Sunday, June 26, 2011

remembering today...

I'll forever remember this day. I'll forever wonder. I'll forever grieve.

This is the day I chose abortion over life. It breaks my heart every time I think of my baby but the grief no longer consumes me. I no longer live in the darkness of depression and guilt. My Lord has graciously forgiven me and shown me how to mourn without living in darkness. For that I'm eternally grateful.

Remembering today my precious Caleb.

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever. 
psalm 30:11-12

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

the other side of the story...

In May (posting dated May 24th) I blogged about forgiveness, forgiveness I never thought I'd feel. Forgiveness that came directly from God. The strength to forgive that came only from trusting in Christ.  This past week I've witnessed a new level of forgiveness that only comes through Christ's leading.

My son came to me and asked me to help him get in contact with his biological father. Now there's a time I would have really freaked out at that but God had been preparing me since May for this. I knew a door had been opened, I just didn't know who would be the first to step through it. Of course, was my response. I prayed my request to him would be met with willingness.  It was immediate acceptance of my request to meet with my son. So after not seeing him for 17 years, Cody went to meet him.

Here's the part that is completely happened on Father's Day

It was a surreal evening. I dropped my son off at restaurant that they had prearranged to meet at. I saw his aunt sitting there and I deeply wanted to go say hi to her but knew I couldn't do that yet. I was ok up till that point. I fell apart on the way home. It was the single biggest thing I've had to do toward letting go of him, letting him grow up and make his own decisions. I wanted to be there. I wanted to protect him and frankly a part of me wanted to be there to defend my actions from years before. I called an old dear friend, who's walked a similar path, to try to calm down. I knew she'd understand the fears I was facing, the protectiveness, the deep worry for my son's peace of mind, spirit, heart. As the hours ticked by I got more anxious till he finally let me know to come pick him up. Praying brought me a lot of peace that evening but with not knowing how he was doing I was having a hard time setting aside my worry. 

As Randy and I pulled into the parking lot to pick up Cody there stood his other grandparents. Grandparents I'd kept Cody away from. A whole side of a family I walked away from. I was scared to death to get out of the car but Randy encouraged me to go say hi. I was humbled that she walked up to me with open arms and took me in an embrace. There was no anger or resentment towards me from her or her husband. I got to see the forgiveness of God coming through them towards me now. We talked for some time about the years and how they kept Cody close to their hearts' in prayers. I found out Cody's aunt had been able to keep up on what he was doing through a friend of his. She came to his wrestling matches and his graduation. We all found it very odd that in all the years none of us ran into each other. I have to remember that God's ways are higher!  Cody said it was a very good evening and that he'd like to get to further know him. I could see a new peace in him at finally having some of his questions answered. 

I woke the next morning with an email from Cody's aunt. As I laid there reading it, tears flowing, I couldn't help but think just how amazing my God is. I was going to include lines of it but with permission I'm going to include most of it here. It's not often God allows you to see the other side of something He's asked you to do. 

I read your faith blog and cried. I read the one about May 24th and if you are willing to read, I have a lot to share with you about what your obedience to the Holy Spirt led to. I have been praying for my brother for years. His soul was lost and so was he. He had come to know Christ in his journey through life but somewhere along the path wander away. I am part of a cell group and we have been praying for him since well since I started going to this group. He had people praying for him that he did not even know, and that did not even know him. 
On the night of May 24 He called me and told me exactly what happened in the courtroom that day and said to me, " I don't know what to do, or what to say, or anything." I said to him we should pray and thank God for the miracle he had given him and the forgiveness he was granted. I asked him if he was willing that I think we needed to pray as a group with the leaders of my prayer group. He was willing, I called my friends and they agreed to have us over and pray with us. We sat he talked we listened, we cried, he cried. He continued to say, "I do not know what to do, or how to react or what to make of all this." One of the leaders, told him that God was pouring love into him and was creating him a testimony. For a long time, he was resistant and dead set against coming back to a life with Christ. He wanted to get things straight, and clean up his mess...That was the night that it was perfectly clear to him that God wanted a relationship with him and he was to come as he was. As we were closing up the evening they asked if I would open us in prayer. I thanked God for bringing him home because it was clear to me that God brought him home so he could surround him with Christians and Godly people and show him his goodness and I knew it was God's doing because he was seeking out his child who was lost. The leaders prayed, then there was a long silence and we all still had our heads bowed praying silently, and all of a sudden a shaky voice broke the silence. "Hi God, It's me...I know we haven't talked in awhile. But I saw you today. I know you were there in that courtroom, I know it was you who laid the forgiveness of my debt on Kirsten's heart. I saw you today, I saw you in Kirsten and I saw your face. I know they left the back door open so that the debt could be revisited if she so desired, but I know I will never see that debt again, because it was you that forgave it and it was you that laid that on Kirsten and her family's heart to forgive me that debt. Tonight I pray for Kirsten, Cody, her husband and their family. Please give her peace, and calmness in knowing she followed your direction. I have really messed up a lot of things in my life. I have hurt a lot of people and made some really bad decisions, but I want to come back...I want to come home....I want a relationship with you. I am not perfect and I will make mistakes but I want to come back." as we closed in prayer when we all raised our heads we were all crying. We witnessed a miracle that day, we saw God move, he re-dedicated his life to Christ that night. I have shared this story with believers and non believers, I have witnessed God touch people through this story by sharing this story of Grace. By you following the direction of the Holy Spirit, God has changed lives. On the night of the 24th, he prayed that if it was Gods will, that he would have an opportunity to restore a relationship with Cody. Today, I witnessed another miracle. I watched the two of them shake hands and I saw my brother cry again and again I saw God move. 
I would like to thank you for being a strong enough Christian to allow God to speak to you and for you to follow him. He is changing lives and he has allowed me to witness it. It wasn't very long ago that I asked God to "use" me and I continued to pray that he would and by allowing me to witness his hand at work in all of this, he has allowed me to share a wonderful story of Grace. He is moving Kirsten, and thank you for allowing him to use you also. I admire you for taking the steps to initiate contact with my brother for Cody.  I have been in the very same situation you described about looking over your shoulder and always being scared. I knew that was the case with the way he treated you a long time ago, that was why our family did not reach out and did not interfere with you and Cody's life. I did come to see Cody wrestle, I did come to Cody's graduation. I did my best to keep tabs on him through mutual friends. I did watch from afar, but I always kept you two in my prayers because I knew what the situation was. I commend you for moving forward in faith and knowing that God will protect you and always has your back. If you are willing, I would like to have a relationship with you as a sister in Christ. You are a strong and God is Good, all the time. 

Cody and his biological father after 17 years. I'm glad his sister captured this moment! 

This is not a journey I could have imagined that April day when the first letter from court came. I have witnessed God move, heal, restore. It's humbling to me that God has used us in this way and that He's allowed me to witness the impact that day in court has had on many lives. 

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.  
1 corinthians 13:13

Through my husband, through my past, through my children, God is showing me what love is...thank you Aba! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

monday morning rambling...

I was awake at 5:30 today.

I couldn't sleep, too much going on in my head. My first feeling was of an overwhelming sense of how amazing my God is. This has been the most interesting year. I thought after I went through my abortion healing that life would just continue to go along, that there might be little revelations along the way but that the "major" work in my life was over. Ha, how arrogant we are, arrogant I am! Daily God shows me things I need to work on. They may not be major in the "Upper Story" but they directly affect how my life plays out in relation to the Upper Story. This year has been on based on major healing, restoration and changes. I've shared most of these with you so far but there's more...there's a second chapter to the healing. I desire to share this with you but I need to get permissions first to share more. I can share this son finally met his biological father. I truly believe he's a different man than the one I knew 20 years ago. I can already see healing going on in all the lives involved. Little did I know that our prayers for Cody's healing would be answered in this way but I also had no idea that I had a sister in Christ praying right along with me for Cody and for healing.

The rest of my thoughts this morning seem to pale in comparison but are just as much a part of my life. 

I've begun thinking about what my next race will be. I've not run in so long that the 3 miles I did run last week really beat my body up but felt wonderful at the same time. For almost three years, on and off, I've been struggling with exhaustion. Not just tired but complete and total exhaustion. Some days it's an effort to just pick up my arms and I live in a fog of just existing till I can go to bed. This was mostly gone when I was running. (see there are connections in my broken thoughts) and has come back with even greater vengeance since I stopped running in December. I'm not depressed but I've been heading toward depression because of my hopelessness in how I feel. We just switched Dr.'s and after listening to my symptoms she ordered blood work to cover the bases and told me to read a certain book. I was thrilled that her 1st response was not to write a prescription! The book is called When Your Body Gets the Blues and upon reading the symptoms and an excerpt from the book I have hope that I can feel better again. I know one of the most important things I can do is get running again. I've begun to set a major goal  with some minor goals along the way. I know I want to do something BIG next year, after I turn 40. I'm thinking of an ultra as my ultimate goal (and I'll try not to talk everyone's ear off about running this time...I'll try but my blog is fair game!) with a 1/2 and a marathon along the way. I'm feeling that excitement about running coming back again. My husband may even train with me again, not for the ultra but maybe a marathon...Oh do I hear Big Sur calling again :) You just never know!! 

I'm also still struggling with stepping down from my job and the Beyond the Choice ministry at LCC but I know it's what I'm being called to do, if even just for a season. I work with some amazing women and I enjoy our clients and meeting new ones. I love seeing how God works in the lives of the clients, the volunteers and the employees. I hope to volunteer on projects and stay connected but I believe that God is preparing me for the time that being on MOPS steering and homeschooling will take next year. I also have my house to unpack and help with all our projects here! I can say honestly I love working on making this our home, side by side with my helpmate!

We may not get the gorgeous sunsets in our new home that we are accustomed to but the Lord shines on us every morning with breathtaking sunrises.

Sometimes it's an awesome reminder to me that His mercies are new each morning. I'm so glad that my God doesn't bring yesterday's offenses into this day!

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. 

lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

making a home...

What is a home? To me it's where we live, entertain family and friends, worship, create, work and love.  Randy and I have had a few "homes" together since we met. God has used each home to teach me to be content and happy where He plants us. Some have been more of a home than others but we finally have our permanent home, at least for quite a few years. Now begins the joyful, and at times hard, task of making this house OUR home...we've begun putting the "Reynolds touch" on these acres...

Top of our task list is taking down some of the smaller tress near the house in order to bring in a bit more sun and claim some of our property back from nature. We love the woods, it's one of the aspects of this house that grabbed us but there's just too much.

We have a beautiful path to "Moose Pond"
Moose Pond's path

A very spacious well manicured front yard that gets an amazing amount of sun...

A creek...

And did I mention God's alarm clock...
sun in the face 1st thing in the morning...

But there are lots of projects inside and out we are working on. We started to rip up carpet, we have a door we want to put in, a wall to tear down, a floor to install and I still have a ton of unpacking to do. Oh did I mention we now have a naked tree too? I hope to have a guest posting on that one soon! The funny thing is we are perfectly happy in our chaos. My goal was to get my kitchen unpacked and Randy's goal was to get the pool going. We've both achieved our goals and are happy to spend these gorgeous days outside and live out of boxes for now. Winter will be long and cold. I'll have plenty of time then to unpack. Please keep that in mind if you stop by our house and notice that we're not moved in!!

We've also added to our family.
We have 2 Silkies
Prada and Olivia with
 Grace watching over them
or maybe waiting for
the opportunity to "play"
with them!

A Star (we think) and an Amercauna or Araucana (not sure which)



Last week we got 6 new babies that will be our egg layers...I can't wait to have fresh eggs!!

Plymouth Barred Rock
We have so much going on so if you don't hear much from me over the summer that's why. God has so blessed us with a beautiful home that we are enjoying (most of the time) pouring our time, sweat and hearts into.

I hope you'll follow along with us on this journey.