Friday, December 22, 2006

I just love Christmas time!!! How grateful I am that the Lord of Heaven and Earth was born as a babe and willingly gave His life to pay for my sin! I am so grateful that He fulfilled the purpose ordained for Him for the honor and glory of His name!!! As we finish this year out, there are some things I am incredibly grateful for and desire to praise the Lord for:
Praise the Lord Andy completed his last semester of college!!!! What a blessing...long time in comming it seems. He has worked so hard and I am so grateful for the grace the Lord poured out on Andy as he completed school!!! Congratulations, my dear!
Praise the Lord for the beautiful daughers the Lord has blessed us with. Ariana is 4 and has just been a huge help and encouragement to me. She has a desire to please and we are praying that she will desire the Lord and want to please Him. Pray for her heart to be tender to Him and to trust Him to save her. Lillian is a sweetheart and I can't believe how the Lord has worked in her life. I am completely amazed that she is here and healthy. She is rather stubborn, but we hope to curve it to more useful things

Praise the Lord for the addition of a little boy into our family. I must admit that this entire year was a test of faith. I didn't know what the Lord would have in store for us...and I am constantly learning that He holds each one of my children's lives and I need to joyfully surrender them to Him everyday! Ethan is a great joy and a testimony to me that we truly don't know what He has in store for us. He is 3 months today and rolling over like a pro. He seems soooo little! How blessed we are to have such a healthy baby!!!!!

Praise the Lord for growing me and teaching me more of the desire He has for His glory and for the honor of His name. I am seeking to make it my daily prayer that I will glorify His name even as Jesus Christ did. I am also learning and seeking to bring Him glory in my daily duty's of caring for my husband and children. He has given me such a big responsibility and I pray that He will give me His strength and grace that I my glorify Him.
As you celebrate the Son's birth, I pray that you will be able to see Him working in your lives and in your families and that you can glorify Him for the great things He has done!!!!
Merry Christmas from the Petz Family!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Remembering a Holy Night

As we put up our tree and lights today, we had Christmas music on! I love Christmas music! I love remembering our Saviour's birth and why He came- to save a wretch like me as the old hymn goes. Knowing my unworthiness makes me even more grateful that He chose me to be in Him before the foundation of the amazing is that!!! And He did that for the praise of His glory! Oh, that my life would constantly proclaim the glory and praise of the Lord! And yet...I falter everyday and often times fail to rely on Him.
As I listened to the music, the song "O Holy Night" came on in a beautiful instramental arrangement. As I sung the words I've known for years, I teared up.

"O Holy night! the stars are brightly shining - it is the night of the dear Savoir's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining- til He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night divine, O night, O night divine!" ~Placide Cappeau, translated by John Sullivan Dwight

How amazing to think of the birth of Jesus. I can see how the people could have missed this awesome moment- God as a babe- for I often forget and am hardened against the reality of what He did for me. He gave me worth- worth in Himself, He gave me hope- hope of reconcilliation to Him, He gave me joy- joy in abiding in His presence forevermore! The result of this knowledge should cause me to fall on my knees and worship the Lord of Hosts!
This season, I ask that you would pray that I would worship and serve Him only, not myself or earthly pleasures...I will be doing the same for you.

"Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother and in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever! His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim!" ~Placide Cappeau, translated by John Sullivan Dwight

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Basking in God's Grace

I know that it has been a very long time since I have written. Life with 3 children is much diffrent than life with 2. Ethan is just over 6 weeks old! I cannot believe how much time has flown by. In the last six weeks, all of us, but Ethan, struggled with illness. Andy got sick twice, as well as had some big projects due and so life has consisted of school and recovery. We now have 5 and a half weeks left and then Andy is done!!! Yea!!! He just recieved word on what he will be doing at his job once school is over and it will be a day job ( more nights) and will be from 8 'til 5 or 6 and every other Sat. 'til noon. He will begin the week before Christmas! I am hoping that it will be a good job for him.
As a mom, I am learning alot....mostly how appreciative of my mom I need to be. I don't know how anyone with more than a couple of children do things...and I know why people think 3 is alot of is alot. I have found that my lovely daughters find mischief while I am nursing Ethan and the result has been trying to build sand castles out of flour in both the kitchen and the dining room as well as toothpaste everywhere. I often find myself just happy to get anything accomplished and doublely happy if there is not an added job in a day. :) However, the girls love their brother and are very helpful in good ways and I appreciate their willingness to help. Ethan is a doll, and is quite smart which scares me to some extent. Last Thurs. he impressed the doctor with his ability to smile, coo, and roll over...all accomplished before 6 weeks!!! I think he will be a busier baby than my girls. He is however extremely content and sleeps anywhere from 5-7 hour stretch at night. Most nights I am only up once between 9ish and 6ish. I cannot complain about the sleep.
I am also learning that I must, MUST, rely on the stregth of the Lord every day. If not, I am a very cranky mom and am unable to be the example I know God desires me to be for my children and am an ungrateful wife, unable to meet the needs of my husband because I am too busy complaining. So, I am learning submission and abandonment to my God in ways that I have not learned to do. I am praying that each stuggle and challenge will in turn make me more like Christ. I so long to be like Him....and yet have soooo very far to go.
"And He said to me, ' My grace is sufficient for you, for MY strength is made perfect in weakness...'". (II Cor. 12:9)
"He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater, He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mrecy, To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance, When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources, Our Father's full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure, His pow'r has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus He giveth and giveth and giveth again!"
~ Annie Johnson Flint
(I was going to post a new picture of Ethan, but my sweeet boy would rather have some I will try to do so later!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Introducing Ethan Andrew

Introducing Ethan Andrew
"It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High." Ps. 92:1
God has been soooo gracious!!!! We are rejoicing in the birth of Ethan Andrew. He is sooooo precious.

We arrived at the hospital at 5am on September 22nd, and began induction at 6:30ish. They upped my pitocin as high as it could go around 7 and we waited. And we waited. And we waited. After a long and difficult day, he was born at 11:47pm and I am pleased to say that the VBAC was a success!!! He weighed 7lbs. 2oz. and was 20in. long. He is just beautiful and we are really enjoying him alot. The girls think he's the best!!!

We are really enjoying him, and praise the Lord for the addition to our family. Children are a heritage from Him and we ask that you would pray with us that we would be used of Him to raise these precious charges for Him!!!

Rejoice with us!!!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


We are officially in the last days of pregnancy. Due to my lovely history, if I don't deliver before Friday, we will head to the hospital at 5 Friday morning and begin induction!!! I am sooo excited about meeting Ethan and can't wait for him to make his appearance. So, I would ask that you all pray that I have a safe, good delivery and that the VBAC would go well...and if I do end up having to have a c-section that I will have a good spirit about it. I really don't want a c-section, but we'll see what God has in store. Until then, I will leave you with this verse:
"This God-his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him." Ps. 18:30
Desiring His ways,

Monday, September 11, 2006

Some Thoughts for Today

September 11th is a day Americans will never forget. It is a day that changed lives and continues to affect lives even today. It happened less than a month after Andy and I were married. I remember watching it happen on T.V. It's a day I will never forget.
Last year's September 11ths is also a day I will never forget. Last year, somewhere between 1:30 and 2:00am, I was in the emergency room and our son, Nathan Joel, was with God in eternity. It was a shock as I ahd made it well past my other miscarriages and assumed smooth sailing through the rest of my 2nd trimester until the end when I"ve usually struggled with Preeclampsia. Instead, God had other plans- taking Nathan home to HIm. The next Sunday, I sang the song "In Christ Alone" and wept because I learned by experience that those words were true. The words of the final verse hit me the most:

"No guilt in life, No fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power in hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll live"

Learning about Christ's Soverignty in such a personal way changed my thinking about alot of things. He holds the lot of my life (Ps. 16:5), He has ordained all my days, from the first breath to the last (Ps. 139:16), He not only ordained the number, but planned my salvation and the works that I would do for His honor and glory (Eph. 2:8-10). Not only that, but He planned all of Nathan's 15 and a half weeks in my womb. And His plan was for Nathan to never taste of the sinfulness and rottenness of this world and to only know the joy and peace and gloriousness of worshipping in God's presence always. I too can enjoy a portion of the same Joys Nathan is experiencing in heaven here on earth as I seek Him and strive to abide in His presence (Ps. 16:11). And one day, I will join Nathan in praising God forever and ever....let me tell you, heaven gets sweeter and sweeter. Until then, I have the same power that raised Christ from the dead at my disposal that I may spend my time here on earth bringing God pleasure and honor and glory because the Holy Spirit lives in me and gives me power to daily live for the Lord. If only I utilized that power more!

This September 11th, I am basking in something diffrent- the undeserved grace and mercy of God in my life. I carry within me, evidence that God is working in my life and is at this moment choosing to pour grace on the son I carry within me- allowing him to grow healthy and strong in my womb. Not only that, but I have enjoyed a problem-free pregnancy which to me has been another demonstration of His grace in my life. I am anxious to meet Ethan and pray that I will be used by God to train him in the ways of God and share with Him all that God has taught me. For now, I am learning, as did Job, that " The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:21) and "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted." (Job 42:2) I am excited and anticipate what the Lord has in store for the rest of this pregnancy and the rest of my life!!!

"Have Thine Own Way, Lord, Have thine own way
Thou art the potter, I am the clay
Mold me and make me after Thy will
While I am waiting, yeilded and still."

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I found this prayer yesterday while I was reading through one of my notebooks of things that I have saved to be reminded of. I was struck by the words and thought I would share it with you all (crazy...2 posts in a row!). I pray that you will be encouraged by the words even as I was.

My Prayer” ~ Author Unknown
Teach me, Lord, to keep sweet and gentle in all the events of life, in disappointments, in thoughtlessness of others, in the insincerity of those I trusted, in the unfaithfulness of those on whom I relied.

Help me to put myself aside, to think of the happiness of others, to hide my little pains and heartaches, so that I may be the only one to suffer from them.

Teach me to profit by the suffering that comes to me. Help me to use it that it may mellow me, not harden or embitter me, that it may make me broad in my forgiveness, kindly, sympathetic, and helpful.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

34 weeks 3 days and counting!!!!

I honestly cannot believe that I am over 34 weeks!!!! I must admit that I am getting really anxious to meet this little one. It feels like time is going slow, but at the same time, it is going really fast as well.
I feel like I am ready. Mostly. Andy starts school tomorrow and I am not looking forward to that, but what can one do. At least there is only one semester left!!! Then we are done! Yeah!!!!
Yesterday I meditated on Psalm 16. It is an incredible Psalm. As I anticipate our "new arriaval", I was really encouraged by some of these verses:
vs. 2~ "I say to the LORD,'You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you'"
vs. 5-6 ~ " The LORD is my chosen protion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance"
vs 8-11~ " I have set the LORD always before me; becasue he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to sheol, or let your holy one see corrupton. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at your fight hand are pleasures forevermore."

These verses have been a great encouragement to me. I really want to have everything go smoothly for the rest of this pregnancy, but if it doesn't God alone is enough. He is the greatest good that I have, He holds my today and tomorrows, because I am His I live secure in Him, He is where there is fullness of joy and pleasures always... He is to be my delight and joy and where I take the most pleasure in. It is not easy, because there are some very precious things to me here on this earth (my husband and children), but He must come first. I really am working on making that my goal and focus. I need to make that my goal and focus.
So, while I wait for this child, my hope is that no matter what happens, He will be the sole desire and pleasure of my heart.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Busy Preparations

This has been a good and busy week. Andy is still working days and will be doing so again next week. It's kindof funny how you long for one thing and when you get it, it's not as nice as you thought it would be. That's how we feel about days. Maybe when he's done with school, our perspective on it will change a bit, but for now with all my dr's appointments and other various tasks, it's challenging to have him on days. I am so thankful for all the help others have given from watching the kids to letting me use a vehicle so I can get all my errands done.

I was able to have a lady that I have spoken to only a few times over this week and I really enjoyed my conversations with her. She has 5 children and just had their first girl. It was really nice to chat with her and I am hoping to get to know her better as I know she will be a great encouragement.

I think I may be losing some weight, or atleast some fat, on my new "diet". I haven't followed it completely and my levels have been well below where they need to be so that is encourageing. Ethan is growing and I can feel him moving often although the movements are more strong and definitive and really rarely the 'flutter' of light movement. I must say I am getting very anxious to meet this little guy and yet praying that he continues to stay put. We are a week past when Lillian was born, so I feel like every week is an added blessing. I see the Dr. on Monday and am excited to see what their thoughts are concerning the rest of this pregnancy. I know that they will be watching me weekly but as far as the rest of their plans for me, I don't know. I have begun to pray more for a normal delivery and would love to do a VBAC. Please pray for me that I will be accepting of whatever delivery God has planned for me and that if it's a c-section or VBAC that I will be able to be a shining testimony of His glory.

I have begun reading through Psalms. I like to meditate on them as delivery gets closer. They are packed full with God-ward thoughts and I desire to have those thoughts permiate my mind. I meditated Psalm 2 one day this week, and I think that it is so amazing to think that God is in control of the nations!!!! His power and plan will prevail for the nations of the world. That had me think of how amazing and awesome it is that not only does God care for the nations, but He cares for me as His child. His plans for me will prevail no matter what!!! What a promise from the Lord....I must admit....I can't wait to see what His plans for me are.

I have also begun to prepare Ariana's school for 3 months. I want to be ready so we can begin shortly after Ethan is born. I can't believe that I am doing school with my oldest. Granted it is only pre-school, but I can't believe how big she is getting. As I prepare for this, I have been praying that not only will she learn skills to aid in her life, but that she will trust Christ as her Saviour and be a shining example of a godly woman to the world around her. It is a daunting task when I think about it, but I pray that it won't be me building her life, but that it will be the Lord through me. Pray that things fall together quickly for school so that we won't be bogged down with school stuff but will be able to enjoy Ethan as well.

How grateful I am that God is enthroned above. It makes the uncertainty of future things not so scary when I remember who is in control!!!! I hope that I never forget that.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Philippians 4 Reminder

"Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, Rejoice. Let you reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." ~ Philippians 4: 4-8

Yesterday, I was encouraged by my mother-in-law to read Philippians 4. She had been reading it that morning and was blessed by the Lord in some amazing ways (both spiritually and physcially). As I meditated on this chapter, again these particualr verses stuck in my mind. Why, you may ask? Because controlling my thought life, particularly the area of worrying, is a never- ending task it seems in my life. My dear husband is always reminding me of these verses and sadly I don't always appreciate the reproof. However, we are commanded in the Word of God to Rejoice in the Lord. Not just when our lives are going great and according to *our* plans, but also when things arn't happening in the way we see fit. God has given to us a means to achieving peace when we feel like there can be none....prayer. We are to not be anxious but instead bring our prayers and petitions to God who alone can give us the peace that passes all understanding. As we surrender to Him, He gives us the peace and guards our hearts and our minds. As we surrender this control, we too need to yeild the determination to take our thoughts captive and focus on what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, praiseworthy and excellent. And who would give us the ability to do that? Again, our great and awesome God. Everytime I think that *I* have to do something (now I am not discounting our responsibility), I realize that He is the one who provides the grace to do what pleases Him. I cannot do it by willing it myself...He alone can give the strength.

I am seeing that I must focus on these thoughts alot in the days and weeks ahead. I am nearing the point where I delivered our precious Lillian. While my blood pressure is still behaving itself as of now, my body still is not responding to this pregnancy in a completely positive way...I do have gestational diabetes. So, I am meeting with a dietician tomorrow and will also meet with a diabetic counselor (or something like that) sometime as well so that I can get this blood sugar thing under control. My initial reaction is " if it's not one thing, it's another". Sometimes, in my mind, I am questioning why? Why do I continually have problem after problem in my pregnancies? Why can't things just go normally and not add more stress to my life? But, then agian I am reminded that I need to not worry but turst in the fact that all things are working out in my life for my good and ultimately for the Glory of the Lord. I am realizing that I must remember that above all things. He is doing it for His glory...and I am amazed that He would even chose me for that honor. So while in my flesh I am not thrilled about this latest complication, I am most grateful for His soverignty and ask that you would pray with me that God will be glorified throughout the remainder of this pregnancy.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

An Ever Interesting Life

Well, I am alone this weekend...well not really, Lillybug is home with me. Andy took Ana to my cousins wedding and as Ana is the flowergirl, I really feel like I'm missing out on some fun! However, I am glad we chose to stay home especially as I carry Ethan. I will look forward to seeing pictures and am rejoicing with them in their marriage.

It's been a busy and relaxing week with Andy off. We have been able to rest some and we even went out on a date!!! I don't remember the last time we went out alone. It was so nice to know that the girls were being cared for by someone we trusted and we were able to really enjoy our time out even though we both were exhausted. I found a plaque for Ethan's room that says "Thank Heaven for Little Boys" and it matches his nursry bedding perfectly. I have found some cute clothes for him and am beginning to feel like things are coming together for his upcoming birth. I still need to finish getting essentials like diapers and such, but other than that, I am hoping we will be ready within the next month.

I can't believe that I am 28 weeks!!! It is sooo exciting. It's also hard to believe Lillybug was born 2 weeks from now! That is truly unbelievable. So far nothing has been unusual on the Preeclampsia front which I am very grateful for. However, I would like to ask for your prayers as I recieved a high result on my 1 hour glucose test, so I am going to have to do the 3 hour glucose test. I really don't want to have that test come back bad, so I would appreciate any prayers on that.

Andy will be working days the next few weeks and that is going to add quite a bit of fun to our lives. It will be strange having him gone during the day, but at home in the evenings. It definitely will make any pregnancy appointments interesting as I try to find time to get the things done I need to get done. But having him home in the evenings will sure help as I am soooo tired alot these days.

God's soverignty has really been on my mind alot these days. I am so glad that God is in control. It is sooo hard for me to remember that sometimes, but it sure is a comfort to know that God is always on His Throne.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Busy Days

This week has been fun and busy!!! We had company from Friday last week until Wed. this week. My sister in law had her baby a few weeks ago and her family was in town and stayed with us. It was very fun to have them here. The girls really enjoyed it! Monday, we began our 5 day club and that went pretty good...except today we had no kids...but mine. Ariana has really enjoyed it.

I have had 3 appointments this week. The first was just a normal visit...Ethan is doing great and so am I. My cervix is still closed (which is what we want) and he is very low!!! I had an internal exam done and the doctor could feel him down low. I am getting alot bigger and more uncomfortable...but I am sooo grateful to be carrying this child. I went in for another appointment due to some unusual swelling in my leg and today I had an ultrasound done to make sure I had no clots. Everything looked fine...I just have to take it easy and when I'm up alot, wear my lovely support hose. In this heat...I am not too anxous about that.

Andy will be on vacation next week and we are ready for some family time! I hope it is restful for him.

God has been so gracious to us. We have had an enjoyable week and are excited for our weekend (my sister is flying into an airport near us and I will be able to see her) and looking forward to good time with family.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

God's Ways

I just finished watching one of my favorite movies with my girls. It is "Jospeh, King of Dreams" a Dreamworks picture. I have enjoyed the movie for awhile now, but once again it has reminded me of God's great soverignty in our lives. So many times it is easy to "buck" whatever circumstances are happening in our lives or to resist the things that God wants to do in our lives. We forget that He has a plan and a purpose that is for His honor and Glory. Look at the life of Joseph. God used his trials and hardships to save Israel. Now, I don't think that my life is necessarily going to save a group of people, however, I do know that God has a great plan for my life that will fulfill His purpose for me and the ultimate plan He has. I need to remember that no matter what happens, God knows best and His way is the way that I want to direct my life.

I am about 26 weeks pregnant and have been really fretting over the next while. I like to "control" things, and I have been determining to make sure that I am prepared for whatever circumstances come up in this pregnancy - whether another preemie or a full term baby. I don't like surprises and I don't like getting thrown into unplanned circumstances. So, the movie tonight was a great reminder to me to let God have His way in my life and to not fret over the future....He already knows it and is working on creating a beautiful masterpiece in my life...even in this pregnancy. So, while I must DAILY learn to surrender each moment...and not get caught up in the "if this happens" mentality... I must learn to anticipate the Great and Awesome things that He is going to do. I am so grateful fot the time I've already had with Ethan and I am so excited to deliver him and to see what God is going to do in him even what He will teach me through Ethan's life.

"This God- his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 'For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? This God is my strong refuge and he has made my way blamesless.'" (II Samuel 22:31-33)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Latest News

Wow! I can't believe that it is June 2nd! Almost a whole month since my last entry. Things have been busy here. We finished Andy's school in May, I went to MI for a week to spend time with my family before I will no longer travel ( I have been waiting for a safe time to go...even though I feel like no time is really 'safe'), and now I am anxiously waiting for my sister in law to go into labor and have their baby girl!!! I love babies!

I feel like I have really been going trough some challenging times. I am still hashing over some things, but am feeling more direction through Scripture as to my thinking. I know that God is working out some things in my life, and I can't wait to see what He does in my life. He is such a great teacher and I pray that I will be a diligent learner.

Tomorrow I will be 23 weeks pregnant! I cannot believe it. After 2 losses, I didn't know if the Lord would allow me to have another, but here we are at 23 weeks and I admit I am really excited. I started going through baby boy clothes (how strange is that!) and I am looking forward to starting to work on our nursery. Because of my lovely Obstetric history, I want to be ready by the beginning of July just incase I see Bedrest or Preterm Birth. I really can't believe that we had Lillian 7 weeks from now! I am feeling like I am getting really big...and I've gained more weight than I would have liked at this point. Ethan is moving constantly and I love the feeling of "life". I really think that pregnancy is such an awesome time.'s never easy for me, but I love the thought of our child growing and moving in me. I am reminded DAILY that God has entrusted these children to Andy and my's care and We need to seek His wisdom to raise them for His honor and glory. I love my girls and I can't wait to meet our son. Please continue to pray as I have an ultrasound on Wednesday of next week and then I start a new test on Friday. I will take this test every 2 weeks until 28 weeks. After that....I will start a new phase. So far, the Lord has been very gracious and we have had a problem-free pregnancy thus far.

Hopefully I won't wait so long to update or write next time.

Soli Deo Gloria!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Things have been very interesting lately. God has been working on so many areas in my life is seems. There have been topics I've been wrestling with and others that have encouraged my heart and, I pray, God is using them to make me more like Himself. I really do want to Glorify Him and become more like Him. I want my thinking to be less worldly and more and more gain the mind of Christ. Yet, worldly thinking is constantly being engrained in my head. We all get it through various facets of our everyday life ~ home, work (if we work outside the home), church,....everywhere. I am convinced that only Scripture, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, can truly aid us in obtaining the mind of Christ. God can use other ways such as literature and people, but all we are challenged with must be sifted through the Word of God.

Our minds NEED to be renewed and changed if we wnat them to be Christ-like and if we want our lives to honor and glorify the LORD. I am rminded of this as I've meditated on Romans 12:1-2~

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable, and perfect."

I heard a neat missionary speak this Sunday, and she used Psalm 37:3-7a to teach us how we can TRUST God. Each letter was one of the 5 commands in this passage. The accrostic was the follwoing and follow a specific order:

T=Take the gift of Salvation, R= Rejoice in the LORD, U= Unleash your life to God, S= Sacrificially submit to God and Serve others, T= Total Responsibility is God's

I really liked this because we are called to obey what God says (present ourselves to Him, know Him and desire Him, submit to Him, love others, ...) and what happens is TOTALLY in His hands. He is Soverignly in control over ALL.

This is some of what I am learning. This is what He wants me to learn and apply to my life.

Baby News:

I am currently 19 weeks 4 days pregnant and all is seemingly well. Iam feeling Ethan's movements more each day and Andy and Arianaboth have felt him also. I must say this pregnancy is more real to menow and I am starting to get excited about the prospect of a new babyin our home. Please continue to pray that all will go well. I have anotherultrasound today and will continue to have weekly u/s until I am 24weeks. Horray!!! We are about half way there!!!!!

Friday, April 21, 2006


Yesterday, I had another cervical ultrasound scan. It went cervix is still good!!! BUT, the best surprise was when they decided to take a peak at our baby!!! It was so fun to watch our baby move and to see a good strong heartbeat!!! It was amazing!!! And even more amazing was that they let us find out what our baby is. We weren't planning on finding out for 2 more weeks, but we'll take the news whenever we can get it. And we found out that we are expecting a baby BOY!!!! We are sooo excited. The name we have chosen (and have had chosen since Ariana) is Ethan Andrew (sorry Kyle...maybe we'll think about that name for our next boy!). So, as you think and pray for me and this pregnancy (which we pray will continue to go in a positive direction), please pray for our son, Ethan, to grow healthy and strong!

"...My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in the LORD!!!!!" (I Sam. 2:1 ~ a prayer of exultation that I sing even as Hannah did!)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

If I thought waiting was hard....

...I was mistaken, because modified bedrest is harder. I thought others were easier to listen to too...but that was wrong too...Dr's can't give assurance.

Again I am sitting here, praying and waiting to see what the LORD is going to do. My visit was okay. The baby looked good (what we saw...mainly the heartbeat beating at 167 bpm) and my cervix went from alittle over 4cm to 3.5cm. Not something extrordinarily worrisome...but not what I was wanting to hear. On top of that I found out I have a low- lying placenta. Also something not extrodinarily worrisome, just another new experience I feel I could do without. Then as I shared some concerns I had with pressure on my cervix, I was told that I will need to get help with my children and housework during the day. I am to take it easy and get some help (for all of you who know is something I need alright!!! ) So, another lesson to be learned....

Humility. I must take this moment to thank my mother for my birthday gift, "Humily" by C.J. Mahany. I believe that I will not want to wait to finish "The Pleasures of God" before I begin that, because I need a BIG dose of it now. I am one who loves to do things for others, and I especially like to do things myself. However, I am going to need to rely on the blessings of others for the remainder of this pregnancy, however long it may be. I am not particularly keen on least not in a semi-permanant way...because I don't have a problem talking others into letting me help them, but I don't always have enough humility to allow others to help me. So, I ask for prayer for humility. I so feel like others have blessed us beyond what we need, and now in my time of need, I need to accept the help of others. As difficult as it may be, I need to humble myself, let go of my pride, and allow God to work....through others.

He's already blessing. A godly woman at our church heard about my appointment and has offered to get women of the church to come and do major cleaning 1 day a week! That truly is a blessing! I also have dear friends who are offering their time and assistance even though their lives are also busy.

Jesus Christ gave us the greatest example of humility. I can't imagine the putting aside of His rights as God to pay the penalty for my sin. I am humbled, amazed, and ashamed. I need to follow my Saviour and put aside my right to do My home, and instead obey my doctor and do as he suggests, for he is the one the LORD brought to watch over me and my babe, though God ultimately holds this child. Lord, may I follow you in your example. Humbling myself and committing myself to the Father even as you did. Create in me a heart that obeys and that submits to the work you want to do in my life as well as the lives of others. I love you.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Learning to Wait

I used to laugh at myself when I would talk about how anxious I was for the next exciting thing to happen. First it was graduating High School. Then it was marrying my best friend, Andy. Then it was anxiously waiting for our first child, a daughter, to arrive. Since then, I feel like I do a myriad of waiting everysingle day. And with all that practice (you think I would be getting good), I am still disliking waiting!!!!

Tomorrow, I meet with the specialist again. Last week was kindof fun...(minus the cervical ultrasound) we got to see our baby (for the 4th time this pregnancy) as well as recieve the assurance that everything is going good for now. I was really relieved and less stressed about this pregnancy...until the start of this week. I got nervous Monday and have still been waiting to see how things are going. You see, we lost our son, Nathan Joel, last September around this time in the pregnancy. I am so anxious to get further along (like another 10 weeks under my belt), and yet I thought, "If I got relived about what this doctor said, why can I not be relieved when I read the truths for me in God's Word?"

I've determined because it's easier to rely on man, and once you get some word, it's easy to forget and cease to rely on the Heavely Father. However, God wants us to find pleasure and delight in Him. He wants our source of joy and strength to come fom trusting HIM.

So, now what do I do? For now, I know I need to bathe myself in the Word and memorize verses that will help me to focus on Him. I also need to continue to wait and really seek to understand what Waiting on the Lord really means...and then apply it to my life.

I certainly covet prayers on behalf of this little baby growing in me....and I also covet prayes that I will become the person God desires me to be and that I will trust in Him no matter what comes my way.

"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?...One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock...Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have siad, "Seek my face." My heart sayd to you, ' Your face, LORD, do I seek'. Hide not your face from me....I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" ~Psalm 27: 1,4-5, a7-9a, 13-14

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Seeing the Specialist today

I have really been working on trying to stay calm...not always working, but I am learning to Trust the Lord in new ways (or maybe they are old ways since the Lord is always teaching me trust in my pregnancies). I have been reading "The Pleasures of God" by John Piper and am realizing more and more that I need to take pleasure in God. I do think that in doing so, I will become more focused on Him, and less focused on me. It's so hard to do...especially as I near the time when we lost Nathan. However, I know what God wants me to do and I really want to follow in obedience.
Today I am seeing the specialist to see what his opinion is as to what I do for this pregnancy. I don't entirely know what they will do, but I will be glad to hopefully hear our baby's heartbeat as well as know that everything is okay for now.
I know that God is great and that He is sovereign. After all, He chose me and made me His workmanship so that I would do the good works He's planned for me to bring Him honor and glory. I can't wait to see how He will use this pregnancy to bring honor and glory to Him!

UPDATE: Everything came out good...and I don't have to get a cerclage (my cervix measured great!) I will however be checked again next week and we will see how it is going then. I really liked the perinatologist and can't wait to see what else is in store.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The End of Me

Yesterday at church was great!!!! I loved both morning and eveing service. I love being challenged in the Word and in my thinking. Now, mind you, I am a very opinionated person (ask anyone who's had a discussion with me) and I also tend to be very critical sometimes (which is something I am seeking to change) but I was so greatly reminded yesterday that there needs to always be an end of me. We watched a movie of John Piper speaking at a conference (my gracious Pastor lent me the dvd and I watched the rest of the speakers today) and I was soooo encouraged and reminded of things the Lord spoke and is teaching me on. One thing that has been coursing through my brain is that God's concern is for His glory. That can seem like such a prideful thing, and yet there are so many Scriptures talking about God's passion for Himself which is exactly what we need to have...a passion for HIM!!! He is our example. He is our goal. He is our prize. He is our all. That is what is important. I also loved the focus of the definition of His holiness as being "His infinate value as the absolute perfect moral person (unique and incomprable) He is" (that is a very poor paraphrase of what Pastor Piper said...forgive me..keeping up with note-taking was a challenge as usual). God is the one to value....when Christ died it was not just for our sake (so we could be reconciled with God) but the fact that "He valued the perfection of Himself, His Son, and His Spirit" (as Pastor Piper stated) As John Piper said and I loved this quote God demonstrates love to us when "He sustains and exalts His holiness in His Son for my everlasting enjoyment." That is soooooo awesome...I really long to enjoy God more. I really desire to end the focus on myself and to enjoy Him!!!! But what a challenge it is. I really do think that our relationships would change dramatically. I think our relationship with God would be different, that we would view others in light of the mercy, grace, and love that He has bestowed on us. I think it would make us more loving and forebearing.
Then, in the evening service, we talked about I John (which I am really enjoying the study). The thing that stuck out to me then was that I can have confidence in my salvation because I have that hope...I can have confidence in Christ's return because I have Christ as my righteousness. Not only that, but it is Him at work in me that causes me to obey...without His Spirit, I am nothing...once again an end to me.
So, today as I've taken it easy and have thought alot about this pregnancy and the fears and concerns that I have, I have thought that I need to have an end of me. If I end me, then the struggles and fears of life will pale in comparison to the joys and enjoyment of God.
Lord, please help me to grow in my enjoyment of you that I may become Holy as you are Holy and that me and my desires would die and you would reign in every area. May the view I need to have of you draw me to love you more and may I respond in like to those around me because of what You have shown me, one who is sooooo unworthy. I love you Lord.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Doctor's Visit Yesterday

It was a crazzzzzy day yesterday. I was thouroughly exhausted by the day's end. We went to the doctor and it was a long visit. I was there from 2:15pm -3:45pm. That makes for a really long appointment. However, the doctor listened to all my concerns and responded very well (I think) and he even did an ultrasound and we were able to see our baby moving and haveing a great heartbeat of 166!!!! The baby is measuring great and everything looked good. The doctor did say that my cervix felt like it was short, so I am having an appointment with a perinatologist soon because they want to check my cervix for cervical incompetance and if that is determined I may have a cerclage done between 13 and 14 weeks (which would be here in the near future). So, I am waiting for them to call me with a time for that and then I will head on to that stage. I am kindof nervous, especially since it was between this visit and the next that we lost Nathan in September, but they are going to keep a close eye on me and if I feel strange at all I am to call and be seen. I am glad for the OB's that I have and Lord willing things will go well and we will have a baby here in the fall!!!! I truly covet all the prayers that are sent up for me as I am nervous about all this testing, but I know that God is in control and that it will go according to His will for me and this precious life that I carry within.

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul know it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed subastance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me when as yet there were none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you." ~Psalm 139:13-18

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Obedience or Rebellion

I am very S-L-O-W-L-Y going through Isaiah and as I completed chapter 1, many thoughts came to the forefront of my mind:

1. When we continue in our sin and live in hypocracy- God will judge and deal with our sin- especially when we are His own.

2. God promises: Though our sins are red like scarlett, they will be white as snow! God is in the cleansing, refining, and purifying His people buisness.

3. He alone changes us- it's His work and He will do it in His way for our good and for His glory.

4. God- when restoring His own- gives us 2 options:
a. be willing and obedient and see blessing
b. refuse and rebel and "be devoured with the sword."

When we choose disobedience ( and apart from the Grace of God, that is what we do choose), God will judge, God will purify (with fire), and God will restore. It is His work and it is done His way for His glory. WE can submit to His purging and recieve blessing or we can rebel and refuse and be "devoured with the sword" (Is. 1:20 )

What will be your response to His refining?

Lord- give us willing and submissive hearts especially during the difficult and often painful process of purging and cleansing in our lives. May we praise and glorify you even during these times and may we learn to walk in obedience to Your commands all the days of our lives.

Friday, March 03, 2006

In Loving Memory of Nathan Joel

Today I reached a milestone that 5 and a half months ago seemed like ages away. Today is Nathan's due date. Unfortunately, I am sick today and feeling very terrible, and I guess that's okay, because I am missing our son. I wonder what He would have looked like and what he would have weighed...but what if's are not what God desires us to focus on. We are to press on toward the mark, no matter what trials come our way, so that we can finish the race of life hearing God's "well done." So, today I am thankful for the child the Lord blessed us with and am praising Him for what He has taught me throughout the last few months and look forward to what else He has to teach me until I meet my son in Heaven.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I have ben reading Isaiah for the last few weeks and just started an actual "study" by Donna Partow. I really enjoyed reading Chapter one of Isaiah again last night and was challenged by the thoughts from the study. One thing that got me thinking was the topic of being hypocritical. Mrs. Partow asked us what are the prevailing emotions and motives when we are hypocritical. As I thought about it, I thought about the selfish aspect of thinking and acting. Usually if we are hypocritical it is because we want something for ourselves, good image, good opinions, or even attention. In Isaiah 1, the children of Israel were continueing to offer sacrifices to God and yet they were living sinful lives that displeased the Lord.
Sometimes as Christians, it is easy to be hypocritical. We can make everything look good just so we look good; sometimes we make it look bad just becuase we want attention. Those actions are actions of hypocracy. And that is something that displeases the Lord greatly. God deires us to walk in obedience to Him. He longs to bless us and prosper us...and yet too often we settle for just the opposite, His dissappointment and even sometimes His wrath.
Sunday, I was listening to Keith Green's song "To Obey is Better Than Sacrifice" and I was reminded about how God doesn't want motions of sacrificial worship...He wants us and true obedience. Obedience that comes from the heart. Obedience that is not hypocritical.
How can we have that true obedience? How can we live without hypocracy?
One of the first things that comes to mind is repentance. We must repent and ask the Lord's forgiveness and He will forgive us and and cleanse us from our unrighteous acts. (I Jn. 1:9) The next thing that comes to mind is to submit to the Lord and to have our mindset changed with His word (Romans 12:1-2). Ask Him to give us a heart of flesh to obey what He desires us to do and seek to abide in Him (spend time with Him and become one with Him heart and mind) (Exekiel 36:26-27/ John 15:1-7). And then obey. Walk in Obedience to His Word. He desires obedience. He desires us to truly walk in His ways with a clean heart. It is not easy to do and requires daily confession, submission, and surrender to Him to obey in a way that pleases Him. But, living without hypocracy and in true obedience is worth the effort and time.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Children, burden or blessing?

Today is a special day to me. I am remembering 2 years ago when I was contracting every 5 minutes and wondering if I had overdone it. I went to bed February 28th still contracting although the spacing had let up to every ten minutes. I woke on February 29th,2004 (yes it was leap year) hemorraging and believing that my precious daughter had entered eternity. To my great joy, when we arrived at the hospital, I heard her heartbeat on the monitor and shortly saw her squirming on the ultrasound. A few hours later, she was born, 10:35am, by emergency c-section. I did not get to see her for two more days. However, I was grateful that day that my baby was alive!!!

Here is Lillian, out of her "extra special" home, the isollette, and in clothes given to her by Great Grandma Donna.

Now, two years later we are rejoicing that she is healthy, beautiful, and happy as a two year old!!! I can't believe it. The first six and a half weeks were such a rollercoster of emotions, me recovering and struggling with high blood pressure and Lillian in the hospital fighting (quite strongly) for her life. And now we happily enjoy her and are excited to look forward to another child due this fall.

I must admit that this morning didn't start out well. I have struggled so much with negativity in my life. I really get angry when people complain about my children and refer to them as burdens. I can't even begin to count the times that I hear, "You can't do ..... because of your girls" or "If I had to deal with your kids, I would lose it" or other hurtful comments like that. After the initial anger passes I begin to evaluate why these comments are made. Now I know I am NOT a perfect parent and I am praying and beseeching the Lord for my children's salvation and for them to grow to be like Him inspite of my sinfulness. But I really don't believe that those comments are meant for my children alone, but for children in general. For that is the world's mindset. Children interfere with "our" desires and the things that "I" may want to do. The feminist mindset is such: "pursue your dreams and goals...why bother wasting your mind on such a mindless and dead-end job like mothering". That, I believe is one of the greatest reasons that children are seen as a hinderance...thanks to the feminist's mindset...which really is a sinful mindset begun in the Garden of Eden with Eve.
The only way that mindest can be eradicated is with the Word of God. We must ask the Lord to change our minds and transform them into His mind. We need to develope a Biblical mindset to counter the ever present and sometimes dominating views and ideas of the world. So, I want to mention some verses that have helped to "transform" my mind in the last few years.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, and the fruit of the womb a
reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's
youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be
put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5

The psalmist here is talking about the Lord building the home and watching the city. It is vain to do anything without Him being the one orchestrating and watching over it. And then, the psalmist goes on to talk about children being the heritage God gives one. Nothing can we take out of this world outside of the souls of men and our children are a great responsibility and blessing that we can take with us to eternity. I have always liked that it says "like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth" because haveing children at a young age is like haveing arrows for battle. How awesome of a picture is that?! Children can be our greatest assets in this thing called life. And that is what a man (and his wife)are blessed with.

"Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! You shall eat
the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be
well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus
shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD." Psalm 128:1-4

This passage is talking about the ones who fear the Lord and follow Him. This is how they are blessed: with a fruitful wife (in those days children were also considered among the wealth of a man. Barrenness was often thought of as a curse in those days.) and children like olive shoots (referring to a good number...which there is no set "number"). That is how the man who fears the Lord will be blessed. Not only that, but the psalm concludes with a blessing for that person to see their children's children (vs. 6). So even seeing your Grand-children is a great blessing from the LORD.

I could continue with many more, but I am going to have to stop here. Children are a GREAT blessing from the Lord, and if children are viewed as an inconvienience and a burden and a hinderance to what "one" wants to do, then it is to that persons's shame. As for me, I want to daily have my mindset changed and instead of being irritated at my children for any "inconvienience" thay may cause me, rejoice in them as the blessing and heritage they are from the LORD.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ultrasound Tomorrow Morning~ Updated

Please pray for me as tomorrow morning I am having another ultrasound done. I am really hoping that things will be good, but I must be still and let God do His work in my life as well as in the life of this child He has blessed us with.

" Glory in His holy name; let the hears of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
Seek the LORD and his strength; seek His presence continually" ~Ps. 105:3-4

Update: Ultrasound went good. Our baby measured right on for 8 weeks and the heartbeat was 154! I am so glad everything went well...and I am looking forward to seeing how this pregnancy continues to progress. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Not My Will

I don't know if you have ever read the old book entitled "Not My Will"
by Francena Arnold. It is an absolutely powerful book about the folly of us trying to run our own lives instead of submitting to God and seeking to Glorify and Please Him. I haven't read the book all that recently, but I can remember staying up until 2 am reading it and weeping my eyes out. It is an incredible book and a great reminder. If you haven't read it, I encourage you to pick it up and read it some time.
The reason I am thinking and talking about this book is because I sit here tonight thinking of the things that I would love to control and have go according to "my plan" that are not. Now, I have learned alot about surrendering in the past few months and would even like to think I'm getting it, but every single day, the LORD is showing me again....I DON'T!
This week I had an ultrasound for my current pregnancy. I was going in thinking that I was 6wks 4 days to find out I am only 6 weeks and we didn't get to see a heartbeat. I was, needless to say, dissappointed. I wanted the encouragement that everything is going good. Instead, I must be patient and wait 2 weeks for another ultrasound. Now, my first response was...this is ridiculous. Why am I again struggleing with this idea of surrendering to God's will and plan when dealing with Nathan's death was so much easier it seemed. However, I see that it is because that was over...this is continuing...and I am desparately longing to hold and meet this child. I have loved each of my children, but I am so fearful that the LORD just might say "Not this time" once again.
Jesus Himself, being completely human and completely God, struggled with going to the cross. And yet in His struggleing, He proclaimed, not publicly but in prayer to His Father, "Not my will, but Thine be done." I am not God. I am completely human in everyway. But the same Spirit that resided in Christ, resides in me, helping me to become more like HIM!!!! So as I sit here, fearful of the future and struggling with my thoughts, I desire to say, "Not my will."
Lord, teach me to follow you and surrender each situation to Your hand, not asking for answers, but knowing that You truly know what I need so much better than I. Help me to bring you honor and glory in this pregnancy and each day that I am able to live by Your grace.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Hymn Focus for my Pregnancy

A week ago, I was in Michigan and was blessed by the Special Music that morning in the church I grew up in. My cousins did an excellent rendition of "Alleluia" with "All that Thrills My Soul". As I sat listening to the beautiful music and listened to the lyrics, it was almost like the LORD was prompting me and saying, "This is what I want you to focus on during your pregnancy. I desire to thrill your soul and life...even more than this child that I am blessing you with."
So, at the Lord's stirring, I am seeking to meditate on His word and this hymn specifically during my current pregnancy.

All that Thrills my Soul by Thoro Harris

vs. 1: Who can cheer the heart like Jesus, By His presence all divine?
True and tender, pure and precious, O how blest to call Him mine!

Refrain: All that thrills my soul is Jesus, He is more than life to me;
And the fairest of ten thousand In my blessed Lord I see.

vs. 2: Love of Christ so freely given, Grace of God beyond degree,
Mercy higher than the heaven, Deeper than the deepest sea!

vs. 3: What a wonderful redemption! Never can a mortal know
How my sin, though red like crimson, Can be whiter than the snow.

vs. 4: Every need His hand supplying, Every good in Him I see;
On His strength divine relying, He is all in all to me.

vs. 5: By the crystal flowing river With the ransomed i will sing,
And forever and forever Praise and glorify the King!

Refrain: All that thrills my soul is Jesus He ismore than life to me;
And the fairest of ten thousand in my blessed Lord I see.

It is my prayer that my Lord will be my desire and the thrill of my soul. I pray that He too is the thriller of your soul as well.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A little bit of fun!!!!

Here is my pregnancy counter...I've always thought they were here's mine.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Joy Mixed with Fear

Those of you who read my blog know my passion for children and the sorrow of the losses that I have experienced. I have been quite busy this week because last weekend we found we are expecting again! Now, while I am so excited that we are blessed again with the hope of a new baby, I have also felt quite fearful. I have found my prayers have turned often selfish with an apology afterward for my selfishness and lack of trust in the LORD's goodness. I desire to trust the LORD and yet in my flesh, I fail. When I am pregnant, my favorite book to read is the Psalms, because I am reminded of God's character and yet I can see the Psalmist understanding my thoughts. So, my goal is to memorize some Scriptures to help "Calm my anxious heart" (to quote one of my favorite books by Linda Dillow. I know that God's Word brings comfort and peace. But I also covet the prayers of the saints on our behalf. I desire to have God's will fulfilled in my life and I want to trust Him unreservedly, but I find that it is difficult without the help of the LORD. So, I ask each of you who happen to read this little blog, to pray for me that I will trust the gracious and loving Hand of God, no matter what happens. And I am also going to ask that as the Lord would stir His Word in your heart, that you would share some Scriptures with me that I may be encouraged.
So, now we wait and watch for the Lord to work! And in the mean time praise the LORD for the goodness of blessing us with another child!!!! Praise be His Glorious Name!!!!!!

Aside note: I also love hymns and am always encouraged. If you have a hymn or song to share...that would be great too!!!! Thanks.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Books, Books, and More Books!

I am extremely excited!!! Today my order from CBD came in! I am anxious to delve into the books I've purchased. I am currently reading two excellent books. The first being A Mom After God's Own Heart and the second being When Godly People Do Ungodly Things. So, I may not get into them as soon as I would books always excite me!!!! However, I must get these others finished first. Then I will have some new ones to go through.
I am going to be starting another study. I am going to begin Isaiah. This time as I go through it, I will not only be reading it on my own, but I will be using the study Extracting the Precious from Isaiah by Donna Partow. I have read her before, and am anxious to see what I will learn as I study one of my favorite books of the Bible.
I can't wait to begin. I love reading books, but the most important book I can spend time in is the Word of God. In it contains everything I need for life and godliness. The book, A Mom After God's Own Heart, has been a great reminder for me. As I am seeking to raise up Godly young ladies, I need to spend time in God's Word to have the resources I need to train them. She has been speaking often of Deuteronomy 6:4-12 which says this:

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to yoru children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates....then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery."

God has commanded parents to be the teachers of His Word everyday in every situation. But, one can't teach what they do not know. And we can't know God's Word unless we get into it and read it. He alone can give us the wisdom and words to bring Him honor and glory as we train and teach our children.
So, while I am anxious to read the books written by mere man, I pray that I will have the same anxious excitement to read the Book of Books - the Word of God.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Pray for John Piper

God is amazing. Right after I posted that article on suffering, I went to Girl Talk, another blog I enjoy, and recieved the news that John Piper has prostate cancer. I encourage you to read this and pray for a man God has used and is using to glorify Himself.

The Path of Suffering

In the past month or so, I have been reading "Desiring God" by John Piper. It always amazes me how the Lord puts people/books/things in your life to reinforce the things He is teaching you. As I reread my past blog entries, I was amazed at the continual theme...God's sovereignty. However another theme I noticed was I do tend to talk often of the loss of our son Nathan a few months ago when I was 15 and a half weeks into my pregnancy. These themes have been my focus the last few months because that is what I am learning...that is what I am seeing about God. The last chapter in "Desiring God" is titled "Suffring: The Sacrifice of Christian Hedonism". This chapter, needless to say, brought much contemplation as well as comfort. In it, Pastor Piper converses about the life of Paul as being a life of chosen suffering. Then he continued on to talk about whether or not their is a difference between suffering we choose and suffering we don't choose, such as cancer. I really, really appreciated what he wrote in that reguard. I would like to share it with you now.

"The suffering that comes is part of the price of living where you are in obedience to the call of God. In choosing to follow Christ in the way He directs, we choose all that this path includes under His sovereign providence. Thus, all suffering that comes in the path of obedience is suffering with Christ and for Christ-whether it is cancer or conflict. And it is "chosen"- that is, we willingly take the path of obedience where the suffering befalls us and we do not murmer against God. We may pray-as Paul did-that the suffering be removed (II Corinthians 12:8); but if God wills, we embrace it in the end as part of the cost of discipleship in the path of obedience on the way to heaven." (pg. 256-257)

This was such an encouragement to me. Sometimes I often feel that the trials in my life are not as big as say someone being persecuted physically for Christ. I can't imagine their suffering and yet, as I deal with the situations in my life, such as losing a child, I am partaking of suffering with and for Christ as I embrace it as part of the cost of following Christ even as they are. Not only that, but Pastor Piper continues to say that the purpose for all suffering is the same: " more contentment in God and less satisfaction in self and the world." (pg. 265)
As we learn to make Him our ultimate satisfaction and our ultimate treasure and goal, Pastor Piper goes on to say the following:

"If we rely on Him in our calamity and He sustains our 'rejoicing in hope', the He is shown to be the all-satisfying God of grace and strength that He is. If we hold fast to Him 'when all around our soul gives way,' then we show that He is more to be desired than all we have lost." (pg. 266)

That is what we should desire for others to see- that He is enough. That He is all they will ever need.
For me this has been a tremendous encouragement. I am learning that God truly is all that I need, that it is He alone who can satisfy. I know it in my heart and soul, and yet I know my life doesn't always say that...especially lately as longing for a child has been so great a yearning that I have felt like Hannah beseaching the Lord to grant my request (although unlike her, I have two beautiful daughters). However, as I continue to strive to die to self and to live a joyful life reveling in the greatness and goodness of my Sovereign God, I pray that others will see that He is enough. That He will meet and supply every single need, want, desire they may have with the best thing of all- Himself.
It is my deepest prayer that as I go on seeking to trust and obey God that others will see in me, through the Grace of God, that He alone is all I will ever need. I found this quote, I don't remember where, and when I penned it in my quote book, I see the author's name is unknown. I have a feeling that this author experienced some of the same sorrowful sufferings as I and I know he or she was learning that our Lord truly is enough. I pray that this will be my hearts desire as I go on life's road and that you will find the same desire in your heart as well.

"'Tis far, far better to let Him choose
The way that we should take
If only we leave our lives to Him
He will guide without mistake.
We in our blindness would never choose
A pathway dark and rough
And so we should ever find in Him
'The God who is enough.'"
~Author Unknown

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Back from Christmas "Break"

I have not written in soooooo long due to the season we just passed. I crazily decided to make many of the gifts this Christmas...and many were quilts. With sick children, finishing up college semester for my hubby, and just many things to do, I am afraid that the blog took the burner that never got turned on. :) However, I hope to put some more time and thought into this little project I have.
I did finish my book,"Desiring God" and was greatly encouraged by the thoughts contained within it's pages. I have much I am thinking and meditating on...maybe it will come out in some posts. I did recieve more books for Christmas which are on my "To Read" list. I have started a neat book from one of my all time favorite authors (Elizabeth George) entitled "A Mom After God's Own Heart" which I am currently enjoying. I have more books to read after that...and after recieving more books...I used a gift certificate I had for CBD and purchased some more books. I am a book lover...that anyone who knows me can attest to.
We have only a few more days until my husband begins another semester of school. I am not looking forward to this time as he is tackleing 18 credit hours this semester. Between that and working 45+ hours per week, we may not see much of him. I hope I can stay sane!!! I am one of those women who could have their husband around 24/7 and never get tired of having him around. I don't like him away. However, I know that this "season" of life will soon be over and I can't wait to see what the Lord has for us once school is done.
Well...enough rambling on. I hope to write again real soon.