Saturday, January 24, 2015

Halle Kate's Birth Story Part Three: The Time I Actually Have a Baby

So I know it looks like I have a favorite kid based solely on Halle Kate has a 3 part birth story compared to her brothers' one, but it's solely because I don't want to forget what happened.  By now I am sure not a lot of people read this thing, but it is kind of like my journal for the past 7 years so really it is for posterity.  Also the boy's were easy and fast labor and deliveries.  I totally felt like a first time mom this go around because I didn't know what was going on with me.  Was I in labor or wasn't I? With both boys contractions, water breaks, BAM, we have a baby.  Not so with her.

Anyway, we arrive at the hospital and finally get checked in.  I am relieved because we arrived around 5:45 or so, and there is a shift change, which means I will have the same nurse the whole day. I have been praying for a nice nurse pretty consistently for 9 months since I had a mean one with Owen and luckily God answered that prayer with Nicole.  She was funny and nice and totally made this go around a better experience.  She confirmed that indeed my water had broken, I was at a 3, and so they admitted me.  I had a lab technician come in and try to get an I.V. started but instead blew out a vein, which was AWFUL.  I have never had that happen, and Mark said she blew it big time.  It is actually still black and blue a week later.  I cried, a lot, and freaked out a little bit because it hurt.  Mark apologized for me telling them "sorry, we haven't slept in a few days."  Luckily a nurse got it to go in on the other hand and for that I was grateful.  

So we settle in to labor and have a baby.  I actually started feeling a little nauseated, which is how I get when I get hungry so my nurse was awesome enough to bring me a few saltines!  I ate one and then kept on going. Dr. Doerrfeld walked in at one point and said "You just couldn't wait could you?!" and we all had a good laugh.  I was grateful to be having her when he could be there. We had been there a couple of hours or so when the strangest thing happened, my contractions all the sudden started coming back to back.  They weren't very intense, but they weren't letting up.  I started shaking uncontrollably all over.  I was actually laying on my side away from the monitor when I asked Mark what was going on and he told me.  I remember us both looking at each other terrified because it looked like I was in transition before I was able to get the epidural.  All I kept thinking was how I did NOT want that to be the case.  We called in the nurse who told us the anesthesiologist  was doing a c-section at the time and couldn't come then.  Well that made me even more nervous!  She gave me something to help take the edge off while we waited.  Luckily a few minutes later they found one a couple of floors down who was free and he came up.  I remember after they said he was on his way looking at Mark and telling him "I'm not even scared."  I was just so relieved we might actually make it in time.  

So we get there and they get the epidural in with 0 problems thank the Lord.  I have technically never had one really work so I didn't know the time line of how long it would take or what it would feel like, but luckily it started working.  In fact it worked too well at one point because I felt like I was getting numb around my neck.  I remember my nurse saying you didn't want to be too numb that you couldn't feel anything and have to push for an hour and a half, so I asked them to come in a turn it down.  They took it from a 10 to 7 which ended up just right, although I did debate asking them to come back in and turn it up to like an 8 or so.  Before I could however our nurse pops in and said "I need to check you again (she had checked right after the epidural was given and I was surprisingly still a 3) because the monitor says I probably should, it looks to be about that time.  She checks me and says "You're at a 5 but I think I can make you an 8 pretty easily, yep I can, you're an 8 now!"  We had told them about how I labor and deliver quickly so she was aware that I can dilate and change within seconds.  She said "Don't have the baby, I am going to go call the doctor." It is here that I started the uncontrollable shaking again which we knew this time was a sign of pretty strong labor, but luckily the epidural was working.  The only bad part was I was having some awful heartburn but couldn't feed myself ice chips to keep it at bay because I was shaking so badly.  Mark had to feed them to me, to which he recalls me saying "thank you" and him thinking in his head "Wow, she was nice.  Thank God for epidurals."

Finally Dr. Doerrfeld makes it in there and finds I am still an 8, but progressing quickly.  In fact they were getting me all prepped to push and he said "Is this your last baby?" to which Mark and I just laugh.  I can't remember if I actually said "Um, lets just concentrate on getting this one here first!" He was asking because he figured he could make me a 10 and we could get the show on the road lol.  However he has me push just a little to get it through that last centimeter and we are ready to go.  This whole time they kept saying how low the baby's head was, for which I was grateful because you could start to see it after the first push.  It was so much better with an actual epidural that worked properly.  It was still hard work to get her out, in fact at one point I know I said "Get. Her. Out" and Dr. Doerrfeld said "No, you can do it." but within 4 contractions and about 8 pushes she was here at 12:41.  She had the cord wrapped around her neck and her shoulders got a little stuck but all in all she made it fine.  I was so relieved and thankful she was here and healthy.  I just cried when they handed her to me, so thankful.  When they took her to get cleaned up I remember looking at Mark and saying "epidurals are the bomb!" and totally meaning every word!  She ended up needing just about 5 minutes of oxygen but then she was weighed and brought back to me.  She was 6 lbs 6 oz and 19 inches long.  Not to shabby for a 36 week 2 day baby.  

We got to hold her and I was able to feed her and have some family come and see her before they took her away to the nursery to get cleaned up.  Then it was the long wait for them to bring her back to me!  They kept for like 2 hours, which seemed like an eternity!  We had people stop in all that night to meet the sweet girl and I tried my hardest to stay awake to chat.  She is so loved by so many already it is unreal.  We are just so thankful she is here and doing ok.

Meeting her for the first time

Super ugly crying it up

Loved our nurse and Mark's look on his face in this one.

Poor thing was quite beat up and swollen after her long ordeal!

Daddy getting his baby arm band

Possibly my favorite picture of the day

Hard to compete with this one though

Getting ready for a bath. . .

I was told she HATED it, screamed the whole time.

My sweet precious angel girl

Halle Kate's Birth Story Part Two: The Time I Actually Went Into Labor

So I left you off in Part 1 on Sunday, November 30th, with me having sporadic contractions but nothing of really any pattern that didn't taper off eventually.  By now I am highly irritable and probably the most uncomfortable I have ever been in my life for a prolonged period of time.  I don't know why this pregnancy was just so different, but it was physically so much harder than my other two.  Perhaps it was how she was sitting or something, but the comfort level was lacking for sure.

So I wake up, still as uncomfortable on December 1, and realize I am still having contractions, only now they seem more consistent then they were.  I can't tell you how often I used that contraction app on my phone over the past two weeks, but it was NOTHING compared to how much I was going to use it that day.  So at 6:30 I text Mark, who has gone for a run "I think I may be in labor."  He heads back to find me in the bed timing them, they were 5 minutes apart and hurting more.  We know there is nothing we can do but wait and see, and really don't fancy another hospital bill so he begins to get ready to head out for work.  It was a tough decision but I am glad we made it because it was going to be a long day.  

I went ahead and went about my normal routine, got the boys up, fed, dressed, and doing what we normally do, waiting to see if activity would take them away like it had been doing in the past.  When it didn't I decided to call my doctor and they said they could work me in within the next 30 minutes so I finished getting myself dressed, got the boys out the door, and met my mom at Dr. Doerrfeld's office so she could sit with the boys.  I go in, still contracting, and wait for him to come do a Group B strep test and check me.  Normally I do not look forward to these appointments, but today I was ready to see if anything had changed.  He came in, laughing sympathetically because I was here again with the same symptoms as the week before.  He checked me and said I was only at 2, and that until it got to where I couldn't talk through contractions, they were closer together, or my water broke that there was nothing we could do but wait and see.  He said it could be tomorrow, 3 days from now, or 2 weeks, there was no way to tell, but nothing would have surprised him.  I walked out of there, grateful not to have a hospital bill, but just emotionally drained thinking I was going to do this with no end in sight.

So I load the boys back up in the car, cry a little bit about it, and what else is there to do but go to starbucks to make yourself feel better?  Reid had also asked for donuts and with no energy left to think about making lunch I said "sure, why not?" and we drove through the donut store on our way back to the house.  Contractions were still coming and still stronger than they had been but I was functioning.  By this point I am usually having to stop what I am doing with some of them, but I didn't want to let the boys see me hurt or know something was up.  Finally nap time came which was glorious as I was then able to lay down and labor, or get in the bath, or do whatever I needed to do.  I sent Mark a text to figure out when he would be home and then just did my thing.

Poor Mark by the way because when he got home I was pretty much worth nothing.  I had been contracting 10 hours or so by that point and totally left dinner and boys up to him.  I don't even think I ate that night.  He got them up, took them outside to ride bikes, and then took them to the grocery story to get stuff from a list I had made and thought about attempting to do that night.  I was so impressed and thankful since it would give me an empty house to continue to time and work through contractions.  By the time he got home I said "I think I have hit my rhythm" and it was true that I felt like I was in "actual labor" by that point and that I had just hit a stride with it (I know that doesn't make sense really).  Finally the boys were in bed thanks to my hubby and he and I settled down to watch netflix while I labored.  By now its around 9:30-10 and they are starting to come much closer together and are slightly stronger.  But we also know that even though I was contracting every 2-3 minutes last time doesn't mean I am making progress so we stay put.  I had alerted Abby that we may be calling her and Adam again to stay the night with the boys.  

We go to bed around 10 and Mark stays up late with me to time contractions.  They move to around 2.5 to 3 minutes apart and are pretty strong, I am having to breathe through each of them.  I remember Mark praying over us at one point asking God that if this was the real thing to let us be certain, let my water break, and that Halle Kate would be ok to come then.  Eventually my non-night owl succumbed to sleep and I continued to contract until around 11:30-12 when they suddenly got much further apart.  I was kind of upset by this point because I felt I had labored ALL DAY LONG for it to lead no where and for me to end up exhausted.  I am very blessed with great friends who had offered to keep the boys the next day if in fact this ended up being the case (thank you Shaina and Amy!).  

I think I may have fell asleep for possibly 30-45 minutes, I honestly don't know, but around 1ish the contractions came back about 3 minutes apart. I remember lying there, rubbing my belly during each contraction and praying "Jesus bring her soon."  I may have gotten up and walked around the bathroom some to see if they would go away, they didn't.  Mark was blissfully asleep and I admit being a little upset that he was getting to sleep while I did all the hard work lol.  I think around 2:30 they tapered off again at which point I got highly upset (I told you I was irritable) and had a nice chat with God asking that the contractions would actually lead somewhere and my water would break if it would be His will, but if not that they would stop.  I may have dosed again only to be awoken at 3 with hard contractions.  Once again I got up and went and walked the bathroom some, then went and laid down.  It was during this time I thought I had a small gush, but wasn't sure if my water had broken or not.  I was not getting my hopes up at all, I wanted to be very sure.  

Of course I went to the bathroom and tried to access the situation, and still couldn't determine completely what had actually happen.  With some some contractions I would leak very small amounts of what I now know was amniotic fluid.  It got to where I would labor in our stand up shower with each contraction.  Finally I did what every desperately pregnant woman does, I googled "how to tell if your water has broken?" lol.  According to an article on a site I found out that if it was indeed your water breaking with a slow leak, some would gush out when you got back up after lying down for a bit.  Armed with this new information I went and laid down again for a few minutes then got up and felt a small gush.  I was hopeful enough that I woke up Mark and told him what I thought had happened.  He said "well if it is your water your contractions will get closer together and when they do thats when we will go."  He rolled over and went back to sleep for another 45 minutes, while I once again got up to go labor in the bathroom.  I was standing in our shower, when I saw fluid that was pink tinged and I knew then officially that my water had broken and we needed to leave.  Finally I woke Mark up saying "Mark every time I move something gushes out of me, and now it is pink tinged, it has to be my water breaking."  So we get all of our stuff together, call Adam and Abby to come and stay with the boys and head to the hospital around 5:20.  

Stay tuned for Part 3: The Time I Actually Have the Baby

Halle Kate's Birth Story Part 1: The Time I thought I went into Labor

So this will probably be filled with way too many TMI details but I really want to do my best to remember everything and get all my thoughts and feelings out before this is too distant of a memory.  As we all know I have never made it "full term" aka 40 weeks in any pregnancy.  Reid was born at 38 weeks 2 days, Owen at 37 weeks 4 days, so with this sweet girl I expected it to be about the same.  What I didn't anticipate was how different this pregnancy would be. 

At the end of this pregnancy I could not believe how uncomfortable I was.  I did not remember it being THAT bad with either of the boys pregnancies.  I began having braxton hicks contractions around 34 weeks that were incredibly uncomfortable.  They usually came at night, and would make my belly SO TIGHT.  Also she was riding very low so by the end of the day my body was just worn out.  I would take baths just to attempt to get some relief.  She also could have been sitting funny because I felt as if she had no room, my skin was tight, my insides were tight, everything.  All of this just led to a very much irritated me.  I was uncomfortable 24/7 and had just what I am sure was the worst attitude.  I didn't want to go anywhere, do anything, and couldn't imagine going longer than 37 weeks!!!

We went to Tyler the weekend before thanksgiving.  I had contractions in the car on the way there some, and then some infrequently throughout the weekend.  Riding back on Saturday night was the same story.  I remember feeling more contractions that night though than any other.  I figured my body was just exhausted so after we got the boys in bed, I got the order from Mark to go lay down.  We finally fell asleep for a few hours, until around 3 on Sunday morning to Mark snoring.  I than began to realize I was having pretty consistent contractions.  I moved to the couch so I didn't disturb Mark and started timing them.  They were semi sporadic, ranging from 6-10 minutes apart.  Finally around 430 or so I went and told Mark not to be alarmed but I was going to go get in the bath to see if it helped.  I got in the bath but they didn't go away. . . it wasn't unbearable, but you could definitely tell they were happening.  So I went back and laid down, trying not to worry about it and tried to go to sleep some.  By the time Mark got up for church (around 6) I told him I was still having contractions, so I probably shouldn't go that morning and that I would ask Mom and Dad to come and get the boys so I could rest.  All of those things happened and I sat down and rested, got in the shower, and rested some more.  The contractions stayed consistent, so I ended up calling the on call nurse at my doctor's office and she said if they weren't gone by 2 to go to the hospital. 

Mark came home to me still contracting so after eating we loaded up and headed to the hospital.  They got me all hooked up and said "Oh honey, your contractions are coming every 1 and a  half to 2 minutes."  I said "I know" and Mark said "You didn't tell me that, you told me every 5!"  I said "I didn't want to completely freak  you out."  They checked me and I was only a 1, and so they monitored me for a little bit before giving me some medicine to stop contractions.  It made my heart race and it makes you anxious, and it didn't stop the contractions at all really.  By now it is the evening and I have still made no change so at 10 p.m.  we go home, still contracting, but with no baby.  I asked the nurse if this was apparently false labor and she said "Your contractions look like your in labor but if you don't dilate it isn't true labor."  Who knew? 

Mom and dad take me to get a honey butter chicken biscuit and go home to continue this labor thing.  I was still having contractions throughout the night, and around 5 I go to the restroom and then stand up and feel what I think is my water breaking.  So I wake Mark up and tell him, we call Adam and Abby to come stay with the boys and head BACK to the hospital, sure I was in labor at 35 weeks 1 day.  We get there only to find out my water didn't break according to two separate tests.  They also do a sonogram on her to make sure she is ok, and once again say she is riding very low.  My doctor, whom I love, comes in and has sympathy for me, but says there is nothing we can do...  If it was two weeks from now, he would give me pitocin and let me go, but since I am not far enough along, we just have to wait it out.  So we once again leave the hospital with no baby, but a prescription for ambien to help me sleep and I head home.  I am so thankful for my family who just jumped in and helped with the boys, stayed at the hospital with me, got us lunch, you name it.  We also had wonderful friends from church bring Mark supper that night we were in the hospital, as well as the children's director brought us Cowboy chicken for Monday night.  We are part of the best church and just oh so thankful for the people in our lives!

We make it to and through thanksgiving with me still contracting, sometimes with very hard contractions throughout the week, but nothing that is significant.  It is more just mentally and emotionally exhausting waiting to see what is going to happen.  Basically we have decided we wouldn't head back up to the hospital unless my water broke, because honestly it wasn't worth it.  The next Sunday roles around and we do make it to church, to everyone's surprise, and have a good time with friends and our church family.  I am so glad I went because it was just a nice break from all of the physical and mental drainings of pre-term labor.  I of course am still having contractions every so often and am very irritable (poor Mark and boys).  He was such a trooper through this whole ordeal, and put up with me and my crabbiness wonderfully.  I don't think I have ever ever ever been more uncomfortable for such an extended period of time in my entire life!  Luckily it was drawing close to the end, if only we knew how close it really was.

Part two coming up next.

Friday, January 23, 2015

I Once Had a Dream

I once had a dream that this blog would become one of those "must read" mom blogs, fueled with cute stories, inspirations, awesome photographs, great recipes, and easy tutorials all wrapped into one.  I thought, "Hey I love writing, I can totally do this" only to figure out that "this" isn't as easy as all those big time bloggers out there make it look.  Through this blog I have learned (ahem, been reminded) of the things I am not.  I am not witty, I am not creative, I am not structured, and I am not hip, cool, or trendy.  I am not even that great of a writer, even though it is what I love to do (and I totally got 1st place in UIL ready writing in 6th grade, but hey who's counting?).   I am not a lot of things that everything in me wants to desperately be.  I don't have time/energy to edit photos, teach myself a skill so I can do a tutorial, or even sit down at the computer without thinking "I may fall asleep staring at this screen."

Here's what I am though.  I am a mom of now 3 children sitting in the floor of my bedroom holding a sweet baby girl as I type.  I am a work in progress, learning more and more about motherhood, what it means to be a Godly mom, to diligently and purposefully teach my children the gospel. show my children the gospel (a lot harder).  I am a wife to a wonderful husband that I don't deserve, who loves me and our babies unconditionally, who doesn't take fatherhood or being the head of our home lightly.  I am a trier, I will try to do anything and everything thinking "I totally got this" only to figure out I really honestly don't.  I am a jack of all trades, master of none kind of girl, and I am finally becoming ok with it.

So yes I am not perfect and yes this blog has turned out to be not nearly what I was hoping for, but that doesn't mean I can't try.  Try again to make my dream come to fruition, even if it doesn't look exactly like what I thought it would. Try, even if it means only my eyes will ever actually read this thing.  Because what is life without a little challenge you know?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lies from the Enemy While in the Trenches of Motherhood

Can I just start off by saying something guys?  Motherhood is hard.  Like the most difficult thing I have ever had to do, and it comes so quickly with almost no training that at times I feel like I am floundering.  Like I am failing.  Like I will never get this thing right and I'll raise hoodlums who don't love Jesus and a slew of other things.  Like seriously I am terrified.

Right now in my life I have an incredibly strong-willed three year old who's most favorite thing to do in all the land is argue.  With anyone. Or anything. Mainly with me. And that just doesn't fly.  I wasn't like that as a kid and it doesn't make sense to me why a little person would question everything I do, say, ask, etc.  It can lead to the butting of heads and many corrections for said little guy.  I also have a one year old, who is a mama's boy through and through, and right now whines anytime I walk into the room for a slew of reasons.  I am not holding him, he needs me to watch him, he wants what brother has, etc.  Going anywhere is rough, some times I pray that nap time comes soon.  My house is a disaster and I feel like I have no clue what I am doing for dinner most weeks.  I am trying to stay ahead but not really doing it in the process.

This is real life folks.  Life with a mama of littles and no bigs.  A life I feel I am not alone in. But here's the kicker. My husband and I know that the Bible says children are a BLESSING, a reward from Heaven.   "Blessed is a man whose quiver is FULL of them."  I don't know about you, but that sounds like more than just two kids to me.  But where I am right now in life the thought of having more than two scares me, like the ever-loving begeebus out of me.  I honestly question how I will make it without turning into this really mean mom who her kids hate and don't want to be around.  And at 10 weeks pregnant with my third baby this isn't really the place I want to be at mentally.  Wondering how I am going to get it all done and how I am going to have what it takes to train up my kids in the way they should go, so they are not only nice, kind, and caring but have grace, compassion, and love our savior.

I think this is right where the devil wants us moms of littles.  To feel the task at hand is too overwhelming, that maybe the Bible didn't mean what it said, that how can this be a blessing in our lives when all I feel like exhaustion and defeat?  The enemy uses all means necessary to do this, even those that don't really know what they are doing. For example tonight we went out to eat with my parents and grandparents after having spent a weekend at the lake with Mark's family, so we were all pretty worn out.  Of course Reid and Owen where less than perfect.  Whiney, stubborn, defiant, clingy, goofy, all of it.  Just the way children act.  At one point I was trying to watch a video on a phone but I couldn't get through it without both of them wanting to see it, hold it, crawling all over my lap trying to catch a glimpse of what mama was checking out.  On two separate occasions my dad and grandfather both said things to the affect of "what are you going to do when you got four more of them like that?"  Knowing how tired and just out of gas we all were I really couldn't believe they said it.  Or maybe it just really hurt.  I just looked at them both and said "I'll have lots of fun" and kept on going.

Their comments made me feel like a failure, that I couldn't control my kids, that I shouldn't have more than two even though we are pregnant with our third.  It left me feeling that somehow I am not going to make it and all these happy, larger than average families that I see on social media must have a mama who is a saint because I am certainly not doing it right.  As I cried on the way home I prayed that I would do better as a mom, that I would show love and mercy and compassion to my children instead of annoyance and anger.  That God would reveal to me the way to train them and the tools to use so they would look more like him the older they get.  And that the lies of the enemy would stay far from my mind, that even if he used my family, I would choose joy and I would choose to believe what the bible says versus the world.  Moms of littles it is hard, and I don't know when or if it gets easier, but I have decided to stick it out for the long haul and to watch God make good on His promise.  We are not alone, we have warrior Jesus who loves our children and us more than we could know.  He desires us to succeed and He alone can help us get there.  I trust Him and His word, because without it, what hope do I have?

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Centrality of the Home in Evangelism and Discipleship

The title of my post is probably one that many of you recognize from a  sermon by the same name by Pastor Voddie Baucham.  If you have not heard it I highly recomend going here now and listening to it when you get a chance.  I can really pinpoint a turning in my  heart towards the life of a stay at home mom with the moment I heard this message.  It started the process of me and later my husband thinking that maybe we have thought about church all wrong.  He was the youth minister at the time, which made us really reevaluate what we believed.

There are so many important topics covered in 37 minutes in the message but the one I have felt drawn to lately is the call to have children, and more than the average number.  I won't recount the whole message here, you really should go listen to it yourself, for he gives the points so eloquently.  Listening to this message again after not having heard it in over a year, a new point stuck out to me, the command  God gave to Israel whenever they were in a pagan land. Voddie used different scriptures to show us that God told them to be fruitful and multiply greatly for the purpose that they would not be overtaken.  As a result thi became one of their greatest strengths, the sheer number of people who were a part of the nation!!!!

America's birthrate (at the time of the message) is 2.1 and falling.  Replacement rate (the rate in which you need to have children to sustain your culture) is 1.4.  American's are in danger of losing our culture and we don't even realize it, and what is worse is Christians are no better.  We are not having any more kids than the average American family outside the church.  Some of you may not think it is a big deal, but in reality this is incredibly terrifying.  Here is why, Voddie brings it home with an illustration using France which I believe he says has a birthrate of 1.5.  While French families aren't having enough children to replace their culture,  Muslim immigrants are, having a birth rate of around 6 children per family.  What this means is "in two generations France will be a Muslim nation by sheer numbers alone. Why? Because they want prosperity more than they want children. And it is the same for us."

If that doesn't scare you as a Christian I don't know what does.  We are no better than the rest of the world, no better!  Voddie goes on to say "You want to avoid disappearing in the midst of a pagan culture? Out breed them."  He reprimands the church (he is speaking at a Southern Baptist Convention that is full of pastors) for having an attitude towards children that is unbiblical and looks the same to those that are on the outside looking in.  He tells them their attitude from the pulpit on the subject of children is why people in the pews aren't having more kids! The statistic that it takes two Christians families to get one Christian family into the next generation is staggering and a major problem. However, there is a solution and Voddie takes the word of God and gives us the answer, the way to plug the proverbial  hole in the bottom of the bucket.

"It starts with us. And it all goes back to prosperity. The poorest nations in the world see children as a blessing. The richest nation in the world, we talk about children in terms of how many we can afford. God help us. We are dying one generation at a time because we refuse to receive the gift that God wants to bring through the womb.  Our attitudes. God says, "You want to continue to be my people? You do two things. Number one, you gladly receive these blessings that I give you called children. And, number two, you disciple them in your homes so that they don’t look like the culture around them.'"

Because of this message my husband and I have changed our view of children.  They are not just something you do, a tag along, or even a dream to be fulfilled.  No, there is a purpose to having children, and it is to advance the gospel!  Selfishly we have both said having more seems like a lot of work, effort, time, energy, and everything else that has to do with me and how I feel.  But it's not about me, or you, and that is not what we are called to do.  We are called to daily die to ourselves and do what God has commanded us to do, not matter what our flesh would like to do otherwise.  Chidlren are a blessing, they are not a curse, not something to be endured, not a trophy on the wall.  We must listen to God and what He says in His word, less Christianity be a forgotten religion here on American soil.  


Feminism Creeping In

Tonight at my new small group (more on that later), an unmarried man made a comment about a local seminary having a homemaking undergraduate degree.  Southwestern Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth Texas indeed does have a homemaking certificate girls can receive if they choose to go through the course.  It is something the Seminary has received a lot of flack (for lack of a better word) over and have  to really had to defend themselves on.  The president of the seminary's wife heads up this department, and before you think she is "just a crazy homemaking mom" you need to know she "received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hardin-Simmons University, a Masters of Theology (Th.M.) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) from Luther Rice Seminary, and a Doctor of Theology (D.Theol.) from the University of South Africa."  Needless to say she is incredibly educated, but the thing she treasures most is being a good helpmeet to her husband, mother to her kids, and grandmother.  

Back to my story with this gentleman that kept saying things to the tune of "I don't know why they do that!  That is the weirdest and worst thing I've ever heard" so on and so forth.  I didn't really know what to do.  While I didn't attend the undergraduate classes nor do I have the certificate, I did attend the first ever Homemakers Conference they held this past year (of which the Duggars were the headlining guests) and absolutely loved it.  I told him as much but never got a chance to say how God has so changed my heart and my perspective on this matter that I hardly recognize my former self. 

In this room there were 3 other women along with myself and although I should have been ready for it, I couldn't believe that they were in agreement with the gentleman who made the statements.  They laughed and said "yeah, why would somebody do that?" "They do what?"  "It is kind of like that movie Mona Lisa's Smile, where these incredibly smart girls' goal is to go to college to become married."  My heart was hurt by the fact these girls didn't get it, they don't see the beauty and the necessity of learning how to keep a home and what a dying art this is.  The fact that Southwestern even has a program is fascinating and I say "bravo."  Here is the link to the catalog which describes the classes that need to be taken in order to gain a homemaking certificate.

As I sat there listening to these people talk I just kept thinking to myself "You really have no idea how much you have let feminism creep into your thoughts and lives.  So much so you don't even recognize it when it is blatantly in front of your face and on your tongue."  I wanted to sit them all down and show them scriptures that support a woman being at home, and doing her job well, a husband being the provider, and the joy there is in these two things when they go hand in hand.  I hate how engrained feminism is now in not only our culture, but in our churches.  I wish it was preached about more, talked about, encouraged, and trained.  I wish I had known what I know now when I was younger, that iI would have grown up with this mindset! This is  now SUCH a passion of mine and I don't really know where I fit now.  I want others to join me but I kind of feel I am blazing a lonely trail.

Right now it seems I am in a crossroads and I don't really know what to do about it.  I want to jump off into homemaking, homeschooling, home- everything, oblivion and just completely go into the deep end.  I don't know the middle ground of where I feel comfortable and where I will feel like "Yes, this is where God wants us to be on this journey."   I do know however, He has been so good to lead my husband and I to do things differently thus far, and I am excited to see what else He has in store.  I was listening to an old praise song and the chorus immediately spoke to my heart for this time in my life.  It said  
I have not been called 
to the wisdom of this world.
But to a God 
who is calling out to me.
And even though the world may think
I'm losing touch with reality
It would be crazy 
to choose this world over eternity.

"Crazy" by Mercy Me

More than anything I want to hear "Well done good and faithful servant" when I get to heaven, but I know I have made it there quite yet, I am still on the journey.  A journey that is so new and invigorating to me.  I am so very open right now though to where God wants to take us that it excites me.  I don't care who thinks I am crazy, because I choose eternity.