Lessons From a Growing Gut

Towards the end of last week I officially passed the halfway point of our first pregnancy.  For the first time on this entire journey I was hit smack in the face with fear and uncertainty over entering the world of motherhood.  What am I doing?!

After a fair amount of crocodile tears, long hugs from the hubby, and a good bit of rest, I am proud to say this “momma to be” is ready to persevere.  Although I am only halfway through pregnancy, and not even close to mastering motherhood, my mind is flowing with what I would like to call “Gut Lessons.”

These are the moments, great and small, this growing abdomen of mine is teaching me.  It is my sincere prayer to finish this pregnancy, and finish it well.  So, in honor of NCIS, and Special Agent Gibbs (my husband and mother-in-law should be proud) I wanted to share a few things my “gut” has taught me so far.  I’m sure there will be more “Gut Lessons” in the days to follow.  Here’s today:

1.  I am not in control. –Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.  Before you were born I set you apart. -Jeremiah 1:5a.

Nowhere within this verse does it tell me that I am the one forming our baby.  It is the Lord who is forming our little man.  It is the Lord who already knows him and has set him apart.  I have never been accused of having to be in control, in fact, I prefer others to have control because I can’t stand the pressure.  But, in the midst of carrying this precious child, I have begun to feel an extreme need for control.  Admittedly, this is not the best time to begin desiring control.

A time where I cannot seem to control much of anything, fatigue, emotions, weight gain, do I need to continue?  Oh the irony!  Praise the Lord, HE has control of me and this precious unborn life.

2.  Family First.  –A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.  Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value…Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. -Proverbs 31:10-11, 28

A wife of noble character is not described as a woman who sits around worrying about tomorrow, complaining of today, and crying over yesterday.  Her husband and children value her because she cares for them.  These past few months have shown me first hand what an affect my choices have on my husband and my child.

Everything from food cravings (choosing nutrients for our little man) to exercise (seeking to keep a positive mood for my husband) all have a HUGE affect on my family.  Part of learning to put my family first is taking care of myself in the ways that matter.  The Lord has entrusted me with some guys who need me and I desire to seek Him first in order to meet the daily needs of my family.

3.  I am NOT alone…Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked before us. –Hebrews 12:1  (Note: Take some time to read this passage in its entirety and rejoice in the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior!)

“You are alone…”  This lie presents itself to me in a variety of ways on a regular basis.  It has chosen to creep it’s way in at inopportune times over the past several months.  It is a daily choice to place myself in situations to counteract this falsehood.  The Lord uses a variety of relationships as well as truth from His Scripture to help me combat this terrible distraction.  I’m not the first to be found shaking in her boots at times over stepping into the world of motherhood, and I will not be the last!  What a blessing to run this race alongside others and learn from those who have gone before.

4.  Remember to breathe.“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

Embrace the quiet moments, be intentional at finding ways to truly let your mind rest, be still, and be OK being still.  I know there will come a day when I will long for time to sit and breathe.  However, at times resting can be quite the difficult task.  Aint nobody gonna be doing any good if I keep running and forget to breathe.  Today’s a gift, may I seek to enjoy it and breathe through it.

Here’s to being halfway to somewhere…I’ll let you know next time this ‘ol gut speaks!

 

 

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Sunday Smiles

Psalm 118:24-  This is the DAY the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!

-Surprise flowers from my husband, just because…

-An ice-cold glass of orange juice to begin the day.

-Morning worship, the gift of witnessing others come to know the Lord.

-Singing songs of praise, with baby resting comfortably in the womb.

-Kisses, hand shakes, and best wishes for a good week in the Lord as we depart from cooperate worship.

-Long, flowing skirts that move just right in the cool summer breeze.

-Sunday picnic after monthly missionary staff meeting.

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-Uncontrollable laughter meant to be shared.

-Couches made for napping in a still and quiet house.

-Content hearts due to a wonderful Creator who deserves our praise.

These are but a few things that have led me to rejoice and be glad today.  What are two or three things you are rejoicing in today?

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Different Packaging

“Eat your carrots, they are good for your eyes and will help you see…”

This phrase can be heard said in kitchens around the world as mothers try to convince their kids to eat the hard orange veggie.  Did you know, carrots contain beta-carotine, which the body converts to Vitamin A, an important nutrient for eye health?  Perhaps my mom and many others have been onto something.

Why all this carrot talk?

Since moving to Haiti I have said goodbye to the world of perfectly prepared, pre-packaged baby carrots in the local grocery store. I have said hello to dirt covered, mis-shaped, variety sized carrots from the local market.  The picture at the top of the page are a few carrots I recently purchased from the market.  Not quite the grocery store perfection I grew up eating.  After many months of receiving my less than cookie-cutter perfect carrots I began to wonder, is this what carrots look like in the U.S. when they are pulled straight from the ground?

Don’t judge, it’s an honest question from someone who has not been around her fair share of “carrot planters.”  I took this question to the most logical place:  www.kidsgrowingstrong.org, a kid friendly website with loads of gardening advice.  After a few minutes of very strenuous carrot studies, I am convinced of one thing, a carrot is a carrot is a carrot.

You can plant a carrot in the U.S., Haiti, or anywhere else for that matter, and it will always be a carrot.  Pretty simple, huh?  This “Veggie Lesson” is also a good reminder of another very foundational truth:

People are people are people.  Granted, we all have “different packaging” but, we were ALL created in the image of God with the same basic needs (Gen. 1:27).

Our time in Haiti has helped me see this truth on a whole new level.  I have stepped out of a world of English speaking, Cheese-Burger eating, Football loving Americans.  I now function daily in a world of Creole speaking, Rice & Bean eating, Soccer (Football) loving Haitians.  A people whose packaging is different, yet we are the same.

Just this morning I was talking to a few Haitian women who were intrigued by the fact that I was indeed going to have our baby here in Haiti.  They were excited to learn I would deliver our baby very similar to how they had their children, and that he would be “Haitian.” This led to a time of each woman sharing about her particular delivery experience, the early days with their baby at home, and on and on, you know how moms can be.

As the conversation concluded, my heart delighted as that simple conversation helped me continue to see through our different cultures  and into the lives of my sisters in Haiti.

Some days the challenges of Haiti are difficult to see through.  But, as our relationships are strengthened and we continue to learn, I am humbly aware that we are all just a bunch of carrots.

I guess moms have been right for all these years, carrots really do help us see clearer!

Below: My carrots after a good bit of work, mmm mmm good!

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Baby Time!

We are having a BOY!!!!  In just a matter of months Little Man Salter is going to make his grand appearance and life as we know it will never be the same…

We are so EXCITED!

I will confess, I have never pictured myself as a “boy” mom.  But, as I watch our little man’s daddy and grow more in love with him everyday, my heart fills with unbelievable joy to think about the gift of raising our little guy to be just like his daddy!

My love of pig tails and ballet skirts will be put on hold as I enter into a whole new world of mud puddles and dump trucks, a world I cannot wait to be a part of!  I find myself noticing little boys everywhere these days.  I watch them play with their friends, I admire their cute little khaki pants, and my heart melts when I see them walk hand in hand with their momma’s.

Oh snap, we are having a BOY!

Trey and I are huge country music fans.  I’ll never forget riding in his jeep one afternoon when the song “Watching You,” by Rodney Atkins came on the radio.  He immediately turned it up and said, “This is one of my favorite songs!”  As the song played I listened to Trey sing along word for word and it was then, deep down inside I wondered if one day the Lord would give us a little boy…

“We Love fixing things and holding momma’s hand, we’re just alike hey aren’t we dad?  I wanna do, everything you do…cause I’ve been watching you…”

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Listen to the song here:  Watching You…

Here’s to the beginning of a whole new adventure.  Momma’s of boys, any advice for this first timer?

 

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A Little While…

True confession, I am a mess!

A few days ago I was making some pie crust (insert your “oo’s & ahh’s” here over my amazing domestic abilities).  After what I thought was simply a small portion of flour on my cabinet, I stepped back for a moment and noticed crisco and flour remnants on every square inch of counter top, floor, and myself.  I had done it again, made a bonified, certified, MESS.

As I looked at the mess, the reality of washing crisco and flour off several dishes hit me.   I was surprised to see that instead of being overwhelmed by the mess, I was excited about the goodness to come a little while later.  Yes, I knew clean up had to happen.  But, this particular day I went a little “Pie-Crust Crazy” and made a chicken-pot-pie for dinner AND a derby pie for dessert.  Two of our favorites!

I stood and looked at my messy kitchen, I did not see more work to be done.  Instead, I could smell the warm pies baking in the oven and anticipate my husbands surprise as he came home to discover a pretty tasty dining experience, if I do say so myself.

My perspective was on the end result, not on the mess it took to get me there.

Messes are a part of life.  Instead of allowing our messes to be a burden, could they actually serve as a reminder that there are good things to come?  Think about it…

When planning for a big move the house becomes a total DISASTER.  Messes are everywhere, yet in a little while a new home is established and order is recreated, the mess was NOT permanent.

College students, trying to prepare for an exam or complete a semester…the dorm room, notebooks, closets…EVERYTHING is a mess.  But, after a little while another semester is complete and they are one step closer to completing their schooling.

Young momma’s, spilled milk and peanut butter smears found everywhere!  But, after a little while, the sweet gift of healthy children, strong and ready for all that may come play together in the living room.

One more terrible story on the news.  Sex trafficking, poverty at home and abroad, bus crash takes innocent lives, each one a terrible mess…only for a little while.

In 1 Peter 1, we see that even the biggest trials (messes) are simply for a little while.

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 through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is 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 all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

Our messes are so temporary.  They are simply here for a little while and can serve as a huge reminder that there WILL be good to follow.

The end result of all the flour mess?

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2 half eaten pies, 1 happy family, oh…and another mess in the kitchen after the meal was complete.  Oh the mess, but oh the goodness!

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