An Incredible Journey
It was a long labor, with lots of back pain. It seemed to go on and on. After such a quick and easy delivery of our first little boy almost 22 months before, this was not as I expected it should go. Yet, my midwives were wonderful and kept encouraging me to rest when I could, drink as much water as I could, and even eat little snacks to keep my energy up. It was also my first home delivery, which was great because I was able to relax in my own home, with my own bed for comfort, and use my own bathtub as much as I wanted, but I was growing tired. I just wanted it to be over so I could rest and hold my little baby in my arms. We had no idea what we were having, which was all a part of the special surprise and wonder of birth. Was it a little boy who was giving me all this trouble, or was it a little girl refusing to come out to meet the world? It was finally around 4:00 when my midwife said we were almost there, but something was holding the birth back. She figured out that the baby was slowing down the process because it seemed to have its little hand on top of his head. It was causing an issue to slow down the dilation and was keeping that last little bit from moving to the side. With her knowledge and know-how, she quickly resolved the issue and within 20 minutes the smallest of all my children entered the world. He was a silent baby and did not let out a sound at first. I had no idea what was going on and the seriousness of why he was not making any sound. I was just basking in the fact that I had another little baby boy to enjoy and that the hardest part of the birth was over. I remember hearing them talking and were discussing something. I heard Auntie Laurie, who had also attended the birth, begin praying. I tried to see what was going on and remember hearing them say that he was not breathing. My midwife began to dig through her bag to find her oxygen as Joe took the matter into his hands and began to pray over our little boy. He laid his hands on his head and commanded life and breath for our baby. God was good and He answered the prayers very quickly for suddenly he took a breath and gave a weak, feeble little cry. We were all relieved to hear he was okay. They placed my little 8 lb baby Caleb into my arms and I got to hold my sweet, chicken legged baby for the first time.
If those first few moments were a sign of what was to come, I may have been a bit afraid to see what the future held. I believe that God is merciful to keep us from knowing the future and all the trials that lay ahead of us because we may opt out of going through things that will help us grow spiritually and closer to Him. We had some tough few months of colic and other issues with our little Caleb, and once he was on the move, he was quite the opposite of our first son. JJ was always so cautious and careful in everything he did, but Caleb was fearless and would leap and then think about what might happen as he sailed through the air. He had to see what was inside every single closed door and sometimes even empty what was behind them. Go, go, go, was (and possibly may still be) Caleb's motto. He has a tender heart though, and if he will just direct that energy into using it for the Lord, he will do mighty things for God.
It has been an incredible journey and all through the day I have been thinking about how much I have changed over the last 14 years, just as he has. He may have been growing physically (he is like a giant now, towering over me and making me feel like a little shrimp), but I have been growing spiritually and in other ways too. As much as I enjoyed my little babies and all their cuteness, I must say I am enjoying my children now that they are becoming teens, learning about life, and becoming young men and women. I had been around little children so much in my life that I often wondered if I could handle teenagers. The world has a way of putting thoughts into your head about how they are horrible years, but with God nothing is impossible. Now that I am in the midst of it, with two teenagers, and another one turning 13 this year, I am enjoying every minute. I can honestly say that it is so much easier than I ever imagined, but all the glory goes to God. I do not take any credit. Even though we do go through some tough days, my children are very polite, helpful, and very considerate to me. They are not rebellious, nor do they give me a hard time when I ask them to do something. As I watch them mature and grow up, I am blessed to say that I love my teenagers, and am enjoying this time much more than I ever imagined. It has been quite a journey, but I would not trade any of it for anything. Happy 14th birthday, Caleb James! We love you and thank the Lord daily for bringing you into our lives!!!!! May He use you to help us continue to grow in patience, love, grace, and wisdom. And may He use you for great things in your life....keep your heart right with Him and always follow Him!
P.S. I would post a pic of Caleb now, but all the pics I have of him lately were promised that I would not post them. I will just have to sneak one without him knowing and post that. :)
Looking For the Blessings...
I completely lost it after I hung up the phone with the telephone company. It was crazy, but I did. I kind of understood their security concerns, but it hit me hard. I have no idea why. She said that because I am not an authorized name on the account I could not go ahead with trying to get our phone working again.
"But I am Joseph's wife! I write the check every month!" I explained. Obviously they are willing to take my money, but they won't let me change anything with the account.
"Just call him and have him authorize you on the account," she said.
"But I am using my cell phone to talk to you. Our house phone is not working, that is why I am calling you. How am I supposed to call him with you on the line?"
"You can call us back, right?" she asked.
"Of course," I replied, suddenly feeling a bit upset.
"Sorry about this, but it is for security," she said as she hung up.
I think I cried because of the fact that I am not included on the phone account and have no control over that fact. It may have been because it caused me to think about the what if's such as, what if something happened to Joe and they would not let me use or change the phone account? Then again, it may not have been anything to do with the rejection, but the fact that I have had so much on my mind lately. Being 300 miles away from my family is hard because I cannot be there to help my mom out as she works so hard to keep up with my father and the cancer he is battling. With him in the hospital for a few weeks, she had to travel and hour back and forth every day to see him, and not being there to help her out was extremely hard. From hearing bad news to worse it took a toll on my heart and emotions. It may have been because I have to call to get updates or else I feel out of loop. But then again, it may be the fact that people have a way of hurting you and it surprises you so much that you do not know how to handle the rolling waves that come flooding over you. It may have been the fact that I assumed my last blog posted only to find that nothing was written on there and has been blank all this time. I had thought it was quite a good post too, but to find it completely clean, well, that was a shock!
I recently was reading about Hannah and how much she ached and longed for a little child. I got to the verse about Elkanah asking her, "Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?"
So many times people, (women especially) get mad at how unkind and cold-hearted Elkanah seemed in the verse, but as I looked over it a little more, I saw something different that day. I saw a man who was deeply in love with his wife. I saw a man who tenderly cared for Hannah and did not want to see her so sad. I saw a man who desired to make her happy and fill that empty space that only children could fill, but he was willing to try. He was trying to show her love and care - so much more than ten sons could ever bring her.
Hannah must have felt better after he said that rose up after that comment and ate. She went to the temple and there gave her burden over to the Lord. God answered her prayer that day, and gave her that son she had wanted to so bad. In fact, she was willing to give up the very child that she was praying that God was going to give her. Maybe she discovered the blessing that her husband was better than ten sons. Maybe that was why she was willing to give him up. She must have looked for the blessings in her pain, and with eyes filled with tears she gave it over to the Lord.
And so as I look for blessings in my pain and struggles, I suddenly see some things that God has done for me: I see the blessing that I am home today with a snow day, and that I was able to make that call so I could see I needed to look for the blessings in my life. I see the blessing that Joe is home now and can make that call and add me to the phone account so I am not rejected any longer. I see the blessing that the news about my dad went from worse to better in a matter of days and the good news is that he gets to go home sooner than expected. I see the blessing that even with pain in my life, there are people who are willing to help me out and give me good, Godly advice that will help deal with my current struggles. I see the blessing that even though my last post was erased, it was what I needed the day I wrote it, and God used it to bless my spirit and get me through the tough ride home from Vermont. I knew I needed to ask the Lord to go with me, and He did. He has been by my side every second of the day, holding my hand, helping me through the struggles, still giving me blessings each day. I do not deserve it. I fail Him all the time. I fail in my daily life, forgetting to give things over to Him, forgetting to ask Him to help me, yet, He still loves me. He never gives up on me. May I always remember to look for the blessings in the dark part of my days, and rest in the fact that He knows me right down to the very hairs on my head. Thank You, Lord!