Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lovebug is a Trooper

So grateful for the personality God has given Lovebug tonight.  She expresses dislike but also just does what has to be done.  It was a rough one, after an infusion set failed and it took us 3, yes 3, stabs to get a set to go in correctly.  This is why I'm not a fan of the Inset 30 infusion sets for anyone thinking about getting them.  That said they can go in areas with lower body fat than the Insets so sometimes we have to keep some around. 

Set change trash, those pink things are one-time use spring devices used to insert the plastic tube of the infusion set.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Purpose Isn't Defined by Me

Hubby and I led, well started, the youth ministry at a church plant just after we graduated college.  There was a need and I loved working with youth.  I worked in a youth ministry almost every summer of college.  I was also a teacher at a local middle school so it made sense that this was the ministry I worked in.  Hubby joined me partly because he enjoyed the kids we were serving but mostly because he wanted to support me in a ministry I loved.   It was a great way to tangibly serve the families in the church.  We led for about 6 years.  It was tough trying to figure out how to create a ministry that served our church but avoided supplanting the roles of parents and families the way some youth ministry models can tend to do. 

After our 5th year leading, God began to press on my heart that some changes needed to be made in regards to our role in leading.  We just had our first daughter and found out within a few months that we were expecting our second child.  To be honest, I didn't want anything to change.  Having been a youth who accepted Christ because a friend invited me to a church youth group, much of my picture of ministry was wrapped up in the youth program.  I grew in Christ because two lovely women had discipled me through youth ministry.  I was heavily involved in campus ministry (which is very similar to youth ministry) and then worked for a wonderful youth ministry each summer.  I believed that God wanted me to move out of this very narrow box of ministry but I was resistant.  God was patient and so was my husband.  I was overwhelmed by being mom to two babies (the girls are 15 months apart) as well as a youth leader.    I kept thinking about how we could serve with our kids and still meet the needs of the church youth.  At the time our second child was born I finally accepted the change.  As Hubby's responsibilities with his church internship increased, his seminary studies moved forward, and our family grew I could no longer resist the push to step into a different role. 

I kept asking God what he wanted me to do, the only answer I received as I prayed and searched the scriptures was, "serve your husband."  I wanted a list--something tangible.  I like tangible and I like lists because they make me feel productive and organized.  God doesn't have to work like this.  So for a year I stepped back and did not serve in a formal role in our church.  I served my husband by getting the girls fed and dressed for church so he could go early and play on the music team.  I planned fun trips so Hubby could study, write papers or plan sermons with us out of the house (it was a 2 bedroom condo with 4 people, there was not really a place to 'hide' well).  I found babysitters so I could join him when he preached for the women's service at the local prison.  It was a blessing.  By me stepping out of such a time-intensive ministry role it allowed us as a couple to find new ways to serve together and it freed up Hubby to freely serve in the ministries where God was placing him.  Just as he has supported and encouraged me earlier in our marriage by leading youth with me, now I took on the role of supporter and partner as the our family grew and his leadership at church expanded.

There are so many ways to serve in ministry.  I could say being a stay at home mom and supporting my husband was ministry but God wanted me to do more than just say it.  He wanted me to live it.  By expanding my picture of ministry and accepting the places God has placed each member of our family at this point in time its allowed all of us to serve more effectively.  After a year of focusing on supporting Hubby in whatever he needed I've moved into finding other ways to serve in addition to serving my husband and family first.  Sometimes creatively such as sewing or cooking for those that need it or washing baby bottles for the local pregnancy center; sometimes through more traditional means such as nursery helper or Sunday school.  Ultimately, what God has taught me through all of this is that significance is not defined by my perceptions of the value of the ministry I do, but rather by God's plans and purposes for me.

I'm linking up with Christine over at Grace Covers Me today as she releases her book, The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart, and collects heart stories from church planting and ministry wives. Join us? 


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wow, its been a while...

Wow, its been a while.  A lot has happened in the past 3 months.  We've sold our house, moved in with my incredibly gracious in-laws then moved into our new house.  Oh yeah and there was Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations as well.  I've written about 20 blog posts in my head yet not had enough time to sit down and formulate one that I could post. 

I can't explain the amount of stress that Hubby and I were under nor the excitement, but one thing is for sure God provided for us constantly.  Here is my list reminding myself of God's goodness in the past 3 months.
  1. Celebration of Jesus coming to earth as a baby.  The wonder in this story takes my breath away.
  2. Our house sold after being shown once and for full value.  I know this is unheard of in this market.
  3. Lovely friends that cooked dinner for our family so it was easy to be out of the house during the showing.  
  4. Having the ideal buyer for the condo.  He didn't ask for anything to be fixed just the window bench Hubby had made for me to fit the full length of the windows of the house.  A nice pat on the back for Hubby's excellent workmanship and honestly where would we have put it in our new house?
  5. 1.5 month rent back before having to move so we could pack and possibly find a house so we didn't need interim housing.
  6. My parents and brother came down to look at a house we really liked.  Seeing that my dad has built 3 homes its like having a home inspector with us.  It was incredibly helpful. 
  7. Had our offer on a new house accepted the day we moved into our in-laws.
    You can be impressed with this packing job.
  8.    My brother took off work and put his 5 years of working for a moving company to work with our too small van to fit our entire condo into a 17ft. van...yeah just as a note it may say 1-2 bedrooms but unless you are as good as my brother its not happening. 
  9.  Loved living with my in-laws.  Hubby's parents were helpful and so gracious as I'm sure its not easy to live with a 4 year old, 2.5 year old, and 4 month when you haven't had young ones living with you for 30 years.  Although having kids run to give you hugs every time you come in the door does help;)  
  10. I didn't fold a load of laundry the entire time I was living there.  How amazing is this!  I do A LOT of laundry and all of it was neatly folded for me every time! 
  12. Little Man enjoying his Christmas present.
  14.  Little Man is the most easy going baby of my 3 lovely children.  I'm grateful. 
  15. We settled on our house even though the husband of the couple selling pass away Wednesday before our Friday settlement.  No realtor I know has ever had this happen, yet it went smoothly.
  16. We survived 2 weeks of refinishing 1300 square feet of hardwood floors in the month of Dec.  It was a hard job, but they are beautiful! 
  17. Love Bug and Cuddle Bug were in a Christmas play at our church that helped them to memorize the scriptures from the Christmas story.  Christmas morning we acted out the play again to celebrate Christ's birth but switched up the roles our girls played.  They knew most of the lines of the play. 
  18. We celebrated Christmas, with snow!! with my family and all my siblings.  It was so much fun to be with all of them. 
  19. Lovebug and Cuddlebug enjoying our new kitchen
  20. 3 days after Christmas we moved into our new house.  It's been a bit of a construction zone, but the girls have been patient and fairly good about leaving tools alone.  Again God provided multiple people to help us move.  Which was no small task since we were storing all of our stuff about an hour from the house we were moving into.  The reason was because my parents were giving us a mini-storage unit for free at the mini-storage they own.
  21. Our house size is over double what we had in our condo and we have a HUGE (for this area) yard.  That is fenced in.  So grateful!
  22. Many friends and family have babysat our kids, worked on the house, or just covered some responsibility we couldn't cover at church.  We are grateful for how those around us have supported us during this crazy time.  We're also grateful as we're feeling the stress being lifted for all of us.  For example Cuddlebug had many night terrors during all the changes.  She hasn't had one since the first week we moved into our new house. 

Though this list can't possibly contain the swings of emotion, both stressful and joyful, we experienced during this time, anyone who has gone through a similar situation will certainly understand.  Anyway, I'm happy to say that we're on the outset of settling in and I'm ready to get back to writing.  I've really missed it.  You'll be hearing from me again soon!