Saturday, December 31, 2016

Life Abundant

For both 2015 and 2016 the Lord gave me the word abundance.

Last year it was an abundance of His provision and of His love and this year was an abundance of LIFE. When people talk to me about this year the first thing they think is that it wasn’t a good year, because I died. No, really I did. More about that in a bit. When I think about this year all I think about is how Jesus came to give us life abundantly. Not in that He came to give us anything we want, or that God is our personal vending machine. But that we can live life to the fullest knowing that our identity isn’t in our circumstances but in Him alone. As I reflect on this year I can see everywhere that God did indeed reveal Himself in a truly abundant way.

I started off the year enjoying as much as I could the miracle of life growing inside me. After giving up all hope that our little family would grow I had life growing inside me. God is so faithful and His timing is so perfect. Life Abundant

My dearest and extremely talented friend took pregnancy photos of me.

The beginning of the year flew by so quickly. Until mid-March when every day seemed like a lifetime as we counted down the days before we would get to meet our little miracle.
In April we finally got to meet her! Our little baby Z has been such a breath of life in our family. Every single day her smiles make us smile even when we are having a hard day. Life Abundant

Baby Z

Water baptisms in the creek, this is Life Abundant

This summer was full of business as my oldest went to his second YWAM summer program with a mission trip to Mexico. 

My not so Little Man ready for a summer full of growth and challenges.

The rest of us spent time with family, chased chickens, enjoyed our garden and stayed busy. He came home in July and we started planning his last year of high school. Life Abundant

Then came August

August 12, I went in to the hospital for a very routine outpatient surgery. Seriously, one of the most routine surgeries you can have, gallbladder removal. I had to do it. I had been controlling gallstone pain for years with diet and this last pregnancy aggravated it so much that I could no longer keep the pain, nausea and reflux under control no matter how hard I tried. But, as I have learned over the years, you must hold your plans loosely. I had told my mother-in-law that morning when we left for the hospital, that I would be home by noon. There was enough pumped milk in the freezer for 3 days, and the baby would be fine. 

I went in; everything was fine until they started the meds they give before they actually give the anesthesia. My blood pressure dropped and they couldn’t get it back up, then my heart stopped. I had gone into cardiac arrest. After 20 minutes they barely got me back but I was on full life support. As my cardiologist puts it, I was mostly dead. For 4 days my husband faced the reality that he could lose me. I was unconscious and only alive because a machine was breathing for me and another machine was helping my heart beat. There were a lot of unanswered questions about what happened and why. Was it a reaction? Did I have a heart condition and not know it? We still aren’t sure and will probably never know. There was talk of sending me to a bigger hospital and a heart transplant because I wasn’t responding to treatment. But there was even more prayer. See, God is the giver of life and the only one who knows what happened and how to fix it. God was in control every single moment and it is His breath that caused me to breathe again. I found out this week that when I started breathing on my own and they extubated me, I actually started to struggle again right after and they almost had to reintubate me, but the nurse in the room knew God could make me breath again. She prayed and I started breathing on my own. 

I spent over two weeks in the hospital learning how to walk again and how to compensate my balance after losing an estimated 40% of my muscle mass. What I know is that every nurse who witnessed my story witnessed a miracle. They saw God work and give life. I was not expected to wake up, or have brain function like I do, or even now, have a heart that is working half as well as it is. God has given me LIFE, ABUNDANT LIFE

Celebrating the little things that really aren't so little.

I have gotten to celebrate baby milestones, and firsts. I celebrated Hubby’s b-day and our 19th anniversary in the hospital. They were the best celebrations even though all we did was enjoy a meal just the two of us in my hospital room. Celebrating my birthday this year was special. And Christmas this year, with my kids smiling and laughing. That is life abundant. 

Baby Z's first Christmas!

Life is hard; it isn’t supposed to be easy. Life is full of obstacles; it isn’t supposed to be a smooth path. Life is full of adventure; it would be boring if it wasn’t. Life is messy and full of learning opportunities; or we wouldn’t grow. And life is full of the unknown; or we would have no reason to put all of our trust in the one who created us. That is what Life Abundant means. When you face the hard, know that is how you find God’s abundance. You could say that 2016 was a horrible year for me, but I see a year full of abundant life.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Mystery Layer

We had a mystery layer. 


When we only had two laying chickens, we found an egg that looked much different from Penny’s white eggs and Oreo’s oblong pinkish brown eggs. It was more of an orb shape and a bit darker brown. We found it on a Sunday afternoon after church in a nest that hadn’t had an egg in it yet. It was cold and none of the chickens were giving up their secret as we inspected and interrogated each brown egg laying chicken. We suspected Sparky was the newest layer. However, we could not be sure. She had been showing all the signs that she was ready to start laying for a couple of weeks, but so had Daisy. It was time to be on egg watch. I calculated the approximate time the mystery egg was probably laid. Then figured out the earliest time the chicken would lay again. 

On Monday we were all on high alert. Checking the coop almost hourly to see who would jump in the box. We were so disappointed when Oreo was the only chicken that showed any interest in the boxes and she laid a very oblong pinkish brown egg. No other chicken laid on Monday. Super bummer. 

On Tuesday we went into the coop in the morning and there was another egg. None of the chickens were anywhere near the boxes when we approached the coop. And none of them were talking. Except to let us know they wanted out of the coop. Not one of them had the afterglow of laying an egg and none of them were singing their song.  {{ humph }}  This is such a frustrating dilemma. I have been meticulous with recording who has laid an egg on each day. 

On Wednesday Oreo graciously gave us an egg. But no other excitement in the egg diaries.


Thursday we kept checking the coop every hour and again every time we heard any amount of clucking at all. Around noon we heard some clucking and decided to go check. There we saw an egg in one box that looked just like the other two mystery eggs. Daisy was in a different box clucking out a song with all her soul. Peaking in there we saw a cute tiny little beige egg! It looks nothing like the mystery egg from Sunday and nothing like the egg in the box next to her. Daisy laid her first egg! It was so cute and she was so proud. She got out of the box a little while later all the while still clucking and placing straw on her back. Even after she was out of the box.


This made us deduce that Sparky was our mystery layer. But we hadn't found her in a box yet. That Friday our goal was to catch Sparky in the act. Checking the coop constantly we were determined that this would be the day we would confirm she was the layer. How hard could this be? Checking the coop every half hour I was sure we would catch her. Harder than you would think. We did eventually find her in a box laying late that afternoon. Watching her, we watched Sparky go in and do her thing then jump out. Total time was less than 30 minutes, a very efficient chicken indeed. In the 13 days she has been laying, she has given us 9 eggs. Not bad for a chicken who just started laying.


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