Thursday, February 16, 2012

Update

I will be taking a break from my blog for awhile as I have been admitted to the hospital due to complications with this pregnancy. We appreciate your prayers during this continued time of uncertainty.

I look forward to introducing you to our daughter when she arrives!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Words of comfort

I wanted to share some of the things that have been meaningful to me lately:

*My daily Jesus Calling readings have been a tremendous source of encouragement to me. Each entry seems to be just what I need to hear that day, and I have copied down several of the verses mentioned, including Psalm 29:11, "The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses His people with peace."

*I just finished reading Kisses from Katie (What an amazing testimony!), and I was really challenged when the author stated that she doesn't believe the statement that says God won't give us more than we can handle. As she puts it, "I have learned to accept it, even ask for it, this 'more than I can handle.' Because in these times, God shows Himself victorious. He reminds me that all of this life requires more of Him and less of me. God does give us more than we can handle. Not maliciously, but intentionally, in love, that His glory may be displayed, that we may have no doubt of who is in control, that people may see His grace and faithfulness shining through our lives."
Link
*I have been listening to this song regularly. It brings me to tears every time, and compels me to worship the Savior and give a sacrifice of praise in the midst of adversity.

*I was grateful to come across this excerpt I'd typed up when I reviewed Calm My Anxious Heart a couple years ago:

"The Lord is my peace. I shall not live in anxiety. He puts me under His wing of comfort and calms my spirit within me. He takes all my anxieties on Himself and helps me to focus on Him. Yes, though I walk through a time of grave uncertainties and fierce anxieties, I will not fret--for You are my peace. Your Word and Your presence calm me now. You hold my uncertainties in the palm of Your hand. You soothe my anxious mind--You smooth my wrinkled brow. Surely serenity and trust in You shall fill me all the days of my life. And I shall keep my mind stayed on You forever."

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Your comments and emails are an encouragement to me!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Birthday gifts

I celebrated my birthday a couple weeks ago, and by far the best gift I received is that my parents came out to offer support and watch our kids while I had my next round of appointments. Here is a picture of us enjoying a treat at the local bakery, accompanied by some friends. (Nice smiles, kiddos!)I received several other nice birthday gifts, as well, and wanted to share a few here:

My family continued our breakfast in bed tradition with my request of yogurt/granola parfaits, assembled by Nathan. Yummy! Eric took the kids to the thrift store the weekend before and let them each pick out a gift for me. I wasn't quite sure what to say when I opened the one on the right--I definitely had to suppress a laugh at its, um, unique style! They were very excited to give these to me--really cute.My mom thought of an awesome gift for me--a personalized book of the month club! Each month, she's going to send me a book of her choosing. Her first selection was this. I can't wait to read it!

My dear friend Mandi made a neat framed picture of a verse that has been meaningful to me ever since this happened. And since I'm swimming through some deep rivers again, I have it prominently displayed where I can be reminded of His faithfulness to me.I also received a neat surprise from my wonderful blog friend, Katie, which I hope to share about in a couple weeks.

Though I had a bad cold on my birthday and didn't feel much like talking on the phone, I was so appreciative of all the notes, calls, and gifts I received. And I want to thank my parents again for making the trek out here!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pantry challenge wrap-up

(Thanks to all who commented on my post Wednesday. Your thoughts and prayers mean so much to me!)

Despite all my pregnancy issues, this past month was actually a great time for my third annual pantry challenge because it gave me a specific goal and project to focus on, and it's something I enjoy doing.

First of all, I am proud to say that I spent exactly half of our monthly budget! It took careful and creative planning, but it was fun to do, and it's very meaningful to pass on the surplus.

I made a list here of ingredients I wanted to keep in mind when planning meals. Several of those items were used up, and most others were incorporated at least once. All month, I was intentional about making do with what we have--always a good skill to hone.

As for where the money went, I decided to split the amount this time around. I sent part of it here*, and the rest I sent in the form of a gift card to a hurting family who had been on my heart. I hope the money is a blessing in both cases. That was certainly a motivating factor in sticking with my goal!

It will be nice to have a little more breathing room in the budget now that February is here, but I have to say I enjoyed the game of aiming for lower expenditures.

*I didn't feel led to give to a certain ministry this year, so I decided to give to the first request I received in the mail from an organization we already support. Compassion "won!" Kind of a fun way to do it. =)Link

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Resting in the shadow

"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
--Psalm 91:1-2

For those who have been tracking along with my pregnancy, I wanted to post an update after our most recent appointment.

We unfortunately did not receive the news we were hoping for following my MRI (which was quite an intimidating procedure, I must say!) The MRI confirmed our specialist's concerns that I have a serious and rare placenta condition, and because of the high risks, I have been referred to Mayo Clinic. This is obviously quite scary. I had just been coming around to the idea of having the more moderate condition, and delivering in a city about an hour and a half from here. Mayo is a whole new ball game, and the emotional rollercoaster has certainly continued.

I will be having appointments in three different states (!) over the coming weeks, so that is a lot to contend with. Anxiety is never far from me, and it's certainly been an exercise of faith to continue submitting my fears to the Lord. Please pray for protection, for peace that passes understanding, and that I would not worry about the many unknowns and complicated logistics. We are grateful for your support!

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On a couple of blog matters, I should mention that this month my selected book is featured in my friend Carrie's Reading to Know book club. Click here to read my introduction.

Secondly, I've just wrapped up my third annual pantry challenge, so I hope to post some thoughts on that in the coming week.