Friday, October 05, 2012


Usually when I write about feeling overwhelmed, it is because of the crazy household the Lord has given me to steward for His glory. Today, I am overwhelmed with this: "I am His and He is mine". My mind and thoughts keep saying Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. I have been praying for months for the Spirit to make Jesus real to my moments each day. And, OH, has the Spirit ever been faithful. In my failings, He keeps whispering to my heart words of Scripture and brings the love and comforts of Jesus before me. I remember days when I would cry to God because I saw what a failure I was in the Christian life. For the last 4 years, God has been peeling back the layer of self-reliance, shame,and pride that I shielded myself with and has been replacing it with the Love of God. It makes Scriptures like Ephesians 3 where Paul prays the church in Ephesus would be able to comprehend with all the saints the love of Jesus- so rich and free- so beyond what we can ask or think- ever precious to me. And stirs me to pray the same for my children, family, friends, church. I am beginning to see more in Scripture that Paul pointed people to Jesus..not doing more to be Spiritual. I think that is why the Gospel permeates the introductions to the churches. What greater evidence of love?!? What greater motivator? To know that Love of Jesus- the love that casts out fear, that forgives our multiple and ever growing list of sins, the love that drove Jesus to sacrifice His life for me. This same love should motivate me to love in return. To sacrifice myself. To cry out, Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Yes, I am overwhelmed today. Not with the craziness of today (although it's crazy! :) ). But overwhelmed with the truth that I am Jesus' and He is mine! Amazing!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wow! Has time flown. It has been a busy few months since Katie's birth. We have been often flying through life! Katie is almost 9 months old! I can hardly believe it! We are into our 6th year of homeschooling and it has already proven to be an adventure! Ana is in 5th grade (yikes!), Lil in 3rd, Ethan in Kindergarten, and Ioan in preschool. Ariana is doing Sonlight Core F, Lillian is doing Sonlight Core D, and I am doing My Father's World Kindergarten with Ethan and Ioan. Ariana, Lillian and Ethan are also doing Math u see's Delta, Gamma, and Primer. They each have Handwriting to do. Ariana and Lillian are also doing Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology I and Ethan is doing some extra reading. Ioan is working through a series of books called Developing the Early Learner. Ethan did these books the last 2 years and really enjoyed them! School is keeping us really busy, but so is life in general. I am currently hosting a Purity study, finishing up a Mom study and leading our small group of ladies on Sunday nights! It is busy, but I am enjoying it! So there is a little update on our family! We continue to do life learning and growing together in grace!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Happy 2 Weeks Katie!!!

Today our precious Katie is 2 weeks old, and today we have our date for release from the NICU as long as she continues to do as she is! I enjoyed time snuggling her was wonderful. She is tube free and eating on her own schedule. I am so excited about the progress she has made and I am looking forward to having her home with the rest of us! God has been good...we are rejoicing in Him!
Happy 2 Weeks Katherine Kay!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Death of a vision

Our precious Katie is 12 days old. It has been a busy and quick 12 days. I am so grateful for the ways the Lord has encouraged my heart through His Word, the book "Jesus + Nothing =Everything" by Tullian Tchividjian, nurses, doctors, family and friends. Despite the many challenges we have faced, God's goodness is so evident in each situation. God has orchestrated these last few weeks in ways that I cannot ignore His hand on our lives. He has been so very good to us; we are so unworthy! I have learned so much about God's character and I am humbled that He would pour out so much grace on my life as well as our precious Katie. He is good. These last few weeks have had a few circumstances that have challenged me to change my views on some things and turn my heart to trust God's goodness in new ways. One has been the death of my fertility. This has been a difficult "coming to terms", and yet, I see God's hand even in this.
When I was first married to Andy, we were neither a fan of birth control and really planned not to use anything to prevent having children. We both wanted to wait a little while, but the Lord blessed us 4 months into our marriage with the expectancy of our first child. Every year after that, before our baby was a year, we were expecting again. Andy would joke about the fact that he should invest in pregnancy tests because I took so many! However, each pregnancy had its own set of difficulties. We experienced 4 miscarriages, our second daughter was born at 30 weeks, Doctor visits were a challenge because there were so many of them, we had genetic testing done after our 3rd miscarriage and the loss of our first son, Nathan Joel. This season of childbearing really has been a challenging season, and yet there have been so much joy despite the struggles. After each challenge, I thought, "I'd do it again!"
When we found out we were pregnant with Katie, I was nervous. Sophie was only 10 months and I was nervous about being pregnant as I had many complications at the end of my pregnancy with Sophie. The excitement was tainted a bit by the nervousness of what Katie's pregnancy would bring. Things seemed simple for the majority of her pregnancy...I even hoped pre-eclampsia would not plague me. However, November hit, and complications abounded. Even then, I hoped we would carry her close to term, but the Lord had other plans.
While waiting for my c-section, Andy and I had a decision to make. If I delivered at the hospital I had planned, permanent closing of my childbearing would not be offered. At this new hospital, it was an option. As we prayed and sought to make a wise choice, I went back and forth. I knew conceiving again would be difficult and hard on my body. I didn't like the direction Katie's pregnancy had headed and I want to be there for my children as well as not put any future children's lives at risk. My husband encouraged me to go ahead and get my tubes tied. He truly felt Katie was it for my body and as we both desire to adopt, adding to our family would still not be an issue. We did make the decision to tie my tubes, and when we delivered Katie, they told us my uterus at my previous incision site was paper thin- they could see right through it. For me, that was a greater confirmation that we needed to be done. However, despite so much pointing to that direction, it still doesn't take away completely the sense of loss I feel.
When we were pregnant with Katie, I received a few colorful comments that really bothered me. One person asked if I would finally be content after this baby and finally not have any more. I was so irritated. I have never understood why people think making comments like that are acceptable. I mean, is my having kids bugging you? They don't need to deal with my kids if they don't want to. I am more than happy to mother my children. I have received myriads of comments now when people ask if we are done and I say sadly yes. They tell me I will be so happy to not be pregnant again or that I have six so now I can be done and let others have some (as if my pregnancies prevented anyone else from having children!). I know the heart of where these comments come from and while they are not meaning to hurt me, they bear the sting all the same. I love having kids. I don't always enjoy every aspect of pregnancy, but I enjoy feeling the baby move, holding a new one, smelling the new baby smell, and the joy on my other kids faces when they see and love on the new little one. With Katie, I feel the sorrow of "this is it...she is it", and at moments it makes me so sad. However, I am so grateful the Lord blessed us with 6 children and protected them and me during some serious complications. God has been good, and while I do believe the decision was the right one, it will not take away the emotional struggle I face. I can rest assured in the One who has ordained each situation and is the giver of wisdom. I know His hand is in this as much as each situation I have faced. I am grateful to know Who I can go to when the struggle gets hard knowing He is Sovereign and He has my good and His glory at the center of it all~ even in the death of a vision!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy 1 Week Katie!!!

Our precious Katie is 1 week old today! I cannot believe how quickly this week has gone by. I am hoping the weeks zoom until we bring her home with us! I enjoy my time with her up at the hospital, but it will be nice to get her home. It will be nice to get all of our children home! Our other 5 children have been spending time with my parents in Michigan. I am grateful for teh sacrifice my parents have made to help us care for our kids. We are hoping to have the children home as early as this weekend and then hopefully Miss Katie will be shortly behind.
Katie is doing well on her eating...still falling asleep in her meals, but that's okay. I want her to take all the time she needs. We have been enjoying Kangaroo care this week. it is such a nice thing to do and it relaxes me so much!

They made her a sign for her name. I am thinking we may have to get Katie to like My Liitle Kitty as not only did they put her on her tag, Ioan likes to call her baby "Kitty" which we think is adorable!

She is up to 4lb. 4 and 1/3oz and last measured was 17 and 1/2in. She is indeed growing and she is so precious! All she needs is to gain some energy and Lord willing we will be bringing her home soon!!! We are grateful for God's hand on her and His kindness in allowing her to do so well, We have seen His grace manifested in the best circumstance and we know that in the little times of difficulties we have had, His grace has been seen then too! We are grateful for the goodness of our God!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Introducing: Katherine Kay

It has been an eventful few days. After being discharged from the hospital last Saturday night, Andy and I had a really good day on Sunday together. However, Sunday afternoon, my right shoulder was really starting to give me grief. By Monday, I was in alot of pain and could barely tolerate it. I called the physician on call after hours and they said if I was still in pain to come in on Tuesday to be evaluated. I saw the midwife again and she sent me back down to the OB department as my bp was elevated. This time, however, the bp's stayed elevated despite pain meds and being there. I also was spilling protein (a sign of pre-ecclampsia developing). They wanted me to be monitored over night and see what would happen.
The next morning, I was told I may go home, we'd see. My pressures had remained elevated overnight and I was still hurting in my shoulder. The midwife came in and said she didn't know what the Dr. on call would want to do. I told her that I really didn't know the new ob and wanted to make sure that she discussed with the other ob's to make determination about delivery or no or even going home. Later, the midwife came back and took my drinks and said I would be sectioned later that day. I was nervous, but okay with that plan. Later(shortly after), the midwife and Dr. came in to talk to me. As they were discussing what would happen, they realized my due date was actually January based on ultrasound and that I was only 33 weeks 4 days and not 35 weeks. Therefore, they wanted to transfer me to a high risk hospital with a peri to evaluate me. They said that they would probably finish my 24 hour test and decide from there. In all honesty, I was very overwhelmed at this point. I had been frustrated with the whole "due date" question for the pregnancy. I had told the nurse when I went for my hollister that it said the 4th-7th, but they always ask you based on your last cycle. Obviously mine was messed up. Anyway, I was very irritated to be sent somewhere new especially by physicians who I felt did not know me or know my situation. I was beyond frustrated. Thankfully, the Lord knew I would need a friend, and He sent my friend Deb to be there with me. She rode in the ambulance with me up to the hospital (which helped even though I was bawling and very upset). The guys that drove the ambulance were so nice and I sure appreciated them. They helped calm me too. We arrived at the hospital and the nurses who were caring for me were great. They put me at ease right away. Immediately there were things that came up: I was now spilling 4+protein, I now had 2+ clonus, bp was still high, but there was evidence that I was indeed sick. The Dr. came in and said I didn't look sick (which was nice of him to say!), but I would be delivering because of all these signs. Delivery would happen around 4-5ish and we would see how the baby would do. The nurses took great care of me while I was encouraged by my friends, Deb and Steph, and eventually Andy made it up there too. I was very nervous about the c-section because I had been very nervous before and had a panic attack with my last one. I got in there for my section and was put at ease again by the people in the room. I know the Lord truly had it worked out well. I never once struggled while they delivered her. Andy came in and we waited for her to be born. We rejoiced when we heard her scream like crazy!!! It went so well. The Lord kept His hand on her and I. She had no breathing issues and I was spared further issues from a very thin uterus. God was sooo good there.
And He is still good now, Katie is doing well. I am needing to rest and keep my pressures down, but overall I am well too, So, may I introduce to you our 4lb 2oz. 16 and 3/4in. daughter, Katherine Kay

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Challenging Few Days

Friday I had another doctor's appointment. I already wasn't feeling well, so I knew it wouldn't be good. My bp was elevated and I was immediately sent to the OB department again. My experience down there was both good and bad. The nurses had no idea what was going on even though the midwife had talked to them! When the midwife came in to talk to me she was very unhappy about the way things were happening. My nurse got me situated and they started taking my bp's and low and behold, they were low...crazy low. Meanwhile, they started monitoring me and Katie and while I was showing uterine activity every 5 min. or so, it wasn't awfully strong (though I felt it in my hips and lower abdomen) however, Katie was not moving much and not doing the things she needed to do. They tried buzzing her to stimulate activity, had me eat something sweet and drink some juice, and she still would not cooperate. After 4 hours of waiting for her to do something, they said that I would have to go to an ultrasound to make sure that she was okay. We went to the ultrasound and guess what...Katie still wouldn't cooperate. They were looking for movements (which were incredibly subtle for the 2 or 3 we saw), practice breathing and swallowing (which she did not do), and some other things. When we left there, the ultrasound tech wasn't incredibly pleased with Katie, but said she still might pass. We never did find out the results completely, I was just told to rest that night and that they would repeat tests as needed in the morning. One advantage of having the ultrasound was seeing our precious daughter. The ultrasound tech kept saying, "Look at her chubby face...she's going to have cute chubby legs", and said she weighed about 5lb. I can't wait to meet this precious baby, but I am really hoping all stays good for at least another week or so!
Got up yesterday morning, and had another NST which Katie passed easily...she was a busy girl! I was monitored for my bp just a couple of times and then taken off all monitoring to wait for test results. I was told I would be released. They took one more bp (which was high, but not overly high) and I was able to come home.
It really was quite the journey the last few days. Not knowing if we are really to the end or not, has been challenging. I really want Katie to remain in for a little bit longer, but I know God already has ordained her days and knows exactly when she will make her entrance. While I am still hoping it is at least a week and a half away, I know the Lord holds her life even as He does mine. I have a few days to rest and take it easy until my next appointment which will be Tuesday or Wednesday. I am hoping that we can still avoid delivery at that point and that I won't have any more trips to the OB department until Katie's birthday!