Thursday, March 29, 2012

I'm Pregnant...Again...

I'm pregnant again.

I am not going to lie, I'm still a little nervous about going public with this so early in the pregnancy. I'm 8 weeks along...a little over half way through the first trimester. And I've always heard to not make it public until after the first trimester.

But, we went to see my doctor, who is a very kind, compassionate man.

He did an ultrasound, and although we didn't hear a heartbeat, we saw a very healthy, racing heartbeat. And the baby measured perfectly - exactly to the day of my due date - November 4th.

And everything else looked very healthy this time, whereas last time it obviously did not.

And so Lee asked him what our chance of having another miscarriage would be.

He said he thinks a 5% risk...that's a 95% chance that this kid is going to make it!

We really believe that God wants us to have this baby. It wasn't in our time line, but we believe it is in His. And that is what counts.

Yes, I feel overwhelmed at the thought of having a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a newborn.

Very overwhelmed at times.

But I am confident that God is in control.

Very confident.  And my confidence is starting to outweigh the overwhelming moments.

I know that God is going to give us the grace to have 3.

We are so blessed. We have 2 happy, healthy babies who love God and love each other and love us. They are smart, funny, wonderful children. And they are going to have a lot of fun with another baby in our family.

It's crazy to think we'll be going from a family of 4 to 5. Crazy.

But, it's just another way for God to show His faithfulness and provision to us. Beyond what we expect. I like that. I am excited about that.

So, along with this pregnancy...I've been really sick...nauseated all day long. Even in the middle of the night.

No fun at all.

But, my wonderful, loving husband has been taking wonderful care of me and our kids. He is amazing. And I know that this season of sickness shouldn't last too much longer. Before I know it, it will be just a memory.

I've been craving fatty oily avocados and mayo...and not just mayo by itself, but like on a sandwich...

When Lee told Dr. Hardey that we were nervous about telling people we were having a baby, he said he understood...but the only thing about telling and something going wrong is then getting to ask for prayer.

And that's true. We know that we are surrounded by praying friends.

So, we ask you to join with us in praying for a happy, healthy Baby Blakney #3!!

We'll keep you posted!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When I Don't Feel Inspired to Write...

I haven't felt like blogging much lately. 

I have all kinds of excuses, which just means that I'm not ready to put in the effort. 

Some blog posts are easy for me. They just come naturally and quickly to the page...and those are the ones I enjoy writing. 

Others take some time and thought. Even a little research to ensure that I'm not spouting off random, incorrect information off the top of my head. 

And most of the time, it is hard for me to write a blog when I don't feel inspired. And I haven't felt inspired much lately, which I know is part of the season I am in. 

I do have a list of blog ideas. And I keep adding to it. And I hope to cross those topics/titles off of that list as I keep adding more. 

I tend to be good at starting things, but I have a harder time following through - especially when I am not feeling inspired. 

But, to me, inspiration is like emotion - ever changing...depending on circumstances. 

And I shouldn't do things just because of circumstances. 

I am feeling more and more of a desire to write articles and even an ebook. And I think the consistency of writing my blog will help. 

I know writers don't feel inspired all of the time. And I don't know how some writers are able to write books with little kids in the room...I can't tell you how many times I've had to close my computer and come back to an entry later due to my kids. 

But again, this is a season. It will not be this way forever. Eventually my little ones will not require or demand my constant attention...but right now it does feel like this will last for a long time! 

So, I will continue writing when I can, and even making time to write more. 

I've been thinking of this quote a lot lately...

If I am going to write articles and an won't happen by itself. I will have to write to make that happen!! So I hope that you'll be seeing more of this blog in the near future as I take one step further in the direction of this dream!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

"Godliness with Contentment Is Great Gain..."

It takes a lot to be content. A lot.

To not be in a constant state of coveting...wanting what others have that I don't have.

Not fully understanding why others have what I want but don't have myself.

It just leads to frustration, which is an opposite to contentment.

In Phillippians 4:11-13, the Apostle Paul talks about learning to live with a little or a lot...and that is what leads him to write one of the most quoted Scripture references of "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength..." (I wrote another blog about that portion of Scripture - I called it "The Apostle Paul's Advice on Being a Mom")

What does it take to be content?

1) pray for strength from Jesus. It's what the Apostle Paul did. He was in some horrible circumstances, and yet he LEARNED to be content. It is not going to happen over night.

*side note: often when we pray/ask God for something, He gives us the opportunity to grow in that area. He doesn't just let us blink and be changed. He wants us to go through the growth process. So, if you ask for contentment, He is going to give you the opportunity to not covet.

2) be grateful for what you have.

Pastor David at Crossroads church asked once, "Do you have spare change in your car or your house?" He went on to say that if you answered yes, you are already richer than most other people in the world. We may not be able to have everything that we want, but we certainly have everything we need. And one way to be content with what you have is to thank God for it.

3) give

Some of the greatest joys that Lee & I have are giving to others. We absolutely love it. We often don't think twice about giving...and we rarely ever regret giving things or money away. Often when we give, it allows room for God to give us more, even when we don't expect it.

4) make a wish list for yourself and others

It's not wrong to want's just wrong to let those wants consume us. I have a wish list of things for myself that I may never get everything on it. It's ok, though. I don't think about that list all of the time, and I don't get angry when one of my friends gets something that is on my list. God knows the desires of my heart. As long as I'm not needing it, if I don't get it, it's not a big deal.

And Lee & I have a wish list of things we would like to get for others - even outside of our family. Some of these things are inexpensive, and other things cost more. But it is a lot of fun being able to cross something off of the list and see the person's face when we give it to them. And the thing is, most of the people who are on this list never know!! :)

These are just a few things that have helped me in the area of contentment. It's definitely not an easy task, and it's not something that happens over night. It has to be learned. But we can do it through Christ who will give us strength!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thankful Thursday 3/15/12

1) I am thankful that I am able to pay all of our bills. It is a blessing to know that our needs are met and even some of our wants. God takes very good care of us.

2) I am thankful for the success that our friends experience. My friend Angie just opened her own bakery/cake shop in Jena,'s called Crave. She does gourmet cupcakes and amazing cakes and desserts. I haven't been able to visit it yet, but I know that it is going to be a huge success because Angie is amazingly talented, and she is honoring God in all that she does. She balances this new business, being a youth pastor and worship leader, and being a wife and mom to an incredible family...she amazes me. I'm soooo happy for her and her husband, and I can't wait to have a gourmet cupcake and cup of coffee at Crave soon!!!

3) I am thankful that my kids are healthy...Brennan has had a bit of a cough this week, and it's just due to congestion from teething...and Bella's teeth are looking much better after bumping them on the piano bench over the weekend. I am blessed also to have such awesome medical professionals taking care of my children!!!

4) I am thankful for the date I had with Lee last night. A friend gave us a gift from Living Social - a Tasting at Jolie's Bistro. It was a 6 course meal that Lee and I got to enjoy together...and we got to use our Top Chef knowledge while discussing the courses with each other. This was awesome!! And I feel soooo fortunate to have friends who are willing to invest in our marriage. It would have cost $150 plus tip for this, and we paid $25 for drinks and a tip. Amazing!!! And it was delicious!!!! Such a fun night!!

5) I'm thankful that God speaks to me. It may not always be what I want to hear or when I want to hear it. But I'm grateful to believe in a God that communicates with me...I can speak to Him and I know He will speak to me. My faith is increased because He is real to me, and His peace is covering me in ways that I cannot explain.

I am truly blessed!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bella's Busted Mouth

Bella had a little accident over the weekend. She tripped over a ball and landed with her mouth hitting the piano bench. It didn't bust her lip, thankfully, so there wasn't blood everywhere. But a bottom tooth and a top tooth were knocked around, and her top lip was super swollen.  Lee & I weren't home when it happened, and our fabulous babysitters were traumatized as well.

I didn't think to call Dr. Mahoney on Saturday when it happened, but after it was suggested to me, I got in touch with him on Sunday. He (and his whole family) are such wonderful people. They really are. I've admired them for the almost 5 years that we've been in Lafayette. 

He told me that as long as the tooth wasn't discolored, and there wasn't a cyst looking thing on her gum line, there wasn't much that could be done. And if she lost the teeth, at least they are not permanent...she would just be without teeth for a few extra years. He said he'd see her on Monday or Tuesday to do x-rays if needed. 

Sunday afternoon, Bella was pretty nauseated from not eating or drinking, and so after a frustrated session of me trying to get liquids in her so that she wouldn't dehydrate, she threw up all over me. 

The joys of being a mom.

She took a nap, and when she woke up, she ate a whole Hershey chocolate bar and started drinking a lot of water. 

Brennan was congested and ended up coughing ALL of Sunday night, so I called the pediatrician to make an appointment for him...and I got a dentist appointment for Bella on Tuesday.

Our pediatrician, Dr. Bruno, is also a wonderful man. He is very kind and compassionate, and I never feel like he's rushed when he sees us. And I don't feel ridiculous for taking my kids in for something that may seem insignificant. 

He first examined Belle...the doll from Beauty and the Beast who accompanied us to the doctor's office because, according to Bella, she had fever. 

He said Belle hadn't had breakfast yet, and that's why she was sick. 

Then he checked Brennan's ears, nose, throat and lungs, and said his congestion was due to teething and gave us a prescription for an antihistamine. I'm thankful he didn't have another ear infection because he would be getting tubes in his ears if he did. 

He also looked at Bella's mouth. He said his daughter had done a similar thing playing on a slide. He said she just missed busting her lip completely, which would have resulted in a lot of blood. I'm so thankful that it wasn't more traumatic than it already was!!

On Tuesday, Lee took Brennan to work with him. Brennan was sooooo excited about riding in Lee's truck. It was precious. 

Bella and I made it to the dentist office, and they saw us very quickly. Dr. John was so sweet with Bella. She didn't cry or anything. They gave her some cute little sunglasses to wear while the light was on her face. He even said the sunglasses matched her outfit (which I told him his girls would be proud of - especially Joi!) 

He said that x-rays were not even needed. The teeth looked fine. Just to watch for cysts. He put me as such ease. He even checked my teeth while I was there! :) 

I'm so thankful to be taken care of by such wonderful medical professionals. Both of these doctors care for their patients inside and outside of their offices. They are good men who are making a difference in their communities, whether they are aware of it or not!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Could Never Do That

"I could never do that..."

I've been thinking about that phrase.

There are things that I say I could never do, but it's really because I don't want to do them...not that I'm unable to do them...

For example -

Skydiving. I have no desire to jump from a moving plane thousands of feet above the ground.

Bungee Jumping. Again, I have no desire to jump from a stationary platform thousands (or hundreds) of feet above the ground.

And I say that I could never do that, but I really mean that I don't want to.


When we started Chi Alpha, we were told by friends that they admired us for doing it because they could never do that.

I gave up my job as a public school teacher to complete the Campus Missionary in Training internship with Lee. We did Chi Alpha together.

We lived on one salary...a very small salary. But we made it. And I think that was part of what people said they couldn't on a little amount of money.

And God has blessed us so much since we've started.

And it never crossed our minds that this wasn't something that we could never do...

We were called to do it. We were chosen by God to do it. We wanted to do it.

Sometimes we take a leap of faith, and that is what other people admire. They want to take a leap of faith too, but they feel like they could never do that.

I've been reading Donald Miller's book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.

It's all about living a story worth telling. Living a life that is worthy of being told.

It really has been an inspiring book.

I don't want to live a mediocre life that won't be noticed once it's over.

I want to live a life that leaves a legacy.

And to do that, I have to do the things that I think I could never do...and hopefully inspire others to do the the things that they think they could never do.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Call...

last week, my friend Daphne asked me if I wanted to be in a video shoot for our church, Crossroads Church in Lafayette, LA. It would be the weekly introduction to the sermon series for the month of March.

She told me to be in the church conference center at 2 pm on Tuesday and to wear professional attire.

So, I arranged for babysitters (thanks to Lee, too, for helping with the kids until Ciji could get there)...

And I dressed in my professional attire and went to the church.

I didn't know what to expect. Daphne told me there would be no speaking lines, but that was it.

I was thinking it would be serious since I was dressed professionally and all...

Well, I was wrong!!

It was a spoof on the 2012 DirectTV campaign.

And, I must say that it is hilarious.

I spent about 3 hours there dancing around the conference room, pushing a girl in a chair across the room, and just being silly as my role was to "celebrate."

Honestly, this was really good for me.

I often take myself wayyyyyyyy too seriously...thus the reason I expected it to be a serious roll in video.

But I do need to break loose. I do need to have fun. I do need to enjoy life. And on this day, I did.

So, if you haven't seen this video yet, here it is. Enjoy...a lot of talented people worked hard to put this together...and they did a great job doing it!!

Growing in Trust...

I know that God wants me to trust Him.

And I know that He's not going to just make my heart start trusting Him on its own...

He's going to provide me with opportunities to trust Him.

It would be so much easier if He would just snap His fingers or bat His eyes or breathe on me to make me trust Him...

But then it wouldn't mean anything to me.

And that's not how God wants it. He wants my trust in Him to count for something.

So, He's giving me a lot of opportunities to place my trust in Him.

Oh, I say that I trust Him, but do I really mean it?

Webster defines trust as, 
"a : assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
 b : one in which confidence is placed" 

And "assured" means "guaranteed"

And "reliance" means "dependent"

If I place my confidence in God, I don't need to second guess Him. I don't need to spend all of my time worrying about how things are going to happen. 

Sometimes I try to make things happen on my own. And it ends up in a mess. I feel like I'm getting in God's way. 

And sometimes I get frustrated when things don't happen the way that I think that they should. 

Neither one of these are signs of trust. 

If I say that I trust Lee, I don't need to second guess him all of the time. It would drive me crazy if he second guessed me all of the time. No fun there. 

But it can be fun to trust in God. 

He said a few things that I can hold on to...Promises that He won't break:

1) He said He would never leave me or forsake me. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

2) He said if I seek His Kingdom first, then everything else will be taken care of. (Matthew 6:33)

3) He said that I can cast all of my cares on Him because He cares for me. (1 Peter 5:7)

If God is challenging you to grow in an area on your spiritual journey, He's not just going to let you grow in it without presenting you and opportunity to grow. 

Yes, I've failed at trusting God before. 

Yes, sometimes it seems way harder to trust God than others. 

No, I do not want to give up and never trust God again.

Although I've failed Him, He's never failed me. And He's even made beautiful things out of messy circumstances I've created for myself. 

And it doesn't mean that I need to sit back and wait without doing anything...I can move forward in life knowing that I trust that God is doing something bigger than what I can see. I need to be moving along with Him...just doing my best to let Him be God. He's going to take good care of me.