Archive | May, 2012

The Final Countdown

31 May

It really is the final countdown.  The last day.  Things will never be the same after tomorrow.  Any way I choose to see or say it, life changes tomorrow.

Kasen Cross Tiger will arrive via C-Section sometime between 9 & 10am Friday, June 1, 2012.  My heart is all aflutter as my arms eagerly await the new bundle of joy to love on.

Kasen Cross at 38 wks. He is sucking on his hand, and is all scrunched up.

Still, I know today will either fly by or creep along.  I will feel like I didn’t get everything done, and I’m pretty certain that not much rest will be had tonight.  So imagine my delight when I read my devotion earlier:

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”

Psalm 62:5-8

Even though my C-Section is scheduled, I believe it is the best option for my and Kasen’s safety, and I have full confidence in my doctor’s ability to deliver Kasen successfully, there is still anxiety clinging to my thoughts.  The what if’s and uncertainties are not easy to shake off.  How glad I am that when I am weak, He is strong.  I will need that strength not only tomorrow, but most surely in the days, weeks, and months ahead as I adjust to life as a mother of two darling boys.

So I will pour out my heart, I will pour out my soul, trusting in God’s grace and provision.  I will seek rest in Him instead of relying on my comfy fort of pillows that have been my bed fellows for the past 9 months.  I will rejoice in the great gift God has given when we hold our sweet new baby boy and know that God will continue to guide our journey, one step at a time.

Gracefully~~Heather

 

23 May

Christians are supposed to be not only followers of Christ, but also a living example of His love and grace. However, I think we often get caught up in pointing out what is wrong or “un-Christian” in the world, and we forget what brought us into God’s loving embrace in the first place. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
1 John 3:1-3
We are all children of God, and we are never too far away, too far gone, or too bad that His love can’t reach us or welcome us back with wide open arms of grace. Joy Cannis’ story beautifully exemplifies this truth and I hope it blesses your heart as it has mine.

Leanne Penny

For a long time God has been nudging me about the need to be part of a community that not only shares their story, but speaks of redemption.  An honest connection for sharing how God has used our scars as unique qualifications to bring his light to the dark spaces.  

It all started with trying to write about my own story and being smacked in the face over how my childhood wounds make me the perfect mother for my own daughter.  And how my grief and loss has enabled me to talk about hope and tenacity in the valley.  

So I’m starting a series of sorts here on the blog where I’ll host and create space for other people to share their beautiful scars and painful yet unique qualifications.  A space for sharing our stories, even the most painful parts all for the purpose of glorifying a God…

View original post 1,331 more words

Ready or Not…Here He Comes?

22 May

Today just might be the day.  Kasen’s birth day that is!

I know.  What happened to June?  Well, when we went in to my OB for my check-up and ultrasound Friday we were told by my wonderful doctor that my amniotic fluid levels were low.  Huh?  Apparently this can happen later in the third trimester and it can send the baby into distress if not monitored closely.  The fluid levels are supposed to be between 5-20, with 5 being the danger zone.  Mine were at a 7.7.  My doctor said we were in the cautious zone, to go home and hydrate and rest, then come back in Tuesday for another ultrasound.  He said if my levels dropped or even stayed the same, he would likely deliver Kasen right away.

I hydrated really well and rested some.  Resting wasn’t easy to do in the midst of our huge 10th anniversary celebration all weekend for the church, including the open house here at the parsonage.  Good news: My house is cleaner than it’s been in 2 years and I survived!  We had over 100 kids join the celebration at the church carnival, almost 200 for worship Sunday, and raised almost $49,000 for our Miracle Sunday offering, cutting our church payoff in half! Micah also suffered an injury at the carnival; a black eye courtesy of a stray foot on the inflatable slide.  He is quite proud of his “blue eye!”  My Mima also ended up in the hospital with some irregularities in her heart, so I was so torn not being able to be with her.  (She is doing a bit better and might be released tomorrow!)

Monday then rolled around and it was all about Micah day. Continue reading

Good to Grow

16 May

This was my Mother’s Day present.  My pretty little purple teacup orchid.  I love orchids and it may be one of the few plants I can actually keep alive and help flourish.  My husband had gotten me another purple orchid plant about four years ago, and it was a glorious beauty. When we moved home to Oklahoma from Kentucky I left my plant in the care of my good friend, Heather, as a sign that our friendship would continue to flourish after we left.  It has.

It was a Just Add Ice Orchid, meaning I literally only had to add 3 pieces of ice, one time a week and keep it in indirect sunlight, and it grew and grew.  While this new one is not the same “brand”, I am hoping that adding 2ish pieces of ice a week to hydrate my little lovely will produce similar results.

As I sat gazing at my pretty present that was meant to celebrate me as a mother, I started thinking of how my plant was not the only tender thing that I was responsible for nourishing and growing with care.

I sat, almost 37 wks pregnant with my second son, looking at a portrait of our oldest son as it hung behind the orchid, and the enormous responsibility and gift of these little lives struck me with such intensity that I lost my breath for a moment.

Am I a good enough mother?  Do I know enough?  What if I make mistakes?  What about my flaws?  Can I give them what they need?  Is my love enough?

Am I enough?

My gaze didn’t have to travel far from the flower to linger upon the cross nearby.  And I had my answer.

No.  I am not enough.  But God is.

His love and grace, poured out through me is enough.

When I am weak, He will be there.  When I fail, His plans will succeed.  When I stumble, He will pick me up.

He will be the guide for my journey as a mother, and a light for my boys to seek and follow.

His love will be enough to nourish and grow them even when mine may fall short.

I can tenderly care for my plant by keeping it watered just right and providing the right amount of sunlight for growth.  If I neglect it or accidentally leave it in the shadows it may wither.

By trusting my boys to God’s tender care, I can trust that I will know the right amount of love they need for their souls to be nourished, and the perfect place of the Son in their lives for ultimate growth.

Why?

Because God is enough.

 

(This will be my only post for a little while as I finish preparing for the parsonage open house during our church’s 10 yr celebration, and Kasen’s very soon impending arrival.  Have a great week!)

Gracefully~~Heather

9 May

My posts have been, well, absent, along with any inspiration and time. I apologize, but felt it better to be void than post nothing of substance. I’ve been busy, tired, and overwhelmed, trying to capture some peace in the chaos. I came across this poignant post from my dear friend, Leanne Penny, just in time. I needed to hear this message as the “I need mores” have been crowding in and clanking about. “I need more time to get ready.” “We need more diapers…not clothes, not blankets people..diapers..or the diaper bag.” “I need more sleep.” “I need more inspiration so my blog doesn’t sit untouched for days.” “I need more focus.”
I’ve been struggling with finding some peace and this message helps me see that it’s not the more I need, but the enough that I have, in Him. Thank you friend for being a vessel of His enoughness and grace!

Leanne Penny

Last night as I was drifting off in a NyQuil induced coma, Kel and I had a really great chat. Maybe it was just the drugs talking but we found a sweet depth in sharing the fears and doubts that we’re kicking around these days.

His heart hangs heavy on what the next step is for our family, we both feel the winds of change but have no idea what that looks like in reality.  We know he needs to finish up  seminary, but as we are currently debt free (except the house, Dave) we aren’t going to take out loans for his 3 remaining classes.

God has covered all the $500 credit hours up til now, yet still we doubt…

He suggested maybe we could cut back the grocery budget a bit and save cash there, I scoffed because the truth of the matter is that the…

View original post 790 more words

To C-Section or not to C-Section, Is that the Only Question?

4 May

Yesterday, I reached my 35th week of my pregnancy, and I was expected to have a decision ready for my doctor.  We were supposed to decide if we would schedule a repeat C-Section for Kasen’s birth, or if I will attempt a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Caesarean) through a trial of labor.  Despite already knowing most of the information concerning either route, in the two weeks I had between appointments, I devoured all the resources available from my “What to Expect” book, the web, and friends and family.  As my appointment drew nearer I wavered back and forth.  I just didn’t feel settled.  No sense of peace could be found about a decision.

During my first OB appointment this was one of the topics we discussed, and my doctor’s answer at the time was that we had time to make a final decision, but he was willing to let me try a VBAC.  Since that first appointment, way back in October 2011, I have been pretty set on going the VBAC route for a number of reasons. Continue reading

Pretty Planter Rehab

2 May

I have a problem while I clean/organize; I get caught up in the things I am organizing and so tend to move slowly.  Does anyone else share this dreadful downfall?

I’ve tried to work on it over the years, but I am coming to accept the fact that I will more likely take longer to get an organizing task done because I tinker, putter, reminisce, or just plain dawdle.  Hi.  I’m Heather and I get side-tracked while organizing.

Well, while my mom was here helping us get the house in order, it happened again.  I was working on my disaster of a office/craft/writing area and I got an idea for a project to help beautify the space.  It was simple (in my head), and would only take a little detour from the organizing.  It was all in an effort to make the organization more appealing.

Here is what I started with:

An old tin planter that once housed an artificial plant

Not so pretty inside

It had been functioning as a pen/pencil holder for quite some time.  I had a similar thought for its use as I was organizing the craft supplies.  Here is its rehab journey:

The first layer of paint was a little leftover gray paint from touching up the nursery. I let that coat dry, and then brushed on the French Vanilla color you see above. Literally a little dab did it. I brushed this color on lightly as I wanted some gray to show through.

Finished painting and letting it dry on my fancy holder, a Pepsi 2-liter

From Old and Ugly to Fresh and Pretty

Pretty Outside and Inside

I applied the flocked scrapbook paper to the inside of the planter before I painted, using hot glue.  It’s not perfect as the planter wasn’t perfectly round, but it looks so much nicer.  I went with two patterns in the same color scheme to keep it playful.  After the paint dried I used a fine grit sand block and gently sanded along the vine patterns and the edges.  I wanted some of the original color to come through for the aged effect.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, for a free project as I had all the supplies on hand.

It now beautifully holds my colored-pencils and markers for craft projects

I think it’s much prettier now sitting on the top of the craft shelf, and it keeps the pencils and markers at easy reach instead of in boxes.

So my planter has had a pretty rehab stint.  Now if I can move a little quicker through the rest of my clutter I’ll be one happy girl.  I just have to pause and catch my breath, rest, and get my feet up every 30 minutes or so thanks to this growing little baby boy who is bouncing around inside.

Oh well, one thing at a time!

Have you rehabbed any everyday item lately?

Gracefully~~Heather

Enough for Today

1 May

It’s May 1.  When I found out I was pregnant, Aaron and sat down and looked at all we would have going on near our due date.  It was a lot.  Our church’s 10-yr celebration weekend, including an open house, birthdays, our 7th anniversary, Mother’s Day, and our denomination’s annual conference, on top of all the daily work and tasks.  Not only were all these things on the horizon, there was a lot of preparation we had to do in order for these things to happen.  We decided that we needed to set a goal to have as much as possible prepared for Kasen’s arrival by the beginning of May, so that when the busyness really hit, we wouldn’t be in anxiety overdrive.

Guess what?

Didn’t happen.  Guess who is in anxiety overdrive?  This girl, and I know Aaron is just as overwhelmed by the church and also wanting to give his best at home. I know neither of us was planning on me being sick for much of the pregnancy, and it just has not helped.

I was up late last night for multiple reasons, like heartburn, uncomfortableness, and also I could not shut my mind down with all the things we still need to do to prepare for Kasen, get the house ready, and again, just stay on top on everyday tasks.

I’m still dealing with this sinus infection which has sidelined me for the past few days, and this morning was not looking bright.  The anxiety had not diminished overnight, so as I sat down to do my devotion, I simply prayed that God would give me a few moment’s peace.  He did that and more.  Ask and you shall receive, right?

Here are a few of the things God led me to either during my devotion or right after that have helped carry me through the day so far.  I turned on the satellite Christian station to let God sing over me, calm my soul, as I surfed the web of His grace.  It is truly enough for today.

 

From my devotion at Girlfriends in God by Sharon Jayne: “Her lamp does not go out at night…” (Proverbs 31:18 NIV). Continue reading