Make Us One, Lord…

Recently, our church has seen the departure of what turns out to be about half of our congregation considering the number of people we began with.  In one of the last services we had together with those who were about to depart for the mission field, new jobs, and other destinations, I decided to move away from the seat I originally chose in order to go stand and sing beside someone I consider a good friend.  It’s always better to sing with someone, after all, especially if they are leaving next week. We happened to be singing “Shadows” by DC*B ft. Lecrae, and I was overwhelmed with praise for the God who brings us through our trials. I was arms-raised and weeping overwhelmed, and I was not alone. There is a unity the Holy Spirit brings to Christ’s church when we truly worship together. It is beautiful and solidifying, it breaks any fear we have of separation because we know we will be worshipping together in Heaven. Worshiping the same God, all of us. It’s glorious, and glory-bestowing on the one who made it happen, when we praise Him together.

This comes after having to go through the difficult transition of leaving the church I have been in for 20+ years to start the little church plant that God called my husband to help pastor. I’m going to be honest, it was hard for me. I miss all the people who invested their lives in me, and all the children who I have invested a part of my life in.  And the same holds true for family and family-like friends who are scattered abroad- my loved ones in North Carolina, in Hungary, in Japan.  It also stretches beyond earthly limitations as well.

A few weeks prior, a friend of many of us went to be with God in Heaven. He was known for singing loudly with a deep heart of gratitude towards his savior. Several people remarked at his funeral that He would now be singing in the presence of his Savior. The Sunday afterward, once again, I was weeping while singing, considering the connection across the immeasurable division created by death between those of us still living and those who have passed on. It reminded me of others who have passed on to join the choir of every tongue, tribe, and nation.  I began pondering again how we on earth are connected with those who have passed on any time we truly worship God. It just amazes me. I was struck by the thought when I miscarried my first child. The thought that I might be singing along with Ariel, who was already in the presence of God worshiping Him ahead of me, was astounding. It gave me joy.  The knowledge that my friend, though her husband is no longer here, is singing along with him every time she opens her mouth to praise her Savior. It’s beautiful.

We are singing to the same God. We with our little choirs in different church buildings all across the globe are all singing to the same God, sometimes at the same time. We with our little voices down here on earth, are raising up a song that joins as a verse with the never-ending song closest to God’s ear in Heaven, and we are united with those loved ones there as well.

Across the greatest distances, across the impassable boundaries between living and living anew…

We are worshiping the same God.

We are worshiping for the same reason- we’ve all been saved by Jesus Christ.

We are worshiping, indwelled by the same Holy Spirit.  Not several different spirits. Not pieces of Him, either. He is one. Therefore we are united by Him being us. When we worship God. We all are one. Praise God, Friends!

It’s hauntingly beautiful to me.  Thank you, God.

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Jack’s Birth Story!

MotherGibson:

My Friend’s Homebirth Story.

Originally posted on Journey:

Baby Monk Monk just turned 3 months, so I guess his birth story is “old news.” Bunkee is sleeping through the night now (unless I just jinxed that!), he’s down from 8 or 9 feedings a day to 6, I’ve started working at my new job, and things are starting to settle down a little. In my last post I promised to tell our birth story; whether or not anyone wants to read it remains to be seen, but I’m telling it, starting today and finishing it sometime before Chumpkin turns 30. I think.

We were waiting anxiously for something to happen. My due date came and went on Sunday before Thanksgiving without even a smidge of a labor indicator. My midwife had warned me that first-time moms often go late, so I wasn’t too surprised that Munchie was a little late. The emails, texts, and facebook messages piled up…

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What’s in a Name?

My mom recently asked me out of the blue if I was pregnant.  I was quite shocked.  I mean, I just had a baby three (almost four) months ago.  She then began asking about my friends.  I had to know why and to my surprise it was because my baby name book had been left out.

This book has turned heads before.  It’s how Will Jackson knew we were having Bug.  (And it was on a shelf when he saw it.)  On the other hand, I have had one family member walk into my home and use the bathroom right after I had taken a positive test and left it out on the counter.  This person was completely oblivious, and very surprised when we told her a few months later.

So let me set things straight.  I love onomastics.  Go ahead and use a dictionary if you need to look it up.  It will make you smarter.  So, if I meet someone whose name I don’t know the meaning of, I will look it up within the day.

So the baby name book is out on occasion.

However, for those who really know me, it is Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words being off the shelf that should start you questioning when the next Gibson delight will arrive.  Although, I could also just be studying the Bible.  Because that’s what it’s supposed to be used for…  :D

It is a treasure trove of beautiful, meaning-rich names that my husband is almost certain to demerit to middle-name status.  I care most about the meaning of a name as reason for its selection, then I care secondly about what kind of lives were lived under the name.  (I can’t stand the name Jonathan, because I’ve known too many, even though it has a beautiful meaning.  Matthew is a great alternative with a similar meaning.)  I personally believe everyone ought to know what a name means before sticking a child with it for the rest of his or her life.   I also believe it does affect the kid.  I have never met a calm-mannered child named Aiden.  They tend to be little balls of fire, living up to the name.  Ace laughs all the time, and it befits his real name.

So your challenge for the day is to find out what your own name means, and your kids’ if you have any.  (And absolutely if you are about to have any!)

Sincerely,

“Freedom from bitterness” Gibson

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Just Found This Little Gem:

Clown

 

Not personally being afraid of clowns myself, even this guy made me jump a bit.  So, I thought I’d share.  We still have the couch, thankfully not that clown.

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Activity for Newly-Big Siblings

Not that you have a lot of time on your hands to make this, but if you can find some- you may get a five minute break as a reward while your older child colors it in.  If you are a close friend about to have a baby, *ahem, Joy,* I would be glad to make one for your child.  Image

Color the baby’s footprints! It promotes bonding, gives mom a mini-break, and makes a sweet keepsake.  Take your baby’s footprints and trace them out onto tracing paper.  It looks pretty awesome on its own.  So make the tracing into a keepsake and use a copier to make a copy on printer paper for your child to color.FootprintTrace

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Mothers Are Never Alone When Alone

Awesome, well-written blog on Motherhood.

Mothers Are Never Alone When Alone.

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Ace’s Birth Story

Warning: This is a birth story, with pictures of a birth at home. If you don’t want to keep reading or see pics, do not scroll down. That being said, I did try to select the least graphic pictures I had, and birth is absolutely beautiful. :)

For those who want the short and sweet version- 2 days early labor. 30 minutes active labor. 2 pushes. It’s a boy!

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Without a doubt, this time was the best labor and delivery I have ever been through.

It started (as far as I am concerned) on July 16th, with consistent contractions every 5 minutes from about 2:30PM.

Six hours later, my midwife arrived to check me, in the middle of our community group house Bible study. Andy Andes pretended he was in labor when she walked in the door and made her laugh pretty hard.

No dice.  She said I was still at 2cm, that it was probably just braxton hicks, and it would likely go away when I fell asleep that night.

They didn’t go away for two days, and only varied in length to about 6 or 7 minutes apart, but the intensity of the pain never picked up.

Around 4AM on the 18th, I just got up and did squats for the rest of the morning, hoping for anything.  I did squats until I felt like my calves were going to snap in half.  I was determined to make something progress.

3cm. 

I was happy to have progressed and mildly enraged that it had only been one centimeter.

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However, she finally had some worthwhile information to go with the disappointing number.  There was a “forebag” of water, or in laymen’s terms, a bubble of the amniotic fluid was in front of the baby’s head. This was what was being shoved up against my cervix and therefore the dilation was moving along as slow as molasses.  If it had not been in front of his head, he would have been born already.

There wasn’t much debate in my mind when she offered to break my water. In fact, I only asked for her opinion out of courtesy. I let her break it, and immediately saw stars with the next bout of contractions.

There was a bit of mec, which scared me, because I had never encountered that situation and had only heard horror stories of babies coming out with lung problems because of it. She assured me everything was fine, and that it was only a little. After being scared I switched to simply finding it gross, in all honesty. I think I will forever remember that this is the kid that pooped inside of me. Good thing he’s so cute.

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***

Everyone kept telling me, “As soon as you reach 4cm, it will progress much faster.” The midwife even cited a birth she remembered going “as quickly as one hour.” Without my permission, my body declared, “challenge accepted!” I went to wash my feet off and get into the birth pool that I had been dreaming of, and as soon as I did it was as calming as I had expected. Then, of course, my body had to try out a contraction in the pool, and several others. They all hurt, but they were definitely easier to deal with. At some point, the midwife could tell I was in enough pain that I needed to be checked and everyone was shocked that I had hit 8cm already.

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The pain increased quickly and severely, and I began to look around the room for help in any form.  The face of Andi Clements helping be to breathe and the Bible verses I had posted on the wall (they’re still there) became a great source of help.  When even those things wouldn’t help me maintain my sanity, I began to withdraw and my mind argued within itself, almost without my consent. “Pray.” “I’m too scared to pray.” “Ask someone to pray.” “Why make them do what I can’t?” “Just pray then.” …

Eventually I just yelled out in desperation for someone to pray for me, and a friend came through with flying colors.  Sarah’s prayer brought God into that room, no doubt.  She asked for me to feel His presence, and I absolutely did.  It didn’t make it hurt any less, but I was changed. I could handle the pain, and my fear of whatever would happen next was gone. I was suddenly enabled to conquer the amazing feat before me. Never let fear paralyze your ability to ask God for help. He is always faithful.

There was a calm moment right after the prayer, and then the hard work started.

Someone told me to “moo through the pain,” and I felt like saying something epic about how stupid that sounded, but then it was interpreted for me to just “maintain a lower pitch when I made noise.”  I was told not to push, but I was incapable of preventing it.  My body was shoving this kid out of me. Ladeana Cochran once informed me about the “ring of fire,” and had I not been told about it before I would have very likely lost my mind wondering what was going on because of that pain. Instead, I thankfully accepted it as a good sign that the baby was emerging.  I reached down to make sure what was happening and I yelled out, “A head, I can feel a head.” Then the head came out, and I was scared for the baby. I started yelling at everyone to just pull the rest of his body out. One more push and the rest of his body had no trouble though. I was so frantic, shocked, and elated that I didn’t even care about the gender, I just saw his face and loved him. Someone asked me though, and I came back to reality and happily cried, “A boy!”

***

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The amount of time between the asterisks was 33 minutes total.

My body beat the record.

I never told it to try.

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Regardless, his name means “Laughter Made by God” and he was born at 4:18 PM in our bedroom (the same room where I sat as a teenager on the computer talking with my husband about possibly dating him) in a kiddie pool with fish all over it, on 18 July 2013.  Ace is short for his middle name.  I am so glad he’s here.  :D

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With much love and thanks to:

DeEtte and her helpers, Andi, Sarah, Debby, Mom, All of my CRC Family who Prayed, Dawn, Catherine, Cindy, Sue, Everyone who Made Food, Trish for the Awesome Shots, Daniel My Love, and God above All. <3

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Filed under Birth Stories, Children and Family, Pregnancy