Saturday, October 9, 2010

Our little blessing

I can't believe we actually have our little girl. The journey has been a long one with plenty of valleys for us to endure, but God blessed us with Lillian Grace Flagg September 23, 2010. We have been praying and longing for this little bundle for just about 5 years and it's definitely surreal to actually hold her in our arms. We are having the best time being her parents even through the sleepless nights and fits of crying. Looking at her I am reminded of the quote from Where The Heart Is..."How can you love someone so much you just met?" I don't know how to answer that question, but I relate to it. I am filled with an overwhelming sense of love for Lillian it surprises me. I would do anything for her and want the best for her life. This whole experience gives me a glimpse of God's love for His children. It's truly amazing!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

She wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny...

So lately I've been having quite a few conversations with different people about bathing suits. I guess because summer is right around the corner and soon everyone will be making their way to the beaches and pools. To be honest, I have no idea why it's ok for women to wear bikinis to the beach, but not ok for them to walk around in their bra and underwear. Is it because one has been deemed "swimwear" and therefore appropriate to wear outside? If we stop to think about it, both cover about the same amount of skin and sometimes the swimwear actually covers less. Yet, somehow it is perfectly fine to flaunt your body simply because you are at the beach wearing a bikini. Call me a prude, but I find something very wrong with this picture especially being a Christian women.

My concern is not really about the bikinis themselves, but about the concept of purity. Normally I would say it's about modesty, but my husband pointed out that modesty is relative. Society dictates what's modest throughout time. Obviously, in this particular time in history, bikinis are not immodest. But I do think they challenge God's idea of purity. As Christian women, we need to realize the power we have to either encourage our brothers in Christ towards purity and away from sin or present a stumbling block in front of them with our bodies. Men are visually stimulated and seeing a woman's body in a bikini (or any other revealing clothing for that matter) can cause them to think lustful thoughts and tempt them towards sin. Is this what we want? Instead we should "spur one another on toward love and good deeds." (Hebrews 10:24) Ultimately, a man is responsible for his own actions and thoughts, but why not help him along? Why not choose to encourage instead of tempt? For some reason, this just sounds like a good idea.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Much needed update

Ok, wow. I just realized that I have not blogged since early February and so much has happened from then to now.

John and I found out we were pregnant early February. As you know, we have a history of ectopic pregnancy. I was pregnant last August and made it to 8 weeks before we found out the pregnancy was ectopic meaning the fetus attaches itself in the fallopian tube rather than in the uterus. I had to have emergency surgery. So being pregnant again was met with cautious optimism. We tried to guard our feelings just in case this pregnancy ended the same way the first one did. After 3 1/2 weeks of blood tests every 3 days, it was determined that this pregnancy was in fact ectopic as well. Because of the careful monitoring of my levels, we did not have to have surgery again. Instead, my doctor injected me February 27 with an anti-cancer drug that basically stops all rapidly reproducing cells. Pretty much we stopped the pregnancy from progressing.

This was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make. There's no way to know for sure a pregnancy is ectopic unless the doctor actually goes inside and takes a look. But based on my levels, my doctor was sure the pregnancy was abnormal. I don't know if I was so sure. I don't know if I was in denial because I wanted that baby so badly or if I was just hopeful because I have God on my side. Either way, I felt ending the pregnancy was killing my baby. I wasn't ok with that reality. I knew logically that allowing an ectopic pregnancy to progress puts my life in danger, but how could I make the call to end it when there wasn't a 100% guarantee?

Thinking about it now, I'm still not comfortable with my decision. It just breaks my heart. The first time this happened, there was no doubt the pregnancy was ectopic and needed to be removed. This time, there was just so much gray area. I don't do well with gray. Those of you who know me, know that about me. I tend to think in more black and white. This situation was covered in gray and I found it hard to navigate. I still can't make sense of my decision and it took some time to allow God to comfort me. I'll post all about that in the next few days.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Worlds Apart

I've recently come to love this song. It's funny because my husband had me listen to it awhile ago because it's one of his favorites and it didn't really have an impact on me. Then Saturday I was doing the dishes with my ipod playing and it came on and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Such a beautiful song.

It's not just the way it's sung, with such passion and conviction as if the song is between just him and God. It's more. The lyrics are amazing. The line "to turn away and not become another nail to pierce the skin of one who loves more deeply than the oceans, more abundant than the tears of a world embracing every heartache" struck me deeply. I had the realization that my sin is like the nails that pierced Jesus' skin. He paid my debt, no questions asked because He loves me that much. And I continue to sin and repierce His skin. This song is the cry of my heart right now. Take my world apart. Everything that I hold closer and above the one who died for me. Take it apart. I've included the lyrics for the song in case you are like me and like to read the lyrics. I highlighted the lines that speak to me.

"Worlds Apart"
I am the only one to blame for this
Somehow it all ends up the same
Soaring on the wings of selfish pride
I flew too high and like Icarus I collide
With a world I try so hard to leave behind
To rid myself of all but love
to give and die

To turn away and not become
Another nail to pierce the skin of one who loves
more deeply than the oceans,more abundant than the tears
Of a world embracing every heartache

Can I be the one to sacrifice
Or grip the spear and watch the blood and water flow

To love you - take my world apart
To need you - I am on my knees
To love you - take my world apart
To need you - broken on my knees

All said and done I stand alone
Amongst remains of a life I should not own
It takes all I am to believe
In the mercy that covers me

Did you really have to die for me?
All I am for all you are
Because what I need and what I believe are worlds apart

I look beyond the empty cross
forgetting what my life has cost
and wipe away the crimson stains
and dull the nails that still remain
More and more I need you now,
I owe you more each passing hour
the battle between grace and pride
I gave up not so long ago
So steal my heart and take the pain
and wash the feet and cleanse my pride
take the selfish, take the weak,
and all the things I cannot hide
take the beauty, take my tears
the sin-soaked heart and make it yours
take my world all apart

take it now, take it now
and serve the ones that I despise
speak the words I can't deny
watch the world I used to love
fall to dust and thrown away
I look beyond the empty cross
forgetting what my life has cost
so wipe away the crimson stains
and dull the nails that still remain
so steal my heart and take the pain
take the selfish, take the weak
and all the things I cannot hide
take the beauty, take my tears
take my world apart, take my world apart
I pray, I pray, I pray
take my world apart

Monday, January 26, 2009

Everything happens for a reason

Lately, I've been thinking about this phrase, "everything happens for a reason". What does that really mean anyway? I know most people use it as a way to make sense of something bad that has happened. Somehow it makes them feel better to think there is a reason behind whatever it is they are experiencing. I didn't get that job...everything happens for a reason, a loved one dies...everything happens for a reason, I broke up with my boyfriend/girlfriend...everything happens for a reason. The more I think about how this phrase is used, the more I don't like it. It implies that God is sitting up in heaven micromanaging the world around us and He is causing the bad things around us to happen. I just don't believe this to be true.

Yes, everything happens for a reason and sometimes that reason is nothing more than a stupid choice, natural consequence, or sin. God doesn't micromanage us. He isn't crashing cars or taking a family's home from them because they have a lesson they need to learn. He allows us to make our own choices and suffer whatever consequences come from them, good or bad. Yes, God is more concerned with our character than our comfort, so I believe He allows things to happen that will strengthen us, but I don't believe in the image of God purposefully causing horrible things to happen in order to teach us lessons. He doesn't have to. All He really needs to do is allow us to suffer the natural consequences of our own decisions and sin. Then that begs the question, what about when bad things happen to good people? Well, unfortunately we live in a world full of sin and with that sin comes awful things. Thankfully, there's a loving God that is willing to use those ugly things that happen for good. He's there to salvage the wreckage and bring beauty from it. Is that what the phrase "everything happens for a reason" is supposed to mean?