My First Appointment

This morning I had my first OB appointment for this pregnancy. We got to see the same doctor who delivered Amariah, and he enjoyed seeing how much she has grown over the past year. At the end of our appointment, he sent us to the ultrasound technician for our first ultrasound. Having just had a good appointment, we were surprised to see no baby as the technician began the procedure. She saw a normal placenta, a gestational sack, and a yolk sack, but no baby. Based on that, she called me six weeks pregnant instead of ten and sent us back to visit with the doctor. Since we are pretty confident of the dates involved, the doctor seems to think that a miscarriage is pending. He is, however, having me come back in a couple weeks for a follow-up ultrasound to determine whether any change has occured. Whatever is going to happen, I am comforted by the fact that the Lord knows all things. He already knows the outcome, and His grace is sufficient for whatever we may face. He is my Lord, and I will rest in Him.

Male and Female He Created Them

Yesterday I blogged about how my son Abel is turning into a little man before my eyes. Today my thoughts have turned to the developing womanhood of my (almost) one year-old daughter Amariah.

Yesterday afternoon as I was trying to get myself and the kids ready to head to the grocery store, Amariah decided to take herself upstairs. Still busy getting Abel’s shoes on, I let her go do her thing thinking that she would soon be ready to come back down. Several minutes passed, and I noticed that everything seemed a little too quiet upstairs–usually the first warning sign that I need to check things out. I quietly headed up the stairs, and as I peeked into Abel’s bedroom, Amariah turned around with the sweetest little grin on her face as she held Abel’s baby doll to her chest–certainly not a naughty thing, but still something that I needed to see! Baby doll still in her arms, I asked Amariah if she would like to take it along with us to the store. She gave me an affirmative grunt, and we headed for the van. As I loaded her into her carseat, I could hardly pry her arms away from the baby long enough to get her strapped in. She held that baby tightly for most of our grocery shopping trip. Later in the evening I watched as Amariah spent a good half hour pretending to put her own pajamas on the baby. As a mother, it was so much fun to see my daughter’s nurturing nature revealing itself. Sure, she is hardly more than a baby herself; but it cannot be denied that God has created male and female for very distinct and different purposes–complimentary to each other and equally important, but still distinct and different.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

My two year-old son Abel is starting to turn into a little man. His demeanor is changing from that of a toddler to that of a little boy. Everyday I realize all over again how smart and impressionable he really is. I see little behaviors in him that remind me of myself, but even more so I see behavior that could only have been learned from his daddy. There are several things Abel has been doing lately that prove to me he is already looking to his father to learn how to be a man. Indeed, many of these things are still quite insignificant in the grand scheme of Abel’s manhood, but nevertheless they are good reminders that he is watching every move we make.

  • If Travis puts on a baseball cap on his way out the door, Abel asks for his cap, too.
  • When Travis comes in out of the sun for a moment, he often pushes his sunglasses up to his forehead. Lately, instead of handing me his sunglasses when we come inside, Abel strategically places his own sunglasses not on the top of his head like Mommy, but on the front of his forehead.
  • Travis mows our lawn once or twice a week with a push mower that of course has a pull start. If Travis is mowing, you can be sure that Abel is ten steps behind with his own mower, stopping every once in a while to restart the motor.
  • In preparation to replace the tire on our wheelbarrow the other night, Travis wheeled it into the grass and laid it tire side up. A few moments later I noticed a small plastic wheelbarrow placed upside down in the grass right beside it.
  • Last night Travis had a wheelbarrow full of dirt and was placing it with a shovel around the edges of my garden. I looked out the window as Abel quietly watched his father work just before turning to his own shovel and wheelbarrow full of dirt.

Reflecting on these moments makes me realize a few things: (1) our children are watching everything we do and listening to everything we say, and from our examples they are learning how to behave; (2) spending time with our children is important not only for the relational aspects and for the memories, but also for the teaching and learning opportunities it provides; and (3) I am so thankful that Abel’s father–my husband–is a godly man, because from him Abel is learning how to be a man himself. What a blessing to be a parent and to therefore have the opportunity to so strongly influence the life of a child.

The Weather…

What is it about summertime that can lift one’s spirits so? When I stepped outside this morning, the warm sun was shining brightly; and it just made me want to find a reason to be in it. Of course, there is no keeping Abel inside on a day like this, either. We love the summertime.

Isn’t it funny, though, how we always complain about the weather? Winter is too cold; summer is too hot; spring is too rainy; fall is too short; and it’s always too windy (at least in Iowa!). So what is it that would make us happy?! Maybe our constant discontentment is just another sign that this world is not our home. Something within us longs for something more and better. So I wonder what the weather will be like in heaven…. :-)

In Debt to Debt

Do you ever feel like you are in debt to your debt? I never really felt so burdened by it until I became aware of it. But thank goodness we became aware when we did! Last November my husband and I read Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover and immediately recognized that we needed to stop letting debt be a way of life. Since changing our view of debt, we have seen great success in our finances: we have paid off two student loans, an “interest free” credit card, and several medical bills; and we were able to make a large down payment on a new (to us) vehicle when our trusty old car unexpectedly bit the dust! We are still plugging away at paying off the rest of this vehicle as well as two more student loans. At times I feel like it is taking forever to see the kind of progress that I would like to see. But then my husband gently reminds me that it is not going to be easy to become debt-free. Sometimes doing things the right way takes a lot of time and effort, and that is not the kind of mindset that comes naturally to the average American. But we are doing what we can to stay “gazelle intense,” as Dave would say, because we are “sick and tired” of living in debt to our debt!