Wednesday, June 5, 2013

If you can't say anything nice...

I was just chatting with Ben (well, texting with him really since he's actually at work tonight) and we realized that it was exactly one year ago that he relinquished command of the 66th Military Police Company. Wow... at the time I thought that command would never end! The late nights at work, middle-of-the-night phone calls, never ending disasters and countless hours of work. I am so proud of my husband for the job that he did as the Commander of the Fightin' Double Six!

Looking back on it now I think that the 19 crazy months of command time were just training for the chaos we have had since then. In the past year we have endured failed adoptions, a deployment, a PCS (permanent change of station), multiple serious illnesses, a very broken vehicle, a whole lot of craziness with the house that we are renting (sewage backed up into our yard for weeks, wasps and fleas in the house, mold issues...) along with some other things that I'd rather not share. It has been one wild ride over the past year and I have to say that I'm hoping that it is over!

After dealing with a whole lot of health issues over the past few months I am really happy to say that I am finally starting to feel like myself again! Which is a huge relief to me and I'm sure that it has to be a relief to my family as well, especially Hunter since he is done with school now so he's stuck with me all day! Ha!

I certainly don't want to sound like I am whining or complaining, what I really want to say is that life is hard. Really hard! And it is so easy to let it get the best of us sometimes. While I don't yet know what God has in store for us, I know that we haven't been drug though the muck and endured all of the trials of the past year simply so that we can give up. Before we entered this year of chaos I completed a Bible study on the book of James that seriously changed my life. I have never been so challenged as I was during this study and so it only seems appropriate to turn to James 1:2-4;

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 
because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

I want to consider all of these trials to be joys. I really do. And it is NOT easy. God has surely been working in me, and in Ben as well, to produce perseverance. I can't wait for perseverance to finish it's work, mostly because I am tired, but also because I want to be complete. I want to know what it feels like to not lack anything. And although I am certain that on this side of heaven we will never be free from trials because we will never be complete, I am trying to be content knowing that all of the trials and tribulations in this life are for our own maturation and so that we can be complete. That makes my heart so happy. 

all, entire, exhaustive, faultless, full, hook line and sinker, intact, integral, integrated, lock stock and barrel, outright, plenary, replete, the works, thorough, unabbreviated, unabridged, unbroken, , uncut, undiminished, undivided, unimpaired, unitary, unreduced, whole, whole enchilada, whole nine yards

I ache to be complete. And until I am I will do my best to consider it joy when I face the inevitable trials of life - or at the very least I will stick to what my mom taught me:

"If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"

Love you all, and thanks for reading my ramblings!



Monday, March 11, 2013


Well, our seven day, seven food fast is over! Before I share some of the amazing realizations that I came to let me just tell ya... it was downright heavenly to put some cream in my coffee this morning! Which just proves to me exactly how spoiled I really am.

It was really more of a challenge than I ever would have anticipated to eat just seven foods for a whole week. Especially for a girl like me who loves to cook and to eat! But boy does God teach us some amazing lessons when we begin to cut the excess and simplify our lives. Now, that doesn't mean that I am going to continue to just eat a few different foods. I'm pretty sure that's not the point of this at all. But, it really did teach me just how much excess we really have and how entitled we feel. It's humbling to realize that although it doesn't feel like it sometimes (thank you media, for your willingness to participate in making me think that I always need MORE) but we are so immensely blessed here in America! We have truly been given so much. And yet...

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; 
and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
Luke 12:48b

Ouch. How often I forget that I don't need more, I need to GIVE more. It is so easy to be caught up in the idea that we need more and more in order to be happy. I know that I am so guilty of it. It is so humbling to consider the idea that the more blessings we are given, the more God will demand of us. And boy do I feel blessed! Which means that God will be asking me to account for what I have done with the blessings he has poured out on me. I really need to do some praying and keep cutting the excess!

On a somewhat unrelated note, last week we found out that my sweet hubby made the promotion list (so proud of this man of mine!), but more importantly we will be able to attend the resident ILE (don't ask me what it stands for, I just know that it's the school he has to go to when he promotes to Major) course! Which is awesome news for our family since it means that we will get to spend about a year at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Here's the catch; we will have to report there in either January or June of 2014. Which is exactly either 9 or 15 months from now. Eek! Yet another move in a short time. Of course, a huge perk is that Ben won't have to deploy during all of that time so I'm incredibly grateful for that. Twenty-eight months in Afghanistan (plus countless months apart for training, etc.) makes me grateful for every minute that we get to spend as a family. 

So, all of this to say that we are certain that God is not calling us to foster-adoption here in Arkansas. The timeline would be impossible at best. And although we know that our God is a God of miracles, we really feel that it is not in his will for us to pursue that option here. Because of the fact that we will only be in Kansas for around a year, it's pretty certain that we won't have the opportunity to foster-adopt there either. But we are keeping our eyes and ears open for any opportunities that may come our way. While we don't yet feel called to pursue international adoption, we certainly aren't going to close that door yet, and we know that if God has called us to adopt then he will provide a way. His ways are so much better than ours, and his timing is always perfect! In the meantime we are truly enjoying just spending time as a family again and having lots of fun. Ben works quite a few weekends at this new job, and will be doing quite a bit of traveling as well, but we are very intentionally guarding the time that we do have together. After the craziness of company command followed by a deployment we know just how important it is to have time together. And right now is the perfect time for it since we know that our time here is limited so neither of us are too interested in getting over involved. 

Finally, I want to ask you all for some prayers for a very dear friend of mine who is battling leukemia for the second time. She has a sweet, three year old daughter who has never known anything other than her mommy being sick and it breaks my heart. This week she was rushed back to the ER and diagnosed with meningitis which is scary even without the leukemia and chemo! Please, please be praying for healing for her and for strength for all of her family as well. They will certainly appreciate all of the prayers!!!

O Lord my God, I cried to You and You have healed me.
Psalm 30:2

Monday, March 4, 2013

An experiment in excess

So, once again I am using this blog for something other than it's intended purpose of chronicling our adoption story. Eh. I kinda figure since right now God is leading us to just BE STILL and wait on the adoption front, I may as well blog about what we do have going on. If you don't care, that's totally fine. And if you are still reading this, THANK YOU!

Last week a friend of mine invited me to join a book club. And not just any book club, this is the long distance book club {for awesome people}. Love it! How can you turn down an invitation like that?!? Anyway, I said yes right away, ordered my book, and now I'm beginning to wonder what I have gotten myself into this time. Heehee...

 So this book isn't just any old book. And this isn't any regular book club either. There are 36 (yes! 36!!!) amazing women from all walks of life that are in this thing together. The book that we are reading right now is 7 by Jen Hatmaker.

The idea is pretty simple - she examines seven areas where we tend to be excessive in an attempt to appreciate simplicity and grow in our faith. Sounds pretty harmless, right? Well, the first challenge involves food. Anyone who knows me well knows that I love to eat. Seriously. And that when it comes to food I really enjoy a good meal. But, for this week Ben and I have committed to eating just seven different foods.  Hunter gets a pass since it would be pretty horrible to make him participate in this fast, plus I don't want to deal with the whining. I'm pretty sure Ben and I will be whiny enough. 

Here's the list of foods that we decided on:
sweet potatoes

Today is the first day of the "fast" and it hasn't been too bad. Yet. (Disclaimer: it's only 9 am) Along with those seven foods we are allowing small amounts of butter, salt and pepper. Oh, and coffee. Really, it would get pretty ugly around here if we didn't have any coffee. It's going to be a long week. But I am so anxious to see what God has in store for us as we struggle against the excess that we have come to accept as "normal."

One of the ladies in the group shared this and I thought it was pretty cool. Honestly, I'm not sure if this fast is  a fast of repentance for the fact that we are so blessed and need to pass on more blessings to others, cut the excess and be mindful that everything we have is God's and His alone. Or if it's a fast of worship, letting God know that we recognize His provision and His hand over our lives. Or if it's a fast of preparation - not sure what we are preparing for, but preparation is always good, right? Or maybe it's a fast of inquiry, wondering about what we are supposed to do next both concerning adoption or just in general. No matter what it ends up being, I'm excited to be in this awesome group and taking this journey.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Beautiful Storm

I'm sitting here, in my big, empty house, listening to the sounds of thunder and sleet. And it's beautiful. Not the house - it's a mess. But the silence and solitude are beautiful. Partly because it means that we are all HEALTHY again (praise Jesus! This tired mama needed a break!!!) and partly because it means that I can finally focus on more than just surviving.

This past month, well actually the past couple months, have been pretty trying. Dealing with pneumonia (me), costocondritis (Ben - seriously, who even knew that this existed?!?!) and then Hunter having some unknown awful infection has just been the icing on the cake. But in the end we have survived. It may not have been pretty, but we made it. And we are soooooooo looking forward to finally having some time together as a family. Which is also kind of ironic since just a month ago, after living together in a small hotel room for a week, we would have probably been singing a different tune. Boy does time change things!

I do realize that this blog started as a way to journal our adoption story. And as much as it stinks, right now I have no idea if and when that journey will continue. It's so crazy to think that things can change so quickly, but I guess that's just life. I think I may have mentioned this before (if I did please forgive me for repeating myself,) but we have done some research and it is pretty much impossible for us to pursue adopting from foster care here in Arkansas. Not that it's impossible to do, just that the amount of time that we anticipate being here isn't long enough to do all of the work that it will take to become eligible to adopt here. Unfortunately we would basically have to start over since we have a new house in a different state (so we would need a new home study), we don't have an AR state foster license, and the process is such that it just takes a while to complete. Disappointing? YES! But we were pretty much expecting it to be that way. And unfortunately there isn't a whole lot we can do since Ben doesn't really get much say in where and when we move.

That said, we are still open to the idea of adoption and certainly don't feel like it is an impossibility for our family! The best we can do for right now is just to be patient (see, there's that awful word again!) and wait for God's direction. There are so many lessons that I have learned during this whole process and one that keeps knocking me over is that I can't rush God's timing. Abraham and Sarah waited much longer than I have been waiting, and David was anointed 15 years before he took the throne. God's timing is so much better than ours and the more that I try to push things to happen in my time, the worse it goes. So instead I'm going to focus on all of the other blessings that I have, be content, and keep waiting to see what God has in store for the Feicht family! Who knows what may happen, but I am excited to watch God write our story so that when others hear it they know, without a doubt, that God was the author.

So today I am trying to just take a little time to focus on some of the little things that I have been neglecting while I was playing patient and nurse. Like the fact that I am the assistant director for a budding non-profit. And I have a 30 page IRS Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code packet that I need to be working on. And a few million loads of laundry. And some dishes. And a lunch date with some new friends. And... well, you get the point! It's not like there isn't anything to do!

Thank you all for all the prayers while we were moving, and sick! Our God is so much bigger than our problems and our disappointments. I am so grateful that HE is the one that directs our paths!

Love you all!

B, E & H

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Be Still

So, Ben was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon (praise God!) but we don't really have any answers. Thankfully he is feeling a lot better, but I was selfishly hoping to have some answers so that we know if this is an ongoing issue or if it's just a one time thing!

The doctor indicated that it is most likely a viral thing (potentially the same thing that cause my pneumonia) which has caused some inflammation and fluid build up around his heart. There was also a slight abnormality on his EKG which most likely is no big deal, but the doctor wants to do more testing just to be certain that there isn't any underlying cause for the abnormality. We weren't able to get the echo cardiogram that we need to confirm this because the one tech that can do it is on vacation (oh the joys of living in a small town...) and we can't even get it scheduled because our insurance will only allow our primary doctor (who Ben hasn't even met) to schedule outpatient tests. Gotta love government insurance! Sigh...

So, I'm super glad to have Ben back home and feeling better, but still praying that we can at least figure out what is going on! One thing that I'm becoming more and more scared of is that there is something in this house that really is making us sick, or at least causing our immune systems to be much more susceptible to illness. I am going to be doing some testing for mold, though I'm really praying that there isn't any harmful mold in the house because from what I have read there is no law in Arkansas which protects us and quite honestly, there is no where else for us to rent. And I really don't want to be moving all our stuff AGAIN. On the other hand, we can't keep fighting off major illnesses like this for the duration of the time that we are stationed here!

One discovery we did make (while doing a quick search for mold in the house) is that our central heat & air system was running without a filter in it. AWESOME. The dirty (and I mean DIRTY) filter had been removed and set right next to the system, but hadn't been replaced. Soooo... this morning I ran to the local hardware store and bought the best filter they had. I also ordered some of the best possible filters online so that maybe, just maybe, we can start breathing some cleaner air around here! And just for fun (and because we really don't have anything better to be doing) our toilet isn't working properly. Sigh...

So, I guess the moral of the story is that God is just teaching us to BE STILL. 

 "Be still, and know that I am God; 
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. 
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress." 
 Psalm 46:10-11

One of the things that really excited us about moving here to Arkansas was the ability to take life a little slower. We have been going a mile a minute for pretty much our entire marriage, and we were really hoping that this would be an opportunity to not worry about deployments, maybe not work quite as much, and just generally have the chance to be together as a family and live a little slower paced life than we had been. With all this sickness we certainly have been moving pretty slow! Though I am hoping to keep up with the slower pace and the simpler life, I am hoping that maybe we can move past the sickness and instead simply be slow and obedient. I want to be still. I want to see God exalted in our lives. We know that He is with us, even through all of the trials, but I want it to be plain to those around us that God is exalted in our home and I want to be still enough that we can hear his voice and have the time to be obedient to whatever it is that He may call us to do.

Thank you for the prayers, we really appreciate it. And we are so blessed to have so many faithful friends who love us even through all of the difficulties. We want to be able to return that favor and be a blessing to those around us!

Love you all,

B, E & H

Monday, February 4, 2013

Prayers, please!


I really was trying to keep this blog *mostly* adoption related, but I know that there are lots of prayer warriors out there reading this and I need your help!

If you read my last post I mentioned that I had some kind of crud. Turns out that crud was pneumonia and it knocked me down hard. It's been about two and a half weeks and I am finally feeling better, though I still have a pretty wicked cough. Yesterday after church Ben asked me to drive home because he wasn't feeling well (if you know my husband you know that this is a HIGHLY unusual request - he always drives!) By the time we got home he was extremely dizzy and having chest pains. So off we went to the ER. I need to quickly mention that in our 8 years of marriage neither one of us has gone to a Dr. for any type of illness, let alone pneumonia and an ER trip!!! Anyway, Ben had to stay overnight at the hospital and they are still trying to figure out exactly what is going on. They have ruled out the possibility of a heart attack (thank God!) but that doesn't really give us any answers. He is feeling much better, but that is mostly due to the medication that he has been given. They have run lots of different tests and right now the theory is that it could be a viral thing that is causing swelling and inflammation around his heart. We are waiting to have some more tests done to see if they can find any swelling.

Please be praying for us. This has been a TOUGH month or two. Between the redeployment, moving and now all of this sickness we are just worn out and worn down. It really feels like we are being attacked in every possible way and so we need all of you to be praying for us to get through this quickly and triumphantly!!!

Hunter has been SUCH a trooper through all of this craziness and sickness. I am so amazed at the strength and adaptability of this sweet boy. And I am even more amazed at God's provision. We have had so many people (who we barely know!) step up and offer to help in so many ways. We are truly blessed!!!

Love you all, and I promise to keep you updated if we find anything out. I'm heading back to the hospital to check on my husband and hopefully bring him home soon. For now Ben is stable, I am recovering and Hunter is doing wonderful. Praise God!


B, E & H

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Dirty!

Ok, so I promised you a post about the new house. I was really hoping to have pictures to go along with this, but I have had some horrible flu/cough thing for the past couple days and so I really haven't made much progress as far as cleaning, organizing or taking pictures. Really hoping that it's just a virus and not some nasty mold or fungus infestation in this house!!! Ha!

For ease of reading I think that I will just make lists! Here goes:


2200 sq feet plus a 300 sq foot glassed in porch (awesome!)
7.5 acres of land (double awesome!!!)
huge living room
dining room
den with stone fireplace
decent sized kitchen
big master bedroom
big room for Hunter
two bathrooms (one in the master)
lots of storage
one large room upstairs (guest room/playroom)
one car garage (detached)


The house has some really beautiful features such as colorful (gasp!) walls, silver tile backsplash in the kitchen, a beautiful crystal chandelier in the dining room, lots of storage space, tons of windows with beautiful views and super tall ceilings in each room, crystal door knobs on each door AND (after living in a house with white walls for so long) there are colors on my walls! Sage green in the living room, deep red in the den, dark green in the dining room and grey in the bedrooms and bathrooms. Yay!


The house has so many quirks! Where to start???

The master bathroom has a glassed in shower with full body sprayers (not so bad...). The sprayers spray directly out of the door and there is no way to deactivate them. Therefore, to take a shower you have to get doused with cold water in the face for a minute while you wait for the water to warm up. (I found this out the hard way while cleaning the shower as the movers were here. I ended up soaking wet...)

The second bathroom has a tub, but no shower. Kinda awkward for guests. Especially when you explain that they have to get into a freezing cold spray of water... Anyone want to come visit?!?! :)

The laundry area is in the detached garage. So I get to trudge outside in my jammies to do laundry.  Bet my neighbors think I am awesome! It's certainly a bit of an adjustment, but I keep reminding myself that it is a lot nicer than heading to the laundromat!

The appliances in the kitchen are all super small. My cookie sheets barely fit in the oven and my dinner plates don't fit in the dishwasher. Sigh...

The garage door is about 5'6" high. Neither of our cars fit through the door opening. And Ben hits his head on the door. So weird! Same thing with the shed/carport. Although it is actually even shorter and I almost have to duck to get under there. Which is certainly saying something!

Only three areas in the house have overhead lighting; the kitchen, the hallway and the bathrooms. So there are a LOT of lamps in our house!

None of the windows in the house open up. The two in the living room that do open aren't weighted properly and so they slam shut as soon as you let them go. Guess I could be SUPER redneck and put a block of wood under them? All of the other windows either never opened up or have been long since painted shut. However, the windows in the glass porch do open up so that's a big perk :)

Sooooo.... that's our crazy house in a nutshell! I'm still battling all of the dirt and every time I feel like I might be almost done cleaning I find some other craziness that needs to be scrubbed (like when I tried to open the windows that slam shut and found hordes of dead bugs and an old wasp's nest IN the windows!) Really, the house is beautiful and I can't wait to finish putting all our stuff away so I can see it finalized. It seems so much bigger than our last place, and now that I'm nearly done cleaning it I can appreciate a lot of the beauty of it. It's certainly not new or sparkly, but there is something charming about an old house with character. And, let's be honest, the acreage doesn't hurt either! ;)

Love you!

B, E & H