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Friday, March 18, 2011

He Restores The Years

Then I will make up to you for the years
That the swarming locust has eaten,
The creeping locust, the stripping locust, and the knawing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
Joel 2:25
I had a vivid dream last night. It was not about a specific instance, but it was one of those abstract dreams that brings back the reminders and feelings of past events. My first thoughts when I awoke were to flash back ten years ago. Ten years, has it really been that long?
I remembered my life at this very season ten years ago. I was seventeen. I thought I knew everything. The reality was I was a broken down mess. Every month my parents were finding out some new piece of news about me, and it was never good. I was running around with men I had no business associating with at my age, and putting myself into many dangerous situations. Each night I went to bed heartbroken, because even though I knew it all, deep inside the aching empitness dug its roots into my heart. The Saviour I had once so eagerly given my heart to at a young age seemed far and distant. At the time I was too blind to realize it was not He who had left. I had just stopped letting Him fill the seemingly unquenchable desire to be loved and accepted.
In the midst of it all I remember feeling I had run too far in the opposite direction. Surely even if I gave in, even if I surrendered, there would be years of punishment awaiting me.
How easily I forgot the message of the cross, a sweet message of grace and restoration.
There came a point when my legs could not carry me any farther. A point I reazlied that as I fell down God was waiting there to catch me.
It is ten years later. Instead of facing a spring of death and despair as I did so long ago, I eagerly await the birth of my child, a gift of life. I have been given a great earthly love, a man God has chosen to walk the journey of life with me. I have been given three children, an inheritance from the Lord. I have a home that is never lacking for our basic needs. Most importantly I have been restored to the love of my Saviour in whom there is no shadow of turning. I have peace.
The road of restoration was not all roses. I have still had many lessons to learn over the past ten years. If you are to read the beginning of Joel 2 Israel had experienced great devastation as a consequence for their actions, though consequences differ greatly from punishment. Consequences offer us the path to learning and change. The road to healing is often started in brokeness. Ten years later I can attest to the truth in verse 25. He is faithful to make up for the years the locust has eaten.
Thank God for His great goodness and grace!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Saint Patty's Day Baby

Dear Isaac,
I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but yesterday I was pretty tired and ready to do whatever it took to bring on labor. I am sorry because I really don't mind you snuggled inside. What can I say? The end of pregnancy makes every mama a little crazy. I just want you to know I have settled down, and am doing everything I can not to let outside influences affect our last days being this close together.
I did briefly think it would be cool if you decided to be a Saint Patty's Day baby. I'm not sure why. I never really celebrate, and I almost always forget to wear something green. You would be the perfect reason to celebrate, and I would be sure never to forget Saint Patrick's day again.
Your sister loves almost any holiday. She made sure she was decked out in green. If you decided to make an appearance today, she would make us stop at the store on the way to the birth center just to buy a green hat or onesie. Yup she is just cool like that.
We can't wait to meet you, to hug you, and to kiss your little face.
I've given up trying to make sure everything is perfect because I know you honestly won't care. I will better serve you by maintaing my sanity and being ready to hold you, love you, and provide all the attention you need to feel wanted and secure.
So take as long as you need little one. I won't rush you. If you do decided to surprise me late into the evening, we'll toast your arrival with some green kool-aid and mark the first Saint Patrick's Day I have ever celebrated.
Much love,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sunny Side Up!

We found out today that Isaac decided to take a posterior position in the womb. This explains all of the knots and lumps I have been feeling near the top of my belly and under the rib cage. As my midwife checked me today she exclaimed, "All I feel are hands and feet!"

This is my first time to experience this. I have to admit when she first told me I felt a twinge of fear. I had really started to come to peace with my impending labor, and this heightened those anxieties I thought were finally calm. I know that the possibility of more painful back labor is increased when the baby is in this position. I was given some exercises to perform in hopes of encouraging him to move. I hope that with these and some prayer we will see positive results.

If there is anything this whole pregnancy has taught me it is to let go of preconceived ideas and expectations. As I sit here writing I realize that posterior or anterior God's hand is resting on Isaac and upon me. He is not letting go.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Baby Shower Time

Things always change by the time you get to your third baby. You've been down the road before. You've honed your skills on what items are necessary and those that are frivolous. I almost feel guilty for how practical I look at things when it comes to this child. Please don't get me wrong, I am very excited to welcome Isaac into the world. He will have his own unique personality and purpose. I just knew that having one child of each gender already, there were few things we really had to buy. Due to compact space we have for our growing family, we would not be able to put a lot into a specific nursery theme. In spite of these things I wanted Isaac to be able to look back and know that he was still celebrated, and just as an important in his arrival has his brother and sister.

Chris and my best friend Alyson came together and did just that yesterday. I am amazed that even some 200 miles apart they coordinated together so well. It was a wonderful shower, and it warmed my heart to have friends and family celebrate with us. We received some really awesome gifts that will replace some of our current baby items that are shall we say a bit worn.

Thanks to our new computer I am happy to finally include some pictures our happy day.

The guys lent their "expert" baby shower decorating skills.

I was impressed that when put in charge of picking out a cake, Chris decided petit fours would be an appropriate choice for a shower. Any men reading, please do not revoke his man card. His other pass times include sports, video games, and action flicks.

Micah gave his seal of approval to all of the snacks.

The lovely Alyson...aka best friend a girl could ask for.

On some demented note they decided a game involving eating baby food would be exciting. Of course none of the planners participated. I was surprised at how competitive this game became! It also has me rethinking feeding jar food to Isaac. Some of this stuff is just awful.

Can you see my excitement???!!! Many of you heard my my desperate cry for help via facebook. Now should the baby come overnight, Chris will not be forced to ride by horseback to the nearest general store for diapers.

My practical side was thrilled to receive several packs of nursing pads. Are you starting to see how having multiple children changes you?Here is my pretty princess, preparing to be a big sister once again. She has paved the way bravely for her siblings, by bearing with me as I have worked through all the trials and errors of parenthood. I couldn't imagine my life without her, and I know she will be a great little helper.

Thank you to everyone who came in the middle of your weekend to show love and support. We are down to the last few weeks or maybe days, and I look forward to introducing our newest member to each of you very soon!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Own Worst Enemy

It is 2:30 in the morning, and instead of treasuring every last moment of sleep before nightly feedings start up, I am awake battling the great nemesis of the third trimester....heartburn.
I should have known that Taco Bueno for lunch and a hamburger at dinner were not the most ideal foods to cram down my increasingly cramped digestive system. I mean seriously Crystal, this is not your first rodeo. Why is it that with all our human skills in reasoning we so often can't get past the first impulsive thought that comes into the head even when the tried and true consequences will be ever so close behind? Ugh! Can I blame pregnancy hormones on this one? Am I out of free passes on that one?

I will try to look on the bright side. Thank you mother nature for giving me a warm up to the sleepless nights to come. Thank you for the sweet nudge to re-evaluate each choice before I make those impulsive decisions again. Thank you again for reminding me that this is not all about me.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring is Here....Almost

Time is flying by for me. I still cannot believe that there was snow on the ground a month ago. Alas time is marching on and spring is at our doorstep. This can only mean one thing in my life and that is chaos. My work is in the concrete and landscape industry, so as soon as a beautiful day hits, we are swamped. I'm sure my co-workers are especially appreciative of the fact that my baby is due in the spring right smack dab in the middle of the madness. Oh well what can you do? I tend to become stressed when I cannot fix something. When I combine work stress with baby preparation stress it can be a bit maddening. I am just learning that sometimes I have to step back and refocus my priorities from a big picture point of view.

I realize I am not great at posting pictures. Belly shots are not really my thing. Almost all of my pregnancy photos are taken by my mom when I'm not paying attention. I'm sure if you visit her facebook you will find a few of me in all my ballooning glory. Of course I realize maybe it would be nice to share some of family and general happenings in our lives. As soon as I am home more I am going to make this a priority.

A couple of weeks ago we took our last outing out of state before the baby comes. It's not like we are constantly going out of state, but we thought it would be nice to take a short get away before the baby arrived. We headed across the red river to the Oklahoma City area to visit some dear friends. While we were there they completely blessed us with a toyota 4runner. We have been a 1 car family ever since we've had kids. We haven't had two cars since we were first married. I cannot tell you how awesome it is to know that I will not be stranded at home once the baby arrives. Where Chris is working now, it just wouldn't make sense for me to drive him to work everyday. The gas and tolls would be crazy. Thanks to the wonderful, beautiful Alyson we have a new car, well new to us, that will fit three children and a big yellow lab perfectly. I know I shouldn't be surprised, but I am still constantly amazed at the goodness of God in meeting the needs we have at just the right time. I can also only pray that he blesses those who have blessed us in ways they cannot possibly imagine.

Chris is still doing so well at his new job. I cannot say how proud I am of him. He really bounced back from a tough situation. He has really garnered favor in his department, and there is already the possibility that he could be looking at a new opportunity in the near future. It makes me happy to see him excelling and actually enjoying what he does.

Well we are at the 36 week mark, actually by the time I post this I will be inching closer to 37. Things are going fairly well. The last two weeks I was stricken with what we are pretty sure was a case of PUPPP's. For those unfamiliar just google, but basically it is a rash from hell. Basically there is usually not much to do but wait it out until delivery. I used every cream and potion imaginable. I decided to try some baby rash cream called butt paste. It has actually helped it start to clear up, that along with a lot of prayer. I am happy to say this week has been so much better. Other than the frustration of maneuvering off of the bed or off a couch, I am feeling pretty good. This weekend will be a small baby shower with a few friends and family to celebrate Issac. The mountian of baby clothes were washed and put away this past weekend. Chris has been immensley helpful keeping us on task and reminding me to not stress out. I think after this week I will go ahead and get a bag ready for myself and the kids to take to the birthing center. Any suggestions on what I should bring from other mom's who have gone the birth center route? I know I won't be there overnight, unless I am laboring overnight, but I'm just wondering what comforts might be nice to have. This is the first time I will be allowed to eat and drink while laboring. While I am not sure if I will be in the mood or not, any ideas for good foods to keep on hand?

I hope to post some pictures in the next post. We finally decided it was time to get a new computer. Now I can upload pictures without wanting to tear my hair out. If for some reason the baby comes between now and my next post, I will try and post a short update soon after.
Have a wonderful week dear readers.