Monday, October 28, 2013

Tim's is 32!

Exactly a month ago, Tim turned 32.  I wanted to get some pictures posted of his special day.  Tim and I were able to go out on a date.  He picked Outback Steakhouse, and we both enjoyed some steak that night.  Nana watched the girls.  When we were finished, we headed back to the house for cake and ice cream.  Here are a few pictures.
The girls wrapping their gift for their Daddy!

I let Megan and Emily pick out his cake.  Megan picked the pink strawberry cake, and Emily picked some purple frosting:)

The girls enjoyed making the cake.

And of course, they got to licked the spatula and whisk!

Tm opening his gifts with some help from his girls.

Megan and Emily happily give Tim his cake.

Celebrating with Dad, Mom, Justin, Karen, Grandpa and Grandma

Gotta love the colors

The birthday boy!

I love this man!!!
I have never been so thankful for my husband than in this last year.  He has been right by my side through some very trying times, and he has been my leader and supporter.  I love him so much!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

God's Grace during hard times

Well, this past Sunday, I would have been 20 weeks of pregnancy.  We would have known now the sex of the baby and enjoyed that wonderful dr. visit of finding out the gender.  God had different plans, and I (Kristen) wanted to share how God is helping us through this hard time. This is a very long post, but I tried my best to keep it from being really long.

First off, I feel like God prepared us for this time.  When Megan was in the hospital back in May, I had a lot of thoughts pass through my mind.  I knew God was sovereign and in control, and I knew that He had power to heal my daughter anytime He wanted to.  For some reason, His sovereign plan was not for my daughter to have a quick recovery and be out of the hospital quickly.  During this time of Megan in the hospital, God really worked in my heart about life being all about God's glory.  It not about what makes us happy or feel good.  It is not about me; it is all about Him.  (I have been taught this all my basically all my life, but I feel like during this time of Megan's hospitalization, I really had to work through some things and put what I had been taught to practice. Maybe I should say certain biblical teachings I had been taught for so long were solidified not only in my mind during this time but really in my heart as I went through this trial.  )  God really worked in my heart on the necessity of trusting Who He is despite the circumstances around me.  My view of God need to be based on Who He is not on what He does.  He will never change, but my circumstances will.  I read through a lot of Psalms while staying with Megan in the hospital.  (I could go on and on about how this trial in my life prepared me for the next big one, but I don't want this to be too long.)

Second, The Psalms really encouraged me.  Fast forward exactly 3 months from the day Megan was put into the hospital to when I found out that we had lost our child.  I was grieving so hard that first week or so (and still do sometimes).  I again thought that God could have saved my baby's life if it was His will, but it wasn't His will.  Again, I found myself wrestling with the fact that life is all about God's glory.  It was not about me.  I found myself having to trust God for who He is.  I found a wonderful quote that I had heard at college that stated "When I am baffled at the choices by God, I am quieted by his character."  That is so true.  I had been once again baffled at the choice of God, but who He is really helped me through this (and continues to help me through this).  I again turned to Psalms for encouragement and strength.  The Psalms are full of showing us who God is.  Psalm 115-116 were my favorite Psalms during this time (as it was during Megan's hospitalization).  Here are some of my favorite verses from the Psalms....
Psalm 115:1,3
 "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
    for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! "
    "Our God is in the heavens;
     he does all that he pleases."
Psalm 116:1-2, 5, 7
 "I love the Lord, because he has heard
    my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
    therefore I will call on him as long as I live."(What a contrast from the idols mentioned in ch. 115)
5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
    our God is merciful.

Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

Psalm 145:17
The Lord is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works. 

Third,  Habbakuk was a huge source of encouragement.  I would have never guessed that Habbakuk would be so useful in my life, but God brought it into Tim and my life the same week the miscarriage happened.   Tim was going through a book study called Humility by CJ Mahaney with the men at church.  The Saturday morning following our news, the chapter they went over was called "Responding Humbly to Trials" and covered the book of Habbakuk. He came home from Men's Prayer Breakfast and told me I needed to read the chapter.  I have read that chapter more than once as it was so helpful.  Again, too much is in that book of the Bible and chapter to write it all down, but just one quote that made me really think that is from the book.  "What's perplexing is not that you and I encounter suffering in this life; what's really perplexing is that He suffered in our place." 

Fourth, songs were a huge help to my heart.  Songs would come on the radio, and they would bring tears to my eyes as I heard the truth of Who God is.  Here are a few of the songs/phrases of the songs:

"Sometimes all we have to hold on to
Is what we know is true of who You are
So when the heartache hits like a hurricane
That could never change who You are
And we trust in who You are

Lord we know Your ways are not our ways
So we set our faith in who You are
Even though You reign high above us
You tenderly love us
We know Your heart
And we rest in who You are
  You are God, You are good, Forever Faithful One

You’re still the Great and Mighty One
We trust You always
You’re working all things for our good
We’ll sing your praise"

"Great is Thy Faithfulness"

"Be still My Soul"

 "Oh let Your will be done in me, In Your love I will abide, Oh I long for nothing else as long , As You are glorified"

"I will trust in You. You've never failed before, I will trust in You."

 I could go on and on, but music really ministered to me.

Lastly, I will mention family, friends, and prayers.  I am so thankful for the ones God has placed in our lives to pray for us and be such an encouragement to us.  From notes, to meals, to just conversations with others have been so helpful.  

I don't know why God has allowed us to lose Baby Blessing, but I do know one thing. I want to be a help and comfort to those who got through a miscarriage.  When I was going through this, I talked with two friends from college who had also gone through a miscarriage.  They were so helpful to me during the first couple of days as they answered my questions and listened to me.  I will never forget the love they showed me and the help and comfort they were to me during such a hard trial. I pray that I will be able to be a comfort to someone who goes through this trial.  

I Corinthians 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.