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Everyone makes choices. It’s inevitable. Even if you try not to – you’ve already made at least ONE choice – NOT TO CHOOSE!! So, here are some answers to the choices our household has made. Some you may agree with, some you may not. But, that’s the beauty of choices – they are yours and yours alone. What we’ve decided is best for our family and beliefs may not be what you decide for you and your family. AND THAT’S OKAY!!! We won’t be mad at you, ridicule you or try to change you. We just want you to understand where we are coming from and in turn, expect you not to be mad or ridicule us either. So…here goes…(this could get lengthy, so it might be in several installments)…

When we got married, we did what most Americans do & practiced Family Planning by using contraceptives. Then, “we” decided it was a good time to start a family, so I stop taking the pills and “we” began trying to start our family. Ultimately we knew that God gives life and He gives us what we need in His time, but we still “played” God with our family planning. We were extremely lucky to conceive the first month and were beyond thrilled to start our family. But, 12 weeks later tragedy struck and we were devastated at the loss of our first child. I was 13 weeks pregnant, but the fetus had stopped growing around 8.5 weeks. I had surgery to remove our first child and the healing began. We were extremely blessed to be surrounded by the love and support of our friends, family and 350 fellow classmates at Ozark Christian College all praying for us the morning of the surgery and for weeks after. Oddly enough, we were at peace with the situation.

As soon as we were able to “try” again, we did. I was disappointed the first month when our test was negative, but the second month we again were overcome with JOY as we found out I was expecting. This time I was going to be super careful and overly cautious to ensure we carried this baby to term. Things were going great and I was growing (a little ahead of schedule, but still safe) with just a few minor contractions along the way, until one morning in June I found myself sitting in a chair that I had no idea when and how I got there. I immediately called Jacob at work & told him what had happened. He said I must’ve passed out and to call the doctor. Of course they told me to report directly to L&D (again, I was probably there 20 times during my first pregnancy w/ early contractions). So, at 35 wks 3 days I reported to St. John’s L&D in Joplin, MO. They monitored my bp throughout the day and realized it was not going down – even though I was not doing anything. Nothing made a difference. That evening about 6pm, they finally decided to call the doctor on call and have him come in for a check. He arrived about 7pm and they immediately took me to a room for an ultrasound. The one thing I remember about that ultrasound was the small size of the monitor and the HUGE size of my child’s head!! I asked the dr. about it and he said, “Yep, he looks kinda big. I’ll clear my schedule and see you in a few.” I had no idea what that meant!! All I knew is that HUGE head was NOT coming out of me!!! Soon my room flooded with nurses w/ carts and supplies. I asked them what they were doing and they said, “Prepping you for a c-section,” and kept moving about the room. Jacob and I looked at each other with astonished faces and I immediately said, “We should call our parents!” So, at 7:15pm on June 29th we called our parents to inform them we were meeting our son TONIGHT!! And, at 8:24pm we did!!! Tyler Isaiah was born at 35.5 weeks, weighing in at 9lbs 5oz and 21″ long!!!! He was our BIG miracle baby boy!!! He was on oxygen for 5 days in the little NICU, but otherwise completely healthy!

Looking back at that story, I can see where God was trying to teach us and show us that HE alone is in control!! He gives life and takes life. He allows things in our life to happen so that He might receive all the glory! He was in control of our first pregnancy from the beginning and He was in control when we said goodbye to our precious baby so early. He was in control of when I would conceive a second time and He was in control when Tyler was born early! We most definitely were NOT ready to meet our baby boy, but God knew it was time and that everything would work out according to His plan and His purpose. Of course, now, I don’t know what I would do without my sweet, precious, loving, spunky, rambunctious 5 year old we call Bubba!!

Fast forward a year…in January 2006, Jacob was informed that his job would be eliminated at the end of February. So, here we were losing the only job we had and not another one in sight. We ran! Literally, we packed up our apartment and moved back to OK and into a house with family. A tight squeeze, but it was comfortable and safe. Jacob soon acquired a job that paid, but it was minimal. About a month later, he acquired a second job and started working overnights at QuikTrip in May 2006. This was NOT what I had in mind for Bible college educated husband and family, but it’s what paid. We were trusting God, but honestly it was pretty much half-hearted. We wanted to hold on to certain things. We wanted things our way!

Soon, I began working & we were making progress on our bills. The family house was crowded and we soon felt we should look for a place of our own. So, we did! We did NOT consult God on our decision to start looking, but we asked Him to bless our decision and show us the right house. Well, again…He taught us that He is in control. We found a house that seemed perfect for us, we made and offer and they accepted!! We were thrilled. We moved in within 45 days and were on our way to making the home ours! We painted all the walls, replaced the carpet w/ laminate and we were overjoyed to have Christmas in our own house!! But, soon it started…the heat didn’t work properly, things began falling apart one by one. We closed on our house Nov. 29th, 2007 and January 2, 2008 I lost my job. We were okay with me staying home for the time being – it was tight, but it could work. Jacob had 2 jobs and we could survive. Then in April 2008, Jacob lost his 2nd job due to budget cuts. Now, we were in trouble. What were we going to do without that income? We fully believed that God would provide. He did, but it wasn’t for another year!! That was the beginning our true journey. The one we consciously embarked on! We were finally beginning to learn what it was to FULLY trust God.

To be continued…
Choices Part 2
Choices Part 3
Choices Part 4

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Annette has been married to her husband and best friend since 2003. Together they are raising their six children to follow the Lord’s will, no matter what. Annette longs for the day when she will meet all her angel babies who have entered heaven before her. She enjoys creating fun and engaging printables, unit studies and curriculum for homeschool families. You can follow her crazy life at In All You Do where she blogs about marriage, parenting, and homeschooling all while maintaining her sanity. She is also the owner of Thrifty Homeschoolers, where she shares free printables and resources from around the web as well as deals on curriculum and homeschooling resources. You can also keep up with her via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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