February 23rd, 2010

Lord, refine me as silver....

From my devotions this morning:

"In the late 1800's, a group of women enrolled in a Bible study came across Malachi 3:3, "And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness." Since no one understood the verse, they commissioned one of their members to explore the process of refining silver and report back to them at their next study. The woman called a silversmith, making an appointment to watch him work and ask a few questions.

On the appointed day, she saw him hold a piece of silver over the fire, letting it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, a silversmith needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest, so that all impurities would burn away. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse, that he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled. "Oh, that's easy. The refining process is complete when I see my image in it."

----

Isn't that a powerful thought? Even while in the midst of life's hottest flames, I'm never alone. Not only is God watching over me through every moment of the struggle, but He purposely placed me there so that in the end, I will reflect Him. And what's more, He doesn't keep me in that fire a moment longer than need be, instead, he pulls me out at the perfect time when I am perfectly refined.

Lord, refine me as silver, try me as gold, help me to be the image of You.

m.
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No rest for the weary... or the pregnant!

For this most part this pregnancy has been relatively easy. Other than morning sickness, I've not really had to deal with any of the "typical" pregnancy symptoms, such as heartburn, constipation, and swollen feet. The few run-ins I did have with heartburn and constipation were solved with simple diet changes.

It's amazing what dried plums, ie. prunes, can do(do).

Literally.

hehe.

But now with the home stretch looming before me (only 3 weeks, 3 days to go!), Baby has decided to launch a new method of torture that I've never had to deal with before in my life: back pain.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

It hurts. It really hurts. Like stab-a-knife-in-my-spine kind of hurt.

And it's only just begun.

I started having the first bit of discomfort Sunday night while getting ready for bed, but even then it was only some twinges every so often. The kind that just make you quirk an eyebrow and say, "Ow, that didn't feel good."

The ones last night had me curled up in the fetal position.. or at least would have had me in that position if I had been able to move more than a few inches without bursting into a new round of tears.

And poor Micah! He felt completely helpless. Even though his rubbing my back did help momentarily, he had to go to sleep sometime while that pain was not about to let me go to sleep anytime soon.

All the bits of advice I've heard these 9 months came racing to the forefront of my mind as I tried to find something... anything... that would allow me even a moment's relief, but nothing worked. Any sleeping position I tried would feel good for a few minutes before a shooting pain would go up in yet another area of my back. And before long it moved down into my upper legs and thighs.

Yes.. "ow" is putting it mildly.

Finally, about 2 am, I couldn't stand it any longer and went into the bathroom to draw myself a hot bath.

Oh, the relief! Oh, the sweet, blessed relief!

I stayed in the tub for about 30 minutes until I felt my muscles loosen and relax. Then I quickly went to bed before they had a chance to tighten up again. But this time, I ready! You see, those 30 minutes had not been spent idly. Instead, I had tried out different positions to see which was most comfortable and found that the raised-back position provided the best combination of comfort and relief.

Once in bed, I piled three pillows behind my head and laid against them, almost in a reclining position. Then I place a flatter pillow beneath the small of my back.

Ahhhhhh....

I was asleep within 15 minutes AND manged to sleep through the entire night until Micah's alarm went off.

Yes, it's a tad inconvenient to have to sleep in that position, but I'll take comfort over convenience any day!

Besides, it's just for a few more weeks. It's not like pregnancy lasts forever!

And all mothers say, "Thank Goodness!"

m.
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