Monday, September 9, 2013

Chi Alpha DGroup Launch

Tonight is one of my favorite nights of the year for Chi Alpha -- DGroup Launch Night!!

Over the past few weeks, Chi Alpha leaders have been building relationships with students in attempts to form this year's DGroups. We have been fishing for men in our classes, during breaks, and at the many events throughout the past month.

Tonight, we will give the students a chance to commit to coming to one of our DGroups. Each leader-pair created a short biography and took a picture to put in a DGroup book that will be circulated tonight. Students will be able to meet up with leaders and exchange numbers and information about the first DGroup of the semester.

Let me explain to you guys where my heart was 2 years ago on DGroup launch night. I was a freshman who didn't have a relationship with God. I grew up in church and had basic book knowledge, but I didn't love God and was running from him. At the time, I was in a dark place, morally, and was running from all authority, especially spiritual authority. Dillon and I had been dating for just a few weeks, but he asked me to come to Chi Alpha with him and his roommates. I was so reluctant because church was the last place I wanted to be after several years of seeing hypocrisy, judgement, the use of Biblical text out of context, and misuse of time/power/resources by church staff. I agreed to come, and was completely caught off guard. I had never attended a service where you stand up for the entire musical worship, where songs were 10 minutes long, or where people worshiped passionately. I actually felt physically ill because Satan was feeding me with lies and negativity about this service. He fed me lies about whether or not I deserved to be there. He filled me up with hate for myself, with memories of things I had done and where I had been. I sat down and Dillon put his hand on me. He told me later (like a year later) that he prayed for me that I would enjoy Chi Alpha. As I sat there, I experienced what I know now to be the Spirit moving in me and dissipating those negative things Satan was feeding me. I really started to listen to the music, and Amy's voice just blew me away because it sounded like Jesus Culture, which I actually liked. (Amy was a former worship singer) I didn't worship that night and I can't remember what Carp spoke about or anyone I met. I just know that I decided then to join a DGroup. That night changed my life forever.

Although I didn't end up going to the DGroup I originally chose for very long, those leaders were able to connect me to another leader who turned out to be a wonderful friend to me and a major reason why I let God into my life.

God did amazing things for me through DGroups. He provided me with girl friends, when I was the self-proclaimed girl-hater. He showed me that you could have fun without doing things that were against God's will. He used my leaders and friends to show me how to be transparent.

Please! Please! Pray for me and my fellow leaders tonight as we launch DGroups. May we meet so many 2011 Bethany's who need God desperately. May we fight the forces of Satan by filling this campus with the Spirit. May we do His will.

To my Chi Alpha family -- I love you all. Thank you for all you have done in the past 2 years. I cannot wait to help God change lives tonight along with you.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

1st Day of Daycare

Monday morning, the 26th, Dillon and I left Roman at daycare for the very first time!

It has been such a heartbreaking journey for us over the past few months as we wrestled with the topic of childcare. We returned to school when he was just 3 weeks old last semester, so naturally no daycare could care for him. We relied on one another and a few friends to get us by at first, but then classes became too stressful to keep up with. I would come home after being away from my boy for 4 hours, engorged from not feeding him when he took a bottle, and just miserable. I would hold him and cry and promise that I wouldn't ever leave him again. I had many conversations about dropping out of school, getting a job at a daycare where he could come to work with me, and letting Dillon pursue his degree while I made money. This is such a realistic and fantastic option for many moms, but I could not bear to give up the thousands per semester I receive in scholarships. It was then that we decided to drop down to part-time students.

(our boy back then)

Everything went so well with this plan and our scholarships remained in tact. Our GPA's were slightly lower, but still passing and thriving. When it came time for us to return to school this semester, we knew that it was time for him to go into childcare. I wanted a flexible, home environment at first, but cost limited us to a daycare facility. We selected a great daycare in Conway (which I won't name here to protect my privacy and my son's safety! If you want to know, please only ask me in private.)

I did so well dropping him off. We left quickly to avoid any tears (from him or from me). I may have shed one or two dozen in the car!

At his daycare, the parents and the teachers fill out a form everyday on the child's daily activities.
It shows when they ate and how much, when they had their diaper changed and what was inside (non parents may think...YUCK, but all parents know you talk about this. haha), when he slept and how long. Parents are responsible for telling the daycare about what went on before he got there so they can keep him on a schedule. I love these reports!

Daddy went to pick Roman up from daycare and he said he was just sitting in his teacher's lap, being as cute as ever! He was good and didn't get upset. We are having a problem with him refusing bottles, but he is eating his lunch (veggies and oatmeal), so we know he isn't starving. He is also having a lot of trouble adjusting to taking naps in his crib at daycare. Each child has their own crib which has its sheets and blankets washed daily. Roman isn't used to being put down to sleep in a noisy room, and honestly loves to sleep in our laps, so this will be a big change for him.

On the night of his first day at daycare, I came down with some type of stomach virus and was super sick for about 24 hours. Dillon was at work when the worst of it hit me, so I was at home alone with a baby while enduring a sickness which to me is the worst kind! I had plenty of people offering to come help, but I felt like I may be contagious so I didn't want to bring anyone else into the mix. I ended up putting him in his pack n' play and just laying down and crying. It was torture for me to both feel so bad, and see my boy wanting me to play and not being able to even pick him up. After the sickness passed, I still had a horrible time recovering because I had no appetite and was barely eating, but I was still breastfeeding Roman, so what little nutrients I was getting was going straight to him. It was Thursday before I started eating normally again.

Daycare is a new adventure for our family and we are so thankful to have found a good place, especially when I was so sick on Tuesday and couldn't keep up with him! We pray daily for his teachers and the kids in his class, so feel free to join in that.