Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Weekend

I love it when I have a Friday off because then I get to spend time with my precious nieces and nephews. You see my mom baby-sits every Friday (alternating between the Vugteveen Trio and the Tibbe Twosome).  So this Friday happened to be the Vugteveen kiddos.  I got me lots of Easton lovin'. And I am happy to report that he still loves his Auntie even though (until Friday) I hadn't really ever held him much.  I got me lots of Nemo watchin' with Addi. And lots of game playin' with Kylynn.  She beat me at Candy Land but Aunt Linnie took it to her in Sequence Junior!!! 

But the best part of the afternoon was when Kylynn said Aunt Linnie I want to read these books. And by "these books" she meant the Alayna and Ella books that I gave my parents after losing the girls.  She said Aunt Linnie these are grandma's precious books and we have to be really careful with them.  Then she said and this is my favorite picture...
When I asked why that picture was her favorite she said because I like the angel in the picture with Ella...too sweet!!!

The Vugteveen Trio...Kylynn, Easton, and Addisyn
Loving on "E"

After the hubby got out of work we decided to head to the local Travel Agency to see about a trip to Mexico but after much discussion we decided with all the impending fertility treatments that a simpler (and cheaper) vacation would make more sense.  So the plan is to head to Arizona in March and this lil lady is very excited!!! Not only to get away but to really enjoy a week with my wonderful hubby. Afterwards we met up with our good friends the Nyenhuis' for dinner at Monelli's.  And after dinner we headed back to our house to play some cards.  And I cannot forget to thank Chad who taught us some new (and actually legal) rules to Fill or Bust.

Saturday morning started with a fun filled Upward Bound (1st & 2nd grade) Basketball game and was followed by running lots of errands.  The most important stop being Lowe's where we picked up the supplies needed to make our Garden Box in memory of Alayna and Ella. And the rest of the day was spent relaxing and doing just whatever it was that we felt like doing.

There was one moment in the night though that brought tears to my eyes.  After watching the movie Salt and before we started watching the Lifetime movie The Craigslist Killer my eyes got a little glassy. Brian asked what was wrong and I said nothing (as I am fighting back tears). He then said...I'm not stupid...I can tell when you're about to start crying. So I said well we shouldn't be able to just sit and watch movies and do nothing. We should have two little 3 month olds to tend to.  And then the tears came.  It was just a little cry. I made myself snap out of it rather quickly (for the hubby's sake).  But then my thoughts go to...if I was still pregnant moments like this wouldn't be so tough... 

But the best part of my day was when I opened my email and found this song that my dear friend Jen had sent to me...

Bring the Rain by Mercy Me

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

Sunday morning started off with a bang. My dad called to tell us that my grandpa had been rushed to the hospital only hours before and was currently in surgery. Long story short he had a mild heart attack. They ended up inserting 4 stents into his 91 year old heart and I am happy to say that he is doing just great. Needless to say lunch (at my parent's house) was canceled so we ended up eating french toast at home instead. But then the WHOLE family (minus one sis-in-law) went to my parent's house for dinner tonight.  And spending time with family always makes me feel better!!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Name Gallery (and Connor)!!!

My sweet friend Jackie sent me these Name Gallery Photos with some assistance from her lil helper (her son Connor)!!!  Thanks Jackie...I love them!!! Sorry it took me so long to post them.

You give and take away...You give and take away...My heart will choose to say...Lord, blessed be Your name!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Unfailing Love

 ...I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever. Psalm 52:8

STRIVE TO TRUST ME in more and more areas of your life. Anything that tends to make you anxious is a growth opportunity. Instead of running away from these challenges, embrace them, eager to gain all the blessings I have hidden in the difficulties. If you believe that I am sovereign over every aspect of you life, it is possible to trust Me in all situations. Don't waste energy regretting the way things are or thinking about what might have been. Start at the present moment--accepting things exactly as they are--and search for My way in the midst of those circumstances.

Trust is like a staff you can lean on, as you journey uphill with Me. If you are trusting in Me consistently, the staff will bear as much of your weight as needed. Lean on, trust, and be confident in Me with all your heart and mind. (Jesus Calling)

I have a couple of prayer requests that I wanted to share with you my blogging friends.  This week God (once again) reminded me that I am NOT the only one hurting.  And to be honest sometimes I need to be reminded of this...

First a friend of my sister-in-law's took her life last week Friday. I have never met her but from pictures she was a beautiful woman. She left behind a husband and 3 small children (ages 8, 6, and 3). She was dealing with depression.  And who knows...maybe felt like this was her only option.  My heart just breaks for the family.  And since I now know what depression feels like...I know that it can take over your life. Because there have been days where I have sat in the shower with an endless stream of tears just wishing for all this pain to go away.  Wishing for the day when I will be reunited with my girls and the sweet baby that I just lost. But I KNOW that my happier days are still ahead.  Please pray for Christina's family whose world has been rocked by this very sad tragedy.  You can read more here.

Second please pray for my dear friend Jen (who I have mentioned before) as she deals with the sadness of miscarriage and an uncertain future. Please pray for a calmness to surround her as she waits for test results to come back in hopes of answering so many unanswered questions.  ***Sound can pray the same prayer for me.*** She is walking this road with me since she lost two precious little ones in the last few months and I am blessed to be walking this road with her since since this is the road that God has taken us both down. Heart you friend and our happier days ARE ahead!!!  Praying that you have a better day today (than yesterday).

Pray for my friend Leah who had a hysterectomy today.  Pray for fast healing and peace with this decision since there was really no other option.

Pray for my Pastor (Dave) who had another appointment in Texas this week concerning his cancer. The results were slightly discouraging. His cancer has continued to grow in both his liver and bone despite an increase in his medication from 3 months ago.  Please pray that the additional changes that have been made in his medication schedule slow the growth or better yet STOP THE GROWTH of his cancer.  We serve a God of miracles and nothing is impossible for him.  Our Pastor has been a ROCK for Brian and I these last few months so please pray for a miracle!

May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. Now this I know: The LORD gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. LORD, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call! Psalms 20

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Raw and Honest Thoughts

The other night Brian and I were reading the book of Ephesians and we came across the below passage entitled The Armor of God...
The Armor of God
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Ephesians 6:10-18

I have read this passage many times before but it had been awhile. I love how it says to take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

I feel like that is what I am constantly doing. Constantly trying to extinguish the devils arrows that seem to be aimed directly at me. I have so many fears after this last miscarriage. Fears like will we ever have our own child(ren). Will I ever carry a child(ren) to full term. What will the doctor say to us at our follow-up appointment. What will our labs results show. What will the baby's tissue show. We only have 4 embryos left so I pray that we do not have to do a fresh cycle again but I worry that we will. I worry about the cost of everything because fertility is so expensive.

Bottom line is... it's extremely exhausting worrying like this all the time. And the thoughts consume my mind practically all day every day. I know that there are lots of people who have had two or three traumatic events (miscarriages, stillbirth, etc) and that they still go on to have healthy children. But I am not "there" yet. I cannot see what the future holds for Brian and I. And so I live just to get through each day. Praying for my happier days. I hate not being happy. I hate not being "me." I use to be so optimistic and so trusting. And now here I am...the most pessimistic person I know. Every day I have to get up and choose faith over fear/worry (although somehow worry still creeps in here and there throughout the day).

My follow-up appointment is February 4. I am looking forward to hearing what my RE has to say and hoping that most of our lab results are back by then. I know that we might not have a definite answer as to why this miscarriage happened (because most miscarriages are unexplainable) but I just want reassurance to keep pushing forward.

We're planning a vacation to get away for a week sometime in late February or early March. I am really looking forward to this. I am begging the hubby to take me to Mexico but of course we have to think about the cost of things. So if that doesn't work out we have a couple of other options (being Tampa or Arizona). Praying for a week of peace and enjoyment (and an escape from this reality that we live in). And it won't hurt to break up the waiting period until we start fertility treatments again.

I had my first day back to work since the D&C yesterday and it went quite well. Thankfully I worked with two very supportive and fabulous coworkers who made the day fly by. I only got asked once how I was feeling (as in terms of being pregnant). And I had to tell her that I had actually just lost the baby. She felt horrible and said how sorry she was. Thankfully most people know about my miscarriage because I asked my manager to spread it around so I wouldn't have so many awkward encounters.

And lastly the bleeding picked up yesterday morning (before work so at least it wasn't work related) which disappointed me. I was hoping to get by with just a little spotting. But once again God is reminding me that I am NOT IN CONTROL.  Please pray for the bleeding to cease and for my body to be healed.  And of course for time to pass quickly until treatments resume in April. 

This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
Esphesians 6:12 (The Message) 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Steadfast Prayers

I want to be real with you guys so I am not going to sugar coat anything. So I am being very honest when I say that Satan is working like mad to make me lose my faith. To make me doubt God's perfect plan.  But He will not win.  I will keep fighting. And most importantly I will keep reading God's Word. Tomorrow I resume "normal life" (again). And here I thought it was going to be my last week of full time work but instead the end is not even in sight.  So here's to praying like mad to get to my greener pastures. 

Then Jesus told his disciples...that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1

Observe the ant, the great Oriental conqueror Tamerlane told his friends. In relating a story from his early life, he said, "I once was forced to take shelter from my enemies in a dilapidated building, where I sat alone for many hours. Wishing to divert my mind from my hopeless situation, I fixed my eyes on an ant carrying a kernel of corn larger than itself up a high wall. I counted its attempts to accomplish this feat. The corn fell sixty-nine times to the ground, but the insect persevered. The seventieth time it reached the top. The ant's accomplishment gave me courage for the moment, and I never forgot the lesson."

Prayer that uses previously unanswered prayers as an excuse for laziness has already ceased to be a prayer of faith. To someone who prays in faith, unanswered prayers are simply the evidence that the answer is much closer. From beginning to end, our Lord's lessons and examples teach us that prayer that is not steadfast and persistent, nor revived and refreshed, and does not gather strength from previous prayers is not the prayer that will triumph...

David Livingstone's motto was, "I resolved never to stop until I had come to the goal and achieved my purpose." He was victorious through unwavering persistence and faith in God. (Streams in the Desert)

My Encouragement From Last Week

Anguish and Answers...

I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me. Job 30:20

Does God refuse to answer a helpless person's cry?  Job is not the only one who has felt that God does not answer prayer (Psalm 22:2). But God does not ignore the cry of the afflicted (Psalm 9:12). He does hear it and will answer. As Job discovered later, God's answer was "wait." God's timing is different from ours, and often when we think he is saying "no," he is saying only "not yet."

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent. Psalm 22:1-2

Has God forsaken David?  No, but it appeared that way to David. However, David still affirmed his convictions that God was in control (v3) and soon regained his assurance that God would personally answer him (v24).

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel....For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. Psalm 22:3 and 24

Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:14

God wins His greatest victories through apparent defeats. Very often the enemy seems to triumph for a season, and God allows it. But then He comes in and upsets the work of the enemy, overthrows the apparent victory, and as the Bible says, "frustrates the ways of the wicked" (Ps. 146:9). Consequently, He gives us a much greater victory than we would have known had he not allowed the enemy seemingly to triumph in the first place.

The story of the three Hebrew young men who were thrown into the fiery furnace is a familiar one. There was an apparent victory for the enemy. It looked as if the servants of the living God were going to suffer a terrible defeat. We have all been in situations where it seemed as though we were defeated, and the enemy rejoiced. We can only imagine what a complete defeat this appeared to be for Daniel's friends. They were thrown into the terrible flames while their enemies watched to see them burn. Yet the enemy was greatly astonished to see them walking around in the fire, enjoying themselves. Then King Nebuchadnezzar told them to come out of the fire. The enemy "crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them...for no other god can save in this way" (Dan. 3:27, 29).

This apparent defeat resulted in a miraculous victory. Suppose these three men had lost their faith and courage and had complained, saying, "Why didn't God keep us out of the furnace!" They would have been burned, and God would not have been glorified. If there is a great trial in your life today, do not acknowledge it as a defeat. Instead, continue by faith to claim the victory through Him who is able to make you "more than conquerors" (Rom. 8:37), and a glorious victory will soon be apparent. May we learn that in all the difficult places God takes us, he is giving us opportunities to exercise our faith in Him that will bring about blessed results and greatly glorify His name. (Streams in the Desert)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

This Last Week

Wow it's been quite a week. Friday was a day of complete shock. Saturday much the same. Sunday brought my breakdown. I then struggled through Monday and Tuesday and on Wednesday decided to schedule a D&C.  Thursday was my best day. I had to work all day so I was completely distracted. And then yesterday (morning) was another morning of ceaseless tears.  Knowing that I truly was not going to be pregnant anymore (again). But then we had the procedure and I came out feeling a little better (if that's truly possible). And here I am today...moving forward. And praying for my happier tomorrows because...

All things are possible with God. Mark 10:27

Amongst the struggles of the week I made sure to keep myself very busy. I found that (after losing the girls) busyness was the best medicine. On Saturday afternoon we went to our "niece" Avery's basketball game and then we went out for lunch with the Zeinstra clan to the tasty Buffalo Wild Wings.  That night my in-law's brought Jet's Pizza over for dinner and we played some games. Sunday we had to drive to my RE's office to pick up my car (it had sat there since the dreadful appointment Friday morning) and then we went for lunch at my parents. Monday morning meant Brian had to go to work which meant I was in desperate need of being distracted. So my mother-in-law took me to get a massage, we went for lunch at TGIF's, and did a little shopping.  Got myself a pair of skinny jeans...since I guess I have to be "skinny" for awhile longer. Tuesday I met with my counselor.  Then met up with my friend Christy for an encouraging chat at Signatures.  Then headed over to my friend (and coworker) Jen's house to hash out our miscarriages.  Love you girl and praying for our better tomorrows!!! That evening we had a wonderful dinner with some wonderful friends (thanks Ryan and Jaclyn) for entertaining us!  Then Wednesday my mom took the day off from work to spend with special ole me.  We went to visit the Princess Diana exhibit in downtown GR and afterwards stopped for a light lunch.  Wednesday night I headed to Bible Study and Thursday was work.  Which brings me to yesterday.  The procedure was quick and painless.  And I was very happy with our decision to move forward. I decided to have the procedure done at my RE's office without anesthesia (since I have issues with nausea) which proved to be another good decision.  We left our house at 9am and we were home already by noon. Slept the whole afternoon (had myself an excellent 4 hour nap) and then just relaxed the rest of the evening.  Oh and ate some yummy Chinese with my parents for dinner.  This morning equals more relaxation (unfortunately I am getting really good at this) and tonight we are planning on attending a progressive dinner through our church.

All I can say is we are truly blessed to be surrounded by our wonderful family and our caring friends (and all of you) as we continue through this crazy (and difficult) journey called life!!!

APPROACH THIS DAY WITH AWARENESS OF WHO IS BOSS. As you make plans for the day, remember it is I who orchestrate the events of your life. On days when things go smoothly, according to your plans, you may be unaware of My sovereign Presence. On days when your plans are thwarted, be on the lookout for Me! I may be doing something important in your life, something quite different from what you expected. It is essential at such times to stay in communication with Me, accepting My way as better than yours. Don't try to figure out what is happening. Simply trust me and thank Me in advance for the good that will come out of it all. I know the plans I have for you, and they are good. (Jesus Calling)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Prayers for Tomorrow

So yesterday I ended up scheduling a D&C for tomorrow at 10am because I am having a really hard time with all the unknowns revolving around this time of waiting.  Not knowing when and where it will happen is awful.  And knowing I could by myself is almost too much to bear. I've been told its painful both physically and emotionally. I have talked to many friends who have had both D&C's and did the waiting and they all recommended moving forward. My doctor was completely fine with moving forward and my nurse said most people end up calling because its just too hard emotionally.  There are no risks with moving ahead and it should not affect anything to do with future implantation's.  My nurse said we are making a good choice or she actually said this is not a bad choice.  So I am asking for prayers for both my doctor and nurse who will be doing the procedure and that everything will go smoothly and that I will have very little to NO bleeding or cramping afterwards. Pray also for Brian and I as we move forward trusting that God is leading us in this direction.  We both feel confident in our decision to move forward.  Okay I best end this because I am at work typing away and need to get report.  The hubby ended up bringing me to work since he locked BOTH sets of his keys in his  Pray for me too because it's my first day back...yikes but here's to a fast day!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mumble Jumble

I am still alive and kicking.  I just haven't had the energy to blog much lately.  My heart is broken.  The waiting (to pass) this sweet baby is terrible.  I am beyond tired (since I have been sleeping so poorly).  And I am just so sad on top of it all.  I have a lot to say.  And at some point I will blog it all out (but a warning for when I probably won't make much sense...because I am just gonna type and let the words flow out).  I have been keeping busy (another reason why I haven't blogged...I just haven't had the time).  But being busy helped after losing the girls.  And today my mom took the day off from work to spend it with that now I have to get ready for another day.  And like my counselor said...just take one day at a time.  And don't worry about tomorrow.  So here I go ready to battle another day...

And a huge prayer request (and a huge answer to prayer)...

A friend (by the name of Lindsey) in my Bible Study (whom I have mentioned before) was blessed Monday night with a beautiful and healthy baby girl.  The birth mother is struggling with a lot of emotions right now but still wants to continue with the adoption process.  Please pray that God hears the hurts and pains from both parents and that His will be done.  Josh and Lindsey have struggled with infertility and were told this fall that they would not be able to have their own children. They are an amazing Christian couple and I just pray for the happy ending that they so deserve!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nothing Much To Update

Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe. Mark 11:24

Nothing much to say except PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't stop praying for me (and my hubby).  I am struggling. I am super discouraged.  And I am so so so very sad.  I know that this is all to be expected but I never thought I would be "here" again.  I still believe that my miracle will happen but reality sunk in this morning.  I feel yucky and its emotionally draining just waiting for the baby to pass.  The tears came this morning and they haven't stopped.  I am fighting (like sticks) to stay above the waters...the same waters that wanted me this summer.  I won't stop fighting but I know the journey that I am about to embark on and it's not an easy one.  Thank you for all the encouragement and please continue to pray without ceasing. 

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,

“You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Very Sad News

It is with a very heavy heart that I share the following news with you. We had our 4th US yesterday and the news was not good. We lost what we had hoped would be our Rainbow heartbeat was detected. My doctor said we most likely lost the baby about 4-5 days after our last US which was on the 5th. I am shocked and don't really know what to think or say. Still trusting in our heavenly Father's ultimate plan for our life and all I can say is He must have something wonderful in store for us. My doctor feels like the baby didn't make it because of the failed split. I guess I was kind of in denial about just how much of a risk having 2 babies in the same sac and one not living posed. Both Brian and I have to get some labs done to check chromosomal stuff and blooding clotting issues for me and then based on those results we will move forward. I asked my doctor straight out if he thinks we will ever have our own children and he said yes. If its a blooding clotting issue then I will just need lovenox shots during pregnancy...he thinks everything will come back negative but they have to check. Please pray that I miscarry the baby on my own in the next week or two...if I don't then we have to schedule a D/C.  Also pray that these next few months move quickly until we can proceed again and that I (we) don't get depressed because that wouldn't help anything. I think that about sums it all up. Thanks for you continual prayers and support. 

During our devotional time yesterday we came across this passage in Job 23:14-15...

He carries out his decree against me, and many such plans he still has in store. That is why I am terrified before him; when I think of all this, I fear him.

But the footnote from these verses is what really got me thinking.  The question it right to fear God's plans for us?  And the answer is...Job was in utter agony; he had no idea when all this suffering would end. It was natural for him to feel anxious about the future. But we need to balance Job's statement with the broader teaching in the Bible that God always has our best interest at heart. Job himself discovered this when God restored and doubled everything Job had lost. Those who trust in God never need to fear his ultimate plan for us.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Being Molded to Comfort

Brian and I were doing devotions the other day and we came across this in our Streams in the Desert...  

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God (Isaiah 40:1)

Store up comfort. This was the prophet Isaiah's mission. The world is full of hurting and comfortless hearts. But before you will be competent for this lofty ministry, you must be trained. And your training is extremely costly, for to make it complete, you too must endure the same afflictions that are wringing countless hearts of tears and blood. Consequently, your own life becomes the hospital ward where you are taught the divine art of comfort. You will be wounded so that in the binding up of your wounds by the Great Physician, you may learn how to render first aid to the wounded everywhere. Do you wonder why you are having to experience some great sorrow? Over the next ten years you will find many others afflicted in the same way. You will tell them how you suffered and were comforted. As the story unfolds, God will apply the anesthetic He once used on you to them. Then in the eager look followed by the gleam of hope that chases the shadow of despair from the soul, you will know why you were afflicted. And you will bless God for the discipline that filled your life with such a treasure of experience and helpfulness.

God comforts us not to make us comfortable but to make us comforters. (Streams in the Desert)

I've mentioned it before but back in August (August 1st to be specific), the hubby and I set a goal to read the Bible in its entirety in less then a year.  So far we are right on track (over half way done) if not a little ahead of schedule.  We've been going back and forth from the Old to the New Testament and currently we are reading the book of Job.  The other day we read Job 6:2-3a which reads as follows...

"If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas..." 

This is how I felt in July.  My anguish and misery were so great.  I could hardly put one foot in front of the other. I felt like nobody's misery could be worse than mine.  I didn't know how I would ever be able to move on.  But slowly God has worked within me and He has helped me move forward.  He not time but He has helped me heal a little more each day.  And now I see that He is molding me...molding me into a comforter.  So just as He comforted me, I can comfort others.  But I will never ever forget my girls. And the child I am carrying will always know that he/she has two big sisters.  And how their short but very significant lives forever changed mommy and daddy. 

I thank my Heavenly Father every day for the little life growing inside me.  Because this little life has been a HUGE part in my healing process.  A few weeks ago I finally put the girls pictures frames out...

This was big for me because every time I looked at them I would cry.  But now they sit in the middle of our living room as a reminder that every good and perfect gift is indeed from above!!!  And as a dear friend said (pertaining to her own life but fitting for mine)...

"God has allowed all this to happen in my life for HIS GLORY, not mine. He has chosen ME to go through this - to be honest, that is really humbling and encouraging at the same time. Though, that's a challenge too because I want to live out the story He wants for my life, the right way - not on my terms, but his."

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7

Monday, January 10, 2011

On This Day 3 Years Ago

I happened to notice this afternoon that today's date was January 10.  And it just so happens that 3 years ago (from tonight) my hubby got down on one knee...
...and asked ME to marry HIM!!!

You may be wondering why he proposed in a field and I can answer that question with ease...the hubby proposed on the lot where we built our first (and current) home!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Not Much to Write About

Not much happening in the Helmholdt home but I thought I would blog a little anyways.  Plus its been almost 4 days since my last post...

So Tuesday is MOVE day!!!  As in we move into the new Children's Hospital!!!  I blogged about it before but I am very excited to be taking part in this special day for Grand Rapids (click here for more info).

My excuse for not blogging as much...pure exhaustion.  I worked Thursday and Friday which meant I was comatose all day yesterday.  All I wanted to do was lay on the couch and do absolutely nothing.  And that's exactly what I did since I don't have any other little ones to chase around.  Working 12 hours is draining when you're NOT pregnant so when you ARE it's almost too much.  So I am really looking forward to February 3 when I go to 3 eight hour shifts.

I haven't mentioned it before but my sister is pregnant too AND due just 7 weeks ahead of me TO THE DAY!!!  Baby Tibbe (#3) is actually due on Ella's birthday but since my niece Kylynn already shares that special day I am praying for a June 24th birthday so my little Layna shares her special day with a cousin too!  When I first found out that she was pregnant I took it really hard because I had only been implanted and hadn't confirmed that I was pregnant yet but God's plan is always perfect and everything is just as it's suppose to be.  And now I couldn't be happier that we are pregnant together. 

I had always dreamed of being pregnant with her but the timing was always off.  She got pregnant with her first when Brian wasn't even in the picture and with her second 3 months before Brian and I got married.  Then I got pregnant with the twins and I knew she would start trying shortly after they were born.  But here we are pregnant together...and just 7 weeks apart.  Praying for UNeventful pregnancies for the both of us with 2 healthy babies at the end!!!  And how much fun that our maternity leaves will be at the same time.  She is a teacher so she will actually be off a couple weeks longer than me when all is said and done...lucky duck.  Secretly hoping for 2 little boys or 2 little girls...but chances are we'll have one of each.  But healthy is all that truly matters!!!

I do have 2 BIG prayer requests that I wanted to share...

1. A dear friend just had her second miscarriage (in 3 mons).  Her first miscarriage was in late September (after a year of trying to conceive).  She had a D and C in October but found out later that month that they were pregnant again!  She went in for a routine 12 week ultrasound this past week and the doctors could not find the baby's heartbeat.  Please pray for my friend Jen and her husband and their two small children as they cope with loss on top of loss.  My heart is just breaking for them.

2. Another dear friend (and husband) are waiting for the arrival of their first child.  This sweet couple has gone through 6 or 7 rounds of IVF which resulted in 3 miscarriages.  They decided to start the adoption process and were blessed to be chosen right way by a young teenage mother.  They found out about 7 weeks ago that "their child" was due January 7.  So far no baby but praise God that their paperwork is all set.  Please pray that the birth mother does not change her mind and that Lindsey and Josh get to take this *their* sweet baby girl home (hopefully in just a few short days)!!!

And on this note I best be getting ready so we can get to Bible Study on time!  Happy Sunday my dear friends!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe!

So we had another eventful doctor appointment today.  And all I can say is that Brian + Lindsey = nothing simple.  I had my 8 week ultrasound at my RE's office and we were hoping for a definite answer of 1 or 2 babies.  Well we DO have one very healthy little one.  The baby is measuring 12.7mm (up from 6.3mm just 6 days ago) and with a strong heartbeat of 167.  And my RE said (after telling us that the baby was 12.7mm) that we have a good size baby for my gestational least he/she is healthy so far!!!  BUT the other baby is still growing too and for a moment my RE thought he saw a flicker (meaning heartbeat).  At that my heart started beating in overdrive and according to the hubby...his stopped.  Good thing he is a man of many lives because his heart has stopped too many times to count over the last few weeks.  But then my RE said it was probably a flicker from the healthy baby's heartbeat or even my own (which is a good possibility because my heart was pounding when he said twins again).  So anyways we go back in 9 days to see if the baby is still there or if my body has reabsorbed the baby.  Thankfully the twins (although identical) are in their own sacs so the nonviable baby should not effect the heart beating baby.  My RE said I could start spotting in the next few days or I could not.  Praying for no spotting and that my body just reabsorbs this precious little one...bleeding would just make me worry.  On the flipside my RE said there is still a 1-2% chance that the nonviable baby will catch up in size (this baby currently measures 8.3mm...up from 3.2mm 6 days ago) and could develop a heartbeat.  So here's to another week of waiting...

But for your smiling pleasure...
4 week 2 days
7 weeks 6 days

Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe. (Mark 11:24)

When you are confronted with a matter that requires immediate prayer, pray until you believe God--until with wholehearted sincerity you can thank Him for the answer...

Never pray in a way that diminishes your faith.  You may tell Him you are waiting, still believing and therefore praising Him for the answer. There is nothing that so fully solidifies faith as being so sure of the answer that you can thank God for it...

The type of prayer that empties us of faith frequently arises from focusing our thoughts on the difficulty rather than on God's promise.  Abraham, "without weakening in his faith,...faced the fact that his body was as good as dead...Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God" (Rom 4:19-20). May we "watch and pray so that [we] will not fall into [the] temptation" (Matt 26:41) of praying faith-diminishing prayers.

Faith is not a sense, nor sight, nor reason, but simply taking God at His word.  The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety. 

You will never learn faith in comfortable surroundings.  God gives us His promises in a quiet hour, seals our covenants with great and gracious words, and then steps back, waiting to see how much we believe.  He then allows the Tempter to come, and the ensuing test seems to contradict all that He has spoken.  This is when faith wins its crown.  This is the time to look up through the storm, and among the trembling, frightened sailors declare, "I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me" (Acts 27:25). (Streams in the Desert)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday

I just wanted to thank everyone for your words of love and encouragement!!!  We are so very excited but at the same time so very nervous.  Pregnancy after loss makes for a scary journey.  There is so much unknown but we can only go ahead in blind faith fully trusting in our Lord and Savior.  And knowing that I am in good hands has so far made all the difference.  We have been blessed with a wonderful high risk Christian doctor (and I don't want to forget to mention a wonderful Christian RE too) who prays with us at the end of each appointment.  And he has given me the green light to call and come in at any time if I am worried about any little thing.  What a blessing to know that the door is always open.

The last few weeks have been filled with much excitement but many tears too.  I am so excited to be pregnant again but with it comes lots of anxiety.  And lots of reminders.  Like the first time I heard this sweet baby's heartbeat.  It brought me back to the last time I heard Ella's sweet music and I almost started crying.  I love this baby to death already but cannot help but "go there."  I cannot bear the thought of losing this child too.  And I cannot help but be frustrated that so much joy (involving pregnancy) has been robbed from me.  I get jealous that other people get pregnant, have a great pregnancy, and have their baby...with no fears.  But here I am worried about every single little thing and just praying for it to be August already.  So please pray for me to give all control to my Lord and Savior because I know He wants me to be happy again.  And that is just what Alayna and Ella's little sibling will do!!!

We had a wonderful NYE with friends.  No pictures were taken but great food was consumed and fun games were played!!!  We did head out a little early because I had to work a nice and long 12 (plus) hour day.  So no clock striking midnight for us...but there is always (the good Lord-willing) another year for that.

Today we celebrated my mom's birthday.  More great food was had and as always the entertainment was top notch!!!

take 1
take 2

grandma's little helpers
showing some cousinly love
1 princess...2 princess...3 princess 
can't get a man to look for the life of me...the nephews with old papa
and I wanted to get one with these studly little men too