Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Here's my "rant" for today folks -- since becoming pregnant, I have had to make lots of adjustments in my every day life. I can't walk as fast as I used to, I go to bed earlier, I eat a lot more, I can't sit in the same position for extended periods of time because of aches and pains and forget about my sleep quality! For those who think that just your belly grows during pregnancy and it's "cute" I would like to say that you are soooooo wrong! Women have been doing this (and making it look easy) for years but that does not mean it is easy. Carrying a baby changes everything about you physically, mentally and emotionally. It seems silly to think that on top of all these changes, a pregnant woman has to deal with yet another annoyance- inappropriate comments by "friends" "co-workers" and at times just "random" people on the street. People say such bizarre things to pregnant women... I am part of a birth club on Babycenter.com for women due around the same time as me and we basically share stories and advice about what we are going through. The comments many of these women have had to deal with just blow me away! And yes, I too have endured many comments myself.
"I Feel Pregnant, Too!"
Unless you are actually carrying a child in your uterus as well, then no you don't feel pregnant.
Maybe she is looking a little large, but she doesn't need to hear it. Would it be appropriate to comment on someone's weight if they were not expecting? No! Same common sense rules apply to pregnant women, too.
"You Really Shouldn't . . . "
Exercise. Pick up that box. Stand up. Pregnant women are not ill, they are merely with child and making them feel like they have a serious condition only alienates them.
"I Don't Think You Should . . ."
Get an epidural. Have a natural birth. Have your mother in the birthing room. A pregnant mama's personal birth plan is just that: personal. If she want's your opinion, she'll ask.
"Enjoy Your Last Few Months of Freedom."
Having a baby is exciting and the last thing any expectant mom wants to hear is that she has just issued her personal life a death sentence. Negative comments about child rearing shouldn't be spoken of.
"You Probably Shouldn't Eat That."
Pregnant women are pretty tuned in to what they can and can't eat — as well as what they want and don't want to eat. If she's going for it, then by all means, let her enjoy.
"Your Baby Is Going to Be Huge/Tiny."
What's on the mind of nearly every pregnant woman? How baby is getting out. Doctors looking at ultrasounds are the only ones ever allowed to estimate how big baby is going to be — and even then, anything less or more than normal is bound to set off a mommy-to-be.
"What If Your Baby . . ."
Is a hermaphrodite? Has a cleft lip? Is deaf? Mamas-to-be spend a great deal of downtime thinking of their own "what ifs" and they don't need anyone else adding fuel to the fire.
"You Look Tired."
Carrying a baby for nine months is hard work. Chances are if she looks tired, she is. However, the last thing she needs is anyone reminding her how exhausted she feels or looks. Nothing short of, "You look fantastic," should be said to a pregnant woman about her appearance.
If you haven't received word that her baby's been born, then chances are that she is not holding out any information. Everyone is eager to welcome the pending bundle of joy into the world, but none so much as an expectant mama. Asking her if anything has happened yet only reminds her that she's still very, very pregnant
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
First things first --- the walls are white. We actually painted most of the walls white when we first moved in because the previous tenants had some eclectic color choices. At our old place, we went all out and put color on the walls but this time we decided to go with basic white. We thought about just painting Baby Picon's nursery but have decided against it... he will keep his white walls. We do plan however on painting the ceiling! What color do you ask? Well yes, BLUE of course. Here's a great little blurb from an article I read on Pregnancy Today:
The furniture in the room will be brown to match my mother's rocking chair that is being passed down to me for Baby Picon. My mom got this rocking chair as a gift from my dad when she was pregnant with me and I have so many great memories of sitting in this chair with her :) I can't wait to read books to Baby Picon in this chair:
The crib has already been selected and should be here in a few weeks! I won't include a picture of that because some things just should be a surprise...
Monday, January 17, 2011
Last night I was watching a special on TLC about the Pastor Ted Haggard from Colorado Springs. I had been very familiar with his story reading about it on the news about 4 years ago and seeing his interview on Oprah. I also read his wife's book entitled "Why I Stayed" which is a lovely memoir that recounts her journey as a wife and the commitment she made when she said "I do". Gayle Haggard is an extraordinary woman and I have a great deal of respect for her after reading her book. So many couples divorce for reasons FAR smaller than what the Haggard's went through and I think it is admirable that they decided to fight for their marriage.
For those who do not know, Ted Haggard was the Pastor at "New Life Church" in Colorado. A mega-church (as some call it) when he was exposed by a male prostitute and later admitted to having a homosexual relationship with this man outside of his marriage. Naturally, Ted was removed as Senior Pastor from the church and put on a "disciplinary process" by the elders. The world was stunned by this and many people could not understand his continual statement "I am not a homosexual." The world just couldn't understand why he wouldn't "come out of the closet" and admit to being gay. Instead, he just said he was a heterosexual man who struggles with homosexual feelings.
This post really isn't about the debate on homosexuality --- according to our bible as Christians, this is sin. Ted Haggard did not want to live this lifestyle but instead wanted to fight for his marriage and family. He wanted to be restored and of course in the world we live today, I can see why non-believers found that difficult to understand.
What really affects me most about Ted's story is that the elders from "New Life Church" basically had him excommunicated or banished from their community. He was told he could not LIVE in the area anymore ... he could not contact anyone from the church and he could NEVER hold a position again. This blows my mind!! How can one human being tell another that they can NEVER AGAIN return to a ministry God called them to? We might say "you need to take a time out" and that is for the purposes of restoration and building that person up after their fall. Even worse, he could not contact anyone from his church family. If I sinned and was told that I could no longer talk to anyone from my church, I personally don't know how I would get through it.
Seeing the documentary about the Haggard family; how they were abandoned by their closest friends, how they are ridiculed in the media, just made me really reflect on the things I complain to God about sometimes. I have felt betrayed by my loved ones and certainly have felt abandoned. It takes an incredible amount of strength to admit your faults, rise up and continue pushing forward when everyone has turned their back on you. I said a prayer last night for this family and thanked God because whenever we think our situation is the worst in the world, we remember that someone else is struggling with an even greater obstacle.
Today I am thinking about forgiveness... why is it that we put sin on different "levels"? Humanity likes to categorize things so much... How come we have "white lies"? Is one sin really bigger or smaller than the other? Romans 3:9-10 says :What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:“There is no one righteous, not even one.
When someone falls short, doesn't Christ forgive them? So we should learn to forgive whole-heartily. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you - Colossians 3:13
And finally, EVERYONE is undergoing a process... yes, even you! We are not "all done" and "fixed up" .. we all carry baggage, we are all on a journey and this will continue until the day we see our father in heaven.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns - Philippians 1:6
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I subscribe to a really great blog from "Focus on the Family" specifically targeted to young married people and it has really blessed my life! Here is a link to their website. This morning, while reading some of their new articles, I got to praying and thinking (uh-oh!) and was truly inspired by what some of the bloggers had to say. The New York Times recently published an article about marriage and why it is becoming less and less popular with today's young people. It seems as though marriage is just viewed as a "dying trend" and young men and women are either waiting longer to get married or opting out of the idea altogether. I read this article a few months back and it made me sad, being a young married woman and having experience and seen the blessing that it is. The article contributed many factors to the reason why this is the case... obviously, women now account for more than half of college students and half of the workforce and as a result, marriage and babies are put off longer than in years past. Commitment is also an issue that was brought up. Nowadays, most couples just prefer to "live together" without putting their commitment down on paper. They even use the words "hubby", "wifey" etc. with no rings or strings attached. Personally, I wish they'd all just leave those titles for those of us who have actually committed and are doing the work but that's a whole other blog post. In a nutshell, I guess that young people are finding that the risks in marriage outweigh the benefits and it is no longer high up on the list of priorities. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
This month, we are taking some group trips with friends and that is always a nice thing that I enjoy. Even though some of my friends don't have the same traveling style that I do, it's usually great cause I will go to some extra activity and they will meet us for a late breakfast after we sleep in the morning :) I LOVE to go away with our friends and/or family and we really aren't that type of couple that needs to be "joined at the hip" the whole time. I am perfectly fine relaxing at the hotel while he does whatever activity with our friends or visa versa... and we don't need to be on the "same team" for sports and games either! Actually we prefer to be against each other HA! My last "friends" group getaway was to the Poconos in early October. We had "field day games" and it was fun except that I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and still had the morning sickness in full force. Nonetheless we had a great time. Before that, it was a getaway for the 4th of July about two years ago to Lake George. One of my most memorable trips ever!!! So you get the idea!
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
The word "Connection" is often used in the mainstream media to describe relationships between people. "We had a strong connection" or "She is a nice girl, I just didn't feel that connection" are typical statements you would hear on The Bachelor or other popular shows. But what does that mean exactly and what message do these types of statements send about connection? Especially in our relationships with others, it feels like the common thinking is --a "connection" either happens or it doesn't; and if it doesn't, we move on to the next person we could find that connection with. Connecting with people is almost in the hands of fate or the universe and we take no responsibility at all. But this is what has me thinking .... we are responsible for maintaining our connections (relationships) and this requires hard work. How can I be connected to God if I don't pray or seek out this relationship on a daily basis? Here's a really great quote I read today on a friend's Facebook status:
Monday, January 3, 2011
There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all.
I think it was the philosopher Heraclitus who said that our only constant is change. For those who hold having a "constant" with great importance, I guess change doesn't seem like much of one at all. In my life, it is the only thing I can be sure of and it's only a matter of being prepared for when the next big change will take place. Situations change, places changes, jobs change, relationships change… sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse and sometimes it can seem to be for the worse only to be revealed as a blessing in disguise later.
In 2008 I was married to wonderful man and life changed yet again for the better. With marriage come a lot of sacrifice and a certain “dying to self” that a lot of people don’t realize. Selfish people don’t have much chance of making it in marriage as just the act of joining into this bond requires a selflessness that one can only understand when they’ve been there. I can’t go out 2 or 3 times a week like my single friends, I can’t just spend money whenever I want, and to be honest most of the time I actually PREFER a nice quiet dinner at home on a Friday night. The truth is, the sacrifices one makes in marriage are so minimal when compared with the benefits of being part of the most sacred, special, and only human experience that comes close to Christ’s relationship with the church. Love is the greatest gift of all and I can’t express enough how grateful I am for it.
2011 is bringing forth the biggest change of my life! I am going to be a mother and with that realization I can only describe a huge balloon bouquet of emotions being held together by a single ribbon -- "peace". I half-know what to expect on my journey to motherhood and I half-have-no-idea! But much like marriage changed my life I expect this to completely change me as a wife, as a daughter, friend, and Christian. Slowly but surely, I have been chipping away through the forest and clearing my own path and it is “happy” to be on the path and “sad” to realize that not everyone is meant to walk this path with me. Nonetheless, I am excited for this New Year and ready (as I have always learned since childhood) to embrace change!