Archive for January, 2011
This is the 3rd article I wrote about marriage for Above Rubies.
Your marriage doesn’t feel like a little piece of heaven? You feel like your husband is not trying? There are some heavy issues between you that are not getting resolved? I don’t doubt that this could be true. I have lived there too. After years of major struggle in my own marriage, I know that we, as a couple, have been asked how we made it to this point in our lives countless times. We have also been asked many, many times how we managed to have eleven children in the process. In the midst of marital issues, people often wonder how to possibly trust the Lord with childbearing. It seems common knowledge that this would be the most unwise thing that a couple could possibly do. We as a couple found that people not only wondered, but could get quite rude about this issue. It was not uncommon for us to hear that we as a couple had been irresponsible, reckless, crazy….I could go on. The thing is, I can honestly tell you that not only my spiritual life, but also my marriage, was saved through childbearing. Babies can do wonderful things – like save you from yourself, and save you from making selfish choices.
When I was pregnant with my firstborn, I was fully prepared to abort the pregnancy. I found it extremely inconvenient to find myself in this position, and I was not at all interested in changing any of my well laid out plans for my future. I was happily on my way to law school, and I was not interested in sustaining anything longterm with the father of the pregnancy. Miraculously, and only by the hand of God, I kept the baby, and stayed with the father. The night before the scheduled abortion, I had a sudden and rather logical change of heart. I felt that there was really no way that I could not manage this child and continue with my plans for my future. I was having a hard time rationalizing the abortion (of course we know now that it was the Holy Spirit at work c=!). God slowly worked in my heart throughout that pregnancy, softening me first to my baby, and then to the Creator of life – God Himself. My son’s arrival ushered in several SIGNIFICANT changes in my life, the spiritual change being the most dramatic. The Lord used my first baby to draw me to Himself, and for the very first time in my life, I started attending church and worshiping God without being coerced by someone. I was in love with the Lord, truly, and I sought to live according to His ways for the first time in my adult life. Although I was now walking in faith by grace, that did not mean everything was wonderful. Although I was a new creation, living by new rules, all this change was very hard on my relationship. We did manage to get married, but those early years…. well, let’s just say that my marriage was a huge shambles. After all, this was not a marriage made in heaven – or so I thought at the time. This was a marriage of doing the proper thing, as we were the parents of this beautiful child. At least that is how I saw it in the beginning. Not an ideal start, and many folks around us wondered how we could even have one child, let alone more children, in such an ugly relationship. How did we end up together? What on earth were we thinking??? Why are we staying together??? Well, I’ll tell you.
The first thing is, without the children, it would have been far too easy to walk away from the marriage. The fact of the matter was that what we as a couple really needed desperately was some time to grow, change and learn. Without the children acting as our glue, we would not have had the stamina to perservere through those hard years. And the hard years were hard! The Lord knew that we would come out in love in the end though, and so He blessed us with children along the way as He saw fit. Contrary to what society may say, the children did not create more chaos, they prevented more chaos from happening. We had to focus on their needs, and let go of our selfish desires to have our own ways. Many times we had to get along for the sake of the children. Without them, why would we bother? It would have been so simple to walk away, like so many do in our culture. I had no time to do this though, because if I wasn’t nursing, I was pregnant. This occupied so much of my time, that life managed to move forward, and we as a couple managed to move forward also. Thank God for the children as it would have been so easy to walk away if they hadn’t kept coming. And why did they keep coming? Well, I’ll tell you that too!
Thankfully for us when it came to childbearing, we honestly both felt that we were incompetent to decide when or if it was “the right time” to bring in a child – or not. Neither of us wanted that responsibility on our heads. The LORD makes it very clear that He opens and closes the womb, and that we as humans have hearts that are deceitful beyond description. We both knew full well that we were completely incapable of having the wisdom it would take to know when or if a new life should come. So, we never tried to conceive, and we never tried not to. We really left it in God’s hands. Getting to that point in our journey is another story altogether, but for the point of this article just know that we arrived here relatively early in the marriage. Now, when I look at each of my children, I can honestly say that God timed them, not us, and that He made them according to His plan with no “help” from our feeble hands. For us, there is great comfort in that. We never assisted, or prevented. And His timing is always perfect, and it gives indescribable peace. We really felt, and still do, that He doesn’t need any of our help with our fertility. He gives when His time says to, and doesn’t when His time says not to. Just because you leave your fertility in God’s hands does not mean that you will have baby after baby. It does not typically work that way. We only think it does, but it really doesn’t. However, that thought does keep us in fear rather than trust I think. We as a couple are very thankful that we trusted God with the whole thing, and are now quite shocked to think that our fertile days are actually numbered, as we are getting older! We have no regrets at all in this area of our lives.
We both know that I was preserved through childbearing spiritually, and that together, our marriage was preserved through childbearing. So these were just two of the side benefits of bringing in new life. The most amazing part, as if the side benefits weren’t enough, is that God will use these lives that He has created for His glory, according to His plan, and we get to watch it unfold. How thrilling! How exciting is that! We are humbled to partake in this great adventure. And to have the love of a large family.
Yes, the wisdom of God does seem like foolishness to the world, in more ways than one. The world may think it is crazy, irresponsible, even downright stupid to not use any form of birth control, but we know better. Where would we be now if we had not let God have control? We shudder to think! What peace it brings to know that the responsibility is not on us, as we did not try to manipulate fertility. We rest knowing that the good and most trustworthy Father reigned, and created our family as He saw fit. And He kept us together through it all! How perfect! I hope He sees fit to give more!
Michelle Kauenhofen, married to Cam, parents to Bryson(18), Jacinda (17), Dalton (16), Brielle (13), Logan (11), Havenne (10), Gideon (8), Jilissa (6), Tressa Leigh (4), Drayden (3), Solana (5 mon). Sadly, lost 4 babies along the way.
The first thing we had to learn to do in our marriage was to quit focusing on the other person. When any of us is able to stop for a minute and think beyond what the other person is not doing, and what we may be doing differently, we begin to move in the right direction. Jesus taught us that it really is all about serving others, right?
I often ask myself:
Am I trying to build him up, or am I tearing down?
Am I making myself attractive for him?
Am I trying to make his life better?
Is our bedroom life exciting and positive?
Am I fulfilling my duties in the home joyfully?
These questions help me to see where I need to work to improve our situation. There are always areas that need work and improvement. Even if I am the only one in the relationship that is trying, things still do improve.
This was the 2nd article I wrote for Above Rubies!
So There’s Trouble
After last issue’s article on our saved marriage, I had several requests for advice. Whether you live with a husband who is struggling with an addiction, or who just has some annoying issues that need to get dropped, this list of 10 things that I have learned may help. Many husbands aren’t addicted to drugs or alcohol, but may have tiny addictions like television, overeating, internet, or what have you. My prayer is that God will use these words to help you cope. I guess one thing to remember is that it is easy for me now to see my mistakes because I am able to see past the immediate problems since my husband is better. So I feel like I may sound hard on others now, but believe me, when I was in it, I was a stubborn mule, learning little for so long. While I was in it, I was doing so much wrong and it is, of course, easier for me now. So I understand if any of you are doing the things wrong that I did. However, as I journeyed, I learned the things that I could have done so much better. They are the harder things to do though, or I know at least they were for me. I also know that for the 15 years or so of “hell”, I was failing miserably in my role. I’ll never know if the dark time would have been shortened or made easier if I would have done things better, because at the time, I didn’t. My husband was healed before he knew I even saw myself as guilty on any counts. It was too easy, and is too easy, to put all – or at least 90% of the blame, on the addict. I decided to jot down some key points that perhaps may be helpful, or food for thought, or at a minimum, insight into my own story, that hopefully will help you or encourage you or offer support and strength. Please don’t think that I am sounding as though I am judging, because remember, I was NOT doing most of these things when I was immersed in it. However, if you can do it, and by the grace of God you can, I believe there will be positive blessings from the hand of God. And if your spouse remains an addict, they will at least help you stay in the marriage as a helpmeet, as you are called to be.
1) Remember your role. You are called by God to be a wife – which is a helpmeet to your man. This means many things, but primarily that everything you can do to make his life BETTER is your job. Everyday, no matter what. Ask yourself what you can do each morning, afternoon and evening, to make his life better.
2) This does not make you a doormat. Unless there is danger to your life or the children’s lives, or there is repeated adultery, you have no grounds for divorce. Your unmet longings, your pain and suffering emotionally, really don’t give you biblical grounds to leave. Leaving must only be for the safety of the family, or divorce can only be considered if there is infidelity – and I believe it must be repeated infidelity – not a one time slip. Serving your husband in all other circumstances is your God given role, it is not enabling.
3)As long as he wants you as his wife, you are called to remain, and to serve him with respect – ouch! I did not do this at all. However, he as a husband, needs and deserves your respect according to God, who of course knows way better than any of us. Wives, respect your husbands period. There are no escape clauses given in His word. You don’t have to feel like it, but you have to obey. How??? By recognizing that you are obeying the command of your Father, and doing it in obedience to your own Christian walk, not because your spouse’s behaviour warrants it.
4) This does not mean that you accept his addictions. You can still be clear, without nagging, about how you feel. You can also be firm about boundaries that cannot be crossed. He, as a man, needs your respect still though. So everything and anything praiseworthy that you can find, state all the time. It is only the addiction that is the problem. Praise and respect everything else. He is doing plenty of things right. This is biblical.
5) Resist the urge to feel sorry for yourself or your children. This is counterproductive for everyone, and really does nothing to help your faith. You must make a concerted effort to thank God for everything that you can, and not grumble about the rest. In reality, there are plenty of folks worse off than you. Be grateful and let this show in your attitude. Whatever is praiseworthy, think on these things.
6) The addiction has nothing to do with you. It affects you, yes, but his lack of overcoming it is not a sign of his lack of love for you. It has a power all its own over him that is very powerful and hard for him to resist. I used to always feel it was personal – somehow he didn’t love me enough to quit, because he knew how much it hurt me. But it really is not about you at all. It is about the addiction and its power over him. No one wants to be enslaved by something. If he could stop hurting you, he would. Hurting his wife and family is not his goal. He is succumbing to the addiction, and by default it hurts you. Try to separate it in your mind. It will help you cope.
7) Don’t feed the addiction by giving him reasons at home to run to it. Men love to be praised and respected. They also love to have a happy smiling wife. As much as you are able, make being with you a positive experience, something that he wants to do, not something he wants to escape. This will help him resist, and help him long to be a better man. This is good for everybody. DO THIS!
8) You don’t have to make excuses for him to anyone. BUT – there is a difference between stating a fact – my husband or your dad has an addiction – and tearing him apart with your words. Don’t cross the line. He is created in God’s image to be your husband – your leader. God does not make mistakes – bloom where He has planted you and see what He develops. If nothing else, you will learn to depend on God and your faith will grow – this is good.
9) Resist the urge to feel sorry for yourself. Now we all do at times, and we all need to release that somewhere. Take your complaints to one – only one - wise and trusted friend, and that’s it. You are not a victim, you are in God’s hands. Believe it. Even if your life never gets better, there is still much to be thankful for right? We as Christians actually have no rights. We are only called to trust and obey. The thing is He is faithful to bless our efforts, so plod away, good and faithful servant. God will make it worth it in His time.
10) There is a high road, which is always harder, and a low road, which comes quite easily, but yields bitter fruit. Take the high road, and count on God to give you what you need. Enjoy what you can and pray for more. Raise your children in the truth, and show them the fine line of love. Do not endanger them, but do show how to walk victoriously in God’s strength in trying times. He will give you what you need, even if it doesn’t feel like it to you at the time. This is why it is a walk of faith.
Remember, you are not alone! You are not a victim! You are a servant of your heavenly Father, and you will love and respect your husband – period. Watch the good fruit that will eventually come. Do not tire of doing good – the Bible warns us. We must not grow weary, we must plug away. Our family is worth it. The alternatives you play with in your head do you no good at all. Discard them and move on. One thing I did, and God answered me for that day anyway, was to let me love my husband as He did. It was amazing how I was able to feel and show love that day. The problem was, I often didn’t want to bother. Learn from my mistakes dear friend, and be richly blessed.
Above Rubies Canada
Wife of Cam, mother of Bryson, Jacinda, Dalton, Brielle, Logan, Havenne, Gideon, Jilissa, Tressa Leigh, Drayden and Baby Solana due in January 2010
This was the first article regarding my marriage that I wrote for Above Rubies. Enjoy!
Tend to Your Own Plank!
It was just so easy for me to look innocent. The problems were so evidently his, with his temper and his addictions, compounded by his unsophisticated relational skills. It was obvious to anyone that I was clearly the pathetic victim. Yes, with my wealth of education and superior vocabulary, I was able to make any situation look however I needed it to. After all, I was not the one with the problem, I was the hero! Taking care of the home and the children, and staying in a marriage where he was so spiritually “beneath” me just caused me to be the object of everyone’s pity. After all, I was in such a terrible circumstance, with babies coming to boot! My, how the Lord was undertaking for me! I was the spiritual star of the show, as his problems were so public for others to see. Mine were hidden and lurking, invisible to all but him.
It took years for me to get over myself, and to see that I was the equal, or perhaps even the worse, sinner in our marriage. What a thought! Before I came to that revelation however, I had left my husband with everyone’s blessing – church, family and friends. With twelve boxes and four little ones in tow, I left on a train, and was hoping to never return. I hated him and what my life had become. I had just lost our fifth child in miscarriage, and he was still stuck in his addiction, which of course included a stream of lies and inappropriate behaviour. No sane person would be expected to raise children in such an environment. Oh, how I prayed for the Lord to take his life! All the while though, I was missing my own plank which was completely blinding my eyes.
He was at least trying to get better, doing everything in his power to straighten out and change. All I could do was think what a horrible mistake I had made by marrying him. I felt like the Lord had basically put a gun to my head, as I knew that I had no real grounds for divorce, and I was forced to stay in a marriage that I didn’t want. I made sure he knew it too, when I came back home to “try to work on things”. I felt like I had nothing at all to work on, as he just had to grow up, clean up, and change, or else! This attitude of disdain permeated our entire relationship, and made it impossible for him to ever feel loved or respected.
He was the double hero though, able to overcome his struggles without any support or assistance from his wife. Instead of caving in, as any weaker man may have, my husband overcame everything, against all odds! Even then, he didn’t get the respect he deserved from me. I was so bitter for the grief and turmoil he had caused our family. There were years of torture and pain I would not let go of, let alone try to forget! My feminist background battled against my faith, as well as against the teachings I was receiving from Above Rubies and other mentors. I was in the right, and I was convinced! He may change and grow, but he was still never good enough! He had done too much damage!
When my husband had the audacity to fall into any of his old patterns, even for the briefest of moments, I was quick to slam him down below ground level. My mum called it “going for the jugular” and I felt he deserved it fully. If only I could have seen sooner what I was blessed to eventually learn. I was so busy pointing the finger away from myself, and getting sympathy from well meaning Christians, that I neglected to work on the very necessary parts of myself that were in dire disrepair.
Can you for one minute imagine how difficult it is to work on anything, never mind an addiction, with absolutely no support around you? How about while living in a marriage where your spouse vindicates herself by slamming you down as far as possible? Then, on top of it, to feel unloved, unwanted, even hated and completely disrespected, in your own home? This is exactly what he faced, without a stitch of sympathy from me. I also had plenty of support from our community!
Only later would I learn, and accept the fact that my husband was actually a gift to me from the hand of God Himself. If only I would have treated him as an equal, or even as a person, how much shorter our years of pain may have been! My pride and my lack of inner speculation prevented me from working on myself. Meanwhile, my husband diligently and lovingly chiseled away at his areas. I dug in my heels and impatiently and angrily waited, always expecting the worst from him.
When I finally came to understand my role as a female, particularly within a marriage, I began to see my grave sin. Sure, I had been faithful in devotions, as well as in the bedroom. I had borne the children that the Lord saw fit to give, and I had even home schooled them. I had given up a promising professional career, and learned to bake. However, I had failed miserably as a wife. I needed to learn and believe that my role as a submissive wife, giving respect and leadership to my husband, was honoring to God. It was irrelevant which man I was married to, my role as a wife was biblically stated and very clear. Oh my, how I had failed, failed, failed! All along I had pridefully forgotten all of my own sin. I needed to help him, support him, love him and let him lead! This was God’s will for me! All those years I had assumed that God knew, as did the rest of us, that my husband was incompetent. I realized later that God calls all husbands to lead and to be respected and supported by the help from their wives. Imagine how much sooner healing may have happened had I quit looking at his sin, and instead focused on my own! Perhaps we could have had the years we now enjoy a decade sooner! What a thought! I let it slip away by my own sin!!!
Praise God that my dear husband persevered, and we both changed, grew and repented. Today we stand together, strong, and in love, with 10 beautiful children, and a wonderful story to share of overcoming some of life’s most difficult challenges. Our story is currently being expanded upon and I hope to have the book completed in 2010. Don’t let the locusts, or your own sin, destroy the years of your marriage. Seek now what can be done to restore the peace and the joy that the Lord wants for your marriage and family. Focus on your own role, and walk in obedience to that, and the blessings will follow. For He is trustworthy that makes the promise to you. And believe me, if we could survive, and end up in love and in joy and in peace, it is attainable for all!
Love, Michelle +1 due in January 2010, hero husband Cam, Bryson 18, Jacinda 16. Dalton 15, Brielle 12, Logan 10, Havenne 8, Gideon 7, Jilissa 5, Tressa Leigh 3, Drayden 2. Babies gone before us: Jewel, 1998, Mark, 2003, and Jilea and Emmalene 2009. firstname.lastname@example.org I am privileged to direct Above Rubies Canada
So I was thinking how to answer why I do what I do here, for Above Rubies. I look perfect for the part in so many ways, don’t I? I am expecting my 12th baby, I am raising olders, middles, littles and babies, I am getting to be an older woman, I am a home schooling, stay at home mom, I love my Lord and my faith, I go to church and I love my first and only husband. Picture perfect, isn’t it?
Well, I actually feel quite a bit like Paul the apostle. He became equipped for the job God assigned, but he knew he was the least of all the candidates. This is so true for me as well. Many of you have no idea from where I have come, and it is time for some introductions!
I was raised in a single parent, non- Christian home. Most of my childhood was spent living off of social services with my mother and only one sibling, a younger sister that struggled with many health issues. My dad spent much of his time behind bars, and making huge mistakes in every arena of his life. I was raised to not need or depend on any man, let alone God. Faith was not a part of my childhood, with the exception of having a Roman Catholic maternal grandmother.
I was an academic feminist at heart. I had a will of iron, and was usually the top of my class. I had full intentions of becoming a lawyer and providing a posh lifestyle for myself. I questioned whether I could ever be loyal to any man, and so I was not sure marriage would ever be the right choice for me. However, I did love babies, and I hoped to have 2 girls and 2 boys, at my convenience of course. During my study in university, as I finished my undergrad degree and was preparing to move on to law school, I found myself inconvenienced by an “untimely” pregnancy. I was co-habitating with the father, but it was only for a season, until I moved on to law school, or so I planned. Although he wanted the baby, and a wedding, I wanted freedom. I scheduled an abortion, but I had to wait 10 days.
The last night of my wait, I had an unexpected change of heart and decided I would keep the baby. After all, I was a well-educated adult, and able to care for a child. My first-born was spared from death by a mere 8 hours! His father was pleased, but I was not willing to commit to the relationship, and so Cam had to wait, indefinitely. In hindsight, we know it was only the hand of God that spared our son, and the many prayers that were interceding for us. Cam had been raised in a Christian home, and his parents were praying along with their church and many more prayer chains, for the life of their grandchild.
By the time my baby was 3 months old, I was tentatively attending a young mom’s group at a local church and soon after, I was living the life of a believer, by the amazing grace of God! By the time our son was 9 months old, we were married in the Lord. Yet, I was not marrying for love, and he was not marrying as a willing Christian. Our marriage suffered fiery trials which felt like the pit of hell for over a decade. He struggled with long-term addictions, and I struggled with a new-found faith that had me forced to marry a man such as this! Bitterness, anger, resentment, abuses, and even hatred, characterized our marriage. Yet, children kept coming somehow. God knew that they were the glue that would hold us together over the rough years. We would need to be forced to live outside of ourselves, for someone else. For several “someone else’s”, or else it would have been way too easy for us to walk away. I know, it is a real Cinderella story that has you all warm and fuzzy inside, right?
I was the most stubborn woman I had ever met, and it took me so long to learn my role within the family unit. Just to come to an appreciation of men as leaders of the home took an eternity. I had to be given this many children, or I would have run off to New York or LA and run a huge corporate law office, epitomizing the quintessential “successful business woman”. You can see now that the only reason I look so perfect for Above Rubies is because I had to be put in this position in order to be molded into what God had always designed me to be! I needed to be given several children and a homeschooling lifestyle and a strong faith in order to be turned the 360 degrees that was needed. By His grace, I am in love with my husband, I hope for more children, I was spared both a divorce and an abortion, and I have the privilege of home schooling, baking whole grain bread, and counselling other women!
Thankfully, most of you do not have to have the extensive training that I had to undergo. Surviving a horrible marriage, a feminist predisposition, a completely self-absorbed and strong-willed character, and an “over-educated” mind have all brought me to a place where I can first hand relate to many of the common issues that families and couples face today. I have been placed here to encourage you that whatever you face, God can and shall see you through! As I faced miscarriages, marital stress, separation, and financial hardship, I was hardening my heart toward all that I should have been soft to. I was even angry that God would have rules in His Word that held me to this crazy life and marriage. Undaunted, God still proceeded with His plan. I cannot say that my heart was even close to the right place. I was doing everything wrong, with only one exception. I knew I could not divorce. I tried to force Cam to divorce me, but I would not walk away. That is my pathetic claim to obedience! Yet, like Frank Sinatra sings, “Just look at me now!” I have a beautiful marriage, lovely children, and a much softer heart. I am transparent enough to share what may help someone else through the storms of life.
When I write and post for Above Rubies with encouragements and challenges, it is for my benefit too! I am not speaking as one that has not come through the fire. I know the challenges that come from marital, financial, physical, and emotional duress. I also know how difficult it can be to not have the proper support systems available when you are in your darkest hours. But more importantly, I know that God, in His time, makes the crooked paths straight. Life is so short, do not allow circumstances, however dire, to rob you of the joy that is there, if you step out of yourself and look!
I am sorry that I haven’t written in such a long time! It seems that the days can easily fly right by, and suddenly a whole season has passed! I never seem to find that true for those last ten weeks of a pregnancy though :D! Too bad! Any hints on how to make that time fly by would be greatly appreciated! I still fail at that, even after multiple opportunities to improve! Those last few weeks seem to take forever for me, but anyway, I don’t have to face that for awhile ……
December is always especially busy around here. We typically are trying to finish up our first half of the school year, while getting busy preparing special holiday food, and entertaining friends more than usual. Then, of course, there is the baking of the family favourites. This is a very arduous task, as everyone has their own special favourite. It could never be nice and simple – like the top three or something. No, there are about eight or ten items that are expected to be ready for inhalation! In fact, I was so behind on this particular portion of my holiday planning that I had to promise instead to make one of the more time-consuming favourites for Easter. It was those crazy cinnamon horns! They are a yeast type of cinnamon roll up filled with jam, or apple filling, and they equal my least favourite recipe to make. I am not patient enough for all of the rolling and cutting and filling and rerolling. That is why I do not make filled cookies, or perogies, or meat buns, more than once every few years. So my poor family has to wait until spring now for their cinnamon rolls!
I had been off to a great start in my preparations! I had all of the gift shopping completed by the end of November! A few of us had piled into our 15 passenger van and drove down to Fargo for a full 48 hours of shopping over Black Friday. The van was packed absolutely full as we sailed over the border back home. I was so grateful that customs didn’t haul us over to investigate. It would have taken HOURS to go through the enormous amount of purchases that the five of us had made.
How I managed to be so together with my shopping and so behind with everything else was beyond me. I really was feeling like Christmas was descending on me just like a thief in the night! Maybe it was because we took a week of family holidays at a lovely chalet in the first week of December. That should have had me all rested up and ready to tackle any job once I got back home, but instead, it put us all in holiday mode and it was just so hard to break out of it! Anyway, we managed to get the house decorated and the bulk of the preparations completed, with just a few things missing. It all turned out just fine in the end. It usually does, doesn’t it? Sometimes, our expectations need a little adjusting in order to meet reality properly.
The week before Christmas brought our family an early gift! The most precious one we could be given, outside of salvation! We discovered we would have another baby to join our lives at the end of summer, and this was exciting,exhilarating,overwhelming, and humbling all at the same time! We decided that we would wait until we got an early ultrasound and saw a strong heartbeat before we would share our news with any but the closest of family and friends. However, my body reacts instantaneously the very second that HCG hits my bloodstream, so I found myself having to keep my parka on at church and everywhere else. This was not very convenient. If I took it off, out popped my little belly, and that drew way too much attention.
When I started to receive congratulations from people I had not told, we decided to just announce it already! I will still have that ultrasound on January 12th, and I hope and trust that all is well. After losing two single pregnancies, and one twin pregnancy, we like the assurance that an early ultrasound offers. We are very much looking forward to seeing a heartbeat on the 12th!
I will be in Edmonton on the 12th visiting my sister and my mother, so this will be a treat for them as well. They will be able to join me at the ultrasound, whereas they usually have to hear everything over the phone, after the fact. This time, they can be along! I am thankful for that opportunity, and the Lord was very gracious to me by allowing me to get in for a scan on a cancellation, as I will only be in Edmonton for 3 days. I am just popping in for a quick visit on my way home from the Above Rubies Ladies Retreat in Surrey, BC. It will be so nice to see Nancy, and all of the ladies this coming weekend!
So far, I have been a part of organizing, or have organized completely, five Canadian Above Rubies ladies retreats! I have always had a nursing baby along, and I have been pregnant for quite a few of them too! The Lord sure knows what He is doing, because I tend to be very unmotivated when I am pregnant. It is a good thing that I didn’t know ahead of time that I would be in my first trimester now, or I may have succumbed to tiredness, and not bothered with putting one on this January! I am also already booked to bring Above Rubies Canada to four homeschool conferences this winter and spring, and one more ladies retreat. I did not get pregnant until all these events were all booked and set, so He must want me there! And He will provide all the necessary energy!
May He use these events to spread Above Rubies far and wide across our nation! Our culture is in such a desperate state, and we need to hear biblical truths regarding marriage and family! I suppose travelling with a nursing baby and a belly bump will help make the message even louder haha! In my weak and humble state, the Lord will hopefully speak to many, and the message that Above Rubies delivers will go to several new places! It should prove a very busy, and hopefully very productive, 2011 for Above Rubies Canada! May He be greatly praised!
I hope that you all have a wonderful New Year, and that you learn to trust our Father more and more! If He stretches you as He has me, then may you be willing to be poured out for His glory! What could be more gratifying than that? When we are weak, He is strong, and all we need to do is simply trust and believe that He will accomplish what we think we cannot. May we all be teachable, humble and willing vessels in His hands. In my own strength, I often want to say that it is too hard, I am too tired, I am unable, and unqualified. The Lord has heard all those types of reactions from us before. He even got that from Moses! However, we know that when we are on His mission, He provides all the necessary equipment! He will not let us down, He will provide all that we have need of, in all of our endeavours, at home and elsewhere.
Loads of love from Michelle