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Faith, Family, Life

nowhere more important to be

nothing more important to do!

This post is wonderful! Clock over HERE and read it!

I like her whole blog actually, but that post especially was good reading for a homemaker.

Another quote just in case you weren’t sufficiently enticed to click over! :)

“How would our attitude and actions change if we were to recognize that breaking up fights between our children, teaching them about forgiveness of sin, correcting them in love, and then repeating that entire cycle again and again–IS our jobs as mothers! And yet, we tend to want to get them behaving properly once and for all so that we can move on to something more important. We are disappointed and astounded when they are repeatedly sinful, whiny, impatient, or lacking self-control, when it’s for these very sins that God made you specifically to be your child’s mother. How humbling it is when I consider this reality and compare it to the attitude of my heart.”

I forget this A LOT. I just read another similar post on a different blog today, so I think I must need the message. :) For some reason my brain tends to think only the good stuff is what we are meant to experience. But all the good stuff really only comes through the drama and the chores and mundane repeat parenting moments. And having a kid with ADHD comes with lots and lots and LOTS of those mundane repeat parenting moments. But serving and coaching and prompting and loving her (and him) with patience is my big important job today.

Faith

room for some spark

Ok so, yesterday I decided to leave the post off with only the starting point for the spiritual. Bottom line is that no matter my circumstances, what I chose to do with my life, or whether I have any sort of “spark”– if I’m not living with complete trust in God’s love for me, then it ain’t much of a life! That is going to be a huge focus for me this year… praying for my heart to be awakened, revived, and to rekindle a radical and ruthless trust that I am unconditionally loved by God.

I also read this blog post the other day and it was stuff I know, but was very freeing to be reminded of…

How to Find God’s Will for Your Life

No one else words things just so like Edie does for me.

“Guess what? God sees your everyday, menial tasks as sacred work. You are His hands and feet at work in the world. That meal you cooked yesterday? It was for Jesus. Those ten diapers you changed? As unto the Lord. And someday, you’ll stand in heaven and say, Lord, when did I make cheeseburger soup for you? And he’ll say WHEN YOU DID IT FOR THE LEAST OF THESE. You are without a doubt, right smack dab in the middle of God’s will when you are doing all the things you do everyday to serve the people around you.
You don’t have to join a big movement. You don’t have to be part of the in crowd. You don’t have to have a big important job that everybody notices. Because the God of the universe has been pleased to use your good works to serve your neighbour.”

Read more at http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2014/01/how-to-find-gods-will-for-your-life/#lRYh1hD7bx6ObJ2B.99

So there is relief in that. This lovely, hard working man and 2.5 rascals kicking around the place ARE my calling. I don’t need to stress about having some grand important job that everyone recognizes as valid and wonderful because the God of the universe is pleased to use my good works to serve my neighbour. There is a RIGHTNESS for me about being a stay at home, homeschooling wife and mom.

But.

Lyle wasn’t all wrong either. He encouraged me to think about a part time job, or planning exciting weekend white water rafting or something with my husband. To find opportunities to explore the part of me that longs for adventure, change, excitement and grown ups. And you know, God did create me with that side.

Some ideas that cropped up were possibly new hobbies? And filling time with things you enjoy is a good change and addition to the daily grind. But I’m not entirely sure that is the answer I am looking for. I’ve never really met a hobby yet that just makes my heart sing.

Maybe that part time job he mentioned? But that’s a bit tricky too with working around Jon’s schedule and the kids, I think in the end it would add way more stress and hassle than the joy it provided me.

So far the closest I feel like I’ve come to an actual idea is maybe a course? A correspondence writing course maybe? Or some kind of lessons- horseback riding when I’m not pregnant anymore? Or??? I don’t even know. I’m not particularly coordinated, so I can’t dance, play music, etc. But some growing in some kind of creative expression seems like a good way to wake myself up. I really believe heaven will be full of exploring and creating, and there is something precious in that desire to create and experience that He placed in all of us. I’m interested in ordering the book A Million Little Ways because I think it may expand some of these thoughts in a helpful way. I loved Emily’s writing in Grace for the Good Girl. But at some point I will have to get off my duff and do, not just read about it. :)

I have a feeling this next year with a new baby will be in some ways a waker-upper too. The adrenaline of living half in survival mode- half in bliss of new creation mode… it will be a change. It’s a temporary “fix”, so I’m not going to rely on popping out babies to keep me distracted, lol, but I will recognize it for the gift it will be.

I’m also hoping that even just having my eyes more opened to the giving up thing will help me make decisions that aren’t giving up decisions. Know what I mean? A little effort, a lot of prayer, eyes opened to look for ways to add some zest back to life.

So anyway. I hope I don’t paint too drab a picture. At this point I feel quite hopeful. A problem recognized is like half solved, right? :) I don’t know if I’ll ever really be living as an “off-road”er, but I do think there is a little room in my life for some spark.

Faith, Life

speak to my heart in this desert

So towards the end of last year I had profiling done on myself through the Flippen Group. I’ll just post a direct quote from my report to explain it’s purpose:

“Congratulations! You have taken part in a powerful process to gain self-awareness and map out a plan for growth. The Flippen Profile provides you with a unique fingerprint of how you view yourself and how you are perceived by others. This report is intended to provide you with a foundation for your personal growth. The data, descriptions and interpretations all provide insight on where you are and help point you to actions for further improvement.”

 

So you complete a survey and then have 6 friends/co-workers complete the survey about you as well, they compile the data and send you a report and you also receive a phone call to explain the report and discuss it’s results. You receive the phone call before the report (probably to soften the blow, lol), and to be honest I was left feeling quite confused after my call. It was not at all what I expected, and it took me several days/weeks to fully process both the call and the report. In the end, I think I’ve found it quite enlightening and motivating? Guess time will tell.

 

Lyle Wells, the Flippen man, challenged me during our phone call to consider whether I was doing the right things in life, he could sense in my report a stress between who I am, how I am living/feeling, and how others view me. He commented something to the effect of, “don’t live in a box others have designed for you”. He was surprised when I told him I have very low stress levels because that is not what the reports show. I was confused by all this after the call, because I had been expecting to hear something like, “hey, so you’re pretty critical”, or “kind of lazy and unmotivated”, or… I don’t even know what I expected. I didn’t expect to be told I was an “off road vehicle living a minivan life”. lol

 

Jon and I discussed this at length, and I admit to feeling frustrated because I truly believe that while I may not be living the ultimate FUN life, or living out all my wildest dreams, I do feel like fundamentally I am doing the RIGHT things. I wanted kids more than I wanted to travel for example, and having kids means life changes and is more restrictive in some ways- but still full of joy and great things. I homeschool because I think it’s best for my kids, even though homeschooling is actually not my happy place. Sometimes I feel guilty admitting that, because I am so blessed to have the opportunity to homeschool and a husband that 100% supports me, but the truth is that it’s just not my favourite. But then, isn’t that just life? Sometimes we sacrifice what would be good and fun for what is best, right? Doesn’t mean the best has to be miserable, because as Christians we know joy isn’t dependant on circumstances, and also I’m not crazy enough to suggest that homeschooling my kids is torture either. It’s just a job, like everyone has in their lives. Somedays it’s ok, somedays it sucks, regardless it needs doing.

 

So what does Lyle want me to do about that?! Flout my responsibilities and go in search of adventure in the great wide somewhere?! (yes of course my Disney princess personality has always been Belle!) :)

 

But… for all that there is something to what Lyle was saying. After reading my report carefully I believe what he interpreted as massive stress was actually a deep deep discontent. He said he saw it in both Jon and I (he had it done as well), that for all our differences Jon and I are cut from the same cloth and not “opposites attract” as I had thought. Jon and I have restless spirits. We have both always seen it as a spiritual struggle, which, while I still believe it is deeply rooted in the spiritual, I am also beginning to see that we could possibly work on it in other ways as well.

 

The most eye opening part of the report was at the end where I was provided with my top 3 personal constraints. It’s not fun to bare all, but I’m going to share them anyway. My 3 were low-dominance (need to lead or be in control), low self-confidence (overall belief in yourself and your abilities), and low need for achievement (internal drive and intensity), and when I say low, I mean LOW. Bottom of the charts low. Immediately upon reading those I saw in black and white what I have felt for a long time but didn’t have the right words to explain. I have given up and checked out. Somewhere over the last couple of years I’ve lost something… I don’t know… a spark? I’ve felt it across all areas of my life. I don’t want to try at anything, be involved in much of anything, be bothered by anything. My walk with the Lord has drifted and limped along, I know He forgives me, but I’m sick of myself and my failures and I don’t want to face them (as relationship with God causes us to do). My blogging has dropped off because I feel like I have nothing to say, nothing to add, and don’t want to share any scrap I do have. Hy heart has grown critical and shallow and empty. My default is to retreat into books or media and just hunker down and get through. For those that have been there, you know as I have learned- that you can live without really living at all. I still do stuff and have good days and whatnot, but there is just this underlying flatness to it all.

 

“Sooner or later we are confronted with the painful truth of our inadequacy and insufficiency.  Our security is shattered and our bootstraps are cut.  Once the fervour has passed, weakness and infidelity appear.  We discover our inability to add even a single inch to our spiritual stature.  There begins a long winter of discontent that eventually flowers into gloom, pessimism, and a subtle despair-subtle because it goes unrecognized, unnoticed, and therefore unchallenged.  It takes the form of boredom, drudgery.  We are overcome by the ordinariness of life, by daily duties done over and over again.  We secretly admit that the call of Jesus is too demanding, that surrender to the Spirit is beyond our reach.  We start acting like everyone else.  Life takes on a joyless, empty quality.  We begin to resemble the leading character in Eugene O’Neill’s play The Great God Brown:  “Why am I afraid to dance, I who love music and rhythm and grace and song and laughter?  Why am I afraid to live, I who love life and the beauty of flesh and the living colours of the eartha nd sky and sea?  Why am I afraid to love, I who love love?” 

Something is radically wrong.”

 

It feels sort of like… depression? But that’s tricky to say because my life is full of really awesome things. My blessings are pouring out my eyeballs. I don’t have real worries or circumstances to get a girl down. I’ve been provided for and loved and have people to love and serve and my health and oh my word- what on EARTH could I be depressed about?! I know that depression doesn’t work like that, but I still don’t feel like the word fits exactly, so I’m not going to use it. Now that I’ve defined the problem, what I need to do is find out where the spark has gone and chase it down. :)

 

Certainly it is first and foremost spiritual. I’ve talked many times about what a legalist heart I have. It’s killing my relationship with the Lord because I’m constantly holding sins against me that He doesn’t even see anymore! I reject His grace. In a book that I think it just about the greatest after the Bible, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning wrote: “Unfaithfulness is a refusal to become, a rejection of grace (grace that is inactive is an illusion), and the refusal to be oneself… The disparity between our ideal self and our real self, the grim specter of past infidelities, the awareness that I am not living what I believe, the relentless pressure of conformity, and the nostalgia for lost innocence reinforces a nagging sense of existential guilt: I have failed. This is the cross we never expected and the one we find hardest to bear.”
Oh that’s me. Rejecting grace and refusing to even be myself.

 

 

I had some ideas I was going to expand on, and perhaps I will another day. But not an hour ago I read this:

“Do you live each day in the blessed assurance that you have been saved by the unique grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? After falling flat on your face, are you still firmly convinced that the fundamental structure of reality is not works but grace? Are you moody and melancholy because you are still striving for the perfection that comes from your own efforts and not from faith in Jesus Christ? Are you shocked and horrified when you fail? Are you really aware that you don’t have to change, grow, or be good to be loved?

Do you possess that touch of folly to transcend doubt, fear, and self-hatred and accept that you are accepted?

If not, you probably belong to the brotherhood of the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt out. You may feel like a charred log in a fireplace, totally drained of energy, and unable to light a fire in yourself. Your personal inner resources appear to be exhausted.”

(oh my word. God is uncanny in His timing.)

“The first step toward rejuvenation begins with accepting where you are and exposing your poverty, frailty, and emptiness to the love that is everything. Don’t try to feel anything, think anything, or do anything. With all the goodwill in the world you cannot make anything happen. Don’t force prayer. Simply relax in the presence of the God you half believe in and ask for a touch of folly.
The Indian poet Tagore puts it this way:

No, it is not yours to open buds into blossoms.
Shake the bud, strike it; it is beyond your power to make it blossom.
Your touch soils it, you tear its petals to pieces and strew them in the dust.
But no colours appear, and no perfume.
Ah! It is not for you to open the bud into blossom.

He who can open the bud does it so simply.
He gives it a glance, and the life-sap stirs through it’s veins.
At his breath the flower spreads its wings and flutters in the wind.
Colours flush out life heart-longings, the perfume betrays a sweet secret.
He who can open the bud does it so simply.”

(All quotes in this post are by Brennan Manning)

 

Hosea 2:14-15
But look, I am going to seduce her and lead her into the desert and speak to her heart. There I shall give her back her vineyards, and make the Vale of Anchor a gateway of hope. There she will respond as when she was young, as on the day when she came up from Egypt.

 

Isaiah 49:1, 15-16
Yahweh called me when I was in the womb, before my birth he had pronounced my name… Can a woman forget her baby born at the breast, feel no pity for the child she has borne? Even if these were to forget, I shall not forget you. Look, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands, your ramparts are every before me.

 

Romans 8:31-32
After saying this, what can we add? If God is for us, who can be against us? Since he did not spare His own Son, but gave him up for the sake of all of us, then can we not expect that with him he will freely give us all his gifts?

 

 

Faith, Family, Life

A new journey – 12

When I took a test again this time I was sure. I woke up at 5 in the morning and in the quiet I read the results and confirmed my knowing. Baby makes 5.

When I discovered 3 months into our marriage I was expecting our first (sadly ended in miscarriage), I was terrified. I wasn’t ready, I was the sole income earner in our family at the time, and oh gee… we JUST got married and were still getting to know each other!

When I discovered I was expecting Justus, it was the month before we planned to start trying, I fell to the floor and wept in a total state of wonder. I had struggled after the miscarriage and through the years we decided to wait before trying again, and now God had given me this precious gift, a teensy early, which saved me from the drama of trying. I knew in my heart right away it was a boy, and was giddy with thankfulness for him.

When I discovered I was expecting Juno… hmmm. I don’t know if I even remember what I thought. I had just gone back to work, Justus wasn’t coping well with daycare and my in-laws were visiting for a month. We wanted another so they would be close together and so I didn’t have to have my baby in daycare for too long before I could get off work again. I felt very very sick pretty well right from the start, and so I was pretty sure it must be a girl this time. I know I was thankful and excited, everything was going just according to our dreams.

This time… the best way to describe my emotions is that I feel deeply satisfied, joyful, and incredibly calm. We longed and prayed and waited and prayed and made doctors appointments, went through surgery, waited some more… and now… thank you Lord for this new little life.

After I read the results I went back and laid in bed, just dreaming and planning and feeling thankful.
So thankful.

Then I got to wake Jon up and tell him his swimmers swam.

Faith, Family, Life

A new journey – 11

Bright and early I woke up and snuck into the bathroom. Broke into the wrapper on one of those fancy 4 day early pregnancy tests (it was only 2 days early) and amid many butterflies awaited the results. But I sort of already knew… negative.

Siiiiiiiiiiigh.

After our first try week I was pretty excited and totally obsessed with the idea that I was expecting. 3 times (1 miscarriage and 2 healthy babies) I was pregnant on the first chance. I know logically that those results are not to be counted on, but apparently my heart didn’t get the message and I was sure sure SURE that it was going to happen just as it always had. The 2 week wait before you can test is kind of torturous, and I kept feeling “symptoms”, One day I fell asleep 3 times and had insomnia and had to wake frequently to use the washroom and had terrible headaches. Whoa. What else could it be?! (turns out that was the same week I gave up caffeine… withdrawal much.)

2 dollar store tests taken much too early and then that fancier test taken 2 days early gave me the news I was both dreading and shocked to hear. All the sudden new possibilities entered my brain… what if we couldn’t? I mean, there are no promises with Jon’s surgery and it’s been 5 years for me, who knows what has changed… again… I do know logically that our first negative does not mean that we won’t be able to have another baby. It’s just one month. I KNOW. But the fears still creep in a little anyway.   Because really, we don’t know what God has in store for our family.  We feel He led us in this direction, but that doesn’t mean we are guaranteed another baby.  That morning I sat through a funeral (wonderful reminder of who controls life and death), and then in the afternoon I got to cuddle some cute new babies (wonderful therapy).

I went to bed that night still disappointed but thankful for the peace that settled throughout the course of the day.

One surprising discovery for me was that somehow the fact that I had always gotten pregnant on the first try had become a little piece of my identity. (I find the complexities of our woman hearts and identities quite hard to fathom.)  I never would have known that until I didn’t- and then suddenly I realized that perhaps I had even been proud of our fertility. Which strikes me as weird and pretty rotten and ridiculous actually, and I don’t like admitting it to be honest. I’m always moaning about parents who have easy going kids taking it for granted that they have something to do with their easy kids, but apparently somewhere in my heart I had kind of done the same with my easy to come by pregnancies. Just another lesson that ALL IS GRACE.

Faith, Family, Life

A new journey – 9

So…  8 days ago Jon had his vasectomy reversal!  (and lived to tell the tale)

 

We dropped the kids off at my moms the night before and then set our alarms for bright and early!  Actually, not really very bright, just early.  It was 4:30am when we left the house, and very very dark.  (we found a more reasonably priced urologist in Stratford, highly recommend him and the hospital was lovely as well.)

We were both really nervous, probably Jon more so, because he had to face the needles and drug induced sleeping and the cuts!  Yikes!  I had that kind of nervous dread I get when I’m around airports.  Butterflies because something good is happening, but dread because it comes with something scary or sad too.  Heading into a surgery you are inflicting on yourself seems like asking for trouble almost, you know?

Jon got all prepped, made lots of jokes with the nurses (you have to make jokes or die of embarrassment, those nurses see ALL!), we chatted with the doctor and others involved with the surgery and then away he went!

And then I waited… and waited… and waited… and waited…

They wheeled him away at 7:50am.  The doctor finally came out to update me at 11:00am.  Said the surgery went well (lots of promising things seen), and that Jon was in recovery sleeping.

And then I waited… and waited… and waited… and waited…

Finally at 1:30pm I asked the registration people if there was any word.  They checked on him and said he was STILL SLEEPING.  She said he briefly woke up and told them he hadn’t slept much the night before (NBA finals game 6), and then fell back asleep, so they let him.  :)

I ran downstairs to eat a quick lunch (had been expecting to see him “any minute” for about 2 hours, so I hadn’t budged from the waiting room), and then finally around 2pm they brought me back to see him.  He surprised me by seeming quite well, though sleepy.  We quickly got packed up and with some prescriptions in hand, away we went!  First stop was KFC to fill his stomach- long day of no food!

The next few days were a bit of a drug haze for him, just laying around and lots of sleep.  Sadly, his throat has been crazy sore (and cut) from the breathing tube they inserted during surgery.  Though his other “parts” have been in pain too, I think the throat thing has been the most difficult and annoying to heal.  Makes us very sad for our little Junie and her tonsils/adenoids surgery last summer.  What horrible pain!  :(

There has been lots of teasing for my dear husband, and I think he is actually quite a man to take it all in stride.  He’s so honest and unapologetic about it all.  And you know what?  If I’m being honest, sometimes the teasing gets under my (admittedly thin) skin.  I get annoyed that we get teased about being “crazy” and seeing all the raised eyebrows like we are making a colossal mistake.  I think my insecurities are pretty huge and when I was sitting in the waiting room I started wishing that we had never told a soul about our plans.  Why are we so open and out there?!  It certainly does invite both encouragement and discouragement sometimes.

But then, in all that quiet waiting I think the Lord spoke to my heart.

We are not the same people we were 5 years ago when we decided our family was complete.  I don’t regret the decision we made back then because this is our life’s journey.  How could we have known the way God would change our hearts? (and also, thank you God for changing our hearts!)

Yes, to some the thought of reversing such a huge decision and starting again so late seems nutty, but they haven’t walked in our shoes these last 5 years.  We’ve grown, our circumstances have changed, perspectives have changed, and you know what?  WE WANT ANOTHER BABY.  Nothing shameful in that?  Nothing crazy about that!  So why is it so easy for me to let others make me feel foolish about it?

(at this point I need to shout out to the friends and family that have been so incredibly supportive and excited for us- there are many and we so appreciate you!  It’s truly something special to pour out your stark honest hopes, dreams and fears to a sister (or brother, for Jon) and have them speak truth and joy back into you.)

(I also need to add that sooooooo much of the teasing is light hearted and well-meaning!  I’m not ALL prickles about a good joke, I promise!  It just adds up at times, you know?)

So, here we are… in another little season of waiting.  :)  We need to give things some time to heal before we start the ttc stage, but that’s ok.  Progress has been one steady step at a time, and we are trusting Him with the steps to come.

 

 

Faith, Family, Life

A new journey – 5 & 6

Combining 2 entries because one is short…

 

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March 2013

Well, the date of Jon’s first meeting with the specialist is creeping up.  2 and a bit weeks and we will have a clearer picture of our options and time frames.  These days I’m more excited than scared!  The other night we even had a hilarious baby names conversation with some good friends.  Jon is very decisive when it comes to baby names and I fear he has settled on a girls name already… one that I’m not sure about.  lol  It’s full form is classic and lovely, it’s short form may become really popular though because of a celebrity reference.  I’m not afraid of our children’s names having odd pop culture references (obviously, my daughter’s name is Juno!), but I don’t want any of their names appearing in the top 100 baby names list in the 5 years surrounding their birth.  Yup, I’m snobbish like that.  :) But I also know my husband… and when he settles on a thing, he is very settled.  :)  So we shall see…. I think a boy’s name would be easier, but somehow I can only picture number 3 being a girl…

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March 27, 2013

Oh what a week, what a week.

I’m not entirely sure this post in particular will ever see the light of day, but I want to write it down anyway for our memories sake.

So a long, long, LONG time ago :) (haha, never miss an opportunity to harass your husband about his age (marriage tip number 1)), back when he was 19, Jon had malignant melanoma. It’s the not good kind of skin cancer for the record. They caught it just in time by fluke God’s grace.

Since then he goes for regular check ups because he has lots of the kind of moles that can easily go bad (dysplastic nevus syndrome). Recently he got a new doctor, and she sent him for blood work and a chest x-ray (which is fairly routine). Well on monday his blood work came back showing elevated liver enzymes. Jon tried to get info from the receptionist about what that means and she wasn’t super forthcoming (I know she isn’t allowed to be). She suggested it could mean cancer, or perhaps some other form of liver failure. Ummmm? Yuck. They sent Jon to repeat the blood work so they could confirm the results were correct. There are a number of other reasons his liver enzymes could be elevated, but if it’s connected to a melanoma then from what we understand that means it’s metastasized (spread)? Double yuck. Bad news.

I know that cancer happens to lots of people. Young people. Husbands. Dad’s with little kids. But at this point in time I honestly am numb and disbelieving to the idea that this could be our reality. No way. (please God?) Jon has received the bad cancer news before, so for him it’s a very real possibility to be told he has deadly cancer out of the blue. He was launched right back to 19 and all emotions he experienced.

Tomorrow is the long awaited specialist appointment to discuss our desire to reverse his vasectomy. So…. ???

Obviously we know nothing for certain at the moment.

I do know that hearing the news has made it very clear, very fast that wow- I love my husband. The thought of what this could (worst case scenario) mean leaves this queasiness, this deep deep dread in the pit of my stomach.  My life is pretty stinking amazing actually, now that I notice. I don’t really want a single thing to change. It’s not perfect, but it’s soooo good. I’ve really been thinking over that song that says, “It will be my joy to say, Your will, Your way”. I’m thinking that perhaps in this period of the unknown I need to answer whether I can really say that. Can I surrender to whatever God has for us? His will, His way? I know I certainly have no power to change it, but can I decide for real to trust it?

And then today I read this.

While the part about bringing glory to my husband makes my eyebrows raise (I’ll stick to glorifying God and loving the pants off my husband- quite literally he hopes! lol  I only say these things to make my mom uncomfortable btw), there were some parts that stuck out to me…

“Your life is constantly recalculating the paths that you take. Things rarely to never turn out exactly the way that we planned because it’s impossible to see past today. All we are given is this moment, tomorrow belongs to the Lord. Are you flexible enough to let Him lead the way?
Recalculating only becomes a problem when we stop trusting God with our future. We have a choice–we can either enjoy the twists and the turns in the road, or we can complain that life isn’t all that we hoped for.”

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” ~ James 4:13-15, NIV

I’m not quite ready to jump on the “enjoy” the twists and turns band wagon, but I am working on the trust part. Have mercy Lord.

Faith, Family

A new journey – 2

January 14, 2013

I know some of these posts will be short, but it’s just whatever I happened to jot down at the time…

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I’m sitting here wishing I could poll everyone I know. Should we or shouldn’t we?!

Jon had his appointment today to get the referral to the urologist we want to perform the reversal. Our doctor didn’t think it would take long to get in, which is what I had worried would be the case.

But man alive… that means we have to settle on a decision soon.

When I ask one friend what they think I get a “Yes! Go for it! Kids are wonderful!” answer. Another sort of smiles and gives me the “you must be insane” eyes… I’ve heard pros and cons and “but you are just starting to hit the sweet spot with your kids”, as well as, “Yay! Been praying for your family in regards to this”. I like polls and advice. When I hear other people’s thoughts and opinions my own always seem to stand out more clearly by my reaction to what I hear. But I’m realizing this is one area where no one else’s family dreams, plans or ideas can answer what is right for our family. I truly don’t believe there is an across the board- right or wrong- with the question of how many children…

But still, I need to know anyway… HOW MANY SODEMANS SHOULD THERE BE?! Please God let us know so we can move ahead in confidence.

Faith, Family

A new journey- part 1

I wasn’t sure whether to share this, but I did do a small series of postings while we were in the process of deciding the future of our little family. In some ways I feel like blogging about it makes it seem like I think it’s remarkable, when I know the decision to expand ones family is made quietly and privately all the time. But this blog is here to share our stories, and this has been a big decision and blessing and challenge for us through this last year, so ultimately I have decided to share at least some of it.

This particular post was written at the beginning of January 2013
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Well, this is entry one of our “we want another little Sodeman” journey. I want to fully journal/blog through this entire process, but I’m a little nervous about sharing it just yet. Right now I feel like I don’t mind if anyone knows, and some of our friends do. I am nervous though that at some point I will catch someone sizing up my little/big belly or asking unwanted questions. I share a lot, and pretty freely, but “are you pregnant?” is a completely impertinent question that should NEVER be asked. If you are in the habit of asking this question: STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!! So for now anyway, I will just store away these posts and perhaps one day they will see the light of the internet. :)

 

First, the background…
Before we got married, when we were married and right up until recently, both Jon and I have always been completely sure that we should have 2 children. Two children means each has a sibling, but also that I still have one hand for each child. I thought 2 children sounded manageable and orderly and meant everyone having a partner for roller coasters and being able to get the “family deal” wherever they happen to have family deals. Two children (preferably boy then girl- thank you Lord for your cooperation-haha) was my idea of the traditional (therefore perfect) family and we wanted that. I don’t want to be too flippant here, we have been greatly HUGELY blessed by our two children. We lost our first little surprise baby through miscarriage shortly after we got married and while that wound has healed quite clean, I still remember that life cannot be taken for granted. The day I discovered I was pregnant with Justus I fell to the floor and thanked God through my weeping. We gave him the middle name Ian, which means “gift of God”, and Juno the middle name Eden because it means “delight”. God has given us so very much and saying we are blessed doesn’t begin to express it.
Shortly after Juno arrived safely Jon went in for a vasectomy. Our pregnancies happened quickly, and I use FAM (natural family planning) as birth control, which is SO GOOD- but difficult to know while breastfeeding when your cycle will return and we wanted to prevent an “accident”. Plus we were completely sure that our family was complete. I know I felt 100% at peace with our decision for Jon to have a vasectomy. Even now I don’t disagree with our choice at all.

 

But this monday (early January), Jon has an appointment to get a referral for a reversal.

 

It all began more than a year ago. Maybe even two years ago! I remember my first twinge of baby longing the night I held Knox Greydanus in my arms for the first time. Babies are delicious, wonderous little creatures. And over the last 2 years Jon and I began to miss having little littles. It would just be a wish here, a touch of baby fever there. I would hold a newborn and feel my heart hurt just a smidge. Jon would express envy at friends pregnancy announcements. As the hazy chaos of 2 in diapers began fading, the glorious privilege of raising these tender souls shone clearer. This season I had wanted to pass quicker had passed quicker. Too quick. I don’t exactly worship my kids… but I do worship God more because of my kids. All the wonderful, exciting, beautiful places I have visited cannot rival the miracle of a newborn’s wrinkles and dimples and eyelashes, sweet sighs and first smile. The awareness in my heart just kept growing- I want to be a mother again- I want to add to my life MORE of everything children bring. More work, of course but also more wonder.

 

So we talked about it. And we talked and talked some more. Sometimes we talked ourselves right out of wanting more. We reminded each other about pregnancy, colic, ear infections, purple crying, poop explosions, transitions, being stuck at home for nap times, car seats and strollers, chasing a crawler and little hands that transfer everything to little mouths. We looked at the steep stairs of our new house and shuddered, thankful that ours were already trained on stairs. We thought of costs, every baby item we had we gave away long ago!

 

Then we’d look at our kids and know it was worth it ALL, and we’d want more all over again.

 

This fall I started really praying. I felt like I was at a cross roads and to be frank, was quite miserable. My job didn’t feel complete, but I didn’t know where it was supposed to go. I was praying for direction, all the while my heart was (mostly) quietly longing for that direction to be a new Sodeman. Adoption was definitely one thought, probably the one that I honestly felt was more likely. But then… we had a financial setback in having to replace our van. And then we started accepting that Juno is spirited (ADHD) and will need extra support to thrive in her school work and in social situations. I took this as the answer to my prayers, that my time/energy needs to be focused on the kids I have already and that I needed to set the other desire aside. I had one particular day where I threw quite a fit about it. I don’t lay aside what I want too easily! Thankfully, after that contentedness came quickly. Within 2 weeks I didn’t even register with the former discontent or desire. SO much so that when my husband came home one night and told me that 3 days before he had been to the doctors to inquire about the cost of vasectomy reversal I laughed at him. I was amazed that he had booked the appointment, gone, and 3 days had passed and he had not breathed a word about it to me!! When he said the cost was over 5000.00 I laughed again. “Nope, no way, out of the question”. He didn’t argue, and we went to bed.

 

2 days later I sent him a text and said that actually, I do want another baby, as impossible as it sounds. He said he did too and we committed to pray about it. In the month that followed I prayed, and I know he has too, and the desire to add to our family has only grown.

 

Somedays fears creep in. What if our baby is born with medical needs? Our whole family dynamics could change in the blink of an eye (I’ve seen it happen). What if we lose the great thing we currently have going as a family? The kids are getting easier each year, and a whole world is beginning to open up of big kid stuff. They get more self-sufficient every day. Would we regret it? Would we wish we had been content with how things were?
I don’t have a sure answer to those fears. But I hold onto what I believe- that it would be wrong to let fear hold us back from something that God says is good. Fear isn’t from Him. We continue to pray for wisdom, but I am confident that our desire for another child is a good thing.

 

This has gotten long… so more in another post another day! :)