Friday, October 21, 2016

Trusting God

Our House/Moving Timeline

December 2014- GT takes a new job in Shreveport

January 2015-June 2015 We try to sell our home while GT commutes back and forth each day. I keep house spotless while take care of 2 kids and pregnant. (and ya'll we survived)

July 2015- God provides renters at exactly the right time and we move to a rental house in Shreveport.

July-December 2015- We make plans to build a house.

January 2016- God closes the door. We were upset, hurt and confused.

March 2016- We buy a home that we love and are so glad God closed the door on building.

October 9, 2016-House in Longview renters move out with no notice. Leave lots of stuff behind and some damage. We are angry, confused, worried and lots of tears.

October 12- List house in Longview for sale and rent. I had very little faith the house would sell and just knew we would have to rent it again. We needed something quick as we did not have the finances to pay 2 mortgages.

October 19- We have a contract on the Longview house to close on November 18...for exactly what we need to break even!

My sin became really evident when we were studying the woman at the well in BSF. Short recap if you dont know the story- Jesus met a Samaritan woman at the well and asked for a drink of water. The woman was taken aback that Jesus (male/Jew/rabbi) would speak to her. He offered her living water. Her reply-- The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. John 4: 15-17

She was interested in this physical water that would make her life easier. But Jesus knew her problems were deeper than coming to the well everyday. So He confronts her sin by asking where her husband is. She admits she has no husband but has been married 5 times and the man she was living with was not her husband. By the end of the conversation, she completely forgot about the physical water, leaving her jug and telling everyone in her town about Jesus.

I saw myself in the Samaritan woman. I wanted Jesus to fix the physical/immediate need. I wanted Him to send renters/give us money/sell the house. Whatever it took to take away the unknown of the future. He loves me too much to leave it there. He confronted my sin of unbelief in Him. I am not sure why I fall back into the same patterns. He has provided for us EVERYTIME. I could write a book on the times/situations God has worked things out. 

After repenting and turning my full trust over to God, I had this crazy peace. I didn't feel like I needed to run out and get a job, or line up some way to pay next months mortgage. I just knew that it would be ok. It was so surreal that the day before I couldn't stop thinking about our situation. I couldn't stop worrying about all the "what-ifs". Then it all vanished. Instead I had this confidence and peace that I could just wait and seek Him. 

And thats what we did. And of course in His timing He has worked it out ABOVE and BEYOND our expectations. So I leave my jar at the well and I run and tell everyone on social media and if you know me in real life I probably told you too. 

God really is in control. NOTHING surprises Him. In fact, this whole time He was working behind the scenes for our good. When we didnt think we could see Him, He was working. We could have saved ourselves alot of worry and distress by just trusting in Him from the beginning instead of trying to "fix" it.


Monday, March 7, 2016

My Biggest Fear

A few weeks ago, I posted this picture on fb and Instagram of me rocking Leslie. 

With this caption, "For about two years I thought we were done having children. I always wanted another one but I was fearful of all that it would entail. As I sit here and rock her, I praise God for peace and joy. We took a step of faith and trusted God with the details. He was and is so faithful. Friends, don't live in fear! Give it to Him! Whatever it is you aren't doing because what could be...lay it at His feet! He loves you and will provide everything you need. His grace is sufficient in our weakness!"

There was alot I wanted to say in that blurb but since it was not a blog, I gave the short version. Well, here is the long one.

After Ki's birth, I experienced panic attacks, depression and anxiety. Things I have never experienced before. It came on quick during the night 3 days after he was born. I got on medication which initially made it worst then better. A few months later, I just decided to stop taking it. All was fine for a while.

Fast forward a few years, I think 2. I had more panic attacks. More reactions to medications. The lowest point in my life. I couldn't take care of my kids. I couldn't take care of my husband. I couldn't take care of myself. God intervened. He led me to a Christian psychiatrist. I started taking a medication that did not give me horrible side-effects. Things haven't been really smooth sailing since but they are way better.

All that back story to say--- I had so much fear about having another baby. It is why there is a 4 year gap between Ki and Leslie. I spent the first few years questioning God about why He would allow for me to have this. Why would He give this to someone who loves Him and has a family to take care of? There was never an answer that seemed to satisfy. There are some days it still makes me angry but I have moved to place of acceptance. This is a result of sin. Not my individual sin but the sin of mankind. It cannot be explained but rather I can choose to trust Him and His plan. I can lay around in self pity which I have done. Or I can use it for His glory and to help others. 

I did have some mental health issues after Leslie was born but I was much more prepared for them. And because of what I have learned through all this, I knew it wouldnt be forever. I wanted to share some things that I have learned.

1. If you need help, get help. Dont be afraid to tell someone whats going on. Anxiety for me, wants me to be silent. To suffer alone and try to hide it. First of all, I am really bad at hiding my emotions. Like real bad. It helps me tremendously to talk about it. With my husband, my mom, friends, anyone. If you need to see a doctor--please go see one! I see a psychiatrist every few months and I am not embarrassed at all about it. If you need counseling--go! NEVER be ashamed to ask for help. God created community for just that. He never wants anyone to suffer alone. 

2. If you need to take a pill or pills, take them! This one was hard for me. One of my first visits I told the doctor, I dont want to be on a pill forever. It scared me. I didnt want a label. I struggled with this for months. I felt like because I took pills for my sanity then I was crazy. Not everyone need pills either but if thats what makes you function better in life, swallow your pride and swallow the pill.

3. It wont last forever. Depression and anxiety puts a tight grip on all reality. It makes you become irrational and self-centered. I have to surround myself with people who speak truth to me. You will get better. The storm will pass. "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." Psalm 94:19

4. God probably wont take it away instantly. Man, this is so hard. If your like me, I just want to pray one time and it be over with. I prayed and begged God to take it from me. I wanted an instant fix. His response to me, "My grace is sufficient". His grace is sufficient now, tomorrow, in a year... He will carry you through. Sometimes its so tough and its gonna suck at times but He will get you through it. "Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress." Psalm 107:20

5. You can suffer well. The second time I started going through panic attacks/anxiety I went to a counselor. I thought I would go in and complain about everything and she would join my pity party. FALSE. Instead she told me that I was not suffering well. We all suffer with something and I could choose to suffer like I was or put my big girl panties on and suffer well. Enter in Gods grace is sufficient again. "But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed." 1 Peter 4:13

6. Stop living in fear. I struggle with this one daily. Fear of tomorrow. Fear of what happened before will happen again. Fear of not being in control of what happens. Fear is pointless. I knew God had put a desire in my heart for another child. But I couldn't see past the what-ifs. I am so glad I eventually did. I am not saying its been a piece of cake but He has proven Himself to me over and over again and this time is no different. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Leslie's Birth Story

I started to type this when she was just a few days old...but you know, life...third kid...and all that...

I finished it today! SO here is the birth story of baby Leslie!

Up until about 37 weeks, my plan was to go into labor on my own. I have never experienced that before and I wanted to give birth natural again but this time with no poticin. I am not really sure what changed. Maybe the waiting on going into labor...the misery of the end of the pregnancy...the being 5 cm dilated NOT in labor...fear of having a bigger than 9 pound baby...all the above...I decided to get induced with an epidural.

We went for our weekly check-up on Dec 1. I was 5cm and 60%...I told the doctor I wanted to get induced- he called the hospital and scheduled it for the next day.

We got to the hospital on December 2 at 5am. Once I got all settled, the pitocin drip was started on the lowest dose at was about 6:15am. I didnt really feel much when they started it. The nurse came in and told me the anesthesiologist would be in a c-section from 8-9 am, so if I wanted an epidural I better get it before 8 or I would have to wait an hour. Since I knew I was getting induced and was going to get an epi--I was like BRING IT ON! I dont want to feel any pain! :)

So about 7:45 I got the epidural. It seemed to be more painful when I had the one with Audrie. It wasnt bad at all. He said I had good tissue. Well thank you very much! After he was done, the nurse came in and bumped the pitocin up much higher. This is really when I consider the labor starting.

This was post epidural-notice the smiling...

Our wonderful photographer, April Wesson, came to photograph a birth for the first time. If you never had a birth photographer I would recommend it. I love that she captured so much that I couldnt see or focus on at the time. Because, you know, I was giving birth!

So, about 10am, I really started feeling pressure and pain.

So I call the nurse, tell her I am feeling so pain and I need some more epidural. She checks me and I am 8 cm. The anesthesiologist comes back and gives me another dose. The nurse then turns me on my side and stacks blankets in between my knees because she said the baby needed to turn her head. And it worked! Almost immediately I could feel her turn and start coming down.

About 20 minutes later...I knew she was coming. I paged the nurse. She was a little surprised. She thought it would take atleast another hour. So I started pushing. She said I was a good pusher and called the doctor.

I pushed about 5 contractions, 3 pushes each times. These were no weanie pushes. It was hard! Even with an epidural. 

During my last push, she was starting to come and the doctor told me to wait. Then on my next contraction I pushed really hard and apparently it was so hard the umbilical cord snapped.

You can see the blood splatter on the doctor. Oops. Leslie was already coming out so it was ok. The doctor thinks she had it wrapped around her neck and then the forceful pushing...

There is no greater relief then having your baby out. Epidural or not. Ive done it both way and man its alot of work. 

So at 11:09 am..little Leslie Rene entered our world at 8 lbs 11 oz!

It is always such an odd feeling to look at your baby and think, "you were inside of me!". I doesn't seem possible. A miracle that only God could do!

She was SO alert. When they put her on my chest she just stared into our eyes, like "I know you guys". Neither of my other babies were near that alert. We got to spend sometime just us with her. What a blessing. 

Her first selfie! Welcome to the world in 2015 little girl!