Monday, April 26, 2010

My life for the last 10 months...

Wow, I cannot believe it has been about 10 months since I last wrote anything for this blog! To all of you who like to read it, I sincerely apologize for my failure to keep you updated on my life. It's not that I've been too's just that whenever I do sit down to write something, I want to tell everything--not just the basics, and it therefore takes me a long time to write, which discourages me from doing it at all. Silly, huh?

Well, let me try to give a basic rundown of the last 10 months to catch you up on what has been happening in my life.

Last I posted, I was still recovering from a car wreck. Well, I'm happy to report that due to the excellent care given me by my chiropractor, I was almost completely back to normal by my birthday (July 30), and was able to go ice skating with my siblings to celebrate. I continued to see the chiropractor through the end of August, by which time I had recovered so completely that Dr. Hodge told me that my back was stronger than it had been before the accident (I had never fully recovered from a back injury in 2007). While the wreck certainly wasn't something I was happy about, God knew what He was doing. :-)

In a previous post, I mentioned some health problems I had. Well, upon going to a doctor, I was told that while there was something wrong with me, he didn't know what, and as far he could tell, I was a perfectly normal, healthy woman. He then wanted me to come back in a month for some more tests.

However, I never went back to him. Through the story of the woman in Luke 8 who had "spent all her living upon physicians, neither was healed" until she touched the hem of Christ's garment, God convicted me that I had not sought Him for my healing. So, I decided that I would not return to the doctor, but would instead ask the Lord to heal me. Shortly afterward, a homeschooling mother (who used to be a nurse) heard about some of my health problems, and had a long talk with me and told me about some herbs and vitamins I should take to restore balance to my system. I promptly took her advice...


Not only did my energy return and my emotional ups and downs even out, but about 2-3 weeks later, on October 17, 2009, I found out that I was PREGNANT!!!!

Now, Donald and I had been wanting to have a baby, but due to my health at that time, thought it impossible. Nevertheless, during that time after I decided not to return to the doctor, Donald and I began praying together to heal my body. Then, about two weeks before I discovered my blessed condition, we prayed specifically that God would bless us with a child--not knowing I was already pregnant! Before we called, He answered! Isn't God amazing???? :-D

Well, it was rather humorous...because for two weeks there, I had felt WONDERFUL and had so much energy. But, God answered our prayer for a baby, and behold, the energy was no more. In its place came nausea and fatigue. However, I decided it was a good exchange. I would much rather have the fatigue with a baby, than fatigue without a baby. :-P

The nausea stayed with me for a good 13 weeks, before mercifully departing and leaving in its place an intense, almost constant hunger. However, I did discover that the best way to keep the nausea at a minimum was to eat something every 2 hours--thereby never letting my stomach get empty. Once I discovered that that helped, crackers and granola bars found their way into my purse, so that I would never be caught without something to eat.

After finding out that I was pregnant, I guess the next big thing that occurred in my life was mine and Donald's first Christmas together.

It was so much fun getting to decorate my very own house, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Then, God had a special surprise for us: He gave us a White Christmas! Can you believe it? A White Christmas here in Texas???? It was amazing, and gave Donald and I something special to remember about our first Christmas together as man and wife. :-)

Next on the list of "happenings" is our first wedding anniversary--June 3, 2010. Can you believe that we've been married a year now? I definitely could not.

Well, Donald and I decided to be traditional with this anniversary (although, I don't think we really had a choice in the matter) by getting sick on New Year's Day with the stomach bug (for those of you who don't remember, Donald was sick with the stomach bug on our wedding day and throughout our honeymoon). On our anniversary, we both felt rather weak, but knew that we were mostly over it. So, we headed out to East Texas to spend a few days at the same resort where we spent our honeymoon.

Donald obliged me and took me out to Olive Garden that evening for dinner--despite the fact that we didn't really feel like eating (but I knew that I needed to eat something for the baby's sake, if nothing else). We discovered that while our stomachs were not ready for any of the entrees, their salad really "hit the spot." We decided that after being sick like that, our bodies were just really craving raw we consumed an enormous amount of salad that evening. And let me tell you, nothing ever tasted so good. :-)

For just a moment, I would like to take a break from my run down of events, and reflect on my first year of marriage (or rather, on the last 478 days of marriage). I learned so much during that time, that I think it is fitting and proper to state some of it here on my blog. :-)

First of all, let me just say that God knew what He was doing when He gave me Donald for a husband. I am convinced that Donald is the only one on this earth who could have been my "Mr. Right." We are similar in so many ways, yet different in others. And our weaknesses and strengths complement each other's.

Secondly, one of the biggest things I've learned is about Romance. Yes girls, Romance--our favorite subject. :-) But, surprisingly, it is not what you think.

I'm afraid all too often, we girls tend to stereotype romance based on what we've seen in movies or read in books. I mean, what is it that you think of when you think of romance? A man looks at you with adoring eyes, whispering words of love into your ear; A man who surprises you often with roses, chocolate, candlelit dinners, or dazzling gifts of jewelry, etc. And, granted, I used to think the same way. In fact, I remember once while I was courting, one of my sisters told me that she didn't think Donald was very romantic. When she pointed that out, I told her she didn't know what she was talking about. But inwardly, I measured him against this stereotyped ruler, and thought that he might fall a little short in a few aspects. But, my idea of romance could not compare to the romance God had in store for me.

When I first got married, I am ashamed to say that some of my actions prevented me from seeing this romance. "Miss Independent, 'I-can-do-it-myself'" kept getting in the way, blinding me to the truth. Too many times, Donald would offer to help me do something, and I would protest and tell him I didn't need his help. He would then disappear with a hurt look in his eyes. While I was thinking he should be proud he had a wife who could do things for herself, he was hurt and disappointed. For, by rejecting his help, he felt as though I was rejecting him.

After several such incidences, I came to realize that one of the ways he shows his love for me is by DOING things for me. When I rejected his offer of service, in essence, I was rejecting his demonstration of love for me. How foolish can a girl get? Since I started letting him serve me in various ways, I must say that I have become the happiest little housewife possible. Now that I know that is his way of showing he cares about me, I see every little act of service as his way of saying, "I love you."

Thus...while romance can include your husband surprising you with roses, chocolate, or jewelry, that is not all that is involved. True, godly romance is loving each other through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer. It is not merely a passionate, gazing-adoringly-into-his-eyes, showering with gifts kind of love. It is a love that loves through the ordinary and mundane kind of days--Days when you have to pay the bills, go to work, do the laundry, scrub bathrooms, mow the lawn, or weed the garden (none of which sound very romantic).

True romance is working hard every day to earn a living for your family. True romance is being understanding when your wife didn't get your work clothes washed that day because she wasn't feeling well. True romance is holding a bowl in front of your wife when she is giving up the contents of her stomach, and then cleaning up afterward. True romance is calling your wife just to say that you love her, or to ask her out to dinner that night. True romance is voluntarily cooking dinner, cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming the floors, and doing the dishes so that your tired, pregnant wife can take a break.

True romance is staying up really late disassembling the spare bedroom and putting the baby crib together in order to surprise your wife when she gets up the next morning. True romance is organizing the pantry and the laundry room cabinets to again help your pregnant wife by relieving her of a task. True romance is repainting a spot on the wall that has been bugging your wife, or mowing and weeding the lawn, painting the mail box, and fixing other things around the house. True romance is not just telling your wife she looks pretty when she's all "fixed up" for the day, but when she isn't, and her face is peppered with pregnancy-caused acne. True romance is going on an evening's walk with your wife, just sitting and talking, or driving out into the country to look at stars and marvel in God's creation.

In all these things, and in so many more, my husband daily shows his genuine love for me. Thus, while others may look at Donald and think he is not very romantic because he might not fit the stereotyped romantic image, I look at my husband and see the love pouring out of him as he serves me and others. I think of Christ, and how He did not come to earth to be served, but to serve others, and remember that husbands are instructed to love their wives as Christ loves the church, and am so happy and grateful in knowing that I have a husband who fulfills this command in all his actions towards me.

So, when I hear of other young men showering their sweethearts with gifts that fit the "stereotyped image," I just smile and know that my husband daily gives me something far better and far more priceless than any gem money can buy: his heart of purest and rarest gold. And let me tell you, I would not trade one of those demonstrations of his love for anything money can buy. Donald has given me gifts that cannot be stolen, and will not tarnish or fade away. I thank God so much for the wonderful man He bestowed on this unworthy and undeserving girl, and am fully convinced that I am married to the most romantic and loving man in the entire world! :-)

Anyway...there is my little sermon for the day. :-) Now I will return to the previously broadcasted news schedule. ;-)

On February 2, impatient little me went in to the midwife for a sonogram. There, Donald and I were thrilled to learn that we are the parents of a little GIRL!!! Both of us had really wanted a girl, so were very excited to learn that our wish was to be granted. The name we have chosen for our first daughter is Danielle Grace. "Danielle" means "God is my Judge," and "Grace" means "Unmerited gift or favor." I truly hope that Danielle will always remember the meaning of her name, and early come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ when she realizes that God truly is her judge, that He found her guilty of sin, but pardoned her and gave her unmerited favor through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ.

So, while I am awaiting the arrival of our precious daughter, I have been keeping myself busy with lots of sewing projects. In January, I made curtains for our living room, dining room, and kitchen windows. Then, recently, I have been making a baby quilt for Danielle's room. I finished it last week, and am now working on making matching crib bumpers, a crib bedskirt, and curtains for her room. I have also kept up with my harp studies, and while I will not be taking exams again this June as originally planned (because Danielle is due to arrive mid June), I am learning my exam pieces, hoping to have them mostly learned before the baby arrives, so that it will be easier for me to prepare for the Fall exams.

Then, besides all that, I also go walking for about 30 minutes every day in an attempt to keep myself strong and ready to run the "marathon" of childbirth in June. God has blessed me thus far with good health throughout my pregnancy, and no apparent problems. Little Danielle grows bigger every day (a fact evidenced by my growing belly), and it is one of my delights now to sit and watch my belly ripple and jump as she "swims" and kicks inside of me. Donald put together a CD of him reading passages from Psalms and Proverbs with Classical/Baroque music in the background for Danielle to listen to. So, every evening, I get out the headphones, and place them at the base of my belly and let her hear her daddy read to her. She must love it because her activity greatly increases when I do that. :-)

So, here we are now almost into May, and I am now 32 weeks pregnant, with only 8 weeks left to go. While I had a great increase of energy in my second trimester, now 4 weeks into my third and final trimester, my energy is decreasing, and I am also dealing with a few other pregnancy related woes (namely, swollen ankles if I stand or sit for too long at a time). However, I am very much anticipating the arrival of my daughter, and cannot wait to see her face to face in just a few weeks.

Donald is really getting excited too. He set up the crib for me the other night, and told me later that he keeps imagining going to the bedroom door and peeking through it to look at his little girl as she sleeps. He's going to make such a wonderful father...and he already adores Danielle even before she's born. It's so cute, really. :-)

This whole pregnancy experience makes me think of Christ's return. For, just as I know neither the day nor the hour when Danielle will arrive, so I do not know when Christ will arrive. However, I do know the general time line based upon the "signs of the times" that God has given us both in pregnancy and regarding His return. Also, just as I so eagerly await the arrival of my little girl, and long to see her face, so I should have that same anticipation regarding Christ's return. Oh the joy that will fill my being when I finally see my baby! But even greater still will be the joy of seeing my crucified and risen Lord returning to claim His bride! The signs of the times are getting clearer every day for those two "happenings." They will both happen soon. Am I ready?

And on that note, I shall close this lengthy epistle, and hope to write again soon. I hope you all are doing well. May the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.


p.s., And for those of you who are wondering, we're getting another addition to the family later this year (besides Danielle). As of Resurrection Sunday (April 4), my brother Richard is now engaged to be married. And I believe I heard the date was set for September 18.