Yielding

I’ve lost my journal. Turns out that could be a blessing for my blog. Unfortunately for some, that means more transparency while I write. Buckle up.

I have been thinking about yielding lately. Just like in traffic, but in my life. It seems like I am always on a crash course, just waiting to collide with whatever I need to in order to try to make myself feel better. Usually it’s my kids or my husband. Most of the time it has to do with some kind of poutiness towards God. Is “poutiness” a word? I sure try to make it one if it is not. The deal is, God just doesn’t seem to act like I want him to, or give me what I think I need for the moment. . . . .

Pumping my last remaining amounts of breast milk (I have honest to goodness supply problems which causes a huge amount of stress with a newborn) has given me the opportunity to sit down with God for a while each day. It’s been my first consistent quiet time for a long, long time. He’s brought to me this idea of yielding and it feels like a light bulb has been turned on in my spiritual life. If you have those, don’t you LOVE those times?

I’ve struggled with recognizing God through out my day. I’ve just felt guilty about it. Every time I get too frustrated with the kids, with Josh, actually. . . . with anyone or anything, I know I am not living with the fruits of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). Since having children, there are rarely any moments that I can call fresh “patience” or “kindness,” and it is hard for me to have “gentleness” come in moments of quietness or peacefulness that doesn’t usually have to do with Sesame Street, Thomas or Handy Manny being on the TV.

Then comes the thought of Yielding. Yielding to the Spirit of God to be exact. It has been a welcomed thought to realize that I don’t have to collide with the oncoming traffic coming my way in the form of a screaming child at the meal table, a temper tantrum about going potty, the lack of meals on the table or piled up laundry baskets.

I want to learn to yield more to Jesus. When those moments come, I want to learn to put my mental and emotional breaks on, or at least tap the breaks a little bit, in order to allow God’s peace to come into the moment. All I need is an ounce of His clarity in order to not collide with the speeding bullet train coming my way sometimes.

The crazy thing is, I cannot even create the awareness of this traffic on my own. I need God’s help to even open my eyes to how fast the traffic is coming, let alone have the ability to put my foot on the break to slow down. But that’s the beauty of his Grace. No matter how guilty I want to feel for failing all the time, He still wants to do those things for me. Even though it will probably happen more slowly than I’d like, I trust that He is going to teach me how to yield to Him a little more every day.

Oh Lord, help bring my view to yours. Help me see myself and my circumstances and other people from your viewpoint before I collide with them. Only you can give me that wisdom and vantage point.

Psalm 116: 7 “Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”

Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

Galatians 5:19-20 “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”

Galatians 5: 22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. . . “

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Baby Day #3

Did I just write that title?

I woke up at 5am and couldn’t go back to sleep. It didn’t surprise me so I got up to journal and spend some time with God. Of course I had to check Facebook first (big mistake always for me before spending time with God) but I guess I’ll just do some journaling here instead of in my notebook. God hears my thoughts, including when I write them on Casadelmundo. This is just a steady stream of my thoughts today. Join me if you want to.

What did I ever do to deserve this? I am measuring the time right now in Mothers’ Days.  5 years ago, we started trying to get pregnant. 4 years ago we were deep in the depths of infertility and God was asking me to let go of my expectations and hopes for children in my life, would I trust him to do whatever He wanted? 3 years ago we were in Guatemala visiting Jadon, waiting to adopt him, falling MADLY in love with the country and the little boy who was destined to be our son. 2 years ago we were planning on building our family solely through the miracle of adoption. I had just started medication for arthritis that would end up in getting pregnant a few weeks later. Last year, we had a 2 year old and a 3 month old and were content with that until the next time to adopt. But this year, we are hours away from having our third child to add to our 3 year old and our 15 month old. WOW!

The biggest question I had turned around to me during our struggles to have children was, “Why God? Why me?” I remember letting go when I realized, “Why NOT me?” We are not exempt from any kind of pain. There are millions of women who go through horribly painful things, millions and millions of them face things tougher than I will ever face. Because of infertility I was given the opportunity to turn my children over to God. Trust him with what he wanted to do. What an opportunity!

Now don’t get me wrong. I am staunchly against the belief that “once someone turns over a struggle (namely infertility) truly over to God, then he can really get to work and bless that person.” I firmly believe that’s not what it was all about at all. He was about claiming my struggles for HIS glory. He wanted to do something with my heart.

I am here today, so busy with 2.5 children that I can’t type this and give the impression that I spend loads of time with God and that we are tighter than we have ever been. We most definitely are not. I am saddened by my lack of passion to infuse my daily time with my family into more inspiring time to love Jesus together.

But, I am amazed and in awe at what he has allowed to happen in my life. I would not take back my years of infertility, my years of struggle, my years of pain. I am blessed now with the hindsight to say that. I don’t expect anyone in the midst of pain to echo my words. But for me, now I know that if I had not spent that time questioning what I expected from God, what I expected from life, what I expected from myself, I would be a completely different person now. In a way that otherwise I wouldn’t, I now desire God’s will only.

We probably would have adopted later in our family life, even if we had been blessed with biological children first. But through infertility, God brought adoption earlier. God brought JADON into our lives! He is such an incredible big brother. I tear up as I say that. He loves Eliza in a way I never pictured before. It truly is amazing. We were also blessed with Guatemala before we expected to be. We traveled to a much less fortunate country as a family and brought that culture into our homes. Our prayer is that God will use our lives in mighty was AS we raise our children to love the world and other people. That is a time line we wouldn’t have ever expected if we had sat down to write our own time line.

This morning I am reflecting on our pregnancies more than anything, for obvious reasons. In my 3 years of trying to get pregnant, I realized my DEEP DEEP longing to experience life within me, to experience a little person who reflected me. I remember crying and crying after my friend Amanda left after visiting Atlanta and feeling her 3rd child on the outside of her stomach. I was so wrecked with I thought I would never experience that, that I was not Jadon’s birthmother, that I probably would never have that place in someone’s life.

Surprisingly I was wrong. Then surprisingly again, 6 months later I was wrong again. I have now been pregnant 1 1/2 years out of the last 2, exactly. As I lay in bed at 5 am this morning I marveled at my big, big baby moving simultaneously in 3 places in my big belly. I am so ready to care for Jadon and Eliza without being pregnant and hold them close again. I am so ready to have “my” body back so I can try to return it to “normal.” I have all the aches and pains that can go with a pregnancy. Actually it seems like more since I have 2 pregnancy weights now to carry around along with the stuff that comes with that.

I have gestational diabetes, anemia, arthritis pains, nerve pain in my legs and pelvis, stretch marks, C-Section scar about to be cut again, I lost the ability to bend down to the floor at least a month ago, I turn over in the bed like a beached whale, but turning over isn’t happening since I really can only sleep on one side of my body due to this weird sore spot that feels like a numb burn with shooting pain just above my stomach on my right side. All of these things will mainly go away today, in a few hours when my doctor pulls the baby out and Josh gets to say, “It’s a . . . . ”

But with them will also go away my connection with another person within my body. The kicks and turns from my child. The feeling of a small limb moving across my belly. My ability physically to give someone everything they need physically to survive. The knowledge that my body can give life. The wonder of carrying a “small” being inside my womb. The quietness of just wondering why this baby jumps at everything, from a pop in my back, a flip of a blind cord on my stomach, to a bathtub toy dropped by it’s siblings. The excitement of not knowing what is around the corner, a little boy or a little girl. The cuteness of a pregnant belly, instead of a was-pregnant one.

It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t close with my thoughts about my friends who have lost babies. With my friends who are still longing for children, or even that double line on a stick. With my friends who will never experience pregnancy and/or the biological connection. With my friends who may never even enter into those thoughts because they may not even met someone to think about it with. My thought about that to God now is, “Why me?”

I can’t believe this chapter in my life will close today. Since I spent 3 years longing so much for it, I didn’t want it to go by without reflection. Thank you for reading and caring for me. I am hoping that the next 3 years will find me falling more deeply in love with Jesus and I learn how to rely on HIM more to get me through successfully as a mother of 3 young children. May I never ask, “Why me” about that. May I never take for granted what I have been given. May I never overlook anything we have been blessed with over the past 5 years. Now that I have walked it, I wouldn’t change a single thing.

Diego Band-aids

How we’ve gone this long without being addicted to band-aids I’ll never know! But, Jadon just fell outside and while it took him a few minutes to discover his hand had a tiny scratch on it, once he noticed, he no longer had use of that hand! So, I played nurse and doctored it up. He got to use a Diego band-aid out of a box that I think is almost as old as he is and is almost gone simply from other kids coming to visit and needing one. Now I am not expecting that box to last much longer. I kissed his boo-boo and he told me that my kiss didn’t help. Mommy wound! Sniff, sniff! Can I get a band-aid for that please!

He is trying to take a nap now with his hand propped up on a pillow while staring at his green Diego band-aid. I might as well write band-aids on my Target list right now.

Check out this giveaway!!!

The Neema Shop

This site raises money for the causes of orphans. Right now they are selling and giving away really cute name boards painted by a friend of mine from Atlanta.

Check it out!!

Live Laugh Love x7

Please pray for our friends at livelaughlove5.blogspot.com

They are going from 5 people in their family to 7!!!! On Monday they become foster parents to a 3 year old and 7 month old! It’s been amazing to be with them on their journey that God has brought to this. They are extremely obedient people who LOVE the Lord. I am sure it will bless all who pray for them and follow the journey from here!

A blog while grieving

I have to tell you all about this blog. In my years of dealing with pregnancy loss and infertility, I gained a passion and a respect for people who are able to walk bravely and to clearly verbalize their pain and grief. Last August, a family from our old church in Atlanta lost their baby. This is the blog of Samuel’s grieving mother. Please read this blog if you have ever had anything to grieve over yourself, or if someone close to you has had to grieve a tremendous loss.

Samuel’s Heart

SNOW on SNOW on SNOW!

I think snow is what I missed most when we lived in Atlanta besides my family and friends. It’s now been snowing here since mid December I think, without getting above freezing to melt it. The kids and I have been stuck in the house (potty training) since Wednesday and the most recent snow fall. I am getting tired of being inside, but every time I look outside it is worth it.

Views outside our windows:

See Jadon’s sweet face just inside the window? I think the kids love it as much as I do. Jadon always has a big smile on his face when we talk about it and Eliza goes “oooohhh” whenever we look outside.