Gratituesday: A Miracle

(How God Was Great in 2008)
This week, for Gratituesday, Laura is encouraging us to focus on God’s goodness over the past year.  (And He is good; all the time!)  
“I will meditate on all your works 


and consider all your mighty deeds.


Your ways, O God, are holy. 
What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles; 
you display your power among the peoples.”

Psalm 77:12-14
This past month, as a family, we have been reflecting on God’s goodness to us.  He has faithfully blessed us with His refiner’s fire; nourishing us with His healing hand both spiritually and physically.  God has helped tear down “walls” in our hearts, and draw us closer to Him in steps of faith.  He has has walked us through some incredible challenges.  
He has also provided us with much-needed insight toward nourishing our family’s dietary/health needs.  From the straight-forward research of Nourishing Traditions, to the incredible answers of my auto-immune symptoms (with celiac), God has brought so much health to our home.  
But right now, we are overwhelmingly thankful for a new miracle in our lives: I am pregnant! We have such gratitude for this little soul that God has blessed us with, and we prayerfully hope that with His gracious provision, we will be able to hold this little life in August 2009.  
If you read my earlier post, you will know that Gen has been asking for a baby brother or sister for quite some time now, actually.  I’ve always told her that we need to pray and ask God for one.  I guess she did.  (So, here’s the answer to the question- she didn’t receive anything on that list, except for the baby. But there was my birthday cake, which I was too nauseous to eat.)  
We were amazed that after only four months on a gluten-free diet, pregnancy was possible. Over the summer, I focused on nourishing chicken stocks, coconut milk recipes, and other healing foods, such as buckwheat for breakfast (based on recommendations from the Weston A. Price Foundation).  
As I recovered, I have gradually been able to add cultured cheeses and raw milk back into my diet (although I still have difficulty with some foods, such as brassica vegetables, i.e. broccoli). I had read that the recovery (in preparation for pregnancy) ironically averages about 9 months, so I was not even considering this as a possibility for much longer.  God is amazing.  
Shauna at The Gluten-Free Girl, wrote a beautiful post regarding her pregnancy earlier this year, and it describes our emotions (as well as my food cravings!) in a very similar sense.  (No sweets, but pass the meats, please.)  
Nausea and exhaustion has hit me quite hard, so I’ve been doing pretty much nothing but “gestating and resting” this past month. :)  The apples have not been canned into applesauce, Calvin has done most of the meal prep/clean-up, and I have barely skimmed the surfaces in an attempt to clean.  (Thanks, sweetie.)  Christmas was quiet.  Even doing the weekly meal plans has been rather nauseating (looking at those recipes!). 
I’ve read stacks of books with Gen, as she cuddles up on the futon next to me. We’ve done lessons on colors and counting, in between my times of “resting my eyes.” She has adjusted amazingly well to having Mama in bed, actually, and at times, has encouraged me to rest, when she catches me putting away laundry or sweeping the floor.  (“Night Night, Mama,” she says, as she pulls me to a nest of blankets & pillows by her bed.)  About a week ago, I was putting away laundry in her room, and she ran up to me, threw her arms around my knees in a tight hug, and said “Thank you, Mama!”  Overall, though, pregnancy while parenting a passionate toddler is certainly challenging.  
We have been so blessed to have the encouragement and wisdom of friends who know the deep grief of loss, along with the joy of welcoming God’s blessings.  They have encouraged us to live hopefully, and to not be afraid to dream.  So we do.  It is a conscious choice to live in hope.  We know that God tells us not to worry about the days to come; they are in His hands.  Our God has not given us a spirit of fear, and we know that no matter what, He is always with us, and is always good.  
“For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.”
Isaiah 41:13

By the way, if any of you local ladies have maternity clothes lying about that you would be willing to loan me, it would be much appreciated. I am shocked at how quickly I am widening! Perhaps it’s all those midnight snacks. :) Also, if any of you have frugal tips for maternity wear/nursing bras, etc, I would be truly blessed if you would share!  Feel free to e-mail me, if you’d rather, at paisleysister [at] yahoo.com.  

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