Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Heart Tones

Today's post is a little piece of the raw, real me...not the encouraging me, not the organized me, not the Spiritual me, not even the mom me...just a piece of my heart...

Two weeks ago we had our very first midwife appointment.  It was fantastic! This time we have chosen to birth outside the hospital at a stand-alone birthing center.  Due to their awareness of spouses schedules, they make appointments available until 7PM!  My delightful husband decided he really would like to be at this appointment {a privilege we have not experienced since expecting our first baby 23 years ago}.  The appointment lasted a full hour!  We were asked questions, listened to, included in decision making - while being informed of all aspects of our choices.

And then the big moment...getting to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time...

The student midwife put the Doppler to my belly and searched for the quick, rhythmic swishing that so many of us Mamas are familiar with.  She checked one area, then another, until finally the midwife overseeing her decided she would give it a try.  Her expert hands put the Doppler right where she knew she would find our little bundle ~ but still no heartbeat!  After searching for quite a few minutes, she stopped, looked at me and told us there were a few reasons we might not be hearing the tones...all of which sounded reasonable.  She presented us with the option of ordering an ultrasound or waiting two weeks and having us come in for a quick appointment to listen again.

In the moment, we chose to wait...

I would be lying if I said I wasn't just the tiniest disappointed.  As we headed home, thoughts of doubt began entering my mind and I quickly began taking them captive and making them obedient to Christ!  Only, two weeks is a long time to take thoughts captive.  Two weeks is an eternity when your nighttime dreams become filled with images of miscarriage and hemorrhaging.  When suddenly woman after woman begins to announce their own loss, and you begin to question if your heart isn't being prepared for another loss yourself.

At one point I had thought, "On Monday, I will call and let them know I would like to go ahead and have an ultrasound."  Only to have a dream Sunday night of the sweetest baby girl who possessed a beaming smile and radiated joy.

I decided to wait...

So yesterday as we played at our local children's museum with my oldest daughter and her sweet heart sat in eyes occasionally welled with tears...and my Spirit "held it's breath"...

Finally the moment arrived that my husband and I met at the birthing center and were ushered back to an "overflow" office. {The three birthing suites were being occupied by Mamas laboring. We even overheard the sweet cry of a newborn babe as we were waiting for our midwife to pop in.}  In walked Kim, a student midwife in the practice.  With beautiful eyes and a head of curly, graying hair she invited me to lie down on the table so we could "find this peanut"!  As she placed the Doppler on my belly, I literally held my breath and committed that I would be OK, no matter what the outcome...

And then...

Swish, swish, swish, swish... "there it is," Kim announced!

My eyes overflowed and those beautiful eyes looked right into mine as she said, "You needed to hear that didn't you?"  At those words I couldn't contain myself any longer!  I just covered my flooding eyes and listened to that sweet baby's heart beating inside of me!

I cannot tell you the feelings of overwhelming relief that flooded me in those moments!  The feelings of thankfulness, joy and relief that consumed me and brought me to tears in the sigh of a moment for the rest of the evening...and still as I type this!

At times over the past two weeks, I have felt burdened that I could not just rest in the God that brings peace!  But, I knew that He had not left me...He never promised life would be easy...only that He would see me through.

And, I am not so naive to think that this life inside of me is somehow less fragile now that I have heard a heartbeat.  Only God knows the number of our days, and I am OK with that, but for now I will relish knowing that a heartbeat is there, at 160 beats per minute ~ our little hummingbird!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Amazing Grays!

Do you see them?

Maybe it's because I'm turning 40 in a couple of weeks, or maybe it's because I'm a grandma to 2 sweet grand babies expecting her 10th baby, but some days those grays really stand out to me!

There are days that I am tempted to go buy a box of Clairol {or whatever it is people buy} and cover every last wild, corkscrew, gray hair on my head.  But to be honest, I have a husband who reminds me {frequently} that they are my crown!

Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.
 ~ Proverbs 16:31~

I truly am so blessed to have a man who finds my crazy grays a compliment to my appearance.  And I am relieved that I am "off the hook" when it comes to succumbing to the pressures of society saying that I need to stay young forever!  It sure makes working on "letting my adornment be that of a gentle and quiet spirit" {1 Peter 3:4} so much easier! {Not that I've achieved that yet!!!}

Just thinking about and being grateful for an amazing man that keeps me grounded in the truth!

Here are a couple of more shots to try to get a better view of some of the more wild ones! {It's really hard to take pictures of yourself ~ I'm not sure how other bloggers out there do it!!!}

I'd love to hear your opinion on to go gray or not to go gray and why!!!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Musings {Warning, ranting follows...}

Today I have a little rant! 
 {There, that’s your warning…proceed with caution!}

These days it seems I hear the message over and over…there is even a very popular song on the Christian radio station, the lyrics say: 

You may be knocked down now, but don’t forget
What he said – He said: 
I won’t give you more than you can take
And I might let you bend but I won’t let you break
And Oh, I’ll never let you go
Don’t forget what he said

Don’t get me wrong…I love this song…it’s very catchy…but every time it comes on in the van I have to say, “That’s a lie…the Bible does not say, 'He will not give us more than we can take!'”  {And, of course I understand the underlying message is that He will be there for us.  But, I don’t want people, especially my children, to buy into a lie that waters down Christ in any way! In fact, I am actually fine with every other part of this song, but that one line!}

 And, you know, I’m hearing it more and more in my daily life!  But the truth is we absolutely will receive more hardship than we can take!!!  We are meant to be broken!  If we could handle it on our own, then we wouldn’t need Jesus!!!

 2 Corinthians 4:7 says:

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” (Bold mine) 

Then it continues in 4:8-10: 

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” 

Christ himself said, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” (Matthew 5:11)

Did you see that?  He said things would get worse, not better!  And this is only one of many verses that speak of the Christian walk being difficult. The difference is that He will be our strength in our times of trouble in a way that we cannot comprehend on our own! 

Did you also know that the Bible does not say, “The Lord helps those who help themselves?”
{OK – I’ll save that for another day!}

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Linking to: Monday Musings, Better Mom Mondays

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Just Breathe {Mom~ing from where you're at}...

I know, I's been FOREVER since I have blogged!  You all should know that it is not for lack of thinking, and formulating blog posts in my mind...but the energy to find the camera and actually get some real life photos to go with my posts has been lost somewhere weeks ago!  BUT...things are turning around...Mama is FINALLY getting back on her feet...look out blog world, here I come!

So, while I was down, I spent an unspeakable amount of time just needing to breathe!  Seriously, the littlest things would put me in a place of exhaustion, and literally saying, "I just need to sit and breathe for a minute!"

One such time, I had just made a snack of popcorn for the kiddos, and found myself calling {from the kitchen floor}, "Come grab a bowl and some popcorn!"

Guess who came running?

 I happened to have a camera in the kitchen from Ken taking pictures of the kitchen cabinet removal, so I grabbed it and started clicking away! {I apologize for the poor quality of the photos...the settings weren't where they normally are, and frankly, I really don't know how to work the thing!}

Here are snap shots of Claire's first encounter with popcorn! {Warning! Children under 2 should be closely supervised when eating popcorn, it can be a major choking hazard!}

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

M.I.A. {But soon to be back!}

Some of you may have noticed that I have been missing for a while!  That is because, today I am on day 18 of the flu!  Not the stomach flu, but the "sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy-head, fever, but can't take NyQuil because I'm pregnant" flu!  What started out as what I thought was allergies, turned into a full blown flu!  This Mama hasn't been down like this in a LONG time!

So, last Sunday I decided I was feeling well {and not contagious} enough to brave church.  While there, a sweet friend of mine, Kelley suggest this "soup" for my congestion.  Later she sent me an email with the recipe.

Church completely knocked me out...and I've been up and down since.  So today, I braved the local grocery store to pick up the ingredients I would need to make this sworn by concoction!

Oops...garlic not pictured!

I have to say, with a full head of garlic {meaning about 15 cloves}...this thing better work!!!  All of my kiddos have come through the house and mentioned, "What is that smell?"  Even my neighbor who delivered my mail asked what was cookin'!

Smell?  I'm so congested I can't smell a thing!  Seriously, not even a hint of garlic or cayenne!

Here's the recipe:

(All writing in green is what Kelley actually sent me...I skipped a few optionals...noted in black!)

{Notice the warning not to eat this like actual soup!}

Dr. Zinment's Chicken Soup
1 quart chicken broth
1 garlic head- about 15 cloves, peeled
5 parsley sprigs, minced (I add half a bunch)
6 cilantro sprigs, minced (I add half a bunch)
1 tsp lemon pepper (better to substitute with fresh squeezed lemon 1/2 - 1 whole) 
1 tsp dried basil, crushed, or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp curry powder
Optional: hot red pepper flakes (I prefer cayenne pepper) to taste, sliced carrots, a bay leaf or two
{I simply wasn't up to peeling carrots, so I skipped them, no bay leaf and used 1 tsp. of cayenne}
Place all ingredients in a pot without a lid.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes. (If the soup is for your own personal use, carefully inhale the fumes during preparation as an additional decongesting treatment.)  Remove the solid garlic gloves and herbs and along with a little broth, puree them in a blender or food processor. (I use a Kitchenaid submersion blender right in the cooking pot). Return the puree to the broth and stir.  Serve hot.
 Dose: Take 2 Tbsp of Dr. Zinment's Chicken Soup at the beginning of a meal, 1-3X a day.  (If you feel you want a little more than 2 Tbsp, fine, but do not exceed more than 1/2 C. at a time.)
 Caution: This chicken soup is a medicine and is not to be eaten as one would eat a portion of soup.  Please follow the dosage instructions.
The above is all straight from the book.  Below is how we think it works best...
For me it works best to take it before bed, when I get up the next day, and once at some point mid-day.  I do this until all congestion is gone.  I normally take about 2 1/2 Tbsp.  If you want it stronger you can add some cayenne pepper when you heat it up.  We keep it in the fridge until we need it and then only heat up a single serving.  We also add in all of the optional ingredients.
{I just finished taking 1/2 cup of this...we'll see how it works!}

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed and Well!!!