Children born during one's youth are like arrows in a warrior's hand...blessed is the man whose quiver if full of them
Saturday, August 3, 2013
It's been well over a month since I last posted. I have no intention of re-entering the blog world but I realize that there are people who like to know how things are and how we are doing. I have pretty much cut myself off from cyber world. It has been a long time coming and I thought I would hate it and feel I was missing out on something! I guess that "something" turned out to be not so much! I feel a freedom and I am in a place that is good. We are still growing and learning. Times have NOT been easy! A valley one might say. Many valley's at one time actually. A deep, dark place as I have never known before. I have grown up and God has continued to display His great mercy and grace upon me and our family. Things are changing and it has not been pleasurable or easy. I know we still have not "arrived" and we never will until we reach our final destination, Heaven! But the journey is growing us closer to Him and sad to say as my flesh continues to die to itself, I have resisted but my loving Father has gently taken my hand and captured my heart with more truth. I don't have many answers and in fact sometimes I feel my questions are much greater. The things I once knew, I no longer understand and it is pushing me towards a stronger and higher place. Nothing in and of myself but a place of freedom and less pride. A place of grace for others and less demands on myself because God is showing me that HE wants priority in my life above EVERYTHING! I have fought it! It has been eye-opening to say the least but He has kept me and continues to stretch me into those closed places where I built walls. I am being vulnerable and it is not an easy task! I fight it and resist it but in the struggle, I am finding peace because my guard is down and my walls have crumbled. Scary? Yes! I have desired for years and years more of Him and less of me and so now, his favor of chastising continues to pour out. Not the way I thought or wanted, but HIS way! As I let go of the former and cling to the present, I will continue to cling to all I have ever known....my Jesus loves me and He is fighting for me and will not rest until I have given all of myself to Him. Quite a place to be!
The verse that comes to mind the past couple of days, "His strength is made perfect when I am weak..." There is also a song that states that verse and then it says, "All that I cling to, I lay at His feet..." Well, this week was a week of clinging. Clinging to things that I wanted. My dreams, insights, my ways and my thoughts. My thoughts, dreams, insights and ways were not necessarily wrong. Wanting a new life in my womb and our home is not wrong...HOWEVER, when I am not willing to lay the things down that I want, then it becomes something that I cling to and the ONLY thing I should be clinging to is my Savior no matter what. I wanted that sweet little life inside of me to be in my arms someday and I don't know why Jesus choose to take him/her home before that happened but I do know that the past 48 hours has been an amazing journey for me. I have never been in a place of complete, perfect strength. I know it is nothing I have done! I know that if it were only me, I would be in a much different place emotionally, spiritually and physically! I have the peace that passes ALL understanding and I am truly amazed at how Jesus has come to me so perfectly.
When I released MY plan to His perfect plan, it all began to unfold. I usually like my way and I think I know LOTS more than I really do! I remember asking God Monday night why He thought I was this strong. How could He think I could take anymore? How much more did He really think I was capable of? Well, His answer to me was that I am not strong and I could not do it and I was NOT capable of doing this without Him!
Yesterday I woke up in total perfection! I am not exaggerating! Even physically! My 15 year old daughter met me in the kitchen and was just sure I was going to be a mess in every way. She stated that she could not believe how strong I seemed. I had no explanation but God! We took the boys on a picnic, went on the bike trail, played catch, and watched their oldest brother do some fishing. It was an AMAZING day with constant reminders of how good I have it and how blessed I truly am. I was not sad, I knew my sweet baby was in the arms of Jesus and I was there too! What more could I want! Today, the peace has continued and I am awestruck at the abundance we can live in IF we allow God to be God! I can't say it was by my choice that all of this happened. It was probably one of the hardest times in my life! Monday night my choice would have been to have a perfect little heartbeat beating in that perfect little tiny body inside of my womb, but it did not happen MY way! God's way was to teach me a lesson on letting go through the pain and to remember that HIS strength is perfect. I called on Him and He has been there. He has never left me nor forsaken me! I am at rest in His arms!
Thank you for your prayers! I know that is what has been my saving grace! God has heard you and He has answered in so many ways! This is a beautiful journey and I can't wait to continue with HIS plan whatever that may be!
I would love to write this saying that all is well but really today, it is not. I am sorry my faithful readers that I have not been around much. 8 weeks ago, we were celebrating the news of number 13 on his/her way.
On Monday I went for my normal check-up and was thrilled with anticipation to see the heartbeat once again on ultrasound. As I lied there watching the screen excitedly, as I always do when a little life is in my womb... the fully formed, perfect baby was still with no heartbeat. Only about 3 days before, it seems that it's little soul passed out of him/her from my body to Jesus' arms.
Tonight, my heart, I am sure has blisters on it and the dark seems so dark. The mountain in front of me seems so great and my faith seems so small right now. I DO know who I cling to and I know that right now, He is holding my baby and me in His precious arms.
"A BABY'S SECRET"
I'm just a little person who didn't make it there; I went straight to be with Jesus, but I'm waiting for you here.
Don't you fret about me, Mommy, I'm of all God's lambs most blessed; I'd have loved to stay there with you,
but the Shepherd knows what's best. Many dwelling here where I live, waited years to ent...er in; Struggled through a world of sorrow, and their lives were marred with sin.
So, sweet Mommy, don't you sorrow ~ Wipe those tears and chase the gloom ~ I went straight to Jesus' bosom from my mother's womb.
Thank you for the life you gave me ~ It was brief, but don't complain... I have all of heaven's glory... suffered none of earthling's pain.
- by Sandi Johnson
I WILL be back and this has given me a reason to write again. It is so healing. Thank you for listening and please pray for my heart to heal.
I get so many comments on wondering how I do it...
-How do you shop for that many?
-How do you cook for that many?
-What kind of meals do you make?
-What do you do for snacks?
-How often do you go grocery shopping?
-How many gallons of milk do you buy a week?
And the list goes on and on...
Well, I have been so often helped by others that I often think what I have to say is not that important or helpful but as I was driving today, I began to think that if I could help just one person find something that might help them, then that would bless me!
My average grocery bill is about $125-$150 a week...that is for 13 people
I do not freeze many meals, I make them on a daily basis- I have tried other ways but it is just easier for me to make them everyday. I will on occasion make a double batch of something and freeze it.
So far, my family eats about a 9x13 and a 9x9 dish at meals. We ALWAYS have sides with our meals such as fruit and/or veggies and a bread of some type
I make casseroles about 3 times a week for dinners
I usually start with what my meat will be and let that simmer in a crock pot and do the add-ons later in the day
Lunches are sandwiches or tortilla wraps with fruit and crackers
We don't snack except for rare occasions and then we have popcorn or apples with p-nut butter and raisins
I shop once a week for the bulk and then 2 other times for fill-ins
We go through about 6-7 gallons of milk a week
We make most things from scratch
We hardly ever buy desserts...my husband LOVES his chocolate so my girls are GREAT at making him treats quite often! :)
We do not drink pop or juices. Water most of the time with a cup of milk for one meal a day
Cheese is our big expense and we go through MUCH of that in a week! Like 20 cups or so!
I buy flour, sugar, spices and oatmeal in bulk at our Amish store about once a month
I use pasta, potatoes,eggs and rice often! They are GREAT fillers!
Hamburger and other meat I use lightly...about 1 lb per recipe. I usually just double up on other ingredients that are less costly...ground turkey is also very reasonable!
Biscuits are so versatile and we use them often! Pizza boats, homemade donuts, baked sloppy joes, etc.
Once a week I make about 60 pancakes or french toast to use the rest of the week for another meal
I fry hamburger up all at once and freeze it in 1 lb packages to save time
Breakfasts are our lightest meals...my kids seem to eat very little at that meal
Dinner is our biggest meal but if dad is home during lunch, we change that around
I am going to keep going a little bit on this subject. Please tell me some things you would like to know and I will try to accommodate! If you have any insight, I would love that also!
and you realize that you are no longer the only "woman" in his life
~When you go with your daughter to try on bridesmaid dresses
and all of the sudden it hits you that WAY too soon, SHE will be the one looking for a wedding dress!
~When you go to your son's room and look at the mess
and you realize that you should have complained less in the previous years because now, there will be no mess from him in your home anymore and it is something you knew would happen but one time it seemed so far away and you NEVER dreamed you would miss it but you already do
~When you know that family plans may not always include ALL of your children anymore
~When you realize that once the first one leaves home, it's just the beginning of the next one, and the next one and so on...
~When you pick up your "baby" and you realize she is really not a baby anymore
~When you think of your age and remember when your parents were that age you thought they were SOOOOO old!
~When you realize that your years as a grandma are possibly closer than you ever thought possible!
I am going through a new phase in my life. Sometimes I get confused because I have SO many little ones to still focus on and the realization what is about to take place in my life in about a month, hits me like a ton of bricks. No time to really just sit and think about how I am going to have to let go of my oldest boy, it has just crept up on me! I can give him advice, but what he does with it now, is up to him. In some ways there is freedom in that and other ways, I want to tell him what to do knowing that I still have more years on him! If I could just sit with him on the couch and stroke his hair and chat.
Then I am reminded that wherever this journey of motherhood has ever lead me, God's grace has ALWAYS seen me through.
However, I know that God has ALWAYS kept me and He too will keep my son and in this new territory of his journey!
Knowing that, I can rest knowing although this is uncharted territory for me, God has already gone before me!
Then I take a deep breath and the air fills my lungs and realize,
It has been 2 whole months! Time has slipped by and SO many things have happened in my life! Life changing and monumental in some ways!
~ I was for the first time, on the other side of delivering a baby! I am now looking into becoming a certified doula! I will just say I was SO in my element!
~ Thanksgiving came and went and we had a beautiful day with family
~ I had the opportunity to help a VERY needy neighbor in a great time of need (more to come about that!)
~ Started a new business with Spa Products! They are AMAZING! :) Go to go here to see for yourself and PLEASE let me know if you are interested! The products are all botanically based and literally change your skin from the first day of use!
~ I have watched my oldest son make life-changing decisions
~ I have met the soon to be newest member of our family (no I am not pregnant yet, unfortunately!)
~ My son became engaged on December 13th so we have a new daughter to welcome into our family!
~ We have stayed away from all the illnesses going around
~ I have watched my daughter play AND sing in her first guitar recital
~My son and his fiance played Mary and Joseph and the baby whom I witnessed his birth, played baby Jesus in our church Christmas presentation
~ We had a wonderful Christmas with much less material things than previous years but also had much soul searching and had the ability to teach our children many things through it
~ Hubby still no permanent job but he did have a few interviews with all of them sending rejection letters :/ Many lessons learned through those times!
~ Realizing continually day in and day out, that Jesus MUST be source for EVERYTHING!
~ I have had a HUGE prayer answered after many years that God would send me a friend who I could be with, in my area. I have a dear lady that has taken up a place in my heart and we have such kindred spirits! So Blessed to have her in my life! We have grown towards God because of each other!
I am so thankful for all the provision God has given us in 2012! I remember wondering where I would be last year at this time in 2013. We were getting ready to move, I had just had a miscarriage and my life was spinning out of control right in front of me! (So I thought...)
We have come full circle and I now see much more clearer of the things God was desiring for us to learn:
-This life is NOT about "stuff" and what this world has to offer - The enemy would like to help us focus on those things and what we can get for ourselves - It is SO tempting and easy to get caught up in what we DON'T have - God's ways are not our ways - But when we focus on Him and rest in HIS plan, our desires do begin to fall in line with His - His concern is people and their eternity - That is what our focus should be! - We don't have to go outside of our country to be missionaries! - We are called to be missionaries day in and day out in our homes and our little "world" around us
I will tell you I have by NO means "arrived" yet, but I am so thankful for the grace God gives and the road He has lead us down to see His heart. I pray I will continually look at His heart and focus on HIS ways not follow my selfish desires. I hope to live this life for Him so when I meet Him face to face He will say to me, "Well done my good and faithful servant!" I wonder what this year is going to hold! I do not know, but I take rest in knowing He knows and I will follow wherever He leads!