Loss in Miscarriage: "That's not my job."

October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. This month is dedicated to remembering those short lives of our tiny ones lost and also breaking the silence and stigma surrounding such a loss.  My front door and stoop get a lot of sunlight in the afternoon. In the summer, it's wickedly hot. I mean like so hot that when we had a dark brown front door it would become too hot to even touch. However, because it happens to be my front door, and I happen to feel the need to look like a domesticated home-owner, I always try to have some potted plants on either side of my door. They don't do well, those poor plants. They inevitably become scorched and shriveled. Dried up like basil and oregano. The little leaves fall into the walkway and end up in the house. My children play with the dead branches and remind me to water them (because twice a day wasn't enough for some of these poor dudes).

not my job

Back in September, I had a miscarriage. We found out at about twelve weeks that Baby didn't make it past seven. We had to tell many family and many friends that we had already told in our excitement. We had to try to explain to our three year old that "Baby Emily" wasn't here anymore. We had to pick up the pieces of our slightly shattered hearts and press on.

Miscarriages are tough, as unfortunately many of you probably know. Not only physically but the emotional rollercoaster you endure in the weeks following is hard to handle. Happy to sad to angry to peaceful to devastated to exhausted to right back to the beginning to start it all over again!

Back to my plants... (oh, it's not the first time they've been forgotten and certainly will not be the last!)

Our garage door broke at the same time we found out about our miscarriage (honestly, the same day). So for the next two weeks, until our new door arrived, I had to use the front door for my comings and goings as opposed to my usual garage entry. This meant that multiple times. Everyday. I had to walk past my dead. potted. plants.

I repeatedly thought to myself, "I can't keep anything alive."

Yeah...

Those are some pretty raw feelings. But I'm guessing if you've been through a tough time in your life, you've also had some pretty raw feelings.

My insides felt raw. My heart felt broken. Even my soul felt a little bit lost.

So here I am. Day in and day out feeling these bitter, awful feelings towards myself and towards my stupid flowers. Fortunately for me, the middle of September brought autumn and mums. Sendiks had a fine sale of potted mums for $4.oo a pop. I certainly could throw $8.00 at new plants for the front stoop and let's be honest, my soul.

While hands deep into fresh dirt and actually green stems, I came to this realization: That's not my job. 

It's not my job to keep my babies alive.

Okay, really it is, especially from a worldly point of view. Yes, I need to provide and care for my children. But my main job, my real job, my most important job is to teach my children about Jesus. Jesus is our ever loving, ever patient, ever present and always forgiving Savior. It's God's job, not mine, to be in control of our lives, whether they are 100 years long or a short 90 days.

This realization hasn't taken my pain away. It certainly tears my heart to shreds to think about not holding that little child in my lap and reading Bible stories to him or her. But I know that God is here. I know that His plans for my life and my children's lives are the best plans. I know that God hears my prayers. And I know that God-willing, my little family will all be together in heaven one day.

2 Timothy 3:14-15, "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."

 

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But A Breath

image-13 A few nights ago, I took my dog for a late evening walk. With the sun setting in the distance, casting a warm glow across the brilliantly decorated trees, the scent of campfire hung in the air. A thick warm sweater, hand knit wool hat and gloves, and bright orange scarf kept me warm and cozy against the refreshingly cool wind. My dog and I strolled slowly around the block, reveling in the soft clicks of leaves meeting pavement, crunching piles of them underfoot as we walked. The evening was as perfectly Autumn as they come.

Caught up in the beauty and wonder of God’s creation, I felt the sudden urge to use my body to the fullest of its capabilities, and I began to jog. The dog and I ran the length of 3 blocks before slowing to a walk again, panting slightly as we caught our breath together.

I stopped at a corner to stretch my muscles, surprised at how limber and able I felt. It had been well over a year (possibly two) since I’d run like that, and several months since I’d managed to even walk without waddling. Toward the end of my recent pregnancy, I had endured chronic hip pain, severe heart burn, loose joints, insomnia, and extreme fatigue. I had slept on my side while wishing I could sleep on my stomach, caught myself panting after climbing a normal set of stairs, and held on to furniture for dear life as I struggled to put weight on my legs without pain first thing every morning. Now, just a month and a half past the birth of my fourth child, those problems were largely gone or disappearing. Not only was my physical strength returning, but my mental clarity as well. No longer pregnant, I once again had the stamina to do more with my days than nap and mope.

In retrospect, I can see that my “preggo problems” were zapping my energy and preventing me from accomplishing things my non-pregnant self easily accomplishes. For nine months I lived in something of a fog, unable to meet deadlines or keep commitments or remember what I ate for breakfast. My children went through periods where they watched a lot of tv so that I could rest, and we only ate healthy food for dinner if my husband made it. (Which was often. Thank goodness he likes to cook!).

Despite the hip pain and heart burn, if you would have asked me during my pregnancy how I was feeling, I would have told you, “pretty good! Can’t complain too much!” I had normalized and accepted all of the pain and discomfort of pregnancy to the point that I might have even told you I was rather enjoying being pregnant. At times during my second trimester I even thought with delusion how nice it would be to remain pregnant forever. I wouldn’t have to endure the pain of childbirth that way! ;)

But pregnancy does not exist for pregnancy’s sake. Pregnancy was designed to develop and nurture a beautiful person created by God. Lord willing, the physical pain and discomfort of pregnancy does not last forever, but is replaced by a new life with a baby and a body on the mend (albeit stretch marked and saggy!).

Just as I enjoyed my pregnancy, accepting the pain and discomfort I lived with daily, I often find myself enjoying this world as I willfully ignore the pain caused by sin all around me and within me. Sometimes I even think with delusion how nice it would be to live here on earth forever. I wouldn’t have to face death that way! I cling to this life as though it’s the best there is, as though I don’t hope for something greater to come.

But this world is not all that God has planned for us. This temporary life of pain and sin will eventually be replaced with a new, perfect, eternal life. God has Heaven in store for us after our earthly death! When we compare our time in this world to the one God has in store for us, this time is so brief. The Bible refers to our life as “a breath.”

Psalm 39: 4-5 “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.”

As Christians, we can approach this short time we spend on earth surrounded by sin and the pain of death much the same way an expectant mother suffering from “preggo problems” views her pregnancy: focused on the end goal. Just as a mother yearns to hold her baby in her arms at the end of her gestation and labor, we can yearn for our heavenly father to embrace us one day at the end of an earthly life of suffering and death.

Acts 20:24 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

Rather than cling to the pain that we know, we can cling to the hope that we have.

Hebrews 6:19a “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”

How do you feel about death and the life to come after it? Are there times when you cling to this imperfect life fearfully as though it’s all you’ve got? What reassures you of the hope and assurance of eternal life with God that we have as Christians?

AmberSignature

Still Pregnant? How to go into labor in just 110 easy steps!

Congratulations! You are 38 weeks pregnant! This is the point of pregnancy at which 45% of those other moms you know swiftly and painlessly gave birth on the side of the highway by mistake! From here on out, you are a ticking time bomb. Follow these 110 easy steps and you’ll be snuggling your baby on this side of the womb in no time at all! belly toddler

 

  1. Pack your hospital bags or assemble your home birth kit. That baby will never arrive if you're an unprepared slacker!
  2. Realize you have no idea what you’re supposed to pack or assemble.
  3. Scour The Internet for advice.
  4. Question Google’s advice to pack or assemble ALL OF THE THINGS.
  5. Ask several experienced mom friends for advice.
  6. Question their advice to pack or assemble nothing but a tube of chap stick, a couple of hair ties, and a celebratory bottle of wine.
  7. Decide to err with Google.
  8. Begin to pack or assemble ALL OF THE THINGS!
  9. Realize you are missing several of the items on your list.
  10. Waddle to Target for a new toothbrush and that tube of chap stick everyone swears you will need.
  11. While at Target, take a detour through the baby section.
  12. Decide you probably need another pack or two of newborn diapers.
  13. Shrug as several adorable baby outfits from the clearance rack mysteriously find their way into your cart.
  14. What’s that other thing 50% of your mom friends swear by? That thing that looks like an oversized neck pillow? Better grab one of those too.
  15. Swing through the grocery section to stock up on small, easy to eat snacks for the hunger everyone says will overtake you while breast feeding.
  16. Make it all the way home and unload your shopping bags before remembering you forgot to pick up the chapstick.
  17. Decide a tub of coconut oil from your pantry will just have to do.
  18. Assemble the rest of your list. Realize 50% of the clothing you need is out of commission.
  19. Start a load of laundry.
  20. While adding the detergent, suddenly remember your new baby will need to wear clothing when it gets here.
  21. Peruse the disorganized pile of adorable handmedowns and questionable Target purchases that have accumulated in the corner of your baby’s nursery.
  22. Realize the room in question is less of a nursery and more of a cluttered spare room.
  23. Wonder how you can possibly bring a baby into this world to live in a cluttered spare room.
  24. Completely ignore the fact that you plan to have the baby sleep in your room for at least the first several months of baby’s life.
  25. Spend several hours on Pinterest organizing a board you’ve entitled “nursery essentials.”
  26. Determine that the least you can do is rearrange all the furniture, paint the walls, and sew some adorable coordinating curtains.
  27. Inexplicably decide to act on this decision at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday
  28. When your husband comes into the room to find you wallpapering a closet at 3 a.m. and suggests that maybe you should come to bed, stare at him like he has three heads and growl defensively until he slowly backs away.
  29. Spend the entire next day alternating between sleeping and rubbing your aching hips.
  30. Decide you’re way too tired and have far too much to get done to have a baby anytime soon. Tell your baby he or she is free to stay in there for at least another month or two.
  31. Take several more naps.
  32. Wake up in a panic and sob uncontrollably when you realize you likely have less than a week before you’re *officially* a mother in charge of a tiny human.
  33. When your husband asks what he can do to relieve your excessive sobbing, take advantage and enlist his help in finishing the unnecessary nursery renovation project you’ve started.
  34. From your throne-like position of reclining on a thrift store baby glider with your swollen feet up, direct your poor husband while he paints, rearranges, and hangs curtain rods to your specifications.
  35. If he complains at the amount of unnecessary work, gently remind him you will soon be pushing a watermelon sized person out of your vagina. Is that a contraction you feel?
  36. As you fold and sort your baby’s clothes in your now satisfactory nursery, realize you are 39 weeks pregnant and have yet to experience a single sure sign of impending labor.
  37. Decide it’s time to get serious.
  38. Have a heart to heart with your baby wherein you fondly stroke your belly and explain that you’ve changed your mind. Another month is way too long to wait for their arrival. How about tomorrow instead? Or better yet, right now?
  39. When your lazy baby fails to get moving, ask the internet for advice.
  40. Question Google’s advice to do ALL OF THE THINGS to encourage the swift and immediate birth of your baby.
  41. Ask several experienced mom friends for advice.
  42. Question their advice to “let go and let God, because babies will arrive on their own time.”
  43. Decide to err with Google.
  44. Commence walking.
  45. Walk to the park.
  46. Walk to the store.
  47. Walk around the mall.
  48. Walk the local fair grounds.
  49. cream puff bellyWalk up and down your stairs.
  50. Walk in circles around your back yard.
  51. Decide that walking is useless.
  52. Take several more naps.
  53. Dream that you give birth to a puppy.
  54. Wake up relieved you didn’t actually give birth to a puppy.
  55. Think about how nice it would be to give birth to a puppy, if only it would mean the end of this eternal pregnancy.
  56. Attempt that “Eggplant Parmesan” recipe your neighbor swears put her in labor.
  57. Wash it down with an entire gallon of pineapple juice.
  58. Writhe and moan as you suffer the consequential heartburn.
  59. Down more than the recommended amount of Tums.
  60. Take another nap.
  61. Dream that you give birth to a full grown man.
  62. Wake up relieved you didn’t actually give birth to a full grown man.
  63. Think about how nice it would be to give birth to a full grown man, if only it would mean the end of this eternal pregnancy.
  64. Scrub your entire kitchen floor on hands and knees with a toothbrush.
  65. Decide you’ll avoid walking on said floor ever again so that it will stay clean until baby arrives.
  66. Give your baby an encouraging motivational speech, emphasizing phrases like “come out now” and “you’ll like it, I promise.”
  67. Stop mincing words and write your baby an official eviction notice.
  68. Visit the chiropractor for an adjustment.
  69. Feel well adjusted, but still undeniably pregnant.
  70. Post a sarcastic facebook status update to the effect of “happy due date to meeee!”
  71. Observe as the incomprehensible happens and your due date comes and goes.
  72. Refuse to believe pregnancies can extend beyond due dates.
  73. After several more days without labor signs, gradually accept pregnancies can extend beyond due dates.
  74. Imagine you feel a contraction.
  75. Text your husband at work to tell him you think you just felt a contraction!
  76. Text your mother, best friend, and doula: “HOORAY! AN ACTUAL CONTRACTION!”
  77. Realize several minutes later that the alleged contraction was only indigestion.
  78. Sob uncontrollably.
  79. Take another nap.
  80. Dream that you visit your baby in the womb and he or she is pointing and laughing at you.
  81. Wake up and decide that this dream really happened.
  82. Rest assured that every subsequent kick from your baby is his or her way of mocking you.
  83. Consider having sex to encourage cervical dilation.
  84. Realize that at this point, the thought of sex is just comical.
  85. Suck it up and have sex anyway.
  86. Treat the act like a business transaction.
  87. Cry uncontrollably when it doesn’t work.
  88. Drown your sorrows in a tub of ice cream and a pineapple ham pizza.
  89. bellycoffeeAlleviate that poor decision with more Tums.
  90. Confide in a friend that you have decided you will probably be pregnant forever.
  91. Don’t let her convince you otherwise.
  92. Fail to view her seven children as living proof that all babies eventually come out.
  93. Watch as everyone else in the world who is pregnant with a due date after yours has their baby.
  94. Pretend to be happy for them.
  95. Picture all of those babies growing up and graduating college before your baby is born.
  96. Attend a doctor’s appointment only to realize that you had originally scheduled it as your baby’s one week postpartum well check.
  97. Laugh dryly when your doctor feigns surprise that you are still pregnant.
  98. Stop responding to “is baby here yet?” texts, emails, and phone calls.
  99. Turn your phone off altogether.
  100. Change your facebook profile picture to a photo containing the words “Keep calm, I’m still pregnant.”
  101. Log out of your facebook account. Because you suddenly can’t stand people.
  102. Secretly relish the horrified look on the grocery cashier’s face when you explain your baby was due nine days ago.
  103. Fantasize about your water breaking right there in the checkout line.
  104. Fold your hands and pray to The Lord to send you magically and instantly into labor. Oh, and, Lord? Could you make it so that labor does not hurt at all, please? Can I pretty please be the one exception to the consequence of Eve’s fall into sin?
  105. Pout when you realize God’s answer is “no.”
  106. With a friend’s encouragement, revise your prayer. Pray for patience and peace while waiting, strength to endure the pain of childbirth, and a safe delivery and healthy baby.
  107. Rejoice that God’s answer this time is “yes!” Feel peace and acceptance wash over you as you “Let go and let God.” (Darn, those experienced mom friends were right!)
  108. After a long (but patient) wait, finally go into labor!
  109. With the help of God, give birth to your baby.
  110. Snuggle your brand new human and realize it was all worth it.

 

There’s something in the water here at Holy Hen House! Two of us writers (Amanda and I) are nearly full term (39 weeks!) and anxiously anticipating the arrival of our babies! Please keep us in your prayers over the next few weeks!

For those of you who have had babies before, I would love to hear some of the crazy things you said or did during those final days of waiting! Or am I the only one who goes a little batty toward the end of pregnancy? ;)

AmberSignature

Two

Two has never been my favorite number. In fact, if anything, it’s been one of my “least favorite” – if there were such a thing. I can't really explain why I don't care for the number 2...perhaps it has something to do with the way it looks or is written. Or maybe two rather than just one, seems to simply add complication. Whereas “three” seems to make a nice grouping, have a purpose, round things out.

But nonetheless, many of my favorite things in life seem to come in pairs: my husband and I make two, I am blessed to have two siblings, and two ever present four-legged companions (our dogs) live under our roof.

And then back in late 2009, the number two took on a whole new level of importance for me: My husband and I had wed not much longer than a year prior. Our offer on our first home – a 1920’s colonial, covered in wallpaper from top to bottom which cried out for updating and renovation – had just been accepted. Thinking we’d wait a year or two to start a family, we began talking about plans and priorities for what we would tackle once we moved in. Then one December night prior to closing (two years to the day since my husband had purposed), while sitting on our living room couch, I had a strange feeling that something was “different”. Five pregnancy tests later over the course of the weekend and I was finally feeling convinced that perhaps we would be needing the larger residence, wallpaper still intact or not, to house not only us, but also a little one. My first visit to the doctor the day before Christmas Eve that year revealed not one, but two miracles from God. We would soon be parents not only for the first, but also for the second time.

Shocked. Surprised. Speechless.

None of the above truly describes what my husband and I felt in that moment. Beside myself with an incredible range of emotions comes closer. My husband, always up for adventure and one for having an incredible knack for making any moment lighter could barely keep his feet on the ground. In previous discussions, we both had agreed that three children would make a good number, if the Lord saw fit. So in this moment, he said to me, “Well, look at it this way: now you only have to be pregnant twice – and then we’ll probably get four!” Haha. I had chuckled at the time, thinking what were the chances of that (or this, for that matter) considering twins do not appear in any close family lines on either side.

Me, just days before meeting our girls for the first time.

Leaving the hospital with our miracles.

Life continued. We survived – with the help of God through many dear family and friends -- and so have our beautiful twin girls who just celebrated their third birthday this summer. Some from my past have often remarked how ironic it is that I would be the mother of twins when in high school I was sometimes referred to as “the baby hater” – not that I actually hated babies, of course, but found them much more cute and adorable in the arms of their own mother, halfway across the room where I didn’t have to smell or otherwise really interact with them at all. However, these first three years of my girls’ lives has taught me a great many things, including the absolutely amazing, unwavering, unconditional love that comes pouring out of you as a mother.

Not wanting our children to be too far apart in age, my husband and I – with God’s guidance -- began to entertain the idea that perhaps it would be time to start trying for that magic “number three” at the end of last year. This time, the positive pregnancy tests (I think I managed to limit it to three or four this time around) came in early February. Of course, the doctor didn’t want to see me until I was a bit further along and I scheduled my first appointment for mid-March. Those six weeks were agony – I felt more exhausted than I ever remembered the first time around and I barely had an appetite due to my constant feeling of motion sickness. Anyone who has ever “been there” – feeling such strong effects of a pregnancy but yet not having the official confirmation of a doctor – knows just the agony I am referring to.

As the appointment date grew closer, my husband and I decided that he would not be attending – he’s currently in a plumbing apprenticeship which offers no vacation or sick time and rewards those with a strong dedication to dependability consistent placement on jobs, even when they are hard to come by. While obviously disappointed that he wouldn’t be there, I completely understood and didn’t really think it was necessary considering we had already been through this once before. So that Monday afternoon, accompanied by my sister and a prayer that all would be found in a healthy state, I headed into my doctor’s office. Greeted by the wonderful team of receptionists, nurses, and my doctor whom I had all gotten to know so well during my first pregnancy (when carrying twins you are seen a LOT), I heard the same comments over and over: How many are we going to find in there today? Ready for another set, hey? The jokes got old and I soon told them all so. After all, I was looking forward to knowing what carrying one child would be like, to take just one baby to the grocery store, to hold my baby and not feel as though I had chosen “against” the other.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think the number two would come into play yet again. But it did.

One of the first ultrasounds the second time around.

At first, the ultrasound appeared to show a relatively standard – yet still amazing – pregnancy. One baby with a single, strong heartbeat. However, soon a second head and heartbeat could be seen. The room was silent. I spent the rest of that day somewhere between reality and a state of oblivion. I vaguely remember calling my husband, heading home and finding a spot on the couch where I laid for what seemed like hours trying to wrap my head around the knowledge I had just received. All the while, my husband calling what seemed like everyone he knew to deliver the great news.

That all-too-familiar struggle of emotions was back in full force: How was I ever going to manage four kids under the age of four? Yet how could I be anything but ecstatic at the fact that the Lord was seeing fit to bless us with four of His children to love and raise? How was my body physically going to ever be able to handle another twin pregnancy? Why did I feel so almost “disappointed” that I wouldn’t get to experience the “one-baby-at-a-time” thing? How would we ever afford it?

Fast forward seven (sometimes long) months. I sit here now, just ten days from my scheduled c-section date. The day in which we will, Lord-willing, meet number 3 and number 4, our two newest blessings from God.

My back feels ready to snap in half. I sleep an average of 3 hours a night. I’m continually hungry but can barely eat a full meal due to the lack of space in my stomach which is currently measuring that of a 43-week pregnancy (I still do not understand why they don’t just develop a different scale of measure for a pregnancy of multiples). Normal everyday tasks have become nearly impossible due to my large belly size and lack of balance, such as clipping my own toenails or shaving my legs. I dread heading out in public since I am guaranteed to be asked the question, “Are you going to go into labor right here?” at least once. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit terrified of what life will look like once our family of four becomes a family of six. But I honestly am more excited than afraid. For one reason or another, God has decided to entrust us with four of His children, and to do so two at a time. Knowing what I do now about the incredible love one can feel for these precious children, how could I not eagerly anticipate finally meeting them face-to-face?

Now just 10 days away!

People ask me all of the time – strangers, friends, and family members alike – How do you do it? Or they marvel at the fact that I appear so calm in our current situation. But for them I always have the same answer: What other choice do I have? They are my children, God’s children, true blessings from above and part of His Almighty plan. Who am I to say that He has chosen the wrong people for the job? And unfortunately, I know far too many that would give anything for the opportunity to become a mother (or become a mother again) and for one reason or another cannot. It is true that sometimes the greatest blessings come with the greatest challenges. But it is often in these challenges in which we grow in our faith the most. Are there days when I feel sorry for myself and sit down and cry, despite just how blessed I am? Most definitely. And I am sure there will be more of those days to come. But I still wouldn’t have it any other way.

So perhaps the number two isn’t so bad after all. And in case you are curious, my favorite number actually is seven – could God possibly have that “single pregnancy” I so wanted to experience yet in our future to allow our family to reach that count? Only time will tell :)

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. ~Hebrews 13:20-21

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Side note: If you happen to think of me next Friday, would you mind saying an extra prayer for all of us – my husband, the new babies, our girls, the medical staff, and me? For we all know that nothing in this life is to be taken for granted and I would greatly appreciate the extra support. Also, I will be taking a brief hiatus of sorts from writing while I adjust to life with the new babies. Until then, please continue reading and supporting these great women in their posts as well!

Mindless Mistakes

When we were children and my mom would do something silly, stupid, or ridiculous, she always blamed us kids. "Well, I gave all of my brain cells to you kids so you would be smart, and now I don't have any left!" How can something so silly sounding, as giving your brain cells to your spawnling children, be so true? But it is. Pregnancy round two has only compounded this problem for me.

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Evidence #1 of my loss of brain cells.

The other morning I had a dentist appointment at a new dentist. Unbeknownst to me, some major changes in the construction to the road my new found dentist is located on happened just the very day before my appointment. There was no easy way to get to my dentist without having to cross some major construction, which at that time was not happening since no cross roads were open. A little meandering here and there in the good ol' silver minivan left me frustrated enough to just park and walk. Glancing at my cell phone to figure out where exactly the place was located and to check my very impending lateness led me into a pregnancy induced frenzy. I was already five minutes late, and I parked really far away! Picture a crazy pregnant lady "running" down the street in old birkenstocks trying to find a dentist... because that was me. I use the term running loosely here, because at the ripe pregnant age of 27 weeks I am not really sure if it really even resembles running anymore. Continue following this crazy lady because you'll take note she stops to check the time again, just to see how late she is again. You'll also notice her frantically trying to find a street sign somewhere because they all disappeared with the road construction. Oh look, she found one!

Guess what? I was running in the wrong direction. For FIVE BLOCKS! without noticing! How I didn't notice this the world may never know. My parking spot was actually spot on at about 1.5 blocks away. No worries. It was only 80+ degrees with horrendous humidity. I didn't need to wipe my face, belly, or whatever other crevices pregnancy creates once I got there because I only glisten. Oh wait, yeah I did. Great first impression! :)

If only evidence #2 of my loss of brain cells wasn't worse.

After moving into our house a little over a year ago, we found we weren't the only dwellers of our new fixer upper ranch. We also housed a few tiny mice families. After some traps here and there, and a very swift cat, we were able to sleep a bit more peacefully at night. Fast forward to about two weeks ago. Our laundry is in the basement, and I noticed every time I went into the basement that there was a peculiar smell. You know, the smell of a rotting rodent. That smell. Fortunately I am familiar with that smell because my trusted hunter cat left a half eaten mouse under our couch as a little present, which we didn't find for a few days. I digress. So the smell was continuing to get worse and worse. My husband moved the washer and dryer to find the poor little guy, but no tiny carcass could be found. After a while, we kind of assumed that something maybe had been crawling through the wall and proceeded to die there, and we were just doomed to smell it until it finished, you know, decomposing.

Fortunately for us this story has a more ridiculous ending. After doing a few odds and ends around the house, the hubsters was perusing the basement for some lost hardware to some shelves we were hanging up. He comes upstairs with the hardware (still can't believe we found that!) and the dreaded culprit of the rotting aroma.

His sweet little voice says, "Oh, I found what was causing the smell."

Me: "Oh yeah!! What was it? Is it really gross?"

Hubsters: "Did you happen to leave a bag of beef stew meat on the cabinet for any particular reason?"

Me: Look of complete horror...

Seriously, a freezer bag with a pound or two of what was once beef stew meat! Can you even believe this? Because I still can't. Want to hear the kicker? I "cleaned" that out of the freezer at LEAST a month ago. At least! (This is where you don't judge me and the state of my basement that I didn't notice this for a whole month.) I must have set it down while switching the laundry before going back upstairs. :)

What an amazing and hilarious reminder these experiences have been for me that we mothers, wives, parents are not perfect! We "lose" our brain cells. We forget things. We get lost. We are late. We are sinful human beings. But fortunately for us, our Father isn't.

He never leads us in the wrong direction--though we may think our path is the right one. How many times have we gotten lost only to be reminded and gently guided by Him back onto the right trail.

Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

He never forgets our needs. He always answers our prayers (though perhaps our sinful flesh feels these are late).

Matthew 7: 7-11: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Thankfully we don't have to worry about our heavenly Father "losing" His brain cells with each of his children. :) We are so blessed to have such a loving God to look to for help, reassurance, and guidance at any point in our lives, especially since there is no way we can do it on our brain power alone.

BeckySignature