The year was 1985 and I was 6 years old. My dad got out of the Marine Corps and moved our family back to his hometown in Indiana. My grandparents went to a little church on 10th Street, and in that that little church I learned that God loves me. I learned that God loves everyone. I learned God had plans for me. In a little city in a little church I learned to recognize God in everything.
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
These words about love, from 1 Corinthians 13, have been heavy on my heart the past few weeks. Several friends have lost loved ones. Several friends are struggling with relationship problems. This is the TRUTH about love from the source of love. Choose love.
Miss A, in regular 2-year-old fashion, has been a little mess maker today!
Earlier today she came up to me showing me that the palms of both her hands were covered in black. At first I didn’t know what she had used to mark on her hands. I was very relieved to discover that she had used a washable marker and it washed off without any issue.
After dinner she decided to unroll a whole bunch of toilet paper. I started to make her throw it away, but instead I sat and took the time to roll it back up. It was a lot more toilet paper than I thought it was!
I may not mark up my hands or unravel the toilet paper just for fun, but sometimes I make a pretty fantastic mess of things. I am not always loving and caring. Plain and simple sometimes I just do the wrong thing. In the middle of my mess I can go to my God and show him my “messes,” and He forgives me and cleans me up . . . but I have to show him my mess first!
Hooray! My due date is now only seven days away!
grand multiparity n. the condition of a woman who has had five or more previous pregnancies. This means my pregnancy is considered high risk, but I really haven’t had many complications!
One fun fact are that babies of “moms of many” sometimes don’t get into birthing position until labor starts. The other day I had an ultrasound just to check to see if my little one is head down. She is head down but not dropping so all the contractions that I’ve been having aren’t productive in changing my cervix. Did I mention that I believe Braxton-Hicks contractions are evil?
Another not so fun thing is that I have lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions and they get worse with every baby. This week I had three days in a row of misery where I couldn’t get the contractions to stop. Thankfully I’ve been given a couple of days break from them, but I know very well that this is just the calm before the storm!
I’m trying for a VBAC delivery, because #7 was breech I had to have a surprise C-section, but chances are a VBAC will go off without a hitch!
We’re ready and waiting!!! My bag is packed. The car seat is ready and the tiny clothes are washed and put away. Now if only we can find the “safe place” where I put the Pack ‘N Play bassinet!
My 8th baby is due in about 25 days! I’m pretty confident that this little one will be like all of her other siblings and come pretty close to her due guess date because that is how they roll! Here’s an update on how I’m doing!
My carpal tunnel and swelling this time are almost absent this time around. I had some carpal tunnel earlier but it’s gone now and I am so thankful!
Everything gives me heartburn and I mean everything . . . including water and not eating! It is completely ridiculous! I ran out of Tums the other day and I thought I was going to die from the fire in my esophagus.
I’ve had to completely change how I sleep! If I sleep lying down (even with a pillow between my knees) and then try to get up I feel like my pelvis is going to break in half. Thank you body by babies! I sleep sitting up in bed with 2 pillows behind me, a pillow under my right hip, and a pillow under my belly.
The Braxton-Hicks or “practice contractions” have started up and they range from being mildly annoying to being just a little bit painful. I am pretty sure they have gotten worse every pregnancy, but yeah for pregnancy amnesia!
Taking seven kids out and about to run errands and getting in and out of a 12 passenger van is an adventure of its own even when I’m not “great with child,” but I can still do it! I enlist my helpers to carry the littlest sister and help get her in and out of her car seat. My hubby has been great about doing the majority of the grocery shopping so I don’t have to.
My wardrobe is shrinking because my baby is still growing, but I know how this story goes . . . I’m going lose quite a bit of weight on baby day and then my wardrobe won’t be so bad! Stretchy pants are my friend!
We are super excited to add BB-8 to our family! Thanks for checking in on us and for your thoughts and prayers!
God knew that I needed a little old lady to stop and talk to me how wonderful she thinks large families are. She told me that she only has three children, but she always admires large families. I confessed that they are some times exhausting, and she agreed before saying, “But just look at them.” Thankfully at the moment they were behaving!
The kids were blocking one lady and as we passed she told me that her daughter has five children but they are all teenagers now. She said something about how hard it is for them to get ready in the morning. These nuggets of truth I can do without knowing . . . I know it will be a different kind of hard when they are all teens! I’m trying to survive here and now!
Three different strangers asked if all the kids belong to me. I never know how to answer. I usually just say, “Yes they do!” If he hears people ask, Mr. J usually pipes up that there are seven of them. He tells them that there two older boys and five sisters. He goes on about how hard it is to have so many sisters. It’s hilarious.
God also knew that I needed a stranger to buy two extra gum balls at the gum ball machine as we were leaving. Two of the kids started crying when one gum ball fell onto the floor and we were another gum ball short! Some times God gets our attention with huge things but other times he uses the little things! That guy who spent 50 cents on my kids was my gum ball hero!
Eliana’s appointment with the neurologist went very well. She doesn’t think that Eliana’s nightly headaches are related to her Chiari. She was given a prescription to try to help with preventing the headaches before they start. Her MRI measured her Chiari as being smaller than before and it did show some spinal fluid restriction, but she was not concerned about this. Waiting and keeping an eye of things is much preferred over surgery at this point in time! We’re praying that on Friday Eliana’s neurosurgeon will agree with the neurologist’s thoughts.
Eliana took a trio of frogs to her appointment with the neurosurgeon. Our visit was fairly uneventful. The neurosurgeon is not recommending surgery at this time. She does think the headaches may be Chiari related. She wants us to see how things go in the next three months and keep track of any numbness or tingling that Eliana is having because that may be cause for concern. In the meantime we will keep praying that Eliana’s headaches stay away and that her Chiari symptoms resolve. We are so thankful for everyone’s prayers! Just like her name means, God has answered our prayers!