Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happiness v. Joy

John 15:9-17 (NLT, bold words by me)
9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.


1. the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation: She felt the joy of seeing her son's success.
2. a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated: Her prose style is a pure joy.
3. the expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety.
4. a state of happiness or felicity.


1. the quality or state of being happy.
2. good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.
Looking at the definitions, it doesn't seem like there is much of a difference at first, does there.  Read closer - at the end of the day, joy isn't always something that comes from without, it comes from within.  Also, it is more complex than simple happiness.  It something we do more than something that is.  It is called a noun, but it is really a verb, adjective, or adverb really.
Not mentioned in the dictionary, but something that I feel and have been taught in church is that joy is a choice, at the end of the day. 
Not as easy as it seems.  But joy is promised by being is His word and "hearing" His words.  It is promised. 
I have to believe this.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

2nd pregnancies - no, it isn't really easier the 2nd time around

I am so in love with baby Michael.  He is seriously the most perfect little guy ever.  The only time he cries is when he is hungry.  Seriously.  The ladies at daycare think he is a saintly little guy, and he is!

And I think he had to be.  My pregnancy with Daniel was hell.  I'll come out and say it - we wanted more babies but Daniel but such a big strain on my body I wasn't 100% sure I could handle it.  I went into premature labor with him at 31 weeks and was on partial bedrest for a month, then full bedrest until his birth because of my blood pressure.  I had 3-4+ edema in my feet, a split pubic bone, and such horrible morning sickness that I lost 30 pounds during the first and second trimester.

But we wanted to do it again because we aren't getting any younger.  I still feel like God sprinkled fairy dust on us as I supposedly haven't ovulated since I was 23, so why not see if the dust is still there right?  It was, more or less.  It took 6 months to get pregnant with Michael, and I found out I was pregnant on Daniel's first birthday.  I again had the ultimate morning sickness (not the vomit praise God, just the "don't let any food get near my mouth"kind") and lost weight instead of gaining.  I had blood pressure problems, but didn't have to go on bedrest until about a week and a half before he was born.  I was actually in labor with Michael before the c-section and starting to transition, and it wasn't that bad.  When they rolled me to the ER I told James Andrew that if Daniel's labor pains had been that tolerable I wouldn't have had an epidural (not that it worked).

The hard thing about my 2nd pregnancy was this crap:

And that crap:

And who could forget this crap.  I sure haven't:

I go to the best OB clinic in the state and they couldn't figure out what was wrong.  I didn't have PUPPP.  You see, my rash only occurred while I was sleeping and would go away within about 3-4 hours of waking.  And would return the second I took a nap or passed out, whichever happened first.  I had no change in meds or diet.  Best I can get from my own research is that I might have been getting sensitive to the pregnancy hormones.  And as fast as the rash started, it stopped happening.  But 2 weeks of this mess?  I was about ready to flay myself.

So is it easier with a 2nd, since your body "remembers"?  Yes and no.  I think we mentally remember and that makes things go smoother in different ways, and yes some things were easier with breast feeding and the like.  But with freako rash and the postpartum depression . . . who's to say.

I can say one thing - it is soooooo worth it.  Sure I had a hard year.  But look what I got:

It is so worth it.  In the end, bring on the pain if I get something this special for it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mega Gigantic Update!

Psalm 30 - New Living Translation (bold and italics added by meh)
A psalm of David. A song for the dedication of the Temple.

1 I will exalt you, LORD, for you rescued me.
You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.
2 O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
and you restored my health.

3 You brought me up from the grave,[a] O LORD.
You kept me from falling into the pit of death.
4 Sing to the LORD, all you godly ones!
Praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

6 When I was prosperous, I said,
“Nothing can stop me now!”
7 Your favor, O LORD, made me as secure as a mountain.
Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.
8 I cried out to you, O LORD.
I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,
9 “What will you gain if I die,
if I sink into the grave?
Can my dust praise you?
Can it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear me, LORD, and have mercy on me.
Help me, O LORD.”
11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!

(More about this later)

Not the Bible:
So, not only am I a blogless pregnant woman, I also can't seem to blog when I'm on maternity leave with 1 in daycare and 1 at home.  Oh well.  Here's what's happened in the last 6+ months:

Nothing too much until . . .

Michael was born!

Michael Gideon Mincy, weighing a whopping 9 pounds 11 ounces, and measuring 21.25 inches long came to us on Febuary 7, 2012

I have had hypertension my entire life, thin or fat.  The only time it really acts up is when I'm pregnant, and boy does it!  I was on bedrest only from January 26 until the day he was born, not the prolonged ordeal that happened with baby Daniel, praise the Lord.  Oh, by the way . . .

Baby Daniel isn't really a baby anymore, lol.  35 pounds of boy

Poor Michael isn't named after anyone bless his heart!  Technically, I guess you could say he is named after me since I'm a Michelle, but, eh?  We just liked the names.

We are a blessed family of 4

I have had a very difficult time recovering from Michael's delivery.  Not physically, but mentally.  I have been experiencing post partum depression.  I had good old regular depression after Daniel as Dad passed a week after D's birth.  This is very different.  I am on medication which has helped me function again - I was to the point I felt I almost couldn't muster the energy to get out the recliner to do things like change diapers.  It is a daily fight for normalcy in my mind. 

I am also no longer a hospice nurse.  After 3 years of 48 hour call, never being caught up on charting, never feeling like I was off work, 2 difficult pregnancies, and 2 babies under 2 . . . I had to find the difference of loving what I was doing, but not loving the job.  I hate not being a hospice nurse.  I will go back to it one day, but this is not a job for a young mother.  Well, a mother of young children as I no longer feel very young anymore I guess.  I am back at the hospital I felt I grew up in, working in their very wonderful geriatric clinic.  My first day in the clinic is tomorrow. 

James Andrew and I are also making major life changes, the first one being weight loss.  We were overweight when we got married, but after 2 kids, 2 c-sections, hospice work, and the death of my beloved daddy . . . fitness has really gotten away from us.  My goal is to be the size I was when we started dating..  I am comfortable there and all my clothes fit.  I don't want to be skinny because I think skinny women are really bitchy (hehe), and James Andrew likes women with a little meat on their bones lol.  We are also completing more home improvement.  As I got pregnant with Michael immediately after we moved to White Hall last spring we didn't get the chance to plant flowers, compost, etc. 

My sweet boys at the zoo, just 'cause they are cute!

I'm getting tired . . .

Back to the Psalm.  I have been pondering these verses since I got home today.  I looked at myself in the mirror today for the first time in a while, and I realized that postpartum depression aside, I have still been casting a huge aura of mourning around myself that has not stopped since my father died.  I told someone recently that I was ready to live again and try to live in happiness and joy, but I haven't cast off my mourning clothes in a very physical as well as mental way.  Easter was one of the first times I haven't worn black or some other dark color in 2 years.  After dad's death I recalled "Gone with the Wind" (the book) and Scarlett's thoughts after Bonnie died, that she could layer on the black upon black.  It's a way to hide.  As hard as this will be, I am shedding the black.  Lazarus was called by Christ to shed his mourning clothes, and I feel it is time for me to do this as well.My goal and one of the new purposes of my blogging is to show a representation that I am trusting God's word that he will restore my joy.  Depression and loss has robbed me of so much of the joy I should have been feeling over the last 2 years.  My dad would be pissed. 

Time for bed.  My sweet boys are long alseep, and the hubs is floating in that direction too.  Time for me to follow.