Today is the day... and I'm so excited to share it with you!
This month, my blog turns SIX years old - can you believe it? It seems like I was just a new mommy with a toddler, wondering if I could just possibly have my own blog. Roughly 775 posts later, here we are! Still blogging, and loving it - and hoping to continue for the long haul.
It's been an incredible journey.
When I began this blog, I was struggling to recover from the hardest experience of my life to date - full-blown hyperemesis gravidarum during the pregnancy of our first live-born son.
To say that hyperemesis rocked my world would be an understatement, and it's hard to describe to anyone who hasn't been there. It took my health, it took my faith, and it destroyed the foundations of my worldview, my personhood, and pretty much everything else. It rocked my universe.
It took me many years to recover physically (recovery came in stages), and six years to recover spiritually. It has been a long road.
Today, I can look back at my experience, and say, as a fellow HG-friend did (though I didn't understand at the time), "I needed this." Oddly enough, it's true. God had a lot to teach me, and he really had to shake me up to do it. I didn't know how immature I was (though I see it looking back), and how much my infant faith was based on false assumptions and a whole lotta arrogance. God had so much work to do on me, and I learned some lessons the hard way. "He is not a tame Lion."
Not that I want to go through it again. No one ever does. If I were back in my pre-HG self, I have no doubt that I would choose to stay immature rather than go through that nightmare again. But God did not leave that choice up to me, and I am profoundly grateful for that mercy.
This blog began with a dual purpose (though I didn't know it) - to publish the research I was doing into hyperemesis treatment, and to deal with the spiritual fallout in my faith after hyperemesis. Like many traumatic experiences (such as abusive birth trauma situations), it took a while for me to feel the true effect of the blow, and at 20 months postpartum I was just starting to feel the full spiritual ramifications of my experience.
This blog has been highly instrumental in helping me to process my feelings, receive godly input and encouragement from readers, and also organize a huge body of research into NVP and hyperemesis. I hope and pray that this blog has been a blessing to the many of HG mamas who have happened upon it, and I have enjoyed the privilege of corresponding with many of them.
Thank you for all of your love, support, and encouragement, dear readers!
Over the past year or two, I have sensed a shift in the content of this blog. While I am still vitally interested in hyperemesis research, I am also now interested in many other things - faith, family, theology, home education, and writing about life in general. While morning sickness is still a theme, it's no longer the major theme.
Thus, it's time for this blog to be reborn.
Firstly, I have gathered together my (updated and pared down) hyperemesis links, and put them to the LEFT in my blog format. I want the information always to be available to HG mamas who are searching for help. (And I'll still be blogging occationally about HG!) I've also updated my other non-HG link lists and sidebar material (now confined to the RIGHT of my blog), and have added lots of juicy new items, such as the ability to subscribe to posts by email and lots of book lists. (Have I mentioned that I have an addiction to book lists?)
Secondly, it's time for... a blog name change!
As I mentioned previously, the new name of my blog came to mind instantaneously upon the heels of the idea itself. "Should I change my blog name? Yes, and the new name is such-and-such." After getting my husband's enthusiastic approval, I'm excited to finally share the new name with you, and it is....
~ Trust and Obey ~
This blog name is, of course, based on a hymn:
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
(Full lyrics and hymn history here.)
Why did I choose this name? (Except for the fact, of course, that I didn't choose this name - it apparently chose me, or rather, the Lord chose it for me.)
This name reflects the greatest challenge of my life. It's not a sermon that I'm preaching to my audience, but rather, a hard life lesson that the Lord is teaching me, and one that I'm apparently slow at learning. I have an incredibly hard time trusting God for the long haul, and an even harder time obeying the Lord when I know that something is right to do (or has been asked of me), but am afraid of the outcome (in other words, afraid to trust God for a good long-term outcome).
A quick example:
Several years ago, after we had decided to homeschool our children, I quit. In fact, I quit before we ever started. I threw up my hands, declared my rebellion to my husband and my family, and started madly touring elementary schools. "I don't know what I was thinking, but there is NO WAY I am going to homeschool, and I'm DONE. Period."
This was in spite of the fact that I had felt a clear leading from the Lord in my heart, and heard the spoken wishes of my husband, toward home education. None of that mattered. I wanted my clean house back. I wanted my free time back. I wanted MY life back. I was the one who knew what was best, and by golly, no one was gonna tell me otherwise!
Thankfully, the Lord kept knocking, quietly and persistently, on my heart. I fought it for a year or two, but eventually I gave in - with very bad grace, I might add.
"Okay, you want me to homeschool. FINE. It's going to be a flop, and I'm going to be miserable, and it'll be all your fault. But have it YOUR way."
Of course, now that we are three years in, I laugh at myself - because home education has been the best decision our family ever made. It has poured out blessing upon blessing upon both us and our children, not to mention being the greatest adventure of our lives, and we wouldn't have it other way. And I could have saved myself a whole lot of heartache and frustration (not to mention time and money) if I had just obeyed God and trusted that he knew what he was doing, and that everything would come out okay.
But I had to learn the hard way.
That was also the case in another life-issue recently. I knew what the Lord expected, but that didn't change the fact that I didn't want to obey. And furthermore, I was afraid to obey. "God, if I obey you in such-and-such, You don't realize what might happen!" The time from my understanding the Lord's will to breaking down and saying, "Okay, I'll do it" was approximately six years. And again, obedience has resulted in blessing upon blessing, both spiritual and physical. I wish I'd just obeyed right away.
But I'm apparently a slow learner, and I have the feeling that I will have this challenge for many years, if not my whole life. Stepping out in trust and obedience is not my strong point.
And thus, my badge, my reminder, is "Trust and Obey." Because, truly, there is no other way to be happy in Jesus. And that is my life's journey-challenge.
In looking over the early entries of this blog (which I've been doing a lot of late, as I write a new series based on events that happened in the second year of this blog), I am struck by one thing - how far I've come in six years. Sometimes I cringe as I read those old entries, realizing how immature I was, how pathetic and shallow my theology was, and how young I was. Though I have hardly realized it, God has brought me a long way. And should my journey on earth be prolonged another decade (or two or three or four), I know that I will be able to say the same thing at the end of each of those. God is faithful. He is always working on me, on my husband, on our family - for our good and His glory. He may not be a tame Lion, but He is Good. And we can trust and obey with full confidence in His love and His mercy.
"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
What will be covered in this blog's new direction? Lots and lots!
- Home education: Curriculum reviews, crafts, country studies, our adventures, everything we're learning (and that I'm learning as a new home educator)
- Homemaking: No matter how much I learn, there's an enormous body of material still to learn. I love to share what I'm learning!
- Our Family's Adventures - Everything under the sun!
- Various: Theology, practical things, Christian womanhood, ramblings on every topic under the sun.
I'm not able to make any guarantees with this blog. Sometimes, like now, I am able to be very productive and to put out content regularly. Sometimes, like when there's a new baby around, I have to make myself scarce. However, writing is my passion, and I hope to be around as often as possible, and I love to write whenever I can (it's often more a matter of limiting my writing time!).
I very much hope you'll join me for the journey.
Thank you for all of the support over the years, dear friends! Your encouragement and support has meant the world, and I look forward to sharing new adventures with you!