Saturday, August 2, 2014

the long, quiet trial...

infertility.  a burden you don't see.  a term not limited to those who can't have any children, but sometime also applying to those who can't have anymore children.

i am a mother of two beautiful boys, the result of my husband looking at me.  ok, that's not how it works, but that's how easy it felt.  and oh, how blessed we were to have children at a young age!

because while we waited for the second boy to enter our lives... cancer.

i won't hash up the details here (though i'm happy to tell you of our blessing of cancer in person if you like). after 2 major surgeries and 4 rounds of chemo therapy i was so thankful that God chose to remove this disease from my husband and give us (Lord willing) many more years together.

but the side effect of all that life saving treatment?  infertility.

flash back: when Nick and i were first married, we talked about kids.  he wanted 12.  i agreed to hit 6 and reevaluate.  seriously.  now, that silly conversation was just that.  silly.

it was out of our hands and in His huge, loving, all knowing hands.  where it had been all along.  really, there was no change.  only a change of mind on our parts.

i would not be receiving 6 or 12 or anything greater than 2.  and i am blessed!  i am blessed to have two beautiful boys who are best friends.  i am blessed to be past diapers and potty training and (mostly past) nap times.  i am blessed to be able to be a part of many ministries at church because i don't have a nursling or curious toddler in tow.  i am blessed to get a little extra time with my hubby most days.

but it's still hard.

yes, i have 2.  that's so much more than the woman who has none.  but i also know the immense joy of carrying a child, the love that seems to instantaneously multiply when you bring home a new family member, the happiness and laughter of watching them grow and learn and giggle.  i know, first hand, what i will never again experience.

it's strange how emotions that we are taught are "opposites" can exist and blend together in our heart at the exact same time.  there is joy from the blessings, but also sorrow over the loss.

when a friend announces a baby on the way, my heart nearly bursts with joy for them!  and yet, there is a thorn of grief that pricks.  i praise God that He has seen fit to bless and grow their family.  even more, as many of my friends who waited so long for children have received answers to that prayer.  i rejoice... and i then run to Him and cry out and He holds my heart together as it breaks again, just a little, but a fresh wound none the less.  yet, that sorrow in no way diminishes my happiness for my beloved sisters and brothers.  it is a strange concoction of emotions.

stop and note!  this is in no way saying i don't want to hear when you are blessed with child.  not in the least!  i pray often for those seeking to have a baby.  and i love to thank my Lord for answered prayer.

but, may i ask, please stop hinting.  stop suggesting.  stop teasing.

because you don't know who lives that the long, quiet trial that is infertility.

i know you are just kidding, but that little 'hint hint, nudge nudge' feels more like a hammering on my chest.  i laugh along, i smile and nod, but later i will retreat to a private place and run headfirst into my Fathers arms.

sometimes i will share with you how we can't have more.  and you tell me the funny stories of those who gave away all their baby things and then suddenly they were pregnant.  yes, it's a funny story.  but it's not my story.

God has different things in store for my and Nick's lives than we expected.  and while i pray for help with the heartache and peace with the desire for more children, i don't pray for another baby.  i trust that He knows my heart, and also what is best.  i have peace that i have asked enough and He knows my longing even better than i do.  so, i don't ask for more.

and really, i don't need you to pray for more for me.  again, He knows what is best.

if you desire to pray, pray for wise words in my mouth when others don't know the heartache their comments bring.  pray for healing of my body, that i would no longer have these symptoms that feel like pregnancy, but really are not.  pray for my dear friends who are up all night with their newborns, my sisters in Christ battling nausea and heartburn and bedrest, and pray for my beloved friends whose hands are full and schedules are busy because of the many arrows in their quivers.

and pray that our Savior comes back quickly!  because when He comes, when He sets the world right, there will be no more sorrow or pain or tears.

i look forward to that day.

yet i hope i always remember what this long, quiet trial has taught me.  that He is good and wise.  that He knows what is best.  

Psalm 105:4-5
"Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually.  Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgements uttered by His mouth."

i'm sorry that this post is a little all over the place.  as you maybe can tell, this subject carries with it a crazy mix of emotions and thoughts.  but these are things that have been rattling around in my mind, things that i have wanted to write about for quite some time.  i hope that they are an encouragement to you.  that you will look to use grace in your speech when you really don't know why someone hasn't had another baby.  and that maybe, if you too are sharing this heartache, that you will draw courage that you are not alone and that God is, indeed, very good!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

homeschooling doesn't have to be hard...

days like today help me remember that homeschooling doesn't have to be hard.

isaac had his garden journal outside while i was digging a garden bed.  i dug up a clover and we found a 21 inch tap root!  he recorded it in his garden journal (drawing a picture and adding the measurement) and we spent a good chunk of time reading about different kinds of clover and finding that a man in Lincoln NE who did research about clover and found a Red Clover that grew a tap root over 9 feet long!

science?  done!

this mornings, Christian had a question out of the blue (as most of his questions seem come).

Christian - "mom, are all armies good guys?"

and so followed a discussion of how all are sinners, how the same country can sometimes fight for good (things that line up with God's Word) and sometime let their selfishness take over and fight for wrong. various examples drawn from the revolutionary war and WWII. 

and that concludes our history lesson for the day.

see?  homeschooling really isn't that hard.  ;)

Monday, May 26, 2014

put up a fight...

1 Timothy 4:6
"In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following."

Jeremiah 15:16
"Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts."

I know this.  I've known it for years and years.  The Word should be my sustenances.  In it i will find strength and peace and be filled.  my day goes smoother and i am not ruffled by every little bother when i am nourished by His Words.

yet, as a mommy of littles, it's hard to get there.  my day seems to slip away with every school lesson, with every book we read, with every meal cooked, with every load of laundry washed, with every temper tantrum i have to correct.  and even though the day feels so very, very long, before i turn around, it's gone.  and i fall into bed without a second first glance at the inside of that Precious Book.

maybe you sit and read my words and shake your head and say "tisk, tisk!  that girl!  she should know better!"  trust me, i know that i should know better.  but i'm being honest here.

there are many more weeks than i would like, where sit down in the church sanctuary and realize that the last time i sat and soaked up these Words was 1 week ago in that same seat.  it's a painful realization.  and i hate it.  and yet, i'm being honest here.  because if i'm not honest, if i smudge the facts and say that it only happens "sometimes" rather than telling you truthfully that it's happened nearly every week this month, then nothing is going to change.

why?  why is it so hard to find time for the Thing i love most?  why does it seem as though there are a million little things that come up and i let them take priority over what i know needs to come first?

i know that my flesh is wicked and selfish.  that my flesh would rather work on a project, or just finish this one thing, or just sit and do nothing for a few minutes.  and that is a battle that i have to fight daily.

but, i wonder, if sometimes there isn't more to it than just my flesh.

maybe the reason mommies of young children have trouble finding time to be in the Word daily is because Satan works so hard to keep it that way.  at a stage when our kids are little sponges and soak up everything we say and do, maybe he works to keeps us from The Thing that would bless us with patience and peace.  and maybe he tries to prevent us from devouring the Scriptures so that we will not speak forth The Lords Words, but will instead have nothing but short tempered words.  maybe he works so hard to keep us from the Word, so that we will not influence our children toward the truth of the Lord.

if that is the reason, we need to fight harder!  we need to fight our lazy flesh that thinks a nap would be more helpful than the life giving Words of Scripture.  we need to fight our cunning and ruthless enemy by letting go of all the little things that get in our way and turn to the only thing that can really give us strength and peace.

we need to fight to consume His Holy Book so that these little sponges that we live so closely with will hear only blessings and praise coming out of our mouths.

just maybe, we need to act more like warriors and ready ourselves for battles with this ruthless foe.

Ephesians 6:10-12
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

my everyday kind of life...

this blog was started by my husband to inform others on the state of his cancer journey 4 years ago.  we are long past that trial now.  there is nothing to report.  no life events to keep people up to date on.  no great or hard things to tell.

we are living the boring everyday kind of life.

but i know that many of you are too... if there is still anyone out there reading this neglected little blog.  and you are often on my heart and in my prayers.  i wish i knew you and the trials you are going through in your everyday life.  i want to encourage you, to build you up, to light a little fire in you to keep doing good.  

so i hope to find more time to share here.  in between the homeschool lessons and the piles of laundry, i desire to study and pray and write words of encouragement to any who need it.

it will not be profound.  it will not be great and moving.  but it will be truth.

and while i will never be one of those everyday bloggers, i hope to get back here a little more often.

so, here is a verse that so fits for a boring everyday kind of life...

Psalm 37:3a
"Trust in the Lord and do good;"

2 things.  neither very complicated.

i could expound on the difficulties of letting go of control and trusting Someone else, but there is no point since, as the Sovereign Creator, He is already in control anyway.  so trust Him, in His perfect judgement, to do what is best.

and i could give examples of how our flesh battles us everyday, wanting things that are selfish and lazy.  but you already know about those.

so rather than some mounting lists of all the things that we need to change in our lives (cuz that list would be very overwhelming!) let us instead relish in the simplicity of it.  let us face our days this week with these 2 things that cover all the trials of our everyday lives.

memorize this truth.  it's 7 words long, so it's not too hard, even for the worn mommy or busy student.  devote it to memory and remind yourself of His beautiful little statement over and over again.  when the day is long and our body and mind grow weary, meditate here.

let us trust in the Lord, and let us do good!

care to share and encourage someone else?  leave a comment about something from your everyday life that you need to remind yourself to trust Him with.  or a situation you come to in your everyday that you need to remember to do good.  

Friday, February 28, 2014

mommy moment of the day:

when you grab the pot to put it away and realize that, for all your meticulous scrubbing and scouring of the inside and outside of the pot, you forgot to clean the gunk off the handle... and now decide to put it away anyway, cuz the part that counts is clean.