Liberated but Uncertain

Here I am again, world.

Today has been an event filled day for me concerning my personal life. As I have told some of you, I have decided to deactivate my Facebook account for personal reasons. I won't go into specifics, but I will say that I feel people have been very hateful to me, my family, and other people that are very close to me through Facebook posts, comments, etc. Most of it is family related, but I just feel that it is uncalled for and the public nature of all of it really makes me upset. I am not a super-private person, but I do like some privacy, and Facebook is NOT the place to argue with family or post one-sided slanderings.

Facebook makes it easy to share your lives and your feelings. However, it also makes it easy to openly slander others and say hurtful things to other people. You never know who may take offense to something, and so it is very important to hold your tongue, even when someone says something hurtful to you first. A big reason I decided to deactivate my account was my way of putting "holding my tongue" into surety. Our human will makes us want to say things to defend ourselves and sometimes that can be disastrous. I am trying to learn from others' recent mistakes and to hold my tongue better, as we are told to do in Psalms.

I may return to the Facebook world. It's kind of sad, in a way. I can remember being in graduate school (the first time) in 2005, sitting in my apartment when my friend Adam set up my Facebook account. He was the first to write on my wall. He said "Hi, I'm sitting at your computer right now" or something. I have always enjoyed Facebook and it is sad that something family related has driven me from it. But I have way more important things to worry about right now. . .not to mention, I was spending way too much of my time checking on people and reading people's updates, etc.

I write under the heading of Liberated because I do feel liberated. Facebook has been weighing on me lately - I know that sounds crazy, but we have had some things happen to where I felt convicted to delete some "friends" and I have felt very uncomfortable about it since then. I write under the heading of Uncertain because...that describes the rest of my life right now.

I am uncertain about the future right now. We are still waiting on Andy to hear back from the many jobs he has applied for and it has been a major stress for us. I just ask that you guys please keep us in your prayers so he can find a stable salary-paying job. This commission stuff is just not cutting it, especially in this economy. I am uncertain because I am almost 20 weeks pregnant and am needing to think about maternity leave, but finances have us in a bind.

I keep telling myself to just take a step back and remember my last post - what matters, what doesn't - as well as to not think about tomorrow, which God commands us to do. It's so hard not to think or worry about tomorrow!! It's impossible! . . . but isn't it said that all things are possible with Christ? To not worry about the future is possible? To not wonder how the bills will get paid and how the credit card company just raised their interest rate??

This is something we will get through, inevitably, and I will look back and say, "remember that time...?" Right now it seems huge and daunting and suffocating, but one day when it comes to this area I will hopefully feel Liberated as well.

I don't want to make this post completely depressing so I will say that on a lighter note, we have decided to name our baby girl Emory Ryan Arnold. It took forever for Andy to finally be okay with announcing this. I have loved the name Emory for months now, even before I was pregnant, and really didn't have any other girl names picked out except for that. Andy liked the name Ryan for a girl, so we just decided to put them together. We are very happy with the name!

On Thursday we had another ultrasound with Carolyn to make sure we were, indeed, having a girl. She got some awesome pictures again! Emory was smacking her lips and sort of smiling, lifting up her arms, and really squirming around this time!

My 18 week picture...this was taken a little over a week ago...growing daily!!

Here are some pictures of our crib that we picked up on Friday. I was so excited to find a beautiful crib on Craigslist for a great price!! I had been looking at this collection for the nursery anyway at Kids Furniture but it was super expensive. When I saw the listing on Craigslist I immediately emailed the lady about it and she was so sweet to hold it for us until we had our ultrasound to confirm that we were having a girl. Thanks to my mom for buying the crib for is so special to me already!

That is all I have for now. Hopefully now that I'm not on Facebook so much I can update this blog more! Soon to follow - 20 week picture and update :)

Psalms 141:3
Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.


Things That Matter, Things That Don't

I was on the road today and am now laying in my hotel bed reflecting on all of my thoughts from today. I was driving to Mt. Home listening to the new Rascal Flatts CD when I heard a song entitled "Things That Matter." I was automatically blown away by the lyrics in the song and it made me think about all of my worries, frustrations, and anger towards certain things that I have yet to move on from. I had been thinking before the song came on about how hurtful some things in life are, and more specifically, how hurtful some people can be to you. I was thinking how crazy it is that you can have a long-term relationship with someone that ends badly and you can only remember the horrible things that person said and did to you, but not the positive. I was thinking about how powerful words and actions are, and how they stick with people. I was thinking how awfully hard it is to forget a negative word...or remember a positive one.

Then the song came on, and all of the thoughts that I was mulling around slipped away. I will share the first verse here:

Sometimes he lets that boss get in his head
He can’t see past that mountain of deadlines on his desk
5 o'clock he’s that last one out of the gate
And he gets cut off, flipped off, ticked off... out on the interstate
And he wonders why this world won’t leave him alone
Till he hears that little voice holler, “daddy’s home”
Things that matter...
Things that don’t.

This made me really think about my life and put it in perspective. I have been really stressed out about things revolving around the baby (childcare, Pediatricians, maternity leave, etc). I have really been struggling with things at work and wondering what God wants of me and what He is going to use me for in this world. I have been stressed about my actions and words, and the way I present myself to others . . . as well as being worried about job situations for my husband.

And then I thought, does it matter? We are told not to think about tomorrow and not to worry about what is to come . . . so why do I find myself contemplating all of these issues that are days, weeks, months away? Why do I not take more time to focus on the NOW . . . on the fact that I have a wonderful, loving husband, a very tough set of classes that I am learning so much from, and the wonderful feeling of feeling by baby kick inside me for the first time?

I am working on myself, which is a never ending process. I am trying to remind myself throughout the day what matters and what doesn't. In ten years, will I remember this day? Will I remember the ugly work e-mail from a co-worker? Will I remember how frustrating and tiring working full time is, or what a supposed "friend" said to me out of spite?

I don't have a lot of energy to say much else, but I urge you to think this thought throughout your day and see if it makes a difference to you.

Things that matter, things that don't.

Matthew 6:25-34
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."


It's a....GIRL!

Yesterday we visited our long-time friend Carolyn who is an Ultrasound Tech. Carolyn was so happy to let us do an early Ultrasound to try and find out what we were having, and after some awesome shots she concluded that she is 95% sure that it's a G I R L!

We are so excited about this news. Of course, we still are going to have some follow-up ultrasounds to make sure, but the pictures we got are very clear and there is no "hot dog"! Baby girl Arnold was very active and wiggling around quite a bit. I wish I could feel her moving like she was in there, but that will come soon enough.

Here is a picture:

Unfortunately, I scanned a lot of the pictures as TIFF files which aren't uploading right. But, you get the point.

When we left the hospital, I called my mom to tell her and it was so neat to hear her excitement for her first grandbaby girl. We got in the car and Andy handed me two girly outfits that he had bought that day! He is so sweet and thoughtful, he went and bought girl and boy clothes so he could have something to give me when we found out. I was so excited and felt so lucky to have such a wonderful husband.

Our baby girl name is pretty much picked out, but I want to make sure Andy feels comfortable with it before I tell the world. I think he is very aware of what a big decision it is! :)

Anyway, that is all I have for now. I will keep everyone updated and hopefully post a 16 week picture in the next few days. Until then...

Genesis 1:22
"God blessed them and said, 'Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.'"