Friday, December 10, 2010

End of a year, Start of a new post!

I had no idea how much went into being a mom AND moving to a new place. I was 7 months preggo when I left work, 8 months when we moved, and sweet baby boy arrived exactly on time! Now hubby is finishing up his semester and trying his hardest to get back on track after having to take care of wife and baby for a while. Wow. I think this would be a great time to relate The story. You know, the labor story - now don't get nervous! No graphic details given (who wants to remember those anyway?!).

So, it's August, and I'm way pregnant. I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little one, but still way nervous about what that would mean! However, I had enough wits about me to realize that we needed to stock up on groceries, so on August 17 we drove an hour to Fort Polk to make groceries at the commissary. That morning I started timing some contractions I had.

No biggie, I thought. I'm still four days away from my due date, and he's my first baby, so I probably have another week.

We get to Fort Polk, and my contractions worsen while we ate lunch at a Huddle House (everywhere else was filled up!!). However, I convince hubby that everything is fine, and we go on with our plans.

Then it hit me. And I'm glad it hit me in the freezer section because I never knew what a hot flash was until then! The worst contraction all day had come, and I began to worry. Hubby began to worry a whole lot more. We finished our grocery shopping and went home.

More really bad contractions. I called the hospital and spoke with a nurse. "Oh you're not ready just yet, honey! Wait until the contractions are 3-5 minutes apart." That's great, I thought, and again I reassure hubby that all is well. I kept timing, and the contractions were erratic at best, not coming in at regular intervals. I ask hubby for some Tylenol, and then I went to bake some cookies.

That's right. I baked cookies.

They told me in the child-birth class that the nurses would be taking care of me the entire time, and I would only see my doctor in passing as she "caught" the baby. So I thought, well, if they're going to be taking care of me, I might as well take care of them.

I baked the cookies and more bad contractions came. Hubby asks if I want to take a warm bath, and I'm like, sure - why not. These tylenol aren't doing a thing for me. I then ask him to go ahead and take our dog to the neighbor's house because we might be going to the hospital within 24 hours if the pain didn't east up. I was not going to be THAT woman who gave birth on her tempur-pedic mattress!

So he took the dog, and when he got back, I said we need to go, like now.

So, we went. Contractions were still not regular, and I figured it would be better to be checked just in case so our little man wasn't in distress. The hospital was an hour away, and the contractions got worse. We got there, and I remembered the cookies but not my purse. While hubby was gone to get it, the nurses kept asking me ridiculous questions, like :how do you spell your name?" Seriously? Could you not wait and look at my driver's license. Oh wait, here's hubby with my purse. Oh what's that? You still want ME to tell you? I no longer want to give you cookies.

But I did, of course, because she was the one taking care of me.

Anyway, we get to the room, and what do you know. I'm 8 centimeters dilated. For those of you who might not get it, you pretty much give birth anywhere from 8 - 10 centimeters. So basically, it was GO time! The first thing out of my mouth was, "Is it too late for drugs?!"

And yes, it was.

And then what do you know. My doctor was there on call and stayed with me the whole time! Good thing too because just a few minutes after getting in the bed, little man was really to make his debut!

All in all, I was in labor 12 hours, and my precious son was born about 2 hours after getting to the hospital: ) Hubby was absolutely awesome. He did everything he was asked (or politely commanded), and he took care of me and our little one the whole time. I could not have asked for a better husband in the whole entire universe!

Thank you for letting me share, and I hope you enjoyed! I promise to return to the Be Fruity series soon!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Speaking of Speaking...

I have actually begun the next section of "Be Fruity", but I thought I would add some video of my recent speaking engagements. On March 23 I was the chapel speaker at my alma mater Judson College in Marion, AL. The night before I was able to speak at the CORE (the weekly student-led worship service) about modern-day slavery. Neither one did I feel I was at my best.
However, before and during chapel, I knew the Holy Spirit was there answering all the prayers I and others have prayed. I know He gave me words to say, and used the ones I chose to speak that probably weren't the best ones to begin with, to His glory. Praise be to Jehovah, the Most High God!!

Then on March 25, I spoke at an event hosted by the Fellowship of Black Seminarians where we watched At The End Of Slavery - a documentary filmed by the International Justice Mission (an evangelical Christian-based political group). We were few in number, but my presentation was 1000x better in many ways than the one at Judson's CORE gathering. There weren't as many questions at the Seminary presentation, but that could be because of the documentary. I do have a more secular version of this presentation in case anybody would like for me to come speak on this topic outside the church setting.

I definitely have a long way to go before becoming a "good" and more spiritually mature speaker, but I am glad to at least get started. I have video from Judson's chapel and the Seminary presentation on my facebook page. If you have time, I would love for you to watch (well, mostly listen) and give me some feedback! God bless, and may the Harvest be plentiful as we serve Him!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Be Fruity - part 3

Well, I'm back to being fruity in my posts. : ) I've been looking at Galatians 5:16-26, and the next few verses in this "series" of blog posts make me think of one word: FREEDOM! Let's back up to the beginning of the chapter and add some of the preceding verses.

Galatians 5:1, 13-18 (ESV - emphasis added):

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. ... For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

So beginning this section of the letter to the Galatians, Paul exhorts his brothers (and perhaps sisters) in Christ to live as "free". As we continue reading he commands us to "walk by the Spirit [so] you will not gratify the desires of the flesh". In the next few verses we see why living in the Spirit is different from living in the flesh, or sinful nature.

When we accept the Christ as Lord and Saviour, He basically makes us new creations. In John 3:1-8 Jesus explains that we must be "born again" in order to "enter the Kingdom of God," (ESV). So once we have experienced this new birth, the desire of the Spirit is within us, and it is constantly at war with our sinful nature.

Vs. 17 "For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do."

Before our new birth, we are held in slavery to sin, (see verse 1) which is the opposite of all that our Lord commands us. Because these two desires are at odds, it is more difficult to "do the things you want to do." As a new creation in Christ, we recognize the danger we once experienced, and we desire to be free of sin's entanglements. Verse 18 is the culmination of our souls' liberation:

"But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law."

Without going into great detail, "the law" referenced here is the Old Testament statutes of sacrifice and atonement for sins through the blood of clean animals. However, according to Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, we are no longer beholden to the law. Christ is our Freedom. We can not have this verse without the preceding ones, however. Freedom demands certain responsibilities of everyone. Americans especially know the price of freedom, as our country was founded in bloodshed during the Revolution and continued existence through more bloodshed during the Civil War. Our "responsibilities" as Christians are found in the next verses - the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.

As we read through the fruits of the flesh, I know I find more than one produced in my life on almost a daily basis. However, this is not to what Christ has commanded us. He has commanded us to bear good fruit, and in this passage of Scripture, following the fruit of the flesh, are the fruits of the Spirit - that is God. As the Holy Spirit lives within His children, bearing these good fruits is not as difficult as we sometimes try to make it be!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I have neglected this blog for too long. However, I do have a good reason. Hubby and I found out we are going to have a baby in August!!! We are so excited. This is our first pregnancy, and everything so far has been great. I really haven't had any morning sickness, but I can not get over the exhaustion. All my mommy friends keep telling me that this will never go away. (great.) The ultrasound really put most of my woes behind me because as soon as the camera got to our little one, he or she was moving so much that he/she looked like he/she was dancing!! How cool is that?!!?! Our picture is really fantastic (I'll add it here later) as it is a frontal view, and you can actually see little arms and legs - not just a dot on the screen.

We told most of our family over the phone because of the distance, but we went to my parents' house to tell them. We found out on my dad's birthday, so in stead of a gift we brought him a birthday King cake. I tied a ribbon to the baby that said, "Guess who's expecting?" I made sure my dad got that piece, and the reaction from both mom and dad was absolutely priceless! My dad's rhyme for me as a little girl was "Bel Bel, she's swell. She's my Bel." (Bel is my family nickname.) When he found out, he started saying, "Bel Bel, she's swell! She's gonna have a little Bel!" For those of you that do not understand the hilarity of this, my dad is a 6'8" former Marine of 33 years. This is a BIG man singing a cutesy rhyme. It's fantastic.

Beyond this great news, the SAINTS went to their first-ever Super Bowl and put the SMACK-DOWN on the Colts!!!! Who Dat?! Who Dat?! Who Dat said they gonna beat them Saints?!!???!!!! Nobody, that's who.: )

Aside from this, I got a new job at the Seminary library as the Circulation Manager. Basically, I make sure the front desk is taken care of and supervise a number of student workers. Eventually I will get to work in the archives (YEA!!) which will eventually lead me to become a certified archivist. I'm really excited. I like my job, and I'm starting to get the hang of it.

And lastly, I'm gearing up for the talks I will be giving in Marion. The first one on March 22 will be an open forum on modern day slavery, and then I am the chapel speaker for my alma mater, Judson College, the next day. I'm really, really excited, and I am praying that everything that comes out of my mouth will glorify God and not me or anyone else.

That's all for now. I'll be back soon to continue the "Be Fruity" series!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Be Fruity - part 2

As promised here is the next part of what I like to call the "Be Fruity" series. I'm not sure how many parts there will be; I hope several. However, time will tell.: ) Okay, first things first. After reading my initial introduction from the previous post, you have a general overview of each subsequent post. There is so much in this one passage of Scripture that one broad sweep of an explanation just simply will not do. This post I will focus primarily on the first verse.

Galatians 5:16 (ESV), "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh."

This verse seems incredibly simple, and I believe this essentially has two points for my purpose. The first is in order to "walk by the Spirit" one must first know, and be known by, the Spirit. The second is the command to "walk by the Spirit" in order to live a life worthy of our calling as children of the most High God.

So, number one - in order to "walk by the Spirit" one must first know, and be known by, the Spirit (that is God). I've heard several people claim to know God only to discover later in life that they did not in fact truly know Him, or believe in Him. This is what I mean by also being known by God. One can maybe have a legitimate belief that there is a God without ever accepting it as Truth. If a person thinks that there must be a "higher power" but does not accept Jesus as Lord, that person does not receive eternal life from the Creator. Matthew 7:21-23 says, " 'Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?" And then will I declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness."' " (ESV) In order to have eternal life, in order for God to "know" you, you must accept that there is only one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Spirit, and that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God. That He did come to the Earth in a miraculous way, live a perfect life, died for our sins, and on the third day rose again to life. You must then confess that you are a sinner, that you need a Savior, and ask Jesus to save you.

That is essentially the only way any of these posts will work in your life. If you do not believe in Christ, you may certainly learn from His word, but it will not save you or give you eternal life.

Now, the second part is the command to "walk by the Spirit" in order to live a life worthy of our calling as children of the most High God. To "walk by the Spirit" is basically to follow His teachings from His word, weighing everything by Scripture and prayer. The fruits of the Spirit are a wonderful guideline to begin with. If all Christians (including myself) lived in this way, the world would be a better place. The verse says that when (not if) we "walk by the Spirit" then "you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." It is a command, not a suggestion.

All of that being said, when we come to know Christ as Lord, we are commanded to live by the Spirit. If we rebel against this command, there is no reason for us to call on God as our Father. Maybe it seems kind of harsh, but for goodness sake, He created us, He provides for us, He offers us eternal life through the horrific death and resurrection of His only Son. I think living by His rules is greatly in our favor! He deserves nothing less.