Saturday, October 29, 2011

Warrior

"My mom was a warrior mom." Those words rang through my miss-mosh of a brain the morning after, somewhere in between calling my parents and moving rooms. I've known the Lin's for six years. I started babysitting Rachel and Harrison shortly after taking the job at School for Little Children in '05 and I proceeded to enjoy their sweet dispositions, bright eyes and perfect behavior twice a week (minimum) until Ben was born. They were my kids and I was appropriately addicted. You really can't spend that much time with someone's children without striking up a friendship with their parents. A friend of mine explained it perfectly; Paul was my dad and Chi Chi was my sister. Paul took care of me in every sense of the word. He protected me from doctor's who shouldn't be practicing medicine and was always a phone call or text away. Everything from, "I have this sniffle; what should I take?" to "I need a tire gage." Not to mention the teeny task of delivering my sweet baby boy and saving my life. Ya know; the little things...
Chi Chi was my go-to. When I imagine what having a big sister would be like, my mind goes to Chi Chi Lin. Random lunch dates and asking advice; gossiping about those shoes and what to get our husbands for Christmas; knowing just what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it.
The already close bond we had for all those years suddenly blossomed into something inconceivable and completely Heaven sent. Chi Chi's oldest sister wears the same genes Benjamin does. When we found out, she was the first one there. She came in and hugged me like no one else could've. We cried together and she said those blessed words. "My mom was a warrior mom. She fought for my sister just like you'll fight for Ben. She's the strongest woman I've ever known. I see that strength in you."
So in the spirit of Down Syndrome Awareness Month...
What's up, fellow warriors! Let's FIGHT!

In other news...
This weekend is going to kick some major tail feathers. Complete with Halloween festivities including pumpkin carving, cider sipping and pirate-themed-drive-way-candy-passer-outers. Oh, yes. Tons 'o pics will be taken, my friends. My little parrot will be charming the hearts of trick-or-treaters everywhere!

Arrrr, mateys! And Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Worship

Micah has one of the most random ipod's ever. You won't be surprised to find road trip playlist's consisting of everything from Kings of Leon to Motley Crue to Family Force Five and Stryper. The man has an obsession. He usually borrows the steering wheel to "play" along, and if I had a penny for every time I've heard, "Listen to this fill right here," I swear I could retire.
When he's home, the first thing he does when he stumbles out of bed is either A) plug his ipod into the speakers on the TV or B) blast the bejesus out of the ones on his computer.
We've had the pleasure of seeing some of the greatest, most famous bands in the world. His obsession with music (a.k.a Amazing Drummers) has lead us to concerts that would probably make my Grandmother Bea turn over in her grave. (Singing How Great Thou Art at a Stix show would be a sight to see... But, I digress...)
One thing we've always noticed are the differences between the secular side and the Jesus side. The difference isn't what they're wearing, the style they play or even who they're on tour with at the time. 
One of my favorite shows we've ever seen has been Flyleaf. When we saw them open up for  Three Days Grace in Shreveport, Louisiana, the audience was floored when little miss lead singer hopped up on a speaker and belted out How He Loves Us in true Flyleaf fashion. (And, good Lord, does that chick know how to belt). The even mixture of claps, howls, and "boo's" coming from the audience didn't phase Lacey at all. She was worshipping her Heavenly Father and that's all that mattered. 
I grew up around people who swore bands like Flyleaf, Stryper and Superchick were going to hell for playing "that kind" of music. The kind that involves loud guitars, "killer fills," big hair and dark eye liner. The stuff that they blame for dwindling the youth of the world and teaching them that there's no difference between secular bands and Christian ones. For a long time those condemnations and inaccurate "truths" made me angry. It's become more of a sympathetic thing now because I feel like they've completely missed the point of what bands like this are doing. Have you ever listened to the words to their songs? Instead of singing about drugs, sex and beating up something, we're actually reminded, taught and encouraged. Imagine that.

My point is: Worship the Lord. Whether that be with a drum set, a steel guitar, a pen and paper or a good run. He gave us talents so we can use those to bring glory to Him. Our job is not to condemn; it's to point people to His saving mercy. So, do it.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekend

Things I've learned this weekend:

1. "'To glorify God is to make Him look good.' Newsflash: He don't need your help."

2. We have two jobs:
    1) Love God; 2) Love others.
    The end.

3. Sometimes I go to church on Sunday with a "show me whatcha got" attitude, complete with crossed arms and a good, 'ol fashioned scowl look on my face. After a fabulous weekend with the girls, I showed up to Bay Life with my parents, grandmother and little man in tow. Oh, and that awesome attitude.
Word of advice? Don't ever challenge God. Mark's e n t i r e message today was about the bottom line in my relationship with God.
It's not about me. 
BAM. 


Okay, let's me honest, that's just the top three of all the things I learned. The Live, Laugh, Love Weekend put on my Bay Life and Bell Shoals Baptist kicked butt and I'm still sorting through it all.

In other news:

Be on the look out for a few things...

1. Those pictures I promised you are on their way and will be added to my little outlet just as soon as I can figure out how to do that!

2. Since it's looking like Ben's first Buddy Walk is more than likely not going to happen this year unless God works a miracle, Mama's working on another idea to make up for it. Stayed tuned.

Love. Love. Love. Pass it on.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Grief

I'm not sure I'll ever forget the Facebook message I got from a friend that contained a link to this blog. I sometimes hate to admit what a dark place I was in for the weeks after Micah left when Ben was born. (Okay, I've never actually admitted it at all). There were days I don't even remember participating in. Days that I felt like I couldn't breathe. Days that, without that precious baby to hold on to, I wouldn't have gotten out of bed. PPD? Maybe. But, it was probably more grief than anything else. People that have received heartbreaking, life changing news about their child know what I mean. You grieve. You have to. 
That's why when women like this and moms like this string their words together so eloquently, you sit there balling your eyes out. By the time you finish reading, you feel like jumping up and down screaming, "Mother of Mary - how did you know that?!"
There's an unspoken bond between moms. But, there's an even more unspeakably amazing bond between moms who God has chosen to bless with kids that are different than yours.

Ben has a meeting with Early Steps tomorrow afternoon. Part of me is nervous to enter this phase of his life while the other part of me can't wait to discover more of his secrets.

Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Escape

We discovered a little hideaway this afternoon. After pretending housework didn't exist and our random Target trip, I had an "I have to escape" instant. And that we did. 


Nestled between the smoke stacks that lead us home and the kind of water you don't swim in, we discovered our little beach teaser. 
When Micah and I were exploring our new area, we both decided that Apollo Beach would be the perfect town if 1) we had a boat and 2) it actually had a beach.

 Hello there, number two. So glad to make your acquaintance. 


Usually infested with the over 50 crowd, the white sugar was all ours for the thirty minutes we braved it before God started His firework display. 
And, mercy, it was a heavenly half hour.


That's what life is about. The little moments that add up to stories you'll tell your kids one day. 

Soak it up, fellas.  




Thursday, October 6, 2011

Reminiscing

The original version of Strength. Written April 12th, 2011. 

Many have been asking about this phase in our lives. It hasn't been easy, but God is good... 

Benjamin Popejoy Webb was born via c-section Tuesday, March 29th, 2011, at 7:16pm. 5 pounds 11 ounces of pure perfection. I had the best doctor and most wonderful nurses that day/night. They wheeled in my little munchkin and I stayed awake most of the night just staring. It was easy; God is good. 

Wednesday, March 30th, Ben spent most of the morning with doctors. They diagnosed him with jaundice and he was sent to the NICU to work on his tan. Micah and I visited him and I was able to feed him throughout the day. That evening, during one of his feedings, Micah stepped out of the NICU to greet his cousin who had flown in from North Carolina. While he was gone, the nurse practitioner sat me down and explained that the pediatrician had noticed some very distinct features that looked like Ben may have Down Syndrome. As tears fell on the pamphlets she had handed me, Micah came back and I heard the news for a second time. It wasn't easy, but God is good.

Thursday, March 31st, was another day of the slow walk to the NICU. The shock was wearing off, I was starting to move more and Ben was perfect. We were moved to a different room and we thought everything was fine. It wasn't. I was sick and didn't know it. My blood levels went from 10 to 5. My heart-rate was too high and my skin had changed color. After a restless, frustratingly long night of not knowing what was going on with my own body, a blood transfusion was started at 7:45 the next morning. I hadn't slept since Monday. It wasn't easy, but God is good.

Friday, April 1st; there was power in the blood. My levels increased and my body was doing it's job. Ben's jaundice levels were going down, the blood was drawn to test for Down Syndrome and leaving the next day was looking promising. It was easy; God is good.

Saturday, April 2nd. We're both discharged. We're home by 1:30pm. Finally.
God. Is. Good. 

Many have remarked about how strong I am. 
Don't let me fool you. 
I'm not strong. 
My Savior is. 

Psalm 29:11

Micah's gone back to Afghanistan now. He will be back home (hopefully) in August. 
It won't be easy, but God is good. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blessings

Today has been one of those "Seriously?!" days around here. There's nothing like waking up to the sound of the smoke alarm going off at 3am... then 4am... then 5am... then; okay, you get the idea. Each time my heart felt like it was going to pump out of my chest as I ran to Ben's room while dogs whimpered from their crates. (There was no fire, just so we're clear. Dead battery that I didn't think about taking out in the middle of the night. I know; I'm brilliant.) After the very sweet lady from the fire department walked me through what had probably happened in the middle of the night, my tired eyes peeled open enough to throw on clothes that didn't match and pop Benjamin in his car seat. We stumbled in the car just in time to make it to his 9am doctors appointment. I turned the key. Nothing. I turned it again. Nada. Really?! We stumbled back into the house and I called the pediatrician just in time for them to say "We're going to have to charge you a cancellation fee." Really!?
A little while later, Mr. Property Manager called me in a fit of rage. "Did you pay rent?" "Yes, sir." "Why didn't you pay it in full?" "Excuse me?" Yes, I did in fact need you to accuse me of outing you money before you checked with the bank. Thanks for that. Seeeeriously?!
I know these may seem like trivial things. And, well, they may be. But they were overwhelming this morning and it was another "Micah would know what to do" moment that I couldn't get through easily.
I hopped on good 'ol Facebook just now and I swear fifteen people posted something about counting your blessings today.
So, I did. I counted my blessings.
1. Ben fell asleep until the very last minute and I was, in fact, able to sleep for a few minutes before our car fiasco and fake-out pediatrician appointment.      
2. AAA came quickly, jump started my dead battery, relayed the message that it was indeed a bad battery, and changed it there on the spot cheaper than the two other places I had called earlier.
3. One of the mechanics I called turned out to be a great place to a) get my oil changed and b) get more information about churches in town.
4. Despite the super fun cancellation fee, Ben was able to get an appointment for tomorrow. Easily.
5. Facebook delivered. Thanks, God.

On to other news...
I haven't started Genesis yet. No good reason. Just haven't yet. Apology number one of many, I'm sure.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness month! (It's also Breast Cancer Awareness month, just FYI). I know there are DS Buddy Walk's happening all over the country this month and I'd love to figure out the ins and outs of these suckers so we can show off our spectacular Little Dude this year. So, if you have any info about the Buddy Walk,  please pass that along! Email me or leave a comment here. Whether it's in Florida or not, I just need to know how to get it started. Yes, I've Googled it. Yes, I'm overwhelmed. So, pretty please help a girl out? :)

Happy October! (It's gorgeous here this week, by the way! Hello, Florida Fall!)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Word

I'm starting a new journey. I'm going to read the Bible all the way through. Believe it or not, "Little Miss Preacher Kid has never read the Bible in a year." I know; shocker.
Here's my plan: No matter how long it takes, I'm going to read it cover to cover and share it with you as I go. Even if it takes the next 10 years, I'm doing it.

I'm doing it this way for a few reasons:
1. Over the years I've tried different methods. Whether it's in a year, 90 days, or a chapter or two here and there, it always seems to stop the same way. "This is hard. I can't do it." And I give up just as easily as I started.
2. If I do a method like that it becomes a "have to" instead of a "want to." I have to want to otherwise it feels like a burden. And, getting to know the Lord better should never be a burden.
3. Knowing I get to write about it as I go will keep me excited about it.
4. You can keep track of me. If you see that I haven't written in a while, say something. I don't want life to take over.

I'd be lying if I said my relationship with the Lord is where it should be. Life takes over too often and I lose track. Christianity is a relationship; not a religion. I know it's going to take work. Relationships take work. Since Micah and I are apart, we have learned that we have to be intentional about our marriage. If we didn't communicate and tell each other what's happening and how we're feeling, this wouldn't work. That's how I'm approaching this. I have to be intentional about getting to know God. The easiest way to do that is through His word.

Join me. "Want to" with me.