Sorry I have been so absent lately! Who knew such a little baby inside of me could cause so much exhaustion. It seems like all I do is sleep (when my toddler allows it). We went for our first appointment on July 29 (8 weeks and 4 days, ultrasound read like 9 weeks)and finally got to see what I had been waiting for, our little baby and that strong heartbeat going at a rate of 174! Baby is healthy and everything is great. As of today I am 11 weeks and 5 days and I have not had any morning sickness, I’ve just been tired all the time. Our due date is officially March 5 but because I am having a repeat C section on March 1! I got to speak to my OB and share my concerns with him and I was so relieved to have my questions answered and fears demolished. With the birth of my son I ended up having an emergency c section in which I saw my son for 5 seconds, when my husband presented him to me and let me look at him. He was then whisked away with my husband to go to the nursery while I was put back together and placed in recovery. About 2-3 hours later I was finally reunited with my husband and baby and able to have skin to skin and breastfeeding. I am fine with a repeat c-section but that was what bothered me the most. I want this next birth experience to be different and I am so happy to know that I will get a family centered c-section where they will allow skin to skin and attempt breastfeeding if possible in the OR while they are closing me up. They also will allow my husband and the baby back to recovery with me as well which puts my mind at ease and I am so beyond excited about it all now. I can breathe a sigh of relief and just enjoy it all! I won’t be 20 weeks until October 17 but we plan to find out the gender on September 15 when I am 15 weeks! I am so excited because my birthday is on September 14 so it is my husband’s birthday present to me! I can’t wait to find out if we are having a boy or girl! If we will be having our sweet Tobias Anders or Halen Addison (Haddie). Any and all prayer would be greatly appreciated as we continue to progress in this pregnancy.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
I really do love that quote from Dr. Seuss. With the recent discovery of what has been going on at Planned Parenthood my heart has been heavy and my mind has been blown by how such a evil corporation can view the gift of life, the gift of pregnancy as insignificant and the value of an unborn child worthless, but when it comes to making a profit off of these “worthless clumps of cells” all of a sudden it matters and there is worth. Although I am only 7 weeks and 1 day pregnant (putting my due date at March 5, 2016) I want to celebrate this amazing news and share the amazing worth and value and love I already have for what will form in my womb and become my beautiful son or daughter. I want my son to celebrate in that he is going to be a big brother to his sibling and know that we celebrated him as we are this new addition. Life begins at conception and we choose to believe and celebrate accordingly!
So here are some more pictures from our announcement photo shoot!
So,for a while now the Lord has been trying to teach me something that my pride has inhibited me to truly learn and comprehend. My pride has proudly stood in the way and prevented me from humbling myself to what I think deep down I knew was truly needed to effectively share the gospel. I think it is human, and a part of our sin nature to feel we must land on the right side of all things at all times and that we must never just simply let love shine through. Now I don’t want to be misunderstood and for anyone to think we should spread a message that all that is needed for sharing the gospel is love, because I believe it is much more than that. What I am saying is that sometimes I think our opinions and strong feelings about certain issues, especially the hot button issues, can be so loud and over-powering that we end up talking ABOVE the gospel and we lose our audience. It is good to take a stand for what we believe in, and I am all for educating and sharing our beliefs but I think that many times in doing so we don’t come at it in an objective, loving manner and so in trying to take a stand and reach out to these people who need loving guidance and possibly even correction are just completely turned off and become disinterested in us and therefore in the gospel.
So, what I am learning is that maybe occasionally speaking about, or posting about these topics is okay but maybe it would be better, maybe it would do more to further the gospel if we were quiet and allowed our lives to be our testimony. That’s not to say that if someone came to me and asked me what I believed, or what the gospel says that I would remain silent but at that point there should be a relationship between the person asking and myself and they are the one seeking out my thoughts and my beliefs and it’s not me screaming and shouting it.
Chances are if we live a life that is in line with the Word of God, and we are trying to be a walking testimony of the grace and mercy and love that God has bestowed upon us then those around us will know where we stand on issues without us having to stand up, shake our finger, or even speak.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
1 John 4:19-21
“We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
So, for the past month or so I have been identifying myself as a vegan and catching tons of flack for it. Now, I’m not going to do something or not do something just so people will accept me or think what I am doing is okay, but I am learning that certain things can be hot button topics or controversial and people may view you as rigid or extreme, or just crazy. So, in short I have decided to drop the identification of vegan and in it’s place, if need be, identifying myself as adhering to a whole foods, plant based lifestyle. You may be wondering what the difference between the two are and to be honest there isn’t much of a difference other than there is no true restriction of all animal and animal byproducts. I have grappled for the past month on where to place myself on these issues because after watching the documentaries I have and after knowing the treatment of the animals I do feel strongly about how mistreated they are but I also am in imperfect human who has cravings and has lived the past 25 years consuming meat and dairy. To truly be considered vegan I suppose there can not be slip ups or occasional cheat days and living in the south and loving certain foods it’s just such a hard struggle to truly give it all up. However, I feel like in having a whole food, plant based lifestyle it can allow me to eat like a vegan or vegetarian 98% of the time but still allow for me to have a bad day and splurge 2 % of the time. At this time I truly think I won’t go back to eating chicken or beef but I can’t see into the future so I don’t know. What I do know is that I truly feel I am making a smaller footprint on the earth and doing what is best, what is healthiest for me and my family. I truly hope others wont see or view me as a hypocrite but merely as an imperfect human trying to figure out how to best serve my God in treating my body as a temple.
So, this post is going to probably be very candid and I am praying you will all be very gracious and bear with me. So, Memorial Day weekend my husband and I watched several documentaries on Netflix about the mass production of food, the inhumane treatment of animals, and the havoc these foods wreak on our digestive systems.In watching these videos we decided to adopt a plant based, whole foods eating plan, basically vegan. Somewhere along the way though I have really been convicted with how these animals are treated and how their lives are cut short or altered just so we can consume their byproducts or them as a whole. So, now it has become more than just adapting to a new way of eating that is healthier for us, it’s now also about taking a stand.
So, whats this about an inner struggle? One word. Cheese. I LOVE cheese. I will put it on just about anything and while I have looked and found ways to still enjoy a Mexican restaurant and other places when going out to eat there is just one thing I want. Cheese dip. But, of course as a vegan you can’t have cheese. Which brings me to my other favorite food, pizza. I saw that Mellow Mushroom has a Vegan pizza and I am anxious to try that but worry it won’t be nearly as good as the regular kind.
As if my husband was reading into my weakness, he texted me today and said what if we were vegan 95% of the time but allowed for one meal a week that isn’t vegan so we could have cheese dip at a Mexican restaurant, or an occasional pizza. So when I got the message part of me was like, “oh cool sounds good to me.” But the other part says, “So I am opposed to the treatment of animals 17 out of 18 meals a week? I don’t agree with cows being systematically impregnated and then forced to machines to give us milk but not their own calves, but one meal a week it’s okay?” it’s such a struggle because we started this literally one week ago and so of course my body, our bodies are starting to crave the foods we love so much, and we are eating so radically different that it’s easy to see a commercial or someone else eating and salivate at the thought of cheese (I would say or a nice steak, but really cheese is all I care about!).
So, I feel torn but I think as of right now I am going to stick to my convictions (and some Vegan mozzarella cheese) and abstain from all dairy and see if I feel the same way in a month or two. My first priority is health and losing weight, but now there is just one more reason to stick this out.
Side Note: These are MY personal convictions and our decision as a family. In no way am I saying everyone should eat this way or that my way is right.
These are words that are encouraging me in so many ways. First of all, it is a reminder that at every turn I have a choice to nourish my body or just continue to fill it up with junk that will not fill me up or nourish my body. It’s encouraging because it reminds me that even if I slip up, the next time I go to the refrigerator or pantry I can make a better choice.This weekend we watched a couple documentaries on Netflix: Fork Over Knives, Fed Up, Vegucated, The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue.. All of these documentaries were very eye opening to the issues of processed food, sugar, and the unethical and cruel treatment of animals used to produce the foods we consume as well as the environmental issues. So we decided after trying low carb and only losing like 5-10 pounds it was time to try something else, something more and so through these documentaries and the plant-based, whole food eating they showed we decided to try 30 days. So, on Monday we went to Whole Foods and bought tons of fruits, veggies, some beans, grains, oats and then came home and cleaned out our pantry and fridge BECAUSE
I saw this picture and just thought, “YES! EXACTLY”. Maybe it’s just me but if I have any foods in the house that I know I shouldn’t eat they will just taunt me ruthlessly until I fail so for once our house is 100% temptation free and I am left with nothing but good and healthy food options, and that feels so refreshing and gives me such a peace. A great piece of advice I was given recently was when you go to the grocery store instead of focusing on calories, calories from fat, etc look at the ingredients and if there is 5 or more ingredients that you can’t pronounce or recognize then don’t buy it!
I CHOOSE to be blown away by how much I have improved in how I look, feel, and perform!!!!!!!!!
So, lately I’ve had a chronic case of writers block which has led to me desperately seeking out something to write about, anything to write about. In jumped Satan and his sly and deceptive ways convincing me of my need to spew words of judgment and personal thoughts, though in line with the Bible not called (or yet called) to speak on. But God did something, He convicted my heart and stopped me by using sisters in Christ through discussion. The first nudge came last night when I had a late night conversation with a friend and we spoke about several things. We were talking and she was saying how sometimes if we come across judgmental or are harsh in our words and feelings it can turn them away from the gospel. My thought (which I still feel holds some truth) was that we speak the truth and if they get mad and quit talking to us we still have planted a seed, even if it is a seed of doubt and questioning. Then I was speaking to another friend tonight through Facebook chat and we were talking and she had something to say along the same lines but she went further to say that we should look further and at the bigger picture. There are Christian’s and children being slaughtered overseas for proclaiming God and we nit pick about the small things. She had a point, what should I really be focused on? Sure there are times when an article pops up, or that hot button issue waves at me through the computer screen and I can choose to focus on those things and get fired up about how I need to right the wrongs and rectify those wrong beliefs…or I can choose to pray for things that matter more and focus on things that matter more. There are so many other things, things that I could be glorifying God in then picking a fight or stepping up on my soap box about the most recent recycled debate or issue.
The problem is that sometimes I do not sit still long enough to truly hear what God is telling me and in my excitement to write the next post I go to friends and people I know that can give me feedback to write the post that He has to use those people to help me slow down and really HEAR what HE is telling me. Sometimes, many times, it’s not necessarily what I want to hear. Sometimes I get a no where I want a yes but I have to remind myself that much like my body and life, this blog is not my own. This blog’s purpose is to glorify and honor God, not myself and that means setting aside my pride and my stubborn desire to just blast off with the truth I believe in but leaving no room for mercy or grace. That’s wrong, I’m wrong, and I’m sorry. I think I am beginning to understand with God’s help, that there is a time and place that addressing something may be appropriate and necessary but not here. This blog’s purpose is not just to honor and glorify God but to draw those who read this closer to Him and to His Word and in this case I think that saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than you would with vinegar” applies here.
1 John 4:7
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”