Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Root of Bitterness

Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12:15

 WARNING: Therapeutic blogging ahead..... this post may make no sense and be an emotional vomiting of my experiences.

Okay guys....I am struggling. Without going into specific detail or giving names. I have a root of bitterness in my soul.

I look back over the generations of my family that I know personally and those I have known through stories about their life and as best I can tell this "character trait" has plagued my family for over 5 generations. Here is the tricky thing with each person down the years it has reared its head in different ways with each different personality. It comes from different sources in our life experiences but basically it is handed down as a way to cope with life's struggles. We get bitter, we stew, we hold on to it tighter than we hold to life and we lie to ourselves that it doesn't have a hold on us.

Speaking of the ones I know one generation blames his mother as a result held on to anger and resentment and no WOMAN was gonna tell him what to do or anyone else for that matter. One generation blames her father for not loving her enough, treating her like trash and the rest of the world for just not giving her a fair shake in general. Me, well... I blame someone too. I blame this person for stealing my childhood. For causing me so much pain and anguish. For never stepping up and fulfilling the role God intended. That even now this person is so selfish they would rather make decisions that send them barreling toward their grave than grow up and take responsibility.

Here is the thing though.... we are all right in some way or another. The clincher is that it doesn't matter. I can't fix this person or what they did (perceived or real) to me. I have cried, screamed, begged, blamed and in my teenage years even cursed at God to take this, heal us, remove this pain. He didn't. I see now He is using it to build my character. If he took this situation it would rear its ugly head in another way or situation down the line. These emotions have followed me my whole life and even if the person goes away the stronghold in my heart will be the open door the enemy needs to hinder my walk. If I continue to deal with this in my flesh my children will see how I handle these situations (which by the way I handle wildly inappropriately). They will internalize it and most likely one or all of them will bear this beast of burden in their own lives. I may even personally pay the consequences as they become adults.

I think of this situation and think why Lord?! You see how this person is. You see how blind and wrong and horrible they are, why don't you fix this? Today He plainly spoke to me:

" I know. this isn't about them....it is about you. I hung on the cross and as they crucified me I prayed God's forgiveness on them. You have to deal with someone mistreating you and you can't even crucify your flesh. You are hurting and can't have compassion for their hurt. You call on me but when my answer doesn't agree with your anger and bitterness you don't obey. I send my still small voice and you scream so you don't have to hear it. I send you my grace and you won't receive it. This is the rubber meeting the road. This is where you die to self and take up my cross.
 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.Luke 9:23
I have plans for you. To be a witness, to be a testimony, to raise a generation to me that is free from the curses that have plagued yours and those before you. Do the hard work and be an example to those that follow."

I seriously cried. I am still crying. I want to hate and be bitter. I don't want to let go of this hurt that is mine and rightfully so. I am entitled. Yet no, In Christ I have no rights. I was bought with a price.

 1 Corinthians 7:22-24
22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.
23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

This root is keeping me from growing in God because when I am tilling my heart and breaking up my fallow ground when I come to this I negotiate around it. I never get at the root and it keeps growing rotten fruit that taints the whole garden of my testimony.

I have no idea what I will do. I have no idea how I will get beneath the soil and break up this root and remove it. I have no choice. If I don't my children will pay the price. I will pay the price for not heeding God's word for me. I can't control this person that knows just the right buttons. I can't make them choose the right way or help themselves. I can't change the way they relate to me or try and manipulate me.

I can see it for what it is. I can call on God every step of the way for the grace He wants to give me...
here is the verse again:
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12:15.
 I can teach my children by example that life is hard but you control your response. I can teach them you can't control what others do or say. You can't hate or be bitter because someone does you wrong. I suppose for most this is common sense. That is the thing about a root of bitterness though. It stunts your growth in that area and blinds you to your own immaturity. Only God and his word can awaken you.

 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

I won't be perfect. I won't do the right thing every time. I believe though that God has spoken this to me to break a bond and a curse. I am ready to do the work and go through the growing pains to serve Him where He leads. I have to for my salvation and for my children I can't let this affect or infect me anymore. This dear person may die and worse die not serving God because of their decisions but I can't fix it. I can pray and do what I can and leave the rest. I can stop relinquishing my power and my right standing with God by my reactions. I can choose a better way and hopefully pass the blessings that come from obedience to my children instead of the curse of bitterness and disobedience. Please sisters PRAY for me.. I don't know if anyone else has had these issues of wanting to forgive but holding onto bitterness for dear life even when you know He is calling you to much higher an obligation.   If you comment I will pray for you!!! What I do know is He said he would be with us all the way..
 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deut 31:6

Bless you and may you feel His presence each day.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Turning Off And Tuning In

Several months back we took part in a corporate fast in our church. As a family we shut off the Internet, television and texting. We took that time to add in a daily family devotion centered around fasting and praying.

I was surprised that not having the media didn't really have an effect at first. I realized though that I was filling the time I had spent before on facebook or watching television to do other projects. In and of itself there is nothing wrong with that. It's when I quieted the inner noise, the to-do's, and excuses I realized what I was doing.

Being a stay at home mom who rarely spends time with people who have been out of diapers more than a couple of years. I was using media to fix emotions. Loneliness, boredom, frustration and overload were all on the list of things I didn't want to experience. I avoided with television and escaped with Facebook. 

 It even took most of the forty days we were fasting to get started  really being open to God filling those gaps. It was a slow process of weaning myself from technology. Realizing I was relevant whether or not I posted on Facebook. That I wasn't alone in the silence that fell when the television was off.

Then it happened. While I was cleaning one day I heard my son playing in his room quoting word for word one of the bible stories I had been reading to them. Then came another, then a scripture verse we had been singing. I found I was doing it too.

We started eating together in the kitchen, talking to one another. My husband and I started playing games in the evenings. We were enjoying one another. The decibel level in the house dropped. My children's attention spans started growing and so did their patience. Mind you they are four and two and a half now so this alone is a miracle.

It is amazing how the Lord came and filled the places we emptied of distraction. Now months later we  do watch a movie here or there. I have Facebook and obviously blog, but we have become much more aware of how we control media so that it doesn't control us.

Since we have added some media in we have actually had to stop again and readjust. I think for us we will have to constantly re-evaluate and make sure it is in the right place. Such is life. We should not be afraid to look at things around us and be ever vigilant in keeping the main thing the main thing. This is a Ricky Bobby moment guys if God's not first He is last.

Do you escape through media?

God Bless,


Friday, August 17, 2012

Ignoring the word vs. ignorance of the word

There are often things we do or don't do  because we are ignorant of what God's word says when we are new Christians. When we are made to know what the word says then we repent and vow to do things right the next time. This is ignorance on our part and so we have no ill intent or lack of respect for God's word.

There is however a time in life where we know we are at a crossroads and need to seek God's will for our lives in one area or another and choose not to. This is ignoring God and His word or will for our lives.

I have many times in my life gone through trials, stresses, and frustrations that took me to a place where I was so exhausted I just did not want to read the Bible. When I prayed I either did not have words or the words I spoke I had repeated many times and they simply did not mean what they should.

I have seen friends and family go through trials and known the tone in their voice or the distance in their eyes that lets me know they are in the same place. I hurt when I see it because I know the long list of bad decisions that usually come from that hard hearted place. We discard the right thing for what feels right. I know I am not alone.

God is merciful and He has been so gracious to save me from many consequences. Consequences from bad decisions coming from this place in life.  But in those times I was, whether I wanted to admit it or not, choosing to wallow in my hurt and FEELINGS, rather than seek truth and do the RIGHT thing. Don't be decieved into thinking you can claim later that you didn't know. We may be able to fool friends and family but God specializes in the heart. He created the rythm it makes beating in our chest.

He spoke to my heart and asked me to come spend time with Him so he could heal me of my hurt and carry me to the place He had waiting for me. If He is reaching out to you...... Reach back. No one can walk your journey for you. Each of us has to work out our salvation. At some point you must choose who you will serve. Your own selfish desires or God's will.

If you are enduring a trail in this life and are feeling burnt out and numb inside search your heart. Is it broken before God so that He may mend it or is it a heart of stone? He can replace a stoney heart but we must seek Him and not ignore His plea for our time. Nothing replaces time spent in His word and His presence in prayer. No one can do it for us.

God bless you on your journey.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A psalm of worship: out of the overflow

Sometimes I overflow with love for my savior to the point of exploding! I am not in an extraordinary mood. Things in my life are not perfect in fact many things are the opposite of perfect at the moment. In some things I am drowning in others with God's ability in me I am excelling. However the bible says:.... the joy of the Lord is your strength.. Neh 8:10
It is the joy from the Lord that overcomes circumstances and is the reminder that this is NOT our home. That our circumstances have nothing to do with the Joy we carry inside for the promise of eternity at the feet of our savior. So in that light I would like to share some of my overflow ;0).

If you never gave me another breath or another chance to speak,
of all you've brought into my life and all you mean to me.

Then I'd take the time to write it down so when it's done you'll see,
 you where never overlooked you're the one who set me free.

My heart bleeds at your sacrifice my soul seeks your touch,
If I could only see one face I ache for yours that much.

If all my senses were taken away still I'd know your call,
everything inside me would scream that your my all.

If nothing had a voice if even the sun lost it's rays,
The very rocks beneath my feet would find a voice to praise.

You are my love, my joy, my peace, my heart, my life, my friend,
my keeper, my redeemer, my rewarder in the end.

Without you there would be no light, no end to this encompassing night.

I would pray for your mercy and beg for your grace,
I would weep in your presence and bow before your face.

So if I had no words to speak or had no way to call,
I would simply write, "Dear Lord, Please know you are my all."

Tara Quinn July 2007

Monday, June 18, 2012

Will you give their heart to Jesus?

WARNING: This may be a LITTLE opinionated for some :0)

Those who know me know I am kind of a spaz about my kids. I am an overprotective mom freak! I have that new mom attitude only I have three. Lol, I have relaxed on some things but mostly I err on the side of caution. I only let a handful of people watch my children and I have only been away from them a handful of times. They don't sleep over at other peoples homes. I HATE for other people to drive them anywhere if I'm not with them. (That kinda actually has a basis I won't get into here.)  I am a nazi about them staying close to me in the store or really public places of any kind. Okay you see where I'm goin with this.

I want to honor God in all I do although I fall so very short in almost everything. The one thing that I am desperate to give God full control in is my part in the raising of our children. I scour the word for all things child training. I look at them and marvel at the miracle of soul and life given me to steward. I know that to most people I am probably too wrapped up in my children. To that I would say the time to be wrapped up in them is VERY short and VERY crucial. I don't have to be a grandparent to understand that. I don't have to be very bright to look around at others. To see the joy at having scripturally raised their children or the pain and despair of a life squandered.

Something came up recently that got me to thinking about church and family today. Our family has a position on church that is strange to a lot of people. We have our children from birth sit with us in service. They are to small to understand yet but through the method of  training them to sit and be quiet (and eventually reverent) while the word of God is being taught it ingrains in them a sort of automatic respect for Gods word. In the beginning you see almost no results and you spend more time taking them out to instruct them than you do enjoy the service. Then you don't have to take them out only direct them. Then you need to only to remind them which is MOSTLY where we are at this point with our three and two year old.

So that in and of itself is unusual I am finding. We have recently let our three year old go to children's church because he has shown his ability to sit and act as he should. Since he does stay in service through adult sunday school and through singing. Also there is a time that a child needs to have to listen to another adult that is trusted. All of this is also based on the premise that we teach our children at home on their level. We have devotions and stories and sing songs so they are getting the nourishing milk of the word. We also use the Child Training Bible.

 But that leads to this. I have heard a few times lately with it being VBS season, "Oh my child accepted Jesus at VBS." or "We had X number of children accept Jesus tonight." To which I think oh no! It is wonderful don't get me wrong when a child who understands what he/she is doing receives their savior. But I think why are they doing this with someone other than their parents. In some cases a perfect stranger. If they are "READY" why has this opportunity not come up at home? I think as a parent I would be devastated if my child had that "ah ha!" moment with someone other than my husband or myself. I am wondering if I am the only one who feels this way?!

I am so grateful to have a very loving and understanding pastor who respects our position. He also makes available classes for the children if that is what parents choose for their children. I went to sunday school and children's church as a child and as I mentioned our son goes to children church. I don't mean to say anything against those classes. I just want to give you something to think about when it comes to the salvation of your little blessings. Will the single most important decision your child makes in life be with you?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Not enough and okay with it....... well trying to be :0)

     Since  I have had Mercy it has become abundantly clear that I am not sufficient to be a mom to these children. I mean lets face it becoming a mother brings every character flaw you've ever had into the blinding light of day. I do not have the patience to teach my three year old, potty train my two year old and give all the love a five month old needs. Add in a husband, household, garden and blogging and forget it!

  I have those in my life who totally support me and constantly tell me what a great job I am doing. To those I think, Ha if you only knew how incompetent I really am you wouldn't say that. Then I have others who are constantly "helping" by pinning up pants i put on the kids that may be a little big. Asking if I ever give them water when there is milk in their cups or milk when there is water in there. Why don't I give them juice?

     Then there are those that show up unannounced and find reasons to go to every room in my house and comment on what is done and not done. Yes they really do, just ask my husband. Everyday I think man I have to get this floor swept or Oh No! the laundry is out in the living room waiting to be put away. There is a sink full of dishes in there and the table isn't wiped down from breakfast. What if someone shows up and sees just how crappy I am at this mom, wife, homemaker thing.
     The women in my family are housekeeping wizards! At a great-great aunts funeral the pastor actually said well if there was a messy corner in heaven its clean now! She was the only woman that I can honestly say I would eat off her front porch! Are you kidding me?! Where did that gene go when God was building my DNA? I can't even keep the table a place to eat most days.

     So recently and by recently I mean today. I began thinking after I had a on my knees cry out to Jesus moment. Why do these people bother me? Those that support me know that what good comes out of me is from God. Those that say I'm not enough even if only through their action are right. I am not enough not nearly.  Why can't I be secure in that fact? I am no less because I have to go DAILY sometimes hourly to the cross to get the strength to make it through the day.

     Here is why I think I feel the way I do and why you might also. How many times do you see pinterest boards of a perfect life? How often do you decide someone is the perfect mom because you see their kids all done up for church? Or the perfect housekeeper because when you come have dinner with them the house is pristine, so pristine that it could just never look any other way? How often do you think I am just not fun enough when you see someone post a craft they've done with their kids, not realizing its not like they do this every day.

     There are times when life is just plain hard. Not everything can get done that needs to be done. There is also the trap (yes I have fallen into it more than I can count) of being those people that tear someone down because someone struggles with an area God may have blessed you in.Whether it be cleaning, parenting, wifedom whatever. I think we do it to just feel a moments peace. Peace from the constant inner panic we feel at the massiveness of our call as women.We women put so much pressure on each other to compete to be the best and not show weakness. This is divisive and hurtful but most of all this is not biblical.

Tit 2:3The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
Tit 2:4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Tit 2:5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Pro 31:25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
Pro 31:26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
      We as women need to stick together. We should support each other.We should avoid comparing ourselves to others. If you are further along in one aspect of life encourage a younger woman in that area. Learn to live securely in the fact that we are not enough, we are not perfect and there is only one who is.

     So as God works on my character I am going to try and remember  I don't have to be perfect. Someone has already done that and He is the one I learn from. When things overwhelm me I will take them one day at a time, Eventually I will be transformed in the twinkling of an eye into perfection and today is really not a long time to wait. And the next opportunity God grants me to lift up another mama and tell her how special she is I will do it joyfully. In birth, in motherhood, in child training, in homemaking, or wifedom. Where ever I can serve I will. Thank you to those in my life who edify me and teach me from a Godly perspective.

     So tomorrow is another day. When I have cleaned up pee for the fifth time, answered the sixtieth question my three year old asked in a minute and put things on hold to love on my crying baby, I will breath, I will pray and I will rest securely in the fact that I am not enough.


Monday, May 28, 2012

The Birth Book- Delivery and Deliverance WARNING photos included

Part One- Conner
Part Two- Grace
Part Three- The Education
Part Four- D-day

      Dr. Kristen just happened to be in the office late that day and by the time we got back from getting his check it was 5:30pm Monday, December 19th. They said they would try and fit me in to just come in and they'd see. So while I'm there I am thinking I cannot handle a contraction here in front of anyone. My husband had to take the check to the bank so I was alone and hiding tears. As I came in she had someone in the office and one in the waiting room. The receptionist told me someone just canceled and they'd see me regardless.

      I was standing against the wall and rocking and moaning and still had no idea that this was real labor since it had been going on for days. I thought it was just that I was wearing down not that they were really getting stronger. Kristen asked her next patient if they'd mind letting me go ahead and she was lovely and did. She felt for position and it was good and applied counter pressure to my hips and it was like the pain just went away and the moan went to a hum during the contractions.

      When my husband came in she told us that we need to just go have the midwife check and see how things were going to relieve my mind. I was concerned they'd stay late or have to come in after hours just to send me home. I really did not get it. But I was having flashbacks of going in with Conner and being sent home again and again. She said she'd explain all that to them and let them know I was coming.

     We arrived at the birth center at around 7pm and I was trying to apologize for calling them in when I was sure they'd send me home. They assured me there was no inconvenience and that Kristen let them know I was coming. They checked my progress and told me I wasn't going anywhere. My midwives prayed over me and being the therapist they are saw I was holding back. One of them stopped and said something to the effect of this: If you are feeling like your not strong enough, like something is going to happen, or your holding anything back let go of it. It's in your head, you can do this give it to God. I just cried and this peace fell over me.

     Although I never really thought I'd have a water birth I kept going back to how much the shower helped. So when they offered the tub as a place to labor I jumped at it. We settled in with my IPOD playing our songs for birth and my husband reading our scriptures. Those who we called to be there and watch the children had them giggling downstairs which helped me through quite a few contractions. The videographer and photographer arrived. I barely even noticed they were there. It was like God himself stopped what He was doing and came down to be in that room. His words were so reassuring.

     There was no way I was leaving the tub but didnt really realize I was kinda past the point of no return, I got sick and the midwife asked me if I felt like pushing. I didnt but soon after the pressure was soo strong I found myself pushing. I checked and could feel her head. They kept trying to get tones but I was growling and fussing. She crowned and her head was out in just a few pushes. They were all commenting when she opened her eyes and was just patiently waiting, blinking at them. With a few more pushes she was out and I had her in my arms. I pushed for 26 minutes and she was born at 9:38pm only two and a half hours after I arrived. At 7lbs 9oz 20 inches long. Mercy Lea Quinn. On her brother's third birthday only about an hour after he was born.

     The kids and friends there came up to meet her and the most wonderful group of women prayed over her life and dedicated her to God. One of the best things was after we were checked for bleeding issues and vitals and got cleared..... we went home. That's right we went home. I felt so amazing! No drugs, no reactions, fully capable of walking. And in my own bed by 2am.

     As I laid down with her that night I knew my whole world had changed. My faith had changed and in turn my hope for the impossible in life had been assured. Line upon line, precept upon precept. My God is able. My God showed his self strong. My God came and talked with me in the cool evening. He brought me through my valleys and mountains and honored my faith in Him. She will be a living reminder all her days of what God can and will do!!! She was here and my journey of faith was completed. But this is where the road to mercy really begins. Without His merciful hand this life would seem like wandering in the desert. Praise God for all He has done.

The Birth Book- Part four (D-Day)

    Part One- Conner
    Part Two- Grace
    Part Three- The education

      December 15th a Thursday I started having contractions. My due date was the 14th so I began fighting the phone calls, messages, emails, and drop-ins to check if she was here. They had already begun approaching the due date. I would try to stay positive and just say she'll come when the Lord says. My contractions were about an hour apart for a while and then nothing for a few hours then an hour apart again and they were fairly noticeable. I had my last appointment and we laughed about how I wanted her to wait till after Conner's birthday party on Sunday.

      A good friend of mine had just had her third and contractions, painful ones, went on for days with that little bundle of joy. I really hadn't considered this much as something that would happen to me though because my only experience was them coming out of nowhere hard and fast. Then Friday came contractions were an hour apart all day a few being more intense. I prepped for the party in case she came and I wasn't able it would be easy for someone to take over. Some of them made me want to stay quiet and kind of go in my head and it was hard to talk which happened several times over the phone with family and friends. Husband and I had long decided that we were not telling anyone when we went into labor because sooo many were worried, frightened, critical of the whole decision to have our baby drug free and with a midwife. We didn't want to have to stave off those who would help themselves into the situation which also meant excluding people I would really have loved to share with simply because one tells one who tells two you know how it works.

     This went on through Saturday and I was a mess. I alternated between sobbing that she was not coming and I was going to end up having another c-section. Then I'd sob after reading my scriptures. God was able and I was ashamed at my lack of faith in my God. Who has always shown his self mighty in my life. I wasn't getting sleep, I was taking care of two little ones and hiding the fact that I was having contractions from those around me. It was the perfect storm and my wonderful, amazing husband was sailing the seas with perfect calm and assurance. Soooo.... Sunday comes we have morning service and then Conner's party. Everyone was asking all about the baby, why wasn't she here yet, what will I do if she doesn't come, wouldn't it be funny if she was born Monday on Conner's birthday. And if not I might as well just wait till Christmas. HA!!! Christmas??!!!

     I had to excuse myself a couple of times when the contractions were much more than I could hide. We went through Sunday evening service to not arouse suspicion and while the children's Christmas play was going on I had a dooozy. One of our youth mouthed, "Are you okay?" When my face turned especially red. Lol I just winked and put my finger to my mouth motioning shhhh. She smiled knowingly. I don't know why but that moment made me feel like this is it, wont be long now.

     We went home and this went on all night. The next morning I took a hot shower which helped tremendously. They increased to every thirty minutes some longer some shorter to fifteen minutes not really steady. I bounced on a ball which took the pressure off when the contractions hit. We needed to get my husbands check which meant a 30 minute drive to his office. I had a good cry about how I couldn't take it anymore and I had done this for days!! What if this wasn't even labor and I was so incapable of handling pain that these were braxton hicks and I was about to have a nervous breakdown. These should have been queues to me all taught in birth class. They were to my husband but he let me go through them knowing I think I wouldn't believe him. He said I should call my midwife so I did. She suggested I see the chiropractor I'd seen all through my pregnancy and make sure the baby wasn't in a bad position. So we made our way to get his check and to see the chiropractor.

continued in birth-book-delivery-and-deliverance

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Birth Book- Part Three (The road to Mercy pre- labor)

    Part One- Conner
    Part Two- Grace

 After all that happened with my first two births I began researching before we even got pregnant. I talked to everyone who had any information. We happened upon a birthing center who after a phone call sent me a mound of  information, statistics and websites galore to glean from whatever I could. I read and re-read vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean) stories. When we actually became pregnant I called every doctor on my insurance list to find a doctor who would allow vba2c's. I honestly called around thirty and found only a handful. I narrowed from there according to location, hospital etc. I was still not seriously considering a midwife falling into the notion that they were outdated and unsafe. I found a doctor that did vbacs and made an appointment.

      On my first appt I only saw the nurse who told me that the doctor in fact would not do a vbac because I had had two previous c-sections and my children would not be far enough apart according to ACOG which is the group doctors love to blame for not allowing women to vbac but in actuality she was wrong. According to current recommendations women who have had one or two previous c-sections with lower transverse incisions ( think bikini line) with children spaced at least 18 months apart (which mine were) should be allowed a TOL (trial of labor). She told me however that I should discuss it with the doctor and make another appt. I expressed that I was not interested in a repeat cesarean and that I was disappointed that the receptionist had assured me that the doctor did perform vba2c's. She said I should come again after getting all the initial papers and blood work done so that I could discuss my options with her and in the meantime she would see if she could get the name of a doctor she'd heard about that would do a vbac for anyone...... just anyone.

     So my next appointment came and I am waiting with my son and daughter. When the doctor comes in she automatically takes a defensive stance. She  behaved as if I was calling her whole education into question, rather than trying to make informed decisions. I wanted to bring the research I'd done to a human being and ask why? Why did my previous doctor act as if I was trying to kill myself and my child. Why did so many women have success in vbacing after repeat cesarean outside hospitals but were not being aloud to in a "safe" setting? When I started to ask questions she cut me off, when she spoke about vbacs she spoke in very general terms and had no idea about rates of success, and the major fear which is the scar from surgery basically tearing back open during labor she talked so much about..... she didn't even know the facts on that either.

      I brought up the fact that with each "elective" repeat cesarean the risk of complications for me and baby met or exceeded the risk of my scar rupturing. She did not address that she instead had the nerve to tell me I needed to consider permanent birth control after this birth. That I needed to consider if we could provide for all these children after all what was I wanting 10 kids. Beside the fact that that is NONE of her business it was obvious what she was saying. I am the professional you are an idiot. I explained that my husband and I were trusting God with our family (that's another post) and could possibly have more children. In that event I wanted to make the best decision I could for our family now which is why I was coming to her for answers.

      With that she explained that I would either need to agree to a repeat "elective" cesarean (the elective is in quotes because I wasn't electing to do anything!) or she would discontinue care. Needless to say I took care of that on my own. As I was leaving her nurse who parroted everything she said and basically tried to strong arm me into agreeing to a section said, Oh I got the name of the doctor who does vbacs for anyone who goes to see him, If you want to go to someone like that I mean........Seriously?!

     I felt so alone and scared. I went home and prayed I told God that this child came from Him and that I wanted His will. That He had put this desire in my heart to have a baby the way He designed. This was the beginning of a new faith and reliance on God. I was totally out of my element. I had a life in my hands and I wasn't about to put it in that doctor's hands without hearing the audible voice of God. I knew He had brought me to this place for His good purpose. If He wanted this He would have to make a way. And make a way He did.

      As I was pouring over all the research I'd done I came back across the email from the midwife who sent me all the links to vbac research. I called and made an appointment to just see if nothing else I could have an intelligent conversation. By this time I was far enough along to find out the sex of the baby and we set up an appointment for that as well at a local diagnostic center. When I met my midwife I instantly knew in my heart that this is where I was supposed to be. They were Christians so my faith and beliefs had a place in the conversation. They spoke of the dangers of vbac'ing in a real and understandable way. Both for and against. They were fully equipped and hospital supported in case of emergency.They encouraged my right to take charge of my body, my child and my birth. But I wasn't out of the woods yet.

     Several things would have to be cleared up before they'd take me as a patient. God made a way at every turn. My previous scars had to be sutured a certain way, they were. We had to make sure the placenta had not attached near my scar as it would increase the chance the scar could rupture. Not only was it not near the scar but it was completely opposite the scar. And for safety the difference between the children should preferably be 18 months. My children are each almost to the day 18 months apart :). God made a way and assured me I was in His will. Oh and did I mention that to do this I could not have any pain medication during birth? :)

     My midwife required that I see a chiropractor as often as I had appointments with them. For optimal postioning throughout pregnancy. And that I take a birthing class (hoping to have a guest post from my instructor soon in the meantime if your searching for a birth instructor check her out at Birth Boot Camp ) to be prepared for the birth and at every appointment worked through any fear and emotion I was holding on to.

      My family was unsure and being that the only understanding of midwives they had was from some FICTIONAL Amish books they happened to be reading lets just say it didn't go over to well when they found out. It was a constant struggle to hold on to the dream my God had put in my heart. I stayed in scripture ( I will post the scripture I stood on in a later post), prayer and hope. My husband and I began our birthing classes and as we learned all the statistics to interventions leading to cesarean it became clear how my perfect birth spiraled out of control with my first child. I became empowered, I realized how I really had no idea what was happening to my body when I went into labor and that my fear of pain was eased by really understanding the process. So now we would just hurry up and wait.

The day before I had Mercy at my son's birthday party. I was in labor.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A second infancy- Do we cheat our children by not caring for our elderly?

     Before I even begin this let me say I know there are a myriad of reasons that some elderly treasures are unable to be cared for at home. I am in no way passing judgement on anyone for their decisions. Right for you or wrong for you it is a personal decision.

     I have a great aunt who is 84. She helped my mother in many ways as a child from sitting for her, to helping with bills, buying school clothes and supplies and of course "helped" by spoiling me rotten. Oh how we pay for our youth in our children. I am currently experiencing the "bad guy" complex with Grace.

     She had no children and did not marry until she was 71! Her husband passed a couple of years back and she is alone now.  She is remarkably healthy and able at her age. I truly believe it is due to her taking care of both of her parents as they aged. The bible clearly states:

Eph 6:2Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) (3)That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

     I remember her taking care of my papaw and how she loved him. He passed when I was five so that should tell you what an imprint that kind of care makes on a child. A while ago she fell while milling around outside and could not get herself up. It took her hours to drag herself to a place where she could pull herself up and get inside. The feeling that overcame me when she told me what had happened I don't have words for. It came crashing down on me that the woman I'd seen be so strong and physically lift a grown man to care for him was becoming as feeble as he was then.

     I began to think about what will happen when she is unable to care for herself. She has always said she wanted to go to a nursing home. The thought of the woman who would come running at every whim being put in the hands of another devastates me. I have made it clear that IF I have any say she will be staying with us PERIOD. The bible declares:

1Ti_5:8But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

     Again I am not saying that it is right for everyone to care for their elderly family in home. Each situation is different and requires much consideration. But I stay at home, I am of able body, she has no conditions for which it would be dangerous for me to care for her.

     I think of my children and how much it would benefit them to see and also be a part of her care as she ages. She is very concerned about being a burden. But what a gift it is to give someone you love care and be with them in their time of need. What an example to our children of respect for their elders, sacrifice of time, and energy well spent. Again the bible says:

1 Timothy 5:4 ESV
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.
Proverbs 23:22 ESV     
Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

     It seems to me like the majority of our elderly generation are cared for by home health workers or nursing homes or assisted living homes. What message do we send our children. That when we are old we are useless and have no experience or wisdom to impart. That our lives should not be disrupted or inconvenienced by those who cared for us? That we are on our own in this world and should not depend on each other in time of need?

     I guess what I am saying is I want my children to hold value and respect for our golden oldies. That they see them as ones to be reverenced and regarded. That they would seek council and wisdom from them. I mean I hope when I am old they wont be so busy that they throw me in a home and barely remember to come by on holidays. These beautiful blessings I pour my blood, sweat and tears into day in and day out. I hope I train my children in the way they should go. And I hope I have given you something to think about and search Gods word for. What a blessing we could give our children by honoring our elders with care and respect.

     I worked at an assisted living home for my first job and the woman I sat with would have moments of clarity and I remember her saying, " It's a second infancy I am in. Both times with diapers and unsteady feet." She was a character! Let it be an honor to tread the waters of age with our loved ones.

     If you are caring for a loved one in home please comment and share any practical ways you honor your keepsake and ways you work through the struggles of blending your family.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

A book of remembrance

‎2Ti_1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. 

A blog I enjoy quoted this verse in a post and it got me to thinking:

      This verse strikes in me the importance of our roles as mothers. It may be one of the less looked to verses for moms but these women perpetuated faith to the next generation! I hope my kids grow up and take what faith God gives me, learn from it and put it to use in this life. Not living a life dismissive of an "antiquated religion". I want them to see and remember what God has done so they can lean on HIM and say I've seen God do this. He will do it for me!!!!  And because He loves me I WILL live for Him!!!!

     So that being said I would encourage you to begin a book of remembrance. It can be anything from a scrapbook with pictures and stories to a piece of paper that says We prayed for: X     We stepped out in faith by: X     God answered us this day by doing:X adding verses you believed on and prayed on helps also.

     This can help in several ways. When you are struggling with a situation you can look back on what God has done. It can be passed down to show the coming generations how God has worked in your family. Making real Gods power, love and favor over their lives. I in no way want to encourage anything to take the place of looking to Gods word for faith and renewal let me clear that up. But I see in the stories of faith in the bible the importance which heritage plays. Always remembering what God delivered them from. I think it would be good to give our children the same thing. We as Americans have lost so much of our heritage and what we believe. All that is going on in the media declares it.

Our duty is to pray for our leaders, our country and leave it in God's hands. However what we do have control over is how we lead our families. How we prepare our children to be a heritage to the Lord. I hope this inspires you. Happy Mother's Day ladies remember, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Or as a book I am reading puts it, " The hand that rocks the cradle, needs the hand that rules the world." - The hand that rocks the cradle by Sharilyn Martin and Sue Hooley.

Happy Mother's Day You ROCK!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Birth Book - Part One Conner

     Well since this blog was inspired by my sweet Mercy I suppose I should tell you why her birth was such a life changing event. This will have to be done in more than one post.

     I became pregnant for the first time in early 2008 with my son Conner. Like most women I set out to find the perfect OB one who came highly recommended and had recently been written about in the paper for being one of the top OB's in north Texas. I went to all my appointments, watched my diet, got the daily emails telling me exactly how my baby was growing and waited. I read everything I could get my hands on about pregnancy and watched birth videos but didnt think much about what actually happened during labor. I thought well I will be in the hospital in the hands of professionals who will guide me through my birth. Right??

      I was due December 22nd and as my due date approached my OB began hinting at induction, then began the talk of you are a small person and the baby is getting bigger if it doesn't come before your due date we will have to induce or possibly do a c-section. Keep in mind he was going on Christmas vacation the 20th. I told him how much I wanted a natural birth and what he suggested to achieve that. Never once did he suggest I take birthing classes or give me any resources for info. Instead, he suggested I tour the hospital to help relieve the fear of the unknown and that we would just have to wait and see. This is where I failed myself and my son. I believed that the best thing I could do was trust someone else (Doctor or not) with my birth. Someone who knew my bodies abilities better than I did. Whether I knew it or not I was saying well right or wrong he's a doctor and if something goes wrong it is on him.

    Then comes December 18th. I began having contractions at 11:30pm a minute long every five minutes. They came on so hard and strong and they were the required five minutes apart so I called and the nurse said to go in and be checked. Of course they sent me home with some meds to help me sleep. I was in a panic the pain was horrible, and I lived 45 minutes away from the hospital. I felt abandoned and didn't understand what was going on. HA! I wanted a natural birth what was I thinking? I went on like this till late the next morning and we went in again. I was no further along and crying I told them I was not leaving because I WAS in labor and couldn't deal with another car ride having contractions. The nurse with tears in her eyes whispered to me, "Honey you are in labor, you are doing great! Don't leave just walk the hospital for an hour and come back to me." When she told me that I let go of some of my fear and panic which was good. But as I began to feel justified the contractions became much harder, more than I could bare. I came back in an hour and had progressed to a forced two. It was nothing in my mind to the work I was doing and felt like I was completely failing and weak, that I could'nt handle the pain AT ALL! Later I would learn of the fear pain cycle.

     Being 2cm was enough to admit me and get an epidural which I was begging for. This was the first of a long list of interventions. Once I had the epidural within minutes I was a four. My OB who was on call, came in and said," well the good news is your gonna have a baby! The bad news is I'm leaving for vaction. I am going to break your water and see if we can speed this along." He did not ask my permission he just did it. The nurse simultaneously was preparing to give me pitocin which no one even told me I was getting until after they gave it to me.

      The doctor left the room and the nurses prepared, read the papers coming out of the machines and talked amongst themselves. In just a few minutes I felt this overwhelming urge to push and with everything I had I tried to fight it because I had heard it was bad to push to soon. My body didnt listen and my water was gushing as I involuntarily pushed. I asked the nurse, "Is it okay to PUUUUUUSH?" She informed me it wasnt time yet and as she glanced down checking me let the other nurse know I was complete! A ten in just a few minutes and let me know it was fine to push. I only pushed a few times and they were telling me, "We can see his hair! He has sooo much hair. I remember my husband saying we were only in the room about two hours after the epidural. Which means my actual push time was much less.

      At the shift change another doctor from my OB's office comes in looks at me and says this baby is not coming we are going to have to section. I dont know why we didnt question this. In the moment and in my ignorance I defeatedly agreed trying to act like it was fine. We were taken into the OR and my son was born. He was 9lbs 15oz. No gestational diabetes he was just a prayer answered for a big strong boy that I had prayed from God for years. I instantly loved him and knew his every need before he did. The medicine made me shake and burn and I was miserable and yet the whole world was perfect at that moment. I still knew in my heart I had missed out on something amazing.

     I was diagnosed in my chart as FTP due to CPD which is failure to progress due to Cephalopelvic Disproportion. My doctor told me later that my body and frame just wasnt built to expand for the baby to pass through my pelvis in labor. And I believed him.

Conner a few hours old

Delivery and Deliverance mercy's big day!

The Birth Book - Part Two Grace

   if you missed part one click here for Conner's story

  When I became pregnant again toward the end of 2009. I knew I wanted to try for a vaginal birth this time because I had talked to several mom's who had experienced a vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean). So when I returned to the OB I had used with my previous birth I just knew this time would be different. I went in to the office and explained all I had learned and that I wanted a vbac. He began to explain to me very detachedly that having a vbac was too dangerous for me and the baby and that it was not an option if I wanted to continue my care with him. That the hospital he delivered at did not allow vbac's that is how dangerous it was. That this child due June 21st would have to be scheduled for at least June 17th for an "elective" cesarean.

     I did not understand how something I didn't want could be called elective. He went on to explain that if I happened to go in to labor not to panic just call them and that if I was to arrive at the hospital about to deliver and all seemed okay they would go ahead and deliver the baby vaginally. WHY OH WHY did that not register to me?! He was telling me it was too dangerous to attempt but if it happens well.... it'll be okay. I blindly followed his every direction. I was devastated. I was frightened to try and find another caregiver. To build trust, report, history etc. with someone else and he was trying to protect me from danger after all. If I found someone else what kind of doctor would in good conscience put me or my child in danger.

     The day came that I had not gone into labor and I went in to surgery. Most of that day was a blur. I went in that morning only to be told there were no beds and I'd have to come back later. They called me later that evening and I returned and walked in make-up on hair done got in a gown and got my spinal block. Grace was born and barely shown to me they handed her to my husband shortly and then took her to the nursery. They had all been talking about how understaffed and overextended they were. The drugs they had given me were making me shake uncontrollably. I was shivering but burning up and feeling like I couldn't move my arms. I laid in my bed with my husband, friend and pastor waiting on them to bring my beautiful daughter to me.

     A nurse came in to tell me she was fine but her body temperature was low and they were keeping her in a warmer for about thirty minutes to get her warmed. We waited and tried to converse as I shook and ached for my baby ready to bond and nurse and meet this beautiful blur of a child. FOUR hours later they still had not brought me my daughter! I called and explained skin to skin contact with my daughter would also help her with a low body temp and they would bring her to me or else!!! That I didn't believe she had a temperature problem they just didn't have anyone to bring her to me. That I heard the nurses talking about how all the beds were full and they were understaffed! Needless to say she was in my arms within minutes. This was the first time I stood my ground and let the "professionals" know this wasn't my first rodeo either.

     I don't remember very much of that day. I still have to read her baby book to remember what time she was born. I felt as if I didn't even have her. I struggled to feel connected to her. I loved her with every cell in my body but I lacked that alert eye to eye soul bonding connection with her (you know the one) until she was quite a bit older. Now she is definitely a mama's girl and we are very close and I am so grateful. I kept a smile, showed her to those who had waited hours to meet her and tried not to dwell on those things. After all as they say all that was important is that she was here and healthy...... right?

Grace a few hours old


Saturday, April 21, 2012

The first step

       I am new to the world of blogging. I am new to a lot of things which is basically why I am starting this blog in the first place.  Four months ago December 19th, 2011 I gave birth naturally to our third child Mercy. This day was the culmination of months of fear, education, anticipation, faith and a life changing answer to hope. It taught me to seek truth. Not someone elses truth but mine. I don't mean that in a self deluded way . I mean sifting through all of the misinformation out there that is skewed towards those wanting unhealthy control in one way or another.  It was initiated by the birth industry and yes I mean industry. However, it then bloomed into seeking a deeper truth in Christ and expounding on this spiritually empowering answer to prayer. So much is changing in my life due to this event and I want to share it with anyone that will be kind enough to lend an ear. Hoping that as I pioneer through my road to mercy (which is solely dependant on God granting it) you may learn from, laugh at and possibly be challenged by what you read.