Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sometimes I wish people could be a fly on the wall in my house to hear my husband's and my interactions; we think we are quite funny.

Through a course of events last night, Dan and I started talking about the future and him getting a job after graduation. You can only imagine how these types of conversations go with a Type A personality (me) and a Type B personality (Dan), and in case you can't imagine how they go, well, they don't go well. Dan's philosophy is "I will get a job at some point and it will be fine." My philosophy is "I need to know when you are going to get a job so that I can figure out insurance, my internship, babysitting for Eliana, and paying for my Grad School." After expressing that to Dan, Dan's philosophy still remains, "I will get a job at some point and it will be fine." To make a long story short, Dan eventually looks at me as I continue to list all the reasons I need answers and for him to get a job ASAP after graduation and says, "You're so...You're so...UGH, I don't even have a word for it!!" To which I mock him and say, "Well you need to practice using your words so why don't you come up with something?" He tried determined, focused, "planny", etc; I agreed with him, and he was shocked. His response to that was, "Well, I was going to say rigid and inflexible, but I didn't figure you would take that well." I laughed, so hard, because it is so true. Like I said, I Type A; 100% maybe 150%. It's a good thing I married a Type B to balance me out.

And to top the rest of the night off, my devotions were all about trusting God with the future. I couldn't help but laugh, and I would venture to say God was probably shaking his head and smiling at me as well.

Anyway, if you think about it; I'd appreciate your prayers for the opportunity that started the converstaion between Dan and me for the future. God has a plan, and I know that. I must trust Him, and I must trust He will have me in the perfect place at the perfect time.

Moving on; I have a couple piece of parenting advice/stories I figured are worth sharing:

1. Last week I had a client who continuously attempted to put her feet on me and they smelled WRETCHED. I know that since I am pregnant my sense of smell is enhanced, but seriously, I thought I would vomit. Before I left the house, I told her dad that she needed a bath that night, and he asked me if she smelled bad. I told him that her feet smelled and that she needed a shower. His response, "Well, that's what she gets for not wearing socks with her boots." To which I asked my client why she doesn't wear socks with her boots. She responded, "They make my feet too hot in the furry boots." Her dad said, "And I'm not quite sure how you argue with that logic!!" I left the house shaking my head thinking; argue with that logic? Really? When you are the parent and you have a child and you want them to wear socks, you simply do not give them an option. Now that seems more logical to me; especially considering its 24 degrees outside.
2. I had another client tell me that I really need to watch my bladder after I have a baby, because it drops and becomes weak and I am going to lose all control over it once the baby is here. Now, I'm well aware that while pregnant there is more pressure on the bladder and after being pregnant I am not saying that my bladder won't have changed or whatever, but losing all control? I'm not convinced...perhaps in three months I will feel differently, but just saying. Seems a little far fetched to me.

Ok, that's all I've got for now; I'm sure there will be more soon!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Don't be sorry for compassion. It can move us to do amazing things, and it can help you gain a new perspective." -Soul Surfer

My heart is overwhelmed tonight; overwhelmed at the way God chooses to show up. Not in a bad way by any means. You see, tonight Dan went to bed early because he has clinical tomorrow, and I didn't need to go to bed early tonight because I have MLK day off work. The majority of my homework is finished and because this is pretty much my last official three day weekend until Eliana arrives I decided to watch Soul Surfer that I have had recorded for quite some time.

What a powerful story. What an amazing young lady not afraid to stand up for what she believes in and who trusts the Lord wholeheartedly regardless of the storms she has be through.

It reminds me of the small group; I talked with the girls today about the fact that they were made to make a difference. They were created for purpose. They were created with intention, and God stands in awe of them. It reminds me of the reality that God has created me for purpose and stands in awe of me as well. He has created me to love my clients even when they are unlovable. He has created me to be an encourager to those he has brought across my path. He has created me to be an example. He has created me raise Eliana to know Him, to trust Him, to love Him, to honor Him, and to believe that she is created with purpose as well.

I am so unworthy; truly unworthy. If people only knew my flaws, my worries, my control issues they would understandly that I really am a wretch that was saved. Saved solely by grace.

I didn't ask for God to show up today in my life the way that He has necessarily, but He met me where I was at. He knew that I needed it, and for that I am grateful. I am grateful that with every kick Eliana makes I am reminded of what her name truly means: "God has answered with joy". In case you missed that GOD has answered with JOY, not just in entrusting me with the baby He has given to me but in so many other areas as well.

If only Eliana could understand how much she has already taught me before I have even held her in my arms.

Thank you, Father...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

So it may be hard to believe that I am posting two days in a row, but I figured I needed to take advantage of my last night of freedom before I start school again. I finished reading a book, and I decided it was time for me to write about what God reminded me about last week.

You see, last week, I was sitting in a missions committee meeting where we started talking about how many people's lives have been changed in the 10-40 window due to them receiving training about developing businesses. Essentially, it capatalizes on individuals' strengths and helps them to become successful in their communities and better able to provide for their families. Along with many other things. However, my heart started racing thinking of the impact that has already been made but still about the work that needs to be done.

It is such a foreign thought to so many of us in the United States that there are actually people halfway around the world who have no idea who Jesus is. It is such a foreign thought to so many of us that people are living in complete and total darkness, unaware of the Gospel, and not by choice. And it is such a foreign thought to us that we should take ANY part in spreading the Good News to those who have never heard. But the reality is, there are several people groups who have never heard of Jesus and several who do not even know what the Gospel is. And the other reality is that being a part of spreading the Good News to those who have never heard is not a choice, it is not an option, it is a command.

So many verses in scripture refer to "GOING", and yet no where in scripture have been able to find where it is something that we get to CHOOSE whether or not we do. If we are a part of God's family, then to me, it feels as though it is an expectation He has of us. The funny thing to me is, He doesn't need me to do His work, yet he chooses to use me; He can show up to people in dreams, visions, and in so many other ways, yet He has chosen ME to be his vessel for sharing His message with other people.

The hard part for me right now, though, is that I am not halfway around the world living out my faith in such a way that inspires people who do not know Jesus to come to know him more. Yes, I am in contact with people each and every day who does not know Jesus, and I do my best at sharing His love with them through my actions, but so much of my heart is overseas.

Dan and I were just talking the other night before we went to bed about how much we wish we could travel overseas to encourage those already serving or to begin building relationships with natives. But yet, he ever so calmly reminded me that we are where we are for a reason. It is for reasons that he does not understand and it is for reasons that I do not understand. But yet we both know we still have a responsibility to play in helping others come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

So how does it all fit together then? Our hearts are still overseas, but yet we know we are here for a reason...oh I wish I knew. How I wish I knew...But what is important for me to remember, is that in God's perfect time we both will understand how and why everything has fit together the way that it has.

I just hope and pray that we can raise Eliana Joy to have a heart for others, a heart for the lost, a heart for the nations, and to know that the God our family serves and will continue to serve deserves all the praise, glory and honor.

And for now, I end with Luke 10:2, the prayer of my heart regarding missions right now, because prayer can make more of a difference than what we realize, "These were his instructions to them, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.'" May He do just that...May He send more workers into his fields so that more people may come to worship him.

Because when it comes down to it; missions exists because worship doesn't.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Week 15
Week 18
Week 24
Week 25
So my husband had this fabulous idea to take a picture a week of my growing belly. Well, in my eyes it was kind of silly to take pictures of a belly that wasn't change enough to be able to tell through pictures. However, I appeased him in weeks 15 and 18 and let him take a picture, and now from here on out, I will do my best to get pictures as I am starting to show a little more.
People still have a hard time believing that I'm due in April with how little I am showing, but it's not like I have shared with them my experience with morning sickness and then my bout with the flu. And the other reality is, I feel like she is growing by leaps and bounds each day. As my morning sickness has subsided mostly, I feel like she is awake more during the day as she often kicks a good part of the time while I am at work. Usually night is when she is the most active and it seriously makes me laugh out loud to watch my belly jump as she kicks or punches or rolls or does whatever she does. She was even doing it at church on Sunday; perhaps that just means that she's going to be a little girl full of the Holy Spirit, though. :)
Anyway, I just wanted to share this tonight, bed it calling my name as work will come much earlier than desired tomorrow. More to come next time about how God has been moving in my life...
Oh, and one last thing: one of my client's last week said to me as he is raising three kids by himself, "Well, I would tell you to not get married because nothing good ever comes from it but it looks like it's a little late for that and I would tell you not to have kids because they are a pain in the butt, but it looks like it's a little late for that too." REALLY, sir?! Is how I wanted to respond, but instead, I smiled because my life is none of his business for one, and for two, I know I am exactly where the Lord wants me in life right now and nothing could be better than that.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Someone remind me to never again talk about how I am going to spend my free time. Life has been a little on the hectic side, but I suppose that is nothing new.

First, legitimately a week after class I got the worst stomach flu of my life. I seriously don't think I have ever been so sick in my entire life, and in over two years of work, I had to take my first sick day which then turned into two sick days. Chalk up a trip to the ER too why don't we on the first night that the nasty bug reared its ugly head. Thankfully, the nurses and doctors were able to stop all my symptoms and after almost two bags of fluids, I wasn't as dehydrated. It took me about 5 days to fully recover, but now I am back to normal. Well as normal as I can be awhile pregnant with the morning sickness that is still left.

The sad part of the whole stomach flu fiasco was that I had started feeling sick at work, but I didn't think anything of it really because I have been so used to being sick for nearly the last five months. Fortunately, I didn't get sick in my client's house; I made it outside to their yard, was then able to finish the meeting, drive halfway home, pull over and get sick, and then I made it back to my house before the worst of it hit. Still NOT fun, and NOT fun while pregnant. Thankfully, from what we know right now, Baby Eliana is still doing well. Her heartrate was good at the hospital and it was good at my doctor's appointment the Friday after. And let's be honest, she's still kicking up a storm. So I am just hoping and praying that she was protected and everything will continue moving on smoothly. Did I mention Dan ended up with the flu two days later?? Thankfully he didn't get it as bad...

So, moving on, after recovering from the flu, then it was Christmas. And oh how I love Christmas!! We celebrated with Dan's dad's family where we announced Eliana's name by giving Dan's younger sister all the letters mixed up in a box that she had to try to arrange and then pronounce the name. It didn't work out so well so then the whole family got in on it, and we were able to tell them. Everyone liked it, but no one had heard of it, so it took awhile for some of them to learn how to pronounce it.

Then on Christmas morning, Dan and I were talking before we got ready for church and my cell phone rang. It was 8:30 in the morning, and when I saw it was my mom I was a little shocked because she's not usually up that early. When I answered, she told me my grandma had collapsed and dad was rushing over to her house immediately and 911 had already been called. To make a long story short, she was taken to the hospital by ambulance, kept for observation, had a heart attack the day after, was transferred to Parkview in Fort Wayne and then had a Pacemaker put in on Tuesday and was back home on Wednesday where she is doing well but still recovering.

That added a little bit of stress on Christmas day, but I am beyond thankful that she is ok. She seems to be a little excited to have a great-grandchild around here since her eldest great-grandchild lives in Arizona and Kaelyn lives 5 hours away. Later that day we still went to Dan's mom's house for Christmas with that side of the family. The kids were so excited and there was so much energy but it was a good day.

My sister and her husband then got home that night and we went to see them over there; they were home from Sunday night-Friday morning so LOTS of time was spent over at my parents house that week, but spending time with them and my niece was precious. And then after that week, it was the weekend and Dan and I did not do anything for New Years as we recovered from the craziness of the past week or so.

And now it's back to work. And soon school will be starting again, but for now, I will relish in the time that I do not have to spend doing school work because I have a feeling this next class is going to kick my behind.

That's all for now; next time, I will update more parenting advice...have no fear, they haven't stopped giving it!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

ok, so I am a little bit late of doing my list of things I am thankful for on my birthday...believe me, the week of Christmas was a week unlike any other, but I will post more about that later. Now on to the list of 25 things I am thankful for this year. If you are curious about what the postings have been in the two years previous, I actually posted them on my birthdays; December 29 of 2009 and 2010.

I am thankful for...(in no particular order)

1. A relationship with a consistent God who is always there and loves me unconditionally no matter how many times I fail; although there have been dry times in my walk this past year, He still always shows up and never ceases to amaze me.
2. Over a year of marriage with my husband; we have learned, grown and laughed together. We have grown frustrated at times, but we have adjusted to life with both of us in school and still working. I love him very much.
3. My parents; it is so true that you don't realize how much your parents did for you as a kid until you grow up and leave the house. But I adore my parents and the time we are able to spend together.
4. Another volleyball season; it is so fun to be able to help out with something I love. Not to mention I also have the privilege to hang out with some of the most amazing other women and high school girls there are.
5. My in-laws; after hearing people's horror stories this year, I really took a step back and realized how blessed I am to have in-laws who I enjoy spending time with and who geniunely care about me as a person and my relationship with their son.
6. My new niece, Kaelyn Leanne; she is just precious. I love getting pictures and videos of her from my sister. I hate the distance that separates us, but there is nothing better than rocking her to sleep.
7. My fabulous sister; I feel like this year was a year of growth in my relationship with my sister. She truly has become one of my best friends this year, and I cherish the time we have had together, the conversations we share, and the understanding we have.
8. My church; I love going on Sunday mornings hearing the Word of God preached, praising the Lord. One of my most favorite things is seeing the little kids dance during worship. It truly is one of the sweetest things I have ever seen.
9. The fact that I have completed two semesters of grad school; being back in school isn't all it's cracked up to be, but I only have one year of classes left before my internship and I am thankful for that too.
10. DVR; this probably sounds lame, but the reality of it is, being in school and working full time I have had to develop a self-care plan that allows me to take time for myself. DVR has allowed me to watch mindless TV shows that help me get my mind off of the often horribly negative stories I hear daily.
11. My family in India; even though I did not see them this year, I think of the daily and miss them immensely. I even just got a Facebook request from one of the girls I was closest with at the orphanage my first year there. What a sweet surprise.
12. My job; although my job frustrates me to no avail, I know I am privileged to have a job and to be investing in the people's lives I work with in the way that I am. I would be foolish to not be thankful for the opportunities it gives me to share God's love with people every day.
13. My friends; I am relearning what it means to need people. We were created for community, and I am thankful for the supports I have.
14. Seeing the sunrises and sunsets; the colors still amaze me, and the beauty of them increases my gratefulness to the Lord for caring about the minute details of our lives.
15. My dad's stories from his trips overseas; maybe this is double dipping since I already said I was thankful for my parents, but I love listening to my dad tell stories. Now, first of all, he is a great storyteller, but the reality of it is, hearing about the ways God is moving in places most people would never want to travel to gives me goosebumps.
16. Time alone; I've always known I was an introvert, but this year, I have continued realizing I need that time if I am going to effectively pour into others.
17. Words with Friends; again, another shallow thing, but yet another mindless activity that I am able to do to keep me sane.
18. Memories; I love being able to remember little things about my life, from church camp to time spent with my beloved Grandma. They bring me joy.
19. Being organized; I love the feeling of satisfaction I get when I know everything has its place and when I feel prepared for things.
20. The dreams I have for my future; although I know God is in ultimate control, I love knowing that the possibilities are endless.
21. The fact that I can still play the piano; talk about stress relieving. I love sitting down and being able to play...
22. Laughter; words truly cannot express how much I love laughing. I love laughing with people, I love making people laugh, I love not being ashamed to laugh loudly, and I love even laughing by myself at silly things that happen.
23. Days with no plans; this seems to happen less and less the older I get. Although being busy looks different at all stages of life, I love days where I have no plans and no obligations.
24. The story God has written and is continuing to write with my life; I have learned that even my life can make a big difference in the world, and I just want to be obedient. I am thankful for the opportunity He has given me to walk in His ways according to His word.
Last but not least....
25. I am thankful for Eliana Joy; mine and Dan's daughter due in under 4 months. I am thankful that God has chosen us to be her parents, and I am excited to see the journey that He takes us on as we learn our new roles of becoming parents. I am thankful for each and every move she makes already and the kicks that make my belly jump. I am thankful that she is fearfully and wonderfully made and that God already knows her and has prepared a way for her. I am thankful for the humbling experience it is to be pregnant, and I am thankful that He so long ago heard my prayers of becoming a mother.

I am so, so blessed. And so unworthy. But I am HIS and that is what makes this life worth living.