I haven’t written a whole lot lately… and it’s kinda on purpose. While it’s not quiet or boring at our house, and I’ve definitely have a ton of things floating around in my head and heart… the ability to properly put things together in a coherent and complete thought has been a bit of a challenge.

The other day I was just trying to tell Philip that I got some sun on my face and it took me like 4 tries to say it without sounding like a first grader trying to describe the feel of jello.  (completely silly) And by the way, that was not an exaggeration.

Some updates though, I think are needed.

1. Since my last post on the gallbladder: About the first of July the pain suddenly stopped. No explanation, no change, not one thing to account for it… but the pain stopped and hasn’t come back.  While one part of my brain wants to demand understanding, the entire rest of me is just thanking Jesus. Because trust me…. I didn’t want surgery, nor could I handle that pain for too much longer.

2. I am 21 weeks and 2 days today. I look really pregnant and I feel as round as a beach ball. Has there ever been a woman to truly feel beautiful in this process? While I appreciate the growing another human aspect… there is a part of me that does not enjoy watching that scale go up even a pound.

3. We have found a church that I really like. It’s small. It’s Baptist (something that I didn’t think I would ever do again). And did I mention small? But it’s looking more and more like it’s going to be a good fit for us. The pastor is young. And yes, I get to say that, because he is younger than me! However, he seems to have an amazing heart for the Lord and for the people of his church. Tonight he arrived at our door unexpectedly and told me that he can’t stand not following up with people and serving them where they are… I have to tell you, beyond the things that I’ve already come to appreciate, that was an amazing thing to hear.

4. We have a puppy. If you follow me on Facebook you already know that… and know that she’s adorable and her name is Pepper. When I named her that it was because she looked like she rolled in pepper… well, it’s come to represent her personality pretty darn well too. She’s a pug.  She’s a pain in the tuchas.

5. We have the major doc visit/ ultrasound on Monday. I’m pretty stoked. We were given one test result that told us the sex of the baby… but I want full confirmation by US before I announce the gender to the world.

6. Beyond the discomfort of pregnancy,  I have felt the baby move a TON! So far that is the only thing about being pregnant I like… But it is totally awe-inspiring. I love learning how the baby is growing and then feeling it.  Watch this clip for awe-inspiring love for God’s complicated and beautiful creation of man in the womb.

Please don’t get me wrong… I am excited about this little wonder!  (BTW, the baby is moving during the entire time I have been writing about it 🙂 )

Life in general is complicated (Baby is stealing my memory and brain) it is beautiful (kids are having such a good summer) it is normal (there is still screaming, fighting and goofing off of everyday life.) Life is good.

Praise Jesus!


I guess I need surgery

As you know, I am pregnant.

A couple of weeks ago I was curled up in a tight little ball on my bed and in a lot of pain. It scared me enough that I went to the Emergency Room.

I got a sonogram and saw the precious little jumping bean and was crying with joy like a baby at watching it. But they also did a sonogram on my upper GI tract and they found my gallbladder needs to be removed.

Apparently it has been full of stones for a while… from what they can tell, and now that I’m pregnant it’s acting up and causing all kinds of fun issues.

Most of the pain has been manageable, but late Monday afternoon the pain went to a whole different level. I’m talking flat on my back crying if I moved kind of pain.

So now I’m waiting to meet with a surgeon. The meeting is on the 25th… I’m hoping to make it until then so that I can talk with him rationally rather than being rushed through the ER again. I want to know all the risks and stats and everything else involved with this surgery while pregnant.

Would you please pray with me… we are heading to West Virginia tomorrow (Thursday) if my pain can subside long enough to be manageable (like it was today.)

1. Pray that the pain would back off… the longer the better.

2. Pray that I can have a higher pain tolerance and not be so mean with the kids in my pain.

3. Pray that Philip (bless his awesome little heart) doesn’t have to take me to the ER instead of a date on our trip to W. V.

I appreciate your prayers, your friendship and your love.


And Baby Makes Five

I’ve been quiet because I’ve been sick. Really sick. Baby sick.

We found out in March that a little miracle had taken place. God had put together a little one, and it was growing inside of me. Not all happy, happy, joy, joy. In fact there were plenty of reasons for pause. I’ll get to those in a minute, but here I am holding proof (the prego test)  that a little miracle had taken place. And I was now an incubator.

The last post I put up was about me losing weight. That I really needed to because of many reasons, but health and family were at the top of the list. Well, now I’m pregnant, obese and slightly (ok, big time) worried that this baby is going to be at risk because of my health. I was also worried because of the amount of stress of moving. I don’t care how well you plan, there is no easy, stress-free way to move. Well, unless you are moving next door.

So now we are in June. I have officially reached the end of the first trimester. We have moved states/houses and have all survived. I have been sick and I have been a… what’s a nice word for it…. pregnant woman with hormone problems… oh, there is no nice word… a B with an itch!

I have found a doctor (finally) and have gotten medicaid in the works. I am proud to say that because of LOTS of help from family and friends our house is starting to look like a home. Curtains are hung in kids rooms, pictures in living spaces, kitchen put together, family room too. Eventually all the boxes will find their way out of here and we will be all moved in.

I love being back in Michigan where I have all my family and friends. I’ve been missing them so much!!!

One of the greatest benefits is that when I have to go to the ER, I can call a friend and they fly over to help with kids so we don’t have to take them along. Yep, a couple of Saturday’s ago that’s exactly what happened. I called my friend Jennifer and she flew to come take the kids for me.

Philip and I went to the ER because I had major stomach pains all day and they weren’t letting up. Because of that we finally got to see baby kicking and jumping and healthy… but also found out that I have a major gallbladder problem and will probably be losing it soon. Hopefully after baby is born, but no guarantees.

Life is never boring around these parts. And God definitely has His own plans, that don’t always match our own. I have no idea how this year is going to shape up, what things will come next. But I’m confident in the One who holds my future and our family is safe in Those Hands.

Loving the Unloved and the Lessons Therein

When I first started to dream with God about my future… wait. What I mean is, when we were re-inventing my future together, because all of my plans had fallen apart and I had no idea what to dream next. The phrase that echoed in my heart was to love the unloved and unwanted.

At the time I had all kinds of grand dreams, big house, tons of kids, lots of chaos, but filled with love.

I had my heart set on the idea that I was going to have like 30 kids roaming in my house everyday, and I was going to be the cool Aunt Meg, who took it all in stride. In hindsight I wonder if I even knew myself. Because, I am NOT a laid back person.

Anyway, grand dreams, and ridiculous notions. All centered around being a mom. But especially to those who were unloved and unwanted.

I had altruistic plans, and no reality.

God was going to work everything out and I was just going to get all the glory… well, not quite, but looking back- it really is what I was working towards. Everyone was going to look at me and think how great I was, and isn’t God amazing for giving this woman so much ability!


Boy, when we need reality checks… sometimes it really sucks.

I remember this wonderful family. They were in the same ministry as I (orphan ministry) and they had such amazing hearts, testimony and love. They, from my perspective, were one of the few families that seemed to have everything of importance. The kids loved the parents, parents loved the kids. And they all loved Jesus, and served Him together.

They had already successfully adopted and were looking to see if they were going to adopt another. They took a little one in through foster care. All looked good… for a while.  Then it turned out that that child had some severe struggles… and for the good of the whole family, they sent him back. This took well over a year and I was dumbfounded.

How could they do that?! What about that little? Who’s going to take care of this child? WHY?! And HOW DARE YOU!! — those were my thoughts.  Full of judgement, criticism, anger and allowing no room for grace or God’s work. Because in my head- I knew it all.  Oh how much I suck!

During this time I had a foster son who, shall we say, was nothing less than a full time job- all by himself. He was 15 going on 4, and knew nothing about anything. Not how to use the bathroom, or brush his teeth, eat with a fork or even how to laugh.  He was kind, but I  was way in over my head.

I had help though. A fellow foster mom did all the hard stuff… reduced medication (through getting the right doctor), started the potty training, and food training. All I had to do was follow through.

By the time he went home, he knew all of those things he didn’t and more- he even made a joke or two at my expense- and it was funny stuff!

But I thought that meant I could handle any challenge. I could master anything. And for sure I could never be found in the situation of my friends. ..

Loving the unloved should have meant in my heart to love. Nothing more, or less. But to put my heart out there to love- everyone with the Love of Jesus and to judge not. But I thought it gave me a mission… to prove how much I could do.

Another problem with this train of thought? My foundation. On one hand I thought I could conquer the world, on the other hand I believed I was worthless and would never amount to anything. I believed that if I were to fail… it would prove to everyone that: 1. not only am I a failure, but 2. that God was stupid for even letting me try.

A house divided against itself will never stand.  Truth was not in me.

So, fast forward a few years. I’ve had these three children with me for sometime. I’ve proven just how NON-laid back I am. How many issues are in my heart. How many lies I believe as my foundational core. And how little to NO praise I deserve. In my mind I am a failure. Pure. and. simple.

Anders has left our home, and it’s so identical (even worse) than what I judged my friends for that I am humiliated. Humbled, but not by my choice.

Being humble is ideal. Being humbled is painful.

Now some months later- the adoption to my wonderful cousins is almost complete. I find myself in a whole new place. One of begging for truth, transformation and deliverance from foundational lies and problems.

Years (I mean like 13 years) ago I was doing a Bible study with friends that rocked my world, broke loose some major boulders in my heart and mind and set me on a way new path.  This time it was a retreat.

One that focused on the exact same things as that Bible study years ago. Freedom in Christ and the ability to see myself as He sees me.

As I looked through those lies that I believed, I saw how they not only affected me, but my children, my husband and my relationship to all of them. Because the lies dictated how I responded to all of them. And it wasn’t pretty.

These children were the unloved. And I wasn’t loving them.

During the course of this weekend away, I was shown how much I need to grow. And how much I fall short. Mostly, how much I need to lean sooo much more on Jesus. There is no way for me to truly love the unloved… without first believing God LOVES me (and doesn’t wait to slash me with lightning for being so far from perfect- yep, my mental picture for years) that He wants what is best for me and if I love HIM with all my heart- He will love the unloved through me. It’s not my job to provide the love. I just pour it out of abundance of HIS love.

Back when it all began, this journey of crazy love, He told me to be passionate about showing children that there is a reason for their lives- and that there is a purpose… To know God, His love for them, and to enjoy Him forever.  This should have been my parenting basis. I’m praying and trying to allow God to change my heart to let it be now.

No more striving for perfection. But striving for the Love of Jesus to permeate our home and be the way we love each other.

In other words, I’ve learned that loving the unloved means loving Jesus more, letting him love me more, and pouring all that love out of excess onto the precious ones around me.

I have much more to learn. Gone are the thoughts of knowing anything. I only know one thing. Jesus.

One more post for the day

Okay people. One more thing… or a couple more.

1. I am down 10 pounds. 🙂 That actually made me dance a jig 🙂

2. I am going to put my computer in the closet.

Why? Because I have a huge task of cleaning house, packing it and getting this family to move in a month. SO… since I spend an insane amount of time on Facebook and other things, I’m logging off by putting my computer for a while.

I have lost 10 pounds by being on my feet more and eating less… well… think of how much I can lose if I put the computer away for a long while 🙂


So… if you really want to reach me after tomorrow 4/2/13 you can text or call… or even email- I still have that on my phone.

Visit to Michigan

Over Spring break AJ, Cam and I went to Michigan to visit family and friends. I was excited to see everyone.

I had plans with so many people and knew it was going to be crazy, but at the same time very much needed. I needed to see my crew… ya know?

So Saturday afternoon we piled us and all our crud into the car and headed up north. We stopped off in Northern Indiana to visit long time family friends (30 years plus) – The Kortokrax’s for “Uncle Bill’s” 60th birthday party. I got to meet several of my “nieces and nephews” (the Bills boys were considered our brothers when we were kids) that I hadn’t met before and watched as Cam and AJ got tangled up in the crew’s shenanigans. Bon fire, games in the dark and lots of kids- reminded me of when we were all kids. It was a pile of fun and the kids had a blast.

Marissa and Mom were there too, so they got to witness one of the funniest events of the night… AJ is getting squished in a giant hug by one of the little girls there. I teased him and said “Aw look, AJ has a girlfriend!” he looks at me with complete exasperation on his face and replies “MOM! She can’t be my girlfriend, she’s my cousin!” Well… not quite, but I found it hilarious that he accepted that as fact without a moments hesitation.. at least when it was convenient.

Needless to say we didn’t get to Michigan until very late/ early morning of Sunday.

We had a scheduled lunch with Anders and his new forever mom and dad. And the kids were looking forward to it… so was I, but it’s still painful to see him and hug him and know that he’s not ours anymore. But the visit went well… and the kids had a nice rowdy visit. 🙂

After we got back to moms I FINALLY got to meet the cutest, most sweetest, big smoochy cheek nephew. That little boy is more precious than any photo could show.  And as AJ put it: “His smile is so beautiful, it just lights up his whole face!”

There was a lot of emotion that went along with me on this trip. Fear, anxiety and complete anticipation of loss. The father of lies had me convinced that the things of this last year were going to cost me my support crew of friends and family. I was totally ready to say good-bye to people. So even though I was very excited to see everyone, I still was worried that they wouldn’t want to be part of my life anymore.

So, as I got ready to go out for ladies night, those were the emotions going through my head and heart. I knew there were a pile of girls coming and that made me happy, but I just wondered what was going to happen. And how many of them were going to withdraw from my life.

How amazing it was for me to understand that these ladies not only came for the fun, but are there for me… like in the “no matter what” kinda way.  The father of lies, is just that… full of lies.  I came away from that night filled up. Full of hope, joy and smiles. And blessed.

Monday was time with dad… lots of time. And although I still think he’s given up on life, he at least had a real conversation with me. Which he hasn’t done in well over 3 years.

Tuesday was filled with one thing after the other.  But it started with an awesome hair appointment, some amazing coffee and friendship, and finished with more destruction of lies.

Needless to say, it was an amazing trip and one that brought me peace… and as we experienced Easter yesterday, that peace was expanded and emphasized in all of our hearts.



Have you ever watched TV’s The Biggest Loser? I will admit, that until this season, I’ve only ever watched an episode here and there. Mostly because I couldn’t handle it.

Why, you may ask? Well, it’s people being brutally honest about themselves, their bodies, their lifestyle, and the choices they make that have them end up on the show. I was no where near ready to be honest enough to even watch it.

I used excuses like “I could never be one of those girls because of what they make them wear” Honestly, the reason they wear those “skimpy” outfits is not for fun, but for more brutal honesty. You can’t get more obvious than the outfits they wear as to what their bodies really do look like.

But I get ahead of myself. The title of this post is Admission and admission you will get.

I am overweight. Not by a little… but by a lot.

Now don’t go gettin’ all sarcastic on me. I’m not being silly. I’m being real here. Honest, brutally honest.

I could never handle watching The Biggest Loser because I could never be brought to the admission that I should be on that show. This season all of the women, yes all, at the beginning of the season were still smaller than I am now. Yep, it’s true.

I am an emotional eater. I eat for all emotions, and I do mean ALL.  This last year has me up almost thirty pounds since my wedding. In case you missed that… I said 30.

Some of you tender-hearts might be thinking “well of course! It was a hard year, you’ll get it off and be ok.” And I would love you for it, but truth is… 30 pounds is killer for me. I think in terms of literal when I say that. You see… at my wedding I was already 246 pounds.

I stand 5’3″ at 271 pounds (I’ve taken a couple pounds off ) and if you have watched the show all the numbers they gave to those women… must certainly be abundantly worse for me. And I start to panic.

Will I live to see my youngest, now 2, reach 30? Or even 20 for that matter? Will I get to experience life to the longest I can? The answer comes back as a resounding: NO! Family history has taught me that much.

If you were to be a fly on the wall of our home you would see me on my butt for the majority of the time. Playing on the computer, reading, watching tv or something while sitting down. And when my kids ask for something they never get it immediately, I have to build up the energy to go get them something. I have become so stagnant that it’s amazing my house stays in any kind of order at all.

I’m telling you all this, not because I love beating myself up… but because I know I need to do something about this body and lifestyle that I am in, and if I do not confess my idleness/ laziness, I will never change.  I need to move, to play, to clean, to have this body in motion. And I need to eat less.

I need to be held accountable…

I told the world in 2009 that I would never be in this position again.. and here I am, even heavier than I was when I started then. It’s really kinda pathetic. Sad and pathetic.

It’s not that I want to be a skinny model (I will never be one of those) or that I am doing it for looks at all. Really, all I want is to have energy to play with my kids. To have fun in the great outdoors and not be totally exhausted when I finish. I want to live to see my kids graduate college, get married, and have my grandbabies (If God so wills any of those for them.) And I want to celebrate as many anniversaries as possible. I want to be there for my kids and husband as much as I can be.

If I cannot change my body, my lifestyle and my habits… I will most certainly fall into the Smith health issues. And I cannot accept that as okay.  I know it will not change everything… but losing weight will change my health.

This week I have been haunted by these thoughts. So as a result I have made some changes, aka my house is cleaner, my kids get things faster and I’ve been playing a lot more. Bonus, the menu has changed too. Family is not quite sure what to do with all this 😉

My friends… I need this. I also need you. I’m planning on keeping you up to date on this journey… the same journey that I’ve been on soooo many times before. I want this to be the last time, because I actually make it this time.

Will you pray for me, and for my family as I move forward?