Friday, February 25, 2011

Disregard the weird layout of my latest blog post. Apparently since it has been 2 years since I last posted, I have no idea what I am doing!

Since it has been 2 years, I thought I might just update our blog! When I read back to see my last posting, it literally feels like last week that I wrote that post. How in the world have 2 years already past. Oh well, if I have failed as a blogger, I am ok with that, since I feel like I have succeeded at the more important things in life, you know like updating my facebook status regularly. :)

To try and catch you up on the last 2 years of life quickly, I will sum it up in one word...blessed. Isn't God amazing. When we first found out we were moving to TX, I cried. It took me a long time to be ok with it. I thought I would hate it. I thought I would die of heat stroke, that I would hate the ugly scenery and the way people talked. But God, as always knew better than me (shocking I know). He put us in the exact spot we needed to be. The last 3 and a some years we have lived here in Abilene have been the most stable, enjoyable, happiest time in our marriage and family thus far. Does that mean Abilene is somewhere we LOVE and dream about living, but we are so content here that that almost trumps living somewhere where the scenery is more pretty and it isn't quite as miserably hot in the summer, and where people don't say you all funny.

Chris was deployed for 6 months and has been home about a month. He is actually for the first time in his military career really enjoying his job. He is still working in the muntions field, but has found a shop that he really enjoys. All these years he insisted he wasn't made for a desk job...God in his beautiful irony helped Chris realise that in actuality he is really good at it! It is so nice to hear him come home from work with a good things to say about his day and a smile on his face.

To update you on me...I am still working at the preschool. This year I started teaching music, and LOVE it! I also (most days) wake up looking foward to work. The added perk is no more dirty diapers!!! While Chris was gone I got pretty committed to the gym, and lost 20 lbs in the last year! I have a few events that I will be participating in over the next couple of months, so I will be updating with those pics as they happen. I have found a true love for excersise in any form I can get it in. :)

Cailey turned the big 7 this month. She is doing great in 1st grade, straight A's so far this year. She is playing soccer again, so that will be consuming our time for the next 2 months. She loves it and is pretty good. She says she will never quit soccer and wants to be in the world cup and be on tv. :)

Caleb, what can I say about our little man. As we speak his running around in his spiderman costume, zapping me occasionally with his web. He is all boy, and plays super heros or cars all day everyday. He is 4 and a half now, and I am holding on to these last few months that I have him home with me. He starts Kindergarden next year and I am going to be a wreck. I am going to miss having my little spiderman home with me durning the days.

Last but not least, I will be one of those annoying dog people and give you an update on Honey. She is definitely part of the family, so it is only fair to give her some blog time. She is 2 and a half and still the sweetest puppy on the planet, although in her old age she basically sleeps most of the day.

I will try to better with the updates since I am sure you are all dying to know what is going on with us these days!

The Ingrams!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I work at our church in the Preschool two days a week. On Thursday before school starts, all the staff have chapel time, and each one of us throughout the year have to do the devotion. I was able to go the entire year without going, but today was finally my day. I have known what I wanted to share for a long time, but was trying to second guess God. I knew that he was calling me to share part of my testimony, so I did, and I also felt God telling me to share it with whoever would listen because someone else might need to hear it. So here it is. The grammer may not be pretty, and my spelling might be bad, but this is it none the less. Oh and the picture has nothing to do with it, I just wanted to share my cutie patootie daughter and I fishing. I guess only the girls in this house like to touch worms and get dirty. The boys were shooting golf balls instead.
My Testimony
I have always been a worrier and been very fearful, even though if you looked at my life I really have never had anything to worry about. I lived a very safe, secure, non dysfunctional life. My parents are both very strong Christians, and I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior at a young age, and have loved Him ever since. I grew up in AK and my family still lives there. I had great friends, a great church, and a wonderful family that loved and supported me. I don’t know where this fear and worry comes from, but for as long as I can remember I have had it.

To give you just a little glimpse into my strange mind, I remember a time when I was pretty young and a family friend was joking around with me and my sister. He made a comment about dreams, and asked, how do we know we aren’t dreaming right now? It scared me so badly that I cried and worried over the idea of being stuck in a dream for about a year.

Another example, my mom had a best friend when we were growing up named Piper. The year that I started Kindergarten, Piper was diagnosed with Lupus. My mom sat my sister and I down and told us that Piper was probably going to die. The thought that she was going to die terrified me. I was only 5, but when I think back on this time, I can feel the icky fear and anxiety that I have come to know all to well in my heart.

Piper ended up recovering remarkebly. I praise God for her recovery and can’t imagine having grown up without her, but that moment in time stuck with me for a long time. From that day on I cried every day in Kindergarten. From the moment my mom dropped me off until she picked me up at the end of the day. I was my kindergarten teacher’s nightmare. I couldn’t tell anyone why I was crying, because even from that young of an age, I was embarrassed and ashamed of my fear. It wasn’t until years later when my mom and I were talking that I told her what was behind all the crying. The reason I cried when she left me at school was that I was absolutely terrified that she was going to die while I was there. I was so scared anytime my mom left me somewhere that she wouldn’t come back. Satan had a hold on my little tender heart even at the age of 5, and that year started many years to come of living a life walking in fear and worry.

Over the next years of my life, I grew with the Lord and for a long time I could control my scary thoughts. As I got older and my thoughts got a little stranger, I began to get embarrassed to talk about most things I was afraid of. I would try to pray about them, but I even felt embarrassed to tell God about the silly things that made me afraid, because I was fully aware that most of what I worried about was ridiculous.

In 2002, I met and married my husband Chris. He is in the Air Force. Shortly after we were married, we found out we were moving to Germany, and right after that found out I was pregnant. This was not in our plan, and it added a whole slew of new worries to my plate. I was very attached to family, and hadn’t cleaved to my husband yet. The thought of having to raise a child without my mom absolutely terrified me. I was also very naive to what being a military wife was all about, and I really didn’t know what I was getting into. The first year in Germany was terrible for me. Our marriage was struggling, and we were on the verge of separating. This was the first time in my life that my relationship with the Lord was really tested, and I was failing miserably.

Chris and I went to see our Chaplain about our marriage and received some really good solid counseling, and things started to look up. I started to dive back into the word and find comfort and guidance from the Lord again. Things were going better for us, so we decided to have another baby. We got pregnant right away , but when I was about 24 weeks pregnant, I started having some problems. I went to a ladies retreat and started to feel sick even before we left. I thought it was just pregnancy related, so I went anyways, but by the time we got there, I knew something was wrong. When I got home, I was admitted to the German hospital and at this point I was overcome with fear. The Drs. All spoke in German to each other and had very serious looks on their faces, but really couldn’t tell me what was wrong. My body was going into sepsis. My liver, spleen, gallbladder and kidneys were all inflamed and starting to shut down. They finally diagnosed me with a severe kidney infection, and did a very painful procedure that required putting two stints through my bladder and up into my kidneys. This helped to open up the blocked ureter which had caused the infection, and let the infection out and the urine flow. I spent the next six days in the hospital on IV antibiotics. For someone who struggled with being a hypochondriact this was not the place for me to be. I lay in that bed worrying day and night. I was worried I was going to die. I was worried my baby was going to die. I was worried about how I was going to make it through the next 3 months peeing constantly. I was worried about how I was going to take care of Cailey, wondered who was going to take care of me? I was so scared I couldn’t even pray. This was my darkest hour, but it also began a journey that I can look back upon and see that God was using to work powerfully in me. He was breaking me so that I could finally rely fully on him.

After I got out of the hospital, the decision was made for me to go back to AK to finish out my pregnancy. I needed help that I didn’t have in Germany, and was nervous about the healthcare system in Germany. I gave birth to Caleb on July 25, 2004. He was a very robust and healthy 9 lb 10 oz baby boy. I am still amazed that after all of what I went through, I gave birth to such a perfectly healthy baby.

You would think that after watching God take care of me and Caleb, my faith would have been renewed, but it wasn’t, it was only the beginning of an even bigger battle for me. My faith suffered through that time, because I realized how little faith I actually had.

After returning home to Germany with the kids I began to have severe insomnia. I would lay in bed at night worrying about everything under the sun. I could not shut my mind off. I would lay there while everyone else slept and felt trapped in the prison of my own mind. This went on for about 8 months. I pretended I was ok, which I now realize was prideful. I had plenty of friends who would have helped me, but I wasn’t one to ask for help. I thought I was too good for that. I would lay in bed at night and pray and pray and plead for God to help me sleep. Nothing I seemed to do would help. I was miserable, exausted, depressed, and could barely function.

There was a pivotal day of reckoning for me. Chris was working the night shift, so I was alone at the house. The kids were asleep and I Had been laying there trying to sleep for hours. I started to go crazy. I couldn’t stand to listen to my thoughts another second, I couldn’t stop thinking and worrying, and I felt like I just couldn’t take it another minute. I went to the kitchen to get a knife. I didn’t want to kill myself, but I wanted to hurt myself badly, so that I could be admitted to a hospital and someone would finally take my sleep problems seriously. I didn’t know what else to do. Thankfully I got scared at the last second, called Chris and he came home. He took a week off of work to stay home with me and sent me to see the pysicatrist. The pysciatrist suggested I stop nursing Caleb. He thought a lot of my problems were due to post partum deppression and he put me on an antideppresent that also made you sleepy. Within 3 days I was sleeping a lot better, and within a couple of months I was sleeping well. I started opening up to my friends, about what I had been dealing with, and they started praying for me and encouraging me. During that time my dad e-mailed me this scripture, which spoke to me.

Lamentations 3:22 “ Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed. For his compassion’s never fail. They are new ever morning; great is your faithfulness.” Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed...that is powerful to me. I was so consumed with my thoughts, with my fears, and God was right there waiting for me give them to him. So often I felt like I had given it to God, but I never fully did. For some reason I hung onto those thoughts and fears, and they ate their way right back into my mind every time.

Philippians 4:4 says Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again :Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition with thanksgiving , present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

This is a verse that I still have to recite to myself daily. God tells us we have to give our fears and our worries and our thoughts to him. The verse doesn’t say give part of your requests to me, it says give them ALL to me. I had been holding on to my worries and when I would pray for God to take them away, I never truly let go.

Going through these past few years has made me realize how powerful our thoughts are, and if we aren’t careful our thoughts can get us into so much trouble. God tells us in philippians that, He will guard our hearts and minds. That shows me that there is something to guard against. Satan attacks us at our weakest points. My thoughts, and fears and worries, are my weakest point and that is how Satan feeds on me.

I can now say that Satan does not have control over my thoughts. I finally was able to hand my thoughts to God to guard and protect. That doesn’t mean that I am not afraid anymore. I am fearful about things everyday, and sometimes I have to say out loud to Satan, “I will NOT let these thoughts into my head. Get out, I rebuke you, because I know these thoughts are not from God.” The bible speaks so much about the power of our tongues, and how important our words are. I believe that when I say those words out loud to Satan, that that is powerful, and also when I speak out loud to God, and ask Him for help, ask to take the ick out of mind and put in the good, that that is also very powerful.

I can now confidently say I am child of God, who been redeemed, and I no longer walk in fear, but rather I walk in the truth that God’s mercies are new every morning, and Great is His faithfulness.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bye bye Baba

I am sitting here on the couch holding my breath. I just put the kids to bed and it is quiet upstairs. This would be normal, but this will be the first night that Caleb has gone to sleep without a pacifier (baba) as he calls it. I know, I know you are all thinking, "it's about time," but then obviously you don't understand the relationship my son has with his precious baba. He has loved that thing since the minute he came out of the womb. At one years old we took it away except for bedtimes, and that was pretty easy, but he has NEVER, not one night gone to sleep without it.

It is funny because before we had kids, I thought pacifiers were the devil. I made so many judgements about mothers who let ther children have them. I hated seeing children walking around with pacies in their mouths, but here I am with an almost three year old, and I am sitting downstairs feeling sad and a little teary that my baby is upstairs sleeping with his cars and a dinosaur and no paci in his mouth. I will miss the way his little eyes look up at me while he makes his little sucking sad. I will miss the way it calms him down and he curls up in my lap and relaxes with it. Ok, I know I am being melodramatic, but this is our last baby, and this is his last baby thing. He is not in diapers anymore, he sleeps in a big bed, he hardly rides in a stroller anymore. It is just a harsh reality that my baby is not a baby anymore. So not only is he mourning the loss of the precious baba, but mommy is too!

The things I will not miss are the never ending nights of the search for the baba. We have spent a LOT of time searching for it. I remember when he was really little, I couldn't find one anywhere. I had searched and searched, and was panicked. We were living in Germany and the BX and shopette were already closed. He was screaming for about an hour, Chris was at work. So finally about 10 o' clock at night I went upstairs to the apartment above us. The girl up there had just had a baby and I stood there holding my screaming baby and begged her for one. She had a whole basket full, and was sweet enough to let us have one. That was a hairy situation!

I also will not miss the horrible bad morning breath. That pacifier makes his breath smell so bad. I also won't miss having to put cream all around his mouth, because he gets chapped lips from sucking it all night long. it is time. I feel a little better after getting all my feelings about it out, and so far it is still quiet upstairs. Pray for us this weekend, as I am sure nap time and bedtimes are going to be teary (possibly for both of us)!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Flip Flop story

Last night I went out for a couple of hours by myself to do some shopping...yeah! Well, I have this awesome pair of reef flipflops that I think I got at the beginning of last summer. I have worn those things out. I LOVE them. They are so comfy and have sparkles on them, but for some reason yesterday I realized that their time was over and I really needed to get some new ones. Mostly because while I was at work, I took them off and my feet smelled so bad it was I went to Dillards thinking I might just get the same pair. I looked at all of them and finally decided on a really cute pair of Roxy ones. They had a little heel which I like, and there were no sparkles, but they had a cute little silver piece in the middle. So I bought them. Never in my life have I ever spent more than like 10 bucks on a pair of flipflops, but here I wear them year round, so I invested 36 dollars on these ones. My previous sparkly pair were only 20, but still, these were pretty cute. That was a total tanget, what I really wanted to blog about was what happened directly after buying the new non sparkly 36 dollar flip flops. I walked about 10 feet and my old sparkly one broke. The little toe separater thing broke right apart and I couldn't even walk in them. I went back to the counter and asked if they had a pair of sisscors so I could put the new ones on. Weird timing...maybe I have esp or something :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

School Program

I have been blogging all morning. I really need to keep up with this better so I don't have to sit at the computer for hours at a time to catch up. I forgot to add pics from the kids school program.
It was in March, and was really so cute. I am going to try and upload the videos...we will see if I can make that work. Caleb was kinda slow getting into it, I think he is the 3rd little boy in, he is the one screaming "no" in the second song, and he really got into the last song. But Cailey stole the show. You just have to watch it to get the full scope of it's cuteness. Enjoy!


We had a really nice Easter this year. First we woke up early and went to the 8:10 service at church. It was a great Easter message, and then at the end they passed out envelopes to each family that had anywhere from 5 to 100 dollars in it. Our pastor told us that he wanted us all to go home and pray about how to bless someone with the money. To do whatever the Lord told us to do with it. Keep in mind there were probably about 4000 people attending on this weekend. So a lot of lives could be affected by this. We are then supposed to go on the blog and testify about what we did with it. So far we haven't quite decided what to do with ours, but I will keep you posted.

We came home after church and got ready for some company. My Grandparents drove down from San Angleo, and we had a few friends from our life group over also. The weather was supposed to be bad, but we ended up having a beautiful sunny day. We ate a big lunch, and just hung out. It was a really nice day. We did a big Easter egg hunt for the kids in the backyard, and now my children have enough candy to to last until next Easter. All in all it was a really nice relaxing day!