Sunday, February 21, 2010

A New Season...

When we began this whole ordeal we couldn't have dreamed what the last two months would bring. There is much I have not blogged about until this point because we were simply uncertain of where things would end up. I'll be honest... I would like to say I faithfully trusted the entire time... that I did not for one moment let myself freak out. But that wouldn't be entirely true.

Okay... for awhile it was about as far from that as possible.

In the month that I found out about the subchorionic hematoma in my uterus and was put on complete bed rest which eliminated over half our income... we also found out we'd need to find a new place to live, Micaiah would be loosing his job, and virtually much of what was certain in our lives seemed to disappear within a matter of two weeks.

And I had to lay on the couch... which didn't exactly help matters. I actually asked Dr. Goerish if there were anti anxiety meds I could take (I was partly kidding.... partly.) January was probably one of the most difficult months of my life in the way that I had absolutely no way of doing anything about our situation. My job was gone. Micaiah's was to be ending very soon. We needed to find a new place to live thus at least doubling our rent. Life as we'd known it was changing rapidly. And to say I was a little bit of a neurotic crazy person during that time would be putting it nicely.

I'll admit at times it felt like life was collapsing... and there was about a two or three day period where I came completely unglued and was a mess of tears and wondering why our beautiful little way of life had shifted so suddenly.

And then I woke up... and I realized something. Sometimes, when it feels like everything certain around you is crumbling you get this beautiful opportunity to let it change you. And after much prayer and many tearful conversations with God... I decided to go with it.

And trust Him for a house.
To trust Him for jobs.
To trust Him to provide for food and medical bills and all that we needed as we walked this road.
To trust Him to take care of my womb and my baby.
To trust Him with our lives and our dreams and all we hold dear.

Believing in what we cannot yet see seems to be the theme of 2010 for us.

As it has been for a few others. And we're realizing that when things in life get shaky and our plans fail... sometimes the most beautiful way He redeems it is by giving us people to walk alongside. People who are walking an equally uncertain road.

If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time you know about Grace Refuge. And as our lives were turned upside down... some interesting events were transpiring there as well. If I had the words to write the whole story I would. It begins with both Ted and Margy and Micaiah and I having events that made the future of things a little uncertain... and it ends with us praying together in an upstairs room of their house--both sides able to give something desperately needed. We left with a place to live... and they walked away with people willing to fill a need that was bigger than they were capable of filling alone. And I don't know exactly how it's all going to end up... what I do know is that we've entered into beautiful ministry together because that's where God led us.

Something incredibly wise was said in that room that night.

"It's like we can only see ten steps ahead... and God says... that's all you need to see."

So we're moving... to Grace Refuge (not the big house the one next door to the big house)... and the role we will play there is continually unfolding. Right now we're giving the next door house some much needed TLC :) I'll jump back in helping Margy with foster care and the kids as I'm able... and Micaiah will do "man things" where they are needed. And where it will go from there I don't know. What I do know is they have blessed us beyond measure by allowing us to come on board and live in the house next door.... and most importantly they have blessed us by their love and their faithful walks with the Lord.

In the time since that happened we have been wrapped up in this beautiful new way of life. We spend much of our time at the house painting and fixing and loving on it. And we have been blessed by people who have joined us washing floors, cleaning up cobwebs, painting, scraping, fixing, nailing, making trips to Home Depot, and the like. We have shared some beautiful fellowship with those who have come alongside us to make this house our home. Many things may still be uncertain... but one thing is not... the body of Christ is a beautiful thing and we have never known love like we have these last couple of months.

I am almost completely off of restriction. Tomorrow I start a CNA class which is something I've wanted to do for a long time. And I've been able to be part of PACT ministries a couple of days a week which has been incredible. Micaiah got a job at Home Depot. And sweet Jayda is growing and kicking like crazy :) And we continually watch as God takes care of us in ways that both surprise and delight us.

And we have moved from a place of accepting this season of our lives to being incredibly grateful for it. Yes... I said grateful. Grateful for the bedrest, for life turning upside down, for the chance to see God move in ways we otherwise wouldn't have.

Much love and gratitude,

Saturday, February 13, 2010

it's what you do...

I was listening to a Podcast this week from Mark Driscoll. In it he said something that hasn't left me.

"Love isn't what you say or how you feel. Love is what you do."

Honestly, if Micaiah spoke to me like the men on those cheesy Valentine's Day commercials... I think I'd laugh. Then probably ask him if he was feeling okay. Because the thing is... at the end of the day, words are cheap and feelings are fleeting.

My man is one of few words. He's a man's man. He works at Home Depot, hunts things, and watches shows like Dirty Jobs and Man vs. Food. His idea of making dinner is picking up Chipolte or frying me a basket of french fries. He rarely pours his heart out in words (probably because I'm enough words for us both :) but his actions speak love.

He kisses my forehead sometimes when he thinks I'm sleeping. He vaccums. When he leaves for a weekend he writes a quick note and buys me a scratch off ticket.

Ladies nothing says love like a scratch off ticket.

He calls sometimes in the middle of the day just to see what I'm doing. When we're driving and I boss him and tell him which way to go and what way is shorter he's smiles and says "You're my right hand man babe." He cleans up the dog puke. When I had a major emotional breakdown a few days after being on bedrest he came home the next day with food and flowers. Purple flowers. He remembers things like the fact that I love purple, or that I wanted that lime green puffy vest with the fur hood for Christmas. He knows what my perfume is called. He cuddles me to sleep. He doesn't mind that I have a shoe addiction or need a new eyeshadow color for every season.

He's not perfect. Our marriage isn't perfect. Our love is far from perfect. But I'll never forget Valentine's two years ago. We'd just met but I could tell He was going to change my life. He already knew I'd be the one he'd marry. He brought me a card and chocolates as were weren't dating and he didn't totally want to freak me out too badly :) I'd just gotten out of a bad relationship and was left a little scarred. I told him I didn't want my heart broken. He promised he wouldn't break it... and he's spent every day since then making good on that promise. He's redeemed many things and been a rock for my sometimes incredibly fragile heart. And I'm crazy about him.

We've had our bumps in the road... sometimes a few really big ones. And we're by no means marriage experts at this young time in our marriage. But we've learned some really big lessons about what love is and what it's not. We've learned that you choose your love.... and for the rest of your life... you love your choice.

He tries every day to love his choice well. The vacuming, the scratch off tickets, the cleaning up dog vomit, the purple flowers, the fact that he reads every single one of my blog posts.... they all speak love to me.

Love is what you do.

And he does love well.

Happy Valentines Day My Love. You and no other.


Monday, February 8, 2010

more good news!

Hello all,
This will be short as I'm very tired. Our appointment today went great! The clot has shrunk again and is really quite small now. At this rate it should dissapear completly in 3 weeks to a month which means I'll be able to go back to life as normal.


Much Love,

Monday, February 1, 2010

Step into Fear

I woke up that night startled... I'd been in and out of precious sleep for hours. We'd been driving through the night for what seemed like forever... but I felt the van rumble to a halt and now, I was awake. I was in the way back crammed between Christmas presents, blankets, and supplies. It was pitch dark outside and there were no other cars to be seen. I saw my two friends outside with the hood of the van open... and smoke was everywhere. When I found my voice I finally asked what in the world was going on.

I learned we were in the middle of Utah, the van broke down because we'd forgotten to put some cap back on. They'd tried to cool it down and used up all of our water in doing so... and still no luck. There was also no one who could get cell phone service at the time. Apparently there aren't too many towers in the middle of no-where-Utah, go figure. Did I mention there were also Coyotes howling in the background... or that is was six hours before someone stopped to help us (it was maybe the 3rd car we saw in six hours so not bad odds)?

I thought the entire situation was utterly hilarious. I remember laughing hysterically over the entire thing... and then regretting it because it made me so thirsty for the water we did not have.

My point I guess in all of this is... not once did I fear. Not once did I wonder if someone would come and rescue us. Not once did I question whether or not God would take care of us. It didn't even cross my mind.

I've been in many dangerous situations... lost in many foreign places... broken down on more than one unfamiliar road. I've walked the streets of African slums and the ravaged streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. And not once in all of that did I question whether or not He would protect me... not once did I doubt Him. I don't remember being afraid...and if I ever was it must have been quickly overwhelmed by how deeply I trusted Him to walk with me through it.

The day I saw those two perfect pink lines... the day I realized I was going to be a mother... all of that changed.

And I was terrified.

I wasn't terrified of her coming into the world, I wasn't afraid of being a mother or the fact that my entire life was about to change.

I was terrified that something might go wrong, that I might loose her. The first three months I carried her I walked on eggshells. I was afraid of every small twinge in my abdomen. Every symptom I had "What to Expect When Your Expecting" didn't dedicate a section to. I probably talked to every nurse on the OB floor. I ate everything healthy, nothing caffeinated, and didn't so much as take a tylenol those first three months. When my first trimester was over and things were fine... I took a deep breath and relaxed a little, let myself have a candy bar or cup of coffee every now and then and didn't worry at every new sensation. That was, until I was barely sixteen weeks pregnant and woke up in the middle of the night covered with blood.

Panic and mind gripping fear overwhelmed us that night. And although I have not spent every waking moment since then afraid... there is always that fear that rises up when I wake in the dark of night... or when I don't feel her move for awhile. That underlying fear that unsettles... shakes me...

And yesterday I was feeling like a "ye of little faith" and remembering verses like "perfect love casts out all fear" and "without faith it is impossible to please God" and something in me broke open.

The things in my life that require great faith are the things I'm most terrified of... because within those things lye my deepest desires, my greatest dreams... my secret longings and deep loves. This isn't being stranded on a road in the middle of nowhere. This is my daughter. The is the baby I have prayed for my entire life. This is flesh of my flesh. This is a deep dream of my heart now reality that grows within me.

And no one has to tell me... I know that to move into places of great faith we first have to enter the places that shake us... terrify us. I know... and I'll be transparent here... It's impossible to please God unless I do the things I'm afraid of.

I knew a man once who said that it wasn't a sin to doubt but that God didn't like it. Who said that the only thing we should fear is God... and to fear anything else means we don't have enough faith.

I think, good intentioned as he was, he was wrong.

Fear offers two routes, flight or faith.

To be so scared that you are trembling... but allowing Him into the deep places of your heart anyway... takes tremendous faith. And just as I was beginning to doubt and feel as if I've fallen so short I felt Him whisper.

"Entering into your greatest fears is the first step in great faith."

Which left me thinking... "yeah, God but I mean... we didn't really have a choice in this, it's not like we willingly stepped in, I mean... I'd like to say we would have but we probably wouldn't have given the choice."

"Your choice came when you learned you were standing in the midst of terror and fear and you chose not to flee."

This has shaken me. I have feared... many times. My two greatest fears on this earth are loosing my husband and loosing my child. And to be told a few weeks ago that one of those fears was entirely possible terrified me.

But then came the songs in the night, the prayers of the faithful, the places in my heart I handed over to Him that I didn't even know were there. Then came the sweet intercession that came when she kicked and I asked God to let me raise her... here. Then came faith. And yes... the fear comes. It comes in times and ways we don't expect it. It comes as I bare my heart on these pages. It comes before every ultrasound. And although the odds are now stacked in our favor... two weeks ago they were most definitely not. And we know all too well how quickly everything can change. And I'm learning something about faith.

Just as much as your faith can't be based on circumstance it also doesn't mean you're fearless. It means in the midst of all that terrifies and shakes you... you hand over those things which are most precious to you anyway. Even though you long for facts and statistics and certainty... you cling to what you cannot see. It means you allow Him to chip away at the fear and allow perfect love to melt even the most terrifying places. Faith means you bear witness even when you feel shaken... to speak His name even when you feel you can't do it justice. It means you become the person your scared to be in the midst of the mess and the confusion and the fear. I'm not saying I'm there, I'm not.

I realize now that walking dangerous roads and breaking down in the middle of nowhere didn't require much faith for me... those weren't great fears. It was easy to trust because it was just me. I trusted Him with me. Handing over those we love the most is so much more difficult.

It hasn't been easy to hand Him my daughter and tell Him I trust Him with her.... even though I know I can. It hasn't been easy to share our story, our faith, and our flaws on these pages... even though I know I'm supposed to. It hasn't been easy to hang in the balance of the seen and unseen... even though we've been asked to drop to our knees and stay awhile.

And that's where the perfect love floods in... slowly pierces our hearts and gives us the ability to stand in that place and whisper His name. That's where the faith comes in... the courage to offer Him all we have to give... even if it's not much... and entrust Him with our fragile hearts.

I deeply long to be someone of great faith... and I know now that it means I might have to stand in the fear for awhile and choose to walk through it. I know that I need to willingly choose to enter in to some of those things that terrify me most. And there are a few things He has revealed to my heart... places that I haven't wanted to go for fear of rejection or pain or inconvenience that I now know I need to step into. There is the woman I've always known I'm supposed to be... but the part of me that doesn't want to go there because I might fail.

I'm going to go there now, some of those places of fear... because even if I fail miserably at least I'll know His heart in the midst of it.

And that's enough. His love... it's enough...