I feel like we need a heart-to-heart. The truth is, we face so many decisions in our lives. We choose whether to breastfeed or formula feed; whether to circumcise or not. We choose homeschool, private school, or public school for our precious ones; whether our kiddos eat gluten-free, sugar-free, flax seed, chia seed energy bars or gummy snacks. We choose Babywise, cry-it-out, or co-sleep; whether we use cloth diaper or disposables. We choose whether our kiddos are screen-free or spend their free time playing Angry Birds on our iPhones. We choose whether to have one child or a large family; whether to work outside the home or not.
Oh, the research, angst, and prayer that making these decisions stirs. They're controversial parenting decisions resulting in personal, family choices (and hopefully Spirit-led convictions). We won't see eye to eye on all of them. That's ok!! ;)
Friends, I pray you hear my heart on this! Let's choose not to judge. Let's bridge the gaps where we may disagree on these issues. Let's choose to embrace one another, encourage one another, edify one another...even as we make different choices. Let's choose not to second-guess our own decisions based on another mama's choices, instead let's focus on being in tune with what God wants for our own families. Mama-friends, let's choose to walk in grace and love as Christ did.
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Posted by Jennifer at 11:00 PM
Thursday, July 25, 2013
We discovered I was pregnant after I secretly took a pregnancy test. Wanting to share my surprise and excitement over the positive result with my hubby, I sent a quick text pic. Imagine my surprise when I got the reply text and realized that I inadvertently sent the text to my friend, Kendall (the last person I had texted), rather than Matt. Yeah, technology is not my forte!
I made an appointment to see the doctor and was thrilled to hear my baby's heartbeat! Little did I know that only a few weeks later, at a follow up appointment, I would hear those dreadful words, "I'm so sorry..."
The next few weeks were a blur. We waited patiently for the process to happen naturally. My sweet baby was in heaven, yet I still carried a tiny body in my womb. A few days after Christmas, after hours of intense labor pains, I was no longer pregnant. As I endured the contractions, I knew the pain was without reward. The pain wasn't bringing the typical reward of childbirth, instead I was miscarrying the precious child I had grown to love.
Job 1:21 "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
I felt alone. Despite the fact that we had unshakable support from our family and our church. Despite the fact that women stepped forward to share their experiences. Despite being surrounded by my amazing husband and the three wonderful sons God has blessed me with...I felt lonely. Part of me was missing.
Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."
The physical pain was gone, but the spiritual and emotional pain was ever present. Our OB estimated our baby's gestational age to be around 10 weeks. Even in that brief time, I fell in love. I made plans. I had brainstormed sleeping arrangements for four children in a 3 bedroom home. I was already researching names. My littlest was already talking to my tummy. I bought a stroller off the local FB swap page. I was making a place for this child in our family. But God had a different plan.
I questioned God. The truth is, some days I still do. BUT, I know He is faithful. I know He is good. I know He is trustworthy. I know He is gracious. I know He loves me. Those truths sustain me.
Nahum 1:7 "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in Him."
I'm still walking through the grief. Some days I am perfectly content, full of joy, and feel blessed beyond belief. Other days, the ache of loss is so deep, the hole in my heart so big, I struggle to be a good wife and a good mom. On those days, I am purposing to find joy and to acknowledge my blessings. The comforting hug of my husband. The laughter of my boys. A phone call from my parents. A text from a friend. The beauty of His creation.
Isaiah 26:3 "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."
Today, on the due date of our baby that God called home, I am choosing to be thankful. I'm thankful that our baby will never know a day apart from God. I am so thankful for the promise that one day, when I get to Heaven, I will hold my youngest in my arms. And, I'm thankful that for now, that baby will be held dearly in my heart.
Proverbs 3:5-8 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight."
Posted by Jennifer at 11:54 PM
Monday, October 1, 2012
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, but believe me, I don't need a special month to be aware. My precious Mama is a survivor and once you've been through the experience (even if only from a daughter's perspective), you're always aware. Although it has been years since her diagnosis and treatment, there are lingering reminders--including lymphedema in her arm which resulted from her cancer treatment. I am so grateful to still have my Mama. I know that my God is the Great Physician and our Healer! Despite that knowledge, I still do my monthly self exam and have a yearly clinical breast exam performed by my doctor. Ladies, please speak with your doctor and take the appropriate steps to screen for breast cancer. It may save your life, just like it saved my Mama!!
Posted by Jennifer at 3:11 PM