Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Clinging to Hope

Cast not away your confidence because God defers his performances. That which does not come in your time, will be hastened in his time, which is always the more convenient season. God will work when he pleases, how he pleases, and by what means he pleases. He is not bound to keep our time, but he will perform his word, honour our faith, and reward them that diligently seek him.

- Matthew Henry

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Our Little Boy Is Growing Up

Drawing inspiration from another blog my husband and I decided to record the first 100 days of our son's life on camera. Well, Thursday marked the end of our 100 day adventure so I thought I would post the finished product. It's hard to believe Aiden is now over three months old and growing stronger and more animated by the day. We have been incredibly blessed by this little boy so let this slide show be a small declaration of God's goodness!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Working Mom

(He's a cutie huh?!?!?)

Well our little man is now officially 3 months old! It's crazy how fast the time is going. Lots of things have changed in the past week. Since God has yet to provide a ministry opportunity for Jon I am now a working identity I wish I never had to accept. I hate it. I've been faced with a fairly ugly side of myself lately. As my first week of work was approaching I was struck by an overwhelming sense of anger. I was angry at God and for what? Because I didn't get my way? Yeah. Because in my ultimate wisdom I thought I knew what was best? Could this truly be glorifying to God? If my heart was so invested in being a stay at home mom why would God send me back to work? I just didn't understand and I honestly still do not fully grasp why this has happened. I just know that my heart aches. It aches just as much as it did a week ago and I can't help but ask, "How long?"

Last Friday was my first night back at work and I was a mess. I cried during the day, I cried when I had to kiss my son goodnight, I cried leaving for work, and I cried at work...yeah I was a blubbering mess. Even though I knew he would be sleeping most of the night I still had a fear I would miss something important. That first week was awful. When I wasn't at work missing my son and husband I was at home feeling guilty every time I had to shift my focus to cleaning, laundry, making dinner and sleeping. I just wanted to soak in every minute with that adorable little boy because I knew that all too soon he would be grown up.

Now that the awful first week is behind me Jon and I are struggling to figure out this new schedule. We basically have one day off together and are working a crazy work schedule in between. I don't believe we have ever had this much stress on our marriage and at times it feels as if we are barely keeping our heads above water. I know that in the grand scheme of things we are not really suffering. The three of us are all healthy (praise the Lord!) and Jon and I are blessed with jobs that keep a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs but I would certainly call this a trying time. I once thought I was a somewhat patient person as I waited on the Lord's timing, now I know that is not anywhere close to the truth.

So here I am, with faith that is barely visible crying out to the Lord to show himself. Things are tough but I know that God is faithful, I know that he is good and I know beyond a doubt that his timing is perfect now if only my heart could just get in line with my head and believe it. "Lord I believe, help my unbelief."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

2 Months and Counting

Well we have successfully made it two months so I thought I would celebrate by sharing some more pictures of our handsome little man. He just captures my heart! Maybe one day I will be able to post more about life but this is just about all I have time for. Ah well. Enjoy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Life Post Labor

Life has been a whirlwind of diaper changes, feedings and sleepless nights since Aiden made his appearance but I wouldn't trade it for the world. It's fairly obvious that I have struggled to find time for anything let alone blogging since our little one has been born. However now things are settling down a bit, if only for today.

It's a little sad how no one talks about what life is like the first few months after a baby is born. Maybe women don't want to discourage soon to be moms but no one talks about the stress, roller coaster of emotions, the pain of breastfeeding and the struggle a husband and wife face as they work to figure out what their relationship should look like now that they are no longer a family of two. There may be a few first time moms who experience nothing but sunshine and roses upon the birth of their child but I haven't met any yet. For the majority of mommas it's hard and can be completely overwhelming. Lacking the support of any family in close proximity can make things even more stressful and it's easy to feel like you are completely alone. If any first time moms are reading this I'll tell you now that you are not alone. You shouldn't have to put on a poker face and pretend that life is dandy. Parenthood is hard and I have never been so aware of how much I need the support of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Now that Aiden has almost hit the 2 month mark I feel as if things have become more manageable, with crazy days thrown in to remind me of my ever present need for God and His grace. With a bit of stability on the baby front, Jon and I are beginning to figure out how to still cherish each other and our date day even with a little one tagging along. God is good and every day I am reminded of his faithfulness.

With my maternity leave coming close to an end I'm trying to soak in every minute with this little man. Here are a few highlights of a normal day with Aiden:
1. Cuddle time as Aiden enjoys his meals.
2. Fun smiles during tummy time. (His tummy time doesn't last very long since he likes rolling over!)
3. Reading stories from the Mighty Acts of God: A Family Bible Story Book.
4. Talking to Aiden about all sorts of topics from his daddy's love of trains to my heart for missions and missionaries.
5. Praying over Aiden that he would come to know God at a young age and that as he grows in knowledge and love of the Lord he would be completely sold out for Christ. I'm learning more each day that Aiden is not my own. May his life be used for the glory of God!

Here are a few pictures to close out this post. I'll be putting up his two month old pictures soon. Enjoy!!

This face just melts my heart!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Aiden's Birth Story

I have been working on this birth story for weeks and it has honestly been an overwhelming process. How do you put into words one of the most amazing experiences of your life? Trying to sum up a little over 24 hours of labor along with all of the emotions seemed a daunting task but I have finally finished it. Here is a very edited version of the day Jon and I met our son for the first time.

12:30am (September 7th)
It began early on Tuesday morning. I awoke with what I thought were intense Braxton hicks contractions. It kind of caught me off guard because those pre-labor contractions had never disturbed my sleep before, but as I lay in bed, I wondered excitedly if this could possibly be the beginning of real labor. Unable to sleep I watched the clock and by 1:30am what I initially thought were Braxton hicks contractions were now around 5-7 minutes apart. For the next couple of hours I took a shower, ate, and tried sleeping to make sure that what I was experiencing was real labor. By 5am the contractions were a steady five minutes apart and more intense, so we spent the next hour or so getting the last of our things together.

At around 7am we were heading out the door to the hospital; it was our last time leaving the apartment as a family of two.

(We quickly took this picture between contractions before heading out the door to the hospital.)

Once at the hospital we were escorted back to triage and to our excitement were informed that I was already a good 6-7 centimeters dilated.

After formal admission and moving to a labor and delivery room, we got situated and I spent a couple of hours relaxing through contractions as Jon coached and encouraged me. I seriously could not have asked for a better husband. He was calm and patient as he reminded me to breath deeply and relax over and over again. At 11am the nurse came in to check me and I was a solid 7 centimeters, 100% effaced and the baby was at -1 or 0 station. Things were looking good and we were on track for a mid-afternoon delivery. I was making progress and thought for sure that labor would not last too long.

Two hours later after walking around and changing positions multiple times I had not made any more progress and contractions had not gotten any closer together. I continued to focus on relaxing through the contractions and we kept going. At this point my mom had actually driven down from Pennsylvania and made it to Louisville in time to help Jon coach me during contractions. Having both her and Jon during the majority of my labor was incredibly encouraging.

At 3pm, the nurse approached us about having my water broken. By now I was up for almost anything that would bring some progress, so I was completely on board. Jon was a little more skeptical, knowing that once they broke my water there was a time table on what we hoped would be a natural labor. We were also told around this same time that my doctor would not be able to make our delivery but that another doctor from the same practice would take her place.

After talking about our options, we agreed to let the doctor break my water. Once we had made the decision, I was really excited at the prospect of labor speeding up and finally meeting our child. But my excitement was quickly snuffed out when I heard that my new doctor, Dr. Walsh would not be able to make it to the hospital until 5pm. At this point I was feeling so frustrated knowing that I would have to labor another 2 hours or more before I could have my water broken. The thought of no progress was overwhelmingly discouraging. This labor was not going as we had hoped but we continued to pray surrendering this whole situation to the Lord.

11 hours after arriving at the hospital, Dr. Walsh broke my water. She discovered meconium in the fluid but didn't seem too concerned since the baby wasn't showing any signs of distress. This was going to be the event that kick started my labor, I was sure. But by 8pm I still had not made any more progress and Dr. Walsh told us that she wanted to start me on pitocin.

The thought of being given pitocin was terrifying to me because I had heard horror stories about how awful contractions can become. We were assured that they would start me off on a very low dose, so an IV was started and at 8:30pm the med was administered. Labor quickly got more intense as my contractions went from 5-7 minutes apart to 3-4 minutes apart. Relaxing through contractions became incredibly difficult as they intensified and became more frequent. At one point the contractions were so overwhelming that I got sick, which actually made me feel a bit better. Jon continued to coach and encourage me throughout the process; he continually reminded me to consciously relax during the contractions, allowing them to do the work.

After an hour and a half of pitocin I was fully dilated and feeling a huge urge to push. Finally I was going to meet our baby, we were so close...or so I thought. I pushed for an hour before the doctor discovered that the baby's head was sideways, meaning that I wasn't making any progress. So she attempted to turn the baby during the contractions. Not only was pushing incredibly difficult but the pressure and pain of my doctor trying to reposition the baby was overwhelming. For another hour I pushed as hard as I could, three times every contraction as my doctor tried desperately to turn the head. Nothing was happening and I wasn't sure if I could keep going. I was physically exhausted and mentally so frustrated at the lack of progress; I just wanted this baby OUT!

When I reached the 2 hour mark of pushing our doctor first discussed with us the possibility of a c-section. I couldn't let go of the fact that I had worked so hard, there was no way I was going to give up and get a c-section. NO WAY!! I kept praying and asking the Lord to protect this baby and bring him or her into the world naturally. I pushed for another 45 minutes with still no progress. Dr. Walsh told us that we really needed to consider a c-section because we had almost reached the 3 hour mark.

That second discussion lit a fire under me and I was more focused than ever to push this little one out. Jon had left the room to talk to my mom about what the doctor had said and by the time he returned, Dr. Walsh told him that she had actually seen a little progress and was cautiously optimistic. She was willing to let me push for a bit longer. I remember her turning to me saying, "Kristen you are going to have to push harder than you ever have before." As I pushed Jon prayed asking the Lord to give me the strength and protect both of us from harm. Amazingly during this whole time the baby's heart rate was a steady 130 beats per minute and showing absolutely no signs of distress.

I pushed harder and harder with every contraction and Dr. Walsh's encouraging words rang in my ears as she said, "You are going to push this baby out!"

1:15am (Wednesday September 8th)
At 1:15am, the delivery team was called in and I could hear the excitement and emotion in Jon's voice as he said he could see the top of our baby's head. "Honey, you're doing it!! It's coming!" I continued pushing and suddenly all the pressure, pain and exhaustion was over. At 1:35am September 8th (his actual due date) our little one was born. Jon heard someone say, He's a big boy!" I looked down and saw my beautiful son for the first time; the sight took my breath away. We had done it. Aiden was a healthy 7 pounds 15 ounces and 20.5 inches long.

Jon and I were both overcome with so many emotions. We were overjoyed at the birth of our son, Aiden. God had been so faithful in this amazing miracle we had just witnessed. Jon and I still cannot believe that everything ended up the way that it did. There is no explanation except for the complete faithfulness of a mighty and loving God. With the possibility of a c-section and fear of harm for me or the baby it is amazing to recognize that God was so faithful to not only protect but to provide for all circumstances. Granted we would have been fine but discouraged going with a c-section but my heart was really set on a natural labor and God heard that prayer. I labored for just over 24 hours, 18 of them at the hospital and pushed for a long 3 and a half hours and like everyone always says, it was worth every minute. We are so thankful to God for his unending faithfulness and cannot wait to see how he continues to be faithful in the life of little Aiden Samuel Groves.

(A family of three!!)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's A Boy!!!

Aiden Samuel Groves made is debut into the world on his due date September 8th, 2010 at 1:35am. He weighed in at 7 pounds 15 ounces and measured 20.5 inches long. Jon and I are so thankful to be blessed with such a precious little boy who has completely stolen our hearts. Right now we are adjusting to life as a family of three but I hope to soon post about our whole birth experience, until then here are a few pictures of our little man. I couldn't be more in love with him!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Still Pregnant

I haven't posted in a while so I thought I would check in quickly to update everyone to the fact that yes I am still very much pregnant, 38 weeks and counting. My intuition says that this baby is coming sometime this week but who knows. I've never done this before so I could be WAY off.

Right now it feels as if everything is about this little baby. Jon and I have been working hard to make sure everything is ready and all of the lose ends are tied up. The baby's bed is made, car seat is installed, phone tree set up, and the hospital bags are packed. Those items are just a few of the things I have been checking off my to-do list before the big day arrives. Thankfully there really isn't much else that needs to be done We're ready, well as ready as you can be when it comes to having your first baby.

Now that everything is in place we wait! I've told numerous people that I feel like a ticking time bomb. My sisters, mom, friends and other family members are anxiously awaiting the phone call telling them that I am in labor. I spend most of the day thinking about what our precious baby will look like and what my labor is going to entail. I wonder when I will go into labor, where I will be, how I will handle the pain, what it will be like to finally meet our child coupled with the excitement of finding out if it's a boy or girl and how it will feel to bring our little one home for the first time. This whole situation just seems so surreal. It almost feels as if it will never happen but my body is certainly telling me otherwise. My back hurts, bending/squatting down is a chore, getting out of bed and turning over are all monumental tasks that require more energy than I often feel like expending.

With all of the aches and pains that come with pregnancy I am still incredibly thankful. The past 9 months have been a huge time of growth full of challenges and stress. I know without any doubt that becoming a mom will teach me more than I could have ever imagined and will change me to my very core. This is really happening!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

You Alone Can Rescue

We are singing this song in church today and the lyrics keep running through my head so I thought I would share this song in hopes that it encourages someone else. Enjoy!

You Alone Can Rescue:

Who, oh Lord, could save themselves,
Their own soul could heal?
Our shame was deeper than the sea
Your grace is deeper still

Who, oh Lord, could save themselves,
Their own soul could heal?
Our shame was deeper than the sea
Your grace is deeper still

You alone can rescue, You alone can save
You alone can lift us from the grave
You came down to find us, led us out of death
To You alone belongs the highest praise

You, oh Lord, have made a way
The great divide You heal
For when our hearts were far away
Your love went further still
Yes, your love goes further still

You alone can rescue, You alone can save
You alone can lift us from the grave
You came down to find us, led us out of death
To You alone belongs the highest praise
To You alone belongs the highest praise
To You alone belongs the highest praise

You alone

We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the Giver of Life
We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the Giver of Life

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Provision of Our Great God

This is a duplicate post from my baby blog but I loved the post so much that I wanted to add it here too.

Last month was so full of the goodness of God. It's not that His goodness changes, just sometimes my heart is in a better place to take notice. We have been so blessed by the amazing love and support we have received from our friends and family. My mom and sisters threw me a surprise shower in Pennsylvania when Jon and I went to visit in July. Here is just a small pictures of the graciousness of those closest to us.

And this is how the love of Christ was displayed...

Last weekend, two of my dear friends here in Louisville put together a wonderful shower for me. I've told Jon this numerous times but I never imagined I have would made such amazing godly friends through such a crazy job. That Saturday I was surrounded by tons of girl friends and some family too. What did I say? Yes, we are blessed beyond measure. I love these girls!!

Can I just say that many of these women have the love language of gift giving. Their generosity is so humbling.

Now Jon and I are busy organizing and preparing our apartment for our new addition. I can't even say how wonderful it feels to have little baby things all over the place. It makes this seem even more real. We have what we need, and are putting everything in it's I think we are about ready to meet our little one. I can't wait!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Summer Vacation

Well, I'm back. It has been a month or more since my last post. That's pretty shameful. In all honesty there hasn't been much to report. The past couple of months have been full of some discouragement and weariness brought on by our situation as we wait on the Lord's timing. I've just felt at a loss for words. There have been no dynamic revelations or miraculous answers to prayer but the Lord remains faithful just the same. His still small voice has been my close friend recently as I've taken joy in seeing God move quietly but lovingly through my friends, family, and especially Jon. His inerrant Word has been invaluable reminding me of His faithfulness. Often times I find myself repeating the truth that God is unchanging, his character remains the same. God is always faithful to his people, always. I know I've repeated that truth a lot lately in my blog but I need to hear it every day. In the midst of the waiting recently God has done a lot of renewal in the hearts of me and my husband. We are both feeling more refreshed concerning his ministry search and the excitement of our upcoming journey into parenthood brings so much joy as we get closer to meeting our little one. I have less than six weeks left for those who are counting!!

Part of this season of renewal came through time with family. Almost the whole month of July Jon and I traveled to different states to see our respective families. It was a time of much needed rest and relaxation and, like all vacations, it went far too quickly. I have a ton of pictures from these trips but I don't have access to most of them right now so I'll post back later with more pictures.

During the first part of July, Jon and I drove up to Chicago to meet up with some of his extended family, many of whom I hadn't seen since our wedding! It was a short trip but so worth it. After spending four days back at work we hit the road again to head up to Pennsylvania to visit my family. My mom and two younger sisters threw me a surprise shower. Jon and I were beyond blessed by the support and love we received through our friends and family.

Near the end of our visit Jon had a little surprise in store for me as well. He took me on a day trip down to Washington D.C. to celebrate our four year anniversary. Just to give you some background, D.C. holds a special place in my heart because that is where Jon proposed! So we spent the day visiting places like Ford's Theatre, the Peterson House, the National Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History and we even walked back up to the capitol to the exact spot where Jon popped the question. Since it was night when he proposed I wanted to go back and get some pictures taken.

A picture of us in front of the capitol building. Behind us you can see a reflecting pool and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial. The platform overlooks the National mall. It was on that platform that Jon proposed.

Here are a few re-enactments.

After spending a whole day walking around D.C. (I have to say that I am quite proud of myself for braving the DC heat), Jon took me to the Old Ebbitt Grill, where we had an amazing meal and probably one of the best desserts I have ever tasted!

Now we are back to the grind working 3rd shift and feverishly preparing for the arrival of our little one. Not much longer and this family of two will become a family of three!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

An example of God's faithfulness

This will probably seem like an incredibly small thing for most everyone reading this post but to me and my husband this is an example of God's provision. Let me quickly summarize why this is such a wonderful encouragement. Jon and I live in a small one bedroom apartment. We fully believed that we would be moved out and settled in a home with Jon working in some sort of ministry opportunity by now but that is just not how things have panned out. Since we live in a small apartment we have virtually nothing in place for this baby that will soon be making an appearance. We just have no room. Anyways, Jon's wonderful grandmother bought us a Pack'n Play which we will use as a crib until God moves us into a more permanent living situation. A small thing I know but for a close to 7 month pregnant woman it screams God's faithfulness. I know that as September draws near I will daily see even more reminders that our God is taking care of us even in the small things.

Isn't it pretty?!? Thanks Grandmother!!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Getting Outside of Myself

A dear friend of mine recently gave me a book called Prayers for the Faithful. This book guides Christians in specific ways to pray for their brothers and sisters who are serving the Lord overseas as missionaries. For those of you who know me well know that a book like this is right up my alley. The friend who gave me this book is preparing, along with her husband and young daughter, to serve Christ in Asia, most likely for the rest of their lives. I also have another friend of mine who will soon be serving alongside her husband in much the same way.

Over the years as I have read various missionary biographies the subject of prayer in the lives and ministries of these men and women is viewed with the utmost importance. The need for prayer when it comes to missions is imperative since the task they face is so enormous. Like any Christian longing to faithfully serve the Lord no matter where they have been called prayers are crucial to sustain their ministry and ultimately to bring glory to God through the spreading of the Gospel. The need is great, far greater than words can express.

The verse that I prayed over missionaries today is from Isaiah 11:5.

"Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist."

Along with praying scripture today's prayers were also focused on a specific area of the world, Afghanistan. One thing that struck me when reading about this particular country is that there is not an entire Bible translated into any of the official languages of Afghanistan. The New Testament is only available in two languages which leaves 45 of the spoken languages without any access to scripture. That is just one of numerous needs in that country. If you are interested in joining with me in prayer you can find more information on Operation World's website.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Seeking Strength and Learning From Weakness

I'm meditating on Numbers 11 and Psalm 91 today. My faith is so weak. God may my eyes be set on you with thankfulness and trust. What you have provided for today is enough.

"I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."
- Psalm 91:2

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Closed Doors

A lot has happened since my last post. On Tuesday morning Jon and I arrived back in Louisville after a wonderful Florida vacation to see his family. Jon's youngest brother graduated high school and we had the privilege of being there to celebrate. The only down side we faced was the LONG drive from Louisville Kentucky to Ft. Lauderdale Florida. The drive was somewhere in the 16 hour range and we managed to drive it straight through the night.

Aside from some refreshing vacation time there has been quite a number of challenges on the job front. Over the past week and a half God has closed two very large doors that Jon and I had hoped would possibly lead us into the next step of this journey. One of the opportunities almost felt like a sure thing and after our only options were closed in front of us I started to feel desperate. Honestly deep down I felt that at least one of the jobs would be "the one" we had waited on, that ministry position God had been leading us to all of these months. After the second door abruptly closed I started to feel panic well up in me. What are we going to do? How in the world are we supposed to make our current situation work? This wasn't how it was supposed to be. Wednesday of this past week was my breaking point when all of my pent up emotions came rushing out and I felt utterly defeated. Thankfully God has so graciously surrounded us with a supportive church family, namely our community group.

So now what? Jon has looked into some new options concerning where he can send his resume and the job search continues. Right now we have absolutely nothing on the horizon, nothing. For those of you who read this I could definitely use prayer that I would continue to trust the Lord in the midst of this uncertain time. His attributes remain the same. He is my one constant and for that I am entirely thankful. Also pray that as a couple Jon and I would seek the Lord and his glory above all other things. We are exactly where the Lord wants us to be until he leads us elsewhere. I don't want to forget that. So for now we continue to wait.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Giving Thanks

As I've been busy wrapping up lose ends before Jon and I head to Florida we continue to wait on God's timing as far as a job is concerned. Right now God has given me a lot of peace about our future which is a praise considering our crazy circumstance. Over the past few weeks I've been meditating on these couple of verses and they have served as a reminder of the goodness of God and what we as his people are to do as his followers. I could easily get wrapped up in trying to figure out our lives but the calling that these few verses ring out is a life focused on our Savior. A life like that is much more appealing to me than trying to control everything especially since almost nothing is in my control to begin with. So this is my prayer for the coming weeks and months no matter what may come our way.

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always."
- Psalm 105:1-4

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Emmanuel- Isa Agape

A dear friend of mine gave me a CD with this song on it and it has been on repeat in my car a lot lately. Hope this blesses you as much as it has me.

You are my portion God. I will hope in You!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I believe, help my unbelief.

I was looking over old posts and I came across one from May 9th of last year. In that post I anticipated that within a year I would be done with my current job and Jon and I would join in ministry together at a church. I just's now May 22nd. We have passed the one year mark and are still waiting. I honestly never imagined that this waiting period would be so trying for me. I'm sure the stress of preparing and providing for a baby is making things a little more intense; but I can easily say that this has been the most difficult learning period I have ever been through, which probably shows how easy my life has been. At this moment we don't know where we will be living in September, where Jon will have a job, and if I will have to continue working after the baby arrives. Hundreds of questions are constantly swirling around in my head. Everything, I mean every little thing is up in the air. This has been slightly terrifying for me and I have quickly realized that my faith is so small. Lately I have found myself praying the phrase, "I believe, help my unbelief."

In the midst of all this uncertainty there are some exciting opportunities that may be coming our way soon but those opportunities also mean that there will be decisions to be made, big ones. All I can think to do is ask for prayer. I know beyond any doubt that the God we serve is faithful. He always has been and always will be. So in this waiting period I'm praying and would like to ask those of you who read this to join with me in prayer as we wait expectantly for God's amazing provision. The biggest prayer we have right now is that the Lord would provide Jon a job specifically in some sort of ministry position. Everything else completely hinges on what happens with that. The rest, details and all, we leave up to the Lord. Even as I write this I'm excited for the day when I can share specifically how God has provided for all of our needs and I'm sure many of these answers will come in unexpected ways. September 8th is closing in and job or no job, one bedroom apartment and all this baby is coming and I'm so tempted to worry. So all that said, I'm humbly asking you to pray with me as we wait expectantly for God to show up in amazing ways. I'll keep you posted if any big developments happen but for now my plan is to seek the Lord, questions and all. God is good!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

I'm in love!!

Jon and I went back to the doctor's office yesterday for my monthly appointment and another ultrasound. Thankfully this time around baby Groves decided to cooperate and we were able to get a few glimpses of our little one's face. Here are a few of my favorites!! In the two 3D shots you can see part of the umbilical cord in front of the neck and some across the top right side of the face. Once again the ultrasound tech said that everything looks great. I'm definitely head over heels in love!

About a week or so ago Jon and I decided to start a baby blog (separate from our own personal blogs). Since we have so many friends and family stretched all across the States we wanted one place they could all go to to receive updates on how the pregnancy is progressing. So for those of you who want more details on the pregnancy we will be posting most of that information on our new blog.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Coming Soon!!

I'm so thrilled to announce that my mother-in-law has a book coming out in August!! If raising four boys isn't enough of a feat she has now put her years of experience, chock-full of stories, down on paper. Here is the first glimpse of the new book I'm Outnumbered! written by Laura Groves.

Feel free to check out her personal website and then head over here purchase your own copy of her upcoming book.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It's a...

SURPRISE!! Yes, we have decided NOT to find out the sex of the baby which I think might be driving my mom crazy. Love you mom!! :-) Jon and I went to the doctor last week for my 20 week ultrasound. It's hard to believe that we are now halfway through the pregnancy. During our visit we spent about a half an hour just getting to see little glimpses of our peanut! It was truly amazing. The ultrasound tech took all kinds of measurements and everything looks great so far. The only problem we had is that our stubborn little baby refused to show us it's adorable face. When I go back to the doctors office in about three weeks we'll have another ultrasound to see if the baby decides to cooperate. So for now here are some pictures. Enjoy!!

This is a great side shot, especially of the spine.
Look at that little hand!
Another shot of the hand and an even better view of the arm.
The next two pictures are a 3D, which I LOVE!! Here is evidence of our stubborn baby refusing to smile for the camera. Ah well.
This picture I believe is my favorite! In the lower right hand side of the picture you see peanut's back and as you follow it up you can catch a glimpse of the rear end (SO CUTE!!). It almost looks like our baby is sitting on it's legs. If you look where the arrows are pointing you can see two little feet complete with toes!!
As you can see everything continues to go so well and for that I am thankful! A few weeks ago I started feeling some movement and now the jabs are becoming more defined. Jon as already been able to feel the baby move! We're loving the journey and are looking forward to holding this precious little baby in our arms.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Come, Lord Jesus

The Last Judgment- Michelangelo

A little less than a year ago I felt a conviction in my heart. I had never read through the entire Bible. I am humbled to say that God has been so gracious and faithful to lead me through his entire Word and today I finished! The past year has been challenging as I have had to face the realization that I so easily value everything else above God and his Word. I learned a lot about myself and even more so about the God I serve. I am reminded that the Bible is the living, active, and powerful word of the Lord that convicts people of sin and declares the hope of a Savior. His Word is offensive to many, filled with passages even most Christians choose to ignore. Every word is inspired by our great Creator and as I read the final words of scripture my heart felt enlivened as I was so vividly told of Christ's return. Those final words are an encouraging exhortation to His church to live with the knowledge of His coming burning in our hearts. Are we living for His return? Do those around us see a difference? Are we sharing this hope with others? As I prepare to dive into the Word again for another year I have and will continue to be challenged and changed.

"He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes I am coming soon.'
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Living Vicariously Through Television

I have a love for shows that focus on cultures from all over the world. I just find them fascinating and they serve as good reminders that the world we live in is much bigger than what we in North America realize.

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
He is a writer, chef and world traveler. This show features him crossing the globe to interact with cultures though their food. Despite being a chef, Anthony spends most of his time in well worn alleys rather than in 5 star restaurants. He believes that understanding a culture comes best from sitting down with the nationals and sharing a meal. I'll give you fare warning that his show is not for a faint of heart due to Anthony's sharp tongue. However this is honestly one of my favorite shows on television right now and if you are interested in seeing a culture from a culinary point of view I would highly recommend it.

Bizarre Food
This show (also found on the Travel Channel) follows Andrew Zimmern as he visits various countries seeking out their most bizarre and often somewhat repulsive foods. I have a warning for this show as well; if you have a queasy stomach you may need to pass. Once again this show focuses on exploring cultures through their food.

I have to admit that I'm a bit ashamed to say that I watch this last show. Now I completely acknowledge that it does not quite have the same cultural focus as the first two shows I mentioned but it is a bit addictive. I can't help but enjoy watching an affluent young American thrust into various cross-cultural situations.

The Price of Beauty
Jessica Simpson...yes THAT Jessica Simpson travels the world to discover what other cultures consider beautiful.

Don't judge me! :-) Check them out for yourself and let me know what you think.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I've wanted to post something for quite some time but even now I struggle to put into words what has been going on in my heart. I'm restless...again. When I try and explain the way I feel most of the people I talk to look at me like I'm crazy, and maybe I am. Allow me to be vulnerable for a minute even though I know this probably sounds absurd.

Jon and I are waiting for the Lord's leading concerning a pastorate. We have had a few promising options but so far nothing has really panned out and so we continue to wait. During this waiting process I just feel an overwhelming sense of restlessness, like there is something I am supposed to be doing; just what that something is I am not entirely sure.

Part of this restlessness may be from watching some good friends of mine move closer and closer to dreams and callings they have pursued for a long time. Maybe this restlessness is due to the fact that my dream is part of theirs and my heart just aches because I can't experience what they get to see first hand. Perhaps the restlessness comes from the fear of the future knowing that sometime soon I will be packing up yet again and moving. Maybe it's that I want to be a part of something bigger than myself and I don't feel like I've been able to do that for a while. My heart isn't invested in anything worthwhile right now and it feels empty. I'm honestly a little lonely and confused concerning all of this. My wonderful husband has been such a huge support as I ask all kinds of questions and try to sort through a multitude of feelings. Unfortunately he can't answer these questions for me. So here I am waiting and praying to the Lord, "I'm listening. What do you want of me?"

Friday, April 2, 2010

Desiring a Mary heart in a Martha world

This is my prayer today.

At Your Feet

Here at Your feet, I lay my past down
My wanderings, all my mistakes down
And I am free

Here at Your feet, I lay this day down
Not in my strength, but in Yours I’ve found
All I need, You’re all I need

Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
Oh, to dwell and never leave
Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
There is nowhere else for me
There is nowhere else for me

Here at Your feet, I lay my future down
All of my dreams, I give to You now
And I find peace, I find peace
Here at Your feet, I lay my life down
For You my King, You’re all I want now
And my soul sings…

‘Cause I am free (here at Your feet)
All I need (is at Your feet)
I find peace
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet

And I am free (here at Your feet)
All I need (is at Your feet)
I find peace
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet

Here at Your feet
I lay my life down

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Aunt Kristen

Here are some long awaited pictures from my trip out to Arizona! I thoroughly enjoyed five days with my nephew, sister, brother-in-law and mom. I can't even explain how much I miss holding this little guy and how much this makes me yearn to cuddle our own peanut. Things are still looking great with our pregnancy and with my morning sickness letting up everything looks even better!! :-)

I love how stretched out Caleb is in this picture!!! He looks nice and relaxed.

The Robinson family!!!