It has been so long since I have connected with all of you! I hope each of you are doing really well and that the Lord is real and near to each of you as you are going through your days.
I am doing much better! I am now 17 weeks, feeling this little one move, and much stronger and healthier! I have been able to enjoy my family, participate again in life, and begin to help out in the normal day's activities. Food is no longer my enemy;)- I still have rough days and wrestle with nausea and an absence of an appetite, but all is so much more manageable!! Gaining my strength back from 2 months in bed and a lack of good nutrition has taken a bit longer than I had hoped for, and honestly, my patience wore thin at certain times. I have begun to roam outside my four walls with the help of Matt. A Quiet dinner date, short trips to the store for birthdays, and even 2 times journeying into a thrift store with Matt as backup when it became to much. Driving... not really there yet, although I need to drop off one of the kiddos tonight, which makes me nervous-weird isn't it-"do I still know how"?! In some ways, this slowwwww pace has forced me to learn some new things about priorities and gratitude for the strength granted by the Lord. I am free of feeling the "HAVE TOS" when I wake up and more thankful for the "CAN DOS" that have been accomplished by day's end. There is time to really enjoy cuddling with the little kiddos and talking with the older ones. Funny how the focus is now on how much joy I find in just giving the little ones a bath, or being able to do a load of laundry-grading the kids homework feels awesome and cleaning my frig out is monumental considering I could not even enter the kitchen just four weeks ago. My folks still come every other week or so, not so much to completely dig us out anymore, but more to simply help me maintain some tasks that are still difficult for me. The last 2 weeks I would have considered going to church, but my little ones have been sick(which really was a first this winter!!-very unusual but appreciated), and I am not sure I could handle the length of Matt's mornings there yet. It has seemed like such a long time since I have seen the faces of my church family except for those blessed souls who have dropped off meals and groceries for us!!
I have been able to experience the joy that comes after a very difficult trial, knowing that the Lord has once again walked with us through it. As we have felt a peace about this being our last child( something I had not yet experienced until now) - I have also experienced something else that is difficult to explain correctly. It is a humbling yet thrilling thing, knowing that our decision to have another babe despite the gravity of my pregnancies, is something that we can bring honor to Him for!! I did not think I could ever do this again-but I also did not feel a peace about finalizing having children-now I am so grateful we listened to the Holy Spirit-if I had turned my ear for practicality, common sense, fear of suffering and illness or the like-I would have never known this little one intended for us !! Life is a miraculous gift and there is no doubt that children are His blessing to us!! I feel like I have run a very long and difficult race (one at times I was very ready to quit), but the victory-the day this last little baby of ours is born-will be ever so sweet!! How grateful I am for each of our children-who are worth more than anything I can humanly give. I cannot even imagine what it will be like to hold this little one at the end of a 15 year journey I have been on with my best friend!! A little more than a year ago, a strange feeling swept over me when we all sat down to the dinner table-one that made me almost count my children, feeling as though someone was missing-imagine that;) Guess it was in the works by my Heavenly Father before we even had plans. Pretty fun story Matt and I have been a part of! Thank you Jesus!
We were quite surprised a few weeks ago during an ultrasound, to find out the sex of the baby!! I didn't even plan on asking since I was still so early in the pregnancy. But the tech was quite confident and asked if we wanted to know! So.... I will be sharing that news with you very soon! I attempted to pick up a little something for the baby that day on our way home to help us announce to the kiddos that we were having a "girl or boy", but I made it to the first isle and had to give that idea up-it was just too early for me to be doing much of anything, so with Matt's help we made our way back out to the car-crazy!!
I am slowly getting back to working more on the shop-not just keeping up with shipping(which I was unfortunately very sluggish at for a time) I have added a few things here and there, done a tiny bit of sewing but been very flooded with ideas and the desire to create-That is a real sign of mental healing for me! Creativity eludes me completely during my darkest times of the illness and with that, my mind just seems to function in a haze. So this has been a blessing, helping to motivate the stretching needed to heal in every way. The desire to create has been one of my most precious gifts from the Lord, I have felt.
Instead of major overhauls and projects that I accomplish in a day-"the old me"-I have become satisfied and content to slowly work on things needing attention, even if it takes me weeks! I have been slowly cleaning and working towards making our room ready for this new little one, and this morning, I was finally able to bring in the best part!! Matt brought down our antique cradle up in the attic for me. I cannot believe how peaceful it makes my room feel. The kiddos just seem to congregate around it gabbing about how they can't wait until the baby arrives. One of the hardest parts about being sick for so long and in bed, is that those 4 walls seem to close in on you. I could not even make my bed let alone clean or work on preparing the room for the baby. So when I began to start feeling better, the last place I wanted to be was in my bedroom again!! But time has helped and this past week I set my mind to working on small areas a little at a time. We switched out some dressers to make room for the cradle, I cleaned and dusted as Matt moved furniture, and sure enough, it came together. Last night, I actually wanted to curl up in my bed as though it was a breath of fresh air.
Thank you all for your prayers and encouraging words-they have helped more than you know! Hopefully we can connect more often now! Blessings to each of you!!