Friday, December 21, 2007

A (True) Story About Mandy

How do you fit what you’re about on one page? How do you begin to define yourself? Where do you begin your story?

Mine begins in Texas.
I was born in Houston and raised in a small town just outside of it. I was a creative little child with big dreams. I wanted to be a child psychologist, a singer, an actress, an interior designer, a fashion designer, a painter, a photographer…. yet underneath it all, the thing I wanted most was to be like my own mom…… a wonderful wife and fabulous mother.

I married the man I prayed for- literally. I began praying for him specifically, that God would help him, guide him, and comfort him as he struggled with the death of his father. I was 12. Little did I know, six years later I would marry that man. Little did I know that God would make me the answer to my own prayer.

When I was eighteen, I gave birth to our first child. She was an unexpected, but welcomed, addition. I began to understand God’s love for His children… for me, through her. She’s my little helper who loves to fold clothes and cook meals. She’s going to make a great helpmeet someday. At the age of twenty, our first son arrived on the scene. He’s an active fellow who tests my patience but melts my heart with his smile. I turned twenty-three about a month and a half before our third child made his grand appearance. He was born into his father’s arms in our own bedroom. An unassisted, unhindered birth- our second son taught me how to trust my body, trust my husband, and trust my Lord. As he grows, I watch his personality unfold. Our fourth child was a lesson in trusting God. During her pregnancy, we found out our oldest had a brain mass (which required surgery), and a couple weeks later learned that our sweet baby in utero only had a three-chambered heart. The Lord healed them both!

We recently had our fifth child, a darling little girl (March 17, 2012). While our home waterbirth was beautiful, she was born with her lungs full of (amniotic) fluid. She wasn't breathing and her heart actually stopped for about 10 seconds. [You can read her birth story on my blog.]  Again, God came through in a mighty way, breathing His life into her with the help of our wonderful midwives. Her birth spurred me to start my other blog, The Pouring Out.

God has given me a vision of his plan for my children’s lives, and I pray that he will help me fulfill my part in order to lead them there.

So, that’s the nutshell version of “who I am”…. but of course, it’s much more complex. I could go on forever about my passions (Biblical parenting, passionate marriages centered on Christ, homeschooling, photography, art, reading….), but you can find out more about that in my entries.

One thing I’m very passionate about is marriage because I have been through “hell and back” with my own, and it was through the near demise of my marriage that my husband and I both realized our sinful state and gave our lives, our marriage, our family to Christ. We were bible-reading Jesus fans beforehand, but we had failed to give him control. I can clearly remember the moment in which we bent our knees together and received Christ. While I cringe at the events that led us there, I am thankful for them as well, because they made me realize, I am not a good person who sometimes sins, rather, I am a sinner. It was those moments or horrible hardship that made me realize how important our vows are, how important it is to pray together, read together, and to keep the lines of communication open. I realized how closely temptation follows us, how easy it is to slip up, and how slip ups can instantly turn good memories into horrible ones.

I physically ache inside when I hear or see a marriage in trouble. I want everyone to experience the joy and abundant love I have within my own marriage. I also want to give those people hope, because if God can make us overcomers in our situation, he can work out any marriage if we are willing to put it in his hands!

God is constantly reminding me to give Him full control, whether it's in my finances, family size, or thoughts. I'm a work in progress!

Updated April 2012.

6 comments:

Shyla said...

Hi Mandy!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I'm glad I was able to give at least a little encouragement :o)
I wanted to stop over and say hello to you. I've enjoyed reading around a little. It seems we have somewhat similar stories in that we graduated early, got married young, and had our first babies at 18. I don't often *meet* people similar to me that have the same values and beliefs. So..nice to meet you :o)

Have you usually been pregnant before your babies turn one? My first five were all 20 months apart, meaning I found out I was expecting again right after they had their first birthday, which often coincided with when my cycles returned due to weaning. Then, my fifth and sixth were 22 months apart, so I had a couple of months there of wondering "what's wrong?" (These next two will be 22 or 23 months apart as well.)

Truthfully, there was nothing "wrong," and I have since been able to see the Lord's hand in giving me a little more space between children. The more I have, the more I am schooling, the more preschoolers I have while homeschooling, has opened my eyes to see that He truly knows what's best, I can trust in His timing, and it's really His grace in knowing what's best for our family. I'm sure you will probably look back at some point and see His hand in giving you a bigger break than expected as well :o)

I know you know all this, but it sure is hard to wait, isn't it?

Blessings~
Shyla

Amy B said...

Mandy,

You are wise beyond your years. I love reading through your stories and getting a glimpse into what God is doing in your life. You are an inspiration. He has such big plans for you. I am just excited that you let us be a part of watching it unfold. I pray for you and your family. There is definitely a great call on your lives.

much love, girl

Kathleen said...

Thanks for sharing your story in such a transparent way. I don't know you, but I can tell you're a blessing to those around you by the way you live out your life as a testimony to Him.

Michelle A said...

Hi I enjoy reading your blog and as a mom of nine it is nice to be able to find others who do not think it is a bad thing to have many children. My second daughter is a Mandy too so I felt a little pull to your blog from your name too LOL. My husband and I are divorcing within the year so I am finding some comfort in reading these comforting blogs..thank you
michelle

Joe Lynn said...

Hey Mandy,
As Amy B said......you are wise beyond your years. Your posts edify me. Thanks! Take care.

Shadow said...

it's neat to read this and think that i was next door for a little while. i have always looked up to you :-)