Saturday, January 30, 2010

Our Little Blessing

January is almost over already and we've been keeping busy with our school routine, piano lessons, having a baby, house repairs, animal care...oh. Did I mention, having a baby? A new little blessing arrived two days ago. Esther Amelia came a little earlier than expected and what a sweet little blessing she is! I was trying to finish out our school week. Lesson plans were all set for Thursday and Friday. We were supposed to go to our monthly gym class and I had a Bible study scheduled for today, but God had other plans! So, we are enjoying our baby break a little earlier and getting to know this precious little girl.

On Wednesday of this week, I knew something was happening and thought the baby would possibly be here by the weekend. By late Wednesday night, I was beginning to feel uncomfortable. I thought contractions would slow down if I tried to sleep, but they actually grew more intense. My three year old was restless that night of all nights, and so in between contractions, I talked to him and tried to get him settled down. I watched the sunrise and the horses dance a little in the pasture to the chilling wind that was swirling around and finally woke my husband a little after 7:00. I wanted to let him rest as long as possible, but I needed him. An hour later, I left a message with the midwife and grew more and more uncomfortable, but I continued to try and keep the house running, ordering the kids to finish their chores and watching the little ones. The midwife arrived a little later and found me to be at 6 cm., so she decided to run home for a few more things. She lives just down the road, so she can do this, but by the time she returned, things had really progressed. I was trying to pull a few baby clothes out of bins so the baby would have something to wear, but I gave up on that. The contractions were coming at an intensity that I could barely put two words together. My water broke and before too long, I knew it was time to push. I think I pushed about three times and then, Esther came into the world. She was born at 10:40 and was 6 lb.4 oz. and 19 1/4" long. I think I'm still in shock over the quickness of her birth, but I am so thankful to God for yet another good delivery and a healthy child.

God is amazing! He had Esther Amelia in mind from before the creation of the world. I do not know what God has in store for Esther. She may never be a queen like Esther in the Bible. She probably won't fly an airplane like Amelia Earhart, but my prayer is that she will follow God with all of her heart and will show the love of Jesus to every life she touches. Thank You, Lord for our little blessing. She is Yours Lord. May You use her to make a difference in this life.

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 in Retrospect

We are entering a new year again and like each new year, I am looking back at 2009 to see where we've been, what we've done and to remind myself of the goodness of God. I could very easily give myself a hard time for things that were either not done well or left unfinished. Books unread, getting behind in home schooling, places that I didn't get to, families I didn't invite to the house, closets unorganized, not enough one on one time spent with my children, words that were said that I cannot take back, wasted time and the list goes on. I have a huge stack of books that I wanted to finish at the end of the year. I do not ever feel like we are really done with school. I have this dream of going to Maine and last summer was the second time we talked of going and never got there. I thought of how nice it would be to have a different family over each month to practice hospitality, but the house either would not be clean or I would not feel up to entertaining. The closets? I won't talk about those. I found that the most one on one time I had was with the young children at feeding or nap times. Of course, I have always had a challenge with either too many words being said or not enough uplifting ones. Wasting time has also been a talent of mine. I may be doing a lot of "good" things, but not the "best" things. I've just scratched the surface of many of my short-comings and so, it would be very easy to focus on those and become very discouraged about the last year, but I am asking God to redirect my thoughts. I need to remember that God is always good. He has given me so much to be thankful for. In the darkest times, He has been there. And, the things I didn't get to do or to finish? Perhaps, I am placing just a little too much importance on those things. At the end of each day, can I say that I have grown closer to God, to my husband, and to my children? Have I made a difference for His kingdom? If I have, I will praise God. If not, I will repent and humbly ask Him to help me the next day. As I reflect on 2009, I must admit that much was accomplished for His kingdom. In many ways, I grew closer to the Lord. I had many wonderful times with my husband and children. We learned many things together and visited some interesting places. Any accomplishments or blessings were all from my loving Lord, however. Without Him, I could do nothing. This is a new year, but each day is a new opportunity to love the Lord. Each day that I have on this Earth is a gift from God. I am thankful for what He's given me and I want to trust Him for the days ahead. "Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13,14