Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Needing help...

Alright, this picture is not exactly the picture that best represents what the Lord has been teaching me lately but it is so cute so I will try to make it work...

Since having Zoee, I have been trying so hard to still spend a good amount of time loving the Lord through reading His word and prayer. Sometimes He will just give me great times of prayer when I am rocking her and listening to music... it has been such a blessing because I know that I need time with Him if I am going to be a good wife and mom and daughter to the Lord.

I have been reading through the book of Acts lately and there is something that has really been popping out to me as I have read it. Just seeing how much the disciples strengthened and encouraged one another is amazing to me. Acts often says that the body of Christ met constantly together to hear the word taught, to sing praises, to help one another out, and even just to eat and have fellowship together. I really think this is something that the American church is lacking but one area where I feel so blessed by God in our community up here. I LOVE the fellowship that I have with the girls in our student ministry and the love that our congregation has for one another.

When a woman at our church has a new baby (or if anyone in the church has a major surgery) they are put on the meal list for about 2 weeks where their family receives home-cooked meals almost every day. This was such a blessing to our family. I just felt so shower with love from the body of Christ in this way. It was so neat to have my family provided for in a time where I really did not have the energy to make them a nice meal. I really feel like this is what the Lord meant by the body of Christ loving and serving one another. I am excited to be a part of the meals ministry when other ladies in our church start having their babies!!

Another way I feel so blessed is by the girls in our student ministry. I LOVE having them over every Sunday night. I had to miss a few weeks after Zoee was born and it was just so sad not to get to see them. We have been back on for the past two Sunday evenings and though it has been a little hectic with me having 2 kids in the house- it has been so wonderful to fellowship with these sisters of mine. I LOVE hearing how the girls are growing in the Lord. I am always encouraged and convicted by the things that the Lord is doing in their lives. I love that the girls get to come to our home and help me with the kids. They all love on Asher so much and are starting to do the same with Zoee. This is how the church should be- at least that's what I get from Acts. The people in Acts did not just go to church once a week and see each other for an hour- they did life together. That's what I feel like I have with the girls up here and I love it. I am so thankful to the Lord for our student ministry.

I am constantly amazed by the Lord as He continues to show our family and our church that the body of Christ is more than just a Sunday worship service.

So, how does this line up with this funny picture of Asher? As cute as he looks here, he eventually needed help getting out of the dryer- he could not do it alone!! I had to call Sonny to help him because when he was ready to get out (after lots of time playing in there), I was feeding little Zoee. The body of Christ needs to help one another- to strengthen each other when we are weak and be there for each other just as Sonny was there to help his little guy get out of the dryer!! I know that was a stretch but it was worth a shot... =)

Lessons from Zoee...

Wow!! Having 2 kids under the age of 2yrs old is CRAZY!! Life has been one big blur in the month of November. Sonny and I really wanted to make sure that we are documenting the lessons that we learn from our kids because they are just so precious to us and they teach us so much about our walk with the Lord

Last night before the cold medicine kicked in and knocked us out, Sonny felt like the Lord wanted to teach us something through our little, always-hungry newborn. Sonny told me that he saw a connection between Zoee and the newborn Christian. Just as Zoee has to constantly be eating to grow and become mature, so too should the new Christian (and all Christians for that matter) be feasting on God's word. It is also an interesting time of self sacrifice when you have a newborn. They really do not offer much- they just pretty much take. They require so much giving from their parents and they will really not start to "return" the love until a little later when they can start laughing and eventually saying those awesome words "i love you." This is how it seems to be with us and the Lord. When we first come to Him, all we really do is take. We are (or should be) soaking up His word and gaining nutrition from Him but we really do not start to give back to Him until we have become more mature (at least that is the goal). I can see this so much in my walk. Though in the beginning, though I was trying to give back to the Lord, there are so many things that I did as a new Christian that probably required so much of His patience and grace (just as Zoee at this season requires SO much patience and grace).

1 Peter 2:1-2 says, "Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord."

This is the goal- that we should be longing for the word like little Zoee longs for her milk so that we can grow and become mature in the Lord- able to love Him and please Him as children do their parents. She literally feasts about every two hours- what would our lives look like if we feasted on God's word (even for just 15 minutes) every 2 hours or so?

Alright- the babies should be waking up soon. I am SO surprised that I was able to sit down and write this without either of them waking up!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Zoee's arrival

I was so hoping and praying that our little girl would be here before her due date. I was honestly feeling pretty yucky as my stomach was HUGE and it was hard to do most normal things.

Well, here is how her arrival story went. I woke up on Wednesday, November 3rd and thought that my water might have broken. I had been feeling contractions for a few weeks but they were getting much stronger but still not consistent. We spent the day just trying to get things done and get ready in case we were going to be heading to the hospital. I had heard from the midwives that I needed to just do as many normal things as possible and not focus on trying to hurry her up- so that's what we did. By late afternoon we were pretty sure things were moving along well so we decided to go ahead and take Asher to my parent's house.

We went to the hospital about 7pm on Wednesday and I was only about 3 cm dilated. So.... we started walking.... and walking... all around St. Luke's hospital- hoping to get things moving. We had heard that the second labor would be easier than the first but unfortunately that did not happen in our case. Asher's labor and Zoee's were both very long and hard for me. I went into "active labor" at about 9pm and at 6:30 the next morning, I was at 9cm and out of energy. We decided to go ahead and get the epidural. Just like with Asher's birth, once the epidural set in, Sonny and I took a nap (yes- that's how powerful the epidural is) and at 7:30 we were woken up by the midwife that delivered Asher, Titi. It was so refreshing to see her (the other midwife that had been with us for most of the labor had to go with another girl to get a c-section). Titi gently said, "okay, nap time is over- let's have a baby!" I only had to push for a few minutes and Zoee was here- at 7:53 am, weighing 9 lbs 15 oz!

Life with 2 kids has been quite an adjustment. Thankfully, we have had TONS of help. Our wonderful friends, Bertha and Kaitlyn Burke, came and spent the night with us to help us with the kids one night and both Sonny's mom and my mom have spent days helping us to adjust to life with the two of them. So far, Zoee has been pretty easy. Asher was a very tough baby- he had reflux really bad and spit up a ton! I prayed often for 4 things regarding Zoee- that she would be peaceful, joyful, a good sleeper, and healthy. So far, the Lord has been kind enough to answer all of those requests. She is a great sleeper but does not like it quiet. For her to sleep we have to have on the TV or music- it's funny!

Asher is doing well adjusting to life with her. He has gotten so much time with Sonny that I do not think he has really noticed Zoee much. He is LOVING his time with Daddy. It has been precious to see how much their relationship has grown since Zoee came.

Sonny and I are doing our best to get rest and still spend time with one another and time with the Lord. It takes a lot more effort to make sure that our down time is well spent but we certainly are learning a lot through all of this.

So far, the main thing that the Lord has been teaching me is to cling fast to Him. I have been reading the Psalms a lot, especially Psalm 119 and I see how much the Lord needs to be my shield, my protector, my everything. When I am weak (and strong) I must still love and seek Him with all of my heart. Saying that I am too busy or tired to seek Him is not okay. Even though life is somewhat chaotic, my pursuit of Christ is worth more than anything. I am so thankful that the Lord is near when we call on Him. =)

We are so thankful for all of the prayers from friends and family. Zoee truly is a joy and blessing.