Category Archives: (flourishing) mama

Release: Letting Go of Last Season’s Expectations

These last few months, I have enjoyed a season of confidence and competence in managing my home, my social life, ministry, and mothering. It wasn’t perfect, but I had some weeks where I got all the laundry and the dishes done each day. And I didn’t have to compromise my connection with God, my husband, or my kids to do so.

Like the winter chill that clings to my breath, the signs of a new soul-season have appeared.

I feel frail. Brittle. Exhausted. Lonely. Overwhelmed.

leaf seasonsActivities and expectations which used to be simple accomplishments, now escape my efforts for productivity. With shorter naps and higher needs for attention in play, delighting in my twins requires my conscious neglect of housework and personal time. Certain ministry prerogatives which once were invigorating, have become exhausting. These days, I seek refuge under my covers instead of the clicking of my keyboard to share heart-felt words of grace.

God’s grace remains strong, but my heart feels empty. The only words I have to offer most days are from “The Icky Sticky Frog” which I have read so many times I have it memorized.

There’s a cracking in my spirit. Like branches under pressure, the expectations I give myself now groan and strain. Lysa Terkeurst illustrates this in her book, The Best Yes. She recommends a divine “letting go” or release, in preparation for each new season:

“It’s is a gift—a gift to a woman weighed down, grasping her leaves in the midst of a snowstorm, desperate, so desperate for help… She must listen or she will break. Her tree needs to be stripped and prepared for winter. But she can’t embrace winter until she lets go of fall. Like a tree, a woman can’t carry the weight of two seasons simultaneously…Release brings with it the gift of peace.”

Lysa Terkeurst, The Best Yes

Reading her words remind me of an important truth:

We need time to rest, restore, renew our strength.

Winter’s barrenness can be beautiful. Powerful, even.

I must learn to exhale.

Let go.

Release control.

Let the good and beautiful leaves of last season fall.

Learn to delight in bare branches.

To sleep.

To find refuge in a blanket, like the cold ground finds covering from thousands of unique flakes glittering white.

To understand my true blanket of comfort is the faithfulness of Christ:

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 93:4

Please understand, I am not allowing my feelings and emotions to supersede truth. My sense of lowness is not the author of my story or the bully of my joy. I have joy! But yesterday, today, and maybe even tomorrow, it is a quiet joy, fueled by God’s faithfulness. His steadfastness is immensely satisfying, regardless of my internal climate. After all, His word promises:

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

As I enter into this new season, both climatically and existentially, I cling to these truths.

His constancy is reliable.

My identity will never be a barren tree, though my emotions might resemble one every once in a while. God will always be producing good fruit through me when I cling to Him.

seasons leaves restI will not always feel like a tree in springtime. However, I will experience the sense of blossoming again if I take full-care to embrace this winter-rest well.

For me, this means

  • lowering my to-do list expectations.
  • Receiving help from my husband when he so graciously offers it.
  • Living free of the mommy-guilt, wife-guilt, friend-guilt, Bible-study homework guilt, etc. (Romans 8:1)
  • Tightening my grip on Jesus as I loosen my grip on certain ministry goals.
  • No more internal words of punishment or self-degradation for my body.
  • Celebrating the victory and finding satisfaction in deep intimacy with God, Shane, Titus and Evi, rather than in my own sense of accomplishment.

Each season is simply, and beautifully, that: a season. We would be so wise to encounter each with such perspective.

In Faith,

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Campfire Check-In:

How is God preparing you for a change in season? What might the Holy Spirit call you to release?

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Happy 6 Month Birthday to the Rosty Twins!

6 Months…

We made it! The Rosty twins are 6 months and thriving. A year ago I didn’t think we would make it this far. In the back of my mind I figured we would be such a mess, that Jesus would take pity and come back before now.

In his gracious providence, God has given us further chances to seek Him in this parenting business, and use our experiences to share His love with others. I feel that being a mom is one of my greatest accomplishments, by Gods grace. Specifically, breastfeeding twins for 6 months has been one of my “least likely to succeed” goals that I am so blessed to have met.IMG_0091

In honor of this milestone, I brought up a post from this time last year (while I was pregnant), and would like to compare it with today (last year’s posts are in green).

Week 13 flew by! We started the spring semester of BCM, enjoyed a weekend in the hot-springs of Thermopolis, and thoroughly relished in the joy of becoming parents! 

We enjoyed Thermopolis again this month, in 2015. The babies LOVED the water!

13 Weeks: January 19-25

6 months6 Months: January 23, 2014

Babies are the size of: Lemons!

Babies are the size of: my entire torso. I cannot believe they fit into my tummy at one point, particularly as the size of lemons!

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Mama Weight gain: 0 (I have hovered around 168 for the last 3 months or so.)

Baby Weight gain: Titus is about 18lbs, and Evi is probably close to 15. We will get an official weight in a couple weeks at their next check up.

Sleep: Shocking news: I was able to get great sleep on a trip this weekend while sleeping on an air mattress.

Sleep: Shocking news: The babies now sleep through the night!!! 7pm-7am, with a 10pm dream feed.

Exercise: started a water aerobics class this week and I LOVE it. I’ve also been upping my “squat routine” to prep for labor and delivery.

Exercise: This month, I (yes, the tired mama) started jogging 2 miles twice a week. It is so hard to make this a priority right now, however I am looking forward to this healthy habit rubbing off on my kids as we pursue being a fit and active family together.

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IMG_0095Best moment this week:. Singing songs of worship with my husband for hours in our make-shift studio (in the laundry room… the acoustics are awesome in there.) I know these babies are going to grow up proclaiming the truths of Christ through music along side, and it is fun to start the tradition now.

Best moment this week:. Watching our daughter sing and bang on the piano. She seems to be very musically inclined. Titus on the other hand would rather inspect the wood of the piano. I am excited to see how he will be a hands-on worshipper.

Miss Anything? I know it was never a healthy routine, but I miss being able to go, go, go, without HAVING to stop to eat or pee or nap every 1/2 hour. It’s just how I got stuff done. With twins, I suppose I’ll have to learn a whole new way of accomplishing things tiny moments at a time, so it’s good training.

Miss Anything? I still have to pee every 1/2 hour! Staying hydrated to nurse twins is a constant activity. Also, I am learning to do things in tiny moments… today I clean the bathrooms, enjoyed reading a book with Shane, and wrote this blog post, all during nap times! I am thankful I had a realistic perspective and was already preparing for this life last year.

Movement: Not yet.

Movement: Titus is a major mover! He is crawling backwards, doing 3 second planks, and sitting up like a champ (his activity is more proficient than my work out routine). Evi is a girl after my own heart: she likes to lay around and talk to herself. I’m sure she will start crawling eventually, but for now I adore listening to her chats.

Food cravings: Mac and Cheese, all the time! Also, I ate a whole carton of strawberries in one delicious sitting. I think I could eat a whole carton a day if they were as cheap as mac n cheese 😉

Food cravings: The babies are embracing solid foods! They love to gnaw on cucumbers and gum up pieces of banana.

Anything making you queasy or sick:. A bit of french toast almost made me throw up (see “sweets” below). On the plus side, I had some chicken strips and they tasted lovely, so maybe I am on my way to incorporating poultry into my diet again.

Anything making you queasy or sick:. Evangeline’s poopy diapers, for sure.

Gender prediction: The cravings test says: citrus/sweet=girl. Salt=boy. I have been craving pineapple, and strawberries and all kinds of sour things. But I cannot stand chocolate or super sweet desserts! Also, initially all I had was all salt cravings. So I guess that’s another point for one of each (Though Shane still thinks they are both boys).

Gender revelation: We have a man’s man for a son. He is the Ron Swanson of babies (for those of you who watch Parks and Rec). When it comes to food, his dog (yep, Mr. Darcy is now Titus’ dog), being active, and meeting new people, he is all business. He has the most jolly smile though, and is so eager to connect over a wrestle.

titus 6

Evi is all girl: giddy over fluffy stuffed animals, cozy blankets, and smiling men with beards. We pray about the last one daily. She loves worship music, and is pretty fond of mirrors, and we hope she is always as happy with her appearance and beautiful smile as she is in these past few weeks.

evi 6

Lullaby of the week: You Know Me” by Steffany Frizzell (Bethel Music). It speaks of Psalm 139’s truth that God knows each and every bit of who we are. I love that when I can’t see my babies, God can. He has them memorized inside and out. That is incredible intimacy!

I love this memory from last year, and knowing that even now that I can hold my kids in my arms, their lives are still outside of my control. Thankfully, I know God will never let them go!

Truth I’m dwelling on: That Psalms 139 applies to me as well. My God knows me! He knows what today looks like, and what tomorrow looks like. And He is GOOD! I am memorizing verses 5-7:

You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!

Truth I’m dwelling on: That he has proven faithful to “go before us” and bless us, as I read last year. I didn’t know how year was going to turn out, but it has been the greatest blessing and privilege to walk with God through.

Looking forward to: The birthing class on Monday!

Looking forward to: Developing healthy habits over the next 6 months. I feel God challenging me to become strong spiritually, physically, and emotionally to set a positive president for myself and our family in the years to come.IMG_0081

 
Thanks for keeping up with our adventure!
 
In Faith,
 
Becky
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Embracing the Unadventure of Motherhood

My Beloved Bighorns
My Beloved Bighorns

I have a deep affinity for hiking in the mountains. Something about the wildflower hills, spaced sporadically among thick walls of green trees, and a path with untidy growth happening all around my feet makes my heart sing.

I’ve lived my life as an adventure seeker. International travel, camping, road trips, big projects, building our own home–its just me. I approached motherhood with the same intentions. In fact, my motherhood journey began with applying for international adoption (which is on hold for now, but still growing steadily in our hearts). When we found out I was pregnant with twins, I thought to myself, “all the more to adventure with!” I wasn’t expecting to ease into anything. I’m a jump-in-the-deep-end kind of girl, and this seemed right up my alley.

In the middle of a hot summer week, my beautiful babies were born, and life became chaotic: blessed, beautiful, wild-flowers-in-a-field kind of crazy. But as a family, we weren’t exactly thriving in our newfound adventure. We had heaps of helpers coming in and out of the house each week, which was an immense load off our shoulders. But eventually, I knew I had to do it. I had to create some structure.

unadventureTo me, structure is like nails on a chalkboard. Take away my freedom, my spontaneity, my late nights of writing and long days of sharing the truth of Christ at one coffee date to the next… might as well take away my sense of adventure.

However, to ensure my children grow steadily and healthily, and to provide a smidgen of sanity for my husband and me, I bent over backwards to create an achievable schedule.

Other ladies might agree, that living a highly structured life can feel monotonous and repetitive:

  • Checking off the to do list.
  • Adding more things to the to-do list.
  • Thinking of a change-the-world-size idea, and forgetting to write it down.
  • Making time with Jesus, but getting distracted every time (I think I could be diagnosed with prAy-DHD).
  • Finding babysitters so we can work-out, grocery shop, have a date night, participate in a gospel-sharing opportunity.
  • Feeling guilty that our kids spend way too much time with babysitters.
  • Brainstorming how to streamline the efficiency of our homes.
  • Striving to be more available to our husbands, emotionally and physically, when we often feel drained and over-focused on the to-do list.
  • Wondering why we even get our babies and preschoolers dressed every day?
  • Planning meals.
  • Charting chores.
  • Maintaining the structure.
  • Drinking more water.
  • Finding time to use the bathroom after drinking so much water!
  • Mindlessly checking Facebook, for who-knows why.
  • Denying the desire to snack all day, but really wanting something to munch on.

(Anybody feel me here?!)

For me, nap time comes and I’m on the clock for a shower, laundry, clean up, maybe a little writing. Suddenly the low echoes of a groggy but awake baby approach my ears with subtle urgency. I try to squeeze in a little more time on whatever task I have set before me, at least to clean it up before round two. Within seconds however, I have two howling creatures trying to get my attention. Perhaps they mean to give me a sense of being in the mountains?

Bedtime comes, a choppy night sleep awaits, then it’s back to the same activities in the morning. Day after day, I face the “unadventure” of motherhood.

Lately though, Set Apart Motherhood, by Leslie Ludy, has given me a new perspective. In almost every chapter, Leslie gives practical advice and achievable examples for how to foster a greater sense of orderliness with small children.

This push for order was a turn-off for me, at first. I am not the OCD type that likes to have all my picture frames hanging in a perfect row. I appreciate the aesthetic beauty of things like a field of scattered daisies.

Ixiolirion tataricum
However, in my rant about the appeal of wild-flowers, God beckoned me to take a closer look. Did you know that all flowers have some sense of structure? They are designed so intricately and precisely. Two types of flowers, monocots and dicots, will always bloom with specific sets of petals. Monocots have multiples of 3 petals (like a lily), and dicots have multiples of 4 or 5 (like a rose). (Give your kids a fun science lesson here.)

Even the wild-flower fields of my beloved hiking days have a sense of order, structure, and design! It just takes a different perspective to see it.

Though I sometimes feel like I am living a very repetitive, unadventurous life, there is still wild-flower beauty in it. Like a blooming lily, God has created me with an intricate design that allows my body, mind, and soul to function well. And in His power, my mundane tasks have lasting purpose.

J.D. Greear says it well:

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With Gods perspective, I am learning to embrace the “unadventure” and see this structured life as an opportunity to blossom!

  • A chance to smile at my kids at the same time, every day, and watch how their reaction develops over time.
  • A chance to prioritize the important things, like studying my Bible and giving the kids a bath. I can structure the useless uses of my time (like TV and facebook) right off the daily schedule.
  • A chance to cherish my partnership with Shane, in our family and ministry, by fostering better consistency in our time together at meals, in prayer, and on date nights.

I can aim to give glory to God in the highly-structured, or rather highly-designed days that I live. And therein lies a beautiful adventure to be discovered.

Do you appreciate or avoid structure in your life? How do you help your family to thrive?

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27 Ways my Twin Pregnancy Surprised Me

surprised by twin pregnancyAround this time last year, I took a pregnancy test that changed my life. We didn’t find out we were having twins until a few weeks after that. However, this is the year mark that we have been aware of the new lives we now know as Titus and Evi. In reflection, I came up with the following list of things that surprised me about being pregnant with twins:

  1. There are 2 in there?!?!
  2. I didn’t have strange cravings, however, I had some intense food-aversions, including chocolate-chip cookies all the way up until D-day.
  3. I threw up a total of 0 times during the entire pregnancy (but several times during the delivery!).
  4. That I lost 10 lbs during the first 3 months.
  5. The next 4 months, I had gained 10 lbs at each appointment. I knew I felt heavier every day, but 10 more pounds each month was a shocking number on the scale.
  6. I experienced hormonal shifts and acne reminiscent of my 13 year-old PMS days.
  7. How invaluable the Psalms of the Bible to keep me mentally and emotionally healthy during the season of unknowns.
  8. That I wasn’t bothered by people touching my belly.
  9. How I became really irritated when people tried to talk to or kiss my belly (except my husband).
  10. How much I cherished the candid humor and practical honesty of the book, What to Do When You’re Having Two.
  11. That I learned to smile and nod at people who said, “a boy and a girl? Now you’re done.” (even though we were already in the process of adoption before we conceived twins, and look forward to the day we bring our “world-traveler” home to make us a family of 5).
  12. I didn’t become a whale. Or a planet… In fact, the majority of commentators kept exclaiming how small I looked for twins (which wasn’t always comforting, by the way).
  13. The dreaded swelling wasn’t that bad.
  14. The sweating in summer heat WAS that bad.
  15. Twiniversity became my go-to website very quickly.
  16. How fun our gender-reveal party was.
  17. How heavy my belly really was.
  18. I actually stopped caring that I wore the same 4 maternity pants/shorts combo for the last 3 hot months of pregnancy.
  19. That all our baby-supply needs (and lots of our “wants”) were met by friends and family.
  20. That I would go stir-crazy for two months after everything was ready at the recommended week 30, “just in case.”
  21. That I never went into pre-term labor.
  22. I never felt braxton-hicks or contractions (until pitocin).
  23. Apparently my uterus is a fortress to write hymns about: “A mighty fortress is my womb, a cervix never failing.”
  24. I’d have more trouble getting babies out in time than keeping them in before it was time.
  25. My intense love for the humans growing inside me.
  26. How hard it was to keep our babies’ names to ourselves until their birth.
  27. The depth of truth found in Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

Did you/are you expecting twins? What surprises you about your pregnancy?

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How We Decided What To Name Our Son

How We Decided What To Name Our Sonhow we decided what to name our son

Choosing a name for a human being is an overwhelming task. The amount of power involved in this decision seems too much for two people to hold. The recipient of said name must bear it for life. The name will define them. Before ever meeting an individual, people tend to make assumptions and definitions of that person based on their name. It is often the first word a child learns to write. It’s how they will label every exam in school, every letter or email, every official document.

Because my husband and I felt such gravity in this naming business, we decided to take it very seriously.

We started talking about what we would name our children when we began the adoption process. I’ve had names in my head since I was little girl, but none of those seem to fit the new child that was growing in our hearts. When I found out I was pregnant, we had already picked out a couple names. However, we both agreed to reserve those names for our adopted child when he or she would enter into our family, even if that would be years down the road now that we were pregnant. So we started dreaming up new names.

We prayed for a long time about the kind of people God had in mind as he was designing our son (and twin sister) in my womb. The word “intercessor” kept coming to mind with our son. An intercessor is “one who stands in the gap.”

This sermon, by Eric Ludy, was highly influential in our understanding of the role of an intercessor.

In our prayers and daily interaction with the world around us, we began to understand the great need of someone who could be a bridge between God and humanity. We understand that all people are, by nature, not perfect. We choose to do things our way, not God’s way. This imperfection, also called sin, leads to a brokenness. This brokenness means we cannot have relationship with God, not now and not after death. There is no heaven for individuals who are unholy… the only thing we deserve is death and separation from God. Only by becoming perfect can we relate to God as our Father and Lord. Since we can’t be perfect, even if we try, we need an intercessor.

Isaiah 59:16 says about Jesus: “He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.”

Jesus, God’s Son, was the only perfect human being. He became our intercessor when he offered an exchange for us: our sin-nature for his perfect one. For all who receive this gift, their sin nature is put on Jesus on the cross. In his death, the punishment we deserve for our rebellion against God, was served. In it’s place, we receive a new nature: holiness, perfection, and therefore relationship with God!

When humanity could not help itself, Jesus stepped in, sacrificed himself, and bridged the gap. In his great power as God’s son, Jesus raised himself from death (our deserved punishment, not his). He claimed holiness yet again and now stands before God, constantly pleading, or interceding, on our behalf.

This is a monumental truth. Its implications for a broken humanity are beyond liberating. The fact that we have an intercessor should change the way we think, love, act, feel, and speak.

It is so epic in fact, it even affects the names we choose for our children.

 

May I introduce Titus Zachariah Rosty.

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The name Titus means defender, a meaning similar to intercessor. Titus was also a Greek missionary and disciple of the apostle Paul.

We chose the middle name Zachariah to honor a dear friend who passed away last year. This man left behind a genuine Christ-centered legacy. His zeal for God and compassion for others deeply impacted his community and family. The name Zachariah means “remembered by the Lord.”

We see in Scripture that God did remember to send an intercessor. He did not forget his creation, but made a way for all of humanity to choose restoration through Jesus.

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.” 1 John 4:9

Our son’s name is our reminder of that. We pray daily that our son’s heart and mind recognize the gravity of Jesus’ gift of salvation. We hope he will share this truth in his daily life. And because we also want to prioritize this truth in our own lives, we chose an applicable name to constantly remind our own souls.

God has already designed the steps Titus will take as a boy, young fella, and eventually (hopefully) a strong man-of-God. What glimpse the Holy Spirit allowed us of that destiny was that Titus might:

  • Share his faith with friends on the playground…
  • Boldly stand up for truth in his college classes…
  • Forge awareness for the orphaned and abandoned…
  • Champion the cause of the hurting and the lost…
  • Be a defender of the weak (all of us), and a reminder that God did remember to send an intercessor.

“Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.” Psalm 82:3

Whether he is a banker, or a street-sweeper, or a linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, (after all, his name does mean “defender”), we pray his life will be a giant arrow pointing to Christ, our Savior.

Titus 2:11-15 (NIV)

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.”

Check in soon for a post on how we chose our daughter’s name!

What did you name your kids? I’d love to hear any special meaning or reason behind your decision to name them!

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The Rosty Twins are 3 Months!

baby 3 month

Our beautiful daughter and good-looking’ son are 3 months old! Here are the highlights:

Growth: We don’t have a check up this month, so no concrete numbers to share. But you can tell the difference in the pics! Evi’s face is filling out better, and Titus maintains his Buddha belly like a champ. Both are smiling, cooing, blowing bubbles, and splashing it up in the tub at bath time.titus 3 month evi 3 month

Nursing: At last, nursing twins has become a doable part of our routine. Evi has been stuffy lately, so treats me like a corn on the cob or typewriter while she eats, but we make it fun.

Titus gulps his meals down like a ferocious bear, which explains the 1lb gained each week.

Quirks: Titus holds his hands ALL THE TIME. We wish we could say he appears to be praying; however, in reality he appears to be plotting… it’s very “pinky and the brain.”

Evi is a paci addict. Twitch twitch, scratch, *paci*>eyes roll in the back of her head as she sucks away. Thankfully, she is still a pretty decent nurser (save the corn on the cob thing). However, she is quite camera shy. You have no idea how many pics it takes to catch a smile.

evi camera

Goals: Operation: Sleep Like a Baby is underway! We spent 15 days whittling down our 2 nightly feedings into one dream feed before we, the parents, turn in, and one short feeding in the middle of the night. Babies are learning to sleep longer periods (however, thanks to Daylight Savings CRAP, we are a bit thrown off.) Evangeline is a complete angel about sleeping, but Titus transforms into a panther at bedtime. His will to fight sleeping is astounding. We pray now for the strength to parent him through adolescence with grace.

Prayers: God has helped me tremendously this last month. I am learning to ask for his help, for small things like helping my milk to let down in the evening, and big things like discerning how to balance time, ministry, goals, and nurturing my relationship with Shane and the babies.

 

Firsts: Both babies have rolled over, though they aren’t consistent. Also, we took our first family camping trip! It was cabin-camping, but a much needed hiatus in the mountains of Story, WY nonetheless. The short vacation included hiking, nature naps, and daddy reading “A Horse and His Boy” aloud to the kids. Titus was wide eyed and eager to take it all in. Evi slept through a lot of it :).

camping

 

We also had our first “date” as a family, and our first Halloween in the new house. We loved getting to know the neighborhood through our s’more’s station. Add in a couple of first play dates, listening to daddy share the love of Jesus at Youth Group, and a lot of deliciously wonderful times with the grandparents, and you are caught up on all the latest news!october 2014

IMG_0019Thanks for checking in!

In His Grace,

Becky (and Shane too!)

 

PS: Thank You!!!!!! To everyone who donated, shipped, upcycled, or otherwise gave us hand-me-downs: you make us feel so wealthy with our friendships! We are FULL. The kids’ clothes have taken over the house. The kid’s closet, the guest bedroom closet, a big dresser, and a huge box chilling’ in the laundry room hold all the clothes we should need until babies’ 1st Birthday. Wow, we feel honored and so blessed. That being said, I’ve edited our “celebrate with us” list:

  • Diapers, size 2 and up! (I never thought it could happen, but the supply from the baby-showers is starting to dwindle)
  • Lactation cookies (or any snacks to help me keep my milk supply up)
  • Crock-pot meals
  • Boy/girl clothing size 3-6 month (hand-me downs are great!)
  • Baby carriers (we are eyeballing the Ergo or Beco, since Titus hates the Moby)
  • PRAYERS!

I have to say another huge thank you for praying for our precious kids. Titus’s head is rounding out, and Evi is gaining more strength to hold her head up longer. More importantly, the Holy Spirit is helping me cast my cares on the Lord, instead of dwelling in anxiety about the babies all night long.

 

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Two Babies at 2 months!

baby 2 monthWe made it! Two months later and we are all still alive! Sleep deprivation aside, Shane and I are LOVING this business of being parents to Titus and Evangeline.

2 month shots done been conquered!
2 month shots done been conquered!

IMG_0004_2Titus Zachariah Rosty has a fettish for lights and ceiling fans. He has mastered the art of cooing, thus capturing the hearts of us all. If he has the option, Titus would rather be hat-less, but he rather likes his Van’s shoes.

Regarding clothes, he grows out of outfits before we get a chance to even try them on! By the charts, he is growing about a pound a week! He has muscled his way to the top of the “hold-your-head-up” games, though his sister still has him beat in the focus round.

titus 2 month

IMG_0005_2Speaking of the sister, Evangeline River Rosty does not like wearing socks or shoes, but she is all the fashion-rage with her flower hats and headbands. Evangeline’s specialty is being relaxed (which is why she never wins the tummy time challenges).

She coos and smiles, but unlike her brother, Evi will make direct eye-contact with you, boring a hole of adorable into your soul. She’s been known to particularly focus in on the young men in our ministry circles.

evi 2 month

Titus has taken it upon himself to personify all of the seven dwarves in one day, every day. It’s his personal mission to keep us guessing about his mood.

Evangeline is very perceptive and enjoys taking in her surroundings. She particularly enjoys listening to daddy playing guitar: she gives a great big sigh of contentment every time she hears it.

Both babies are average conversationalists, though this skill is on the rise.  Although we don’t always know what they’re trying to talk to us about, Shane and I respond anyway. We are rock-stars at baby talk!

Photoshoot shenanigans
Photoshoot shenanigans

At last, the twins have noticed each other! Titus furrows  his brows together when he sees his sister. We think he’s trying to say “what is that!?” We typically respond with, “this is called a sister, she is to be defended at all costs.”

Evi just smiles at Titus with absolute adoration. I can’t wait to hear them talk to each other. For now, they hold hands when side by side.

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I am so blessed to have incredible help throughout these past 2 months. I wouldn’t be nearly as confident in this mothering business without the help and encouragement of these three ladies: my mom Theresa, Shane’s mom Sandy, and our dear friend Missy.

Processed with Moldiv

On the days we are on our own, Shane carries the standard for our family as our fearless leader and faithful shepherd. He is an incredible example of Christ to us, and I am beyond privilege to be his wife and mother of his kids (we call ’em “loin-fruit,” but that’s a different story). Shane is also thriving in his new role as Associate Pastor of Youth Ministries at our new church here in Sheridan.

IMG_0011_2It’s almost 10pm, and the babies have been sleeping peacefully for almost 2 hours. If I don’t join them in dream-land, I’ll miss my window. Sweet dreams friends, and thanks for all you do!IMG_0006_2

In His Grace,

Becky

 

PS: If you’d like to help us celebrate 2 months with the twins, here are some subtle suggestions:

  • Diapers, size 2 and up!
  • Lactation cookies (or anything to help me keep my milk supply up)
  • Crock-pot meals
  • Boy/girl clothing size 3-6 month (hand-me downs are great!)
  • Baby carriers (we are eyeballing the Ergo or Beco, since Titus hates the Moby)
  • PRAYERS! For strong babies with non-flat heads, sleep-ful nights, and parents who rely on the strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit to parent well.

 

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My Adventurously Uncertain, but Peace-filled & Beautiful, Birth Story

Twin Birth Story

Not long ago, there was a sunshiny young woman, full of adventurous aspirations and a heart full of wanderlust. This woman looked forward to new opportunities to explore the earth, share her faith, and shine a bit more brightly by God’s grace. However, no over-seas adventure or or rugged excursion would compare to her experience in becoming a mother. It began a year ago this month, in October 2013, when Shane and Becky Rosty accepted God’s calling to pursue parenthood. Pursuing adoption and open to pregnancy, the Rosty’s began their journey. To their great surprise, God provided above and beyond to meet the requirements for them to become parents. Little did they know, there was a double portion of God’s blessing forming in Becky’s womb. But this is not the story of how the blessing started (you can read about that here), this is the story of Becky’s greatest adventure to-date: the night she became a mother…

July

We took every available choice to have a natural twin birth for our babies. With baby B flipping about–breech one week, head down the next- our doctor was not comfortable planning a natural birth. She gracefully referred us to a doctor in Billings, an hour and 45 minute drive from our home in Sheridan. This doctor was very optimistic about natural delivery. So, I practiced my breathing and Christ-centered meditation, eager to experience labor knowing Id have a long drive to “enjoy” it before the hospital would take over. I made up my mind to do this naturally and calmly, completely trusting in God to get me through.

IMG_5627In full confidence of our new birth plan, Shane and I had the car packed by July 1st. We were excited for the potential of having Independence Day babies, which would have been 36 weeks and right on time for twins.

But alas, the fireworks came and went without even a spark of contractions from my growing uterus.

The next weekend promised a super moon. Friends chimed in via Facebook telling me to get ready, as certain “mammal instincts” were going to kick in because of this phenomenon in nature. I went for several late night walks that week, pointing my planet-sized belly at the moon, willing for something to start. Nothing.

July was almost over. My mantra transformed from “relax-and-be-prepared” mode to “ahem, get out” mode. I hiked the hill in front of my house a dozen times. My calves were sculpted like marble by the end of the month. But still no babies. My thighs were rocking too, from all the squats and bouncing on the birth ball. I worked that birth ball so much, I think cirque de sole could consider hiring me as an extra in their shows. Regardless, still no contractions.

Week 39 arrived and brought its friends, Aggravation and Anxiety, with it. I was aggravated because I knew now that induction was inevitable. And I was anxious because I had a plan, and that plan was only likely to work out if I waited for my body to go into labor naturally.

Birth Week

Six days before my due date, Shane and I drove up to Billings, along with my sister-in-law/doula, Amber and Shane’s brother, Brandon. We stayed at a mission apartment provided by our dear friends in the Montana Southern Baptist convention. On Monday morning the doctor checked me to find that, yet again, I had zero progression. I received what I perceive is the only equivalent of being “punched in the nuts” that a lady will ever experience. After the doctor stripped my cervix he gave us another 24 hours to see if labor would start.

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We met my best friend (and favorite photographer) Andy at the local mall for a nice long walk. After an hour in the toy store, a Walmart visit, a few rounds up and down the apartment stairs, 20 minutes on the birth ball, a tasty carb-loaded dinner, and an essential oils massage later, I was still NOT in labor. My mom drove up to join the team and we all worked hard to pray those babies out.

In the process, we watched my stomach bulge out, as our young lady curled up into a ball (later we would realize she was turning breech again).

Surprisingly, my sleep was full of peace and anticipation that night. I woke early for a hot shower and enough time to read my Bible, journal, and braid my hair. That was the moment everything changed.

Filled with Peace

God transformed my heart from one of control to one of openness, available for whatever God had for me to experience, for His glory. I had spoken these words of truth to myself weeks before, in a “meditation recording” I made for labor. As my mind and body prepared for the task ahead, be it the labor I had pictured or something different, I was ready to glorify God in it.

The birth that followed wasn’t necessarily peace-FUL, however it was incredibly Peace-filled.

Equipped with my home-made birth skirt, an IV, 2 baby monitors, a contractions monitor, I started my normal morning stretching routine, waiting for the pitocin to kick in. At last! I experienced what an actual contraction felt like. I welcomed contractions with squats, lunges, bouncing, and pray-swaying with Shane.

By the afternoon, I had little progression to show for all my hard work, so the doctor decided to break Baby A’s bag of waters. Apparently my cervix was still completely posterior, so he dealt with that as well (I will never again laugh when America’s Funniest Home Videos shows home-movies of boys and men getting slammed in the sensitive areas.) Determined to be an active participant of my labor, I stood back up, swinging and swaying while Shane played worship songs on the ukulele.

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Unfortunately, those pesky monitors became the bane of my birth experience, keeping me tethered near the bed. I was constantly readjusting them to read the babies heart rates. The poor nurse was very patient with my persistence to stay active and off the bed. Eventually though, I was asked stay laying down so we wouldn’t “lose the monitors.” Despite the frustration, I was grateful the monitors kept us aware that the babies were still thriving while under the pitocin.

As humorous as it sounds, for a few hours, laboring in the bed felt like a day at the spa. My mom gave me a head massage, while Shane rubbed my palms. Amber proved her skills as an excellent doula with a foot rub. Contractions came and went, but I was in a deep state of relaxation and openness.

The Rosty Twin's Birth Story 1

That afternoon, a warning came over the intercom at Billing Clinic: “dangerous hail/thunderstorm warning.” The nurse suggested Shane move our car to a protected area. Visions of driving our brand new babies home in a suburban with broken windows flashed through our minds. Resisting the urge to panic, Shane and I both prayed for a calm in the storm, both in the weather and in our emotions, while we labored. God went above and beyond, by allowing the storm to pass quickly and providing the best “welcome babies” gift we could imagine: a double rainbow! God sent a double portion of His promise to protect, care for, love, provide, and give grace to us.

birth 6

 

Climbing

Evening brought stronger contractions. Shane grabbed my hand and guided me through them, speaking visuals of various trails we’ve hiked through the years. In my minds eye, I pushed through the climb on my favorite mountains. As the contractions would peak, everything in me wanted to say “no” and resist. Instead, I consciously nodded my head “yes” in effort to welcome them. (Training months earlier with a local doula proved incredibly helpful, as did the constant encouragement and expertise from Amber.)

Eventually, the required epidural was placed, and unexpected relief washed over me. I was blessed by my time in labor, seeing what my body was capable of. However, when the medication took over, my mind became clear and available to make sound decisions. I was hoping the epidural would be the game-changer to speed up labor, but by nighttime, I was still showing no further progression.

When the doctor mentioned C-section, I was surprisingly calm. After a time of prayer for wisdom and clarity, Shane, Amber, and I decided to follow the doctors decision. After an entire pregnancy of doing everything I could to prepare my body and choose a willing doctor in order to have a vaginal delivery, I could have felt shame, frustration, and defeat. Instead, I was filled with joy that we were going to meet our babies, relief that the uncertainty was over, and confidence that God was giving us the exact experience He had planned. For whatever reason, induction, labor, and a C-section was His plan, for His glory and our good. I told the doctors to hurry up so we might have one baby before midnight and one after… they were not amused.

Rosty Twins birth story

 

Shane and I were prepped for surgery. I spent about 45 minutes freezing in the operating room while the anesthesiologist tried to place a spinal tap in place of the epidural. When that failed, he replaced the epidural and we were finally on our way. During this time, Shane was pacing and praying outside the OR. He and our doctor were able to have a decently long conversation about God and the Bible while I was being poked and prodded. (I am so honored to be married to such a Christ-minded man.)

Delivery

I didn’t feel any pain, but I felt plenty of activity in my abdomen during the C-section.  I had pictured pressure and prepared for pain while giving birth, but not the vertigo associated with what feels like 3 people each churning butter in my stomach. I focused in on the music playing from my phone next to my ear. The song “No Fight Left” by JJ Heller offered true perspective of the situation. “Your Love oh Lord,” by Third Day reminded me that this was worship; lying on an operating table, praying my children into this world made me just as active a participant in my birth as I would have been had I been able to push. Finally, the song “Break Every Chain,” by The Digital Age, played just as Titus was being pulled out of my stomach. I feel this song is specifically pertinent to what God has for our son (more on this in another post).

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Pink and squishy-faced, Titus was lifted over the curtain so I could see him, then whisked off with an eager father close behind. Shane was so excited to meet his son. As I waited for a million moments (2 minutes actually), the nausea overtook me and I had to vomit. My daughter was born and lifted up for me to see. I noticed her pretty lips first, and her lovely face. “She’s beautiful!” I exclaimed just before another bout of nausea swept over me. A nurse brought Evangeline over near my face so I could meet her. I whispered words of love and welcome in her ear, and the nurse encouraged me to kiss her. I taught my daughter her first life-lesson that moment, that life is messy and sometime your new mama has to kiss ya, even when she just threw up.

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My insides were put back together and stitched up. Shane managed the worse case of ADHD a man could ask for with a wife in surgery and two new lives to meet. He darted around the room visiting each of us in our “stations,” until I was ready to return to our room.

Babes in arms, we rolled through the doors and into our new life.

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Recovery

I recovered very quickly, and was walking by day 2. The next few days were a blur of family and friends and lots of Facebook comments.

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I started my new job as full-time milk factory. It was a slow start, but I was determined. My mom and Shane’s parent provided so much help, bringing in meals and holding babies. I ate so many Lemon poppyseed muffins from Perkins, I’m sure my milk would have been quite appetizing, if it had come in. Alas, babies had to wait 5 days before getting that sweet nectar.

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My family championed our cause that week, repeating words of encouragement when babies dropped below birth weight and we began formula supplementation.  Despite my previously negative assumptions about formula, I am so glad it was available when my babies needed it in order to thrive.

b conger

 

After a week in Billings, we were finally on our way home to Sheridan on Saturday.

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I thank God so much for the birth story He gave us. It wasn’t what I planned, but it gave us the chance to glorify God, share our faith with our doctor, and increase our trust in our Loving Father. Our babies arrived healthy, and I continue to recover well. For the last year, God has reminded me that “he will make everything beautiful in its time.” The birth of our twins is one such situation: made gloriously beautiful by God’s double portion of grace.

 

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Do you just love being a mother?

It had been months since I saw my friend and hair-dresser (and consequently months since my hair had a good trim!)

With my fantastic mother in town and available to watch the kids, I booked the much needed appointment. The first thing she asked me was, “Do you just love being a mother?”

These days, I tend to over-share what I’m thinking. Blame it on low social interaction and way too little sleep. I don’t find a filter easily. My friend was shooting for small talk as she snipped away at my split ends. But I responded with long pause then a gut response accumulated from weeks of caring for my precious babies…

“I love my children, so much. I love being with them and watching them grow… But that is not all that motherhood is… So I’m not sure I love being a mother.”

I soon realized my social blunder of over sharing; I chocked my negativity up to all the late-night feedings, spit ups, blow outs, and fussy babies who will not be consoled.

The compassionate woman gracefully changed the subject and we chatted on about hair and weather for the rest of the appointment. But in the shadows of my mind, I pondered what I had said. “Do I really not LOVE being a mother? How can that be when I love my babies so much!?”

Then I read Facebook posts of friends who have similar struggles. After 10 months of late night feelings, one friend convinced her husband to give her the night off of baby care. She retreated to the trailer in the driveway for a full nights sleep. With my babies being only seven weeks old, I don’t think I’ve earned that kind of a retreat yet. But I was envious of her just the same.

Motherhood is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Every day I feel more and more like a freshman, completely clueless and in desperate need of directions to my next class. I strive to simultaneously navigate the twins’ needs and maintain a sense of productivity and humanity. But the word schedule is just about as funny as the phrase cloth diapering. I have twins, it’s not going to happen.

It’s hard. It’s exhausting. And yes, it’s completely worth it to see my babies grow, knowing that I have worked hard to produce milk (and often, when-needed, stir the formula) to sustain them. There’s so much joy in seeing them smile and respond to my giggles with their coos. But there’s also so much heartache when they fuss through the night because of trapped gas.

Our morning snuggles make up for it, but then I don’t start the day till half past noon. At that point I wonder if I should even get dressed!

I feel that everything that made up who I was is slipping through sticky fingers. And that’s good, because I needed to make room to hold the wonderful hearts of Titus and Evi. But like a freshman, nothing around me feels familiar.

Today Leslie Ludy’s book, Set Apart Motherhood, struck this very cord in my heart. In chapter 2, “Mothering with Joy,” Leslie echoes my very thoughts:

“Being a mother has forced me to use the majority of my time and energy on tasks that seem mundane and unimpressive…”

Now when I join the mommy club, I thought we weren’t supposed to talk like that. I thought we were all supposed to, as my friend said, “love being mothers.” Leslie Ludy boldly proclaims exactly what I think a lot of us feel.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to end with this acknowledgement. Leslie continues:

“Yes my current life is less productive less exciting and less globally influential than my former life. But is it less important?
No.
“… Productivity is not God’s highest goal for this season of my life; obedience is. “

She reminds us that Jesus spent his time on the little things… On us! His willingness to wash his disciples’ feet is a prime example of something that seems mundane; after all it was a servants job to do that.

“As I take the ‘lower place’ of spending my best time, energy, and talents on my children, I am serving the one who gave his life for me, the one who left his home in heaven in order to wrap a towel around his waist, humble himself, and tenderly wash my dirty feet.”

This being a mother stuff is hard, unfamiliar, and sometimes unfulfilling. But that’s when my perspective is on the tasks of the day, not the Savior who gives meaning to them. As I wrote yesterday, we mothers need to grab some Symota (heavenly perspective), and embrace being a mother with all that we have.

It is the identity God his gifted us with.
It is the calling he has entrusted us with.
It is the season he is growing us with.
And it can be the joy he will fill us with.

But it’s going to take a lot of repentance, a daily attitude adjustment, and a massive dose of Symota.

I encourage you, dear tired mother, to mediate on these passages with me today.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (‭Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭1-2‬ ESV)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
…Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭5-8, 14-15‬ ESV)

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (‭1 Peter‬ ‭2‬:‭9‬ ESV)

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (‭Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭17‬ ESV)

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Happy 1 Month to Titus and Evangeline!!!

I haven’t had much time for updates lately… I’ve been far too busy enjoying being a mama to these two gorgeous beings!

I wish I could say I am typing this with a happily fed baby in my arms, but alas, he is a fussy baby for the moment (but still stinkin’ cute). Tis the season for growth spurts! Ill get back to nursing and let you enjoy the following picture updates for now. 1 month

titus 1 month

evi 1 month

It’s been a long month, but a short one too. I am recovering well and can’t wait to start jogging again before the weather changes. As I wait a couple more weeks for my postpartum check up, God continually reminds me what resting in Him looks like. I look forward to posting my birth story at that point, but someone will have to pry me away from my babies, my breast pump, and my husband at that point to do so.

Suffice it to say, we are a happy, blessed family.

Thank you all for your prayers and support for us!

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