Friday, June 27, 2008

What We've Been Up To

Well, as most of you know we are in the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy. I am working hard at making this a fun time for Treyton, while a restful time for me (not always an easy task) and Tim. We have been staying close to home in fear of not knowing when or how fast labor can come, but there has been much to do.... here are some recent pictures of our family.

Treyton and I at the strawberry patch - Yes, he ate more than he actually picked, how did you guess?

Boys will be Boys

My Boys on the 4-Wheeler... doesn't he look so big?

Learning to ride a bicycle - Mommer (Grammie) picked this bike up for Treyton at a garage sale and it quickly became a favorite toy!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Perfection vs. Progress

I've recently been exposed to Mark Driscoll and am loving him! I thought this video would give us all something to think about as we go about our day.
Let me know what you think!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Joy & Peace Through Obedience

What is the secret to a "good" life - a life that brings you joy and peace. I think we all know we will never have a "perfect" life, we're all going to face troubles - big and small - throughout our lives, but in the midst of those troubles we can still find an uncomparable, unexplainable joy and peace. This the Bible tells us.

John 15:10-11 says "IF you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full."

God desires to give us the gift of joy, the requirement is only obedience. This is not an easy thing to do. There are many commands in the Bible, most of which are for our own good, producing natural blessings and happiness in our life; but true obedience from the heart creates more than just the natural blessings. The biggest blessing comes through abiding in His love - and that is JOY! What good news to know that we can have joy, regardless of what we are going through or experiencing. This is what the Christian walk is all about, and the first step is our choice.

1 Peter 3:10-12 says "For whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deciet; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

I think it's fair to say that most of us desire to love life and see good days. This verse is very clear in giving some practical ways in which to achieve that.
1. Keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit: this one seems a little obvious, but may be the hardest - who here can tell of a time that their mouth got them into trouble or an "unhappy" situation?? The Bible warns us of the destruction and harm that our mouths/words can cause - it is an area that as Christians we should constantly be on guard against. James 3 tells us "if anyone does not stumble in what he says he is a perfect man" (vs. 2) and that "the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness." (vs. 6)
Taming the tongue is something that takes a lifetime and even then I don't think we will ever fully have it controlled.... it will be a constant battle... but it's something that we can do with the Lord's help. You have to start by taking little steps to make a difference - slow down, think about all the words that are coming out of your mouth, is what you are about to say positive, negative, or neither? Decide from there if it is worth saying --- slowing down can make all the difference in the world.
2. Turn away from evil and do good. We must make a conscience effort to keep ourselves away from evil. What are we looking at (watching on TV), listening to (music, conversation/gossip, other's opinions) doing with our hands and feet - where do we spend our time? When we have empty "thought time" what are we thinking about? These are things that we have to constantly be on guard against - "taking our thoughts captive" choosing to NOT listen to or watch certain things.... it takes deliberate action and choice - and it is VERY hard to change.
As a second part of this command it says we must do good - this can cover a multitude of things, most of which we already know but the thing that instantly comes to mind is honest and respectable living - we must live differently than those around us to "be" different and to "make" a difference. It isn't easy, but it starts with a different mindset. Pray against the agreements and lies that you have made regarding the way that you perceive what "you deserve" and "is owed" to you.
3. Seek peace and pursue it ahhh..... peace.... I love even the sound of the word. Seek peace, where do we seek peace? Philippians 4:6, one of the most beloved verses in the Bible (at least for women) "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpassses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

It isn't easy, but it is available.... it isn't a one step fix, but it is possible. We CAN experience the joy and peace of the Lord which will fulfill our lives in ways we can not possibly understand. It's a gift that He has given to us - He holds it out in the palms of His hands, all we have to do is step towards it to receive it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Been Awhile

First things first, as you probably already noticed I got a new layout - I really liked the last one but decided that it was too dark - I wanted something a little brighter - so this is what you got - for now!

Well, I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted anything, as you can imagine I've been pretty busy with pregnancy stuff and getting the next Reflections newsletter put together before little Lexie arrives.
Life has been a little hectic, but incredible. Treyton is doing extremely well, learning to talk alot lately it seems, still not great at it but definetly an improvement - which is good. Tim has been working alot with me in the yard, and it is really shaping up (at least the front yard is). It's so exciting to put your own taste and touches on your HOME - making it your's together as a couple. It's been fun exploring what our taste our and how we can build a theme and life around those.
As for me, I'm doing well, as of yesterday I am completely psyched for baby to come and have been "praying without ceasing" for labor to start, as long as little Lexie is healthy and ready. For sure, mom is ready, but obviously her health is the most important. The doctor tells us it really could be "any day" so that's exciting - it's all becoming real very quickly and we can't wait.
I really hope to post some more later, and plan to but just wanted to send out a quick update letting you all know that things are going well here and that we have not fallen off the face of the earth!
God Bless!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Thunderstorms.... Reflection

I LOVE thunderstorms, and as those of you in Wisconsin know, I have had the blessing of experiencing a thunderstorm pretty much every day the last few days and will keep experiencing them for the next few days. (Yea!!)

I am so excited, this last saturday Tim set up my hammock on the front porch so that I could lay out on it even when it was raining. So of course with all the thunderstorms I have been taking advantage!! The other night I was laying out there and it was thundering and lightning quite a bit but the rain was only so-so. It was light enough outside that you could still see the clouds, and I began to just reflect on the awesomeness of our Creator. There are only a few things that help me to grasp how big HE really is and how small I am; thunderstorms are one of those things. I feel so close to Him - so protected yet so humbled. The fact that the Creator of the universe, the one true God, with power and the awesomeness comparable to none would want to know me.... calls me His daughter... His friend.... His beloved.... I just don't get it.... why me?

Reflecting on the storm brings me even more amazement. Thunder..... there is no sound system in the world that can replicate a thunder. You hear it far and wide, it's powerful and booming. It demands attention and cannot be ignored. Lightning.... the power and beauty is so amazing. They both have the ability to create fear and awe in all of us. This same type of "fear and awe" is exactly what the Fear of the Lord should be like in all of us. It's a fear that produces awe, respect, amazement.

Our Lord - our creator - the controller of the thunder and lightning - how awesome is He!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Baby Appointment Update

The last 24 hours have been pretty eventful for us.

JUNE 2nd
2:45 pm - we're scheduled for our ultrasound to see whether or not Alexa was breech. Praise the Lord - within seconds we were told she was head down!!! What an awesome answer to prayer. We got some other information - she is roughly 5 pounds 11 ounces, my fluid was at 7.17, the femur was measuring at 6.63 cm, and the babies heart rate was at 122 bpm. When we left the ultrasound we were ecstatic - calling our mom's and and other family members and trying to decide where we were going to eat out to celebrate the good news.

3:30 pm - we are told that our doctor had to perform and emergency c-section and that he was out of the office for 45 minutes, however, he would like for the ultrasound patient (me) and his other OB patient to wait to see him. We used this time to tour the birthing center - I filled out some paperwork to make it less of a hassle on the "day of" and we got to see the nursery, rooms etc.

4:30 pm - finally got in to see the Doctor. After weighing me and taking my blood pressure a second nurse came in and put me on the baby monitor (for contraction and heart rate). We were surprised by this but she wasn't sure of why we were getting hooked up either.

* By the way Treyton was with us this entire time and did great - he was a very big boy and though he really wanted to be the one on the table, he did well when we told him he wasn't able to.

4:45 pm - the doctor came in and explained to us that he had put on his monitor because he noticed that our fluid was low, and that he was a little concerned. He didn't like how slow the baby's heartbeat was (between 125-135) and he wanted to try to "wake her up". The nurse came in a couple of seconds later and "BUZZED" my belly, which really got her moving (more than she was) and did increase her heart rate. A little while later the doctor came back in to do an exam to take some cultures and to make sure that my membrane had not ruptured and that I had a slow leak. He didn't find anything so he said that he would like to send me over to OB (the hospital) for further more in depth testing. At that time he told me (Tim had taken Treyton to the waiting room) that if my membrane had ruptured that we would be taking the baby tonight, otherwise, he would like to keep me over night on an IV and pushing fluids and then re-evaluate in the morning. I had asked him if he was "sure" and he said "Yes, this makes me nervous" (not something I've heard a doctor say too many times).

by 6:00pm we were checked into the hopsital, they had tested me and luckily we found out that I had NOT ruptured my membrane. However, that still meant I needed to stay overnight. Tim wanted to stick around for a while so Tim's sister was on her way to pick up Treyton for a couple of hours. I got an IV started (with no IV fluids yet) and got hooked up to the monitors.

7:30 pm - I'm starving but the kitchen is closed so Tim managed to find a sandwich we could split and some graham crackers... it was actually not bad and we were both hungry enough that we would have eaten anything!

8:15 The doctor has come in re-explained things to us and tried to calm most of our fears. The baby is looking really good on the monitors (when she isn't moving) and in reality - he thinks that things are going to be fine - he just wants to be sure. He wants to start me on an antibiotic for the strep B just in case we do end up delivering the baby tomorrow. They start the IV which was extremely painful, so they slowed it down (which didn't really help), but it was a nice gesture. Tim leaves to go pick up Treyton and put him down for the night.

10:00 By now I have been on the IV and drinking lots of fluids so I am getting up to pee every 15 minutes, which isn't exactly easy. My nurse is great and helps me when I really can't get somewhere. I decide I am going to try to sleep, however, Lexie decides she is going to wake up - this meant that she kept "falling off" the monitors setting off an alarm (this happened about every 20 minutes for most of the night).

11:30 I finally drift off to sleep

JUNE 3rd
12:15 am - the nurse came in to get Alexa back on the monitors and take my vitals, and 12:30 I need to start my next dose of antibiotics, the pain is still pretty bad so she wraps my arm in a warm towel and elevates on a pillow, it helps a little bit, but there is no way I am falling asleep with all of this stuff around me.

1:45 am - they unhook my antibiotics, I take a bathroom trip and try to fall back asleep, as I'm dozing off Lexie falls off the monitor.

2:45 am - I finally fall asleep again

4:30 am - The nurse comes back in to set up my next IV and to take my vitals, I slept most of the time she was gone only getting up once to pee - I drift in and out of sleep during this round of antibiotics but nothing lasting more than 5 minutes or so.

5:30 am - I call my mom, I have given up on sleeping, but am a little lonely. We talk for a while but my battery is getting low so we cut it short.

6:30 am - my nurse has been busy, and is about to leave for the night, a different nurse comes in and unhooks the IV - I call Tim and see if he's awake :) He wasn't, but he woke up for me. We talk about our "plan" for the day and I tell him how my night went. He told me how his went with Treyton - it's comforting to here his voice and I'm feeling better knowing that he will be here soon.

7:45 am - they come and get me to bring me downstairs for my ultrasound. I thought that Tim would be here by now but he isn't, so I let the nurse know that she should keep her eyes open for him and Treyton - so that she can let them know where I am at.

8:00 am - they start my ultrasound. My levels are higher - PRAISE GOD! At 11.01!! Because they are higher we didn't have to do the more extensive biophysicial ultrasound on baby.

8:30 am - I am back in my room and Tim has arrived (without Treyton) Toni, came over to watch Treyton - what a blessing - and Tim brought me breakfast ---- yea food ---- I was actually starting to feel sick!! The nurse decides to wait on the next dose of antibiotics until we hear from the doctor. He is currently in on another c-section.

9:15 am - the doctor comes in and says that we can come home but that he would like us to come in on Friday for another ultrasound. He isn't in but one of his partners will see us. We're only waiting for final word from the radiologists to leave.

9:30 am - I am getting dressed and they have taken out my IV (very nice), we get word that we are free to go!! We walk down to our Doctors office to set up our friday appointment


10:00am - I am at home, trying to steal kisses from Treyton (he always plays hard to get!!) Man it feels good to be home.

11:00 am - I have taken a shower and been laying in bed for over a half hour. My incredible husband has taken Treyton and gone grocery shopping so the house is quiet but my mind is racing with all of the thoughts from the last 24 hours, I am making a "to-do" list in my head of things to get done before friday... just in case... I slowly drift off to sleep.

12:30 pm - I hear Treyton and Tim come home but am still too tired to get up.... I easily fall back asleep

1:15 pm - I wake up - I hear Treyton laughing and playing with his trucks. Then Tim says something about lunch... this might be worth getting out of bed for!! I get up, Treyton tells me that dad is going to throw away his outdoor car that has now been broken beyond repair - he's upset but I think he knows that it is time :)

2:15 Lunch was definetly worth getting up for, Tim had made velveeta macaroni and cheese and topped it with shredded cheese and grilled chicken ---- SOOOO GOOOD (I love being home). It's time to put Treyton down - I read him a story and dad tucks him in. I decide to update everyone on the last 24-hours! And then take another nap (maybe)

I know this is long and detailed but I wanted to write it all down for Lexie's book anyway, so I thought I would share it with those of you that were interested. Thank you all (who were aware) for your prayers - we couldn't have made it through this without them. Little Alexa has been such a little miracle baby with no complications and no set-backs, and those this was/is a minor bump in the road she continues to look great and is surpassing all of our human expectations --- isn't God good!!

Take Care - and I'll update again after Friday!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Intimacy with God

I've ust started reading the book "Walking with God" by John Eldredge, I have taken away some really great insights that I thought I would pass along to you all.

~ One of the first steps of intimacy with God is that we need to understand that we were not meant to succeeed without God. We can't. If we could, we would only move further from Him. We were designed to work with and alongside our creator, and though our first and majority of sinful decisions are based on the lie that "God is holding out on us" or that "We can do it better ourselves", this is in fact, untrue. If we were able to do it better ourselves or on our own, why would we need a savior? If need be, God will in fact hedge our way if we continue to resist Him (Hosea 2:6) . So if things just seem to continually "not work out" or "not go as planned" ask yourself "Am I working in my own power and will or am I working alongside my creator to fulfill HIS will?"

~ We have to do more than just believe in Him - we are called to be followers!! In order to do this, we have to have someone to follow. We have to move closer to Him, walking with Him, relying on Him, listening to His voice. If we want to live a fulfilled life these things are not an option. We were created for intimacy with Him - He knows us intimately (Psalm 139) and wants to be known by us in an intimate way. All throughout scripture He reveals parts of Himself (his will, desires, heart, character, etc.) and He gives us example after example of ways that He revealed Himself to people, and His deepest most intimate relationships with people (Abraham, David, Moses, Elijah, etc.) May we strive and work towards the same kind of relationships that these people have - it still exists and He still longs for it. The scripture tells us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever! (Hebrews 13:8)

~ If we're not expecting to hear from Him we aren't going to be listening!!!

~ In order to hear the voice of God we must put ourselves in a position of listening. Surrender our own will and desires, be still and quiet, wait, pause, setlle down.... He will be found by us when we seek Him with all of our hearts (Jeremiah 29: 13)

I Encourage you to take a moment and reflect on how well the King of the Universe knows you and desires nothing more than to be known by you!
Psalm 139:1-4
"O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and ar acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether." NKJV
Psalm 139:12-17
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!" NIV