My mind has been on ‘time’ a lot lately.  It could perhaps be because Kaden is very focused on it, wearing a watch now and comparing the time between ever clock/phone/tablet/watch he comes across.  It could also be because I noticed the pajama pants I got for Gage at Christmas are already massively too short and that Cooper easily fits into Gage’s size 12/14 jeans.  Of course, the belly that seems to protrude out further and further each day really drives home that time is passing.

        More than all that, though, I know my focus on ‘time’ has to do with how I’m spending it.  And, how I’m not spending it. 

        Having an impending deadline … for the lack of a better word … really makes you think about how you’re spending your time.  My deadlines?  Gage moving into 7th grade at the next school year (and possibly out of homeschooling) and the baby coming at the beginning of July.  Both have me wondering if I’m spending my time well.  Not wasting it.  Not rushing to prepare, but savoring the time we have.  No body needs me to tell them that time moves fast, that putting books on top of our children’s heads won’t slow their growth, and that no matter how the same each day feels it is still inevitably rolling into another one.  

        But I imagine many people do need to hear that it is okay to evaluate how you are spending your time and choose more wisely.

        I find myself with this urge every once in awhile to apologize for my absence from Facebook, from this Blog, from taking photos of this that and everything, and from my role on Clickin Moms.   I feel like I need to apologize for still never tapping into Instagram or Twitter, or knowing the ins and outs of every bit of political and social drama.

        Like I need to apologize for going inward, into the walls of our home to play more games, nest, read books, take our time with school, watching documentaries and shows together, tend to our home, care for our bodies, rest for this littlest one I’m carrying.  To really see that one boy is growing in spirit as much as size, that this other one needs my undivided attention just as much in math as he does in discussing bearded dragons and our purpose in life, and this one just needs to snuggle a bit longer.  That my husband and I both crave our time together and that God is calling out to me to spend more time not just reading His Word but living it.

        Anyone knows that, truly, the only thing to apologize for in any of that would be for not checking out of all things extra and nurturing the few ‘to-dos’ that God has actually given to me for today.

        I suppose this is a simple reminder, a simple plea, to you (if you need it) and to myself (because I always need it) that it is okay … no, not just okay but RIGHT to put your attention where it is needed.  Where it matters, where it makes a difference, where you’re called to be.

        And because I’m indecisive about B&W and color … 😉

        Happy Thursday!  ♥

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        I sleep through his coffee brewing, showering, head shaving , work dressing, and finally rouse to him leaning over me saying in a hushed voice, “This is your gentle wake up call, Wife…”  Somehow, I sleep through all of that, but wake from a dead sleep to the boys’ door creaking open, or Cooper’s water bottle shifting along the wall upstairs as he rolls over in bed, or their bathroom light clicking on, one story away.

        I see the light is on in the closet, hear the wind howling outside, the rain hitting the window, and the clock shining 5:40.  “Yep,” I say … “Thank you …”  He goes to turn off the closet light, but I ask him to keep it on, otherwise I was sure to fall back to sleep.  Just for good measure I uncover myself from the duvet and the cold hits me, waking me up a couple more notches.

        Last night, I’d told Matt that I really needed to start getting up with him at 5.  “The boys are waking up earlier and earlier,” I’d said. “And I need that alone time before they start our day.”  Just that morning, I had heard Kaden thump down the stairs like only a half-asleep 50-pound nugget can, bouncing off the walls, scuffing and thudding his feet, somehow not falling.  He found me downstairs only 10 minutes into my workout video.  With closed eyes he’d asked if I was almost done.  “In a few minutes, Bud … go climb into my bed.”

        Two minutes later, he returns to check again on my estimated finishing time … 3 minutes later to tell me he has to go to the bathroom.  2 minutes later to retrieve the cat that had just ran down the stairs.  A minute later to ask if he could play the phone, but this time with his brother at his heals.

        So this morning, Matt helps me wake earlier and even though it is just 20 minutes before I typically get up I assure myself it is a start.  After giving Matt a long hug good-bye and watching him walk into the dark toward his work truck, I spend the next several minutes letting in one howling, high-strung-freaked-out-by-the-wind cat and one overly excited (but thankfully dry) dog, and then feeling the need to find the other much more chilled out cat.   He’s sleeping on the front porch in my planter box and once his four paws hit the ground he’s crying for soft food.

        By now, it is after my normal wake-up time so I quickly change and get to my work-out, hoping the boys will sleep a little longer.  To increase the chances, I shut the cats downstairs with me and then quickly shut the high-strung one in the bathroom because I’d somehow missed the fact that he was sopping wet and had dirty patties.  I did my pliés and leg lifts to the sound of him scratching at the door and his brother scratching at the other side, half wanting to play and half wanting to mock his sad brother into continuing his impossible task of digging his way out of the bathroom.  But I call it a victory because I got through my stretches before any of my two legged boys woke.

        I hurriedly drink a bunch of water … a ‘must’ before I allow myself to brew a cup of coffee.  I quietly retrieve the creamer from the fridge and the bagels call my name.  Breakfast and coffee will be enjoyed in bed, back under the covers, while I read my book.  Such simple pleasures!  As the toaster ticks away, I see Charlie lift his head from the floor and hear the familiar sound of bare-feet on the hardwood.  Even with eyes closed, and one tiny light on, Kaden finds me but then veers toward the cat sleeping on the couch instead.  In his ear I whisper that I’m going to read in bed for a bit if he wants to head in there and rest for a while longer.  He agrees.

        But as I cover the bagel with the last portion of cream cheese, I hear him in the dark school room.  I peek in, squinting to see where he is and find him his cubby of workbooks and lessons.

        “What are you doing, Love?” I ask, pretty much already knowing the answer and therefore feeling equal parts pride and disappointment.

        “Getting my schoolwork.  I want to get it done,” he replies.

        I’m not going to protest. I’m not going to tell him, ‘No, this is my time’ or ‘No, you should still be sleeping’.  It is 6:40 and by golly, my 7-year-old wants to do school.  I stack my coffee and bagel atop my book while he stacks his pencil atop his workbooks and we retreat to the bed I’d left an hour ago.  It’s still warm.

        I only read about 5 pages between helping him count money for math and write words for phonics and sound out others in his Bible Reader.

         

        “Is this fine, Mom, that we’re doing this right now when you wanted to be reading?” he asks.

        “Totally, Bud.  I love studying with you.”  It is generally not fine with me when I tell the boys that I’m going to try to read for a bit and they interrupt me with random stories or burst into my room playing a fierce game of chase that ends in a huge tackle on my bed … yes, I want to always be accessible to them, but I do think it is super important for them to recognize the importance of downtime and my (our) need for white space and quiet time in our day.  I tell them, it is a matter of respect.

        But on this morning, there is no way I’m turning away Kaden’s desire to cuddle in bed and discuss quarters and the ‘au’ sound and Joseph forgiving his brothers who had sold him.

        7:37 now, and Gage and Cooper come into the room with more energy and volume than Kaden and I and the sleeping cat on my bed are ready for.  I try to welcome them into this day graciously, but while encouraging them not to be such a distraction when Kaden is practicing his reading.  Quickly, (since brothers are now on the scene) Kaden finishes his lesson, they all bound out of my room.

        I finish the chapter I’d started an hour before … in a book about seeking the slow life.  I’m not sure why I pick up such books other than to rejoice with the author that they too have figured out that a slow, simple life is where it’s at.  And as a reminder to thank God for setting our family out on this laid-back life path before our family had even begun.

        I close my eyes because, despite the 30 minute-get-up-and-go workout I’d already done and the large-Keurig-sized cup of coffee I’d already drank, I’d tired again.  Maybe it is the hum of the wind, or the simple fact that I’m back in my bed, or the knowledge that no time constraints are pressing on our day, but I wonder if I can sleep until 8.  The sleeping cat on my bed has other ideas and tries to climb onto me repeatedly, refusing to understand what my gentle shove in the other direction means.  Eventually he bites my thumb and my shove is a bit firmer.  That, he understood.  But with the cat’s paws having pressed on my belly several times, the baby growing inside me has woken and gives me a good solid kick (or punch or body stretch?) and my hand instinctively moves to my stomach.  Another few kicks and I choose prayer over sleep.

        I ask God to guide me through this day, to show me this day what He wants from me and to help me make the most of it.  To make the most of this day, and to help me glorify Him in all that I do, speak, and think.  To graciously accept the rainy day and the things that don’t go according to my plan (like little boys wanting to start school when the moon is still shining through the windows) and to wisely and lovingly help the boys through their school work, their relationships with each other, and their usage of the time in their day.

        With a huge thump on the floor above me and a slam of a drawer in the kitchen and a call to me that “the bowl I just got from the cupboard is still dirty!” and one boy flinging into the room saying his brother won’t stop following him … and one more kick from the baby inside me, I open my eyes and decide, this is going to be a good day.

        And it is now, 8:00am.

        ETA: It was a good day … school, relationships, a friend over to play … there was even goodness in our goats getting out and eating on my totally toxic to them rhododendron bush.   In its self, that was not good AT ALL, but there were lessons to be taught, guilt and responsibility to address, character to build and humility and forgiveness to practice.  There is goodness in every situation we face.

        I hope you have a wonderful Thursday! ♥

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        • Mom - What fun to take a peek into your morning. You write with such honesty! Truly, God is guiding you through each and every day. Amen! Just wondering, are Jack and Sven okay? I’m looking forward to news today and seeing you this weekend!
          XOXOXOXO to GCK? from GrammieReplyCancel

          • Lacey - I just heard from the vet that they are doing well! Matt had taken them in right away and they both had to have their stomach’s pumped. The vet kept them overnight and said they are doing great this morning, but we’re waiting for a full report soon. 🙂ReplyCancel

        • Auntie Dianne - “The baby growing inside me has woken…” I love hearing that, Lacey!ReplyCancel

        • Stephanie George - Love this recount of life as it is right now (or at least your morning). Life is busy being a mom… so much to be done before 8am!ReplyCancel

        As my belly grows and the vague recollection of what it entails to have a newborn again means in our day to day life becomes a bit more clear, I am sure recognizing what a gift it is to have my boys be the awesome ages they are.  Not only that, but also for them to be so willing and able to help and hold their own responsibilities.  And even better yet, when those responsibilities are one’s I don’t particularly want to hold.  😉  Like, putting away laundry (I’m happy to sort, wash and fold it!), putting away the dishes (I’m usually cooking breakfast when this needs to be done), and heading out into the rain or freezing temps to feed the animals.  I can’t say there is never a grumble from one or two brothers, or a need for a reminder, but I’m certainly not grumbling about that because I’m too thankful. 

        And… I dare not say it at any more than a whisper for fear they will hear me and realize what they’ve committed to … they’ve even told me that they will change the baby’s diapers and sleep in its room when it gets a little older to help it sleep all night long.

        One even asked, “Mom, is it okay if I come in to the baby’s room in the morning when it wakes up to play with it, so you can get more sleep?”

        Um, yes, that would be just fine I think!

        Happy Tuesday, Friends!  ♥

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        • Mom - Ahhhh….so precious! Be still my heart. Lovely images, Lacey. 🙂
          XOXOXOXO to GCK? from GrammieReplyCancel

        • Sarah - That light is GORGEOUS!!ReplyCancel

        • Cheryl - I am so excited for you! I had my little number 5 blessing when my older children were 5,7,9 & 11. They were so helpful and so excited! You know when you and your husband laugh at the little things your children do, and the milestones they make? Well, you get to enjoy that on a whole new level; with your older children. I would worry about him getting left behind as the others grew up but he’s now 15 and he has the best relationship with his oldest brother, who is 26 and has been married for 5 years. God is so faithful and we don’t need to worry about any of the details. He is in control. I’m glad you are sharing this journey as I can relive the joys through you. Blessings, CherylReplyCancel

          • Lacey - Thank you for sharing your experience, Cheryl! It is always so great to hear the perspective from those who’ve been through similar experiences. 🙂ReplyCancel

        And to continue …

        I went in for an appointment with the Fetal Medical Specialists at 17.5 weeks to discuss a plan for preventing another preterm labor.  I wasn’t scheduled to have an ultrasound that looked at the baby, but was delighted when the tech told me to lay down on the table, put that goop on my belly and my little one appeared on the screen!  What a pleasant surprise, I thought!  We saw movement, she praised how well the baby scanned, took a huge amount of photos, measured my cervix length (which was all I thought was happening during this ultrasound) and then left to give the scans to the perinatologist.

        He came in and gave me the great news about some things that suggest preterm labor is not imminent but that taking the progesterone shots would still be a really great option for me, etc etc.  Awesome, I thought … finally happy news that will not lead me to leave an appointment in tears.

        “I do want to talk to you a bit about something else we saw on the ultrasound, though.  Your baby has what we call a marker for Down Syndrome.”  He showed me the scans of the baby’s heart which revealed a white spot in one of the sections.  He assured me that the white spot in and of itself isn’t harmful or a birth defect, but that it shows up in about 11% of normal pregnancies and in about 33% (or so) of babies with Down Syndrome.  Tried as I might to hear all that he was saying, his voice suddenly resembled Charlie Brown’s teacher’s and nothing was really sinking in other than one of my ‘what-ifs’ is now actually staring me in the face.

        Prior to this all of the anxieties I was feeling were fueled by just the general possibilities that float around nearly all pregnancies.  But now, my own baby was showing a marker for one of them.  I wanted so badly not to be phased by this … I wanted to say, “So what, if my baby has Downs?  It doesn’t make a difference …”

        I did hear him talk about the DNA testing that would tell us if in fact the baby did have Downs (as well as a few other of the major chromosomal conditions), that our baby had no other markers at this time, but that with my age (35) I would be a good candidate for this testing.   I left the appointment feeling numb, alone, and sick.  Like I said, I wanted so badly for this to not matter … that just the sight of our healthy, growing baby is all that mattered and that whatever else came with the baby’s birth would just be fine, Down Syndrome or not.  I was ashamed to not feel this way.

        Once home, I read and re-read the notes I’d taken from Calm My Anxious Heart, grasping at what I knew to be true or God’s grace and provisions.  That evening I talked with my aunt, who is a very experienced Doula, and her thoughts combined with the research I found about this specific marker (echogenic intraventricular focus (EIF) ) worked together to calm my mind.

        The following day, though, as I pursued having the test taken I was bounced back and forth between insurance and my 2 OB clinics and was getting nowhere fast with getting it done.  That frustration grew and compounded into a pile of emotions and after crying on the phone with the Health Insurance rep (who was amazing, by the way) I did find out that the test was covered.  I called my regular OB’s office, they said come-on-in, so left straight away to get the testing started.  Only to find out, they couldn’t perform that test because they needed a special kit, which wouldn’t be there until Monday  … and it was Thursday.  Being ME, this just grew the anxiety more… as did my OB’s desire for me to have this particular DNA test rather than the one they actually had there in the clinic.  The one they normally do.  The thoughts in my head flew … ‘What are they are they really testing for that the more complicated one covers that this simpler one doesn’t??’,  ‘What are they not telling me?’ … etc.

        So, naturally (though totally irrationally), I got in the car, shared a hysterically crying conversation with Matt telling him I just couldn’t DO this anymore and then minded his advice to simply call the perinatologist back and ask what I should do.

        When the sweet nurse got on the phone I told her through a wobbly voice that I hated to be that patient, but that I needed her to talk me through my questions and hysteria.   She assured me that there wasn’t anything they were keeping from me, and that she would love for me to come in the next morning to meet with another perinatologist and could get the blood work done then, if I’d like.

        The boys and I headed out for the long drive first thing the next morning.  Bless there little hearts, they did school right there in the waiting room.  They gave each other their spelling tests and read their books and they blessed me so immensely with their patience and cooperation.

        The doctor was incredible, too.  She was so very understanding of my need to talk with her and she shared all sorts of facts about this particular marker with me, as well as her opinion that it shouldn’t be included in the ‘list’ at all.  She told me it is the softest of all markers, that she had never seen a case where the baby was diagnosed with Downs who only had this marker, and that 3/4 of her kiddos had it on their ultrasounds but did not have Downs Syndrome.  She said if it wasn’t for my anxiety, she wouldn’t even encourage me to have the test at all because she’d be shocked if it came back ‘positive’.  All of this was incredibly encouraging and I admit, it made me breathe a little easier.  But I had to spill to her what I felt my biggest issue was.

        Because friends, honestly?  My biggest issue wasn’t whether the baby had this chromosome abnormality or not … it was how I was dealing with it that had me so emotional.  I don’t know if she is a Christian or not, but I laid out my faith for her right then and there.   I told her that I wanted to find comfort in God, not my circumstances.  I wanted to find comfort regardless of what these tests showed.  I wanted to be at peace while waiting to hear and to feel immense love for this baby no matter what.  And I was just beside myself with grief that I was not feeling any of those things.  I was so sad to KNOW God loves me and will work all things together for my good to glorify Him but that I was not living that knowledge.  It is SO hard to truly KNOW something but not be able to live and breathe according to it.

        She listened carefully and thoughtfully and then told me to extend myself some grace.  She reminded me that this is new information and that I needed time to process because a lifetime of developmental and health challenges for her child is not anything any mom would wish for.

        After having my blood work done, I did leave the appointment with peace about the testing, but better yet, I left with encouragement about my faith.  It is not called a ‘walk with God’ for nothing… it is a walk, a journey, a progression.  Who did I think I was that I’d just amazingly have contentment in my life after reading one book and exercising it through this one experience?  Who knows how long it took for the Apostle Paul to get to the point of his proclamation of contentment in Philippians 4:10-13 … of not just the knowledge to say it but the faith to deeply feel it.   And even though I felt guilty at first for feeling relief thanks to the words of my doctor, I realized that my visit with her and the facts and truths that she shared could very well be intended as means of comfort provided by God.

        Just like this baby inside me, I am growing.  I’m a work in progress and what I now know is God is changing me.  Not in one miraculous fell-swoop, but in a patient, loving, ‘I’ll get you there’ sort of way.  My part is to trust and pray and learn more about God’s character through His Word, and His part is that He’ll bring me the peace I need through Jesus.

        So that’s the path I’m on.   And I rejoice in that, alongside rejoicing in our test results showing that Downs Syndrome will not be one of the challenges our baby will face in their life.  ♥  I found an incredible amount of comfort in hearing the genetic counselor say that our results came back great and I also find incredible comfort hearing the Wonderful Counselor say He will never leave or forsake me and that His Grace is sufficient.

        Friends, I’m moving on with this pregnancy now trying to keep my eyes on the Lord and my heart and mind on my kiddos and our growing family… with positivity and prayer!  Enough drama, right?  😉  Thank you for reading and for all the prayers you have said for us!

         

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        • Mom - How can I be “speechless,” when my daughter is so gifted with words? Your blog diary will be a blessing to you in the near and distant future and hopefully to others who are going through the same pregnancy and faith journey. You are blessed to be a blessing.
          XOXOXOXO to GCK? from GrammieReplyCancel

        • Kasey White - Thank you again for sharing your testimony, faith, and struggles. Thank you for being SO real! My middle son’s 20 week ultrasound had the same white spot on his heart and they mentioned Downs, but did not do any further testing at that time. They did do another ultrasound at 32 weeks saying that it usually goes away by then, but it was still there at that point. So, when he was born, we did ask for a heart ultrasound just to be sure that there were no underlying heart issues and it came back clear. I am so glad that you were able to find some peace through the test results and that the rest of the pregnancy will be peaceful in a way that only God can orchestrate! Praying for you!ReplyCancel

        • Ashley - Oh Lacey!!!! I hadn’t check in on your blog in a while and decided I’d stop by today. AHHH! I’m so excited for y’all! We are also expecting (14 weeks tomorrow)! Pregnancy does crazy things to you for sure. My last one (the ‘baby’ will be 2 in a couple weeks…I can’t even) was rough, sick for 9 months, depression, I was angry at God. This pregnancy wasn’t suppose to happen (I swore I’d never had another! two is fine by me, it’s comfortable and “do-able” and I can keep my SUV and we can travel!) BUT GOD. He is so good. I too have been so sick and picking up a camera? HA! But slowly getting back to it. I will be praying for you! As someone who as struggled with anxiety their whole life (and PPD/PPA after the last), it’s a beast. but again GOD! I’m excited to go through pregnancy “with” you 🙂ReplyCancel

        • Stephanie George - Hi Lacey,
          So happy for you that you thought to take this picture during this time. I love that you still have your bandage on from the testing, and that you are surrounded by darkness but are sitting in the light. What meaningful symbolism. You have captured your feelings and the space that you are in beautifully in both words and imagery.ReplyCancel

        • Carol - I think you are too hard on yourself sometimes. You are going through some incredible changes and challenges. Ask Jesus to pray for you!

          My daughter (your age) had the same white spot on the ultrasound of her baby. Your doctor was right, they really shouldn’t even tell parents because it adds SO much stress and worry. Her little girl is now 2 months old and perfect.

          Thanks for including us in your journey. You’ll be in my prayers for sure.ReplyCancel

        • Chesha Oliver - You are so open and faithful. Thank you for sharing your journey eith us. And your picture. Absolutely stunning.ReplyCancel

        • Auntie Dianne - So encouraging Lacey…I love reading the updates and seeing you grow along with this little one! Can’t wait to find out who’s growing in the there! <3ReplyCancel

        It’s 3:24am and I’ve been awake for the past hour.  First because of a cat scratching at my door, letting me know he needed to go outside.  Then still from the freight-train of wind from the storm outside and the freight-train of pressure in my face from the cold in my head.   Then also from the thoughts that welled up in my mind that only pregnancy and inability to sleep can bring.  So I figured, why waste this restless time?  Getting up and writing to you may clear my sinuses and my mind and make me tired enough to block out the windstorm.

        I shared with you a few weeks ago about the challenges I’ve had with facing this pregnancy following our miscarriage.  I know couples who have faced 3, 9, 15 miscarriages and it baffles me that my one could have had such a profoundly negative impact on my outlook for the success of this pregnancy but Satan uses what he uses until we shut him down.  The morning my 16th week began, I stood in church singing ‘I Surrender’ realizing that I had to do that.  Surrender my worries, my control issues, and my trust to God, while also having to stand up and shove my hand in the face of Satan and tell him that my pregnancy, the life of this baby, has no place for him.   I spent a large chunk of that Sunday in bed crying, totally breaking under the what-ifs and under the what-was-I-doing questions.

        I wasn’t mentally or emotionally strong enough to fall to my knees or to start the battle on my own, clearly.  On Monday, I was led to the blog of Adriel Booker and her words moved my heart in a way that was SO needed.  I’d been approaching my situation so coldly and medically and her posts regarding facing her miscarriages and pregnancy through faith truly opened my eyes.  I had been like that annoying screensaver that bounces slowly around the computer screen, following the same monotonous path, going no where.  And her insight into how God and His grace got her through put a hand on me and lovingly, yet firmly suggested there is another way.  I knew I needed to seek some Biblical counsel.  I needed to hear how God wanted me to approach this.   I sent my sweet and incredibly wise friend Kari a text asking if I could come over and talk.

        In pouring out all the emotions and feelings and details of my pregnancy, she guided me.  Or, rather, the Lord guided me through her.  She helped me see that my thought that God was allowing my worry and my focus on the possibility of another miscarriage in order to prepare me for the worst, was not true because of the fruit that was coming from my worry… not to mention the fact that we are so clearly told in the Bible to not worry.  The fruit of my worry was being devastated, exhausted, removed, and unable to appreciate the blessings in my life.   I was not focusing on what was true, lovely, right, pure, excellent and praiseworthy. I was focusing on the unknown and not being trusting of His goodness and control over everything He allows into my life.  One thing that really stood out to me that Kari talked about is that God does not offer the Grace to us to get through a painful experience (like miscarriage), until we’ve actually experienced it.   I was desperately seeking that Grace when I didn’t need it yet.  Time and again He has met me in my place of need when I’ve needed that Grace but in this case, I didn’t need it yet.  My worry and anxiety made me think I did … that I needed help dealing with miscarriage, but the fact was, I was still pregnant!  In addition, Kari helped me realize that I’d been depending on worry and not prayer.  She pointed me to Philippians 4: 6-7 and reminded me that worry is our invitation to pray specifically about anything; in trust and thanksgiving and that God would in turn give us the peace, guarding our hearts and minds in Jesus.  I was stopping at the worrying part, festering in it, wallowing in it and I was doing it all alone.

        Unfortunately, I also realized that I didn’t really know how to depend on God in these types of situations.  In joy and normal life, I praise him for these blessings.  In desperate times when I’m facing directly a challenge before me (in parenting, loss, illness, homeschooling) I know to pray to Him for guidance and peace and wisdom.  But in these times of worry about what-ifs, I was at a loss.  I was lacking a deep knowledge of God’s character and how that impacts everything.  My faith was rather surfacey, yet also a bit blind … an intellectual belief rather than an all encompassing faith.  Kari sent me home with love, prayers, and a book that I devoured in 3 days.  I took pages of notes and wondered where it had been my entire life…

        This book, Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow spoke so clearly the words that my weary mind and heavy heart needed.  The focus was of course not miscarriage, but of anxiety in general and what that means in our lives specifically.  I could quote and paraphrase so much of this book to you but would be doing you a disservice and I think everyone should just read it.  😉

        I will tell you a few of my highlights though…

        • Never dwell on tomorrow – remember that tomorrow is God’s not ours …
          • God is already in every one of our tomorrows, so find peace in that.
          • All the tomorrows of life have to pass through Him before getting to us.
        • It’s our ‘helping God out’ that leads to an anxious heart
        • To reach contentment we must to our part of trusting and praying and then God will do His part of providing the peace.
        • Anxiety is: the habit of crossing bridges before we reach them.
          • It distracts the soul from our present duties and blessings and exhausts us by trying to figure out how to deal with something that may never even happen.
        • Faith is rooted in God’s character and His Word… they are stronger and truer than my feelings or than what I see.
          • Sight says: I see that it is good for me, so God must have sent it…
          • Faith says: God sent it, so it must be good for me…
        • Are my eyes on God or my circumstances?
        • Remember:  I am here in these circumstances
          • 1) by God’s appointment
          • 2) in His keeping
          • 3) under His training
          • 4) for His time.
        • Can I trust God with my worst ‘What-ifs?’ … what if I miscarry, what if this baby has a birth defect, what if I have another preemie… YES, I can, and He is STILL good.
        • In doing all this; trusting God during ALL of life’s circumstances, we are living a life of worship, glorifying Him.
        • Ultimately, HE and His plans are greater than me and anything I could dream up for my life.  HE>i.

        These are just a few of the points that really struck me but trust me, this book was full of what I needed to hear.  I could literally feel the anxiety drip away as I read this book and spent time focusing on God’s character and how it is never changing.

        My hands were up, I was surrendering my anxiety to Him, casting my burdens on His shoulders (because He tells us to!) and choosing to focus on today … what He asks of me, today.  And to control only those things that are actually in my control and of my responsibility.  Worrying myself into depression and a nervous break-down over the ‘what-ifs’ is not what He asks of me.   I needed to turn my focus to Him and to what is true and lovely and actually my portion:

        Nurturing my children … caring for my body with activity and prenatal vitamins … taking care of our home … loving my husband … being grateful for a chance to bring another child into our family to raise for Jesus … teaching my boys … being an attentive friend.

        As I prayed specifically over the issues above I did feel my focus shift … I stopped bouncing around the trap of perpetual worry and anxiety and stood still, being present once again in my life.  Did I stay there, perfectly content now without any whisp of worry?  I wish I could say that I did, but I was tested big time just over a week later.

        A marker for Downs Syndrome appeared as a little white dot on an ultrasound and suddenly I was falling, again.

        Friends, thank you for continuing on this journey with me.  I’ll be back soon to finish up this portion of our Baby’s story.  ♥

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        • Megan - What an amazing gift to have such a friend! One who you can confide in and will guide you into the truths of God’s word.
          I pray you are comforted by our heavenly Father, that he gives you much joy and peace. I know several people that have downs kids or siblings and they wouldn’t change it for the world! I follow several blogs of people who go out of their way to adopt downs babies and/or other medically fragile children. The one thing I’ve learned watching their stories is that these children are so so precious and bring so much joy to their families lives!ReplyCancel

        • Mom - I agree with Megan…Kari is a blessing.
          HE>I
          XOXOXOXO to GCK? from GrammieReplyCancel

        • Shannon - I am so glad you found a book and scripture readings to guide you through the anxiety. I have not experienced a miscarriage and I cannot imagine the pain that must have come from your loss. I too had extreme anxiety through my pregnancy with my second daughter. The birth of my first daughter had some complications and ended in an emergency c-section to save her life. But I was fortunate enough to experience the love and joy she brings into the world. When I got pregnant with our second, all I could think about was the million ways I could lose the baby. I think stemming from the events that happened with the birth of my first. Like you, each day was filled with nothing but constant worry about the millions of things that are uncontrollable and that could go wrong. A friend shared with me a book of daily scripture readings for those with anxiety and it got me through my second pregnancy. What resonated with me from that book was that He is always there, holding my right hand…ALWAYS!!! So whenever I felt like it was taking over me, I would grip my right hand and imagine His hand actually holding mine. Unfortunately, the anxiety lasted throughout the entire pregnancy until I was holding her in my arms and could see her!! But He still got me through it! After the pregnancy, the anxiety did go away. Although I have continued my daily scripture readings. The entire experiencing brought me so much deeper in my faith and so much closer to Him than I ever imagined. I am so sorry you are experiencing this anxiety. But I’m glad that you have turned to God with it. He will guide you through it. Trust in Him!ReplyCancel