Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Grief and Forgiveness

I have been struggling with grief and forgiveness lately. For the last many months I thought I was just stuck in the grief process. After being in the word and praying, God has revealed to me that I am stuck at forgiveness.

I tend to want to shove my grief, it is part of my nature and I really have to fight it. Like I said I have been grieving for some time now and recently during a Sunday sermon I was reminded that grief is biblical, it is okay to grief. "Jesus wept" John 11:35; the shortest verse in the bible and yet it tells us so much. The emotion that Jesus was feeling as he grieved with his friends in the loss of Lazarus shows us that he was not just God walking here on earth, but he was both God and man. He felt the same emotions that we feel when we experience the loss of a loved one and he expressed it in an outward emotion.

Just as grieving is biblical so is moving on. As a psychologist I know the ramifications of being "stuck" in the grief process and itrarely turns out well. It can hinder ones life and the bible actually tells us that when Sarah died, Abraham came to mourn and weep for her. It then tells us that Abraham stood up. "So Sarah died inKirjath Arba in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. The Abraham stood up from before his dead..." Genesis 23:2-3 (half of 3). As hard as it may have been for Abraham to lose Sarah he "stood up" and had many more fruitful years. The words stood up really resonated with me. As I have looked back on the grief that I am dealing with I find that yes I have cried and been angry and then I have tried to pretend like all is the same and that nothing really changed. I have refused to put myself out there and really actually "stand up" and move forward with what God has planned for me. I find that I have tried to go on as if all was the same when in reality everything is changed.

The hurt, the sadness, the utter-confusion is still there and I don't know what will happen to it, but I do know that I need to move forward with the plans that God has for my life and although that person indeed influenced me for a time, it was only a chapter in the plan that God has for my life. My unwillingness to accept and move forward was really being hindered by a willingness to not forgive. I think for me this step is so key in my grief processes. The forgiveness in this case is so complex that sometimes myfeeble human brain can not understand it. But I know that in order to move forward I must learn to forgive and seek God's guidance in what that looks like. Exodus 14:14 says "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall keep your peace." In everything that has gone on in the last many months that is what I seek...peace. I will work on standing up, moving forward, and working to a place of forgiveness and peace, with God's strength.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

20 weeks

Actually I am 21 weeks as of Sunday, but I wanted to blog the halfway mark and I am just getting around to it. Ooops.
Well like I said 20 weeks, and we are halfway to getting to meet our little girl. We don't have names yet. We go back and forth. Well actually I suggest names and Christopher veto's them. One day she will have a name. I guess we have time.

So far things have been pretty uneventful, which is HUGE for us! I had the preventative cerclage put in when I was at 13 weeks and then was on strict bedrest for one week, then had 30% mobility the next week, then 60 % and then finally was back to 100%. So now I am back to work and life as normal.

I do have some contractions here and there, I have noticed that alot of it depends on how much sleep I get, so I have been trying to make sure I rest, take things slowly and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Although some nights no matter what I do I don't sleep good. But I am trying. And if I look like I am doing too much my sister and Chris put me back in my place. I have gained quite a bit of weight so far, mostly in the last couple weeks. It seems my belly just popped out overnight. It doesn't help that I am always hungry and could eat anything I see. Just like when I was pregnant with Ethan, I am lactose in tolerate this time. It is really difficult for me since I LOVE all things dairy. But my doctors have said I can take lactaid pills, so I will take those when I really must have some dairy.

I am starting to feel her move around. Chris still can't feel her yet, but I know it will be soon as her kicks are getting stronger and more frequent.

Ethan is super excited to have a sister. He still thinks we should name her Ethan. We have tried to explain why this is not an option but he doesn't fully grasp it. He loves to give her kisses and hugs and is always asking me to "open baby up," meaning show him my actual belly so he can talk directly to my belly button. We have had to tell him, on a couple different occasions that we don't do that in public. We are so excited to see him be a big brother, he will be great with her!

We feel so blessed that this pregnancy is going so much smoother. I must say though, I am still a bit nervous. Even though everything is looking good so far it wasn't until week 21 with Ethan that we had all the major complications. So I am nervous, but believing that God's hand is on us and our baby girl.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dinner Time

Honestly speaking I do not cook much. I wish I did, I used to cook more but really I find myself exhausted when I get home from work. The last thing I want to do is cook (read: dirty a kitchen) and then clean up the kitchen (plus I would rather bake than cook). I would rather spend time with my boys. Also our nights are often full. I recently started going to our women's bible study on Tuesday nights. A while back I had chosen to not attend the women's study; I felt that I worked full time and don't spend enough time with E as it is. But God has been urging me to go and so this school year I started going and I have been blessed by going. On Wednesday nights we have youth worship practice and then youth group and every other Friday we have the young/college age bible study we have been going to for a long time. I know those are all excuses but honestly lots of nights it just didn't feel like we had time for a home cooked meal. So often we chose convenience type meals, I try to make them as healthy as we can, but you can only make a convenience meal so healthy.

This has been something that has bothered me for sometime. Over the last two years I have tried different options one of which is those prep kitchens where you go and prepare a bunch of meals to take home and freeze. We did that once and I was over it. The recipes they used and had us make were bland tasting and it was just as expensive as eating out, actually it was slight more than eating out. Not the solution I wanted. Periodically, but not consistently, I have made weekly meal plans and gone on a big shopping trip. It works and it last about a week and then we fall back into old habits.

So this past weekend I sat down and made a meal plan. Yes I realize we have not followed through with this before, but I am hoping if I sit down and write it on the blog there will be some accountability and maybe even a bit of advice and some easy meal recipes that come from my very few blog readers. But back to this weekend, well Thursday really (remember I was just off work for two weeks) Chris and I sat down and made a meal plan for about a week and a half. I wrote out the grocery list to include all the ingredients we will need for all the meals. Friday we went to Costco and Sunday we went to the grocery store to get the remainder of the ingredients that I could not get at Costco (I do not like the grocery store, especially when pregnant; there is just too many conflicting smells). And Sunday night I set out to make some meals.

For dinner on Sunday we had fajitas and while making the fajitas, I also made tortilla soup that we will eat on Tuesday before I go to bible study. It was pretty to easy to make both those at the same time. I was excited. I also made a double batch of fajitas so we will have leftover fajitas on Wednesday before youth worship practice/youth group. I was pretty proud of myself, three meals in the time to make one! Then tonight we had Kielbasa (I'm part German and love some good sausage, not too healthy but better than a $5 pizza), broccoli and fettuchini. Thursday I will make pesto Chicken with a light dusting of mozzarella and Friday is Taco Casserole, aka. Spanish Delight, before our bible study.

Whew I think we will get through the whole week and I have a plan for next week too. It felt really good to take the time out of my break to sit down and organize my family's eating. It is something that always bugs me, but I just haven't felt like I have the time to devote to fixing it; but I think I am on a solid track to getting us to eat right and at home more! If any of you all have any easy recipes that would be conducive to making and freezing or frigerating for a couple days feel free to share. My goal is to make at least two or three meals on the weekend to get us through the busy week nights. I hope it works. I'll keep you posted.