Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Little Caleb Update

Well, we went to the Dr. this morning and I am 1-2 cm dialated and 50% effaced!! I was SOOO hoping to go in and hear that something had changed only because I've been experiencing contractions for the past two days, on and off again. Dr. said that Caleb could come tonight, tomorrow, next week, really anytime! He also guestimated his weight to be around 7 lbs, which I think is average for how many weeks I am, so that was good too.

It's real! It's happening! And I just can't explain the joy and excitement I am feeling right now!It's so hard for me to comprehend that within a matter of a couple weeks our sweet little baby boy will be here, and the biggest change of our lives will take place. I remember dreaming all growing up about this special time, and praying that the Lord would bless me with children. I never could have guessed I would feel this way though, it's overwhelming, in a good way of course, but still, overwhelming!

Thank you Lord, for this little blessing growing inside of me! I know your timing is perfect, your ways are perfect and your plan is perfect. I choose to trust you, again, today, with sweet baby Caleb, and a safe delivery, whenever that time is. Continue to fill me with your Spirit and your joy, the joy that I know I can only find in you, Lord. Praising YOU right now!!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Your Point of View...

My Point of View...

Pregnancy Phrases

I'm not sure if any of you other preggo ladies, or mommies as well, ever had some interesting phrases come out of your mouth during pregnancy, but I had two tonight, both within 10 minutes of each other that I just had to share...

To set the stage right, here's a little background. Today was a gorgeous day outside, highs in the 70s, no obvious need to have the heat on, at work, in the car, and especially at the house! When I got home (before Aaron) the house was at a perfect 66 degrees. I walked in and it was wonderful to not be sweating in my own home for once! As soon as Aaron walked in, he turned the HEAT up to 69, which is what we have kept it at WHEN IT'S COLD OUTSIDE, not when it's warm though! We were sitting there talking about how miserable I was because the heat was on and it was directly hitting my belly. **Note that by this time, my shirt is pulled up and my large belly is completely exposed** I said sarcastically, would you rather me just walk around naked, because I'm sweating like a bullet! I immediately realized that what I said, "sweating like a bullet" made absolutely no sense, and practically stopped Aaron in his tracks from responding with some sarcastic remark (the fact that I was quick enough to catch him before anything came out of his mouth was a miracle in and of itself, he's usually much more quick than I!).

Ok, so moving on about 10 minutes later, we started talking about how my mom offered to come in town the 1st week of January to help out with any last minute things before Caleb's arrival, which lead to us discussing when we would each like Caleb to come. I told Aaron that as long as I make it past Christmas day, as far as I'm concerned, he can come anytime after that. I'm at the point I truly never thought I would get to...the "Get this baby out of me!" phase of pregnancy. Aaron on the other hand expressed that he would like Caleb to come on or after his due date, that way his birthday is as far away from Christmas as possible. I shared my concerns with having him late, because of the size of Aaron and his brother, I was afraid that if he came late, I wouldn't be able to have the natural delivery I so desired and that I would have to have an unscheduled C-Section, and that I didn't want that. He then expressed that it could be possible to have him late because I was so small and maybe he would take after me. Well, the reason I was so small is because my mom was so very sick when she was pregnant with me, and I was naturally not as healthy as most full term babies. I proceeded to tell Aaron that beacause I was "As healthy as a bean" that it was very possible that Caleb would be too big depending on how late he decided to come. Again, at this point, I caught myself, started laughing hysterically, and stopped Aaron again, almost in his tracks of throwing out a sarcastic rebuttle. I mean really, "healthy as a bean" seriously Jill, where did that come from?

Now, neither of theses stories are nearly as funny as I read them back, but I promise if you were here in person and had witnessed these two simultaneous events, you would have been laughing as hard as we were.

Sorry if this was a boring post, just thought it would be fun to share! If any of you have funny pregnancy phrases that just happened to roll off your tongue, I'd LOVE to hear the stories (leave yoru stories in the comments section!!)!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Disco Redefined

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


Ok, so this post comes long overdue. As you can see, it's been almost a month since my last post and while I could sit here and try to come up with a bunch of really good sounding excuses, I'm going to just write about what has been going on the past weeks instead! This could turn in to a long post, so if it does, I apologize in advance! Where to start....Thanksgiving was wonderful! This year, we did not travel anywhere and all of our family stayed home as well, so it was a very quiet and relaxing four days in our home! We were very blessed by a sweet friend of ours, Melissa, who invited us to join her and about 25 of her family members for Thansgiving lunch and to watch the Cowboys game. What a blast it was! Everyone was so friendly and the food was absolutely A-MAZ-ING! Because I know that each family has it's own traditions I was a little apprehensive to attend at first. I wasn't sure what types of food there would be, and I have to say I was a little nervous that the "staple" Thanksgiving foods might not have been available. I mean we're talking turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, and dessert. Needless to say, my expectations were met and exceeded by the array of different options available, including all of my favorite comfort foods!! Probably my favorite part though, was the dessert that was set at each table stting, neatly wrapped in a little box with a bow. It was some kind of chocolate peanut butter crunch ball (I would die for this recipe!!). I think I actually ate 3 of them (don't worry, I didn't steal form anyone else, I waited until the end and took what was leftover!). After watching the first three quarters of the Cowboys game, Aaron and I headed home for some relaxing time (and time to let our VERY full bellies settle). We lounged all night, well, all weekend for that matter, and I was just so thankful that we were able to have that time at home by ourselves. It was the last holiday without baby and/or family, and it truly was such a blessing to not have to host, and to be able to just lay around and enjoy each other's company!

The next big thing was my final baby shower at work last Friday. WOW!! I truly am so blessed with my job, and especially the amazing, wonderful people I get to work with everyday! A couple girlfriends of mine at the office put on an outstanding shower for me, more than I could have ever expected or hoped for, and to top it all off, even some of the guys in the office attended! I am still overwhelmed at the giving hearts that fill this office, especially during such difficult financial times, and the company layoffs that have been happening here. The gifts, giftcards and cash we received was and still is overwhelming! Thank you to any of my co-workers who follow my blog and were a part of making Caleb and I feel so very special! While I do have some pics from the shower, I don't have them with me so I'll upload them later.

Express Yourself! Creations is officially temporarily closed, and boy do I fell great about it!! Thanks to some very sound advice from my sweet hubby and three couples who love me more than I can fathom (Eubanks, Selfs and Woods!), I temporarily closed my business as of December 7th and will not re-open until at least June 1, 2009. At first I was apprehensive to close it down, only because I was still receiving so many orders and was excited that it was so successful. But it didn't take long for me to realize and remember that I am only one person and to try to do my business, be a new mommy, a home manager, and a wife was too overwhelming for me to comprehend. The business was the obvious answer to let go of, at least for the first six months of Caleb's life, while we attmept to get into some sort of schedule. Now that it is closed, a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and while I am so excited to open back up with new and exciting products, I am even more thrilled about being able to focus my attention 100% on my family.

Caleb's nursery is coming along great! My AWESOME, AMAZING and EXTREMELY TALENTED sister agreed to make my bedding for me and WOW, I mean I'm still speechless at how it turned out!! Julie, you are such a gifted seamstress! I praise the Lord for this gift he gave you, and that you utilize it! Of course, it blesses me greatly, being your sister and all! I posted a few pics of the crib below. There truly are not words to express my gratitude and absolute awe of how amazing everything came out! It is more than I could have ever wished for. Thank you!!! I can't wait to get the diaper bag and matching burp cloths whenever you get the chacen to send them! For those of you who are loving the end product as much as I am, I'm sorry to say that I don't have a website to give you for my sister's stuff. While I've tried to get her to go into business, being a mom of 2, going to school, and having a husband in residency, there is no way she has the time! Thanks for fitting me in though, I'm so blessed!! As I continue to "nest", I will update the blog with more pics and hopefully a completed nursery within the next couple weeks!

Caleb & Pregnancy. Where do I start! This pregnancy overall has been just a joy to my heart. Knowing that Caleb is only 3 weeks away from being here is just mind boggling to me! I am anxious, excited, overwhelmed, joyful, and extremely emotional, none of which I'm surprised by! The thought that really at any moment he could come, while I would like to make it to at least the day after Christmas, still is just so fun to think about!!! I'm still nesting big time, and have a million things that I want to complete before he gets here, but I do realize that it won't all get done and that my to do list gets longer every day. I can't wait for Chrsitmas to get here because it means I'll be done with work and will be able to be at home resting, and just enjoying the last couple weeks of being pregnant and preparing mentally emotionally and physically for this next life phase. As far as how I'm feeling, well, I feel VERY pregnant! I've been having Braxton Hicks now for quite some time, but they are definately getting more andmore painful as the days go on. I also woke up yesterday for the 1st time with "Cankles". I will not be posting a picture however, because they were so very very ugly and I already feel so large in other areas that I didn't want to add visualizations to my feelings of being a whale! SLeeping is very hard and uncomfortable, and I'm averaging about 3-5 hours a night, even though I'm in bed for at least 7-8. I'm definately waking up more often to potty as well that's about 3-4 times a night on average as well. Even though I'm in pain most everyday, I'm still able to walk (most of the time) which is definately a huge blessing as I know some women can't even do that at 37 weeks pregnant! Praise the Lord, though, I soon will be able to be at home and relax for the last couple weeks of pregnancy, since our company will be shut down form the 24th - Jan. 5th. I'm really truly hoping for a late 2008 baby, or very early 2009 baby so that I won't have to go back to work for that week in January, but most of all, I just want to deliver a healthy baby boy!

Well, I guess that's it for now. I'll be updating the blog more often as we get closer to Caleb's arrival, hopefully with many more pictures as well, but once we are admitted to the hospital for delivery, Aaron will be updating our joint blog, http://aaronandjill.blogspot.com, as the labor and delivery progress, so be sure to check there for updates!!

As I said, I warned you that this was going to be a long post, but I feel so accomplished knowing that I've "caught up" on the major things that have happened over the past few weeks! I pray for a wonderful Christmas for each of you and know that we send our love!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

HI-larious Blog!!!!

This will be short, but I just couldn't let this one get away. I've been following a particular blog in my Google Reader for the past few weeks, and have wanted to post this particular link for a while. I do encourage you to take a minute to look at the newer posts, but this one in particular just made me laugh so hard!

Amy Hulme, this blog makes me think of you, just because you make cakes and know the difficulity of it all. I hope you get a huge kick out of seeing some of the "Professional Cakes Gone Horribly, Hilariously Wrong!"

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Monday, November 17, 2008

REALLY Cool Update

Sunday morning at church, we had a nice little surprise. A couple years ago, Aaron and I did a ministry called Apartment Life. The end goal of this ministry is to move into an apartment complex, plan and execute all of the social events each month, and build relationships with others who live in your apartment community, in order to impact them for Christ. While this was one of the most difficult years of my (our) life, I have found it to be very rewarding in a couple different ways. During the first couple months of doing Apartment Life, we met a really sweet couple who were Hurricane Katrina evacuees. We met them and instantly felt a connection with them. They were semi looking for a church, and after hanging out with them a few times we invited them to visit Watermark. Lance (the boyfriend) was traveling quite a bit and so only Ophelia and her daughter would come. Anyway, once we moved away from doing Apartment Life, we lost touch with them.

I've often thought about them and wondered how they were doing. Ophelia was planning on attending the Dallas Design School, while Lance continued to travel often for his job. Well, back to Sunday morning...

Lance and Ophelia were at church, and were sitting in the row right in front of us just a few people over!! What joy it brought to my heart to see them there, not knowing after we moved, what had become of them. After the service ended, we had a short chance to catch up with them. They have been attending Watermark ever since the first time we brought them and have since moved to separate apaprtments (they were not married), and plugged in at Watermark! Ophelia graduated from Design School as well! Oh, it was so fun to see how the Lord used us to impact, even in such a minor way, such sweet people!

Thank you Lord for the reimnder that your word NEVER goes void! Thank you for giving me a small glimpse that our time in Apartment Life, while even though it was SUPER hard, did not go unused! I pray for Lance, Ophelia and her sweet little 9 year-old daughter, that you would continue to bless them, and grow their hearts to be more like you!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dallas Baby Shower

This past Sunday I was truly blessed by some wonderful friends who threw Caleb & I a baby shower! I have looked forward to this particular shower for so long because all of my best friends from Dallas were there! Each and every person in attendance has played such a major role in my life over the past almost six years! What joy I experienced having them all in the same room! I felt loved beyond words, and enjoyed the pampering I received! Thank you to ALL who planned, created, cooked, and came to a day that I will never forget! I love each and every one of you for not only being my friend, but for sharing in the joy and excitement of sweet Caleb! Each one of you know what a truly miracle child he is for us!!
Me with the sweet hostesses!
(L to R) Katie, Chelsi, myself, Karla

The awesome dipaer cake that Katie made!
I love diaper cakes, they are just so cool!!

The sign-in table. I brought the picture of Caleb, and my mom and I thought it would be cool to set out some baby pics of me, to see who he looks like. For the record, I think I'm winning at this point!

A name plaque that my mom gave me for Caleb.
His name means faithfulness, the devoted one, and loyal.
My prayer for sweet Caleb is that he will be faithful,
devoted and loyal to the Lord throughout his life.
All of us preggo ladies!
(L to R) Stacey - Dec. 19th (if I remember correctly!)
Myself - Jan. 11th
Amy - Feb. 12th
Melanie - Feb. 21st (if I remember correctly!)

I had such a blast making the thank you gifts for my sweet hostesses!
Back in February, they all surprised me by meeting up with us for dinner and we had a wonderful picture taken during this time of just the four of us, so it was a no brainer to use that very special picture! I used different designs (each of their favs) from my office and truly enjoyed giving them something that has so much special meaning to me!
Katie & I

Chelsi & I
Karla & I
(yes, she did ask to put her hand on my belly! I loved it!!)
Melanie & I!
Melanie lives in Florence, Italy with her husband
and they are involved with Campus Crusade over there,
impacting hundreds of lives. I love reading their blog and
hearing about Italians who are coming to know the Lord through them!!
What a blessing to have her at my Dallas shower!
My mom surprised me and flew in town for the shower.
What a blessing to my heart!
My precious small group girls!
ALL of them were there, it was such a WONDERFUL time!!
Thank you girls, you made my day!
They thought it would be funny to get this pic. Like they have any tummies to stick out! Can you tell who is the big black (and white) sheep in this pic? You guessed it, ME!! I love you girls!!
Better lighting in this pic!
Mom & I!!
The four girls of our community group!
(L to R) Andrea, Karla, myself, Katie
And of course, my mom took this precious pic of Haley & I.
She came over to me and just climbed up in my lap, it was so sweet!!
Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Big Reveal...

Last week I wrote that I would have a big surprise at the end of this week, well, here it is!!! We were blessed by some WONDERFUL people in our lives, who gifted us with a 3d/4d sonogram session this afternoon!! There are no words that can express the emotions I felt looking at my sweet baby boy, watching him move and kick, suck his foot, grab his ear, yawn and smile, all while still in my growing belly!! WOW! With our sonogram, we received a DVD of the entire thing, 25 minutes long, a CD with almost 50 pictures of him, and even some black & white and sepia printouts of some of the best shots we got! As I was laying there watching him on the big wall (they had the images projected onto the wall in LARGE form, it was so cool!), I couldn't help but think about my absolute favorite chapter in the entire bible, Psalm 139. Honestly, up until we found out we were pregnant, and even now, up until today, I always applied it to myself. I was created in my mother's womb, I am fearfully & wonderfully made, I am unique. But today, I was blessed with a whole new outlook and understanding of that Psalm. I understood it as if the Lord was reading it to me about Caleb. The first few moments I saw him up on the big wall, I could not believe it was him, and I was overwhelmed with joy, contentment and true excitement of what is to come. And yes, I did cry (not surprising though!). All in all, this was one of the best days of my life, and I will cherish these pictures of Caleb forever. Who knows if I will ever have this opportunity again, but I know for today, I am going to cherish every single moment of this pregnancy I have left...and then the real adventure begins!! Enjoy the photos!!

I think he has my round nose here

This one is a little awkward, but the two little things in front of his mouth are two of his little toes (the others are blocked by his arm)

He was trying to get his little foot in his mouth here

And mission accomplished! Yes folks, that is his foot!

He was clearly getting tired of us pushing on him so that he would move and cooperate a little more. He yawned probably 4 or 5 times during the 25 minute time span. So precious!!

This one and the next are probably my two favorite. He has such a sweet little face, I can't wait to soak him up when he gets here!!!!
Another precious "semi-profile" picture!!

Caleb, we love you so much and cannot wait to meet you! You already are so much a part of the joy I experience daily! Thank you Lord, for such a gift as this sweet little life!

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139: 13-16

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tears of Joy...

As I was sitting looking back at all my previous posts since the beginning of this blog, I was sweetly reminded of my very first post. A Father's Love Letter. Re-reading it brought such tears of joy to my heart. I wanted to repost it here so that we can all be reminded of the love HE has for us. Unconditional love! I pray that as you read these words you are encouraged to dig deeper in your relationship with Him, or begin a new one if you don't know Him yet. Only He can fill every void in our hearts!

A Father's Love Letter

The words you are about to experience are true.
They will change your life if you let them.
For they come from the heart of God.
He loves you.
And He is the Father you have been looking for all your life.
This is His love letter to you.

My Child,You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfullly made. Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me. John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalm 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I love that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest pary heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is...Will you be my child? John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

your Dad
Almighty God

Taken directly from the site: http://www.fathersloveletter.com/

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 31

Wow! I can't believe I actually finished something! For those of you who know me well, you know that I am great at starting things, but HORRIBLE at finishing! To finish the 31 day joy challenge is a blessing in and of itself, but the true blessing and joy comes from everything that I have learned and been reminded of. Things like...

1. I am a child of the LIVING God!
2. I was created exactly how God desired me to be, inside and out!
3. Experiencing joy doesn't have to be in just the big moments of life, but in the small moments, such as cooler weather, changing of seasons, seeing a beautiful butterfly, reading the same verse you've read a hundred times, but actually understanding its meaning for the 1st time, realizing the blessing of a wonderful, Godly husband, feeling overwhelmed with love for a child who hasn’t even entered this world yet, and so many more little things.

There are so many other things I could list here, but you can always go back to day one and catch up on them if you’d like!

Anyway, my joy for today is have the strength, discipline, and true heart’s desire to finish what I’ve started, and to experience the joy of the LORD in different ways each and every day! If you’ve followed me on this journey, you know that I started this journey because I wanted to overcome my anger issues, and after realizing that my anger stems from lack of joy and contentment, I thought what better way than to journal on my blog about all the things in life that the Lord has given me joy in and through. Journaling has brought me joy and contentment, and even a sense of calmness that I don’t know I would have had if I hadn’t taken the time to write down all of these little things. Now that I have experienced the joy of the LORD, I will continue to journal on my own, about all of the little things in life that he brings me joy through, and may even continue to share some of them, though not each and every day.

Thank you to all of you for your sweet comments and encouragement through e-mails and phone calls! I am so richly blessed by each of you in my life! I praise the Lord for providing me with such amazing women friendships with y’all! I pray that the Lord used me to bring you joy during these past 31 days!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 30

Today's post is short and sweet. All I have to say is that after seeing the attached video for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th time tonight, I still can't stop laughing!!

I can't embed the video in to the acutal post, so you will have to follow the link, but I hope you do, it's so stinkin' funny!!


Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Joy in the Little Things - Day 29

What a joy it is to hear the truth of God's word!! Tonight I had the pleasure of hearing a wonderful, gifted woman of God speak on the subject of body image. Although it was aimed at high school girls, I found much encouragement in her words, or rather the words the Lord gave her to speak.

Cynthia Culver struggled with body image for almost 25 years of her life. She found freedom and healing in the truth of the word of God, and since has started her own ministry helping individuals to be grounded in truth and walking in freedom.

I will attempt to post some great points I took away from last night, but I would encourage you to listen to her Body Image Program Talks on her website at: http://www.cynthiaculver.com/bodyimageprogram.htm

Here's what I took away from tonight...

John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal, kill & destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full."

Christ desires me to trust that he has wired my body so that I don't have to manage and control what it looks like, what shape I am, how much the scale tells me I weigh, and what the mirror tells me I look like. He has created me in HIS image! He has knit me together exactly as He wants me to be! The way my body functions is a gift from him! It functions fully and wholly, and I should praise Him for that gift!! HE is my creator! Only He gets to tell me who I am! Not the media, not the culture, not my friends, not my family, no one except HIM!!

Do I like me? What influences my answer to that question? What are the messages that I am getting about my body, my appearance and what makes me valuable? Here are a few that I wrote down...

- Being skinny is what it's all about
- Compare, Compare, Compare! (If only I had her (fill in the blank here) then I would be whole)
- I must be: Sexy/Tan
- I must have: Clear Skin
- I must have: Great Hair
- I must have: White Teeth
- I must be: Photogenic
- I must have: Money
- I musth have: High End Clothes & Accessories

How do I react/respond to those messages? How do I live out my response? Here's a few things I wrote down in response to those messages:

- Keep to myself
- Isolate
- Withdraw
- Emotional wreck
- people pleasing
- spend more money
- discontentment
- jealousy
- talk about it all the time
- talk about other people
- stress
- self-conscious
- obsess
- restrict eating
- over eating
- hate yourself
- become a slave to whatever will make me happy

Know that the answers above are not all what I feel, they came from a large group discussion, from regular high school girls. I have to say, I was shocked at some of them, but I do agree that this is what our culture, the media, and the enemy himself is teaching girls and women all across the US.

The final question was, What is the truth?

The truth is that there is no other freedom apart from Christ!!
The truth is that the enemy is thrilled when we compare ourselves to others!!
The truth is that he has victory when he has success over stealing our joy!!
The truth is that I was created in the image of Christ!!
The truth is that He created me exactly as he wanted me to be!!
The truth is that "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised!!"
The truth is that I am a child of the living God!!

I want to be the unique JILL that God created me to be!!

Obedience breeds peace, Disobedience breeds chaos

We should always take captive our thoughts and if they do not fall in line with God's truth, God's words & God's ways, then we should not be thinking them!!

The last thing Cynthia did was give a visual illustration that will forever be engrained in my mind. She took out a $1 bill and held it up. She then asked, "How much is this bill worth?" to which we all answered, "$1". Can we make it worth $0.50? No. Can we make it worth $1.50? No. It will always hold the value of $1. This is how Christ created us, and views us today. HE SETS OUR VALUE. There is nothing we can do, say, no action, that will EVER lower or increase our value to him!! No matter what we look like tomorrow or ten years or even fifty years from now, our value to HIM will always remain the same! HE sets our value, only HE can do that!!

I hope you were all encouraged by these truths, that the God of the universe took the time and created each one of us unique to only ourselves! He cares for us, and loves us, no matter what we look like, no matter what we say, no matter what we do!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Little Bambino Update!

Today I had my final 4-week appointment with Dr. Riegel! From now on out, I'll be seeing him every two weeks! WOW! That means the end is almost near, doesn't it? I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet!! Well, my heart is ready, but my mind is not. Too many to do's left on my list!!

Anyway, the appointment went well. The heartbeat is down to a whopping 136. I'm kind of surprised, only because it started out at 174, then went down to I think 150, and now this. I guess Caleb doesn't have much room to move or be active in there anymore, which means a lower heartrate. At any rate, doc said everything was fine. I profusely thanked him for the Chiropractor suggestion as it truly has helped with my back pain over all, SOOOO much! I would highly recommend it to any pregnant woman, especially the weekly pregnancy massages, they are heaven!!

All in all, we're on track and doing good. I also asked him about the rapid, seizure like movement that Caleb had been experiencing during the middle of the night, and Doc said that 40-60% of his ob patients come in with the same question, yet he has no explaination for it. All the babies come out just fine. That was a huge relief to me, just as a first time mom. Thankfully, each night that Caleb had these "episodes" he would wake up the next morning and move around just as usual, so I knew he was still alive and kicking, literally!

So, we're now at 29 1/2 weeks and truly counting down the days. I can't believe how fast it has gone, yet it feels like forever ago that we took the HPT and initially found out we were even pregnant. I am praising the Lord today for a healthy pregnancy, and a healthy little boy growing inside me, and will continue to pray each day for peace about the whole labor and delivery process. It does not seem that far off, and I find myself more anxious about it each day. I know that it's not the thing I should be scared of the most, but the first three months following, but I don't have a high pain tolerance, and just find myself worrying about that some days.

Anyway, just wanted to give a little Caleb update! Also, be sure to check back at the end of next week. I've got a HUGE surprise post that will be coming, that is of pregnancy nature, and can't wait to share! For all of you who might already know what this surprise is, SHHH! I'm keeping it a secret for all the others out there that don't already know, including some family members!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!