Monday, March 18, 2013


As 2012 turned to 2013, I spent the month of January asking God what he wanted for my 2013. I didn't feel like I needed to make a list of resolutions, I was already maxed out on things like that.

 This pregnancy was difficult for me. It wasn't high risk or difficult in that sense, its just that I spent 22 weeks throwing up and then the last 6 weeks in a wheelchair because my back and hip were "out". It was humbling to roll around church in a wheelchair and I think I learned a lot from that time, but more on that later.

After asking God what he wanted for 2013, I felt like he was saying that he wants me to be a human-being rather than a human-doing. I find my worth in what I do. I have as long as I can remember. And to change to being a human-being would be a big step. One that I long to take. I want to rest. Really rest. And not let my mind go a zillion miles per hour, thinking of all the things I should be doing. Laundry. Emptying the dish washer. Returning work emails. Reading to my kids. Loving my husband better. Blogging. I spend a whole lot of time thinking about what I should be doing. Even when I do try to relax, I jump up and start doing again. I feel like I must do the right things to earn my worth. To my husband, co-workers, kids, parents, friends.

 How do I learn to just be? It's easy for me to see it as being lazy. But what if there really is something to slowing down the pace and breathing in God's grace? Not being tempted by the Siren song of busyness and accomplishment. Of finding my worth in how much I did or did not accomplish that day. It's a difficult balance that I can't seem to maintain for more than a few minutes at a time. I pray that God will hold my hand and walk me through this, minute by minute.

What if I were someone who exudes grace and peace? That's what I want. I'm not saying change my personality, but to change how I respond to life. To change how I breathe and live and react and work. I'm certain that can only come by spending time in God's presence. It is a natural outcome to time spent with the Father. And I see how it's glaringly missing from my life. I miss God. I miss time spent in his presence. I hate to write that. Especially since I am a children's pastor. I just went to Facebook and deleted the post I just made with the link to my blog because I don't want to be that transparent. The times I've encountered God recently have quenched my thirsty soul. I don't get to go to worship on Sunday mornings because I'm working. We lead worship for the kids and I teach every other week, but it takes a lot more out of me than I get back. I leave Sundays feeling utterly drained with not an ounce of anything left to give.

Maternity leave has been great because I've been able to go to Sunday school and worship with Kyle. I feel my soul soaking up the nourishment every minute that I'm there.

I don't know the answer to slowing down and being more than doing. But, really, I guess I do. I want to be in God's presence and learn from him. Jesus says to take his yoke upon me because he is gentle and humble. That is my prayer. To walk in sync with Jesus. To be yoked with him. To stand next to him so that when a snarky comment is about to slip past my lips, he puts his hand on mine as a reminder to bite my tongue. And eventually, maybe the snarky comment won't even cross my mind.

 This post has been rambling and I'm not sure the point. More of a "dear diary" moment than anything else. But these things are ratting around in my head and I so desire to take a step back from my need to do. I want to be. A child of God. A wife. A mom. A children's pastor. All soaked in God's calming, healing presence.

Brody's Birth Story

I have twice as many kids as when I last posted a year ago. Brody Andrew Westfall was born January 24, one day after his due date, just like his big brother. I was scheduled to be induced the morning of the 24th so we dropped Liam at my parents' house after dinner on the 23rd. I'd been having contractions off and on for over a week and was 5cm dilated, so we knew he was coming soon either way. Some contractions had started about 5pm at our house, and were about 10 minutes apart. We got to my parents' and they stopped for about 30 minutes. They started back up on the way back to our house and were about 6 minutes apart for about 2 hours. Finally, Kyle asked what I thought we should do, since I was already dilated, etc. I said we should probably go to the hospital. As I stood up, I had another contraction that lasted 60 seconds and then started having contractions every minute and a half! Kyle was trying to prod me along to the car, but I kept having to stop for another contraction. The drive to the hospital was like you see on TV shows. I was having contractions every 90 seconds and hollering like they do on TV. I hate when they holler. I would roll the windows down and holler out the window (it was 10:30 at night so there weren't many cars) because no one likes to listen to hollering with the windows up! As I was being wheeled to labor and delivery, we passed my friend's mother-in-law. My friend, Megan, was in labor, too! (She beat me by 2 hours and had her baby girl that night). When I got to the delivery room, I was 8cm and the nurse said she didn't think I had time for an epidural. I assured her that we DID have time and that I was most definitely going to have an epidural. I made Kyle attend 21 hours of natural birthing class for Liam and ended up having an epi at 7cm, 13 hours into a 19 hour labor. Best decision of my life. So this time around, it wasn't even a consideration to NOT have one. The nurse was so nice and sped my blood work up and got an anesthesiologist to come. By then I was 9cm but she told him I was 8 so he'd still give me the epidural! After the epidural, I could still feel pain on my right side, but I think it helped me push. It took over 2 hours of pushing to get Liam ("old Big-Head") out so anything less than that was going to feel like a breeze. I was so surprised when Brody came after about 10 minutes of pushing! It's so funny how things can be so different the second time around. Things seem so much easier with your 2nd baby. I'm much more relaxed and feel like taking care of Brody comes so naturally. I'm not saying it's easy all the time though, things are so much harder sometimes with two. Like trying to get one down for a nap when the other is crying. Or playing a toy trumpet. But I love having my two boys. They bring me so much joy and make me laugh every day.