Monday, October 19, 2009

Blog Party!

I am still learning more and more about this blogging world, and one thing I've just stumbled across is this Blog Party. I know that lots of you who read my writing (mostly old friends and family, I think!) do not blog yourselves. This Blog Party is a way to introduce my blog to like-minded bloggers, because we all list our sites on the blog that is hosting the party. You can check out the hosting site, and look at the other blogs that have linked up here.

The host of the Blog Party, Lynnette Kraft, has posted 20 questions for participants to answer about themselves as an introduction to new visitors. Here are mine!

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while you're blogging?
A latte I picked up from my hubby when I visited him at his job-- Starbucks!

2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?
God's grace; it has changed the way I live, what I hope to accomplish in life, and the way I view myself.
Romans 5:1-2 "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God."

3. Beach, Mountains or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?
I live in the mountains now. They're little, but I love them!

4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty?
Folding the white laundry. Endless undershirts and socks with no matches!

5. Who do people say you remind them of?
No one in particular, but people say I act like a mom and teacher... which is fine by me!

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying at home with the fam?
I love spending time with my husband, and would choose alone time with him over a party. But we enjoy socializing together.

7. What's your all time favorite movie?
Honestly, Toy Story. I don't think that will every change!

8. Do you sleep in your make up or remove it like a good girl every night?
Every night? No way!

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it?
Reed bought me a sewing machine for my birthday this year, and I can't wait to master it! I think that might take a while, though.

10. What's one strange thing you're really good at?
Finding my way out of a town we're completely lost in. At least, I'm better at it than Reed is!

11. What first attracted you to your spouse?
Reed's desire to live for God attracted me to his life before I was attracted to him. I told my friends that he was the exact type of person I wanted to marry, even though I wasn't attracted to him yet! Then, within the year, I knew he was for me.

12. What is something you love to smell?
A warm house filled with yummy food. And newborns.

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people.
I bite my nails, and that bothers a lot of people. Particularly, Reed and my grandmother.

14. When you have extra money (HA!) what's the first thing you think to do with it?
Pay off the ridiculous amount of student loans that Reed and I owe, for sure!

15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest?
I hope my laugh isn't obnoxious, but I think I am a loud laugher. Silly kids, story telling with friends, and enjoying genuine fellowship make me laugh.

16. Where is your favorite place to shop?
I love T.J. Maxx.

17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time?
Practice on my sewing machine.

18. Are you a big spender or frugal?
Frugal! Trying to grow my frugal skills with every week.

19. Who is your favorite character of all time (from a movie or book)? (Can't be real)
After wasting way too much time trying to think of someone, I'm just going to say that I'll have to come back to this one.

20. Would you want to be famous?
Nope. I have enough trouble trying to please God and my husband. I don't need millions of others judging my actions and choices!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Living in the "Now"

I must admit that I have a problem with focusing on 'now.' I couldn't wait to graduate from high school, and go to college. Then when I went to college, I couldn't wait to get married. When we were married, I couldn't wait to finish school and start a family. Now that I'm pregnant, I'm already looking forward to the next one.

Of course, it is good to anticipate joys in our lives. But I have far too often pushed aside today in my eagerness for some coming event. I am called to glorify God with my living every day, not just with big decisions and big events. My focus was misplaced as I finished high school, came to college, and got married. I should have been seeking to glorify God and enjoy the moments of the phase I was currently in. I truly have been trying to take this lesson to heart with this current season in my life.

Today, my husband and I celebrate an anniversary of sorts-- 7 years ago today he asked me to be his girlfriend. We have spent 7 years being able to spend as much time as we'd like focusing on each other in our relationship. But in 3 months, that is going to change when we bring baby Abel, our first born, home to join our family. As eager as I am for that little one to join us, I am focusing each day on soaking up one on one time with my precious husband. This pregnancy has flown by! I want to be sure I don't miss the wonderful times in this season in my hurry to prepare for and look forward to the next. This re-focusing has made this time alone with my husband so sweet, instead of a time of anxiety.

This lesson is one I am trying to apply to my life in a different way, too. As I mentioned before, Reed and I are planning on moving to Kentucky in less than a year so he can attend Seminary (Lord willing). Knowing that I have such a short time left here in Lynchburg tempts me to close off my heart to those here I love. Since I know I am leaving, why pour into those friendships? Why join another group at church, another study? We're just going to leave, and the more relationships we make, the harder it will be to go. I am already truly heartbroken that we're leaving, why make it worse?

But I can't focus on next year. I am here, Reed is here, because the Lord would have us here now. We are seeking to glorify God wherever we go, whenever He places us there. Since we are in Lynchburg, I am opening my heart to friends here so that we can learn and grow from each other. When we move to Kentucky, we will probably only live there as long as it takes Reed to finish school. But I sure hope to build relationships, pour into the local body of believers, grow and make friendships in those 4 short years. How sad and miserable (not to mention un-Biblical) my life would be if I waited until I thought we'd 'arrived' in life to settle down, make friends, and build relationships.

When we began building a new (precious) friendship here in Lynchburg recently, our new friends jokingly said to Reed and I, "Let's start hanging out a lot, so we'll be really sad when you leave." Every time I think of that, it makes me smile and it makes me sad. But I am willing to be sad when we move to enjoy a godly friendship now!

Each day we have is a gift from God, and I truly hope that I act like that is true. I do not want to fast forward through today just to get to an exciting event, or live my life like I'm just killing time until we arrive at some perfect life circumstance.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pregnancy Week 21

Abel Kenneth Kerr 16 weeks, 6 days

Wow! I cannot believe that I am already 21 weeks 3 days along. I really feel like the time has flow so far, and I just know the second half will be even quicker since I have Thanksgiving and Christmas to look forward to. I think the last time I blogged about the baby is when I announced I was pregnant! Time for an update.

We found out during week 16 that I am going to be having a little boy, who we have named Abel Kenneth. We also had a scare around that week when my doctors thought that Abel was going to have Spina Bifida. Though Reed and I joyfully submitted to the Lord either way, He saw fit for the test results to come back negative-- no Spina Bifida. In other medical news, I am still giving myself blood thinning injections twice daily, for the safety of both Abel and myself, which I will continue until 6 weeks after the birth (for my own safety).

Through a strange set of circumstances, which was obviously put into motion by God, I will be switching my primary obstetrician. Though I love my doctor, her office is over a half an hour from my house. When I soon begin going weekly for testing, that drive will eat up more time and gas money then I care to think about. However, our insurance did not cover an OB doctor in Lynchburg. This also meant that I would not be delivering at our local hospital. But, at my last visit my doctor decided that Abel and I were too high risk for her little hospital that did not have a NICU, should we need it, and she asked me to find a new doctor. The closest doctor to me that took my insurance and could deliver me at a hospital with a NICU was about an hour an a half away! Even worse for those weekly tests I'm going to need. Then Reed and I remembered that his company was switching insurance companies October 1st! And, the local OB group in Lynchburg would now be covered! So, not only will I be able to deliver here in Lynchburg, but I will also only have to drive about 5 minutes to get to my weekly appointments.

The other development in the pregnancy thus far worth noting is the kidney problem Abel has: hydronephrosis. Because of the high risk nature of my pregnancy, I have to see a Perinatologist in addition to my regular OB. During a sonogram, they discovered that Abel's kidneys appeared bright, and that one of them was swollen with fluid. My doctor said that his kidneys required monitoring, and that if the fluid levels worsen or blockage occurs, Abel will need to be delivered prematurely so that he can have surgery. We have been back for a follow up sonogram once and his kidneys already looked a little better. I will continue to follow up with this doctor so he can monitor Abel's kidneys, though obviously we are praying this issue goes away and our baby will not need surgery!

Abel and Mama, 21 weeks 3 days

Saturday, September 19, 2009


The Laslie's from our church invited everyone out to their family's farm for a BBQ on this beautiful day. But in addition to the food, they also had a little shooting range set up. I had never been around guns before, and it was pretty neat. It was great to see men and women enjoying something in a safe and respectful way that can be used in such an terrible way when not used properly. The kids even had a chance to shoot because Keith (one of the elders at our church) took the time to brief each child on the safety and responsibility necessary when shooting a gun. What I thought was going to be scary (hearing gun shots all afternoon, with kids running around) turned out to be an educational experience. Reed said that he thinks when children (and grown ups!) have the opportunity to use/see guns in a controlled environment, in real life, it takes away a lot of the misconceptions from TV, and also takes away the fear and mystery behind guns.
The weather was beautiful, the fellowship was encouraging, and the whole thing just felt so Southern to me :) I love, love, love living in Lynchburg and attending church with my family at Redeeming Grace!

The Croteau kids (Danielle and DJ) and myself


Ann instructing Danielle how to be a safe gun observer

Do you see his ears? Danielle put the ear muffs on the poor practice deer.

Today was Danielle's 9th birthday! Happy Birthday, Danielle!

Little Libby being cute while her momma and big brothers learned how to shoot.

Libby's brothers, Christopher and Jonathan, (with Ken) recieving a safety lesson from Keith.

Jonathan was so proud after he shot the gun (with Keith's help).

Reed recieving the same lesson from Keith before he shot :) He hit the little target twice! Yay, Reed!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Reed!

On Friday, the 11th, my best friend turned 23! Happy Birthday, Reed!

A few months back, we had decided to go to Nags Head when the rates dropped, which just happened to be on his birthday weekend. So, we left on Thursday morning, and came back Saturday night. We had a such a good time! Reed and I had only been away for 1 night together since our honeymoon (on a mini-trip to Charlottesville earlier this summer, which was also awesome) and we really enjoyed going to the beach together.

The hotel we stayed in had a very large bird named Sabrina that lived in the lobby. She was pretty neat, and the door to her cage was left open. There was a huge sign behind Sabrina, warning us that she bit. But as we walked up to her, she balanced herself on one leg, offering me the other. So, of course, I picked her up and of course, she bit me. The lady at the check in counter yelled at Sabrina and tried to spray her with water so Sabrina would let me go, but she got me instead.

The first night, we spent way too much $$$ on a seafood buffet. We both really wanted to get some good seafood (okay, me more than Reed, but he's a nice guy) though afterwards decided the money would have been better spent at our favorite Italian restaurant here in Lynchburg. You live and learn!

The second day, I woke up to Reed reading his Bible in the corner, and he handed me some coffee when my head popped up. (At home, he hands me tea:) I was enjoying some Food Network while Reed read, and then his phone rang. It was his parents calling to wish him a happy birthday, I could hear over the phone. I felt so terrible! I had forgotten! I mean, I had only been awake for maybe a half an hour, but I had made such a big deal about his birthday the night before. When Reed got off of the phone, he told me that he had forgotten it was his birthday too, until he opened up his Bible reading plan and saw the date. He said maybe if I had read my Bible instead of watching Food Network, I would have remembered too :)

After figuring out that it was Reed's birthday, we went out for a drive. We ate a snack at Duck doughnuts, went to a few shops looking for a charm for my bracelet, and then ate at a local bagel place for lunch. Though it was overcast, we put on our swim suits and hit the beach with our books in hand. We ended up staying much later than we meant to, and both of us are now crispy from the sun that decided to come out.

Toni reading on the beach
Reed reading on the beach

That night we grabbed a pizza for dinner, and hung out in the room. We had planned on going back out and flying kites on the beach, but I had migraine # 1 out of 3 on this short little trip that night, so we just stayed in.

The next morning, after packing up our room and saying goodbye to Sabrina, I had another migraine. I tried to be tough, so we went and got fries after checking out, in spite of the migraine. This was a bad decision, as the fries I ate ended up all over the parking lot in my attempt to throw up in the grass. Ugh.

We had wanted to eat at a pancake house we spotted in town, but I was too scared to eat before we got in the car for 6 hours (during which I had another migraine!!). So, we took some pictures in huge beach chairs instead:

Goodbye Nags Head! We had a great time! We'll be back!

Monday, September 7, 2009

This Momentary Marriage- Piper

A post on this subject, marriage, is daunting to me.

I recently read "This Momentary Marriage" by John Piper, and was comforted by his hesitation to address the subject as well. "I waited 40 years to write this book. There have been so many stresses in our marriage that I felt unfit to write about marriage at 10, 20, or 30 years into it. Now at 40 years, I realize we will never have it all together, so it seemed a good time to speak."

I have only been married for nearly 3, and I don't think I'll have as much wisdom as Piper even when I have been married for 40 years. But I read somewhere when I was first married that we should always be passing on what we have learned; somewhere there is someone who has experienced less than you... even if you have only been married a day longer than your listener.

Of course, there are many aspects to marriage: the practical, the spiritual, the enjoyable, the sacrifice. I just wanted to share a few things I learned, or things that were brought back to my attention, while reading Piper's "This Momentary Marriage."

1) Marriage is a parable, which exists for His glory

This topic alone, and it's implications, could be a book by itself... but I'll keep it short. Piper says throughout his book that, "The ultimate thing we can say about marriage is that it exists for God's glory. That is, it exists to display God. Now we see how: Marriage is patterned after Christ's covenant relationship to his redeemed people, the church. And therefore, the highest meaning and the most ultimate purpose of marriage is to put the covenant relationship of Christ and his church on display. That is why marriage exists. If you are married, that is why you are married. If you hope to be, that should be your dream" (pg.25).

The primary purpose is not for physical or emotional satisfaction, though those things are important and God does use a successful marriage to bless us in these ways. The purpose is not to have a successful financial relationship, to stick around as long as you are 'happy,' or to live together and put on smiling face as long as the kids are in the house, though the world may promote marriage as these things. Marriage is ultimately about living a parable, demonstrating the relationship of our Lord and Savior Christ, and His bride the Church. The conclusions that should be evident in our relationships because of this fact are many: leadership and submition, sacrifice and devotion, respect, honor, and love, delight and joy. How would your marriage look if you, wife, treated your husband the way you would Christ? And how would your marriage look, husband, if you loved and cared for your wife the way Christ does for His bride?

If we are living in our marriage relationships in such a way that we are daily conforming to His will for the relationship, we are learning to portray Christ and the Church to all who view our marriage. By using this aspect of our lives to point to Christ, we glorify Him.

2) Marriage is permanent
This point is a repercussion of the first. If you understand marriage to be a symbol of Christ and His bride, the issue of divorce becomes very clear. When has Christ left His bride? Piper explains, "if Christ ever abandons and discards the church, then a man may divorce his wife. And if the blood-bought church, under the new covenant, ever ceases to be the bride of Christ, then a wife may legitimately divorce her husband. But as long as Christ keeps His covenant with the church, and as long as the church, by the omnipotent grace of God, remains the chosen people of Christ, then the very meaning of marriage will include: What God has joined, only God can separate" (pg. 159).

Piper explains that the only way to truly dissolve a marriage is for one of the two to die, because there is no marriage in heaven (Matt. 22:30). To understand marriage as a permanent thing that only God can dissolve (and on this side of heaven He will not), the words Jesus spoke in Luke make complete sense: “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery" (Luke 16:18). Jesus is not trying to punish the divorced by saying that their post-divorce relationships are adultery. He is saying that these people are not actually divorced, because marriage only ends upon the death of a spouse! So indeed, it is an adulterous act to wed another while your spouse is still living. (As a side note, of course there are life threatening situations where perhaps grievous sin is being committed in your home, and for safety you cannot live with your spouse. While leaving is not ideal but might be necessary for safety, divorce is not an option.) Piper attempts to address several "What if?" questions in the chapters about divorce. I do not claim to understand it all, nor have an answer for all the questions, and neither does Piper. However, I would encourage you to read the book if you had more questions.

3) Marriage is a covenant

This concept, that marriage is a covenant and not a conditional contract, has a profound impact on the spiritual aspect of marriage, as well as the day to day lives of two sinners struggling to reflect Christ. Because marriage is a covenant, it is permanent, as is Christ's love for the church. It is neither feelings nor actions based, but remains in place in spite of bad emotions or sinful deeds. On a daily basis, this means that both husband and wife are called to remain faithful to their spouse no matter what the other has done. Even beyond remaining faithful, each spouse is called to serve the other in spite of how they feel that day, or if their spouse has been grouchy. While it is difficult to rise above circumstances, and even more difficult sometimes to recognize that our sin is our own responsibility, (even though it might be response to a sinful spouse) we are still called to uphold our end of the covenant and serve our spouse faithfully.

Another wonderful daily benefit about covenant keeping love is that it should banish fear and insecurity. No matter how terribly we acted, or how ashamed we are of something, we can be confident our spouse will not leave, and will accept us with open arms. How comfortable (and comforting) it is to be in fellowship with someone who loves you unconditionally! I know that personally, that is a huge comfort to me. No matter how I look, what I've done or not done, what I've said or not said, I am not just tolerated, but prized by my husband.

Piper explains, "Amazingly, in the very context of the collapse of the covenant between God and man, and the collapse of the marriage covenant between Adam and Eve, God points by His mercy to the redemption that marriage itself is designed to display. God's design for marriage as a display of covenant-keeping mercy was not an afterthought. After the Fall, God did not have to redesign marriage. He knew what He had created in Genesis 2:24. And he knew what would happen in Genesis 3. The design of marriage, the fall of marriage, and the implied redemption of marriage all serve to tell us what marriage is for. Marriage exists to display the merciful covenant-keeping love of Christ and the faithfulness of His bride" (pg. 38).


My marriage is my favorite blessing from God (apart from my salvation) and I am so very aware of how richly He has blessed me. When I walk in the door to a note from my husband, when I am comforted by him through both the tiny and the life-shaking alike, when I am challenged by him to read though the Bible in a year, to post meaningful things on my blog, and to not waste my free time, when I doubt in the future, but can trust God to lead me through the leadership of my husband,and when I lay next to Reed at night in complete comfort and rest, through all these things I am genuinely in awe that this is only a taste of what is to come.

That the Lord loves me more.

That no matter how wonderful my relationship with Reed is, it was designed to portray something greater.

What an awesome responsibility. I am so thankful for the man I share this responsibility with, but even more thankful to the God who designed this for us.

Piper shares hopes that he, "might wake you up to consider a vision of marriage higher and deeper and stronger and more glorious than anything this culture- or perhaps even yourself- ever imagined. The greatness and glory of marriage is beyond our ability to think or feel without divine revelation and without the illumining and awakening work of the Holy Spirit. The world cannot know what marriage is without learning it from God. The natural man does not have the capacities to see or receive or feel the wonder of what God has designed marriage to be. I pray that this book might be used by God to help set your free from small, worldly, culturally contaminated, self-centered, Christ-ignoring, God-neglecting, romance-intoxicated, unbiblical view of marriage" (pg. 21).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's Next?

Since Reed and I married, we had assumed that post-graduation plans would include Reed working full time, and me continuing my education while I worked for a couple years. Then I would quit my job to become a stay at home mom. But this past year, we have been giving more and more thought to these plans. Two major problems with it were 1) Reed wanted to go into ministry, and so he needed to continue his education, and 2) we wanted to have children a lot sooner!

We first made the decision for me to stay home right after graduation instead of going to work, and began trying for a baby. That was a very easy decision, for both of us! While it hadn't always been that way, and the timing of our family was something we had gone in circles about before, it is amazing to see what the Lord does in each of our hearts when it is His timing! There is no use struggling against your spouse when you disagree about major decisions, the Lord will give peace in time about whatever decision He supports. (That, and the Bible has a lot to say about struggling against your husband- Proverbs 21:19, Ephesians 5:22-23, Colossians 3:18, Ephesians 5:33). When you stop fighting for your will, and submit to God's, you know you are living your life for His glory and not your own. Our first little one will be joining us in January, and we can't wait!

The second decision, about Reed continuing his education, was a little bit more difficult to make. Where would he go? When? What degree would he pursue? Why? Where would he work while in school? We chipped away at these questions one by one, until we finally decided that he would apply to Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY for the fall of 2010. He will pursue his Masters of Divinity, and is seeking to go into full time ministry after graduation. Though Reed will be a full time student, he will also need to be working as close to full time as he can. So, he is hoping to transfer to a Starbucks in KY because of their wonderful insurance, flexible schedules, and his love of coffee :)

So for now, we have both graduated and are working just under full time hours. We are soaking up this time we have as the only two in our family because we know time together will be precious after the baby is born. As excited as we are about baby joining us, we do not want to rush through this precious phase- this school free, child free time. After the baby comes, I will just be working just one of my part time babysitting jobs and will be bringing baby with me. Other than that I'll be home! We will move (Lord willing) to KY in June when our lease here is up, and Reed will begin seminary in the Fall. I hope to find at least 2 children to watch full time in my home, because we won't be able to live on Reed's Starbucks income alone.

So there you go! Our tentative plans for the next year or so. An adventure awaits us!

Friday, August 21, 2009

I'm back!

After a little break from my blog, I am back!

I decided to put the blog aside while I finished up my undergrad degree. And praise the Lord, I finished last Thursday. My hubby finished Thursday, as well! We've been shocked at how much more time we have; neither one of us realized how much time we really spent doing school, thinking about school, worrying about school. In our nearly 7 year relationship, this is the first time we have not been students! I think the feeling of relief is amplified because we're both done.

Other than that big news, I wanted to add an update to the last post before my hiatus. Baby is doing well, and I am nearly 16 weeks along. Next Monday, we find out the sex! I am doing 2x the number of Lovenox injections I did before, which means two shots a day. Surely a pain, but definitely worth it!

I look forward to regularly posting again!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kerr Baby #2

I am joyous to announce that on Monday, Reed and I found out we are pregnant again! We are so happy that it only took three months since loosing Moriah to conceive again, though at the time it felt like an eternity! We are so very excited, though we are certainly aware of the difficulties that lay ahead due to my clotting condition. For the curious, for our first born boy and girl, we are still going with one of the names we picked out before, either Abel Kenneth or Michaela Reed.

I have already begun my Lovenox injections nightly and am already bruised all over, like in the picture from my previous post. Small price to pay. I have my first appointment tomorrow (high risk pregnancies can't wait the typical 8-10 weeks to go in) and I am eager to hear what the doctor has to say. As for my best guess, baby Kerr is due February 5 but I have recently switched OB/GYN's and she wants to induce about 2 weeks early--- Unless baby experiences intrauterine growth restriction, another negative side effect of my clotting disorder that would cause the induction to be moved up.

Please be praying with us. Obviously we hope that this child will be our first of many to hold, but ultimately we desire for God's will to be done.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Life in Pictures

I realized that I'd like to have more day-to-day things on my blog, as a way to keep my friends/family in touch with what's going on in our lives. I sorted through my recent pictures, and decided on a few that should give a peak into our ever so busy but fulfilling lives :)

Since pregnancy has been a pretty big topic this far in the blog, I'll start there. This is what my poor tummy looked like on one side after maybe three or four of the blood thinning shots I have to give myself while pregnant. Apparently, your whole stomach looks like this by the end of pregnancy. Yikes!

The weekend we lost our little one, we had the wonderful chance to go visit Reed's family in Tennessee. What a great distraction, and chance to be with family as we mourned our baby. We spent some time with Reed's folks, who were in from Korea (we hadn't seen them in a year).

We also met our newborn nephew Anderson and played with his big sis Maddie:

When we got back from Tennessee my brother Clee came to stay with us for a week, while he was on Spring Break. He hung out with Michael, the baby I watch:While Clee was here I took sweet Sophie, one of the other kids I watch, to a birthday party at a local (awesome!) children's museum:

On Easter, Reed, my brother, and I left Lynchburg very early in the morning to make the Easter service at our church in Maryland. Afterwards, my dad, his wife, my mom, Clee, Reed, and myself went out for coffee:
We went to my grandparent's house for Easter dinner before our drive home, but I don't have any pictures. :(

Of course, these pictures are in no way an exhaustive itinerary; I don't have any pictures of us in school, or Reed at work, or me with the other 4 I babysit, or church activities.... etc. I need to break out my camera more often! I will leave you with some cute pictures:

This is a cake I made one night when we had company. I thought it was pretty cute!

This one cracks me up! We have these espresso mugs (that Reed's parents brought us from China) which look like mini coffee mugs. Michael is always trying to grab my coffee out of my hands, so I thought I'd give him a little (empty!) mug of his own. He was having a drool-y day, so it looks like he spilled his drink down the front of his shirt!

Okay, I've got a soft spot for this big, crazy haired baby (and all the kids I watch, really). This is 4 month old Michael working on sitting up. I spend more time with this kid than anyone else in my life... Reed included. He is so precious!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Trying to Conceive

God has been teaching Reed and I so much in these past weeks. It is wonderful to me how God can use one lesson to teach so many different things to my heart. We have gone from trying to praise God through our storm, to knowing and trusting it was all for His glory, then realizing His will is greater than ours. This last lesson is the one I am currently still growing in; acknowledging that God is Lord and I am not is a hard lesson learned for a selfish sinner such as myself.

I find myself thinking about having a baby in the back of my head, this interior monologue that plays throughout my day. "Am I pregnant now? Will I be this month? If I am, when will the baby be born? Will there be complications? Will we lose the next one, too?" I have justified this constant parade of baby-thoughts because I feel that this is now my role in life, to have children, and since it is not going according to my plans, I am trying to plan even more. But no matter how I try to hide what my feelings truly are, I must be honest with myself: my thoughts during the day are nothing more than worry and attempts at control.

This is sin! In Matthew 6:24, the Bible says "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Worrying about tomorrow does nothing but try to take control out of God's hands. By worrying or planning, I will not change a thing. Proverbs 20:24 says, "A man’s steps are from the LORD; how then can man understand his way?"

Not only should I not worry, and not try to over-plan my life, I need to rejoice in the truth that God's knows not only what is best for me, but for His glory! God is an all-knowing God, He alone knows why I am not pregnant. Maybe there is a lesson He wants me to see, a sin I must overcome. Maybe I would become violently ill when pregnant (like my Mom did) and would have to stop working. Maybe we're going to have triplets and we need to save up money first. Maybe He wants us to adopt all of our children and is teaching us patience first. It is not my place to know! My job here is to step out in faith, and trust in the Lord to do what is right.

The purpose of my life is to bring God glory while I am here on earth, and to obey Him in all I do. If the reason I want children is to glorify the Lord, and He would have something else for me in my life right now, than children must not be how He wants glory right now! I do not want my children, before they are even born, to become idols in my heart. God is first; if my heart truly wants children for selfless reasons, then I will be happy to surrender parenthood for God.

I need to step back, and not allow 'trying to conceive' to become my identity. That is not who I am, but a part of it. I will continue to follow my husband's lead and try to start a family unless God makes it obvious that He has some other plan for us. But I will no longer allow a month to feel pointless and wasted if I did not get pregnant. My desire is for Christ, and His best for me, not my best for me.

Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." This verse is not saying that God will give me want I want if I love Him, but that if I love Him, my desires and His will be one in the same. If that is true of my heart, than my desires and Christ's will be one in the same.

Lord, have me desire what it is that YOU want for my life. Allow me to use this time in my life to serve You and others in ways I will not be able to if you bless us with many children. Teach Reed and I what it is we are to learn, and continue to conform our hearts to Yours.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

To God be the Glory

Genesis 22:12 "now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."

Last Friday, March 13, I began experiencing some bleeding. After calling my doctor, going in for an ultrasound with Reed, and waiting for what felt like an eternity in the exam room, the nurse confirmed that we had lost our little baby at 6 weeks 3 days. A deep wealth of sadness, disappointment, and disbelief swelled up in and poured out from our hearts that moment and the hours afterwards. Through tears, Reed and I named our little one Moriah, after the land Abraham went to sacrifice his only son Isaac to demonstrate his loyalty to the one true God above all else. (Read the story here) We mourned for the little one lost, and for our sudden change of plans as we so hope to become parents.

Isaiah 41:10 "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Since that first day, God has done an amazing work on the hearts of my husband and I. We truly understand that for whatever reason, this was not the child the Lord wanted for us to have as part of our earthly family. We know the loss of our Moriah glorified God because He allowed it to happen, and for that we are thankful. Reed and I desire for our lives to be a living sacrifice to Him, for His glory, and to whatever end He desires. Because of this, not only do we know in our heads that loosing our baby was for the best, but we also rejoice in our hearts that He is glorified above all else. We not only accept it as God's will, but we eagerly pursue it, even if that means putting our own ideas of 'what's best' aside.

Not only has God used this an an opportunity to grow us closer to Him, He has also used it as an opportunity to mature the relationship between Reed and I. We have felt such a strong bond between each other through this, and have been drawing strength from the other's faith in God. To hear my husband's prayers for me, for our future family, and for our healing from this has been such a balm to my spirit. I find myself pausing more and more often to thank the Lord for such a godly, selfless, devoted, and caring lover and friend.

Psalm 16:8 "I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be shaken."

So now we begin the journey again, because waiting longer to mourn Moriah will not take away the ache in our hearts, or fulfill our dream of becoming parents. From the very beginning, we are laying our desires down as a sacrifice to the Lord and we recognize now more than ever that our future is in His hands. My doctor told us that we do not need to wait 3 cycles to try again, as was previously believed, but that as soon as my hCG (pregnancy hormone produced by the placenta) is down to zero we can try again. We are praying that this will be next week; I go in for more blood testing Monday.

I feel less innocent going into the trying/pregnancy cycle this time around, I now have experienced what happens when a pregnancy does not go full term. I am praying that I can relax, and depend on the Lord, knowing He is in control of it all. Whatever He wills to happen will be so, no matter how much I plan or worry.

The unique mixture of joy and trial, faithfullness and testing that Reed and I feel is captured in these verses:

1 Peter 1:6-9 "In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

Monday, March 2, 2009

We're Pregnant!

It's true! We found out yesterday that we're having a baby! Reed and I are so thrilled, and feel so blessed that the Lord is allowing us to become parents. We were very surprised, as we had only been trying one month. It is still early in the pregnancy (5 weeks tomorrow) but we are sharing this information already because we would love it if our brothers and sisters in Christ could be praying for the health of myself and our little one. Due to my autoimmune disorder, Antiphospholipid Syndrome, both my baby and I are at a high risk for many complications, the most devastating of which are still birth or late term miscarriage. Of course, we know the Lord is able to do whatever He pleases with this child; Reed and I desire to give God the glory no matter what happens with our lives, and that includes this pregnancy as well.

Taken from the Antiphospholipid Syndrome Foundation of America's Website: "Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome or APS is an autoimmune disorder in which the body recognizes certain normal components of blood and/or cell membranes as foreign substances and produces antibodies against them."

You can read more about what this means for my baby and I during pregnancy here.

Thank you for your prayers! We are thrilled about meeting little Abel Kenneth or Michaela Reed sometime in the Fall.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I have never made a post just to share a song, but I came across this one the other day and I really liked it. This song, Sacred by Caedmon's call, is the first song I have ever heard about the work of being a homemaker and stay at home mom. No matter what you are doing with your life, the purpose and reason for doing it should be to bring glory to God. Being the primary and only caregiver, with the opportunity to personally disciple your children on a full time basis and to train up their hearts, might seem to be an obvious service to the Lord. However wiping noses, preparing dinner, and doing the dishes day in and day out might not. This song is a good reminder of 1 Corinthians 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

You can listen to the song here. (Clicking this will take you away from my blog. If you do click it, scroll down on that site to read the lyrics as you listen to the song.)


this house is a good mess
it’s the proof of life
no way would I trade jobs
but it don’t pay overtime

I’ll get to the laundry
I don’t know when
I’m saying a prayer tonight
cause tomorrow it starts again

could it be that everything is sacred?
and all this time
everything I’ve dreamed of
has been right before my eyes

the children are sleeping
but they’re running through my mind
the sun makes them happy
and the music makes them unwind

my cup runneth over
and I worry about the stain
teach me to run to You
like they run to me for every little thing

when I forget to drink from you
I can feel the banks harden
Lord, make me like a stream
to feed the garden

wake up, little sleeper
the Lord, God Almighty
made your Mama keeper
so rise and shine
rise and shine cause

everything is sacred
and all this time
everything I’ve dreamed of
has been right before my eyes

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

If all someone knows about me is the life and death of my Savior, and the reputation of my Godly husband, then I am pleased.

I am blessed to be the daughter of the Savior, and honored to bear my husband's name.

Lord, thank you for enabling us to know love, in that you loved us first. For being the example of selfless, unconditional love, and of sacrifice. Thank you for giving me the love and devotion of a husband who strives to love me like You do. I pray that I willingly, humbly, and wholeheartedly submit to my husband, as to the Lord.

Happy Valentine's Day! I love you, Reed.

1 John 4:19 "We love because He first loved us."

Romans 5:8 "but God showed His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Ephesians 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her"

Ephesians 5:22 "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord"

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Reed's Hair

My husband is a very selfless, caring man. He consistently puts the needs of others- myself, customers at work, friends, family- before his own needs or desires. Sometimes though, there is another facet of this level of concern for others... apathy about his own needs and desires. This being said, Reed having his hair cut has been one of the areas where he lets his apathy towards himself take over. He has told me many times before that he wishes he could grow his hair out forever, or keep himself shaved bald, because then he would never have to worry about what he looked like, or have to take care of his hair. We tried this 'let's not care and not cut it' approach for a while. Reed was happy because he didn't have to take time out of his life to go to the barber, and because he thinks paying for something unnecessary is wasteful. I was happy without cutting it because every time I did convince him to go, he would drill me for instructions to give to the barber... and I never knew what to say.

This is the result of the no cutting method:
Which, actually, I thought was pretty cute!( A little untraditional, but think Jim, from The Office).

Then, we decided to go visit Reed's family for Thanksgiving, about 2 weeks after the above picture was taken. So, we decided to trim it up a little. Unfortunately, it was about 2 in the morning the night before, as we were packing, that we decided this. And all we had to do the job with was, lol, a broken beard trimmer. It came out pretty badly, very choppy and uneven (again, broken beard trimmer... not the job it was meant to do... not my fault!) I'm not sure if you really get the full effect in this picture:

So, for Christmas, I got him a hair cutter set. At this point we've pretty much decided that I will be cutting the Kerr household hair because, like I said before, Reed hates spending money on 'non necessities,' particularly if he feels they are borderline vanity. (The set I bought will pay for itself in 1.5 haircuts.) I cut my own hair, and have for years (see previous pictures). Reed admitted to me today that if he had to pick a favorite look, he likes the longer hair (first pic) the best. We decided that I needed to even out the cut I gave him with the beard trimmer for his hair not to look so choppy as it grew back out. This was the before:

The during:
And the after: I think it came out pretty well! What do you think?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mere Christianity

Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, one that was pushed aside for a while. Getting caught up in the business of life made me loose time for the things I enjoy-- like reading! Since I have gotten back in the habit, (though trying to fit in school work does cut in on the amount of reading I'd like to be doing) I've decided that after each book, I will post on the passage from that book that was the most meaningful to me.

The book: Mere Christianity
Author: C. S. Lewis

From chapter 3: Social Morality

"In the passage where the New Testament says that everyone must work, it gives as a reason 'in order that he may have something to give to those in need.' Charity- giving to the poor, is an essential part of Christian morality: in the frightening parable of the sheep and the goats it seems to be the point on which everything turns. Some people nowadays say that charity ought to be unnecessary and that instead of giving to the poor we ought to be producing a society in which there were no poor to give to. They may be right in saying that we ought to produce this kind of society. But if anyone thinks that, as a consequence, you can stop giving in th meantime, then he has parted company with all Christian morality. I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comfort, luxuries, amusements, etc, is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charities expenditure excludes them." (emphasis mine)

I think that the principle of Christian charity is something that has the potential to make Christians very uncomfortable. It is so easy to say you love your neighbor, but when it comes down to showing that love in a real and tangible way, are you willing to sacrifice your comfort? We live in a culture that is obsessed with self gratification. Lewis said that if we're living the same way as others with similar income, we're not giving enough! Is your standard measured by others around you? Or do you measure yourself by Christ's example, who served with everything he had? It is so easy to write a check to the church every week, or donate to a charity at Christmas, but where is your heart? If your brother needs something you have, will you give it to him to make him more comfortable than yourself? If we are called to love enough that we would lay our lives down for our friends (John 15:13) shouldn't it be understood that He also expects us to give our time and our resources?

1 John 3:16-18 has been particularly convicting for me recently:
"By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth."

You may not feel like you have 'the world's goods' but you surely have more than someone else. Let our love for each other be evidenced by action, and not 'in word or talk.'

Monday, January 12, 2009


How did I ignore this blog for a month? I feel like I've abandoned my creation :( So many times since December I have thought, "Oh, that would make a good post" or "I need to snap a picture of that to put up." But alas, here I am a month later with no new postings. The longer I didn't post, the more difficult it became to come back! I felt like I needed to come back with an increasingly more important blog the longer I stayed away. Well, here I am with nothing of great importance:

As I said in my last post, I did have a hematologist appointment, in preparation for pregnancy. But after waiting for 2 hours,and charging me a 40 co-pay I might add, the doctor just drew blood and sent me home. He is new to me, and said that he needs my past files before we can sit down and talk about special pregnancy precautions. I go back next Monday.

In other news, my mom and little brother came down to VA to spend some time with us. Clee (my brother) came down for about 2 weeks and my mom for one. It was nice to all be together on Mike's one year anniversary. I cannot believe it's been a year since he died! What a strange feeling to look back on this year, and realize he is not a part of all these new memories. The Lord has been good to us, but I don't think something like loosing a family member is ever easy.

I have also started couponing and CVS-ing as of late. I have a coupon book all organized, and I use it every week! If you're not sure what CVS-ing is, you should head over to this blog It is a wonderful way to get most of your toiletries for free! I am still learning, and trying to spend as little out of pocket as possible, but I can already tell that I'll never have to buy toothpaste again! I am learning from manyof the frugal blogs I read about how to be a good steward of the money God has blessed our family with. Not that it's a lot, but it's more than we really need! We really are learning about how to live on less, and how your priorities in life really are reflected in what you do with your money.

It felt good to catch up! I plan on updating more often now :)