Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. Psalms 100:4-5

* March 30, 1978
* November 3,2007
* May 13,2008
* 80’s music
* 10 little fingers & 10 little toes
* A husband that doesn’t think I am fat and tells me I look great
* Nonfat Latte’s with extra whipped cream. =)
* A mother who raised me to make my bed every morning.
* The freedom to leave the house without making my bed in the morning.
* Water Parks with lazy rivers.
* Little Brown weenie dogs.
* A family that loves me and in laws that do as well.
* Knowing His voice.
* Bath time in with a cherub and a duck tub.
* Christian bosses and coworkers.
* Rainy Days.
* Sunshine Rays (sorry about the rhyming).
* A job I love!
* Baby Orajel
* Clothes that fit.
* 5:00 am spin classes.
* Costume Jewelry.
* Daycare workers who love my child.
* Having 5 Super Wal-Mart’s within 15 miles of the house.
* Pastries and Coffee on a Friday night.
* Bobby Bowden.
* Highways that stretch from Florida to Texas.
* MUCH cheaper gas.
* Dark Chocolate.
* A daddy that wants to build a bookshelf for his grandson.
* Mushroom & Garlic – no fat, tons of flavor.
* BOGO at Payless – year round now!
* $5 off coupons for Enfamil.
* Friends who are persevering through the hurt!
* Nail scared hands and an empty tomb.
* Cameras that capture moments I don’t want to miss.
* Collard Greens.
* The storage compartment under Andrew’s stroller.
* Hair Spray
* A past that was tough enough that I am looking forward to the future, but no so tough that I can’t look back and smile.
* Birds that chirp in the spring
* The sunrise that I get to see on my way home from the gym in the mornings.
* Baby Monitors
* Sugar Cereals
* Face Moisturizer
* Drinking Water (as opposed to Spring Water)
* Rocking Chairs on my parents porch.
* My diploma from FSU.
* Conference calls that end early.
* The opportunity to rock my baby to sleep each night.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Making a vow, she pleaded, "LORD of Hosts, if You will take notice of Your servant's affliction, remember and not forget me, and give Your servant a son, I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life. 1 Samuel 1:11

It wasn't very long into my pregnancy that I began to realize how truly paranoid I am. I had read all the stories and talked to many other women who had walked this road before me and so I knew that the paranoia was just part of territory. I, however, felt that I should be above that. I knew God had created this child for a purpose and that he would take care of him according to his will. It was the 'according to his will' part that created a sense of panic in me.

I cannot count the sleepless nights I would lay awake counting kicks. If they were less in number than the night before, I would convince myself that something was wrong. I grew so concerned about the lack of kicks one night that I called mama and cried hysterically. Her response came in a tone that indicated I was in fact insane - she says 'Goodness Libby, the little fella needs to sleep to. You won't even let him take a nap!' It was true - I was constantly thumping my belly to wake him up so I could feel him move. Amazing that he doesn't hate me.

I was on my way home from work one night and cried all the way home. I was in my 25th week, approximatly, and Andrew just wasn't very active. I didn't feel him move all day. I just knew something had happened. I was still feeling so much guilt over the pregnancy, that my fears were being driven by this idea that something would happen as God's way of punishing me(I have since resolved that). Here I was though, weeping in my car because I thought God had allowed something to happen to Andrew.

I was stopped at the red light going into our neighborhood and I dropped my head and prayed for peace that Andrew was ok. I got peace - but it came from an unexpected answer. Many of you have never heard the Lord speak to you. Until you do, this may seem strange to you. The Lord spoke to me immediatly as I prayed. He simply said ' I will never leave you.'. I know this was the Lord for 2 reasons - first, I know his voice and second, if it had been my inner conscience, it would have said 'Andrew is fine, he will live a long and happy life!'. This isn't what was said or promised.

'I will never leave you'. Much more desireable and peaceful to a child of God. It was at that very moment I gave Andrew back to the Lord. Andrew is God's to with what he pleases. I know he pleases great things for Andrew's life - just as he does for yours and mine. I cannot wait to see what he does in Andrew's life - according to his will. It is a joy and a priveledge to watch it unfold.
A couple of weeks ago George and I had the opportunity to publicly give Andrew back to Lord. We participated in the Parent/Child Dedication ceremony at our church. There were probably about 50 couples presenting their children and I took a quick look just to confirm that we had the cutest and best dressed baby. CONFIRMED! We were surrounded by family and friends and for as simple as it was, it was oh so meaningful. Andrew is only on loan to me from the Lord and I pray that I am the mama He is trusting me to be with His child. For as much as I love him, God loves him so much more. It is true, I would die for him if I had to - but Jesus already died for him and he didn't have to.

I still have that fear that one day something may happen to Andrew and God will call him home before I feel the time is right. When this fear starts to creep up on me I am reminded of those words, 'I will never leave you', and my fear fades. Steven Curtis Chapman wrote a song about a year ago, 'Yours', which he has recently released. Many of you know that in May, he lost his 5 year old daughter after she was hit by a car his son was driving. It was after this accident that he added the last verse to the song which goes like this:

I’ve walked the valley of death’s shadow
So deep and dark that I could barely breath
I’ve had to let go of more than I could bear
And questioned everything that I believe
But still even here in this great darkness
A comfort and hope come breaking through
As I can say in life or death
God we belong to you

This is truly the peace that passes all understanding. I think Steven Curtis Chapman has it and I am so glad that I do too.