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Sunday, March 6, 2016

The New Me!

Ask me anything and I'll do it!

"You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father." John14:13

When I got pregnant with my first born back in 2013, it was unplanned. I cried. What on earth do I know about being a Mom? How would this turn out? After a few nice minutes of tears, I just stopped and sniffed.  I took a good look at myself in the mirror and felt an incredible amount of peace.  That's when I realized I could do this.  God had already given me everything I needed to be the Mom I was called to be.  After that, I got excited and happy.
I spent most of my time during this pregnancy doing what I did when I was not pregnant.  I lead a healthy and active lifestyle.  So with my son, I ate clean 97% of the time, and worked out A LOT! I am a runner, and enjoy participating in different races, so although I stopped doing half marathons while pregnant with my son, I continued running.  I started flipping tires at 6 months, did a weight training program with my husband. I did Zumba, yoga, and we went on hikes.
While I was carrying my son, lots of people told me, "You need to slow down, you're pregnant now!"  "You need to be careful,it's not just about you anymore. You are having a baby!"  I'd usually just say, "Okay, thanks!" and keep it moving. I told my husband, "I'm not going to respond to anyone anymore.  If you want to, go ahead.  Our doctor isn't concerned so they shouldn't be.  The pregnancy isn't high risk.  I just need to be aware of my body and how I'm feeling, and pull back if necessary. AND, she said as long as I'm not doing any contact activities, like karate, or basketball I should be fine."  On that note, I kept doing what I was doing throughout the pregnancy and ignored all the comments.
It was a great pregnancy, too.  Everything went very well until the day he came.  I had my mind made up of how this all would go down.  He was due on Christmas Day, and he had to come then, because that would extend my leave until April which worked perfectly for me.  Additionally, I had a birth plan that I expected to follow exactly.  Well...all of those expectations went out the window.  He came exactly two weeks early.  At some point during the labor, I told my husband, "You need to tell them I want want something to take the edge off. I don't want an epidural, but I need something!"  They gave me something to take the edge off.  It didn't take the edge off.  About an hour later, something happened, and my doctor told me my son's heart rate was going down.  She recommended I get an emergency c-section.  At that point, my plans didn't matter.  The most important thing was getting him here safely.  Well, he got here and I was so thankful that he was healthy and safe.
After that, I had this guilt. I felt like such a failure.  I kept asking myself, "What did I do wrong?  I thought I did everything right. Why did this happen?"  After having conversations with my doctor and my husband and them both telling me I did nothing wrong, I had to let go of the guilt and feelings of failure.
Fast forward a couple years later.  I got pregnant again in 2015, and thought, 'No problem.  I know what to do."  So I kept up with my very active lifestyle.  That year, I'd planned to do 4 half marathons a 10K and a 10 miler.
But then something happened.  I started bleeding.  The first time it happened, I got  nervous, called the doctor and my husband.  When we went in, she checked the baby on the monitor, we saw her heart beat flickering.  The doctor said, "Baby looks to be fine.  This stuff happens....I don't think it has anything to do with your activity, so keep doing what you're doing.  Monitor the bleeding.  If it happens again, give us a call."  So we left feeling relieved. Then it happened again.  I cried.  I called the doctor, we went back to see her.  Checked the monitor, baby was fine. She said the same thing.  This happens more often than you think.  I still don't think it's your activity, so keep doing what you're doing, and let us know if it continues.
Left this time feeling better having seen the baby on the monitor with an active heart beat.  So I continued my high activity.  In addition to my normal daily routine, I completed a 10 miler with no problem.  A week or so later, I did a 10K race.  I felt fine after that one also.  The next day, I started bleeding again. This time it was like a heavy menstrual cycle.  I was devastated.  I was in the middle of a big meeting, when I left and discovered this.  I cried and cried, and finally had to pray and ask God to help me pull it together to go back to the meeting and make it through the day, because at that point, I couldn't see myself doing anything but sitting with my head in my hands and balling my eyes out.  I made it through the day, but called the doctor and scheduled an appointment.  When my husband picked me up that day, I told him what happened and let go.  I cried so hard I could hardly speak.
When we went to the appointment, my doctor was very matter of fact in speaking with me.  She told me that if this pregnancy was indeed terminating itself there wasn't anything we could do about it.  She said that we needed to monitor it, and see what happened.  This time, she also told me that although she still didn't believe it was occurring based on my activity, I should take a break from everything for 6 weeks just to rule everything out.
I took a break, and the bleeding stopped.  I was so thankful and relieved.  I discovered I was expecting very early in the pregnancy.  So I saw my doctor several times before my first official appointment.  Since the bleeding had stopped, the next time I saw her was during that first actual appointment.  I was happy to report to her that there'd been no more bleeding.  She was glad to hear it also, and took me off the 6 week break.  I left that appointment on a high, convinced the issue was in the past.  I was, however, reluctant to jump back into my high activity level.
When I started bleeding again a few weeks later, I was mortified, frustrated and scared.  I didn't know what to do.  I called my doctor's office and spoke with one of her partners.  She told me I could come into the office if I chose to, but I f the pregnancy was going to terminate, there wasn't anything they could do.  We just had to monitor it and see what happened.  I decided not to go.  Instead, in my frustration, sadness and worry, I went to God and I prayed. I said, Lord, I don't want to lose my baby. I want this baby to be born and live. Your word in John 14:13 says that whatever we ask of You in Your name You would do it so that the Father would be glorified through the son. So I'm asking that You would remember Your promise and hear my prayers to let this baby live and that the bleeding stop. I ask it in Your name. But no matter what, Lord, I trust You."
After I made the decision to just let it go and give it to God, I felt so much peace and relief. I recognized I had no control no matter how much I worried and held on to it. I had to come to a place of realization that God is sovereign. He's the only one that can do anything and I can't just say I trust Him, I have to truly decide to trust Him, no matter what.
Almost a year later, I sit in my living room writing this and watching my baby girl sleep peacefully. I'm not sure why God does what He does. But I do know this, there are times in our lives when we look to the things of this world, self included as having the ultimate influence and control over our lives and our outcomes. The truth is, God has that control and He has the final say; and holding on to those things, no matter how tight, will ever change that.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Where is your focus?!

The other day I was headed to meet a friend for lunch. She and I hadn't seen each other in a long time, and she really wanted to meet my new baby and give me a gift for the little one. So we got in car and headed out to meet my friend. As I was driving on the highway, I decided it was a great time to pray. So I started praying. I prayed for me kids, my husband, family, friends, and the community we live in. 

I was pretty aware of where I was, and where I was going, when suddenly, I began to panic. I noticed I was in an exit lane, and was convinced it was the wrong one. I panicked because I thought I was going the wrong way. So I sped up to get back on the highway. The moment I breathed a sigh of relief, I realized that was indeed my exit. At that point, I had to drive all the way to the next exit, which was pretty far away, make that exit and u-turn to get back on the highway. Then I had to drive all the way back to the exit I should have taken in the first place. 

That's when it hit me. This happens so often in my walk with Christ. I'll ask God for something. I'm all excited about it in the beginning, until doubt creeps in and I begin to panic. I'm convinced that nothing is happening, so God must not be doing anything. Or, I see someone else successfully arriving to the place I've asked God to take me. So I get discouraged and think God has no idea what He's doing, or He's not doing anything, so I need to do things my self. 

I've noticed that when I take matters into my own hands, I find myself moving outside of God's will. I either don't receive the promise, or I have to wait even longer to receive it. Sound familiar? Much like the Israelites and the promised land. They became so consumed by panicked with what they saw, rather than what God told them, and their focus shifted. Therefore, it took them 40 years to reach the promised land. Some didn't even make it.

The Bible says to Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path. (Proverbs 3:5). God is able to do all things but lie. When we ask Him for something, we can trust that He is able to do what He said He would. We should trust that even when nothing seems to be happening, God is working, so we need to just keep our eyes stayed on Him rather than focus on fear, panic, or discouragement. He's so much bigger than that. When we take our eyes off of Him, we end up going the wrong way.