Monday, January 26, 2009

Choice. What Exactly Does That Mean?

I have struggled in years past on making decisions. I have had the hardest time choosing who to date, what to wear, and how to fit in. I have always been a people pleaser. I want to make sure that everyone likes me and have always tried to be friends, or at least civil, with every person I have ever met. However, I have had some serious issues with making my own decisions.

In high school, I seemed to always follow the crowd. I'm not proud of that now, but it is what it was. I tended to do whatever everyone else was doing, be it a good decision or not. Cigarettes, alcohol, unhealthy relationships (are just a few)... I did all of those simply because I felt as though I had to to maintain my status among my peers.

It seems as though that society wants me to do the same thing now that I am an adult. I am supposed to accept what culture says is right, and I am encouraged to raise my future children in that same manner. Five years ago, I would have had no problem with that, but my convictions have changed since my last few birthdays. I have learned that the only person I need accepting from is my Savior, Jesus Christ. I have come to terms with the fact that my opinions aren't your typical ones because I stand firmly on the fact that God dictates most all of them.

Now, I'm not saying that all of my decisions are Christ-centered or even Scripturely-based. I usually fail at being the person God sees me as, the one He saved when I was a mere ten years old. However, as a wife, former teacher, young woman, parent-to-be, Christian, I have to stand on His Word, even when that means I don't agree with my friends, relatives, and even this United States in which I live.

Decisions are always hard. God tends to make them especially easy. That's probably why I've been so torn lately over whether or not to even state my opinion regarding the state our country is in. Just the other day, I made a comment about not voting for Obama but praying wholeheartedly for him. That is my duty as a citizen in this great nation; I support him because I have to uphold my service, most importantly, as a Christian. I also commented that I wasn't particularly thrilled with a particular policy he had already made in his four, short days as President. That's my right. I am allowed to stand for the same things my FATHER would.

Choice? I'm not sure what that means anymore in the age I live in. People make choices all of the time that are so far away from what I would do. That's not the point. The fact of the matter is that every choice we make will affect others. There are consequences and reactions to those choices, and yet, this world tells us that every choice can be fixed.

Bailouts. Abortion. Homosexuality. All of these are an "okay" choice today in this society. IT IS A TOTAL LIE. You can choose any of these, and the outcome will still be the same. We, this nation, this people, grow further and further away from God with every CHOICE we seem to be making. Why not make the choice of saving money and not spending what we do not have? Why not make the choice to remain abstinent until marriage? Why not make the choice to live as God would have us, as one man and one woman commited for life? WHY NOT?!

Those are the choices I wish I would have been taught in school (not just at home or in church). I wish that my culture hadn't bombarded me with commercials and movies that told me it was completely acceptable to live however I chose. I wish that I would have known then what I know now. Why does this happen? Because we often tell kids and each other that going against the Word of God is OKAY even when it's not. Walk into a classroom of 6-7 year olds; they'll tell you what sex is, what drugs are, and what gay means. They know already, and it's our fault. We've fallen away from God, and we have chosen things that were never His intention.

I have always tried to keep this blog strictly as my daily personal experiences, and I have never intentionally tried to offend anyone by the thoughts I've written so openly. However, I imagine this particular post may offend some, and even turn others away from reading. Let me say that it is not my purpose to offend you or upset you to anger. I simply write because I am hurt, disappointed, and worried about the future my child is being born into. I appreciate your reading, and do not intend to make this blog a political one. I simply want to be one who's leading others toward Christ. If I have succeeded in doing so, then to God be all of the glory.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This Road I'm On... (Birthdays Come and Go)

Like the cars I have driven and places I have traveled, it seems like things are really different this year. When I look back at where I was last year on my twenty-fifth birthday, I realize that God was just preparing me for the year ahead. From being pregnant with my first child not knowing I'd lose it and making school my first priority unaware I would be leaving it, God was just getting me ready for the road ahead. I was naive and expected everything to simply fall into the seat beside me. That's not exactly what He had in store for my journey.

God has made clear His path for me. I know exactly where I am supposed to be on this birthday. Yes, I have lost a child, left a job, longed for a Master's degree, and questioned whether I had any faith at all. That's what all happened in this past year. God makes things so uncertain, yet His directions are so easy to read. It's just I never really took the time to read them. Last year, I would just set out on any trip I pleased without once looking at what may be in front of me.

Here I am, twenty-six years old today, and I have learned that the road I was on isn't the same as the road I'm headed down now. My life is focused on the things it should be. I'm not concerned about a career, furthering it, or even worried about my faith. I have no choice but to put complete trust in the Lord at this point. Everything is different now. I am again pregnant, yet this time around, I actually know that my baby boy is living and kicking. I stay at home, only because the Lord has allowed me to do so. I read His word, and I see His face in every situation I face. This journey is worth all I have.

I'm thankful that I'm not always in the driver's seat. Sometimes, it is an amazing feeling to simply be a passenger and allow God to take the wheel. He's led me every mile thus far, and I have no doubt that He's continuing to do so now... Birthdays, they come and go, but my God, He is forever.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Things I've Actually Done...

My high school friend, Jessica, tagged me into doing this, so I must oblige. I was surprised at how many of these things I have done, but still, I have a lot of living to do...

I will tag a few friends at the bottom of this post, and they will do the same. You must copy and paste the list below into your own post, and then make bold (and/or italicize) all the things you have done. Here we go:

Started your own blog
Slept under the stars
Played in a band
Visited Hawaii
Watched a meteor shower
Given more than you can afford to charity
Been to Disneyland/world
Climbed a mountain

Held a praying mantis
Sang a solo
Bungee jumped

Visited Paris
Watched a lightning storm at sea
Taught yourself an art from scratch
Adopted a child
Had food poisoning
Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
Seen the Mona Lisa in France
Slept on an overnight train
Had a pillow fight
Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
Built a snow fort

Held a lamb
Gone skinny dipping
Been to a Broadway show in NY
Ran a Marathon
Been in three states at once
Ridden in a gondola in Venice
Seen a total eclipse
Watched a sunrise or sunset

Hit a home run
Been on a Cruise
Seen Niagra Falls in Person
Visited the birthplace of your Ancestors
Seen an Amish community
Taught yourself a new language
Had enough money to be truly satisfied
Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
Gone rock climbing
Seen Michelangelo’s David
Sung karaoke
Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
Visited Africa
Walked on a beach by moonlight
Been transported in an ambulance

Had your portrait painted
Gone deep sea fishing
Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
Kissed in the rain
Played in the mud

Been to Grace Kelley’s grave in Monaco
Gone to a drive-in theater
Been in a movie

Visited the Great Wall of China
Started a business
Taken a martial arts class
Swam in the Mediterranean Sea
Visited Russia
Served at a soup kitchen
Sold Girl Scout cookies
Gone whale watching
Gotten flowers for no reason
Donated blood, platelets or plasma

Gone sky diving
Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
Bounced a check
Saved a favorite childhood toy

Visited the Lincoln Memorial
Eaten Caviar
Pieced a quilt
Stood in Times Square
Toured the Everglades
Been fired from a job
Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
Broken a bone
Been on a speeding motorcycle
Seen the Grand Canyon in person

Published a book
Visited the Vatican
Bought a brand new car
Walked in Jerusalem
Had your picture in the newspaper
Read the entire Bible

Visited the White House
Killed and prepared my own meat
Had chickenpox
Saved someone’s life
Sat on a jury
Met someone famous
Joined a book club
Lost a loved one
Had a baby (I am about to)
Seen the Alamo in person
Swam in the Great Salt Lake
Been involved in a law suit
Owned a cell phone
Been stung by a bee

Ok, now create your own post of "Things You Have Done" if you are tagged below:



Jessica K.


Friday, January 16, 2009


Twenty-six years ago this week, my mother had little idea that I was breech. She went for her last appointment with the doctor before having me, and looking back, she realizes now that the doctor was actually feeling my rear end instead of my head. She was nine months pregnant with her first child, yet she had no idea the seriousness of what was at stake.

Twenty-six years ago next week, when my parents arrived at the hospital, my mom was surprised when the doctor told her that she needed to deliver C-section. Turns out that there was no other option, and because of the position I was in, my hip was dislocated. For six months following my birth, I wore a brace to ensure that my hip would heal correctly.

Twenty-six weeks today, and I cannot imagine what this tiny being within me is like. I cannot fathom what his facial expressions might be or what bothers him within the womb. I cannot help him when he's uncomfortable, and I cannot soothe him the way I wish I could just yet. Oh, I feel his kicks, turns, and swirls, and I cannot understand why God would bless me this much.

Next week I'll be turning twenty-six years old, and I'll be twenty-six weeks along in my second pregnancy with my first known son. It's unreal to me. It is truly awe-inspiring. There are moments, like my mother, in which I wish I knew what was taking place within. As I've endured the loss of the first pregnancy, I have learned that I love not knowing. For if I did, my emotions would overwhelm me and I wouldn't enjoy this the way I am. I am blessed. I am incredibly blessed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Worrying Gets the Best of Me...

I'm getting anxious. Really anxious. I worry over every quiet moment when I cannot feel this baby moving, and I worry when he is... I feel our tiny boy's kicks, and I get the most overwhelming feeling that I'm not prepared for what the Lord's about to do in my life. Yet at the same time, I know that the Lord has equipped me for this time and this place, and He's allowing me this opportunity. However, I cannot help but be nervous over all of this.

I've been in this position before. Not the one where I have only 14 weeks left until I give birth, but the one in which I am ridiculously overwhelmed with a certain situation. It happened just about a year ago. With all the determination in the world of a child following her Daddy, I went to my principal and told him I would not be returning in the fall. Doesn't seem like a big deal when I say it that simply, but the months and weeks beforehand were nothing small.

I struggled with a burden for 6 months. For 6 months, beginning in July of 2007, I questioned what God was telling me. I doubted Him when He made me to feel as a stranger in my own classroom. I was confused at why every time I moved my room around, it never satisfied me. It wasn't until January of 2008 that I really believed Him. It took a positive pregnancy test for me to see that God wanted me to stay at home. Then the walls came down, and I realized I was wrong in February when we lost the baby. I couldn't understand why the burden to leave still remained.

That same month, as I had been evaluated while teaching, a dear woman from the Board of Education told me that maybe this wasn't where I needed to be. I couldn't believe she was inviting me to leave teaching. Yet the Lord had been doing so for 6 months, and I still wouldn't listen to Him. That is, until this woman spoke to me for Him. I saw Him looking at me through her beautiful brown eyes, and I knew what I needed to do.

I anticipated telling my principal, but I was so worried about it, I would ball up everytime I saw him coming down the hall. I was frightened to take such a huge leap of faith. I avoided him for almost 3 weeks though I knew what I had to do. I remember I was an emotional mess at the time, and most people walked on eggshells around me due to my fragile demeanor over losing my child. The idea of having to waltz into the principal's office and explain why I'm not coming back terrified me.

With all the anxiety in the world, I remember knocking on his door in March 2008. I remember sitting down uncomfortably and shaking uncontrollably. Yet when the words came, they were so easy. Like something I had rehearsed, the Lord just put my resignation in my lap. He gave me what it was I needed to say. I remember mentioning that the Lord wanted me to leave, and I didn't want to question Him. I also recall my principal saying that he respected me for doing so. It was an honor, and all of the worry just melted away...

I imagine it won't be that simple this time around. It is a child I'm anxious over this time and not just a job. I worry that I won't know how to feed him or love him or even teach him right from wrong. I worry that the labor will be too much or that I won't realize it's time to go to the hospital. I worry that my marriage may suffer at learning how to love both a baby and a husband. Worried, that's what I am.

At the same time, I'm completely humbled because I know that IT IS THE LORD who leads me. I know that He will give me the strength to carry this child. I know He'll give me the words to speak as I teach this child about Him. I know that He'll encourage me to love as I should, and He will give me all that I need when the time is right. Why worry?!

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:33-34

Sometimes, it just gets the best of me. Without a job, without a church home, and with a baby on his way, I cannot help but question God's reasoning. But, as my husband once told me before we were married, "Worry is a lack of faith." I'll be honest, my faith surely isn't my strong point, yet with every kick, every prayer being raised, and every check in the mail, I realize that God truly is in control. He's begging me to stop worrying and start anticipating... It is what He has given me: a time for every situation under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). It's my time to let go and really LET GOD.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Can You See Love?

As a Kindergarten teacher for two years, I was asked some of the most hilarious, yet complex questions from a number of five-year-olds. "Who made the world?" was one of my favorites. "Who is God?" was a more complicated one to answer. The one I will never forget was, "Is Jesus God's brother?" There were days I found myself so wrapped up in answering their sweet, profound questions that we hadn't even moved off of the carpet into our desks. I challenged myself to make sense of these thoughts in their little heads.

There were days we talked about God quite a bit. Other days, He wasn't mentioned at all. I wanted so badly for each little heart to know who God was, yet in the public classroom setting, there were only so many things I could say. That in itself broke my heart. I knew God was the one giving me the opportunity to speak about Him, and sometimes I actually discovered that maybe, just maybe I had taken our carpet conversations a little too far...

It hasn't been until recently that I have looked back on their questions and really thought them through. I do have a child of my own on the way, and I imagine his little mind will come up with questions like theirs. However, there are days when I have my own childish questions for God Himself. Just in the past week, as our dear friends buried their baby and I felt mine kicking as we said our goodbyes, I have ultimately wondered if love can be seen. Seems like a simple enough question, but it has overwhelmed my mind as I've seen babies pass away and felt babies leap within the womb.

I suppose what we always hear about love is that it is an action or a feeling. Oh, and I completely agree with that, but can I see it? Is it something I can view from a distance or look on with pure delight? How do I know that God's love is here when there are moments I don't feel it at all?

I have SEEN it...
I saw it in the eyes of a young father praying over his sick baby.
I saw it in a church filled with people to pay their respects to that same child.
I saw it in the way the devastated mother remained close to her husband.
I saw it in the tears the preacher cried.
I saw it in the face of my husband when he mentioned Ethan this week.
I saw it in my father's truck as he drove to Kentucky to buy my shower decorations.
I saw it just below my heart, as my stomach continues to grow.
I saw it when my husband felt his baby Elijah kick for the very first time.
I saw it when, in my daily reading, God spared Noah and his family.
I saw it in the way God watered the ground yesterday.
I saw it this morning when I looked outside and saw the sun.

Sometimes, it is hard to notice and impossible to feel. Sometimes, it's so evident that I cannot help but laugh. Sometimes, I just wish I could explain how I am learning how much my God loves us. He shows us all the time. It's in everything He does, creates, and gives us. Do you ever feel as though He's forgotten you? Maybe you feel like He's punishing you. Does it bother you that everything is going wrong? Maybe it's all alright, and it's exactly how God intends it to be. Maybe His love is shining through the pain, and you are too stubborn to see it. Maybe it's you who's missing what He's giving you... A world full of love. Just take the time to see it (because you can).

In Loving Memory of Brady Xavier Hines
10/14/08 - 12/31/08