FIVE

Naptime

When I wrote my last post, I had every intention of getting back into blogging regularly and being more consistent.  While my intentions were noble, I entered into a season in which naps (for myself) were non-negotiable.  In the past several months, I have been able to get all four of my boys to nap at the same time, only by the grace of God! While the oldest usually only rests for about 30-45 minutes, it’s enough time for me to get a quick cat-nap in and reset for the remainder of the day.

Let me tell you about the horrible mom-guilt I dealt with early on!  I allowed the enemy to convince me I was being lazy, that I didn’t deserve to take naps, that I should be folding laundry or cooking dinner, that my house wasn’t clean enough for me to take a half hour break for myself.  Early on, I wasn’t even able to fall asleep most days because of the guilt.

But in the midst of it all, I just felt I needed to rest.  Before the New Year, I was challenged by a friend and colleague to choose a word or phrase to focus on for the year.  I prayed about it and God very clearly gave me the phrase, “Be Still.”  I can’t count the number of times this phrase and passage from Psalms, “Be still, and know that I am God,” has been spoken to me since January (46:10).  I’ve heard it in sermons, talked about it in the moms group I’m in, read it in books, meditated on it in devotionals, and more.  My husband and sons gave me a necklace for my birthday with the words, “Be Still,” to help remind me to practice this discipline consistently.

So if God was asking me to nap, who was I to deny His will for me?! J I began saying a quick and simple prayer before lying down each afternoon asking God to give me the rest I needed and to restore me for the remainder of the day.  What a difference this made!  The guilt was lifted and I began feeling freed from that bondage.  Not only that, I was able to be a better mom and wife in the afternoons and evenings because I was refreshed and rested.

Another One on the Way

God knows exactly what we need when we need it, right? Right around the time that I began to nap without mom-guilt, I began feeling nauseous and having very specific cravings.  I knew right away that it could only mean one thing- I was pregnant with Baby Turner #5! God knew my body needed these naps!

I shared the news with my husband, but we waited until my 12-week ultrasound to share with our sons so that we could show them the pictures and they could hear the recording of the baby’s heartbeat.  They, of course, were ecstatic knowing they’re going to be welcoming another brother or sister to the family.

We could not be more excited to be growing our family and we love when others share in our joy and excitement!  We feel so blessed to be given another precious gift to raise in our home, and are humbled by God’s goodness and grace.  But can I be honest?  My husband and I are having a more difficult time sharing the news this time around than we have in the past.  And as I’ve processed it, I think it stems from many places.

My Hesitations

One, I am so aware of those around me suffering from infertility.  I have family and close friends who have struggled trying to have a baby and have received either a “no” or a “not yet” from God.  I pray for these families all the time and grieve with them because it’s just not fair.  And I know that every time I post a picture of an ultrasound and announce a pregnancy, they experience pain.  Not because they don’t feel joy for us or because they are jealous, but because they long to experience this for themselves.  I will never know what that feels like, and I hate knowing that this is what they go through time and time again. This is also so true for those who have lost children, in or out of the womb. I cannot imagine your pain!

Two, when you share news such as a pregnancy, you realize very quickly that many people do not have filters!  And before I go on, let me admit that I know in my heart of hearts that most people say things with good intentions and do not mean to come across as rude or disrespectful.  In fact, I’m sure I’ve made comments to people as well that came across to them as brash.  That being said, we’ve heard everything from “leave that women alone!” (said to my husband) to, “don’t you guys have a TV in your house?” I get it.  Five children is a lot in this day and age (especially in California), and people genuinely wonder how you can afford it, why you have them so close together, and when you’re going to be done having kids.  But my answer to all of this is God! And I don’t feel I owe any more of an explanation than that J

Third, because every person you tell immediately wonders if you’re, “hoping for a girl.”  And you know what? I’m not even sure.  On the one hand, I’d love to know what it’s like to have a daughter and experience that special bond.  But on the other hand, I adore my boys and I’ve always pictured myself with sons.  Again, we lean into God and trust that He knows exactly who our family needs.  Will we love spoiling a little sister? Absolutely!  But will we feel like something is missing if we have another boy? Absolutely not!  In fact, we’ll be thrilled to have a baby brother to love on and pass all the clothes and toys on down to J

His Work

But here’s the thing.  While it’s tough to share our news for the reasons mentioned above, it’s news we can’t keep to ourselves because this is God’s work, not our own, and we celebrate in the joy of His new creation.  Our baby is a child of God!  We thank him for what He’s doing in our lives and praise Him for the precious baby He is growing in me!  What a miracle it is!

So as I gave up my nap to write this today, I continue to be reminded to “Be still, and know that I am God.”  I am reminded that just like He created the baby growing inside of me, He created me.  I am reminded that I need not only physical rest, but also spiritual rest to be still and be in His presence.  And I am reminded that He is God and He shares in our joys and our sorrows.

I pray that those who experience the pain of infertility or infant loss find strength and hope in the Lord.  I pray that He gives me grace to respond in love to the un-filtered, yet well-meaning comments.  And I pray that the Lord gives my husband and me the grace, wisdom, and discernment necessary to raise another precious child to be a mighty warrior for Him.

Let’s raise His Mighty Warriors TOGETHER!

Raising Mighty Warriors

Thanks for joining me on this journey!

Before our first son was born, my husband and I made the decision together that I was going to be a stay-at-home mom.  This was a dream come true for me!  We knew we wanted to grow our family quickly (we weren’t joking…we now have four boys, five years-old and younger), and I wanted to be home with them at least in their youngest years.

However, I didn’t realize what a challenge this would be without my extended family close by.  I am number seven of eight children and the furthest from our hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin.  Living in California, we have very little family near us to help us out.

I quickly found that I needed to find my “tribe” to help me through these young mommy years.  I was invited to a mom’s group at our church and was quite intimidated when I first joined.  Many of the moms were “veterans” and seemingly had everything figured out with more than one kid.  Not to mention the fact that they all seemed to already know each other.

But what kept me returning week after week was the study we were going through,  Priscilla Shirer’s “Gideon.” Without getting into the entire story of Gideon in the Bible, Gideon and his men were the underdogs charged by God to defeat a strong, Midianite army.  Before going into battle, an angel appeared to Gideon and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12 NIV).

Ever since that mom’s group study, this verse has stuck with me.  If there is one thing I want my husband and I to teach our sons, it is that because God is with them, always, they have the strength to be His mighty warriors.  It’s as true for my sons as it is for myself.  In my weakness, God shines.

Through this blog, I hope to inspire others as I share my everyday mommy moments.  If God can use not only my successes, but also my failures and insecurities as a mom to encourage one other person, than this blog is worth it.

Let’s raise His mighty warriors (ours sons and our daughters) TOGETHER!

When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” -Judges 6:12 (NIV)

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