I haven't really taken the time to write about the random things in our life going on, so I thought I would do so now.
✠ Not sure if I've mentioned it before, but I started teaching a Sunday school class this year and I'm really enjoying it. Sometimes, I think I might get more pleasure out of it than the kids. I'm teaching the high school senior group, so it's really nice because I've already had these kids in class and know them all pretty well. I have a co-teacher, Mr. R so it's nice we can switch back and forth from Sunday to Sunday and takes the pressure off of being available every Sunday of the month.
We started practicing our Christmas cantata a couple of months ago and I have to say it is full of some of my favorite songs so far! It is going to be beautiful and I'm such a sap because every time I sing certain songs (Silver Bells), I get all choked up. I just love Christmas. We've also started handbell choir practice and I LOVE IT! I was so sad last week when I couldn't be there Sunday night; I was driving home from an Emmaus walk in West Texas. The week before that, I didn't want practice to end!
✠ I got a really interesting and exciting phone call yesterday. Because I'm not absolutely positive it is going to happen, I will just say I have been given the opportunity to travel to PERU at the end of June and if things fall into place, I will be South of the equator in a few months!
I'm so excited I can hardly stand it and if it all works out, I'll be counting the days until we are headed that way!
✠ Speaking of June, I was asked to work another Walk to Emmaus at the beginning of June and I was so honored they would continue to think of me. I was asked to participate in a special way (not that I make it special at all, but that the role is a special honor itself). I am so thankful that even though I live much farther away than any of the other towns in the LaMesa de Dios Emmaus community, they still take the time to consider me to help. I love the Emmaus community; I was part of a pretty large community in high school so I feel like I'm home in some ways when I'm at any Emmaus event!
✠ I am almost finished reading my latest book on infertility and it is the best so far! I love that it gives you a scientific look with a Christian mind-set. If you are dealing with infertility or know someone who is, and you are struggling (as I have been as of late), with making decisions because you aren't sure what God wants you to do, or what is okay, I would highly suggest The Infertility Companion by Sandra Glahn and William Cutrer. I have read many books during our journey and this is at the top of my list!
✠ The pups are sweet-as-ever. They had some friends come for a sleepover last weekend and they LOVED it! Huck and Finn, their Corgi friends were so cute and just played and wrestled with Maggie and Marlee. H & F are only a few months old, so grandma Maggie had to put up with the youngin's once again! Marlee was a beeeet jealous, bless her heart. She growled once at Huck and I had to set her straight on the way we treat our company. Growling is absolutely not good etiquette!
✠ School is chugging along. I had to take a "mental health" day Wednesday because Tuesday I woke up with such anxiety. I hate that struggle with it because I know it is absolutely not from God, but there are literally some days I don't even know why it's there. That was Tuesday. I woke up with this awful feeling in my stomach and this sense of dread. So, I took Wednesday off and did some relaxing, soaking, praying, rat-killin', sleeping, washing (of laundry), and general catching up. I came back to school yesterday renewed. And today, we are starting to read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and so far they are loving it. I did have to edit the first chapter quite a bit (because I know some of you reading were already starting to worry about it), but it made no difference. They are hooked!
✠ We've had hunters/friends in at the land, so I haven't seen much of McH this week. He's been gone two out of the four nights thus far, and I'm afraid the same might be true for tonight. Now I know what those deer season widows feel like.
✠ As far as fertility stuff goes, I know there are some of you thinking something is up because I haven't posted about it in a while (my friend CLS has a theory about that)! Honestly, there's nothing brewing. And absolutely nothing brewing in my belly (that I know of)! Ha! McH and I are taking things easy and waiting for God's direction. I can feel in my bones there is something big He is teaching me and that I'm growing in Him more than I ever have before. So, we are trying things naturally, and after the new year we will reevaluate and go from there. If things haven't worked by late spring, early summer we will start discussing our next steps. Until then, I am just looking forward to getting to know Jesus more and building a stronger relationship with Him.
I don't believe God punishes us, at least not in the way many think. Meaning, I don't think He's making me infertile because I haven't been good enough or have done something bad. But, I do believe He ALLOWS us to walk in valleys and go through hard times because He knows the only way we can come out of it and stand on the mountaintop is if we run to Him and seek Him. Matthew 7:7-8 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." James 1: 2-3 reminds us to, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." I especially like The Message version of the same verse, "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." So, should I be shocked that after praying for years for a closer relationship with Him and telling the Lord that I just wanted to know know Him more, that I've been given the opportunity to do so? Um, duh! No! I didn't pray for infertility, of course, but that is the means to my end. If my life was hunky dory, easy cheesy Japaneesy, all the time, I wouldn't feel like He was all I had and all I could cling to.
And I've come to another realization that is probably the hardest, and yet the most freeing conclusion yet...in the end, it's really not about a baby. WHAT? I know, I'm almost wanting to grab those words and stuff them back into my mouth. But really, in the end, it's not about the child we want so desperately. It's not about wanting to be a parent--a mommy--and making my husband a father. IT IS ABOUT HIM! That's what is at the end of this. IT'S ABOUT KNOWING HIM MORE AND LOVING HIM MORE AND UNDERSTANDING MORE AND MORE HOW MUCH HE LOVES ME AND IS WOOING ME to His side. And if it means I have to weather the storm to see the sun, then I'll do it. Because in the end, that's what it's all about.
It doesn't mean days aren't hard. It absolutely doesn't mean I don't still have doubts and thoughts, and fears. And it doesn't mean I don't still get MAD at God that we are having to go through this when 16 year-old girls are walking in and out of my classroom with bellies bulging from the life growing inside of them. Yep, believe it or not, sometimes that DOES get to me.
I just want to know in the end, when this is all over, and we are parents (however that happens for us), that I took every opportunity to grow with and in Him.
✠ So, there you have it...the Jenkins family updates! Ha! Aren't you glad you read it all? I just know you are!