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.