seemed to hate it so I just haven't done it. But now I have a dog with only one eye so it seemed only appropriate to make him a pirate for Halloween. I also really don't like Halloween but I really couldn't resist dressing him up.



But honestly, how cute is he??! And we couldn't leave out Sugar...so she was a girl pirate...along with Savannah. :)



I have a pretty cute little group there, don't I?

Here is the gang from our neighborhood riding on a trailer being pulled by a really cool 4 wheeler...they had a blast!



And Savannah with her bestie Molly...



Here are some other random shots from Halloween...







I am doing much better with my fertility issues. I really feel peace about what God is doing in our lives. I don't know what he has planned but for now I'll just wait. And I'm okay with that. He's always thrown things my way to help me work on patience and I haven't gotten much better, so this is just another exercise. It's good for me, right?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Lord, I pray for protection for my mind. Please shield me from the lies of the enemy. I want so much to clearly discern between your voice and any other. Help me to thirst for your word and hunger for your truth so that I can quickly recognize wrong thinking." A.W. Tozer

I saw this on a plaque in the home of my daughter's art teacher and I had to grab it (not the plaque, just the prayer). You see, I had another miscarriage this week. The enemy quickly jumped on his opportunity to bring me down...way down. As soon as I realized I was losing this one, I was immediately angry. And to be completely honest, I was angry at God for letting this happen again. I fight against pessimism pretty constantly in my life but I was just convinced that my first miscarriage was a fluke and the next one would "take". I felt very optimistic and excited to get this journey going. So you can imagine my surprise when this happened again.

We originally thought it might be low progesterone causing it. I had my levels checked on Monday (right before I started bleeding) and it was extremely low. But when I visited my doctor on Wednesday morning she said it wasn't unusually low, but only because my HCG level was also low. When you are pregnant your HCG hormone level should be 100 or above and when it's that high your progesterone is supposed to be high also. But my HCG level was only 26. So because of this she wasn't concerned about the progesterone level being so low. The reason my HCG level was so low is because it was a chemical pregnancy. That means the egg and sperm met but didn't go anywhere. They never implanted in my uterus. So a chemical pregnancy is considered a very early miscarriage. My doctor said it isn't even considered a miscarriage but everything I read about it called it an early miscarriage. And to be honest, if the egg and sperm met then it's a miscarriage to me.

I was discouraged to find out she wasn't concerned about my progesterone because I thought if we fixed that then we could fix this problem. So at this point the only thing we can think of (if we're going to pinpoint a cause) is my connective tissue disease. On any given day my CTD doesn't bother me too much. It certainly doesn't disable me in any way. In fact, as long as I keep exercising I feel pretty good (aside from hip pain that never goes away but is manageable). But CTD is an autoimmune disease and that means my body attacks itself when it thinks something is wrong when actually there is nothing wrong. It's possible my body is attacking the pregnancies thinking they're bad. I am having no problem getting pregnant, just staying pregnant. Given this scenario, there's a chance I'll never be able to carry a baby.

That thought has caused me so much discouragement and anger this week. Thinking about how long I've wanted babies and then how long I've wanted another one after having Savannah. After years of fighting with my husband about having another baby, I finally realized it wasn't in the cards for us and I would have to accept that. And then he comes around...after I've finally accepted this difficult truth. So I was PUMPED! Totally ready to get going and feeling somewhat rushed because I'm 36. I know that's not too old, but consider my situation...22 year old son who is engaged and will be having kids of his own before long, 21 year old son who is in college, 16 (almost 17) year old son who is almost finished with high school, and 9 year old daughter which means I haven't had a baby in 10 years. Along with thinking that having CTD would probably age me sooner than expected. So having another kid in my late 30s wasn't ideal. But I've gotten used to the idea and am ready to go. But I don't want to be much older than I am now if we're gonna do this. So every time I find out it's gonna take another few months I get frustrated and discouraged.

I have the greatest friends in the world who do nothing but support and encourage me. My dear friend Andrea told me today not to let the enemy steal my joy. She said God can work around anything, including my disease. He brought my husband and I together in agreement after all these years about having another baby, so I need to let him do it! She's so right. I was angry and bitter wondering why God would bring me to this point and then not allow me to follow through. And to be quite honest, that could still be in his plan. But I am jumping to conclusions way too quickly. I need to give God a chance to shine in this situation. I WANT my Jesus to take my situation and make himself known through it. But I can't be discouraged and angry or else it won't happen.

So friends, please pray that no matter how our situation turns out that God will be glorified. I want to have a heart for him...even in the bad times...especially in the bad times.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Picture Post

We've had a busy few weeks. I haven't updated here for awhile so I thought I'd quickly show pictures of what we've been doing lately. We had a special visit with Grammy this week. We only had 24 hours with her but I'm thankful we got at least that!







We have also gone to the pumpkin patch now 3 times. I guess we're trying to make up for the last few years of not going. :) This is trip #1 (just the 3 of us):







Trip #2 (Savannah and me with our friends Karen and Molly):













Trip #3 (just Savannah and me):







Eythan had another cross country meet a couple of weeks ago. Look at these pics Tim took:

















Tonight I get a much needed date with my hubby! Not sure what we'll do (most likely dinner and a movie) but I'm really looking forward to getting away from everything and just spending time with him. Hopefully it won't be long until we find out if I'm pregnant too. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Big News & Homecoming

Big News!! Josh got engaged this weekend!!!! He said they are waiting about 1.5 years, which I think is wise since she just started college. I think she's only 18. But WHOAH, right?! We are happy for them!

Eythan went to his first Homecoming this past weekend and of course had a great time. Is he really old enough for this?? And how handsome is he? Wow, my boys are good looking!





On a side note, I want to share one of my favorite songs. Music really gets into my soul and when I find truly inspiring and moving lyrics I love to share them. This is "Have Your Way" by Britt Nicole...when we don't understand what God is doing is our life or when our faith is faltering. If you love music and want to feel the love of your Savior, find this song and listen to it.

Feels like I've been here forever
Why can't you just intervene
Do you see the tears keep falling?
And I'm falling apart at the seams
But you never said the road would be easy
But you said that you would never leave.
And you never promised that this life wasn't hard
But you promised you'd take care of me.

So I'll stop searching for the answers
I'll stop praying for an escape
I'll trust you God with where I am
And believe you will have your way, just have your way, just have your way

When my friends and my family have left me I feel so ashamed and so cold
Remind me you take broken things and turn them into beautiful.

So I'll stop searching for the answers
I'll stop praying for an escape
I'll trust you God with where I am
And believe you will have your way, just have your way, just have your way

Even if my dreams have died
Even if I don't survive
I'll still worship you with all my life

So I'll stop searching for the answers
I'll stop praying for an escape
I'll trust you God with where I am
And believe you will have your way, just have your way, just have your way

Friday, September 24, 2010

Piano

Savannah started piano lessons just a couple of weeks ago and is loving it!



We don't actually own a piano but we do have an electric keyboard. It's convenient because she can carry it around the house and move rooms when she needs to. She is doing a great job so far! Here is a song she is just learning this week.

video

Friday, September 17, 2010

Savannah at 5 months old


Savannah at 9 years old


Not much has changed in 8 years.

Update

What is that I hear? That is silence. Something very seldom heard to a mother. It's nice. I think I will enjoy it. Tim has the kids and I get to do nothing...which sometimes is quite annoying so I find stuff to do. However, tonight it's very enjoyable. So I'll update my blog. :)

I often desire to be one of those super bloggers who updates every day with deep and interesting thoughts and ideas. But I realized the reason I am no good at that is because I really don't want to be. I am experiencing a situation with an old friend that I thought about discussing here but then realized that I just don't want to get into it. Some things are fun to talk about and some things are better understood after a session of deep analysis, but some things just don't need to be put out there. So instead, I'll just bore you with every day details. That'll be fun, right?

Savannah took a series of tests this week in school. This was very different from our first year of homeschooling last year. I chose curriculum that didn't include testing last year and I didn't think it was important as long as I make sure she knows the information. But this year's curriculum has tests in each subject for each section. So there are 2 tests per booklet (1 for each section) and then a final test. This week we managed to finish her first Bible booklet so she took the final test today. (I still don't know how much I believe in testing but it's okay with me if we do it anyway. When she doesn't do well, we review the missed questions over and over until she knows it.) She got 100% on her Bible test! I was so proud of her. Especially after she did so poorly on all the other tests this week. She definitely gets this from me. I am a very poor test taker. Which is really why I don't see the point. I can know the information and still do poorly on a test and I see that in her...so we aren't going to put a lot of weight on the tests this year. Especially since it's only 4th grade...maybe we'll care more in high school.

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is how much I'M learning with her. And I love the dialogue we have about Bible stories especially. What a blessing it is that I GET to homeschool my child. I can't wait to do this again from the beginning with my next one. Wow, I'll have one in high school and elementary together! That should be fun! :) I will say...I don't know how you mommies do it who have more than one that are relatively close in age...kudos to you!

So I'm thinking about training for a half marathon. Anyone else? Since I already run 3.1 miles I should be ready by race time in December. Problem is...I'm not sure if I want to do it. At first I was totally excited about it but now I'm really hesitant. I don't know if it's because it's a lot of work or if I'm afraid I'll fail. I've already said if I can't run the whole thing (13 miles) then I'll run as much as I can and walk the rest. I would still be so proud of myself. What an accomplishment! Okay, I think I've decided. And who knows...maybe I'll have to try a marathon after that. :)

I'm excited for the weekend because my best friend from high school is coming to visit me on Sunday! I'm so excited to see her...it's been a long time. She is only staying for 1 night but I'm so glad she gets to come at all! Here we are in our early 20s (approx. 1996):



So, last Sunday I missed church. Actually I was there but I was in the car while my family was inside being spiritually fed. I didn't want to miss it but I developed a terrible stomach ache on the way to church. I thought if I went inside and didn't think about it, it would go away. Not so much. I actually got freaked out because I was worried it would get worse and I was trapped in the middle of a large crowd...so I left during worship and went to the car. When we left it still hurt but wasn't as bad. When we got home I laid down and decided to take a Tums, thinking maybe it was acid (I have GERD). Suddenly, within 5 minutes of taking it, my stomach felt like a tight knot on fire. For about 10 minutes I could hardly breathe and couldn't be still because the pain was so intense. (I tend to be a weenie when it comes to being sick, but still.) Then it subsided enough that I could deal with it. Then it came back. It was really the worst pain I've ever felt in my stomach. So I called my dad, who has ulcers, to ask him what they feel like. A year and a half ago when I had my endoscopy and colonoscopy, I was told my stomach and my colon were bleeding. Well, duh. I would think there was a pretty high chance I would develop an ulcer after that. I still don't know if that was the problem but drinking milk was the cure. I don't know any other kind of stomach issue that milk would cure so I'm real suspicious that it's an ulcer. However, I haven't had any other problems since then (thankfully) and I don't see the point in going to the doctor unless it gets out of control. I'll just be sure to keep milk around for awhile. :)

My family is home so I'll be signing off. Good night!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Still trying...

Well, here we are, almost 5 weeks after my miscarriage. This week has been strangely emotional for me. Last night we were at Barnes & Noble and I ran across a really cool book called "From Conception to Birth". I picked it up and thumbed through the beautiful pages of very detailed photos. I have been wondering how far along my baby was when it died. I wasn't sure how much had developed in the short 5-6 weeks I was pregnant. I decided to look in this book to find my answer. I had been thinking the heart probably hadn't developed yet, or maybe I was just hoping because that would make it easier. But of course I was wrong. And that's what has made me so sad...knowing my baby most likely already had a heartbeat was very hard to swallow. It made it so much more real. There is a chance it hadn't developed a heart yet and maybe that's why I miscarried but we'll never know and I'll always wonder. And I'll always assume it did.

We are trudging along though. I use the word "trudging" because it feels like I've been trying to get pregnant forever. In reality, it's only been since July! It feels like a long time because I have wanted this baby for 7 years (really 36) and honestly never thought I'd get it. So now my window of opportunity has been opened and I can hardly wait! Getting pregnant the first month we tried didn't help with my patience either. :) And now having to start over is difficult. But I trust my God and know it will be okay. Even if for some reason it's not in his plan for me to have another one, I'll know and believe there is a good reason. We went through a very difficult time with our oldest son about 3.5 years ago and I remember telling my husband that even though I wanted another child so badly, I was really glad that I didn't have a baby or toddler at that time. It would have been too much to deal with. Going through that and feeling that way showed me that I need to trust him even more when things don't go my way. There's always a reason...always. Many things probably won't be understood until we reach heaven, but our job on earth is to trust him. Like I said to Eythan this weekend...TRUST ME that I won't let go of the rope (when we were rock climbing and had learned how to belay - which means holding the rope for each other as opposed to the rope being attached to the wall). Eythan made me lower him back down because he didn't trust me. He didn't think I could hold him (however, I can hold Tim who is 80 pounds heavier than Eythan). We worked it out and he got back on that wall and climbed with me holding the rope, but the point is I knew in the deepest place in my heart that I wouldn't let him fall. But he wasn't so sure. We do that with God, don't we? Are you sure you've got this, God?? I think I better get down just in case you drop me! It's better to be safe than sorry, right? Wrong. We have every reason to trust him and no reason not to. So let's do that.

I would like to be pregnant again right now. But I will wait for the day when God says it's time. Until then I will anticipate that day with great desire and hope for the best!