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!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 1 of Bed rest

The Lord has seen fit to slow me down. I am currently on bed rest at home for the remainder of this pregnancy. I was on bed rest with our first child, but have always had my other problematic pregnancies as soon as problems arose. This is certainly a challenge for me as I have 5 other children and have needed to get steroid shots (something I have never received before). The Lord has been so good to our family during this time: many offers to help, my Mom came and took the other 5 kids to stay with her in Michigan for a week, and much encouragement. I am so grateful for the Lord's hand.
Yesterday, at my appointment, my blood pressure spiked quite high and that is the greatest concern at this point. However, God's hand was certainly at work. I am re-reading the book "1000 gifts" by Ann Voskamp. I was reading a chapter while I waited for the Dr. to come and right before she walked in I read this:
"Isaiah 14:24 ~ 'Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand'(NASB). As God it stands."(p. 88)
Isn't that such a wonderful, amazing, comforting thought: All stands according to God's plan. I am so grateful to know that my baby and I are in the hands of a Sovereign, almighty God who works all things according to His plan. And this plan is one to make us more like Jesus and glorify Him! I am in awe. He is so good!
I was encouraged by a sweet friend to journal this journey. I am a terrible blogger, but maybe being stuck on bed rest will give me the time to journal and track all am I learning and the ways the Lord is teaching me. I am praying for a teachable spirit to be molded into Christ's likeness!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

First Nervousness

Today, I experienced my first cause for alarm this pregnancy. After a persistent headache for 2 days, I experienced elevated blood pressure today that was quite high. After a trip to the OB unit, I was finally able to get the bp's to come down, however the headache has hung on. I am praying the Lord will graciously give us 4 more weeks of this pregnancy. I do not prefer a premature baby! However, He already knows when she is coming and I am praying that I will do as suggested and rest! Praying Katie and I make it past Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 28, 2011

31 weeks and counting!

So, I am officially past 31 weeks (which feels extraordinarily good). We are past when our second daughter was born. I now have around 5 more weeks to get past when our youngest daughter was born. I am praying Katie will surprise us all and come the latest of any of my girls! I know God can do a miracle here...and I am praying that one occurs. I am really enjoying feeling her move, although, she doesn't really kick, she squirms! I am anxious to have the pregnancy over with as I am fairly achy and uncomfortable, but I am nervous about six children. 5 seems to be working well....and 6, well, can seem intimidating at times. I am so grateful the Lord is blessing us again with a precious child and I can't wait to see what kind of dynamic she adds to our family.
As we near the end and I anticipate another c-section (something I dread and panic over, I find myself increasingly encouraged by Psalms as well as the focus of God's grace. This past year has been a journey for me in the area of believing what God's grace really means to me as His child and responding in gratefulness for this undeserved gift. I am finding that I am struggling with still looking for the pleasure of men instead of walking in the already given pleasure of God. His love is so much more amazing when I realize that all is grace given by Him! I am learning and loving this walk. The freedom is amazing and I am realizing so much how guilt easily can creep in where it ought not be. A month or so ago, I was listening to some missionaries speak and listened as they shared some of their guilt in failing in areas of their lives. That is where it ended. They shared no hope that God works in spite of our failures and faults. They kept the room so somber as they ended their time sharing with praying we would be "clean vessels because God doesn't use dirty ones". I literally cried and stated to my husband that I cannot be around places that spout these views. They are so steeped in works theology and not grace. Yes, we fail. Yes, we don't do things perfectly and we struggle with sin. However, the freedom of the hope of God's grace leaves us from living in guilt and fear and gives us the means to walk freely knowing that God's grace alone saved and sustains our walk with Christ. Does it mean we won't sin or struggle? Absolutely not! But I can walk in gratitude to the Lord for saving me and knowing He will complete His work in me. Amazing, isn't it? He is faithful to complete the work HE began....and it isn't because I am an easy, mold-able piece of clay! I feel often like I am the opposite. Stiff and unwilling. But He in His faithfulness and grace will finish the work. And accomplish all His holy will. Again, the freedom that it is not all up to me! Like Paul the apostle, I am one of the worst sinners and yet God uses me! I am not a clean vessel yet, but because of Jesus I am a vessel that can be used because of Christ's work on the cross for me. So, I am glad I don't need to have it all together. His grace covers!
Ok. Enough rambling! I am so grateful for grace and Jesus. I am learning and praying that the Lord would daily draw me to Himself and remind me moment by moment of grace and Jesus!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A week of Remembering and New Requests

This week has been an up and down week for me. I have many things on my heart that I often have to surrender to the Lord. A dear friend who lost her baby earlier this year was due around this time, and so I have been thinking of her this week. This week also marked one year since my sweet sister Beth delivered my precious nephew Tobin who was stillborn. Reliving the events of that week were sad, but my sister's testimony and trust in the Lord have been greatly encouraging. She is also carrying my nephew, Aidan, whom we anticipate either the end of October or the beginning of November. The presence of new life is certainly a reminder of hope!
Thursday, I had another ultrasound and OB check. We were able to see the 4 chambers of the heart and confirm that this baby does indeed seem to be a girl. I am thrilled to know the gender so I can prepare. I am however trying not to be too nervous despite the fact that my history with girls is not so good. I have never made it past 37 weeks with my girls and my last girls were born at 30 weeks and 36 weeks. With both Lillian and Sophie, I had complications from preeclampsia and had to have blood transfusions due to placental abruptions. With my last pregnancy, I was hopeful that things would end well, and there were complications that made us wonder if we should even have more children. And we were advised that we should be done. I would not change having this precious girl, even though she was a surprise! But knowing she is a girl does make me alittle more nervous for both me and her. I must keep remembering my life, and her life, is ultimately in the hands of the Soverign Lord who has a plan for us both.
Last night, as I was reading posts on facebook, I read that one of the couples Andy and I know from Word of Life received news that their baby will not live long after birth. This too brought back emotions from watching my sister walk this road last year. My heart is heavy for them, but their faith and trust in the Lord is so encouraging.
September is a difficult month for me. It carries with it alot of sorrow: Tobin, my dear cousin Josh's death, the loss of our first son Nathan at 16 weeks, 9/11... I definitely have learned over the last few years what it means to trust the Lord in ways I never would have without the experiences He has brought me through. So while September brings some sorrows, I am so grateful for His hand and plan for me.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

10 Years!

My hubby and I celebrated 10 years of marriage this past week. Andy was able to have this week off and so we enjoyed time as a family as well as just the 2 of us. We had an enjoyable time getting projects done, enjoying time as a family at home and as we cared for Andy's dad, playing games, and watching movies, and then a trip away to Bristol, Indiana for a night away at a Bed and Breakfast. We enjoyed time visiting Amish stores and the sites in that area. We even visited a working mill which was very interesting and we are planning on bringing our kids back!
I am so very grateful for the husband the Lord has given me. Our past 10 years have not been easy. We have had our moments of difficulty and growing periods. We have had 10 pregnancies, 5 beautiful children (2 born early), 4 babies awaiting us in heaven, and our latest blessing due around Christmas. We have lived in 5 different homes in 2 different states. We have enjoyed a few trips alone and quite a few family vacations. Yet, through it all, I cannot imagine being with anyone else to walk this earthly journey. He is my biggest encourager, my greatest challenger, and I am so grateful for God's blessing me with my Andy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

20 Weeks

We have hit the half way mark with our precious baby. I can hardly believe that we only have 18ish weeks left until we meet our precious little one. I had an appointment yesterday and all seemed good. I need to take extra care of my leg as it is definitely having issues! That's okay though, I suppose I could use the extra rest!
This week I had an appointment with the Midwife (I go to a practice where I have seen 2 of the OB's since I was pregnant with Lillian. They now have a midwife and another OB, and I am not too thrilled to be shuffled around so much!) Anyway, there was some confusion regarding my due date. I always assumed it was around the 4th-7th of January, but they have officially moved it to the 28th of December. Baby has always measured more like January, but they don't even think I will make it to Christmas anyway. I had my ultrasound on the 4th, and while the tech thought it looked girl, she couldn't say with certainty because our baby was so uncooperative. She said I will be back for another ultrasound and they could check again at that time. When I went this week, it was determined that I will have the rest of the anatomy checked in the office at my next appointment and that we could get a gender peek then! That appointment is scheduled for September in 4 weeks, we will get another peek! This will be my longest interval between appointments...a nice break for sure!!!!
I have really been struggling with the fact that there is so much I want to do around our home to get ready for December and feeling the "crunch" (I know! Crazy!)to get so much done. I am really trying to prioritize and divvy out all that needs to be accomplished over the next 3 and a half months. Knowing there is a good chance this baby is a girl (and I don't do well with girls) and knowing this baby could arrive as early as the beginning of December has me really wanting to get alot done. Currently, my plan is the following:
August ~ finish painting rooms and organizing the house
September ~ switch clothes in all the kids drawers and make list of what is needed for the winter
October ~ make sure all baby items are ready and accounted for and make list of any items still needed
November ~prepare for Christmas (Advent items, gifts, decorating) and make sure suitcases are packed for kids, and mom for hospital.
December ~ enjoy the holiday as long as we are able to!!!!

I feel like if I have a plan, something will get accomplished even if it's not done quite when I want it to be. I want to not be stressed when we get closer to the baby because I know that the less stressed I am and the less I have on my plate the better things tend to go. When I add schooling,
Dr. appointments, and just plain old general life to my lists, I know we will never be bored!!!!
So, I am looking forward to how everything is going to continue to go!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

So excited!

I am a big fan of the resources at Doorposts and was very excited to see that they were promoting the book Loving the Little Years at their blog as well as having a give away for the book. I was even more excited to find out that I was the winner chosen!!! I have been eying that book for some time since my dear sister in law first sent me an article from the Desising God blog. There are so many times that it is easy to be discouraged in mothering when you have so many little ones. And yet, as a mother, serving and loving your children is one of the most important ministries we've been given by God. I am looking forward to the encouragement reading this book will give me especially as I seek to serve God by ministering to those closest to me- by husband and my children. I also want to share with you the article that first sparked my interest in this book...enjoy!
Motherhood as a mission field by Rachel Jankovic

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

18 Weeks and counting!

I cannot believe that I am almost half way through this pregnancy! The Lord has been so good to me during this season. While I feel stretching a lot more and sometimes ache more, I have been feeling okay. I am excited that we will be seeing our precious baby again next week and Lord willing, we will find out the gender. I know December seems like such a long ways away, but it will come faster than I know and there will be much to do before we meet this little one!
We are into our second week of school and while the kids are doing well, it has still been really busy as I am watching my friend's son while she gets ready for Bible school and Monday and Tuesday I had 2 extra kids for part of the day. So, it has been a busy week. I must say, I am getting more tired as the week is going on, but I need to keep up for another 8-10 days before we will have a little break! I am hoping we will still stay up on school good and will be ahead when our little one arrives in December.
My husband and I have really been praying about quite a few things regarding our family. The Lord has been challenging our convictions regarding the best ways to minister and disciple our children. We have been challenged by the fact that as we study God's Word, we see more and more God's instruction to parents in this area. We want to make sure that we are allowing influences to influence our children that are in line with our family's goals and the convictions and teaching we are seeking to instill in them within our home. We are seeking to change some of the things we are involved in to better fit our convictions and honestly it sometimes feels like a scary step because I am sure we will meet opposition. I don't know exactly where the Lord is taking us, but I am praying it is a direction that makes God's glory more known in our family's life and in the lives of those that we may influence.
It is really going to be interesting to see what happens the next few weeks and months as we seek to honor the Lord.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gifts and Grace

Weeks have been rapidly flying by here in our household. We finished school in June and have had a few weeks off, but beginning next week, we will have our new school year begin. I can hardly believe Ana will be in 4th grade and Lil will be in 2nd grade. As E-baby will not be 5 until the end of September we will not be doing Kindergarten with him this year, but will continue to do the preschool program we are currently working on. I am looking forward to seeing how God's grace will be at work in my life and the children's lives as we journey through another school year. I really have some goals I would like to see accomplished, however, I am praying mostly for God's goals to be accomplished in the lives of each one in our family.
A few weeks ago, we were up visiting my family and I was able to finish the book, "One thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. I can't begin to tell you how much this book challenged, encouraged, convicted, and humbled me. I often do not look for the gifts or even God as I am going throughout my day. I usually focus on either the good or the bad. I have been challenged to turn my life into a daily focus on Thanksgiving and seeking to see God's grace in each circumstance I face. I want my life to be a mirror of Christlikeness and I am convinced that one of the key focus's of life need to be Thankfulness. I am praying for the Lord to continue to direct my ways and paths and that He would lead me daily in the Truth of His Word.
God's grace has been continued to be magnified through the gift of our 6th child. I am currently 15 weeks pregnant and things are going quite smoothly. I have another appointment next week which is the same gestation when we lost our first son, Nathan Joel. I am anxious to have that over with... We have our next ultrasound in 3 weeks! I am looking forward to seeing our precious baby again and hopefully finding out which gender this baby will be! I really don't care if it's a boy or a girl, although we have done things in 2's so a girl would be neat, but a boy would be good because it seems like I do better carrying boys. Either way, we will see when we go! I am getting more and more used to the idea of having 6, although I am still nervous about trying to get a new vehicle and schooling this year. I know the Lord has it all worked's just hard for me, the constant worrier to let my "controling nature" go on the wayside and trust God will provide. I am again, learning to trust in a new way, and I am excited to see how God will work.
That is all I have to share now, Looking forward to seeing what the Lord has in store next.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 19th, 2011

Today I had the privilege of seeing baby #6 today. I found myself quite nervous over the whole thing. I didn't know what my Dr. would say as he had told us we should maybe be done after our last pregnancy. However, he was great. Kind, friendly, and thoughtful encouraging. I know it will still be a risky pregnancy, but I do feel good having a good physician looking out for me.
We were able to see our little peanut today. We have an official due date of January 7th,2012. Although we will most likely not even see that date (my Dr. talked more like before Christmas or maybe after if my body behaves!), I am so grateful to have a good idea of how this baby is growing. We also were able to see a great heartbeat of 131 bpm at 6 weeks 5 days. That was so relieving to see the little heart beating. It also made is seem all the more real. I saw the little life God is knitting together in my womb~ alive and well as of today. It makes me get a little more excited about adding #6 to our family. The kids are thrilled and were happy to hear our baby is doing well right now. I am anxious to see what is next. I go back in for a recheck in two weeks. Lord willing, our precious baby will be doing well at that visit and we will see him or her growing well!

Friday, May 06, 2011

A Week

It has been just over a week since receiving the news of our latest pregnancy. I must admit that it is starting to sink in. Another little life to train for the glory of God. It is quite a daunting thought to add another to our mix, and yet there is starting to be some excitement when I think of another little one! Reality has set in as I have gotten some blood work done. My labs have looked great and everything is moving like it should! It makes the reality of it even greater.
I am excited to get my due date figured out. My dates are out of whack....while they said I am due around 12/26, I believe my due date is more like the 4th of January. I don't know if they will do an ultrasound to date me or what, but it looks like either way, we will be ending our 2011 year with a new baby. It's kind of amusing that our "last" baby will cause our patterns to be a little messed up! So far, all of our babies have been born on even years (2002,2004,2006,2008,2010) and this baby will be in 2011. It will be the "odd" one out...hehehe!
Last Saturday night, as I was still in panic mode regarding this pregnancy, the Lord laid on my heart the hymn "In Heavenly Love Abiding". This will be my pregnancy hymn focus for this pregnancy. Having a hymn to mediate on has been a "thing" of mine since my pregnancy with Nathan in 2005. I had already had an early birth in 2004, and had miscarried in March of 2005. I wanted a song to focus on and so I chose "Like a River Glorious". When I miscarried Nathan in September, I never realized how much that hymn would encourage me in his loss as it did while I carried him. So, I decided to meditate on hymns during my pregnancies. Ethan's hymn was "All that Thrills My Soul is Jesus", Ioan's was "All the Way my Savior Leads Me", Sophie's was "How Firm a Foundation". All these hymns have such special meanings to me. They have encouraged my heart even while I have the many anxieties of a high risk pregnancy. They help me focus on what I need to ~ the Lord and truths from His Word. So, we will see how this pregnancy goes...but my focus will be abiding in Him.

"v. 1 In Heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear,
And safe is such confiding for nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid
But God is round about me, and can I be dismayed?

vs. 2 Wherever He may guide me, no want shall turn me back
My Shepherd is beside me and nothing can I lack
His wisdom ever waketh, His sight is never dim
He knows the way He taketh and I will walk with Him.

vs. 3 Green pastures are before me which yet I have not seen
Bright skies will soon be o'er me where darkest clouds have been
My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free
My Savior has my treasure, and He will walk with me."

Friday, April 29, 2011


That is the only word that I can think of to describe the feeling I am experiencing right now. I am trying so hard to not be fretful, but I really can't believe it!
What, you may be asking? Well, last night I passed a test I was most certainly not planning on passing anytime in the near future...however the Lord has other plans than I do. So, we are expecting our newest blessing sometime around Christmas!
So, now to pray for a song for focusing on and Scripture to meditate on.

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

Thursday, April 28, 2011

31 Days to Clean

I didn't realize I needed to post about this book, but I am soooo excited at the idea of being able to try this out...the book is reasonably priced and I think would be great for anyone up for the challenge of getting a clean home, but also a vision for having a God honoring home! Hoping I will be able to get it and look forward to following the challenge in the month of May. If you are interested...follow the link!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Mercies in Disguise"

Thoughtful meditations these days. I don't know what my deal is, but I really have had so many great things happen in the last few days. My sweet sister, Angela, delivered her second son, Owen Augustine, on Wednesday. We sure rejoice over this new little life, and pray that he will grow to love the Savior! My sister did great...I only wish I was there to love on him and kiss his sweet face!
This past week marked 6 months since Tobin went to be the Lord. While I grieved along with my sister in that his presence is greatly missed, I rejoiced that the Lord has opened her womb once again. We are certainly praying for health for this little one, and I look forward with anticipation to celebrating this child's birth in the fall. We will continue to miss Tobin and look forward to the day "He will wipe our tears" and we will get to know him.
Despite all these wonderful things, I can't put my finger on why I still feel sorrow. It is so puzzling. I have certainly seen so many great blessings lately in the lives of my family and even in my own life. Yesterday, I heard the song "Blessings" by Laura Story. I literally wept. Here are the words to "Blessings" by Laura Story~

"We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
As long as we have faith to believe


When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home


What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise"

Laura Story's testimony on this song was so neat to hear. I found myself echoing her sentiments. It is certainly easy to talk about blessings when things are good. We know God is sovereign; we know with-holds no good thing from His children. Yet, when we experience sorrow or difficult circumstances, we do not say, "Hey! See how God is blessing me!" Often times we question what we have done to deserve this (questioning if we are sinning or not), we get angry at God, we declare He cannot love us because He is not giving what we deem is "good", ....and the list goes on. I am learning (and perhaps this is why I weep) that my good is often what God brings in difficulty. I am learning to see Him in all things. I am growing more and more thirsty for His presence and my eternal home. Do I see this all the time? Absolutely not! That is what makes me more grateful than ever for His grace and His hand constantly leading, guiding, and forgiving.
Today ~ I pray: Father teach me more of You each day, be it joys or trials. Mold me more into Your likeness...Give me a thirst for You....Give me a view of Your mercy and grace which is often disguised by "rain and tears".....Remind me daily that each joy as well as difficulty is a way you are seeking to bless........................................................

Sunday, March 06, 2011

A New Resolve

So, I have so many thoughts moving through my head today. The only way I feel I can process them is to write them if you dare to brave the workings of my on.
Yesterday I had a very wonderful, sweet, challenging conversation with my husband. I am so grateful for his encouragement and listening ear this week as I have worked to process thoughts in my mind. I must admit to feeling quite grouchy this week. I do think some of it is exhaustion with sickness in our home, some is due to the emotions I have experienced the past few weeks, and some is realizing I desperately need to make some changes in my life and not really, truly wanting to make them. As I talked with Andy, I realized (once again...I am such a slow learner) that I am being driven by the "Tyranny of the Urgent". (This phrase is taken from a little booklet I read a year ago and I must pull out and read again.) I am one who is a.) a people pleaser, b.) driven often by emotion, and c.) driven by passion (and not always the best passion!). I love the Lord. I want to please Him. I also want to meet every single need that is brought to my attention or that enters my door. I can't even begin to tell you how often I am confronted by needs of others be it Andy, my children, friends, family, you name it! And quite frankly, I am exhausted! This week really showed how the "urgent" has really dictated my life. One day, I had so many needs/ responsibilities, I felt my sanity leaving me! Unfortunately, I did not respond in a way that was Christ- exalting or gospel oriented. I complained. I whined. My tongue was not under the Spirit's direction, but rather under the control of my sinful, fleshy self. It was not beautiful. Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who, though he had to receive the brunt of my words, listened and then wisely pointed out a solution.
I have a white board in my kitchen. Quite frankly, it is my third hand and sometimes my only brain. On it, are prayer requests (not all, but a few), our schedule, upcoming events, and very quickly written down notes. In all seriousness, if it is not on that board, it is probably forgotten until it is brought to my attention again and, hopefully, added to that board. My husband pointed out that it doesn't contain my priorities. I am not being driven by what God has placed in my life to be the grid each area of my life must go through. He encouraged me to put my priority list on the board. He added to put what the Lord has placed on my heart to accomplish for that day and then if something else comes up, if it fits-ok- and if not-I must choose to let it go. Now, let me clairfy, I do believe in Providential hindering. God can change what I am doing on a particular day....He can show me what I need to do. However, I do believe that God desires us to do some "planning" to a certain degree. Planning so we are organized, so we are redeeming each precious moment/minute for His glory and honor. I have NOT been doing such a hot job on the redeeming of my time. I start out with a plan, but when someone else comes (most often it is not my husband or children) and they have a "plan" for me, I am often swayed and then struggling because I didn't accomplish what needed to be done. I don't know if I am making any sense, but anyway. So, my new resolve: Prayerfully seek out what God wants me to accomplish based on the priorities He has revealed to me each day. It is going to look alittle bit like this:
For example: Monday=laundry focus
Tuesday= kitchen focus
Wednesday= planning/scheduling focus
Thursday = ministering out of my home (shopping/ visiting/ Mom's group)
Friday = major cleaning in prep for the weekend
Saturday = rest/ family fun / various projects
Sunday = worship/ encouragement of others/ rest
That is not a complete list or even what it for sure is, but for example.

a. My relationship with the Lord
~Scripture memory
~Bible Study
~Practicing His presence and seeking to worship Him throughout my tasks

b. My relationship with Andy
~ does this build or hinder my relationship with him
~ will this hinder my energies that ought to be used to minster/ encourage him
~ am I seeking to Love him only after the Lord and above all other earthly relationships.

c. My relationship with my children
~ does this hinder or help me accomplish my responsibility to bring them up in the "discipline and instruction of the Lord"
~ does this hinder the choice Andy and I have made for me to teach and educate our children
~ am I seeking to Love my children only after the Lord and Andy but above all other earthly relationships

d. My home
~ does this take away from my primary ministry to my home which includes the caring for Andy and the kids as well as making our home a place where Christ is seen to all who enter.
~ does this drain my energies to demonstrate the gospel in my home

e. Others
~Is this something that Christ desires to use to encourage my family or friends

These are not complete, but some of the questions/ thoughts I need to think through.

3. I will work on being gracious but bold when confronted with things/ministries that conflict with greater priorities.
I am not very bold when it comes to insisting I can't do something or when saying no. As Andy and I talked, I realized that I feel like saying "no" or "I really can't today" is mean when in fact it is not, especially if done in a loving and gracious manner. I am determined to really seek to be gracious and yet insistent when I need to be. This will be very difficult for me because I am driven sometimes by guilt when I say no and always evaluate and rehash things in my mind. I am praying the Lord will work on my heart and spirit to be wise in my dealings especially with others.
Anyway, these are some of my rambling thoughts. I am praying the Lord will continue to grow me into being the woman He desires me to be.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Ponderings on this the First Day of March

Today, we begin the third month of the year! I can't believe how fast this year is already going! So much is going on and happening in our little home, I must journal a little today.
We are schooling the best we can with all of our sicknesses. My poor Lillian was sick for her birthday yesterday...and yet she still had a smile! I have decided to give up trying to catch up and concluded we will just school as long as we have to in the summer and we will probably start our next school year early to aid in our schooling for next year...apparently we like to be sick all the time in the winter and I need to consider that in our homeschooling. We are loving Sonlight and are working through both the Core 1 and Core 3. I have purchased school for next year and have Lillian completely done and am getting close to being done with Ariana's. I am currently working on our Bible we will be beginning this month. We have been working on memorizing I Corinthians 13 and are learning more and more about loving one another in Word and Deed. We also desire for our children to have a basic understanding of doctrine and are preparing to teach them catechism. I am utilizing a few resources in teaching them this: 1. Studying God's Word Book B 2. Big Truths for Little Kids by Susan Hunt 3. the c.d. "Why Can't I see God?" by Judy Rogers. As we go through these books and discuss the truths found in these, I am hoping to help lay the foundation for them to know God and love Him. Now I am completely aware of the fact that they will not love God without Him working in their lives ("We love Him because He first loved us!"), but I am praying the Lord will bless our meager efforts to teach them. I am looking forward to learning myself!
Sophie is 8 and a half months old and already pulling up and trying to walk along furniture. I can't believe our baby is that big! I am looking forward to continuing to watch her grow and pray she will love Jesus more and more!
I am currently reading a book entitled, Family Driven Faith (link on sidebar). I am loving this book. It has really challenged me to focus on the main things when teaching my children. It is a good read so far...and I am planning to share more as I keep on going through it...
Well, I must say, good-bye for now...more later!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Seasons of Sorrow

These past 8 and a half months have seemed to be some of the hardest months for me as well as for those around me. Each week, it seems like more and more often difficult circumstances overwhelm the positives. However, I do see God teaching me so much.
I am currently reading a few books, and one of them is the book The Sacred Sorrow by Michael Card. If you have not read it, it really is a "must read" if you want to really expand and grow in your worship of the Lord. I have been reading about Job and have been reminded of the struggle he experienced throughout his season of trials. I was reminded of his initial response to the "bad news" he received ~ he worshiped God. So many times, my initial response is not worship. It is more often sorrow and pity. As I read this book, I am reminded of another book entitled The misery of Job and the Mercy of God by John Piper, which I currently have lent out. But that book too, reminded me often of God's Sovereignty even in Job's sorrows.
Today I found an article I printed off many many years ago before I was even married. In it, I was reminded of the fact that "Whatever happens is assigned...Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good." ~ Elisabeth Elliot So many times we talk about the "blessings" God has given us, but we don't like to see the sorrow's as something give to us lovingly from His hand. As the old hymn says, "Every joy or trial, falleth from above. Placed upon our dial by the Son of Love...." ~ "Like a River Glorious" As the article continues, "A quiet heart is content with what God gives. It is enough. All is grace.....My assignment entails my willing acceptance of my portion....We can only know that Eternal Love is wiser than we, and we bow in adoration of that loving wisdom." ~ Elisabeth Elliot. I do think, often, that accepting the things God has given as "my portion" is often very challenging. I don't always like the things God has placed in my life. But I am learning that joy is truly found in focusing on God and His character and less on the circumstances surrounding me. Not even the foolishness of "comparing my lot" to another's lot, will dim the struggles surrounding me. Only the knowledge of Who God is and the quietness that comes from submitting my will to His. And as the article concludes, "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances." ~ Elisabeth Elliot. I am continually aware of my need of Christ, these days. I want more of Him; less of me. Most days, I feel I get in my own way. Praise God for Christ...praise God for His molding me more into His character. Praise God for mercy and Grace.
So, today, as I meditate on the aspect of worship and God's character, I am reminded that all is in His hand. He assigns my portion and lot. And in Him, I can rest and stand secure.

Day by Day by Karolina W. Sandell-Berg
  1. Day by day, and with each passing moment,
    Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
    Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
    I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
    He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
    Gives unto each day what He deems best—
    Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
    Mingling toil with peace and rest.
  2. Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
    With a special mercy for each hour;
    All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
    He Whose Name is Counselor and Pow’r.
    The protection of His child and treasure
    Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
    “As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
    This the pledge to me He made.
  3. Help me then in every tribulation
    So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
    That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
    Offered me within Thy holy Word.
    Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
    E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
    One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
    Till I reach the promised land.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


So, this week was quite busy. We have had quite a bit of sickness in our home this week. Though, the boys are doing well today, Sophie is still struggling quite a bit. She now has a cough and I am praying that we will see her healthy very very soon.
I was able to order our school books already! I always enjoy purchasing our school and getting planning on it! It is busy keeping up with 5 little ones, and last year, when I was pregnant with Sophie, I had everything planned through Christmas. It really helped with our crazy fall schedule to have it all planned out and the kids have done extremely well so far. They are keeping up with their school work and all is planned through the rest of the school year. I am very obsessive about being ahead when it comes to things to do and it has helped to be so prepared when crazy things happen....and in our house crazy happens often!
In my devotion for today, John Piper talked about "Starving for the Greatness of God". I really do believe that so often we neglect God Himself when we talk about things relevant for today. I love the last paragraph ~ " The greatness and the glory of God are relevant. It does not matter if surveys turn up a list of perceived needs that does not include the supreme greatness of the sovereign God of grace. That is the deepest need. People are starving for God." We do need God. We do seek desperately to know Him. It is His presence we need everyday of our life. O, for more of the Father that we might see even a glimpse of His greatness.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Faithful One!

So, this week has been quite interesting. We started our week coming off of a conference my husband and I help at every year. It was a bit interesting as we had the youngest 2 with us ~ Sophie by default because she needs to nurse and Ioan because our babysitter had to travel to a funeral in Florida. We really had a great time....and the speaker was excellent. I was able to hear the last two main sessions and the session for women. The main speaker spoke on one of my favorite Psalms~ the 73rd. I was greatly encouraged by the Word and the fellowship with other believers and friends.
Monday, I was a wee bit on the stressed side. After a crazy Sunday (not unusual), I began our crazy week with an extra child (my friend was away for a family member's death) and was not doing well. As I felt the stress rising, the Lord brought to mind a verse that had been important to me years ago....
"From the ends of the earth I cry out to Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
I vowed to find the reference for it and during supper prep, I was able to discover it's location- Psalm 61. As I read that psalm, as well as the one following, the Lord spoke to my heart and encouraged my spirit. That night, as I prepared for bed, I read out of my devotional for the year. It is an excellent devotional called "How Great Thou Art" and is a devotional on God and His character. I have greatly enjoyed it so far this year. As I read the devotion for the day, I glanced across the page and was delighted to see that the verse the Lord had impressed on my heart was the same one for the next day's devotion.
As a mother of young children (many young children), it can seem difficult to find good times to study the Word of the Lord. While I can read books with chaos ensuing, I cannot focus for longer than 5 minutes sometimes on a particular passage. While I was single and even in the earlier days of mothering, I was able to spend hours studying and praying. This week, I was reminded that God uses His Word in our lives. I have often thought of the verse (reference not currently in my head) in the Old Testament where it talks about God dealing graciously with those with young. As a young mother with young children, I am greatly encouraged with that truth ~ God will pour grace on my life and minister to my weary spirit with the Word that He has rooted in my life. Monday morning, I wept as I sought to sing the song "Faithful One". Oh, what truth in the words- God is truly Faithful. Faithful in pouring Grace. Faithful in comforting a weary Mother's heart. Faithful in bringing about His glory in my life. Praise be to the Rock. My Mighty Fortress. My Faithful One.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Another year gone by....

Wow, I can hardly believe that I am never on this blog anymore. Life has sped up at a pace that keeps me never slowing down. I have a great desire this year to document/ journal more and thought...well let's pull up that old blog and give it a go! So, here I am. The last year + has been filled with more change and craziness than I care to have. The last 7 months especially have been crazy one's for me.
After experiencing my 4th miscarriage in the summer of '09, we found out in the fall that we were again expecting. I was beyond thrilled, and it began such an up and down journey. Two of my sister in laws were expecting as well and I was so excited to join them! One of them, sadly lost that pregnancy just as I had found out I was expecting. It was such a difficult experience carrying my baby while she grieved her child. I experienced such conflicting emotions for the remainder of my pregnancy- struggling between joy for my child and grieving for her. My pregnancy also carried a lot of difficulties with it, and on June 10th, after struggling with high blood pressure and various other problems, we delivered our fifth child and third girl. While her birth was surrounded with some concerns for my health, it carried the joy of my sister in law sharing news of another baby for her! It really helped me as I worried for her as we held our precious blessing. However, this uninhibited joy would be short as 4 days later my dad has a minor surgery that caused more problems than it helped, it seemed, and my precious sister learned the day after dad's surgery that the precious babe she carried had some alerting problems. This would bring even greater struggle for me and our family in the next months as we worried, waited, grieved, and buried a precious baby boy. Watching the Lord's strength in my sister's life has been one of the most amazing things to see. While we sorrow and grieve, still she demonstrates such belief and trust in the goodness of the Lord. She has become someone I look up to and pray that my faith will grow even as hers has.
So, that has summed up most of what has happened minus the bouts with strep throat, the tonsillectomy of my two-year old, and the various other minor details of our life. Hopefully, I will keep up this year in sharing what I am learning as well as changes in our family. Who knows what the Lord has in store for us this year....