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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Elijah Neal {birth story}

Elijah Neal Rogers entered our world on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm.  He weighed 9 lbs. 5 oz. and was 22 inches long.
        I will start off by saying that this birth experience was completely different from our first.  Although they were both beautiful and miraculous, Eli’s birth was much less stressful, shorter and trauma free compared to Josiah’s birth.  Let’s start from the beginning…
        Jordan and I decided to get a hotel Tuesday night in Wichita Falls because I had to be at the hospital for pre-admissions and lab work at 4 o’clock that evening and then back to the hospital for the induction Wednesday morning at 5:30 am.  My parents and grandparents also stayed at that same hotel Tuesday night to take care of Josiah (they have been such a blessing!) So Jordan and I arrived at United Regional Hospital at 5:30 am on Wednesday morning and by 6:00 am the nurse had already started me on Pitocin…boy, does that stuff start working fast!  I have a very high pain tolerance but by 8 o’clock, my pain level was already at a 7 so they gave me some pain medicine (I can’t remember what the name of it was so I will just call it “wonderful”) that made the contractions much more bearable.  At 8:30 am, Dr. Lamar came in and broke my water and I was 3 cm dilated.  This was music to my ears because with Josiah, it took 17 hours to get to that point! By 10:15 am, the pain meds had worn off and I was 4-5 cm dilated so I went ahead and got the epidural…it was also “wonderful”. At 12:15 pm, I was 6 cm…12:30 pm, 7 cm…and at 1:20 pm, I was 9 cm dilated and Dr. Lamar was on his way. I pushed about 15-20 times and our beautiful Eli greeted us with his strong lungs at 1:55 pm.  I cannot explain the joy that I felt when he was placed in my arms or when I got to nurse him shortly after…pure bliss!
        I could sit here and make so many comparisons between Josiah’s twenty-six hour birth and Eli’s eight hour birth, but to me, what matters most is the outcome…God has blessed Jordan and I with two beautiful boys that I just can’t get enough of.  I’m literally at a loss for words right now…some may call that writer’s block, but I prefer the term “humbled”  I am completely humbled that God has chosen me for something so amazing- bringing children into the world for His glory.  I can think of no higher calling that to raise our boys up for the Lord to further His kingdom…what an unbelievable blessing! Thank you Lord!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Getting Fit: Motives and Methods

With Eli getting here anyday now, I have found myself thinking a lot about getting back into shape. I think that every woman who has carried a baby probably goes through this...she sacrifices her body for 9+ months, gains 40 lbs (in my case)  and then beats herself up when she is still wearing maternity pants a month after giving birth.  Eventhough it didn't take me long to get back into shape after having Josiah, I have found myself worrying that it will take longer with this one. (I've had many women tell me that it gets harder to lose the weight with each pregnancy).  But today, while doing my quiet time, I really felt convicted after reading this passage:

"...train yourself in godliness, for the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." 1 Timothy 4:7-8

Paul isn't saying here that we shouldn't strive to be healthy or that we shouldn't exercise to keep our body's in shape. He's just saying that our spiritual growth and walk with the Lord should not come second place to the training of our bodies.  I think we can dig even deeper here and say that when it comes to getting in shape and losing weight, our motives should be God honoring.  Do I want to get in shape so as to be commended by my friends or family? or to look like a model on the front of a magazine cover? OR do I want to get in shape so that by the grace of God, I live a longer, healthier life to which I can devote to the Lord in ministry and witnessing? I think that if our motives are anything but the last mentioned, then we are probably sinning. I also think that the way we get in shape should be examined also.  I have known many people who use the "get skinny fast" methods which include pills, starving themselves, throwing up, crash diets, etc. I'm sure you can add to the list.  But let me ask you this...although, you may like the results that you see in the mirror, is the method that you are using to lose the weight harming your body from the inside out? You may be doing more harm than good...I can't tell you how many women I have seen use one of these methods, see fast results but not realize that she is killing her insides and her turn, she gains the weight back (plus some more) and then falls into a pit of depression...HOW IS THIS GOD HONORING? Can you truly say that this is a good way to treat God's temple?

I don't want you to think that I am pointing the finger here...I myself have been guilty of having the wrong motives and trying the wrong methods and I can personally tell you that neither will lead you towards a happier life.  The key is to find the right balance.  First and foremost, our spiritual growth should be of most importance.  We can't let working out get in the way of time spent in the Word. Secondly, we need to make sure that our motives AND methods are in check with holiness when we are getting in shape.

On a more humorous note, I may need one of you dear ladies to remind me of this post in a couple of weeks when I try to squeeze myself back into a size 7 only 3 weeks postpardum! Just kidding...I'm not even going to try that!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Just a Closer Walk with Thee

My heart just melted...Normally, when Josiah wakes up from his nap, I go and lay down with him while he drinks his juice and slowly wakes up. Today, he did not make a sound so I didn't know he was awake until his little feet came pitter-pattering into the dining room where I was doing my quiet time.  He didn't fuss or anything...He just grabbed me by my pant leg and pulled me into the bedroom to lay down with him...needless to say, this momma's heart is still in a puddle on our bedroom floor!

This simple affection shown by my sweet little boy got me thinking...It got me thinking about how my God feels or how He is pleased (sorry, I'm having a hard time figuring out what humanistic terms to use when describing a Holy God) when I come to Him just because I want to spend time with Him...because I want to know Him more...Not to come requesting anything from Him or with a complaint, but to just come...Why do we make the time to come to Him with our many prayer requests but often neglect all the other aspects of our relationship? Like, for example: digging into the meat of his word, offering prayers to Him of utter thankfulness and adoration for who He is, shouting words and songs of praise, or just marveling at the beauty of His creation and the work of His hands? Take a moment and compare how you treat your relationship with God to how you treat your relationship with your spouse...Would you only come to your spouse with only requests and complaints? Of course not, a strong relationship requires that you show each other love, affection and attention. Why should our relationship with God be any less? If anything, it should be more because we should cherish our relationship with Him above all else and anyone else. It's not until we experience a deeper walk with God and a close relationship with Him that we can truly share with others just how much the Lord has changed us...after all, you can't portray someone in the right light or even come close if you don't know that person very well yourself, can you? I pray that these words of Peter and John speak to you and cut through to the heart of things for you as they did for me...

"For we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard." (Acts 4:20)

...That is my walk so closely with the Lord that I can't help but to proclaim to all what I have seen and heard...thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Elijah Neal {37 weeks}

Just got home from my 37 week ultrasound/appointment and Eli's estimated weight is 8 lbs. 5 oz. already and we have two more weeks to go! The estimation can vary by 1 lb. in both directions so he is anywhere between 7 lbs. 5 oz. and 9 lbs. 5 oz...With two more weeks to go, he will gain about two more pounds...can you say, "Good Gravy!" And, it doesn't look like I'm going to go into labor before my induction on the 23rd or 24th (I'll be 39 weeks and 2 days at that point). I have been 1 cm dilated since last week and haven't made any progress as of today.  I'm thinking that I am just one of those women who carry their babies longer...I went 42 weeks with Josiah and my water broke the night before my scheduled induction...he was 9 lbs. 8 oz...I really do not want to be induced, because I would rather Eli come on his own time, but that could be 4 weeks from now and he is already huge! I know that I have joked around about having big babies, but in all seriousness, I would like to ask you to pray for me and for Elijah.  I will not go into detail about Josiah's birth but it was very traumatic and endangered both of our lives.(if you really want to know, you can read my "birth story" under my notes on facebook).  I'm praying for a completely different experience this time and I ask that you would too! Thanks!

I'll leave you with some of the ultrasound pics from today:

yep, definitely a boy!

wonder where he gets the big feet from?

boom! boom! firepower! : )

big ole' hands just like Mommy, Daddy and Josiah!