Monday, October 29, 2012

I Asked the Lord

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith and love and every grace
Might more of his salvation know
And seek more earnestly his face. 

Twas He who taught me thus to pray
And He I trust has answered prayer
But it has been in such a way 
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour
At once He'd answer my request
And by His love's constraining power
Subdue my sins and give me rest.

Instead of this He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart
And let the angry powers of Hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea, more with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Cast out my feelings, laid me low.

Lord why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt Thou pursue Thy worm to death?
"Tis in this way" The Lord replied
"I answer prayer for grace and faith."

"These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free
And break thy schemes of earthly joy
That thou mayest seek thy all in me."

I Asked the Lord is an old hymn redone by Indelible Grace. It can be found here.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Homemade Salsa

We started a garden a few months ago. We're so excited about it! This is a project we had wanted to start for about two years now, since we moved into our house. We've been composting and waiting for the right planting season, and now we're getting some fruits from the labor.


Well, veggies from the labor.

I'm not a fan of spicy food. At all. But my husband loves a good salsa so we got two jalapeno plants.  We were both impressed that they have been the most prolific thing in our garden by far. We've seen several dozen jalapenos, each as big or bigger than the ones we get in the store!

For our salsa, we've been using this Pioneer Woman recipe, slightly modified. We use fresh tomatoes and tomatillos instead of canned, and we exclude the lime. With a few other additions to taste, we have a side that is a crowd pleaser!
Boiling jalapenos
Chop chop chop...

Add everything to the food processor

It's easy to make, too. Boil, chop, and throw in the food processor. Anyone can do it!
Yum!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Longing for Normal

I remember last year thinking about trials. I was reflecting on the place I was at with God and how He tends to grow people through trials. "Where are my trials?" I thought. "I have a husband I love and who loves me well. My job may not be the ideal teaching job, but at least I'm employed and my husband has a great job he loves. My parents just moved into town, which is nice because I was missing them. And we're planning on starting a family soon. Where are my trials?"

Little did I know what God had in store for me.

I don't know if I asked for it or not. I don't know if God gave me a long time of peace before the storm. I just know right now I can't get away from trials.

People keep commenting that we're interesting cases, that we're special. We could use less interesting and more boring right now. We'd love to be not special and simply normal. A little more mayonnaise white and a little less rainbow glitter flamboyance.

Trials suck.

Even still, I know God is using our situation. By sharing what we're going through with Penny and my husband's health, our friends and family have been able to share their faith and Christlikeness with others. I thank God that He lets me see those now, in the middle of it all. I hope that He has even more in store, showing His great glory and mercy hopefully in the near future. I need those reminders.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Third Trimester

This week marks the beginning of the third trimester. Ten weeks ago, I don't think any of us would have thought Penny would make it this far.

At my doctor appointment the doctor gave Penny about a 50/50 shot. It's a lot better than zero, but it still doesn't instill a lot of hope. We still don't know what to expect when she's born, or if she'll even make it there.

Some days I feel like I have no more room for worry, like more of the same news won't phase me. However, sitting in a waiting room after an ultrasound, waiting for what could be more bad news is hard to handle.

It's hard to trust that God has a good plan through all of this, especially when thoughts of the future seem bleak no matter what. Still, He's given me this much time with my baby. All I can ask for is that He'll continue to be good.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pet Sitting

My parents have been out of town to visit our relatives up in Illinois, and since I live right down the street from them I get to take care of their pets.

Cadence is a total princess cat. She's a former show cat and thinks her name means that she sets the pace of the world. She's sweet, though.

Buster, however, is the fun one. He's a shih-tzu, little and always excited to meet people. I've called him every nickname in the book: Buddy, Busterbutt, Slobberman, FloorMop, DopeyDog... I swear I really do like this dog! Just call me spoiled by my own sweet (slobber-free) cats.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Trust is Hard

Another young couple in our church just gave birth to a little girl at just 30 weeks pregnant. Their baby's still in the NICU, but thank God she seems to be thriving in the hospital's care. Although their baby's problems are not the same as ours, it hurts my heart that they have to go through this. There is nothing like finding out that your precious child is hurting, or has something wrong with her, and there is nothing you, Mommy, can do about it.

A lot of families in our church are pregnant or just had babies, so I feel surrounded in both good and sad ways. 

At the same time I'm becoming aware of a lot of hurting families in our church as well. Not just pregnancy problems, but health and family complications, divorce, deaths, diseases... the list goes on. 

Why is God giving us all of these things at once? I don't know. I may never know. It's depressing sometimes. It makes me long for the New Heavens and New Earth where no more babies will be born sick, or too early, or stillborn. 

I do know that God has given me a situation in life where there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. 

Only rely on Him. 

Which is so hard. But necessary. He knows how Penny is growing, and how long or short her life will be. He knows exactly what her life is for. I have to let go of the plans I have for her and trust that the Lord has better plans. Already little Penny has made an impact on a lot of people. She's made an impact on me. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Birthday Wishes

My twenty-fifth birthday is coming up at the end of this month. Some family members have begun asking me what I want. I've been having trouble giving an answer, because what I really want they can't get for me.

I want my family to be healthy. I want my husband to feel well and normal. I want my baby to be born without complications, with minimal mental and physical disabilities.

My friends and family can't get me that.

The Bible teaches that God loves to give His children good gifts. (Matthew 7:9-11) Well, my birthday request is one that only He can answer. Consider it my prayer or my challenge, but also consider me to be begging on my knees. That is the gift that I truly want this year.