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!

Car Problems

So far the end of March and the beginning of April have been interesting. It has been a month of car trama for me. It all started with a hefty sized speeding ticket I received probably about 5 weeks ago. I was on my way to take one the kids to the doctor, and was going 66 in a 50. Now let me just explain that everyone speeds on this road, but apparently the police officer decided the mom in the old minivan deserved the ticket. So I sucked it up, paid my fine and am going to attend traffic school. If only I had stopped there. Probably 3 weeks after that, I was in an accident. It was my fault and I got another ticket, for failing to yeild. It was a pure accident and I was just so thankful me or the kids weren't injured. And only if it had stopped there. The accident totalled the van, (which was a total blessing in disguise, because we got a lot more for it than we thought.) So last week I was at the auto shop in my rental car cleaning out the van, since we had to hand it over. is hard to explain what happened. Basically there were these poles, and cement blocks, and a very tight spot, and you can guess the rest. I clipped the rental cars bumper on the cement block that I couldn't see in my mirror and pulled half of it off of the car. :( It was a sad sad sad day for me. I was hysterical, and so humilitated. Needless to say these last few weeks have not been my most shining moments. Chris was very understanding of the first two "incidents" but by the 3rd, he wasn't quite as understanding (which is totally understandable.)

Well, it just so happened that the rental car incident occured about 2 hours before we were supposed to leave for Dallas to look for a new vehicle. I ended up getting a new rental car, and went home to face my angry husbands wrath, and we started a very silent drive to Dallas. About a quarter of the way there we started talking again, and by the time we got there, we were almost laughing about the ridiculousness of our current situation (almost, but not quite laughing yet...) We ended up finding a great car. It is a 2005 Nissan X-terra, and we love it! It has really low miles and is super clean and we got a really good price. We almost feel like we are driving a brand new car, which is a pleasant change after driving my old van for the past few years.

We ended up having a great time in Dallas. We hadn't made a reservation for a hotel, and didn't start looking for one until about 8 in the evening, but found a nice place for a really great price (yeah for military discounts!) plus the guy working at the counter was feeling generous and upgraded us to a suite with a kitchen and living room and bedroom. It was great. We ordered a pizza from room service and all watched America's Funniest Home Videos. It was a really fun night, and a much needed happy note on a bad day. For those of you who are family and haven't yet heard the rental car story, it is because I have only just now started talking about it. I was too embarassed. :)

So hear is a picture of our new car, that I am VERY cautiously driving. I also included a picture of the front of the house, just so those of you haven't seen where we live could!


My mom came out to visit in March, and I was finally able to learn how to sew. Chris's parents bought me a sewing machine for my birthday in September. My mom gave me an intense lesson and these are a few of the projects we accomplished while she was here. I even made a matching shirt for me and a dress for Cailey. I haven't gotten up the nerve to wear my shirt when she wears her dress, but I think it is really fun anyways. I have worked on a couple of things since mom left, but am afraid to tackle another pattern on my own. I will probably stick to blankets and curtains until I get another lesson in patterns.

My Grandpa came out the last week my mom was here and we all had a good time. We went to the rattlesnake round up in Sweetwater. A very interesting experience to say the least. It was fun though, and we got to eat some horribly greasy, but delicious food while we were there. That was my highlight! In typical Texas fashion, there was fried everything.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blessings in barf.

On Monday night we went to life group, and we started a new study on 1 Peter. We started talking about how trials in our life produce more faith, and to praise the Lord in ALL circumstances. Also I brought up the fact that sometimes I almost look forward in a weird way to trials coming my way, because from past experience, my faith is always so much stronger afterwards and I am always thankful for the trial I had to go through to get to the place I am now. Without trials there would be no growth. So I am trying to change my attitude to praise God in the midst of ALL things, good or bad.

This is something really small, but I got something out of it, so I just thought I would share. Yesterday I woke up feeling really sleepy in the morning, and just kinda off. But I got up and put on a smile and headed to work. I felt ok all day, I just seemed really hungry and the leancusine I brought for lunch just didn't cut it. I just felt funny. Well, after work I decided to hit the gym. I have really gotten off my regular gym schedule and I was determined to get back on, so even though things were starting to feel funny, I forced myself to go, even if it was a short workout. By the time I got home, I was beginning to wonder if my tummy was ok, you know the feeling, I can only describe it as questionable. I have been putting off cleaning the back yard, the poop from the dog was really bad, and the puppy had also gotten a whole roll of paper towel one day and tore it all to shreds in the back yard. So I decided to tackle it. I was able to get everything cleaned up, I had dinner on the stove, when Chris got home. I greeted him and then ran up to my room and stayed there for the rest of the night. I won't go into detail, but it wasn't pretty...AT ALL. I tell you all of this, because I found myself thanking the Lord. I mean it couldn't have been better timing. I was able to get pretty much everything done that I needed to, and Chris was home, so I could just worry about myself and not the kids. Also, although the time alone was less that enjoyable, I got to lay there and catch up on all the tv I had been DVR ing. So all in all, I was thankful that the Lord allowed me to get sick at the best possible time. The throwing up even stopped about 11:30, so I got a relatively decent nights sleep, and although I will probably just be laying low today, I am so thankful I am not throwing up anymore, that I am actually in a pretty good mood. So although this is a small small thing, I just thought I would share how God used my barf to bless me!

1 Peter 1:3-7

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope throught the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance tha tcan never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The last couple of months

February is here!!! Ahh...the month of love, and kisses, and hugs, what could be better! We have had such a busy time since Christmas, I have finally found a moment to sit and think over all we have done this last couple of months.

As most of you know we went to Kauai right after New Years. We spent 10 days there with my family, Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother in law and 2 nieces. We had an absolutely amazing time, and wish we were back there pretty much every day.

We returned home and got a surprise visit from my Grandpa. So we got to spend about 5 days visiting with him, and enjoying his company. The weekend after that we got the opportunity to go to San Antonio and see Chris's brother Jon graduate from basic training. We also got to visit with the rest of the Ingram family, mom and dad, sister Ali, Grandma, and Aunt Trish, Uncle Mark and the cousins. It was a really fun three days, and really special to be able to be with so much of the Ingram family. The kids were attached to Auntie Ali and Uncle Jon, and we had a great time all around. We were able to go to the River Walk and do some shopping. It was really fun!
Let's see other milestones this last couple of months...Cailey just turned 5.
We still are having a hard time believing we are parents of a 5 year old. We had a birthday party for her in Hawaii, and then we celebrated her actual birthday in San Antonio. She was very blessed this year to be able to celebrate with so much family. Now that she is five she has decided that she doesn't want to sleep with her blankie anymore "too babyish" she says, and she can blow a bubble, she is quite bossy to anyone younger than her, and is SO excited to start kindergarten next year. She is a joy and we are very proud of what a sweet and kind little girl she is turning into.

Caleb hasn't really hit any major milestones lately. He is still fascinated with cars, he ALWAYS has one in hand, and sleeps with one everynight. He is a sweet, sweet boy and is very easy most days, and content with life.

That's about it! Life is going fairly smoothly and we are just trying to enjoy it. These last few pics are of Valentines day. Chris was very sweet and sent me flowers to work. We had a great day on Valentines, took the kids to breakfast, and Cailey went to a birthday party. We just enjoyed each other and were very thankful for all the blessings and love we have in our lives. God is good. Of course I had to include one of Honey (our sweet 5 month old lab). I know that was long and there is total picture overload, I decided to get caught up all at once! Love and miss you all.