From Bitterness to Blessings

I began to feel sorry for myself as the never-ending housework engulfed me. I realized the only time I’d “relaxed” that day was while I ate dinner. After cooking and cleaning the kitchen I had gone back into clean up mode once the baby was asleep. With each stroke of the broom I let bitterness creep into my heart.

Swish…Why didn’t he at least offer to help me with the evening household chores?

Swish…Hmph. He could have at least taken the diaper pail bag outside to the trash can.

Swish…I wish he would have loaded these clothes in the car for me.

Swish…I do everything around here. (Not true but I sure thought it.)

Swish…I’ve been cleaning for hours! I sure wish I had some help!

Meanwhile, my husband was upstairs peacefully playing worship music on his keyboard.

Does this story sound familiar? (Luke 10:38-42)

As I lamented one of my favorite scriptures popped into my head, Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord… It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24) My sweeping began to feel a little lighter and I smiled. I started thinking about people on my prayer list and I said a quick prayer for them. Then I had the thought, “I am preparing my home for Jesus.” I got excited. Making sure the floor was clean and papers were organized now seemed like an honor. I started to think about what household tasks lay ahead for the next day and I actually felt a sense of delight as I contemplated finishing those projects as well.

Let me note that this has never happened to me. I have read stories about women who are so submitted to God that they cook and clean and feel the glory of the Lord as the lemony scent of disinfectant swirls around their home. That is not my story. But on this day I actually felt a glimmer of that contentment.

My work load did not change. My perspective changed.

A change in perspective can turn a jaded spirit into a joyful song, a mundane moment into a moment of opportunity and bitterness into blessings.

Dare I say I have had a break through?  

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A Vision for the New Year

I love New Year Resolutions. Each year I optimistically make a list of goals. My goals are usually very specific and follow the “S.M.A.R.T.” template. “I will lose 20 pounds by eating healthy and working out 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes a day by June 1, 20XX.” I am a big fan of S.M.A.R.T. Goals but this year I decided to go for a more relaxed approach.

I designed my first vision board. My board included general goals for 5 major areas of my life: Spirituality & Faith, Emotional & Mental Health, Physical Health, Relationships, and Career & Community.

Making broad goals is not something I would typically recommend but for a person like me who often struggles with flexibility and plans obsessively, a looser format can be therapeutic. Although my goals are not measurable in the traditional sense, I am taking note of my progress and have already done a mid-month evaluation. See, I told you I plan obsessively. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

2017 Vision and Resolutions

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My 2017 Vision Board

Spirituality & Faith

  • Read through the entire Bible
  • Pray
  • Memorize Scripture

Mental & Emotional Health

  • Post affirmations
  • Memorize Scripture (yes, it goes here too!)
  • Clean out the basement
  • Travel

Physical Health

  • Make and drink green smoothies
  • Exercise regularly 

Relationships

  • Listen more
  • Affirm more
  • Give more

Career & Community

  • Professional Development 
  • Create business plan
  • Save money

 

Have you ever made a vision board? Did you make any resolutions for 2017? How are they going? We are only 3 weeks into the new year. Don’t give up!

 

Where Feet May Fail

20 weeks. The halfway mark. An anticipated milestone in pregnancy. Finally, we were to learn the gender of our baby. Our 20 week visit started with excitement and ended in trepidation. We learned that our first child was a boy! There was little time to rejoice because a barrage of questions came next. Have you experienced this pain or that symptom? No, no, no, came my reply. With each question I grew more concerned. Are these routine questions? Did something show up on the ultrasound that suggests an abnormality?

Turns out although I felt completely fine, my body showed clear signs that I was at risk for preterm labor.

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.”

Life begins at conception. I have never believed otherwise. And while I’d know for 14 weeks that I was carrying life, this doctor’s visit was the start of me realizing that motherhood means sacrifice.

I started going to the doctor weekly for ultrasound visits. After three weeks I still felt no adverse symptoms. Perhaps this was all a fluke! At week 23 Dishon and I sat through another ultrasound. However, this time at the end of the visit the technician went to get the doctor. Alarm bells began to go off.

“Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.”

“I’ve called your doctor and she would like you to go to Labor and Delivery right away,” he said. I was bewildered. We went to Labor and Delivery, awaiting more news. I was under the impression that this was a stopping point for us while my doctor conferred with another physician. It was a Friday night after 5:00 PM and food was on my mind. I tried to remain calm while Dishon and I chatted with the receptionist.

Finally, after about 10 minutes of waiting, a nurse came out to see us. The receptionist said, “She is going to triage to await the doctor.”

“No,” the nurse replied, “She is being admitted.”

“And my faith will be made stronger.”

A lump formed in my throat and tears cascaded down my face. Admitted? I’d never been admitted into the hospital before. Did this mean my baby was going to be born at 23 weeks? What was wrong? I still had no idea.

Dishon stood by, trying to assuage my unspoken fears as I melted into hysterics. The nurse, Miranda, hugged me and explained that the doctor I was about to see was the best there is. She was confident all would be okay.

I was settled into a room and that night everything changed. Dishon and I were inundated with questions, scenarios, and options. We had to make choices in order to provide our baby with the best chance of survival. It was only by the grace of God that my condition was discovered when it was. Many women are only diagnosed  when they have lost a baby or after multiple losses.

“Oh, Jesus, you’re my God!”

Our routine visit ended with emergency surgery and 5 nights in the hospital. I was then placed on bed rest for an additional 5 weeks.

God called me out upon the waters to the great unknown, where feet may fail. Ocean-Waves-Background-Tumblr-1I found Him there in the mystery, in oceans deep. I prayed my faith would stand. I called upon His name and kept my eyes above the waves.

Throughout this pregnancy I have seen the oceans rise time and time again but I have rested in God’s embrace.

“I am Yours and You are mine.” 
Song lyrics: Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United

Welcome

Baby J

Thank you for visiting my new blog. I am starting a brand new adventure – parenthood. This blog will be dedicated to the things I learn in my journey as a mommy.

Being a mommy is just one part of who I am. As a child of God, a wife, a student and a teacher, I have many opportunities to chronicle my growth, successes, set backs and *cringe* failures.

I hope this chronicle helps you as much as writing it will help me.

K