Sale pending

We got our house on the market, and it was an unbelievable amount of work. From pressuring washing the patio in the snow to leaving town for the painters to paint, it was crazy busy. We got it done, and the house was on the market and sale pending within 4 days(3 if you want to get technical. 😉) That means we have exactly six weeks to find a new home, and move. 

The place we are moving to is the opposite end of our beautiful state, six hours North to be exact. We have made several trips praying and hoping certain properties/homes would be “the one.” So far, none have panned out. We are back to square one. Am I worried? Not at all. Am I focused and pretty much relentless in looking for properties/homes that might be a possibility? A RESOUNDING, YES! 

We know this is the path God wants for us, and we are literally walking by faith every step of the way. We are moving into an area which is a much higher priced market than what we are moving from. We have heard suggestion upon suggestion to go into debt to make up for the “difference” for a similar property/home. We are remaining steadfast in our conviction to remain debt free, and we trust God already has the right place lined up for the right time for us to move.

I am looking forward to being through this transition period, but at the same time treasuring each day as they are numbered in our current home. I don’t even know how to sum up the 6.5 years of our family life in this house. So.much.has.transpired. 

The most important thing I will take from living here (aside from the babies and love shared) is the journey of my faith in Jesus. I was a broken woman when Prince Charming and I got married. The quiet of being in the middle of nowhere has helped me to hear His sweet and quiet and precious voice. The mornings spent in prayer and reading my Bible while sitting on the deck taking in the beautiful view. It has been a precious place to heal, grow and become rooted in the Gospel. 

Putting our house on the market and following God’s leading 

We are in the process of getting our house ready to sell. What a job! I have sold houses before. But I have never sold a house I was living in. Let alone with my husband and six kids! This is going to be a tough season. On top of it, we are waiting on the Lord step by step for the house God will lead us to once this one is sold. 

We purposed when we got married we would work tirelessly until we got out of debt. And boy did we. We also committed that once we got out of debt, we would never go back unless it was to save our life or one of our kid’s lives. So, until this house is sold, we do not know where we stand in buying our next house. And that’s ok. We are living by faith. We are praying for God’s will to be done. That’s all we want. 

In the mean time, we have taken down all the pictures in preparation for painting. We have fixed a multitude of little things that were on the to do list. Yay!!! It’s all coming together. A week from now, we will be knee deep in trying to keep a house immaculately clean while homeschooling and raising our six little blessings. We can do this! 😀 

 Prince Charming and I take decisions like moving very seriously. God has made it so very clear this is His will for us at this time, and we are excited to follow His leading, even though we don’t know the specifics of it all. He does. He loves us. He is going to do great things in us as a couple and in our kids. He has big plans for our family. We simply want to obey and follow. We are His disciples. In the Bible, God demonstrated how He leads people. There are many examples of the act of moving being one of those ways that He leads. My heart is full as we embark on this journey of change. It isn’t without it’s struggles. Trust me on that. The spiritual warfare is unbelievable. How do I overcome and still have a full heart? The lyrics to the song “All the Way My Savior Leads Me” explains it best. If you don’t know this song or haven’t heard it, find a rendition of it and memorize it. 

All the way my Savior leads me,

What have I to ask beside?

Can I doubt His tender mercy,

Who through life has been my Guide?

Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,

Here by faith in Him to dwell!

For I know, whate’er befall me,

Jesus doeth all things well;

For I know, whate’er befall me,

Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,

Cheers each winding path I tread,

Gives me grace for every trial,

Feeds me with the living Bread.

Though my weary steps may falter

And my soul athirst may be,

Gushing from the Rock before me,

Lo! A spring of joy I see;

Gushing from the Rock before me,

Lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me,

Oh, the fullness of His love!

Perfect rest to me is promised

In my Father’s house above.

When my spirit, clothed immortal,

Wings its flight to realms of day

This my song through endless ages:

Jesus led me all the way;

This my song through endless ages:

Jesus led me all the way.

I have been writing about how God is awakening me in a new way. It is nothing of my own doing whatsoever. After having two miscarriages in a row, and holding my precious baby boy that had only been growing in my womb for 12 weeks, I should be a mess, depressed, not wanting to get out of bed. But I am alive and honestly well! I am so thankful for life! Baby Isaac will forever be remembered and treasured as one of the sweetest babies I have ever laid eyes on. God chose ME to be his mama. His not so average mama. I had the gift of seeing his preciously formed body. His tiny little hands and feet. The Holy Spirit surrounds me continually with His comfort. It is because of Him that I can say, “Lord use me to help other women to love you, their husbands and their children.” 

I encourage you to follow His leading in your own life. Don’t ignore that still small voice that is guiding your mind and heart. Let your desires be His desires. Pray for His will to be done in your life. Be a woman of humility. Be welcoming to the hearts of others. Embrace the divine appointments that you encounter. 

I will close with the most recent way God continues to lead me. My favorite Psalm in the Bible is Psalm 91. It is so precious to my heart. I read it often, and reread it. It is comforting. It guides my thoughts in the right way. It is foundational encouragement to my heart. Yesterday I opened up my email. I had a new email from Doorposts. They have a wonderful ministry. The title of the email was “Study Psalm 91/Bible Study Instagram.” It was like water to a thirsty soul seeing that email! On March 1, there will be a Busy Mamas Bible Study using the platform of IG, on my favorite chapter in Psalm! We will study for 30 days. If you are interested in joining in-follow Pam @doorpostslady! You can also follow me @anotsoaveragemama. Let’s study together and be encouraged! 

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today! 

Just say no to comparison…..say yes to discipleship 

Comparison, envy, jealousy, covetousness, etc…it is a trap. Especially  in Christian circles. Social media is a big breeding ground for it. But that does not have to be a way of life. I want to encourage you today as a woman to “JUST SAY NO TO COMPARISON.” I am not going into detail about the why’s and how’s of how destructive it is to one’s life, JUST SAY NO TO IT. 

If you are scrolling through your social media app of choice and you find yourself having jealous feelings, envy and the desire to throw yourself a pity party…unfollow, turn it off, delete it if need be. Don’t let yourself go there. It will ROB YOU OF YOUR JOY AND CHRISTIAN LOVE. 

Discipleship on the other hand is a precious matter and so very important. I haven’t been able to attend church in a couple months with the snow storms we had, then I was suffering from morning sickness, and then the healing from the blood loss from the miscarriage. What has been happening in those two months though despite all I’ve been through, is discipleship! I feel like my faith has grown leaps and bounds. The Lord has been stirring within me a desire to help other women in discipleship. I believe there is a real lack of support for women to embrace biblical Christianity. I have been praying for God to open doors for me to be able to disciple women. 

I want to give you 3 tips that have helped me immensely as I have grown as a disciple. 

1. Read the Bible. DO NOT, and I REPEAT, do not substitute ANYTHING else for it. Read it daily. Meditate on what you read before you go to sleep at night. Let it renew your mind. 

2. Use DISCERNMENT. Since Bible reading is number one, and you will be focusing on the pure truths of God by reading it, you will then be able to practice DISCERNMENT. This is so very important to discipleship. Being able to discern evil from good, what is false from what is truth, and recognizing it RIGHT AWAY, and turning from evil is key! 

3. Pray. Don’t neglect how important it is to pray. Prayer is what moves the hand of God. PLEASE do not go through life without hope in this area. Go into your closet much like you would record a you tube video of yourself where no one can hear you, and PRAY OUT LOUD. 

Discipleship has not come easy for me. I live in the middle of nowhere, have a large family, have been pregnant or nursing for six years, reached out and hosted dozens of people to try and establish connections, and a sense of community has been difficult to develop. We have no family close to where we live. I have felt at times there is something wrong with me that no matter how hard I tried, others simply weren’t interested in having a relationship with me like I was with them. 

My divorce is a part of my past, and at one point in a Sunday school class, someone said they felt a person who was divorced and remarried were living the life of an adulterer. The comment hurt me so deeply. I felt like I was swimming upstream to try and grow in my faith. But I kept pressing on with those three key points…and continue to. We cannot give up. That is what our enemy is out to get us to do. I won’t give up. 

Other things that have helped me immensely are podcasts, books, other Christian bloggers, and some really wonderful women I have met through Instagram. 

Don’t fall into the mold of comparing your life to all of those you see on social media. You have a special purpose that WILL NOT look like anyone else’s! Be ever so diligent in listening to God through reading His word and hearing the Holy Spirit. He absolutely will meet you where you are. As you start to realize much of discipleship comes through obedience and love, be QUICK to throw away the things that don’t line up with God’s word in your life. I think I have had three different sessions over the last six years as I have said goodbye to the “old self” and purposed to obey Jesus. In those sessions, I have thrown stuff away or tossed them on the burn pile.  

Fill your life and home with reminders that point you to Jesus. Hang Bible verses on the wall that have special meaning to you. Very recently I listened to a sermon by Dr. Jobe Martin. He spoke about keeping a shelf of items from the miracles that have taken place in your life. When God does a miracle, something special or very specific, keep an item from that event and place it on a shelf that only holds items of those testimonies. It is a beautiful way to teach your children and to remember regularly how God has intimately been involved in your life. 

I love to share with women, to hear from them, to spur one another on toward love and good deeds! I pray this post is an encouragement to you. 

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today! 

Freedom from anxiety 

I have had lots and lots of trauma in my lifetime dating back to when I was just a few days old, and I came down with a dangerously high fever and was hospitalized for a week. As a 12 year old I escaped death by God’s miraculous hand, when along with my family members, jumped out of the window of our house that was 90% consumed in flames on a Christmas Eve night. We lost everything. When I was 13, my life was spared again when one of my Fallopian tubes twisted, got infected and before any medical personnel could figure out what was wrong with me…gangrene had begun to set in. I was so very sick. As I was rushed into emergency surgery, God provided a wonderful surgeon who was able to remove all the infection and damaged tube. I am obviously still here today, and that surgery did not physically hinder the blessing of fertility, which the Lord has so graciously given to us. As a 15 year old, I was violated badly, and it was that traumatic event that brought me to a brokenness that can’t be described in words, and in that brokenness I looked up to heaven and said to Jesus, “If you are real, and if you can help me, I want to be yours and have the happiness that people say you promise.” In that VERY INSTANCE, the presence of God filled my being, and I was a changed person. I traveled to Romania after graduation to minister to orphans, met who I thought was the man of my dreams, and we were soon engaged. After arriving in the USA to meet my family, he broke my heart and ended the relationship. Sadly, I reverted to old habits and for reasons that are still hard for me to understand, I married my first husband at 19 who pretended to be someone that he never intended to be once he married me. I lived a lonely suffering for ten years before getting the help of law enforcement and filing for divorce. I was abandoned by my church and entire family after my divorce. Single motherhood was not easy. I was going to school to become a nurse full time, working full time and trying to survive. I have had two unplanned pregnancies, survived a major car accident(the vehicle rolled three times landing upright, stopping short of a 20 foot cliff), and my parents divorced after 35 years of marriage. My dad passed away two years after their divorce, and I gave birth to our fifth baby five days later. I have experienced two miscarriages, one at 5 weeks, one at 12.5 weeks. These are some of the hard things I’ve experienced. There are more, but I think you get the idea. 

I realize I briefly described major events that I would love to write books about! I did it for a reason. I want to make the point I personally know and have experienced REAL LIFE ANXIETY. Our recent miscarriage brought some anxiety front and center. I want to share how the Lord helped me and guided me so gently into peace in the last couple of days. 

One of my favorite preachers is Charles Stanley. I listen to his sermons almost daily on the In Touch app. This last week he was preaching on Spiritual Warfare. I listened CAREFULLY, and as he began to preach about how LOVING our God is…I began to cry. My thinking was sincerely almost transformed immediately. The only way I can describe it is the Holy Spirit came and filled a spot in me that I had not surrendered fully to Him. It was the area of anxiety about the future. I was too consumed with all the “what ifs.” With all that I have experienced, there was a part of me being held back from truly trusting the Lord. 

God has been so close to me since the miscarriage. He’s guiding me and leading me….in ways I understand. I asked a friend a few weeks ago, “How do you know what God wants you to do?” What I meant by the question was when you have two situations and both are biblically sound….how do you know which one is the right answer? She said to me, “God will make it clear. He is kind and gentle, and He knows exactly what you need for you to know it is His leading on a certain decision. Don’t do anything until you know without a doubt.” So we have been waiting patiently, praying. I can’t share details now, but without a doubt…God has shown us CLEARLY the answer to our “Y” in the road. 

After that timely sermon by Charles Stanley, I decided, with the Lord’s help to let go of all the thoughts that might lead to that anxiety and fear I feel at times. We have a real enemy who is out to steal, kill and destroy. And the first place that begins is in our minds. It has been one of the biggest blessings of my Christian life to have this freedom! When a thought comes into my mind that causes me to be fearful or anxious, I am purposing immediately to LET THOSE THOUGHTS GO!

God is not against me…He is for me! I am worth more than many sparrows, and not even a sparrow falls to the ground without Him knowing. The hairs on my head are numbered. He went before Joshua in defeating his enemies, even causing the sun to stop moving! Nothing is out of God’s control. 

I want to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. I want to be a light in a dark place. I want to be an example and teach other women to love their husbands and children. My desire is also to follow God’s leading in ministering to the poor in Romania. I don’t know where all of this will lead, but I do know the anxiety that I once felt and hindered so many of my decisions, no longer plays a role. 

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today! 

What do they see in me?

This journey of losing a baby has sort of shaken me up inside. I do not know what changes will take place in my life. What I do know is-I WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. There is a worship song that I used to sing by Darlene Zschech and the chorus reads as follows: 

I will never be the same again,

I can never return, I’ve closed the door.

I will walk apart, I’ll run the race

And I will never be the same again.

I relate to the words of this song in many ways. Life-it is a gift. Each one of us that are breathing have been given a gift to live. There is meaning and purpose behind our existence. The more I think about how fragile my little boy was…how tiny he was..and how God used his life, to bring such an indescribable joy to us, the more I have to realize I cannot remain as I am. I have to grow. I have to move into a deeper walk with God. I have to express and relate to others the hope that is within me. Others NEED to know. We all are certain to face death, and believing in Jesus is our only hope for eternal life. 

I think of being a parent, a mom, the most precious  job of humanity in my mind. God has given us six little hearts to nurture, and I am wondering today, “What do they see in me?” I think we can go through life not really understanding how the little things can mean so much. Seeing an ultrasound with our baby’s beating heart, and losing him before we got to know him, have made me wonder if I have previously taken some things for granted. I don’t want to do that in the future. I need to spend more time in prayer, in THANSGIVING, alone with my Lord for the blessings in my life. It is my prayer that my kids have hearts of thanksgiving, to understand how important it is. 

Relate more. Share more. That is what I feel God is calling me to do. Reveal His story in my life. I have no purpose on this earth outside of Him. None of us do in fact. Without Jesus, there is no light, no life, no love, no forgiveness. I am in need of these so desperately. Especially now. I fail so often, and I need His grace. As one friend said to me, grace upon grace. 

The obvious place to give of myself is within my own home, loving my husband and children. I want to teach younger women to do the same like the Bible talks about, and being a living example is paramount.  

My heart grieves for my baby, but I know he’s in heaven in the arms of Jesus. My prayer is that God will work through me and touch the hearts of my children, and whomever else God brings into my life, so that they too, can one day be in the arms of Jesus when it is their moment to enter eternity. 

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today. 

Weakness and turning a corner

Weakness pretty much sums up how things are going, and in more ways than one. This grief is hard. In the middle of the night last night, I broke down. I know it’s hard on Prince Charming too. We are walking this road that is so incredibly difficult, and I just feel weak. The headaches are still coming and going, and I’m so thankful for the hours they are gone. When they return, I pretty much have to wait it out. For the most part I just lay in my bed in my room as I recover, but last night I went to the couch for our family Bible time. 

Today, I was able to be on the couch for most of the day. My spirits were lifted immensely. I’m thinking I may have turned the corner and am FINALLY starting to see some marked improvement in my body’s healing process. 

This morning, I laid in the arms of my husband once again, and even though everything we are going through is tough, we are together and we have the Lord. 

I’m always amazed at how God works in our hearts and lives. I was researching tips to recover physically online. I came across a wonderful blog of a lady who miscarried twins. Her blog was such an encouragement for me. After reading most of the posts, I learned she was a homeschooling mom, and her and her husband travel the world speaking and encouraging families. They also have a podcast, and some sessions available for purchase on their website. Yesterday, Prince Charming and I listened together to a couple of the sessions and were so encouraged as they spoke on the blessing of children. They have experienced loss, they have experienced significant difficulties in pregnancy. And though, I have no idea what God has in store for our future…He has given my husband and I a hope that can only come from Him in the midst of this grief and loss. We will share eternity with our two babies in heaven! I was so thankful God lead me to her site, and not only was I encouraged with tips for my physical health, I was much more encouraged in my faith and parenting. 

Since I am not able to be up and about much, I am taking the opportunity to do some reading. There was a Scripture I was reading last night that I shared with Prince Charming after reading it. 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭

We chatted for quite awhile about this verse. Before we lost our baby, we have been working really hard to accomplish some family goals. They aren’t small ones by any means, and I wondered the day I was in the hospital if these goals would either be solidified or change entirely. I asked Prince Charming how he viewed our goals in light of this verse. He and I both agreed God was giving us confirmation the steps we’ve been taking, and will continue to take, are in accordance with His will. I look forward to sharing more about these things in the future.

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today! 

Emotional roller coaster 

I got more rest last night than I have since I found out Monday, our baby had gone to heaven. Today, I woke up having a little more energy. I took a shower, and actually washed my hair. I moved from my bed to the couch for a few hours, so I could be more involved in the family happenings. 

Yesterday afternoon, a dear friend, who is more like an angel to me, brought our family dinner. Late this morning, another dear friend and angel, arrived with several days of food for our family on behalf of several families in our church. I couldn’t stop the tears from coming. She also brought me a book that I’m anxious to read as we seek God’s comfort in these difficult days. 

As the afternoon progressed, and after the little bit of increased activity…I got overwhelmed again this evening. It is hard to tell at this point what is physical discomfort and what is emotional. It all is so hard. I placed a call with my midwife, and she was so kind and reassuring. Recovering from the amount of blood loss that I endured will take much time. She compared it to filling a pitcher full of water and making koolaid. Only, it’s like adding the pack of koolaid and sugar to the water over the course of a month. 

It is difficult not being able to do my normal activities. I am thankful however, to be alive and recovering. I’m experiencing many emotions throughout the days, some leaving me in uncontrollable tears, and other moments I’m feeling a little stronger and hopeful for the days to come. 

I am falling more deeply in love with Prince Charming as he blesses me with his servant’s heart, affection and love. This kind of love is rare. We have been through various difficulties and trials in our short six years of marriage, but this by far has stretched us in new ways than we have experienced before. Most of the time, I just desire his company…his physical presence by my side. 

Since I have spent so much time resting, this leads to some family time that looks like this, watching a movie on Pureflix: 

Another way that I worked through some grief this evening was opening God’s word, with my 12 year old by my side, as she listened to me recite my memorization work of the book of James. Filling my mind and heart, as I recite the words from our Lord, is one of the best ways I have found comfort. I also play instrumental music throughout the night because the quiet is difficult for me. Those hours in the hospital as I was bleeding had many moments of quietness that were scary for me. Having the instrumental music play is peaceful and it soothes my soul. 

Before all this had transpired, I was still nursing our 17 month old son. As a result of the blood loss, the surgeon recommended I wean immediately to preserve all the fluid I could. That has been something else I’m working through in this recovery. Weaning cold turkey has a few of it’s own struggles. We are working through it, and he’s doing great. It is definitely harder on me than him! 

I am so very thankful to have such wonderful and amazing kids. Their love, support and kindness to me overflow. My five year old even wanted to eat her dinner in my room by my side as I rested. 

Jesus is my healer, and I take refuge in Him! May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today! 

Isaac Cristofer 

Prince Charming and I laid in bed last night in each other’s arms after the kids had gone to sleep. I have been battling an excruciatingly painful headache from the blood loss. And even though I was so tired, I couldn’t sleep.

 My pulse was loud in my ears and it would increase with my movements. I’m suffering physically and emotionally, and I don’t know what to do. As I laid in my husband’s arms, the thing that weighed on my mind was our baby boy needed a name. From the moment we found out we were expecting this time, Prince Charming was sure it was a boy. (Having three girls first, my thought in every pregnancy is I’m having a girl, until we know for sure.) So I leaned over to him, and asked him what he thought our baby boy’s name should be. He said confidently, “Isaac.” He had mentioned the name Isaac several times when we would talk baby names. We decided after our second son was born, all of our sons’ middle names would be the same after him. So it was decided in each other’s arms as more tears began to fall……we said his name out loud….Isaac Cristofer. 

Baby Isaac Cristofer will forever be remembered and a part of us. My heart will ache and grieve him for as long as I live. 

We will continue to devote ourselves to serving our Lord, and raising these six amazing children with a heart to bring God glory. We will be reunited with our two babies in heaven one day, and we await that day!

God is guiding our lives. Nothing is out of His control. We are surrendered to Him. 

He answers prayer, and as I write this post, knowing those who are praying for me/us….I want it to be known the headache I have been suffering with is gone. It is another testimony to His care for us, His work through the prayers of His people. 

I wanted to close with a letter to my baby, but I realized I am not strong enough to do that yet. I will close with a Scripture our pastor’s wife gave me today. 

Isaiah 26:3-4 

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”

My thoughts in words of our missed miscarriage and saying goodbye to our precious baby boy 

It has been awhile since I have blogged. I never could have imagined I would be writing this post. I’m laying in bed, not able to walk more than a few feet to the bathroom because of extreme blood loss due to losing our precious baby boy at twelve and a half weeks along in the pregnancy. I want to share my personal feelings and thoughts in the hopes it may bring encouragement to others that may be going through, or have gone through a similar experience. I believe many have walked this road, but it is not often talked about. This is not going to be the best piece of writing. I am not caring or focusing on grammar, this is from my heart. This post is not for the faint of heart. It has some details that you may not want to read or know. I humbly share it, even as some of it may be hard to,  because I feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to do so. 

This last Monday morning I was so very excited. I was scheduled to hear the baby’s heartbeat and get my first set of blood work for this pregnancy. I was 12 weeks and two days pregnant. We had seen the baby on ultrasound, heart beating strong at 6.5 weeks along. 

I got up, got showered and headed out! 

Little did I know the path I was about to walk. When I got to my appointment, I checked in, and waited for the nurse. She weighed me, checked my blood pressure and things were great. She let me know the midwife would be right in. Patty, the midwife who has delivered three of our babies came in and was excited to see me again. She asked all the preliminary questions, and then said let’s hear this new little one. She got her Doppler out and didn’t hear anything right away. She kept trying, and nothing. She asked if I knew if my uterus was tipped. I said yes, they mentioned it was at my 6.5 week ultrasound. She said that makes sense, the Doppler probably isn’t picking it up because of that. She gave me the choice of waiting two weeks or go in for an ultrasound. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me and decided on the ultrasound. Since the ultrasound was done at another clinic, I had to call and schedule it. I also live 45 minutes from it, so I called and asked if they could put me on the schedule for that day so Prince Charming wouldn’t have to take a separate day off to help me out with the kiddos. They said they could fit me in at 12:15. I arrived and they took me right back, I saw the baby on screen, perfectly formed, head, body, everything. The technician stopped about a minute into the scan and said, “Is this your first pregnancy?” I replied, “No.” He then followed up his question with, “I’m sorry I don’t want to keep you in suspense, I am not finding a heartbeat.” I was in shock. He took a couple more pictures, said he was going to leave the room to call my midwife and I was free to use the restroom. I went to the restroom and the tears began to stream down my cheeks. I was in a daze. I still felt pregnant. I had not had any symptoms of miscarriage. But my baby wasn’t alive inside me. I texted Prince Charming there was no heartbeat and he came to pick me up outside the door. As I got in the car, both of us had tears streaming down our faces. It was a long drive home. That afternoon, I waited for the midwife to call me to find out what was to come next. Finally that evening, she gave me three choices: let it happen naturally, take a pill, or go in for a D&C. I didn’t feel ready to make a choice at that moment. I consulted with another midwife and a couple of friends, and decided to just give myself a couple of days to process what was happening. 

I woke up Tuesday morning, decided to get in the shower, and follow through with my morning routine. It was difficult to have joy that morning. 

Later Tuesday night, I was having a hard time. I decided to go hang out on my bed for awhile, and my little Liberty Sue decided to join me. It was a precious moment for the two of us. 

Wednesday, the following morning, two days after I found out my baby wasn’t alive, I went in the kitchen to make a coffee, still feeling very much pregnant. I was waiting for the coffee maker to heat up, and WITHOUT WARNING, no cramping, my water broke. It gushed out of my body onto the kitchen floor. I called for my husband who was home with us, now fighting his own battle with the flu. The circumstances were almost more than I felt I could endure. I rushed into the bathroom, and there he was a perfectly formed-tiny baby boy. I could see his little hands, his little feet, his tiny tiny fingers and toes, his even tinier ears, and his precious little eyes. His gender was also very obvious, even being so tiny. He was about the size of the end of my thumb, from the joint to the end of it. I was in a state of shock and the only thing I could think to do was find something for him to be properly buried in. I asked Prince Charming to find something. I wanted it to be something my mom had made, and we found a little bib she had made and left us at Christmas time, with baseballs, footballs and basketballs on it. This all took place in a mater of minutes. I then decided to get in the shower quickly, get cleaned up, and was going to lay down. It was then that my life took a turn for the worse. I began to bleed, and it wasn’t stopping. It was getting scary, and I yelled for my husband to call 911. I dropped to my bed, on the edge of losing conscienceness. The ambulance arrived, and as my husband and kids loaded up in the van, I was being loaded into the ambulance. Once we arrived at the ER, they began to stabilize me, and began to address how to stop the bleeding. My blood pressure wasn’t doing well. It kept dropping. I was pumped full of fluids-5 bags full-until I was rushed into surgery. I woke up to the reassurance that they were able to stop the bleeding. I was going to be ok-in time. The issue at hand was how much blood I had lost. All the while, I was unable to have my best friend, lover and father of my babes by my side. We have no local family. Our efforts in the six years we’ve been here to find close friends that would be like family (and you’re close enough in relationship that it’s no big deal  when you have a crisis they are willing to help you out with your six kiddos) so far haven’t been established. It was the most excruciatingly painful thing emotionally I have ever experienced in my life, and I have been through much. 

After my blood work was completed, it was found out I had a lost a third of my blood supply. They were evaluating carefully if I would need a blood transfusion. They took me to a room in labor and delivery, and as we passed the rooms, I could hear the cries of babies and women laboring. The tears began to fall again. I had just delivered my baby, but wouldn’t be reunited with him again until heaven. 

Once I got to my room, I began to reflect, pray, and recognize how the Holy Spirit has been with me, comforting me in the most difficult time of my life. 

The song I sang in those hours when I didn’t know if I would survive the massive bleeding and passing of large clots, after losing my precious baby, I sang a song I learned in childhood, “He Touched Me.” I sang the chorus over and over: 

He touched me, oh He touched me And oh the joy that floods my soul Something happened and now I know He touched me and made me whole.

I cling to God with all that I am. He is my rock and my fortress. The following are the ways I was able to feel His care for me in this most difficult, life-changing journey.

1. I believe it was the Lord prompting me to insist on the ultrasound that day. Had I not known what was to come in the coming days, I would not have known the risks and complications of a missed miscarriage. 

2. Because I knew from the ultrasound that the baby had passed away, I was able to ask the advice of a friend who had been through a similar experience. Her advice, I believed, saved my life. 

3. I had also confided in my best friend in Romania that I had lost the baby after I found out. At the very moment that I was needing an ambulance(which I learned later), she felt overcome with a burden she couldn’t explain, and began to pray. 

4. My husband came briefly to the hospital before I was rushed into surgery. He prayed for me, and kissed me. I needed that so much. 

5. I still had a song in my heart. When you are in that kind of circumstance, not knowing if you will enter the arms of Jesus, or remain with your loved ones here on earth, all the while mourning the loss of your baby, having a song in your heart is directly from the Lord. 

6. A friend, who had no knowledge of what I had just been through, texted me to see how things were going. I was able to share what happened. I asked her to pray, and I know she did. 

7. I got to see my baby. For some that is more than the mind could process or handle. And, after talking with both midwives before this all took place, it was vague about what I would actually see if I allowed things to happen naturally. Even after the fact, everyone at the hospital that I shared with, gynecologists, nurses, etc, concurred they had not had such an experience with a baby so tiny. What I experienced was rare. It ended up, for me, being a moment that I will treasure forever. There really are no words to describe the overwhelming love I have for this precious baby. Only God could have orchestrated it so that I could have that memory. 

8. We can trust in the Lord even when we don’t have all the answers. Several have already asked why would you have two miscarriages in a row. The answer is simple. We don’t know. What we do know is that God has given us the gift of faith to trust Him even when we don’t know. He loves us. And He will use our lives for His glory. He will use our story. I have no doubt because it is His working in us and through us that we live each and every day. 

9. I didn’t have to have a blood transfusion! In three hours time, after all the prayers, my body began to recover. I was able to first-stand up and use a commode. Then, I was able to walk to the bathroom.  Though my numbers are still really low, I personally wanted God to restore me instead of having a blood transfusion. By 11:00pm last night, I was able to be reunited with my husband-heading home to my babies. 

10. I am home recovering. 24 hours ago, I was in surgery, with a surgeon who would perform the procedure to stop the bleeding. Thanks be to God for His grace and healing. 

I know the next month will be difficult for me as I recover from this loss of my baby, and severe blood loss. My hope is still in the Lord, and I will never doubt Him. He is leading us and guiding us, and I know I can rest in His will. 

May God truly be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today-from the bottom of this not so average mama’s heart to yours. 

Truth, beauty and excellence

Today I want to talk a little bit about homeschooling. I’m a mom, pregnant with baby number seven. YES, you read that right. 7! We homeschool our kids because wow, *I* get to be my kids’ teacher, year after year! The conviction is so strong for us to homeschool. I evaluate and re-evaluate often the things my kids are learning. They grow fast, and each one is unique in their learning styles. I get to individualize the education for my children, and that is a beautiful thing. The title of this post is “Truth, beauty and  excellence.” I chose it because it is the heart of our homeschool approach. And I want to say LOVE is the means through how it is brought forth.

I would like to provide a little bit of my past working career because I think it helps my readers to have a little bit of perspective. I grew up in my dad’s garbage business. I’ve worked in the non-profit world where fundraising and accountability is key. I’ve done staff accounting work in one way, shape, or form for many years. I’ve been involved with several business and contract negotiations and deals over the years, some, with publicly held companies. I’ve been a CNA, and sat with and prayed with the dying. I have a missionary heart. I served in an orphanage, and have a burden for the people of Romania. I’ve been a church secretary. I ran my dad’s business a couple different times. I was a schoolbus driver for a whole week(God bless all the schoolbus drivers out there! You are AMAZING!) before I realized it was NOT the job for me. I washed dishes in a restaurant at one point. I have worked in so many different types of jobs, and the other day I began to wonder about what responsibilities and roles my kids might have one day. 

Parenting and homeschooling can be a little overwhelming if you over think it too much. I had to come up with a simple yet profound emphasis as the basis for teaching my children. I’ve been reading the blog written by Cindy Rollins. You can find it HERE. I have also been listening to the podcast called, “Your Morning Basket.” So far, after the first three episodes that I’ve listened to, it has much value for homeschooling. 

Simply put, we want our kids to put their faith in Jesus and live their lives unashamed for Him. We want them to know the truth about God and the Bible and know it well. 

When it comes to beauty, I want my children to recognize and know REAL BEAUTY, that God created, to be able to use their senses to distinguish what is truly “beautiful.” From knowing the beauty of a kind and loving heart; to the absolute WONDER of the beauty of places like Niagra Falls; to the beautifully arranged music of artists like The Piano Guys. 

We want them to learn the value of completing tasks whatever they may be,  with EXCELLENCE. With these ideals as part of who they are in life, they will be able to accomplish whatever it is that God leads them to. I don’t have all the answers, but I know it’s worth all the efforts it takes to try with a whole lot of faith. 
I will give you a few thoughts on what I mean:

Truth-This is the foundation for the other two. We teach truth as God has revealed it in His word. We memorize His word, meditate on it, and purpose to obey it’s principles, all by FAITH. One of my favorite quotes by Dr. Charles Stanley is “Obey and leave the consequences to God.” No matter where our children will end up, they will be faced with things contrary to real truth. If we do not prepare them well with the TRUTH of the Gospel, we may very well lose them to a dying and dark world. We teach them the truth about all topics and subjects. 

Beauty-It is my heart’s desire to raise our kids with a real sense of beauty. When it comes to music, we are very specific about what we listen to. There is much music out there that is just noise. On the other hand, the beauty in some music is truly profound. Our desire is to help them to learn, discern and understand the difference. My dad was one of the most generous people I have ever known. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t give if he knew someone needed it and he had it to give. It was something that has stuck with me. So one of the ways we help our children understand beauty is through generosity. God is the giver of all things, and we never hold on to things tightly. The amazing things we have seen transpire in this area brings tears to my eyes. God multiplies generosity from one to another to another and the beauty in that is unexplainable. Beauty also is found in nature. We recently began nature walks and journaling. I am excited about all the BEAUTY we will see that we might not have. 

Excellence-I am a perfectionist by nature. But there are some things that come so hard for me. Gardening is one of them. I have purposed to incorporate this into personal growth and consider it a parenting opportunity. The vision is to do it with excellence. In order to have enough raspberries to freeze for all of us to eat a serving every other day or so, I have estimated we need to plant about 10-12 raspberry plants. We are preparing to do that this spring. They will need to be planted in the right location, the right distance apart, and then maintained properly. This project will help demonstrate year after year how excellence pays off. When we are able to harvest our own berries, freeze them and eat them year in and year out….it will be a huge reinforcement to doing something with excellence. It doesn’t get taught only in gardening….it is something we encourage in all aspects of life. 

As you can see I haven’t mentioned curriculum at all. The curriculum we use isn’t the core of our homeschool, it is a tool to help us with the above three. Sometimes we find better tools as we go. Sometimes tools get changed out for different needs at different times. But the heart of it all is truth, beauty and excellence. 

Homeschooling is one of my most appreciated freedoms. If you have questions or need encouragement in this area, feel free to get in touch! 

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today!