Monday, April 28, 2014

The Strangest Secret

Have you ever taken the time to listen to "The strangest secret " By Early Nightingale? It is about 30 minutes long and i strongly suggest listening to it, we try to listen to it every day. This is the recording that is wreaking havoc on my life.

In a good way.

Let me back up.

Several weeks ago my oldest daughter Lucy, now 5 1/2, had a major meltdown at the zoo. She is such a beautiful, loving and adventurous kid that this panic attack seemed completely out of character.

We were eating lunch at a picnic table when some sort of leaf- possibly small harmless bug- got caught in her hair, she quickly brushed it away, mentioning it to me offhanded so I assumed it wasn't a huge deal and assured her there was nothing in her hair. She continued to repeat herself over and over and over until she was in full blown tears and begging to go home so that she could wash her hair. She was so anxious she could barely breathe. This thing had touched her hair and now it wasn't perfect and she wanted to wash it NOW. I tried to console her many different ways and when none worked and my little kindergartner was acting like a gigantic baby Bryce and I hauled her to the car.

This was the beginning of a string of strange obsessive and anxious behaviors that I began to worry that my sweet adventurous girl was gone for good. She began obsessively washing her hands, dunking her hair in the sink if the dog walked by while she was laying on the ground, talking about the dirt and the bugs and the lights. I would have to change her bedding at night because she would swear she saw things crawling on it. She had become obsessed with concern that something would happen and her dad would die and thus every time he left she would break down. She would refuse to go outside, to church, to  bed, to touch anything that might have a fleck of dirt on it. And dust- well since it was in the air she walked everywhere with her fingers up her nose to keep the dust out of her brain.
Every one of those is so out of character for her that it really shook us into reconsidering what may have caused it. We had spoken scripture to her, given her little placebo type chamomilla calming medicine, we had tried new routines and lots of talking- those things would help her mellow a small amount but did not find a solution.

Then one day it hit me. She is anxious because of what she sees in me.
My daughter was suffering from serious anxiety and panic and worry and it was all my fault. I could try to teach it out of her all I wanted but until I was willing to practice what I was preaching there would be no change for her.
So, that night I realized my error I got really mad. REALLY mad: At me. How could I have done this to her? I am supposed to protect her, not create these little worry warts! So Bryce and I sat in our room for an hour while I yelled- and I'm sure at first when I started with "I'm really mad" he thought I was directing it at him, but I was mad at myself.
And I remembered something incredible that night- the strangest secret. "We become what we think about."
If we think about fear, anxiety and worry then our life will be come filled with it.
Mine had. Hers had. And I had had enough.

That night I made a commitment to cancel out the anxiety and stop letting it rip the joy of my daily gift of being a mother out of my hands. I chose to stop allowing anxiety to show on my face and steal my precious moments with four sweet little girls while they are still young. And I decided little ones do not need to grow up so fast while so young, believing they need to also be fearful and anxious.

Our lives have never been so blessed. It is a battle that is worth fighting, a daily war with myself and any concern that may momentarily cross my mind- but I ask you- what does your anxiety give you? Does it bring you any closer to your family? Does it take care of your kids? Does it allow you to feel free and joyful, playful and silly? If you focus on anxiety does anything extra get done? What is the worst that can happen if you choose NOT to be ruled by anxiety? Even if the things you are fearful and anxious about happened, what would that mean? If it is a bill that you cannot pay, what is the worst that will happen? Won't you still have your family, your ability to bless others, to show grace through a difficult circumstance?

I have realized that when my life is not run by anxiety and worry everyone around me comes ALIVE. I don't mean that to say that I have some special quality about me, but really when you're around someone that is so excited about life and comfortable in their own skin, their face isn't hung low or tight with concern, instead they beam with joy and bubble with excitement for the day they've been given- it makes you want to be that way as well and for a while you feel that your life is a gift, and your problems aren't so big.

After all- everyone has things they can be stressed about. The difference between joyful, graceful people isn't that their life is different, it is that their thoughts ARE. They've discovered the strangest secret and thus alter their state of mind, and their life follows. The "I can't" becomes "how can I" and the negative becomes positive.

Life will never be the same.
Literally, think about it :)

Romans 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

Friday, February 14, 2014

Baby Blues

I know it's been a while since I wrote a blog. Truth be told, I've been sorting through an awful muck of emotions trying to find out what is going on in my heart and my head.

It has taken a LOT of prayer, but I do believe I now have a name for it: Post Partum Depression.
Yikes am I right? I know a lot of moms deal with baby blues, and I guess i assumed with this being my fourth baby I'd surely be out of the woods, yet the opposite is true. This has been the hardest three months of my life and for reasons i cannot even explain. I can reflect on my life and identify how happy and excited I am about it and yet I honestly don't feel happy. Feelings are deceiving, yet they are crucial to a woman and a mothers well being. It is difficult to describe the pain associated with this problem, and I am not one that has ever assigned random medical issues to myself, but this is true, diagnosable and I am beginning to recognize what it has done to my family.

I am having to fight the urge to keep my pride and refuse to share this with anyone, but I so badly want to recover and I recognize that first I need to be honest, and might possibly help another mother someday.

How is it that we can suffer so much heartache and anxiety after being gifted with bringing forth LIFE? I don't know that I'll ever understand why this has happened to me, but I'm determined to beat it.

If you're a new mama and you just cannot figure out why you cannot be "yourself" anymore? You might want to be aware of the symptoms of PPD(posted at the bottom). Post partum depression effects more women than we realize, but as a superhero mama thinking she should be able to cope with life, we feel there is something uniquely wrong with us, like we just weren't made to be good mothers. So far from the truth! Hormones sure do a number on us!

I want to be patient with my little ones again, to stop thinking of being alone in my bed with the TV on. I'm so ready to communicate with my husband better, be able to laugh and see life as a wonderfully joyful blessing and love every minute i have with little ones!

Mama's- if you feel like you're not good enough, or you feel overwhelmed, please know you're not alone! This veteran mama feels it as well. It can be so hard to take care of others when you feel like you're broken and dying inside. It can be so frustrating to feel like you're not seen, not loved, not needed or wanted, and heartbroken that it isn't coming natural to you. You want to serve and love your family yet you cannot even find a way to stop being so angry and crying. I know how you feel- I've thrown things (alone of course) and sobbed at the drop of a hat, hidden in the bathtub, stopped cooking almost altogether, been moody, angry, edgy, unhappy, grumpy, and panicky to get away. Yet when I'm away i only want to hug my children and make sure they know how i love them and want to be with them.
The depression started for me months before Rylynn was born and has only escalated. So, I'm working on it. No more. I'm ready to be myself again, enjoy life, find joy in silliness, spend time blessing my children, and sleep better.

If you're dealing with PPD or have in the past, feel free to message me for support or to help encourage me with your story and how you got on top of this nasty little robber of joy!
Thank you

Baby blues symptoms

Signs and symptoms of the baby blues — which last only a few days to a week or two — may include:
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Crying
  • Decreased concentration
  • Trouble sleeping

Postpartum depression symptoms

Postpartum depression may appear to be the baby blues at first — but the signs and symptoms are more intense and longer lasting, eventually interfering with your ability to care for your baby and handle other daily tasks. Postpartum depression symptoms may include:
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Intense irritability and anger
  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Lack of joy in life
  • Feelings of shame, guilt or inadequacy
  • Severe mood swings
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
Untreated, postpartum depression may last for many months or longer.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Birth experience of a lifetime

I literally cannot even belive it has been almost a week since I had Rylynn!

It was everything I had hoped and so much more. I know so many question why I wanted to have her here at home, but I can tell you it was such a blessed experience, so very different from my hospital births!

First, this baby decided she wanted to stay until after her due date, which was several weeks longer than any of her three sisters and totally new for mommy! During the last four weeks we had many many many long nights of contractions and wondering if that would be the night. The last two weeks before she came I had finally begun to feel as though she wouldn't come, not that i was desperate I just felt so strange about it suddenly- like my pregnancy was going backwards and I felt further from holding her in my arms.
Then, of course, things got emotional and I spent a lot of time alone in the bath in tears trying to pray and figure out what my deal was. Yes, i was uncomfortable but I wasn't feeling frustrated to be going to my due date, I just had some heaviness that prevented me from getting excited about the baby.
After a particularly trying morning I stomped out to the car to vacuum it out (i was NOT putting my baby in that dirty car, haha) and started texting with my mom and listening to worship crying out for the Lord to help me understand why i was fighting so hard.

Fear. Not about labor, about letting go of my dream of having a son. We have both felt for years that the Lord was preparing us to also have a son among these beautiful girls, and we felt like this would be it. But then the month before I conceived this baby we lost another and were certain it was a boy. So my fear had morphed into believing that maybe that boy was our promise and he was lost to us. What about those little dinosaur jammies, dirty little face and stick swords.... things my heart has been desperate to experience, to watch Bryce sit on a dock next to a little boy and toss stones in the water. Seeing a mini daddy. And so, because we had prayed and felt that this baby was to be a surprise, we didn't know what we were having and I had built up such an anxiety about it that I just couldn't dream about the identity of THIS child.

Bryce and I talked it over and I cried some more, spoke with my wonderful midwives about it the next day, Tuesday, and finally felt released to celebrate whoever this baby would be, that the Lord is in charge of his own promises and if a son was one of them- He was in control of that. I would never have been upset to find this baby was a girl for wanting her to change, more so knowing i would never have a son, as we're quite certain we're done having children.

So, after giving that piece of it to the Lord we both felt ecstatic, that we would feel just as thrilled to find we had a daughter than a son! The very next morning my labor started up at 8am!
We took off for the store to get groceries and keep me moving, then to the gym and I walked 2 miles around the track to keep the contractions coming. By this point they were regular, couldnt walk or talk through them, but they weren't super painful (i have a high pain tolerance). After that we came home and got the kids fed and to bed and decided to lay down for a bit. My contractions slowed to every 8-10 minutes and then just sort of petered out. I called Deidre at four to see if she wanted me to get up and walk and keep them coming or just let my body do what it would. Since I had already walked so much she preferred I just let my body rest and see what happened. I got up to make the kids dinner, and as I did the two big girls ran up, laid hands on my belly and prayed that the baby would come:) I love their faith and trusted that the Lord had something in mind! I baked a cheesecake for the next days Thanksgiving we would be hosting and ate dinner Bryce made for us. By the time I sat down the contractions started coming in hard and enough that i was getting uncomfortable, that was about 6pm. I sent Deidre a quick text and told her I'd keep an eye on them. I was really enjoying having this day to labor with my children there, they were so sweet and loving and were very excited to meet the baby, though they didn't quite understand why mommy had to be in pain for the baby to come. Bryce went in and out them to bed around 7:30 and by this time I was almost unable to communicate at all, I needed him every three minutes or more to press counter pressure on my lower back or i was swimming in so much pain I couldnt calm down. He got the kids in bed and I snuck them a kiss between contractions. I was feeling so much pain and pressure that he decided to call Deidre and fill up the pool. As he ran around taking care of stuff I just tried to focus on worship music and finding some position that would give the pain in my back some relief. I focused on the wave and allowing the baby to move down and get ready for delivery. Deidre and Andrea arrived a little after 8pm and began running around like crazy getting all of their stuff set up for birth. As they walked through the door i screamed for Bryce to run in and put counter pressure on my back, they knew it was pretty serious then! I briefly remember Deidre asking for an extension cord and i pulled one out just as a contraction hit and tossed it behind me toward her, I heard her say "she's definitely in labor!" I felt so bad but man i was focused on survival! A few times Bryce had to get in my face and tell me to focus and that I could do this, I was just overwhelmed by the back labor!
Andrea had me lay down to check me and listen to the baby, which sounded good, and I remember as she was checking i just kept saying " i better be a five because i NEED that pool!" So imagine my relief when she said I was an eight! I almost cried I was so happy it would be over soon! I hopped in the pool immediately and felt even the smallest relief with the heat across my back! Bryce was running trying to get supplies together and add music i wanted and water to the pool that I went through three contractions in the pool by myself until I said "Im feeling like i need to push" Deidre gave me the go ahead to start that process as they finished up getting the room ready. By this point we have no pictures, my mother in law is on her way but there's no way she'll make it, and Bryce doesn't even remember knowing i was pushing! I was on my hands and knees and chin tucked pushing for several minutes just letting her moving down with each contraction trying to stay calm. Finally I yelled for him to get in the pool and push on my back as she was coming down, He did fully dressed, and Deidre held my face and looked at me and smiled, telling me to slow my breathing down and tuck my face down and focus. I kept reaching down to try and help my body stretch to help her head, but Bryce kept thinking i was checking myself and told me to stop, but i could feel her fluffy hair and knew she would be arriving soon! I pushed really really hard that time and most of her head was out! I tried to then push and also guide her head out but was guiding her up which got her shoulder stuck, so Deidre had me stop and had to push her back in a little and help guide her back down, then one more push and she was out. Deidre said "Kaylee pick up your baby!" so i scooped her up and sat back, "it's a girl!" and I gotta say, i was not disappointed at all:) She was gorgeous! Dark hair and big:) It took a second to get her to respond but Deidre just calmly rubbed her back until she started to cry and wrapped us in a towel. We carefully got out of the pool and up on the bed with dry towels. Within a few minutes her placenta followed and daddy got to cut her cord.
Rylynn Brooke Miller was born at 8:47pm weighing 8 pounds and 20 inches long. By far my biggest baby!

The experience was amazing, I loved that the people in the room with me were those that were deeply invested in my pregnancy, in my family and in my heart. They knew me, what i wanted and hoped for, they prayed for me, they blessed me with wisdom and encouragement, they treated me like I was amazing (i felt like a total wimp!) and they celebrated with me! They included my husband, loved on my kids and were there every step to talk about everything with me. I was comfortable and confident with my home birth experience, and I wish that every mom could have one like this! Also, just can't beat sleeping in your own bed without all the poking and blood pressure and strangers trying to watch you nurse or bother you because you won't vaccinate on day one. It was wonderful, Bryce was relaxed and involved, the best coach and help I could have dreamed of, and he was SO excited for another girl! He helped me through the doubts and fears and helped me see that we were getting the gift the Lord had for us, and boy is she beautiful!
Her name means Distinct refreshing stream, which i believe to be a wonderful fit for her. I know she has much to teach me and so much to add to our family! The girls were elated to meet her the next morning, and have since loved every minute with her!

Honestly, once she was born, I felt a little sad that my journey with my midwives would be over soon, it has been such a wonderful experience I don't know if Im ready to not be seeing them every week!

Thank you Deidre, Cynthia and Andrea for blessing us with your service and expertise! We LOVED having you join our family and we will miss seeing you each week!

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Honestly I never thought I'd have anything in common with most women that go all the way up to, and beyond their due date with pregnancy. Especially on my FOURTH baby! I guess that just goes to show you, there's NO predicting these things!

I have dreamed about this "Perfect birth" for years, since Lucy was born. Each of my children seemed to be born surrounded by some sort of unexpected hiccup that interrupted a peaceful and relaxed birth experience.

Two days before Lucy entered the world at 37 1/2 weeks, the Dr. discovered she had an arrhythmia and sent me to a larger facility two hours away to a specialist to be sure she could be delivered at our small, NICU-free hospital. As the specialist determined her heart would get back to a normal beat once it separated from the placenta, he assured me she could be born at our small hospital just fine.
I went into labor that night and she was born 12 hours later. She had to be hooked up to tiny stickers for EKG's and such regularly, but, as predicted, within a couple weeks her heart resolved back to a perfect beat and she has been great since!
Brynlee refused to turn around and sucked her butt way down in the birth canal and her head straight up in my ribs. She was called "complete breech" with her little legs crossed Indian style. Ultrasound confirmed at 35 weeks that her fluid was quite low preventing her from turning or being manually turned. I began going in for stress tests every two days to be sure she was still doing well. Finally, knowing C-section was inevitable (Dr.'s in rural areas are so rarely trained for natural breech birth these days, though it is still common with midwives!) we scheduled it the day before she would be 37 weeks. She came out just fine, and though this birth came with many many tears and emotional scarring from being separated from her for hours, we came through great and healed well.
Avery, being that I became pregnant when Brynlee was just 7 months old, followed her c-section by only 15 months. Because of this every Dr. i sought refused to consent to a trial of labor after a c-section. I began to research and pull together every resource i could to fight it, but it came down to signing a paper refusing to follow the medical opinion of my physician and trying for a natural delivery anyway. It was rough, I was not treated very well and heard some of the worst, most hurtful things I can imagine from these women who were supposed to be caring for us. Because of such treatment I went through labor at home with a very close nurse friend keeping an eye on my progress for 30 hours before I was dilated to an 8 and we drove the hour and 15 nminutes at night, having contractions, through the mountain to deliver her. I arrived and of course labor slowed for a while, i was hooked to monitors and IV's, restricted from eating, told ridiculous things about being a terrible mother (don't get me started on the risk of abruption vs. c section complications) and finally, with no intervention besides my water being broken, Avery was born 5 hours after arriving. Perfectly healthy and beautiful, not a single tear or scar trouble. Fight for what you want, the "once a c section always a c section" rule is absurd, this is YOUR body you can choose not to do it!

Anyway, when I found I was pregnant this time I started to look for a midwife, assuming I would likely still have the baby in a birth center or hospital, I just wanted someone who might care more for me and not treat me terrible. I wanted someone who would listen to me, someone who had had children unmedicated and brought into the world naturally like i so badly wanted. I found Deidre, and I have just fallen in love with her! She LOVES my family and my story and she has so invested in me. I get to be loved on by three of them out of the office, Deidre, Cynthia and Andrea and each appointment they pray for me, they are empathetic to how I'm feeling and they've come to my house to check on me. They text with me and encourage me, and they support the decisions i feel are right for my family. As I studied more I decided I really wanted to try for a home birth, so that we could transition quickly and easily back to family life. I had loved laboring almost completely at home with Avery, and the idea of no one to intervene, check my stats, bother me about vaccinations, and try to convince me i needed a "purple crying" class in order to be released after two nighs, I decided a home birth was the right choice for us. Especially after watching "the business of being born!" It really helped my decision be simple! What a dream, I am literally ecstatic that I will be welcoming my baby into our warm loving home, surrounded by pictures of their dad and I on our wedding, their big sisters playing, and sounds of home. I am so glad that I will KNOW everyone in my room well before the birth, and that my baby will come into the world as God intended, without harsh lighting, without shouting and poking and people totally disregarding me and whisking away my new baby.

Thus, my point in writing is really a speech to myself, reminding myself of what I've wanted and that it will be coming soon. I have had regular contractions for the last four weeks, making getting to this point so difficult for me. I know I cannot complain as so many women desperately wish to be pregnant and cannot, or some who have difficult painful pregnancies. The Lord has designed this babies' arrival just as He did the others and I am reminding myself to focus in on what the Lord is doing here and trusting that He has a reason and a plan for this baby. I am so grateful I have not ended up in a hospital, or had to give up my dream and consent to induction. I know that this baby is being perfected and readied for such a time as this. But I must tell you, this point has been reached with many tears and heartache as I've truly been pregnant since January (miscarried in Feb. and within days was pregnant again) and if you know me you know that my body does not handle pregnancy very well. I know I face some fears bringing this baby into the world following miscarriage, knowing this will be my last baby, and my girls being so ready to meet this baby and adjust to mommy taking care of a new baby. There is much anxiety among my girls, and I am ready to show them that we will be okay, our baby will fit right in, and mommy will love all four :)

If you've taken the time to read this, thank you for investing in our lives, I know sometimes reading through these things can be grueling, I usually love to write encouraging words and lessons, but honestly the lesson right now for me is to stop focusing on what I want and focus on the blessing the Lord is creating in me, and choosing excitement over anxiety.

This birth will be beautiful, thank you for your prayers over us!

Friday, October 25, 2013


Every time people see that I am pregnant with my fourth baby I get this wide eyed crazy lady stare. I realize most people these days only want a couple children, and mine are quite close together- but i LOVE having children! I always wanted four and though pregnancy is usually a little challenging for me I adore that the Lord has blessed my body and my heart with four little gifts.

This week I have been really gearing up and preparing for labor. I had a major mental shift recently from "I'm so tired and I always have to do too much work and not enough rest" and the internally selfish perspective of that to "I am SO ecstatic about where I am and that I get to give birth soon! What an honor!"

It came at the perfect time as well. This weekend was supposed to be a sort of "babymoon" for Bryce and I, a chance to get away together and be part of one of our most looked forward to events of the year. But as it stood it just wasn't working out and I felt the Lord grant peace over my heart in staying behind to be with our girls and rest up for the coming weeks. It would have been a difficult trip for me this late in pregnancy anyway. But it was a difficult decision as we desperately miss time together and need to get away! Plus sometimes being alone with little ones is a little frightening for me! Perspective is everything though isn't it? If you think about it, YES it is! You can change the outcome of your current situation JUST by changing your attitude. We try to teach our children this everyday, because as a kid you don't control much about your life. So we are sure to remind them that the one thing they do get to choose is what attitude they present to the world. I am not necessarily an excellent example of this, but as the Lord has been reminding me so much lately to be constantly evaluating my own attitude I feel that I'm improving!

So, this weekend is going to be, and has already started out as glorious! It has really made me excited about having three little girls! We spent time snuggling and watching princess shows, ate snacks, painted our nails, blow dried our hair after a warm bath, decided on sewing projects for the dolls, and even spoke to my parents on the phone. I have been working so much in the mornings lately that I've just missed these lazy days playing and enjoying my girls! I am now only working a couple days  a week which will really help my energy as well as helping them adjust before the baby comes. I can tell they are a little nervous and excited about the baby, so I want to bless them this last little bit of time so they know they are loved!

I am reading Ina May's guide to childbirth and BOY has it opened my eyes! I mean I have kinda steered toward hippyish these last few years anyway just by way of nutrition and health, but I hadn't really read into and understood birth as much as i should have five years ago! Birth is incredible and I am SO excited that i get to do it again!

Yes, I did just say that :) I know- every single time I talk to women about birth they think I am NUTS for not wanting epidurals, c section, or hospital birth. I hear almost every time "God made Dr.s and scientists to invent epidurals so you don't have to go through the pain!" But my perspective doesn't stem from pain, and it doesnt stem from trying to be macho or show up other women. I LOVE labor! It is NOT an illness, it is just treated like one! It is such an incredibly empowering gift that God made our bodies to not only put together a child inside of ourselves, but then gifted us with the ability to push the baby out! All the physiological, emotional and hormonal processes our bodies are intended to go through during labor are so amazing- yet generally missing when used in tandem with narcotics, interventions and surgery. It is mind blowing to me that women in our U.S. culture do not know that much about labor! We are so fearful of it that when a woman says she wants to go natural we think she's one of those weirdos trying to prove how awesome they are. But really it is a woman saying "I am not afraid of this process, I can mentally handle the pain, my body was made for this." It is a difference in perspective. As I said above, a choice in attitude.
No i don't mean to say that some C-sections are unavoidable, or that Dr.'s are bad- I mean to say how your labor goes should be your choice completely and should be approached without fear, but with excitement- giddy ridiculous excitement! You are marvelous! You are MADE to have this baby come out of you and not leave you broken!

Anyway, no high horse needed here- I do not see myself as better or stronger than any other woman out there, but i do know my perspective is different than most. I don't love pain, I love that my body can do this, I love proving to myself that God made me miraculous and with the insane ability to bring a child into the world without incident. I've had three very different birth experiences, and this one will also be quite different. I've experienced a lot with my three kids! I think this time is going to be so insanely joyous that I will not even be able to describe it to others. Fear free, panic free, busy-ness free, it is going to be amazing!

If you are planning to have babies or are pregnant- or want more kids you should definitely read this book by Ina May Gaskin! She has been a midwife since the 60s and has some incredible stories and insights into things that you may not realize are possible for you! It is a very empowering and freeing book, and will definitely prepare and excite you for labor even if you've never done it before. Don't believe the hype you see and hear from T.V. pregnancies or even your friends, labor is safe and beautiful!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What right do we really have to our feelings?

Oh boy.
This lady has been learning some tough lessons lately.
I'll tell ya, this has been one of the hardest seasons of life I can remember to date. Walking through health challenges with Bryce was no doubt difficult, but this seems to be on a whole new level as we fight daily to accomplish our dreams and passionately pursue God's promise over our lives. We knew it would not be easy, but still daily we can get easily overwhelmed with the upfront cost of dreams.

Today I was so completely caught off guard feeling bad for myself. I could literally make you a huge list of reasons why i was righteously upset, and trust me you would probably get upset right along with me and pump me an air fist of "you didn't deserve that girl!" But what good would that do me? Or you? It definitely would not be encouraging, and it wouldn't help me in dealing with whatever it is I need to deal with. So instead, I warned Bryce of my mood and put my headphones on for some worship music, good old musical conviction right there :)

Grace. Something I have desperately been working toward, a word I feel the Lord gave me to strive toward and believe I can achieve. I'll tell ya, He has certainly put me in a place to HAVE to learn it or be drowned by it!

What right do we really have to our feelings? It seems like our culture encourages us to act on our feelings, to express them. We constantly are building each others feelings up. When we are angry we want someone to express their disgust that we've been treated wrongly and so our feelings get stronger and we may respond back in anger to those that hurt us. What benefit is there to this? There is no benefit for the one hurt, or the one who harmed them, or the friend that encouraged the anger. All it did was serve to make a bad situation worse, or make a situation out of nothing really.

So i find myself contemplating this as I start adding up all the things in my life that I do in unnoticed service for others. The fact I realize is that this is what I am called to do, adding them up doesn't make me have to do less, It just changes the attitude and heart I have about them. They move from service to martyrdom, as though I am looking for great recognition, tears of gratitude, someone else to suddenly do it all for me. None of those are going to happen and even if they did it does not change the fact that I was called to do them, not my husband, my kids or anyone else. Not only that but I rob my family of the blessing from my service when I do it in anger or resentment. No longer do they feel loved and cared for and able to operate in their giftings and go about their day with confidence, now they know I'm upset and ungrateful that I have to serve them. They cannot enjoy the dinner I made, the dishes I washed, or the toys I put away. Bath time becomes rough and impatient as I'm thinking about all the things I have to do for them before bed, instead of a silly bonding time that we can laugh together and they know their mother delights in them.

Again, I ask you, what benefit do your feelings play in your daily life? Are they not for a purpose? As children of God we are not given the right to express and discuss and feel our feelings. It doesn't encourage those around us, it doesn't help anyone to accomplish what they have to or have been called to, it distracts from seeing the gifts from the Lord in each and every day. It wastes so much time!

As soon as my attitude was adjusted, because music is the window to peace for me, and cried out all my self pity, I realized that none of it was the fault of my children or husband, it was my own selfish nature wishing for some attention- and it doesn't deserve any. There is blessing even in suffering, though i don't consider chores necessarily suffering. But sometimes feeling as though you're unappreciated can feel like suffering, and though it is a relevant thing to feel- it definitely benefits no one for us to express or focus on it. The Lord wants to bless us through our willing service, a loving attitude, a desire to help others for nothing in return. He returns in ten fold more than a person could anyway!'

If you're a mama and you've not seen "the invisible woman" look it up on youtube, it's only a few minutes but it really helps to illustrate the reason why we serve our families, we do it for the Lord and because it glorifies Him!

Also checkout the song "Steady my heart" By Kari Jobe, it really helps me adjust my attitude when I just know it's wrong.

Life is hard, we go through seasons of great testing of our faith and those seasons feel heavy and difficult to bear, but the Lord gives them to us as gifts, to gain faith and grace and an understanding of who He is and what He goes through. If we can constantly keep our attitudes in check and see them as gifts, they stop being so much to bear and we begin to walk through them with gladness and joy instead of self pity, doubt and anxiety. He is great, He is loving, and though we feel anything hard should not be from Him- we have the opportunity to grow and He knows we CAN make that choice and He allows us to walk through those things to prove to ourselves that we are strong and we can go through fire. It's worth it guys, you're not alone walking down a hard road, I am feeling a little lost right along with you!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Cliff Jumpers

Through obedience I have seen my entire family come to the most beautiful season of life I never could have dreamed possible. The faith an obedience of my parents when they were young and raising tiny children has turned into one of the closest, God-centered families that only He could have created! When a family chooses to sit around the dining table for hours discussing the bible, dreams of ministry, challenging, asking, and taking note of memorable scriptures for each other, it is unbelievable! It has really brought me into a new understanding of what the family of God should look like (not that we are it, but that as a church body we are called to be in similar communion!) With grace and joy this brings me often to tears, I remember being an on fire teen beginning missions when i was only 14 when my brothers had other interests. I dealt with fears and heartache knowing no one understood me and I mostly frustrated them. I had my own season of walking away, but upon returning I spent a year concealed away spending my days ruminating on the Lord and His mighty power. After that year I married and went home and I truly believe the reason for those five years home was to reunite a passionate effective family and in that loving environment teach us our spiritual gifts and allow us to learn from each other and from Him. It was such a beautiful season and so much fruit has come from those little seeds we planted and worked the ground, fed that wonderful soil and here we are today! The Lord has begun to now spread us out, more mature in our love for Him and our knowledge of His great plan we have been tossed to the four winds to become leaders, givers, goers, motivators, writers, senders, lovers of His word. What a blessing to be called a BALES/MILLER!
Dad and I were texting tonight and it just inspired this expression of the theme of our season of life: we are cliff jumpers! I've reviewed many times lately that the lesson the Lord has really had me focused on has been His overwhelming grace and what that really did for me.
Bryce and I, well we've always lived out lives as cliff jumpers. No one seems to understand us, but luckily our families have become used to this about us! The Lord has never directed our path in a way that makes sense to anyone and we have learned to be okay with that adversity. When I was 14 the Lord told me to go to Jamaica on a mission trip, I had no money or a job- but somehow i raised the money. When i decided to leave college, had excellent grades and a personal recommendation of a PHD to continue studies in Psychology to pursue counseling children. The Lord told me to leave and move to Texas, which also cost a lot of money. During that year He also told me to go to Africa, the most expensive of the trips, while also paying to attend the Academy. He came through every time! During my time at the HA I became best friends with Bryce, and upon graduation we began pursuing what the Lord had clearly communicated to both of us to be married that next summer. When we got married Bryce had the promise of a job, but we had no jobs or income and had just moved! Imagine how that felt for my dad.... But we had faith! We knew that the Lord directed us in a way that never seemed to make any SENSE to anyone that didn't understand our faith and our calling. There have been many many times of this- most recently calling us to pack up and move across the Country when we made awesome income, to pursue a dream of something more- a dream of residual income, to be able to be the senders we have known He has been preparing us to be for our whole lives! Every account of faith, every agonizing event of our marriage (not the marriage, but health struggles and such) have brought us to where we are to understand where we are going. He wanted us to learn steps of faith in small amounts, then larger and now we know we can do anything He calls us to! His mercies have carried us each and every day and it only gets better each day.
The Lord tells us to jump, and now it seems our will fights only a small amount before we strap in and say AWESOME LETS DO IT!
Each member of my family is in the exact same spot in their life, knowing they're called to jump and getting ready to leap off that cliff. Today I told dad we were mid-air waiting and would see them on the way. What a GIFT! It really hit me, and people I'm really not talking about my own family here, I'm talking about YOU, about us! We have the ability to JUMP when He tells us, He has prepped us, we knew it had been coming, it is terrifying! He never said it wouldn't hurt, or it wouldn't cause anxiety, or that it would be comfortable! He just said JUMP and I WILL CATCH YOU! He does not fail! Here's what I say to you, if it is difficult to look to Him and feel comfort, look around you, WE ARE MIDAIR! We are HERE, when you jump you are not alone, we are there with you! You know who were cliff jumpers? The disciples! The people Jesus called His friends, those willing to die for Him, those imprisoned in other countries for His name, He tells each of us when it is time to jump and our job is to trust that He has an incredible reason. Guys we were not created for THIS world! We have so much fear and worry about today, about tomorrow, about money, and yet none of those things will carry into the life we were actually created for- HEAVEN! Don't get so caught up in regular routine life that you miss your chance to jump and feel the rush of adrenaline when it is ALL up to Him to carry you through it!!! Look around when you're there, you are not alone, we are right here soaring through the air struggling with those same anxieties, but we KNOW from experience what seasons wait on the other side of that scary jump, the Lord wants to send you on to His incredible plan and purpose for your life but He cannot do it if you will not first JUMP!