Thursday, May 30, 2013

Covering Those I Love

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my daily schedule.  I've stuck to it most days; though I freely admit that on other days I've *gasp* completed the things completely out of order, or, dare I say it?, not done certain things AT ALL.  It's so unlike me.  Oh dear!  It appears that my organizational and scheduling habits might be flying out the window.....Kidding.  I don't think I'll ever not be organized.  Even now I'm dreaming of how (thanks to creative ideas on Pinterest!) I'm going to organize the changing table once it makes its way into our room.  Baskets and baskets of cloth diapering goodies!  I can't wait! You should know I'm on the verge of letting out a super girly, giddy squeal. 

Anywho, in that schedule, I mentioned my quiet time with the Lord. Although prayers are a personal thing, I do also think that we can encourage one another in our prayer life.  I, myself, find great joy in hearing how others approach the throne of grace for those they love.  I love praying for others, and it brings me such peace knowing that others approach that same throne on my behalf, as well.  

I don't normally have a certain order of events, per se, when I pray, but because I'm super forgetful these days, I do try to consistently praise Him first for the blessings I and my loved ones have received and then lead into praying for others and myself and anything else that comes to mind. 

Part of my prayer time for others includes praying the neat prayer below that a friend of ours from church sent me way back in February--she got it from this blog right here.  Since then, I've been praying this for The Husband daily, even on, especially on, the days when we're irritated with one another.  It's amazing how it changes my attitude so very completely.  I do add in my own requests, as well, but this covers a lot :)


Dear Lord, today I pray for my husband, from head to toe.
  • His Mind - That he will have the mind of Christ and think as the Holy Spirit would lead him and not the flesh. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
  • His Eyes –That You will keep his eyes from temptation and that he will turn his eyes from sin. (Matthew 6:13Mark 9:47)
  • His Mouth – That his words will be pleasing to You. (Proverbs 19:14)
  • His Neck –That he will humble himself before You and be strong, courageous, and careful to do everything written in Your Word so that he will be prosperous and successful. (James 4:10Joshua 1:8-9)
  • His Arms-That You will be his strength. (Psalm 73:26)
  • His Ring Finger – That he will be true to our marriage vows and that our love will never wane. (Proverb 3:3Malachi 2:16)
  • His Legs – That he will stand firm in his faith and not waver. (Psalm 62:6)

I pray for Baby Boy, too, of course.  I'm sure I pray the same things that you pray for your children (godly wisdom, health, kindness, a heart for God and the people He loves, etc.), but I pray these prayers over him, as well.  I found this via, where else?, Pinterest a few months ago.  I like that it's one thing a day.  One aspect of his character I can focus on.  Wouldn't it be neat if our own parents were praying these same things for us, too? Hint, hint, Mom and Mom-In-Law ;)




I think the thing I love most about those two prayer lists is that they are based on God's word, and I don't think we can ever go wrong praying His word!  I mean, it's HIS word!

Lastly, this is the time I pray for my prayer partner's requests (ahem, hey you, send me your new list!), family members, friends, our church body, job issues, house frustrations, and anything else people ask me to pray for.  But, sadly, I do forget some requests.  

So, here's a question for you...

How do you keep from forgetting people and things to pray for?  Make a list?  Post sticky notes in key places?  Put it in the calendar on your phone/computer?

Ok, I lied.  One more question...

Are there any prayers that you say often or that someone shared with you or that you read in a book that you've found helpful?  If so, send them my way!  

Monday, May 27, 2013

Great Need

Last week, each morning after I read my daily Bible chapter, I read  a chapter in A.W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God.  I got it free (if I had an "I-got-it-for-free" dance, this would be where I strutted my stuff!) on my Kindle. If you have a Kindle, I highly recommend downloading this one.  The wording is deep and beautiful (but not too deep that one has a tough time grasping the concepts), and Tozer is completely honest that he's writing it for those who already know Christ.  It's for those who want to know Him more intimately.  I've only read the introduction and the first three chapters, but it's incredibly well-written, and I find myself wishing I could hear him speak in person.

Here are some of the pieces I've gleaned and held fast to:

"God is a Person, and in the deep of His mighty nature He thinks, wills, enjoys, feels, loves, desires, and suffers as any other person may.  In making Himself known to us He stays by the familiar pattern of personality.  He communicates with us through the avenues of our minds, our wills, and our emotions."

~That quote caught me off guard.  I read it and re-read it.  And then, I read it again.  Then, I highlighted it, so I could go back to it when I wanted to ponder it a bit more  What I find myself focusing on the most in what Tozer says is the parts of God's nature. The parts I, honestly, forget are there.  I do know He loves me.  I do focus often on His will.  But the others?  Not so much.  But, I should, right?  If we as His people are to know Him deeply, to follow His lead, then shouldn't we know His voice?  So that when He calls to us, when He gently speaks, we know it's Him who's calling? And, in order to know His voice, shouldn't we know Him intimately?  To know a person intimately is to listen to his thoughts, to understand what drives him.  It's to find gladness in what he enjoys and empathize when he hurts.  Do I know my Creator that intimately?  That deeply enough that I know what pains Him? What brings Him joy?   If I read His word, I can find ALL of His characteristics displayed throughout its pages.  I can know Him.

"Every age has its own characteristics.  Right now we are in an age of religious complexity.  The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us.  In its stead are programs, methods, organizations, and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart."

~What amazes me most is that this book was first published in 1948.  1948, y'all.  But, when I look at the above passage, it sounds as if Tozer hopped on that train from Chicago to Texas just last week and jotted down his thoughts.  Right?! Our world is by no means simple.  Every part of my life, up until bed rest, seemed to be filled with activities and programs and organizations.  Some of those things, I took willingly into my life.  Others were placed there for me by work duties and family obligations.  But weeks before I was put on bed rest, I began taking stock of the things that kept me busy, and I pared back.  And, it felt refreshing.  No longer were my days and nights swamped.  I hope that even after the bed rest command has been lifted I will be able to have those moments of rest, those moments that are now filled with finding contentment in the simplicity of life which is in Christ.  It's precious.

"Within the human heart 'things' have taken over.  Men have now by nature no peace within their hearts, for God is crowned there no longer, but there in the moral dusk stubborn and aggressive usurpers fight among themselves for first place on the throne."

~Firstly, the wording here is gorgeous.  No one writes like this anymore, and it makes me inwardly weep to know that the books and newspapers and magazines and any other source of written word that one might call "literature" currently on the market have been successfully dumbed down to an 8th grade reading level or lower.  And, even children's books have been reduced to short chapters full of simple paragraphs filled with small, easily-read words (rather than deliciously-large words that get talked about with adults or looked up in dictionaries). Great works of literature like those written by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and Louisa May Alcott and Frances Hodgson Burnett don't seem to be flying off the shelves quite like books of a simpler nature.  Why is that?  Are the children lazier now?  I don't think so; I was ridiculously lazy (Sorry, Mom and Dad!), but I couldn't wait to share chapters of Little Women with my mom on those hot summer afternoons before I started 4th grade.  Are the parents less involved in reading alongside their children?  Maybe.  Is the advertising of those easily-read-in-a-day books better than that of books it takes someone days or even weeks to get lost in, to grow fond of, to devour?  Possibly.  I don't know the answer. 

~Secondly, I don't know how I got so far off topic! Tozer's quote above is so very true in my own life, and I would bet it's at least partially true in your own (though if I am wrong, please forgive me!).  I definitely see "usurpers" try to take precedence in my life, that fight for control of the throne of my heart.  "Usurpers" like being in control...so that would be, ahem, ME who wants to be on that throne, or the something-bigger-is-better thought...like finding a house to fit all of our "stuff."  I do not need to be in control; I need God to be.  I know this.  He knows this.  You know this.  And, still.  Still, I find myself irritated when things don't go MY way (house issues (not being able to get a house any time soon), chores around the house, bed rest).  Why?  My way is certainly not better.  I do know why.  I understand my thought process, and at the moment MY WAY shoves its way in, my wishes/demands/desires seem truly valid.  But, I don't know the future.  I don't know how things are going to work out, and that's all the more reason I should trust in the One who does know. 
Bed rest is forcing me to give up some control (though The Husband will tell you that I haven't given up without a fight).  It's also giving me time to think about what's important and what's not.  Do I still want to move to a house and sell our condo?  Of course--for many, many reasons.  Do I trust Him to get us through living in a crowded space until HE wants us to move?  Yes, even though it's painful to be told to wait.  Y'all, patience is not my biggest strength.  But, will I wait?  Definitely.  I want to move when He says to.  I don't want to kick and shove and force our way into a house and then regret it.  I know with Him in the lead, it will be a much smoother voyage.  The Husband's job journey has proved that in massive amounts.  For almost two years he searched and struggled to find a job.  Then, out of nowhere, he was handed one.  Now, don't get me wrong.  He had to be prepared for it.  And, he was.  BECAUSE of the two years of waiting.  The waiting produced so much fruit that he's now able to do this job well.  Two years ago, he wouldn't have been ready.

So, I wait.  And, I wait knowing that I'm asking God to be on the throne of my heart more often than I place myself there.

I'll leave you with this.  
I saw this quote by Charles H. Spurgeon on Pinterest several weeks ago, and it's been on my heart and in my head a lot lately.

 I do.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

34 Weeks - Pregnancy #2

Each Sunday, I'd like to do a highlights post, including a picture, summarizing the differences in my pregnancy from week to week.  I totally "grabbed" this idea from Kelly.  I did this with my pregnancy with Hadley, as well, and I still think it is a great way to jot down the things that I don't want to forget later on.  I'll probably write these on Saturday nights and attach the picture the next day.  That way I can stay semi-technology free :)

Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  34 weeks - Third Trimester

Size of baby:  Baby Boy is between 19 and 22 inches crown to feet and weighs as much as a pineapple (around 5 pounds)

Total weight gain/loss:  At my appointment last Tuesday, I had lost another 1/2 of a pound, so my official weight gain this pregnancy so far is 16 pounds.

Maternity clothes:  My "typical" clothing attire is a soft sleeveless tank and soft knit shorts.  If I'm feeling super fancy or I know someone might be dropping by, I might put on a stretchy dress.  But most days, it's the former.

Gender:A less bouncy, more roll-y baby boy.

Movement:  He moves, but he really stays curled up in there.  I guess there's just not a lot of room to stretch.  Although, when he stretches, I sure know it!  Geez, my ribs take a beating.

Sleep:  Oh sleep.  I miss you.

What I miss:  Cleaning, cooking, leaving the house

Cravings:  ice cream

Symptoms: Minor back pain

Exercise: Nada.  I don't think my doctor would approve haha.

Belly Button in or out: It's still flat.

Wedding ring on or off: On :)

Happy or moody most of the time:  Mostly happy :)

Looking forward to:  Getting out of the house again on Wednesday for my appointment and then, assuming all continues to go well, visiting my parents for a few days and seeing friends and family at a small family shower in my hometown.

Best moment this week:  Hearing the doctor say that if I follow her directions, I can go to my family shower this weekend!

It was another Sunday of get up, get dressed, dab on some makeup, take the picture, and promptly change back into "comfy" clothes, and then wait patiently for The Husband to get to church and begin our Skype session.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Taste and See

"That was a long list of praises."

That's what The Husband said last night after we had prayed together before calling it a night. 

It was an incredibly long list. 

It made us feel incredible to be so thankful for how God has moved recently in our lives and in the lives of those we love.

He's moved a lot, and I want to share one specific example of how He's made Himself known over and over again in the last three months.  Hold onto your hats, Ladies and Gents. 

..............................................................................................................................................
 
Nearly three months ago, I received a Letter of Intent from my headmaster.  It's given to all members of the faculty and staff each year.  In simple terms, it lets the administration know what our plans are for next year:  to return and teach another year or to not return.  They were distributed on the last Friday of February, and it was due the first Monday in March.  I would have the letter in my possession to think and pray over for a little over a week.

Since finding out we were expecting, my heart has longed to be a stay at home mom (SAHM).  I didn't know how we'd be able to do it since my income was our main income.  The Husband and I talked it over often, and we never could seem to make a decision.  We both wanted me to be able to stay home with our child (children in the future), but we just didn't see how it was financially possible.   The Monday after I received it, I made a decision to lean in and listen for God's leading.  I knew what my heart and mind were wanting me to do, but I just didn't have the confidence to choose.  I chose to fast from something that took up a lot of my time each day, and instead fill that space with praying, reading God's word, and seeking His will.  All week, often in tears, I knelt before God's throne and besought His peace and guidance.  By Friday, I still didn't know what to do.

Sunday morning arrived, and The Husband and I headed to church as usual.  We sat in our semi-usual spot, and we began to worship.  Worship was wonderful, but I will NEVER forget the sermon that Pastor Ty preached that morning.  I know that God's word doesn't ever go out and return void.  I also know that two people can hear the same message and take away totally different points from it.  That's happened to The Husband and I countless times.  Not the case this Sunday.  I won't type up the whole message here (mostly because I can't remember if I've already written about it on here before, haha! Oh pregnancy brain, how I love what you've done to me), but I will say that the piece that stood out to me the most was when Ty talked about Jesus going into the wilderness before beginning His ministry (Matthew 4).  He said that Jesus' ministry began by emptying Himself completely.  He fasted and prayed during those forty days knowing that Someone outside Himself would have to provide.  He entered into a "God, if you don't, I can't" scenario.  He didn't play it safe.  He didn't pack a suitcase full of food and water, just in case.  He handed over the reigns, and trusted.  He knew that God would sustain and provide.  The Husband leaned over at that moment in the service, and whispered, "I will support you in whatever you decide."  Now, y'all, we hadn't talked about the Letter of Intent for a few days.  But, it was obviously on his heart, and he knew it was on mine.  After lunch that afternoon, we went for a walk in our complex.  It was a beautiful (slightly cool) day, and the walk was nice.  I was nervous to say what I felt God telling me, but I finally found the courage to blurt out, "After hearing the sermon this morning, I feel like God is leading me to tell the school that I won't be coming back in the fall."  He said, "Yeah, I felt like God punched me in the face.  He said the same thing to me."  I laughed at the visual that popped into my head, but I also smiled and gripped The Husband's hand tighter.  We had made a decision based on what we knew God was saying to us:  "Lean in, trust, follow."  So, knowing that we had no other source of income to fall back on, knowing that the job industry basically stinks right now, and knowing that we were taking a giant leap of faith, Monday morning, I told my headmaster our decision.  He is a godly, caring, gentle man, who loves the Lord, who loves our school, and who cares about each one of the people who work alongside him.  He prayed for us and cried with me, and most importantly, he shared his support for our decision.  He saw our leap of faith, and he knew God would provide.

That afternoon, I called up a friend (who shall remain nameless unless she gives me the all-clear), and I asked her to be my prayer partner.  The intent was simple:  each week, we would send our prayer requests to one another.  As prayer partners, we would lift those items up together in prayer every day, all the while trusting and believing that God would answer those prayers.  I had seen Him work, and I know that He answers the prayers of the faithful.  As a bonus, I find it much easier to pray for the requests of others than I do for my own "stuff," so I was excited to begin praying for the things she sent along.  Number one on my list was for God to provide a job for The Husband.   We began believing in faith and asking in prayer for God to answer that request.

Weeks went by, and I felt such peace that I can't even begin to explain.  I knew God would sustain us; I just didn't know how or when.  But, the initial peace I felt in making that decision, never left.  A load was lifted off my shoulders.  I will say that the enemy definitely tried to weigh me down with feelings of guilt and fear, but ALWAYS God lifted me out of those moments.  I wrote the sentence "God, if you don't, I can't" on my mirror so that I was constantly reminded of the truth.  God would provide.  But, I knew I'd have to wait.  God generally doesn't follow my timetable.

Exactly one month from that prayer-answering, decision-making Sunday, The Husband got a call from a dear friend at church. (Side note-she is the MOST precious woman you could ever meet.  She oozes the love of Jesus, and you simply could get lost in her hugs.)  She met a gal that morning who was looking for someone in the IT security field to join her start-up company.  This company would specialize in risk (the physical and the IT side) assessment for companies, schools, events, etc.  Oh how The Husbands LOVES that stuff.  He enjoys making things "secure."  He thrives on helping people in dangerous situations.  He's the guy that puts on his boots and goes out after storms to see how he can help.

Because it's a start-up company, there's been a massive amount of planning, waiting, talking, waiting, researching, and did I mention, waiting??  The Lord has surely tested our patience.  There were times when I just knew it wasn't going to work out, where I was so frustrated at the "wasted amount of time."  But, God knew.  Cut to six weeks later, and The Husband's been on the job (full time, with benefits) the last two weeks.  The two weeks that I've been on bed rest.  Yes, he got the call that weekend asking him to begin work two weeks earlier than planned, so he began the Monday after I was released from the hospital.  God orchestrated that perfectly.  You see, we have one drivable car, which means had I still been going to work, we would have had to figure out how on earth the two of us would be able to get to our respective jobs without someone potentially being late to work often (him) and without someone (me) having to sit around for hours waiting to be picked up at the end of the day.  Y'all, the timing was incredible.  He's incredible.

That's just one big example of how God has been working in our lives lately.  There have been many, many answers to prayer along the way, and one day I may type them all up.  I want Him to receive all the glory for this.  NONE of these things happened because of us.  We're called to share the Good News, and part of that sharing is telling others how God has moved in and around us.  How He cares so deeply for us and longs to pour out His blessings upon us.  If only we would ask and seek His will.

So, I get to be a SAHM, The Husband gets to get paid for doing something he's incredibly passionate about, and God gets the glory.

My prayer partner and I continue to pray for and alongside one another, and I genuinely can't wait to see what God's got in store.

But, you can bet that I'll proclaim His goodness and glory on here along the way.

My encouragement to you is this...be prepared to be amazed when you submit wholeheartedly to the will of the One Who loves us immeasurably.  Pray, Beloveds, all the while stepping out and believing in faith, and then "taste and see that the LORD is good."

Sunday, May 19, 2013

33 Weeks - Pregnancy #2

Each Sunday, I'd like to do a highlights post, including a picture, summarizing the differences in my pregnancy from week to week.  I totally "grabbed" this idea from Kelly.  I did this with my pregnancy with Hadley, as well, and I still think it is a great way to jot down the things that I don't want to forget later on.  I'll probably write these on Saturday nights and attach the picture the next day.  That way I can stay semi-technology free :)

Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  33 weeks - Third Trimester

Size of baby:  Baby Boy is around 19 inches crown to feet and weighs as much as a honeydew melon (around 4 1/2 pounds)

Total weight gain/loss:  At my appointment last Monday, I had actually lost 1 1/2 pounds (I'm sure due to the low/no fat, gluten-free diet I've been trying to follow.  But.  I have tried out a few foods in moderation that have fat and or gluten, and I've managed to tolerate them well, so I'm sure I've gained that weight back and added another pound or two in the process).  So, I'm officially at 16 1/2 pounds gained so far. 

Maternity clothes:  Well, when I'm allowed to leave the house, you know for doctor's appointments, I wear maternity clothes.  Usually a dress or khaki shorts and a comfy shirt.  But, when I'm home, which is 99% of the time now, I wear soft grey knit shorts from Old Navy that I've had for 10 years or so and a stretchy tank top.  Neither of which is "maternity," but both of which are super comfortable.

Gender:A less bouncy, more roll-y baby boy.

Movement:  He stays curled up on my right side, butt out, most of the time, which is becoming increasingly uncomfortable.  But when he moves, it's usually big movements or small hits and jabs

Sleep:  Not a lot--you'd think with being on bed rest, I'd be getting TONS of rest.  Not so, Dear Readers.  I wake up every hour and a half to two hours all throughout the night to make trips to the restroom.  That journey continues throughout the day.

What I miss:  Cleaning, cooking, leaving the house

Cravings:  ice cream

Symptoms: Minor back pain

Exercise: Nada.  I don't think my doctor would approve haha.

Belly Button in or out: It's still flat.

Wedding ring on or off: On :)

Happy or moody most of the time:  I had ups and down this week.  Being stuck inside without being able to keep the house in order like I like drives me a little crazy.  The Husband helps when he can, and he's been fixing dinner a lot this week, but he's busy at work until the evening.  I feel bad asking him to do things like laundry and dishes when he's worked all day.  But, I also hate staring at that stuff like it's magically going to clean itself, haha.  So, happy, but a little moody when it comes to not being able to do chores.

Looking forward to:  Seeing what my doctor has to say on Tuesday

Best moment this week: Um.  The moment we decided to start looking for a house to move into.  I told The Husband today that I feel like an actual grown up now, haha.  A baby on the way and a possible house in our future.  :)

Well, you know how last week, I said that I didn't get dressed up just for the picture? Totally not the case this week.  I got dressed, put on a little bit of makeup, took the picture, then promptly changed.


The Husband went to church and "took me along" via Skype.  Here I am waiting for him to call me just before the service was about to start.  I've got my morning smoothie, my journal, and my Bible.  It was a pretty good setup, and I got to praise, worship, and learn alongside my church family from the comfort of my bed.  Sometimes, technology is pretty neat. :)


Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Day of Not-So-Much Busy-ness

I've got a busy day ahead of me, People.
Prepare yourselves...I will be...


~Rearranging my Pinterest folders.

~Staring out the window.

~Playing Candy Crush---have you PLAYED that?? Geez.  The Bestie introduced me to it yesterday, and I can't seem to quit.  Until it makes me, that is.

~Giggling at this video (that The Bestie also introduced me to)! Oh Lawd!

~Searching real estate sites for my dream house.  Y'all, I've been so claustrophobic lately.  It's probably because I'm looking at the same walls day in and day out, which are still looking lovely in all their freshly painted glory.  But, I think I'm nesting, as well, and I really want to get things settled, but because of bed rest, I'm restricted in that.  I want to be washing baby clothes and putting them away.  I want to be arranging furniture in a way that works for our family.  But, the bottom line is, because of financial reasons, this would be the ideal time to move, if we could find the place we love and could sell our condo.  I know that means A LOT of hard work, mostly done by others-who would be compensated with pizzas and cokes and whatever else I can think of to bribe reward them.  Hard work like yard work, painting, and any simple remodeling tasks at the new place, as well as, making any repairs here that would need to be done before it went on the market.  But, I think, I hope, we can do it soon.  I love our condo.  It's nice, and it's ours.  We've done so many renovations to it and put so much money and hard work into it (new water heater, new wood/tile laminate floors and carpet, new toilet and sinks and fixtures, fresh paint on all walls, etc.) over the last few years that I almost hate to say good-bye.  I got sad just thinking about it last night as I scanned the real estate sites one more time before turning out the lights.

But, I feel like God is saying that now's the time to do it.  
So, if you know of someone who's looking for a two bedroom/two bathroom condo in a quiet neighborhood on the northwest side of Houston (Spring/Cypress/Tomball/The Woodlands area), let me know.  I've posted pictures on here before of all of the things we've done to update our place, but I'm going to post a few below, as well.  Spread the word, talk me out of it, talk me into it even more.  Whatever you do, please pray for us and alongside us, for God's will to be done, regardless of our desires.  I would NEVER want to make a huge decision like this without God's will being at the forefront. 
Living room 

Dining room 

Kitchen

Guest/hall bathroom

 Master bedroom





Master bathroom area

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Schedule of Events

Several people have advised me to "schedule my day," as it were, to keep me from being bored or going stir-crazy while I'm on bed rest.  So, Monday morning, I did just that--I planned out my day.  Then, Tuesday, I tweaked it.  Yesterday, I followed it pretty closely, and this morning it totally went by the wayside.

But, I'm almost back on track. :) 

I realize I don't have to follow it precisely.  It is MY schedule, after all.  But, because I like organization, and I truly love a good schedule, I think I will enjoy sticking to it.  It seems to make my days go by quickly, and it gives me a sense of feeling productive!  Well, as productive as someone on bed rest can be.  Haha, I need a hobby.

So, here's the schedule I planned out.  As you can see, blogging didn't happen until much later this morning.  I had several phone calls and received several texts, so that threw me off (in a good way!). Much of what I do has me either lounging in this bed

or


stretching out in this new recliner my parents got us as an early Christmas present.

It's really nice to be able to sit comfortably with my feet up in different rooms.  A change of scenery does wonders!  (Currently, I'm typing this while sitting in the recliner.  It's so quiet in here, but I can hear the irritated buzzing of the wasp caught behind our shutters.  I noticed him yesterday but couldn't squash him.  So, I closed all of the shutters tight, and I'm hoping he'll just pass on his own and not figure out how to escape...he sure is angry in there...)

My Official (Yet Totally-Tweakable) Bed Rest Schedule

7:00  Wake up with The Husband
I don't really intend to do this, but his alarm wakes me up, and I have a hard time going back to sleep. 

7:15 - 8:00  Fix and eat breakfast and send The Husband on his way.
I know I shouldn't be doing this, but it's my one contribution to this household and to my husband, and I promise I sit often  (This morning I also packed a lunch for him.)

8:00 - 9:00  This is my quiet time where I listen and hash things out with the Lord. 
I also take a quick shower and read and respond to any emails I've received.

9:00 - 10:00  Bible study/read
During this hour, I read the daily chapter the congregation at our church is reading together on the 260 Live Bible Study plan.  (Another schedule!)
If any time remains, I read more of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (sooooo good!) or any of the free books I just downloaded on my Kindle (I started one yesterday...Messy Jessie). 

10:00 - 11:00  Decide what, if anything, I'd like to write about on this blog, and then do it!
I'm really enjoying being able to write consistently again.  I have lots of ideas floating around in my brain.  

11:00 - 12:00  Lunch
I also take the opportunity to watch a little TV during this time.

12:00 - 1:30  Rest
I don't normally nap, but if I fall asleep, I'm not too concerned--especially since my nighttime sleep is interrupted 4 or 5 times each night.  I just lie on my side and look out the window while I think or talk to the baby.   Yesterday, it rained a lot, so I was able to sleep for about half an hour until the phone rang :)  

1:30 - 2:30  Work on writing thank-you notes
I know I'll eventually finish those, so I'll have to find something else to do to in this hour.  

2:30 - 3:30  Read

3:30 - 4:30  Here's where my day starts to get boring.  
I'm planning on doing word searches and sudoku today to see how that works out. Yesterday and the day before I cut out coupons and planned the grocery list.   I may end up just turning on the TV some days, but I'd really like to reserve that for when The Husband comes home.  He likes to relax and watch an hour or so while he fixes, and we eat, dinner.  

4:30 - ?  Play on the internet until The Husband gets home
Pinterest, blogs, random searches of interesting topics.  
Sound desperate? Haha, close!

The rest of my evening is spent hanging out with The Husband when he gets home until we go to sleep.

Ok, my schedule isn't that exciting, but it sure is better than sitting around aimlessly wishing for something to do :)   And, like I said, phone calls and texts and emails happen and they keep me busy, too.  I won't turn those away!  I also won't turn away visits from friends!

If you were ever put on bed rest, what did you do?  Did you schedule your day or did you enjoy the freedom of having nothing "planned out?" 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Second Progression in Photos

I thought it was time for another photo collage of my weeks of pregnancy.  This collage is of weeks 24 through 32.  I think my favorite one so far is this week's. :)
One observation:  Good grief, I really need a haircut!  I wonder if the sweet gal who's cut my hair for years and years would drive up here and cut my hair.  For some reason, I don't think my doctor will okay a two-and-a-half hour drive just for me to feel less shaggy, haha, and despite the fact that my mom keeps urging me to find someone local to cut my hair, I just can't do it.  Angie's my friend, and more importantly, she knows how to cut my hair!  That's a rare thing!  I might have to do a search on Pinterest on how to cut one's own crazy hair! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It was a Thursday

Here follows the story of how I got put on bed rest...

Last Monday, after weeks of not having any back pain, we drove up to the Austin area for my uncle's funeral.  I don't know whether it was the long car ride, the church service, the food at the reception after, the long car ride back, or none of those things, but my back began to hurt.  As I've explained before, this pain is a not a dull ache.  It doesn't feel as if I've pulled something or as if something is just really tight.  It's a sharp pain directly behind my ribs on the right side.  It grabs on and stays for the long haul.  Some nights, it's difficult to sleep because no position brings relief to that one spot in my back.

Anywho.

That was Monday.  Tuesday and Wednesday I had the same pain, along with extra weariness, but I kept pushing along.  There's not much else one can do when one has between five and eight classes of children coming in and out of the library expecting to be read to and loved on.  So, I did it.

Thursday, around mid-morning, the pain in my back became so severe that standing up or walking around were difficult.  I began having stronger (what I thought were) Braxton Hicks contractions.  It felt debilitating.  I'd end up in the recliner in the library fully reclined trying to get my stomach and my back to ease up.  I was in tears as I texted The Husband explaining what was going on.  He said he'd be there in twenty minutes.  I sat in the office with my feet up until he got there.  We got home, I rested, and I'd feel better for a little while, only to have the pain hit again, bringing me to tears.  By 8 pm, The Husband declared we were going to the hospital.  I felt ridiculous. I kept saying that it was just some pregnancy pain.  I should be able to manage.  The pain eased as we drove, and I became increasingly embarrassed because I just knew we were doing all this for nothing.

We got to the hospital, and they began running tests on my urine (to see if I was dehydrated, and I'm sure to check for other issues), and they ran an FFN test to see if I was in pre-term labor.  In the meantime, my back was still killing me, and I began to feel that tightness in my abdomen again.  They had hooked me up to a monitor that allowed us to hear Baby Boy's heartbeat (good and strong) and to check for any contractions.  The Husband could tell that I was having actual contractions as the line spiked up higher and higher.  The nurse came back in, and said my OB requested that I have an internal exam.  That was done, it was awful, but everything looked good.  As the contractions continued, my doctor decided to admit me.  The nurse gave me Demerol for the pain in my back, mixed with Phenergan to help with nausea.  She wheeled me down the hall to the room I'd be staying in.  The room we lost Hadley in.  It was the only one available.  It made me sad, but I didn't have long to focus on that.

The pain began to ease, but I vomited like nobody's business.   So much for the anti-nausea meds :).
My Labor and Delivery nurse came in and said that the FFN test came back positive for pre-term labor.  Y'all, that scared me.  My OB ordered Terbutaline injections to try to stop the contractions--three injections every fifteen minutes and then an oral dose.  I was also given the first of two steroid shots to help Baby Boy's lungs develop.  Those small shots induced a massive amount of pain.  Sheesh!

My mother-in-law came to stay with me while The Husband ran home to take care of some things.  I tried to sleep, but I was up every hour or so to head to the restroom, which was an adventure each time as the fetal heart rate monitor was unhooked, I climbed cautiously out of bed, and then maneuvered my way with the IV pole.  I didn't sleep much that night.

Around 6 am, an ultrasound tech came in to take pictures of my gallbladder and my pancreas.  The fear was that I had gallstones or some inflammation that could be causing the back pain and the contractions.  That took half an hour.

An hour later, another ultrasound tech came to look at the baby.   Longest hour of my life.  He looks good, by the way, and weighs 4 pounds.

Finally, around noon, they allowed me to eat food.  Thirty minutes later, I started having contractions again.  The doctor decided to try a different medicine - Procardia. 

The gallbladder surgeon said it's possible I have a low-functioning gallbladder (which can't be determined until after I deliver), which would explain the back pain.  He put me on a strict no-fat/low-fat, gluten-free diet to see if that helps any.  It's, um, exciting.  Not.  Here are the things I can and can't eat.  Be jealous.

My doctor, out of pity, released me to go home with the proviso that I'm on complete bed rest until further notice.  I have a prescription bottle full of Procardia pills in case I have some contractions (I did have two on Friday night), and I'm to go back to the hospital if I have more than six in an hour's time.  She did, however,  make an exception for our couple's baby shower on Saturday.  I was to do nothing and to sit with my feet up the entire time.  I promised to obey, and I was so grateful that she allowed me to do that!

Here are a few shots from the shower.  It was lots of fun, and we felt so loved.  The big thing we're still needing is the stroller, but we're all set on where the baby will sleep and eat and get bathed.  We were also gifted with lots of cute outfits and cloth diapers/covers!
 Waiting patiently

Sweet blanket :) 

The one on the left says, "My Dad is Super!"  The one I'm holding has a picture of a cute skunk and the caption, "It wasn't me!"

 One of the diaper covers I received.  Actually, that's an all-in-one diaper, which means I don't have to put a cloth diaper inside.  Even better!  And so adorable!

My mother-in-law and my mom.  Not one of us wore blue to the shower meant for a boy, haha! 

The hostesses with the mostest :)

Sunday was a difficult day for me.  Emotionally, I was exhausted, and my irritability-level was at an all-time high.  I had myself a grand-ole pity party, full of tears and lamenting.  It was ugly and sad to watch, I'm sure.

Yesterday was a better day.  My cousin came for a visit, and then my friend Tina took me to my appointment, where we met up with The Husband (who started his job this week--more on that later!).  My appointment went well, but I'm still on bed rest.  I'll see my doctor again next Tuesday. 

So.

That's my story.  I'm trying to stay busy.  Writing thank-you notes, reading, resting, watching a tv show or two, planning blog posts, day-dreaming, looking at gallbladder friendly foods on Pinterest are all keeping me going.  I would like to learn how to knit or crochet, but I think I need some one-on-one assistance with that goal!

Thanks for your prayers as we embark on this new journey where my super controlling nature is forced to shut down.  It's painful losing control over almost every aspect of my life.  But, I think this is exactly where God wants me to be, so I'm going to try to make the most of it. 

If you know me in real life and have some free time, I'd love to visit in person or on the phone. Emailing is fine, too, but I'm limited on when I can use The Husband's laptop (since he'll need it for work at times).

Here's to one more day of Baby Boy being safely ensconced in my womb!  Join me, will you, in asking that in God's mercy He'll allow him to remain in there for many weeks to come :)

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."  Romans 12:12  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

32 Weeks - Pregnancy #2


Each Sunday, I'd like to do a highlights post, including a picture, summarizing the differences in my pregnancy from week to week.  I totally "grabbed" this idea from Kelly.  I did this with my pregnancy with Hadley, as well, and I still think it is a great way to jot down the things that I don't want to forget later on.  I'll probably write these on Saturday nights and attach the picture the next day.  That way I can stay semi-technology free :)

Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  32 weeks - Third Trimester

Size of baby:  Baby Boy is around 19 inches crown to feet and weighs as much as a head of lettuce (4 pounds according to the doctor on Friday)

Total weight gain/loss:  So far, I'm up 18 pounds total this pregnancy.

Maternity clothes:  I *heart* maternity clothes :)

Gender:  A very bouncy baby boy

Movement:  Big, uncomfortable movements and small hits and jabs are his thing these days

Sleep:  Sleep has become a fleeting thing.

What I miss:  Sleeping through the night and giving full-on hugs

Cravings:  ice cream

Symptoms: Back pain and contractions

Exercise: I exercised twice this week.

Belly Button in or out: It's not in or out.  It's just flat haha.

Wedding ring on or off: On :)

Happy or moody most of the time: This has not been the best week.  It's actually been pretty awful, but I'm sure I'll write a post about that in the next day or two.  The short of it is that I'm on complete bed rest until I hear otherwise from my doctor.  So, my mood is pretty lousy.  I'm mopey and grumpy and irritable, and honestly, I just want to be able to do the things that need to be done.  And, I'm not being allowed to do them, which is irritating me all the more.

Looking forward to:  Being told that things can go back to normal.

Best moment this week:  Seeing family at our baby shower.  Even if I was forced to sit with my feet up the entire time.  Y'all, I felt like a lazy bum.  Please pray for my heart during this time.  It's taking a beating, and I'm taking it out on others.  So, now I feel like a mean, lazy bum. :(


No, I didn't get dressed up just to take the picture.  We took this yesterday right before the shower.  :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Progression in Photos

I thought a collage or two would be fun. This one is from 12 weeks to 23 weeks.  I'll probably do another one in a couple of days for up to where I am now, and then I'll do one from that point until we meet our little man.  I feel huge now, and it's hard to remember what it felt like when I was thin and could wear everything in my closet.  I put on a slip this morning, and I was shocked at how tight it was! I feel like I'm wearing low-riders today, but in the form of a sheer piece of material instead of jeans! :)
 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

31 Weeks - Pregnancy #2

Each Sunday, I'd like to do a highlights post, including a picture, summarizing the differences in my pregnancy from week to week.  I totally "grabbed" this idea from Kelly.  I did this with my pregnancy with Hadley, as well, and I still think it is a great way to jot down the things that I don't want to forget later on.  I'll probably write these on Saturday nights and attach the picture the next day.  That way I can stay semi-technology free :)

Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  31 weeks - Third Trimester

Size of baby:  Baby Boy is around 18 inches crown to feet and weighs as much as a head of lettuce (about 3.1 pounds)--at my appointment on Tuesday, the doctor said he weighed 3.3 pounds, so right on track ;)

Total weight gain/loss:  So far, I'm up 18 pounds total this pregnancy.

Maternity clothes:  I *heart* maternity clothes :)

Gender:  A very bouncy baby boy

Movement:  He's still pretty active, but the movements aren't quite as big.  I guess he's losing space to move in there.

Sleep:  The last few nights I've slept well, only getting up two or three times versus the three or four times.

What I miss:  Sleeping through the night and giving full-on hugs.  I miss being able to hug someone tight, especially The Husband.

Cravings:  ice cream

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions

Exercise: Once haha.  We had something going almost every night.  I thought about going for a walk several afternoons, but that freak cold front that blew through kept me in doors in my comfy clothes!

Belly Button in or out: It's not in or out.  It's just flat haha.

Wedding ring on or off: On :)

Happy or moody most of the time: I was pretty happy near the beginning of the week, but my mood fell mid-way through and didn't seem to perk back up.  Hoping for a less-moody week this week.  

Looking forward to:  My family baby shower on Saturday :)

Best moment this week:  Getting to see our little guy on Tuesday!  I can't stop looking at that 4D picture!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Life and Death

I don't know what I would do without my faith in Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life.  I think losing someone to death would be unimaginably difficult and completely unbearable.

Two days ago, my Uncle David passed away.  It was a shock, and it tore my heart in two.  Uncle David was a man filled with kindness, generosity, love, and humor.  He loved Jesus.  He loved his family.  He loved teaching.  He loved baseball.  He and I had a bond (especially when I was younger), and I'll never forget the time he took with me, the letters he sent, and the small tokens of affection I'd receive periodically in the mail.  He took an interest in me.  And, he was downright fun.  I miss him.  It doesn't yet feel real that he's gone.  I grieve with and pray for my family (especially for his wife and children and his brothers).

It's been one year ago today that I delivered and said good-bye to Hadley.  Some moments have been harder than others, but I would say that God has definitely helped us through the difficult times and has mended our hearts.  It does get easier.  We still miss her.  We still wish she were here, waiting with us as we prepared for Baby Boy's arrival, but our hearts are no longer grieved on a daily basis.

I would be lying if I said I never thought about losing Baby Boy because of what we went through with Hadley.  That thought niggles at my mind sometimes (it did especially early on in the pregnancy), but I can't live that way every day of my life.  Living in fear and sadness isn't truly living.  I know deep down that whether God grants us ten minutes, ten years, or a lifetime with him, we will have been blessed.  Feeling him move, seeing his sweet face, knowing he's healthy, those things are precious, and I wouldn't give them up for anything -- even if someone told me that we'd never get to meet him this side of heaven or that we'd only have him in our lives for just a short time.

It's the living that's important.

It's the knowing that my Hadley and my Uncle David are hugging and laughing and praising Jesus together right this very moment.  It's the feeling of God's peace and presence in the midst of deep sadness.  Sometimes unbearable sadness.
But not despair.
If I was uncertain of Jesus' promise that He's preparing a place for us, if I doubted His death and resurrection, if I simply believed that this life is all there is, then yes, I would despair.  But, I know, in my heart and in my head, that those things are not true.  I know because I know Him.  I know because I've seen Him move and work and pour out His love.  I can't doubt.  Even when it would be very easy to do so.

This is what I know.

"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.  For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him."  1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 

He won't leave us or forsake us in our grief.
He promised.
I'm clinging to that promise as The Husband and I head out to the cemetery to visit Hadley today, and I will cling to that promise as my uncle is buried on Monday.

Thank you, Sweet Friends, for your prayers for our family.