Friday, November 4, 2016

What God Wants

I haven't blogged in a year and a half or so.  Insert excuses/reasons { HERE }.

Moving on, as many of you know, I am 33 weeks pregnant and have been dealing with some chronic pain possibly related to my right kidney. Around the middle of last month, our whole little family went into the ER at 3 in the morning because I was experiencing severe pain and symptoms of a urinary infection.  Long story short, I was in the hospital 4 days and was treated for a kidney infection complicated by a weirdly rapid heart rate and pain in my back (kidney?) that was difficult to manage.  They found an angiomyolipoma on my right kidney, but it's small (a little over a cm) and my doctor didn't think it would be causing so much pain.

This was towards the end of my hospital stay. We had fabulous co-workers pitch in and keep the kids during the day and our friend Naomi (the bomb dot com) stayed overnight with them at our house, so Doug could stay with me.

Doug slept so good at the hospital...I was so jealous!

Even when I finally went home, I wasn't confident we'd be able to manage my pain level, but I was so sick of being in the hospital I was willing to risk it. Not to mention, I don't feel awesome about taking tons of medications while I'm pregnant, and I figured at home, I'd be able to rest and try to lessen the amount of pain meds.  A week later, all my symptoms had improved except the pain. I went to see my doctor and we were able to see the baby.  She measured in the 93rd percentile for size, so the doctor is keeping a close eye on her size.  When I told him I was still in pain, he wondered if I might have an issue with one of my ribs being out of place and the pain was due to that.  He also prescribed more pain meds. Insert crying/anxiety face.  Let me reiterate, I do NOT want to be taking pain meds, and the doctor understood that and said it was only for the short term, about 2 that point I had 8 1/2 weeks left of pregnancy.  

Why do all of my babies look SOOO much like Doug?!

Regardless of whether my kidney or rib is causing this pain, there's not much that can be done until after the baby is born and both issues could resolve themselves after I give birth.  

Interestingly enough 5 years ago, I was in a much worse situation, post surgery in Thailand, finishing my pregnancy with Kora.  Oh, the irony.  I love irony, even this kind.   Kind of makes you wonder if God is trying to teach me something and I'm just not getting it. 

Okay, so I didn't actually intend this blog to be a medical update, but just to give that as background information.  For about 3 weeks, I have been laid up, with myself as varying degrees of useless. Doug, our co-workers, friends and church have picked up the slack, and I am left in their debt. And truth be told, I'd rather not ever need help.  I'd love to be the one giving help, but receiving help is hard for me.  But that's out of my control.  

So, this morning, I'm scrolling along on FB and stumble across this:

At first, I thought, wow, I can relate.  Then my overthinking brain went into hyperdrive, focusing on the phrase, "I don't have everything I want".  For some reason, it didn't sit well, and I didn't like it.  I spent the next 30 minutes picking it apart in my brain. 

"Who cares if I have what I 'want'?  Is having what I 'want' ever proven to be a good thing? Shouldn't it matter what God wants, and shouldn't that far outweigh my misguided desires?"

Okay, so you get the picture.  What I want should be what God wants.  And he is in control. Right now, he wants me to go through a hard time, so I should WANT that too.  That seems like quite a stretch, but I can absolutely trust that what God has planned, what he is orchestrating has a purpose.  I may not understand it, but I can trust him.  

As parents, we've been dealing with this, with sweet Kora.   She often has a strong "want" and it often is not what we want for her.  To the best of our ability, we are working to see her grow in her knowledge and understanding of God. We desire for her to obey us, because it's good practice for obeying God. We want her to trust that even when she doesn't understand why she can't get what she wants, that she can trust that we have her best interest in mind. That's not easy. When you really WANT something, that's all you can think about, and stepping away from that isn't easy.  When God is asking us to do the same, to submit to his will, plan and desire for our life, do we fight him? Do we dig our heels in, like sweet Kora, and keep repeating what we want, as if he didn't hear us the first time?  Perhaps, if we'd listen, we'd hear him say, "I know what you want, I hear you, but it's not good for you, trust me, I have a plan, follow me."  I think I am often guilty of never even shutting up long enough to hear him.  

I am thankful that God is such a good father.  Such a loving savior who continues to work things out for me, not because I deserve it, but because of who HE is.

Today, I am praying that I will let go, and accept the pain I'm enduring. That I will welcome it, thank God for it, and trust him.  That I will make wise decisions in the next few weeks to be the best mom to Kees, Kora, and Kana. To show appreciation to my husband for all the hard work he is doing to carry our little family through this time. Let me be honest, that's far more than I am capable of, but with God, it's possible.  He's the one who can do that, through me.  

Kees reading a chapter for me, almost done with this book!

Kees built this "house"

We've had lots of pleasant moments this week. Love when they are getting along.

Audio books are a life saver. Kora LOVES them.

Sweetest moment: After a long day, I went to bed early because I was hurting. When Doug and the kids came upstairs to get ready for bed, Kora wanted me to read her a bible book.  I wasn't feeling up to it, so I said maybe Daddy would.  While Doug read two bible stories to the kids, Kora asked to hold my hand. Then of course Kees wanted to hold my hand too.  Do not deserve my sweet family, and I thank God for them.
Kora's picture of our family on a walk on a sunny day.

Kees doing map work for history.

Helping make lunch

They made their beds and arranged all the babies.  Kees took this picture after I had to tell him I couldn't climb up to his top bunk. 

Every morning the kids come snuggle in bed with me after  they wake up.  Their morning faces are the best!

Love to all of you.  No promises on future blogging, just wanted to get these thoughts out, so I can quit overthinking about it all!  

P.S. I go to the urologist today, to check out my kidney, and find out what he thinks.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"If You Give a 3-year-old a Spray Bottle"

I haven't blogged since Christmas, and I'm not even exagerrating..weird.

I've wandered over here, a few times, and then gotten distracted, and gone about my business.

Tonight, I received the perfectly timed text.  I had a regular mom-of-littles day.  You know the kind, the five year old is whining and having a bad attitude every time you ask him to do anything other than play his elaborate imaginary basketball slash beautiful mind amalgamation of things beyond my comprehension.  And then the three year old, decisively independent, and set on her own way, insists you refill her spray bottle, after you've just spent the last 30 minutes, using every ounce of patience you have to re-direct the spraying so that it doesn't all concentrate on that one corner of the pillow.  And yes, I gave her a full bottle of water to spray, because I don't think things through and it seemed like a good idea.

This is going to be a backwards "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" book, but with, "If you give a 3 year old a spray bottle".  And it goes like this....

If you give a three year old a spray bottle, it is likely because you gave one to her older brother.

If you gave the brother a spray bottle, it was because you "needed" help stain treating two blankets, a sheet, YOUR PANTS, and the three year olds socks.

If you needed to stain treat those items, it is probably because you dumped warmish coffee all over yourself, the three year old, the book you were reading AND the bed.

And why do you have coffee in the bed, you may ask, because the five year old was having an ill timed screaming fit about doing school work BEFORE you got ANY caffeine for the day.  So hiding in the other end of the house was NECESSARY.

So fast forward to five o'clock, when my dear husband comes home to a messy house, something I HATE, but he actually doesn't care about.  We rush around, eat dinner, head to a meeting, return our library books, and choose a baker's dozen plus 12 more books to bring home, our MESSY home, with piles of coffee-stained bedding.  We spent the next hour cleaning.  Which is amazing, and I'm so thankful it got done, and I can wake up to a semi-clean house tomorrow.

And I plop myself into an essential oil ridden bathtub, to soak my troubles away.  Except the quiet somehow got to me, and I found myself sobbing, texting my dead-asleep husband, with general woes about feeling useless.

At the precipice of my emotional unloading, I get "the perfectly timed text", from a friend, saying how she appreciates me, for what I do, for who I am, and for being there.

We texted back and forth for a few minutes, and I was able to put things back into perspective with lots of wisdom and encouragement from her.

I felt so much better, in fact, I was able to make a joke about how my new $20 excercise bike is making a very fancy towel holder.

So here is my "perfectly timed blog" for all the moms, for all the women, grandmas, aunts, co-workers, friends, and sisters who sometimes feel useless or unneeded.  You may not always hear it from those you'd like to hear it from, and who maybe you should hear it from, but you are appreciated, you are valuable, you are so much more than the crazy days you've been going through.  And even if there are zero people on the face of the Earth who would say those things to you, let me be the first to say, God absolutely, 100%, unequivocally has a purpose and a plan for you.  He sees how hard you're trying, he knows your heart, and he loves you.  You can go to him, any time, and he will hear you.  And his timing, as I JUST experienced is always perfect. I'm praying, right now, that you all would feel his presence, and experience his love poured out.

Now, if that didn't help, please text me, I'll be happy to pay it forward. I received a simple act of kindness today, that meant the world.  And I would love to pray with you, for you, and I'd even cry with you, if that'd help, but I'm a bawl-baby, so that's not saying much.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Flashback Friday: Christmas 2014, is in the books!