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from Friday….

This morning, the 10 month birthday of our sweet Linc and Viv, I’ve been glued to the TV watching the coverage of the hunt for the Boston bomber.  My heart is a heavy weight in my chest.  I’ve spent this week on edge, praying for God to give me peace despite the unrest and tension that I’m sure most other people are feeling as well, given the events of this week.  From the marathon bombing, the explosion in West, Texas, the letters sent to the President and senator, and to now today, the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and the search for the bombing suspect, it just feels like the world is so full of evil.  Since having the twins there has been a whole extra element added where it seems like danger for them is lurking around every corner, and I feel like fear is constantly trying to suck me in.  I hear a noise in the house during the day, and I look over my shoulder expecting the worst….I hear Linc holler from the living room and race in there with a sinking feeling in my stomach, convinced that something terrible has happened.  Among these and other things in the day-to-day, I fear for my babies future and for what they will have to face as they grow up in this world.  It envelopes me in thankfulness for my hope in Christ and my knowledge that life on this earth is only temporary because without that hope I think I would feel so terrified.  I’m clinging to it right now and trying to rest in the peace that comes with it.

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Not only am I meditating on my hope in Christ when I start to feel suffocated by all the bad, I also am consumed with urgency to try and do something to change it.  Sadly, there is nothing that can erase the evil things of this world, so I come to the conclusion that I have to do everything I can to counteract it.  I am realizing more the older I get that I’m responsible for putting as much good out into the world as I can.  And now I’m not only responsible for myself, but also for my babies.   It is Jon and I’s privilege to instill in Linc and Viv an accurate perspective of the world – how big it is, how people are so very different from us (yet so very much the same) and how not everyone was born into a life in which they have all their needs met.  Jon and I have always been passionate about other cultures and traveling because it opens our minds to the fact that not everybody in the world lives like us.  Since we even began to think about kids, we have had long talks about how we can instill a heart of compassion and a realistic world view in them as they get older.  We know that it will take intentionality.  We live in the suburbs of Oklahoma City where where it is easy to become so absorbed in the comfortable, safe life that we live and forget that not everyone lives the same.  How will they ever know any different unless we show them?

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All of these feelings and desires have converged recently as Jon and I have been working on a project that floods my heart with passion.  The evil that has been so much in our faces these last couple of weeks has fueled our excitement over what we feel is a small way we can try to project good out into the world, as well as build into our life a way to instill in our babies compassion and desire to love well and make a difference in the lives of others.  Having been a public school teacher, I’m so familiar with the attitude and perspective of our society’s kids as a whole (there are exceptions), and our hope is that not only will we be able to strive for this in our own home, but for other kids as well.  There have been a lot of sleepless nights lately – working in the office late into the night, me laying in bed awake because of noises in the house, watching Linc and Viv through the monitor as I strain to see that their little backs are rising and falling, and me consumed with passion for this new venture so that I can’t stop the wheels in my brain from spinning.

I wasn’t able to finish this post on Friday, and now as I finish it up this morning I feel energized and hopeful for a new day and a new week.  A new opportunity to not let the negativity bring me down, but to use it as motivation to work harder and love stronger.

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Easter weekend

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By far the best Easter I can remember in a long time, this weekend was full of family, food, and an absurd amount of time spent listening to our babies laugh (they love their grandparents, aunts and cousins).  On Saturday we packed up and headed to my mom and step-dad’s house where we hung out with them and my sister for the day.  We laid in the floor forever watching Linc and Viv soak in time with Grandma and Aunt Cristen.  It was a super relaxing day, and we topped it off with some mexican food for dinner and hanging out in the kitchen making food to take to my grandparent’s on Sunday.

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It was a late night, and I didn’t sleep well once we finally went to bed.  But Sunday morning came early anyway, and it was hard to feel tired once we pulled the babies from their pack-n-plays and cuddled up in the big bed together.  Our family of four.

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The babies were fed and they experienced their first Easter morning – baskets and all.  Of course their favorite part was the basket, the grass and the eggs.  They could have cared less about what was inside them.  Eventually they went down for a short nap before church while the rest of us bustled around getting ready for the service.  We joined my grandparents at their church, which doesn’t happen often enough.  A small, southern Baptist church with a hymnal at every seat, it felt like the perfect place to be on Easter morning.

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I held my sweet baby girl while worshipping our Savior, and I was overcome with thankfulness for all that He has done for me.   I deserve death because of my sinfulness, and not only has He given me life, but also two precious babies, a husband who fits me perfectly and family all around.  I couldn’t ask for more.

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Sunday was a beautiful day, and we spent the afternoon at my grandparent’s house.  A fantastic lunch was had before we gathered around the house catching up…then an epic egg hunt planned by my mom and sister later in the afternoon.  Unfortunately for Vivian, she got paired with her mama, who ended up only snagging two eggs the entire time.  Next year somebody remind that girl to avoid her mama when it comes to egg hunting time.

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All in all, this Easter will go down in the books not only as the twins’ first, but also as the one where I stood in my grandma and grandpa’s kitchen and got all choked up over His awe inspiring love.  I see it now in a different way than I used to.  Not a better way, just different.  The life He has given is so so good.

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praying

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My heart is feeling heavy with thankfulness and concern today.  My second cousin had twins recently, and one of them was born with a heart problem.  He’s a little over two months old now, and today he is having surgery to repair his heart.

I still remember the day I had to leave Linc and Viv in the NICU and come home for the night; it was the hardest thing I’d ever had to do.  They were healthy, had amazing nurses taking care of them, and even at home we were still only 15 minute away from them.  But I felt like my heart was being torn apart when I left the hospital that day.  Thinking about Caroline having to hand sweet little Everett over to the doctors for a 6 hour surgery today leaves me in tears.

She is so much stronger than I was, and it’s so inspiring the way she is trusting the Lord with Everett’s life.  I sit here writing this feeling overcome with gratefulness that my babies are sleeping safely in their cribs.

So many times life doesn’t seem fair, but I know God always has a plan, and I hope to become better and better at trusting Him.  No matter how difficult things become, He will carry us through.  Please say a prayer for Everett today.

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thoughts

I’ve felt such a need all day long to sit down and write…and now that the twins are napping and I finally have the computer in front of me I feel a bit paralyzed.  My instinct is to vent about all the feelings I’ve been having since Friday afternoon – fear, pain, disbelief, thankfulness – but the core of all those feelings is the concern I feel for the victims and families of the victims of the Connecticut shooting so it feels a little bit selfish to complain.

Just like every other morning, I sat on our bed with the twins this morning…but this time I just held them and wept.  I cannot fathom what those families are experiencing.  The thought of anything ever happening to Linc and Viv is more than I can bear, and I cannot understand how those moms and dads, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters are continuing on with life.  I once heard someone say that when something like this happens, you don’t heal from the pain, you just learn to live with it.  And I know that when faced with something like this, you must just do that.  But my heart just hurts so badly for them.

This past weekend we had our first Christmas celebration with the McCoy side of our family, and amidst all the excitement my mind kept drifting, and I felt so numb.  Since Friday I find myself feeling like life shouldn’t move on, but at the same time I know it’s not right or possible to dwell on the tragedy forever.  I just don’t really know how to deal with this other than to just pray.  Pray that God will continue to make his presence known as a comfort and a source of peace to the victims, the families, the children who survived.  And that God will make his presence known as our country moves forward and changes are made to help protect our people, especially our children, better.

Aside from living a life of prayer, I also hope we can all take this as a reminder to love each other better and to focus on what really matters.  We get so wrapped up in our own selfish desires and the things of this world, and we forget that one of the most important things in life is loving each other and looking out for one another.  I hope I can begin to do that better.  To go out of my way whenever possible to make someone’s day easier if even just for a moment.  We really have to watch out for each other, even when it’s not easy.

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it’s up to Him

Tomorrow might be the first day of life for our first sweet baby.

I am so far beyond excited.  And thankful.  And I would be lying if I said I’m not scared to death as well.

We are slated to arrive at the hospital at 6:30 tomorrow morning for retrieval.  The last few weeks have been such a challenging whirlwind.  We’ve given me shots while standing anywhere from the Whole Foods parking lot to a stairwell we snuck into during a Halloween party to the middle of the Colbie Caillat concert.  Life has carried on despite the ultrasounds, blood work, pills and needles…but it’s been different.  The anticipation of this IVF event has changed the tone of everything the last several weeks.  And it’s all come down to the next couple of weeks (no pressure).

I have never prayed harder in my entire life than I have in the last few weeks.  I’ve prayed constantly that God would enable my body to do what it’s supposed to do.  So far, He has.  Everything leading up to now couldn’t have gone better, and I couldn’t feel more confident going into this next phase.  Unfortunately that doesn’t make our percentage any higher, but I am so thankful that He has chosen to bring us this far.

I’ve also prayed that God will give me the courage to trust him first and foremost.  That whether our little babies survive and have the chance to develop or not, I will trust Him with our future. I will trust that He has a plan, and that plan will be carried out no matter what. This is my biggest request to my Heavenly Father.  I believe He is faithful.

So, please pray with us.  I’ve got needle marks all over, cramps in my stomach and emotions ranging across the board.  But I’ve got so much hope inside.  I’ve tried to figure out how to walk the tightrope of being positive, but protecting myself for so many months; this month I stopped trying.  I put my heart out there, and I’ve done every thing I could…

Now it’s all up to Him.

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