Monday, November 10, 2008

Snapshots

This week's At the Well topic is a little bit different. One of the advantages that women of long ago had in meeting at the well, was the friendships and community that was developed. So today, Chelsea is hosting "Getting to Know You."

She wants us to share a glimpse into our lives. Old friends, no need to read any further - I'm sure you've heard it all before.

I'm a first born. I have a younger sister, followed by 2 younger brothers (the youngest is 9 yrs younger).

As a little girl, I remember lots of family and lots of church. I am blessed with a rich, godly heritage!

I've always loved studying, school and academics. Typical over-achiever (also reads pleaser).

I love to read. Missionary stories are my favorites.

In jr. high I was passionate about being either a lawyer or a missionary. I pursued the latter.

I've always been an "old soul." I was old beyond my years and often preferred to hang out with teachers instead of students.

I got my bachelor's degree in Cross-Cultural Communications, with my heart set on foreign missions. I interned at an inner-city church in Detroit, MI.

I briefly substituted as an elementary music teacher for a semester, to pay off the bulk of my student loans.

I am musically inclined. God often speaks to my heart through music. I love to play the piano but we don't have one right now.

I journeyed from the midwest to work in an inner-city mission in Los Angeles, the Dream Center (can anyone say culture shock?). I itinerated and raised support, going as a full-time volunteer and missionary.

During that time, I got a taste of all kinds of ministry: administrative, outreach, discipleship, worship leader, children's ministry, piano teacher, speaking in churches, feeding the homeless, bringing in prostitutes off the streets. Uh-mazing!

I was very focused and did not date unless I knew the man was pursuing missions (so, pretty much I did not date).

Then I met my husband at the Dream Center. He was working in construction. :) He owns a construction company that has supported and built for missionaries all over the world. Not the way I saw it happening, but what God had in mind all along.

During our courtship, I pursued a teaching credential while I taught Kindergarten. It was a low income area and the kids were very needy. I thrived there.

We got married and honeymooned on the island of Barbados -- had a beautiful destination wedding with the ocean as our backdrop.

Immediately, I got a beautiful brown miniature dachshund named Ginger, to compliment Troy's distinguished German Shepherd. They were best of friends. Ginger was a hunter and would stealthily sneak up on birds, and kill them. She also had a bad habit of licking people's mouths. She was adopted out to my brother, who did not have children at the time.

I would say I'm a crafty person, dabbling a little in painting, crochet and numerous Do-it-yourself projects.

I stopped teaching when I learned I had a pituitary brain tumor and was told we could not get pregnant because the tumor would grow and become life threatening.

6 months later, I was healed. The doctors assured me this was impossible, but the MRI's showed differently. Praise God.

Eventually, we were told I needed chemotherapy before I got pregnant - but surprise! I already was. More complications and we were told we would lose the baby. The doctor even scheduled a D&C, which we refused. After 5 months of bedrest, Olivia Faith was born without complications.

My entire family moved across the country to the town where my husband and I live. My sister and her family, my brother and his new wife, my parents and my youngest brother when he finished college. We are currently all living in the same city and that's amazing!

I love to drink tea, especially out of a china cup. Fancy tea house? I'm there!

I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis, requiring surgery. I have an extremely low tolerance to pain. Or as I like to say, I'm just very sensitive. I was so scared, I wrote out a will.

I began to volunteer in a Christian crisis pregnancy center. They needed a childbirth instructor, so I became Lamaze certified in order to teach classes for free at their center.

My husband and I know we will be in our town long term (even though it is quite transient). So he built a beautiful home created for ministry and outreach. He is an incredibly talented man, but doesn't realize it. He is also a bit of a modern day adventurer.

I am a girly, girl. I enjoy getting dressed up, doing my hair, makeup and nails. My husband appreciates it too, so we are a good fit. I am determined this year to master the "Smoky Eye." I can also get dirty: spend our vacation in the sand dunes, play a few sports, I love being outside.

After surgery, and being told we were infertile, we became pregnant again. When Olivia was 2 and 1/2, after 3 months of bedrest, we had Madeline Joy.

Madeline had extreme issues from the day she was born. We later found the root to be severe allergies (mostly to environmental chemicals, fragrances, preservatives, etc). When she was born, no one could hold her without a special barrier between them and her skin or she would break out immediately. Often her lungs would shut down in a reaction to some unknown substance and we would end up in the ER.

We met a natural Christian doctor when she was 4 months old and we were at our wits end, who diagnosed and successfully helped us cope with her allergies. She was GOD-sent! Madeline has made great improvements over the past year and a half. Her allergies are predictable and manageable, with extreme caution and effort.

We are ALL much healthier and much more aware of what is in our home, our food, our environment. Out of necessity, we've Gone Green, so to speak. Although, I have struggled to limit my Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes. If I was a superhero, this would be my weakness.

We planted our first garden this year, mostly so we had our own supply of fresh foods without pesticides so Madeline could eat them. We live in the desert and were SHOCKED by the way it took off. We had more food than we knew what to do with. I can't wait to start next year's garden, and have been getting advice from my Grandparents on how to can food to save it for the next winter.

My sister and I accidentally started a baby boutique, Sweet Poppi Baby Boutique. We both had little ones and didn't want to pay boutique prices for boutique baby items (picture incredibly soft, luxurious baby blankets). So I took a sewing class and we started sewing them ourselves. Requests from friends overwhelmed us, and we started a website to sell our things.

We've been able to bless various ministries by donating to auctions and raffles and moms in need. We purposely keep our prices low; 1) because we do not want to be greedy and 2) as a way to bless other moms who want pretty things but can't always afford them.

I love photography and pictures....someday I will pursue this a little further. For now, I leave the amazing picture taking up to my sister.

This year has been a year of simplifying and pruning. I struggled with endometriosis again, and had to pull out of ministry. I needed another surgery (no will this time). Afterwards, the doctor gave us a 0.5% chance of getting pregnant. 4 weeks later we were pregnant - another miracle! At 12 weeks, I miscarried and God welcomed our son into heaven.

Being a journal-er at heart, I started my blog around this time. I wanted record of what God was going to do (because I believed He would bring good) through this horrific circumstance.

Our struggle with infertility has caused us to depend on God in such a deep, emotional way. He's given us three miracle pregnancies. We continue to trust Him completely.

My love for the Bible was renewed this summer and my relationship with God has been transformed. As has our marriage. God has been doing an incredible work in our family.

God has allowed me to get involved in a new ministry at our church that reaches out to young, mostly unwed, teenage mothers. Most of how I help can be done from home. I am thrilled to see what God is going to do and grateful for an opportunity that does not take away from my time with my family.

I have some incredible friendships, a few in town but most have moved out of state. I travel across the country, with the girls, a few times a year to see my dearest friends.

Obviously I've struggle with my health, but I also struggle to keep my words to a few, to feel confident to set up boundaries and say No, to be patient with my girls when I'm lacking sleep. All areas God is working on in me.

I realize I left out much of the negative. I have had my share of heartache, mistakes, drama, abuse and hard times -- God has brought me through each and every time. And continues to be faithful to His promise to redeem it all.

That's quite a few glimpses. I think you get the idea.

Blessings,

5 comments:

Ashley said...

Rebecca,

It is so amazing how God has been blessing you! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

-Ashley

Daniel's Mom said...

This was so great to read! I know a lot more about you and we have quiet a bit in common Rebecca. :) I have a heart for missions also! I have seen the Dream Center on t.v. and listened to the Pastor before. Do ya'll go to church there? Your story of healing is so awesome!! And your miracle girls,wow! God is truly amazing! I love the name Madalyn and Joy. We are naming our lil' girl (God willing) Madalyn Hope.

AmandaHoyt said...

Rebecca,
Thank you for sharing with us! I love to read your blog and am so sorry for your loss.
I'm praying for you and your family.
Hugs,
Amanda

Julie said...

Thank you for sharing this, Rebecca! I love to read your praise and love of our Savior. You have a beautiful way with words. :)

Blessings to you,
Julie

OilGirl said...

God uses the various hues of broken glass from our lives to create His beautiful mosaic. I am blessed to know you!
Jen