Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stop that Whining!

Noah (13 mo) is teething. His gums are swollen. His diapers are icky. His little bottom is sore. I feel bad for him.

A few days ago, our normally very pleasant little man was rather whiney. Not sure why, but Andrew (4) seemed to join him in his whining spell.

Although I felt sorry for Noah and I love my children more than words can express, by that afternoon, I was feeling, let’s say, a bit stressed.

I started talking to the Lord, “Do you hear these kids? I don’t know how much more whining I can take. I mean, I’m doing everything I can for them and it still doesn’t seem good enough. They don’t appreciate all I do for them…blah, blah, blah.”

You get the picture. Yep, before I knew it, I realized I was having a big ol’ pity party for little ol’ me, me, me.

Suddenly it occurred to me…I was whining to my Heavenly Father about my children whining to me! Oh boy! I know God isn’t a human like me, but I can just imagine if He were, He would have been rolling His eyes at me. (Glad He doesn’t do that!)

Honestly, what do I have to whine about?! God has blessed me and my family!! He’s done so much for us! Why would I grumble to Him?

It’s amazing how quickly I can let my emotions get away from me. When I get worn down, tired or stressed, I can too easily lose perspective. Something so very small can temporarily steal my joy. Have you ever been there?

I have two GREAT kids! They’re healthy, precious and beautiful! They are a BLESSING from Him! It is an honor to be their mommy and to be able to stay home with them each day. Oh, and normally, they aren’t whiney children either.  :)

I have a fabulous, hard working, supportive husband...a nice home...great friends...clothes…food…even a sleep number bed.  :)  My list of blessings goes on and on.

The greatest blessing: I have a Savior! A Savior who died for me, so that I don’t have to. A Savior who loves me, protects me, blesses me. A Savior whose very own Holy Spirit dwells inside of me, leading me every day. I don’t have to navigate life alone.

All of the above are God’s abundant blessings! Reasons not to whine…ever. He has shown His faithfulness to me over and over. Now, to remember!

I knew that day that I needed to refocus, to stop the whining, so I could count my blessings! I changed my whiney prayer into a prayer of thanksgiving. Although our struggles and blessings are undoubtedly not the same, will you join me in thankfulness?

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances…
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Lord, thank you for all the blessings in my life and for loving me despite my whining. Please give me the patience that I need to lovingly parent my children. Please remind me that no matter what’s going on in my life, whether something big or something small that threatens my joy, that you are a faithful, loving Father. Help me to keep perspective, to recognize the blessings from You all around me and to be thankful. And I pray the same for my dear reading friends as well. Amen.

Tell me, what are you thankful for today? I would enjoy hearing from you.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

He Gives and Takes Away

Last month, in April of 2011, we experienced our second miscarriage. I was 5½ weeks pregnant. We had spent the past 10 days rejoicing over our positive pregnancy test. Quickly, our rejoicing turned to heartbreak. I cried, “Oh no, not again, Lord!”

We had our first miscarriage in September of 2008, between our two healthy sons.That time I was 11 weeks pregnant. It was a long, hard process and, because my body did not go through the miscarriage process properly, I had to have a d&c surgery.

This time the loss was quick and no d&c was needed. I was thankful for that, but it was still hard. The waves of grief hit me and, although I knew it wasn’t the right question, I found myself asking God, “Why?”

My husband and I love the Lord. We live to honor and serve Him. We rejoiced over this pregnancy and gave Him much glory. We asked God to protect our baby. Yet, here we were, going through this AGAIN. It was hard to understand.

One morning I was doing my dishes, praying and listening to Christian radio. The song “Blessed Be Your Name” came on. “Blessed be the name of the Lord…you give and take away, you give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be your name.”

I even surprised myself when I whispered audibly, “Why DID you take my baby, Lord?” So clearly I felt Him speak to my heart, “He was never really yours in the first place.”

To someone who doesn’t know the Lord personally this may sound cold and uncaring. To me, it was comforting. I knew what He meant right away.

Although I don’t think he literally “took our baby away” from us, I trust that whatever He allows to happen in our lives, is for our best and that He will use it for good (Romans 8:28). I know that He has a plan for me and my family (Jeremiah 29:11). I know I can trust Him, even when I don’t understand (Proverbs 3:5). I know He gives and takes away (Job 1:21). I know His ways are so above my ways (Isaiah 55:8). I know He holds us securely in His hands (John 10:28).

He is God and I am not.

I must remember that even the two healthy children He’s given us belong to Him. What a gift! What an honor to be able to bring them up for Him! As much as we love them, He loves them even more. That’s almost inconceivable!! Yet, how reassuring to know that all four of our children, two in heaven and two here on this earth, are in His hands. There’s no safer place for them to be!

In the midst of our grieving, we celebrated Noah’s 1st birthday!

Look at our precious gift enjoying his 1st birthday:

The Lord GIVES life...and life most abundantly! 

Today I choose to rejoice in all that He GIVES!

No matter whether He gives or takes away, I will choose to praise Him. Even when I wonder why, I will choose to trust Him. In turn, He fills my heart with peace.
BLESSED be the name of the LORD!!

FOLLOW UP: Read about my 3rd Miscarriage HERE