Tuesday, September 29, 2009

5 years....where has it gone?

Five years ago this week, Donnie and I were in Michigan enjoying time at a pumpkin patch, catching a ride on a bale of hay, and picking apples. It was a cold I have never experienced in October, but I had the warmth of a brand spanking new diamond on my left hand to keep me warm! That's right, five years ago Saturday, Donnie asked me to be his wife! As I sit here and think, my heart and mind begin to fill with all the emotions, feelings, and love that I have with, and for this man. We've been through so much together over these past five years. Things that some couples who have been together 10, 15, 20 haven't even had to go through yet, but God knew what He was doing when He brought us together.
Babe-there is no one on earth that I would rather travel this road of life with. On that day 5 years ago, I would have never dreamed that within 18 months we would loose your dad to cancer, or that we would decide after 5 months of marriage to start trying to have a baby and 4 1/2 years later we would still be waiting, or that the pull of wanting to be with your wife would make you change your job and do something that you really didn't care for, for a while until something better opened up. I always thought your Grandma would know who I was, or better yet remember that she ever came to our wedding, and our house to visit a few years ago. I never would've thought that we would spend a bigger part of the spring of '08 in the nursing home and hospital praying Nana would get better, but knowing deep down she was about to go meet Jesus. Gosh, I thought we had already been through a lot before we got to that point five years ago. You know, things like losing Brent, my brother in law, only six short weeks after you and I began dating. You deciding to buy a new car just because you wanted to be able to get back and forth between my apartment and yours without having to ride in "Slyvia." Finally telling you about my love/hate relationship with food and weight....and you understanding it all! We've been through a lot, but I can honestly say in the past five years, the thing you did that impressed me most was ask Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour! I will never, ever forget the night you were taking me home and said "I've said that prayer, and I've asked Jesus in my heart. Not for you, but for me....I need to change." And change you have!
You are my one true love, and I pray and thank God everyday that he decided to make us wait until we were older to find our special someone! I love you babe, and wanted to know that five years ago you not only put that beautiful diamond on my finger, but you also stole my heart!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Would I have the courage?

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted something on the blog. I guess I've been spending too much time clipping coupons and saving money!

Seriously, I've had a "wake-up" call of sorts the past two days that came courtesy of my husband, and one of our friends Ben. Ben and his wife Shelbi have become dear friends of ours over the past few months since they started attending our connect group, and, as I told them last night, "infiltrating our circle." Ben, like Donnie only became a Christian in later part of his life, and both are constantly striving to learn more about God, with an insatiable hunger for the word. I remember when I had that hunger. Yes, you read that right, I said HAD. I don't know what's happened over the past few months, but spending time alone with God has become more of an obligation than a opportunity. Every morning I wake up and think about doing a quiet time, but the pull of Facebook, balancing the checkbook, finishing up laundry, basically anything that can occupy the two hours before Donnie gets up, has started taking precedence. Well, since Friday the Lord has been dealing with my heart about spending time with him. I have been dismissing the fact that I sometimes fall asleep during prayer to the fact that I'm just really, really tired instead of realizing that what I'm saying is only bouncing to the ceiling and back because it lacks conviction. I've almost become numb the fact that I don't feel like my prayers are being answered, instead of taking ownership in the fact that I lack the faith for the prayers to be answered. I don't know what has gotten into me, well, yes I do....it's called lack of faith, worldly desires....satan.

So what has changed my heart the past few days? Well, like I said before it's my husband and Ben. Sometimes I think God puts a new Christian in our life to show us what "childlike faith" really looks like. Last night Ben went up on stage at church and answered questions about how his life had changed over the past year since accepting Jesus as his savior. He made is just sound so simple, changing your life that is, and I began to think at what point did I pull away? At what point did I start acting the part, but not living the faith? Then, after church we went to dinner with Ben and Shelbi. Like I said before, we love these guys and have the best time when we get to hang out with them, and last night of course was no exception. Ben and Donnie had both been to a men's retreat this weekend and were full of all kinds of facts, statistics, and biblical truths. While at dinner they rehashed the weekend, and talked about all that they had learned. God started to prick my heart and say "do you remember when you were that excited about me?" "Do you remember when you, like Ben, would pray and wait anticipating the answer...even looking around during a prayer to see if I was answering right then?" "Do you remember?" Then, my husband did something he's never done before that sat me on my butt thinking I've got to come out of whatever this dark place is that I've been residing. Donnie told our waitress we were about to pray over our food, and asked if there was anything we could pray about for her. She was so taken aback, but then she asked us to pray that she get her scholarship to school back. She lost it last semester by 1/100th of a point, and she was so disappointed. Donnie then prayed for our food, and for Fallon, who I will never forget, that she get her GPA up, and scholarship back. For the rest of the meal I sat unusually silent, caught in my thoughts of how I was going to make a change. I started wondering to myself how many times do I go out to eat with my church friends and saying a blessing over our food is perfectly acceptable, normal and right, but when I go out with my other friends, it's the last thing on my mind? When did praying about our family situation, and asking God to bless us with a child become routine, and not passionate? I know I'm very passionate about it, but I almost always just mention it to God as an after thought...almost like, well-I know you are probably not going to answer this anytime soon, but I still need to say something....seriously, when did I become this person?

With more passion and desire than I've ever felt I'm setting out today to become a better Christian, a better witness, wife, sister, daughter, friend...child of God! I know that God has so much in store for my life if I just dig down and restore my relationship with Him. The only way I know to do this is to spend time in His word, to pray and really mean it, and to seek His face in all I do. Not just give lip service to the One who created me, but to give true and perfect praise to the One whose breath I breathe.

Thanks babe for the witness you've been to me! You will never know how much your simple act of service to the Lord at Macaroni Grill touched my heart! I love you for who you are, what you are to me, and what you want to be in Christ Jesus....

Thanks Ben for being willing to share so much of yourself with us, and the rest of the church. Your burning hunger for God and His word have made an impression on me that I won't soon forget. We love you and Shelbi so much, and are forever grateful for your friendship!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Well, it's Saturday morning at 8:45 and we are up and about getting ready to go to a fun filled day of adoption training. Wait, did I say fun filled? Sorry...what I meant was, we are about to go sit through an agonizing 6 hours of training that, so far has proved not to be very beneficial to us. We've already sat through 5.75 hours of the 10 hours of required training. I know that this class will put us over the "required" amount, however we are "required" to do this all day training before we can adopt. We missed the last one because we were in Puerto Rico (picture to the right). Sadly, well, not so sadly, I wish we there again today! The first time we missed I didn't feel bad about it, in fact I didn't even think about it while lying out by that beautiful pool, sleeping in late, and going over to the private island to spend the day....nope, did not think about the training one bit! However, today we have to go. Most of you would probably think, oh take all the training you can to get you ready for your new little one, and sure, if this was about baby care, I would be all for it! This training however is about how to do our profile (already done and turned in two months ago), the legal aspects of adoption (already went to that training last month), how it feels to be an adoptive parent (I think that would kind of be common sense, and not necessarily something you could train people about, but whatever, and lastly what "the loss" feels like to the birth parent. Again, not something that should be considered training, but still that part may be interesting to know.
This is the part that gets me about the "loss" portion of the training. Most everyone sitting in that room as a "waiting parent" parent has experienced loss in some form or another. Sure, most of us have never had to give up a child we carried for months, bonded with, and will always have an attachment too, but another form of loss. I personally believe, if any of the other couples in the class have felt loss like we have, it's very real, and something even the social workers look around and try to explain away. You see, today marks 4 years of Donnie and I trying to have a baby. Why do I remember that? Well, I knew we had prayed about it, and I was going to stop birth control in September. Ironically, the day to "renew" my prescription was September 11th, and that night instead of running to Walgreens to pick up the prescription, we decided to quit taking the pill. 36 times in the last 4 years I've experienced loss on a very personal level. Each time I didn't start I would take a "test" and it would be negative. If you don't know anything about PCOS, you are very irregular, so this has led to the 36 test I've taken in the past 4 years. Sure, you become numb to it, and realize it's not going to be positive, but still, in the back of your head there is that little voice that says "maybe this one time." I would pray that none of you would ever have to go through this because it's a pain, and sense of loss, that you never forget. Sure, I'm SUPER excited about our adoption, and how God has led us to this point, but their are days that I think about those times of "loss" and wonder what God wanted to teach me through all of it......just my thoughts on a Saturday morning....have a great day!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where to start?

SO, who's idea was this blog anyway? Well, it was my husbands. You see, I guess I have him fooled because he thinks I am the most entertaining, creative, and vivid story telling person he knows. He kept urging me to do this saying "everyone will want to read what you have to say," so here I am. I have so many different thoughts running through my head about what I want my first post to be about. Do I go into all the trials I've been through while waiting to have a family? What about all the mounds of paperwork we had to fill out while going through the adoption process? Oh, oh, I know....let's start with something fun....COUPONS!

I am addicted to coupons. Who would've thought? Seriously, only three months ago I thought I was doing good if I saved $20.00 or $30.00 at Kroger using my plus card. Now, I'm not satisfied until I spend less than $20.00 on $200.00 worth of products. I avidly search blog after blog finding the best deal. I want to know that when I paid for it, it was at it's rock bottom price. I've impressed some along the way. I've made some mad along the way. But at the end of the day it's saving the hubby and I lots of money, so I wouldn't have it any other way! I've been going back and forth in my head about offering a coupon "workshop" and then giving direct links to the blogs I use, but then will people know my secret and do better than me? Will they show me up in their ability to save? Do I secretly love that I have this power that other people want? Um...well, yeah....I've always loved to have the power. The power of being the oldest, the power of knowing how to run my office, the power of being the one who knows exactly what we spend on stuff (sorry, babe.) I love the power!! BUT, and that's a big but, I love to share too. So with that, I'm going to put aside my love of power to find out what I need to do to reserve a room at Ridgeway Baptist to teach a savings class....I mean seriously, who can't benefit from some money saved?