Monday, October 17, 2011


I am three weeks into school and I have survived. It was a rough transition. I don't always handle change well. It was hard leaving Sophie several days a week, even if only for a few hours. It was hard adjusting to having homework and using my brain again, and it was hard finding the motivation to just plain be in school. But I have survived the first few weeks, I am motivated and have also found it refreshing to have more of schedule and routine each week.

I appreciate my days with Sophie more now that I have to leave her a few times a week. Sophie is at such a fun age. She is about two seconds away from crawling and she manages to roll all over the living room if we let her. She is always smiling and laughing and talking. She grabs at everything and wants to taste anything we give her. She sure is feisty though. She gets upset when she can do what she wants and will yell out her frustration. The poor girl wants to crawl so badly, I am bracing myself for when she does because she is going to be a mover.

I am taking a sewing class next week that I am very excited about! Learning to sew feels like a fun and exciting skill to have. I like to create things! I also like to be practical, sewing is both of these things!

I know its not even November yet, but I am getting excited for the holidays! Fall came so fast! Sophie is going to be 5 months this week. Time sure does fly!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meal Plan

So, one of my goals is to have a dinner plan each night. I am bad at this and I really don't like it. But I am going to attempt a meal plan this week. Its somewhat vague at this point because I didn't go grocery shopping but this is it. If I post it here I am thinking I might remember what my plan was because I know where to look for it. And maybe it will give you some ideas, I love getting meal ideas from blogs I read.


Tilapia and squash


Spaghetti (need to go to the store for pasta)


Chicken in the crockpot with rice


Chicken Nugget Salads and something else...


Cheesy Chili Mac (need to go to the store)


Free day---Mark and I will figure something together


A crockpot meal to have after church and then just something easy for dinner.

OK, hopefully I can stick to this. Did I say how bad I am at sticking to a plan?

P.S. if you are subscribed to my blog and were thinking you would get more interesting posts--not my goals and meal plans--I am sorry :-( Feel free to unsubscribe however these will only be one day a week (if I even keep up with it)


I got this great idea of writing down some goals for each week from another blogger. I did it last week and I actually got a lot more accomplished. I thought I would put my goals on here this week for a little more accountability. Here they are:

Sophie Goals:

Read Sophie at least one book each day
Work on getting her to take all naps in her bed

School Goals:

Read my first chapter for business law (who gives homework before school starts anyways)
Spend a few hours this weekend studying (no sense getting behind the first week of school)

Personal Goals:

Read my bible each day
Stay calm and not stressed
Be in bed by 10 each night and going to sleep by 11
drink more water ( I am drinking hardly any which is really not good and I can tell by the way I feel)

House Goals:

Have a PLAN for dinner each night
Spend time every morning picking up and keeping things clean

Wife Goals:

Work on being in a better mood (even though I am tired my crabbiness wears on Mark)
Be active in finding fun things to do together so we have good time together during the week

Ok, so that may seem like a lot but some of these I have been working on for a few weeks. So I will let you know how it goes next Monday and will make new goals. Maybe you should write down your goals too.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What we have been up to...

Every day around here starts out the same. Somewhere between the hours of 7 and 9 am I here little noises coming from Sophie's room. I assume i get out of bed at this time and shuffle in to retreive her, however I rarely remember doing this. I climb back into bed with Sophie cuddled up next to me, I feed her and we both fall back asleep. Sometime shortly after that we are rudely awakened by marks alarm and we all begin to wake up within the following two hours. And somehow we all manage to get up change diapers, make smoothies, brush teeth and put on some form of clothes that aren't pjs and get out the door in about 20 mins. I drop mark off at work 2-3 days a week so Sophie and I can have a car for the day. Then Sophie and I come home and I make breakfast while she plays happily on her playmat. Misty whines at me the whole time. I often brew a pot of decaf coffee that I never drink because after i eat breakfast and check my Facebook, Sophie is ready to eat or do something other than her playmat. I then don't return to my coffee until approximately 1:00. And then our day is off...

The rest of our day has been filled with lots of things, here are some ideas of what the potter family has been up too...

We have happily welcomed fall and football season with our windows wide open, pizza, and football on Saturday's.

Sophie and I have had many playdates with friends and their kids although it is much more of a play date for me and Sophie just tags along.

We have gone to the Dr, what feels like a zillion times for different infections, screaming and not eating baby and a diaper rash that never goes a way.

We have done a ton of laundry because Sophie has an awesome talent of peeing and pooping on everything.

I now feel like an official mom now that i cut all my hair off, even though I said i would never do that. But really, there just isn't time in this crazy life to deal with massive quantity of long hair.

While I cut my hair off Mark is growing is hair back out from his buzz cut, this makes me happy.

We spend countless hours laughing at Sophie because even at 4 months she is one funny little girl.

We may have finally found a small group at church that we like. It is chuck full of kids and crazy parents. Way fun.

We are trying to get healthy together. One step at a time. Right now we are focusing on drinking more water, I think we are both bad at it.

We are in a stage of life where we are trying to enjoy every little thing we have even though there are some things we would change but can't. We are trying to figure out what our life with God looks like. It seems like our whole life got thrown in the air and we are catching each piece one at a time and figuring out how it fits. It's a crazy beautiful kind of thing.

Right now we are cuddled up on the couch watching football while Sophie sleeps in her crib. All is right in the world.

Friday, September 9, 2011 seasons

I always love fall. Im not sure what it is because I love things about every seasons but fall seems to be especially exciting. Everything seems new in fall. New school year, new activities, new routine, etc. Fall is also very nostalgic. I don't know why this is but it always brings memories flowing in like crazy.

When a new season starts I am always reminded that no matter how hard or uncomfortable a season of life is a new one always comes. Life is full of good seasons and bad seasons and I love that fall always reminds me that a new season ALWAYS comes. So when you are in the midst of bad one, hold onto the hope that there is always a new day, new grace from God and a new season in life yet to come. And when you are in a really awesome season, enjoy every moment to its fullest because chances are at some point things won't be so awesome.

Having a baby has showed me how incredibly fleeting our days are. They come and go so fast. I am on a mission to enjoy each and every moment, good and bad. :-)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Being real...

When I first had Sophia I was seriously under the impression that most people loved nursing. I knew that people struggled with it but I still thought that maybe the first few weeks could be rough but then it was easy and enjoyable. After a month of non-stop nursing troubles I can remember saying to Mark in tears, "why does everyone else love nursing, while I hate it?" He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "they are all lying." Now I don't think everyone is lying but what I did learn was that people don't talk very openly. I felt so isolated in the struggles but as soon as I decided to talk about it, everyone else started sharing their struggles too. Everyone else started talking about how they didn't enjoy it all the time either. It was so much easier to know that I wasn't alone.

I am so much more the type of person to be open and talk about all that is hard, tough or embarrassing then to pretend things are fine and feel alone. In relationships I have found that to be the hardest thing. Sometimes I think I am too open for people and they don't want to know that much about me. Other times I'm not open enough and the friendship remains at a "surfacey" level. I often wonder why are we trying to act like we have it all together? I do it too, so no shame. What are we afraid of, really? What satisfaction does it bring to pretend and act like everything is fine even though we know it isn't and in all reality everyone else probably knows it too.

Mark and I have a passion for family and marriage. And as we have tried to figure out where we are going to take that passion we have talked about how important it is to get people to open up, ourselves included. It's healthy, it's healing and sometimes its even fun!

Let's all quit acting like we have it all together. Let's face it, WE DON'T. No need to pretend, everyone already knows anyways. Open up and feel the freedom in being REAL. You could even do a little dance because that's what being free makes you want to do. Tell someone today that you aren't as perfect as you would like people to think. JUST DO IT, I dare you! :-)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Being a mommy..

Being a mommy is great! Being a mommy is also very time consuming. I always am thinking of things I want to write on here but I never have the time. There are many other things on the list before blogging, such as cleaning, laundry, loving my husband, cooking dinner, playing with Sophie, spending time with God etc., (soon I will have to add school to the list! YIKES!). But its all worth it because Sophia is perfect in every way :-) I love her.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sophia Annitza Potter

Our beautiful little girl was born three weeks ago on May 20th at 7:07am. I want to write the birth story because it was an amazing experience and while I was pregnant I loved reading people's birth stories so I thought I should share mine and Sophia's.

I had bein bon bed rest with Sophi since week 29 with preterm labor and as scary and as not fun as that was I do think it helped my body to prepare for labor before hand a little more than normal. By 36 weeks when I got off bed rest I was almost 100 percent effaced and 1 cm dilated. Mark and I began walking 2-3 miles a day to help get me back in shape and help my body to prepare even more for labor. I knew I wanted to go natural and have no drugs if at all possible, so I also wanted to be in the best shape possible because I knew it would be a lot of physical work. By 38 weeks I was over 2 cm dilated and having really hard contractions once or twice a day and while we walked. My doctor kept telling me that the baby could come any day but we kept waiting...and walking. At exactly 39 weeks I had my membranes stripped at my dr. appointment. This was the Wednesday before she was born. I had a ton of cramping and contractions for the 24 hours following this and felt pretty sick in general. Thursday morning I lost my mucus plug and could tell that things were changing but still I had no idea if that meant she would be here in two days or ten. Thursday night we went to my in-laws house to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday. We also went on one last walk before ending the night. Mark and I went to bed at 11pm andi slept a solid three hours ( which hadn't happened in months because of my over active bladder).

I woke up at 2 am Friday morning and knew immediately that our baby was coming. I hadn't yet had a contraction so I have no idea how I knew this, but something felt different. I walked around for 15 minutes just to see what would happen and I immediately started having contractions that were five minutes apart lasting about 45 seconds. They were very different than anything I had felt up to that point and they hurt! I knew it was time. I woke Mark up and we slowly got things together and decided to just go ahead and go to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital at about 3:15am and at that point the contractions were 3 to 4 minutes apart. At this point things become a little foggy for me because the pain was getting pretty bad. They put me in triage and asked a million questions that I barely remember. All I remember is focusing on each contraction and being thankful the break in between. When she checked me she said I was dilated to 4 cm. and fully effaced. She then said, "So, you will be staying to have your baby." Even though at that point I was pretty sure that would be the case I still remember feeling so excited at that moment and with my fist in the air, I was thinking FINALLY! But that excitement came in went in about 30 seconds as another contraction settled in and I realized that meant I was in for the long haul. The moved me into labor and delivery and Mark and I settled in for what I thought would be at least 6-8 hours.

The contractions were very intense at this point and I think I told Mark multiple times, "I CANNOT do this." I kept thinking there is no way. The contractions were only about 2 minutes apart and were lasting almost a minute so the break in between felt like nothing. At this point Mark started praying me through each contraction and coaching me on breathing. These two things together were what got me through. I leaned on God for strength and Mark held my hand and talked me through each one. I have never felt anything quite like labor contractions. I knew I had to focus on working with my body and not against it and that's what I did one contractions at a time. I was making it slowly but surely but then all of the sudden things changed. I had a ton of pressure and was in even more pain. I had Mark call our nurse and she came and checked me and I was at 7 cm, with a bulging bag of waters! I couldn't believe it. She immediately went to call my Dr. and tell her to hurry over. She said that if my water broke I would be ready to push. Knowing that I had progressed so fast gave me strength to keep going. It was 6am at this point, only four hours since I had woken up at home.

At 6:30 I knew I couldn't wait any longer, I had to push, but my Dr. wasn't there yet. I kept asking if she was here and saying that I needed to push, so my nurse called the resident OB to stand by just in case my Dr. didn't make it. I really, really wanted my Dr. to deliver my baby so we were so relieved when minutes later, in walked Dr. Sloop at 6:30am. She was still in her street clothes and decided that she didn't have time to change. They never broke my bed down to a delivery table, she just sat on the edge and broke my water and then coached me through pushing. It was so hard but I was so thankful at the same time that I could feel everything. At 7:07 our baby was born. It felt like an eternity as I looked from my Dr. to Mark waiting to find out if it was a boy or a girl. It was a girl, I was shocked. I thought for sure it was a boy but I was so excited.

She was 6lbs 10oz. and 21 inches long. So tiny! Which I'm sure had to do with my crazy 5 hour delivery. I never expected it to be so short! I am so thankful I was able to go without any drugs, although I have no idea if I would have made it had the delivery been a lot longer. I felt amazing afterwards. First I wanted breakfast and then I wanted to walk to our room in the family unit but they wouldn't let me.

It was all an amazing experience that I will never forget. I couldn't have done it without Mark, he was awesome and coached me through every step of the way. I am so thankful for our little Sophia.

The next post I will talk a little more about what it has been like since we came home.

**Sorry if this is more descriptive than some would have liked. I just really wanted the whole story there for those who, like me, like all the details**

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Well, we made it full term. In fact, I am almost 38 weeks. I am so thankful that we didn't deliver a preemie baby and am thankful that I had a Dr. who took very good care of my baby and I. The Dr. keeps saying I could have the baby any day. My body is ready to go. I am 100 percent effaced and 2cm dilated. The house is clean, the baby room is ready. Mark and I are so excited. But we wait. Which is good. I know the longer the baby stays in the better and I also know that we can't do anything to make the baby come early. I am okay waiting, however that doesn't make the excitement and apprehension any less. Its hard to keep myself busy day after day. This is what the last two weeks have looked like...

-We have been walking A LOT. Several miles a day for multiple reasons: 1.) Its good exercise and I needed after 8 weeks of bed rest. 2.) It helps get the baby in a good birthing position and can help move your body towards labor, if your body is ready. 3.) Its fun! We have gone to Eden Park, Downtown by the river, Wyoming, our neighborhood lots, Harbin Park and the mall (when it rains). Its really good time together and we like as well as our dog. 4.) The Dr. said to walk :-)
-We have gotten a ton of work done in our yard that we didn't think we would have time to do. It looks the most cleaned up and pretty that it has looked since we moved in. I am really excited about this.
-We have gotten lots of good times with friends. And I have spent many afternoons with friends that I don't always get to see.
-I have organized closets and done lots of deep cleaning that has been on my list for a year or more.
-I actually have a tan because I am able to sit outside and read.
-We have spent many quiet evenings sitting on our porch and listening to it rain or enjoying a sunset.
-And then we have spent most of our time talking, day dreaming, being excited, anxious and every other emotion about our baby. We have talked about what we think it will look like, had countless discussions on names, and have talked about what we think it will be like to be parents. Its all so exciting!

So as the days seem to drag and I get more and more excited there is still a lot to enjoy and be thankful for as we wait. I have been trying to find contentment and joy in the wait. And most of the time I am pretty successful. But every night when I go to bed I have to prep myself for another day ahead. Figure out what I will do and make sure my attitude is in check so I don't get too anxious or frustrated or bored. I think I have been in what could be called early labor or prodromal labor. I have been having a lot of inconsistent yet strong and painful contractions for almost a week now. This can be very tiring and wearing. Not to mention every time wondering if this will turn into real labor. However, my body is making progress which means less work at the actual time of labor.

Maybe next time you hear from us it will be to tell you about our little baby :-)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Since bed rest is quickly coming to an end I thought I would make a list of all the good things that happened in the past 7 weeks and what I am thankful for!

1.) My iPad! Mark got up at 5:30 am in order to wait in line for two hours to get me this wonderful little machine. I did not by any means need it, nor did I even ask for it but he wanted to get it for me to bed rest easier and more fun. I love this thing and am very thankful for it.
2.) countless mornings of sleeping in with Mark. I normally am the type to fly out of bed the minute I wake up, but with nothing to do each day I stayed in bed most days until Mark got up. I have really enjoyed this.
3.) Learning to let things not get done. I usually am a freak about cleaning the house, especially the kitchen. I can't stand the mess and stress about it until I am able to clean. Well seven weeks of not being able to clean taught me that mess is ok. This was a much needed lesson.
4.) Misty. My dog has been such a good companion every day. She cuddled lots with me and just made me feel not quite so alone all the time.
5.) My sisters emails. Through the hardest part of bed rest Katie was able to send me emails each day, which gave me something to look forward to and again took away a little of the loneliness that came with being at home all day everyday.
6.) The three visits from my family. It was so good to have them here and we needed the help. It broke up bed rest and was fun to spend lots of time with them.
7.) being the least stressed out I have been in years. God really used this time to teach me to slow down and just be still. I feel at peace and not worried about anything. For those of you that know me well, this is nothing short of amazing.
8.) Being able to just enjoy time with Mark. We have watched movie and tv, gone on rides and spent lots of time laughing together.
9.) All our family and friends who brought us meals and did our dishes. Such simple things but they made the days so much easier. We are so thankful to have so many great people in our lives.
10.) That our little baby made it to 35 weeks (at least). I am si excited to meet our little one and so in love and thankful for him or her already.
11.) Mostly though I am thankful for Mark because I never would have made it without him. He has been amazing this whole time. He worked more than full time some weeks, took care of the house, fed us, and took care of me all with a smile. He made me laugh evryday and smile. I am so lucky to have him and he is going to be an awesome father. He is so selfless and loving, I have much to learn to from him.
12.) I sm thankful that we have a God who knew the life of our little baby and who was in control the whole time. I am thankful that. Could trust him, and that we could find peace each day in his love. Thank you God for always taking care of us and always knowing what is best.

Please excuse the typos. iPad likes to autocorrect and often it is wrong.

I am not completely off bed rest. I still have to lay down when I have contractions and be careful how much I do but the worst is over and for sure in two weeks I will be able to do whatever I want to make this baby come out.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Unfortunately I don't have a lot to write about. When you do nothing all day for weeks it becomes really hard to think of things to write about or talk about. On the flip side writing and talking are both things I feel like doing. Makes quite the problem. Another thing that is becoming hard is I really want to cook. I really like cooking and even before bed rest my schedule just wasn't allowing ample time to do anything other than the most basic of cooking and now I can't cook at all. I really like trying new recipes, making whole, real food and using in season food. I have only just brushed the surface of trying to eat real food and buying locally and such. Time and money become quite the stumbling blocks for me. It can also be hard because mark and I differ a lot on how many and what kinds of vegetables we like. So I would really like to be able to get back into and start working to eat really healthy again. Sadly, I have no idea when that will happen. I will get off bed rest just in time to have a new born. But I am hopeful that I will be able to start doing what I love again. If anyone has any good easy recipes they want to share, that would be great.

I guess that's all I have to say...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bed rest

I am coming up on three full weeks of bed rest. Thankfully have only spent 72 hours on complete "lay down in bed" bed rest. On good days I am allowed to "putts" around the house in very small amounts and on bad days I lay down or recline only getting up to use the bathroom. I have been able to get out a few times a take really small trips to the store or a short car ride to get fresh air. I have been able to go out to dinner 3 times, so all that to say that I am thankful that I have not been completely confined to my house or bed.

Bed rest has been harder than I could ever have imagined and such a whirl wind of emotions. It started three weeks ago Friday when something just did't feel right. I knew I had a bladder infection and it was getting worse but I also just knew something wasn't right so I called my dr. And she wanted to see me right away. I felt like everything would be fine but in the back of my head all I could think was i am going to get sent to the hospital or put on bed rest. Our bodies know when something isn't right even if we feel no physical effects. My dr. Did an ultrasound and I was contracting with funneling and had a shortening cervix. She put me on medicine for the bladder infection which was most likely causing this as well as meds for the contractions. She took me off work and school for the week and sent me home with specific instructions. All she said was we can't have this baby coming at 28.5 weeks. I left and drove to kroger as I tried to understand everything that was going on.

I called mark while I waited on my prescriptions and broke down in the middle of kroger. All I could think was "this baby cannot come now." I think for both mark and I, it was one of the scariest moments in our lives. We knew that if the baby came in the next few days it had a chance of not living or of having long term disabilities. At this point I didn't care that I just got confined to my house for an indefinite period of time. All I cared about was that our baby would live and be healthy. But i was terrified. It was so shocking to go from a healthy pregnancy to this in matter of hours.

There is no way anyone can understand all the emotional strain of bed rest for both the pregnant one and the husband until you have been there. It is so easy to say and think how nice it would be to do nothing for weeks. But what people don't think about is that first and foremost you are on bed rest because your baby is at risk and in danger. At first it has nothing to do with not doing anything you are fully concerned each day with what will happen if this baby comes. Second, it is no fun to be forced to do nothing. Sure you can read books, watch tv, sleep, write anything. But your body gets tired and weak. You are sore from not being able to move much. You are lonely and the days are long. It is hard, harder than i would have ever thought. Then there is the terrible part of worrying every minute about what your body is doing. Is your baby okay? If something happens who will be here to help? What if I don't know I am going into labor until it is too late?

And then watching mark work 50 hour weeks, cook, clean, do laundry and crash at the end of the day is so hard. He is doing so much right now and I can't help. He is amazing and has laughed and smiled through it all even though he is dealing with so many of the same emotions me yet he has been so strong and steadfast. I am so thankful for him.

Bed rest is hard and challenging yet there has been so much oppurtunity to trust god and find all my peace in him. It has helped me to calm down and quit being a clean freak and to quit stressing about everything that needs to be done. I have had no choice but to be quiet and still and do what I can to be positive. This may prepare us more for parenthood than any extra money in the bank or a clean baby ready house ever could. Every day my only purpose is to do what I can to keep my baby inside me. I have given up work, school, fun and many other things for my baby. Isn't this the basis of parenthood?

We have been so thankful for family and friends who have brought us meals, cleaned our kitchen and just been there for us. For the first time in our married life we feel completely surrounded by people who love us and care for and we are so thankful. God is good and he is in control and every moment will be worth it when our little bean as safe at home in our arms.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Micro-church..aka House Church

I came home from my classes today feeling fairly under the weather. Not terrible by any means but headache, stuffy nose, etc. I took a long nap and now I have a cup of tea and thought that I would enjoy spending some time writing on my blog. I decided to tell you guys about a new adventure that might be on our family's horizon.

We have been going to Vineyard Community Church, here in Cincinnati for just a few months. Its a large church, I think 8,000 people but is doing some amazing things in the community around them. That's is why we love it there. They are actively reaching out. One of the other things that really got us stuck on their vision is that they aren't trying to bring people into their doors but instead are actively figuring out ways they can TAKE Jesus to the people of Cincinnati. So a couple things they are doing in the next few months are starting two new campuses, Uptown and Middletown and also starting 10 micro-churches (also known as house churches). Let me just step to the side for a minute and say that the coolest thing about this whole process is that they felt God calling them to do it and so they are "Praying, and Going". They took the steps and are just doing it without having any idea how it will all happen. I love it! They didn't make a 50 step plan in order to make sure they had enough money, people, resources etc. But they just said God is calling us lets pray and do it!

When Mark and I moved to Cincinnati we had a vision of what we wanted and felt church should be in our lives. It was all of the Acts 2 principles. Meeting together, eating together, teaching, prayer, fellowship, giving to one another etc. We wanted something on Sundays that was more than just sitting and listening, we wanted to do life with people. And we wanted that to be our church. We also really valued the idea of meeting in homes. We know a lot of people who would come to church if it was in a home with food. So anyways, God really started this journey in us of seeking him on church and what direction we should go. The first Sunday we went to Vineyard they talked about the micro-churches they were going to start. And the things they wanted them to be matched exactly our list of what we desired church to be. So we went to the meetings, we prayed and we turned in a little application/get-to-know-us/why do you want to do a micro-church and then left it up to God. Well there were 40 people who did what we did and the leaders said they were going to pray over them and get back to us. Well, they feel like we have the gifts and skills to lead a micro-church and have told us they would like to move forward with us. They have never met us, so I feel so very confident that God is all over this we felt pretty confidentially that this is the type of thing God had been calling us to do. Isn't it so cool how God works everything out?

So we will be meeting with them soon and making sure it will work and that our visions all line up but we are super excited. We will watch a video message from the Vineyard each week, and we will still be under their leadership in every way. But we will meet in homes and have a very missonal/outreach focus. At this point we are leaning towards young marrieds and couples as our focus but we don't really want to exclude people so we have to work that out still.

So its lots of excitement and also a little apprehensiveness. I keep thinking what if no one comes? Or can we really have church in our home!? But it is really exciting. So you can pray about the journey ahead and what God will do with it but we are super excited to see whats next. Here is Vineyards vision for their church--I love it so I wanted to share it!!

The Vision
Imagine a ragtag collection of surrendered and transformed people who love
God and others. They are mesmerized by the idea that this is not about them,
But all about Jesus. They are transfixed by His story and His heart for their city.
They are seedthrowers and firestarters, hope peddlers, and grace-givers,
Risktakers and dreamers, young and old. They link arms with anyone who tells
the story of Jesus. They empower the poor, strengthen the weak, embrace the
outcast, seek the lost. They serve together, play together, worship together, live
life together. Their city will change because God sent them.
They are us.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lessons learned

So as I venture into 22 weeks of pregnancy, I am finding one lesson has come up again and again. This is not the first time in my life that this lesson has sprung into my life. It is though, the first time I have seen the difference and desperately wanted to be different.

It has to do with being positive, content and thankful in every situation. During pregnancy there is so much excitement but there is also a lot that doesn't feel awesome. A lot of things that you could dwell on and complain about. And then when you begin to think about what life will be like when the baby comes it is easy to think of things to dread, be sarcastic about and even afraid of. I had decided at the beginning of pregnancy that I really wanted to be really positive about the whole thing--I mean I have a miracle of a child GROWING inside of me. How can that be bad? Yes there are hard days, but I wanted the miracle of it all to trump any negative emotions or need to complain.

I haven't been perfect and I have had a lot of bad days of being caught up in how I feel and not about why i feel that way. But what has been the hardest is the massive amount of negative and sarcastic comments from every one who was ever a mom. If they don't have something great to say about pregnancy they definitely have their two cents on being a mom of a new born. Now believe me I get the reality of having a child as much as I can right now. I know it will be hard, sleepless and stressful. But it is a child and I REFUSE to spend my life dwelling on all the bad. And one thing I really want to be is an ENCOURAGEMENT to new moms. I do not want to point out everything that is awful about being a parent.

Here are some of things I have been told about pregnancy and parenting. These have all been told with laughs and sarcasm but I will say that they have not once encouraged me. If these things I am going to list are all that I have to look forward to I never would have gotten pregnant....

You will never eat a hot meal again
You will be exhausted all of the time and never sleep
You will never celebrate a birthday again--its all about the kids from here on out
You won't have any money because kids are so expensive (news flash--we got the "no money" thing down)
By the end of pregnancy you will be huge and miserable
And the list goes on...

So, definitely not encouraging to someone who is so looking forward to one of the most exciting seasons of life. Why do so many moms feel this way? Will I join the crowd after 18 years of parenting? Let try to change. Lets not scare moms when they are already entering into one of the most unknown seasons of their life. There is a fine line between preparing a friend for being a parent and just being negative. How about talking about the joy of feeling your baby moving inside of you for the first time--instead of how hard it is to sleep when the baby is ALWAYS kicking. Or how about the fact that your baby literally was the size of a bean 15 weeks ago and now weighs a pound and it all happened inside of you---instead of how big and disgusting you will feel! I want to be real, and I want to be honest with people but at the same time encouraging and loving.

The bible says to think upon whatever is noble, pure and noteworthy.

I told Mark the other day that if everything that has been said up until this point is completely true than I might as well resign to a tired, hungry, poor and miserable life. And go ahead and change my name from Jenny to "babys mom" because I will no longer have any life or identity outside of that.

I want to love my child and be the best mom I can and with the help of my amazing husband I am sure we will do just that. I am also sure we won't sleep a lot, I will eat some cold meals, and I will become much less self-focused and much more others focused. But I am doing all of this because of the precious life growing inside me NOT because I signed up for a horrible, terrible life of parenting!

*****I write all of this, not to act as though I am better and never do any of the above things. One of the reason this stuff bothers me so much is because I often find myself caught in the trap of only talking about the negative things in life. I want so badly to change and want to encourage others also to be more positive. This is not meant to be condemning but rather slightly comical and me just venting with a problem that my life is plagued with inside and out. Please hear my heart, in just wanting to focus on the miracle of life*****
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