Category: God

When You Don’t Want what God has Given You – Part 3

I’ve had this post rolling around in my head for a loooonngg time.  I just haven’t been able to actually put my thoughts and feelings into words and even now I’m sure my words will not do justice to my feelings.  It’s very personal for me and I’m only writing about it because I hope it might help someone else.  Because it is full of emotion, I’m going to write it and share it in three parts. 

You can read Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up with this story.

We made it through Christmas and spring.  I was sick.  And tired. Oh, so tired.  38 and pregnant was very different from 29 and pregnant.  Going up the stairs at our house was awful and I stopped going down to the school room unless it could not be avoided.  I was desperate to get our school year completed before the due date and we worked steadily with very few breaks to make that happen.

We put our house on the market because we were going to need more room and we were just too far away to spend so much time driving kids around, especially with a new baby.  Keeping the house ready for showings or having to get it ready at the drop of a hat was exhausting…..

But finally school was winding down and we were approaching the due date.  Tony’s coworkers threw us a wonderful diaper shower.  It was so unexpected and gracious of them, especially considering how they had blessed us while we were fundraising to bring Essie home.  Our church Sunday School class also blessed us with diapers and other necessities.  I had a friend who gave us a crib and another who provided us with a car seat and stroller.  God was showing up and providing for us and this baby.

I was still scared and unsure and I will admit, doubting God’s plan.

We made it to May and after several nights of contractions I finally went in to labor.  We woke Noah to tell him we were headed to the hospital and that grandparents would be on their way as soon as the hospital confirmed I was in labor.  After the easiest labor I had so far, Jonah William was born at 8 am in the morning.

And miraculously, or maybe not, I had a heart bursting with love for this tiny little baby.  I had harbored so much fear and worry for so long that I was really taken by surprise.  Several weeks later I even texted Tony one day and told him how ashamed I was of my emotions and feelings while I was pregnant.

Were things going to be hard?  Of course!  Was everything perfect?  No!  But God loved me enough to stick with me even when my heart was full of doubt and fear.  He loved me anyway and saw us through.

I had never enjoyed babyhood with the other babies and God is now redeeming that for me.  I have enjoyed Jonah so much!  Much more than I ever imagined was possible.  (I would still appreciate it if he would decide to sleep at night though! haha!)

The older kids and Essie are getting a glimpse of what babies are like.  They are getting a chance to baby talk and care for a little person who can’t care for himself.  (No teenagers have been forced to change dirty diapers!)

So while having a baby at 38 was NOT a part of my plan and was not something I wanted when I started this journey, over the course of the pregnancy and holding that little miracle bundle in my arms, He changed me.  He has taught me to trust Him, even when I can’t see or understand the plan.  He has taught me that all gifts are good, even if they don’t seem to be so at that time.

I know I have so much more to learn from Him.  I know it will involve trials and hardships.  But I know that trials and hardships will actually provide the biggest blessings! I am so thankful He can forgive me of my fear and doubt and worry and give me such a sweet blessing!

So on this Christmas morning as you celebrate the gift of Jesus, please remember that even the things we don’t want and those things that are really hard are gifts from the Lord, even when we can’t see it or understand it. Trust Him.  Believe.

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When You Don’t Want What God has Given You – Part 2

I’ve had this post rolling around in my head for a loooonngg time.  I just haven’t been able to actually put my thoughts and feelings into words and even now I’m sure my words will not do justice to my feelings.  It’s very personal for me and I’m only writing about it because I hope it might help someone else.  Because it is full of emotion for me I’m going to write it and share it a little at a time. 

You can go read Part 1 here.

So I spent a lot of our beach trip in tears.  In fear.  In fear. What in the world were we going to do?  Where would a baby sleep?  How would I care for a baby while homeschooling the others?  What would the other kids miss out on because now we’d have a baby to consider?  Did God not understand that there is no way I can handle a baby!?

So the days rocked on, morning sickness set in.  We had a family wedding to attend which would require travel a few weeks after we found out and because I was already sick daily we had to tell our parents or they were going to be suspicious about my lovely shade of green and early morning visits to the toilet.  I was so afraid.  I didn’t want to hear, “How could you let this happen?”  or “You already have your hands full, what are you going to do?”  because I agreed with those thoughts and I had no answer.

I was so upset and afraid of these comments that I couldn’t even call my mom; I texted her!  She may be the only grandmother (though she goes by Beebee) that found out she was going to have her 6th grandchild by a text message!  Full of grace and love, she said none of those things but was excited for another baby to love, reassuring me over and over that this must be God’s plan and that it would be ok.  And while I didn’t agree with her on that, I was so glad there was no negativity – there was no way my spirit could have taken it.

Tony displayed more courage than me and actually called his parents.  His mom said, “I didn’t know y’all were thinking of having another one?”  He told her we weren’t, that it was a surprise and while I was not a part of their conversation, she, too, was full of kindness and none of the questions that I was so afraid to hear.

And while our moms could not have known it, their kind words were a gift.  Because negative ones would have torn me down.

So we attended the wedding and things continued on.  I managed to hide my sickness from the kids thanks to their lack of being attuned to others and with a little help from Zofran.  I continued on with our schooling and CC and we didn’t tell anyone else for a while.  I was embarrassed, still shocked, worried about how I was going to handle it all.

We finally told the kids in November.  All 3 of the boys were shocked and a touch upset.  Essie had no clue what this really meant.  To avoid having to tell everyone we knew in person and go through the potentially painful questions that I was so afraid of, I shared our news on FaceBook on November 19.  The post received 200 likes and over 100 comments.  Lots of the comments included, “Wow!” but thankfully none of them were negative!

As we began to see our friends in person after the announcement, we did get a few questionable comments but not like what I feared!  People were probably thinking it but at least they were keeping it to themselves!  It still felt very embarrassing to be 41 and 38 and having a “surprise” pregnancy.

 

When You Don’t Want What God Has Given You – Part 1

I’ve had this post rolling around in my head for a loooonngg time.  I just haven’t been able to actually put my thoughts and feelings into words and even now I’m sure my words will not do justice to my feelings.  It’s very personal for me and I’m only writing about it because I hope it might help someone else.  Because it is full of emotion for me I’m going to write it and share it a little at a time. 

Whan You Don't

In fall of 2014 we were entering a new and exciting, but challenging, chapter in our homeschooling.  Noah was starting high school, Eli was entering middle school, we were still working really hard to help Zeke overcome his reading struggles, and work with Essie to get her communicating effectively while always dealing with adoption related issues.  Things were HARD.  We decided to participate in Classical Conversations to give our homeschooling some additional structure.  I was blessed with the opportunity to became a tutor with CC to help pay for it.  We were busy.  I was busy.  My days were already filled with schooling and caring for my children and our home and then I added the additional responsibility of tutoring.  But I quickly realized how much I had missed being in a classroom and I loved it.  However, being new to CC and tutoring added another “hard” thing to my plate.  I knew it was a only a season and that things would lighten up.  I was doing my best to find JOY in the hard days.  I was leaning on the Lord, forcing myself to give my struggles to Him daily.  But I would still describe myself as overwhelmed.

Then, right before we were getting ready to take our annual beach vacation I got some shocking news.  News that I was in no way prepared for.

I was pregnant. 

Not planned.

I’ve shared before that I never enjoyed the baby phase with any of my kids.  I just kept thinking how in the world can I take on even one more thing? All of my pregnancies have been difficult with lots of sickness.  My babies are big making the last few months difficult and the labors hard.

With this discovery there were tears.  Lots of tears.  I can not even adequately share with you the emotions that I was feeling.   Despair.  Fear.  Sadness. Why in the world would God give us another child when I was already feeling overwhelmed every day?  How in the world would I cope with this?  So much emotion and most of it was ugly.

You can go read Part 2 and part 3.

 

Love

We were trying to get ready to take some pictures to use for our Christmas card and someone snapped this picture.

And while it’s not super flattering of me, I love it anyway.  I love the way Tony is looking at Jonah and I he love that it obviously shows how much he is adored!

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Beauty

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Tony snapped this picture of the sky in our yard.

Isn’t God amazing?  He gives us such beauty to enjoy and show His glory if we will only take the time to seek it out.

Adoption {1 year} – Part 2: Joy

Adoption is hard
 
The homestudy
 the paperwork
the waiting
the forms
the fundraising
the bazillion questions from your friends and family
seeing your child’s face but not being able to go to her…..
 
Then finally you go and you come home and then it’s some more hard stuff
 
comforting when you don’t know what the problem really is
working through the language barrier
teaching rules and expectations
showing love in all situations
medical appointments
the bazillion questions from strangers
seeing your child but not being able to reach her in the way she needs…..
 
 
But, oh the joys!
 
Every little milestone coming at lightning speed compared to your biological kids
growing by leaps in bounds in just a few weeks
so many “firsts” experienced so fast
that first time your child actually clings to you
the first time your child actually initiates a hug or kiss
seeing your child smile
seeing her do new things (which wouldn’t have been a big deal for a bio kid but are HUGE for an adopted kiddo!)
first English words
first belly laugh
first time she calls you mommy
 
It is really just a glimpse of what is described in Revelation 21.
 
Revelations 21:4-5
“…He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
 
 
 

Operation Christmas Child

We collect items all year long for our Operation Christmas Child boxes.  And today was wrapping day!


The Artist wrapping.


Guitar Boy wrapping.

Preacher Man wrapping.
 
 
 
 
 

I love that the boxes are collected right before Thanksgiving.  We have so much to be thankful for and I want to teach my children to be generous.  Thank you, Lord, for all of the blessings you have given to us!
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