Monday, April 29, 2013

This is a good thing!!

First of all, no, I still don't have a single darn picture of my pregnant self. Or anyone/anything else for that matter. I have been to a few events lately that would have made for some great pictures. We did a gender reveal party at my office and with my church small group, we had a birthday lunch at my grandparent's house for my aunt and cousin, and I had a sweet little brunch with girls from church on Saturday. But...I either forgot my camera or lugged it around and managed to not take a single picture for any of these events!! I guess I will say that I was too in the moment to bother with pictures. But it's made me not want to blog because I want cute pictures to go with everything I say. Like the gender reveal...I want to tell you! But shouldn't I have a cutesy picture to go with it? At the very least, a picture of one of the cupcakes we made filled with appropriate colored frosting. But just how long am I going to put this thing off, huh? So, here it is...


Yep, that's right! And now I can officially refer to this quickly growing little one in my belly as Grayson. :) I'm further blown away by God's amazing blessings in our life right now because Scott and I both got new jobs!! We will both be academic advisors at Georgia Southern...different departments though. I'm SO thrilled! This is exactly what we both wanted. I'll be working with Literature, Philosophy, and Writing majors, which is perfect b/c I was an English major and Writing minor in my undergrad here. It'll be like going home, in a way. :) The timing is absolutely perfect in so many ways and it will be SUCH a blessing to our household! I'm still in awe of God's provision and love.

Last update (and what I initially meant for this post to be about)...I'm gaining weight. Duh, I'm pregnant. But if you've been reading for a while, you'll know that weight loss was a huge focus of mine a couple years back. I lost 20 pounds over the course of 2 years, and it was no easy feat. I have been pleased with my weight for a while now. But now when I weigh myself, I'm gradually gaining. And it's the craziest thing because I have to continue telling myself this is a good thing!!! 

Isn't it funny how twisted our minds become around weight and body image? So much so that I cannot celebrate my blossoming baby bump and the healthy growing baby inside me because I'm self-conscious about my weight! I'm not even gaining too much weight. I'm 16 weeks and I've gained a total of 5 pounds so far. That's awesome! Right on track. But now that I'm in the second trimester, it's recommended that I gain about a pound a week. Which is totally normal because the baby is doubling in size in the next 4 weeks! But I can't help but feel a little twinge of panic when that number goes up on the scale or my bump looks more like fat in some outfits on certain days.

I know. It's awful. I'm crazy. I'm SO thankful for my sweet baby and I'm excited that he's growing and is healthy. And I realize the belly is all part of it. I guess I'm just so worried about gaining TOO much, that even the normal amount seems scary to me. But I have been trying to eat right (for the most part) and have still been working out consistently. I'm doing all that I can to stay healthy and fit and do this thing right. So I just need to RELAX and let my body do what it's designed to do!!

Any other momma's out there who can relate?


Monday, April 15, 2013

15 Weeks

I will be 15 weeks pregnant this Wednesday. I admit I have failed the blogger mommy ritual of taking bump pictures. I still may get to it... So, I'm sorry! You will have to imagine that my belly is protruding a little bit now. :)

As of week 14, the baby is about the size of a lemon. He/she has functioning liver and kidneys and is growing hair. He/she has increasing motor functions and can even suck his or her thumb. :)

I'm officially in my second trimester now, which is a relief. Chances of miscarriage decrease significantly, I'm nauseous less often, I have more energy (though I'm still tired a lot), and I'm starting to actually look pregnant! In fact, Scott and I were out walking over the weekend and a random lady walked by and said "congratulations." I was so taken aback that I didn't respond at all! We were all walking at a quick pace, so there really wasn't time for awkward silence or anything, but still! I squeezed Scott's hand and whispered, "Did she just say congratulations??" He confirmed. I was completely shocked. I know my belly has grown, but I also know it is much more obvious to me than most other people. And most of the time I feel like it just looks like a big lunch...not a baby bump. At first I was a little embarrassed, but then I decided to be excited. I keep saying that I can't wait until it's obvious that I'm pregnant and not just getting fat. I would say this confirms that--she assumed I am pregnant and not just fat. Hooray!

We find out the sex in two days! I can't even believe it. I keep telling people that's when we find out, but it doesn't feel real. It seems insane that I can already know if this little one is a girl or a boy. But I can't wait! I'm so excited to start calling our baby by name, bonding with him/her more, and finally drop the him/her, he/she, his/her pronouns!!! And of course, I look forward to buying more things and decorating the nursery. It's all just around the corner!

In a way it feels like I've been pregnant forever. When I think back to when we found out, that feels like a long time ago. But on the other hand, I feel like it's flying by! I'll be meeting this little one before we know it. :) Speaking of, I'm SUPER excited that this past weekend we met with our doula for the first time. She is so awesome and has given me more confidence and peace of mind about the birthing process. I've been reading all kinds of books, including Hypnobirthing and have watched a few documentaries, including The Business of Being Born and More Business of Being Born (both available on Netflix), and Orgasmic Birth (which we rented from Amazon video). I am feeling more and more empowered and excited about my natural birth! :) Call me crazy, but I know I was created to do this. And if you do the research, you will see that many of the medical interventions that take place in the hospital are unnecessary and can actual impede you from laboring in a safe and efficient way. Okay, that's my soapbox for now.

Happy Monday to you all! I'll be in touch soon about the sex! :)


Friday, April 12, 2013

What's Stopping Me?

Lately in my Connect Group (Connection Church's version of "small groups") we have been working on articulating and writing down our testimonies. Last night we talked about what stops us from sharing the Gospel and talking about Jesus with others, particularly non-believers. And what is it? Because it's not something I do very often. If I am around a bunch of other Christians, it's easy for me to praise God and all He has done in my life. It's even easy to talk about on here. But out in the "real world," it's hard. Really hard. It's hard talking to my friends and family and it's definitely hard talking to strangers. Why is that??

If I really believe what the Bible says, shouldn't I be jumping up and down to tell others about Jesus? Shouldn't it be my heart's desire? If I believe that without Jesus, we are destined for Hell, if I believe that God's grace provides our needs in life, and if I believe that the Holy Spirit living in us makes us more like Jesus and allows us to go through life's hardships with more joy, peace, patience, love, and all the other fruit of the Spirit...then WHY would I not want to share that with as many other people as possible? Especially those who I already know and care about, like friends and family.

For me I had to think about the times when it's easy, and figure out why that is. It's easy to talk about it with other believers, because I know that they feel a similar way. They won't argue. They won't be offended. They won't think I'm crazy or weird. They won't get defensive or feel put-off by my passion. It's easy to talk about it on here because I don't have to look you all in the eyes and see your reactions. Worst case, you just quit reading. I haven't even had any negative comments.

So, I think it boils down to a fear of man. This fear takes many forms, depending on the situation. I'm afraid that my passion and vigor will rub people the wrong way and will turn them further from the Lord. How many of you have experienced someone who tried to talk to you about God and it turned you off from the whole topic? I know I have. Even as a Christian, I have. I'm afraid that people will think I'm weird or crazy. I'm afraid they'll put me in a religious box that doesn't adequately define who I really am. I'm afraid that I will offend people. That rather than hear how God has saved me and the awesome things he has done for me, they will instead hear nothing but I think you are going to Hell. (Which, by the way, is very rarely what I'm thinking at any given moment!!) And I suppose I'm also afraid that they might challenge me in ways that I'm not equipped to handle. They may ask me things that I can't answer. My attempts to answer may not be quite accurate. What if I paint Christ in the wrong light?

But I guess here's the thing--I have to TRUST that GOD is going to work THROUGH ME to reach people. If I allow the Spirit to move in me to talk to others, my words and my passion and my answers will do exactly what they're meant to do. Sure, people may still think I'm crazy and they may still be offended or rubbed the wrong way. But it's not because I did something wrong, it's because they are not ready to hear the word of God. It's not up to me to convince someone, I can only share the love of God with others and they can choose to accept it or not. God will either use those words to draw them near or to plant a seed that will come to fruition later or to not have any impact at all. But that part isn't up to me. Not if I'm trusting God.

And as for the rest...I need to GET OVER MYSELF! So what if I make someone mad or they think I'm nuts? Do I care more about myself than bring God glory or saving someone's soul? Yes, maybe I do. And that is probably the second reason why it's so darn hard!

I just pray that God would help me get over myself and would give me the courage and strength and the open heart to be used.

Anyone else struggle with this? Is there anything that makes this easier for you? I would love to hear!

Have a great weekend!

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