Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Love my Job (Somedays)

Today was a wonderful day in Mrs. Powell's classroom.

Learning happened. Kids added, subtracted, simplified, and compared fractions.

Almost EVERYONE participated.

I kept my cool. Even when Ms. "I hate you and this school"  went on a complete rage.

I got to hug some teary-eyed babies. Yes, I call my 6th graders babies.

I spent my planning period with my kids that were in ISS. I brought them in my class and taught them the day's lesson. It was wonderful to get some one-on-one with the "trouble-makers." I was able to talk with them about their dreams, which included professional football, civil engineering and law. It was a great opportunity to build rapport with them and keep them caught up.

I got this note from one of my special ed kids. P.S. I teach him MATH not english! :)

I am so grateful for the love of God that has changed me and enabled me to really love these kids. Yes, even the "bad" ones. It is NOT anything in my flesh, it is the grace of God.

 Today was a GREAT day!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


We have had a wonderful Thanksgiving visit with my mother-in-law. We have spent the week in the absolutely beautiful north Georgia mountains. 
Pictures from the front porch!

Stephen has three very young half-siblings (Noah 9, Leah 6, and Samuel 5). 

We were so blessed to get to spend time with them this week. We even got to go to Samuel and Leah’s basketball game on Tuesday night.  However, I am pretty sure the kids were more excited to see Oscar than us....

Samuel and Oscar

Noah and Oscar

I know my husband hates that we live so far away from them. He wishes he could be more involved in their lives.
Stephen and Leah enjoying some pumpkin pie.

As I have watched my husband interact with them this week, it makes my heart swell. He has been so intentional about sharing the Gospel with them. I have watched him explain sin and its penalty, the holiness of God, and the provision made in Christ. Even though they have not been receptive, it was beautiful. In addition, he led us in a time of family worship on Thanksgiving day. 

So, as I count my blessings this Thanksgiving, I am so thankful for my husband and my marriage. It is awesome to see my husband passionate about the gospel and worship leading off of the stage. As I watched him this week, I can’t help but think of this as a preview of what is to come when we have children. I know he will strive to make the gospel the center of his parenting. I absolutley cannot wait to raise children with this man. 

The whole gang.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Taming the Troublesome Thyroid

After six weeks of medication, my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels are PERFECT.

My TSH is 1.15 down from 3.35, which it measured 6 weeks ago.  

In case you don't know much about thyroid hormones and TSH, the lower the TSH number the better the thyroid is working. The body produces TSH to "beg" for more thyroid hormone to be produced. So, you could say it is an "inverse" indicator of how well your body is producing thyroid hormones. My doctor (RE) wanted my level to be below 2.5, but from what I have read, the closer your TSH is to 1, the less your chance for miscarriage.

This was such an easy test. I can't help but wonder why my regular doctor never checked it. Thyroid hormone is necessary for maintaining a healthy pregnancy. This hormone not only helps sustain a pregnancy, but is also important for the neurological development of the baby. Studies have found that even women who carry their babies to term with a shortage of thyroid hormone were more likely to have babies with low IQ. In addition, high TSH levels have also been linked to difficulty conceiving.

In addition, most doctors will say you are in the "normal range" if your TSH levels are somewhere between 0.5-5.0. However, endocrinologists agree that the maximum level should actually be 3.0. My levels were between the two, and perhaps why this was not caught earlier. My TSH, at 3.35, was within what a regular doctor would consider normal, but above the newer guidelines. 

I am grateful for one piece of the puzzle being put into place. Plus, I feel so much better! Before, I could sleep 12 hours and yet it would be all I could do to drag myself out of the bed. I was feeling depressed and crying ALL THE TIME. I just attributed all this to grief, but now I believe it was related to my thyroid issues. Since starting the meds, I have more energy and feel much better. 

It is interesting how this whole process has taught me to take charge of my health. I have learned to research, learn and be a part of my healthcare. I encourage you to do the same!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

No Guarantee

Today, I had my blood re-drawn for a thyroid test. This test will reveal if my thyroid medication is sufficient, or if my dosage needs to be adjusted.

I have been eager to get to the day that we can try to conceive again. Especially eager, since it seems I am surrounded by positive pregnancy tests, big bellies, and precious babies EVERYWHERE. (Hello, miscarriage and infertility phenomenon.) I just can't wait to join all you moms and moms-to-be! However, today, my eagerness to try again, was replaced with some apprehension.

As the lab tech drew my blood, and I told her about all my test results, it hit me: there are no guarantees.

I have not gotten the impression from my doctor that they have "found it."  There hasn't been one specific test result to which they said, "Oh, no wonder you miscarried! This is it; this will fix it."  Instead, it has been results of borderline issues, which, if controlled, could decrease my chance of miscarrying some.  Now, don't get me wrong, I am excited about this. I am blessed that they have found some things to try, because I know some individuals get no answers.  I am optimistic about our next pregnancy. But, still, I realize that there is no guarantee that my pregnancies from here on will be perfect.  

So, I wonder if the vitamins, baby aspirin, levothyroxine, progesterone, and heparin shots will be enough? 

I realize I must sound like a worry-wort. Honestly, I don't know if it is worry, or just coming to terms with the truth. I think these thoughts are probably normal for someone who has had multiple miscarriages. It is also possible I am just weird.

I am a thinker. As such, I tend to think about these scenarios. How will I respond? How will I cope? This is how I put my theology to the test. Will I trust God knowing that there is no guarantee?

As I think these thoughts and ask these questions, I find myself coming to a place of peace. I trust my sovereign God. I don't have to worry because His plans (whatever they may be) will not be thwarted. I am ready for whatever the future holds, not because I am strong, but because my God is.

Friday, November 11, 2011

His Mercies are New

Wednesday was one of those days.

I felt like a complete failure as a teacher.

My students were not understanding.

My students were not doing their work.

They seemed apathetic.

I was frustrated.

I did not keep my cool.

On top of this, I also found myself dealing with unresolved grief.

I, quite literally, spent the whole day fighting back tears.

But, praise the Lord, His mercies are new every morning.

His compassions fail not.

He is faithful.

[It is of] the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not [they are] new every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Thursday was better.

I apologized to the kids.

I celebrated the small learning victories.

I was observed by someone from the school-board and was encouraged by the note they left.

I am letting myself deal with the grief.

I am accepting that I don't have to have it all together.

The LORD [is] my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
Lamentations 3:24

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Stinky Day

The moment my alarm rang, I smelt it. That awful, makes you want to hurl, burnt rubber and onions musty smell of fresh skunk spray. Smelling and seeing skunks has been a regular occurrence during our 2 1/2 years of living in Vidalia, which MUST unofficially be the skunk capital of the world. I didn't think too much of the smell as skunks spray around our house often. So, annoyed, I sauntered off to shower.

After exiting the bathroom, I realized the smell had gotten even stronger. I literally gagged. My next morning task is to let the dogs out.  As I opened the door to the "bonus room" (where the dogs sleep), I immediately noticed three things: 1) the smell, even stronger, kicked me in the gut, 2) the door  to the outside world was wide open, and 3) one dog was missing.

Not really sure what to do, I ran to rouse my hubby. That's basically how I handle all emergencies... run to Stephen. So, he woke up, walked outside, and called the dog. The pooch came running home, but had a big, smelly yellow spot on her chest. Seeing that this was going to tie-up my morning, I called my principal to let her know I would be late. She asked if I wanted to take the day off and take care of things. I decided I should.

So, first things first, we bathed the dog. First with a dish soap, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide formula. Then with regular soap. Then with the "formula" again. Repeat 4 times. Next, I cleaned up the piles of puke that she had left in the room (I guess getting sprayed by a skunk makes you sick) and scrubbed the floors in the areas that had what appeared to be skunk oil on them.

I have opened all the doors and windows and am trying to let the house air out. While the smell is much better than this morning, it is still pretty stinky.

Only Oscar knows what really happened...
I am sure this afternoon will include another dog bath and floor scrubbing, but, for now, I had to take a break to inform you of this craziness. Plus, I am about to eat lunch with my man, which makes things much better!  :)

I still don't know if the skunk came in and sprayed the dog or if the dog went out, got sprayed and returned to be sick. Whatever actually happened only our little Chiweenie knows. Lucky for him, he was crated and therefore spared from the whole getting sprayed by a skunk ordeal.

This day will forever be remembered as the stinkiest day off. Yuck.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Submission. This is a counter-cultural word. Our society has so influenced us Christian women that we cringe when we hear it. Society has so influenced the church that often pastors "dance around" or "sugar coat" the issue if they mention it at all.

Our society has taught us to be egocentric to the point that we no longer desire or even understand Biblical submission. We have allowed cultural views to impact us, and as a result our marriages look less and less Biblical. We no longer look for opportunities to submit to our husbands. To the contrary, we look for every opportunity to justify our lack of submission.

But, despite what our culture would have you believe, submission to our husbands is a beautiful, God-ordained thing.

I hear women say, "I can't submit because my husband is (insert some character defect here)."  In other words, we believe we don't have to submit because our husband does not deserve it. Newsflash: He will never deserve it. There is only one man in all of history who could ever deserve it. This is the beauty of it! We willingly submit to another sinful human, not because he deserves it, but because Christ deserves it.

As we look to our husband and begin to follow him, we can't focus on our spouse. We must shift our gaze to see past him and focus on Christ. If our focus is on our husband, we will be disappointed. Instead, we focus on Christ who does not disappoint. Our submission to our husband is in obedience to Christ. Our submission to our husband is our submission to Christ. If we are not submitting to our husband, we are not submitting to Christ.

This is a big deal. I saddens me that so many in the church have swept it under the proverbial rug. The Bible clearly calls wives to submit to their husbands. We are modeling for our children and the world what submission to Christ is about. Mothers, you teach your children how to submit to you, as a parent, by modeling it in your submission to your husband. Your children are watching. The world is watching.

Would you join me in praying that God would transform our minds in the area of submission? We can not buy into the lies of our culture and think it is ok for us to ignore the call to submission. We must not take this lightly, we should take it seriously. I desperately want to be obedient in this. I want my marriage to be a testimony of the Gospel.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Ephesians 5:22-23

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Laying Down the Dream

Do you ever ponder what you would give up for the gospel?  I do.

I wonder how far I would really go in obedience to God. How radical would I be? What would I actually give up? What would I actually sacrifice? Why am I not sacrificing more for the sake of the Gospel? Would I really go anywhere?  Would I really give anything?

This pondering has led to one conclusion: I am far too comfortable.

How could I say I would give up my life if it came down to it, yet struggle everyday to give up the "American Dream" of prosperity and success?

So, this is me, desiring to lay down the  "American Dream," but not really sure how to do that.  I don't need a nice house, nice car, great career, and 2.5 children. I need the gospel.