Thursday, January 26, 2017

Country by definition because I'm so very over political posts.



Something unnecessary because all you read now scares you. 

A non political post.

Inspiration from this obnoxious photo, not unlike most ill thought out/ judgmental posts you come across on social media.


Though I "get" what point is trying to be made here. I think aside from this photo calling names and judging people by what they wear it still fails to hit the true meaning of "Country" a vague elusive term that would be served better broken down into multiple subsets including but not limited to; Redneck, Farmer, white trash, hick, hillbilly, hunters, gun nuts,  (I'll let you decide which categories the subjects in the above pictures fall into)

Websters has a list of definitions for the term "Country" for my intents and purposes I am going to focus on the ones I've posted here.



"Country"
nounplural countries

5.
rural districts, including farmland, parkland, and other sparsely populated areas, as opposed to cities or towns:
Many city dwellers like to spend their vacations in the country.

adjective
12.
of, relating to, or associated with country music :
That Nashville station plays country records all day long.
13.
rude; unpolished; rustic:
country manners.

13. Made me laugh, not sure if anyone wants to be defined as "country" after reading that definition. I my as well end my blog here because it may define every person in the above photo perfectly.

So lets redefine the title "Country" the heart and soul and simplicity of country life. Before this mantra of "Don't tread on me"

lets go back to the roots because no one is entitled to anything we are just taking care of what God has given us...not a political post moving on...

I don't belong to any of those pictures...maybe I've never been country...because country is "cool" and I've never been cool...


I've picked out my own photos of what it means to be country.  

some of the people in this pictures grew up in big cities or other countries...

To me, to be country means to know what it is to work hard, sacrifice family vacations for fair and cows, loving others, giving when you have very little yourself and lastly to raise something that benefits others (crops, cows, pigs, fruit...etc...)  okay maybe I've confused "farmer" with "country." 

Regardless

It's more than rebel flags, strong opinions, big belt buckles, camo, short shorts, fancy boots, beer, (I love my boots and I love my beer) guns, toys, mud, trucks,...(and because I grew up on a dairy farm and I have to...horses ;)  ) Country is not about being better than anyone else.... Country is about loving and respecting someone regardless of where they are from and what they are. It's also being able to sustain yourself..something I wish I could get back to.

Lastly, you don't even have to to be raised in a rural area to be this kind of country if that's even the term I'm defining anymore. 

In fact forget it, I'm not "country" define me as a Christ follower (you all know how I feel about the term "Christian") call me a farmer, teacher, wife, friend...but please don't call me "country."

My  husband was born and raised in Phoenix AZ, and while hes far from the "country boy" I thought I would marry... he is good, kind, honest, and hard working man after God's own heart....and by this definition hes way better than country!



































Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Welcome to my world

I've always been amazed at all the ways God works to get a message across. Sometimes humans are so broken, so unfocused that he has to make it hurt. Boy but when we finally get the message man do we get it.

Ouch... do I get it.

The power of words and the thoughtlessness of some common used phrases often amazes me. Some I've written about such as asking a couple "when will you have kids"  or worse yet "the biological clock is ticking" or asking a single person when they are going to get married...I could go on for a long while. Right now God has brought to my attention the phrase "Welcome to my world"

I can't count how many times I have used this phrase and have never even for a second stopped to think what I'm really saying. Then yesterday, when someone used those words while talking to me it irritated me. So I thought...why did it irritated me so much? Four words, and because of my irritation my response was not pleasant and it all went down hill from there.

The power of words. To build up or tear down. to Speak Life... to prove how selfish we really are.

From the overflow of the heart...

 Lets start by thinking of the context of the conversation when those words might come out of your mouth. When talking to someone else, who is expressing a frustration or trial in their life. Why might someone express their pain or frustration to you? To hear how you have it worse or to hear words of encouragement?

If someone has just told you what they are feeling or struggling with and you respond with "Welcome to my world" you have just taken their pain/frustration and belittled it by saying "so what I have the same problem." Is that speaking life? As I'm writing this I'm cringing at how many times I have done this to someone in my life...so many missed opportunities to reach out and help someone with their burden because it's not about you...or me...

It's about God.

Oh, how I have forgotten, I've been so wrapped up in my pain and my misery and my fights. I've forgotten that nothing is mine and we are hear to share Christs love with others.

but why stop with just "Welcome to my world"

How many times has someone expressed pain to you and though you didn't say "welcome to my world" you told them how your pain is worse. A while ago I was having a conversation with the very  individual that inspired this whole blog. She expressed an issue she was having and how it was effecting her. Instead of saying "I'm sorry, or that sucks" I had to tell her that I've had the same issue but for weeks. As if she has no right to be struggling, or miserable. That conversation has bothered me ever since. Yet here I am instead of talking to her about it, I'm writing it in a blog...(social issues much)...that's a whole other topic.

Next time you find yourself in a conversation with a brother or sister in Christ that is hurting or struggling. Instead of taking their hurt away from them and focusing it on you. Maybe you can see past your pain and help or encourage those who are hurting with you.  It's not about me...it's not about me...its not about me.

This world is a enough of a struggle with out turning it into a contest of who struggles more.

The power of words...

The power of love.







Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hope for your future after miscarriage...maybe my story will make someone else feel less alone.

I've been on a journey more like living a nightmare...

It's not over yet...but the light is coming back into my life...slowly, steadily, thankfully.

I know that most people would rather not know the gory details of what I've been through, and I've struggled with this post because I've no desire to make people pity me. Some of the thoughts I've had dance in my head this last month have not been pretty honestly they where down right ugly.

When you go through something horrible you suddenly find lots of people that have done it, yes the story has variations but the end result, a lost child...is the same.  Everyone handles things differently and in their own way.  Yet its been on my heart to share this experience and the things I've learned from it with the hopes that maybe, just maybe my tiny little blog might reach someone standing where I was a month ago...with the bottom of their world gone, a broken heart, and no hope left.

It's really heartbreaking how common miscarriage really is, how often you never find out why. Our baby looked fine, the heart the liver, it should have been fine. I digress.

Most of you know we waited almost 6 years for our turn to have a baby.  We were told almost 5 years ago we would never be able to have a child. That journey was enough of a nightmare for my husband and I. The process I went through to get to where I was at the begging of summer took nearly 5 years and I had more peace with our circumstances then I'd ever had before. Than I took a positive pregnancy test.  Its hard not to be bitter. Emotionally I had a rough start to a pregnancy just the way my hormones reacted...but eventually I found the excitement and we started planning and dreaming and moving forward. Life was finally happening for us in more ways than one. Until the day we were suppose to go in hear our babies heart beat for the first time.

3 weeks before we had gone in for our 12 week appointment (we measured at 13 weeks and 3 days and were able to see our baby moving, and waving on the ultrasound.) oh the joy, I'm so grateful for at least that experience.  This was going to be the first official ultrasound... and other than what I thought was a flu bug a week and a half before I had a very healthy pregnancy.

Then when your midwife is holding the wand on your abdomen and searching for a heart beat...and well she can't...and she tries to play it off as okay that maybe my baby is just riding low...but she can't find the heart beat...That's when it starts to hurt..because you know even if you don't want to know. Then you get to cut in line for an ultra sound and go through the back doors to get to the ultrasound room...you know...you know and you are already trying not to cry. You get to see your little precious baby, but its not moving...not at all...and the ultrasound tech isn't talking and your midwife isn't saying anything...and a flash of red and blue falls away with your dreams. silently the tech leaves the room and your midwife says.. "I'm sorry" and you hear nothing else...for months...like your floating...out of your own body...

I'm crying all over again...God I wish no one else ever had to go through this...but I know they will. There are a lot of choices to be made the next day. I tell you when you can't process anything these choices are crippling... So if you are standing by the abyss and you have no clue what choices you should make. Its normal.

Our midwife was amazing, and my husband was a rock I kept breaking against... but I couldn't understand anything that was going on. Not when we were on the phone with her discussing what happens next. We could wait a while but because I was 16 weeks she would rather we come in. we were too far along she didn't think we could do a D&C safely I would have to have labor induced...I'm sorry yesterday I was told my baby was gone and now I'm being told I'm going to have to birth the child...yes things can always get worse. I could't do it...we decided to try to wait a while.

For us this was our first wrong choice. For others it could be the right choice...mentally knowing my baby was still inside me and dead was the worst. I give huge credit to the woman who though they miscarried earlier were strong enough to wait for their bodies to take care of itself. I couldn't do it... I couldn't sleep, I couldn't get out of bed, I couldn't stop crying. I needed it to be over.  So we called and got in.

The darkest night of my life. Here is another point where you are given choices and you have no clue what to do...none.

you are asked if you want another ultrasound just to be sure. K did because he didn't have the feeling in his tummy to know like I did... so you get to see your still little child one last time on a screen but K needed it and I understand completely....I kept my eyes closed.

You are than asked to decide about testing beyond what the hospital already does we opted out due to money and the fact that most of the time you pay for that and still have no answers.

You are asked if you want to see your child, hold your child.  The first choice through this whole process we made that I have complete peace with. No. Again I give huge credit to those who would chose to look at yet alone hold their little baby. I could see the closer you could get from such a process but I didn't want that memory I wanted the dream memories.

 You are asked what you want to have done with your child. Do you want the remains to have your own burial. Do you want the hospital spiritual staff to take care of it. We asked what the hospital does. They told us they have a mass burial every month or so with all the little lost babies that its not individual graves, we would be given the option of attending, and a map to the grave site in this huge cemetery by the hospital...Such impossible choices...and i just sat and stared angrily at nothing still trying to process the words, "I'm sorry".  At the time the easiest choice was let the hospital take care of my child, maybe that would be easier than taking ashes home.... If you find yourself standing at the point you need to know that no choice you make is wrong. But some may very well be wrong for YOU. This was wrong for me...

It was the longest night of my life...with contractions, shadows, pain, blood, tears, and some wonderfully nice nurses...so so so grateful for the midwives who cried with me, prayed with me, talked with me, and during the waiting even made me laugh.

We named our baby River. It's fitting as I cried a river waiting for my baby and I've cried a river since. Rivers lead to freedom and wide open spaces...

The sun rises on a new day, after even the darkest nights.

if it's your night...hold on to that. even if you night lasts for months.

We went home, and tried to figure out what to do now...how do you go back to 3 months before like nothing happened? You can't so don't try... just move forward and don't let your pride stop you from asking for help counseling, pills, your not weak if you need these things your strong for admitting you can't do this on your own.... Postpartum depression. Nightmares, insomnia, endless crying, panic attacks. My poor wonderful husband. Thats a whole different blog.

Peace, I couldn't find peace, I had nightmares about 100's of little tiny tiny babies being tossed carelessly into a huge hole in the ground and one baby would turn it's head and look at me crying. for weeks every night I had this nightmare. I had to sleep with a light on when I slept at all. Finally K called the hospital and we found out we could still get our River they hadn't done the burial yet.

Something I wish they had told me at the hospital is the prices. Part of the reason we shied away from taking our child home was we had no clue on the costs and you don't want to ask because it's such a trivial thing. Some places will do cremation for free for this type of situation. We only paid 62 dollars. and 11 of that was the certificate. If we would have known that then I might have been spared the nightmares and the emotional struggles that come with insomnia.

We now have our baby...the peace the thankfulness I feel for that simple fact is overwhelming. I can't explain it. We haven't decided what to do with his tiny container of ashes yet but at least it will be my way.  Between the meds, and the being able to sleep without nightmares there is light in my soul again.

We are looking forward to the future what ever that might hold. I'm loving on my wonderful children in my classroom. No I'm not over it I will never be over it. I still cry, I still have depression and anxiety. I still ache from the loss a ache no one can see, and that might make it even harder because they can't understand.  K and I have a lot of problems to work through in our near future...but God gave us the strength for all of this...hes not going to stop now.


Don't compare your loss to others. though you will for me it's "but they have other children" our midwife at our follow up talked about the next time I get pregnant...and in my head I screamed "6 years....it took 6 years there is no guarantee we even will." Does that make my loss more than anyone else. No, if anyone even has to go through a little of what I've been through the loss of a child is a loss...and it is felt to your very bones. It makes it different because it's our loss and not theirs...but that difference does not make it more or less.

If you are at any part of this dark journey know you're not alone, and you are strong, and though you won't feel it there is always hope. Lean into your support, take comfort in the people in your life that hurt with you, care for you, and love you. You will get positively tired or hearing the words "I'm sorry" you will hurt when someone missed the memo and asks hows the baby. If your not blessed with other children you will hurt every time someone asks when you will have children. You will hurt it wont go away but you will also heal, and laugh, and move forward.


You.are.so.so.strong.





Tuesday, August 23, 2016

when writing shows you the hope you didn't know you had.

I promised myself I wasn't going to use this blog as an outlet for my poetry. but this...this belongs here. Because three short months ago I wrote a blog entry that brought everyone so much happiness...and now I have to write one that will bring just as much sorrow.

Forever music has been my hearts language, music and poetry...  so much of my poetry has elements of the songs that speak to me the most. This poem is influenced by the writer Victoria Erickson, Singer song writer Jon Foreman and band Casting Crowns.

I don't like making people feel sad....I feel as if I'm sad enough for all of them anyway.

but true heartache needs to flow out, and for me it's always been through writing. Poetry holds my secrets like the true reason behind names, and eyes, and sighs, and pain.

come on lets run free.

 River's Poem

It's a common burn
feeling fire-rain in your soul.
reason for such heartache
is often lost, to darkness and pain.

Inside little dreams become dust
and drift away.
All the tears I've cried
have become my Rivers name.

I've watched them float you away
to a better place
and I'll never feel the same
when the clouds let lose their rain

That night the moon rose
to sing you songs I could't hear
songs for angel ears
not a mothers tears.

I had you but couldn't keep you
So, I tucked you away
inside a place called nostalgia
and said goodbye sweet child.

Through the rage and ache
I'll praise His Holy name
The sun will once again shine
after our darkest days.

I'll try to come home
back to where I belong
and love my river depths
with each continued breath

My heart is numb
as my River runs wild
yet diluted by time
the fire-rain will subside

"where the hurt and the healer collide."


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Overwhelmed by God

This post has taken many forms since I first started trying to write it over 6 weeks ago...

It's long, there is no way around it but it's real...I think.

You identify yourself as something,  you surround yourself with people like you, a network... this is who you are, you strive to make peace with your circumstances...and even reach out to help others in their struggle...

 the process of being okay with "infertile" I never think is quit over.

Until suddenly you're not that anymore.

In one crazy, overwhelming day, you are something else...

but what.

now what.

because you know, what it was like on the other side, watching "it" happen for others when all you had was hope...if that and who am I to have my prayer answered while others go through so much more to have a child than I did...

and you want to celebrate (unless your hormones tell you to cry like mine did) and you want to encourage all those you left behind to not give up hope..because look if it can happen to us it can happen to them..because God is just...hes just incredible. I want tell them how I did it..God, yoga, water...

but then I would be one of "those people". Those people that tell you their miracle baby story, or the "we adopted and than it happened" or to "relax", "put your feet up after sex"...blah blah blah the mean well but  are not actually helpful people..

So to those who are still in the struggle...I know, I'm sorry, It's okay to cry....but never ever lose hope.


Last time I wrote I spoke of hope... When I wrote that "it" had already happened...

God is just wow...




So here I am blessed beyond words, overwhelmed by God's power, encouraged in my faith...and pregnant.

but getting here has been humbling...

For a long time I didn't want to tell anyone... its actually uncomfortable and awkward specially when you know it's a big deal...and you know people have prayed for this for you. Undeserving humbled you.

If I'm going to be honest though I was embarrassed...Embarrassed because the first 2-3 weeks after taking a positive test I did nothing but cry or want to cry...and had 4 panic attacks. What person who spent 6 years praying for this very thing would cry and go into depression when it actually happened?

I've never liked surprises...

 Something had to be seriously wrong with me. So I told a couple people... they didn't get it. I felt like my world was ending when I should have felt like it was beginning. It was chalked up to hormones, or I was told that I should be happy and asked "didn't you want this?" and I just felt worse because no one ever said it was "okay" to not feel pure joy. I'm still not sure. I honestly didn't even feel a spark of joy until after my first doctor appointment at 8 week and even then it was fleeting..

Embarrassed because here I was having my prayers answered and

I.just.couldn't.deal.

in fact...I was in shock and terrified I'm still honestly terrified.

and I felt as if I (who once identified with the infertile) had absolutely zero right to be anything but grateful, joyful.....

Oh, the guilt...

deep breath.

Here I am...this is probably the only public Facebook announcement there will be so if you are one of the very few to read my blog that I haven't told already...thanks.

Those that know already... your responses have been humbling and I know beyond my womb I am blessed with so many loving, people that prayed for me/with me...let me cry, supported, encouraged me, and love me...

I have an overwhelming amount of people that care and are so genuinely happy... over the moon even for me...you helped me find joy... with each person that celebrated when I could not...you all slowly feed this fire inside my soul...and I am crying now thinking about all of you...who gave your light to me and didn't even know it.  Thank you is not enough!

I can't finish this blog with out mentioning my husband... who was able to feel joy and at the same time watch his wife crumble...you never judged, you never complained... you are a rock and a blessing from God. A man after God's own heart...I love you.

Just enough light for the step I was on... God works through the people in your life as much as though his word.

8 weeks ago this happened  (the cross line is faded since I took this test but it's there it was very very there that day) and I panicked..



A week ago this happened (the joy that flooded me with this on a computer screen in a doctors office is indescribable other than from God) and I smiled




and I'm still finding myself.






Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hope for the infertile..

"Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed." ~Psalm 119:116~

In the waiting I wonder if we have it wrong...that I'm hearing/feeling/interpreting Gods will wrong. I wonder if we are wrong not to pursue IVF or other options. When I'm 50 am I going to look back and think..what if?  Isn't that how life is though a series of choices that you have to live with...and other times I'm certain we've got this right. Where is the line before trust, and selfishness?

 I feel like my Facebook news-feed spews out a ton of pregnancy announcements and "moms are the best" articles in cycles... to mock me...

In dark moments hurting and praying, the peace that God gives me is overwhelming. I wonder with out this struggle would I know his peace this intimately? I almost walked away from him at the start of this and at other points on this path but each time I tried I only ended up holding on to his word harder. Would I hold on to Him this tightly if I didn't have this cross?

There is hope... this does not mean you will get what you think you want ...but hope for the pain, for the hurting...there is hope regardless because God knows your hurt and your pain...

take heart he has overcome.

So if you are struggling with infertility for any reason, known or unknown. Grab hold of that hope, that overwhelming peace and carry it with you like a blanket, so when you feel like you can't go on, do another round of treatment, another failed IVF attempt, take the next step, withstand one more negative pregnancy test, function through a period that came late and gave you this false hope. When you are angry at God for these things that bring you to your knees. Give it to him. Give it to him good (David did and God didn't crumble). Be angry, cry, yell at the sky,  but whatever you do don't cut that line that holds you up that brings the dawn after your darkest night. That invisible string tying your heart to Gods grace and peace.  You won't always feel that peace that hope...in fact most of the time it will feel like a hurricane.

This struggle will hurt every step of the way, possibly for your entire life... but you are not alone.

March on my Soul....be strong.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Why some Christians might have it wrong

Lets face it, we live in an alarming and scary world. Maybe it's the election year, or this slow and steady push of personal agendas, maybe its social networking and the medias fault, or maybe its a combination.

It feels like every new law  passed fly's in the face of God and there is essentially nothing we can do about it. I know as a "Christian" what ever that is anymore... I'm suppose to "hate" the Obama administration but I can't think of any administration in my lifetime time that I was suppose to "like."  I see so many pushes to stand and take action against ...but is that really God's will? Are we not suppose to respect and pray for those placed in authority? After all they are only flawed human beings...We don't have to like them and we are told not to compromise our moral standards...Jesus himself encourages the idea of separation between church and state. "Give to Caesar what is his"

or better yet
 Romans 13

I struggle with how upset and shocked "Christians" are with the state of the world, does no one read the bible anymore It say's these things will happen and it tells us to take heart.

I see post after post from my "Christian" friends who are angry at this law or that statement. We are encouraged to stand for what we believe, yet do we sometimes do it at the expense of the unbelievers soul?

 I see very little encouragement to LOVE and more importantly PRAY for our leaders, the law writers, the candidates,  the unbelievers, the transgenders, the same sex inclined, the broken ... as if we are so perfect we can call "them" bad people and freaks.

 "You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Matthew 7:5

 It's like everyone is yelling ITS NOT FAIR on both sides and we,on the side of Jesus have all forgotten

God.is.in.control.

It doesn't feel like it,
It doesn't sound like it.
It's hard to believe it but.

God.is.in.contorl.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33


God is not surprised that Trump is running for president. God is not surprised transgenders are receiving the right to use what ever public restroom they choose, God is not surprised Christian business owners are being forced to server, or fined if they don't serve, same sex couples as well as any other minority that their religion may stand against. God is not surprised the secular world is enforcing separation of church and state. God is not surprised because he in the end is the ruler of all.

Jesus sent his disciples out to tell others about him to be examples not once did he say to judge, condemn or force them to follow Jesus...these men were often killed, beaten, laughed at, or thrown in jail... That first century church was prosecuted beyond our imagination and still thrived...because they did it for God future kingdom not this world.

"This is nothing new under the sun." God is not surprised.

For years we "Christians" have used that title to push our beliefs and policies on everyone else, even if they don't believe the same as we do. Instead, of reaching out and sharing Jesus while living as an example... we have spent years wrapping ourselves in our traditions, beliefs, and judgments. That now, when its come full circle we can't handle it. Now that the world is pushing back we have forgot how God says its going to be...We can't remember how to stand up in adversity with a spirit of peace and a desire to share Gods love. Its a shame our first reaction is to "rant" on social media about something we don't agree with. We have the ability to reach people all around the world with a click of a button and we use it not for growing Gods Kingdom but for our own personal agendas and righteous anger.

It's not our job to make non believers or the government follow Gods moral laws. It's simply our job to tell others about Jesus and let the holy spirit work so they might want to follow Gods moral laws. Someone who does not agree with you is not going to be saved by social media posts about how evil America is.  Being angry, whiny, and judgmental about our world isn't going to help anyone see it our way. I read some status and posts and  I can't help but think "man we all sound like spoiled little children, pouting because are not getting our way." We are so full of righteous anger that we don't show any love or compassion.

 There is enough bad in this world, enough to be scared of, with out piling on... Now more then ever we "Christians" (and I use that term reservedly) are being observed to see how we handle ourselves.  Sadly from what is see....it's very poorly.

For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control. ~2 Timothy 1:7~

 No, it's not fair, and it does suck.  Yes, we need to follow God's laws above all else but that's because we believe those laws. We need to be examples of God's Love. We can't judge those who don't believe the same as we do. We can't hate Trump, Clinton, or Obama because they are lost...though man is the struggle real.

This is our chance to show the world what we are made of, start the fire...to cling to the promises in God's word and to not be afraid. Fear is one of Satan's greatest tools to undermine everything the original church tried to set up. Hitler used Fear, the Media and Politicians use the same fear now.

So this election year don't let fear drive you to the polls (or away) Pray God reveals his will to you. Above all else Pray for our leaders, for our country, for our candidates, for our states, and our families. Pray and don't give into fear. He never promised us a rose garden.

When you need comfort, when you feel so discouraged about the state of the world, when someone else points their finger at you and says "hypocrite, judgmental, close minded fool"....When a news post celebrates the success of another passed bill that mocks God. Instead of whining, and getting upset seek comfort from the only source that can comfort you God's word.

Stand firm, Love God, Share God...it's not always going to be easy, comfortable or convenient but though we don't have a sound like wind and flames of fire...we are filled with the "holy spirit" lets prove God's love is still alive. Let's make the term "Christian" usable again.

Let's live our lives so when this world passes away we can stand before our Father and say "I did all I could."



Psalm 37 and 46 I find especially comforting.

What verses comfort you in these times?


Some more food for thought.

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/current/politics/how-christians-should-engage-election