Friday, April 18, 2014

Motherhood Month - 7

Progress:  11 months and 4 days.  Working on our one-year update.

How I'm feeling:  Tired.  I really should get off the computer and go get ready for bed.

Craving:  Nothing, surprisingly.  Perhaps because I just finished guacamole & tortilla chips.

Thoughts about our child:  I miss you and wish you were here.

Thoughts about our child's expectant mom:  Wondering if you are expecting already.  And hoping this journey will lead you to Christ if you don't already believe in Him.

Most recent baby purchase/gift:  Hubby bought me a tiny pink onesie that says "I love you to the moon and back" (something I say to him frequently) for our anniversary 2 days ago.

This month God:  Has been teaching me about the book of Hebrews, and how He has me eternally secure :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Epilepsy & Contentment

I have epilepsy. 

Most people know this, as I've had it for the last 14 or so years and I don't mind talking about it.  Most of the time it is not a huge part of my life.  Yes, I am restricted in some areas of my life.  But I have adjusted to these restrictions and they are just a part of my life.  Only occasionally do I get frustrated or sad about it all.

But sometimes...sometimes I just get really mad at epilepsy.

I get angry at the limitations Hubby & I have to impose on myself in order to keep me safe and to keep him from feeling worried.

Yesterday was one of those days.  I won't get into details.  But it was a bad day for me epilepsy-wise, and to make matters worse, Hubby and I were not seeing eye-to-eye about it all.

Anyway, by the end of the day, when things were better both epilepsy-wise and relationship-wise, we were reading in my Bible before bed.  And there was this verse:

"Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He [God] has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you.""  Hebrews 13:5

Now usually I would take this verse in context and understand it to be saying to be content with the possessions and money that I do have, and not to wish for more, because God is all I need and He will never abandon or reject me.  But this time just the one line jumped out at me:

" content with what you have..."

With what I have?  I have epilepsy.  I really felt the Holy Spirit was directing me to give up my anger towards epilepsy, and all its restrictions and limitations and "unfairness", and be content with it.

Be content with epilepsy.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lists with Friends - 4

Here's a list of US states I've been to in my lifetime, whether just driven through or actually stayed in for a number of days. 
(alphabetical, cuz that's how I roll!) :)

  1. Colorado
  2. Florida
  3. Georgia
  4. Idaho
  5. Illinois
  6. Indiana
  7. Iowa
  8. Kentucky
  9. Minnesota
  10. Montana
  11. Nebraska
  12. New Mexico
  13. North Dakota
  14. South Dakota
  15. Tennessee
  16. Texas
  17. Washington
  18. Wisconsin
  19. Wyoming
So have I been to your state yet?  

Friday, March 14, 2014

Motherhood Month - 6

I got this idea from Kristen over at Adoption Love who does Motherhood Mondays - well, I should say she did.  Her and her husband have since been blessed with their little "Squeaks" :)  Recently I came across someone else who documents time passing as a hopeful adoptive parent - Becca at Milk & Honey Living, who created Waiting Questionnaires.  So I might take a few ideas from her as well :)  The whole idea is that women who are pg sometimes document how their bodies, moods, etc are changing and this is a similar way for hopeful adoptive parents to document their journey.

Progress:  Today is 10 months since we started waiting for The Call.  The time has gone by faster than I thought it would which is good since we still have another 14 months before we hit our agency's average waiting time.  Of course we could get matched before tomorrow!...or it could be 5 more years from now!

How I'm feeling:  We are contemplating moving again (we've only lived here just over a year) and it kinda breaks my heart that most likely Baby will never be in the room I had painted a perfect soft yellow just for him or her.  But on the other hand, that room is the only other room we have besides our bedroom, so it is currently a scrapbooking/storage room.  So the idea of moving to a house with more bedrooms so that we can dedicate one solely to being a nursery is pretty exciting!

I've also had the feeling that comes over me on occasion, which is do you ever get the feeling we're just playing a big game?  that we'll never get a baby?  that all this "wishin', hopin', thinkin', prayin', plannin', dreamin'" is for nothing?  I guess it can just feel so not real at times.  Oddly enough I'm looking forward to updating our profile at the one-year mark, though, because it will make it feel as if something is happening again.

Cravings:  Pizza!!  I have it almost ready to go into the oven but I am waiting for Hubby to come home with some cheese!

Thoughts about our child:  Mostly just curious about your looks and personality like usual.  And always wondering how to raise you in this crazy world!

Thoughts about our child's expectant mom:  I guess there is just always that torn feeling that someone else's grief is going to be the cause of our joy - and that is such a hard pill to swallow.

Most recent baby purchase/gift:  I spur of the moment bought a lift-the-flap animal shadow book that was on sale at the grocery store.  Both Hubby & I love reading and we hope our child(ren) will, too.
Me reading as a child!  I believe this book was about Bambi and Thumper :)
This month God:  has been teaching me about being content & thankful and to desire His will (read my post about that here), about how I spend my time here on earth and what heaven will be like according to that, and how to love my husband better!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Parking Sign

One of these days I am just going to pull into one of these stalls and confidently park:

Can you read it?  It says "Courtesy Parking - Reserved for Parents with Little Ones & Expectant Mothers"
Yeah, I know technically I have the ability to walk unaided from far across the parking lot without difficulty, but...technically I am an expectant mother, right? ;)

Don't take me too seriously :)  But everytime I go to the grocery store this sign stares at me, and sometimes...I just want to park there!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Chicken Nachos

Here is the recipe I mentioned.  This is how I make chicken nachos and I think it is soooo yummy!!

1 frozen chicken breast

1/8 red onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 jalapeno, seeded & deveined, minced
1 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
salt & pepper to taste
1 avocado (ripe but not stringy)
1 Roma tomato, seeded, diced
1/2 - 1 tsp. lime juice

about 1/2 a small small log plain soft goat cheese
a few Tbsp. goat milk

small round low-sodium tortilla chips
shredded goat mozzarella 

Place the chicken breast in a pot, cover with water and a lid, and set to high.  Once it boils, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until done.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, combine the red onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, and salt & pepper in a bowl.  Using the back of a heavy spoon, attempt to combine the ingredients until they start mushing together slightly.  Cut the avocado in half, remove seed, and scoop out the avocado in chunks with a spoon.  Mash slightly together with the first ingredients but still keep the avocado chunky!  Gently stir in the tomato and lime juice.  Set aside.

Place the soft goat cheese in a bowl; work with spatula til it is smooth.  Add goat milk bit by bit, mixing with spatula and/or whisk, until it reaches the consistency of sour cream.  Set aside.

Dice chicken breast.  Place a layer or two of tortilla chips in a small pan.  Sprinkle with chicken breast.  Top with shredded goat mozzarella.  Broil in oven til cheese is melted.  Take out and top with guacamole and "sour cream".  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Contentment, Thanksgiving, and Will

Lately God has been teaching me a lot, and I wanted to get all the thoughts swirling around in my head down in an organized fashion.  Here is what came of that:

For starters, I wrote the following on the closed Facebook Group “Building Up” back in mid-November 2013.

“I have been thinking a lot about contentment lately. I am thinking that it must have to do a lot with thankfulness. I am wondering if one chooses to be thankful to God in every circumstance, then contentment would follow.

I have also been thinking about Paul saying he "learned" to be content (Phi. 4:11). How does one learn something? My husband & I were discussing this. Some ideas we came up with are: one learns how to do something by continually trying (also known as practice), or by being taught by someone who already understands what you are learning about, or as a process of perhaps trial & error. Neither of us figured a person could learn something in an instant, or that it "stuck" forever in a moment of trust or a moment of decision; that learning is something more gradual.

So I am curious as to how Paul learned contentment, and I would like to ask him if he learned it by choosing to be thankful to God in every situation, or perhaps he learned it by choosing to trust God that He knew what He was doing in every situation and had everything under His control.”

Paul goes on to say he has learned the secret of facing both good times and bad (vs. 12).  And then in verse 13 he says “I can do all things though Him who strengthens me.”  No doubt it was God alone who gave Paul the strength to be content.  Perhaps Paul’s secret to the ability to face every situation with contentment was God Himself being Paul’s strength – and placing no trust in his own ability.

There is no doubt, though, that we are instructed throughout Scripture to continually be thankful to God.  And why would God give us an instruction that would not cause contentment if followed?  Not necessarily a life of ease as the world sees it, but an inner contentment that circumstances cannot sway.

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.  Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together!”  Psalm 34:1-3

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!  Serve the Lord with gladness!  Come into His presence with singing!  Know that the Lord, He is God!  It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise!  Give thanks to Him; bless His name!  For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.”  Psalm 100

“…giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…”  Ephesians 5:20

“Through Him [Jesus] then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.”  Hebrews 13:15

These are just a fraction of the verses that tell us to praise God!

I would like to make a side note on the last verse, Hebrews 13:15.  Note that we are to acknowledge God’s name.  It can seem very noble to decide to have a “positive attitude” or to try and look for the good in everything.  But unbelievers try this all the time.  We are to be different.  We are to acknowledge God in our praise.  After all, without Him we would have nothing to be thankful for!

The following verses really confirm to me that thankfulness to God is one of the things that brings about contentment and peace in a Believer.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.  The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”  Philippians 4:4-9

Now I would like to look at 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

I recently read a book lent to me by my brother’s father-in-law, a man I am really thankful to God for placing in my life.  It is titled His Banner Over Us Is Love by Muriel Rae.  It is the story of a missionary couple to China in the 1930’s.  In it Muriel shares the thoughts her husband, Bill, had on 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

“In giving of thanks to God, you are acknowledging His perfect will, and when you can do that, you are prepared to withstand any obstacle to Christ’s cause, because you will view every circumstance from God’s vantage point.  Remember it is “in” the circumstance, not “for” it that you are to give thanks.  But always take into account, too, that God permits the circumstance, and it will not always be a “sacrifice” of praise.  It will become a spontaneous outpouring of your being to God.  Then you will enter on a new plateau of your Christian experience…The secret of service lies in an unreserved commitment to Christ, letting the beauty of Him shine through your life.  And thanksgiving is the Royal Road to Victory.  Acknowledge God’s sovereign will, and yours will become one with His.”   

Much of this book had an impact on me, but this particularly did.  The only point I am a little uncertain on is if we are to praise God for everything or not, because although it does not indicate so in these verses, it does in Ephesians 5:20 (see above).  But I am not sure how major of a point that is or not.  As Bill Rae says, when we give thanks to God and in so doing acknowledge His perfect will, our praise will become a spontaneous outpouring to Him, perhaps even for, and definitely in, the circumstances He allows.

I find it hard to put this clearly, so I hope you can follow, but it seems God has lately been showing me that my desire needs to be for His will to be done, and not for my will to be done – but even more than that, that in desiring His will, my will will become His will.  If that was not clear, perhaps I should just use Bill’s last sentence:  “Acknowledge God’s sovereign will, and yours will become one with His.”  And I believe the way to do this is summed up best in his first sentence, “In giving of thanks to God, you are acknowledging His perfect will…”

So, to conclude, I believe what God has been teaching me in the last while is that contentment in a Believer’s life comes through relying fully on God’s strength instead of one’s own perceived strength, praising God continually and living a life of thankfulness to Him in every circumstance, and acknowledging His will in everything, always desiring not one’s own will, but His.