Sunday, November 30, 2008

Welcome to Our World

Early this morning at 12:40 am - I gave birth to a precious baby girl. She weighed in at 8 lbs 2 0z and was 19 1/4 inches long. More info when I get home.


The Advent Virus

Be on the alert for symptoms of inner Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to this virus and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs and symptoms of The Advent Virus:
A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.

An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

A loss of interest in judging other people.

A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

A loss of interest in conflict.

A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)

Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
Frequent attacks of smiling.

An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

This virus can and has affected many systems. Some systems have been completely cleaned out because of it.

~ Anonymous via email

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dental Conversation between me and my five year old son...

Before I decided to go to college to become a counselor, I went to the vocational school for my junior year in high school and completed the dental assistant training one semester and medical assistant training the second. I probably would have gone on to be a RN had it not been for my spinal surgery (right before my junior year of HS) that left me very weak physically for the next year. I was unsure that I could keep up with the physical demands of the program for my senior year, so I went back to my high school and finished up with college prep studies.

Since I spent so much time learning about teeth in high school, I tend to call teeth by their proper names even now. This morning my five year old son lost his third tooth and I told a friend about it. She asked which tooth he lost and I said, "his right mandibular lateral incisor." If she wouldn't have been on the phone with me I probably would have been smacked.

After that I thought I need to educate my son, so I called him over and touched his bottom jaw and said, "This is your mandible." and then touched his top jaw and said "This is your maxillary jaw." Then I told him that the hole in his mouth once held his right mandibular lateral incisor. He looked at me with a straight, face and said, "Oh, I thought they were called teeth."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Not My Baby, But Precious

A couple days after my friend, Lynetta gave birth to John 4 lbs 13 oz and James 5 lbs 8 oz, I was privileged to visit her and the boys at the hospital with another friend. Since John was able to come out of the isolette while we visited in the NICU, Lynetta asked if I would like to hold him. What a joy it was to hold a baby at the same gestational age as the one I carry within... While I was holding precious little John, my baby got feisty and started kicking him and he kicked right back. I told Lynetta that our babies were already fighting.

Here is a picture of James in his isolette.

Continue to pray for Lynetta, Aaron, John and James as they adapt to each other and develop their routines.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Challenges of Marriage

Marriage – even the best marriages have challenges. When you take two people with different family backgrounds and experiences you are bound to have at least some conflict. I appreciate when people are real about their struggles because it helps the rest of us feel normal. When you look around the church and see all the happy, smiling people you could believe that they have no idea what it means to have a “discussion” about finances or about the best way to discipline the kids. We all walk through similar circumstances and can help each other by being honest about our struggles and successes. Sharing our testimony of God’s work in our lives could be the turning point or at least a slice of hope for another.

Someone close to me is in the process of going through a divorce and it breaks my heart to see this young family torn apart. One spouse sent me some information about marriage intensives and desires to save the marriage and family. They have young children the age of my children and it hurts to know that they are dealing with the pain of separation from one of their parents and that divorce is looming in the future. The problems the spouses are dealing with are definitely bigger than me and bigger than both of them. It appears that only one party is willing to attempt counseling, but God is bigger. Another hurdle is that marriage intensives and counseling in general are quite costly. HE can work a miracle in this situation that seems impossible. Please join me in praying for a miracle for this young, hurting family.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Is Your Marriage Fireproof?

Today I read in a Family Christian Store catalog that Fireproof the DVD is coming soon on January 27, 2009 and if you pre-order you will receive a $43.98 value for $19.99. The package includes the Fireproof movie DVD, the movie soundtrack, and a Love and Respect DVD seminar. This could be a useful resource for couples, small groups or churches. Marriage is challenging and we can all benefit from resources to help us along the way. For more info go here. This offer is valid online and in stores while supplies last or until January 27th. If you haven't heard about the Fireproof movie check here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Reminder - Operation Christmas Child

For those of you who have decided to share your love and blessings with the Operation Christmas Child ministry this year, the national collection week is (next week) November 17-24, 2008. Just wanted to give you time to make your purchases and gather any information you need before the deadline. For more information - go here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What is your vision for America?

I was reading in a current events forum and came across at link that asks for our vision for the President Elect and how he should lead the country. I'm not sure what will happen with the ideas that are submitted, but it sounds good in theory. Submit your vision for America here. I'd also love to hear about your vision in the comments section.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pray for Our Leaders

This campaign/election process has been a long ride, but now it's history and we as Christians must unite (regardless of who you supported) and pray for our leaders. I've read several blogs that say it better than I could...

Randy Alcorn - It’s Over; but It’s not Over (one Day it will be)
Kay Day - The People Have Spoken
Robbie Iobst - Hope is a Good Thing
Tiffany Stuart - America's Choice My Response (go to post dated November 5)

I think its great when Christians can have different opinions and agree to disagree. Most importantly we need to unite in prayer! Check out the Presidential Prayer Team and commit to pray for President elect Obama. Go here to sign up to receive a 77 Days of Prayer for Our New President email in your inbox every morning until Inauguration Day, January 20. There is also a Presidential Prayer Kids page in case you have children who would like to join us in prayer (as of today it hasn't been updated, but hopefully soon will).

Scriptures to Consider:

Pray for those in Authority - 1 Timothy 2:1–2
Submission to the Authorities - Romans 13:1-3
Heal Our Land - 2 Chronicles 7:14-15

Join me in praying for our country and our leaders!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Freebies

Krispy Kreme will celebrate National Election Day by offering all retail customers with an "I voted" sticker a free STAR shaped donut with patriotic sprinkles.

Starbucks - If you vote, Starbucks buys your coffee - On November 4, 2008, Starbucks will give voters a free tall brewed coffee at participating U.S. stores. After voting, voters must go to a Starbucks store, where they’ll be given a tall (12 oz) cup of brewed coffee at no charge (limit one per customer).

Ben & Jerry's - wants to celebrate democracy by giving out a free ice cream scoop from 5 to 8 pm today.

If you haven't voted, get out and vote because YOUR VOTE MATTERS!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Letter to Senator Obama

My friend, Tiffany at Tea with Tiffany posted a letter to Senator Obama on her blog and she said it would be fine if others shared it too... so here it is:

Senator Obama, abortion is not a healthy choice for Americans. I am begging you to reconsider your position with this moral topic should you become our president.

I will try my best to put words to my "choice." Nineteen years old, I chose abortion. Sure, I could blame my boyfriend for not wanting the baby, but ultimately it was my choice. The worst choice I’ve ever made. I was too afraid to walk alone—pregnant.

In order to step into a cold, sterile abortion clinic, I had to emotionally die first. I don’t care what a woman’s beliefs are she cannot go through this procedure with a haunting that follows.

I know.

Sure, I tried to forget and move on with my life, but inside I couldn’t shake the reality of choosing death.

Death carries a sting.

Like a branding iron to my heart, I was wounded and forever scarred. Marked by my so called “choice.”

Senator Obama, you have two girls, can you honestly look into their eyes and say had they been conceived at a time other than your preferred choice that they don’t deserve a chance to live? a chance to change the world? to make a difference?

Senator Obama, have you ever sat through an abortion procedure? Have you seen the graphic images? Do you know how women are treated? Have you heard the moaning of a mom-to-be who sobbed for hours afterwards? What words could you possibly say to comfort her? None. The river of regret and shame runs too deep for words to penetrate.

I know.

Senator Obama, are you aware of Post-Abortion Syndrome(PAS)? Are you willing to comfort your girls should they decide to choose abortion someday? Because should abortion still be legal and an option, they will suffer. Even if from the outside she appears like she made it through unscathed, she is not okay. Something is bleeding underneath the surface.

I know.

My decision from almost two decades ago affected my marriage bed and relationship, my emotional well being every fall (the time of year I had my abortion), my ability to look deeply into the eyes of a newborn, and the way I morally view myself. It's a choice that keeps on giving. Giving death!

This “choice” comes with a price tag. A price tag I don’t want one more woman to pay.

Every woman who has had an abortion will one day have to look honestly into her reflection of her choices. Choosing death is not an image she should have look at and carry in her heart.

Choosing life is an image worth gazing at. Watching a baby grow up is an amazing experience.

I know.

My two children, Justin and Hannah, are nothing but gifts to me. Not mistakes. Not punishment. Nothing can replace their faces, voices, words, tears, smiles, giggles, songs, talents, or their caring hearts. Their lives are impressed deeply into my heart. And so is a baby who never had a chance. A baby I love and will never forget. A baby named “Grace.”

Tiffany Stuart

Thank you, Tiffany for sharing your heart so openly. You are brave and I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability! Thank you!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trunk or Treat

I was uncertain how what my family would do on Halloween four years ago because I wasn't sure how I felt about celebrating that day, but found out about an alternative celebration at an area church that was open to the community called Trunk or Treat. It was really neat to give the kids a chance to dress up (they love dressing up even now four years later and not just on October 31). I've never bought costumes - we've just always used their dress up clothes. This year was the first time I went to so much effort to dress them up, but it was great fun!

Last night I took them to trunk or treat at a local Methodist Church again and they went as election booths. Half the costume was red and the other half was blue. The front said voting booth with McCain on the right side and Obama on the left side. Half the box was dedicated to McCain and the other half to Obama with propaganda from each on their side.

Picture taken by my friend Cheryl

Everyone loved their costumes. I told people they could vote early and often (early because its early and often because it was two kids). Perfect strangers were stopping us and asking for pictures of the kids. I was sitting on a bale of hay between my two kids and one man walked up and asked if I was Sarah Palin (obviously he was blind, but it was fun). We never had so much fun or attention at trunk or treat. I don't think we ever got so much candy either because people were putting extra candy in their candidates slot and the people who didn't want to reveal their candidate put candy in both slots. Several people went crazy stuffing the slot of their choice.