Monday, June 25, 2012

One Year Later

Yesterday was one year since my LEEP to remove precancerous cells from my cervix.

A year ago, I thought my life was about to take turn dramatically for the worse.

A year ago, I was scared, make that terrified that my dreams of becoming a mother would be gone forever.

A year ago, I had no idea how strong I was.

I was terrified of what would happen. I was worried that they would find out that it was worse than the biopsy showed. I didn't think anyone understood or could understand. And I had no idea what I was doing.

I took it one day at a time and leaned on my husband more than I ever thought I would. I learned that in all of his discomfort with my tears and emotions, he would always be there for me. I learned that he is my rock and my teddy bear all in one. He really was amazing (and still is).

I struggled with what it meant to trust God and be faithful to the command to not worry. I struggled even more with what it meant to take your cares to your brothers and sisters in Christ and ask for prayer. I found myself conflicted in the role of care taker for so many and needing to be cared for, and I learned the importance of being vulnerable even as you care for the broken.

And now I find myself "as big as house" with a wiggling, kicking, little baby growing inside of me and a clean bill of health. I feel closer to my husband that I did before even when he's hundreds of miles away. I feel more at peace and content with the situation and world that God has placed me in. Most of all, I have been humbled to a place of deep appreciation for the glory and majesty of our Lord and the life that we have within him.

I am honored to be able to share my story with anyone who might see this and pray that I might provide hope to someone who needs it.

To read about the events of last here, click here.

My ever growing "very pregnant" belly. :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Watch What You View

Ladies, this is probably going to be my most unpopular post ever, but I really think it's worth saying. So here it goes:

I don't think you or anyone else proclaiming the name Christian should go see Magic Mike.

In case you haven't seen the trailers, Magic Mike is a movie coming out starring many of today's top male actors as male dancers/strippers. They hint at some parts of romance, but the trailers are essentially little 30 second snippets of half-naked men dancing.

Now, some of you might say that this is just fun and entertaining and shouldn't be taken too seriously. After all, it's just a movie.

My first instinct is that to watch this movie is disrespectful to our husbands. In the same way that we wouldn't want our husbands going off to watch half-naked women swing around a pole, we should offer them the same respect and honor. I've talked about honoring husbands in regards to actors/celebrities before so I don't want to beat a dead horse in sorts. You can find that post here.

But then I know that some of you are not married. What's the harm then? Surely you can enjoy the single life and go watch some eye candy? After all, it's not like you're going to act out the lust that the movie seeks to inspire.

Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
-Part of the chorus in Song of Solomon

To the single ladies I would implore you to refrain from stirring up any additional desire before the time comes that you are able to fulfill those desires with your husband. I know that this is hard to do when our society surrounds us with sexual images, but this is one image you can keep from seeing. 

To guard our eyes and minds is but one way in which we are able to live out the name Christian in a world that seeks to distract us so often.

"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel"
-Philippians 1:27

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." 
-Philippians 4:8

Paul not only instructs, but almost pleads with the Philippians to focus their thoughts and their lives around the gospel and the virtues of faith. This isn't just so that they will be good little Christians and march off towards Heaven, but this is so that the witness of their lives will reflect the glory of Christ and the will of God. 

Perhaps you have been invited to go see this movie as part of Girl's Night or a Bachelorette party. Well, now's the time to stand firm in your convictions. 

"Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise,  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."
-Ephesians 5: 15-16

As hard as it may be to follow the way of the gospel and as tempting and fun as the way of the world seems, I beg of you to think through your movie-watching plans. Pray for the Spirit's guidance and honestly ask yourself if it would be wise for you to see this movie.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mommy Mean Girls

In my journey towards motherhood I have learned one thing: Moms are the mean girls of the adult world! Seriously! If you want to feel judged- talk about your parenting ideas with other mothers.

If you're planning on a natural birth, someone will tell you that it won't happen and you'll be begging for the drugs.

Say you want to cloth diaper and they will tell you that you will give up after the first week of laundry.

Want to breastfeed? You'll be up all night and you obviously will be flashing people in public everyday.

Don't do daycare. Don't homeschool. Don't do time-outs. Don't let children have any sugar. Don't use this brand. Don't go to this park...

It starts even before the baby is born! Shouldn't you be eating more? Eating less? Don't eat that. Don't drink that. Are you gaining enough? Gaining too much? Don't go down the stairs so fast. Take this class. Read that book.

Oh and if you don't do exactly as everyone tells you to, you're a bad mom. Or you're not a "natural" mom. Or your parenting is "backwards."

And here's the real rub: these comments always come from other mothers- other women who know how hard it is to make all these decisions for your family- other women who are getting judged just the same for their own choices.

What is it that makes mothers so judgmental of other moms? Why can't we all just support one another?

It's the same concept as middle school: the bullies pick on the little kids because they're insecure. We have created a society in which mothers are so insecure that they must nit-pick other moms just to make it through the day. If I put this mom down for adding salt to her baby's homemade food then I'll feel better about what I feed my kid and I'll feel like I'm a good mom.

Here's what I suggest: If your kid is happy, healthy, and loved, it doesn't matter what anyone else says about anything that you're doing for your family. Keep on doing what you feel is best for your family and respect every other mother's right to do the same.

Think of it this way: When you talk with your husband about having a bad day, often times you want him to just listen and sympathize. If you wanted his advice, you'd ask for it. Give other moms the same consideration: listen and sympathize and leave the advice alone unless it's asked for.

With Love and Respect,
A Determined-To-Be-Self-Confident-Mom-In-The-Making