Friday, March 8, 2013

Reflections on my pregnancy journey

I am now 34 weeks along.
But here are some photos from 27 weeks...
The time is going so quickly now, that I need to stop and reflect on this journey. 


Almost a year ago now (last May) I had a miscarriage. I was about 8 weeks along, so it was early on, but make no mistake that it was a little life we lost. Even as I write this, my eyes are welling up with tears. I could never have anticipated the emotions that came along with that loss. In fact, before that, whenever I heard about others who had lost babies I felt for them, but I really didn't understand the nature of the kind of grief that went along with it.


I know that for some reason, this can be a taboo subject, but I choose to speak openly about it. In a way, it honors the little life that was so briefly with us. It also helps the healing process and perhaps others who have experienced this to feel validated. 

Looking back on it, I was completely overwhelmed with emotion that came up from depths I had not known within me. I was also taken aback by the same emotional reaction that my husband also shared so deeply with me. It was as if for a few months there, nothing seemed happy or good. A sort of sudden depression I suppose. I have never felt so close to Dan with this intimately shared suffering. Then soon after came a lot of the questions...Why did it happen? Who was the little person? Was it a boy? A girl? What would life have been like with them here? Do you suppose we will meet them again someday in heaven, in another life? Did God choose to take this one or did it just happen? The questions nagged.

After I had made peace about it, which took at least 6 months or more, I began to feel my heart lighten again and the sting of emotion not as strong. But still, always in my heart there is a little piece that belongs to my third child. The child I will someday come to love in more specific ways of understanding. 

I think about the verse that says, "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12

Life is such a mystery. Especially on this side of eternity. I am grateful to have a loving Father that is taking great care of what I can no longer hold. We are blessed in this life with two beautiful boys that make our lives rich and full of joy and a kind of love that I had never known existed before. 

What's more, is that there is yet another little life growing inside me now. 

Dan and I have scarred but healed hearts made whole again only through the mercy and love of our heavenly Father.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11

Everything is beautiful in its time.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Is your husband invisible?

I am attending a great Mom to Mom class at our church on Wednesday mornings and the curriculum has been so thought provoking!

One of the points that the author, Linda Schultz Anderson, makes is that often times our husbands feel "invisible". That the kids, our family, our girlfriends and even our careers often times seem more important than them.

My first reaction to that point was, "No, that doesn't apply to us." I quickly moved on.

God must not have been done with me yet. Upon further examination of the study and based on some things that have happened recently, God has stirred up this issue in my heart.

I am always so concerned with my needs. And with good reason I'd say, with two rambunctious young boys and 33 weeks pregnant. I am acutely aware that I don't always get the time I'd like to myself to do things I want to do. I don't always feel appreciated for what I am doing. I often feel like my husband doesn't do enough for me.

And I am beginning to sense a theme in my thought life. It's often all about me! My husband is so humble that I don't think he would ever really express that he feels this way. But maybe he does?

I am going to make a point to be intentional about making him feel affirmed and appreciated (most important things to a man according to this study) Maybe I will even surprise him! (hoping he doesn't read this)

I challenge you to do something special for your husband to affirm him this week. Even if it is a small thing. Do it.

If you want a great resource. Sign up for the "30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge" on this website called Revive our Hearts. You get emails with scripture and ways to keep encouraging your husbands.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Easy Crockpot Potato Leek Soup

This is a delicious, budget-friendly and EASY meal. Also great for LENT, or vegetarians. It makes a lot! Serve it with a fancy, crusty baguette and some garlic herb butter. Also pairs well with a berry, feta salad. Your family will devour it. 

Here is the lineup! Notice the Morton's "Nature's Seasons". This is a great spice mix to have in your cupboard and works well in a lot of dishes. It is great for creamy soups, like this one, and also scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes etc. It has a hint of celery seed and garlic in it.

Wash and cube your potatoes. I like to use yukon golden potatoes, they are more smooth in texture and have a buttery taste. But any sort of potato will do. 

Here is the guest star of this dish. The leek! Here I trimmed it on either end to have just a bit of green shoot but mostly the whiter parts. If you've never had a leek, they have a distinct flavor, but are very similar to the green onion family. It adds a nice touch.

Wash and chop up your leek, as well as a small onion. (If you are not so much a fan of onions, feel free to omit the extra small onion)

Add all three to the crockpot.

Add water enough to fill above the potatoes about 2 inches.
Cook on low for 3-4 hrs. adding soup, sour cream and spices and letting simmer another half hour to hour. Voila! Told you that was easy!

Easy Crockpot Potato Leek Soup

1 Leek
1 small onion
5 or 6 golden potatoes
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 (16 oz) container of sour cream
Salt, pepper, "Nature's Seasons" spice

1. Wash and cut up potatoes
2. Wash and dice a trimmed leek
3. Dice small onion
4. Add potato, leek and onion to crockpot
5. Cover with water about 2 inches above potatoes
6. Cook on low for 3-4 hours
7. Add soup, sour cream and spices 
8. Let simmer for another half hour to hour. 

Serves 6-8 
 Try pairing with crusty bread and garlic herb butter as well as a spring salad with strawberries, feta, almonds and a raspberry vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Recipe Credit: Joanie Gentry