Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sadness of the Heart

What causes you deep grief? What causes you deep pain? Go ahead answer that question. Even say your answer out loud.

Is it the abuse of children? Is it the people that die each day because of starvation? Is it incurable disease such as cancer? Is it obese people who desperately want to lose weight but just can't? Is it a single parent trying to hold everything together on their own? Is it a mother who has AIDS and can't get the medicine she needs so she can take care of her kids? Is it the millions of orphans domestically and internationally that need a forever family? Is it families torn apart by divorce? These are just a few things that cause me great grief. The kind of grief that can sometimes paralyze me. I have wept and continue to weep because of these things.

I read somethimg today about this grief being a clue to God's call on my life. Nehemiah is one of my favorite books in the Bible. I have read it many times, each time learning something new. Nehemiah was deeply grieved when he heard that the wall around Jerusalem was in ruins. He was saddened that the people left there were in great trouble and disgrace. He wept. He fasted. He mourned. And he prayed. In chapter two, the king even notices how troubled Nehemiah is and asks Nehemiah, "Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart." Sadness of heart. I like that phrase. What makes your heart sad?

What Nehemiah does next is what I have been thinking about today. He took action. Nehemiah resigned from his job and told the king he wanted to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall. Nehemiah was deeply grieved and he took action.

I often wonder what is God's call on my life? God used Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah obviously cared greatly for Jerusalem. Perhaps his deep grief was the fuel to take action and rebuild. Think about what causes you deep pain. Perhaps this is a clue as to how God wants to use you!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's a Hannah Happy Birthday!

You will notice two candles on the birthday cake. Hannah is not turning two, she is turning four! I just like this picture and she thought it was pretty funny, too! It's my blog, I can do what I want to do...

I have to admit that Hannah's birthday is a little extra special for me, too. Why so? Hannah's brithday reminds of my journey of carrying Hannah. Hannah is a fighter and a little on the fiesty side. She had to be. She had to fight everyday she was inside of me. At week 14 of her pregnancy we thought we lost her. It was one of the most difficult nights I can recall. I woke up in the middle of the night losing a lot of blood. I thought it was a miscarriage. I called our small city hospital and the nurses told me to wait to come in. It was a Saturday night. Jon had to preach the next morning and his sermon happened to be about being broken. He had to preach that morning knowing that his family was broken.

In the morning the kids and I stayed home. Jon was gone. I was alone with my two and four year old. I really don't remember much. I do remember that it was David's birthday. He was turning two. We celebrated the day before. Jon came home from church and we decided to head to the ER. (I was still bleeding a lot) I got the ER and they took my blood pressure - it was REALLY low. They immediately laid me down and started an IV drip. The doctor on call was assuring me that it might not be a miscarriage. But whatever was happening it was not good. My regular doctor happened to be there and she rolled her ultrasound machine over. After what seemed like forever, we saw a little heart beating - and it was a strong heartbeat. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. More tests, more detailed ultrasounds and two things were found. Placenta previa and a placenta tear. The placenta was tearing away from the uterus. Not good. I stayed in the hospital the remainder of the day and they sent me home on bedrest.

Bedrest. Yikes. I was a stay at home mom of a now two year old and four year old. I was told to lay down. Not even sit. Get up only to go to the bathroom. I had to lay there and watch my kids struggle with why mommy can't play with them. I had to lay there and watch other people take care of my family. I am extremely grateful for these people that helped us. We had meals brought in, people did our laundry, cleaned our house, watched our kids, and I even had people that would come over and keep me company. A dear woman came over two to three times a week and would bring me Taco Johns for lunch and teach me how to knit. I rarely ask for help - I was greatly humbled. I had to swallow my pride and let other people help me. I had feelings of guilt. Jon was busting his tail trying to hold everything together. I felt useless and had to remind myself that my job was to provide a safe home for my unborn child to grow. I felt bad for my husband and other two kids. Why did they have to suffer through this?

The only time I left the house was for doctor appointments. Once a week I would get to see the flowers coming up and the trees budding. But with each appointment we learned that the baby was growing and that was enough motivation to go home and lay on the couch for another week. I went down on bedrest at week 14. At week 24 I was allowed to sit up in a chair and by week 30 I was allowed to get up and "take it easy."

I carried Hannah full term. I was having contractions and they admitted me for observation. My baby was not handling the contractions well. All night long they shifted my position. I often heard the nurses whispering to each other whether or not they should call the doctor. To make a long story short labor progressed and I was ready to push. I pushed once and the look on the nurses face and the face of the doctor was alarming. An oxygen mask was placed under my nose and I was told to breathe. They told me I had one more chance to push and then I was going to have an emergency c-section. They told me to give this push all I had. I knew this push could potentially save my baby's life so I did give it all I had. At 11:14 am little miss Hannah was born. The push worked! The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck three times. She was basically being choked with each contraction. However, she survived the pregnancy, labor, and delivery! She had to fight each day she was inside of me to survive. Now when she is a little fiesty, I need to remind myself that if she wasn't that way, she probably wouldn't be here.

We had one little hangup with her heart rate and a heart murmur but that has all turned out to be fine and she is a happy, healthy, and fiesty four year old. So not only is it Hannah's birthday, it is the four year anniversary of me getting off of bedrest and God blessing me with a beautiful daughter.

I look back on that time and there were so many things that could have gone wrong. But they didn't. God is faithful. God gives and takes away. I am glad Hannah is here!

Happy Birthday, Hannah! You are loved! (And keep on fighting and being a little fiesty!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Time for a Haircut

I need your help. I am in need of a haircut. I have gotten my hair cut once since we moved 8ish months ago. I really miss Rachel, my hair cut person in Orange City. If I had time tomorrow I would drive there and get a hair cut, BUT I can't do that. I am also wanting something different and this is where I need your help. Tell me if you prefer the "top" hairstyle or the "bottom" hairstyle for me. Or, tell me if you have another idea. Thanks!
(By the way, I still can't figure out how to get the pictures to go somewhere other than the top of the post. I will keep trying.....)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Man on a Tractor

We live in a area where there is A LOT of new construction. There are houses going up everywhere around us. They are selling and selling quickly. It must be because they know they are getting great neighbors. :) Now, if only our house in OC would sell - that is a different story. (Sigh)

There are always various construction crews in our neighborhood everyday. Many of them speak a different language. They don't look like me or act like me. I like that. They work hard, really hard. My kids and I enjoy watching them. What I didn't know is that they are watching us, too.

Yesterday, I had a brief conversation with a man on a tractor. His job is to grade the dirt before the sod goes down. He goes over and and over the dirt until it is just right. He does a great job. They tell me he is the best in the business. I have him to thank for no water in our basement this summer. He is an older man. He looks like he has had a rough life. He works alone and seldom talks to anyone. And if he does, it is usually because he is mad.

Yesterday as I was taking out the garbage he got off his tractor and starting walking toward me. Someone else from the construction company was across the street and saw the man from the tractor approaching me. The man on the tractor started talking to me. He said he enjoyed watching my kids play as they waited for the bus to arrive. He then asked me about "that girl" in the wheelchair. I smiled and told him her name was Josie. He wanted to know what was wrong with her. I told him a little of her story and told him that we adopted her. He told me that I must have a heart of gold to do such a thing. I simply responded by saying that God loves me and this is a way to show God's love. I think he was thrown a little and he responded by saying that there must be a God for something like this to happen. And just like that, he was back on his tractor moving the dirt around. The other constuction worker who was watching came over and said he has never seen the man on the tractor talk to anyone else.

Our conversation was probably three minutes long. I may have been the only person he talked to yesterday. I have no idea of this man's faith journey. I do know that he experienced some of God's love yesterday. The man on the tractor is back today, perhaps another conversation will take place. Let's hope so.