Sunday, December 23, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The last shower I had was just for my life group. It was so much fun! Who knew that my mom would be the entertainment without even being asked? And that the icing on the cake of this fabulous time would be the rendition of "Baby Got Back" by Catherine, Anita, and Amy! The shower just wouldn't have been the same without it. (Please note that I do have on a different outfit!)
Some of my closest friends gave me a shower back in early November at the fab pad of Melany Guzzo. It was a great mix of people - JM's family from Silverhill and friends from Schaeffer, friends from church, etc. My friend Beth even came all the way from Atlanta. I wanted to get a pic of all the hostesses together but my camera battery died so Carla is missing in these photos. Judah got tons of stuff (that I still haven't put away, but oh well!).
Monday, November 19, 2007
As I was driving to work after the appointment, my mind was racing. I still just cannot believe I am here. Not here at my desk at work but in the home stretch of this pregnancy. I wonder if it will really hit me when I see him for the first time - if that is when it will all actually feel real. I don't know if I am being this way just because we thought we might not ever get pregnant. All the meetings with doctors, fertility tests, blood draws, the bad news about the blocked and damaged tubes, constant peeing in cups, ovulation kits, the negative pregnancy tests, the struggle with the truth that getting pregnant might not be in God's plan for us, the 12 pregnancy announcements at life group by couples that we love dearly as I sat there and tried not to bust out crying - that hurt is a part of me and just didn't magically go away when we found out we were pregnant. Another couple in our life group announced last night that they were pregnant and for a second that feeling of hurt and disappointment showed up and I thought, "Wait a minute, idiot, you are nine months pregnant!" Get a grip, Shea.
I am still trying to process this whole sequence of events and grappling with what it all means. How does all we have gone through affect us now? I know that I have been changed by this whole experience but I am not sure how. And on top of all this is the fact that I am euphoric over the fact that, God willing, it won't be much longer till I see my son. He will be here in the flesh. My head is spinning!
I apologize now for the nonsensicalness of this post and for the fact that you now know how crazy a place my head is. Hopefully in the next couple of days I will post more pics from baby showers and of JM's most recent race.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
My best friend and my husband have birthdays three days apart. (Unfortunately, I am much better at remembering Julie's than John Mark's, but that is a story for another time.) Today is Julie's birthday.
Julie, you have been my person for so long now that I can't remember what life was like before we met. Even through all the changes over the years, our friendship is always something we come back to. My life is so much richer for having you in it. Happy Birthday!!!!!!
Monday, October 22, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Here's a synopsis:
"Author Gary Chapman in his book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate believes everyone has a love tank, and that tank is filled by different love languages. These five languages are Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Quality of Time, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.
Often, we tend to give love in the languages we are most fluent in, which usually ends up being the languages that fill up our love tank. This would be why a husband who does yard work, dishes, car maintenance, etc. (Acts of Service) is floored when his wife says "You never show me you love me. You never cuddle with me, or caress my hair, or make the first move for sex." (Physical Touch). Or, "Why don't you spend time with me? Why do you work so much?" (Quality Time). And, "Why don't you buy me flowers? Why don't you ever get me cards or balloons...just because?" (Gifts) Or "You never tell me what I mean to you. Why don't you ever share with me what I mean to you, or what my good qualities are?" (Words of Affirmation)"
I think that John Mark is beginning to understand that one of my love languages is a clean house. I walked in yesterday from work to vacuumed floors and clean bathrooms (this means so much to a big pregnant girl who spends lots of time there). I think I might have swooned a little bit!
All that to say, since I give JM grief on the blog regularly, I thought it only fair to take this opportunity to give him a shout out, thumbs up, high five, or however you want to put it.
Thank you, John Mark!
Friday, October 12, 2007
John Mark and I went to see Broadway Across America's Phantom of the Opera last night. This is actually the first time that the two of us have done anything that could be considered remotely date-like in months. It was good, but that is not really the point of this blog...
Let me give you the play-by-play of last night. I get home and immediately fall asleep. At some point, I wake up because I hear my phone ring and then hear JM talking on my phone. Nothing really unusual there. He comes upstairs later to tell me dinner is ready. I go downstairs and fix my plate, eat, and then go upstairs to change clothes for the show.
On the way to the BJCC, I ask him what he did with my phone and he tells me that he put it on the counter. Since I was not the last one to use it, I just accept this without question and move on. I borrow his phone to call my folks who are flying back in from Israel and leave a message.
We get to the show and I try to call my parents a couple of more times on his phone and then the show starts. It is a really good production and we are both enjoying it. They get to the scene where the Phantom has taken Christine down to his lair. He begins to sing "The Music of the Night" - the most famous song from the show. It is deathly quiet; obviously, everyone is caught up in the show.
Then it happens. Ever so faintly I hear a cell phone ring. It sounds like my ringtone but it is kind of muffled. My heart drops and I lunge for my purse. At that point, it starts ringing loudly! I am mortified. We are both attacking my purse looking for the phone as it shreiks in the middle of this dynamic performace by the Phantom. All eyes turn to us - looking to see who the idiots are who are ruining the show by having their phone on. You know the look - I have given it to people myself many times. John Mark finally yanks the battery out of the back of my phone and the ringing finally stops.
So what happens next? We get into a fight sitting in the middle of the performance about who put the phone back in the purse. He is positively sure that he did not put it in my purse while I am absolutely sure that I did not touch my phone after I got home yesterday. We are sitting as far away from each other in our adjoining seats as we can, both with our arms crossed, stewing at the other. It was a wonderful way to spend our evening after purchasing tickets and finally going on a date!
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
John Mark bit the bullet and sold the Accord, for which I am very grateful. I had been afraid between our two unreliable cars that one of them was just going to up and die on us and his car got sold just because it was older (mine instead got an expensive repair job).
So he has been in mourning since the deal closed. But I don't really get it. The car was a hundred years old and we've had to get it repaired multiple times. And the biggest thing, I felt like I had to roll out of it when I got out of the car (especially now). The back seat was way too small for people to ride in comfortably. And there was no way you were going to get a car seat in there. Now, he has an '02 Camry. It's not snazzy, but it's reliable. And you can eat a hamburger while you drive it (since it is not a stick).
But still, he longs for the Accord. I just don't get men and their cars.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
When I got to the office, I had to drink this drink that was almost pure sugar. I picked the fruit punch variety. Everyone had told me how nasty it was and that they all almost gagged while drinking it. Fortunately, I like drinks that are almost pure sugar (must be from the Nehi's I had growing up over at my Granny's cause you know Shirley doesn't allow that kind of stuff in her house!) I was drinking it so fast that the nurse finally told me to slow down!
So then we had to wait an hour before they could do the actual test. I saw Dr. Barron and she said that Judah is measuring two weeks ahead of schedule. I don't really know what that means other than I am gaining weight fast at this point. We go back in two weeks for an another ultrasound to see if my low-lying placenta has moved up at all. I am just excited because it is another free look at Judah and maybe he won't look so much like an alien at this point.
So here's the kicker for the day. JM has been the most attentive soon to be daddy, going to all of my appointments and helping me remember questions I want to ask, etc. I went to the lab to get my finger pricked for my sugar test and in the midst of everything that was going on forgot one little oddity about my sweet husband. When we were engaged, he used to watch all these surgery shows where doctors would cut people's heads open because he thought they were interesting. Blood and gore, no problem. But when it comes to drawing blood etc., watch out!
The nurse was getting ready to do my finger prick and I look over at JM and he has on his ipod, and I didn't think anything about it. I look over again and he is slumped down in the chair with his head between his knees. Now mind you, we are not the only people in the lab and at this point everyone is starting to look a little concerned. So, he has to leave and we have to wait in the waiting room for him to recover.
I say this for two reasons: 1) just to tease JM a little bit, but then seriously, 2) to make sure that Julie has her bag packed. If he falls out in the delivery room, I am going to need some back up!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Every song elicited from her many larger-than-life gestures and gyrations. She was a bundle of finger pointing, fist pumping, head thrashing energy. With every crescendo of the music, her body convulsed with delight. The best parts of the night were definitely her countless air-drum and air-guitar solos. This girl could rock!
Crazy lady with the long brown hair and the red polo shirt--I salute you!
Monday, September 24, 2007
The sovereignty of God is to me one of the most comforting and terrifying things imaginable. I am humbled and deeply impressed by the consistency of Piper's theology, whether talking about the I-35W bridge collapse or the death of his own granddaughter. Deep down I hope and pray that I never have the opportunity to display such a consistency in my own theology.
These words from his post disturb me deeply, and at the same time offer tremendous hope:
"This seems so preventable. By God and by man. Yes. So easy. But neither man nor God prevented this. Man, because he did not know it was happening. God, because he has his wise and loving reasons that we wait to learn with tears and trust."
Tears and trust. Tears and trust.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Part 1: I am at a cheerleader competition with my high school squad. We are first up to perform but oops, we haven't practiced at all. So basically we sucked.
Part 2: (There are no real transitions in the dreams either). I am back at TSU for the first day of classes and can't remember what class I am supposed to be going to or where my dorm room is or anything like that. This is one that I have been having over and over again.
Part 3: Ok, this is the one that concerns me most of all. Jesse Jackson is at my house. I am not sure why but JM, JJ, and I are just chilling. That is just bizarre.
My pastor, Bob, has been preaching through Daniel and I am needing a dream interpreter of my own these days. Even I can detect the common theme running through the top two, but Jesse Jackson? That is just weird.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
She lived in Ozark, Alabama and we would go down to visit fairly regularly. She had three sons and one daughter so it was always a fairly decent-sized gathering when we would all get together (But it could not compare to the Sasser gatherings in Slocumb with my Granny and her 11 brothers and sisters). My brother and I always liked to go to her house because she had an old shed in the back with all manner of things for us to get into until our parents would catch us. It is so neat that after all this time, I can still remember the sound of her voice. She passed away several years ago and my grandaddy will have been gone two years in December. I think that he would have been pleased with the name choice.
Monday, August 27, 2007
1) It is so not about me!
Many of you know how hard it was for me when JM told me that God was calling him to full-time ministry - okay, maybe hard is an understatement, I am talking weeping and gnashing of teeth. God has been faithful to confirm that calling by allowing me to see JM's growth and development as a teacher and leader. God has also used encouragement from the church to help both of us recognize that this is His path for us at this time. So, this week it finally happened. I was made aware of a negative comment that was made about JM's teaching. Many of you who know me can imagine what my initial reaction was. I wanted to send a blistering email or have a huge confrontation so I could "gently persuade" this person as to the error of their ways. I wanted to protect my husband from the harsh words - I wanted to protect myself. Thankfully, God was working in my heart while we were in Sunday School yesterday. He gently reminded me that this is going to happen - everyone is not going to agree with JM all the time or think that his teaching is the best thing ever. And I need to suck it up and get over it - I am not the point, JM is not even the point - God is the point, and His Word will go forth through JM, even in spite of JM! My fixating on it does nothing to encourage JM to continue to pursue the calling that God has for him.
2) God is enough.
Last night we went to the ordination service for Martin, one of JM's friends from seminary. While it was a joyful evening to be able to see the culmination of what Martin had been working toward, it was really hard for me. This call into ministry is serious business. You don't get to half-heartedly say "God I will agree to support JM in what You have for him" while planning your own steps. It is likely that we could end up leaving the church that I have been at for over ten years once JM finishes school. We could very possibly be leaving Birmingham where I have made my home for over ten years and all the friends that I have made and relationships that have been built. It sucks to even think about it. But I was reminded last night that God does not call us to a life of "comfort." For some reason, He does not always design His plans around what I want. That is so hard!! So I am taking baby steps, trying to open my hand to Him and let go of MY plans to follow what He has for me. That is the hardest thing in the world for a control freak like me.
Last night, I cried as we sang "Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken" -
Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave and follow thee.
Destitute, despised, forsaken, thou from hence my all shall be.
Perish every fond ambition, all I've sought or hoped or known.
Yet how rich is my condition! God and heaven are still my own.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
So that's the crème brûlée part of this post--what about constitutional rights? Well, I've decided that free WiFi access should be a constitutional right (Actually, until this trip I thought it already was one.). Every citizen should be entitled to life, liberty and the ability to check his email and post to his blog without having to pay $9.95 a day! For some reason, everywhere I have travelled, I have always been able to bypass this pesky (and unreasonable) charge by simply "borrowing" bandwidth from someone else's less-than-secure access point. But not this time. Everything in Baltimore is secure, secure, secure and I couldn't find free access ANYWHERE. (Until this morning, of course, when I walked the 3 blocks to Panera Bread and had breakfast and enjoyed their always-free WiFi.) If life as a pastor doesn't work out, maybe I'll run for public office on the Free WiFi For All platform.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Everyone should have a friend like Beth. She is so much fun to be around, a really good listener, and has an amazing closet (I know that is not as important as the first two, but as the one who treated her closet as my own, I definitely enjoyed it!)
Beth lost her dad around 5 years ago. Her mom fought breast cancer successfully and then was diagnosed with brain cancer awhile back. Beth's mom went to be with the Lord Friday. Did I mention Beth is pregnant with her second child and due in late August? Please pray for Beth - that God would comfort her during this hard time. Her mom was amazing - I know that we all felt like Carol "mothered" all of us at one point or the other.
Yep, the alien looking thing up there is my baby boy. The ultrasound was one of the most emotional experiences I have had (not that everything isn't emotional these days due to hormones). Those of you who know me know that my excitement about seeing the baby was tempered with the equally frightening possibility that the ultrasound would reveal something wrong with the baby. After the technician began the ultrasound, it was about five minutes before she said anything. Five minutes of me trying to make out something human in the grainy images - five minutes of me hypervenilating as I thought that something was wrong and that's why she wasn't saying anything. Once she finally started pointing out things, she and JM start pointing and smiling while I am laying there wondering what in the world they were seeing that I was not seeing. It reminded me of those posters that used to be so popular, where you have to concentrate to be able to locate the image. I suck at the posters too!
So, then he starts moving. I start crying. I see arms - I see legs. He has a head, a brain, and a heart - my heart starts beating again. So then comes the moment of truth. JM said he saw "something" before the nurse even said anything. I still didn't see anything until she draws the big line around the little guy's man parts. The waterworks begin again. Out of all the images we got from the ultrasound, it turns out these are the clearest pics. But I just didn't feel that it was right to put his stuff out there for the whole internet to see!