Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Worry...

I remember one time I was listening to Dr. James Dobson from Focus on the Family talk about despair being a sin. That when we despair we are choosing to not trust God. Maybe it's a choice. Maybe you suffer from depression and despair is just a companion of the former. 

As he talked, I wasn't as focused on despair as I was focused on the fact that there were sins I didn't even know about. I was an adult at this time, and I was shocked that I probably had been sinning in many more ways than I realized. 

I thought that sins were basically tied neatly inside the Ten Commandments, and anything outside of that wasn't sin. 

It changed my way of thinking about sin completely. 

Despair is a lack of trust in God. Despair reveals that our faith in our Creator is conditional. And I must be honest to tell you, I am so faith-less at times. I'm not proud of it. 

Well, as I type this, I am filled with worry. I've been consumed with it for weeks. Maybe I've been consumed with it my entire life, or at least my adult life. 

What I've known is this: worry robs me of joy, peace, contentment, life, love and so much more. Worry is a tool of the enemy to steal my focus from the God who provides, the God of enough, the God of grace and mercy. And instead my focus becomes the issues, the problems, the situations in life that inevitably arise. 

Before my race, I worried about dying, not finishing, sleeping too late, wearing the wrong shoes, chafing, falling and so many other things. I spent the race telling a perfect stranger (whom I met and ran with the entire time) about all the things I had worried about. By the time I said, "I worried" for the 100th time, I realized she must really think I'm crazy. I also realized how much of a focus worry has become in my life.  

You'd think I would have learned after that. 

But then I was planning a short trip away from home with the kids. I can't even tell you all the things I've worried about for this trip. I can just tell you that I'd probably be better off at home instead of worrying about all of this stuff. But then the enemy would rob me of time away with my kids and family.

I don't have all the answers. I don't have this problem squared away. And most days I forget what to do as my stomach churns with fear and anxiety. 

But God. He whispers to me. He speaks in the midnight hour (literally) reminding me to call His name. He reminds me to trust Him. He reminds me to speak His Word. He reminds me that He will supply all my needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. He reminds me of Psalm 91. 

The enemy is relentless at times. Attempts to distract me are as constant as machine-gun fire. There are more moments of weakness right now where I let those worries, doubts and fears creep in. And then there are moments when I trust Him completely...because I have nothing left...but to trust Him. 

If you worry, if you doubt and if you fear, remember that God didn't give you those fears and those worries. They come from the enemy of your soul and mine. The devil is a liar and the father of lies. He wants only to steal, kill and destroy all those who were made in the image of God. 

But God. He wins. Jesus paid the debt for us so that we would have an everlasting, abundant life. 
So today, take hold of the promises of God. Every time you worry, remind yourself of what God says about you. Remind yourself that "God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind..." 2 Tim 1:7. 

Repeat it. Over and over. Until you confidently believe it and stand in faith until you see God do the impossible in your life. 


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 15, 2008 - 12:57 p.m. Superman turns 6!


It was a Tuesday morning just like today, 6 years ago that this guy came into the world. 

He forever changed our lives. He is sweet, gentle, kind, loving and amazing. He is happy, full of joy, loves Jesus, and loves people.  

He makes me laugh. He makes me stop.  He makes me enjoy every second of this life.  I remember 3 and 4 a.m. feedings with him. At first it was the typical sleepy (and maybe grumpy) time of the night/morning that I knew was just part of the joy of having a baby. But then I actually looked forward to it. It was my time with him. He needed me. And I needed him, too.  And I loved it. And when those 4 a.m. feedings were over, I grieved a little. Okay, a lot. 

And then one day, 45 days before he turned 1, he stopped breast feeding, cold turkey. He was done. And I grieved. A lot. 

My baby. He's a boy now. 

Happy birthday, sweet Superman. Daddy and I love you more, most and forever! 

Did I mention he likes to make lots of different facial expressions?
And show off his Spider-man, Superman and ninja skills?

(Darn iPhone photos. They are never good for me. I don't get it.)































Monday, April 14, 2014

38 weeks

Do you know how pregnant I would be right now? How my belly would stick so far out front it would defy the law of gravity...I would be front-heavy. You'd wonder how I could stand and not topple forward. You'd remind me to hold the rail when I walk up or down the stairs. You'd ask me if I had twins in there. 

I would have been counting down the days to the due date since there were 90 left. Because that's what I do. I would have my amazing husband take photos of my growing belly even though it isn't quite flattering. But it is beautiful. It would have been beautiful. 

By this time I would be wishing to lose the baby weight quickly and feel more like a normal person again. And then I would remember that the extra pounds were bringing a beautiful baby into the world. And it would be so worth it. 

The baby would have a name. 

The baby would have a room and his or her crib (the beautiful handmade one from Grandpa T) would be all set up and ready to welcome baby. 

Wonder Woman would be beside herself with excitement. And I just might let her in the delivery room so that she won't be afraid of doing it herself one day. That might also work at cross-purposes. 

I would be dreading the needles (if any were medically necessary) and planning to go drug-free this time. No induction. No epidural. That was my plan. 

I would be ready and not ready all at once. 

I would be elated and terrified. 

I would be preparing for the torture of postpartum depression that I know would hit even before the baby was delivered. It has gotten increasingly worse with each baby. And it started even before delivery last time. But I know that God is good and merciful. Aside from His healing, man-made medicine is a wonderful thing too. 

And can I just tell you that God absolutely blessed me with my amazing husband who walked me through each postpartum experience-even with the miscarriage.  He prayed for me. He cared for me. He did all the things I could not do at the time. Every day I am more and more grateful for him. 

We would be celebrating two birthdays in April and hopefully baby would not arrive on top of either one. 

We still aren't pregnant again. We haven't been trying. Actually we've been trying not to become pregnant. And the only people who ask me if we will try to have another are the ones who have also miscarried. No one else asks. And really, I have no answer. I tell the kids that we will do whatever God tells us to do. 

I held a baby for the first time yesterday. She reached for me. She was so happy with my sunglasses. First baby I've wanted to hold. And maybe it was because she wanted me. 

Our youngest will soon turn 6. Tomorrow actually. And I know that having another after 6 years would be different and a challenge. Everything is so easy now. They can all help themselves in many ways. 

And yet, I still long for that baby of mine. Our baby in heaven. Our angel baby. 

I wrote a few weeks ago about the race I ran being a great distraction. Oh, how it was. Because now that it's over, the thoughts of how far along I would be fill my mind. Today would be 38 weeks. Baby would arrive any day. And now that the race is over, I find myself thinking about it much more.

Running is a great heartache reliever. And yet, when my feet stop pounding the pavement each day, the heartache eventually catches up to me. That pain that I was pounding away or running from...it returns. 

It greets me in the morning in time to lace up my shoes one more time. And it returns at the sight of a beautiful, pregnant mom. It returns when I see a brand new baby in a car seat. It returns when I think about the due date coming up. I don't even think we had shared the due date with anyone yet. Maybe I'm keeping it to myself because, really, who wants to know the due date of the baby you miscarried? 

So today I laced up again. Running to forget. Running to feel pain in my legs, and a little less of it in my heart. 

I keep reminding myself that "God works all things together for our good"...I repeat it as my feet strike the pavement. A rhythmic reminder of His goodness, even in the pain. 
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