Believe for greater

Before I even write this I have to give every credit to God for blessing me with amazing and wonderful experiences with pregnancy and childbirth.  I learned a few years ago that God actually cares about every fine little detail in our lives and having children is no exception.  I also had the revelation early last year that as a believer of God, I can do things differently in this world.  There is a better way – a higher way – a way that is glorious and full of God’s goodness –  a way that is almost too amazing to fathom – and I want to experience His way of doing things in my life.

When we found out I was pregnant with our baby girl in early March last year, we were pretty darn excited! I was filled with this hopeful expectation and determination of experiencing the fullness of God in her birth.  And this is why I’m writing this…not just to share the miracle that God did, but also because, so often we look at the natural circumstances and the facts, instead of staying focused on truth, on God’s promises and believing that He is faithful to His Word.  It is so much easier to focus on those things rather than something you can’t see or feel…I know!

Towards the end of my pregnancy, my obstetrician expressed a little concern about my size (apparently I’m a woman stuck in a girl’s body!) and whether or not it would be possible to have her naturally.  However, going on the fact that I’d already had our son naturally with no problems, he was happy to see how we went.  Although, he did say, if she was more than 6 pound 10 ounces like our son was, it may get tricky!  At 39 weeks pregnant, he sent me for an ultrasound to check on the size of her as she was measuring quite a bit under the normal fundal height, which hadn’t changed for a few weeks.  The ultrasound was amazing! It was so much fun seeing close ups of her face and tiny little body all grown and developed.  The ultrasound revealed everything was fine but that there was not a lot of amniotic fluid which was why the fundal height was so low.  This is where everything in my mind changed, because the ultrasound also revealed an approximate weight of 8 pounds already, and a 34cm head circumference! (Who really wants to know that before birth?! haha!) So of course, naturally, I freaked out!

We went away, hopeful that our baby would arrive earlier rather than later because as much as I would do whatever needed to be done to have a healthy baby at delivery, I really didn’t want to have a c-section!  For the entire pregnancy I had been asking and believing God for really specific things for the birth of our baby and even though the facts were not really going in our favour, I knew that God was going to do something great in this.  The cry of my heart for the entire pregnancy was “God, show me your glory”, and I knew that He would.  Three weeks later, I was still pregnant and every day I knew our baby was getting bigger and bigger! This is where I forfeited the joy of those last few weeks of pregnancy and it was kind of like a merry-go-round.  I kept looking at the facts and getting upset that I was going to miss out on experiencing this the way I had hoped and prayed because the medical staff where saying our baby was probably too big for me and then I would go to God’s Word and be reminded of His promises and truth and that He is faithful to His Word.  Before all this, I had come to the point of expecting nothing less than all that I had asked and prayed for…I knew it would be that way.  But when my boat got rocked (so to speak) I was going around in circles every day and wavering terribly!  It’s so easy to do but if only we would consistently trust in God and His Word, we would experience His greatness so much more!

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We asked a few people to pray as well, and at last I got to the point of trusting again that everything was going to work out and I would have what we had been asking and believing for.  We got pretty hopeful when we went for a checkup the week before our girl was born and her head was FINALLY engaged, only to go to my obstetrician a few days later to find out that she’d popped back up and wasn’t anywhere near engaged.  That’s when he booked me in for induction the following week, when I would be almost 2 weeks overdue!  The morning before I was to be induced I woke up at 3am with contractions.  I don’t think I can explain how excited I was because I knew this was it!  I got up and started timing them just to make sure they were regular, and it wasn’t long before they were 3 minutes apart, so I went down to the kitchen to clean it up a little, packed up some food and water to take, made a cuppa, got dressed and woke Nic up at 4am.  He got up nice and quick and we headed out to the car, only to race back inside to look for my i-pod so we could play some music.  After a few minutes we decided it was probably not THAT important and should leave seeing as we had an hours drive ahead of us!  My Contractions were less than 2 minutes apart when we left and we were only a few ks up the road when my waters broke, which was actually kind of gross.  Nic had put a towel on the seat for me to sit on just in case, but in all reality a towel doesn’t soak up much.  Nic went all silent and after I said to him “I’m not really sure what to do?” He reached into the back seat, pulled something out and said, “Here, you can have my jacket.” Now that really didn’t do much either, so as I’m clenching every muscle in my body I can think of to try and hold what was left in so I didn’t flood the car, Nic pulls the car over on the side of the road, (thank you God it was dark!) and I awkwardly wriggle out and let what felt like Niagra Falls flood the side of the road.  All while Nic hurriedly rummaged through my bag to pull me out a fresh pair of pants. O gosh, he’s a great husband!

It was kind of full on by now and Nic sped…a lot…all the way to the hospital.  It was actually a pretty peaceful drive.  Half way there a kangaroo hopped out in front of our car and wonderfully, we just missed it, which was good because I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt!  We got to the hospital at around 5am and the midwives had no idea we were coming because we had tried to call a couple of times to let them know, but couldn’t get through to them.  After hobbling into the labour ward and giving the midwife on duty my details she checked me and I was almost 10cm dilated then.  2 contractions later I got to start pushing and that’s when this sweet unsuspecting midwife pushed the emergency buzzer for help and began running around hurriedly trying to set everything up.  My obstetrician got there soon after and at 6:23am our beautiful daughter was born!  She was 8 pounds 2 ounces, 36cm head circumference and 50cm long.  God was so good in all of this.  After our baby girl’s head came out, her shoulder got stuck on my pelvis.  Apparently this happens in less than 1% of births, but my doctor had warned me during one of my appointments with him, that if it did happen, it can potentially be life threatening to our baby.  If she wasn’t removed within a few minutes she could die or have serious brain damage.  There is also other potential health risks for the baby and also for the mother including severe tearing.  So, there is this manouvre the doctor did, which they say is only 42% effective so thankfully it worked for us!  Two midwives pinned my legs right back at my ears and the doctor put his hands inside, twisted her shoulder around so it wasn’t hooked on my pelvis, and pulled her out.  OUCH!!  I remember it being really quick, and really painful, but at the same time there was a real peace and calm.  Looking back, I almost feel like it should have be traumatic but it wasn’t and neither is my memory of it.  I don’t know if my doctor feels the same.  After all this, he came over to me and said that she was too big a baby for me and I’m not aloud to have a baby that big via natural deliver ever again! He looked really shaken up actually and now I know why – they say that shoulder dystocia is one of the most frightening emergencies for doctors in the delivery room.  (Yikes!)

I felt great after!  I was really kicking myself for doubting God because He really answered our prayers.  I went into labour without being induced, my waters broke on their own, I didn’t need to have any stitches, we made it to the hospital just in time, my labour was only three hours, Lettie and I were both healthy, I didn’t need an emergency cesearean, we were all kept in peace, and afterwards, I was almost normal!  The doctor said I would probably need painkillers that day because I would be sore but I wasn’t.  Infact my legs were the things that were sore all day and that was because they were pinned up around my ears to get Lettie out. (Legs just aren’t meant to stretch that far!)  I could even sit down on a plastic chair a couple of hours after having her – something I couldn’t do for a week after having our son!  These were all specific things we had prayed for, and do you know what, God is faithful.  I even got to stay in the room in maternity I prayed to be in, I gave birth in the labour room I had prayed to be in, and the midwife I had prayed to have, came on duty not long after we got to hospital.  My labour even started at the time I had prayed to go into labour all along!   I love the analogy of a little baby resting in a mother’s or father’s arms with complete trust and peace.  It’s like that with us and God!

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The Bible says to present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6) and that if you ask God for something, believing, you will receive it! (Mark 11:22-25, Matthew 18:19-20, John 14:12-14, John 15:7-8, John 16:23-24, 1 John 5:14-15).  It also says that NOTHING is impossible with God, so whatever the facts are saying about your situation, God can do something amazingly glorious in that situation – He can do the impossible! (Mark 10:27).  He knows the desires and the cry of your heart, if we would just simply trust Him on His Word, no matter what is going on in the natural (easier said than done!), there is always a higher, supernatural way, and that is God’s way.  I will finish with this…John 11:40 says this, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”  Well, I don’t want to miss out on seeing the glory of God and experiencing His wonderful ways of doing things that are so amazing and so divine.  Expect great and wonderful things to happen in your everyday lives people!! He holds your world in the palm of His hand. The favour of God rests upon you!

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Fathers get exasperated too!

I will always cherish the look on my dear, sweet husband’s face that fine moment when our almost 2 year old son held up his hand to him with poo – yes poo – smeared all over his fingertips after delving into his nappy.  Now that is just what happened at the end of a long, long day for my darling husband, and this is how it began…

It was pretty much a typical Saturday, only this Saturday was the day of our ridiculously enormous fortnightly grocery shop.  I’ve really never liked grocery shopping and I think my dislike for it escalated when we started having to pay for groceries! Anyone else relate?  Seeing as we live on a property an hour away from town, I decided at the beginning of the year that I would do our shopping once every two weeks hoping it would save money and best of all, I wouldn’t have to go to the shops every week!   At first it wasn’t so bad, and when our son went through the stage (actually, it’s still going, it’s probably a permanent toddler thing) of throwing items out of the trolley, taste testing, and yowling down every aisle, I could usually stay pretty calm and even enjoy it! (did I just say that?!) But after having our baby girl a few weeks ago and strict orders from my physiotherapist not to pick up grocery bags (or any thing really) for at least another two months, my husband comes on these shopping trips now too.  It was pretty normal, racing around the grocery shop, throwing what we needed into the trolley, retrieving items from our sons curious little hands that he managed to grab, smiling at strangers who peeked into the pram at our sleeping daughter, telling our son who was getting furiously bored in the pram that we were nearly done, over and over again.  It was a pretty normal shop! We made it to the checkout in one piece and headed to the car, but not before our son managed to grab a kinder surprise off the shelf and smashed it up in his hands.  My husband managed to retrieve the little smashed up pieces of chocolate and un-crinkled the wrapping, trying to put the broken pieces of it together, before sheepishly handing it to the guy serving us, saying, “I think that’s the barcode there.” (Has anyone else noticed that toddlers carry around arm extensions in their pockets?!)  However, when we got to the car and began to load the mountain of groceries into it my hubby cracked.  Now I know I shouldn’t laugh because he was serious but I still find it a little funny and dare I say cute? He went something along the lines of this, “I can’t do this anymore, we’re never doing a fortnightly shop again, it’s way to hectic, I hate it, Chadd hates it, I can’t do this again.”  Well, fair enough!

As we began the trip home, he was still stressed out and uptight and steaming just a little, so I tried to make him feel better about the whole thing but failed terribly.  He was ok by the time we got home, but it all started again when we had to unload the groceries, take them inside and unpack them, plus cook dinner, bath the children and get them into bed.  I had to feed our daughter straight away so I wasn’t much help to him, but he sweetly began to unpack and put everything away while our son ran around the house pushing a box of nappies around like it was a truck and knocking down anything that got in his way – including the grocery bags lining the kitchen floor.

My husband disagrees but everything got funnier when I spotted my son with his hand down his nappy (ok, so usually I don’t find that funny) and told him to take it out.  This is when he obediently took his hand out, while walking up to my husband, holding up his hand – with poo all over his adventurous little fingers.  If only you could have seen my husband’s face. “Is that…is that POO?!” he said in the most horrified tone.  He decided it was time to bath him right then so off they went.  Seconds later I looked over to the hallway to see my husband leaning his head on the doorframe, banging his head and saying rather dramatically, “I can’t do this again, IT’S RUINING ME!” I have to admit, by now, I was in hysterics.  I know, I know, I sound like a severely unsympathetic wife, but I couldn’t help but laugh and imagine to myself, ‘is that what I look like when it all gets too much?’ (PROBABLY!)

I went to change our daughters nappy and when I came back to the lounge room where my husband and son where after all this had happened, this is how I found him.

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Needless to say, the picture says it all.  Sometimes I feel like doing exactly that and now I know, so do fathers! Now I’m not trying to take the mickey out of my husband.  I think this shows that he is an absolute wonder.  He continually goes above and beyond to care for our family, and his patience and endurance as husband and father is incredible. Even as I write this on my computer, he has 3 tabs open on the internet purely for researching what vacuum cleaner to buy for us.  He is dedicated and amazing, and I count not just myself blessed, but our children also, to have such a wonderful man in our lives.  It’s encouraging to know that every parent has moments like this but I think we would all agree that none of us would exchange it for anything.

I should add, it’s been three weeks since that day and we haven’t been back to the shops since! Tomorrow, however, we venture off again to replenish our shelves, but this time, we will be buying enough to last a week, and that is all! And yes, he sees the funny side now too!

God’s faithful promises – just a taste!

I’m sure everyone does the usual reflection of the past year as you’re entering a new one.  This new year there was so much going on, I almost didn’t find any space in my mind to actually reflect! But that’s ok, because there were so many creative and wonderful blessings from God that they have stuck out in my mind ALL year and now, as we enter a new year, it is an honour to share the good things He has done so far.

We were totally blessed in February to move to Nic’s parent’s farm for the year.  The day that we moved, Nic left early in the morning in a truck full of our stuff and I left a little later in our car with Chadd.  After saying goodbye to my Mum, I had to go to the shops on the way out of town.  I was running so late by now, but I had this absurd compulsion to drive to the lookout at Kintyre Estate on the outskirts of Dubbo.  I used to go there often on the odd occasion to clear my minA d or simply soak up a bit of peace and serenity but this time I didn’t really see any point in going and besides, I WAS RUNNING LATE! As I drove closer to the turn off to the Estate something prompted me to go in – so I did!  As I drove towards the lookout, I noticed a flurry of cars and chaos at a house on the left, which, after a closer look, I realized was a garage sale.  There were a few baby items for sale like a cot, and a pram, but I wasn’t very interested because I’ve never randomly stopped at a garage sale ever!  I drove to the lookout and turned straight around without even getting out of the car because I felt like a complete weirdo going there with a car overflowing with ‘stuff’ and no real reason to be there.  As I was driving back past the house I wondered to myself if maybe they were selling some child safety gates.

Now, Nic and I had been looking for some blooming safety gates for months and months.  With a one year old boy who gets into everything we also really needed them before we moved to our new house as it had a walk in pantry with no door and we all know what a disaster it can be when a toddler breaks into your pantry!  We couldn’t afford to buy them brand new and were looking to spend around $30.  Every time we saw some second hand ones, they had either already been sold, or we couldn’t contact the owners.  At first I had wanted the extra tall gates but had totally given up on that idea when we couldn’t even find some normal sized ones and decided we would settle for anything.

As I was wondering if they had any safety gates for sale, I had a little peek out my window and Bam! Leaning up against the garage was not one but two safety gates.  I quickly parked and hurried across the road to have a look and as I got closer I realized that they were the extra tall gates that I had always wanted, and then, when I saw the price, it was $30 for both of them together! Now, I also never carry cash in my wallet but that morning for some reason, I had over $30 in my wallet and to top it off, even though the car was completely chocked full, there was just enough room for both the gates to squeeze in the top of the boot.  I even got a toy basket for free! I was so stoked and as I drove away I heard God say, “This is just a taste of the amazing things He is going to do here on.”

Fast forward to the middle of the year when Nic borrowed a trailer to pick up a bus near Dubbo.  Halfway there, he noticed that the mount for the spare tire had broken and the spare tire had escaped.  He freaked out the rest of the way there, all the way back and all night.  The cost to replace the tire was around $300 and there was no way we could have afforded that.  After praying, we went out the next day and drove 50kmph along the road where he picked up the trailer.  Since the tire was on the left side of the trailer we were looking on the left side of the road mostly.  After driving so incredibly slowly almost all of the 80km road to Forbes, we saw some drovers and decided as a last attempt to find the tire, we would pull up and ask if they had seen it.  Nic got out of the car and talked with one of them for a few minutes and as he was walking back to the car, the enormous grin on his face said it all.  The drovers had found the tire that morning and picked it up.  The best part was, they found it on the opposite side of the road that we were looking for it and it was about 10 meters in, so if they hadn’t been there and picked it up, we would never have found it anyway!

All year my mobile phone had been playing up and slowly dying.  It was terribly unreliable but we couldn’t quite afford to buy a new one so continued to bear with it.  One night, many months later, Nic decided that we would pray and ask God for a new phone for me.  I have to admit, I was in a horrid mood and already so disheartened by other things that didn’t seem to be working out for us, that I was a little reluctant to pray.  Anyway, I lay next to Nic, quietly seething, as he prayed and asked God for a new phone and we left it at that.  3 days later my mother in law brought over a brand new mobile phone that she had had replaced for free because it wasn’t suitable for what she needed it for, and gave it to me!

I’d love to share the miracle of our baby daughter, but that’s a whole new blog!!  As I write this, I’m listening to a song that goes like this, “Our Father, in Heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come swiftly, your will be done the same on earth as it is in Heaven, let Heaven come to earth as it is in Heaven, let Heaven come, let Heaven come.”  I’m sweetly reminded that God desires to pour out His blessings upon us and I know that this year we will see the supernatural and we will see His Kingdom come to earth and His will be done in our lives as it is in Heaven.  We must EXPECT to see supernatural blessings in our lives daily, not just hope and wish for them, but believe that His Kingdom WILL come and His Will will be done in our lives.  As much as we know that the sun will rise tomorrow morning and every morning after, we ought to know that God’s promises and supernatural blessings will flood our lives.  No more waiting and wondering and wishing…it’s upon us now! EXPECT IT!!