Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Safety & Comfort During Trials

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my Savior – from violent men you save me."

2 Samuel 22: 2-3
This week I've been reflecting on the memories when Abby was finally home after her delivery and then 10 days later rushed back to the NICU with RSV - unable to breath. purple then ashen gray. Those intense memories are fading slowly; my fear dissipating like when the wind blows the cool brisk air back into the hot Texas humidity at the end of a long hot summer.  It is time to process all that God did and the wonderful ways He brought us through to the other side of this trial. Lord, may I never forged that sense of protection as I rested within your sheep fold, guarded by your mighty hands, surrounded by Your Holiness.


608. Anxious brothers awaiting the arrival of their 7 day old sister from the NICU! Praise the Lord for his hand of protection on Abby and her early arrival.Grateful that my pre-eclampsia didn't result in a seizure!

609. Thank you Lord for a daughter to share many wonderful life events with, our precious Abby is a miracle and a blessing - her place in our family perfectly ordained by You.

610. Adventurous minds of little boys who love painting and learning and waiting for their long awaited sister!

611. Thank you Lord for quick and well versed doctors who recognized Abby's distress and acted professionally and quickly in order for her to breath. Lord, you were our "ever present help in a time of trouble." Your righteous right hand numbed my anxiety, calmed my fears, and paralyzed my mind so I was able to react the way you desired me to. Thank you for that sense of reaction, that prodding to react immediately..

612. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You art with me; Your rod and  staff they comfort me. You prepared a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: You anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over." Psalms 23:4 & 5


613.  He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;  his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side,  ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. Psalms 91:4-7 

614.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

615. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:35-39

617. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. II Timothy 1:7 

618. I am so thankful for God's faithfulness, His closeness during this trial. God's presence was evident in those sterile rooms, His hands were firm and His whispers were of confidence; that no matter the outcome, His will was being done and His love was being poured out out us.



619. The simple joy of  seeing our little girl pink and alive in color and awake enough to yawn and cry for me - 8 days of paralysis & intibation behind, her pretty blue eyes captivated me for hours.

620. That first time I held you after 8 days of only being able to talk to you and hold your hand. There was such a sense of joy when I was able to comfort you when you cried and feel your breath against my cheeks. Inexpressible joy radiated from my heart!

621. The memories of your first months of life will always remind me to hug on my family more, enjoy the moments of silliness and peacefulness and noises.  This journey helped me appreciate the three blessings I am equipping to send out into the world, the days go by so quickly and sometimes I forget to just stop and enjoy the journey. Abby's journey will be a symbol to me to ... stop.....enjoy....invest... and find peace in the ordinary moments of my life.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Abby @ 4 Months


Abby had her well check today and weighs 11 pounds 6 oz, she is only 21 1/4 inches long. Poor dear, she has no hope for being tall. Abby has come to life in the last week, she found her hands, is grabbing at toys, holding her own head up, cooing, laughing, and tracking you with her eyes. It has been a busy week for her! I put my foot down last night and we're working on her sleeping through the night; Abby did really well, she went to bed at 8:45pm, woke at 12:15 and cried for 15 minutes, then went back to sleep until 6:00 am. Sleep was so nice, it made getting up to go the the gym at 4:45 very easy! I can't believe I just wrote that 4:45 was an easy time to get up!

Abby is so chunky, she has fat rolls everywhere! She now has a double chin, rolly polly legs  and arms. She even has two fat rolls on the back of her neck!

She did make it through her first hospitalized cold this past week. She ended up in the Doctors office twice, but she was never admitted.  Her pediatrician said that  had a lot to do with her larger size and larger lung capacity. I'm so thankful! The next cold won't be quite so scary now that I know she can handle them.

Here are some of her 4 month pictures!


Thankfulness Continued

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

 

-Melody Beattie

It has been some time since I've written my thankfulness list, there has been so many changes since January, so many things to write about and so little time it seams. My hope is to get back into journaling now that our newest little one is sleeping longer and breathing well again!
596. Family visits over Christmas & New Years, seeing my Dad again and praising the Lord that he is doing so well!
597. A relaxed December, anticipation of a new little baby in our family!
598. Continued pregnancy despite high blood pressure and frequent contractions.
599. The many friends and family members who pitched in and watched the boys and cleaned my house and brought meals. I feel so loved and cared for!
600. Snow (3 inches this time) to clear and refresh the mind of a tired and very anxious mommy. Abby is still in the NICU and due to the snow John was able to come home and spend some time with all of us, the first time in two weeks that we've all been together. I hope Abby won't miss us!

601. A sweet little girl to add to the mayhem of our family; Abby Mae Williams was born on 1/14 and weighed a mere 4 pounds 8oz, she is in the NICU but isn't on oxygen! Thank you Lord that her lungs are mature and able to sustain her small little body.

602. Wise and mature doctors who eased fears of anxious mommy. Modern medicine which saved the life of our little peanut. It hurts so much not to hold and cuddle my little girl, but it will also make me appreciate that novelty once she is stable and off the ventilator. Thank you Lord for keeping her alive until she was intibated. She is one very prayed over girl, I'm thankful for the hundreds and thousands of people who were on their knees for her health. What an amazing experience to see the body of Christ at work.
603. A homecoming a month in the making!
604. Brothers for protection and love!

605. Grandma Patti visiting and seeing her cherish the meeting with her first little granddaughter!

606. Tons of pink and bows! What a delight to have a little girl!
607. I'm so thankful for the people who sent clothes and gifts, Abby is totally outfitted for her first year of life!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

L.O.V.E


It is amazing how a little girl and all her pink can change the dynamic of a family!

Introducing Samira

Drew and I were driving  home from purchasing a small children's pool for our backyard. Our conversation went something like this:

Drew: "Mom, I'm starving, when are we going to eat?"
Me: "Starving, you don't know what starving means Drew?"
Drew " Yes I do! It means I'm really hungry."
Me: " I mean, you've never experienced real hunger before, 99 out of every 100 people in the world do not live like we do. What we just spent on a fun pool would feed an entire family of 4 for an entire month in most third world countries."
Drew: "You mean there are little children who don't get food all the time."
Me: " Exactly, most people don't live in nice houses, drive nice cars, have clean water, and know where their next meal is coming from."
Drew: "Well, that doesn't seem fair? We have to do something to help those children."
Me: "Yes, God  calls us to help the orphans and widows and the poor. I've been reading about caring for the poor in my Bible, God talks a lot about serving those in need. Its our jobs as Christians to help, that is part of the reason God has us here! How do you think we should help?"
Drew: "We need to take all our money and feed all those children, we can't let them die! If we send food now will the ones who have already died come back to life?"
Me: "I'm sorry Drew, but we can't bring them back to life, only God can do that, but we can give what we have to serve the poor now and someday we can go to other places and build water wells and bring medicine and food to help."
Drew: "Well, we need to do something right now!" I have money in my piggy bank, we can give all of that to feed everyone."
Me: "Drew, that is a great start, how about we adopt a little boy or girl for you to sponsor and earn money to support?" We can't feed the whole world, but we can start with one!"
Drew: "But I want to save the whole world?"
Me: "Well I believe you should pray about what else God would have you do, Mommy and Daddy have ways they give to the poor, you could ask God for a special way you can too!" "In the meantime, when we get home lets pick out a child for you to help sponsor."

Drew picked Samira from the Compassion International website and is so thrilled to help sponsor her!

The past 4 weeks our church has been working through the book of James; my conversation with Drew  reflected God's heart for the poor from James 2 - our Christian faith is proven by the ways we obey the scriptures. My faith is revealed through the works that I do. I am not saved by those works, but those works are proof that my faith is real. I so deeply want my children to grow up and have works that reflect their sincere and life changing faith!

There are other places in James where it talks about serving the poor and selling everything you have and giving it away to help others, that is very convicting to me since we live in a "me" culture. In Matthew it even calls the poor "blessed" or 'Happy" because they can "see God." I believe that means the more I give away and serve the poor and orphaned and stranger and widow - the more of God I see and the closer to God I become. Isn't closeness to God my deepest desire? If so then the solution is selfless giving - that is humbling and shows my lack of maturity in my faith. I do like the comfort of the way I live. James 1:26-27 says that we're to remain unstained by the world through: the bridling of our tongue and caring for others in need like orphans and widows. How much more like God would I be if I really kept myself and my family unstained by the world? How much more of God would I see if I gave more than 10-15% of our income - what would my life look like if we gave 20% or 40% or 60% away? These are questions I've been journaling about lately.

Breeding a sense of servant-hood into my kids is one step on our journey in becoming more Christ-like. So I'd like you to meet Samira, she lives in an AIDS infected part of Berkina Faso (sp). Drew was so excited to write her a letter and tell her all about his family. Now if I could only get Drew to do extra chores to raise his 10.00 each month to support his portion of her care! Please be praying for Drew's little heart, he has been talking so much about God and asking Christ into his heart, he is very close! I'm so excited to see what God is going to do with my sensitive heart'ed Drew - maybe Drew will help change the world!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Boring Jobs


I’m sitting here tonight and Drew comes waltzing in to say goodnight. He notices the #100 on the screen and is quite proud of himself. The number was actually 71,100.56 and I try to explain to him about  ones, tens, hundreds, etc. He then asks, “well what does that # mean?” I told him it was the amount we had to show on our books in vacations that people are yet to take.” To which Drew raises his eyebrows and retorts, “Mom you have a really boring job! I’m going to go brush my teeth now.”

Sigh, I didn’t want to be an accountant at 5 either, in fact my first job was working retail for a small company which sold scrubs. In my interview the owner said he graduated with an accounting degree and I told him it sounded boring not even having a clue what an accountant was – I was 17 (and did get the job)! Even funnier is that my closest 4 horse buddies from childhood and I recently connected again via facebook – we were all going to train horses or be veterinarians, just found out we all ended up as accountants!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Child Like Faith

During Bible time tonight Drew asked some very sweet questions. I just love the mind of a 5 year old!

During the reading of Abraham offering up Isaac as the sacrificial lamb Drew asked, "So was the ram God's pet? How else would the ram get up on that mountain?"

Then while speaking about heaven I said if you believe in Jesus then you go to heaven, Drew then asked, "Then will that nasty snake Satan be there too?" Oops I guess I shouldn't water down the gospel for my 5 year old! I tried to explain that isn't enough to believe in Jesus (the demon's believed in him and shuttered), you have to believe and then allow God to change your heart. A sacrificial change, like when Abraham went to offer Isaac as the sacrificial lamb. That was Abraham's test to show that he truly believed and had life changing faith in God.

Then later Drew asked if God would make cake in heaven for parties,"you know , like when its my birthday, will God make me a cake for my party?"

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Changing @ 14 Weeks

Abby is changing into a real baby! Just in the last week she has started to sleep more regularly, eat less frequently, she can have BM's on her own (Yes!), her stomach bloating has gone down substantually, she can cough, and she moved into 0-3 month clothes! A few other milestones happened this week too, she moved into her own room! Abby also figured out how to kick her little toy hanging off the crib, which kept her quite entertained for 30 minutes. She is enjoying just being awake and not fussing, she is more aware of things and loves to smile at you. She also loves to smile at the fan? Abby is almost 11 pounds and still loves being swaddled, being held, and beging carried around in the front pack. She is a mommy's girl until Daddy comes home and then she loves to sit with him and cuddle. She just picked up her second cold and seems to be weathering it fairly well. No ER trips! She has a slight fever and is congested with sneezes and coughing. We're praying she gets better quickly.