Monday, September 30, 2013

19 weeks

How far along? 19 weeks and 0 days

How far to go? 21 weeks and 0 days

Due Date: February 24, 2014 ( will C-section a week earlier)
Size of baby? Mango (6.5 inches and .10 oz.) also could be about the length of an eggplant
Maternity Clothes:  maternity pants and maternity shirts, leggings and regular shirts.    
Stretch Marks:  not yet that I can see!

Pregnancy Symptoms: I can feel my pulse all over the place, achiness in my lower abdomen, backache, bigger appetite, breathlessness, big belly, hot flashes

Sleeping:  I am sleeping with the Boppy pillow to my right and a smaller pillow to my left. 
I only sleep with one blanket and sometimes I don't even use that.  I get so hot at night. I like to sleep in tank tops.

Best feeling this week: This pregnancy is getting more and more real. 
Movement: YES!  I have been feeling Sallie(y) a tiny bit today and yesterday during church.  I notice it when I lay down.  It has to be her.  I always second guess myself, but there was some movement this morning that couldn't have been anything else.  It felt like Ava felt, just lighter because she is still so small.  It made me giggle!  I love that feeling!  I had been praying that God will allow me to feel her, and yesterday I thought I had but wasn't sure.  Then, eventually, I just prayed that He would basically slap me across the face with it...that there would be no question that was her.  What an amazing feeling and what an amazing miracle!  Thank you, God!
Cravings/Aversions: Mandarin Oranges are so good to me right now!  I am loving Froot Loops and carbohydrates, too.  As usual, my liking for sweets far outweighs my liking for healthy food. 
Belly Button: In...but belly...sticking way out!
What I miss:   I still miss My grandpa and I always will. I also miss feeling in shape. 
What am I looking forward to:   Figuring out what we are going to do Sallie(y)'s room like.  I have some ideas that I am excited about and am hoping God gives me the grace to be crafty and thrifty. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

18 weeks

 IT'S GIRL #2!!!!   We are going to name her Sallie (Sally) Jean.  That is my grandmothers first and middle name and 1) after recent events it seemed appropriate to name her this 2) I have always loved my grandma's name and 3) Curtis heard this was my grandma's name and liked it and so it just seems right. 

The day of my doctor's appointment was bittersweet.  The day before the appointment we found out that my 91 year old (almost) sweet and funny grandpa had an aortic aneurysm and it had ruptured.  He made it to the hospital and we were hopeful that was a good sign.  He made it through a 5+ hour surgery with one or 2 complications but ended the surgery at a stable condition.  He made it through the night and we were very happy with that, but the doctor did say that the next 20 hours after surgery were crucial.  The morning of my appointment, we hadn't heard any bad news so I was feeling good about the state my grandpa was in.  I remember thinking, "God is just not ready for him!" :)  Curtis and I went to Krispy Kreme with Miss Ava and headed out to our appointment.  The ultrasound went well.  The first shot we got was off Miss Sallie(y)'s parts.  It was a good thing we wanted to know what she was because there would have been no mistaking it or missing it.  It was in full view immediately.  We saw other things, but it was a harder ultrasound to make out.  Miss thang has herself upside down, so her behindy is up.  We hardly got a profile picture of her and the pictures we have of her face are freaky.   During the ultrasound and appointment we found out my grandfather was not doing good.  We decided it would be best to start heading to Ohio.  We still had to pack and get an oil change and got on the road around 3 pm.  Ava was a trooper through it all.  By the time we were on 35 and about an hour away from my grandparents house (around 2:00 am), my mom called to say that the doctor called and my grandpa did not have much time.  We rerouted to Ohio State Medical Center.  We got there in time to hold his hand and talk to him and tell him goodbye (About 2:45 am).  He passed about an hour (not even that) after we left (at 4:20 am-Saturday, Sept 21, 2013).  We like to think he was waiting on us.  I know he is with Jesus and I know he is ok.  He will be greatly missed, but we have many a story to remember him by.  He was such a character.  I think he will LOVE that we are naming girl #2 after his wife of 72 years.  I wish Sallie (y) would have been able to meet him and know him.  My girls would have LOVED him!!!

How far along? 18 weeks and 4 days
Size of baby? Mango (6 inches and .5 lbs)
Maternity Clothes:  maternity pants and maternity shirts, leggings and regular shirts.    
Stretch Marks:  hopefully still not!

Pregnancy Symptoms: More energy!!! achiness in my lower abdomen, backache, more hungry and thirsty, breathlessness, big belly

Sleeping:  I sleep  with my boppy as my support on my right side and Curtis as my support on the left side...haha.  As I am typing, it is 2:47 am.  So, obviously I can't sleep.  This early morning, I have transferred Ava's newborn, 0-3, and 3 month clothing to Sallie (y)'s dresser. 
Best feeling this week: Energy so I can play, play, play with big sister.
Movement: Not yet... :( my patience is running thin.
Cravings/Aversions: Lately, I have been hungry and wanted anything to eat.  Yesterday, the mention of English muffins was brought up and so I wanted that with some butter spread over it very badly.  I enjoyed eating those.  I bought some mandarin oranges in a fruit cup at the store and have enjoyed those.  Ate 2 yesterday, so I am fast approaching needing more.  I still am into the sweets ( like chocolate brownies from Ghirardelli mix and I admit I do eat a bit of the batter...I know, I know!)
Belly Button: In...but belly...sticking way out!
What I miss:  My grandpa. 
What am I looking forward to: Baby kicking me!  I love that feeling and remember missing that when Ava was here.  There is nothing like feeling that little miracle inside you.  

Although the day we found out what we were having was more sad than happy, we are so thankful to have found out 1) the baby looks to be developing like she should and there was nothing that alarmed the ultrasound technician 2) that we were able to found out what we are having and 3)  we made it in time to say goodbye to grandpa.  During the appointment my uterus was right where Jan suspected it to be and I got my flu shot! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Grandpa

As many of you know, my grandfather passed away on Saturday...about an hour after we got to say goodbye to him.  We barely made it, but I like to think he was waiting on us.  I remember that day, as we were making the drive, going back and forth wondering if I wanted to see him laying in the hospital bed.  I can say now, I am very thankful for that quiet time with him before he passed.  I am glad my family made it and could hold his hand and tell him how much we loved him and tell him goodbye, that he could go home now. 

I am at peace with his passing.  I know where he is and I know he is okay.  I can see his smile as he first saw Jesus and as he walked through those pearly gates.  I know he is in a resurrected body and he is feeling good.  I know that all of his crazy questions are answered.  I may have lived 8 hours away from him, but I was very close to him and I loved him with all of my heart.  He means the world to me and he always will. 

He was married to my grandma for 72 years.  72 YEARS!!!  She knew him best and the longest.  They were so funny together.  I know grandpa is up there watching over her. 

My grandpa was a character.  Anyone who knew him would agree.  We have so many hilarious stories about him and those stories will never be forgotten and will be told for years and years to come.  I am very fortunate and blessed to have had him in my life for 31 years.  I am very blessed that he lived a good, long life of 91 (almost) years.  His memory will live on no matter what. 

Grandpa-thank you for hanging on so we could say goodbye to you.  Thank you for loving me no matter what.  You were an amazing grandpa and I have very sweet memories of you.  You will always be very special to me and my family and we will miss you like crazy.  But I know that I will get to see you again one day and you can give me a big, tight hug and pinch of the cheeks and say "Well, hi doll!"  I love you. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Purpose and Self Worth

I have been questioning my purpose and worth a lot lately. This is not necessarily a bad thing.  Actually, it keeps me constantly looking for ways God can use me. I know I have a purpose.  " For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, " plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11) And, I know I have worth "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession..." 1 Peter 2:9 These things are true because God is faithful to His promises.  "The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made." Psalm 145:13 

But, all too often, I am trying to give myself my own purpose and worth.  I am making those decisions and not allowing God to decipher the path He wants me on. I am allowing others opinions of me overshadow who God thinks I am.  I start letting others define who I am and what my purpose should be.Then, I lose sight of God and how He sees me. I forget His Sovereignty.  I forget His perfect timing and His plan and purpose for me.

  Something I read today really stuck out to me.  In my Bible Study by Jennie Allen called Chase she wrote, "See, we have worth, but it doesn't come from within us-it comes to us from the ONE who made us." (emphasis mine). Why am I wasting so much time trying to find some purpose, some self worth within me?  There is nothing good that lives in me, except that which comes from God.  Why aren't my eyes always looking to God for value, worth and purpose?  Why don't I fix my eyes on how He sees me instead of what others see of me? My self worth and my purpose shouldn't be on anything that doesn't glorify God and His kingdom and the only way I can make sure that I am truly understanding that and living that cold, hard truth is by constantly looking to Him for His approval and looking to Him for who He says I am.  And that should be all that matters.  So for now, that is my purpose.  To look to God for all things and through all things, and in all things.  And there my worth will be determined by who God says I am...chosen, royal, holy, set apart, loved, a coheir with Christ. 

God, forgive me for looking to others for purpose and worth.  Forgive me for not seeing the value in who You say I am and for not seeing the value in who You say others around me are.  Help me to look to You for my purpose and help me to only allow You to define what my worth is.  I love You and thank You for setting me apart for a reason.  Help my eyes to be open to those opportunities that will help me live a purposeful life that brings Your kingdom glory and honor and praise. 

17 Weeks

I can't believe I am 17 weeks and one day.  This week is a big week for us.  We are (hopefully) going to 1) see a healthy, growing, well developing baby growing inside my belly and 2) going to find out if it is a boy or girl.  The suspense is KILLING me.  I cannot wait to see this baby.  It has been a LONG time coming.  I honestly don't think I could handle another week of not being able to catch a glimpse of this little miracle inside.  There are a lot of anxieties that come along with this ultrasound for me.  I always think the worst and expect it.  I really need to be praying to God more for peace.   
How far along? 17 weeks and 1 day
Size of baby? size of a sweet potato (5.5 in, 5 oz.) Also, about the length of an asparagus spear
Maternity Clothes:  I am wearing maternity pants and still trying to fit into some regular shirts.  This is not going to be able to happen for too much longer because I have really seemed to pop this week.  The shirts are going to be too stretched out to wear post maternity if I keep this up.  I love wearing yoga type pants and t shirts.   
Stretch Marks:  Not any new ones that I can tell.  I am using Elemis massage oil to help with the stretch marks.

Pregnancy Symptoms: I have had some headaches and stuffy nose.  My energy seems to be boosted and not as much nausea at all.  YAY!  I am more energetic but love when I can get some good sleep.  I seem to feel more hungry lately which is not good. 

Sleeping:  I sleep  with my boppy as my support on my right side and Curtis as my support on the left side...haha.  I have been able to sleep pretty well lately.  I have hardly woken up in the middle of the night this week.  I am getting up early, but that is because I want to have certain things done before my little miss wakes up and makes it almost impossible to do my normal routine. 
Best feeling this week: Not feeling nauseous is a HUGE PRAYER ANSWERED!
Movement: Not yet...anxiously waiting and anticipating
Cravings/Aversions: Lately, I have wanted the not healthy stuff and nixed the healthy stuff.  I cut a cucumber yesterday to eat with some ranch dressing and the smell of the cucumber was a huge turn off.  I can always seem to eat some mashed potatoes and green beans (especially the Texas Roadhouse green beans).  I stopped ordering steak when I eat out because I can't stand the sight of another medium well or well done steak.  Too chewy... 
Belly Button: never really came out with Ava either
What I miss:  I miss feeling productive.  Oh, and I miss sushi and frozen margaritas.   
What am I looking forward to: I am still looking forward to seeing this baby for the first time at our ultrasound and seeing that it is ok.  I am looking forward to finding out what we are having and seeing if my prediction is right.

Not much else to report.  This pregnancy seems to be going by a little quicker than my first, but I do have a little 9 month old who is very, very, VERY busy.  That could be a big part of the reason.  I am so thankful for her and this little miracle inside me.  It will be interesting carrying her around (She's heavy!!!) and this baby when I am in the third trimester...especially if my belly gets anything like it did with Miss Ava. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11 remembered

I remember the morning of September 11th well.  I remember walking to chapel and hearing the devastating news.  I remember sitting in shock, disbelief, fear.  I remember hugging friends and tears streaming down everyone's faces. I remember being 16 hours away from my family but felt an eternity away.  I remember all the phone lines were busy and no one could get ahold of anyone.  I remember panic setting in because my dad was suppose to be in a meeting at the pentagon and no one could reach him.  I remember becoming angry at those who did this.  I remember being proud of those that served and died.  I remember hurting so badly for those who had lost someone or who were waiting to find their loved ones fate.  I remember watching hour after hour of coverage-hearing story after story of sadness, bravery, unity, and loss. 

That day has never left my heart or my mind.  It changed the course of history.  It changed our lives...everyone's.  Yet, I feel that, somehow, we have allowed that day to diminish, except on 9/11.  Somehow we, as a country, have forgotten the unity we felt on that day.  The promises we made to one another-to stand united.  We only seem to remember that on days when something tragic happens.  Every other day we sit complaining about the other political party, worrying about such trivial matters, forgetting what we stand for and what our brave soldiers are fighting for.  We don't get along with others who believe differently than we do.  We call each other names, do hurtful things to those who disagree with us, etc.  Where did UNITED WE STAND, WE WILL NEVER FORGET go?

I think about those who were so closely involved in this horrible day.  How they cannot wake up any morning and forget because someone they love is no longer here on earth with them.  How they cannot forget because they have post traumatic stress about that day.  How they cannot forget because just going to work will never be the same to them.  How they cannot forget because they didn't see on TV all these horrific events, but they were standing right there watching it happen.  How they cannot forget because they were racing down the stairs trying to get out on time.  And I cannot forget this day because of them and their loved ones.  I can't let the memory die because of what they have to endure every day. 

Let us remember this day.  Let us remember the things that really matter.  Let us pay homage to those who have to fight those battles above so differently than we do because they were there.  Let us remember those that did this to our country and pray for their hearts.  Pray for the evil in this world to be overcome.  Never forget 9/11.  Never forget those tearful faces, those breaking hearts.  They deserve to be remembered this day as heroes and fighters who are trying everyday to overcome that terrible morning.  To all those who have lost loved ones, I am truly sorry for your loss.  I don't know what you face every day and I can't imagine the pain you feel.  Know that there are many in this world who are thinking about you, love you and are proud of you.  To those who showed bravery and courage to step in and help, thank you for your love and sacrifice for others.  To those brave men and women who are fighting for our freedoms now, thank you for your time and sacrifice, and love for this country.  Thank you to your families for giving of their time with you to be with them to instead be in places across the world making sure we are safe here in America. 

9/11-May we never forget and may we be brought together in perfect unity once more.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Have you ever felt stuck? Have you ever felt broken?  Have you ever been chasing something that cannot be grasped?

Thats me-me- right now, today.  I have a full and abundant life- but I don't feel it.  I don't see it.  I feel weak, consumed by wreckless thoughts, lost, and often, I feel hopeless.  I don't know what the reason is...when I try and think about why I feel this way-I can't find any...ANY...explanation.  It makes no sense...and then the feeling of ungratefulness comes.  How ashamed I am that I have no reason to feel this way, but still I do. 

Ever since this recent pregnancy I have gotten in a rut.  I have a hard time getting anything done.  I get hardly any cleaning done, and when I do, the house ends up looking a mess by the end of the day.  I feel like I do the same things day after day.  I feel like I have no energy to play and love on my little girl.  I have no patience with my husband.  I constantly feel like my life is in some hole, that I have created.  I often feel alone.  Then I read friends blogs who are super mommies and the shame sets in again.  I feel incapable, unworthy to call myself a wife and mother.  Others make it look so easy and I am struggling day to day.  I love being a wife and mommy, but I feel like I am doing such a horrible job at it lately.  I am really being vunerable in sharing all this and I feel like such a failure...I have one child, not multiple children.  How in the world am I going to be able to take care of 2 children under 15 months if I can't do it now with one? 

Even in all the scripture reading I do, all the little bible studies I am a part of, I am still lost, still stuck, still broken.  And then I wonder, what, who, WHERE would I be if I didn't believe in being a part of any of those things?  What would it be like to not know God and His unwavering love for me?  Who would I look to?  Where would I find peace and joy? I thank God that through this season of life I am finding myself currently in, that I have a God that I know and that listens to me.  I thank God that I know a God who can take this hopeless, impossible state I feel I am in and make it possible to come out of and even stronger and better. 

Then, it makes me hurt for those who don't know God or understand His love for them.  How do they get through a day?  What are they putting their hope in?  I want them to know God and everything about Him.  

God, I thank you, even for the stuggles I am facing, because I know You are making me stronger through it all.  I know there is a plan and a purpose for me and I know You will speak that to me and show me who it is You have created me to be.  I thank you for being who You are and loving me even when I am not seeing Your blessings You have showered me with.  Forgive me for not putting all my contentment in You and for searching for things here are on earth to appease me.  Obviously, those things aren't working and I am realizing that I need You...only You.  Father, help me to be a person of light in this world.  Strengthen me to overcome these battles I am facing and help my light to shine so others will see You living in me. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

16 weeks

I can't believe I am 16 weeks (almost).  After tomorrow I will be.  Anyway, it really has gone by fairly quickly and I can say that even after 13 grueling weeks of constant nausea, vomiting or dry heaving, complete and utter exhaustion, etc.  I'd like to thank my wonderful 9 month old for helping to pass the time.  She keeps me on my toes, is so much fun and makes me laugh way more than I would be if I didn't have her here. 
How far along? 15 weeks and 5 days
Size of baby? size of an avocado (4-5 in, 3-5 oz.)
Maternity Clothes:  I am wearing maternity pants and shirts.  I could probably get away with some regular clothes but they are much less confining and much more comfortable. I love my maternity jeans and t-shirts.  I am going to need some maternity winters clothes since I really had no need for those with my last pregnancy.  I was usually too hot for sweaters.  Who knows? Maybe that will be the same with this one. 
Stretch Marks:  Not any new ones that I can tell. 

Pregnancy Symptoms: I still have some nausea and have had a few moments I felt I needed to be bending over a toilet.  All that led to was dry heaving, which I will admit, can help make me feel better.  I am very tired, still.  I have had a few headaches this week.  But those have seemed to lessen in quantity and pain. 
Sleeping:  I have been able to sleep on my belly up until this week.  This week I have been sprawled across my boppy pregnancy pillow and I forgot how much I LOVE it.  The only thing that can irritate me is when I need to flip to my other side.  I have to toss the pillow on the other side, then my blanket gets all twisted and that is SOOOOO annoying.  It makes it even worse because I feel like I toss and turn a lot.  I take up most of the bed...poor, poor Curtis. 
Best feeling this week: I am starting to look pregnant and not fat or like I just gave birth 9 months ago.  I have also had a little more energy.
Movement: Not yet
Cravings/Aversions: I can eat most anything.  Not a whole lot sounds tremendously good, like I have gotta have it right now or I am going to die kind of thing.  I can eat whatever.  I was craving fruit and cucumbers before this week.  Now I have drifted more to salty and some sweet.  I have been really into caffeine free root beer. 
Belly Button: never really came out with Ava either
What I miss:  Admittedly, I miss being able to go out and not feel nauseous at all.  I miss being able to clean my house thoroughly. 
What am I looking forward to: I am looking forward to seeing this baby on the screen.  I am excited to see what we are having and seeing that it is ok (Lord willing).

I have had weird dreams lately.  Some intense and bothersome, some weird.  I had one that I was growing facial hair and it looked like a leprechaun and my doctor told me it was because I must have a lot of testosterone in my...that I must be having a boy.  I have a feeling I am having a boy, but who really knows?  God does!  Anyway, as long as we have a healthy baby, I am good with whatever it is... boy or girl!

I have had a close fainting spell after being out in the heat.  That was scary and brought back memories of my last pregnancy. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Ava is 9 months old!

Ava is 9 months old
Weighs: 19 lbs. 6.6 oz.
Height: 28 in.
Head: 45 cm.
Well, not much has changed since my 8 month post (since that was only a week ago). This little girl has brought such joy to our hearts and to our family.  She has such a fun personality.  Ava has no fear of things and I love that about her, but at the same time it scares me to death!  She still wears size 3 diapers.  She is wearing 9-12 month clothing. She sleeps about 10 hours per night. She takes a morning nap from about 10:45-1:00 and an afternoon nap at about 4:00-5:30.  Her bedtime is anywhere between 8-9 pm. She drinks 3 bottles with 8 oz. of formula.  She shows less and less interest in her bottles every day.   She LOVES fruit!  She LOVES music and bops around to it all the time. She loves going outside.  She gets super excited when I grab her, her bag, and the keys because she knows we are going to go somewhere.  She LOVES her puppy and kitty and we are working on petting them gently. 

Her favorite toys are her stacking cups, her shape holder, her diaper box, and anything soft she can snuggle with.
During her 9th month, Ava has become a lot better at sitting down from the standing position.  She use to fall and hit her head on everything when she went down.  Now she goes down slowly and purposeful. 
She still doesn't show any interest in drinking from a cup or holding her own bottle (grrrrrr). We give her a cup at breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Hopefully, she will catch on to it before she is 50.  Many times I will catch her with her sippy cup upside down sucking on the wrong end.  That's my genius!  I do have one picture of her actually holding her cup the right way.  Woo hoo!
We also show no interest in big people food.  She just gags on everything I try to give her.  I know they say to keep making her eat it, but that is pure torture sometimes.  And boy!  Are we messy!!!!
She is full of energy all of the time, except in the morning where she loves her snuggles after her bottles.  I love those sweet and quiet moments with her.  I know one day they will come to end, but I keep hoping and praying that she will always be that loving and cuddly.
She went to her first high school football games where her uncle is one of the coaches.  She loved that so much! 
Things I have loved about this month:
  • Her happy smiles when I get her from her crib
  • Her scrunchy face she makes
  • Her big, top teeth
  • Her curiosity of everything around her
  • Her giggles when we dance around the house
  • Her love for water and when she splashes all around in it
  • Her bashful playfulness
  • Her princess wave
  • Her enthusiasm about the things around her-new sights and sounds
  • Her ability to entertain herself in her pack n play when mommy needs a break
  • Her new dance moves

Warning Signs

"Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.  People were eating, drinking, marrying, and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark.  Then the flood came and destroyed them all." Luke 17: 26-27

I have completed my first week with a new Bible Study with Good Morning Girls called Loving like Jesus.  I have really enjoyed it and I love how they make you S.O.A.P (Scripture, observations, application, prayer).

I admit that sometimes I read the Bible and hear the words but don't really listen or think about what is going on or being said.  All to often, reading my Bible daily becomes just another item to check off my list.  However, SOAP has really helped me.  It has made me dig deeper into scripture and think about things I have never thought about before.  When I read the passage above, I was thinking about what was going on then compared to what goes on now. 

We do things the same way.  We are filling our tummies with drinks and food, we are going out with our significant others, we are going to see movies, going grocery shopping, cleaning our homes, cooking dinner, etc., etc., etc. I know I tend to do these things and they become the focus of my life.  Well, in the days of Noah they were going about living their lives, too.  Not a bad thing, its natural and normal.  But it makes me wonder what warning signs am I missing that Christ is coming.  I mean, then, Noah tried to tell them.  They didn't listen.  He was building a huge ark in the middle of the desert and no one took him seriously. Animals from all over were coming to him in pairs?  Didn't someone out there wonder if there was some truth to what he was saying?  Didn't someone wonder if something big was going to happen?

There is so much going on in this world.  There is so much that takes my focus away.  I admit it...I don't think about Christ's coming back all too often.  In fact, I almost avoid thinking about it.  It scares me.  I know, as a Christian, I should be looking forward to that, but there is still so much I want to do in this life.  Mainly, I want to grow old with my husband and watch our children grow and start their own lives, and with God's help, build godly legacies in their families.  I don't think that is sinful to hope and pray for.  But does it sometimes consume my life where that is my focus and not Christ?  Yes and that is sinful.  Because God should be the focus of everything-every part of my life, every second of my day, every ounce of my being.  I don't want to miss warning signs that God needs me to see, hear, or teach to these little lives surrounding me.  I don't want to be destroyed because of my ignorance, arrogance, busyness (whatever it may be that day) got in the way of loving Jesus, loving my neighbors, and seeing His signs that surround me all day long. 

God, I know I am a sinner.  I know I struggle with thinking about and looking forward to Your coming back.  I know that I let life get the focus instead of you.  Father, forgive me for this.  And Lord, help me to have some peace and understanding on this area of my life and what it should look and feel like. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

After he saw he was healed

One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, "Praise God!" Luke 17: 15

I don't know about you, but when I read this something different spoke to me then I know speaks to so many other people when they read this passage.  A brief synopsis of what is going on-10 men are suffering with leprosy.  Leprosy was a disease that ate away at your skin and if you had this disease you were considered "unclean".  You were separated from society and noone would touch you or pay any attention to you.  Well, ten men had this disease and saw Jesus from a distance.  They pleaded with Him to cure them and He did.  One of the men was a Samaritan.  Now, a Samaritan was even more unworthy just because he was simply a samaritan.  So, a samaritan with leprosy was even more of a cast off.  Anyway, only one, the Samaritan came back to thank God for the healing He provided.  The other 9 were cleansed and healed, but made no bother to praise God for His healing hand. 

However, this story is told for us to look up to the Samaritan who did the right thing.  He came back and praised God.  But, this time, when reading this passage,what stood out to me was that he came back after he saw that he was healed.  Shouldn't he have praised God even before the healing began? Shouldn't he have been praising God for paying any attention to him in the first place?  Why did he wait for the healing to happen? 

I am not reading the passage to say that this man was wrong for what he did.  He wasn't!  He praised God! But, I think it stood out to me because I am so guilty of this.  Shouldn't I be praising God before my healing begins?  Shouldn't I be praising God for paying any attention to me, my needs, my cares, and my concerns? Shouldn't I be praising God because He has given me another day of life? Shouldn't my entire day be consumed with praising God no matter the circumstances?

I should, but I don't.  I praise God when I get what I want.  I praise God when my prayers are answered to my timing or with the answers I wanted.  And even then, I don't always remember to praise God. 

I do want to be like this man and remember that I need to praise God, but I want to remember to praise God no matter what happens-even if its not the "healing" I asked for. 

Father God, forgive me when I don't praise you in all things.  Forgive me when I forget to give You the glory You deserve and only You are due.  Forgive me when I think I know what it is best for me and what I can handle and not allowing you to take the lead.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor Day Weekend

While the weekend was rather uneventful, I enjoyed Curtis being home 4 days in a row.  I felt very spoiled being able to spend so much time as a family.  Friday we finally decided to pay the necessary amount to start baby proofing the house.  We bought a couple of gates because Miss Ava is getting into absolutely everything and keeping us on our toes...constantly.  We also took Ava to her first football game at the high school where my brother coaches.  She had such a good time and enjoyed all the new sights and sounds.  After the game, we let her crawl around on the football field.  Her cousins were on the field being crazy and doing cartwheels and stuff.  Ava was getting so excited...she wanted to be right there in the middle of them.  We are quickly learning that Ava has no fear of things.  On Saturday, we were going to get so much done, but my nausea and stuff came back in full force and so I was not much help.  I mostly laid around on the couch and slept.  That evening we decided to go to my parents so Curtis could watch the Alabama game.  We got rid of cable last year and I think it was one of the best things we ever did, but it means that sometimes we have to make trips to my parents to watch certain games that don't come on local channels.  Of course, Ava had a great time and enjoyed being at her grandma and grandpas house.  Sunday was a great morning at church.  Ava got to see her favorite teachers and play with her friends in nursery.  We went to Cracker Barrel and that was horrific.  She was horrible.  We each had to take turns eating because she was busy throwing fits and just misbehaving in general.  We had decided that we were going to go to Matthews Alive afterward.  That was also horrific.  I wanted to go so bad, but 15 minutes in and I almost passed out.  We were walking along the crafts corridor and all of a sudden I got so weak and everything went black.  I was still able to walk but had to hold on to the stroller.  A lady who was working the booth saw me and had me sit in her tent.  She wet a burp cloth for me and Curtis got me another water.  It was scary.  That was not my first almost pass outs. It was with this pregnancy but that happened to me several times with Ava's pregnancy.  Once I actually did pass out, the other instances, I came extremely close.  So, its official.  I cannot handle heat when I am pregnant.  I felt so bad the rest of the day and felt so sorry for ruining all the fun we were going to have.  I am thankful for the kind woman who gave me a shaded tent and chair and a ice cold burp cloth to cool myself off with.  Its funny...there was a man walking around preaching hell and damnation to everyone at Matthews Alive and all he was getting was weird looks and laughs.  I am sure his intentions were good, but he was doing nothing but scaring people.  But there was this kind lady who preached God's love just through her actions.  I wish that guy understood the good of what she did and would maybe attempt to be His hands and feet instead of ranting about how wicked we are and need God.  While what he was saying was true, its not the way to reach unbelievers.  Labor day was just another day in the Alford house.  We got to grocery shop as a family.  Then we made taco soup, queso dip and watched a movie while Ava napped.  It was a wonderful time together, just the two of us...and much needed.  This weekend reminded me of how I don't need big, extravagant trips (although those are always nice, always welcomed, and always enjoyed).  I just need time with my family.  Time to be a family.  I am thankful that God gave Curtis a 4 day rest from his job and that we got to be together the entire time.  It was great for Curtis to be able to get Ava up from her crib and get to enjoy her huge hugs in the morning.  He got to play with her and see what her normal routine is.  I know he enjoyed it and Ava loved having her daddy home.