The verses that have REALLY spoken to me (Sarah) lately....
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." Matthew 7:24-25
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. I Peter 5:8-9
From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' Acts 17:26-28
May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. Deuteronomy 5:32-33
God, our God, will take care of the hidden things but the revealed things are our business. It's up to us and our children to attend to all the terms in this Revelation. Deuteronomy 29:29 (The Message)
We are Marc, Sarah, Luke, and Kate Friesen. We were married June 5, 2004. We have one son, born July 21, 2008, named Luke Andrew -- now 4 years old. We also have a daughter named Kate Christine -- born June 6, 2012. Marc is working at Cessna as a Senior Accountant, and Sarah stays home full-time with Luke. Sarah also gets to work very part-time at home for Graber Backhoe -- an excavation company AND VERY part-time at our church. We LOVE being a part of Grace Community Church here in Newton, KS. We lead a Community Life Group of other wonderful couples. Marc thoroughly enjoys long-distance running and Taekwondo. Sarah thoroughly enjoys walking -- especially when the weather is nice to take Luke and/or out in the stroller. Thanks for reading our blog!
I obviously haven't posted in awhile, and I have once again failed in my promise to deliver specific blog posts.
But, here's a post for you. WARNING: It will contain ZERO pics. It will be possibly depressing to you. BUT, if you hang through it, there will be a bit of good news at the end of this post.
I wasn't originally going to make this public because a) I don't want pity and b) I don't want advice. BUT, to prevent myself from going nuts (henceforth the title of this post) and to possibly avoid any looming depression, I'm going to start typing. I think this might be my "out."
AND, some of you who are my very close friends have not yet heard this. I truly have been quiet the last couple of weeks. Don't take offense. I was merely on guard from previously mentioned things (pity, advice)
Some of you may remember almost 4 years ago (at the end of my pregnancy with Luke) that I had a bit of high blood pressure for the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy.
It was never "dangerously" high. I had no other symptoms. It was cautionary. I was put on restricted activity. I ultimately was induced at a little over 38 weeks. Luke's been fine since birth :) My blood pressure immediately returned to normal once he was out.
When I got pregnant with this child, it was most certainly in the back of my mind -- the high blood pressure. But, everything was going fine. In my mind, I was thinking that this time would be different because I wasn't working....not as nervous about delivery, etc. etc. etc.
I was W.R.O.N.G....
The day after Mother's Day, May 14, I had a routine prenatal doctor's appointment. I thought everything was fine. I felt good -- other than being hot (NOT at all unusual for pregnancy).
Yep, if you haven't figured it out yet, my blood pressure was elevated. After the normal appointment, the nurse came in again and took it again. Yep, it was still elevated. Like with Luke, it wasn't dangerously high, but it was elevated nonetheless.
However, this time, I was only a little over 32 weeks along (with Luke -- it was 35 weeks).
My initial reaction contained some tears. Fortunately, I was able to hold off on all out crying until I got to the car and called Marc.
SO, for the last two weeks, I've been on restricted activity -- with an almost 4 year-old -- NOT exactly easy.
I've been monitoring my blood pressure several times a day at home. Fortunately, here at home, in the air-conditioning, while doing VERY little, my blood pressure has stayed normal. If I do too much or spend too much time in the heat, it does go up.
SO, inside the house I am -- again, with an almost 4 year-old.
Luke's been an excellent little TROOPER. Other than showing some signs of boredom, his behavior has been awesome. Admittedly, he's been watching more videos than I would ordinarily let him (he doesn't complain about this one).
I've had 5, yes 5, doctor's appointments since then -- including the one right after Mother's Day. Honestly, I believe I'm being a bit over-doctored; however, I know they ultimately have my best interest (and the baby's) in mind.
My dad's been awesome in that he's driven to Newton several times to watch Luke for me. Another good friend took Luke during another appointment. And, one of our favorite teenage baby-sitters, J, has been here twice, and she'll be here again next week for yet another appointment.
LOGICALLY, I know that there are WAY WORSE pregnancy (and life, in general) problems to have. While this could potentially be serious, we're not there yet. I'm obviously being watched closely.
LOGICALLY, I know that once this baby's here, I will forget all of this (much like I have with my pregnancy with Luke). We'll love this baby and move on with our lives.
However, with all logic aside, my feelings are getting the best of me.
I'm a MESS. I'm not fun to be around. I'm perhaps in one of the foulest moods of my life. I'm filled with self-pity. I'm hoping in my mind that the almost depression I'm feeling now will ward off any potential post-partum blues or depression. I feel incredibly let down by my body -- in other words, why can't I just gestate and give birth to two kids like a normal woman?
Marc and I have already previously decided that this child would be it for us (for various personal reasons of which I won't go into publically). BUT, this little blood pressure situation (second time around) has CONFIRMED the decision that this will be my last pregnancy. While it makes me a little sad to say it, I know that this has to be it. I am NOT one of those women who can easily birth many children.
To top it all off, what few times I have been in public (in the last two weeks), nearly always, somebody I don't know comes up to me and says, "You look like you could give birth anytime." (or something like that)....
Thanks! I'm short...there's no place for this baby to go but out...
I'm thankful I haven't been rude to any of these people (I'm surprised I haven't). That wouldn't exactly display a good Christian attitude (though I'm not sure this blog post is displaying it either)....
I'm currently at 34 weeks today. My doctor's goal is to get me to 37 or 38 weeks. My personal goal is 36 or 37 weeks. Again, LOGICALLY, I know that the longer the baby is inside, the better. The baby will breathe better, feed better, and maintain temperature better if she's in there longer.
BUT, mentally, I'm not sure I can make it to 37 weeks. We'll see....
It will be a scheduled C-Section since Luke was born that way. As of right now, we don't have a date scheduled. They're (the medical team) is taking it appointment by appointment.
The few people that we have mentioned this to (before I decided to make this public with this blog post) have said, "If you need anything, please let us know."
Honestly, there's not much right now. I am able to fix meals. My house is a total pit, but I can do the basics (laundry, dishes, etc)...Marc has, for the most part, finished the nursery.
The main thing we could possibly need (and so far, we've figured it out) is somebody to take Luke when I have these 5.5 billion doctor's appointment. I'd rather he not go with me though if I did have to take him, he'd probably do fine.
NOW, to the good news....if you're not depressed and tired of reading....
I did have a sonogram yesterday -- just to double check the baby's condition. The good news is that the baby is absolutely fine and is growing properly (no problems with the placenta -- which can happen with high blood pressure). I asked the tech (after about 5 minutes) to tell me if she saw ANY evidence that this baby could be a boy (we were told a girl at 20 weeks -- we've been planning on girl). She laughed and said, "Oh, I already saw....it's a girl." After a bit, the baby moved in the right position for her to once again show me that it was indeed a girl.
If it was a boy, we would love him just the same. Marc would be simply repainting a nursery -- which I know he would just love to do (insert sarcasm here).
SOOOOOOOO, since we revealed Luke's name before he was born....here's to revealing this baby's name....
**Kate Christine Friesen**
Our friend Nicole actually came up with Kate....we've had no problem liking it. The middle name has taken a bit. Everything Marc suggested, I couldn't get myself to really like. Everything I suggested, Marc couldn't get himself to like.
Some of the girls in our small group asked me what my middle name was. I responded, "Christine." They suggested we use that.
At first, in fact, for several days, I didn't even mention it to Marc. Though I liked the sound of it, I just couldn't wrap my head around having part of our daughter's name from me. Perhaps it was a self-confidence issue?
Finally, I mentioned the idea to Marc. He liked it. By that time, I had started to like it.
Ultimately, we agreed on it.
Thanks for listening!!!!! I feel a bit better -- though I'll probably cry yet tonight :)
I'm afraid I'll have to post another day....I literally just had almost an entire post done, and somehow, with a slip of a keystroke, I LOST IT!
I'm much too frustrated to redo it tonight....
Hope you don't mind waiting....
So, I'm still striving to do a Photo a Day in May (or something like that)....
I missed yesterday....SO, I definitely was sure to get one today!
Today's "topic" for a photo was "FUN."
While I certainly didn't have a bad day, I didn't feel like I could capture anything "fun" with a camera.
However, I did capture Luke having fun with something....Let me explain!
For almost 2 years now, one way I have been able to serve at church is by cleaning the nursery toys every other week (the lovely Cheri cleans them on the other weeks).
Generally speaking, Luke goes with me. He finds multiple things to play with while I clean.
Over the last 6 months or so, he finds it most fun to play in the "Butterfly" room (those who go to our church probably know which room I'm talking about).
Today, I went in to check on him, and he had the tow truck out....towing another vehicle. And, Luke was having FUN!
And, the FUN for me was to simply watch him for a bit....I LOVE this aspect of his personality!
Way back in March, we took a family trip to Tennessee.
"Why Tennessee," you may ask?
Well, Marc and I have a goal of visiting all 50 states and all Canadian provinces by the end of our lifetimes. I had been in Tennessee. Marc had not. We wanted a location that we could drive to with at least somewhat ease. And, we wanted to go south as to avoid any potential major March blizzard.
Also, at this point in March, I knew I'd be at a good point to travel in my pregnancy -- if I remember correctly, I was around 24 weeks at this point....NOT at all uncomfortable yet (though we made many more restroom stops for me than we did for our 3 year-old).
So, on the first day, we drove all day to arrive in Memphis.
After a good night's sleep, we went to Graceland.
I MUST say that neither of us are Elvis fans. However, a number of trusted individuals told us to visit if we were in Memphis as it is quite interesting.
And, before I post any pics, I will say that these individuals were correct -- both Marc and I did find it interesting.
Because we knew Luke would not care about much of it (until he spotted Elvis' airplanes), we actually bought more than just the "cheapest" package of a tour JUST so that Luke would be able to see the airplanes.
It's interesting because in Elvis' mansion, it's all been left decorated from the 70s....
They have his MANY music awards for all to see....
And, Elvis himself, his mother and father, twin brother (who died at birth), and his grandmother are all buried on the property.
And....a VERY BORED (but reasonably behaved) Luke....what a trooper! AND, I'm personally VERY grateful we did hassle with the stroller. It saved A LOT of extra whining and complaining.
Fortunately, at age 3, little things fascinate. Luke, as a case in point, was very fascinated by the fountains beside the tombstones.
And finally, after MUCH anticipation, Luke got to see Elvis' airplanes....the true HIGHLIGHT
for him (though he doesn't have a clue about whose airplanes they were)....
The funny thing is that Luke was SO excited to see those airplanes that day. But, now that we're home and over a month out from this vacation, he never mentions them. Luke only likes to talk about the "Tennessee Hotels."
Because Luke did well (and we were getting hungry), we all stopped for expensive ice cream at Graceland.
After a cool, air-conditioned rest at the hotel (it was hot in Tennessee that week), we asked an employee at the hotel for a good "Memphis BBQ" establishment to eat...we did NOT want a chain.
She recommended a place not too far from the hotel called "Germantown Commissary."
YES....a "shack" type place....
I failed to take any pics of our food, but it was quite tasty. AND, we would most definitely recommend the establishment to anybody visiting Memphis.
After eating that evening, we actually took a 20-mile drive (roughly) into the state of Mississippi.
Neither of us had been there....we wanted another state to check off of our list :)
And, for Luke....
Yep, he slept through the whole drive. Graceland must've worn him out. But, when he's older and understands a bit more, we can honestly tell him that he has indeed been in the state of Mississippi.
Stay tuned for more adventures!
If you read THIS PARTICULAR POST from yesterday, you'll know that I'm striving to take at least one pic a day in May -- on a topic that was given already.
Today's topic for a photo -- "Skyline."
I actually decided to take this a bit differently. Allow me to explain.
Luke has a book about airplanes. In this book, it has a picture and a description of an airplane that flies over skyscrapers.
From this book, Luke has learned about skyscrapers.
BUT, since we live in a small town and not near a HUGE city, Luke tends to think that all somewhat tall buildings are skyscrapers.
SO, since our little fine town of Newton definitely doesn't have any skyscrapers nor any real skyline to take a pic of -- I took a pic of Luke's version of a skyscraper in Newton.
If you're local, you know exactly where this building is located. It's actually a set of apartments.
But Luke, in his cute little 3 year-old mind, looks at this building as a skyscraper.
The funny thing is that back in March, we were in a couple of large cities with some buildings that would've been closer to skyscrapers. Luke did notice them.
BUT, we return to Newton, and this building is still a skyscraper to him.
I L.O.V.E. his innocence and excitement for things that we take for granted!
Last night, as I was spending my ritualistic time on Facebook, I came across a "Photo a Day in May."
It intrigued me.
I don't know if it's meant for Instagram, Facebook, etc....But, I decided to set a goal to do as many as I can this month (I'm certainly not promising each day). I realize it's a bit more work to put on this blog (as compared to Instagram), but I'll give it a shot.
We'll see what happens :)
So, for May 1, the photo is to represent "Peace."
I must give a short background about my day....And, ultimately, my "peace" photo is going to be 3 different pics (I can bend the rules a bit....)
This morning, my Tuesday morning Bible Study group from church met for our last "Hurrah" for the school year. Last week, we finished our Beth Moore study on David. Today, we met at the park with all of our kiddos for a playdate and a picnic lunch.
This particularly morning, though fine at home, Luke did NOT behave well AT ALL! I realize all children (and adults) have their moments, but oh my -- quite frankly, he embarrassed me.
I'm not sure what was going on (other than we're all sinful -- see Romans 3:23).
Luke pushed a friend of his. Luke was disobedient with me. I did NOT stop pushing somebody on the swing even though she repeatedly told him to stop. Blah, Blah, Blah....
Long story short, he was in time out twice at the park. And, quite frankly, we should've exited the park, and I should've instituted a stronger consequence.
Looking back at the situation, however, I also realize that not only was Luke defiant, I didn't handle the situation in a very graceful, Godly-mother way. My tone was harsh with him. I was annoyed....again, Blah, Blah, Blah....
When we finally got home, I told him (upon noticing that he seemed rather tired) he needed to go and spend some time in his room with the door closed. Even though Luke does not routinely nap anymore, I also went on to tell him that he needed to lie down for awhile.
I figured he must've been tired because he didn't dispute me (or, he just finally picked up on the fact that I was very upset with him and figured out that he better just obey).
SO, when he was finally in his room and I was by myself, my version of "Peace" set in....This would be a pic of Luke's door CLOSED!
Then, something else dawned on me.
Luke's door closed (with Luke in the room, quiet) may indeed be peaceful.
But ultimately, that is NOT peace....Yes, it's "peaceful" at the moment.
But, peace can really only be obtained from one source -- the source up above -- abiding in Christ....peace in my soul.
One way to "listen" to God is to spend time in His Word....
Currently, my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE song is 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman.
On a side note (really quick), I was extremely pleased when our worship pastor candidate at church (this past Sunday) lead the congregation in this song.
Anyways, this song is based on Psalm 103.
So, while many "things" of this world may seem like peace, ultimate "peace" in the soul can truly only be found by abiding in Christ.
And, read and meditate on Psalm 103....
**And, scroll on down to read my next post if you haven't yet.
If you're around Luke at all, you probably know about his lawnmower fascination.
He's really liked lawnmowers since about one year of age. However, as he's gotten older, he can obviously talk about it.
Last summer, he started asking nearly everybody about the color of their lawnmower, how it starts, etc.
Since going through the winter and there wasn't any mowing going on (despite a very mild winter), I've noticed he hasn't been asking as may questions about other people's lawnmowers.
BUT, in case you're wondering, Luke does still indeed have a fascination with lawnmowers.
He still notices them when we're driving around town, and he'll notice them in obscure places behind people's houses (stuff I would NEVER notice -- even if I weren't driving).
AND, so far, Marc's had the lawnmower out several times this year for our own yard.
Yep, Luke's been out to help -- if Marc were to ever mow without him, we'd have one SAD little boy.
And, yesterday was a big day in "Luke's World."
I had a routine prenatal doctor's appointment. My dad has been kind enough to come and watch Luke during most of my appointments. Yesterday was no exception.
The evening before, my dad called and asked if he could take Luke to my grandparents' old farm (which still remains in the family) in McPherson County (about 30 minutes from here).
I didn't care at all...I just had to drive up and get him after my appointment because my dad was going to be there awhile.
When I arrived at the farm after my appointment, here's what I got to see -- one happy boy on a lawnmower with his Papa.
After those pics were taken, Luke ended up with a very special treat.
A motor grader came up the country road. My dad quickly flagged down the drive to stop (the driver he not only knows, but he's a second cousin).
My dad asked Keith (the driver) if Luke could climb in the motor grader for a bit. Keith obliged and even turned off the motor grader to avoid any intimidation (Luke doesn't particularly like loud noises; however, the motor grader noise wouldn't have bothered him).
SO, after mowing with Papa, Luke got to climb inside a motor grader....it's TOO BAD I didn't have my camera with me at that point....it all happened kind of fast.
After that point, I headed home with Luke.
Upon arriving at home, Marc had already gotten home from work. He needed to then mow our lawn.
SO, Luke, once again, went out with his Daddy to mow. (and, I didn't get anymore pics....I figured I already had some from not quite two weeks ago -- the ones posted above).
What a day in "Luke's World."