Monday, December 24, 2012

When Christmas Isn't So Merry

We have been talking about Fruit of the Spirit in Sunday school recently and I will do a series of posts with all of the lessons that my FABULOUS teacher has done (he's my husband) ;)  A few weeks ago we talked about joy and I have just been thinking so much about that word.  The definition that we talked about in Sunday school was:

joy - "having confidence in God's goodness despite your circumstances." 

Obviously this is not the Webster's dictionary definition but I think it's perfect.  Rachel has gotten into this trend where she has been grumbling and complaining about everything.  She is just not happy about anything and we had a discussion the other day about joy and about being content.  Her kindergarten teacher even looked up the verse in Philippians where it says "do everything without arguing or complaining" Philippians 2:4.  Now, if she gets into her "funk" I will say, "Rachel, what does Philippians 2:4 say?"  She will quote the verse and her attitude will change...most of the time!

My point to all of this is not to say that we will not have challenges in our lives.  I love this time of year.  Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year but let's face it, for some it is the sadest time of the year.  Some of you will celebrate your first Christmas without your loved one, remember the baby you were supposed to be holding this Christmas or your heart may be aching because your empty belly suddenly stopped growing when the life inside ceased to continue living even when your love didn't.  Many of my friends are experiencing broken marriages and families and I'm heartbroken for them.  For some, this time of the year is excruciating and I am sorry...from the very depth of my heart and soul, I am sorry.  I wish I could sit with each one of you and weep with and for you.

The good news is that even though this world is filled with sorrow and hurt and terrible things that Jesus was born to bring hope, peace and JOY to this world!!!  And HE DID!!!  He does and HE WILL!!!!  I am so excited about His coming I could get out of my seat right now and shout it from the top of my lungs!!!  Christ is STILL ON HIS THRONE!  Whatever you are going through, my friend - whatever it is...HE is there for you and WITH you and He wants you to know that He loves YOU!  I know that when your world is crumbling down before you, sometimes God is the last thing that you want to hear about because you feel like He did whatever to you, but that is the farthest from the truth and that is what the enemy wants you to believe. 

So, this Christmas, please cling to the HOPE and LOVE and JOY of Christ.  He was born more than 2,000 years ago in a lowly stable to save this world from sin.  That baby changed everything.  Everything.  He can change YOU too, if you allow him. 

All is well, all is well
Angels and men rejoice
For tonight darkness fell
Into the dawn of love's light
Sing Alle
Sing Alleluia

All is well, all is well
Let there be peace on earth
Christ is come, go and tell
That He is in the manger

Sing Alle
Sing Alleluia

All is well, all is well
Lift up your voice and sing
Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior

Sing Alleluia
Sing Alleluia

All is well

Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior

Sing Alleluia
Sing Alleluia

All is well

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, Rachel Mackenzie

I hate that I am so behind on blogging but I have just been so stressed and busy with the new job.  I am hoping that my little vacation will help me get back on track.  I have missed the "blog-o-sphere."  :)

Rachel Mackenzie, my first born ball of energy and sensitive beauty, turned six years old on November 14th!!  I will never forget my pregnancy with her as I was a nervous wreck.  Most of you know my history and can understand when I say that I felt that I did not deserve the blessing that was growing inside of my body when the Lord decided to allow Brice and I to bring Rachel into the world.  I was constantly thinking was something wrong with her.  I called the doctor all of the time when I felt "funny" or when I couldn't feel or move when I thought she should.  Needlesstosay I am sure I drove that doctor NUTS!!!!  I even drove myself a little crazy! :S 

I was due on December 5, 2006.  I had a seemingly uneventful pregnancy until Friday, October 13th.  I had a regularly scheduled doctor's appointment that day and I was at work and said to a co-worker, "Wouldn't it be great if the doctor said I didn't have to come back to work?"  I was joking...SERIOUSLY joking but I was miserable!!!  I was only about 32 1/2 weeks pregnant but I was SO swollen and just miserable.  Well, at that appointment my blood pressure was elevated and I was swollen so my doctor put me on home bed rest.  I was not allowed to work anymore.  I was on bed rest at home from then until 36 weeks then was hospitalized because I had protein in my urine and my blood pressure was HORRIBLE and the swelling was so bad.  I had also started to have epigastric pain.  Here is the last picture I took before going into the hospital...

33 weeks pregnant
After being in the hospital for a week, I was induced at 37 weeks and after a VERY eventful delivery including a vacuum delivery, elevated fever, and Rachel being in the NICU, Rachel Mackenzie was born at 9:49 PM on November 14, 2006 weighing 7 lbs, 10 oz and was 20 inches long!!! 
Rachel is such a sweet girl.  She is definitely a first born.  She is independent and wants to do everything by herself and thinks it is her duty to help everyone and tell everyone what to do.  She is extremely smart and lets everyone know that she is.  She is very much like her momma when it comes to being outgoing.  She will talk to ANYONE which mortifies her father! ;)  She is interested in math and loves to solve problems which is just like her daddy!  She looks like me and acts like me which is scary!  She is EXTREMELY sensitive and cries at the drop of a hat which only makes me scared for the years to come. 
She is the light of my life and I love her with every inch of my being.  I would not trade this little girl for anything in the world.  Rachel,
"I love you, a bushel and a peck
A  bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck
A hug around the neck and a barrel and heap
A barrel and heap and I'm talkin in my sleep
About you!"

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas

My friend Amanda with Amanda Rooney Photography did a GREAT job taking the pictures and designing our Christmas card this year!!!  I told her that I wanted something whimsical and fun and she came up with the design!  I didn't get a family picture this year because getting all of us together and happy at the same time is next to impossible! 

I really wish that I could send a Christmas card to every person that reads my blog, is my friend on Twitter and/or Facebook but I just can't so consider this your personal Christmas card from our home to yours!! :) 

Merry Christmas from the 5 of us!


I am still here!

Wow!  It has been a long time!!!  As my husband reminded me tonight, the last time I blogged was Halloween!!!  SO MUCH has happened since then!!!  I will tell you as much as I can think of and leave out the stuff that isn't too important!! :)

Probably the biggest thing that has happened since I blogged last is that I changed jobs!  I put in my two week notice at Arlington Memorial Hospital and my last day there was Friday, November 16th.  I was there for almost 5 years and the decision to leave was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made.  I absolutely love that hospital and those 5 years, granted not without challenges, were some of the best years of my career.  I am now working at Baylor Surgical Hospital in Fort Worth.  It is United Surgical Partners hospital, mainly owned by physicians and a small portion owned by Baylor Healthcare System.  It is a small 24 inpatient bed surgical hospital that cranks out A TON of surgeries per day and stays plenty busy.  My start date there was December 4th and I have been a busy little bee there since. 

Several have asked if I like my new job.  Here is what I have to say.  I do like it.  I miss Arlington Memorial something terrible.  I have days where I just want to cry I miss it so bad.  I miss my friends, I miss the familiarity.  I miss knowing what I'm doing and people coming to me when they don't know the answers.  I miss being on top of my game and being organized and just....being comfortable.  I miss being in my element.  I feel SO COMPLETELY out of my element.  Am I happy?  I think so.  It is just such an emotional thing for me.  I don't do change well but this was a good move for me.  I need to grow both personally and professionally and I absolutely believe that this move will do that for me.  I don't like feeling like I am flying by the seat of my pants because most days I absolutely feel like that.  The people are different....not bad.....but different. So....I believe that God has me in this place at this time for a specific purpose.  I feel wanted and I am glad that people are excited that I am at Baylor Surgical.  I am excited about what I am doing and what I have the potential to do.  My heart is still sad.  My OCD is still having difficulty overcoming some of the logistics of it all.  But, all in all, it's good.  :)

Something else that has happened since my last post is that Rachel turned 6!!  I will do a separate post about her birthday festivities but my BABY is now 6 years old!!!!  How did that happen?! 

Sorry there are no pictures but while I am on vacation this next week I will try to do some regular posts with some pictures!! :)

Reason to Rejoice
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