Saturday, November 29, 2008

pregnancy is beautiful

I've been doing a lot of reading up on pregnancy and what happens after birth, and I've got to say that though pregnancy sometimes makes you feel miserable, it really is a beautiful thing. God has so blessed women with the ability to bear children and raise them. God has blessed husbands and wives with the ability to express their love physically, and we can see the fruits of love in the children they bear.

That said, I am absolutely appalled by people who seem to think that these God-given privileges are in some way dirty or wrong. Maybe it's just because during pregnancy women seem to lose that sense of secrecy, because everybody knows how babies are made. Maybe it's because it seems like the only time a woman can be completely candid and honest about what she is going through is during pregnancy, where you have to brace yourself for all sorts of personal questions from others. Or, maybe it's because I'm a Bible believing Christian woman of God who refuses to be sucked into the added stipulations some who profess to be Believers place on scripture. Whatever it is, I am compelled to speak out against those who would place others under a more stringent rule than God Himself does.

When somebody takes issue with something another has done (believer to believer), it is appropriate for the complaining party to have scriptural support for their position. It is inappropriate for the person who is concerned to simply say something is wrong without supporting it, and even worse for them to say the Bible says it's wrong without being willing to find where it is in scripture. Normally, I try to take people lightly when they can't give me scripture, and I just bite my tongue and express my understanding for their personal opinion. I get a little defensive when I see these people instigating their rules on other Christians, and using their position to strong arm them into submission for something that wasn't even wrong to begin with.

We see people who tried to force their rules on others a lot in the New Testament... Paul called them Judaizers. It wasn't meant as a compliment. Jesus was harsh with the Pharisees, and Paul had no patience for those who tried to place Christ followers back under the Old Testament law.

All we need to show that God meant human sexuality to be a beautiful example of His glory is to look at what is in scripture. God created man and women, to be together, to be fruitful and multiply. Sexuality in it's entirety (from identity to sex to procreation) is a beautiful thing within its proper context. Song of Songs is a book dedicated to the beauty of the relationship between husband and wife. References are made to the womb and children at the breast, without shame for the relation. The marriage relationship is used as an example of Christ and the Church, the headship that lies within.

I'd challenge people to search scriptures before they jump to conclusions about what is and is not permitted by the Almighty God. We are strongly cautioned not to try to take scripture and apply it to what we believe, but to mold our lives to fit what the Word lays out as a guideline. Will there be variances in beliefs and comfort levels? Of course! We are to give grace and be understanding about our brothers and sisters who are weaker than us. But we are not to change our core beliefs that are supported with scripture.

Christmas is coming

I am so ready for Christmas! I've been avoiding all of the Christmas advertisements on TV for the past week, but now I can embrace them since Thanksgiving has passed. I have two rooms full of boxes from the apartment that I still need to put away, but as soon as it's done I'm decorating our house for the holidays! Ken and I will be working hard to find a place for everything today so I can start decorating by Monday. We've only got a few weeks left in the holiday season, and I want to make the most of it! There's just something about all the beauty of the colors of this time of year that makes it so special to celebrate Christ's birth.

I'm looking forward to all the holiday baking, and then sharing that baking with family and friends! I still have all the ingredients out for my apple muffins, and hopefully will have some time to get to them today after the walk-through at our apartment. I am SO happy to be done there! We spent the entire day emptying and cleaning the place yesterday, and I'm hoping all that hard work pays off today.

Every time we move I swear I will never do it again because it always ends up so stressful. Now I'm looking forward to being able to decorate the house, and then the Weslee's room, which will be pretty exciting for me. I can't wait to take pictures of the finished product to show everybody!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy thanksgiving!

Here it is: your one day to remember how thankful you are for everything the Lord has blessed us with in this world... hmm, that doesn't sound right. Though I love Thanksgiving, I love it even more when people remember to give thanks to the Lord every other day of the year for the things He has done. I wonder sometimes why it is that everybody harps on "be thankful" only during the last half of November, and those same people don't say a word the rest of the year.

This year, I am especially thankful for:
~ My salvation and promise of eternal life with God in Heaven
~ My marriage
~ How good God is to those who have passed this life to be with Him
~ Weslee, and how God has protected him
~ Family and friends
~ Financial woes, because it teaches us to rely on the Lord
~ A real house to live in and welcome Weslee home in
~ A fragile emotional/hormonal state that forces me to rely on God and not myself
~ Difficult people that help challenge me to deal with them appropriately
~ Those who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus and have so much to teach us
~ Creation
~ Every day I survive, and every day I begin

This is the story of a little baby named Eliot, and how his parents were thankful for every day God blessed them with. It hits a little close to home for me after losing a baby and watching my nephew in the hospital for the first month of his life. You might want to grab a few tissues before you watch it.

I hope today that we take the time to think of the reasons we should be thankful EVERY day, and not just when we hang out with family and friends to eat an exorbitant amount of food... but I hope we also enjoy the fellowship and food!

Friday, November 21, 2008

new adventures in life

I can't believe it's already been a month since I last blogged! Things have been so hectic the past few weeks that I just haven't been together enough to sit down and write anything coherent. I am writing from my bedroom in our new house, which is turning out to be much better than the apartment we were in! I must say I love that I don't hear the next door neighbor playing their music/tv/video games at all hours of the night. It's quiet here, with the occasional sound of passing cars.

I have to admit my favorite place here is the kitchen. I have two ovens and a glass stove top, and cooking is so much easier and more fun! Ken and I have been doing a lot of cooking together because there's enough room for both of us in the kitchen now. Yesterday I tried my mom's recipe for Dutch Babies, which I have been told are the same thing as German pancakes. They were delicious, and I'm planning on having them more often because they're so easy to make! This week I've got a recipe for oatmeal apple muffins that my Grandma Ruth gave me years ago, and I want Ken to try them. I'll hopefully find where I put my camera by then so I can take pictures and post the recipe here.

Only 10 more weeks until I'm considered full term and Weslee is free to be here. I'm coming up on the 28th week in pregnancy, which means that fun glucose tolerance test. I'll let you know how it goes, but I am NOT looking forward to it. We had a little excitement a few weeks ago, and I ended up at the hospital and the doctor's office and ended up finding out I've pulled a uterine ligament. I've had to be pretty careful about not stretching the ligament any more, and have worked at physical therapy for a couple weeks to help reduce the pain and strengthen my core so the uterus has better support and the ligament isn't as strained. This morning I found out that I get to do maintenance on my own, which will be nice. Ken has been very helpful with all the restrictions I've got now.

With the final trimester comes these lovely practice contractions called Braxton Hicks, and I've felt a few now. I am not so much looking forward to labor after feeling them, but they aren't anything unbearable... just uncomfortable.

I am looking forward to the holidays- my favorite time of the year! Ken said I can decorate before Thanksgiving if I can get all of our things put away here at the house, so I'm working hard to reach that goal! With Thanksgiving so late this year, there isn't much time before Christmas, and I want to have a month to appreciate all the twinkle lights and pretty ornaments. I will hopefully make it another week before I start singing carols all day long... I think.