Thursday, November 10, 2011

they'll scoff at you. but so what.

there was a point in my life where my fists were clenched. i held my hands down.

but i was desperate for more. more life.

and there was a day in church when i raised my hands in worship. i kept my eyes slammed shut. i didn't want to feel the stares. i just wanted Jesus. and in those moments, i remember having vision of dancing with the Lord. we were on a ballroom dance floor and He, ever so effortlessly, moved me around the floor. i not only danced before the Lord - i danced with the Lord.

and then there was a day when that worship seemed still. i was still dancing before Him and with Him, but there was a longing for something else. it took some digging but i finally realized that the longing was my heart's desire. the desire that He had put in me. my longing was His longing. and He knew that i was finally gaining the courage to reach for more.

i remember praying and saying "oh Lord - my words can't wrap around what i want to say. there HAVE to be more words to describe you." i wanted to give Him more praise than my little brain could conjure up. my vocabulary was falling me short. and in the living room of a friend's house, i begged the Lord for more of Him. and He imparted me with more of Him as He poured out His Spirit on me. He washed me new in His Spirit.

and the revelation came.

and my worship was richer and deeper than i could have ever imagined. i would come home on my lunch break just to pray in a new tongue before my Lord. i was crazy excited to be in His presence. His Word jumped off the page to me and it penetrated my soul in deep deep ways. it was current. it was relevant. and i was dumbfounded by how REAL and alive His Word was. is.

and then the days were quiet again. i still dug and pressed and longed, but the revelation was seldom and i felt a distance between myself and Jesus. and the distance was real.

it was fear.

it was the same fear i felt when i raised my hands for the first time. or when i talked to a coworker about Jesus for the first time.

i was afraid of what they would think of me. i was more afraid of losing out on the world than losing out on the Lord.

i KNEW that there was more to the Lord than where i was. i'd had a love encounter with Him, but He was asking me if i was willing. if i was willing to look like a foreigner, to sound different, to be different, to step as far out of my comfort zone as was humanly possible...

to bring freedom.

because you know, our Jesus is a freedom fighter. He is lover and warrior and He is a justice seeker and keeper. and His people are His body.

but this body was weak.
it was a wuss, really.

this tongue would stop short or stumble. and my heart would feel rejection when i wasn't accepted. when the testimonies i would share made people mad or uncomfortable. i took it so personally.

but there it was.

courage in the making. boldness in the building.

the world will mistake you for arrogant or haughty. but they are wrong.

they are confused. they are looking at a people who are walking in their inheritance. and that inheritance is of royalty. and in that royalty is confidence and a promise of honor and righteousness and power.

when Truth is displayed in love, it sometimes is mistaken with arrogance because Truth can't be moved or budged. and that makes the world angry. they want to believe in what they want to believe, in what makes them feel good. and if anything comes against a feeling, it stirs up anger and frustration and condemnation.

but i want to encourage you. if you're longing for the More of the Lord that i'm talking about - if this at all resonates with you, i want you to know that you MUST unclench your fists and let those hands raise.

Moses had to first step into the water for it to part. He had to first speak in order for the Lord to speak through him to the Pharoah. Noah had to start hammering wood together in order for a boat, that had never been made or seen, to start coming together. Mary was ostracized but chose to believe. Joseph was bold in the face of head shakers saying he was marrying a whore. and Jesus - He took it all. He was called a liar, satan, a thief.

when you start doing the Father's work, there will be days of isolation. when you realize the fullness of what it is to be an alien in this world. your soul will long for that place where you belong.

but don't you stop. don't you dare stop marching forward for what the Lord has for you!

because what He has for you is FAR greater than what the world will entice you with.

be brave, beloved. hold those hands up and worship your Lord with ALL your soul.

and you don't let anyone tell you that the Lord isn't anymore. because HE IS.

you go and lay hands on the sick and watch them be healed in Jesus' name. and you cast out devils and raises the dead and you disciple the nations.

because it IS your Inheritance and anyone that tells you otherwise has yet to have a love encounter with the One who so desperately loves them.

your inheritance is YOURS. don't let anyone try to steal that from you.

Jesus' heart spills over and over and over with love for you.

for you.

(may this video bring you the courage you need to step out in faith a little more. the Lord will honor your courage. He will increase His blessings on you. let your desire in this life be for Him.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

sometimes following Jesus is risky business.

this morning, something out of the blue, loralai says "mommy, did you miss me when i wasn't in your belly?" i thought she was talking about after she was born. referring to my missing feeling her in my belly. we've talked to her about how wonderful it was to grow her in my womb and feel her move about. so i reply "yes baby. i did miss you when you weren't in my belly." to which she says "i missed you too when i was in jesus' heart."

oh her love wrecks me.

i'm partial because i'm her mom, but if i can be as objective as possible i can honestly say that her heart understands so much more than i could ever speak into her. there's no way that she could have missed me before she was born. but i felt something when she said that. i felt jesus' love for me. He was longing to fill my womb, and my arms, with the love of loralai. and maybe He was missing her for me - for i cried so many tears trying to get pregnant with her. i longed for her for as long as i could remember. i just didn't know it was her. how could i have?

but when she laid across my chest and nursed for the first time, as though we'd done that a million times, i knew that my heart would never be the same. her soul resonated with mine. she spoke Love into my heart in ways i couldn't have conceived.

and when i struggle with this season of life, i look at that beautiful brown eyed girl and i rest. sometimes i have to speak rest back into myself, but slowly i get there.

todd and i left our church almost a year ago now. the church we thought we'd always go to and be a part of. but last Fall it was clear that the Lord was telling us that it was time to move on. we were thirsty for more. and while that church is beautiful in so many ways, there was no where for us to dig in for more. we tried. we searched and sought and asked the Lord to please not remove us from that place. that's where our people were.

but He said to us "are you willing to stay here for your friends or move somewhere else and have more of Me?" either way it would be fine. i knew He wouldn't be mad at us. His judgment was done long ago. but i knew that i couldn't live with myself if i stayed unchanged.

i had experienced more of God right before and after my dad died. and then shortly after it felt like that well had dried up. but really what had happened was that the Lord had activated gifts in me and brought them forward in powerful ways - but i failed to use what He'd given me. i was just too immature to understand that's what was happening. He hadn't given and taken away. He only gives good gifts. it's not in His nature to take away. it was in mine. i was lazy to pursue Him and honestly didn't know how.

we knew where the Lord was calling us.

and we cried. not because we didn't want to see what more the Lord had in waiting, but in knowing that there was likely a cost. and there is.
we've lost many friends who thought we were trying to say that we were "spiritually better" or had "graduated spiritually" or thought that our choice for moving on was a knock against the church we were leaving. just to hear those comments was stinging enough, but to know that our brothers and sisters of the same Lord would press against us, or stop talking to us, step out of life with us, was both frustrating and discouraging.

we basically started over.

we were the new kids at school. it was so uncomfortable and yet so freeing.

the first time i worshiped freely i remember thinking "thank you Jesus! this is what my soul has been crying out for, for so long!!"

and then it happened. there was a moment like mine and Loralai's. it wasn't in a sentence or in a night of worship or even as i journaled. it was just over time. but what He said was something like this:

your heart's desire is Mine. your desire is My heart. to be in the physical presence of Me. to know My heart. and while that desire is yours, I put it there. just like you didn't realize that you longed and missed Loralai before you ever knew her, you never knew that you missed and longed for the fullness of Me until you experienced more of Me. and when you did, even though you still miss your friends and long to be understood and not looked at like someone chasing the wind, the sting is less. and it will continue to be less. because you will continue to experience Me more and more. because that is what I promised you. and I never break my promises.

my desire was always tucked away in the Father's heart. i was desperate for Him.

i thought i knew my own desires. oh boy was i clueless. i mean i knew that i liked helping and seeing people healed. i knew that i wanted babies. i knew that i wanted to be known as God's daughter. but all of that, that was just words until i stepped into His anointing and experienced what my desires were.

my words fall short.

but now i see healing and have experienced it through the hands of people, through the power of God. and now i hold my babies who were once invisible inside Jesus' heart, then my womb, and now in my arms. and i feel my Papa's arms and i am in communion with the Lover of my Soul like never before.

the risk was worth it. and i dare say that i have only begun to Taste and See all that the Lord has for me.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

what it was like

Thursday night I packed an overnight back. We were headed to Raleigh to avoid Hurricane Irene. I looked forward to a few days of helping hands via Todd's folks. Liliana had been sick the week prior and I was still running on fumes. I was eager for the rest.

But Thursday after I went to bed, everything changed.

I woke sometime in the middle of the night with a screaming headache. I don't get headaches unless I've been crying a lot. I hadn't been. I took 3-4 motrin and went back to sleep. I woke again later and realized that the pain was still intense. I couldn't figure it out.

I woke for good in the morning as we packed up our car to head to Raleigh. The drive there was torture. I couldn't explain my head pain to Todd. Other than telling him that this must be a migraine because it was the worst head pain I'd ever felt. I kept my face covered from the light and begged the Lord to have the children stay quiet. I tried aspirin, caffeine. I didn't know what was happening.

13 hours later from the first onset of the headache, Todd begs me to go to the urgent care down the street from his parents' house. Todd tells me that he's afraid I have meningitis. I tell him he's overreacting. It's just a migraine. Ice packs. An attempt at a nap. Excedrin migraine. Nothing even took the edge off of my pain.

After talking my father-n-law's doctor, we decide that I need to go to the ED. He was concerned that I may have meningitis based on my symptoms.

I wasn't afraid. I was annoyed. And mad that I had to leave my children. Irritated.

Loralai laid hands on my head, prayed for the Lord to heal my head and then walked me to the car. I had no idea that I wouldn't see her again for four days. My heart still breaks looking back at how fragile that moment was.

Every child is precious. Especially your own. But I only know my children intimately. And I know that sweet baby girl's heart. Everything about her points to heaven. Her revelation about the Lord far exceeds her years of understanding and is inspired by the pure love of the Father. And when she speaks. glory slips from her lips. And when glory slips from the lips of the Family, she recognizes it. I believe that I am glimpsing, in her, the beginning of a generation of something incredible for the Kingdom of God.

And so after hours and hours of tests in the ED, at 4a.m. they finally ran my spinal fluid and determined that I did have some form of meningitis. They were leaning towards viral but wouldn't be sure for another day, at least. Todd stayed with me the whole time. He prayed with me. He hugged me and loved on me and assured me that I would see more days. And my mom stayed up all night praying for me - and answering and returning every text message.

I dreaded calling her to tell her I had meningitis. I knew she would think of Sara. And I knew that would be the enemy's only ploy to drag her down.

Your mind can't possibly comprehend the Love that the Lord has for you. Or how He is preparing you for battle years before the enemy even sniffs out the battlefield. But our God does. He sees everything. And 18 years ago, He already knew the battlefield. And so he offered me revelation when my friend died, at 15, of bacterial meningitis. He gave me a glimpse of His love then. And somehow He kept me unafraid of meningitis. I never saw it as something to fear.

But that doesn't mean that I wasn't afraid. There were times that I nearly lost it.

And this is was what the battlefield looked like. Now I tell you this NOT with haughtiness or arrogance but with humility. Because if there is one thing that the Lord made CLEAR to me, it was this "you will be victorious, ashley, but this is just one victory. and you will share and minister with humility." It was a clear charge that I was given - one to which I answered my Papa, "yes sir." When the Lord speaks, you listen and obey.

When I arrived at the hospital Saturday morning, via ambulance and some super wonderful drugs, my head pain was under control. But then the medicine dissolved. And somewhere in the transition, orders weren't written up correctly and a very ungood thing happened. I didn't receive any pain medication for another 4 hours. If you've had a migraine, you can imagine what that feels like. But imagine a migraine jacked up on steroids. That was this pain. I felt like I was going to climb the walls and go mad. I screamed out for help to the nurses. I called Todd and I called one friend who I thought could handle me under the heat of the moment (God bless you Jodi). And I cried. And I begged for mercy. I was a blithering mess.

I've labored for 17 hours and birthed a baby with no pain meds. It didn't come close to the pain my head was in.

This pain had no fruit of joy. This pain was straight from the pit of hell. And I mean that. I remember thinking, 'THIS IS MEAN. this pain is mean. it wants to kill me. it wants to steal and destroy me.'

Soon after, Todd got to the hospital. His covering was my physical protection. The Lord kept showing me that marriage was good. That He gave us each other so that we could conquer - because when 2 or more are gathered, He is there in our midst. And when the hospital door to my room closed, we worshiped and prayed and praised our God...and His presence dropped in. It was a tangible presence. I speak no lies and say nothing to convince you to believe. I'm only reporting on what I experienced.

The days got muddied, but the battle went on. I can't tell you exactly the order of the revelations, but I can share with you what the different moments looked like.

Todd spent all mornings, but one, with our girls at his parents' house. I felt like it was best that they kept some sense of familiarity and normalcy while I was away. My sudden disappearance was enough. And so one morning I sat up and just started singing and worshiping. Sunday - it was Sunday morning. And I felt so strong. I could feel the Lord rising up in me and stirring up the fight inside of me. I thought the fight He was stirring was my healing. But He was really just preparing me for more battle.

For two years, He had me stuck on this song: Faith by Jason Upton. I labored to it with Liliana Joy and worshiped to it with Loralai Whitney while pregnant with Liliana. And I fought for my life with it, alone in my hospital room with Jesus, my Victorious Warrior.

Jesus was showing me that in order for me to battle, I had to remember that He was both Warrior and Lover. And I had to live it. I had to call it forward. I had to call life forward.

Sunday my mom and brother visited and we laughed and laughed. It was such a refreshing day. I was confident in my healing and my discharge on Monday.

What the enemy wanted to use for evil, God chose to use for good.

Monday was the worst day.

I want to say that I was always brave, but it's just not so. Because on Monday I broke. Todd came to get me at noon and we never left. The pain in my head came roaring back with avengance. It was worse this time. I kept vomiting and couldn't stand. I couldn't bare the pain. I was exhausted. Somehow we made it to the tiny little hospital bathroom. And that's where I stayed. On the floor of the shower curled up in a ball, holding my head and begging for some medicine to take the pain away. I remember thinking that this was it. I'm going to die. But i REFUSED to speak those words out loud. I refused to give the enemy satisfaction that he was scaring me into death.

And then I remembered that this was just a shadow. That I may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but THIS, THIS is just a shadow. Because Life is mine. Even if I was to perish, I would live. The joke was on the enemy. But I also wanted to be sure that I was going to live in this life. I wanted to be delivered from this affliction! I did NOT want to die.

I begged Todd to not leave me. When he walked out of the room, the enemy's lies crept back in. So i asked Todd to please stay with me and to keep speaking truth into me - to call forth my destiny - I told him that all i was hearing were the lies. I KNEW they were lies, but I didn't have the strength to speak Truth. I needed my groom to speak Truth of Life over me. And he did.

Todd kept saying "Ashley, you have to be strong. You have to be bold. You will not sheeth your sword until this battle is over. You will keep fighting. You are wearing the full armor of God. Picture it. You have the helmet of salvation on. You are already healed. It is just taking time for your body to physically manifest what is YOURS!" And he told me that i needed to recall songs in my mind, of God's word...and as he said that, I realized that I already was and had been. Even while I was desperate for the pain to leave, in that little shower, the Holy Spirit was singing forth Truth in my mind. I was NEVER away from Truth.

As the pain finally started to relent when I got medicine, I was able to make my way to the hospital bed. I remember telling Todd that I felt so oppressed. I could feel the enemy trying to intimidate me and convince me that I was never going to leave this hospital. It was nasty. His ways are disgusting and mean - he is intimidating. He is vile.

But God. Oh my God - HE IS LOVE!

And while I wretched in pain, I shoved my head into Todd's tummy as I cried in pain and screamed out to Jesus "have you forgotten me?! will you not remember me, Jesus? PLEASE JESUS HELP ME, RESCUE ME!!" i was getting so mad at God. i kept telling Him that I felt like I was a sheep left out in the cold.

But do you know what God did? He took away the shame of that moment by telling me something that only a Papa can do. He said 'it doesn't matter your faith right now, Ashley. i will be with you no matter what. you don't have to do anything, or believe more or less. i am with you.'

And so I started calling forth my destiny. In those moments of freedom from pain, my lips gave way to life. And I would started speaking out loud, into my hospital room, the promises that the Lord PROMISED me. "you promised me a long life, Lord. that you would satisfy me with a long life! that you would let me grow old with my babies and my husband. that you have created me to PROSPER and NOT to harm me. that you know that i am a great warrior for you and that you have great purpose for my life and that it is not to be a short life. that you already told the enemy that i am yours. that we are looking over the mountain victoriously together. that i am your BELOVED AND YOU ARE MINE. that you Love me because you made me. just because i am ME. you will fight for me. you are my victorious warrior. that even the lowest of God's body is higher than the highest of the enemy's. that you will fight for me!" ...

i fought with Truth and Love.

i played worship music often. but admittedly there were times that i couldn't stand any sound at all. but in the quiet, the Lord was with me. it was then that He sang for me.

His Body picked up where i was out of breath. A dear friend stood at the altar at church for me. Literally. She stood in my place, as though she were me. She and another friend stood the gap for me and prayed for my healing. I had several friends who would call and text me and email me constantly with visions and revelation that they were receiving from the Lord - and I would add those to the destiny I called forth. I praised the Lord for the centurion angel that stood guarding and fighting for me - for the Holy Spirit's promise that I was his girl - for how Jesus was pleased with my faith and when I walked on water He held me even as i slipped and sank.
I knew that when I couldn't call forth the next word, that a sister or brother would. And I rested there. I slept easy. I started believing the words I was speaking and remembering who I really was in Christ.

And His burden became lighter. He became more real. I rested in Him easier.

The questions I had been asking Him weeks, even days prior to the meningitis, I started understanding more.

I had been asking Him what it looked like to fully rest in Him - or what it looked like to have personal victories so that I could effectively have public ones.

The answers didn't come in a sentence or a verse - they came more in a feeling. My words fail me. But my heart knows. There was an exchange between the One who pulled me out of darkness and myself. It was beautiful.

I know what it feels like to face fear and rise up victoriously. But it wasn't by what I did or said or didn't do - it was by the sweet grace of God as He held good on his promises.

I stood boldly before His throne and I said, "YOU PROMISED ME, PAPA!!!! PLEASE KEEP YOUR PROMISES!!!" and He did.

And when a nurse came in to test me for some neurological changes after my backslide on Monday - somehow the spirit rose up in me a clear mind for a moment enough to keep my promises in tact.

He was starting to tell me that i was getting worse and began by saying with a severe look on his face that "meningitis can change and lead to other things..." and before he could finish i said, "shh shh shh. out. i will not receive what you're saying. you need to leave. you can go now." I don't think I pleased him, but i was satisfied.

From the lips flow life and death. And when Jesus walked the earth, He spoke and life was breathed. He never spoke and anyone died or was shamed or grieved. His words brought physical and spiritual life. As do ours. We have the capacity to life each other up with our words or breathe out words that will linger in hearts and allow lies to grow into places where we believe them so much that we start living them.

I was NOT going to start living death.

And I didn't.

So on Tuesday morning when I woke, i could feel hope in the air. It didn't hurt that in that awkwardly shaped hospital chair slept my Todd. But I knew that the enemy wasn't done. As long as I was still in the hospital, I knew that his job was to keep me trapped. So as I prayed silently I said, "Lord, you've just got to give me something to cling to today." And as fast as that prayer went up, He spoke to me and told me to read Psalm 113:7. I read on to finish the Psalm. I just smiled. And then I lifted my hands up high and praised the God who came to set this captive free! I knew that TODAY I would break out of this hell. That He would raise me out of the crappy dump that had been holding me captive. And that my arms would be filled with love that only a mama knows. Oh my girls. I was desperate to feel them tucked up close to me.

But do you know that even in that promise given to me, I still vomited and was nauseous and disgusting feeling the remainder of the day. We forgot my medicine and were delayed an hour on the highway. Liliana didn't nap going home. We had our two big dogs in the van with us - one nearly sitting on my head as I had to lie down on the way home b/c my spinal tap created complications due to missing spinal fluid causing headaches...

Even amidst the chaos - even when there is one who is trying to steal joy, there is One who is freely giving it.

In the midst of battle, you need the Body. You need someone who will intimately war with you. You need to KNOW who you are in Jesus because you will most definitely need to call it forth. And you need to know without a shadow of a doubt that as you rise from the ashes, you will look back at the battlefield and see something different. You won't see the affliction of the demons.

You will see the glory of the Lord.

His final promise to me:

psalm 113:7-9
He lifts the poor from the dust
and the needy from the garbage dump.
8 He sets them among princes,
even the princes of his own people!
9 He gives the childless woman a family,
making her a happy mother.

coming BOLDLY before the throne with confidence:

Hebrews 4
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

there is POWER of life and death in your words:
proberbs 18:21
21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

half way.

He told them to go and make disciples. He told them that they will cast out demons, raise the dead to life and lay hands on the sick and they will be healed. He said to love no matter the cost - especially your enemies. Because how easy is it to love those that love us back? That's easy.

The hard part is watching the train wreck and knowing that you're called to get up and act.

It's not enough to just sit on our couches and watch the Today Show with our warm cup of joe and do nothing with all that we know.

I'm not saying that being a Believer means that you have to work to earn salvation. But I am saying that being a Believer means that doing nothing must mean something. I like it to being given a beautiful inheritance from your parents, their love all your life, gifts and presents, support when you're struggling, hugs when you need them and then never calling them. Never visiting with them. Never helping them walk through their own struggles. Just taking. Taking. Taking.

That's not natural.

So why do we do that with our Savior?

I stared at the tv and watched the devastation in Japan and wondered: what are Believers doing? Are we standing in judgment of a government, theirs or ours? Are we angry because people haven't come to our "rescue" before? Are we sad for the land that was destroyed? Or do we look at the pictures and hear the cries and feel the Holy Spirit grieving as we grieve with the broken?

Where are you Church? Come ON! Body of Christ, let's move.

It's not enough to say that we are Christians. Followers of Christ, of The Way, Believers of the Most High - there is no denomination in walking with the One who breathed you into life. So why do we stay separated? Where is our worship?

I'm not saying that flying straight to Japan is the answer. But for some of us, maybe it is. But I am saying that there is as much devastation right here.

I live on the coast. A tsunami would destroy my home in a matter of minutes. Easy. And then what?

Why aren't we talking to people - asking them about their god?

The world wants peace. It wants rest. It wants hope. It wants to look at destruction and tragedy and know that devastation doesn't define us.

Jesus does. He is the author and lover. He is the Prince of Peace.

Oh Church - pray. Reach people - love them - disciple them. Leverage yourself, your gifts, your time. Retirement, when you graduate college, after the kids are older, when things are more settled... isn't when you should start serving the Lord. Serve Him now. It is a joy to serve Him.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

i didn't dream of this...

when i was little i used to dream of being a mommy. a working mommy. it never occurred to me that i would be a stay-at-home mom. never. well, not until i got married and the prospect of children became so close to my heart and the thought of handing them over to a stranger seemed like a non-option.

you know, three years ago i was working at a big corporation. i had health insurance that cost less than $100 for our whole family. i had a beautiful gym, at work, to exercise in. i had awesome friends to chat with. i got paid well. i was affirmed with a job well-done. raises and promotions. paid days of vacation.

and now. now i work a 24 hour shift. sometimes i work in the middle of the night for hours. and i wake at the crack of dawn. i don't get days off, let alone paid days off. our insurance payments have more than quadrupled. and the days of a solo workout are gone.

my wardrobe went from dress pants and cute shirts to bluejeans and tshirts...and sometimes just jammies. showers are optional. so is makeup.

i wipe boogers and gooey snot. i dry tears and wash dirty hands. i change diapers. i vacuum dog-hair covered floors several times a week. i cook three meals a day and make snacks in between. i explain right from wrong. i hand out discipline and praises. i teach the a,b,c's and silly rhyming songs. i listen to "why" questions constantly and am constantly required to give an answer. i talk non-stop about jesus and who he is and how to love like him. and i have to constantly give out love. and explain why i'm frustrated for having to do the third load of laundry in one day and can see three more on the horizon and then explain why being frustrated is an emotion that can be good and bad...and explain why laundry is a necessity and why we should be thankful for laundry...and for food and for sisters and friends and dogs and even dog hair.

i have more conversations, in a day, than i did in a week. and my conversations are more intimate and deep than ever before - even the ones about why play-doh should be returned to its correct container.

everything has a purpose. a meaning. everything.

and while we pay an arm and a leg for health insurance and i can't take a quick run to go out to lunch with a girlfriend, and i coupon like a mad lady and make more trips to harris teeter than i'd rather make, and haven't had a private poop in ages, and haven't been able to finish a phone call or an email without saying "please be patient while mommy finishes...", and i...i wouldn't trade any of it for anything.

because my life is not my own. and it's beautiful.

i snuggle with two beautiful girls all day long. and while i'm on the phone, i have a three year old climbing on my back singing "our God is greater. our God is stronger..." and i smile. letting go and letting God work through me is producing a beautiful fruit. i have a three year old whose heart is tender and sensitive and she actually cares about the needs of others. at three. and she has manners and kindness...and when she errs, i get to correct her. i get to explain to her why i'm correcting her. and she gets to see her daddy working to provide for her. she sees jesus in him.

my life was made to serve. and it's not easy.

but it is worth it. and it is good. and i am without doubt that God purposed me for this.

children have sharpened me and molded me into a person i would have never been had i stayed in a comfortable job. and todd wouldn't be the provider he is if i had kept working. i say this not to say that i'm right and you're wrong. but to say that there is something amazing when we do what God is calling us to. it's not always easy, but it is worth it.

my life isn't perfect, but it is blessed.

the Lord knew that i didn't dream of this kind of life. but He did. and when i followed Him, i fell in love with what His dream of my life was.

these faces. these giggles. these snuggles. these lives. they are worth more than silver and gold.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

preparation H my foot

disclaimer: if you haven't had children via the lady shoot or don't plan on having children or plan on having children but are shy about the natural occurrences of childbirth or maybe just don't want to hear about rear ends...this isn't the blog for you.

now that said, let me tell you how i rolled my eyes today while watching tv. i really rarely pay attention to commercials but while i sat alone in the livingroom eating my trailmix while the hubs had some one-on-one time with the almost 3 year old, i saw a commercial that was just ridiculous. it was a commercial for preparation H. and i don't remember the verbage used but it wasn't what they said so much as what they did. or she did. it was this lady in her 30s or 40s. who knows, really. who cares. and she apparently had a hemroid and then blobbed some prep-H on her booty and voila! problem solved. i mean, problem so instantly solved that homegirl was riding her bicycle, coasting down a hill, with her feet off the peddles and legs out to the side as if to say "wwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeee."

i rolled my eyes.

puhleez. i mean maybe all hemroids aren't created equal. i'm guessing not. but of the people i've known with those jokers, they aren't bicycle-seat-up-the-butt-legs-flying-out-to-the-side doable.

let me take you to a sacred little place called the delivery room. are you there? good. ok. there i was, holding my legs back with all of my might, pushing with all of the force i could and i was thinking: surely this baby is coming out the wrong hole. baby birthing through the lady shoot is a force to be reckoned with. the Lord designed it perfectly but it's usually not without a deal of trauma to "the area."

the result was hemroids. uuuuhhhh!! don't gasp. it's just the cold truth of pushing a baby out hard and fast.

i'd say that it was weeks, no months, before i walked normally. and preparation H is like rubbing calamine lotion on poison ivy that's in between your toes. it does nothing.

so i shout false advertising.
instead, do your kegels, pray, nurse lying down, ice your bum and for the love of living sanely...don't ride a bicycle if you're in need of anything like preparation H.
i mean really. gah.