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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Biking for a Baby

Hello all my blogging buddies. Welcome to day 3 of 8 minute apart contractions that are progessing things apparently, just VERY slowly. I'm slowly reaching the point of desperation due to the fact that I can not sleep or sit comfortably or walk comfortably. Yeah, pretty much comfort is a cherished memory.
So yesterday I walked around Walmart for a few hours before my Dr's appointment, and I was asked by pretty much every Walmart worker if I needed help finding anything. Those Walmart workers are helpful, I tell ya. None seemed to have a way to make contractions closer together, however.
So after the Dr told me that things are coming along slowly, I tried to think of ways to speed up the process. I've been given suggestions from Castor Oil to biking. Since I've heard horror stories about Castor Oil, I went with the biking. My grandpa threatened to video tape me, but I can promise you there will no videos of this pregnant woman riding a bike floating around the internet.
So starting yesterday afternoon, I began a biking marathon on the stationary bike. It has been put on hold until I get home tonight, but I plan to keep up the mobility through walking during the day today. Now, I know there are many good causes out there that do bike-a-thons. I have a friend who helps to head up a bike-a-thone for Relay for Life. Well, I think my cause is definitely worthy, though it may not affect the masses. So if you feel, you know, led of the Lord to send a donation, do what you must (LOL!)
In all seriousness though, please pray for my sanity level. Pain definitely drives you to levels of craziness. Yesterday I put my huge, pregnant self on a bike for hours (yes, I took breaks and didn't get too winded!) But I'm slowly beginning to hear the Castor Oil calling my name, luring me with its promise of driving me into hard labor. If only the battery on our four wheeler wasn't dead....

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Brain Is Mush

Well, I want with all that I am to share something encouraging with you today. To give some thought to motivate you, but I honestly believe my brain has turned to mush. But I figured I better put a post out here so that you guys would know I'm still hanging on right now!
Anyway, if you'd just keep me in your prayers as the time draws near, I'd appreciate it. And I promise, if any original thoughts enter my head between now and go time, I'll be sure to share them with you!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A January Baby Just May Be In My Future

Well, I went to the doctor yesterday afternoon. And I made myself go in with no high hopes because I just knew he was going to say that she would be waiting around for another couple of months (or you know 3 or 4 weeks.) However, he gave me hope.
He said she has dropped really low, which I had thought anyway, but you know I've never been pregnant before, plus I didn't want to believe it only to have him say that she was still really high when I went to see him. Now, there's no dilation yet, and he THINKS I'll make it to next Monday's appointment, but he's pretty sure this little girl won't make it until February 10th. Though he did caution that some babies are just stubborn and after they drop they just sit there and sit there.
So, it isn't a sure promise, but I at least see a glimmer of that light at the end of the tunnel. So those steps I was talking about last week, you better believe I'll be going up and down them, and up and down them. Because we need to get this baby train a rolling!
And in order for her to have her "own day" she needs to be born tomorrow, Saturday or Sunday in the next week. And I've been given strict orders that she can't come Saturday because my niece's birthday party is Saturday, and her mommy (who happens to be one of my coaches) is for some reason expected to attend. She also wants her aunt Heather and her Grammy (my other coach) there. Of course, she really wants "Baby 'Laena" to be there too, but I'm pretty sure we're to close to the time for that now.
Anyway, I just wanted to give you guys an update. I'm going to be trying to teach my sister the blogging basics so that if anything happens, she can update you. I'll try to let you know about the birth of my little girl as soon as I can!

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Between Sundays

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to go to a luncheon where Karen Kingsbury was speaking. If you have never read one of her books, I suggest getting in your car and going to the bookstore or library NOW to get one and start reading it. Because her writing is POWERFUL. Her writing is truly blessed by God. (My beginning reading suggestion would be The Redemption Series.)
Anyway, I was not a bit disappointed in the event. Karen's speaking was just as annointed as her writing, and I came away challenged to live my life in a way that will make a difference in those I meet. One of the most powerful things she said was in reference to her new book Between Sundays. She was talking about what the book really meant to her. Now, I haven't read this one for myself yet. I have it, but Karen's writing tends to make me cry a lot. Because she just has a way of making her characters so real to her readers that you just feel like they are a part of your life. And due to pregnancy hormones, I'm a BIT emotional right now. Just a bit. I mean, I haven't cried over being skipped in a Phase 10 game or anything. Really, I haven't.
But just as soon as I feel I'm emotionally stable enough, this book is at the top of my list to read. Especially now that I've heard her reasoning behind it. See, she was talking about how important the moments between Sundays really are. I mean it's great to go to church, but if you forget about God during the rest of the week, what message are you putting out there. As I've often heard preachers say, you can't go to church on Sunday and live like the world on Monday.
Christianity is much more than that. Christianity is a DAILY walk that extends well past the church pew. Differences are made in lives around us in the way that we live our lives between Sundays. None of us are perfect, but others should see us striving to live for Christ. They should see that we realize when we are wrong and that with Christ's help we daily try to overcome those areas of temptation.
So my question to you today is how are you living between Sundays? If you were put on trial, would there be enough evidence to convict you of being a Christian? Let's all strive to make those days between Sundays days that will impact our world for Christ.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Those Twenty-One Steps I Will Be Climbing

Well my friends, come Sunday I will be 37 weeks along. Meaning I'll be FULL TERM. As in, Alaena can come ANYTIME, and it would be all good. And let me just say that as much as I love my daughter, I'm very ready to have her in my arms rather than in my belly.
I know, I know. There are those of you out there saying enjoy this time. But your cries are falling on deaf ears. Ears attached to a very sleepy body. My nights are pretty much filled with heartburn, throwing up, an hour of sleep, repeat cycle. And I have no delusions about the fact that she will be a perfect child who sleeps through the night as soon as she comes home from the hospital. It's just nice to think of a time where I will be ABLE to sleep when I get the chance to lay down.
Anyway, I didn't mean to turn this into a whiny post. It's actually an "I'm excited" post. Because I'm coming to the end of the waiting. I'm going to get to see my little girl. To hold her in my arms. To smell that baby smell. I can hardly wait.
So yes, I will be making a few extra trips up and down the twenty-one stairs (they've closed off the forty stair entrance) here at work for good measure beginning on Monday. They say extra walking could mean an easier labor. So I figure if it helps my goals of an EARLIER labor, what harm can it do?
And I know she could still keep me waiting for a good while, but it helps me to think I might be doing something to help progress. So walk I will.
I have a feeling God is going to be reminding me to wait patiently on Him many times in the coming weeks. And I know His timing is perfect. But I also know He has promised rest to His children. And I'm trusting in that promise!!!
Hope you guys have a great day!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Stay With His Plan

Sorry for the delay in posting around here. It has been a hectic few days. I had my church shower Sunday, work has been really busy as I prepare for my time off, I've been spending my evenings putting together strollers and Pack N Plays and swings, and well, you get the picture.
Anyway, my grandpa preached a great message on Sunday morning, and it really made me think. It was about Abraham. Now we all know about Abraham. He left all he knew and followed God. He was a hero of the faith mentioned in Hebrews 11. He's one of the greatest men in Biblical history.
But what grandpa's message focused on was the fact that Abraham (or Abram as he was originally known) did not start out that way. See, Abraham had a few obedience issues. He sort of listened to God, but he adjusted the plan a bit more to his comfort zone.
If you look at Genesis 12:1, "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:"
It says that the Lord HAD said unto Abram. That means at some point before he and his father and his entire family moved TOWARD Canaan in chapter 11 he had been called. But Abram didn't quite do that. He didn't leave all of his kindred. He went with his father. And he didn't go to that land where God was leading. He stopped in Haran where his father had chosen to stop, and he didn't leave until his father died.
But God didn't give up on His plan, or on Abram. He reminded Abram of his call, and once Abram's father had died, Abram began to follow that call. He still had a few bumps along the way (fallout with his nephew Lot, lying down in Egypt, having an extramarital affair), but ultimately Abram came to the place where he became the hero of faith we know today.
Basically what I'm saying is that none of us are perfect. Abram started out as an idolater. He was from Ur of the Chaldees. But God saw what he could be, and He called Abram to a better plan, a better life. And like all of us, Abram took a path with a few twists and curves, but he eventually learned that following God completely was the ONLY way to live.
So if you find yourself in a place of disobedience, realize that you don't have to stay there. God still has a plan for you. He can still make something great and blessed out of your life. You just have to get back to His plan.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sometimes God's Answers Aren't What We Expected

There have been many times in my life where I've prayed, and God answered my prayer in just the way I've expected. But there are other times where His answers came in ways that I just had to trust Him and know that He was in control. I got an answer like that yesterday.
I won't go into all the details, but let's just suffice it to say that I've been in a battle about Alaena's father. A battle with myself, a battle with those around me, a battle with God, and a battle with her father himself. I've requested prayer on here for him before. And I have honestly prayed that God would reach down and just change his heart. I mean totally make him do a 180.
And I believe that God heard those prayers, and I believe that He gave him a choice. A crossroads if you will. The problem is that when I prayed for direction regarding what I was supposed to do where that area of my life was concerned, I always envisioned a miraculous change in the guy. A Paul kind of conversion you know, where God pretty much came down from heaven, slapped the boy in the head and said, "CHANGE!"
And honestly, I believe that God has been trying to do that. But there are times where people's hearts are just very hard, and no matter how many slaps on the head they receive, they just don't recognize them for what they are.
So yesterday, I received a call from her father, and he told me that he just can't find the strength to change, and pretty much to never mention him to Alaena. And it hurt. It hurt because I think of my little girl who may never know her father. But in the midst of the pain, I had a peace that could only come from God, and I knew that He had provided my answer about what to do where her father was concerned.
So, right now I'm standing in the midst of peaceful chaos. I'm at a place where I don't know exactly what will happen next, but I just know God is in control, and I don't have to worry about it. I do ask that you will continue to pray for her father, because he truly needs Jesus. He's made many professions in the past, but basically yesterday he said he truly didn't know what this whole God thing was about, and maybe God's plan for him was just to always mess up. Satan truly does have him confused.
But God has allowed me to see that for what it is, and I know that I can't allow Satan's confusing games to run my life. So for now at least, Alaena won't know her father. And since I'm a daddy's little girl, the thought of it breaks my heart just a bit. But God is a father to fatherless, and I just know that He will provide her all the love that she is missing from her daddy.
Please keep the two of us in your prayers. And if you are going through a crazy situation, realize that even when things seem totally insane, God is in control, and He will give peace in the midst of the craziest storm.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Pepto Bismol Train Has Arrived

Okay, don't worry, this post is in no way related to stomach issues. Let's just say that I had my first official shower yesterday, and now my house, well it's overflowing with all sorts of pink cuteness. Shades of "blush and bashful" are everywhere.
There was a time in my life that I hated all things pink. Not really sure why, but fortunately God has given me back a love for the color in the last few years (epecially when joined with the color chocolate brown). And that is a good thing, because when you have a little girl on the way, pink becomes the color of your life.
Now, I must admit, I was a bit worried before my shower because in the necessities of babyhood, I was a poor woman. I had pretty much jip. Honestly, I had little more than 3 diapers and a bassinet up until last Saturday. So my needs, they were many. And I prayed that God would provide because honestly, I didn't really have 4 or 5 thousand dollars just laying around to go buy everything on my registry myself.
And God answered prayer in a big way. I now have bottles, and bottle cleaners, and diapers, and bibs and blankets, and outfits (oh, the cuteness of the outfits), and Johnson's baby wash (gotta love that Johnson's baby smell!), and a swing, and a Sweet Peace, and a bouncer, and diaper bags (yes, I said multiple bags, including this adorable bag), and the list goes on and on. And plus I have another shower on Sunday. That list of benefits I was talking about yesterday, lets just say it's been added to. And I had already listed the great friends I have on there, but they now have tons of extra checks by their names because their generosity just amazes me!
I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes we don't need to be afraid to ask God for things. Part of my stress last Saturday was about how much having a little one will cost, and I offered up a feeble prayer to God asking for His help. And as I said, God gave me peace through His Word. And yesterday, He gave me peace through some of His people. People with generous hearts (and great taste I must say!)
So if you're stressing over something today, turn it over to God. Even if you think it is something that only matters to you. Sometimes we have not because we ask not (James 4:2). God does care about the things that are stressing us. He even cares about bibs, booties, and blankets. And He supplies them too, yes, He does!

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Forget Not His Benefits

Well, despite the best of intentions to get back to normal posting, it just hasn't happened. Time seems to be going by in a whirlwind. In some ways that is very good (the end of the heartburn is near!) In other ways that is terrifying. Having her in my arms is going to bring a world of responsibility, but I know that God will be with me through each step.
I was having a bit of an emotional moment on Saturday night, stressing over the what if's. I had worked myself into quite a state, so I pulled out my Bible, and I began to pray that God would show me something He wanted me to see. The first verse I turned to was Isaiah 40:31, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
I needed some renewed strength at that point. And the reminder that I didn't have to do this all in my strength was definitely from God. Then I got to looking at the reference Scriptures in the margin that Isaiah 40:31 went along with, and they took me to Psalm 103. And that is just where God wanted me to look.
See, Psalm 103 is a Psalm of praise. A Psalm to remind us of God's greatness. I couldn't get away from verse 2, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:"
Forget not His benefits. Now, I don't know about you, but the first thing I do when I'm stressing is to start focusing on the negatives. And I believe Satan uses that to keep us discouraged. But Saturday night, I started a list of God's benefits. And you know what, I wasn't 5 or 6 items into that list before I started realizing that things weren't nearly as bad as they had seemed a few minutes before.
Why? Had the situation suddenly disappeared? No, I had just remembered that God is able. He's able to do whatever I need. He has blessed me time and time again. And He hasn't forgotten me. So there is no need to worry!
So today, I pray that you will remember His benefits. If you need to, take some time to just start your own list. I promise it will change your outlook!

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year's Already?

It is amazing to think how time has flown by over the holidays. I could hardly believe it when I had to set my alarm clock last night to come back to work. But hey, I'm very thankful I had a job to come back to. Many did not, so I start this new year off with a thankful heart.
I had promised myself that I would do a regular post today, but I am so behind on e-mails and other things here at work, that I must beg one more day. So I pray that each of you had a blessed Christmas and are also thankful as you have entered into the year 2008.
I must also offer up a prayer request for my sister, Crystal. She has been suffering with an absessed tooth since Christmas day. Our dentist was off until today, and she will be going to see him at 10 this morning. Please pray that she will get some relief from the pain!
Also, thanks for the prayers for my Aunt Teri, she is doing well after her surgery and was able to be at our family Christmas celebration and at church this past Sunday! God is good!