Heavy Post, Hurting Mama

April 19, 2011

I know the world is full of sin- really, I do.  And I know that there are addictions and “fetishes” that I just can’t comprehend. Luckily, blessedly, I also know that there is a God who saves, who redeems and who heals.  I’m trying to find rest and peace there right now, instead of where my flesh wants to go.

Let me briefly explain- this blog is obviously about my children- growing them, raising them, and learning from them.  It is my heart also- as you can tell, being a mom is such an incredible gift.  So when I write here, and post things here, I (naively) assumed that those reading and visiting would be like-minded– either mom’s, people who love me and/or my children, old and new friends, and other bloggers out there who love funny kid stories and adorable pictures…. if I do say so myself.

Anyway, I do watch my online data pretty closely- my blog hosting site tells me how many people looked at a certain thing in a day and what searches were used to find those things.  The norm are readers who come to the blog one of three ways– 1) By my site, meaning they have it in their blog roll 2) Thru facebook, as any new post gets noted on my FB status and 3) Thru twitter, as any new post also gets tweeted– these are the followers I want, thank you!

BUT recently, some people have used some impure/ indecent searches and found pictures on my blog.  And then they keep going back again and again and again and again to view those pictures, in a day.  The first day I noticed this, I decided it was me, over-reacting, the second day I started to freak, and now, plainly, I feel like my son is being violated.  Precious baby pictures during bath time and his other funny bathroom stunts can no longer be public domain. I have removed those pictures, so if you see this note:  *NOTE: Certain pictures were removed after some disturbing online data– that is why.

If you’re a blogger, I want to urge you to consider every picture that you post- can it be distorted?  Can it be abused? Honestly, I despise feeling this vulnerable- but even worse, I despise feeling this stupid– why didn’t I consider this before?  I’ve seen the news, I’ve heard statistics.  But I’m thankful that God revealed this truth to me in a matter of days- not months or years- and in such a way that will open my eyes and evoke protection over my children’s purity in a way that I wouldn’t have thought of/ been able to before.

Readers, going forward, no naked pictures regardless of how adorable they are, but I promise all the funny stories will remain 🙂 And to those of you who were abusing the pictures I posted, I pray that you know that there is a God who loves you and has already OVERCOME sin- He can give you the strength to do the same.



March 18, 2011

Sometimes, it’s the little things that reminds me of the HUGE-ness of being a mom.  The other night, during Max’s bath, him and Gabe managed to soak the ENTIRE bathroom.  Honestly, this is normal, and they always have so much fun playing in there, that we really don’t discourage it.  Gabe isn’t in the bath with Max, but he might as well be!  By the time the water is draining, Gabe’s clothes are soaked and his glasses are dripping.

That night while Chad was getting Max out of the tub, I was helping Gabe mop up the floor with his bath towel.  Then I had him put both his and Max’s towel in the laundry.  We then shuffled both of them into pj’s, got their teeth brushed and sent them off to bed.  Before I headed downstairs, I stopped by the bathroom for a potty break (thanks pregnancy for making this my #1 pass time). I looked over and noticed both of the empty hooks so I got out fresh towels for the boys.  And it hit me.  If I didn’t get a towel out for Max, he would  never get one.  If I didn’t bathe him, he would never be clean.  If I didn’t change his diaper, he would never get a new, fresh diaper.  Max’s depth of dependence on me overtook me in that moment.  Although this wasn’t the first time I had realized this truth, I was paralyzed by the bigness of this yet again.

Gabe is a slightly different story.  I honestly think that if he were left to fend for himself, he would take showers and brush his teeth.  Chad and I were just noticing the other night how Gabe has NEVER slept through his 6:30am alarm- he doesn’t even lay there for a few minutes… it goes off, he hits it, and jumps out of bed, making his way straight to the shower.  This eight year old could take care of himself.  But he is dependent on us for meals, a roof over his head, and safety… for some reason, he can’t remember to look both ways before he crosses a street without a reminder!  He is also dependent on us emotionally.  He needs to talk and he needs someone to listen and respond- Gabe doesn’t do alone time for more than an hour- and that’s only when I “make” him go read for an hour.

God blessed us with these boys- and really there are times when I just think my skin is going to pop open because of all the love in my chest.  But He also made them dependent on me- needing me- learning from me- growing because of me. How humbling.  How huge.  The magnitude of the parenting role is so much that these words I’m fumbling and bumbling around for- I have the power to make or break these kids.  What a responsibility.  Thank goodness there is a big God leading the way.  I pray I’m attentive to His leading- I pray for Christ in me.

The other day, while praying in a small group, my friend Courtney prayed “God, despite all these blessings, we are desperate for you”.  That statement has wrecked me- in a good way- this week.  Despite all these blessings, despite me being wired to be a mom, despite the joy I find in mothering, despite the gratitude and gratefulness Chad and I have for these boys– we need God.  We are nothing, and can do nothing, a part from him.

A Heavy Heart

October 13, 2010

Do you ever just get overwhelmed with sadness?  I’m just heavy right now.  And none of the stories are mine- and none of them are touching me directly- but somehow, they all seem to affect my soul.

Leslie Evans:  A young lady my age, married a man with 3 children, 2 years after his wife/ their mother had died from Breast cancer.  Shortly after getting married, they discovered they were pregnant, WITH twins.  They were elated.  But then she went into labor early, and the twins were born at about 21 weeks, and did not live.  Shortly after giving birth, Leslie went into cardiac arrest.  She was down for 17 minutes before they could revive.  Leslie passed away October 7, 2010.

I have been following her blog, reading her story, watching videos of her life, and I cannot put into words the hurt in my chest.  I’ve been praying for this family I don’t know, and asking God to bring them peace.  I don’t understand why He allowed this man to lose 2 wives, and these children to lose 2 mom’s.  I don’t understand why her body couldn’t carry the babies full term, and why the water had to break early.  I don’t understand why these parents lost their daughter, and a brother lost his sister.  And that’s not even touching on the friends that lost, too.  Honestly, I just can’t make any sense of it.  And I don’t know her.

(A blog about her:  http://lesliejoyevans.blogspot.com/)  (Very worth starting at the beginning)

Lila:  My co-worker, Cherie, has a 3 year old niece who went to the doctor on Monday for a cough, and was sent straight to Children’s Healthcare for Leukemia.  This little girl will start chemo tomorrow that will last for the next 2 years.  And Lila’s mom, who lost her own mother to cancer, has to watch her baby, lay in a bed, while chemicals fill her body in order to fight this nasty disease.  Meanwhile, Lila’s father also has a type of inoperable brain cancer, that will eventually take his life, although he doesn’t have any effects/ problems with it now.

I’ve got to say, I just don’t understand this either.  As a mom, my insides scream upon hearing this story.  When Cherie told me about this yesterday, I cried, and as I type about it today, I still cry.  When it comes to Leukemia, she has the “good kind” but parents take their kids to the doctor for strep- not leukemia.  And I can not imagine how powerless and helpless it must feel, to be a parent, watching something like this.  Again, I don’t understand.

Kate McRae:  I have been following this little girl’s story for over a year.  Right before she was supposed to start kindergarden, Kate was diagnosed with brain cancer. They were able to remove a portion of the tumor, but due to location, couldn’t get all of it.  This little girl has been going through new treatments to try to beat this malignant cancer.  Her parent’s faith and prayers are edifying and real.  You can hear hurt in her mother’s typing, yet total reliance on God.  Again, parents with no control, nothing they can do to change the situation, and at this point, they just wait to see if the treatment worked.  They go back periodically for MRI’s and other tests hoping to hear that the tumor hasn’t grown, but expecting/ dreading the worst.  All they can do is wait.

Her prayer blog:  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/mcraekate

** These are by no means all the stories about stuff like this, I totally understand that– these are just the ones on my heart and mind right now.

Stuff like this makes me just want to put my people in a bubble to protect them.  It makes me want to use my time to write them love notes, and kiss them all over.  I mean what if?

But chances are, this won’t happen to us.  And I’m pretty sure that trying to explain to God that I was too crippled by what might’ve happened to actually discipline my kids or train them, or too worried about what could’ve happened to love my neighbors and serve my husband, and too consumed with fear to spread the Good News, wouldn’t be a good conversation to have with the Creator of the Universe, and a God that willingly gave his perfect son’s life for my sin, so that I could spend eternity with Him.

I am not one to question God, and this is not to say that understand everything.  I do NOT.  But that is because He is God and I am not- and I don’t have to understand everything- I just have to trust him.  But if I’m honest, that’s not always easy.  I know He’s BIG and I know He’s LOVE and I know He’s FORGIVING.  So tonight, I just pray that have the courage to be the wife, mom, friend, co-worker, daughter, sister, etc that God has called me to be, and that I’ll surrender control to the only ONE who deserves, God. Tonight I am casting other people’s burdens on Him- to God be the glory, forever, amen!

A Pick Me Up

July 29, 2010

I’ve listened to this song a MILLION times today and I just thought I’d share:

Family of 4 Needs Help

June 24, 2010

Yesterday, Max and I went to Wal-mart to get toothpaste. We weren’t at the about to run out stage. We were at the had run out and if we didn’t get some more, wouldn’t be brushing our teeth again until we did stage. It was dyer.

Pulling into the parking lot, there was a back-up– I couldn’t see what was holding us up and I almost started honking, but something stopped me. Once I got to the stop sign, leading into the parking lot, there was a woman at the corner holding a sign that said “Family of 4 needs help”. A car had stopped to ask questions, which caused the back up. So instead of asking the lady what she needed, I decided to try to find the driver of the car who had already asked. It was my half cop out.

But I have a child in a car seat, so once I got him out, I couldn’t find the driver of the car that caused the back up.

So Max and I got our toothpaste and left the store. I drove back past the lady with her sign, and headed home.

I kept thinking about the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25

34″Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Was this someone God wanted me to help?

But I kept driving.

Then I got to the exit, closest to the main road and there was a man with the same sign.

But I drove past him too.

‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me’ ran through my mind again.

And again.

If I went back, would I be putting my baby in danger? Would I be putting myself in danger? This parking lot is busy, it is light outside, it’s a busy intersection, I’d be fine, right? Not to mention that there wasn’t anything in that passage about helping only in optimal conditions.

So I turned around and parked in front of the man. When I rolled my window down, he came up to the car and I said, “What do you all need?”

He replied, “a car”.

Um, ok…. Then he explained that someone gave them a place to stay in Cartersville (North of the Wal-mart we’re at) and he has a job in Kennesaw (South of the Wal-mart we’re at) and he really wants to keep his job but his car died and really, they just need a car.

Well I don’t have an extra car, and I didn’t know what to say.

Me: Ok, well let me talk with my husband…. Um, are you all around here often?

Man: No, not really.

Me: Is that lady down at the other corner your wife?

Man: Yes, her name is Lori. (BIG smile on his face… I think he’s in love with her 🙂 )

Me: Um… ok…. well…..

Man: Will you pray for us?

Me: Absolutely!

Man: We’re Ken and Lori. God Bless.

And that was it.

As I pulled away, I started analyzing- well if he had a job, why wasn’t he at it? (It was about 5:15pm). And if they are a family of 4, and I only saw 2, where are the other 2? And how did they get to Woodstock?

And God shushed me. It wasn’t mine to question or doubt- if people need help, they need help. And they asked for a car and prayer.

I didn’t give him a car, and I’m not sure I’ll ever see him/ them again, but if I do then I’ll know God is really up to something. But in the meantime, will you say a little prayer for them? Because what’s better than one prayer? Lots of prayers!

Living For A Cause

June 10, 2010

My heart hurts for this couple, yet it rejoices because of how BIG God is in their lives– they’ve had a lot to deal with- death of a parent, cancer survivor, miscarriage, and then death of their 3 months old baby.  So what did they decide to do with all of this? Move to Haiti to help people, and make God known.  Why? Because they understand the hurt the people in Haiti, who suddenly lost loved ones, are experiencing.

The couple is Adam and Kara Cole.  I have never met them.  But I just want to get involved in what God is doing in their lives.

You must check out this story!

The story on Kara’s blog:  http://letterstonoble.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/where-ive-been/

Here is a video of them explaining why they are going to Haiti: http://vimeo.com/12119933p>

And also their website and blog:  www.livingforacause.com and they are moving July 1st!

Aren’t you humbled to hear such an incredible story of trust in God despite the circumstances?  So, will you pray?  Will you support them?

The Weekend to End Breast Cancer

April 1, 2010

In September, my mom and I are joining forces with St. Vincent Foundation, in a 2 day walk around Indianapolis, to raise money to stop the horrible disease known as breast cancer before it gets to one more loved one.  I know there are many walks around the country, but this walk supports the hospital in Indianapolis, where my grandmother is receiving treatment.  Personally, I am trying to raise $2,000 in support of this.  Would you please consider supporting me in The Weekend to End Breast Cancer. Proceeds will benefit the critical work of St.Vincent Foundation, funding cancer patient access, survivorship programs, and care for the under and uninsured in the battle to end both breast and gynecologic cancers.

*** Please check out my personal page for more information on how to donate:  http://in10.endcancer.org/goto/LaurenBowman *****

Also, if you are interested in following along with my Mamaw’s journey with cancer and the work God is doing in her life and our lives, through it, please see status updates here: www.caringbridge.org/visit/norietasichting

I know that cancer is everywhere and has effected all of us in one way or another.  I follow many blogs about people who are fighting similar battles– some of them with an ending that is really heart-wrenching for us still here on earth. This is the first time I’ve had to deal with it this closely, and let me tell you it really sucks.  I hope that not only an we all work together to further research to wipeout the nasty C-word, but also, that we will find time to talk with The Healer and Creator of our Universe about it all.  He is able to do ALL things, so let’s pray BIG!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21.

Will you support me?