Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Oklahoma Strong

As I sat next to my daughter yesterday while she watched Tangled, I couldn't help but think of the people in Moore. I can't even imagine the devastation there. And many of these people are going through this for a second time. I've lived in Oklahoma my entire life, so I knew well the destruction and devastation that area experienced in 1999. But, I didn't really understand the gravity of it. It hits much closer to home this time. It is much closer to home. 
I was in high school in May of '99. I drove through Moore shortly after it happened and saw some of the destruction first-hand. I would later meet people who had incredible stories to tell, and one who had spent the weeks following in a coma.  It's always been something that happened in my home state, something I'd never forget. 
This time, it's different. I'm older. I'm a parent. And, instead of living a couple hours away, I live a few miles away. This is a place I've been to so many times. I pass these people on the street. I've darkened the doors of these businesses. I have friends whose homes are destroyed. These are my neighbors. 

Instead of hearing about it on the news the next morning, I turned on the TV when I heard the tornado sirens. Once we knew it was going to miss us, my husband and I watched as it grew and grew, until we lost power and cell service. My husband isn't usually home at that time of day, but he came home early knowing it was likely going to be stormy that afternoon. He had been working that day in the area where it hit hardest. He had driven right by both of the schools that were so severely damaged.   

I know that "the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18) I'm praying for these weary brokenhearted people.  And, I pray that I will show them His love any chance I get. 

It's also important to remember that Moore wasn't the only town in Oklahoma that was hit hard by tornadoes this week.

I couldn't be any more proud of my state right now. The way they band together in times like this is amazing. People aren't just willing to help. They sincerely, and desperately want to do all they can. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Oh, Baby

I’ve been busier, and more tired this pregnancy so I haven’t been nearly as good about documenting as I was the first time around.  I don’t love this baby any less, but it’s a different scenario when my thoughts have to be split between the two.  And, the child who is already here is much more demanding.  I actually have to feed her, and care for her, and give her attention.  I don’t have to do anything different, and the new baby is cared for completely.  But, just so I make sure and document so I have something to look back on to help me remember when time and lack of sleep take their toll on my brain, here are some notable moments and some comparisons. 

This baby has been kinder to me in some ways.  The biggest way is that I don’t have cankles, at least not yet.  I’d be perfectly happy to skip that altogether this time around.  I do not miss all the swelling I had with Dinah. 

In other ways, the little kick boxer has been less kind.  For instance, with all the heartburn I’ve had this time, this kid had better have twice the amount of hair that big sister had. 

I don’t remember how early I felt Dinah kick.  I do know that I started feeling it a while before I was convinced that I was truly feeling baby movement.   The first time I felt this one kick was early April, and it was obviously a baby movement.  I didn’t really notice it anymore for a couple more weeks, though.  Dean was able to feel movement this time much earlier than he did with Dinah.  We were lying in bed the morning of our 20 week ultrasound, and I told him baby was moving.  He put his hand on my belly, not really expecting anything, but he felt it right away. 

Speaking of the ultrasound, it revealed that we’re having a baby boy! Our lives are going to change from dresses and dirt to…well, more dirt.  It’s going to be different, I’m sure, but I’m betting it’s just as much fun!


Winds of Change Keep Moving

Oh, where to begin? I’ve kind of fallen off the map, it seems, haven’t I? I’ve written a lot about change this year.  I just had this feeling at the beginning of the year that a lot of change was in store for us.  I wasn’t wrong.  And, so far, it keeps coming.  It started out kind of bittersweet, but it’s starting to get sweeter.  For the last month and a half, I’ve been working a schedule that is completely opposite of what I’m used to, and completely opposite of how my body is made to work.  Instead of working 3 days a week during the day, I’ve been working 6 days a week mostly at night.  It’s been brutal.  My pregnant body needs more sleep than that.  I’m exhausted.  My husband (who gets up early, and then stays up way later than his norm to see me when I get home) is exhausted.  We miss our time together.  Our daughter, who has always thrived on having both parents at once, misses our time together.  It just isn’t the best fit for us.  But, it’s kept her out of daycare and home with her parents and it’s kept food on the table. 

We’ve been praying for a while now that God would provide us with something different.  In fact, we were praying for that long before we started this current schedule.  Since we found out we were expecting our daughter three years ago, we’ve been praying that He would provide a way for me to stay home.  That was a surprise to me.  Never in my life had I pictured myself being a stay-at-home mom.  It’s funny how God changes your priorities and perspective over time.  We weren’t able to achieve full-time stay-at-home status, but we were able to keep me home more, and it worked for a while.  Lately, though, out of pure exhaustion and a feeling of defeat, I’ve been praying even more diligently that God would allow me to stay home.  I didn’t just want that, though.  I didn’t want my husband to have to work in a job that he hated.  I’ve done that, and there isn’t much that is more miserable.  In Sunday school last week, we asked again for prayer for jobs.  It wasn’t a new request, just a renewed one. 

Then, this week, God provided in a way that only He can.  We've both put in our notice, and in a couple weeks we’ll be moving on to a new chapter.  I’m excited to be able to stay home, and raise my own kids full-time, because ultimately I feel like that will be my greatest ministry.  I’m excited for my husband to be in a new role, similar to something he’s done in the past and really enjoyed.  He’ll do great.  I won’t go through all the details of the week, and how it all came about.  I’ll just say that it has felt like he answered every part of my prayer.  It won’t always be easy.  Sometimes money will be tight, but we’re kind of used to that.  And, I’m confident this is where God wants us.