Monday, December 21, 2015

Clinging to JOY this Advent Season

Christmas has always been one of my favorite seasons.  As a child I was obsessed with the twinkling lights, pretty bows, and spending time with our extended family.  As I grew up Christmas took on an entirely deeper meaning, the celebration of the birth of our Savior.

This Christmas season has been hard...I am usually dying to put up the decorations before Thanksgiving and I just saw it as a chore this year...I am usually done with Christmas shopping the weekend of Black Friday and I just forced myself to get out and do it in one day last week. So what's changed? The only way I feel I can rationally describe it is the huge loss we experienced just a few short months ago. I have lost loved ones before but this loss burns deep within some days...I was allowing Satan to steal my Joy. So as the Lord would have it He has been breaking down those walls over the past few weeks and putting little reminders in my life to remind me that He is still here and He is in control.

During my quiet time this morning I was reading guessed it...Joy. I felt lead to dig deeper on that word a bit since that has always been my word for the Advent/Christmas season.

Joy is defined as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness; an emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. My reason for Joy is Jesus, His birth is a reminder of the Joy I should have everyday and the Joy that will come when He returns to take me home.

Luke 1:14 "There will be joy and delight for you, and many will rejoice at his birth."

My suggestion to those reading this blog (bless your heart) pray for those that have experienced loss this past year and hug them a little tighter when you see them and remind them of the true Joy and reason for the season. It doesn't take much to touch someone's heart and remind them that they are loved.
This is by far the sweetest card I have ever received. I didn't even know you could make one individual card like this. Ryan and I had pictures taken for the purpose of sending out Christmas cards...I couldn't bring myself to do it (maybe New Years cards), but a sweet family brought this to us this past weekend. I will treasure this card forever, as a reminder of the Joy and my reason for the season, a reminder to not let Satan steal that Joy, and precious Baby Chapman was loved so much! As the days pass the sting and hurt gets a little duller, but I will never forget Baby Chapman because their little life mattered.

1 Peter 1:8-9  "You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious JOY because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

Press into Jesus sweet friend, cry out to Jesus, ask Him the hard questions He is a mighty and loving Lord that is there with you every step of the way. I will fix my eyes upon Jesus and walk through the storms with Him holding my hand leading the way.   

"God has faithful love towards us even when I am faithless." J. King


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

This is (a part) of my story....this is my song

This blog post has been on my heart for the better part of a month time like the present.  I pray that what I have to share speaks to those that need to hear are not alone sister. 

My world was rocked almost two months ago I had a weird intuition/feeling whatever you want to call it that I was pregnant.  Ryan was working so I ran to Walgreen's and bought 4 tests two were positive and two were negative...AHH! I told Ryan and said I guess it wasn't really positive.  A sweet friend at work told me to wait until the weekend and take it again first thing in the morning.  Sure enough the weekend couldn't get here fast enough I slipped out of bed early a Saturday morning and quietly took another pregnancy test.  Talk about the longest four minutes of my life...and then there it was Pregnant. Tears of joy immediately overcame me and as I giggled and cried I couldn't wait any longer to run tell Ryan. (Side note waking him up from a dead sleep for such wonderful news was probably not the best I woke my peacefully sleeping husband by jumping on the bed screaming "WE'RE PREGNANT!!! YOU ARE GOING TO BE A DADDY!!" We both just giggled and hugged this was a sweet moment that we had been waiting to happen. For so many years it wasn't our time and we sweetly waited on the Lord's timing and I just couldn't believe it was here. That was the day I became a mommy to a sweet babe that we couldn't wait to meet him or her. 

It took me FOREVER to try and pick a doctor and one that was accepting new patients.  I finally find one and made my appointment for two weeks out which would put me at about eight weeks.  As the appointment grew closer I had a sinking feeling in my heart and had several dreams that there was something wrong.  Ryan and I prayed about it and he assured me to just relax and we would get to see our baby on Friday.  The appointment finally came and the doctor did an ultrasound...I may be a nurse but oh my please don't ask me to read ultrasounds.  I had told the OB that we were both nurses so we chatted about that while she did some measurements and then she showed me the most perfect little sac....and that was all that was there. My heart sunk into the floor and about four floors down. My OB saw my worry and concern all over my face and through my tears, she assured me that my dates may just be off because I was measuring a little earlier than I had thought. They drew blood and she said we would make another appointment for two weeks out in addition to redrawing blood again on Monday.  I walked to the counter to make a follow up appointment and I remember being asked what is your due date....I just had to shake my head and say we don't have one yet. She gently nodded her head and said ok we will see you Monday. To make a long story shorter....I started experiencing complications and called first thing Monday....two weeks of blood work and multiple ultrasounds later...I sat with Ryan waiting on the doctor to come in and I said very plainly I need to know one way or the other this has been the longest two weeks of my life I just can't anymore...I didn't know whether or not to mourn my loss or celebrate our precious gift. She very plainly and compassionately told me that she believed that I had lost the baby very early on and the sac just continued to grow.  She said she wanted to draw blood one more time to see what my levels were doing and then we talked through treatment options. My heart burst into a million pieces in that examination room. We went home and I just prayed that the Lord would give us clear answers. Lost blood work and another blood draw later my doctor called and apologized that she had to tell me that I was no longer pregnant...

I knew in my heart that this would be the end result, but in now way was I prepared for the emotions to come.  As I helped my body completely miscarry I felt that I was drowning in my sorrow and losing hope that we would ever be parents. 

I have been very blessed with sweet friends that walked alongside me, prayed with me, for me, sat with me in silence watching Friends reruns, texting me, calling me, sending cards to know that I was NOT alone. I had a very sweet and close friend that had been through what I was going through and it was a huge comfort to lean on her and ask questions because I may be a nurse but I didn't have a clue what to expect. And sweet sister if you have found this blog on a random note please know that you are NOT ALONE. My doctor sweetly told me that 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage at some point...this broke my heart. I found that when I opened my mouth and shared my story I was comforted by several friends telling me that they have walked in my shoes and knew what I was going through.  I have no idea why miscarriages seems to have a weird and shameful stigma. I had to run away from the thoughts and feelings that I did something wrong or I deserved this.  I ran to my sweet Jesus for comfort and guidance.

"This does not mean Christians should slap on a fake grin as their souls are bleeding.  On the contrary, it means that we should be honest and genuine in our suffering, while simultaneously upholding the truths of God's Word. By doing so, we display God's supreme worth in our lives as well as his ability to uphold us in our weakness." Inheritance of Tears: Trusting the Lord of Life When Death Visits the Womb by Jessalyn Hutto

As with anything in life I always turn to scripture for guidance...but sometimes you need a good resource to help guide you to the right scriptures.  This book is a very quick read and I highly recommend it to anyone that has experienced a miscarriage or even women that want to know how to better minister those that have lost a baby. I remember a few years ago a sweet friend lost her baby and I had foot in mouth disease...I didn't know what to say or how to say anything I wish I had this book then.  This book is a great reference and walking through miscarriage or infant loss. 

With October being National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month I felt burdened to share my story. Sweet sister you are not alone, I am so sorry that you have to walk through this experience at all, but you are not alone.  Please don't forget that and most importantly God understands your grief.  Press into Jesus.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! 
Oh what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God, 
Born of His spirit, washed in His blood. 

This is my STORY, this is my song, 
Praising my Savior all the day long; 
This is my story, this is my song, 
Praising my Savior all the day long. 

 I wear this sweet necklace as a reminder of our sweet babe that is now in Heaven with Jesus and my sweet Grandma, Grandpa, and Grannie.  Baby I'm sorry I didn't get to keep you safe and warm longer so that we could see your previous face on this Earth, but Daddy and I will meet you again one day until then snuggle with Grandma and Grannie they give the best hugs!-Momma

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have had several people ask about our homemade laundry detergent (thank you pinterest...see link to original blog post here Since Ryan and I got married it has always been back and forth when it comes to laundry detergent/softner/dryer sheets.  Ryan has a very sensitive nose to anything over powerful, but I grew up with softner on my clothes which can be very fragrant. So I had seen all these posts on pinterest for homemade laundry detergent so I took a chance and went for it.  I made a batch I believe back in August/September and have hardly used half of it.  I did not take pictures...I will next time.  I made the mistake of trying to get all the supplies you need at Target (I love Target!) but unfortunately they do not carry most of the things you will need.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and headed to Walmart and it was an in and out trip and no small children were killed = ) 

1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (2.15 kg or 76 oz) found in the detergent isle

1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (1.81 kg) found in the cooking isle

1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) found in the detergent isle

3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent isle 

2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean found on the detergent isle

Once you have gathered all your supplies you might want a cheese grader that is not used for food = ) Use the cheese grader to shave the bars of Fels-Naptha soap....upper arm work out anyone? Once it is all "shredded" I just poured everything else into a big black trash bag so that I could mix everything together easily.  I bought a big glass jar from Walmart and the scoop that I use came with the oxiclean.  I believe it is probably about 2-3 tablespoons, that is all I use for a LARGE load and use COLD water!!! It is amazing and our clothes come out smelling clean and fresh.  The only two things that I have noticed is that with the soap that is sitting on the dryer it gets a little clumped together, I don't know if moisture is getting into it or if the shredded soap is just sticking together.  The second thing I have noticed is it does not get out super tough stains ie grass stains out of socks real well, I revert back to just using bleach for the tough stains.  Ryan and I both love it and I think for all the supplies including the jar I spent less than $50 and I haven't bought detergent since last August! Deal? I think so! Try it out and let me know what you think! I have also tried the dish detergent on the website mentioned above...not our fave just not super easy to use.