Monday, January 26, 2015

It Could Be So Different

Reflection is a good thing.  Looking back on where you have been and what the Lord has done is always a good exercise. 

I'm sitting in my quiet house tonight with 2 sleeping kids with my hand on my stomach feeling the baby in my womb move around.  Ryan is out of town on a business trip.  He never travels so this is a strange occurrence for me.  And as I sit here by myself, I can't help but think of what it would be like if he weren't here.

Ryan and I met when we were very young.  I was a freshman in college and he was a junior.  Neither of us really knew who we were.  We were starry eyed teenagers.  Well I was.  He was an old man at the age of 20!  In all practicality, he was the only boyfriend I ever had (those boyfriends that lasted 2 months in high school just don't count).

We got engaged when I had just turned 21.  On February 5th 15 years ago, we got married at the ages of 22 and 24. 

As I look forward to our 15th anniversary next week, I'm just struck by the Lord's goodness to us.  We both had relationships with God when we got married.  But we didn't really know God.  We were not just young in age, but young in our faith.  We both had grown up in the church, but we didn't really have a firm grasp on the character of God and our own character and our own imperfections.

Over the past 15 years we have dealt with our share of good times and bad.  We have moved over 600 miles away and back again.  We have endured bad jobs.  We have celebrated great jobs.  We have adopted dogs and watched as those dogs got old and died.  We have been to weddings.  We have been to funerals.  We have had children.  We have lost children. 

And now here we are.  Closer than ever.  And I can't help but ask why.  My only answer has to be grace and grace that can only come from a Heavenly Father who loves us so very much.  As we have been through all those things, the best part is actually watching each other grow in Christ and knowing that we are walking this path together.  It's because of His graciousness that we are here.  Oh how different it could be. 

And as we cling to Him in all things, I can't help but be reminded of the scripture that our wedding was based around.  We built our rings around it.  We have built our lives around it.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


This pregnancy has been hard.  Everything from the morning sickness, to the exhaustion, to the emotional stress has been harder.  I'm not saying this is the hardest pregnancy that anyone has every experienced, but it's been my hardest.

I've been in counseling since before I even got pregnant.  I was having a hard time getting pregnant after the loss of the twins and I needed some biblical counsel.

The other night I was putting Ainsley to bed and she asked me to feel the baby.  The baby has been moving a good bit and Ainsley loves to put her hand on my belly and connect with her new sibling.  As she put her hand on my belly, I told her that the baby wasn't moving.  As I thought about it, I couldn't remember when the baby moved last, which is unusual since this baby is active. 

I didn't say anything to her or even to Ryan.  I just moved past it for their sake.  By the time I got to the couch about 45 minutes later, I was in a complete panic attack.  I started freaking out.  The fear gripped me.  It took a hold of me and started to strangle every breath out of me.

Did I pray?  No.  I just sat there and let the fear grip me.  About 30 minutes later, there was movement.  And all was fine again. 

But was it really.  Why do I do that?  Why do I let this fear get a hold of me?

God does give us encouragement though.  I was reading in my Bible the next day about Peter walking on the water.  I got to thinking about how he had just seen Jesus feed 5000 people and He was standing on the water right in front of him.  And yet he was fearful.  In the midst of great miracles and great evidence of a God who loves him, Peter was still full of fear.  He began to sink.  And yet, Jesus in His great mercy gave Peter his hand and pulled him back up. 

Isn't that just what God does for us?  We know Him.  We trust Him, mostly.  And when we start to fear and doubt, He reaches for us.  He gives us the encouragement we need, when we need it.  He may rebuke us for our lack of faith, but He is there.  Waiting to rescue us.

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” - Matthew 14:31

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