Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Book's, baby's and Pea's for dinner

How about an update? Since I last wrote a lot of changed, especially the fact that I am now a bona fide, proud mama to a great baby named Bobby (well, Robert Leendert Johannes but Bobby seems fitting for him while he is still just a little thing).

I dare you to find a Bob in this world who isn't a great guy. And folks, rest assured, I've added another wonderful one to the list.
The day I was induced was possibly the best, albeit craziest day ever. Wait, did I say day, I meant days, as in the two it took from time of induction to meeting baby vdv.
I'm not sure I can recount that story just now, I still haven't written it down. I told a little tiny piece of it at the dinner table the other night in what was previously a normal conversation before the subject came up. Shortly after starting I was awkwardly crying and those who missed the change in subject and looked up to see my tears wondered what had happened.

 I never knew the reserve I had until I sucked every ounce of it out of the deepest parts of me in order to bring my sweet baby into this world. I've never been so desperate, so focused, or so determined in my life. We defied all the odds, me and Bobby. And we did it with the help of the only one true God, our savior and deliverer. Writing it down will be something that needs to be done when the time is right, and then maybe I'll share it.
Children are a gift from the Lord and I will forever hold that truth near to my heart when I look at the boy who made me a mama.

In other news...
I don't like to respond to people that I'm 'busy' when they ask how I'm doing. Really I'm not, I strive not to be. Turning thirty this year has strengthened my resolve to act out daily more of who I am, not how I'd like others to perceive me. I like to have a quiet life, time to relax with my family, and time for myself. I like to have my personal journey with God urge me in matters of spirituality and in my walk of life. I think I could be doing more in ways of service, actually turn that 'think' into a 'know'. Part of that comes from re-entry into life here in the states. Turns out that process doesn't just last a week. hmm.
 I don't feel like working and home life is enough but if I take a step back and consider my marriage, difficult pregnancy, traumatic labor, being a new mom, anxiety over work, preparing our family house to be sold after my parents have been living here 35 years and several other major life changes all within the last year and a half, I tend to give myself a break and remind myself that there is a time for everything. My service is much like it was in Africa. I am simply supposed to serve the people God has put me in front of, and that's that.

I still think about writing all the time. In my head I formulate a sentence or a train of thoughts and start stringing them together as if I am going to write them down. I'd like to make the time, its cathartic and also provides a set-apart time for introspection (That's also on my list of things want to do more of). So basically I've read some great books, had a baby, and I am in the middle of moving and preparing for our entire Dutch family to come for a three week all-american tour starting next week. All while trying not to answer any questions with "I'm busy".

Pea's, anyone?

Friday, February 10, 2012


As of yesterday I completed 8 weeks of bed rest. It wasn't so bad, really. I could sound all self-sacrificing and tell you it was easy because I would do anything for the health and well being of my unborn child, and I wouldn't be lying. I could however be more honest.
I tell people closest to me that being told to lie in bed as a way of extending this pregnancy certainly beats the idea of them telling me to run 5 miles or exercise daily or something equally horrible.

Tomorrow I will reach 37 weeks, a term pregnancy. My doctor still shakes his head and smiles when he talks about how I've made it this far. "I swore you would have a 29 or 30 week baby" he said at todays appointment.

With the preeclampsia starting to show signs this week of an imminent return with high blood pressures and other symptoms, I will be induced tomorrow starting at 7:30 in the morning. If all goes well I will be able to deliver this much anticipated babe naturally, however the risk for needing a c-section is higher when you put a woman into labor before her body is ready so if it comes down to it we will be going down that road. Either way, we would love your prayers and thoughts again concerning the health of 'baby vdV' and myself. We have been beyond blessed by the love of people who know us, near and far.

We are excited to share our news tomorrow!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

For the record

Today is a big day for family vdV. This weekend is quite important to us as a whole as well.

Tomorrow is a special day as it marks the two year anniversary when I met the man who is now my beloved husband. I had just returned to Tenerife, Spain where the ship was docked in between the 2009 Benin field service and the 2010 Togo outreach. I walked on board the ship and passed a group of new faces on their way out. My roommate Sandra asked if I wanted to go directly out and meet some new friends she had acquired for us while I was back home. As I sat at the meter bar, a favorite place for all of us on the ship in Tenerife, I felt so out of place. Besides my roommate there were no familiar faces, and what was worse, all those unfamiliar faces knew each other and were having a grand old time.
There was a cast of characters at the table that night.
The cute Dutch guy caught my attention. He said his name but I knew from living with other Dutchies the past year that I would likely not get it right on the first day so I smiled once introduced and then just sat back and observed. He was loud, and his accent was strong. He had a thick, heavy laugh and everyone was entertained not necessarily by what he was saying, but in the manner he presented himself. The Dutch man with the striking blue eyes and name that was hard to pronounce had a captive audience, and I was part of it.

First impressions soon turned into budding friendships for all who were at the table that night. We went everywhere together, this new group of ours. We talked about the fun we would have once we got to Africa, dreaming of adventures to come. While we walked I often found myself paired with the blue eyed Dutchman, and I found myself not minding this at all. I had to look at the friendship with him as temporary though, with all of them actually. They all had plans to leave the ship within the first months of us arriving in Togo, only Sandra and I would remain through the whole year. An unfortunate reality of living on the ship is saying goodbye to friends all the time, a reality I wasn't a fan of.

Soon we started sailing and I got to see how the Dutchman came alive at sea. He was all business, walking around the swaying ship with a sure and steady gait. He had been asked before we ever left the port if he would stay on for the rest of the year. This happened to be a direct answer to his prayer the night before so during the sail now we talked even more about what was to come, seeing as we would be spending the whole year together. At night our group laid out on the top deck of the ship surrounded by the darkness of the sea being out done only by the brightness of the stars as we sailed to our new home.

I prayed and prayed those days for God to reveal his plan. I held what I wanted most as loosely as I could, knowing God would be faithful and show a way if this relationship was from Him.

I could keep going and going with this story, actually it's hard to stop because this flood of memories is overwhelming at best. The past two years are impossible to sum up or explain in words. What is amazing to me is how different life is now for me and my blue eyed man whom I now proudly refer to as my husband.

This weekend we also celebrate me still being pregnant. At 34 weeks today our unborn baby's lung and brain development have reached big milestones and if it were to be born now it would likely be able to put up a great fight to prove how big and developed it is and come home quickly. We know God orchestrates every circumstance, this one is just so special to us. The fact that we don't have a 29 week preemie right now is nothing short of a miracle.

This post is simply one for the record. Putting down on paper these thoughts helps me reflect on Gods goodness and the special two year anniversary of a night I will remember forever.

Psalm 34:8
"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."