Showing posts with label Faith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Faith. Show all posts

Saturday, August 4

Hi! My name is….

Jessica, Jess, Jesse, Mommy, Osica, Pumpkin, Fezzik (my sister calls me that – I didn’t know what it was from until last year, when I watched Princess Bride for the first time), Jessica Margaret Mackelaney Millpro Beckmann (what my dad called me as a kid). Lots of different names for one person, huh?

* While in the blogging world I am know as “Jess”, the only people in real life who call me that are my friends and family (which I guess is what I was thinking when I decided on that), and only a select few call me “Jesse” (or as I always preferred “Jesse like a boy” – which is what my best friend calls me).
But don’t be surprised if I introduce myself as Jessica, in person.
You guys can call me any of those.

* In school all of my best friends (at various times) were named Jessica. I guess that is what happens when you were born in 1982 and the most popular name was Jessica (there were 5 in our class of 87 people, plus 3 “Jesse”s).

* My parents were originally going to name me Nicolette….which I liked growing up because NO ONE was Nicolette, but now I really am glad that isn’t my name.

* I insisted that my name be changed, when I was around 10 or 11, much like my favorite literary red-head {Anne of Green Gables…I think I declared my name change before I had actually read the books though}.
The name I wanted “Victoria Anne”….so elegant isn’t it  :-P

* Since no one in my family would call me Victoria, I amended my name to be Jessica Victoria Anne Margaret.

Names are funny things. It's pretty much guaranteed that SOMEONE else in the world will have the same name, but we’re still entirely different and despite that God still knows OUR name…not the name our parents gave us, but a name only He has for us, each of us our own, His own. <----CLICK TO TWEET How cool is that?!
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine…” Isaiah 43:1
Do you like your name? Did you ever want to change your name? To what?

Monday, July 2

On Approaching the Big 3-0!

This month something crazy happens {my mom will attest to the fact that she is not old enough for this to happen}: I a1042turn 30. That’s right! A new decade! I’m completely ok with turning 30, but why is it that the numbers always sound so much older than the actual age. I don’t think people who are 60 are old, but that numbers sounds really old.
This month I’m going to {try} to do some fun things around here, not sure what yet, but maybe a giveaway and some fun posts. I think I can manage that. BUT if you have some ideas for giveaways or posts, or things that you think would make for an awesome celebration (your questions for me)…by all means email me! :-)

But first off, let’s kick off the month with Creating Community through Comments! If you signed up, let the commenting begin!

Wednesday, June 27

Review: Loving the Little Years

I just finished the book Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic (she blogs at and It was a light, fast read…managed it in 2 evenings…could’ve done it in one.

What I most enjoyed about this book is that it is the FIRST parenting book I’ve come across in which the author had more than one baby at a time, she has twins. There are so few books that talk about parenting with multiples, particularly when they are not the oldest. Jankovic had two singleton pregnancies, followed by twins: 4 kids 3 and under {not quite the same brand of crazy as us}.

Until I’ve written the book on raising triplets, while also having a 2 year old…this book will have to do. {And yes, that book is on my To-be-Written list}.

First off, Jankovic is the daughter of Nancy and Doug Wilson, the pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho and the author of countless books and audios on theology and parenting. If you’ve never listened to his collection of sermons on Loving Little Ones…it is something to definitely listen to. Great parenting advice!

Anyways, back to Loving the Little Years.ltly
One of the first things that Jankovic talks about is how the Lord calls us to be fruitful, but that it isn’t limited to bearing children. Having children, and scads of them, does NOT make you a fruitful person. Having NO children doesn’t mean you CAN’T be fruitful. What He calls us to is different than what we are often led to believe.

Being fruitful means giving of ourselves, our own overabundance, to the point of excess. Blessing everyone and everything around us with what we have and create. “Be bountiful with your fruit and free with it. The only thing you can know for certain is that God will use it.”

Throughout the book Jankovic shares several funny stories of her and her husband’s failed attempts at parenting. A few of them had me laughing out loud.

Another thing that Jankovic discusses is how we, as parents, very often will sin right back at our children for their sin: The get even approach. None of the kids are doing what they should and it’s because you didn’t do what you should (for example preparing for getting out of the house in advance, then yelling at the kids for being themselves and adding to the ensuing chaos). The other example she sites is two kids fighting over something and then rather than addressing the heart of the matter (their unwillingness to put others first), just removing the object of discord, because it’s the easier thing to do.

One thing that both Jankovic and Wilson discuss is something that Matt and I absolutely love. The idea of having very strong strictures and rules in place NOW, and as the children grow trusting them to go into the world knowing what is right and wrong, and what is expected of them. Rather than letting them run rampant now, then when they’re teenagers trying to reel them in with a thousand rules.

This book had so many wonderful insights and practical thoughts. Things that we all know, but often we’re so worried about just getting through the day with the kids still alive and the house still standing, that we forget about the importance of actually RAISING and GUIDING our children. Which isn’t that really the whole point anyways?

*This review was entirely my own. I didn’t even receive a free book for writing it :-P

Thursday, June 7

One Year Ago Today

We had our first ultrasound, at 5.5 weeks, to find out just how many babies scan0035security alteredwere cooking.

I think back on that day and laugh. I was in denial more than anything. I knew going in to the appointment that there was no way it was one, and was hoping it would ONLY be two. HAHAHAHA!

Then the next day, reality hit me and I had my major freak-out-crying-session. Knowing the very real possibility of a very hard and dangerous pregnancy, of not knowing how we were going to handle, let alone, afford 4 kids 2 and under, of worrying about how it was going to affect Ave…and a million other things that were hitting me at once.

Going back and reading all of my posts from the first few weeks of finding out we were having triplets is a bit funny: Of course, in hind-sight, most things are funny.

God knew what he was doing…He always does, even if we are wondering ourselves.

All of my fears and worries were unfounded. I spent two days in the hospital, even if the babies were in the NICU for a few weeks. I didn’t have to worry about weeks or months away from home. I didn’t have to worry about babies being born way too early.

Life has continued on, and while it is sometimes crazy (or more truthfully, INSANE) I wouldn’t change it for anything.

As for the struggles. In a few years we’ll barely remember these, because they’ll be replaced with new ones.

As for Ave. She’ll never remember what life was like without her brothers and sister. Every memory the four of them will share.

“Cast all your anxieties on Him, for he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7


Tuesday, May 29

Marked as Christ’s Own

This past Sunday Henry, James, and Elanor were baptized, which was a fitting day, since it was Whit Sunday. Our pastor had a fantastic sermon about Whit Sunday and the importance of it as a day of baptism {which we had not at all planned that way}, but I was trying to keep the 2 year old quiet and was failing…miserably.
Because of the holiday it worked out really well; we practically had a private service/baptism and family that was a bit of a distance came because of the Monday off.
The weather ended up being beautiful! We had put a tent up in the backyard in case of rain, but the shade was certainly good too. It was sunny and warm, but not hot {like it is today…miserable!}.

Here’s the video of the baptism, it’s only about 11 minutes.
Yesterday, despite the 85*+ of my dining room I decided to do a photo shoot with the babies in their Christening garb. Elanor wore my Christening gown (also worn by my sister and Avelyn), and my mother-in-law made the boys suits {I was not going to shell out $60 each for the boys to have clothes…not happening!}


DSC_0405 DSC_0433 DSC_0457 




DSC_0662  DSC_0628
DSC_0695  DSC_0612
Here's the LINK to all the pictures that my uncle took

Thursday, April 26

The Turn-Around

This post can be found on my new site, Click HERE.

Thursday, April 5

Joy of Four, with a Healthy Side of Reality

I can only describe what I feel about these three and Ave as absolute joy! I don't remember feeling like this with Ave. She was a joy as well, but it was different. There were so many things to have to learn and still thinking about infertility and whether we would have more children.

Ave has siblings! There are so many less clouds hanging over my head. I {almost} always have a smile on my face and am dancing around the house with Ave and the babies. It's wonderful. God has so incredibly blessed us!

People ask me how we're surviving, how we're dealing with having a 2 year old and THREE babies. I'm finding out that most people expect failure, they expect you to burst in to tears or say that it's horrible and you want to run away. And sometimes, it is. But, it's easier than I thought it would be. Then they look at me like I'm insane....which I am. I have to be. They look at me even crazier when they ask if we're done now and I say "Nope!" with a big ol' stupid grin on my face. My house may be trashed, but it's a home to 4 children....2 boys and 2 girls. Our kids, kids we didn't even know if we would ever have.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. ~ Phillipians 4.19

I honestly can't imagine how different it would be if we'd had triplets first. I have massive amounts of respect for first time parents of multiples! There is a reason that God gave us Ave first :-) I would have struggled so, SO very much with losing "control" on things like keeping the laundry done, the house clean, a baby that won't be consoled, and everything else all at once times 2 or 3. I'm much better at realizing that sometimes "Ok" is enough {please note, I said "better" not perfect...I'm still extremely about things, which is why I don't go to bed until midnight most nights or I'm up at 5am}.

Now, here's the truth. I still have major issues with things not getting done, I still have freak out sessions when I'm trying to calm a screaming kid, put a pacifier in 3 babies' mouths, deal with the dogs, make sure the chickens have food and water, then decide that I really NEED to make some freezer meals for two friends who just had their second baby.

I admit, more than willingly, that I kind of started to feel my blood pressure creep up and ended up yelling at the dogs to shut up, muttering about Matt needing to take care of the chickens, or I'm going to kill them myself {since we don't even get eggs from them anymore!}, and thinking why on earth won't these babies just take a whole bottle and be at peace for a few hours, rather than taking an ounce here, then being ok for 30 minutes only to start fussing again! Oh, and I may or may not have eaten a half of a jar of Nutella for lunch today (and it wasn't the small size).

I admit it, it is sometimes really, really hard, especially when I'm home alone in the evenings and babies are fussing and I'm trying to get Ave in bed, but even then it's nowhere near the darkness I sometimes felt when Ave was a baby and would fuss and cry for hours in the evening. I guess because I know that a baby screaming isn't going to kill anyone, that it's ok if I can't get to that baby RIGHT NOW! It has to be ok.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3.17

So often, when in the thick of it, I forget to remember...that God gave us all four of these children, that it's OK to ask Him for help in whatever ways I need it. I heard a quote a few years ago, "God may not always give us what we want {well-behaved, easy children, clean house, etc etc}, but He will always give us what we NEED"...His Grace. That is all we need. Once I can FORCE myself to remember that I'm able to take a deep breath and move forward.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ~ Matthew 11.28-29
Confession: Sometimes, on a really prideful level I want people to look at me and think "She's supermom! She can do it all!"....I'm working on this one. The times I find myself annoyed and angry about things not being what I think they should be, is when I realize I'm trying to glorify myself, not Him. That is something I struggle with a lot.

What things do you find yourself being equally joyful and frustrated with? What stresses do you find yourself creating in your own life?

Wednesday, February 29

Taking on the Beast that is Shyness

Growing up you wouldn't have pegged me for being shy, just ask anyone who knew me. I was loud, to the point that I probably was obnoxious. At least looking back I think of myself as obnoxious. I listened to loud music, said really weird and crazy things, and said and did things that made me seem tough (but not in the tough-guy sense, just in the sense that nothing people said or did could hurt me).

My philosophy was to make fun of myself and put myself out there before anyone else had the chance to call me on the spot or otherwise draw attention to me. I felt that if it was me doing it I was at least in control.

As an adult I'm really rather the opposite. I'm still very shy, but I now avoid any situation that would draw attention to myself. I'm most comfortable staying at home or with family. I don't feel comfortable meeting new people. I always talk way too much, say things that I end up rethinking, and in general end up feeling like people, for the most part, would rather have not met me.

In spite of this I think I'm going to a Christian blogging conference. Me, who has only met 4 people that I know from online, is going to a blogging conference. Me, who is EXTREMELY quiet, shy, and reserved about her faith is going to a Christian blogging conference. Of course, this comes with it's own set of issues, beginning with transportation and lodging.

On top of being shy...I'm also a bit of a control freak. I have to do things certain ways, like have my own car, have my sound machine at night, etc etc. For me, it's really a lot easier to stay home, but I'm really feeling that I have to go to this conference. I'm not sure how things will be managed on the home front with me gone for 3 days or where the money is going to come from to foot the bill for my lodging and gas, but I think I'm going to go.

Now, I'm asking all of you to pray for whomever, if anyone, I end up carpooling and rooming with. But Allume 2012...HERE I COME! Tickets go on sale March 1st...let me know if you're going!

Monday, February 27

Intentional and Authentic Friendship

Yesterday I bumped into someone I had been best friends with in middle school and some of high school and college. Last time I saw her was on our graduation day, June 2004. A lot of things have changed since then, but my own desire for friendship hasn't.

I find that friendship is one of the things I struggle with the most. I greatly desire to have at least ONE real, meaningful girlfriend-ship. Someone whom I can be myself with, whom I KNOW will be there for me through thick and thin, someone who will let me be the kind of friend to them that I want to have for myself, someone that I can open up to and be vulnerable with.
"And as you wish others would do to you, do so to them" Luke 6:31
I haven't found it yet. I used to think that I just had too high of a standard, that I expected too much of friends. I figured that it was normal to go months without an email {and only then when I initiated}. I mean everyone is so busy in life, it's understandable that people don't have time to keep in touch....right?.....right?
I'm realizing, that in all honesty, most people are so busy with their own lives that they have no time for authentic friendships, friendships that mean something. Facebook make it all too easy to put it all out there without any true meaning behind it. We've become a world of quick-fixes and need-it-nows. We've given up truth and depth.
"Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor" Romans 12:10
Often I feel that I'm being pushy, that by emailing or sending letters, by showing concern I'm bothering people who perhaps aren't interested in having me as a friend. I sit and wonder, "Do I persist in trying to be a friend or let it alone?" I'm very much the friend that Ann writes about, the one putting them self out there.

So as someone who values friendship, I thank each one of you who read and comment, being my friend, sharing the ups and downs of my life with me. Encouraging me. Cheering me.

Thursday, January 5

Discouragement: Satan's most powerful tool

While driving to the NICU yesterday I was really struggling, knowing that very soon there will be at least one baby home: "How on earth am I going to handle having 4 kids {2 and under} by myself, every day, all day? There is no way I can do this!"

We've been having a really rough time with Ave...she is most certainly TWO! The big struggle, I think, comes from the fact that she misses me, on top of that when she's at my ILs they pretty much let her control and dictate everything, I think, because it's easier for them that way (they're not too old or anything, they just want to continue doing what they want to do, rather than be bothered with disciplining the 2 year old when she throws a fit).

Tuesday was tough. Matt was home most of the day and we both were constantly on Ave. She kept getting into things she knows she's not allowed to do, or not listening, throwing fits, and just generally having major meltdowns about little things. Every thing from the past few months of my only being able to do so much, just seems to be coming to a major head with her, and I'm desperately frightened that it's only going to get worse.

Now with the prospect of James, then Henry, and Ellie, coming home just scares the bejeezers out of me. I feel like a failure before I've even started. I feel like I'm the worst mom in the world because I can't even handle one 2 year old, let alone 3 newborns that each need to be fed every 3 hours. I just keep feeling more and more overwhelmed...especially figuring out where I'm supposed to be with newborns at home and in the NICU.

Then this morning on the radio a song came on, by Matthew West, called "Strong Enough":
You must, You must think I’m strong
To give me what I’m going through
Well forgive me, forgive me if I’m wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own

I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up, I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t You cover me?
Lord, right now I’m asking You to be
Strong enough, strong enough
For the both of us

Well maybe, maybe that’s the point
To reach the point of giving up
‘Cause when I’m finally, finally at rock bottom
That’s when I start looking up
And reaching out
The Lord always seems to know just what I need to hear, and when...funny how that works. After that song came another one titled "Do Everything" by Stephen Curtis Chapman:
Your picking up toys on the living room floor for the 15th time today
Matching up socks
Sweeping up lost cheerios that got away

You put a baby on your hip
Color on your lips and head out the door

While I may not know you,
I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes, does it matter at all?

Well let me remind you, it all matters just as long
As you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you,
Cause he made you,
To do
Every little thing that you do
To bring a smile to His face
Tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do
That God is a pretty smart One isn't he?

Satan has been pounding me these past few days, and Matt, we're both just feeling completely and utterly discouraged, both with our ability to handle what lies ahead, as well as our ability to not question our parenting skills.

I know that a lot of you have expressed that if anyone can handle having four kids 2 and under it's me....I certainly hope you're right :-P and I definitely appreciate your faith in me, because I know my faith in me is at an all time low.

So, while I begin to figure out life with a slew of little ones, all with their own demands and needs, while trying to maintain some semblance of sanity and order, I'm trying to not let Satan get to me with his lies and discouragement, and just trust in the Lord to provide for all of us and give us what we need to not only survive, but hopefully thrive in the time ahead.

Monday, November 28

WIR! (Weekend in Review)

~*~Thanksgiving - Thursday, November 24th~*~

We did our usual two household turkey feast. Every year we warn everyone that we're not doing this next year, but we still, somehow, end up doing Thanksgiving dinner twice at both our parents' homes. Fortunately, we kind of do dinner at my parents, then "light" dinner and dessert at Matt's: Kind of spread it around a bit. Although there were 6 pies just at my In-Law's, for 12 people!

There were quite a few things I was VERY thankful for this Thanksgiving: 1) that I was home eating Thanksgiving with family, rather than in the hospital, 2) that my sister was with us, and in such a better place than she was last year (I can't tell you how huge a blessing it is to have her back, even she's thankful she didn't go through with the past year's drama, and is home with family).
Click HERE for more pictures from Thanksgiving.

~*~Friday, November 25th~*~
Very exciting day! It was our 6 year anniversary. I spent the day lounging on the twin bed in the babies' room, while Matt assembled the dresser and 3 cribs. In the afternoon we went up to my parents for dinner and were promptly thrown out at 4pm, because my sister had people coming over to help her with things for my "surprise" shower on Saturday.

We went home, did some things, then my mom called us around 6:00 and invited us back up for dessert and to get Ave. Very suspicious.

~*~Saturday, November 26th~*~
Surprise shower day! Another suspicious thing: Both of our families had people visiting, and usually everyone is calling me to see when we're coming up with one called me all day. I actually got really upset about that, because everyone knew I knew and I really felt left out. I can't remember, but I may have had a good cry about it.

Yes, it was supposed to be a surprise: I was adamant about not wanting a shower and my mom kept asking for lists of things we needed etc and she and Matt's mom slipped a couple of times (they were trying to pull all this off while MIL has been in Syracuse with Matt's grandmother in the hospital).

Needless to say it was a very nice shower, which resulted in a boat load of preemie and newborn boys clothes (more than we need). I also got my reclining/rocker which I've wanted for the room. Fortunately, since my biggest thing with not wanting a shower was people going crazy, no one was insane with their gift giving, but all were very generous.

Click HERE for more pictures from the shower

~*~Sunday, November 27th~*~
Yay! The first day of Advent! In the morning we got up and had breakfast, did a few things around the house, then headed to our favorite tree farm to cut our tree! We got a Douglas Fir this of right now it's up, but there are no lights on it (11/29).

Click HERE for more pictures from getting our tree.

In the afternoon Matt worked some more on things in the babies' room. {On a side note} Our friend R, came over, to help, with sad news: His wife, who was 10.5 weeks pregnant was miscarrying the baby (she went yesterday and they confirmed it had stopped growing at 7.5 weeks). We're beyond heartbroken for them. She was very upset, but had known for a few days that something wasn't right, and wasn't surprised at the news. So I just ask that you keep them in prayer.

It's been beyond crazy busy around here...and I'm really hoping for some good down time this week, because I am getting really tired.

Tuesday, November 22

What is Living Intentionally?

(There is a question at the very end of this post: I am very curious as to your thoughts and opinions on Living Intentionally)

Last Spring I read Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts" and kept track of my own One Thousand Gifts. The premise of the book and keeping a list it is to live fully in the ever day. But I keep hearing this other phrase popping up here and there on different blogs, "Living Intentionally": What does that mean?

I tried googling the phrase and this is what I found: "Done with intention or on purpose; intended" {I always thought it was bad practice to include the word in the definition}. Further on down the list was this post from my friend Trina's blog, which is probably the best thing I'm going to find as to explaining Living Intentionally.

Living a life that is not "fly by the seat of your pants", that is not about just surviving, but that involves directions, motivation, and thriving, seeking to reach or obtain some particular end or goal. So we have a definition, an idea of what this "Living Intentionally" is, but still what is it?

This is what I'm struggling with. I know what they're talking about, I understand the concept, but I am totally lost as to the application. I continued following to this post, which discusses examples of Intentional Living for the author.

Which made me realize: Intentional Living is NOT about a hard and fast set of strictures that one deems necessary to follow, but more of a personal belief system, a mission statement, if you will. A creed which you choose to follow and then not permit other things to distract you from.

Deciding what things in life you will strive for and not permitting all of the other busy work of life to clutter things up and take away from your core values. For some that may be a decision to eat organically, what church/religion they are a part of, family time, where they grocery shop, or any number of both small and major things.

When put that way, the idea of Living Intentionally suddenly becomes a lot less daunting and a lot more realistic. I'm sure most people are Living Intentionally in some ways already, whether they realize it or not, whether it's good or not. The new question is: Is your Intentional Living creating the best and most positive lifestyle? Or are you living a life of Un-Intentional Living, being tossed about constantly?

I think, if we're honest, most of us would admit that we do have elements, if not whole parts, in our lives that are not Intentional, there are certainly seasons when Intentional Living is much more limited. To me, part of Intentional Living assumes an element of constant control over our values and desires, and, unfortunately, this is just not realistic for most things.

While I'm thinking about how to Live Intentionally, I realize that right now there are only a few things in my life that I can be Intentional about: Praying, laundry, preparing food, bathing (myself and Ave), and going to the bathroom...A very impressive list.

This season of my life does not allow for me to be Intentional about anything. Being {almost} 30 weeks pregnant with triplets really limits my ability to Live Intentionally. Right now we're in survival mode and I'm hoping and praying it gets a bit better after the triplets are born (but I'm not holding my breath).

Now that I realize what it means, in my {probably wrong} opinion, to Live Intentionally I feel like I can work toward something (which will most certainly be another post, some other time).

What is Living Intentionally for you? What do you chose to be Intentional about in your own life?

Thursday, November 17

The truth about Fine and being "icky"

The other day Lisa-Jo at posted about the false "Fine" that we all very often give as a blanket comment when asked how we're doing. Then today she posted about being covered in ick. Truth be known......I think she's been reading my mind.

I know I constantly give people the "I'm doing good" or "I'm fine" comment, because, honestly, most people really don't want to hear other people complain and only ask out of some sort of societal expectation of what is "proper". That, and I'm not a complainer...I hate complaining and being a "baby" about things.

Most days I am good. Things go along and we manage to have good days, days in which I feel good, Avelyn is good, we're productive and get things accomplished. Then I have days, when I'm not good, or even fine. Days when I feel like nothing is going right, that there is this constant "ick" around me, and it's just not a good day.

Days like yesterday. When my stomach and back just hurt, when I didn't feel or want to eat anything, when I got nothing done and any time I tried, I just walked on past it and went back to doing nothing, when Ave, quite seriously, watched "Cail.lou" for 4.5 hours because I had nothing in me to give (maybe the Cai.llou overload was what made me feel icky:-P)

I went to bed in prayer and woke in prayer this morning, that I would feel like me, that it wouldn't be another "icky" day, that Ave and I would have some good play time, that I would get some things accomplished {even if it's only folding laundry and starting the boys' quilts}.

Why the "ick" feeling?

I think Monday and Tuesdays doctor appointments and outings took it's toll on me. I think it was more the going to Albany and sitting in the car and walking around (and we only went to the doctor and then to grab something to eat).

I think it's worrying about these babies. Yes, I'm 28 weeks, but no way am I ready for them to be born. Fortunately, I feel great most days (seriously I have very few bad days), but the days I do I worry. I worry about not making it to the hospital if I'm in labor, I worry about them having issues, I worry about NICU time (we live TWO HOURS away from the NICU), I worry about what it's going to be like when they come home, I worry about how Avelyn is going to handle all of these crying, demanding babies.

I think it's the fact that our businesses are REALLY struggling. We're not even sure how much longer we're going to be able to keep the store open. Our staff is dwindling and there is not enough business coming in. Everyone is already spread really thin and with the babies coming, will be even thinner.

I know that none of these things are in my, or anyone else's, hands, but the days when I feel "icky" both physically and mentally, it's hard. It's hard to just let it go to God. It's hard to just sit back and know that whatever it is, it is, because there's not much I can do about it. Most days I do a really good job of not worrying, of knowing that God is in control.

It's hard to watch my dad, mom and Matt, struggling with how to grow a business, all of them knowing that we rely on the success of these two businesses for our livelihood (fortunately, none of us are financially dependent on the store, it's never made enough money for us to have any income from it).

Fortunately, today is not one of those "icky" days. Today I feel physically good (although, don't ask me to bend over and pick something up lol), I mentally feel good, I feel like myself. I got things accomplished. Ave is taking a good nap (which I knew she needed). My belly-brace came; I feel like I can walk around and be productive.

Yea, I very often just gloss over the difficulties of this pregnancy on here, yes, there are difficulties (you should see me try to roll over in bed), but most of the time they're not bad at all. I just remind myself that as hard as this is sometimes, it will be a lot harder once these kids are here...whether driving to the NICU in Albany or juggling 3 newborns and a 2 year old. God will provide though.

Whether the store ends up closing or whatever happens with the businesses God will provide.

I'm just beyond thankful that the "icky" and "I'm fine" days are few and far between.

Thursday, October 6

Not gonna lie....

The further in this pregnancy I get, the more scared I get, the more worried I get, the more anxious I get. The closer we get to viability (1.5 weeks more) the more freaked out I am that I'm going to lose these three precious babies. Every twinge, every pull, every tweak (particularly those I feel in my cervix), every bit of [TMI] wetness in my undies....makes me worried: What if my cervix is opening? What if they're losing fluid? What if they're not growing enough?

I know that a doctor's appt could be perfect and 3 hours later babies can be born unexpectedly and to a not good end. I have been spending so much time in prayer and talking to God about this. I know my worry doesn't help anything, but, of course, I worry that maybe I should be worrying more because the doctors don't seem to be too concerned (messed up, I know).

As Matt put it, "we're so close and yet, so far"...exactly.

When my first beta numbers were coming back I had said to Matt, "I know my body can handle twins....I don't know about triplets....that kind of scares me". I half wonder if it being triplets was God's way of drawing me back to Him, giving me that which scared me, as opposed to that which I felt complacent about. Teaching me to not trust in myself, but in Him.

Thursday, March 17

"I will say of the Lord. He is my refuge and my fortress: In Him will I trust." Psalm 98:2

What a week it has been!

On Tuesday my dad ended up backing in the ER again with the A-Fib. This time it only took them 4 hours to get it under control, and since he's been under surveillance and they've been doing all sorts of tests on him since the last time, they sent him home.

They have absolutely no idea what is wrong with him or why this is happening. He did the sleep test and his sleep apnea is mild to moderate. The average person has 5 episodes of apnea in an hour, he had 7. So they've ruled that out as a major cause of the problem. They can't find anything wrong with his heart, physically, and all his blood work is coming back ok.

Yesterday he was absolutely exhausted and had an appointment with a specialist to try and get his diet and body back on track.

Last night he called to tell talk to me....just to tell me he loves me.

My mom said he wasn't doing any better this morning and was still really exhausted and starting to not feel well. By 1:30 by dad was calling my mom to tell her his pulse was up and his heart was going out of rhythm. They went to the specialist again and she tried for 5-6 hours to get him to relax and get his rate/rhythm down, but nothing was working. Back to the ER he went. This is twice in two days.

This is getting to be so frustrating. I can tell my mom is besides herself with worry and at the end of her rope...she can't even think straight or be coherent most of the time. My dad is literally telling everyone his final goodbyes, because he thinks this is going to kill him. I don't even know what to think or how to respond....I just sort of "am" for lack of a better word.

The specialist did say that she thinks that my dad's heart is very weakened from the A-fibs, because of the severe kidney/bladder infection he had in January as well as a bunch of other things he's had going on. She's thinking that part of the recurrence of the A-fib is because of the weakened state of his heart.

He was freaking my sister out this morning; asking her to forgive him and look after our mom, and how she's going to have to be the one to hold the family together etc etc. He did the same thing tonight to Matt telling him to tell me he loves me and Ave, and take care of everyone etc etc.

All I know is I'm not ready for my father to die...he's 55 for crying out loud.

Saturday, March 5

"The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it." ~James Bryce Part 3

Go here for part 1 and 2 of these posts.

This is the last post in the series of three books that have really stuck with me in the past few weeks. Yesterday I posted a bit of a prelude to this post here. The book I am now going to discuss is "Passionate Housewives Desperate for God" by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald.

First off, I will say that this book must be taken with a grain of salt. Both of the authors are women who truly believe that the wife's place is in the home....period. Which as many of us know (and as I stated in my previous post) isn't always possible, for various reasons.

There are several things that this book addresses: From the extensive "Me" culture that has become the expected norm in our country (and typically doesn't not yield true happiness in anyone), to parents being told they should leave the raising of their children to professionals (and ultimately to the state), as well as the common misconception of the "Stepford wife".

This book is meant for those women who desire to have a profound, biblical, relationship with God, their spouse, and their children. This book is about finding yourself and ultimately contentment in your roles in those three relationships. What I loved about this book was how it brought to my eyes the importance of my role as a stay at home wife/mother, it showed me how to rely on my husband and my God.

It is not about settling and accepting my position, grudgingly, it's about reveling in it and taking it to the next level. Is it always easy? No, it never is, but it is so worth it. Not only are we doing what needs to be done, but we begin to love the doing because of the change in heart. And during the course of all of that we are not putting aside our talents and interests, but using them to God's glory as opposed to increasing our own, often selfish, glory.

The book discusses submission to one's husband, which most EVERYONE chafes at. That's because most people don't understand what is meant by that and ultimately go about it in the wrong way. Submission is not about being a door mat it's about conceding responsibility, it's about EVERYONE putting the needs of others' before their own. If EVERYONE is doing that then we are even more blessed, because NO ONE is selfish and EVERYONE is looking to make the lives of others EASIER! There is no ulterior motives or enslavement.

The "Stepford wife" and June Cleavers were created to trivialize and destroy the true image of the homemaker, sadly by the very liberal feminists that believed that women should not be in the home, and should have no such choice of such an "illegitimate profession", as said by Vivian Gornick. Being a "housewife" is not about maintaining an immaculate home that is decorated in the finest of everything, it is so much more. The ideals of June Cleaver and the "Stepford wife" make any woman feel that they are unfit to do the job.

There is so much more in this book that I am not even touching on, and not even conveying perfectly. This book truly opened my eyes to the importance of my roles as a wife and mother. For any woman who wants a more profound biblical life (regardless of being a wife or mother) this book has so much in it about how to achieve that; how to be a loving, hospitable, compassionate caregiver.

Again, I do add that some parts be taken with a grain of salt, unless you are willing and your heart is open to a literal understanding of a woman's role as the Bible explains it. Also, I am not calling out anyone's decisions for their own lives and families or saying that one way is right and another wrong. I am only saying that if you are willing this book will open your eyes.

Friday, March 4

"A beautiful woman is a practical poet, taming her savage mate, planting tenderness, hope and eloquence in all whom she approaches." ~

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I've been a bit hesitant to post about the third book that I had previously mentioned. Namely because I know it's going to get more than few people's goats; which is not at all my intention in posting about it.

Instead, I'm going to post something that I wrote in my freshman composition class in college.

(Disclaimer to this and my coming post: I am in no way against the professional woman, even as a now SAHM I am still a "professional woman" because I own my own business. Unfortunately in this world today, due to financial (and for some infertility) reasons women are unable to not work.)

The Plight of the “Old-Fashioned” Girl

By Jessica M. Beckmann

Some older women (i.e. my mother and grandmother’s generation) find me to be a refreshing voice, clamoring above the din of the lost and, often, confused “feminists” of my generation; those of my own generation find me as invigorating as a glass of warm beer that has lost most of its fizz. I suppose the difference of opinion about me can be blamed, if it must be blamed on something, on the books I read growing up: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, and other such seemingly “un-feminist” writers.

Lately, I seem to continually be getting slammed by the door of expectations: societies, not mine. Growing up I had always thought of myself as a feminist: I refused to ask a male for help and in fact thought the majority of males to be a slobbering, blundering bunch of idiots. Now I am on the opposite end of the spectrum. I still refuse to ask for assistance, but see no problem in a man holding a door or pulling out the chair for me before I sit down.

The problem seems to be more deeply rooted than just politeness and social formalities. People, or my female peers rather, find it odd that I have no desire to live with my boyfriend before married and that I do desire to get married and have children while still relatively young (before thirty). Many think that that is “unnatural” that a woman in today’s day and age would want to settle down to the permanency of marriage and children so soon. I say why not.

I suppose my beliefs can be seen as somewhat “old-fashioned” and how that can be something negative in today’s race for equality with men. I have no doubt in my mind that men and women are equal in almost every aspect; we are just as intelligent, just as capable, and just as qualified to perform most tasks as men are: In some case we are genuinely more qualified. There are also ways in which a woman is a “cut above” a man and wearing a business suit will not accomplish it.

There are two ways in which women are far superior to the frailty of the male race: birthing and wifehood. No man can accomplish either of these two tasks, no man is capable of withstanding the “trials and tribulations” associated with these two profession, for professions they are. Yes, men do play a rather large part in both these fields, but it is the woman who holds the power. Do you honestly think the ancient kings would have willing given any thought, let alone power, to women if the did not need them to proliferate their line? A man is entirely incapable of physically having a child just as he is unable to be a wife in a marriage. To me I see no detriment in aspiring to these two professions; I see great honor, and respect, in holding these positions.

People my own age have a severe problem with my goals in life. They find it odd: They do not understand why someone who has a BS in English wants nothing more from life than to be a wife and a mother; To stay home and teach her own children and support her husband. If you had asked me five years ago what I wanted to do in life I would have said that I wanted to work for National Geographic Magazine as a photojournalist, now the answer is that I want to write. I gave up on saying I want to get married and have children; too many looks of disapproval.

Many people just assume that I do not have any career goals because I want to do something out of the expected: How wrong they are! Among being a wife and mother I have many other “career” goals: I want to be a writer, be published, and I want to be an “intellect”. Learning and writing are two of my greatest passions; I find no greater pleasure, yet, than collecting my thoughts and scrawling them out on paper or reading the words that others have put down and learning about them, and myself, from their ink. Just because I have no desire to become involved in the everyday rat race and chase after professional titles, does not mean I have no career goals.

The ironic thing, to me, is the ideals held by feminists. They believe themselves to be equals to males and find it debasing that I would willingly sub-plant myself to a man. The more I look at it, most of the women I know, who consider themselves “feminists”, rely more on men than I do. Simple things, such as construction, home repair, checking the oil in a car, these women are dependant on men for. In the ways of self-reliance I am more a feminist than most. I am able to take care of many “manly” things myself. I do not need to call someone to install flooring in my home or take my car to the shop for simple things, I can do both myself; which is more than I can say for most females.

While society is shaming me for my desire to be an “old-fashioned” girl I have become increasingly more proud of whom I am. I no longer struggle with feeling guilty when someone looks at me crooked when I say I want to be married and have children before I am twenty-five. I know that there is just as much pride in what I think is a successful “career” as the women on Wall Street.

When a peer finds it odd that I do not believe in living with my future husband before married and that I desire children soon, I no longer feel ashamed. I know that for hundreds of years before me women knew that they were equal to men, and far superior, because of their “womanly” persona.

Feminism: Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes

Thursday, February 17

The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. ~James Bryce Part 2

Go here for Part 1 of these posts :-)

The other two books that I've read, that have really stuck with me are definitely Christian books. I finished "When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling": If you're a Christian and are even remotely considering homeschooling your kids....READ THIS BOOK!

What I loved about this book is that it gave you all of the biblical back up as to why, as a Christian, home schooling is for you. Just read Deuteronomy 6, particularly these verses 4-9:
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.a]">[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
The one thing that I really appreciated the book for was putting into perspective what people will say against homeschooling as well as what people want for their children. Many, many people will tell you that you're not capable of educating your child(ren), that you should leave it up to the professionals. Biblically speaking it is the God-given responsibility of the parents to educate their children, in life as well as in God.

A question was asked, throughout the book: What do you want for your children? What do you consider to be success? Is it that your child has a good paying job and is considered a "success" by societies standards? Or is it more important to you that your child has a REAL and LASTING relationship with Christ? Because, with that they will find true success in life.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

As a parent, who I know is going to hit a lot of resistance from people about homeschooling (Matt's family and my brother), the last chapter really helped me. It took almost every single negative perception people have about homeschooling and told you why and how to respond to them, supporting each them with the biblical proofs for homeschooling.

I found this book to be extremely enlightening, particularly considering the current political environment that is against private schools (whether home schools, religious schools, or other private institutions). It also addresses the claims that public schools are neutral: That there is no religious, social, or political agenda.

There is no such thing as education without SOME sort of morality or agenda being transferred to the pupil. It is impossible to teach (unless it is mathematics, which is really the only absolute in academia) without skewing what is being taught to support or refute an idea or personal opinion.

I just found this book to be fascinating because of all the information it had in it, about homeschooling, about education, about the Bible, as well as about what do we, as parents, truly want for our children!

Honestly, I would rather raise a child who loves the Lord with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their might, than someone who is striving for financial or social success and never really succeeding at finding peace with themselves or with God.

And yes, the author even address what you're thinking right now: Education is important, a man being able to support his family through a successful job is important, a woman being able to raise her children in the Lord and respecting those around the is important. Success can be had without God, but it isn't the ultimate success that is worth more than all the wealth in the world.

Saturday, December 25

Merry Christmas to All!

From our home to your's
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:14