(Hey, friends!  Just a heads up:  this update today has some moms-only nursing content in the middle of it, though everyone may read if they are looking for the encouragement it gives to all at the end.)

If there is anything that I'm reminded of after going through the recent ordeal, is that you get through it!  Hardships come, and I am thankful that God carries me though the hardships to the other side of it!  As all those reading this blog and watching my show know, I had bugs biting me and didn't know where they were coming from.  They were very, very bad bites (at least my body in particular reacted badly to them), and I ended up being prescribed with an antibiotic which meant no nursing for about 2 weeks (as I shared in an earlier blog).  I really still wanted to get back to nursing once I was done taking the medicine and it was out of my system, but that would take a lot of time and work on my part to be sure that baby and I could continue.  I was determined.  I pressed on doing what was necessary in order to nurse the baby, which meant pumping regularly and tossing milk right down the sink the entire time I was on the antibiotics!  Today, we are back on track!  All is well again!  As far as the bugs go, they seem to be fewer too.  I also had to do necessary things in my home to eliminate pests!!!  That project will be on-going just-to-be-sure, as we all know that we must constantly deal with maintenance in this world (like weeding a garden:  it's not done once; it's maintained regularly).

But that leads me to my most important encouragement to you today:  Whatever the difficult matter at hand, you will get through it!  Of course, if it's a serious or dangerous matter that needs intervention of sorts, that must be dealt with accordingly.  But I'm referring to the boring daily tasks, or the broken leg, or the chore you are dreading, etc. etc.  I remember the times when I was young and I had to tighten my mouth device each week when the orthodontist was working to widen my upper bite.  Each time that I had to experience the discomfort all over again, it seemed a big deal to me (was life going to be any fun ever again?) but then my mouth adjusted, and before I knew it, all was well.  Eventually, I was a normal person without a mouth device once again, who could chew gum like everyone else!  Yay!  This little sinerio seems to play out again and again as we adjust to knew things in our lives (i.e., a new job, a case of chicken pox, moving, and other big changes or interuptions in our lives).

Some of the things we go through are really big, painful, and difficult, but as we get through them, we develop a sympathy and empathy for others, that we didn't have in our hearts before.  Such is the example of when I went through the experience of morning sickness.  Not only did I have a new appreciation for my mother, but I wondered how people in constant physical pain (back pain, etc), were able to make it from day to day.  Maybe I should care more about helping others as I meet such people in that kind of need!  Because of my short experience which was to end in joy, I gained a grave realization that there are many people suffering everyday, and they don't know if or when it will end, nor do they receive a prize of a baby waiting at the end.  Is there anyone helping such a person, or even simply being a friend?  Being a true friend, I believe, is of high value!  Again, experience teaches us that!

So, I'm grateful for these hardships.  I hope you are blessed today.

Well, I've had a bit of a challenge this week as a mommy.  Saturday before last, I don't know when are how, but insects bit me in many places on my legs.  I had long pants on that day and I did some housework, including sweeping the top landing of the basement steps where I saw short, messy, spider webs.  Needless to say, my husband and I suspect that I got into a "nest" of spiders...THE END.  

Oh, haha!  You want to hear more?  Okay...

So, these spiders or whatever insect I "found" somewhere that day, must have crawled up the cloth of my pants or something like that.  By the end of the day, itchy welts began to appear.  By Monday evening, I decided that I best go to the e.r. and find out what these bites were.  They now were looking awful!  The red welting part was inches wide in a few places, and the center was red and one of them was dripping ooze!!!  (I know, TMI... get in line with the others who accuse me of TMI, but I just gotta tell ya:  it was kinda bad!)

Well, as I waited in the e.r. with my husband and baby, the baby got hungry.  So, I nursed him under a blanket.  That was a short time because he didn't want the blanket on his head, so I had to stop since we were in public.  Little did I know that my nursing days were about to be cut short and that was to be the last of our nursing for a long while, and possibly forever.  I didn't plan to "wean" my almost 11-month-old so abruptly --- in fact, he was an advid nurser up until now, getting most of his nurishment from me!  So, why did we have to stop suddenly without the nice, slow weaning process?  Because the doctor looked at my bug bites, and indeed she had to put me on an antibiotic and also test me for lyme.  The medicine is now in the milk, and should not be given to the baby.  I was told to now pump milk and throw it out until we are past this dangerous situation.  

As I pulled out the breast pump, I was unhappy.  The sudden transition was difficult for me physically.  But it was particularly difficult for me emotionally, especially when I put alternate milk in a bottle and gave it to the baby.  He looked at me funny and wasn't completely happy with it at first, though he drank it.  How do I explain this to him?  Especially when he watches me pump and he can't have any?  I couldn't explain to him, but I could snuggle him when giving him his bottle, rather than just popping it in his mouth and leaving him to it during these first days of adjustment.

So, now, several days later, I've come to find out that it's not so bad a thing after all:  we may or may not go to nursing again, but that's okay.  He is enjoying eating baby-appropriate food, water, and goat's milk.  I'm enjoying the ease of not having to worry as much about nursing (but always pumping to maintain the option to nurse later, is not so fun).

So, if you find yourself in this similar, unpleasant situation, remember, you are not alone.  If you look at the bright side (for example, I'm thankful to have had no nursing interruptions until now), you will get through your situation as a happier mommy, and your happy smile and attitude will help your baby be happier too!  In fact, whatever came your way, could be, a "blessing in disguise".

Here is a poem, which was quoted by Elisabeth Elliot, many years ago
(and coincides with yesterday's blog entry) :

Do The Next Thing

"At an old English parsonage down by the sea, 
there came in the twilight a message to me. 
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven 
that, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven. 
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
like a low inspiration, 'Do the next thing.'

Many a questioning, many a fear, 
many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven, 
time, opportunity, guidance are given. 
Fear not tomorrow, child of the King, 
trust that with Jesus, do the next thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer, 
do it reliantly, casting all care. 
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand, 
who placed it before thee with earnest command. 
Stayed on omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing, 
leave all resultings, do the next thing.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener, 
working or suffering be thy demeanor, 
in His dear presence, the rest of His calm, 
the light of His countenance, be thy psalm. 
Do the next thing."

Years ago, when I was an almost grown girl or a younger woman (however one may look at it), I enjoyed listening to Elisabeth Elliot on a short daily broadcast.  This woman is one of the most amazing, sacrificial women I have met in my life!  (I did once meet her when she spoke at a church in my hometown, when I was standing in the book-signing line).  Her stories are book material and movie material, and that is exactly what happened to them!  

Of all the things that she has shared, the simple phrase from her that has stuck the most with me through the years, is her advice to "do the next thing".  I hope you will be as blessed today to hear this, as I have been!  She told us, on the radio, to "do the next thing".  That means, don't get caught up with the worry and concern of the ten or twenty things that are on your list, and causing you to not really get one thing done well.  

So, there are dishes in the sink, laundry to do, a friend is calling, the kids are hungry for breakfast, baby has a dirty diaper, your husband needs you to contact so-in-so sometime this morning for a work-related question, the bathroom towel rod fell of the wall yesterday and still needs to be repaired... come on, you certainly can't do all that at once!  But do the next thing!  Prioritize.  Change the diaper.  Feed the children.  Wash the dishes (or load the dishwasher). Clean the children's faces and send them to their bedrooms to play while you make the phone call for your hubby.  Etc. etc. You get the idea!  Interruptions may come, but that's to be expected --- that might even be the next thing in that moment.  By the end of the day, you just might have a list --- short or long --- that was accomplished.  Now you can thank God for this, and you will be a more contented woman!  A major key here is:  don't be upset about what didn't get done yet.  Be thankful for what did get done.

Now that your computer break is over, do the next thing.  (P.S.  That doesn't mean "check facebook")  :)

A couple of days ago, I was thinking about the thoughts I think...I think it's good to think about that.  I realized that facebook and thoughts have something in common.  Let me explain...

Are you a facebooker?  Chances are, you said "yes".  Then I'm taking another guess:  Like me, you sit down at your computer to look at facebook "for just a few minutes" and those minutes turn into thirty minutes --- or worse, for some, hours!  Has this ever happened to you?

You and I are not alone.  We do this maybe even often.   Afterwards, we find ourselves wondering where the time went, why we didn't get this or that done that day, or how we could be so caught up that we just had  to facebook at work only to get "written up" or fired?

And that brings me back to thoughts.  When we think about things in our minds, it is extremely important that we guard our minds to be sure we're not harboring unforgiveness towards anyone, nor thinking about things in such a way that we lack thankfulness to God for His blessings in our lives, causing us to be bitter and discontent.  (Of course, I'm not saying that if there is a real problem in ones life, that he or she should not face it and deal with it.)  If we think in these negative ways for "just a few minutes", they will quickly take over the day, then the week, then our lives.  Before we know it, we will be the biggest monsters, and not be sure how that happened.

So, guard your thoughts.  Replace bad or evil thoughts with good thoughts of wholesomeness and gratitude.

Just food for thought.

Let's face it:  we mom's need a pleasant outlet, some fresh air, and exercise!  What better distraction than to share that with the baby!  Put him in the stroller and enjoy a walk --- after all, it is Spring, almost Summer!  If it's Winter or a rainy day, that's the beauty of the local mall.  If you have other children, the walk is good for them too.

Walking is good for so very many reasons, including trimming the waistline (mama's gotta lose the "baby weight") and simply improving your health.  You just feel better after walking.  You actually might be inspired with more energy and willingness to tackle other projects after your daily walk!  Not to mention, the baby might fall asleep in the stroller, and the little kids may go down better for a nap later on.

Take a break.  Go enjoy yourself!  Your children will enjoy it too.  Point out the squirrels, the birds and their chirping, meet the neighbors as you go!  A daily walk will do everyone some good.   

Recently, I was looking over an old blog of mine.  I came across one pertaining to motherhood that I thought some of you mothers would enjoy.  Before you read it, I want to put out a disclaimer:  I understand that there are some special exceptions to the topic I addressed in my blog that day, but I don't apologize for believing what I believe is best for the majority.  As background, this was about five years ago when I was single and running my own housecleaning business.  Today, I'm a wife and mommy at last!  

 Sunday, June 08, 2008

Yesterday, I was at work and I heard the lady on the television praise Hillary Clinton for trying to be the President.  This women said, basically, that Hillary was an inspiration to other women/girls to know that it's possible that they could be President someday.


"BOO!"  I said, directing my opinion towards TV room where my customers sat.  I continued with something like, "Little girls want to grow up to be wives and mommies!  Don't they know how feminist have ruined things for my generation?!  Has anyone said that yet?"

"No," my customer answered understanding me and sympathizing. 

So, I want to know:  Who wants to do things God's way?  Any girls out there want to be a good wife and have a good marriage?  The Bible will give us instruction as to how... plus the Truth that God put in our hearts.  It's the Truth that we long to care for our families, be an emotional support to a husband, be a mom, be a good friend.  We need to be women!  Let's not try to be men.  And the men will enjoy us much better this way, plus we won't give them an identity crisis.  Let them do their job and we will do ours.  It fits.  It's good.  It's fun.  I can hardly wait! 

But Feminists caused us to shoot ourselves in the foot.  Now many expect women to leave their children daily so that they can work, and many think that two parents have to work to pay the bills (probably because they got used to it---it's not worth that extra money (whether great or small) to abandon the children everyday, letting someone else raise them).  Besides, I'm sure that all this unnecessary pressure and guilt for leaving the children each day is unhealthy.  And does the wife have any energy or cheerfulness to give to her husband at the end of the day?  I'm sure this lifestyle isn't healthy for marriages either. 

So, no-thank-you, lady on the TV.  Little girls want to grow up to be wives and mommies, most often---not to be Presidents.