Saturday, October 26, 2013

Doesn't He Have Anything Better to Do?

"Don't they have anything better to do? What losers!"

I often say this after reading about more terrorists attacks and mass shootings. Why aren't these killers doing something productive, or at least doing something fun with their lives? Really...? Flying into a building is your ultimate goal in life? That's lame.

We were reading Jesus' Sermon on the Mount this morning and He said this,  

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

Satan works very hard to keep us from following the narrow road to the small gate that leads to life. This led to the question: Why does Satan work so hard to distract us? Yes, of course he's trying to keep us from God, and he knows God's ways will make us happiest. But...why?

Doesn't he have anything better to do?

What profits Satan when he keeps human souls from surrendering to God? Misery loves company, yes, but it must be more than that. 

Satan works hard to keep us from God because he hates God. What do we do when we hate someone? We sacrifice our own pleasures to ensure that the object of our hatred doesn't get what they want.

Satan puts in extra hours at work because he doesn't want God to get what He wants, what He loves


God loves us greatly. Else Satan wouldn't be trying to lead us astray. Satan does have better things to do (I suppose), but because he knows of God's great passion for us, he wants to keep God from His great passion - you and me.

When you are discouraged, tempted, or are just having a bad day, recall God's deep desire to be with you. Because you are His largest love.


It's amazing how when there is new life to share that you miss the people who are no longer here to share that life.  They loved and shaped me.  I wish they were here to love and shape my baby, but in a way they will.  Through me their legacies will live as I share what they taught and gave me.

I want Grandpa Vanderlaan to be Great-Grandpa Vanderlaan.

I want my beautiful Aunt Teresa to hold her great niece or nephew.

I want Marissa to giggle and laugh about me having a baby.

I want Tai Tai to see her legacy of loving Jesus go to the fourth generation.

I want Caitlin, in her God filled heart, to share her sweet love and joy for this new baby and us.

And then I am overwhelmed by the love from those around me right now.  I have always been pretty self-sufficient, but not so recently.  This pregnancy has wiped me off my feet and out of commission.  Here is just a glimpse of the blessings I am counting.

Matthew being a selfless servant leader.

Students being okay if I have to eat all the time and break our school food rules.

Mama sending me cards about everyday to cheer me up and keep me going.

Students saying their praise during praise and prayer request time is that I'm having a baby.

Tima inviting us over for Sabbath lunch (and we had guest too and she fed us all!) and making sure part of her meal didn't have tomatoes in it so I could eat it.

Students praying that I don't feel nauseated anyone.

Heather giving me apple butter and ginger tea in a Christmas bag at church when I posted I was loving apple butter.

Cheryle and Sandy from the Livingston Church organizing people to bring us food to help us.  And in particular David & Jessica have brought us food every Monday for four weeks.  And all the others who made and brought food to us.  Amazing and so humbling to receive.

Students asking if I feel okay today.  One in particular asks me almost everyday.

Leslie bringing me ginger-beer to see if it helped with the  nausea and lemon ginger tea. 

Daddy and Jason going grocery shopping for us so we didn't have to go out after school and do it.

A student yesterday noticed that I wasn't feeling very good and said that if I needed any help he would help me.  It warmed my heart.

New friends Kristy & Joel expecting a baby a few weeks before ours.  Their empathy and understanding.

Julie subbing for me the last three Wednesdays so I could have time to rest.

People being kind or understanding when I can't stay long at an event, or snack on food in church.

Matthew reading devotions to me because I am too nauseated to read.

Dawn being so kind and understanding at school when I need to rest in the office or just sit for extra time at my desk.

A student giving me an arrowhead just because.

Nicole stepping in as a sub when I couldn't go on the field trip.

The collective and individual prayers of so many people.

This week at school was long because of parent-teacher conferences.  We got to school extra early and stayed extra late.  But what brought tears to my eyes this week was not the extra hours or exhaustion, but all the kindness that just keeps pouring out.  God has given us many blessings.  I want to count them all and share them with our baby.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Baby's First Bible Verse

After waiting 45 minutes I finally went into the ultrasound room.  They squirted the gel on my stomach and then the tech put down the probe. I held my breath as I watched the screen.  I waited as the tech moved the probe and suddenly there was a black area..and a baby.  Tiny but there.  And then it was kicking its legs and waving its arms.  I never expected to see it move!   The tech said, "Your baby has long legs!"  Matthew and I laughed at that.  Of course it has long legs, it's our baby!

My father and brother Jason were able to be there and they got to see the baby to. It was amazing to share that experience with them.

It was a hard thing to imagine that the baby was moving all around and I could't see it.  Or feel it.  The baby is ours and is real.  We could see his or her little face.  The nose, eyes, and mouth.

That day they also took blood work.  A routine thing.  That was a Monday and on Friday they called back to tell me that not all was normal.  My thyroid level came back low and .  I tried not to worry but I couldn't help it.  And of course then I googled it on the internet, which you should never do, and made myself worry a little more.

Sunday night I was tired but wanted to read some Psalms. So in bed I opened to where I had a bookmark in Psalms.  I would read a verse, close my eyes and pray about it, and move on.  The last verses I read before we turned out the lights were Psalm 147:12-13, "Extol the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion, for He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you."

And I thought, "Blesses the people within me....He will bless the baby within me."  And so on October 5, I had the first verse from God directly about my baby.  He would bless this baby within me, however that turned out, He would bless it.

Monday I went back for more blood work and then I waited.  Over the next days I repeated that verse to myself, holding on to God's promise to bless this baby no matter what.  On Wednesday the office called me back to tell me that even though my thyroid levels were low, it was safe for pregnancy.

I cried.  And I wanted to praise God.  So this is my praise.

I did not know what it would mean that He would bless this child within me, and I still don't fully know.  But what I know is that I have the first verse God has given me about our child and I hold onto the promise it contains.