Thursday, December 29, 2011

Post-Hospital Report

Sometimes I think God puts us through hard things just to show us His love. Okay, I don't just "sometimes think" it...I firmly believe it with all my heart.  I've been overwhelmed by His love through my family and friends the past couple days.  To those who prayed, called, texted, visited, facebooked, bought me teddy bears & Scripture verse plaques - thank you.

I got home from the hospital about half an hour ago.  I have to say I miss my detached body part on wheels dripping into my hand, aka, my IV.  Not really.  It's just weird to not be pulling it around with me. More on the IV in a minute.

Me with my detached body part on wheels and my companion Mac
(And in a super cool "dress" - you have no idea the guts it took for me to make this picture public.)

Many of you have asked for more details of what's going on and how I'm doing.  Those are two very hard questions to answer because I don't have many answers yet. But here's some of what I know.  It's some pretty darn honest writing, just to warn you.

Due to my Crohn's disease, my body isn't absorbing nutrients and fluids.  This is a struggle with Crohn's, I just didn't know mine was so bad.  I've also been bleeding internally more than usual.  Thus, I was very dehydrated, which was causing other problems.  Also, my heart has been racing since Monday afternoon and it was really starting to concern me.  It also really concerned my doctor.  If you want to get into the doctor's office fast with no appointment?  Mention your heart is racing.  It works wonders.  They'll make time for you ASAP.  They'll also call to make sure you're still alive if you don't show up as soon as they expected.  Just for anyone who may be wondering.

Okay, anyway. A little more back story.  I've been very sick for about three months, steadily getting worse.  I have no idea why. I haven't changed my supplements or diet or anything.  So this "crisis" was not entirely out of the blue.  But I wasn't prepared for it, largely because two of my greatest goals for my battle with Crohn's were these: no hospitalizations, and no steroids.  That all went out the window within two minutes of my doctor laying his eyes on me and listening to my heart.  I didn't realize just how awful I looked until he pointed it out.  (Picture pale skin, huge dark circles under eyes, and cracked lips.  Attractive, yes?  I wanted to say, "you should see me with OUT makeup on!"  But I didn't.)

Back to yesterday.  I was admitted to the hospital for an IV, steroids, blood tests, x-rays, and monitoring.  Thankfully it was only two small doses of a steroid, one yesterday and one today.  I still wanted to cry when they shot it into the IV though.  It felt like I had lost.  God reminded me this is HIS battle (not mine) and this is part of HIS plan (even though it's not part of mine).  Still learning to trust Him on that one.

The biggest reason for the hospital stay, was to pump IV bags full of fluids into my system to replenish my dehydrated body.  I have to say that amidst all the pain and weirdness I'm still feeling, being hydrated definitely takes some of the awfulness out of the picture!  Praise God.

Another monkey wrench thrown into all of this is breathing problems.  My dr. thinks I have asthma on top of all of this.  He said it's not directly related to Crohn's, but it indirectly is, because my body is so weakened from the Crohn's that it's making anything and everything weaker.  (At least that's how it feels.)  He gave me an inhaler and I'm trying to not freak out when I can't breathe deeply or when I'm gasping for air from walking from my bed to the bathroom.  (Emphasis on trying.) 

So there's a large part of what's been going on.  Believe it or not, I've saved you from quite a few "fun" details.  In closing I'll try to answer the most frequent questions: what now, how long until recovery,  will I keep getting worse, when will I be better, what's the plan.

Here's the answer: I. Don't. Know.  Here's my other answer: God. Does.  He's got it all figured out.  It may mean loads more of pain and suffering.  It may mean some respite from the misery.  Either way, He's got my back (or my gut - whatever :)).  He amazes me continually.  I spent my hospital stay laughing and joking with my visitors, my mom, my nurse, my facebook friends, my cousin on the phone, everyone.  It still blows my mind. God did that.  Not me.  I was feeling terrible. And I'll be honest: there were probably at least two dozen times I almost totally broke down in tears.  And I'm sure those tears will flow at some point (soon).  I'm human and I'm female, so I'm not gonna lie.  But I'm just amazed by God's grace and love and joy.

And here's my second answer: I'm going to a gastroenterologist to figure out where to go from here.  I'd be so blessed to have that appointment covered in prayer.  Wisdom and answers are both desperately needed.  I'm in so much pain it makes it hard to always think clearly.  Thank you so much.  (I don't know exactly when it will be because we're canceling my appointment with the doctor it was made with after reading more about him.)  I'm also taking a five day dosage of steroids to try and calm things down in there. Tough decision but I hope it's the best (insert lots of second thoughts and questions here).

To sum this up, I just want to say this: Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and forever and His love just BLOWS me away.  Also, 2 Corinthians 12:9 keeps on becoming dearer and closer to me continually.  God is good.

From the hospital room at midnight...

I've been planning to write a blog post all week. It was going to be filled with Christmas joys & family funness. I was going to upload pictures and share recipes.

But, here I am, sitting in a hospital bed, with an IV in my hand and a band on my wrist and a red spot from where blood was drawn.  I have a HUGE stuffed teddy bear sitting next to me, thanks to one of my best friends.  On my meal tray there's a plaque that has Philippians 4:13 on it from my amazing sister-in-love.  And I have my beloved Macbook Pro to play music on and write and browse and facebook.

The reason I'm here is due to Crohn's complications.  Dehydration, rapid heart rate, anemia, etc. I won't bore you all with details.  I went to see my doctor this afternoon and within a minute or two of entering the room he told me I was headed to the hospital.  Not the funnest moment of my year.

I'm trying not to worry too much.  Trying to trust God.  Trying to stay calm to avoid yet another panic attack. Praying my doula client who is due any day doesn't go into labor until I'm better.  She also happens to be my best friend and I desperately do NOT want to miss the birth.

So happy Thursday morning at midnight from my little hospital room.  My huge "Barney" bear says hello.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


So I haven't talked food on this here blog for so long it's hard to believe.  Considering how much I love, talk about, eat, make, think about, plan, and eat food, it's rather shocking. (I know I said eat twice.  Trust me, it was on purpose.)

Anyway, here are some yummo things I've been cookin' up or am planning to cook up during this holiday season.  Enjoy!

(Be prepared for drool now.  I don't want to be responsible for a drowned keyboard because I didn't warn you.  That would be tragic.)

(I made up that name. I don't know what they're really called. But who wouldn't want to be kissed by a chocolatey pretzel?)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011



I'm thinking a lot right now about simple, daily LIFE.  

My thoughts mostly include all the random, miscellaneous, varied, weird, mundane, routine things that LIFE includes. 

One of the first things that pops into my head when I think of my current daily life is pain.  It's a fact I can't pretend doesn't exist.  It's with me almost every waking moment.  It wakes me up at night. Sometimes it's worse than other times.  There are the nights it's so severe I can't breathe.  There are the handful of nights I'm hyperventilating, shaking from head to toe, and crying harder than I thought possible.

I'm so blessed that those worst of nights come very infrequently.  I am so, so thankful for that.

I'm also more thankful than I could ever express for my family during nights like that.  I can't imagine being alone when I can barely breathe.

I experience so much love through the pain.  

The prayers of my dad.  

The arms of my mom.  

The sweet ten-year-old baby sister who holds my hand.  

The sixteen-year-old sister running for a medical book when I'm trying to figure what the HECK could be causing such-and-such pain.  

The seventeen-year-old brother doing so many strenuous jobs for me when I just physically can. not. do. it. 

My family is so precious to me.

I'm also incredibly thankful that God hasn't allowed the pain to suck the LIFE part of life out of me.  I still LOVE to have FUN.  I'm the craziest member of my family.  I love to laugh.  I love to hang out with friends.  He's given me a love for helping people.  He's given me a love to bake, play with my golden retriever, play sports when I'm physically able, work super hard and get super dirty, travel, work as a doula, cruise in my car, dance to music, throw on some heels and clomp around the city, throw on old cruddy clothes and paint rooms...I could go on and on.  God is so very gracious and so very good.

Okay. Where was I.  Oh yes...daily life.

This December's days are filled with... 

...going to work

...going to physical therapy

...going to Christmas carol sings and concerts

...preparing for two upcoming births that I'll be doula-ing

...wrapping Christmas gifts

...searching for truth regarding some circumstances and relationships

...shipping presents to those I love who live out of state

...listening to Christmas music

...looking at all the twinkling lights (I. love. Christmas. lights. so. much.)

...and really just a lot of trying to slow down and enjoy this holiday season and keep perspective on WHY we celebrate this Christmas season.  

Of course there is the cooking and the cleaning and the dog feeding and the exercising and the daily supplement taking and email writing and facebook checking and twitter tweeting and pinterest pinning and TV show watching and Bible reading and journal writing and board/card game playing and friend texting and book reading and on and on and on.

I have yet to live a day where "bored" even enters my mind.  And I'm so thankful for that.

Sometimes it feels like life will never change.  That relationships will never improve.  That hurts will never heal.  That the daily mundane task will never end.  That pain will never go away.

But a look at the Scriptures and a few minutes of writing in my gratitude journal puts life in perspective.  God's got a perfect plan that only He can work out in His time.  My "job" is to trust, persevere, choose joy, lean on Him, and enjoy the ride.  It's been one heck of a roller coaster but I'm so glad He's at the controls.

Here's to LIFE...and life abundant!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December First

Today is the first of December.

December is here.

It's December.

Okay, now that I've settled that in my mind, I'm still wondering where January and February and March and April and May and June and July and August and September and October and November went.

One look at my calendar and a quick peek into my gratitude journal shows me where it went.  It's been an interesting year.

And now it's Christmas time, which just so happens to be one of my favoritest times ever.

Somehow, amid the pain, there is happiness among twinkling white Christmas lights and Christmas music playing on the radio or off of Itunes. 

No matter the disagreements throughout the year, there is family time that is sweet and peaceful.  There are cookies and stockings and pretty rolls of wrapping paper and memory-filled ornaments on the tree.

And there is much to be thankful for.  So very, very much.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What Faith Can Do

As I drove home tonight, "What Faith Can Do" by Kutless was playing on the radio.  It was one of the those moments that felt like God was playing it just for me.  There are many things in my life that look absolutely impossible.  Hurts that run so deep I don't even know how to talk about them.  Physical pain that seems to be never-ending.  Hard relationships that never get better.  I won't type the whole laundry list.  The truths in this song are simple, yet profound.  And they're exactly what I needed.  God is good like that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


All year I've been thinking a lot about giving thanks and counting gifts.  And this week as I anticipate and plan for Thanksgiving I'm thinking about it even more.  

I love the fourth Thursday of every November.  It's a bittersweet holiday for me.  I love all the food and family time.  I love our tradition of going around the dinner table and sharing five things each for which we're thankful.  I love making a bunch of pies. (!!!)  I'm not always excited about realizing yet another is gone and can never be gotten back.  There's a twinge of sadness as we recall my grandfather passing away on Thanksgiving several years ago after a battle with Alzheimer's.

But overall I love and look forward to that that fourth Thursday of every November.  And 2011's fourth Thursday of every November is almost here! Turkey anyone?

And since I haven't done this for awhile, here are a few a lot of snapshots from my gratitude journal over the past month.

I'm thankful for...

...friends posting good reminders and truths on Facebook of a two week break from work

...a newly painted bedroom

...a very, very handy (tall) little brother

...tears that help keep from bitterness

...a very refreshing and relaxing time with Lydia

...Swagbucks' Amazon gift cards

...finding the perfect birthday gift for a friend

...gorgeous, sunny, warm November day

...a safe and healthy golden retriever

...laughter while watching my grandpa play with my dog

...a wonderful time as family in the woods and around the bonfire

...pillows to prop a sprained knee

...lazy family time on a Sunday evening

...a God who is my refuge (Proverbs 14:26)

...a lovely sister who made me chicken soup when I was feeling horrible

...texts from people I love

...a little sister's tender heart

...lovely cheesecake and hot chocolate chat with a lovely friend

...the support of the Lord (Psalm 18:18)

Have a happy Thanksgiving!  And make some cute rice crispy turkeys.  Just do it and share them with the people you love or strangers or yourself or whoever.  You'll be happy you did. 

Friday, October 28, 2011



They are crazy things.

Often times they are difficult things.

Day dreams, night dreams, life dreams.

Sometimes dreams come crashing down.

Sometimes they are ripped away.

Sometimes it hurts so bad.

Sometimes I cry so hard I can't breathe.

Sometimes I want to scream at God.

Sometimes I yell at God.  I know He can handle it.

And He loves me no matter how human I am.

He's got the best "dreams" for my life.

Better than I can imagine.

Even if they hurt like heck sometimes.

He doesn't promise an easy life.

He does promise He'll be there every painful step of the way.

His love is deeper and wider than any gut wrenching trial.

The little day brighteners He sends are priceless.

A few moments in His Word changes my perspective.

A few reminders of His faithfulness gives me new motivation.

A few recollections of what He's done in my life gives me hope.

He gives me the guts to dare to continue to dream.

He gives me the ability and gift to be crazy and have fun during even the darkest times.

He's teaching me to change what I look for and notice.

To look for the good things.

To be thankful for all the little things.

To trust Him with the big things.

The things so important to me I don't want to let go of them.

To have enough faith to allow Him to change my dreams.

To praise Him when the the going gets tough.

To continue to dream and trust Him with those dreams.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, October 27, 2011


A friend loves at all times...  (Prov. 17:17)

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. (John 15:13)

I have pretty much the best of the best friends in the world.  Yes folks, the WORLD.

Lyd & Nomi before our zig zag canoe trip this summer

Last night I got to hang out with my friend Lydia.  (Yes, she never blogs. Leave her a comment for me, would ya? Maybe she'll write something than.)  We talked "business" (she's a graphic designer and is designing my doula business logo-woot!), ate French toast & sausage for supper, swapped all kinds of stuff on our Macbook Pro's, watched "The Village", talked a whole big bunch, and laughed a ton.  

There's something about girl time.  It gives one new energy and cheeryness.  Here's to a lovely fall weekend!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Children, Cuteness, Christmas

I love children.  A lot. A LOT lot.  Ask anyone who knows and they'll be able to tell you that.  I think I was born with some child magneticism inside of me. (I don't think that's even a word but whatever.)  

Cute boy and a John Deere tractor
(Oh. And me.)

Last weekend I got to spend three whole days with my cousin and her beyond lovable kiddos.  It was amazing.  "Bubby" is fourteen months old and such a bundle of fun and BOY-ness.  I can't get enough of his smiles, car noises, and "hey!"'s.  I had to get in my car and drive back to Wisconsin last Monday and it about broke my heart.  He's growing so fast.

Yesterday I ate lunch with a two-year-old.  So fun!  This weekend I get to spend three days with one of my besties and her one-year-old.  I'm feeling a wee bit blessed!  (And the the cuteness factor is quite high around me lately.)

I'm so glad God created us women to bring children into this world.  I'm so grateful for the miracle of pregnancy, and birth, and babies.  I was thinking earlier today about what things would be like if He just kept making new people from dust like when He created Adam.  I'm so glad that wasn't His plan.  I wouldn't be a doula otherwise. ;)

Speaking of children and cuteness and doula-ness, is not this the cutest idea EVER? I am officially one hundred percent in love with the amazingness on Pinterest.  (I am also, for the record, in love with attaching "ness" and "ism" and "ly" onto the ends of words.  I'm thinking you may have noticed but just thought I'd state it plainly for those that may be a little slow.)

And now about Christmas.  Don't shoot me.  I know it's only October seventeen.  Trust me, I'm the kind of person that doesn't really do anything "Christmas" until the first of December.  I much prefer to enjoy fall and Thanksgiving without Christmas "distractions".  But I had to share this NOW.  Please watch it.  I won't elaborate on what I think and feel after watching it twice.  I'll let it speak for itself.

(There is a new and revised video but I could not for the life of me figure out how to put a vimeo video on here so I had to use this You Tube one from 2008.  I (obviously) don't know diddly-squat about the technical aspects of blogging.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

a Michael Buble kind of day

It's cold and rainy and fall-ish here in Wisconsin.  It's the kind of day that makes me want to stay in comfies, wrap up in a cozy blanket, sip hot chocolate, and alternate between reading books and watching movies.  

But I had to get up and do my makeup and go to work.  And I have a million errands to run after work.  And I have a bedroom to empty so I can paint it over the weekend.  So I threw on my favorite comfy jeans and favorite comfy shirt and one of my many favorite comfy sweatshirts and hit the road.  Driving threw light drizzly rain is actually rather fun.  

So far it's been a super quiet and relaxing day here at work.  The woman I care for is in good spirits and the things she needs me to do today are limited.  I have time to sit and write and listen to Michael Buble while I hear the rain through the open windows.  For some reason the rainy dreariness seems like a perfect time to listen to "Feeling Good", "Everything", and "Home".  I believe I may have decided on my favorite rainy day music. 

Overall I'm feeling blessed on this rainy-fall-Wisconsin-October day.  Life's storms are a bit heavy lately (as I'm sure you guessed if you read this post) but the good and perfect gifts from above still appear everyday.  Today I'm thankful for the falling rain and falling leaves that remind me of the gifts and love falling from heaven.

Friday, September 30, 2011

When my heart is overwhelmed

From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  (Psalm 61:2)

This evening has been one that has drained me completely dry emotionally.  My heart continues to literally hurt.  A lot.  I am overwhelmed by the pain and confusion.  It's in moments like these that the above verse is a favorite.  I desperately need that Rock that is higher than I.  His love is unfailing no matter the circumstance, no matter the hurt, no matter the wretchedness of sinful man. (Romans 8:38-39)  For those out there whose hearts are also hurting, I am praying for you.  Never forget God's love.  Never forget to stand on the Rock.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cookies, Crohn's, Coffee, Candles, Crazy, Content

I can't believe it's almost October.  September flew by!  It was in this house is never not crazy.   However, it was a more relaxed craziness for me.  Having college study stress gone is amazing.  Doing one college course has been enough to convince me that I'm not cut out to be a college girl!  Not saying I'll never go to college (life is very unpredictable!) but at this point I'm not planning on it.  We'll see what surprises I may be in for later. 

The past few weeks have been full of catching up on the LIFE part of life.  One of my favoritest things in the whole world is slooowing down, noticing the little things in life, and spending time with the ones I love.  There have been...

Coffee chats with friends...

Candles burning on relaxing evenings at home...

Scriptures read...

Books read...

Awesome family moments while camping...

Crazy fun times screaming, smiling, and clapping at the best Brewers game I've ever been to (can anyone say go Prince Fielder?!  His 3 home runs in a row game? We were there. Awesomeness.  My throat and my head hurt from screaming so much.  Have I mentioned I'm competitive and get excited during sports events?! ) Anyway...

Lots of hours helping the best "little" 6'4" brother in the world build his amazing hunting shack...

Cookies made...

(And many more things not pictured! :))

In doula news, I'm slowly working on steps towards getting my business started.  I'm also trying to figure out what those steps even include!  I'm a bit overwhelmed about it all but excited to see what God has in store.  I had my first birth as a certified doula on Labor Day.  It was long but such a great experience!  And I totally loved that my first solo labor and delivery was on Labor Day. ::smile::

2:00 AM  
And one of my favorite moments ever as a doula

My Crohn's is acting up again the past few weeks, gradually getting worse.  I had gotten used to not having many pain attacks so I'm relearning how to cope.  I ran out of my expensive probiotic and haven't gotten to the health food store to get more (it's a good drive in a direction that I never go!).  I'm wondering if the fact that I'm using a cheaper one is affecting things?  Or maybe it's just time for a flare up.  Who knows.  Life with Crohn's pretty much consists of unknowns.  When I'm weakest, Jesus is strongest though.  2 Corinthians 12:9 is a verse that has become an absolute favorite of mine.

Like any month, there have been lots of ups and downs during the past several weeks.  The only constant in life is Jesus.  He never changes!  When there is emotional, physical, relational, mental, or spiritual chaos in my life, HE brings peace and contentment.  Sometimes every area of my life feels like chaos.  But He stays the same.  I am truly learning to be content and trust Him even when life hurts.  And it can hurt a lot.  It can be incredibly confusing to sort through all the pain, issues, and relationships of life.  He is there with truth and comfort through all of it.  Lately I've been trying to just focus on the next thing, focus on today, and not worry about the future.  On the flip side, the quote below is something I've been thinking about.  The little choices I make daily affect who I will be a year from now, a decade from now, even fifty years from now.

I'm pretty sure I won't regret a minute spent with Jesus, with those I love, serving others, and time spent out in God's creation.  I'll appreciate efforts made to get my doula business off the ground so that I can minister to expectant families.  I won't regret working to save up some money.  But it's all about keeping those things in priority.  This journey of living out the right priorities and simply living in trust and contentment with Jesus alone is a life long journey.  I'll never get it all anywhere close to right but He's there to pick me up each time I fall.  He's proven that over and over and over.

I love to laugh and Pinterest provides plenty of laughs (along with loads of cuteness, beauty, creativity, and more!)  Here's a recent one I re-pinned to my things that make me smile board:

I want one :)

Have a wrinkle free weekend, laugh a lot, enjoy the little things, and go to the theater to see Courageous

Thursday, September 1, 2011


It is September first.  Repeat to self: it is September first.  This makes me happy on multiple levels.  

It means that since August is over my college doula course is DONE (more on that in a minute).  

It means that 100+ degree days are (hopefully) behind us Wisconsinites; which also means I can work or play outside and not sweat five bucket loads.  (Yes, this makes me very happy.  I am such a northerner.)  

It means fall colors, caramel apples, pumpkin pie, hoodies, and fall decor will appear very soonly.  

It means annual family hikes through the Kettle Moraine.  

It means hot cocoa and hot coffee and hot cider and hot tea will soon be drinkable without the lovely side effect of sweating profusely.

And this September, it means that a trip to Illinois to see my bestie and a trip to Michigan to see my bestie cousin are coming up very, very soon and that makes me very, very happy.

I'm laughing at myself and the fact that July first I wrote a post stating that summer barely  beat all other seasons as my favorite. Now that it's September first (and after experiencing hugely hot & humid weeks) I would say fall is definitely my favorite. Moral of the story?  I love the variety of seasons Wisconsin has.  I love them all.  But after the heat of summer, I'm going to go with fall as my favorite.  Stay tuned though.  I'm a female.  I may change my mind. Again.  (Have I ever mentioned how much I love Christmas time?  No?   I'll spare you.  Until December.)

(Warning: Long-windedness below.  I'm typing this more for myself than anyone else.)

The above quote is in on the wisdom board of my Pinterest account.  It makes me think of the three and half year journey of my doula certification training.  Plan A was to get the college course done in the "normal" ten-month time frame.  Humanly speaking at the time, that would definitely have been my first choice.

God had other things in mind.  He taught me a ton about Himself and a ton about myself.  He taught me that even if Plan A (or B, C, D, E, F, G...) doesn't work, it's because His plan is bigger, better, and more beautiful.  The day I sent out the last of my assignments (just this past Monday, the 29th-they were due the 31st) I read Psalm 138:8.

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; 
Your mercy oh Lord endures forever; 
Do not forsake the work of Your hands.

God had so much more to perfect in my life than I could have imagined.  He had more mercies to show me than I can fathom.  He had more ways of showing that He will NEVER forsake me than I can ever thank Him enough for.

Such a tremendous amount of the past few years has been far out of my control.  There are so many things I've had to trust Him on that I don't always understand.  He has allowed things I would have never dreamed of.  He has taught me more about what faith really means in daily life.  He has taught me about His amazing grace and that, when I am weakest, He is strongest.  2 Corinthians 12:9 is one of my favorite verses.

And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly willI rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Another huge thing He has done through all of this, is show me my own shortcomings and sin.  He taught me about procrastination and overcoming it.   He showed me numerous other areas in my life that needed attention, that to this day need HIS grace daily.  The bumpy roads of life are His tool to make us more like Him.  I wouldn't trade the lessons of the past few years for anything and I pray I won't forget them.

I can't write about my doula journey without just stating how absolutely amazing the gift of life is in the form of newborns and how miraculous it is that God designed women's bodies to work the way that they do.  The honor and privilege of being a part of such precious moments is something I hope I never, ever get over.   Psalm 139:13-18 are some of my favorite verses in Scripture, especially since beginning my doula studies/work.

For Your formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned form,
When as yet there were none of them.

How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake I am still with You.

Finally, this journey has shown me how absolutely blessed I am with amazing family and friends.  It is so humbling and absolutely blows me away.  I wish I could somehow fully express my love & gratitude to each one.  

To sum up all this wordiness into three words, I just have to say:

God is faithful.

I have a profound statement about happiness in life to close out these ramblings.  It's profound and deep folks, and perfect for these last summer days.  Enjoy.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Grace, Peace, & Strength

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Phil 4:6-7

"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'  Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Cor. 12:9

The month of August has been full of challenges, both expected and unexpected, giving God numerous opportunities to show His faithfulness in tangible, visible ways.  I have been continually humbled and blessed by His overwhelming love.  Watch for a future post or two that includes pictures and updates on what He & I have been doing. :)  Until then, enjoy the last few days of August.  (And if you're anything like me, you may be freaking out that summer went by faster than it takes to blink.  Where is the slow down button?!)

Also?  Eat something chocolate.  It will make you happier.  I promise. ;)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Where I am...

This blog has been awfully quiet and sleepy.  

Kinda like our cats when they sleep. * 
Or my golden when she was a puppy.  That picture is far cuter.  But of course I can't find it.

The bloggish silence is kind of rather bugging me and I really want to just sit and ya know, blog.  But I can't.  I'm sitting.  And I'm writing.  (And studying.  And reading.  And writing.)  I'm down to the last few weeks before my final college deadline for my doula course.  So if you never see me or hear from me, this is why.  I'm locked up in my woman cave studying all things pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and doula related. (When I'm not at work.)  

I will return to civilization and social life around September 1st.  Scratch that.  I have a mama due September 7th.  Then I'll be searching for a second job.  Then I'm going to Michigan in October.  Then it's the holidays.  Then I have a mama due January 6th.  Maybe I'll see and chat with y'all in the next life!

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your summer! And be glad you got one.  Some of us are stuck in woman caves studying.**

*This isn't our cat.  Just one that looks exactly like one of our cats.  Please know our cats are not inside and most definitely not on our couch.

**I'm not complaining.  Honestly, I'm thrilled to be so close to being certified!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summertime (and wintertime and springtime and falltime)

Seeing as it's July first, I think it appropriate to write about summertime.  And seeing as there is a heat advisory (in Wisconsin, mind you) and it's supposed to reach close to one hundred degrees (in Wisconsin, mind you), I think it really, for sure, no doubts about it, is summer.  Parts of June had me wondering if it was winter, spring, or summer but now that it's July I think the temperature made up it's mind to be really, for sure, no doubts about it, one hundred percent summer.

Each season of the year holds a special place in my heart.  I love them all.  Winter.  Spring.  Summer.  Fall.  Winter.  (I live in Wisconsin.  I really think our state has five seasons.  Yes, that means winter twice.)

In the winter there's... 

...sparkling snow 
(okay, so it's not sparkling in this particular picture but it's gorgeous and from last year's Christmas tree cutting)

...snowball fights cocoa
(and hoodies and Macbook Pros)

...and lots of family time at Christmas

In the spring there's...    

...blossoms animals 

...and singing birds   
(Just disregard the fact that this particular bird looks more mad than sing-songy.)

And in the fall there are... 

(without mosquitoes...this is a huge detail)

...gorgeous tree colors

...pumpkin bars

...leaf piles

...and cool hikes through the woods

But then there's summer.    

...walks along the beach

...canoeing on lazy Sunday afternoons

(Okay, so this is a hot tub and we're not swimming.  But I happen to love this pic so there.) soccer games 
(and kickball and frisbee and baseball and hillbilly golf and...)

...fireworks on the 4th of July

...Brewers' games

          ...grill outs with juicy burgers or tangy chicken
          ...fireflies lighting up each evening
          ...watermelons everywhere
          ...hours to lay by the sun and read
          ...good hard work outside
 cutting hay (which means I get to smell it!)
          ...flips flops and bare feet (no socks or shoes!!!)
          ...funky painted toenails
          ...corn on the cob
 trips to the lake for tubing and skiing with friends
 get the idea.

After over two decades on this earth, experiencing all four seasons each year of those decades, I think I have come to the conclusion that summer is my favorite time of year.  (Minus the humidity and ninety or a hundred degree days.  But we won't dwell on that.)  I may change my mind at some point.  I really thought I loved all season equally. (Okay, winter was at the bottom of the list. I hate driving on snow and ice.)  And I think fall comes in at a very close second.  I love pulling on a hoodie and sitting by a bonfire without being eaten by mosquitoes.  I love love LOVE the autumn colors of the trees.  And in the winter I do love curling up by the fire, sipping warm drinks, movie nights listening to the blizzard outside, the beauty after a snowfall, and baking cookies to warm up the kitchen.  I love the yard work, first birds chirping, blossoms everywhere, and the feeling of having a fresh start in spring.  But overall, I think summer has them all beat by just a little bit in my heart and soul. 

All this to say (again) that the little things in life are my favorite.  It is in these "small" things that I find God revealing Himself to me.  Living in a state that actually has all four seasons is bliss.  The fact that God created all four seasons for our enjoyment and His glory is something I praise Him for and celebrate.  And I suppose the fact that I celebrate them is rather obvious as this post is rather longish.  (Sorry.)

Happy summertime.  Stay cool.  Enjoy the 4th.  Eat lots of food.  Play hard.  Be chipper.