Monday, February 26, 2007

Several Firsts

Baby gifts
Mom, Grandma and Me
If we can't discipline our cat, how will we be able to discipline a child?

Last week, we received our first baby gift! My cousin Mike and his wife Christine sent us a taggie blanket and ball. They are so cute and soft. Then Grandma gave us a baby quilt that she'd made. Grandma's quilts are special!
I also bought my first maternity clothes last week. I'm hoping that I won't NEED them for a few weeks yet, but it is fun to think about wearing them!
Then for the first time, someone told me I was showing! I wore a tight shirt to work at the Gap last Thursday. Pennye asked me if I was showing already. Actually, I blame it on a big dinner! My stomach doesn't have anywhere to go when its full, now that the baby is taking up space!
On Friday, I drove up to Michigan to visit Mom and Grandma. Mom was in town from Texas. We had a really nice time. We played about 7 games of Scrabble! Mom bought me three maternity tops, and we walked around Babies'R'Us. Mom gave me lots of pregnancy advice. I'm so thankful to have a great example of a mom.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Reasons for God

I know that God exists. Here's why:

1. Creation - There is not just science in nature but also beauty and art. As much as I long for the snow to melt and spring to come, I recognize the perfection in God's creation. Can you imagine snow of any other color? Last winter, Ryan and I went to a beautiful place near here called Clifton Gorge. A river has cut a deep canyon in the rock. The walls of rock are vertical for about 50 feet above the water. In the midst of the deafening roar of the water, we admired icicles hanging in the rock. It was an amazing moment of experiencing God.

2. Redemption Stories - My favorite movies are redemption stories. This weekend we watched Little Miss Sunshine. Even though it is quirky and silly, nearly all of the characters individually and as a family are redeemed from their position of failure and brought to a place of love and unconditional acceptance. Our hearts resonate with redemption stories.

During the Super Bowl, there was a Budweiser commercial where a mutt was downtrodden and neglected on the streets. A by-passing car hit a puddle and splattered mud on the dog, giving the appearance of spots. The dog now resembled a Dalmatian and was given a seat of prominence on the Budweiser truck. The dog was redeemed by a mud baptism!

So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" Therefore, you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:3-7

3. Morality - I was showing a coworker at the Gap our baby's ultrasound picture. I told her that I could even see the baby swallowing on the ultrasound screen. She said, "I don't understand why people abort babies like this." Not everyone has the same view on abortion, but nearly everyone is angry upon hearing about a child's murder reported on the news. Why is it that we all value the young life? In addition, we are angered when an employee at a non-profit agency is caught stealing money from the organization. We know that it's "wrong". The underlying sense of right and wrong that we have was put in us by God.

4. Personal experience - There was the time that I was running on the VASA trail near Traverse City, MI, and was mulling over very negative thoughts about another person. My heart was being poisoned by the growing bitterness. As I went along, I stumbled hard on a rock on the trail and nearly fell to the ground. Immediately I was overcome by an undeniable feeling that God had caused me to stumble so that I would turn my heart around from its destructive path. I had to laugh at God's way of getting my attention!

In the summer of 2004, we were considering a move to Ohio so that Ryan could work with Athletes in Action. In order for this to be realistic, we needed three things: a job for me, our house to sell, and a house to buy. God worked it out so that within three days I got a call for an interview, drove 9 hours round trip for the interview, and received a job offer. This was all before I was certified to teach in Ohio. We had been looking for a house to buy. After several trips to Ohio, we were frustrated that we couldn't find anything that we liked. Then, we received an offer on our house in Michigan. The next day, our realtor showed me a house in Ohio that was perfect. We bought it! The reason we hadn't found this house before was that it wasn't on the market until the very day we had an offer on our house in MI. God was saving it for us!

I'd love to hear your story of God revealing His existence to you. Add a comment to this post!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Baby Update and Pic

Here is baby's picture. The lady helping with the ultrasound couldn't get the baby to stay still. He/she was moving around a lot! By the way, four people think that the baby is a girl! Also, Ryan and I have felt that way, too. No one has thought he/she is a boy... It finally feels real that I'm pregnant. It is hard to believe before you have a "bump" on your belly.

We had our second snow day today. I can't believe it... I'm teaching at a university and we've had two snow days! Before my first appointment, we went to lunch at Carver's (thanks Matt and Angela for the gift card). So, when I got on the scale, I was a little heavier from my big lunch. Poor Ryan has had to do a lot of shoveling. Normally I would be out there helping him a lot. He's also delivering papers and has had a crazy time battling the snow and ice. I think it takes him a couple hours to thaw out.

Yes, we are planning to move to TX. Ryan is interested in teaching, and there is a MUCH BETTER job market there than in Ohio. Also, of course it would be nice to be close to my parents. So, Ryan is pursuing a teacher preparation program to teach Social Studies in Grades 4-8. He will take classes this summer and be able to begin a job this fall. We'll try to live close to the school district that hires him. So, hopefully he gets a job this spring so we know where to look for a house. It will definitely be in the Fort Worth area.

Psalm 139:13-16
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

We're having a baby!

We've been really good at keeping a secret! Tomorrow I'm 13 weeks pregnant. The due date is 8/22/07, a day before my brother's birthday. I've been feeling really good. I haven't had any morning sickness, but I feel a little queasy without anything in my stomach. So, I've been eating all through the day! Ryan is really happy, and he can't wait until I'm "fat and pregnant". He already has the names finalized!

We are in awe of how God brought about this baby in His timing. We had been trying for a baby for nearly 3 years. It was heartbreaking to wait and hope. At the same time, we knew that we did not want to go to desparate measures to get pregnant. In November, I finally had an appointment with my ob/gyn to discuss some infertility options. Little did I know I was pregnant at the time! I scheduled an appointment at the end of the month for a blood test to determine whether I was ovulating. After discussing it with Ryan, we decided that it was best to not seek help with conception but to wait and trust God. So, I canceled my appointment. Soon after that I realized I was pregnant. We are more aware of God as our Creator than ever before. The same hands that formed the mountains and the oceans have formed the new life in me.

We're going to hear the heartbeat tomorrow, so I'll update more then!

Friday, February 9, 2007

This is a picture that I took in San Diego last March. I just needed to look at some flowers because we have 5 inches of snow on the ground and near zero temperatures! I can't wait to move to Texas!

A New Blog

Because of my friend Katie's blog, I was motivated to start my own. Katie's blog is one of my favorite places on the web b/c it allows me to catch up with her life. So, I'll probably write about the most important topics in my life: Ryan, my relat with God, my job, cool stuff I'm learning, my family and friends.