If you havent done so already, you may want to read part 1 of Faith’s story.
All five children had a dentist appointment. The plan was for me to take them to the dentist and then go and pick Tyrone up from work and head to Costco (the highlight of my day). It was a very long dentist visit and as I was sitting in the waiting room for the last child to finish her cleaning, I knew something was wrong. Right there in the dentist office my amniotic sac broke and began to leak, how about that for an adventure? I remained calm, left the dentist office with all five children in tow. I went to pick Tyrone up from work and as he was entering the van, he could hear me speaking on the phone with my doctor. She instructed me to go to the hospital right away so that I could be examined. Believe it or not, I was trying to see if we could make the trip to Costco before going to the hospital. My very wise husband decided against it.
Tyrone let me out at the hospital so I could go and get examined and he went to park the van. By the time he made it in with all five kids, I had been examined. I kindly asked the nurse to tell him what she had just shared with me. She looked at my husband and informed him that my water did break and I had to be admitted to the hospital and would remain UNTIL I DELIVERED THE BABY. I really wish I had a camera at that moment to capture the look on both of our faces. WHAT?!!! NO!!!!! We have five children. I have things to do. I have end of the year papers to sign and special programs to attend at the kids school. I have things at home to prepare before the baby arrives. I STILL HAVE TO GO TO COSTCO!
There was no negotiating, I had to remain in the hospital on bed rest. They were concerned about infections and they wanted the baby to stay in as long as possible considering I was only 28 weeks gestation. So the papers were signed, and there I was just like that on on bed rest. They gave me steroid shots to help the baby’s lungs develop quickly, the shot was more effective 48 hours after it was given. So another layer was added to the wait and see game. Not only did the baby remain in my womb for that initial 48 hours but she remained for a total of 15 days. This was a huge blessings because every extra day was beneficial.
The nurses in the hospital were absolutely amazing and did their best to make me feel comfortable. We received so much support,help, prayer, meals and words of encouragement from various individuals. We were certainly grateful for the help. Tyrone was doing double duty, his job and mine. However I must confess that it was extremely difficult for me to not be the one doing it all, after all I am THE wife and mother. Perhaps there was some pride mixed in there…who am I kidding? Yes! It was pride. I had no choice but to relinquish control because we desperately needed help.
People kept on asking me if I was bored and the answer was always no. I really missed being at home with my husband and children, that was the most difficult part. It was definitely a challenge being still. But the Lord really used this time to minister to me in some profound ways and he also opened the door for me to minister to some of the individuals that came to my room. For those that know me, I am rarely at a loss for words. This personality trait came in handy while on bed rest. I had lots of conversation with the nurses and different visitors.
For the 15 days that I was on bed rest, there was not a day that went by that I did not think about my baby’s health. What would be the outcome? As I was in that hospital room, I would lay hands on my womb and decree that the baby was well. But there were moments where fear crept in and whispered, “what if?” God told me to trust him and what I had learned is that putting my trust in God didn’t always mean the story would play out the way it was scripted in my mind. A greater level of trust required me to believe that no matter how the story ended, it was all going to be for my good.
So after 15 long days, on May 14, 2013 Our baby girl began to show signs that she was ready to enter the world. Click here part three to read what happened next.
Three days ago I celebrated my 36th birthday. It was a blessing and I was left with a heart of gratitude as I thought about this time last year. On April 29th, 2013 (the day after my 35th birthday) our world was turned upside down. I was 28 weeks pregnant with our 6th child. The pregnancy up to that point had been quite eventful.
I had a preliminary screening done for possible abnormalities when I was in my second trimester. The results of the screening indicated that the baby was at high risk for spina bifida and down syndrome. I had a follow up appointment with a level 2 ultrasound. While the ultrasound ruled out spina bifida there were still great concerns that the baby had some sort of chromosomal abnormality. There were three findings that were of concern to the doctor.
1. My placenta looked unhealthy, it was very thick. This was of concern because the baby’s growth could be hindered and it presented a greater possibility of having a premature or stillborn baby. From that point on they began to closely monitor the baby’s growth which meant more visits to the doctor.
2. The umbilical cord contained only two blood vessels, instead of the normal three. I learned that babies with single umbilical artery have an increased risk for birth defects, including heart, central nervous system and urinary-tract defects and chromosomal abnormalities.
3. The baby’s heart was in the middle of her chest as opposed to the left. The doctor was also concerned that there were holes in the baby’s heart. So in addition to my frequent trips to monitor the baby’s growth, I also had to see a pediatric cardiologist.
When I left the doctors office after hearing the news, I went to the bathroom and cried…sobbed. I felt that I had already met my quota for suffering while going through with Isaiah (baby #5). Wasn’t having your newborn baby stay in the neonatal intensive care unit and undergoing three major surgeries enough? I cannot go through this again was my response to God. It was too painful. He allowed me to cry and vent and then he gently asked me if I truly believed he was in control. In that moment by his grace, I made the choice to trust God and receive the peace He was offering. Tyrone and I chose to stand in faith and had others praying with us for total healing of our baby girl. Walking by faith was a choice I had to make everyday.
On April 29th, 2013 at 28 weeks gestation, I was in for yet another surprise. Click here for part two of Faith’s story.
I have to face the reality that my body is perishing and not meant to last forever. Sure I can do things to improve my health and well being, and I am a strong advocate of doing so. However the experiences over the last week forced me reflect on a few sobering truths. I got hit hard with a nasty sickness. I had so much to accomplish on my to do list and while my mind was telling me to forge ahead, my body was screaming the opposite. I would love to tell you that I exercised wisdom and sat and rested but I can’t even begin to tell that lie. I fought like crazy to defy my reality. I was soooo frustrated. It so hard having an agenda and not being able to accomplish it. Ever been there?
I began to really think about the end. Not in a depressing way, but a lets really evaluate things here kind of way. We are each given an allotted amount of time here on earth and it’s so easy to have misguided focus. We act as if we are immortal and always assume we will have more time. We assume we will always be as strong as we were yesterday. We pursue our agenda without noticing that the clock is ticking and one day it is certain to stop. They say that there are two things that are certain, death and taxes. Hebrews 9:27 tells us of something else that’s certain after death…the judgement. When I stand before God, what will he think of how I used the time he gave me? What will he have to say concerning my priorities, did they line up with his? And my life, my heart, did it belong to him?
I am feeling better today but I have more of a resolve to build up my spirit, focus on God’s agenda because my end is one day closer. As I put him first, I don’t have to dread that day but I can look forward to it with great joy!
You are taking me to a place I’ve never been before
But I dont have to fear, I don’t have to fear
I. DONT. HAVE. TO. FEAR.
I must remind myself because the temptation is there
I can be confident because you have proven that you are on my side
As you lead Jesus, teach me to follow with a surrendered heart
Even when I don’t understand
Even when it means giving of myself beyond what I think is possible
Even when what you are telling me is contrary to what I want or what I think is best
Help me to have a joyful yes
There is absolutely no turning back for me
As I have put my hand to the plow, by your grace I refuse to look back
Look back to death
Look back to shame
Look back to pride
Look back to my agenda
Look back to people pleasing
You are taking me somewhere
I don’t know how the pieces of the puzzle are going to come together
But I give you the pieces and trust you know how
I don’t know how you will word my mouth
But I will speak at your command
I hear what you are saying and if I think too hard, I become overwhelmed
Teach me not to reason but to rest
I keep my eyes on you as you take me FORWARD!
“I’m glad it’s going to warm up in the next few days,” said the librarian. Are you kidding me? Did she just say warm up? It’s amazing how after dealing with temperatures below zero, the mid 20s can be referred to as warming up. Her experience with the bitter cold caused her definition of warm to be redefined. As I was sweeping my kitchen floor later on that day I began to reflect on the comment made by the librarian. That’s exactly what has happened to a lot of “Christians” today. We live in a culture where sin is rampant and we have become desensitized to truth. We give in to the temptation to redefine Gods standards, something we have no business or authority to do. Contrary to popular belief, truth is not relative. God has not called us to be versatile Christians, willing to redefine his truth to be more “accommodating.” He has called us to be holy , standing for truth even if it’s not embraced (1 Peter 1:16 ). His truth doesn’t change like the weather. It’s constant.
Greed, lying, homosexuality, fornicating, stealing, cheating is NEVER ok (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). As my pastor previously mentioned, God created marriage so try as we might, we can’t redefine it. it’s so easy for us to give a nod of approval to the very nice gay couple or the well educated boyfriend and girlfriend who are living together and fornicating. Or say it’s ok for the poor person to tell a “white lie,” because they are struggling and the system has robbed them anyway. I mean after all we are seeing worse sins happen around us so that ain’t too bad. WRONG! It is that bad, not because that’s my opinion but because God said it. Believe me, I am not trying to act as if I have never sinned or that I am perfect. I have displeased God many times and have not always lived out or loved HIS truth. But hear me when I say, I thank God for mercy and grace and Him giving me a chance to repent and get it right. Cause Lord knows I haven’t always done right and was a very nice sinner. The good news is, that opportunity for repentance was not only extended to me, but to all (John 3:16). How awesome!
Truth is God will never change his mind about his truth(Hebrews 13:8) no matter how extreme sin gets, and it will continue to get worse. The manual for holiness will not be rewritten, sorry no updated copies of the bible where that extreme holiness is edited out. He wants us hot or cold (Revelation 3:16), not lukewarm, not straddling the fence, not somewhere in the middle, not a versatile Christian. By his grace I want to remain hot and live out and speak His truth…and you?
I want to do marriage the good old fashioned outdated bible way. I want to be my husbands biggest cheerleader. I want him to be happy to come home because he knows a warm home cooked meal is waiting for him(well most days at least). I want him to know that I respect and love him. I choose to magnify his strengths and pray like crazy concerning his weaknesses. I want him to share his heart with me without hesitation or fear that I may judge him. I want my actions to make him fall in love with me over and over again. I want him to still be happy that he chose me to be his bride even after 13 years of marriage. Now while the feminist may scoff at this and render me as a weak and needy woman, the bible says the opposite! And oh, for the record I am so weak and needy, and admitting this has been so liberating and brought a greater level of intimacy between me and God and my husband (2 Corinthians 12:9). Nevertheless I digress, back to the topic at hand. Have you ever read the bible and the words just leap off the page and you can hardly contain yourself because you finally get it? I recently read Proverbs 31. Yeah that same passage that challenges us women in so many ways. It’s amazing because often times when this passage is discussed, the focus is on all this woman DOES as opposed to who SHE IS! I find it interesting that the passage doesn’t open up with all her deeds, instead, it first highlights how her husband feels about her. “Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. HER HUSBAND CAN TRUST HER, AND SHE WILL GREATLY ENRICH HIS LIFE. “Proverbs 31:10-12.
I must admit that I have not always proven myself to be trustworthy to my husband. No I have
never ran off with another man but I I have done a lot of running with my mouth. I have never had issues with telling him what I thought he was doing wrong, what was wrong with him and what he needed to do better. When I was done I would expect him to trust me with his thoughts. In short I was a being a nag! I felt very justified in my nagging. I must praise God for his grace because He has brought me from a very loooooooooooong way. Let all the “expressive” ladies say amen! I have already confessed in a previous post that I love to talk but I am learning the delicate art of knowing when to speak and when to be silent. I don’t have to stop talking, I just take my chatting party to God in prayer. I must confess that sometimes as he is speaking, everything in me is screaming, “I CANT BELIEVE YOU SEE IT THIS WAY or HOW CAN YOU THINK LIKE THAT!” However, as I am learning to hold my peace and not always play therapist in our discussions, my husband is sharing more of his unedited thoughts with me. And you know what, I find that when I listen, REALLY LISTEN he is more willing to solicit my advice and comments and a greater level of trust is developed. And it sure is easy to love somebody you trust, dont you think?