One week

One week ago I was in an ambulance on the way to deliver my babies in Columbus against my doctors wishes. He wanted me to deliver in Americus and had me believe that at 34 weeks their lungs would be fine and it would be perfectly okay to deliver here, I did not trust him, and I’m glad I didn’t. I knew if I stayed and my babies lungs weren’t okay they would be taken from me and ambulanced to another hospital. He had made me believe that as long as I made it to 34 weeks everything would be okay, but in that moment I didn’t feel like it would be so I told them to send me to Columbus. As I laid in the back of the ambulance, contracting every minute, I watched the sun rise and I prayed harder than I ever have. I was more scared and more excited than I have ever been. I was greeted at the hospital by several people who knew me through my aunt and I was very well taken care of by some of the sweetest nurses I’ve ever met. Several hours later I was lying on the operating table listening to the first cries of my babies. 

When they brought them to me they could only stay a minute and they both had a tube on their nose. They took them to the Neonatal care unit and I was told that their lungs were not ready yet and they had to have a CPAP, IVs, Feeding tubes, monitors, and be in the incubator. I was also told that it would be 12 hours before I could see them. 5 hours later, after lots of begging and convincing, my nurse was reluctantly wheeling me to them. I cried when I first saw them but I knew immediately that God had a plan in this. I also knew that my babies were the most beautiful babies I had ever seen. 

Today they are one week old. A lot has happened in just seven days. They both came off of their CPAP, IVs, and feeding tubes. They opened their eyes for the first time, and baby girl discovered her intense love for the pacifier. They had to have a little light therapy for jaundice, and they passed their hearing test. They got to be held by two other people other than us, and they had their first bath. They are the most perfect babies in the whole world (I’m not biased, I swear ). Little boy has the biggest and greatest facial expressions and I just know he is going to be funny like his daddy. Little girl is a diva already and does not like to be messed with but she loves her mommy and daddy and cries when we have to put her back in her “house”. 

My God is stronger than any medicine, and my God loves my babies more than I do and I can’t even imagine that. He has a plan in all of this and I feel blessed to be a part of it and to watch it unfold. It is not easy to have one week old babies and not be able to hold them any time I want, especially when they are hurting. It’s not easy to go to the Ronald McDonald house at night and leave my babies in the hospital. It is not easy but I am so blessed to be Pat and Sandys mommy. 

  

Happy First Anniversary 

This morning as I look over at the man I married I think back on all that our first year of marriage has brought us. Many people told us how hard our first year would be since I was still in school and we didn’t have very much money. But all I can say is I feel so blessed. We have had to rely on God more than we ever have before, and He brought us closer to Him and each other. God has provided and used some wonderful people this year to help us out where we needed it most. We didn’t have a lot but we never really felt like we were lacking. I have gotten to spend my last year married to my very best friend, and boy has it been fun! Our life has been so full of joy. I won’t tell you that our marriage is perfect, because it’s not, we have had our hard days, and we have our rough spots. I am not a perfect woman, but he treats me like I am pretty darn close, and picks me up when I fall. We work hard together with God to build up our relationship and mend the rough spots, and he keeps me laughing all the while. I will forever be grateful that God brought me this man that loves me and leads me to Him. This next year of marriage we will welcome our first two children into the world. We can only pray that our twins know how loved they are and that we continue to build a strong example for them. Becoming parents is just as scary as it is exciting, but I can’t wait to see how God uses those tiny darlings, and how he uses us in their lives. 

Happy first anniversary my love, I can’t wait for many, many more. 

   
 

Twins

It’s 4:30 in the morning, I have given up on any possibility of getting back to sleep tonight and am curled up in my recliner staring at my ultrasound picture. 

About a month or so ago my husband and I found out that we were expecting our first child. This morning at the doctor we found out that we are not only expecting our first child but our second child too. Twins. We are having twins. My granny always said if you were going to do something, do it big. Well I apparently took that advice.  

Our initial reactions were shock, followed by excitement, followed by a little more shock and a healthy dose of fear. Two babies! Two! Can I raise two babies at once? Am I capable of that? As soon as I ask myself these questions I know the answer. No. You are not capable, not alone. 

If I have learned anything over the last few years it’s that God’s plans and my plans do not look the same, but God’s plan is always so much more wonderful and magnificent than I could have ever imagined. 

As I look at my two tiny little babies all I can think of is Jeremiah 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

My wonderful, magnificent, creator God has a plan. He has a plan for me, for my husband, and for my babies. He loves us, all four of us, more than I could ever imagine. He is looking out for us, and he has a plan. 

Only by his strength will I be able to raise two babies at the same time, and I know already that it will be the most awesome and joyful thing I will ever experience. 

  

Looking at those two tiny, precious babies all I can feel now is blessed. So overwhelming blessed that it brings tears to my eyes. I get to watch those two tiny people grow up, I get to love them and guide them. They are mine, my babies. I am already so in love with them, I cannot wait until they are in my arms. I am one incredibly thankful and blessed mommy. 

Dear baby,

 Hi baby. I’m your mom. The day I am writing this is the day I found out I am pregnant, with you! At this very moment I am the only one who knows. Your daddy is sleeping and I am eagerly waiting for him to wake up so I can tell him that you are on the way. We have prayed for you, and now you are on the way. You will be here in nine months! Mommy is so excited and scared. I love you so much already and I know this love will only grow. I don’t know your name yet or if you’ll be a boy or a girl but I know I love you. I know your daddy will love you. And I know all your uncles (you’ll have a lot!), aunts, grandparents and lots of other people will love you too. You will be one loved little jelly bean. 

Baby, I pray that you love us too. First and foremost I pray that you love the Lord. He loves you bigger than any of us do and he sent his son on a cross to die for you. I pray you know and hold fast to that. I pray I get to see you be baptized. I pray I see you leave for your first mission trip. I pray I see you do big and mighty things for the Kingdom. I pray that you are brave. I pray you aren’t like your mommy and aren’t afraid of anything. I pray you can walk up to anyone and make a friend without nervousness in your heart. I pray you are bold and determined. I pray that you are kind and patient. I pray that you love people, really really love people. I pray that when you make a mistake, when you get hurt, when the world is too hard to deal with that you come to me, that you let me love you and hold you. I pray that you don’t hate me too much when you are a teenager and that you know I will always be your biggest fan. 

I learned this morning that I have a new job and that job is being your mommy. I will spend the next nine months preparing for you and the rest of my life being your mom. I already love it. I can’t wait to meet you jelly bean. 

Mommy  

  

Fighting With Insecurity 

All my life I can remember asking myself the question, “do they like me?”. Probably one of the best words used to describe me as a child, preteen, and a teen (and probably some as an adult) is insecure. I have battled with insecurity for as long as I remember. From trying to be “popular” in elementary school. (What defines that anyways? Who had the prettiest slap bracelet or the most scrunchies? I’m still not sure.) To dating the wrong people in high school. I always wanted to be liked. Even as an adult I still want so badly to be liked by my classmates, the people in my Sunday school class, my students, my in-laws, and the list goes on. 

It’s human nature, we want people to like us, especially the people we are around the most or the people that we respect the most. And, it is inevitable, people are going to dislike us for one reason or another. My whole life I have let this possibility control me. 

I am very shy, to a point of social awkwardness. I have a hard time with conversations, especially if I don’t know you very well or if I want to impress you and I am nervous. I probably make an odd first impression. I have struggled with my awkwardness for years and determined that it has made me unlikable. I have also tried way way too hard to get people to accept me and like me. Still now I struggle with the desire to be liked and the pain that follows even thinking someone does not like me. 

Today I was thinking about this and how far I have come in not letting my insecurities control me and how long I have left to go and God convicted my heart. I felt a pull to write this post not only to speak to other girls who struggle with the things I struggle with but to also talk to myself. 

You. Daughter (or son). Are loved. The God of all creation breathed you into life. He sent his son to die for you. He loves you. He loves you deeper and harder than any man or woman ever could. He is holding you through the storms and cheering through the sunshine. God has not called us to be liked he has called us to walk. He has called us to love. To love those that don’t like us. To love those that hate us. No insecurity is too big for God. Lay them at his feet today. Stop carrying baggage that you don’t have to carry. Despite the way that people made you feel today, the God of Heaven and Earth loves you and he likes you. He’s got your back. You are beautiful and magnificent. Never let anyone else make you feel any differently. You are special. You are made in His image. You are loved. 

Dating is hard. 

Don and I officially became a couple on November 25, 2012. We were engaged on March 25, 2014, and married on July 12, 2014. We dated for close to two years before we were married. And I’m just going to say that it was hard. 

Now before I get started good let me start by saying I am in no way saying that marriage is easy. It’s not. We are still newly weds so we are floating on the clouds, but I know marriage is hard. 

I also know that dating is hard. Or Atleast it was for us. Every ones experience is different. Some people have a wonderful easy breezy dating life, they meet they have fun and laugh and never fight and blissfully get married and then the hard sets in. The realness comes out. Some people don’t have that perfect dating life, they struggle, they fight but if your like us when you get married it gets easier. 

I am going to explain how it was for us. I can be a closed off person. I don’t open up easily and sharing parts of my life makes me uncomfortable. I have a hard time trusting people and tend to expect the worse. I am a hot mess. This is not who my husband is. My husband is open and loving and trusting almost to a fault. You can imagine how well this went.

I liked Don long before we were dating. We became friends his freshman year (I am a year and half older than him #cougar). As time passed we only got closer and I just thought he was the greatest thing ever. Eventually he thought I was the greatest thing ever too and we began dating. It was perfect. At first.

We were so in love and we didn’t have a care in the world, for about a month. We were never stopped being in love but there comes a point when realness sets in. There comes a point when the handsome boy sitting next to you loves you back and you are expected to open up to him. There comes a point when you have to share parts of your life and who you are. There comes a point when you have to trust him and believe in him. For some people I think this time is probably wonderful.

For me it was hard. How was I supposed to know that this guy, who I just opened my heart to isn’t going to walk away tomorrow. How am I supposed to know that he really means it when he says he loves me. This is when the doubt and insecurities set in. Don and I argued while we were dating. 99% of the time it was because I was insecure about something. (Most normal people will tell you to get your insecurities in check before you start dating. I don’t disagree. But for me dating and more so marrying Dob was a big step in me over coming some insecurities.) 

And then if you have chosen to stay abstinent until marriage you actually have to stay abstinent. Don and I had to constantly have “boundary conversations”. This is the only way we made it until our wedding night. Every few weeks we would have to change something. Up until the week before the wedding our boundaries were so crazy it was just hilarious.

Here is an example: we didn’t go to his apartment together for longer than a half hour, and we would only go then if there was a purpose. He didn’t come over to my place unless we stayed in the living room or the kitchen. We only kissed when we said hello or goodbye. No hello or goodbye kisses in the cars. (It just makes me giggle now thinking about it)  

We were in love, we felt connected and we knew we would always be together. Feeling this way makes it harder to stay at arms length. 

Now I am sharing a lot about myself (which as noted above I am not crazy about). But all of this to say that everyone will tell you that marriage is hard. I want to tell you that dating is hard too. But it is so worth it. 

All of those little issues we had while we were dating have gone away. I am not scared to open myself up anymore and I trust this man with my entire life, without hesitation. Committing to someone at that level changed more than I thought it could. Also the lack of “boundaries” is kind of great. 

So, if you are dating someone really great but it’s not easy breezy like it is on tv or like your friends relationship, don’t quit too easy. 

Also I am not saying  that you should stay in a bad relationship. But examine what is wrong with your relationship and work to fix it. 



This picture is before we were officially together. Awkwardsville



All I could do was pray

As a brand new Christian and a freshman in college I needed a lot of guidance. 

(Mostly because I was crazy, but who isn’t at 18?) 

One of the most important parts of the beginning of my walk with Christ was my relationship with a woman named Leah. Leah was my mentor. I would meet with her at her house every Monday at 2. She was there at the very beginning. She taught me how to pray and study my bible and what a woman who loves God looks like. I will always remember one of he first talks we had about prayer. 

We were talking about 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I remember thinking (and probably saying) “How in the world do you pray without ceasing? You have to stop at some point to live your life” 

I have thought about this many times since then. I have since realized that life isn’t worth getting up for if you aren’t in constant prayer. 

Dating is hard, marriage is hard, college is hard, working is hard, high school is hard, life is hard. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

This verse means more to me now than it ever has. My husband recently started working at a local prison. He was excited and I was scared, all I could do was pray. In February he left for a month of training. I am a big baby, and I don’t like to be alone. Living life with him in another part of the state was hard. All I could do was pray.  Thursday he came back home to find out he would be working night shift. 

Last night was the first night he worked as an officer. All I could do was pray. 

I prayed for my husbands safety and for my safety, I prayed for peace, and patience, I prayed for well behaved prisoners. I thanked God for our safety, and for Don’s job. I thanked God for blessing him with the skill to do what he does. I thanked God for growing us and using us for His Glory. I rejoiced when I heard the garage open this morning. I rejoiced when my husband’s stab vest remained unpunctured. I rejoiced when he kissed me good morning. I rejoiced when he climbed in bed and peacefully fell asleep.