Monday, September 26, 2011

Book Club!

I have been desiring to be part of a Christian book club for quite a few years now, and one has started this past month through Southern! I am so excited about it. We had our first meeting to discuss Girls Gone Wise in a world gone wild by Mary Kassian. This book is so fitting for this day and age. Not only is it fitting for our time, it is fitting for all time and is for a woman of any age. Though the context is more directed at the younger generations, the principles are important for all women and girls. Mrs. Kassian looks at 20 points of contrast between a wild thing and a girl-gone-wise and every single one of them spoke to me on some level. Like with all material different points will hit different people differently, but every single point is pertinent to our daily lives. The high light is that we cannot be wise with out a relationship with Christ. And only He can take our wild days and forgive them through His blood. This book has opened my eyes to even more areas I need to repent of sin and let Christ guide me into how I need to live more like Him. I still have so far to go, but I am thankful for this saving grace that has reached into my soul and given me knew life.
I very highly recommend this book to ALL women of ALL ages and stages of life. It is scriptural and has verses of the Bible throughout to show God's wisdom that has been given to Mrs. Kassian and that will be given to us if we put our faith in the saving power of Christ's death and resurrection for us. I know I am in need of much more wisdom and I am quite sure you are too. So trust Christ and His Word to help you see that we need wisdom as women living in a wild age.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Family of Five

It has been a week since we welcomed God's gift of sweet Reuben into our family. How quickly a week has flown by! Thankfully, by God's grace, it has been a decently smooth transition. Most days I have felt pretty rested even getting up every 2 hours to feed. God is sustaining me.
Jamey and Lillian have been very sweet to Reuben. That is definitely by God's grace. We have had some very tender moments. Lillian has done much better with Reuben than Jamey ever did with Lillian. She loves to give Reuben kisses and say "I love you". Unfortunately she calls him Mama, which is a little confusing, but I know in time his name will come. Jamey, who hates to share, especially with Lillian, readily gives his toys to Reuben saying, "here Reuben". He wants to help change diapers and has asked to hold him a couple of times. Jamey has really stepped into the role of "big brother".
On the other side, they have been testing Jim and I. Whining is quite prevalent, boundary testing is abounding and demanding attention in weird ways are all around. I have so much to learn. I want to be consistent and have clear rules and boundaries. I want them to be God honoring, not just rules for the sake of rules. I do not want to be emotional and reactionary as can sometimes happen when you are not at your top game. By God's grace I am slowly learning these things and how to apply them to myself and to my family. I am so thankful that I have a God who is patient and gracious with me but will discipline me when I need to be corrected and is teaching me how to do the same with my children. Having another child has helped me in understanding more of these truths and realize even more there is no way I can do this on my own. As Jim pointed out our first day home, "They out number us now, you know". And so they do. But I would not have it any other way. Only by God's grace can two adults raise three children running in three different directions.
I am so thrilled and blessed to be a family of five. I am honored that God saw it fit to bless me with children at all, much less three. I know we have so much to learn and so much growing to do, and we will do it together as a family of five. Thanks be to God!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reuben Yates

God has blessed us with another son! Reuben Yates Manor joined our family on September 7, 2011 at 4:34pm. He weighed in at 8 lbs 8 oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. He is beautiful!

God's hand was completely in this as He is in all births and I am excited to share how God showed His glory and favor to us. Both of my other children had to be induced for different reasons and I desired so much in my heart to go into labor unassisted medically. God designed birth and I knew that He could put my body into labor without medical assistance and I prayed so hard for this. Not only were Jim and I praying for this, many of our wonderful friends were praying the same thing for us. I prayed that it would bring God glory to do this. We were narrowing in on the day that a decision had to be made and I continued to pray that God would see it bring Him glory for my body to do what He designed it to do.
I had been contracting off and on for a couple of weeks. On Tuesday I noticed that they were much more frequent around 3:00, but they were no stronger than the ones I had been having for the past couple of weeks. I debated and debated but decided it was nothing to call about and went to bed around 11:00 to get a good nights sleep in my own bed before we had to decide what we should do. Praise the Lord I slept! What a beautiful thing. And I felt mostly rested when I got up in the morning and I was still having contractions. This was great! I was so excited and hoping I would be about 3cm dilated at my appointment since I had apparently been contracting all night. Rebekah came to watch the kids for my appointment and Jim and I left. On the way there the contractions started to change a little bit. Just a little bit stronger and needing a little more concentration. We checked in and they looked at me and asked if I was in labor. I said maybe but I wasn't sure. They got me back and I had to wait a few minutes for the doctor but while I was waiting the contractions felt a little stronger. Dr. Pridham came in and listened to the baby and checked my cervix. I was 6cm dilated! I was rejoicing that the Lord had given me the desire of my heart and had put my body into labor as He had designed it to do! He told me to go to check out to get a copy of my chart and head over to labor and delivery.  I had intentionally not taken my bags because I really was not expecting to be that far along and was going to go home to labor for a bit. So I called Rebekah and her mother came to watch the kids. Rebekah got all of our stuff together and took care of things at the apartment arranging childcare for the rest of the day. (A big shout out here to Rebekah, Ruth, Greg and Dawn and Nathan and Sarah! Our church body really came through for us that day on short notice. We are so blessed to be part of such a wonderful Body of Christ.)

And so my time in the hospital began. They knew I wanted a natural delivery and they completely respected that and worked with me. I had a wonderful nurse, Debbie, who loved that I had been an L&D nurse. She put me on the monitor to check the baby and gave me a saline lock. (I swear that is the WORST part of giving birth. I am still bruised from that.) Since I was going natural they allowed me to walk and drink water. I even got to have a Popsicle! The nurses at the station heard I had been an L&D nurse and talked to me about it. It was really neat for them to be excited about that and they were super nice to me. I walked for a while, spent a little time on the monitor and walked some more. I walked until I really could not stand through my contractions any more. I went back to my room and struggled through positioning as the contractions continued to grow in strength. Transition came on strong (I will add my water was still intact). It became difficult not to push but God gave me the strength to resist and hold off until my water did break. It was perfect timing, God's timing. I had a very strong contraction that broke my water. At that moment my doctor was walking by my room from a C-section and came in. I have never screamed in labor before but that day I did. All I could say was "God help me!" My wonderful husband whispered in my ear "He will." And He did. It was time to push and about 10 minutes later Reuben was born! God gave me the strength to endure and gave us a son to care for for Him. What a wonder! What a blessing! Birth is so amazing and God is so amazing.
I will admit that this was my most challenging labor. With the inductions they were so fast it was almost as if I had no time to feel anything. This one was longer, but it was in God's timing and gradual. Reuben tolerated it so well and we both did wonderfully. I also did not feel as tired afterward. Reuben fed within an hour of birth with no problem. They did not even give me pitocin after the birth and I had no complications. God is so good!

What a blessed time this was. Thanks be to God the giver of life and all good things! Thank you to all those who prayed for us during this time and those who stepped up to help us in various ways. We have been blessed beyond measure. I still marvel at all this. Why has God chosen to bless us so? Thank You, Lord for all of these undeserved blessings!