From the monthly archives: "January 2012"
Jen is such a blessing to me. She is constantly encouraging me in my walk with God and reminding me who I am in Christ. She has such a great perspective on life. I hope you enjoy her guest post for my 100 days of Gratitude.
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Hi y’all! I’m Jen and I blog over at The Arizona Russums. On my blog you will find bits about my faith, my marriage, my grad school research, and our adventures since moving to Arizona. Mainly, I  hope my blog is a place where women are encouraged to love Jesus more deeply.
Okay, this is probably the strangest post I’ve ever written. When Jac asked me to write a guest post for her 100 Days of Gratitude series, I was delighted. I said “yes,” although I had no idea what I would write about at the time. I mean, I am thankful for a lot of things… my faith, my marriage, my home, the opportunity to be in grad school, my health, my functioning legs {which I have to remind myself of every time I feel like I am about to die on the treadmill}, our church, my friends and family… I have been blessed in so many ways and I don’t deserve any of it.
Very thankful for all these blessings…
However, I didn’t really want to write about any of these things, mainly because I have already written about them quite a bit over the holiday season. But one night it came to me. I knew exactly what I would write about for this guest post. Here comes the weird part… I am thankful for blood. See, weird right? In all honesty, I think blood is kind of gross. When I would fall down or hurt myself as a child, I would always start crying, close my eyes and ask my mom “Is there bud? Is there bud?” If she said there was blood, I would go hysterical. If she said there was no blood, I would open my eyes, miraculously healed. I probably could have broken my arm and as long as there was no blood, I wouldn’t have minded one bit. But a scraped knee… ahh! The thing with blood is that we usually only see it in the worst contexts. We get a paper cut, scrape a knee, have to get stitches at the doctor’s office. Yuck. And that annoying blood that visits women for a few days each month… ugh. Not my favorite. When you hear about blood in the media, it’s often associated with violence, murder or car accidents. Blood has a bad reputation. But the truth of the matter is that blood is our lifeline. Most of the time, our blood is pumping as healthy as can be through our veins. We don’t even think about blood unless there is something wrong and yet it is there sustaining us, nourishing us, and uniting the different parts of our bodies. The blood is what feeds a baby in the womb. Our blood is what keeps us alive and can provide life to others. Even at it’s most disgusting, blood is usually the indicator of a greater blessing. Menstruation is a quiet reminder that a woman’s body was made to make babies. The blood of labor is evidence of a new life born. Even when we do get injured the fact that blood can clot and a scab can form is evidence of how our bodies know how to heal in amazing ways. God knows that our blood is our life. In fact, he says in Leviticus: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life” (17:11). God created the blood that pumps through our veins and only blood (life) can pay the penalty for our sins. Our blood represents our life, and we owe our life for our sins. God knows the significance of blood. That’s why he called the Israelites to sacrifice the blood of animals as a temporary means of atonement for their sins. But the blood of animals was not enough in the long run. Human sin ultimately demands human blood. Although God requires blood to redeem sin, He also provided all the blood we will ever need to be redeemed. When I think of the blood of Christ poured out for me, I am overcome with a humble awe and quiet joy. It seems unreal that someone else would give the blood I owe for my sins. I can hardly work up the guts to donate blood {it makes me queasy just thinking about it}, yet Jesus would give up his life for me in one of the most bloody and horrible deaths imaginable. And to think of what I receive in return for his sacrifice… forgiveness of my sins, joy forevermore, and intimacy with God for eternity.
{via}
And that, my friends, is why I am thankful for blood today and always. Not only does it remind me of the life I am blessed to be living right now as blood pumps through my veins, but it reminds me of the life I will live with God forever, because my Savior was willing to pour out his blood for me.
So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.
-Hebrews 13:12-
xoxo,

I’ve started the post about 100 times in my head and on

paper, but none of the beginnings seem right. It’s hard to jump into this in
the middle so I’ll take you back to a year and two days ago. That’s when
Grayson and I got to take our first ambulance ride and the day that the doctors
were sure would be Gray’s birthday.
Since the moment I had been put on bedrest, we had been
wondering when Gray would arrive. Medicine said he should have a March
birthday, but what was really going to happen? 
On January 8th, I went into labour – hard labour.
I was rushed to the best hospital in Canada for preemie babies, they threw
every doctor at us that we may encounter if Gray were to arrive and they were
sure that he would. They didn’t try and stop my labour. They believed that if
my body was fighting that much there must be a reason so they helped me rest
and hoped that my body would calm down and Gray would stay put. 
A year ago today, the doctor who admitted us returned from
his day off walked into our room and exclaimed “You’re still pregnant?!?!” in
complete disbelief. Medicine had no idea how I could still be pregnant after
everything that I had been through. I spent close to 48 hours on a morphine
drip with some strong tranquilizers mixed in to see if that would relax my body
enough to keep G where he was. They administered every medication they could to
make sure he was strong and healthy, as strong and healthy as a baby can be at
29 weeks. But in the end they had no idea how I could still be pregnant and how
we weren’t standing in the NICU watching our preemie fight to survive. 
What medicine struggles to understand is that God has
perfect timing. Brian and I have always stood on the belief that God’s perfect
timing will prevail in our lives. We may have plans, but God is the one who has
full control over every aspect of our life.
From the moment we found out we were pregnant we knew it was
God’s timing and not ours. As we started our journey through bedrest we stood
on that; we knew that however uncertain things were, God brought us this far in
our pregnancy and he would deliver Gray to us at the perfect time. 
For the 48+ hours we spend in the L&D ICU, we knew God
had set angels around us. If it had been Grayson’s time to be born we knew he
would be strong and healthy and whole, but if not then we would make it
through. 
Grayson held on for another 3 weeks. After a week in the
hospital, they let me go home to bed, strict bedrest, not getting up for
anything but the washroom. When I went into labour for a second time 2 weeks
after getting home, we headed to the hospital again. 48 hours later they
thought they had my labour stopped again, but then my water broke and there was
no going back. God had perfect timing and although we had a few hiccups in the
NICU, Grayson was one of the healthiest babies the doctors and nurses had ever
seen for being born 8 weeks early. 
There were days on our journey that I wondered; that I let
the darkness get to me. But in those 48 hours I let it all go, and just put my
trust in the Great Physician.
I challenge you to think today; are you trusting in God’s
perfect timing, or are you trying to dictate your own? If it’s the latter, I
hope that you’ll seek him and let go of the human desire for control. He will
bring you all that you need and more in his perfect timing. 
Grayson the day he arrived.

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My bloggy friend Michelle is doing a Thursday feature about health and wellness. So as part of that I’m going to let all of you in on my 2012 project to get my body back.
In 2011my main focus was to grow a healthy baby and give him everything I had, and I put myself on the back burner. So now it’s 2012, and I need to get my body back to where I would like it to be.
I used to dance liek crazy. 20+ hours a week through highschool, so I not used to my body being like this. I know I’m not going to get back to what I was before we were married, or before I was pregnant, but I am excited to get back to a place where I feel great. For me it’s about feeling I look great, and feeling great than just the numbers. 
Part of this is Grayson, and part of it is me. Gray can’t have formula, well he can, but it’s very expensive and he would probably not react well to it so we have never tried. We know he’s good with milk, so we keep it up. I’ve been on medication for the past 8 months to make sure he’s getting enough. It’s really common for preemie moms to not have a great supply. Your hormone levels don’t get as high as they would if you went full term, and so your body has to work harder to make milk. So I went on meds to make sure I could get G enough milk. The meds cause you to gain weight, in a round about way. The meds cause your stomach to empty faster than normal; it was created for people with acid reflux who can’t take other meds because they cause a bad interaction. So it’s great for people who take 10mg, but I take 120mg a day. So because it empties your stomach more often you’re hungry more often. I can deal with not eating just because I’m hungry, but this becomes pass out hungry, not just a bit hungry.
I also stopped working out, because the spike in testosterone can decrease your supply as well.
 So the past year has been hard. Gray is going to be a year at the end of this month, and we can start introducing goat’s milk, and I hope that we’ll be able to continue with some beast milk until he’s a year corrected, March 24th.
My intention is to lose about 30 to 35lbs in the 12 months. I’m not going to make a goal of 6 months, or 8 months. I don’t want to drop weight to just drop weight, I want to do it in a healthy way and in a way that I’ll keep it off.
So every week from now until December I’ll take a picture wearing the same clothes to show my progress. And I’ll let you know what I’ve done to stay healthy that week.
So here we are:
I am not proud of these pictures at all! I‘m sure you can tell that by my face. This is now how I see myself, this is now how I want to be but I will change it in 2012.
This week I dragged my sister to yoga on Tuesday night. Not much this week with Brian being off this week, but it’s a start. I’ll be going to spinning with my sister tomorrow morning bright and early. And we bought a new running stroller this week, so hopefully Gray and I can get out once a weekend for a run, maybe even with Brian.
What are you doing this year to become a better you?
Link up, let us know.






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I made it. cardio and then yoga with my bestie.

Today is the first day back at work after 10 days off, and it’s a busy day. I have been in a bit of a funk lately; getting ready for busy season at work, and Grayson not sleeping as well this past week. So after getting back to my desk after my pumping break and feeling like I wanted to explode, I pulled out my phone, threw my headphones in and put some worship music on.
Thank goodness for technology and the ability to carry great music with me where ever I go. A 20 minute burst of some great worship songs completely turned my day around.
 

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I have to say Google is one of my favourite things. I use it constantly at work, and more and more at home these days.
Today I decided to Google how to get my white nursing undershirts a bit whiter. After rotating between 5 of them for the past few months at work they’re not looking as white as they used to.
Google to the rescue!
I followed the instructions on a few different sites and voila. After soaking my shirts in some dishwasher detergent, hot water and lemon juice they came out of the wash looking so much better.

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Winter has arrived in full force now. And it’s gorgeous outside the kitchen window. I love seeing the pure white snow on the deck and landing on the pine trees in the back yard. It’s a great way to welcome in the New Year.
I’m updating the blog as much as I can today and adding some new pages. Be sure to check it out over the next week as Brian and I get things up and live.
We’re praying blessings over all of you in 2012. More than you could imagine.

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