Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Promised Children

I haven't talked much yet about my intensive bible study since it started up in early September. This year we're studying Isaiah. I have always been confused and afraid by Isaiah -- my common response when flipping it open and reading a passage has been, "What IS he talking about?" It's such a blessing to open the Word with other people to sort through the maze together.

We're 6 weeks in and only up to Isaiah 9 so far. But oh my! How filled those 9 chapters are! Woes and punishment, an angry God and a mission that would bear no fruit... and hidden amongst the negativity, 4 very special promised children.

Most people know that Christ was prophesied about in Isaiah, but they've only heard the selected passages read during Advent. It's absolutely amazing to see, even in just these nine small chapters, how much actually points to Christ. It's so much more than what you've heard. But first, the other 3:

The first promised child was actually already born when we meet him in Isaiah 7. He's Isaiah's son, Shear-Jashub. His special name means "A remant will return." His name was a promise and a prophetic message to the people of Judah.

The second is one that many people miss. In Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah prophesies a sign from God: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." This is one of those Christmas verses most people have heard once or twice (a year... every year). What most people DON'T realize is the context: This is one of those common (and I'd never noticed before) Now-And-Later prophesies in the old testiment. You can tell the "now" from v. 16 -- "But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste." This was fulfilled when the King of Assyria swept in a few years later. The "later" (Christ) is actually a little hidden, even though it's the one we're more familiar with. And, actually, I have a hard time seeing it myself, so feel free to refute me! I'm drawing this from several respected theologians and the study notes. According to them, the reference to Christ is in v. 13 when Isaiah addresses not King Ahaz (who he was previously speaking to), but the whole house of David. I never knew about the earlier child before, who was also called Immanuel, meaning God with us. I have some more research to do!

The third promised child was another of Isaiah's sons. This son was born in 8:1-4 and was named Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. That's a mouthful, isn't it! I must say, that one didn't make the list for our Little Somebody. His name means "Quick to plunder, swift to spoil." Verse 4 tells us what this means: "Before the boy knows how to say 'My father' or 'My mother,' the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria." Destruction against Judah's enemies will come quickly, even though in chapter 7 (and child #2) we find out that Judah will be overrun (But! According to child #1, a remnant will remain!).

Oh! And the long-awaited fourth child! I bet you can guess who this is!

6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor,Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

Four promised children. Four prophetic names, rich with meaning and understanding. And four reasons to hope, even in the midst of Isaiah's messyness. I just had to share!

God bless you on this Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Maternity Clothes Woes

I don't know what it is about my body, but I am showing REALLY early. I'm just past 11 weeks and already having to lay aside my regular work wardrobe. I hung out with my mom this weeked and she revealed that she went into maternity clothes full-time at 10 weeks. So I guess I've gotten a little past her! It's just ironic, because so far I've actually lost a good bit of weight (gotta love morning sickness... boo).

But with my changing figure and a lack of time, I've been busy shopping to keep myself covered. At least, I've been trying to...
What is UP with modern maternity clothing?! Everything I've found is either 1) ugly 2) expensive or 3) most often, both! I have zero interest in wearing skin tight leggings and ill-fitting tops, or even worse, ill fitting tops with writing on them:
Lest I come across as too grumbly, my lovely mother has purchased a couple dress lengths of jersey knit and is whipping me up a couple of work dresses. And eventually, I'll find my sewing machine in the chaos that is moving boxes, get it repaired, and sew for myself. In the mean time, I'm going to take a moment to be positive: Since I need a whole new wardrobe anyway, I'm replacing with more pretty skirts and dresses that I really like instead of the pants I keep finding myself slipping back into. And once I quit my job in the spring, no one will care if a robe counts as "dressed" for the day!
Wish me luck. Hopefully I'm in the last throws of morning sickness and I can start gaining back the 8lbs I've lost, getting on the right track for the long term. Tho, I will miss the easy excuse for my 4th nap today :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Neat Website

I stumbled across this site at work today and just had to share with you:

It's an online database of books, posted in various formats from simple text to the fancy e-readers. They're all free -- the concept of Project Gutenberg is to put every book in the public domain online so that they're free and available forever. It started in 1971 with the US constitution and has expanded continuously from there :) Best part is that since the copyrights are expired, you can print, copy... essentially do whatever you want with the texts.
I know I'm a bookworm, and many of you are too, so I thought you'd like to know!
PS: Still pregnant, still morning sick, still holding on :). 11 weeks down, 29 to go. And a rant in process over the pathetic state of maternity clothes for those of us whose sewing machines are broken.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I forgot to tell you...

In the midst of everything else, I forgot to tell you how our initial appointment with our OB went!

It's routine at the practice I go to to do early ultrasounds, mostly to correctly date the pregnancy. For me, this has extra significance: I needed to know that Baby was, and is, ok. I have faith in God of course, but I was having so much anxiety about the what-might-bes that when the ultrasound was offered, I definately accepted. I needed that reassurance.

Reassured I was!

Our happy little baby was bouncing all around during the whole procedure. You wouldn't think a 9 1/2 week old could get around much, but this little one was. The tech had to do the measurements a couple times because Baby wouldn't stay still. Then, right at the very end, Baby started waving his/her little arms. It was everything I needed and then some to feel safe, confident, and loved. Everything is going to be ok -- no matter what. It was such a blessing.

Just thought you'd like to know!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wallpaper Woes

I slipped off the blog-wagon again -- but I have an excuse!

Friday morning we closed on our house. It's beautiful. It's perfect! At least, it will be once the many-decades-old-and-ugly wallpaper comes down. Personally, I'm leaning towards a ban on wallpaper. It should be illegal, or you should be required by law to remove it before selling your home. Why? WHY?! Because it is such a long, exhausting, PAIN!

Although my camera is at the other house, let me paint you a word-picture:

In the bedroom... blue wallpaper in a quilt pattern with wood panelling half way up, and a chair rail. We pulled off the pannelling to find ORIGINAL (1930s) pink wallpaper that kind of looks like brown paper bags painted over with dusty rose. Current stripping time: over 15 hours, with probably 2 or 3 still to go

In the dining room and hallway... red, white, and black floral print that was so small and painful that my camera didn't know what to do with it. It turned the flowers into dizzying lines. There was panelling in there, too, which was hiding tan... um... I don't even have words. It's tan, with vertical lines, and little gold foil bits that kind of look like worms. Stripping time: not yet started, and I'm dreading the day.

I'm saving pieces for my scrap book.

It's a lot of work (a LOT), but I'm so excited to be getting my nest ready for our growing family. There's so much to do and only 30 weeks to accomplish it in! I've already picked the colors fomr the living room and our bedroom. I've got some good thoughts on the dining room. And I have NO idea what I'm going to do with the nursery. Change that a little... I have far too many ideas, but I can only use one. Narrowing it down is going to be a challenge. I think I'm going to put that off for a few more months :)

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Flu Shots?

Hi Ladies!

I wanted to ask you all something: Have you gotten or do you plan to get a flu shot this year?

I'm debating. Technically, according to "people who know," pregnant ladies (like myself!) are supposed to get the shot. However, I have real hesitations with unnecessary medications, and I think shots for common things are kinda silly. My dr. is leaving it entirely up to me and I'm at a loss!

What do you think?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Multitude Monday

holy experience
It's been a while since I've had an opportunity to participate in the Multitude Monday. Not that I haven't had things to be grateful for -- we certainly have! -- but I always seem to busy to write them. Today, finally, I have one blessing that I've been waiting nearly forever to share with you:
#56: The gift of new life...
We're having a baby!
I'm 9 weeks along and feeling... well... I'm 9 weeks along :). We're due in early May.
We decided to delay starting prenatal treatment this time because there's nothing doctors can do in the first few weeks anyway. "Stop drinking." "Stop smoking." Things I don't need to hear anyway. It's all up to God -- all the way through. My practitioner (insurance-selected...) recommends starting treatment at 6 weeks or as soon as you find out... we convinced her to delay until 10. Not a huge bump, but significant to us. So, on Columbus day, we'll go in to see and hopefully hear our little explorer and how he/she is growing and finding the way to us. One more week! God willing, everything's normal and we're on the right track.
Happy Monday, and may you be blessed!