Happily Ever After…

the life of a Seminary Family.

…reflections on a year… March 2, 2010

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I remember my first encounter with a baby.

I was sitting on a couch and they handed me a squirmy bundle and told me I had a brother. I wasn’t too impressed but was fascinated nonetheless. Who knew that this annoying whiny little kiddo would grow up to be one of my best friends?

The next memorable moment was when a friend of ours placed their brand new precious little red-headed girl in my arms. I was 15 and I remember that moment of complete awe and thinking to myself for the first time that I wanted one of these someday. That little girl grew (and is still growing) and will always hold a special place in my heart as my little adopted sister~friend. I love you Moriah!

As I grew older, I watched my sister and close friends have baby after baby and I lavished my love on them, still hoping that one day God would allow me to be a wife and mother. As the years passed, I gave this dream to God and knew that His purpose would be revealed in time.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage… 😉

I will never forget the moment when we found out we were going to be parents. I woke up on a Thursday morning and because I hadn’t been feeling very well, went in and took a pregnancy test. Lo and behold, there were two pink lines. I sat on the edge of the tub and a myriad of emotions went through me… first shock, then joy, but also some trepidation. What if I wasn’t a good parent? Would Michael be excited? After all, we had just gotten married the month before! God gave me a peaceful heart and I traipsed in to wake up Michael and tell him the bewildering, but wonderful news. He was sitting on the bed, having just woken up and I walked up and stuck the test in his face and said “look at this!”. Poor guy! But he took the test from me, put his glasses on, studied it for a moment, looked at me and then said “two pink lines mean you aren’t pregnant?” Hah! I laughed and told him that we were indeed going to be parents. He was in shock for about an hour, but it was a happy shock.

I remember the first time we heard the heartbeat. It was actually like it finally processed that I had a real, live child in my womb and that he/she would be here in about seven and a half months.

I remember thinking I wanted a girl. I was very firm on that (although, it wasn’t like I was opposed to a boy, I just really wanted a girl). About a week before we were to find out the sex of the baby, I babysat two little munchkins, a boy and a girl. God changed my heart that night and I looked forward to the ultrasound with the knowledge that I would be excited no matter what; and I was.

I remember the process of deciding on a name. We knew we did not want to tell anyone the name. We wanted to call this child by name as soon as we could, and decided on the name “Hudson” very early on. Hudson means “One of Strong Rule”. We wanted our son to be a leader in a fallen world. We wanted our son to be a witness for Jesus and we prayed my entire pregnancy (and still do) that Hudson will grow to love Jesus and eventually make Him Lord of his life.

I remember waking up in the middle of the night feeling very strange and realizing that my water had broken. None of us were prepared for him coming that early. I remember laboring and Michael bouncing around the house saying “he is coming! My son is coming!” I think about how wonderful Laurie was to be there with me, comforting and encouraging. She was an amazing doula and I hope to have her there for another birth someday (if we are still in Texas at the time).

I remember laying on the bed during the last stretch of pushing. Hannah, Donnellyn, and Laurie were all joyfully coaching me and just being there for me. I will never forget how Michael sat on the bed next to me and encouraged me to push and keep going. Ever will I cherish the moment that I gave that last push, and Hudson entered the world. All our parents were on the speaker phone and asked what our baby’s name was. Michael told them his name was Hudson William, after two great men: Hudson Taylor and my amazing father, William. I remember looking down at Hudson and he really didn’t even cry. He just looked back at me with those big beautiful eyes!

Three weeks later…
I will never forget holding his lifeless, limp and gray body in my arms as I cried out to Jesus to help me. I will always remember the 911 operator telling me how to breathe life into his little body. I remember crying with joy when I heard his first little cry, albeit weak. It was the most wonderful cry ever! Maybe that is why it has never bothered me to hear him crying in the middle of the night. It was my great joy and pleasure to go to him and feed him or change his diaper, knowing how close we came to losing him. Those 10 1/2 days in the hospital were torturous as we almost lost him time and time again. We praise God for His mercy in allowing us to keep and safeguard Hudson’s precious little life. I try to never take him, or any life for granted.

So on this day, a year later, I just wanted to publicly share how the Lord has blessed us with this precious and special little guy. Hudson, you are always laughing, smiling, and jabbering. you are a sweet boy who doesn’t grab or pull. When I cry, you pat me like you are telling me it is all going to be okay. Nothing compares to the feeling of having you cuddle on my shoulder. You have taught your Daddy and I so many things, most of all sacrificial love. We love you and look forward to the coming years as we watch you grow. May you grow into a man who loves Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. May you be an example to everyone you meet as one who loves and treats others as you want to be treated.

“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.” Psalm 127:3 NAS

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The “Challenges” of Marriage… February 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — loveisahappyadventure @ 6:45 am
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For my first post on my new blog, I decided to post this article that I recently wrote. Enjoy and may you be encouraged!

A sweet and newly engaged friend asked me yesterday about expectations and challenges I have faced in marriage. Many couples can recount trivial challenges such as the other spouse not replacing the lid on the toothpaste or constantly forgetting to put the toilet lid down. Michael and I have most definitely faced our fair share of intense challenges in our first year and a half of marriage. Four moves, an unexpected honeymoon baby, birth and delivery, whooping cough, spending 10 1/2 days in Children’s Medical Center wondering if our baby was going to make it through, a stressful living situation, a miscarriage, and financial stress. Wow, I think that is enough to make anyone go intensely insane, right? 🙂

Here is some encouragement to those of you contemplating marriage, engaged, or newly married.
1. Pray together daily: Michael and I pray together daily and not only is it a time of praise and thanksgiving for what He has done, it is also a time where we exercise our faith in believing in what He is going to do in our lives.
2. Live sacrificially: It seems like some couples seem to think it is always the wife who is supposed to give up everything when she gets married, has kids, etc. However, Michael and I believe this is a two way street. If the husband comes home from work and the house is STILL a mess, the kid is running around in a dirty diaper, and the wife is laying on the couch feeling sick, it is not for the husband to berate her in her failings that day. It is time for him to change that diaper, get her a drink of water, and put his arms around her. But this also goes both ways. If your husband is stressed over a work or school project, don’t complain about his lack of attention to you on that day or that he is not helping with the children. Take care of the kids, make dinner, rub his neck and tell him you love him. This applies to intimacy as well. 🙂 😉
3. Submit one to another: The Bible says the wife is to submit to the husband. However, the Bible also says that the husband is to love his wife (Eph 5:22-33). It is not loving to treat your wife like she is a door mat. Marriages equals mutual respect of each other. This involves discussing important decisions. There are definitely times when Michael says we need to do something that I don’t want to do, but I do it because I trust him that he is wise and since he rarely asks me to do much (outside of caring for the house and Hudson), I do it (though he never asks me to do anything we haven’t talked about, but occasionally we may not agree). Most men want a partner in life, not a puppy. 🙂 Please treat your wife like an equal! This goes for the wife too. Don’t discount the decisions your husband makes. Don’t make him afraid to lead because of what your reaction might be.
4. Never do any name calling: Words are like wounds, they will heal but always leave a scar. Think twice before opening your mouth. Try to say I love you instead.
5. Do not try to change each other: If there is something you do not like about the person you love before you get married, it isn’t going to magically disappear after the vows and honeymoon are said and done. You have two options here. Either discuss it before marriage (and be open about your own bad habits and such) and try to encourage change, or you need to accept it after marriage. Things CAN change, but it is up to God and not you. As a wife, I certainly do not want to be a “leaky faucet” so I try to take it to the Lord when something irritates me and not get on Michael constantly (and vice versa). Have a teachable spirit and take constructive criticism to the Lord in prayer instead of reacting.
6. Do not correct or criticize in front of others: Thankfully, Michael has never done this to me, but I have been around people who do this. It really does wound! It can discount a persons opinion and make them shut off the spirit of communication because they are afraid they are going to be embarrassed or hurt again. If your spouse says something you consider incorrect, inappropriate, or ignorant, do NOT tell them that in front of others. This is a BIG no-no!
7. Keep your communications free and open: Set aside 30 minutes each evening to sit and discuss your day, feelings, etc. Do not let other things crowd out sharing your hearts with each other. These distractions can come in the way of TV, internet, and yes, even children. 🙂
8. Go on weekly dates: Michael and I do not have any spare money for dates, but most of the time (usually Thursday evenings) I will make a meal and we will eat it on a blanket on the family room floor with a lit candle and romantic music playing. We talk about life an avoid talking about school or work, and it helps us to stay connected. 🙂
9. Do not let your children crowd out your relationship with your spouse: It is all too easy to get so wrapped up in your child”s cuteness, antics, and milestones that it comes before anything else, but most importantly your spouse. Make sure that you aren’t ignoring your husband or wife in favor of your kids. Your kids grow up and leave eventualy, but it is till death do you part with your spouse. When the kids leave, you want to be able to still have a loving and open relationship with your husband or wife.
10. Give your spouse the freedom to be themselves: Whether this is their hobbies, clothing or hair styles, personality, etc. We don’t have money for me to keep up on the current clothing fashions and such, but Michael always makes sure to budget enough for me to get my hair cut. Even when I am wearing the same clothes as 2 years ago, a stylish cut keeps me feeling pretty and feminine. Budget needs to be taken into consideration. If one of you knows you don’t have the money for something, don’t buy it. Wait till a special occasion comes along and buy it then (after saving for it).

Please do not think I write this with an attitude of pride. I am by no means a marriage guru, especially only having been married less than two years, but after going through some intense hardship, God has not only kept the two of us together, but has knit us even more tightly than ever before. When a couple has the joy of the Lord and a mutual love for Christ, being continually in His Word as a couple and praying together draws you even closer. I love it when my friends tell me that their husband is their best friend and companion. There is nothing better than that. So in closing, marriage is not a challenge to me. It is a life changing, character growing,and love expanding experience. Couples who pray together and find joy in Jesus, WILL find joy in each other.

Remember to keep your priorities straight….
God
Spouse
Children
Church

Book Recommendations:
Preparing for Marriage work books
Intended for Pleasure

 

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — loveisahappyadventure @ 6:05 am

Welcome to my new blog! I like to write about whatever is in my head at the moment. God is so good and has done so much in our lives that we hope we can encourage y’all just a little. Thanks for reading. 🙂