Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Prepared for Baptism

I'm not even close to the "finish line" of parenting, where you send your kid off and sit back to watch them spread their wings.  That day is still a ways away for all of my children. But there are questions that haunt me in anticipation of that milestone: Did I teach them enough?  Did I give them everything they needed?  Did I do enough?  Do they have all the tools they need to be okay?

I felt some of that harrowing responsibility last week as I watched my son on his baptism day.

He's only 8, so yes, there's plenty of teaching left to do under my watch & the watch of my husband.

But while he is young, our son is already at an impressionable, critical, and forming stage of his life. The choices he makes now really will start to affect the person he's going to turn out to be. As he has chosen to get baptized, I wondered: Did we teach him everything he needs to truly understand this commitment?  Does he know what it means to really follow Jesus Christ?  Sometimes following the commandments and understanding the gospel can feel so complex and overwhelming at times--does he know what it takes?

But then I realized - I have taught him everything he needs to know.  The implications of being baptized and confirmed are actually quite simple.

There is really only ONE rule, and that is to LOVE JESUS.  If you can LOVE the Lord, you can follow Him.  When you love God, you TURN TO HIM, and turning to the Lord is truly the answer to everything my son will need.  

He was ready for this.  He knows that there is only one name whereby man can be saved in Heaven.  He is already putting the gospel in action in his life.  He's trying to follow the commandments and be like Jesus would want him to be - he's not perfect at it, but none of us are.  We all need the Lord's grace.  He's already working on obtaining the word, and he's trying to apply it.

The gospel of Jesus Christ really is simple enough that a child can understand it.  It's the adults in this world who muddy it up and make it more complex than it needs to be.  The only thing we need to do is follow Jesus & turn to Him.  And last Saturday, that is what Tyson chose to do.  He followed the example of Jesus Christ, and he was baptized. 

It was a beautiful day.  I felt the Spirit at Tyson's baptism and it made me feel closer to the Lord, too.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Say "NO" to Drugs

Remember this post about "Paddling Upstream"?  Actually, you probably don't, because I felt too vulnerable to post it in real time, so it got back-dated.

But let me tell you...

Shortly after I had my baby, I came down with mastitis, and I lost my milk supply, and my doctor put me on a temporary medication and 2 herbal supplements to repair the problem.  The regimen DID fix the problem, and I was able to take care of my baby.  But when I tried going off the medicine, it affected my milk again, so I had to continue taking the medicine.  All the while, my life felt so out of control.  I felt overwhelmed, and I was having a majorly hard time adjusting to life with my 4th child. I was exhausted all the time.  Yes, I was waking up in the middle of the night to feed the baby, but even with that, I was getting close to 12 hours of sleep because I fell asleep super early and could hardly pull myself out of bed in the morning, and I still couldn't stop myself from conking out during day time baby feedings.  I hardly had the energy to fix meals or tell my kids to pick up after themselves.  I just felt so defeated, and not cut out for being a mom of 4 kids.

I simply couldn't take it anymore.  I finally changed my prayers, and I asked God to give me the strength, energy, and ability to be the mother to 4 kids that I was when I only had 3 kids.

During the days where I had changed my prayers, I had the thought that I needed to check my medicine bottle.  So I did....

"May cause drowsiness and dizziness...."

What's crazy is that when I FIRST read the bottle almost 2 MONTHS earlier, I had dismissed the side-effects and thought to myself, "This can't be worse than anything else I went through when I was pregnant." Well, it was.  And the side effects were worse than the medicines I had to take to keep my pregnancies.

I decided it was high time to "Say No to Drugs" - the side effects of the medicine weren't worth the benefits of taking the pills.  If I lost my milk, so be it.  There are worse things than feeding your baby formula.

I am so grateful that the Lord answered my prayer.  What is neat is that during the time I was on this medicine and feeling so overwhelmed and incapable, without even realizing I needed help, and without asking for it, many angels were sent my way.  I cannot even count how many random acts of service were done for me by friends and family during this time.  People just thought of me and called me, or showed up at my door to see if I needed help with anything.  I was so humbled by this.  I am beyond relieved, however, to now have the answer to what was wrong with me - I have been feeling like myself for the last 4 weeks, now, and the Lord has helped me to enjoy having 4 kids in the same way I could enjoy having 3, and to top it all off, I'm still able to nurse my baby.  I have been able to handle more and I feel on top of what I need to do as a mom.  I'm not perfect, and the house isn't always perfectly clean, but I feel like myself again.

I'm not saying all medicine is bad.  I know that if the good Lord hadn't led me to doctors and modern medicine during my pregnancies, I wouldn't have children at all, because without medicine I lose babies.  So I know that sometimes medicine is the right answer for your medical problems.  But in this case, in order for me to be a functional mother, I am so grateful to get this particular medicine OUT of my life.

Say No to Drugs!