Thursday, December 3, 2009
Dreams are good. But dreams don’t always happen the way we think they will. Parts of my dream came true. I did grow up and meet “the perfect man,” AKA Travis (although he’s more of a mix between Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell). But I didn’t meet him until I was 31 years old. We got married when I was 33, and we still haven’t had any children.
Like most newlyweds, we wanted to have some “us” time before we started a family, so we chose not to rush into having children right away. We really enjoyed our first two years of marriage. We traveled, went to baseball games, spent time with friends whenever we felt like it … we just did whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. In fact, I enjoyed our time together so much, I started thinking that maybe we shouldn’t have kids at all. Maybe we should just enjoy being together—just the two of us—for the rest of our lives.
As I contemplated the idea of not having any children, I began to think about this world and all the horrible things going on. I began to let fear and doubt fill my heart. In fact, for the first time in my life, my heart started hardening towards having children. Over the next several months, my feelings of fear grew, and without even discussing it with Travis, I decided for both of us that we wouldn’t have children. Besides, I was already in my mid-30s and in a career I loved. Why bother now? Why mess up a good thing?
Then things started to change … my heart started to change.
My sister-in-law got pregnant and had a baby. As I held her baby boy in my arms, my hardened heart began to melt … just a little. He was so precious and amazing. I just wanted to hold him forever. My dream of having children slowly started to come alive again. But I had let fear creep so far into my heart, it was holding me back.
Then in July of this year, I started having some physical problems. I went to the doctor, and after a series of tests, I found out I had a fibroid (benign tumor) the size of a baseball on my uterus, which made it impossible for me to have children without having it removed.
I felt shattered. Just when I had started to let my guard down … to dream again … fear took over. Sure, I may have “decided” for myself not to have kids, but at least it was my decision. Now the choice had been taken away from me. I no longer had an option. I was lost and confused. Scared and angry.
A few days after receiving the diagnosis, I went to a prayer meeting at Gateway. Pastor David Smith joined us for the prayer time, but he couldn’t stay long. In fact, he only had time to be there during my prayer time. I know God sent him to be there at that time, because he said some things to me that changed my life … my heart … forever. He reminded me that children are a gift from God, and that God only gives good gifts to His children. At that very moment, all of my doubt and fear faded away. Through tears, I prayed and asked God to forgive me for being fearful. I asked Him to give me hope, to give me healing … to give me children.
I decided to follow the treatment recommended by my doctor in hopes that my fibroid would shrink. After three months of intense treatment, I found out it had actually grown and I needed to have surgery immediately.
Once again, I felt broken and scared … afraid to dream.
As I shared the news with a friend, she reminded me that God wants us to dream. He gives us dreams and desires. And not only does He answer those dreams, but He goes beyond them! As I thought about this, I was reminded of the scripture in Ephesians: “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (Ephesians 3:20). I began to feel my childhood dreams come alive again. I felt excitement as I began to think about the possibility of having children. And this time, I wasn’t fearful. I knew God was in control.
Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes things happen that don’t make a lot of sense. But one think I do know is that life is better when I trust God and allow Him to be in control.
My surgery was two weeks ago. And right now I’m believing that God can and will heal me. I believe He will give me children one day. And I believe He is going to give me more dreams. But this time, I’m going to believe they’ll come true … all in His time and in His way.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
This has been a super crazy year so far. To summarize ... I started the year doing The Biggest Loser (update: I lost over 30 pounds, some I have gained back), then I hurt my back in aerobics class and had to go through several months of treatment, and just when I started doing better (July), I was diagnosed with a fibroid the size of a baseball on my uterus and had to go through intense treatments that have made me feel like I've been in menopause for the past four months. Now, I will have a Myomectomy on Monday, November 16, to remove it. (More about this whole situation and the procedure will come in a later blog ... both here and on destinyinbloom.com.)
Needless to say, this has been an extremely long and emotional year for me. But there have been some bright spots: we bought our first house, Travis got a promotion, and our first nephew, Brett, was born in April.
So, with all of that said, I was very excited to see Brett when I went to Oklahoma a few weeks ago. We also were going to spend some time with Travis' grandparents who have not been doing very well. They live next door to Travis' parents, so when we go to Oklahoma, we get to see them often. The first day we were there we went with Chad (Travis' brother), Becky and baby Brett to visit his grandparents. What I didn't know is that they had a very special surprise for me.
Before I tell you what the surprise was, let me go back to March when we threw Becky a baby shower. One of the gifts she received was from Travis’ grandfather. It was a hand planed baby cradle. He made it to be an authentic antique. It is absolutely amazing! Of course, I wanted one. I mean, just because I was not having a baby now didn’t mean I wouldn't ever have one. But then when I got my diagnosis in July, along with it came the news that the possibility of having children was very unlikely unless fibroid was removed.
Well, when we went to their house, Grandpa Duncan took Travis and me out to the back where he showed us the baby cradle he made for us! I couldn't speak ... I just cried. My heart melted. He's been so sick and his arm is so badly damaged that we thought they'd have to amputate it. He practically made the cradle with one hand. He told Travis that he did everything he could to make it for us before they took his arm. He said it was the last one he would ever make. After he said that I just cried some more. After I got myself together and hugged and thanked him, I took some pictures of the cradle along with Travis and Grandpa Duncan.
The doctor believes that after this surgery, I will be able to have children ... more importantly, I believe I will have children one day. And I really believe that this cradle was a gift from God ... a sign of hope ... a sign that there's more to come. :)
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Former President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch.
My very happy husband. He loves baseball!!!
As usual, I was running late and couldn't find any of my Texas Rangers T-shirts (I have at least six!), so I grabbed my Southern Maryland Blue Crabs T-shirt. I wasn't really worried that anyone would even see it since it never occurred to me that I'd take off my sweatshirt or unwrap from my blanket. It was freezing and very windy outside ... except, of course, at our seats where the wind was completely blocked! We were burning up and actually got sunburns. Next time I'll make sure to wear one of my Rangers T-shirts!
Travis wearing the "right" T-shirt.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
My back is doing better. It's probably about 75% better than it was last week. I go back to the doctor next Tuesday, and he'll determine if I need another epidural or if we can move on to physical therapy. I'm anxious to see what he thinks about my progress.
We decided to extend the Biggest Loser competition at work for another three months. We'll now finish on June 30. So far I've lost 32 pounds! I'm excited about it ... but it's been difficult to stay on track the last few weeks. Whenever I feel crappy I just want comfort food! The good thing is that I've still lost some weight despite not eating as well as I had been. Now that I'm feeling better, it will be easier to make dinner and not eat out so much. And hopefully I can start working out again. I noticed the other day that when I waved at someone my arm kept jiggling well after I had stopped waving. Was that too much information? Oh well! It will motivate me to go to the gym once I'm feeling better.
I surprised Travis last Friday night with tickets to a Texas Rangers pre-season game in Frisco. We had a really good time even though it was freezing outside. The Rough Riders Ballpark in Frisco is so nice! If you like baseball, take your family out there one night this summer. It's so much fun and great for families. Plus, every Friday night they have fireworks.
On Monday, we went to the Rangers home opener at The Ballpark. It was so much fun! Travis had not been to Opening Day before, and he was so excited. George Dubbya was there to throw out the first pitch, which was a strike! It was FREEZING cold outside with strong winds, but our seats blocked the wind, and we ended up hot all day and came home with sunburns. The Rangers won ... in fact, they won again tonight, so they're 2-0 so far! I'll post some pictures from the game soon.
Lastly ... we are still waiting to get final word on our closing date for our new house. As soon as we find out, we'll let everyone know. If you want to help us move (and you know you do!), mark April 25 on your calendar. That's the day we're hoping to move. :)
I'll try to be better about posting more often. Now that I'm feeling better, it will be easier. Thank you all for your prayers. I've felt every one of them!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I was really disappointed because I thought they were going to be able to do the treatment yesterday, but I have to wait until Thursday. I’ll get an epidural that should relieve the pain … if not completely then I will have another one in two weeks.
I have to be taken and picked up by someone since I will be heavily sedated. I won’t be out, but I will be “almost out.” He calls it “la la land.”
Please pray with us that I will only need this one treatment. This is quite costly, even with insurance, and I really want this pain to be over soon.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I've been in so much pain and haven't been able to exercise. I haven't even felt like eating right ... although I did MUCH better than last week!
I'm going to Spine Team Texas today at 2:00 pm. If you feel led, please pray for me. I need them to figure out what's going on so we can start working on a plan to recovery.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Honduras from Natasha Brown on Vimeo.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
This past week was insane. I ate everything I could get my hands on. I couldn't stop eating! I was constantly hungry. My co-workers got sick of hearing me talk about how hungry I was all the time ... I definitely know Travis was tired of hearing it!
Last Monday, I went to the doctor for my back (which still isn't better) and for an allergy shot. I got a shot of steroids and she put me on a steroid pack. So, being on a double dose of steroids has made me want to eat non-stop. It's been an absolutely crazy week. I was hungrier this week than ever before. I thought about food all the time, even when I wasn't hungry. I didn't even struggle this much the first week of my diet.
So, I've decided that I'm not going to "officially" weigh-in tomorrow. I weighed at home this morning and, thankfully, I haven't gained any weight. (But I certainly haven't lost any.)
This week, I'm going all out! I'm back in the game. I'm going to be THE Biggest Loser! No more steroids! No more munchies! No more cheating! No more excuses!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
This morning while I was getting ready I couldn't stop thinking about a friend's Facebook posting from last night that said his 4-year-old little girl prayed and thanked God for STRAWBERRIES! Sometimes when I pray I feel like God will think it’s silly to ask for or thank Him for such minute or meaningless things. It is so easy for me to forget or take for granted all the little things that God has given us to enjoy. I let my "adultness" get in the way of having that childlike appreciation for what God has done for me. But as this kept coming to my mind this morning I couldn't help but thank God for COLORS! In everything I do, one of the things that makes me the most happy is lots and lots of COLOR! It is what I do. It surrounds me. It makes me whole. Red, orange, purple, green, blue and all the shades in between! How wonderful is that!! Can you imagine how depressing and miserable we would be if it weren’t COLOR? THANK YOU GOD FOR COLORS!!!
What seemingly unimportant or minor thing will you thank God for in a major way today?
Have a joy-filled day!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
While she was taking Kathy to the hospital, the rest of us went to the local bowling alley to celebrate Rachel's birthday (again) with her friends. Travis and I were so glad we had everything ready at the house for the baby shower so Loretta wouldn't worried about all the work that needed to be done. It turned out to be a huge blessing.
So, we bowled and ate pizza and cake with Rachel and her friends. We had a good time. But, I must say, the most fun (for me anyway) was after the party. I told Rachel to get her friends and meet me in the field by the parking lot. I didn't tell her at the time, but I brought cans of silly string. The three girls had a massive silly string fight out in the empty field. It was so funny to watch. Every time Rachel would spray her silly string, she would close her eyes. I guess you had to be there, but it was so stinkin' funny! And it was so windy. It seemed like whenever Rachel would spray one of her friends that almost all the silly string would fly back on her. Poor thing!
When it was all over, her friends said that it was the best party every! They loved the silly string. Rachel, on the other hand, sulked over to me and Travis and said, "I hated it!" LOL ... it was so Rachel!!!!!!
After the party, we went to pick up the cake and some ice for the baby shower. Loretta ordered the cake from a local grocery store. It was by far one of THE cutest baby shower cakes I've ever seen.
We had a wonderful time at the shower. Becky received some great gifts. One of the best gifts came from Grandpa and Grandma Duncan. Grandpa made a baby cradle with antique wood from 1929. The entire piece is hand planed ... he wanted it to be an authentic antique. It is absolutely amazing! I wish I had a better picture of it.
The day ended at The Lighthouse, a really cool restaurant on the Arkansas River. It was so much fun. They have amazing food, and Travis and I both splurged and had steaks. It was a perfect ending to a crazy/busy day.
Monday, March 9, 2009
On Friday, we woke to the smell of bacon and Loretta's famous pecan waffles. Oh my goodness, I'd been saving all my points for these waffles. I love them! I wish I had taken a picture for you all to see, but I was too busy eating them. Yummy!
After a quiet morning, we spent the day running errands and getting ready for the parties and the shower ... and, of course, we had time for a mani/pedi. That night we celebrated Rachel's 11th birthday as a family. She got a Karaoke machine, so we spent some of the evening "singing" songs and the rest of the night we watched one of her new movies, Beverly Hills Chihuahua.