Monday, November 28, 2011

Pregnancy again. :) part 20

I don't know what it was about today. Maybe it's that we just got back from a trip, maybe it was that I didn't sleep much last night. Maybe it was the weather...

How do I explain this? It was just a day to cry. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. Definitely this morning as I was reading in Revelation 5 I was just weeping with the knowledge that Jesus is the one who has redeemed us from our sins.  Just read that chapter and be blown away. He is the lamb who was slain, he is the only one who is worthy. I want to live my life in awe of this fact. Nothing else really matters. I am longing for the day when we will stand before Him and worship Him in person. Lord, let me live my life in light of that day. Let me not get caught up in the temporary trappings of this world. I don't want to be bogged down with "things" and money and trying to get ahead. I don't want to be bogged down with how I look or how nice my house looks. I want to live my life for the eternal kingdom. Please help me Lord.

I don't know what it was for the rest of the day. ... Honestly, I didn't sleep much last night. I had an anxious dream, not necessarily disturbing, but just anxious. I didn't sleep much from the time we went to bed at 10 until about 2. That time whenever I don't take an ambien is like I'm just dozing and waking up. I took 4 melatonin, I put lavender essential oil on, I put on a blend called Peace and Calming... I listened to a guided relaxation... it's just stupid. So my brain just refuses to go into my REM cycle until probably about 2. I often wonder why I get in bed before then. Maybe then I wouldn't get into my cycle until 6, ha ha! There's also the fact that I have a baby the size of a bowling ball in my belly and have to sleep on my side (I'm totally a back sleeper, not the stomach, not the side, back all the way.)  I also didn't want to make Ben sleep in the other bed last night since he didn't get to sleep in it all week. He stole the covers and twitched a lot. It kind of ticks me off. I asked him how he slept last night and his response was "Like a rock" ... at least one of us did. It's good because he has a lot to do at work in the next few weeks. It's just hard when it's 1:30 in the morning and you get woken up because your husband turned over. Why can't I sleep through that stuff?! And then I am mad because he interrupted my sleep.

All that to say, I just had this cloud around me today. I didn't know if it was hormones or what. I kept asking the Lord to help me. You know when all you can say is "Jesus, please help me" as you fold the laundry that you are just in need. So many times I told Him I couldn't do this by myself.  I'm 34 weeks and with a two year old and I'm just exhausted. He's become a very willful two year old too. All two year olds are willful, I know Levi can be pretty obedient sometimes, but many times it feels like if I'm not right on top of things a situation can spin out of control.

I took a short nap and that helped a lot. I think my body wanted it to be a lot longer, but I don't need to take a huge nap right now. I fixed myself a cup of decaf coffee (sometimes that tiny amount of caffeine helps).

Lord, help me. I want to have a joyful spirit. Protect me from the lies of the enemy that say that I am hopeless and a failure. Please give me strength that only You can give.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A rough day...

Okay, so it was a rough day.  I think I just had a lot I had to do and some more things that I wanted to do... I went shopping for some essential oils at Whole Foods, then came home and taught a voice/piano lesson, after that it was off to my mother in law's to drop Levi off so that I could go to NLR and do some recording, on my way home I called and found out that Levi was still asleep so I took another forty five minutes at the grocery store. On the way home from picking up Levi I stopped to get a prescription and of course Levi had pooped in his cloth diaper. This was the second cloth diaper poop of the day, third poop altogether, the first one was on the floor in the living room this morning. Let's just say that I'm probably the worst potty trainer in the world. :)

So really, after all of that I got home to a messy house with laundry halfway done and dishes needing to be loaded into the dishwasher and dinner needing to be started and two poopy diapers that needed to be rinsed out in the toilet. It was 3:45 and I had no nap time.

If you are a mom, you will know what I'm talking about, maybe you're not a mom and just easily distracted... but really, kids make you ADD. What's crazy is that I only have ONE kid I'm chasing around. I think what I'm learning is that I need to nip bad behavior in the bud. I also need to not allow myself to get so busy.

Levi has become quite verbal in his requests. He also thinks that the louder he requests things the more inclined we will be to meet them. Yeah right. He is like a barrage of one word questions: "Juice! Juice! Juice!" "Hands! Hands! Hands!" (meaning he wants to wash his hands aka play in the sink and get water everywhere) "Nunk! Nunk! Nunk!" (means milk, I have no idea how these words are similar, but that's what he calls it). Whenever you are eating something and he would like some of it he says "Some! Some! Some!" His pleas often go up in pitch and volume until I find myself wanting to yell at him "No!" ... Jesus, help me. This is my sin nature coming out, wanting to yell at my child.

At one point I thought, maybe I should just lay down for a few minutes and get my strength back. Of course Levi thought that this was the prime opportunity to climb on me and body slam mommy. Have you ever just wanted to run away from your child? I can now say that I have. I pictured me locking myself in the closet but then I thought, he would just stand outside and cry for me... that totally won't work.

I posted on FB that I had a taste of the "terrible twos" ... I should explain that in general Levi is a sweet little boy. He is a lot better than many kids I have seen and I think he has a disposition to please and is pretty laid back. But today I for sure had some serious glimpses of his will coming out. Him crying to get his way, falling on the floor, whining, almost arguing with me it felt like... in a way that only a one-worded two year old can argue. He kept asking to wash his hands and pushing the chair over to the sink and I would tell him no. Then he was asking "Pease, pease, pease" (please), I'm starting to think that we have taught him to ask please so much that he thinks if he asks please then he automatically gets whatever it is. But I didn't want to deal with a watery mess in the kitchen so I told him no again. Then he really started crying. You have to know that there is a big difference between an "I'm hurt" cry and an "I didn't get what I wanted" cry. The latter begs no sympathy. I told him that if he was upset about it I didn't want to hear it and he could go cry in his room. Usually this does an okay job of stopping him from crying. It's a fine line, do you spank for crying? We have decided that if we tell him to stop crying and he persists, then we will spank because he is in disobedience. This is a lot to remember though and sometimes all that noise they are producing makes situations seem foggy.

I think more than anything I just realized that I need to make sure and slow down. These coming weeks with being super prego and tired are going to be challenging. Levi is needing one on one time and I am going to need physical rest to keep up with everything.

More than anything I need to be praying and walking with the Lord. It wasn't until I was having thoughts of locking myself in the closet that I thought about crying out to the Lord. I want it to be sooner than that. Whatever happened to that verse: I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength? I need to press into what the Lord is speaking and ask Him for guidance and wisdom.

Jesus, as I asked earlier, please help me.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stuff I am learning part 1

The internet is so distracting. It's like a minefield of ADD stuff. All my usual tabs that I check, the home feeds, the messages, the sites I need to check up on... I usually put off or just don't blog because I wasted all my time just being on the internet without a purpose. I'm not going to do that tonight. Another problem I was thinking about is the fact that I'm writing this at 10:30 pm on a Sunday night. Who gets on the internet and reads blogs on Sunday nights? I will probably have like 3 hits by tomorrow (I hate it that I can see how many people have looked at my blog, but it's like I can't keep from clicking on that "stats" button. I keep telling myself it won't effect me... there you go, there's another one of my weaknesses.)

What am I even blogging about? I don't know. Things running through my mind are how I don't really sleep at night, therefore I don't want to go to bed. Or about this morning's worship service and how I got to read scripture as we sang, it was out of Revelation 4 and by the end of it I was yelling (my voice was starting to go hoarse) the part about "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty who was and is and is to come" Afterwards my dad and I were talking about it and he said, "Yeah, that scripture needs to be powerful, if you really think about what was happening and how those powerful angels were falling on their faces... I can't imagine what it will be like for us when we see God."

I am thinking about how reserved we are in the way we pray or the way we worship.  Maybe it's because we are white, maybe it's because it's always been done. I read a blog from our pastor today about prayer and how we need to be living and walking in prayer, how we don't do it enough. For sure this is true, we are never praying enough.

I went to a prayer meeting a few weeks back and it was difficult. I'm just going to be honest. It was hard to sit there and listen to people pray. I kept sitting there thinking, why am I struggling like this? Don't I love God? What is my problem?  I'm going to say something totally controversial on here, but that's okay because only like 3 people will read it... I feel like we settle for boring prayer. As though we have to pray starting with "Father God" throw in a few "dear Lord"s, and end with "in Jesus name" we need to ask for stuff, but not too much, we need to mention the sick people, but don't pray too boldly because if God doesn't heal them, then both we and God will look foolish... we need to pray in pensive voices with our eyes closed, we need to be articulate because others can hear us... all of that is crap. I shouldn't say stuff like that really, but I am so frustrated to hear prayers that sound like God is some sort of thing you say enough "Heavenly Father"s to and then you will get what you want. He is not a weakling and He definitely knows what is going on in our minds. He hears how we talk to our friends and family and it's not with a pensive voice or furrowed brow unless we are really being pensive about something.

Shouldn't prayer be just talking to God? Isn't He our Daddy? I read the Psalms and I wonder if David ever yelled or wept any of the Psalms. We get very passionate at football games, athletic events, concerts, but we act as though when we gather together as believers we need to be dignified.

Wow, I'm suddenly getting so tired. Maybe I can continue this another day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pregnancy again. :) part 19

Why am I blogging at three in the morning? Two words: pregnancy insomnia. The weird part is that I'm wide awake right now. I'm not sleepy at all. I will be sleepy in the morning. Usually with stuff like this it will suddenly hit me around 5 or 6 am and then it will be rough probably for the rest of the morning unless I can lay down for a few 15 minute spurts here and there. The good thing is that I don't have anything planned for tomorrow except a meeting with my doula at one, so I think it will be okay.

While I'm up I thought I would blog about my most recent pregnancy struggle. Maybe this will wear me out and I will want to go to bed afterwards. :)

My back.
I started going to a chiropractor about a month ago. I had never been to a chiropractor before, but he was recommended by my doula and the birthing center she works with has started recommending chiropractic work in general to pregnant women. Anyways, it sounded logical to me, the strain of all that weight out front, the back pain that is pretty standard during pregnancy, so I started going. I am totally okay with popping. In fact, I love twisting my spine and feeling my back pop and the release that gives. So I had been going for a while, it had been good, my headaches were starting to go away, back pain, yes, I still had it, but it was getting better.

So here's the week: Saturday I woke up and just felt sore. My lower ribs and sides, it was more difficult to breathe (this is normal with how big my uterus is getting). Sunday I was sick with some kind of virus that made me extremely weak, Monday I tried to just rest as best I could... Tuesday I woke up and my left side of my body was in pain. Severe pain. I mean, I would say probably on a scale of 1-10 it was about an 8 or 9. I felt like I had been kicked in the ribs, it hurt to breathe and to just move. The pain felt like it went from just below my ear, down through my shoulder, through my ribs and down through the left side of my back. I kept thinking, if I just keep moving, this soreness will just work itself out. It wasn't until about noon that I realized it was NOT going away. I had an appointment with the chiropractor the next day but I thought, you know what? I'm just going to call them. So I was able to get in an hour later (praise the Lord!!). He asked me some questions and felt around and said, yeah, it looks like your ribs got out of place. So he popped it back into place (along with popping other parts of my back and neck). Now, it wasn't immediate complete relief, but it was better. He gave me an exercise to do to help my mobility and said I should feel better in about 48 hours. It's now Wednesday morning and there is only a slight inkling of pain as I breathe.

Lesson learned: watch my posture in how I sit/sleep/stand. I had been sitting on the computer just doing stuff like Facebook or watching a show with the computer to the side of me. I was unconsciously twisting my back and my ribs. He told me I need to try to do stuff out in front of me. I had been sleeping on my right side, but decided to sleep on my left that night. I feel like this was the straw that broke the camel's back. Aria also has her back to my left side, so I feel like the bulk of her weight was probably resting on my ribs and that's what pushed them out. That's why I woke up that morning in so much pain.

So yeah, that's my latest deal. Just wanted to post about it. I'm feeling much better... now if only I could go to sleep. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pregnancy again. :) part 18

Well, I am tired. I am sore. There's a certain point in pregnancy where sleeping on your side is just OLD. It has been old for me since I have started having to do it. My shoulders get too scrunched, even with a pillow between my knees my hips are often still sore. I think I need a sturdier pillow under my neck... but I don't really feel like buying one more thing. Sleeping is just a challenge all together. Sometimes I wish we didn't need sleep. If only I could just keep going and going.

Sometimes reading the Word and getting stuff out of it is so easy, so natural, it just comes out and fills me with excitement and I am learning new things... other times it is difficult. What I am reading feels dry and it's not relating to my life right now, it feels far removed. In these times it feels like God is far removed. You know what I mean? I think I'm going through one of those far removed times right now. Wanting more, thirsty for more, still getting up and hoping to be spoken to, but not really getting anything.

I go to pray and it feels fruitless. It feels empty. I don't know what to pray sometimes. I just sit there in my scripture room thinking, "I need to be praying for this person" but nothing is coming out. Is there a blockage in my heart? In my mind? In my spirit?

As the deer pants for streams of waters, so my soul pants after You O God. Please be near to me Lord, please do not abandon me.

At the same time I think there are changes that need to be made in my own life to truly seek God. I usually seek God for the first hour of my day and that is good, but I don't think that I actually seek him throughout the entire day. Do I talk to him as I go about my day or do I turn on the radio, or look at Facebook and see what they are doing there. How am I so easily distracted? Well, I'm very easily distracted by my little boy who is constantly asking me for something. :) I will say that much. Yesterday I think I was interrupted in the middle of everything I was doing. Everything. I thought, this must be what ADD is like. Okay, I'm distract-able, but this was serious, hard-core, every task that I got completed was a monumental thing. I had to keep coming back to it and coming back to it.

Lord, please help me. I am physically weary, spiritually weary, I want newness that can only come from You. You know how to mother my child, You know how to care for my body, You know all of these things.

Cast your cares upon the Lord, because He cares for you.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Trust in the Lord, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

I am in full need of You Father. It's me, it's me, it's me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A choice for life

I just have to post about this. I wrote a little FB status, but it didn't really do it justice.

I'm going to leave out names, I just ask that you would be in prayer for this young woman.

I don't post this because I'm holy or better than anyone else. Really, I'm pretty lame. I have the opportunity to serve (they call it volunteer, but I think as disciples we need to look at it as service) at the Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC) in North Little Rock from 10-1 on Thursdays. Three hours, that's all. If you want to know more about what we do, you can see a video testimony at this site. I just want to post this to prove that God can use anyone, and that it is good to faithfully serve.

So a woman (she's 24) came into the CPC today. She wanted to know what we could do for her. She knew she was pregnant. It wasn't until I brought her into the counseling room that I found she wanted to have an abortion. We talked about why she wanted to have the abortion, career, this was not her plan... The father of the baby wanted her to keep it, she didn't want to get pregnant with him, she didn't expect to get pregnant with him... even though she wasn't using birth control of any sort. It's funny because you sit and listen to some people say that and it's so hard not to say, "Did you know that having sex makes babies? That's what it was designed to do." I think in our culture though sex is not about making babies, it has become more about pleasure, not about commitment. Babies are a commitment. Just in case you didn't know.

Our culture is really good at disposing of babies too. I'm just gonna throw that out there.

She had had an abortion before and it wasn't a big deal, I didn't push it any further, just kept praying in my head about what to say to her.

When she went in for her pregnancy test I talked to our ultrasound technician and told her this girl wanted an abortion. She said, "ask her if she wants a free ultrasound" so I did. The girl thought that would be great. It was an interesting situation because the girl had scheduled an abortion the day before but her boyfriend didn't take her to the appointment. She said he was going to make her have this baby. I just kept praying. She called the boyfriend but he didn't want to come to the ultrasound. That was hard. Her disappointment in that moment... It felt like a real non-committal relationship, why God? Why do babies have to be brought into the world during "casual" sex?? Why are we allowed to play with fire like this? Why are babies killed over "casual" sex? I am convinced that there is no such thing as "casual" sex. There is too much weight there. Why does our culture spew lies in this way?

We made it into the ultrasound room. I just kept praying and praying in my head. Right before Debbie (our ultrasound tech) put the wand on her belly the girl said, "hold up! I'm really scared, I don't know if I want to see this!" I wondered if in that moment she was afraid of what she would see. She had been six weeks along with her abortion, it might be the first time she would ever realize that the first baby was actually a baby. I could just feel the weight of it. I asked her if I could pray for her and she said that was a good idea. I didn't feel like she needed any condemnation in the moment, she just needed hope. Hope that the Lord had plans for her, hope that God loves her, hope that He is her Daddy, her Abba Father and He would just wrap His arms around her. When I was done praying she said "okay."

The first thing we saw on that ultrasound screen was of course the bladder but then, right off we saw the uterus and inside was a tiny little pea shape. We weren't sure if we would be able to see anything since it was still so early. But no, we saw this little bitty baby. And then we could see it's heartbeat. Rhythmically beating. She was so excited, she was like, "is that the heartbeat?" It was overwhelming. I think in that moment she realized the weight of it all.

After the ultrasound she was still kind of stunned. Debbie said, "You're a mom, and this baby will always love you. This man, the father of the child may not always be there, but this child will be there to wrap his arms around your neck and to love you in a way that no one else can." She was so overwhelmed.

She signed up for our HUGS Bible study and just had a completely different spirit about her. If you could, please pray for her in this time. It might be easy to make that decision inside of our doors, but once on the outside... I'm praying that God would continue to speak to her heart. She's going to come back for another ultrasound in a few weeks, praying she will get a good mentor for the Bible study, praying we can continue to minister and love her and this little baby.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stuff I am learning

Lord, I just want to ask for Your guidance as I write this. I do not want to let your words fall to the ground, I know You have been speaking to me in this and so I just ask that You would help me. Holy Spirit, please lead me.

I'm just going to start out that way because I don't want to write from myself. I have found prayer is an excellent way to get my words out of my head and put God's words there.

I have been thinking about honesty a lot lately. I want to live my life in a way that is as honest as possible. Many times this costs me. It costs me friendships, dignity, pride... but I have found that I would much rather live in this humble state than one of hiding. It's much more difficult to hide. I have hidden before, you have to build up walls and be careful about what you say, you have to look good and together all the time, you have to smile a lot and have all kinds of meaningless spiritual words... it's way worse than just being honest and humble.

Lord, help me.

James 4:4 -10 says:
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit He caused to live in us envies intensely? But He give us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
"God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble."
Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Wash your hands you sinners and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.

If you ever just want a good spiritual slap in the face just read James. He will totally do it for you. It's good. Man, I really just need to memorize the whole book. I feel like as a believer I settle so much for less than what Christ calls us to. It's easy to compare myself to this person or that person and think, yeah, I'm doing okay, I'm not as bad as her or him or whatever. Really, I want Christ to be my standard.

That part about being friends with the world... I have to go back to that. I am totally a friend of the world. I have loved the things of the world. Television, Facebook, People Magazine... I mean, just stuff to buy, stuff to have, I have loved the praise of man for my singing and talents... what does it look like to forsake friendship with the world? Would that require something drastic in my life?

I am wanting to purpose to live my life with an arms length between me and the world. I have two friends who just got rid of their iPhones. It's interesting because they don't know each other and I just had conversations with both of them in the past maybe week and a half and they were like, "I spend too much time on this thing, on Facebook and I'm neglecting my husband and my kids." Seriously, it was like the Holy Spirit convicted them of the exact same thing. For me, personally it is television. I'm such a sucker for TV we can't have one in our house or it will be on all the time and it will be a very real struggle. I also have to purpose not to be on Facebook for more than a few minutes, not to check every notification, not to check every text message, I don't even answer every phone call. It's difficult when you are reading a book to your little boy and your phone is ringing... do you answer it to be polite to the persona on the other line or do you stay with your little one and in doing so communicate to him that he is more important than your phone? Is there a balance to that?

I've been listening to Francis Chan a lot the past few days. I like to turn on his podcast sermons while I get ready as sort of an extended quiet time. He's been preaching to me about this all out Christianity thing. I mean, if I'm going to say that I love the Lord and I'm a Christian I need to actually follow Christ, know the Word, pray. Pray. Man, I want to be in prayer at all times. I don't want to settle for mediocre Christianity. I want to live my life all out for His Kingdom and for His glory.

Jesus, help me in this.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pregnancy again. :) part 17

I don't mean to complain... I don't want to complain...

Can I just say that sometimes I hate maternity clothes? :) Maybe I just hate how your body is constantly changing. That shirt fit last week, it doesn't fit this week. It's the slow transformation of pregnancy. There's the first trimester where your belly starts to get sensitive and you don't want to wear jeans, or at least not buttoned jeans, then there's the second trimester where you are getting a bit bigger, but not big enough to actually hold up maternity jeans, your shirts are either getting stretched out or being just tossed to the side because they won't fit any more. Then there's the third trimester. I shouldn't complain because at least I'm not having to live through this time during the summer. I have much respect for women who have babies born in June-September. Wow. I guess the hardest part about clothing in the third trimester is that you are just tired of the same four shirts. You're tired of the maternity pants constantly riding down. You're just tired. I'm tired.

That was my complaining rant. I am sorry you had to hear that, but it is the truth. I'm wondering if I just bought my jeans too big, or are all maternity jeans supposed to ride down? Maybe I need to just wear dresses... but then won't my legs get cold? What about the shoes you are supposed to wear with dresses? I never know what kind of shoes I can wear with them. I need to get new shoes... not to wear with dresses, but just to wear. Mine are getting pretty worn out and are starting to get on my nerves (like when the lining is rubbing on a part of your foot and it drives you crazy).  All I want are some shoes that are comfortable and that look good with anything I wear. Are those kind of shoes out there? I don't even know. I have super high arches, so that always poses a problem. Most of the time I just get in-soles.

I've been seeing a chiropractor and I love it. My headaches are starting to go away, and I think my back pain has lessened. I think I would do this all the time if it weren't so expensive. We are doing it now because if I have everything in line it should help me with my VBAC.

I will be 31 weeks tomorrow. I can't believe it. About 9 weeks left. :)