It’s Been Said…

“Learn the craft of knowing how to open your heart and to turn on your creativity.  There’s a light inside of you.”

                                                          —–Judith Jamison

Sunday Afternoon

Azaleas blooming in the yard.

Little girls playing in bare feet in the front yard.

Older children laughing in the kitchen.

I’ve been walking, and swaying, and doing all the things that are done as you wait for a little one to arrive.

My heart is full this afternoon. Life is full and amazing to me. I only want to be quiet and soak it all in like a sponge.

Sunday afternoons are my favorite.

This Season

The past several weeks have been shadowed by illness for our family. It seems each time we are all well, we’re exposed to something else and everyone gets sick. This last one has rounded our family- some as many as three times! It’s been a long, cold winter. I’m thrilled to see spring here. Perhaps sunshine and warm weather will clear germs.

We have still managed to visit with my grandmother in between illness. I try to visit and take her things she needs, manage her nails and hair. I feel like I’ve had to let a lot go since we’ve been ill. I am praying everyone will be well enough in the next day or two to see to her needs before the baby comes.

Please do remember two specific family members when you pray. I lost one family member recently, (younger than I). Please be praying for his immediate family.

Also, Paul’s cousin who lost her baby at 37 weeks pregnant this past week. My heart just aches for her. Please keep them in your prayers.

Paul’s dad had open-heart surgery a week ago on Wednesday. I think he is the most resilient man I have ever known. He is recovering easily, but I know could use the prayer, if you think on him.

Added to that, I received a call to come to our attorney’s office, (actually on my due date). It’s time to sign documents to close my mama’s estate, (which I did).

This past year has taught me much about death. While obvious is the lingering sadness that can accompany the loss of a dear loved one, you might not see the other things that happen around such an event. We have spent the better part of a year dealing with some hard issues concerning family. I’ve spent time each week (at times, each day!), having to talk to folks concerning taxes, bills, her home, etc.

When this all started, I prayed the Lord would allow me to handle all of this with grace and His leading. I don’t feel like I’ve been all that graceful, at times, but I’ve sure tried. I would want my mama to be happy with the way things have been handled and left.

I loved my mama. I fear these coming weeks will be especially hard for our family (for many reasons), but I know the Lord knows. I will be glad to be past the “business” of death.

I loved my mama. She was a good mother. She was a beautiful person. I’m thankful the Lord allowed me to have her for 40 years.

Some good things…

1. Jacob, it seems, has a new position as and electrician apprentice.

I had been praying for him for some time…that the Lord would give him direction and lead a path. Some friends told us they had someone they wanted Jacob to speak with…this company will pay for his schooling and supplies as long as he keeps up his grades. It all seems good. Please be praying as he transitions from his current job to this new position in the next couple of weeks.

2. This past week, Paul and I had gone to trade vehicles with Jacob at his work. It was around lunch time. A big white van pulled up right next to us. The man was watching us as we traded cars. Paul tried to crank the van and it wouldn’t start. The man jumped out of his van, grabbed jumper cables and walked toward us. Within a few minutes (and never having asked for help at all!), we were back running. A new battery later, the van is running good as new. The man just told us to have a blessed day as he drove away. (I truly believe the man was planted there by the Lord!)

3. The next morning, Paul and I were discussing a co-worker of his. It’s someone I’ve not met in person but have wanted to meet. I knew he was recently married. Not too long after they were married they learned they were expecting. He’s been speaking with Paul about his thoughts on family size and sharing his conviction that God plans families. Paul has been able to share some with him…it’s been awesome to watch the Lord work!

In any case, on the way to the doctor, Paul and I stopped for breakfast. This young man happened to walk in at the same time! We were able to visit with him and make some tentative plans for dinner after our little blessing arrives. He is a gem! I am looking forward to meeting his new wife and it was unbelievable to meet him in person the very morning Paul and I were discussing his new family.

I’m learning with each passing week that when the Lord brings us to seasons that are full…some not as pleasant as others, His mercies are wide and great. We just have to look.

May the Lord be praised!

Now We Wait.

I’m now a day over my due date.

At some point, I would like to find statistics on how many babies go past their expected due date. I’m 12 for 13, right now. (Timothy was 5 weeks early.)

This week, I’ve prepared the car seat. Our bags are packed and ready. I have the mailbox bow made and by the door. The hospital bow is ready and wrapped. Diaper bag? Check. My suitcase? Check.

I think I’m about as ready as ready can be…well, I am missing my husband until Monday. That’s a wee bit important. He’ll return and then we’re be completely ready for baby to arrive.

If he’s not here by Thursday, I’m scheduled to arrive that morning for an induction (typical for me). This morning, I was in bed feeling him wiggle deep inside of my body. It’s almost time! I’m so excited. I look at my other little ones (and not so little ones), and think what a blessing they each are…what will he bring to our family?

Please be praying for our family as we wait.

Celebrating Marriage

Some place between this season of illness, health issues with our extended family, and waiting on this newest little one, Paul and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary.

He was in New York and I was here waiting with my dear father-in-law the day following his open heart surgery. (Last year he was off some place and I was waiting with my own mother on the chemo unit, at the local hospital.)

He sent me beautiful roses (fading some now…), and I packed him my gift along with a card where I had written my thoughts on our marriage, and my thankfulness for him.

It was pretty easy to think for a moment that it would be nice to spend the day with him, but as I pondered, I realized these are what marriage really is about…not those “romance novel” moments with everything so perfect. It’s what happens when life really gets busy. It’s what happens when babies are up sick, there doesn’t seem to be enough money for everything that needs to be paid, and you just feel spread thin. It’s what happens when you may not feel like hanging in, but “for better or for worse”, makes you hold fast- and the Lord blesses you.

He draws your heart to that one.

I often look at my husband and think at the end of my days, I want that man to be able to say I was a good wife to him. I want him to know that I tried my best to do him good and not harm all the days of my life.

It’s been a rough few years for our family. I’m grateful, and humbled, and truly blessed to know I stand by him (even when he’s on the road).

Things aren’t always perfect but in their imperfection, they are beautiful.

Making Milk

My Great-Grandmother was a genius.

She did and said things, at times, that made no sense to me.

Of course, she had lived a much longer life…experience had taught her much and I’m sure I wasn’t old enough to appreciate nearly enough.

SO, last week, my daughter bought me a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar.
As with so many other things these days, I flipped the bar over to read the ingredients on the back.

One ingredient stood out above the rest SOY LECITHIN.

I couldn’t help but to begin to laugh. She told me. She told me over and over through the years she was still with us.

She used to tell me milk chocolate bars made healthy babies and made lots of milk.

While I don’t think she quite understood why…and I’m sure she didn’t understand the soy lecithin part, she did know she had seen good results with a mama eating chocolate.
Several years ago, after Emma’s birth….I developed my first case of mastitis. It was one of the worst experiences of my life.

I’ve tried to nurse each of my babies for at least a year- some a little more, some a little longer.

After this first round of mastitis, there were many more to follow. I stayed on and off of anti-biotics for months while nursing Emma, and Jon. When Meredith was born, I had a very kind lactation nurse ask if I had ever tried soy lecithin. I had not, and frankly, I was skeptical anything would help. I decided to try but was quite discouraged.

Amazingly, it did work! …and it worked perfectly!

Soy lecithin is an emulsifier and helps milk glide more easily through the ducts. Now, I keep a bottle on hand. Obviously, I also drink lots of water and try to nap more often, but I’m convinced the soy lecithin is what makes such a difference.

Of course, it couldn’t hurt to throw in a chocolate bar here and there. :D

I sure loved that woman.

It’s Been Said…

“Taste concerns itself with broad, lifetime progress and never makes mistakes; style moves by fits and starts and is occasionally glorious.”

                                                           —–Kennedy Fraser

Our April Fellowship Group…

We are going to cancel our community fellowship this month. We will also not have it for the months of May and June.

There are so many things happening in our home at the moment.

My dear FIL will be staying for several weeks with us as he recovers from surgery and then our precious baby is due to arrive in just a week.

It’s just time to step away.

Please keep our family in your prayers…

Many thanks to each of you.

With love,
Tracy