Friday, December 31, 2010

My New Year's Resolution

In the past I have pretty much given up on making a resolution because I hate when I don't stick to it because I feel like I have let myself down. However, this year there are some things I HAVE to change because we're having a baby so hopefully I will do a better job.

So here goes:
1) Plan meals and grocery shop weekly.

2) Cook dinner every night.

3) Start shopping with coupons. (Any tips on this would be helpful...I don't even know where to get coupons.)

4) Stick to our budget.

5) Look at consignment shops for baby stuff, and clothes.

6) Read my Bible every day.

7) Go to work every day mission minded.

I think that's all. Please pray that God will help me do this because, let's face it, I can't do this on my own. I have proven that.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

You're Not Alone

I'm sitting on my couch catching up on my blog reading while Paul is at the grocery store, and getting dinner. I'm listening to the music I have playing on my blog as I read. I began to re-read my last post and remember how broken I was that day. As my counselor says it was a slinky day.

Let me counselor told me that grief is like a slinky. It isn't a continuum that you move through each day and you are done grieving. Slinkies are circular. Grief is circular. There are days that you will go through every stage of grief, but as time goes by you will not go through each stage as often. Just like a slinky.

A few days ago I was just so sad. I was a little overwhelmed by the sadness. Realizing that I will never spend a Christmas with Owen broke me. I can't explain why that was such a big deal other than the fact that I show love by giving gifts. I love to see the excitement on others faces when they open a gift that was chosen just for them. Especially children. I will never see Owen's face. I will never see the excitement of Owen opening a present.

I think that the one place Satan really takes advantage of me is telling me that I am alone in all of this. He tells me that I'm the only one who has ever experienced this pain. I'm the only one who has ever been this heart broken. No one else knows how I feel.

Satan is a BIG, FAT, LIAR.

For one, God knows what it is like to lose a son and I believe that He understands my heart.

Secondly, almost immediately my sister contacted Laura at String of Pearls to get resources for me. Laura was able to send a blog of a family who also lost a twin.

Finally, time and time again I talk to people who know someone who has lost a twin in pregnancy or were the surviving twin. It's far more common than we know.

These things don't make me hurt less. They make me realize I'm not alone. I'm not the only one who has ever hurt like this before. Most importantly, God doesn't leave His children to go through struggles on their own. All throughout scripture God reminds us HE IS OUR REFUGE! Jesus tells us when we are weary to go to Him.

1 Peter 5:9-11 ESV
[9] Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. [10] And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. [11] To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

This verse has brought so much comfort to me knowing that 1) the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by believers throughout the world. 2) This will only last a little while. 3) God has called me to HIS eternal glory. 4) HE WILL RESTORE, CONFIRM, STRENGTHEN, AND ESTABLISH me. Because God loves me He is not standing idly by watching me hurt. He is using this for His glory whether I see it right now or not. He is good, and He does good.

As I'm sitting here I have heard "You're Not Alone" by Meredith Andrews at least 3 times. Every time I have heard it I have smiled because it is God's reminding me that I'm NOT alone. He is here and has been here everyday, loving me, my whole life. And He loves Owen, and He loves Julia. He loves my children so much more than I can possibly ask or imagine. His love overwhelms me.

All of this to say the lyrics of this song speak to my heart, and I want to share them with you.

You're Not Alone

I search for love
When the night came and it closed in
I was alone
but you found me where I was hiding
and now I'll never ever be the same
It was the sweetest voice that called my name

You're not alone
for I am here
let me wipe away your every fear
My love I've never left your side
I have seen you through the darkest night
and I'm the one who's loved you all your life
All of your life

You cry yourself to sleep
cause the hurt is real
and the pain cuts deep
All hope seems lost
With heartache your closest friend
and everyone else long gone

You've had to face the music on your own
but there is a sweeter song that calls you home

You're not alone
for I am here
let me wipe away your every tear
My love I've never left your side
I have seen you through the darkest nights
And I'm the one who's loved you all your life
All your life

Faithful and true... Forever
For my love will carry you....

You're not alone
for I... I am here
let me wipe away every fear... Oh yeah
My love I've never left your side
I have seen you through your darkest night
Your darkest night
And I'm the one who's loved you all your life
All of your life

I pray that this encourages you as much as it has encouraged me.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I've always dreamt of being pregnant. I've imagined how amazing it would be to grow a life inside of me, give birth, and then hold that precious being in my arms.

Now that I am pregnant, and I am experiencing all of these wonderful things I'm also realizing that there is so much that is involved with pregnancy that I wasn't prepared for.

I think for some women it may be this completely miraculous and inspiring experience where everything is perfect and you never worry. However, it hasn't been that way for me. As you can imagine losing Owen began a long road of anxiety and worry for me.

I would actually like to take a poll and see how many women actually go through all of their pregnancies without worry, concern, or something going wrong. Sometimes I feel like something must be wrong with me because I just don't take it as another trial but I often feel like I'm completely irrational and falling apart.

I can talk about decorating Julia's room and be really excited, but when it comes to doing it I panic because I don't want a room in my house decorated for a baby if I lose her. I don't want a place to go where all I do is think about her. A place that is meant just for her.

My heart aches daily for Owen. I wonder what it would have been like to hold that sweet little boy. I wonder what kind of man he would have grown up to be. I wonder what kind of brother would he have been to Julia. I wonder what their relationship would have been like. I also know that God doesn't wonder those things. God knew how short Owen's life was going to be. God is holding Owen so He knows. I won't know for awhile if ever what it will be like to hold my baby boy. It breaks my heart.

Being pregnant during Christmas is an interesting experience since there is often talk about Mary and Elizabeth being pregnant with Jesus and John. I understand the excitement of feeling your baby move, and what Elizabeth meant when she said "he leapt in my womb". I often feel like Julia is leaping. She seems so excited. I imagine that Mary had to be so uncomfortable riding on a donkey since I'm uncomfortable riding in car. My heart is so grateful for this baby that I am carrying, but so overwhelmed with grief for the baby we lost. I'm sad when I feel her move and know I won't be feeling him. I'm sad when we see ultrasounds of her and her activity and healthy body and know that if the doctor looks at him he's just shrinking away. He's not playing with her, he's not pushing her for space. Nothing.

I wonder if she misses him. I wonder if she knows he's not there. I wonder if she will ever be able to express what it's like to lose a brother none of us ever knew.

I often wonder if I will ever be able to get pregnant again. One because it was so hard this time, and because it has been such an emotional toll. I guess that is one thing I'm learning to surrender to God. That if He wants us to be pregnant and bear more children He will do it. If He wants us to adopt He will do it.

One thing that I don't understand is these girls who sleep around not thinking about the consequences, and when they get pregnant can make the choice not to carry that child to term. Do their hearts hurt as much as mine does when this wasn't my choice? Do they continue to go about their lives with relief that they aren't a mom? Do they love that child? Do they grieve the loss?

I'm not sure what the point of this post is now that I'm done. I think I just needed to write. It's therapy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One Month

It's hard for me to believe that a whole month has gone by since we lost Owen. The first week seemed to drag on, and there were many times that I felt like months had gone by. Now, a month later, I'm looking back and can't believe that a month has passed.

So what has God been doing the past month? A LOT! I can't believe the healing that has happened. I still grieve over Owen, but healing is happening. I've only made 2 unnecessary, irrational trips to the doctor to check on Julia. However, one of them was the best appointment we've had because I felt her kick for the first time.

However, I still find myself anxious about whether or not she'll make it to delivery. I feel paralyzed sometimes, and God reminds me HE IS IN CONTROL! Last night, a friend was asking for prayer at small group, and our leader asked "How do we know that God is going to restore this relationship?" I found myself saying "Because God is Good and He does GOOD!" That's how I know. It wasn't something I thought, and hoped it was true. It has become something I truly believe. It amazes me that a month ago I was repeating that phrase to myself over and over again to give myself peace about losing Owen, and now that is my natural response when asked "How do we know God will do...?"

God is Good! God does Good! I rest in that, and I rest in His peace because without Him I'm a basket case, but with His peace I can function and have hope for my baby girl.

With that said...we are officially 23 weeks! 14 more to go and she can come into this world! I better get ready!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I have struggled with anxiety for probably my whole, and didn't realize how bad it was until college. I thought I had dealt with it, and then I got married. I realized I don't do well with big changes in life. I get anxious, I worry, I can't focus. AWFUL!!

And now with the loss of Owen, I find myself super anxious. If I don't feel Julia moving, I worry. When I feel like she should have moved or I'm not sure I worry. When I wake up I worry. When I go to bed, I worry. My students are taking a test right now, and I worry. I feel like all I do is worry. And I feel out of control.

I know worry and anxiety are not from God. I know that He tells us to cast all of our anxieties on Him because he cares for us. I know that He says to not be anxious about anything but through prayer and supplication present our requests to Him, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

My problem is I'm scared. I scared to lose another baby. I'm scared I won't know when something is wrong. I'm afraid of wasting money by going to the doctor just to make sure she is okay. I'm afraid of making Paul mad for being irrational. I'm afraid my instincts are right.

The truth is I want God to take us right to March so I know she is safe and healthy. Part of me wants to not feel anything so I don't feel anxious. I'm tired of the anxiety.

And I see that my biggest sin is just not trusting God. And the truth is that I don't really know how to do it. I'm lost right now in worry, anxiety, and fear. Overwhelmed by not knowing if something is wrong. Terrified that if it is I won't know how to handle it. Terrified that if something goes wrong I will literally go crazy. I'm scared, and all I have is God and I'm so angry at Him for taking Owen that I don't want to trust Him with Julia. Because what if He takes her too. What will I do then? How will I survive?

Paul and I have been reading Isaiah. Last night we read Isaiah 2 when Isaiah prophesies about the Messiah coming, and that all of the idols that Jerusalem and Judah have built for themselves will be destroyed. I haven't built and idol that I got to and worship every day, but I sure have an idol in my life. I worship control all too often. And now I have put my daughter above God. There is no way that she can ever satisfy me the way that God can. It's wrong of me to put those expectations on her before she is born. But my anxiety pushes me to try and control what is happening, and put her above God because I am so scared of not getting what I have always wanted....Children.

I know this might seem bizarre to some of you but I need to confess where I am so that God can get me back to where I need to be. Sin likes to stay hidden. It doesn't want to come out and have light shine on it. So I have to reveal the sin in my life so that I can, with the power of Christ, overcome it.

Please just keep us in your prayers.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Holding on to Hope

The one thing I have realized more this week is I NEED to be hopeful that everything is going to be fine with Julia. I kind of freak myself out by thinking too much, and compare every thing I feel with the day we lost Owen.

I pray often that God will allow me to trust my instincts but not be anxious about them. The night we found out we lost Owen I had a very clear feeling that something was wrong. I knew my anxiety and my thoughts about what were happening were something to check out, but lately I have been over analyzing every movement I feel or don't feel. I feel like I should be worried, but am trusting in God that everything is fine.

I know this is probably a normal stage to go through when you are pregnant, but I just keep thinking that I can't lose another baby. I must do everything I can to keep her safe. The reality is that I have no control, and that scares the crud out of me. Several months ago God made it really clear that I needed to trust Him with my children. I needed to do what I knew was healthy for my pregnancy and let Him take care of the rest. I felt a peace about that. Knowing that God is so much bigger and stronger than I am and He is capable of taking better care of my children than I can.

And then He took Owen.

At that moment I began to doubt in who He is. I began to think that clearly I would not have chosen this for myself so I will do a better job taking care of my children because He allowed one to die.

And then we sang "I Surrender All" in church on Sunday.

1. All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
* Refrain:
I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
2. All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.
3. All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.
4. All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.
5. All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

Powerful words. And all I could think of is that I'm not surrendering all I'm holding on to Julia more tightly now than I ever could have thought was possible.

And I thought about Abraham when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac. God was asking Abraham if he trusted God, and loved Him enough to give his son to Him. And I realized that Julia quickly became and idol for me. She became more important to me than God. It happened the instant we found out about Owen. My heart quickly changed from being able to fully trust and depend on God to questioning Him and His purpose. I questioned His goodness, His grace, His mercy, His sovereignty...INSTANTLY. And yet, like the Loving Father He is, He continued to POUR out His love on me, and gently reveal the sin in my heart so that He could begin the healing process.

I know the healing process has just begun, but God has already done a huge work in my heart. He is revealing Himself to me in ways I didn't know I needed. I'm learning to trust Him in ways I didn't know I needed to, and I'm learning how deep and how vast His love is for me.

Now I can be more hopeful for Julia. I am learning how to trust God with her even though I want to hold on tight to her and never let go. I know that isn't what she needs.

Please pray that through this God will teach us how to be parents that pursue Him, that depend on Him, and that trust Him with our children.

Please pray Julia would continue to grow strong and healthy, there would be no side effects from losing Owen that would harm her, that she will know God in a truly precious way, she will be drawn to Him, and that He will daily reveal to her His purpose for her life.

She is a precious gift, and we are absolutely honored God is allowing us to be her parents.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

1 Week...

Today marks one week since we found out that Owen had died. Today has been an interesting day talking with Paul about my feelings and processing. But in other ways God has reminded me of His goodness.

Since we took this week off from serving in Children's Ministry we decided to head up to the new campus our church has a check it out. It's very new to us since we serve at a different campus. I was hesitant to walk in this morning because I was nervous about just being at church this week. I wasn't sure what to expect, what God was going to say to me, or how to respond to Him. It seems weird saying that I was nervous to go to church. But I was, and I knew God was going to speak to me, and I wasn't sure I was ready to hear what He had to tell me.

We got there, found seats, talked to some friends, and waited for the service to begin. We had meet and greet time which I don't remember us having at the Austin High campus, and I'm always nervous to meet new people but more so today. As the service started I felt like each song was God reminding me of Who He is. I held on tightly to Paul's hand, sang along, and prayed that God would move my heart to a place where it was totally abandoned to worship Him.

I heard someone singing loudly, a little off key, but the noise was a joyful noise unto the Lord. I turned a round, and there was a man who seemed to have cerebral palsy literally jumping out of his wheel chair to praise God. His heart was completely unabandoned when it came to praising God. I want my heart to be like that. I stood there and asked God to change my heart so I wasn't holding back when I worshiped Him.

The next song, was "How He Loves Us" by David Crowder:
He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

Yeah, He loves us,
Oh! how He loves us,

Oh! how He loves us,
Oh! how He loves.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an sloppy wet kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way...

Singing these words I just began crying because I was reminded that God is LOVE. And He not only is love, but HE LOVES ME!

The significance of this might not be understood if you don't what I have struggling with this week. When people find out about Owen, read my Facebook updates about how much I miss Owen; attempt to comfort me by saying "He's Julia's guardian angel now, He is watching over you, He is an angel." The problem with this is nothing in the Bible leads me to believe that any of it is true. I have been struggling with is how do I know Owen is in Heaven? My heart's desire is to know what the Bible says, and to not take comfort in what I want to be true. So to me these are empty words because they aren't pointing me back to the character of God.

When singing "Oh! How he loves us" over and over again reminded me that God is Love, and that He loves us, and a peace washed over me like I have never known. I was reminded that I can trust in God's love, and goodness.

Now my question may never be answered for sure, but I do know that by focusing on who God is will give me peace that He is taking care of Owen. I'm just trusting in God right now. I'm not sure what else I can do.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Joy turned into sorrow...

Words can't begin to describe how my heart aches right now. I'm stuck between feeling joy over the life of Julia Ruth, but grief over the passing of Owen Paul. I feel like I go from being overjoyed about her life to just crying because I miss him so much. It is seems unfair to her to miss him, and unfair to him to be excited about her.

I haven't figured out yet how to balance these feelings. I heard her heartbeat this morning and was able to breathe a sigh of relief and laugh at how silly she was being. She was moving, and kicking, and spinning, and I was amazed at how active she was. I still am.

I know she must miss his movements. Having her playmate in there with her. I know that having his body there has to give her comfort, but I wonder if she misses him like I do.

I love that I serve a God who works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Even though I don't understand what His purpose is right now. I wonder if I ever will.

Please continue to pray for Julia to grow and grow stronger. We need to get to at least 23 weeks so that she can live outside. Of course, we are praying that she makes it to 37 weeks. We have been told that her going to 40 weeks could actually do more harm than good. So it looks like we will be delivering at 37 weeks. Your prayers are appreciated.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Our Growing Family

* I wrote this post a week before we lost Owen. It's so interesting to see where I was, what God was teaching me, and what God has taught me since then. Just thought I would share.

I read this blog with absolute amazement at God's faithfulness. To go back and read about the frustration and anxiety I struggled with over the past four years seems like a completely other lifetime. I look back and see path God had me on, feeling like I had just enough light for the step I was on at the time, and now I am able to see the beautiful things that He had in store for us the whole time. He was just teaching me to trust in His faithfulness along the way.

It's funny that I don't necessarily have any more light on the path ahead of me now then I did every other day I have been walking, but I have so much more hope because I took time look back and see God's faithfulness. I'm always amazed because I often forget that God has such a big plan for my life. And now I see that He has a plan for my children, and He is faithful to them already. Such a beautiful thing!

The most exciting part of this pregnancy is now my little ones have identities. They are no longer Baby A and Baby B they are Baby Girl and Baby Boy, but more than that they are Julia Ruth and Owen Paul. We know who they are!

Today I am 17 weeks pregnant, and can feel these babies like nothing else. It shocks me in class when I am teaching and I feel a little flutter. I lose my train of thought. A couple of nights ago Paul put his hand on my belly and I felt them felt like there was a wave in my stomach. So last night he did it again, and asked "Is that it?" and it was, there were babies moving for their daddy like they wanted to say hi to him! Precious and Beautiful.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A post for Joy..

The last time I made a blog post was in July. I know you are all thinking "that was so long ago she hasn't had anything to say since then?" Well, I did, but there is only one thing I wanted to post about that I had to keep a secret until recently.

I'm pregnant...with TWINS! They are fraternal for sure. We saw 2 placentas yesterday.

It is the most bizarre feeling being pregnant. It doesn't quite seem real yet even though I have all of the symptoms and have seen the babies 3 times now. I can't feel anything they are doing, and they are moving ALL OF THE TIME! The only thing that really reminds me I'm pregnant is my slightly protruding belly that has been protruding for some time now. It is slightly growing, but at times I just feel fat. Paul reminds me I'm not...I'm pregnant. Such a sweetheart!

I really have nothing else to say except I'm pregnant. We're excited, overjoyed, and overwhelmed, but BLESSED!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cool Colorado

Family vacations don't happen very often for us.  As a matter of fact, the last one I remember I was a senior in high school..that will be 12 years ago in December.  That week I learned how to ski, I experienced real snow, and I I was 17 so I was pretty closed off to what God might have been trying to show me about who He is.  I was more concerned with the cute boys on the ski slopes or at the rec center than what God was trying to show me about His glory, grace, magnificence, power, or creativity.

Twelve years later, I am sitting in the same town, but it's summer.  I am married, we are trying to get pregnant with our first child, and God has me in a place where I have to be completely dependent on Him.  I have to have faith that He will sell our house, that He will help us to conceive when it is the right time, that He knows what we can afford and He will keep us in the place where He wants us to live.

The past two mornings I have woken up to a cool breeze and sunshine.  I have spent the day with family and a light jacket.  Last night I laughed harder than I have in years at how silly my great uncle and cousins are.  I could barely contain myself.  I have slept with the windows open at night because there is no air conditioner in the garage apartment at my aunt's house, and actually had to sleep under the covers because it gets so cold.  I don't remember the last time I did that at home.  The last few days God has really shown me to RELAX.  To ENJOY Him. To come to Him when I am weary and heavy laden because He is going to take care of me.

This morning instead of going to church, we had church at the condos where the rest of my family is staying.  We sat in the sunshine, with my cousins leading worship, and had church.  It was so freeing to just sing out and not worry about the golfers on the course, what others might think, what was going to be for lunch because we were there as a family worshiping God!  It was AWESOME!

One song that we sang really struck my heart and I haven't been able to get it out of my head (which is why I am sitting down to blog about it) was "Come Ye Sinners".

Here are the lyrics:

  1. Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
    Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
    Jesus ready stands to save you,
    Full of pity, love and pow’r.
    • Refrain:
      I will arise and go to Jesus,
      He will embrace me in His arms;
      In the arms of my dear Savior,
      Oh, there are ten thousand charms.
  2. Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome,
    God’s free bounty glorify;
    True belief and true repentance,
    Every grace that brings you nigh.
  3. Come, ye weary, heavy-laden,
    Lost and ruined by the fall;
    If you tarry till you’re better,
    You will never come at all.

These words reminded me that Jesus, my Savior, saves me, embraces me, waited for me to come to Him, and He is where I need to go everyday because I am poor and needy, thirsty, and heavy laden.  When I go to Him I go to a place of safety, security, and peace.  

I'm amazed at the moments God will just speak to me when I sit to listen.  And this week Cool Colorado is the place to see His Magnificence.  I'm so grateful He gave me the time to get away from the busy-ness of life and to bask in His glory.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Renewed Heart

As many of you know Paul and I have gone through quite the process to get pregnant, and through those months we have seen many, many friends and family members get pregnant and have babies.  There have been times when I was just bitter.  I was hurt, angry, and wondering why it was so easy for them and not for me.  I have had to take some time to deal with this icky heart of mine, and sometimes just be distracted by what is going on. 

With that said this past week I got to see 2 of my very best friends and their new little angels.  These two friends have been so patient as I deal with my ugly heart and gave me the space I needed while never judging me.  As I watched these 2 friends with their babies I realized that sometimes God reveals his love for us through difficult circumstances.  (You would think I would have learned that by now).  I was amazed at how their hearts have been changed by becoming moms, and how God is using their new child to show His love for them.  It was an absolutely beautiful picture. 

I am learning a lot while I don't have a child. Mainly that I really need to take this time and just love on my husband and cherish the time we have together, but also that God is NOT punishing me by not giving me what I want right now.  He is taking time to teach me patience, and how to love others, and how to be overwhelmed with joy for my friends as they enter this new stage of life.

So my heart is being renewed day by day, and I am overwhelmed with what God is doing in my life and the lives of my friends and family members who have new little ones.  I can't wait to see what God does next!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Oh Sweet Summer Rain...

I'm sitting on the couch listening to the rain and looking at how refreshed the earth looks.  It reminds me of how I feel after getting hot, sweaty and dirty and then taking a nice cool shower.  Refreshed!

Lately I have been struggling with feeling refreshed.  I woke up yesterday morning feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and frustrated.  I sat down and read my Bible for the first time in several weeks.  I didn't even know where to start so I looked at the Bible Reading Plan on our church website and found that the reading was Proverbs 4.  This is what I read:

Proverbs 4

A Father's Instruction
    1Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father,
         And give attention that you may gain understanding,
    2For I give you sound teaching;
         Do not abandon my instruction.
    3When I was a son to my father,
         Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,
    4Then he taught me and said to me,
         "Let your heart hold fast my words;
         Keep my commandments and live;
    5Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
         Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
    6"Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
         Love her, and she will watch over you.
    7"The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
         And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
    8"Prize her, and she will exalt you;
         She will honor you if you embrace her.
    9"She will place on your head a garland of grace;
         She will present you with a crown of beauty."
    10Hear, my son, and accept my sayings
         And the years of your life will be many.
    11I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
         I have led you in upright paths.
    12When you walk, your steps will not be impeded;
         And if you run, you will not stumble.
    13Take hold of instruction; do not let go
         Guard her, for she is your life.
    14Do not enter the path of the wicked
         And do not proceed in the way of evil men.
    15Avoid it, do not pass by it;
         Turn away from it and pass on.
    16For they cannot sleep unless they do evil;
         And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
    17For they eat the bread of wickedness
         And drink the wine of violence.
    18But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
         That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
    19The way of the wicked is like darkness;
         They do not know over what they stumble.
    20My son, give attention to my words;
         Incline your ear to my sayings.
    21Do not let them depart from your sight;
         Keep them in the midst of your heart.
    22For they are life to those who find them
         And health to all their body.
    23Watch over your heart with all diligence,
         For from it flow the springs of life.
    24Put away from you a deceitful mouth
         And put devious speech far from you.
    25Let your eyes look directly ahead
         And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
    26Watch the path of your feet
         And all your ways will be established.
    27Do not turn to the right nor to the left;
         Turn your foot from evil.

Those first two verses hit my heart like knife.  I realized that I had not been acquiring wisdom because I haven't been sitting with Jesus.  I haven't gone to church because somehow or another I have been recovering from surgery, sick, or out of town.  I had abandoned instruction. I realized at that moment that I was preventing myself from being refreshed.  It's like I wasn't bathing.  Gross picture, huh?

After confessing this to Jesus and seeking repentance the next few verses gave me encouragement: 12When you walk, your steps will not be impeded;
         And if you run, you will not stumble.
    13Take hold of instruction; do not let go
         Guard her, for she is your life.

How beautiful to read that when you are acquiring wisdom nothing will keep you from it, and that you should guard wisdom, for it gives you life.  How often I have wondered what is keeping me from really experiencing what Christ has to offer, and neglecting my relationship with Him is what is preventing me from being refreshed.

So after my sweet time with Jesus, I talked to my friend in real estate about some ideas to get our house sold.  It comes back to staging, and getting rid of clutter that you don't realize is there but a buyer would.  So Paul and I spent sometime just cleaning and getting rid of clutter, and putting away pictures so a buyer could come in and see the house as their house and not ours.  Another refreshment.  And now I sit here soaked as I had to go to the grocery store with 2 kids in the rain, but reminded that Christ is my refreshment, and the sweet summer rain is my reminder.  Amen!

Friday, April 30, 2010

It's been one of those days....

Have you ever had one of those days when it just seems like nothing goes the way it should?  Or more likely the way you want it.

Today has been one of those days for me.  I woke up late, so I was running late for school.  On my way to school I talked to my dad and found out that there are plans for a small wedding ceremony for my brother and his wife so that they are married in the U.S. and can go back to Korea.  Then my students have just been out of control, and I have been less than patient.  On top of all of that I felt like I had to rearrange my schedule to include other things and other people decided to run late which of course throws everything else spiraling out of control. 

It's days like this that I am shown that my heart is truly focused on myself and not Christ.  I get frustrated when I realize this because that is really what I want my students to see.  I want them to see Christ.  I want them to know Him and feel unconditionally loved, and on days like today it is very, very hard to keep persevering. 

I'm definitely still a work in progress.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Laparoscopy update

All went well on Thursday with the laparoscopy.  My body feels completely abnormal right now, but I think that is to be expected since there was so much done inside my body.

I am sore from the surgery, and my reproductive organs are sore and cramping from all that was done to them, but I think I am going to make it.  I am just taking time to rest and heal.

Here is what Dr. S.  said:
1) There was very, very mild endometriosis  on my fallopian tubes.  He lasered that off.
2) There was a lot of scar tissue from a previous surgery.  He lasered that off.  FYI, when I was born the tubes that connect my bladder to my kidneys didn't go in at an angle like they were supposed to.  They were straight up and down causing me to have bladder/kidney infections for the first several years of my life.  I had surgery to correct that right before I turned 4....hence the scar tissue.
3) He flushed my fallopian tubes with a dye to make sure they were all clear. 
4)  He lasered holes into my ovaries to help remove the cysts I have from PCOS, and to help shrink my ovaries (they are the size of my uterus and they are supposed to be smaller).
5) He gave me before and after pictures which are kind of gross and I don't really know what they are all of so I will spare you.

So after all of that, I am home, resting, Paul is being such a dear and taking care of me, and I am waiting patiently for things to return back to normal.

Thank you so much for your prayers.  Even those of you that I don't know who are praying.  I truly appreciate it!

Monday, April 19, 2010

An Update...

So along with preparing for adoption, we have been trying to get pregnant for several years.  Throughout those years we have had to change doctors because one doctor thought nothing was wrong with me a having 2 periods a year,  I have been diagnosed with PCOS and had a miscarriage. It seems like it has taken awhile to get here, but I am now sitting at the point where my doctor wants to know if something else is preventing conception.  My first instinct was to just give up, and focus on finishing the school year and getting into our new house.  But as I talked with my doctor it seems that there might be something else going on...endometriosis.

As we talked it became very clear that he has a plan and given my symptoms he wants to take care of it.  So his recommendation is a laparoscopy.  Basically I go in, he makes a small incision, fills my abdomen with carbon dioxide, looks for any signs of endometriosis, lasers it off, checks to see that the fallopian tubes are clear, if not, clears them, and then lasers some cysts out of my ovaries.  All of that and I am supposed to be in good enough shape to run on Sunday.

So we decided to move forward with it since insurance is covering it, and I will go in on Thursday, have the procedure and hopefully I will be fixed!  I'm praying, and I would appreciate yours too.  I am always a little nervous about general anesthesia...

Until next time...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Easter Weekend and a New House

Over Easter we went to Mineola to visit Paul's side of the family, and we had a wonderful time.  God has truly blessed me with the BEST in-laws ever!  I know you may think yours are better, but I am telling you I feel more loved when I am with them, and I feel like they have always been part of my family.  They ROCK!

I also really like that we are the only aunt and uncle that Clara and Grady have so Clara gets SUPER excited to see us.  I'm positive Grady does too, but he just has a hard time expressing it as he is just 2 1/2 months old.  I got lots of Grady snuggles and Clara and I had a lot of fun playing, walking outside, and building a city with the foam toys Grandmother got for bath time.  (She wanted me to go with her for bath time).  She has such a precious spirit, and is fixing to turn 2, and I am constantly amazed by how caring she is.  She wants to make sure that Grady has his pacifier whenever he cries, she does an amazing job "organizing" and "cleaning" which I am sure she got from her Grandmother, and she loves to snuggle and give hugs and kisses.  She makes you feel loved and she isn't even 2 yet.  I am so excited to how she grows into the woman that God has created her to be.  

Anyway, while we were there we were fed wonderfully (and Dad C makes the best Charro and Baked Beans I have EVER HAD, and I am positive that it isn't just the bean pot he used).  I also had a chance to make French Onion Soup again and this time with Gruyere cheese.  

Now, I have read a lot about this cheese, and I was so excited to try it.  I tried it before cooking it and it was wonderful, I smelled it after taking it out of the oven and I wondered what I had done to my soup.  But let me say this, once it cooled a little I realized that is some of the BEST cheese I have ever had.  I don't say that lightly...I really have never had cheese that is as good as Gruyere and I am going to only have to use that when I cook something that would take Swiss Cheese.  If you haven't tried it then feel free to come on over and I will make some French Onion Soup and you will see that I am right!!

On to more exciting things, we have put our house on the market (if you know ANYONE who is looking in South Austin PLEASE send them by), and we have put a contract to build in Buda.  We went to decorating today, and I am SO EXCITED about this new house I can't wait to move in.  I will try to take pictures through the process and post some pictures soon of some of the options we chose.  I think you will like them!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I haven't blogged in awhile...

Obviously I haven't blogged in awhile or updated with pictures that I said I would.  I will one day.  I haven't been cooking least not anything new because frankly what I want to eat changes from moment to moment, and I frequently think about something and want to throw up just thinking about it.  Very distressing.  I am thinking that my kiddos at school who keep their hands in their mouths throughout the day are making me sick!!  It stinks. 

Okay, on to more exciting news. Paul and I have been attending Foster/Adopt training at church, and WE LOVE IT!!  We started this adventure thinking that we wanted kiddos under the age of 5 and we would take a sibling group of 3.  Over the past few weeks God has started working on our hearts!  We will admit that this is very scary to us, but we also know that God will provide us with what we need for whatever age kids He blesses us with.  With that in mind we are taking all restrictions off of what we think we want and we are going to wait for which kiddos God gives us. 

Please pray for us as we are completely unprepared and don't know what to expect at this point.  Also, we need to sell our house and have a really great realtor, but we need to replace flooring in our current house and find a great deal on a new house.

Thank you for your prayers...they are truly appreciated!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sorry Candice...

I have to apologize to Candice because this is going to be another one of those blog posts that is tainted by food!  I am having so much fun trying new recipes that I just can't help telling you about! So here goes...and Candice....stop reading because the following is about food and if you don't want to get hungry don't read!!

Last weekend we went to visit sweet Baby Grady and Big Sister Clara!!  They are both so adorable!  Clara is such a good helper with him, and seems to be adapting well!  She is beginning to want to be around me more often (and not just Grandma or mom and dad)...I have to say I LOVE IT! 

Our contribution to the weekend was cooking!  I love cooking for friends who have just had babies!!  There is something about it that is so rewarding, and I get to hold lots of babies!!!

Anyway, I decided to try a couple of new recipes out that I have had because someone else made them or because it just sounded delicious!!  I decided I would make the cinnamon rolls from Pioneer Woman, and I was surprised by how easy they are to make!  They do take some time because the dough has to rise, but it is easy to do the night before, and if you have a rolling pin made by my fabulous father-in-law then it makes it super easy to roll out the dough (thanks Dad C.!).  By far the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had!!!

For lunch that day we had grilled chicken that was coated in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper (Paul made this up and this is now the only way we season our meats), and Homemade Macaroni Cheese!!!  I have a recipe for this and it contains Velveeta and I am beginning to HATE the taste of Velveeta so I was hoping to find something a little more sophisticated.  I had watched an episode of Real Cooking with Sunny Anderson over the summer, and had this recipe on my mind.  This recipe is very cheesy, and it has pepper jack in it for a KICK of spice.  We couldn't stop eating this!  It was so delicious!  I did have to stop I was getting a little sick from all the cheese, but man oh man I would make this again!!  I encourage you to try it out, and if you don't have time let me know, and I will have you over when I make because no one should have to live with out ever trying this dish!! 

Just get out there and start cooking people!!! I have realized that I am missing out on a lot of food when I just cook the same ole boring dishes over and over again!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Beth wasn't lying!!

My friend Beth has been posting recipes from Smitten Kitchen.  Every time I read one, I salivate over what I think that dish must taste like, and promise myself that very soon I am going to be making my own.

Well, this past week it was my turn to make dessert for our small group.  I contemplated what to make, and Paul put A LOT of pressure on me to make the greatest dessert every made.  As I thought about it I looked through tons of recipes, and then I got up the nerve to try something new.  I searched the Smitten Kitchen website and found the best combination of the two desserts I ADORE.....Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake.  In every bite you get the chewiness of the brownie with the creaminess of the cheesecake.  DELICIOUS!!  (And our small group thought so too!).  I will post a picture soon, but you guys seriously need to try this out!

So Beth, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for introducing me to this site!  You ROCK!!

And Dad C....I know you are reading this...I will make it for you sometime soon!  We can have French Onion Soup and Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake!! 

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Lately I have been craving French Onion Soup...I'm not sure why since I have only had it once, but I really have wanted to try and make it.  Since my friend recently introduced me to Pioneer Woman, I decided that I would check out her website to see if there was a recipe.  What I found has changed my life!  We love it because it is an inexpensive meal (since we used Swiss Cheese instead of Gruyere), we use minimal dishes, and it makes enough for a couple meals worth of big bowls or several small bowls.  I think it would be great with an AWESOME salad!

We made it last night (it takes should start this a couple hours in advance), and then had leftovers for lunch today, and we were not disappointed.  The one thing we realized is that you don't want to over do it with cheese.  Last night we used 2 slices of cheese and this afternoon we used one...SO MUCH BETTER WITH ONLY 1!!!  It true that you can have too much of a good thing.  The only thing I really want to do differently is try it with Gruyere cheese since I have heard so many wonderful things about it, but let me tell you with Swiss Cheese it is simply amazing.  Check it out, and check out the rest of her website as there are TONS of great recipes that I can't wait to try out.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

He's Here, He's Here!!!-UPDATED!!!

Our nephew, Grady James Coppinger, was born yesterday (January 19, 2010) at 3:09pm.  He is 6lbs 12oz, and he is as cute as a button.  Please pray that BIG sister Clara adjusts well.  Hopefully, we will get to go see him SOON!!  Thanks Friends!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Adoption UPDATE!! and a few other things...

Well, as I sit here watching "24" with my husband I have been checking out this new website that of friend of mine sent  All I have to say is that EVERYTHING that she has on that website looks ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!  I want to make it all!  My friend made some cinnamon rolls for small group from this website and the cinnamon rolls were DELICIOUS!! You know they have to be good if I am using all caps right?!?!  Anyway, just check it won't be disappointed!

In other important news...if you have gone to check out my friend Beth's blog you have noticed that she sells some ABSOLUTELY AMAZING items that she makes.  She has donated some items to Craft Hope to help raise money for the people in Haiti...PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE check it out and see if there is anything you would like to purchase so that we can help out those who are really struggling right now.

Finally, we have decided to change Adoption Agencies.  A friend of mine had heard GREAT things about another agency, and the agency we were working with just started to make us feel like they were more interested in placing children wherever than making sure it was the BEST placement for the child.  We are now going to be working with Pathways, and will begin our training in February!

Life is busy, but is so much FUN!!!  God is doing some AMAZING things!!

Love all of you readers!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

I am so grateful for the beginning of a new year. It reminds me of how the new beginning I have in Christ. This year I am going to focus on being more joyful, and grateful for the blessings God has given me. I am excited about what God is going to do in our family this year!!!

A friend of mine posted some resolutions on her blog and then asked her readers to post their resolutions as a comment. I think this is a great idea so I am asking you to do the same. I really would like to be able to pray for you to meet these goals this year too!!

My 2010 resolutions:
1) Gain a better understanding of who God is as I read through the Bible daily.
2) Understand more about Sustainable Living, and begin shopping for what is in season and at Farmer’s Markets, using products that are good for the enviroment, supporting local businesses, and support businesses that are helping us not hurting us.
3) Love my students the way God loves me.
4) Get to know my neighbors.
5) Love the kiddos that God brings into our home through adoption.
6) Become more healthy through eating foods that are better for me and exercising regularly.

So what have you resolved to do?

P.S. My friend is Beth, and she has amazing recipes, tips on sustainable living, and an Etsy shop where she is selling some of her creations (purses, jewlery, etc). She is absolutely amazing so please check it out, and if you see some thing that you like please purchase it! These items are very well made, and affordable!