Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Decade of Friendship: A Letter to My Husband

Ten years ago, little did we know what God had ordained. In Glorieta, New Mexico our paths crossed. You were at the wrong place at the wrong time... or maybe the right place at the right time. You skipped your activity to play basketball (where I was). A few weeks ago, I sat down one morning and wrote how the Lord has been faithful to us. It's something I think we should do on a regular basis and definitely with our children. 

Year 1, Glorieta, New Mexico

Our marriage has not always been fun or easy, but I can say it's been worth it. And will continue to be. Our precious gifts from the Lord have me in awe this morning of how God provides for us, loves us and disciplines us. He disciplined us in our sin 3.5 years ago -praise Him for that! Little did we know the bright future He held. 

The Lord is faithful when we are not. 
His plan is perfect when ours is not. 
He will never leave us or forsake us. 

Year 2, Clinton, LA

We have grown together (almost grown up together) through trails and many long talks (whether it be money, family, child rearing, getting a splinter out of a toddler's toe that seems absolutely impossible, or one day moving and having a small homestead). I wouldn't want to walk through life with anyone else. You have seen me at my darkest and still choose to love me. What a picture of grace. I am your helpmate. I will be here. 

Year 3, Orange Beach, AL

As I look back on these 10 years, I see where everything has come together for our good. Sanctification is a lifelong process of becoming more like Christ. I earnestly (more like begging) pray our marriage mirrors that love Christ has for his church. And you know what, in the past 3 years, we have failed to demonstrate that love. Right now, I feel like we are far from holiness, but we're exactly where He wants us. He wants to grow us in our times of need. As C.S. Lewis says, 

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Isn't this so true? We are content playing in the mud when there's a beautiful sea waiting. We both know there's great joy in marriage. May the Lord grow us together. As Christ shapes us in His image, I pray our hearts would be humbled. I pray our response is, "What is the Lord teaching me?" instead of, "Why, God?". 

Year 4, New Orleans, LA

Over the past week, through listening to our heart, I know why God joined us together. You are perfect for me. In my struggle to control you (which I didn't realize until you completely shut down and the Lord opened my eyes to my sin), I have learned to let you be the man God has created you to be. I have seen where my sin of nagging has pushed you from the gospel... because I was not living the gospel. I was hoarding bitterness and was prideful. Christ loves us not depending on anything we do, but what He HAS done. I lost sight of that. I lost my first love. Please forgive me. 

Year 5, Grand Cayman 
(Whew. The devil was ready to steal, kill and destroy on that mission trip.)

I also discounted the power of prayer. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. {James 5:16} Since we have been praying together, the Holy Spirit has been moving in our house. Spiritual depression had a hold on us, but through prayer {Psalm 42}, the devil was rebuked. Praying with you allows us to both be vulnerable. To be vulnerable to the Lord and to each other. God's kindness leads us to repentance. We need each other to carry out good works. Let our love for each other be the best gift we give our children. May the Lord be glorified! 

Year 6, MissionFuge in Tennessee

Another thing, I thank you for never judging me, but loving me. When I'm (extremely) honest with you, I know I'm still accepted. That's living the gospel in front of my eyes. Nothing can pluck us from His hand. Last week when you reaffirmed our love for me, "There's nothing you can do that would ever make me leave you." showed that we're in this fight together - a fight for our marriage. Not that I would (hopefully) do anything, but it reminds me of Paul when talking to the Romans in chapter 5 verse 20, "Where sin increased, grace increased all the more." I pray we will be able to live that verse out with each other and our children. Not saying to go on sinning, but be quick to forgive. Offer grace... just as it has freely be given to us. 

Year 7, Marriage, Clinton, LA

Just a few verses I wanted to share, 

"If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

Year 8, Madison, MS

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35-39

Year 9, Betsy and Graham's wedding
Year 10 (5 months ago)
What God has joined together, let no man separate. {Mark 10:9}

There is so much more I would love to write about how Christ has redeemed us, but your mini me is waking from his sweet slumber. May the Lord look at us in glory and be well pleased. I love you.

(print credit at the top: Rachel Cox

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wailes Kennedy Sims

Whew. Hi. Anyone home? I feel like I just came out of blogging hibernation. Or just hibernation at that. I stay inside our little home a lot. I realized I hadn't left the house from Saturday - Wednesday last week. Baby brother is keeping me busy, but he is truly a joy. 

Wailes Kennedy Sims entered our world on December 18, 2013 at 3:45ish P.M. Labor (if you even want to call it that) and delivery were so enjoyable. Weird, right? My epidural obviously didn't work with Harper Lee. She was so painful to birth, ha. But worth it. Daniel and I checked in to the hospital around 5 A.M. with our best friends, Mark and Amy Brown, who were also having a baby boy that day. We got settled in a room around 6 and the nurse "started" an IV. There's one part I hate about a hospital and it's an IV. Bahhhh. I get nauseous just thinking about it. They missed my huge vein 3 times with Harper. I about died. Really. Not really, but close. This time I requested it in my arm (not my hand), but the nurse convinced me my vein was so big that she could get it in, no problem. Wrong. I'm starting to hyperventilate just writing this. The vein burst (or something along those lines) and it didn't work. I could feel blood all over my hand, and I suddenly got sick. Sweaty, nauseous, sick. I could hear, "Now, I just did 6 IVs and this is the only one I missed. We'll have to do it again." I wanted to crawl under my bed and just hide from all the needles. That was the worst part of labor.

Mark, Amy and Tate Lawson Brown (hiding somewhere!)

won't be the first time she'll be on top of him 

I was already 3 cm dilated, so I decided to get my epidural. The hospital was full, and I did not want the pain to increase and the anesthesiologist be in another room. I slowly became numb from my waist down. The epidural worked! Hallelujah! My legs felt like 1,000 pounds, but who cares? I slept the majority of the day. Not many people were there, which made the day so relaxing. Daniel stayed outside of the room playing with Harper and "entertaining" family. I kept telling my nurse what a great day it was. I was alone. I love my alone time.

Dialation was really slow all day. Finally at 3:15, I was 10 cm. The nurse told me it was time to push, and I looked at Daniel with a sign of, "Are you going to hold my legs, because I'm not sure they're still attached." I got to 6 seconds (out of 10) and the nurse told me to stop pushing, she was going to call the dr. I was so shocked it was this easy, I asked for a mirror! Ha! Yeah, that enjoyable.

(I would add the cute videos, but my phone won't transfer them to iPhoto.)

Let me back up. That morning it was 30 degrees outside. It had warmed up to 75 that afternoon, and the heat was still on in the hospital. My room was burning up. I had a box fan on my the whole day, but had to turn it off come pushing time.

The doctor came in, cleaned everything then Daniel got nauseous. It was hot, 10 people in the room and the smell of the betadine was strong. I don't think he saw the baby come out. I'm pretty sure the nurse told him to sit on the couch.

Most relaxing delivery ever. After 3 pushes, he was here! Practically perfect 7 pound 8 ounce baby brother. That's when I got a little emotional. When Harper was born, I was just praising God I didn't have to push another time and she was healthy. With Wailes, I could take everything in. Ah. Wonderful. Beautiful baby boy.

Our time in the hospital was great. A somewhat babymoon without a funny toddler running around stealing our attention :) Speaking of sister, she LOVES her brother. My biggest challenge has been keeping him alive (not smothered by her). She would hold him every second of the day. It's a big blessing! Of course, she now acts out when visitors come, because she wants attention. It's totally normal and to be expected. I'm hoping she will grow out of that soon. We talked about brother the entire time I was pregnant. I'm assuming that helped with her transition. Who knows.

So, that's our baby story. Pretty boring, but I'd do it again. In a heartbeat. Our babies are so loved by many. You. Thank you. Life would be much harder without your support. Our church has played a major role in our lives. The community at Pear Orchard has blessed us immensely. From food every night (Daniel especially thanks you), to picking up Harper to play, to visiting in the hospital, to welcoming us back to church and just loving us. We would be a lonely family without the church. Praising God for sweet community. Speaking of good meals (this might be TMI), I told Daniel I was regularly going to the bathroom. He said, "Me too! All the time." We looked at each other and said, "It's the good food!!!" And laughed for awhile. I cook, but we eat at 5:30, and starving by 9, so we end up eating a lot of junk. Anyway, that story was too funny for me not to input it. Sorry mom. 

Oh. His name. Daniel and I could not decide on a name. We didn't bring the subject up for awhile, because we had such a hard time with Harper's. We wished we would've saved Daniel Harper Sims for brother, but it's done. We finally decided on Sunday night that it would be Wailes. I was sitting on the couch watching, Alaska: The Last Frontier (if you have Netflix, watch it!) and said, "What about Wailes? I have a cousin named Wailes." It's from his dad, Leven Wailes Magruger, who is my uncle (by marriage). So, it's somewhat a family name, but Daniel and I really liked it. Daniel said, "Ok, that's it." The next day I asked Julie to monogram 2 outfits. It was done. Lets just hope we have a girl next (in years to come), because I do not want to play the name game again. Whew. 

Leven "Wailes" Magruder (the 4th, maybe??)

By the way, I hope to start blogging more frequently. Two random/very kind women sent me messages last week talking about my blog. I was shocked and humbled. Big thanks to both of you! I don't know how you stumbled across me, but I'm glad you did. Writing has been an outlet (as I'm sure it is for every 5,000,000,000 mommy blogger). I have few moments to myself during each day. Those moments are usually spent ten toes up. I told Daniel, since we have been married, I have either been pregnant or nursing. Which ultimately means, I'm tired. I sleep when the kids sleep. The only reason I'm typing now is because Daniel fell asleep putting Harper to bed at 8:00. Between my commitment to being a wife and mom, time alone is few and far between. But... I really want to commit to writing again. You don't have to read it, but I'm going to write. 

Christmas. Don't even get me started on Christmas. 

facetiming in on Christmas Eve at dad's

Christmas Eve at the Tigrett's house

LeeLee and Mr. Phil 

We planned Wailes' birth so we wouldn't be in the hospital on Christmas day. God had different plans.  Just goes to show Mary cannot control everything.

Look, I am so tired of seeing mommy bloggers post about how hard childrearing is, they wear spit up all day, ... blah, blah, I've read a lot of them. I hope this isn't like that. I want to be real, like I'm talking to you in my living room. Except... I type better than I speak. I don't mean to discredit the bloggers, by any means, I've just read the same post on 3,000 different blogs. Mine might sound just like that.... lets hope not. I hope it's more gospel centered than Mary centered. Unlike my Instagram. Please don't think I have a perfect life. I pray I don't portray that. I like/love pictures. One day I'll figure out how to work Photoshop on my computer... one day. Not today. 

Ok, going to bed. My little boy will be up in 3 hours. And 3 hours after that. And 3 hours after that. And... you get my point. I'm exhausted.

Books I'm trying to read, This Momentary Marriage by Piper and Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges (Bible study, so that keeps me accountable!). Gospel Powered Parenting is next. I've started it several times. Oops. Has anyone read these? Really enjoying them so far. Here's to putting God first, marriage second and children third. I've had that backwards for the past 2 years.