Wednesday, January 11, 2012

25 weeks

Today was the 25 week appointment! That blows my mind. I go back in three weeks and then I am every two weeks until 36 weeks. Then I am every week! 

I love my midwives! They have brought so much joy to my life. One of them used to be on staff at a HUGE church I sang at back in my single days. We know all the same people. CRAZY! My midwives have truly become my friends. My children LOVE going to their office and they get so much attention! They hate leaving. Did I mention that BOTH of my midwives homeschool? I LOVE that. 

Another great thing? I don't have to do the glucose test! They check my urine and I show no signs of needing to be tested. Also, this being my fifth baby and NEVER having any issue, it is not needed. I know the signs to look for so if something changes, I will get checked. But...doubtful.

Right now we are working on ridding my body of the strep B!! They will check me twice. I may not have to have the strep B antibiotic at all! Praise the Lord! Praying the all natural route works!

One of the things I am most amazed by is how great I feel. This has been the easiest pregnancy so far. I have 15 more weeks. I realize the easy part could change. But...usually by now... I am suffering. Currently, I still sleep at night, my feet are not swollen or aching and my back is not hurting. Even though I am only 25 weeks, I don't "feel" 25 weeks. I feel so good! I have never been due in the Spring, so maybe that is why I feel great! Maybe it is the care I am receiving! I don't know, but I can't complain. I am amazed! I LOVE being pregnant!! Maybe it is has something to do with not knowing how much I weigh! I gave them my starting weight and we have not talked weight since. LOVE THAT!!!!

Today was amazing and so refreshing to see my midwives/friends. Israel is measuring 25 weeks exactly and doing great! I love hearing his precious heartbeat. I pray that this pregnancy continues to be a healthy, normal pregnancy, and our little boy is healthy! I can't wait to meet him!

As we get closer and closer, the midwives continue to educate and prepare me for our home birth. We have chosen a water birth. Very excited about that! We thought about moving to a bigger home before the baby was born, but I think we are looking at moving in the Summer. We love this area so we are staying put around this part of Austin, unless we find a house on some acreage. That is our dream! We found one we considered moving into next month, but there was not a dish washer. I decided that was not something I wanted to give up. 

We have had a crazy few weeks. A couple of ER visits with two of the boys and some sleepless nights. Today was just a reminder of all God is doing in the life of our family. I feel like the most blessed woman on earth! Jeremy is being blessed at work (a new boss he LOVES), we are loving the teaching at our church, and not taking one second for granted. We know so many hurting people right now who have sick children or a sick spouse.  This week I felt so overwhelmed and even fearful because of the trials I am watching other people endure. The more I have interceded for them, the more heavy I have felt. Resting in the sovereignty of God is hard. I cannot watch all of these families hurt so much without understanding that HE has numbered our days. HE is in TOTAL control!

As I studied theology and doctrine over the Summer, I began to see God in a new way. I wrestled and experienced sorrow as my beliefs changed. It is so much easier to rebuke this and rebuke that. It is easy to pray for miracles and believe that only the BEST is in your future. Believing for prosperity is exciting! Or maybe it is more satisfying. It is HARD to rest in the sovereignty of God. It is hard to accept that PAIN is sometimes a part of the plan. 

Right now I am watching families find joy in GOD and God alone. They are watching their children suffer in the ICU, watching a husband almost die. Some even lost a child. I can say with all certainty that these families have prayed for healing. So far, healing has not come exactly how they have wanted. Yet, they praise Him. Their faith requires a trust that I don't think I have seen in the majority of churches we have been in. I have not seen this faith in the Christians I have surrounded myself with. This is RADICAL faith in the midst of sickness and death

Watching their stories unfold has brought me to a somber place. It has made me think about so many things I waste my time on. It has caused me to look at my children and husband differently. How would I live without one of them? We are ALL so close to the thin veil that separates us from Heaven. 

This life growing inside of me is amazing. I am doing a Bible Study right now called "The Power of Motherhood" by Nancy Campbell. It is THE most radical study I have ever done. I am learning so many things I have never even considered. Studying the womb was a powerful thing! Yes, we studied the womb. I am even learning things about breastfeeding. I am blown away! I love what God is doing in my life as a wife and mother. It is holy ground! I feel so fulfilled in this role. There is NOTHING like it.

I have hard days (had some this week) with the kids. Homeschool has its tough moments and parenting can be very difficult. Life is far from perfect. But life is satisfying when we do what He created us to do. I spent so many days as a Mom trying to find satisfaction in ministry outside of my home. I did it with marathon running. I did with with friendships. When all of the searching stopped, peace and contentment fell upon me. I will never quit sharing this radical thing that happened in my life! 

Over the last few weeks I have experienced intense loneliness. I have CRAVED friendship and not just any friendship, intimate friendship. As I prayed about the women to surround myself with, God began to open doors. I am AMAZED! To know someone like myself has been my cry. Someone who knows what it is like to load five or more kids in the car and go buy groceries. Someone who knows what it is like to have all ages at the school table while one is at the breast and one is crawling up your leg. God is answering those prayers. It has been a VERY slow process, but it is happening. 

Thank you Lord for the growth you are doing in my life during this pregnancy. It is HOLY GROUND. Thank you for my best friend, Jeremy and everything he does for me and our children. He is an amazing man! Thank you for my precious babies. All five of them! They are my joy!


Kim said...

Beautiful. Every single word!

Anonymous said...

I have read your blog in the past and I am sure you mean well but I have to say,
God is love and anything that is not good cannot come from God; So how can it be apart of his plan for a child to die?
Pain comes because we live in a fallen world and it causes people to press in God's presence or turn away but don't justify pain with sovergnity of God. Where is your proof? You are not even speaking any truth to the Faith you proclaim to have. You read a book of someone's interpretation and doctrine that is not lined up biblically.
Mat 15: 8-19 is important to read especially verse 9.
We do not live under the curse of pain and suffering anymore. Jesus redeemed us from the curse. People want healing? People need to get in the word themselves to find out what Gods word says about pain and suffering, build faith in that area AND not listen to peoples opinions. Does corn grow in a garden because you pray for it to or do you plant the seed for corn? Ask yourself when presented with doctrine or others opinion: who says? and Does this line up with what scripture says?
Prayers go out to you and your family.

Amanda said...

Anonymous, thank you for taking the time to share your feelings.

This is just my space, my blog, where I share my own personal journey as a wife and mother.

Thank you for taking the time to read it even if you don't agree.

I would love to answer your questions, but I don't think you want my answers. I think you just wanted to share how much I am mislead. Again, thank you for taking the time to post your concern. Thank you also for the prayers for my family. We need them! We know so many hurting people right now. We continue to pray for healingbfornthese families.


Anonymous said...

I get your heart Amanda! I am blessed by your grace that you offered up to Anonymous. We all need to continue to work out our salvation with God's Word in our hand. Your friends are blessed to have your prayers being offered up on the behalf of their needs. Congratulations, on Week 25 and feeling good! :)

Kim said...

"God is love and anything that is not good cannot come from God; So how can it be apart of his plan for a child to die?"

He gave his own child to die ... as hard as that is for us to even begin to understand, it was ordained before the beginning of time. God knew his own son would suffer the greatest suffering mankind has ever known, yet He (in His perfect knowledge) used that suffering for our salvation.

A paradox for certain.

Still, scripture tells us (and these are just a few) ...

Ex. 4:11 And the Lord said to him [Moses], "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?"

Deut. 2:30 For the Lord your God hardened his [the king’s] spirit and made his heart obstinate, in order to deliver him into your hand, as he is today."

Sam. 2:6-7 The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. The Lord makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts.

Ps. 148:8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds; stormy wind, fulfilling His word.

Pr. 21:1 The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.

Rom. 9:18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

I have felt the same way (as what you have written) and struggled the better part of my life with this truth, feeling as though it could not possibly be right!

As the Lord has been gracious and used loving brothers & sisters in Christ to reveal the truth in scripture and make His sovereignty REAL in my life and in my salvation it has been nothing but a blessing and a gift of real peace! Knowing that He has the last say (and the first say) is so reassuring.

It does not, however, mean that it is easy.

Having walked the darkest road I have ever walked in my life with a very dear friend, whose sweet daughter has gone to glory, most definitely affirmed my belief that God calls us home as He sees fit.

He numbered our days and I am so glad! It makes me less fretful and worrisome when I kneel over a fevered child.

Because that child is His and the Lord has numbered his days.

It makes me less anxious when my husband boards a flight for the 20th time in a single month and I want to run the stats for how many flights per year end up in flames.

Because my beloved is His and the Lord has numbered his days.

That comforts me! If he is not present in the calamity then fear will be my master.

If the wind and the seas do not obey Him then whose mercy am I at?

His foreknowledge of my life is the only thing that brings me to my knees when praying for His grace or mercy or comfort or help ... because He is the ONLY one who has control of that situation.

I do not believe Amanda intended on doctrine or theology to be the focus of her post ... I thought it was beautiful because it was such a culmination of His past, present and continuing work in her life. I hope my comment is not construed as argumentative. I really hope this comes across in love with a genuine desire to share my own testimony.

I only commented because I think discussions about these things have always spurred me on to seek more about what the bible has to say. I had these kind of hard discussions and even debates with grace-filled friends and I credit them for encouraging me to seek true wisdom.


Amanda said...

Thank you, Angela and Kim.

You are right, my intent with this post was not about Theology. I was excited about Israel, midwifery, etc..

It is interesting. We figured out that the Family Integrated church was not for us. We struggled. I struggled with surrounding myself with ONLY Homeschoolers. Our church now is not a "reformed" church, but I like it. I wrestle with many things they do in the service, but the teaching is scripture only. We like that. You actually can hear an expository message that also seems conversational. Love that! They have an alter call and prayer time. This past Sunday, Jeremy went down for prayer. He was on the couch all weekend with a bad back that was injured back in his UPS days. As the man at the alter prayed for him, I struggled with a lot of his verbiage. I struggle with a "claiming healing" type of prayer. I do not struggle with praying for healing.

We chose the name for our son Israel because of all the wrestling we have gone through this past year. Jacob's wrestle with God was a battle. But as I've studied it more and more, the thing I see is how much God trusted Jacob. It makes me cry. Last Summer I wrestled with theology more than I ever have. Jeremy did too. Our spiritual DNA was formed in the "spirit-filled" setting. That is why I love CJ Mahaney!

Since I have connected to this theology, I have felt more at peace and joyful than ever before! I don't feel like I am looking for a "move" from God all the time. I often depended on a "move" in order to feel Him. I don't do that anymore. Another thing? I am joyful every single day. I have tough days with the kids. Jeremy Ans I have our moments, but I LOVE living life and I find joy in everything. It doesn't fluctuate how it used to. I have learned to be joyful even when I am hurting.

The kids and I are studying the kings of Israel and to say that nothing bad comes from God is just totally false. We have to study the whole Bible. If Pastors teach the entire book of Romans, if we study ALL of the text, we will wrestle. I am not scared to wrestle anymore.

Jules said...

I love what you said here! Struggling, for me, seems to be a constant occurence. We often feel as if we should change churches but we don't feel at home in any of them, really. I often feel like we are doing as your friend said and just sitting somewhere and never changing. Anyway, thanks for posting your feelings and by the way, you look awesome at 25 weeks!! I am 19 weeks with #5 and I'm so big already!! :) And, I love the name Israel...simply beautiful.