Showing posts with label Gratituesday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gratituesday. Show all posts

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blessed With Friends!

Friday, our family was blessed to have Lydia over for our first "Washington play date"! We met Lydia's family through our local homeschool co-op and are really enjoying getting to know her parents and other siblings.

Lynzie and Lydia are just a little over a year apart and are already showing signs of a close friendship! They like to write letters back and forth during the week, hang out at gymnastics on Thursdays, and even try to get in a quick chat while passing in the halls during Friday School!

The girls had a great time dressing up in the Revolutionary War era dresses that I made Lynzie. (We're going to have to make Lydia a special one just for her though as she was swimming in this one! So cute though!)

After capturing their sweet faces on film, I sent them off back to 1776. While I was puttering around the house cleaning, I could hear them playing in the room. First, Lynzie taught Lydia the Minuet. Then Lydia taught Lynzie to waltz. Then Lydia says, "I can breakdance!" Ha!! (Just a quick time-travel...then right back to the 18th century!)

The girls soon were out playing the piano in the living room. Lynzie played Christmas music...

While Lydia played a couple beautiful songs that her dad taught her "when she was little"...

They both played a couple hymns as well and then they were back to the bedroom to dance at the ball. After a few minutes, I heard them out in the hall---they had gotten Lynzie's brothers and sisters to come play too:

(A knock on the door...) "Oh please may we come in?! We're fleeing from the Black Plague and we are..." (Lydia whispers to Lynzie: "who are we again??") "...We are George Washington's daughters!" (Door opens...) "Oh thank you! Bless you!"

What a blessed day!

See more Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Monday, August 9, 2010

It's Time to Jam! ~Gratituesday~

I have to admit, I'm not a fan of summer! Up until this past January, I lived my whole life in Eastern Oregon---freezing cold winters and hot, dry, dusty summers. I've never enjoyed the heat, don't like to swim in public, and regularly burn instead of tan. Summer is just not my thing. However, there is one redeeming thing about my least favorite season: berries!

When we moved up here to Northern Washington at the first of the year, I couldn't have been more thrilled. At first, I could think of nothing, short of family and friends, that we'd miss about Oregon. As time went on, I began to remember things that were traditions for our family that we'd not be able to do now that we were six hours from home. One of those yearly traditions was our early August trips to the small town of Weston to pick blackberries near a little bridge on the outskirts of town.

Little did I know what God had up his sleeve....

A few months ago, these crazy, viney plants began to overrun our back fence, weaving their way up into our gigantic Rhododendron bush.

A couple weeks ago, I decided to brave the jungle and start chopping away at the thorny brambles that had begun creeping into our lawn.


God knew I'd miss our berry picking times, as well as the joy of making our homemade jam that we ration out so carefully all year long. So, he brought the berries right to my back door!

Today I'm linking up with Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers. If you have a few minutes, head over there and see what others are thankful for today.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gratituesday: Our Miracle Baby

It's Gratituesday over at Heavenly Homemakers and boy, have I got something to be thankful about today!

Everyone loves to hear a story of the miraculous and it's especially meaningful when it involves a child. Many friends, family and readers have been curious about the circumstances surrounding the birth of our newest son, Liam Bradley. I've alluded to him being a "little miracle" but haven't yet taken the time to tell his story---I think Gratituesday is a great opportunity to share it! (This story is intense but has a happy ending--still, please feel free to skip it if you feel it might be difficult for you to read).

Liam is our seventh child and was our first home birth. With all my other children, I was medically induced at a hospital with Pitocin---which brought on very painful and strong contractions. I was used to a panicky labor and an excruciatingly painful birth. From the time I went into labor with Liam at 12:30 am to the time he was ready to be born at shortly before 5:00 am, my contractions were mild and the experience was calm---I even got rests of up to 3 or 4 minutes between contractions!! Unbelievable!

It was because of this calm labor that I didn't realize I was ready to deliver him at shortly before 5:00...so I got up to use the restroom. At that time, his cord became prolapsed and my midwife called 911. The next eight minutes or so were frantic! My midwife began instructing me on positions to get into and when to push as she desperately tried to maneuver him into the correct position to be born, while also trying to keep the cord from being pinched. The entire time, I was calling out to God, "please Lord, save my baby!" There were five EMTs in my house within just a couple minutes and they were all trying to decide the best course of action. The EMTs wanted to transport me to the hospital for an emergency c-section but my midwife, knowing that Liam wouldn't make it that long, insisted that I stay put and try to deliver him. (The fact that he was my seventh...and that I'd just had a baby last year worked in my favor here!)

Finally, she got him in the right position and seconds later, he was born! He had a steady heartbeat but was not breathing or moving. I couldn't bring myself to look at him as they performed all of the actions to get him to breathe so I just lightly touched his head and continued to pray. Soon, I heard the sweetest little sigh so I opened my eyes and all I could see was this little pink nose. As the EMTs took him out to the ambulance, my husband whispered to me, "you're going to need to be brave because I'm going with him."

I can't really explain exactly how I felt but I don't think it was the normal reaction! I just felt really peaceful. I told my midwife that I thought we'd done everything possible to save him and that it was in God's hands. I really did feel peaceful and knew that whether Liam survived or not, God had brought him into the world for some reason.

About a half hour later, my midwife took me up to the hospital to see him. He was being given oxygen and was hooked up to several monitors. Everyone reassured me that he was going to make it---which actually made me feel a little wary. Were they all saying this just to keep me calm or was it true? My midwife soon assured me that he really was going to make it.

Long story short, Liam was in an oxygen tent for 12 hours (the doctor said initially that it would be 2 or 3 days). He was taken totally off of oxygen after the 12 hour mark but required it during eating for the next couple of days. He developed jaundice on the second day and was put in a bili light bed for 5 days. On the sixth day he left the bili light bed but was still on monitors for 24 hours. On the seventh day, he got to come to my room (the hospital graciously gave me a room so I could stay there with him)! The morning of the eighth day, we finally came home!

Liam is a healthy and strong little guy who will turn two weeks old on Wednesday (May 26). According to the hospital staff, a prolapsed cord is a very rare thing. In fact, one nurse who'd been there for 20 years said he was only the third baby she'd ever seen who had survived a prolapsed cord and the first to be delivered without a c-section.

I have to say that I really believe my midwife saved his life. She kept a level head and knew exactly what to do to allow both of us a safe and speedy delivery. Several people have asked me if this experience has turned me off from the home birth/midwife experience---thinking that I might have felt safer in a conventional hospital with a conventional doctor. My answer is absolutely not! Even the hospital staff said that Liam would have not made it to the hospital had we been transported and probably would not have made it through an emergency c-section if I would have been laboring at the hospital in the first place. In this instance, it was because of our choice to do the home birth that Liam and I both came out of the experience alive and well!

Today I am grateful for God's protective hand on our little boy and for my midwife, Michelle, and her assistant, Melissa, two well-deserving heroes!

Visit Heavenly Homemakers for more Gratituesday!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gratituesday: What Are You Thankful For Today?

It's Gratituesday...What are you thankful for?

I'm thankful everyday for my family---that's a given. But, as I've been in some serious physical pain these past few days, I've really been thinking on how very, very thankful I am that God has blessed us with the family dynamic that we have!

As most of my readers know, I'm due to have our seventh child any day now. During pregnancy, I usually suffer from some back pain, as well as pain in my sciatic nerve. However, this pregnancy has definitely been a rougher than normal one. After baby #5, I injured my tailbone for the second time and, while I felt the effects during my pregnancy with #6, this time around it is noticeably worse.

But my physical pain is not what this post is about!

What I want to say about all of the above is that, in spite of the physical pain my pregnancies cause me, I could never truly complain because I know how very blessed we are to have been given the many children that we have.

Just the other night, as I was laying on the couch sobbing while my husband tried to massage the kinks out of my back, a little voice in my head said, "you know, this is probably a good sign that you shouldn't have any more kids." That same voice has been saying that same thing for several years now and in several situations: you're having financial issues--you should stop; you had a miscarriage--isn't that God telling you to stop?; you've filled up the biggest rig that normal people can buy--time to stop now!

I'm very familiar with this voice. Not only is it the voice of the concerned parent who worries about my health and sanity and the well-meaning friend who can't imagine herself in my place, but it's also the voice of the Enemy who would sow doubt into my mind and heart about the things that God really has called us to.

I don't for one minute believe that God has called every family to the lifestyle I live. He has a different plan and direction for each one of us and how we walk that out will differ from situation to situation. My point is not to debate God's will for the family. My point is to remind myself that this is what God has called me to. It's not always going to be easy.

The other day, I wrote about Paul's trials in prison here. One verse that struck me was this from 2 Corinthians 1:8-9: "For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead."

While I've never actually "despaired of life itself", I've definitely had days where I wished for a different circumstance. When I'm not living in that despairing moment, I look back and it breaks my heart that I would desire anything else than the wonderful blessings God has given. However, I've had enough of those "days of despair" that I know those are the days in which I am called to "rely not on (my)self but on God". In the wise words of Ginny Owens, he "never said it would be easy, (he) only said I'd never go alone."

Today, as I go limping back down the hallway to serve my family and care for my home, I'm overwhelmed with a thankful heart that God, for some reason, has trusted me with this huge responsibility. Thank you, Jesus, for this family. Please remind me every day that it's purpose is to bring glory to you alone.

What are you thankful for? Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

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