Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pregnancy

I have struggled with posting about pregnancy because sometimes, I just don't know how to accurately express it. It's amazing. It's exciting. It's a miracle. It sucks. It hurts. It needs to be over.

My feelings change about pregnancy as quickly as my mood swings come and go.

I love growing a baby. It's truly a miracle. I don't know how people can get pregnant and not believe in God. I am honestly doing nothing, HE is forming it. I had NOTHING to do with making her tiny little heart beat. I had nothing to do with creating all her little fingers and toes. It is all the Lord. Feeling her move inside my belly is a constant reminder that God created a precious little life inside my belly. 

He has entrusted to us this amazing little girl. I can't see her but my whole life is affected by her. (Isn't that like God?)

She has taken over my body. I can't put my socks on. I feel like I am walking around with a tire around my waist. My veins are so visible it's weird. My feet are swollen. My back KILLS me daily. My engagement and wedding rings no longer fit. I still can't eat certain things. I still occasionally get nauseous (nothing like first to early second trimester though!) I am always tired. I am peeing every 10 minutes (and sometimes in my pants). I have a cracked rib. And I am starting to get stretch marks.

These things can suck, but it's so worth it. In March (or Feb if she comes early), we will get a baby girl, created in God's image, entrusted to us by the savior, to raise for HIS glory. We will fail at times, but she is ultimately His. And HE never fails. That's so comforting. 

28 weeks! Here is a little journey through my 6+ months of pregnancy. 




















Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Finding Normalcy in Newness

How do you find normalcy in the midst of newness? New state, new home, new school system, new school, new students, new church, and on top of all that a brand new baby on the way.

It's been a month and a half and the excuse, "I'm adjusting," may be getting a little overused. The Lord has been testing me in this new season, and I'm thankful. I know he is making my relationship with him stronger. Maybe he's not giving me a normal/comfort level yet so I cling to him even more during this transition time.

I am about to bring a BABY into this world, so I pray the Lord equips Andrew and I to be missionaries right in our home. To make disciples of our children that will grow up and make disciples of all nations.

As I sit and think about my "old" normal, I can't help but compile a list of things I miss about Birmingham.

Things I miss about Birmingham:
I miss driving to Tarrant. I miss my students waiting for me to get out of my car to greet me in the morning. I miss driving down Highway 280 on a Sunday night waiting for the Word to come alive through David Platt.  I miss finding any excuse to drive by Samford and have nostalgia rush back.  I miss being able to see Lexie Strong whenever I wanted too.  I miss Children's Village where we ministered and did bible study with amazing girls.  I miss getting out of school at 2:45, talking and joking with students after school, and then walking to Ms. Chandlers room to vent about our day.  I miss D, my "godson", that I think of daily.  I miss having a Chik-fil-a and Starbucks walking distance from our apartment.  I miss my Wednesday dates with Brittany Bates where the Lord was the center of our conversations.  I miss our Small Group. I miss the Birmingham Summit (Louisville's is a JOKE!). I miss being 4 hours away from the beach. I miss O'Carrs. I miss O'Henry's. I miss Cocina Superior. The list could go on....

The Lord even says there is a season for everything, and my "season" in Birmingham has passed.  I can't wait for this AMAZING new "season" in LOUISVILLE! With a BABY!!

I can't wait to be a mommy. Our little Louisville born baby and Birmingham souvenir ;)



Friday, August 17, 2012

Pregnant?! In AFRICA?!? IS THIS REAL LIFE?!

I was just living my life as normal as they come. I was packing for Africa and anxiously awaiting. Lexie came to Louisville, so we naturally went to Qdoba... MY FAVORITE, or well, my used-to-be favorite. After dinner, I started to feel a little funny. 

The next morning... AFRICA DAY!! I was pumped.  Dreaming of Ethiopian cuties, new travels, and new adventures that God had in store. I had no idea just HOW much God had in store.  It was about 10:00am and we had to leave for the airport at 11:30am.  I decided to take the one pregnancy test I had left over because my boobs were KILLING me (Sorry boy readers, all 0 of you!!?) And this happened...


So... I freak out, naturally.  In a good way. My life long goal and dream is to be a mother.  Have my own children to love and nurture.  Andrew is still sleeping and I frantically call him in. He thinks I need help with my bags (which I  needed that too) but I show him the test. He freaks out and starts crying, I freak out (again) and start crying.  This is amazing news. And it is so evident that GOD wanted us to have a baby in this season of our lives.  What a gift.  What a blessing.  

So after lots of hugging, kissing, jumping, praying, weeping, and rejoicing, we decided I should still go to Africa (I'm crazy, I know). After all, I haven't been sick or anything (Yet... my baby was probably laughing at me when I thought this). So we tell NO ONE and I board the plane to Africa. It wasn't until the plane from Germany to Sudan to Ethiopia I start to feel a little queasy. Then they served African Plane Food... YEP that did it. I gave the entire back half of the plane a show. Basically the show was me throwing up for an hour since all the restrooms were taken. That wasn't humiliating at all!! NOT!!! Then I started freaking out. Bad freaking out. Like, why the H am I going to Africa when I am PREGNANT!?! But God is sovereign and has a plan. Always.

I head to Lexie's seat and tell her the news (ya, the no telling people lasted a good 15 hours). She's thrilled. Duh. Still I wanted to wait to tell my mom in a really cute way (ya, that didn't last either).

So Africa was great, mainly because I got to see the gospel at work and carry my little missionary in my belly. I pray everyday my baby is a disciple of Christ and will be a missionary to the nations.


Africa wasn't so great because the FOOD and smells made me VERY sick everyday.  Not fun.  But at least I can tell the baby that I took Him/Her to Africa to share the love of Jesus with people that needed it.

I didn't take any harmful medication (no malaria in Addis). But please continue to pray for a healthy baby for the glory of God!

I went to my first ultrasound on Thrusday, August 16 and all of it became a reality. I got to SEE my baby and HEAR my baby's heartbeat. Talk about SOB FEST 2012.  This is truly the most amazing experience and it has only been 10 1/2 weeks.  God is good and deserves all the praise. He already knows my baby and LOVES my baby as he is knitting it in my womb.  I am weeping as I type that.

 My baby is already LOVED by the creator of the universe.  My baby already has an IDENTITY in Christ first, Bocchino second.  My baby has a PURPOSE and GOD already knows it.  MY BABY is being BORN to give GOD GLORY and to make his name known!!! 

I can't wait to be a mother.  Andrew is going to be the best father.  

Praise be to God for our precious little jumping bean!!!





Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Africa... TOMORROW!

So, I am headed to Africa tomorrow.


As I pack for Africa, I can't help but think about my trip to India last year. What a time of growth, refining, and discovery.  A time of humbling, discomfort, and appreciation. Andrew and I decided to go because the command is clear... MAKE DISCIPLES.  I find that we are tempted to do everything else except the ONE thing Jesus told us to do in the Great Commission.  So we asked ourselves an all-important question: Are our plans self-directed or Christ-directed?

So Andrew and I signed up for India. I also found out that God does not bless based solely on our motives. God ALWAYS blesses HIS plan. That is where our heart for missions opened up. That is where God told us that we will one day be long-term missionaries. With that comes excitement and fear. But fear is only the devil trying to get me to do something else rather than spread the gospel to unreached nations.

In India, we got to do something I have NEVER done before. We shared the Gospel with people that have NEVER heard the name of Jesus. I'm talking blank stares, weird looks, shrugging of shoulders NEVER heard.  So we told them. In the village below, they had a huge Hindu temple in the middle of their village. They just finished a child sacrifice upon us arriving. We got to tell them that the sacrifice has already been made... His name is Jesus. There is so much power in that name when they heard it for the first time. You could have heard a pin drop.



So... I could go on about India, but this post is about AFRICA!

So we are heading to Ethiopia tomorrow. We will be doing lots of training and evangelizing to women and children.  We will be partnering with LIA (Life in Abundance) where they take the poorest of poor and give them essentials but mainly give them the gospel training they need to see who the ONE true God is!

Andrew and I took a missions class with David Platt (life-changing) and he told us missions and evangelism starts with our hearts.  John Scott says, "The greatest single hinderance to evangelism today is the secret poverty of our own spiritual experience." Evangelism is the overflow of our hearts! We must have a LIVING relationship with Jesus Christ. We need a ZEAL for the kingdom.  We NEED to have a burden for the lost.  Isn't it sad that I sometimes get caught up in my comfortable life that I forget that there are people that will die and live apart from God? Isn't it sad that Jesus commanded us to go to them and I forget to pray for them? With evangelism comes spiritual battle.  So we become extremely dependent on Him, and the Holy Spirit lives in us, so why do we fear? 

So today, wherever you are. Share this gospel:

The good news that the just and gracious God of the universe has looked upon hopelessly sinful people and sent His son, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, to bear His wrath against sin on the cross and to show His power over sin in the resurrection so that all who have faith in Him will be reconciled to God forever.

So, I am taking this great news to Ethiopia tomorrow. Please pray for our team of 11 ladies (my mom and Lexie Strong included). Pray we share the Word, show the Word, teach the Word, and SERVE Ethiopia.  Pray we are confident in God's sovereignty even when times get tough.  Pray that the poverty doesn't make us as sad as spiritual poverty.  

So, I also challenge YOU: Sacrifice your agenda each day and get involved where God is at work! Here is a Francis Chan video that is very convicting to do just that. Click here to watch it. It's only 3 minutes, but VERY convicting! 

Africa, HERE I COME. Lord, HAVE YOUR WAY IN ME.




Saturday, July 7, 2012

David Crowder Band-Never Let Go-lyrics video

Sovereign God

I needed this reminder tonight and he totally reminded me through this song...


Here are the lyrics. So humbling.


Years have passed
And years remain
Still You will last
And You will never change
My God my hope is found in You

Days go by
And I have failed
To give my mind, my strength
My soul, my heart
My God Your ways are found secure

Sovereign God take control
Of my heart and of my soul
Here am I everything for You
Help me live selflessly
Sharing in Your suffering
Here am I everything for You

Here and now 
I come
To give my mind, my strength
My soul, my heart
My God
Your ways are found secure

I have been chosen
Your grace has found me
I am alive
And I will live forevermore
Such sweet salvation
Your grace has saved me
I am alive
And I will sing forevermore

Family Vacation-- Seagrove Style

#Albertsenvaca12 is over.  All 14 of us under one roof enjoying the sun and each other.  I am so glad that we had the chance to do this! 

Our house for the week! 


All of us (except for Dad who took the pic)


30-A is a popular highway on Santa Rosa Beach (near Destin and Panama City).  30-A is where Seaside, Seagrove, Watercolor, and Rosemary Beach reside. All beautiful places! Everyone has bikes and you ride from one place to the next.  I enjoyed bike riding with my baby and exploring the area with him.  

The walk to the beach everyday!

Sunsets never get old

Ride to Seaside everyday :) 

Bike Rides


My brother Josh and his wife Shannon have 5 kids. So to say that this vacation was boring would be a complete lie.  Never a dull moment! And I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I am actually going to miss waking up and having those kiddos there right next to me! They are five little blessings that I love and cherish.













Fourth of July was spent by having a cookout with my family, and then the the kids (plus anna the newborn and samuel) went to Seaside to watch fireworks.  We sat on the quad and I taught Samuel how to take pictures. We still have some work to do! 

Going to Seaside!


The quad at Seaside! PACKED!!

Hey Cutie


Samuel photography




Samuel Photography. One of my favorite pics of all time!

Samuel Photography. MY FAVORITE pic of all time. Hands down.



Watching fireworks! 

Haha. I love this because apparently the flash was blinding!

Fireworks



What a great time at Seashore Circle!