You see, I really am a homebody. I just love home! There’s so much to do here! We have a farm, a garden, we do school at home, we love creating things, reading, playing games, and just living life together. Running to weekly piano lessons, spending 3 hours one morning a week at our homeschool co-op, and keeping up with all the dentist and orthodontist appointments is enough ‘running around’ for me!
For all of my growing up years, my mother faithfully poured herself into her home and family. She proved by example that there really is so much good to be accomplished . . . right at home. Growing our own food; feeding us healthy, home-cooked meals; keeping our house clean and tidy and tastefully decorated; and just being a constant, loving presence in our lives: these were the things I knew I could count on from Mom.
I grew up hoping to become a wife, mother, and homemaker someday, and at 19, I married my high-school sweetheart. He was 20 and already working full-time on his family’s farm. I had grown up on a farm as well; my dad was a dairy farmer. So being a farmer’s wife wasn’t a novelty to me, it was normal life.
Fast forward 4 years, and we had our first baby girl, Allison. Two years later, Logan was born. Then 15 months later, Megan. Then two years more and we had Jefferson. Two girls, two boys, a farm. . . life was full. . . and busy! Any mother of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers can tell you that the days can be oh, so long when you’re in the thick of it: wiping runny noses, mopping up spills, settling sibling squabbles, picking up toys over and over again, picking up little people over and over again, scrubbing stacks of pots and pans, and on, and on, and on. But it’s funny how the years can seem oh, so short when one looks back from a distance on those long, long days!
When our fourth child was 2 years old, and I was 8 weeks pregnant with our fifth, our lives were up-ended. We were at our friends’ house sipping hot cocoa after Christmas caroling at a nursing home with our Bible study group. It was just 8 days before Christmas, 2007. I had a cardiac arrest. Officially known as a Ventricular Fibrillation Arrest, or V-fib arrest, my heart basically stopped pumping normally, and I collapsed. Thankfully, there was a nurse in our group who started doing CPR on me right away while someone else called the rescue squad.
I don’t recall the incident at all. The last memory I have is walking into the nursing home to sing. I don’t even remember going to our friends’ house afterward. I woke up in the hospital 6 days later, after having been sedated and on a vent tube. I learned from my husband what had happened to me, and it was hard to take it all in.
For the first few days after my V-fib arrest, my family and friends weren’t sure I ever would wake up. I had been without oxygen for a few minutes, my heart had to be re-started with a defibrillator, I aspirated stomach contents while being given CPR to the point that I developed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, and I developed Pneumonia, as well as Sepsis, which is a blood infection. And sadly, but not surprisingly, my pregnancy ended in miscarriage.
But God had mercy on my family, and through the prayers of many, many people, he healed me — completely! I came home from the hospital three weeks later, so weak to the point I could barely walk, and unable to talk above a whisper or swallow food because of injury done to my vocal chords during the insertion of the vent tube. My health quickly improved, however. I soon was able to talk normally and swallow food (which meant my stomach tube could be removed!), and I gradually took on all the responsibilities of motherhood again.
The only evidence that remains of my ordeal is an implantable defibrillator that ‘resides’ beneath my skin just under my collar-bone, and the fact that I take medication twice a day to keep my heart beating regularly. No one knows why this happened to me. There is no family history of sudden cardiac arrest, no known genetic abnormalities (I was tested for conditions such as Long QT); nothing presents itself as the cause for this close call with death.
I remember thinking after learning what had happened to me, “My life surely is in God’s hands!” He could have taken me home to heaven, where I would’ve been in pure bliss. I felt absolutely no pain, remembered nothing whatsoever until I woke up. But the thought of my dear husband and children losing wife and mommy undoes me every time I think about it. I know that God left me here with a mission to accomplish — to pour myself into their lives, helping them become all they were meant to be.
I’ve given birth to one more healthy baby girl since then. In 2010 Carmen Joy (her name means ‘song of joy’) came into our lives, proving God’s mercies to an even greater degree. I am one blessed lady!
So if after looking around my blog you feel a little more inspired to make your home a beautiful place for your family to grow, if you are encouraged to make it a fun and inviting place to be, if you are motivated to pour yourself more fully into loving and caring for your family, then I will have accomplished my goal for creating this blog.
“Motherhood is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.” — Rachel Jankovic