Thursday, May 20, 2010

our last will

Jason has a business trip to Santa Rosa, CA and he is taking me with him [I'm considering this excursion as celebration of our two year anniversary :)]. We depart on Sunday and will return the following Saturday.

    Acacia won't be joining us.
          My parents will be watching her for the week.

Ever since we have had the responsibility of a child, we've definitely recognized the need to make a will. In case the Lord desires to take Jason and me to Himself, certain important matters need to be accounted for. So before we leave, we have agreed to finally write out our 'last testament'.... who gets Acacia, our house, our belongings, etc.

I'll be quite frank: this has been difficult for me to process.

To think of Acacia growing up without the love of her mother and father; our families having to sort through all our things; for some to live in our house and take ownership of our possessions; and most of all, the grief that they will experience throughout the situation.

Just as I cannot bear even the idea of the heartache I'd have in losing a loved one, I cannot calmly imagine my loved ones enduring the same affliction.

    Do not be confused: I am not afraid of death.

In fact, I am torn between the two - life. and death. As the great apostle Paul writes in his epistle to the Philippians, "For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you." [1:23-24]  Oh! to be with my glorious God; my creator and Saviour, to enter the heavenly realm with total freedom from the woes of the world. Yet to continue living, fulfilling the Lord's divine plan for my life; teaching my daughter of His love and truth, being a light to those who are in darkness... Christ being my reason to live. As Wesley puts it, "To know, to love, to follow Christ, is my life, my glory, my joy." The Lord knows what is most needful. And the instant Jason and I have fulfilled our purpose in this place we will no longer be present.

            Truly, to live is christ but to die is gain.

That being concluded.... I will write our will.

            And I will glory in the sovereignty of the Lord for He works all things together for good.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

graduation & consequence

No, I am not graduating college this month.
    But all my k-12 classmates are.

                                                                 Okay. Perhaps not all.
                                                                            But many.

I see their status' about final exams, papers, and their excitement to be done with school.

The stress of exams and long essays I have not much - or not at all - of a yearning for. But the latter gets my mind to thinking. And when I look at their pictures in the robes and hats I am proud of them. It makes me wonder what my life would be like had that path been chosen for me.

In case anyone is not informed on the matter, I will give an account that may enlighten you on my schooling.

To my delightful surprise (and all in accordance with a Will much higher than my own), I finished high school one year early. Originally class of 2006, with my senior year of HS remaining, I was offered the fall and spring semesters at Mesa State University with a free ride. I declined this offer and in the spring of '05 I instead found myself applying - much to some people's dismay - at Calvary Chapel Bible College in Murrieta, California. Over the course of the summer, I received my acceptance letter and made my preparations for college life.

Though I could post an entire blog -- and by that, meaning an entire new blog address; not just one post - on my experience at CCBC, I'll spare the wonderful, precious details of my two years in Southern California and leave you with the fact that my time there was most meaningful and life-changing. In spring 2007, I graduated with an Associates degree in Theology and left with absolutely no inclination for returning to school for a "real" college education.

If you know anything of these kinds of degrees, you know that they mean nothing to the general populous. Many consider that I am as good off as wasting two years of my life having attended an unaccredited college. Which was all fine with me. Because I had no desire for a pursual of a specific field of education or career.

I do not consider myself lazy, unmotivated, or with no deliberation. Though, I have never had a specific interest in any particular topic. School was not something I hated or didn't excel in; I was always a studious, honor roll student. So I haven't denied furthering my education because of a dislike for studies. The Lord, rather, had perhaps not given me any inclinations, interests, or desires because He knew I would pursue them.

As it turned out, I became acquainted with Jason during Bible college and upon the beginning of our relationship knew without a doubt that we were to be married.

So thats just what we did, one year following our graduation from CCBC, on June 7, 2008 we said our vows. Three months following, little Acacia was conceived... and eight months later we became parents.

I am now a stay at home mother...
   with a high school diploma,
   a worthless (through the world's eyes) degree,
   and no aspirations for any other qualifications.

Being without a job is something that I am particularly fond of. I never really enjoyed going to work; not any of my 5 different occupations. Staying home is what I much prefer; and since I will be homeschooling Acacia, that is just what I am destined to. (Though if finances demand it, I would definitely find a job.)

Also, if I were ever to acquire reasoning to obtain further education on any topic, I would assuredly do so.

Despite my contentedness with my situation, there are times when I look upon my friends' lives with the question in my heart of, I wonder what it would be like for me if I had chosen such an accomplishment...

Instead, I am responsible for a home, a husband, and a child: and these are the consequences of my actions.


But consequences are not a bad thing. They are merely the outcome of some kind of cause or condition.
And this is my life.
This is the path that the Lord has brought me.
I couldn't be happier in any other setting.

So congratulations to all you graduates! I am dearly happy for you.
    (I hope that expensive education taught you something worth knowing in life)
Don't look back and wish it were ending.
Look forward now to everything ahead that really matters.

As I was filled with knowledge and understanding from CCBC that equipped me for my life, I hope you can use what you have learned and put it to use likewise.

Friday, May 7, 2010

did i mention....

...that I hardly have cell phone reception in my house?

Which means that you'll be lucky to get a hold of me.
    Let alone have a clear conversation.

I may not receive your text message for a few hours.
    If I try writing back it may fail all ten times so I give up.

I wish it weren't so. I have beloved family & friends I wish I could spend time talking to.
    People are beginning to think I'm ignoring them.

Sorry friends. If I happen to get out of the house, I will try to remember to call.

And so, you know what this destines me to?
    A cyber life.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

beautiful bonding

****************Disclaimer: this post is not for the immature or the awkward; for those easily embarrassed or squirmy, or those not comfortable with the most basic and natural things on this world.******************

Nursing a baby is one of the most precious experiences a woman experiences in her life as a mother. For me, not every moment was perfect but was certainly been worth it.
For Acacia, every ounce had been bliss and joy.

While I was pregnant and when Acacia was first born I decided I would for sure nurse for one year and then have her weaned a few weeks later. When she was about six months old, I realized it would be nice to prolong our time together - maybe 'til she was 18-24 mo or sooner, if she so chose.

The first time Acacia nursed, I really don't quite remember what it was like. I was absolutely exhausted, still coming off my epidural (and I'm telling you -- they overdosed me), and just taking in the whole experience. What I do remember though.....
                 is the agony.
The ripping pain I felt every time she latched on until the moment she was finished. The lactation consultant came and tried to help - making sure she was latched correctly and such. Her latch was perfect. She was a content little 5 1/2 lbs baby girl suckling away while her mother cried, tensed, suffered, and yes - blistered.

This was when I learned the meaning of Agape. The love that keeps on giving even when nothing (apart from maybe curses) is given in return. While pregnant I had determined to nurse. Despite when the pain came I knew that I would never give up. Even if I had to suffer the whole year I would not let Acacia down.

                 I would joke with myself that the pain was revenge for getting an epidural.

I tried everything I could, from cool packs, to different positions, pumping, and Lansinoh (which may I just comment -- I hated. It was stinky. StickyAnd stained everything it touched.) Nothing helped so I just had to grit my teeth and bare it. Finally after almost two months of miserable nursing 8-12 times a day every 2-3 hours, the pain..... subsided.

It is hard adjusting to a new baby. And learning the techniques of modest nursing for the first time is a challenge. But my husband (not deterred as new mother's are) wanted to get out or have people over - and of course wear a cover. Thankfully, I can now laugh at the memories of struggling to reluctantly latch a tiny 5 lb baby whilst a blanket was over us. Oh the frustrations. 

               Things improved. No more pain.... covering up became a breeze... I felt at ease. I not only came to enjoy nursing, I fell in love with it. Now, a year later, I'm sad to say good-bye to my time with Acacia.

--And yes, it is obligatory that this season be put to an end (for other important matters in life will be hindered otherwise). 

I will terribly miss watching her nurse:
  sometimes her eyes staring at me in wonder,
    other times shut as she drifted of to sleep in peace;
      her little hands & feet reaching out to touch my face and hair,
        the sound of her suckling & swallowing,
          her face all rosy, her nose bright pink once she pulled away
            her most absolute and supremely perfect latch. I've never seen
              something so beautiful.
Above all these things I will miss her utter dependence upon only what I could provide her.

I woke up Friday, April 30th, with the intentions of enjoying every moment, every swallow, of our last BF together. To record in memory each last detail. Acacia's nose was stuffed, so I cleaned her up and tried nursing again. She refused it.
I knew - she knew - that she could breathe. So I tried yet again and she started screaming and whining at me and squirming in my arms. It started dawning on me that she was possibly rejecting me. Feeling a little hurt, but not wanting to be too hasty about my disappointment, I took her to the kitchen and made her up a bottle of milk. Hoping that she would refuse the bottle as well (perhaps due to lack of hunger???) I tentatively placed it within her reach.
Wishful thinking.
She took it gladly and sucked it to the last drop. As I watched her, I couldn't help but let the tears come as I knew she would never take me again.

And I never got to say good-bye.

As if she knew the rejection I felt, once she finished the bottle she gave me kisses and repeatedly said, "mamama mama mamama." And for those of you who know her, "dada" is her preferred word; only on special and rare occasions will she amuse you with a, "mama".

So here is my final farewell, Acacia...

  To nursing.
       To you only needing me.
              To the unique share of oxytocin :)

I am thankful for the support, circumstances, and determination that caused my nursing relationship with Acacia to blossom into such an irreplaceable and beautiful bond.

P.S. I guess its time for Baby #2. ;)

I read a statistic the other day that said only 20-some% of babies are breastfed past 6 months of age. When I read this, it broke my heart. I am not ignorant; I know people have different circumstances that truly demand them to put an end to nursing their baby. But many women today are merely inconvenienced by nursing. Or perhaps they don't have the support/understanding that they should have so they give up too quickly.