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Mandee Marlane Rohn

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September 2015

My Little Boutique

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This little boutique is full of items my mother or I have crafted by hand. Proceeds will help my family and I reach our special missions goals, or may meet needs within our immediate, and extended family!

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https://www.etsy.com/shop/MandeesMadness?ref=hdr_shop_menu

 

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Our Birth Story: Trina Elise

If you’re faint of heart and expecting this may not be the “Birth Story” for you.

It so hard to believe it will be a year in October….

As it feels like weeks, and at times only days ago when I laid awake at night uncomfortable, agitated, and impatient. Swift little kicks from tiny little feet seemed to be bruising my body on the inside, and I am almost certain I would get up to pee about 10+ times every night. This little one was nearly as late as her big sister was as my date came and went. Week one slowly crawled by, and we made it well into week two. Still waiting.

I had eagerly counted down the days for her arrival. I had put so much hope into a due-date (9/24)  that when she didn’t come, my tears did instead. I was heartsick as I had hoped she would have been in my arms already. I thought she would be snuggled up in the crib beside me by now. I could hardly wait to meet my baby girl. The thought of her overwhelmed me with an indescribable joy.

I had gone to the hospital multiple times with false labor pains, or as some call it prodromal labor. Then finally the contractions began in my back as I laid awake in bed the morning of October 4th, 2014. Afraid that I would be crying wolf for the third, or possibly the fourth time I continued to lay in bed and quietly timed my contractions alone. These contractions felt different, they were powerful, so after I timed consistent intervals between them I knew it was time. I promptly shared the news with Coltin.

He was excited. His eyes lit up and he called the hospital to let them know we would be on our way.  I love his love for Fatherhood.

Trina Elise was FINALLY on her way into the world.

As we made it to the hospital the joy, thrill, and excitement overwhelmed us. I must add there was fear mixed into that cocktail of emotions as well. After all we all know that giving birth is no easy task.

I had a nearly 7-page birth plan in my hospital bag and I was pretty sure I knew exactly what I wanted and, exactly what I didn’t.

I wanted my husband Coltin there, one of my best friends Sheila Karonis to be there, and I wanted a safe and swift vaginal delivery.

I did not want… a C-section… an episiotomy, I definitely didn’t want a mirror, or for Coltin to cut the umbilical cord before it stopped pulsating. I also did not want any pain. I wanted NO pain. None.

While in London I gave birth to my first daughter and I had an epidural but it was not as nearly effective as one may hope. So this time around in the States I wanted a very effective epidural. I talked to many other moms that received them and it sounded like their labor and deliveries were near painless. To my delight a painless delivery sounded like a promising possibility.

So that is what I wanted, and that is what I prepared myself for. No pain. None. Swift and easy. Ill be in-and-out in no time. The IV and other needles may hurt a little, but after that I will be numb and ready to get this show on the road. Smooth sailing here we come!

Well lets just say that things did not go as planned.

Not even close.

Things were going as planned for a while. Epidural was in, and I was numb and pretty comfortable. Itchy very very itchy but I wasn’t in pain.

Then suddenly when I was approximately 9-10 centimeters dilated the pain came over me like I never could have imagined. I had a tiny relief on my upper left side but full blown contractions on the right side of my body,  and I could certainly feel EVERYTHING from the waist down.

I felt blindsided. Blindsided with a level of pain that I didn’t know existed, blindsided with fear, and blindsided with the realization that it was too late for anyone to do anything for me.

I hysterically screamed and cried. I was begging for someone to give me something, anything to take the pain away….

and all I got in return was about 5 people yelling back at me

“ITS TO LATE!!!”

“PUUUSSHHH!”

and my breath was taken away from my own screaming.

As I gasped an oxygen mask was urgently strapped my face, because my babies heart rate was dropping….

and as I fought to catch my breath, another wave of pain would seemingly overtake me.

I cried out to God in prayer and I begged those around me to help me.

We prayed.

No one there could take the pain, and the only ONE who could take my pain… did not.

Spiritually, I had not prepared myself for any plan other then my own.

Emotionally, I had not prepared for any plan other then my own.

and physically …. well let’s just say I had no idea what I was in for.

I was suffering. I was suffering a level of pain that I have no idea how women choose to endure more then once.

There are some strong women out there who go all natural multiple times,  but i’m pretty sure there is at least some preparation, meditation, or setting of the mind that goes into that?!?!

Finally my contractions stopped.

They stopped suddenly.

It was over.

She was here.

I felt disillusioned as she was wrapped in a blanket before my eyes and placed warmly on my chest.

I was shaking, and as I held her I cried…

I cried because she was perfectly beautiful,  perfectly healthy, and mine…

My body was shaking because of all I had just endured, and I cried because I was angry…

I cried because things went so differently then I had prayed for, and so differently then I expected. What happened to my plan?

I had no idea it was possible to cry so many tears because of so many emotions all at the very same time!

God used me to bring a second life into the world and it was so painful.  It was extremely painful, but man it was worth it!

I had no idea there was so much love in my heart, that I could love a second child as much as I love my first. I had no idea I was capable of joyfully getting up in the middle of the night to feed little tummies, and to change little bums. I had no idea wordless sounds, and soft cries would be like music to my ears. I had no idea that I had this much room in my heart, and the desire to give all that I am to give them the best life they could possibly ever have, and though it took me a while to recover emotionally and physically from the labor and delivery…. I can say my little girls are worth it! The pain was worth it! Every second of suffering were worth it. The screams and feelings of helplessness were worth it! The months of physical therapy I needed post-partum…. WORTH IT!

I screamed out in prayer, I begged God to relieve my pain and he didn’t do it exactly when I wanted him to. He did however eventually take the pain, and not only did he take the pain he comforted me.

He comforted me through my loving husband, and my friend Sheila. He comforted me through  the tiny little fingers that held tightly to my hand, and through the beautiful little eyes that looked up at me. He gave me a second child, and I am so  grateful and excited to celebrate her first Birthday next month.

Our God is an amazing God, and he answers prayers perfectly in his timing:)

Defeating Evil Thoughts (skit)

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:5

Roughly a couple of years ago I enjoyed a seeing a Women’s Ministry Leader (Lianne Kernan) ask for two volunteers during a lesson she was doing at a Conference.  Many in the crowd threw up their hands and waved them around hoping to be chosen; as she chose two of the excited volunteers.

As the girls made their way to the stage one of the learned she was to be herself; a disciple in the skit. The other was to pretend to be…. an unwanted thought. The disciple was instructed to take the “thought” captive. As we might expect this illustration of 1 Corinthians 10:5 was extremely amusing as the sister tried to wrestle the “thought” to the ground. Arms and legs were flailing about as they tried to take each other captive.

The 2-person skit was a brilliant visual of such a powerful passage. It painted a picture that one doesn’t easy forget, as we as women battle undesired thoughts day in and day out.

I have been sharing a “Love the Lord your God” series with the women here in Boston. The topic for last nights Women’s Midweek Service was all about loving God with all of our minds. As I sat down at my desk to craft the lesson I was going to share… that brief, comical, and brilliant little skit came to mind!! So I remembered how inspired by it I was and decided to put together a little skit of my own for the women here in Boston! It was also very impactful as the women saw 1 corinthians 10:5 come to life!

Please enjoy!:)

Women’s Midweek Skit

 

Sister 1: Disciple (Jenny Rydstedt)

Sister 2: Evil Thoughts (Dishauna Hydes)

Sister 3:Discipling Partner (Nancy Joseph)

Scene: Jenny comes up and stands near the pulpit near the narrator.

Dishauna (Evil Thought) quickly and obnoxiously runs up on stage, and firmly places her hand on Jenny’s head!

Jenny and Dishauna freeze, and stand side-by-side facing the audience.

Narrator explains that sadly we sometimes get comfortable with our evil thoughts. Jenny then acts cozy/comfortable with Dishauna’s hand still firmly on her head.

Narrator explains that Jenny becomes friends with Dishauna (evil thought) Jenny then offers Dishauna a snack, or does something friendly.

Narrator then explains that Jenny starts to entertain the thought.

Jenny then attempts to juggle, and entertain Dishauna (Hand still firmly on head)

Jenny then try’s to share the evil thought. She walks together with Dishauna through the fellowship, and tries really hard to place Dishauna’s other hand on another sister’s head.

Jenny returning with Dishauna to the front of the room gets tired of the thought, and tries to remove her hand but she can’t. Dishauna keeps her hand firmly planted on Jenny’s head.

 

Narrator asks! What are we supposed to do?

-Jenny calls her discipler Nancy confesses her unrighteous thoughts.

-Nancy comes up front to help!

-Nancy at first aggressively says, “Jenny just stop thinking that way!!” and Nancy then attempts to aggressively pull Dishauna’s hand off of jenny’s head…. but she cannot do it!

-Nancy then helps renew Jenny’s mind by sharing a scripture from her QT and prays with Jenny.

Dishauna then loosens her grasp, and slowly lifts her hand from Jenny’s head. Dishauna then hangs her head low and she walks away sad as she knows she has been defeated by prayer, and discipling with the word of God.

 End

Let’s Learn to Love God with ALL our minds!

Women’s Midweek Service-With all your mind!

Opening Scripture: Turn to Matthew 22:37

37Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.”

LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD

Three part series.

  • #1 With all your heart
  • #2 With all your soul
  • #3 With all your mind

The last time we were together. We talked about loving God with all of your heart and tonight we are going to talk about loving God with all of our minds, and the next time were together we will focus on loving God with all of our souls.

Here we go… Loving God with all of our minds.

In the KJV Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

And that’s point #1.

 

Point #1 As a woman thinketh, so is she

According to proverbs you are what you think.

What does this mean?

  • If your thoughts are critical, then if those thoughts go undealt with you will likely become critical of others.
  • If your thoughts are ungrateful, then you may not see the blessings when they come!
  • If your thoughts are unkind, then it may be difficult for you to be nice to those around you.
  • If you think it’s a burden to seek first the kingdom, then eventually you wont obey Matthew 6.
  • If you get a bad attitude about group d-times, then instead of being grateful for someone making time to get with you… you will likely arrive with a bad attitude.
  • If you think that effectively fishing for men is impossible, then you will live as though it is impossible. But if you think it’s possible you will make it apart of your lifestyle.
  • Encouragingly the opposite of this is also true! If your thoughts are positive, then you will live in a faithful way!

How has it been going loving the Lord your God with your mind?

A notable few quotes on this topic:

  • “It doubtless is true that people become what they think about.”- Gary Collins
  • “When you think on the powerful truths of Scripture, God uses His Word to change your way of thinking.”

Elizabeth George

  • “I also have to tell you a very important fact. Your mind is under siege every single second of the day. There is a great plan to control your thinking. In the course of time, you will become on the outside what you believe on the inside.” -Unknown

 

  • “The devil loves to take advantage of a mind that is ignorant or one that is pushed around by wayward emotions.”
  • The mind of man is the battleground on which every moral and spiritual battle is fought. – J. Oswald Sanders
  • Our defeat or victory begins with what we think, and if we guard our thoughts we shall not have much trouble anywhere else along the line.” – Vance Havner

I especially like the quote by J. Oswald Sanders… he says our mind is a battleground!

And as a movement we believe in winning battles!!

Illustration: – Though you may be unable to keep disease-ridden ships from sailing back and forth on the ocean, you can refuse them docking privileges in the harbor of your mind.

In other words:

There are two kinds of evil thoughts.

-The disease-ridden ones that are fleeting (just quickly pass through)

&

-The disease-ridden ones that we allow to dock and take harbor in our minds.

If we are going to be women who love God with all of our minds then we need to control our thoughts, and not let our every thought (or feeling) control us.

Amen?

So how can we love God with our entire mind!

How can we change the way we think?

(Call up women to perform skit)

2 Corinthians 10:5

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

God tells us exactly what to do when we have thoughts that are not in line with the word of God.

But sadly we don’t always obey, and there are a few things we may do instead:

-Get comfortable with the thought.

-Become friends with the thought.

-Entertain the thought.

-Share the negative thought.

What are we supposed to do?

Take it captive and make it submit to Christ!

-Not always easy!

-We can’t do it on our own but most often we need all the help we can get.

-Call discipler up to help the thought submit!!

What can we do?

Some Practical’s to help:

#1 Confess that mess!!

 

Confess your sin:

Mark 7:21-23

“ For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

Our sin starts in our thoughts.

We need to confess our sin as soon as it’s a thought.

I will never forget a sister back in Eugene; she confessed to me that she had cursed while taking her exam.

I was really surprised as I imagined her sitting in her classroom getting angry and saying a curse word in a classroom full of her peers.

Then she later told me that she cursed in her mind.

She understood that she is help accountable for her thoughts, and she confessed it as sin!

If we are to love God with all of our minds then we too, need to confess all of our sin including our sinful thoughts as we learn from Mark 7 that it’s evil thoughts that lead to a sins of commission.

You are not a strange case, as we all battle weird, dark, and evil thoughts every day. There is help available!:)

Practical #2 Ready, set, renew!

 

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

There are two kinds of women.

  1. Those who conform to the pattern of this world and
  2. Those who are transformed by the renewing of their mind.

The way we renew our minds is by having:

Daily Quiet Times!

If we don’t renew our mind with the word of God every day then we are likely going to conform to the pattern of the world.

Having great quiet times every day should not be an option. In the same way someone who is hungry should not skip breakfast…

We all need spiritual nourishment and should not skip our spiritual breakfast that is the word of God.

I don’t know about you girls, but there have been times that I have really battled my thoughts. Some scary and violent, others impure and critical….

Many of these thoughts were super embarrassing.

When someone confessed sin to us, it’s always helpful to relate.

We need to be reminded that we are all in this together and that we all face similar struggles.

The best way to overcome our thoughts is by confessing your sin, and renewing your mind everyday.

Saturate your mind with the word.

Apply your mind to understand and study the bible!

Use commentaries!

Embrace the heart of a Berean. (Acts 17:10-12)

 

Practical #3 It’ll repeat itself until you replace it.

 

Have you every had the same thought re-occur and you can’t seem to get rid of it.

I have had times that I have told Coltin that I have felt haunted by my thoughts.

In addition to confession, and daily renewal, we need to replace our thoughts!

Scripture: Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Sometimes we just have to pause. Acknowledge that we had an evil thought, and that we are not loving God with all of our mind, and replace the thought with something else.

Or instance if you have a critical thought about a sister, your discipler, or your husband.

Stop and consciencly replace it by asking yourself:

What is true?

What is noble?

What is right?

What is pure, lovely and admirable?

What’s is excellent or praiseworthy?

Asking yourself these questions will work as an effective exercise to replace the thoughts that are displeasing to God with thoughts that are pleasing.

 

In addition to controlling our thoughts, there are many ways we can love God with our mind.

 

But in closing I want to share…

1 Corinthians 2:16

…for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

 

I don’t know about you, but this scripture encourages my soul.

As baptized disciples we are to have the mind of Christ.

So we need to be imitating his qualities, and do whatever needed to become like-minded

To God be the glory!

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