Monday, February 28, 2011

Moving Forward

And here it is (almost was) Monday already. This past weekend flew by since I had to work the whole thing. But that's all good because of my weekend coworkers. And it didn't hurt that we had an awesome Mexican Potluck on Saturday!!!

So last week Thursday was a rough day.  Actually the whole month has been kinda rough since it marked a year long journey of IVF and a year since finding out we were expecting for the first time. Not gonna lie when I say see ya later February and don't let the door slam you in the rear on your way out. But today was an awesome day because I got a pedicure (for my vacation) and I got my hair highlighted and trimmed. And then I ended the day with a real bang...working a simple 3-7 shift at work. Oh and I got to see 2 of my favorite lil people today as well. Love me some Coley boy kisses and Sissy girl hugs!!!

But back to Thursday. Basically the whole day was a cry fest...on and off that is. We stopped by the cemetery when Brian got home from work because we hadn't been there since Christmas Eve. When we got to the cemetery I was extremely upset that the girl's stone was covered with snow (not a big surprise that it was covered but still...). Anyways I started scooping off the snow (with tears in my eyes) until Brian told me to stop. He told me that snow would just keep covering their stone but that spring was right around the corner and then their stone would be viewable at all times. I listened but only because the snow was so heavy and I had already broken one of the snow marker sticks while trying to get the snow off. I was so upset because their names were covered. To me it was like to the world they had never existed. I went to see my counselor on Friday and she said maybe I was so upset because the only way I know how to care for the girls is to keep their stone clean. Made sense to me so I went with it.

I started spring cleaning a little early this year. On Thursday evening I started going through cupboards and drawers. I started cleaning them out...tossing junk and putting things back where they belonged. And then when I woke up Friday morning I had this sudden urge to pack up the girls stuff (and the few things that we had received for our baby boy too) that lay all over "their room." It just felt like the right time. I felt like in order to make room for our 4th child that I had to let go of my first 3 children because emotionally I do NOT have any more room. They can (and will) always live within me but they will never live with me. When we got pregnant with our baby boy I was NOT ready to put the girl's stuff away. I had a little shrine to them in their room. I had their full body molds, hand and footprints, the cup that they were baptized with, and picture frames with their initials (and of course a picture of them in it) on the night stand in what was suppose to be their room. I had cards, and pictures from my sweet nieces, blankets, toys, etc laying all over in their room. Everytime I received something I just "threw" it in their room. But I wanted it all put away. I needed to have it all put away because I need to start moving forward.

In a few days we will be leaving for Arizona. And it was just a little over 2 years ago when we went to Arizona together for the first time and after that trip we decided to start trying for baby number one.  Little did we know what the next 2 years would entail.  But 2 years later here we are. And as we head to Arizona once again we are closing one chapter and gearing up for the next.

And another song that I wanted to share...

Light Up the Sky by Afters

When I'm feeling all alone
With so far to go
The signs that know we're on this road
Are guiding me home
When the night is closing in
Is falling on my skin
Oh God, will you come close

You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me
And I, I, I can't deny
No I can't deny that you and right here with me
You've opened my eyes
So I can see you all around me
You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me

When stars are hiding in the clouds
I don't feel them shining
When I can't see beyond my doubt
The silver lining
When I've almost reached the end
Like a flood you're rushing in
Your love is rushing in (your love is rushing in)

You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me
And I, I, I can't deny

No I can't deny that you and right here with me
You've opened my eyes
So I can see you all around me
You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me

So I'll run straight to your arms
You're the bright and morning sun
To show your love there's nothing you won't do (nothing you won't do)

You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me
And I, I, I can't deny
No I can't deny that you and right here with me
You've opened my eyes
So I can see you all around me
You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me

(Oooh, oh , oh, oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh
That you are with me
Oooh, oh , oh, oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh
That you are with me
Oooh, oh , oh, oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Long Post but Good Stuff

So I just wanted to share with you all how my morning started. Well actually before I do that let me just mention that in the last 3 days I worked Monday 6 hours...Tuesday 12 hours...and yesterday 14 hours (until 930pm)...

So my in-law's are on vacation. And when they go on a vacation at the END of a month they will "loan" us their cleaning lady for that month's cleaning (yea for us)!!!  On a side note their cleaning lady always comes the 4th Thursday of each month so that is why its a BONUS for me when they go on a vacation at the end of a month! So well they are enjoying the sunshine...I get to enjoy having my house cleaned for FREE!!!  But (and I know I totally do not deserve ANY sympathy) but the cleaning lady likes to arrive at 7AM. Which means I had to get up at the crack of dawn this morning after working my 14 hour long exhausting day.  Since I didn't want to get up any earlier than necessary I set my alarm to go off at 6:46am. I figured that would be enough time for me to pack a shower and get ready for the day bag (the cleaning lady likes to clean an empty house which meant I needed to find some place to hang out for the next 4-5 hours where I could also shower.  As I am sure you can all guess...I am at my parent's house) and still greet the cleaning lady at 7AM.  Well I managed to pee and pull my hair into a pony before my doorbell rang at 6:49. So braless and teeth NOT brushed yet I answered the door with a sleepy smile on my face. And that folks is starting your day off with a bang. 

Last night after work I had a staff meeting to attend which is why I was at work until 9:30pm. It was a meeting all about morale. With the hospital move, CPOE, and the numerous other things that have been introduced this past year...its been a crazy year and as you can guess the morale is a bit down. My manager asked us all to write down one thing that we could say we were proud of. After some thought this is what I wrote:

I am proud that I am still able to funtion here at work with everything going on in my personal life.    

And little did I know that she was going to ask us to share with the group what we had written down. Now the sharing was optional but I thought why not. So I read (and of course started crying) what I had written. And this is what my manager said to me. Lindsey you would be surprised by how many people you have touched because they know what you are dealing with and they still see you smiling and working. Comments like that are why I am able to put a smile on my face and care for my patients each and every day. I pray every day that God is using my story...my testimony...and my life to make a difference in someone's life.

Today is February 24. And to most people its just another day but it will always be a special day for me. Because on February 24, 2010 I got the phone call of my dreams...I WAS PREGNANT!!!  After a year of struggling and the terrible 2 week wait period after implantation we found out at 11:06am. that we were expecting our first child(ren). I remember the moment like it was yesterday. I was beyond ansy but laying on the couch because I couldn't concentrate on anything for the life of me. Time slowly ticked by and as Brian was busy with something downstairs the phone rang...it was my office (the hubster had taken the day off so we could be together when the good or bad news came in).  I answered and my IVF nurse said...Are you ready for this Lindsey? And she followed that with you're pregnant!!! Brian came running up the stairs and I gave him the thumbs up as I got the rest of the information. Talk about one of the best days of my life. If only I knew what was to follow. 

But today also marks another anniversary.  Eight months ago I gave birth to my first child. My beautiful daughter Alayna Joy. It has been 8 months since I saw that perfect little combination of Brian and Lindsey. I cry as I type this because I miss what should have been. I should be a crazy busy mom with two 4 month olds but instead I am crazy busy trying to keep myself as occupied as possbile so I don't cry every day. So I don't think about my children every moment of every day. I never knew what a true heartache felt like but now I live with it every day.

I love you Layna so so so much. I had a dream last night about twins. You and Ella were 2 years old and as blonde as blonde could get. But as dreams go it was a bit crazy. What I want you know is that not a day goes by that I don't think about the joy you will give me and daddy when we're all together in heaven again. Someday my sweet baby girl I will hold you again. And what a day that will be!!!  Give Ella and your baby brother a hug from mommy.
    
Although I have afflicted you,...I will afflict you no more. Nahum 1:12

There is a limit to our affliction. God sends it and then removes it. Do you complain, saying, "When will this end?" May we quietly wait and patiently endure the will of the Lord till He comes. Our Father takes away the rod when His purpose in using it is fully accomplished. If the affliction is sent to test us so that our words glorify God, it will only end once He has caused us to testify to His praise and honor. In fact, we would not want the difficulty to depart until God has removed from us all the honor we can yield to Him...Before much time has passed, we may be just as happy as we are sorrowful now.

It is not difficult for the Lord to turn night into day. He who sends the clouds can just as easily clear the skies. Let us be encouraged--things are better down the road. Let us sing God's praises in anticipation of things to come. "The Lord of the harvest" (Luke 10:2) is not always threshing us. His trials are only for a season, and the showers soon pass. "Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning" (Ps 30:5). "Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (2 Cor 4:17). Trials do serve their purpose.

Even the fact that we face a trial proves there is something very precious to our Lord in us, or else He would not spend so much time and energy on us. Christ would not test us if He did not see the precious metal of faith mingled with the rocky core of our nature, and it is to refine us into purity and beauty that He forces us through the fiery ordeal.

Be patient, O Suffer! The results of the Refiner's fire will more than compensate for our trials, once we see the "eternal glory that far outweighs them all." Just to hear His commendation, "Well done" (Matt 25:21); to be honored before the holy angels; to be glorified in Christ, so that I may reflect His glory back to Him--ah! that will be more than enough reward for all my trials... (Streams in the Desert)

Please also remember to lift my sweet friend Erin up in prayer today when you think of me. Because also on this day one year ago her sweet daughter Allyson went to be with Jesus. Happy 1st Birthday in Heaven Allyson. Your Mommy loves YOU SO MUCH!!!

And I know this post is looooong but I had a lot to share so PLEASE read just a little bit longer.  I wanted to share with you all a little more from Buford Betty. (I mentioned her in another post which you can find here. Or check out her blog here). I have had the chance over the last few days to read more about her journey and WOW what a journey God has led her on. She has put her feelings into words so perfectly stated that I wanted to share with you all. And to be honest I wanted to share because many of these feelings are my dead on EXACT same feelings.

Through this whole amazing process, I've learned all about trust, faith, and true peace. None of those are ever perfected - it's all a daily struggle. I have to make the decision every single day to look to God and not to what I'm after. I have to decide to place my faith in him and not in my own abilities. And with those decisions, I am able to experience real peace which keeps me from giving into my own fear and sorrow. Because even on my best days, infertility just sucks. (Buford Betty)

I think writing about it helps me personally, but maybe it also enlightens some of my readers as to what some of their own girlfriends or sisters might be dealing with. Infertility just isn't talked about that much. And when friends find out you're going through it, they often just want to "fix" you. I can write a book with all the suggestions I've received on things I "should try." The bottom line is that you just feel very left behind. Especially at 32, the majority of my friends are on their 2nd and 3rd kids. And they live in a completely different world than I do. And that's OK... they've certainly done nothing wrong. But it's just in your face *all* the time. Pregnant people are EVERYwhere. (I seriously can name 6 people due this week.) Babies are EVERYwhere. People just keep making babies like it's nothin'. But such is life, I guess. When you can't get what you want, it seems like everyone else in the world has it. And speaking honestly, one of my biggest dreads or fears right now is the thought of one or both of two specific friends of mine getting pregnant. It's inevitable...one I know for sure is trying. And I hate, hate, hate that I feel this way. It breaks my heart that I know I won't be jumping up and down when I get that call. How am I going to handle it? I don't want to hold anyone back from living life but I selfishly want to handcuff my childless friends to me and make them stay that way till I can join them. It's going to crush me and I don't know what to do. (Buford Betty)

And who knows where all this will lead... I'm just along for the ride. Today I'm just continuing to put my faith in God and follow his lead. I'm just trying to stay in a position where I can hear him and not get swept away by my own fears. I'm grateful for where I came from and where I am today. I'm so thankful for all the twists and turns along the way in my story. It's not one I would've written myself, but I'm not the one holding the pen, after all... (Buford Betty)

And now folks I best get ready for my day. And it's gonna feel like my pre-marriage days. Because the last time I showered at my parent's house was THE DAY OF my wedding. But my friend Lacey is meeting me at Panera in an hour for lunch and then we're off to see No Strings Attached. Heart you friend!!! Thanks for hanging out with me today.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Believeing Before Seeing

Last week I told Brian because I was upset (and he could tell I was a wee bit on the cranky side) that EVERYONE was pregnant. His response was...not everyone is pregnant. And I said...yes you're right I'M NOT...

Sometimes I get angry (very ANGRY) because so many people have baby after baby with no problem conceiving, carrying, or delivering their child AND they get to take their babies home to raise them and enjoy them. I often wonder why I (we) have had so many issues. Why did I get a random infection and why did I have a failed embryo split and why do we have to do IVF and why did our baby's heart stop...why...why...why...

I believe that its okay for me to have my angry moments and for me to ask why. Because ultimately I know that everything does happen for a reason. And even though God doesn't always give us the answers...He asks us to simply trust in Him. So every night before I fall asleep I pray for my future children. I pray that God will do miraculous things with our 4 remaining embryos. I choose to BELIEVE and THANK Him for the children I am yet to receive...I choose to BELIEVE before SEEING!

True faith relies on God and believes before seeing. Naturally, we want some evidence that our petition is granted before we believe, but when we "live by faith" (2 Cor 5:7), we need no evidence other than God's Word. He has spoken, and in harmony with our faith it will be done. We will see because we have believed, and true faith sustains us in the most trying of times, even when everything around us seems to contradict God's Word. The psalmist said, "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living" (Ps 27:13). He had not yet seen the Lord's answer to his prayers, but he was confident he would see, and his confidence sustained him.

Faith that believes it will see, will keep us from becoming discouraged. We will laugh at seemingly impossible situations while we watch with delight to see how God is going to open a path through our Red Sea. It is in these places of severe testing, with no human way our of our difficulty, that our faith grows and is strengthened.

Dear troubled one, have you been waiting for God to work during longs nights and weary days, fearing you have been forgotten? Lift up your head and begin praising Him right now for the deliverance that is on its way to you. (Streams in the Desert)

And NEVER forget when you are weary and deliverance has not yet come...Jesus WILL carry you!!! Trust in Him who loves you more than you can even begin to imagine.

You Are Everything by Kutless

When every step is so hard to take
And all of my hope is fading away
When life is a mountain that I can not climb
You carry me, Jesus carry me.

You Are strength in my weakness
You are the refuge I seek
You are everything in me time of need
You are everything, You are everything I need

When every moment is more than I can take
And all of my strength is slipping away
When every breath gets harder to breathe
You carry me, Jesus carry me

You Are strength in my weakness
You are the refuge I seek
You are everything in me time of need
You are everything, You are everything I need

I need You
You are everything I need
I love everything about You

You Are strength in my weakness
You are the refuge I seek
You are everything in me time of need
You are everything, You are everything I need

THANKS LACE for sending me another great song!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In Hope I Will Believe

A few weeks back someone at my work mentioned a blog that they thought I would like to read. This particular blog is authored by another woman dealing with infertility. But with my busy schedule I haven't had much time to just sit down and read this person's story. However, I had a few free moments yesterday so I took the opportunity and snuck a peak.  And I had to share a piece of what she wrote...because well...it fits me to a "T."

I liken trying to comprehend the "mess" in the infertile head to trying to understand the male species. I will never understand why my husband (or any man) thinks or behaves certain ways, but I can read about it and know that he does a lot of this stuff simply because he's a man. He's just wired that way. In much the same way, a fertile woman can't possibly "get" the funk inside the heart of the infertile woman. But you can read about it and think, "Oh, so that's why she's such a bitch!" Or something like that.

PERFECTLY SAID!!! So right here and right now I apologize to any and all because I know I have acted differently over the last 15 or so months. And I know I have "shut" some people out but its the only way I knew how to deal. Infertility does crazy things to a woman's mind. Just know I heart each and every one of you and please do NOT take anything personally that I have said or done or haven't said or done during this difficult time in my life.

Wow this past week has been C-R-A-Z-Y. I told Brian tonight that I had to blog because I haven't in 5 days. And that is a long stretch of NO blogging for me! I worked Monday. Tuesday was my "day off." But it started with a 10:45 doctor appointment with my dermatology doc.  I had a mole biopsied a couple weeks ago that came back atypical so I had to go back for a second biopsy to get it shaved out a lil deeper (and thankfully I got a postcard in the mail yesterday that said all was good)! After the appointment it was off to Target to buy a baby gift for a baby shower that I had the following night. Next on the agenda was a massage...thanks to my wonderful hubby. My counselor told me to do things that make me feel good about myself...I told the hubby...and he came through!!! After the massage I headed to a work meeting and ended the night celebrating Valentines Day (a day late) with the hubby!!! We went to one of our fave restaurants...Vitales with a giftcard in hand. And then watched Couples Retreat (a hilarious movie if you've never seen it).

Wednesday was my on-call shift (at work) which I of course had to work. Immediately after I met Brian at our financial adviser's office and then had the baby shower. I was able to go ONLY because it was my friend Lindsey's baby shower. She is the friend I have asked you to pray for. Her and her hubby adopted their precious baby girl London back in January. It was hard (not gonna lie) but I am glad that I went. I worked Thursday and Friday. Yesterday we went to Avery's bball game and then had lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings with Steve, Laura, and the girls and one of our other friends Jenny and her kids. Later in the day Brian and I went to see the new movie Just Go With It.  We both thought it was good and got a few laughs out of it! Today was church and a long day of relaxing and getting stuff done...plus an awesome 2 hour nap for lil ole me!

Yesterday morning my RE called to tell us that our baby boy's chromosomes came back normal (he wasn't sure if we had heard yet or not because he had been out of town) and he just wanted to let us know and also that we will continue ahead as planned. Again I cannot thank God enough for giving us such a wonderful and caring doctor to walk this path with. Also a couple weeks ago when I was at my PCP's office she told me that my RE's last letter to her said...Lindsey's next due date is only pending her next IVF procedure. So there you have it folks...

Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24

   When my little son was about ten years old, his grandmother promised him a stamp collecting album for Christmas. Christmas came and went with no stamp album and no word from his Grandma. The matter, however, was not mentioned, until his friends came to see his Christmas presents. I was astonished, after he had listed all the gifts he had received, to hear him add, "And a stamp album from my grandmother."
   After hearing this several times, I called my son to me and said, "But George, you didn't get a stamp album from Grandma. Why did you say you did?
   With a puzzled look on his face, as if I had asked a very strange question, he replied, "Well, Mom Grandma said, and that is the same as." Not a word from me would sway his faith.
   A month passed and nothing else was said about the album. Finally one day, to test his faith and because I wondered in my own heart why the album had not been sent, I said, "George, I think Grandma has forgotten her promise."
   "Oh no, Mom," he quickly and firmly responded. "She hasn't." I watched his sweet, trusting face, which for awhile looked very serious, as if he were debating the possibility I had suggested. Soon his face brightened as he said, "Do you think it would do any good for me to write Grandma, thanking her for the album?"
   "I don't know," I said, "but you might try it." A rich spiritual truth then began to dawn on me.
   In a few minutes a letter was written and mailed, as George went off whistling his confidence in his grandma. Soon a letter from Grandma arrived with this message:

My Dear George,

I have not forgotten my promise to you for a stamp album. I could not find the one you wanted here, so I ordered one from New York. It did not arrive until after Christmas, and it was not the right one. I then ordered another, but it still has not arrived. I have decided to send you thirty dollars instead so that you may buy the one you want in Chicago.

Your loving Grandma.

   As he read the letter, his face was the face of a victor. From the depths of a heart that never doubted came the words, "Now, Mom, didn't I tell you?" George "against all hope...in hope believed" (Rom 4:18) that the stamp album would come. And while he was trusting, Grandma was working, and in due time faith became sight.
   It is only human to want to see before we step out on the promises of God. Yet our Savior said to Thomas and to a long list of doubters who have followed, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29) (Streams in the Desert)

And so I will continue to thank my Heavenly Father for the children He is yet to give Brian and I (to raise here on earth). Because against all hope...in hope I WILL believe!!!

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thes 5:16-18

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gratitude (and some results in the mix)

Brian and I are beyond blessed. Blessed more than we deserve but (and there is always a but) I cannot help but think how we were above and beyond blessed when we found out that we were going to be having twins (talk about double the blessing)! And again (after SUCH heartache) when we found out we were expecting our Rainbow baby. Oh the feelings I had when I was pregnant. Feelings of complete joy. I was on top of the world. But after blessings comes the battle...

The time of testing that distinguishes and greatly enriches a person's spiritual career is not an ordinary one but a period when it seems as if all hell were set loose. It is a time when we realize our soul is caught in a net, and we know God is allowing us to be gripped by the devil's hand. Yet it is a period that always ends in certain triumph for those who have committed the keeping of their souls to God. And the testing "later on...produces a harvest of righteousness and peace" (Heb. 12:11) and paves the way for the thirtyfold to one hundredfold increase that is promised to follow. (Streams in the Desert)

The good news is that God is drawn to broken people. Psalm 40:1 says "He turned to me." Notice it does not say that David turned to God. Honestly, I doubt David had the strength to turn to God ... so God turned to him. God heard the cry of David and he will hear yours...Right now, surrender the broken pieces of your life to God. He can and will bring you out of the dark. (Mary Southerland)

So I called my RE's office yesterday morning and left a message for them to call me back if they had the baby's chromosomes results back. I completely forgot to check my voicemail until after 5pm. And of course the office closes at 4:30. But at 5:15 I decided to give the office a call because just maybe one of my nurses would still be there.  Well surprise surprise one of my nurses DID answer. And she told me that our baby was chromosomally NORMAL.  Which means we do in fact fall within the 70% of "we just don't (and won't) know why" we lost this precious child.  Although like I mentioned in another post I will blame it on the failed split. She then asked if I wanted to know what the sex of our little baby was.  With very little hesitation I said yes and she said your baby was a boy. And my only thought was...that Brian and I have the most perfect little family but (like I said there is always a but) to my sadness our children are up in Heaven and Brian and I are stuck here on earth. All I see are two little angel girlie's teasing and bugging their little angel baby brother.  Take care of each other my little loves. Mommy and Daddy will see you again someday (and what a day that will be)!!! But until then know you will never EVER be forgotten. 

The Broken Chain

We little knew that morning that
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly.
In death we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you.
You did not go alone,
for part of us went with you
the day God called you home.

You left us peaceful memories.
Your love is still our guide.
And though we cannot see you,
you are always at our side.

Our family chain is broken
and nothing seems the same,
but as God calls us one by one,
the Chain will link again.

And another excellent song for your reading pleasure. And a big THANKS to one of my besties for sending it my way!!!

Gratitude by Nichole Nordeman

Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case ...

We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case ...

We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view
If no roof is overhead
And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
Everything we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case ...

We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace ...

But, Jesus, would You please ...

THANKS AME!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy V-Day

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY...
TO THE LOVE OF MY LIFE
 AND TO THE ONE WHO KEEPS ME STRONG IN THE MIDST OF SO MUCH PAIN

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement...
Phil 1:7

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Addi

Last night we celebrated my niece Addisyn's 3rd birthday (although her actual birthday isn't for a couple more weeks). And like always...spending time with family always makes me smile!!! 

Happy Birthday Addisyn Joy
We Love You!!!

The 3 year olds...Cambrey and Addi

Kylynn and Cambrey

Helping Addi with her presents!

Me with the Birthday Girl!!!

And on a totally different note it's hard to believe that exactly one year ago from today our lives were forever changed...although we didn't know it yet. On February 13, 2010 I was implanted with the 2 most perfect little embryos that became our 2 perfect little daughters...Alayna Joy and Ella Adrianna. Not a day goes by where they are far from my thoughts. They changed our lives in ways we NEVER expected. We will love you forever our little angels!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sometimes He Calms the Storm

The other day I came upon another good message in my Streams devotional which of course got me thinking. Why do I always want to look ahead? Would I have wanted to see what future lay ahead for Brian and I? Absolutely NOT. I would have fought with all my might. I would have begged God day in and day out to change His mind.  Do I wish I could see into the future and see only happiness with a house full of children. Definitely YES!!! But God knows what is best for His children which is exactly why we cannot see into the future. So I tell myself to STOP worrying. And to START trusting. Yes it's a daily struggle but when worrisome thoughts come my way I choose to pray because that is how trust is built!!!

Never look ahead to the changes and challenges of this life in fear. Instead, as they arise look at them with the full assurance that God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. Hasn't He kept you safe up to now? So hold His loving hand tightly, and He will lead you safely through all things. And when you cannot stand, he will carry you in His arms.

Do not look ahead to what may happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you His unwavering strength that you may bear it. Be at peace, then, and set aside all anxious thoughts and worries.

The LORD is my shepherd. Psalm 23:1

Not was, not may be, nor will be. "The LORD is my shepherd." He is on Sunday, on Monday, and through every day of the week. He is in January, in December, and every month of the year. He is when I'm at home and in China. He is during peace or war, and in times of abundance or poverty. (Streams in the Desert)

And the song below is SO SO SO very fitting to the above message.  Sometimes He calms the storm and other times He calms His child. As of now He is calming me but I believe in His most glorious and perfect timing He WILL calm the storm too. Like I've said a thousand times before I'm choosing to believe.

Sometimes He Calms the Storm by Scott Krippayne

All who sail the sea of faith
Find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark
And gentle winds grow strong

Suddenly fear is like white water
Pounding on the soul
Still we sail on knowing
That our Lord is in control

Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn't mean He will

Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child

He has a reason for each trial
That we pass through in life
And though we're shaken
We cannot be pulled apart from Christ

No matter how the driving rain beats down
On those who hold to faith
A heart of trust will always
Be a quiet peaceful place

Nothing new to report. Just staying busy and getting excited about Arizona...I can almost feel the warmth already!!! I have another busy week ahead of me but that only means time will move more quickly to my happily ever after. Heading out to another 1st grade bball game in a few (Go Ave!!!) and then looking forward to my niece's birthday party tonight and church tomorrow. Oh and wouldn't you believe I never even gave a thought to calling my RE's office to see if they had my baby's chromosome results...here's to trying to remember to call on Monday.

God's plans for those who love Him are beyond what eye has seen, ear has heard, or mind has conceived...
1 Cor 2:9

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Find Us Faithful

As I was driving to work the other day I popped in the CD that Brian made for me before our wedding. It had all the songs that were played during our ceremony and reception (on that wonderful December day). I remember listening to it ALL the time in the days leading up to our wedding. And then like everything else it just got filed away.  Anyways the song Find Us Faithful came on and for some reason the words just hit me and little tears started to form.

We have been so so so blessed that from generation to generation God's faithfulness has been passed down. That we were born into Godly families who showed us the way. Who baptized us as infants, brought us to church every Sunday, who sacrificed to send us to Christian schools, and who still pray for us daily...we ARE beyond blessed. And as always my prayer is that some day our children will know the way because their mommy and daddy too stayed faithful through all the ups and downs of life.   

Find Us Faithful by Steve Green

We're pilgrims on the journey
Of the narrow road
And those who've gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who've gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives

CHORUS:
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift through all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

And then my devotions from the same day reminded me that I need to put my complete hope in my Heavenly Father.  And continue (I need LOTS of reminders) to wait patiently on Him...

Is there ever any reason to be downcast? Actually, there are two reasons, but only two. If we were still unbelievers, we would have a reason to be downcast; or if we have been converted but continue to live in sin, we are downcast as a consequence.

Except for these two conditions, there is never a reason to be downcast, for everything else may be brought to God "by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving" (Phil 4:6). And through all our times of need, difficulty, and trials, we may exercise faith in the power and love of God.

"Put your hope in God" (Ps 43:5). Please remember there is never a time when we cannot hope in God, whatever our need or however great our time of difficulty may be. Even when our situation appears to be impossible, our work is to "hope in God." Our hope will not be in vain, and in the Lord's own timing help will come.

Oh, the hundreds, even thousands, of times I have found this to be true in the past seventy years and four months of my life! When it seemed impossible for help to come, it did come, for God has His own unlimited resources. In tens of thousand different ways, and at ten thousand different times, God's help may come to us.

Our work is to lay our petitions before the Lord, and in childlike simplicity to pour out our hearts before Him, saying, "I do not deserve that You should hear me and answer my requests, but for the sake of my precious Lord Jesus; for His sake, answer my prayer. And give me grace to wait patiently until it pleases You to grant my petition. For I believe You will do it in Your own time and way."

"For I will yet praise him" (Ps 43:5). More prayer, more exercising of our faith, and more patient waiting leads to blessings--abundant blessings. I have found it to be true many hundreds of times, and therefore I continually say to myself, "Put your hope in God." (Streams in the Desert)

So we continue to wait...sometimes more patiently than other times but as patiently as we can.  Hard to believe that it will be 4 weeks this coming Friday since we lost baby Hemy. And 3 weeks since my D&C. Time is moving along...praise the Lord!  I have been keeping super busy. Picking up hours at work like crazy.  Making extra money plus keeping super busy equals me dealing better than I'd expected I would. Here I thought I would be working 3 eight hour shifts and instead I am trying to pick up an extra shift every week...never thought that this is what my February would look like. But I guess it just shows whose in control (and that person is definitely NOT me). And one other thing as I was driving home last night I was talking to my mom. She calls to "check in" every so often.  But anyways I said working right now has been really good for me not just because of the distraction and money but also because I have been BEYOND blessed to work with the people that I get to work with...so a huge thank you to each of you(my coworkers) reading this.  You guys make me laugh every day and I truly treasure the friendships that I have with each and every one of you!!! 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Nothing is TOO Hard for God

Nothing is too hard for God, my friend. Absolutely nothing. Jesus said, "All things are possible to him (or her) who believes" (Mark 9:23). A baby is born to a dried up womb, fingers and toes materialize on nubs on a leper's hands and feet, sight is given to a man blind from birth, a son is raised right in the middle of his own funeral procession, and the Red Sea is parted and thousands walk across on dry land. Now, tell me, is there anything in your life too hard for a God like this?  (Sharon Jaynes)

"I tell you the truth, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you" Matthew 17:20

So we had our follow-up appointment (from my D&C) on Friday and at the time of my appointment only my blood clotting results were back. Everything was normal (yea!!!) except one level (yikes!!!)...so because of this abnormal level I had to get another lab drawn. Since I had to work after my appointment I was able to get the lab drawn on Friday (and I was told the results would be called in to my RE within an hour). I guess I carry a heterozygous gene which means I carry an abnormal and normal gene...70% of the time the normal gene is dominant so the abnormal gene doesn't affect anything.  

Well my RE was kinda annoyed that more of my results weren't back already so he said he would make some phone calls and that someone would give me a call later in the day (hopefully with more results but for sure my homocysteine level). Well HE (being my RE) called my work phone a few hours later and when I heard his voice I freaked out. My thought was a doctor calls with bad results and a nurse calls with good results. BUT he only had good news!!! And let me just say how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful RE who called to give me the good news as soon as he knew.  A nurse did call later but my RE beat her to the punch.  Anyways he said I just wanted to let you know that your homocysteine level (the level I had drawn on Friday) came back normal (praise the Lord)!!! And that both Brian and I's chromosomes results came back normal (praise the Lord again)!!! And that the baby's tissue results came back normal too (as in NO infection)...praise the Lord a third time!!!

So now we're only waiting for the baby's chromosomes studies to come back. But it basically doesn't matter because if it was something chromosomal it was just random. And if it isn't...then we just won't know why it happened unless it had something to do with the failed split. But we should know sometime this week either way.

So we take this as all very good news. My RE also said he feels that these 2 instances (being this miscarriage and losing the girls) are completely unrelated which is good...two very crazy and random things. So now were praying for a third to NOT happen and for the next few months to fly by...until we can start the process (again).

So tell me my friends...

How many travelers today, still passing through their Red Seas and Jordan Rivers of earthly affliction, will be able to look back from eternity, filled with memories of God's great goodness, and say, "We 'passed through the waters on foot.' And yet, even in these dark experiences, with waves surging all around, we stopped and said, 'Let us rejoice in him'!" (Streams in the Desert)

So that is what I am doing today. Praising Him for his faithfulness to lil ole ME...

But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard of 2011

So the great blizzard of 2011 hit Western Michigan last night and continued into this morning.  But I managed to miss it all because of work. The hubby dropped me off at the hospital last night so I could spend the night (yes spend the night) and not worry about needing him to bring me in the morning. The hospital opened up rooms for staff to stay in so I took them up on the offer and actually stayed on my old floor. A couple of other coworkers stayed too so that made it more barely.  In my 27 years I do not remember a time when Grand Rapids shut down...barely anything was open...just crazy.  And since I was already at work I decided to pick up a couple of extra hours so I started my day at 3am instead of 7am. Thankfully I was only scheduled for 8 hours today so the hubby picked me up at 3:30pm...and now we're just relaxing until I work my 13.5 hour day tomorrow. Working hard for my babies...these crazy hours will be over someday...someday...

And the second thing that I wanted to share today is about my friends. I just have to tell you all that I have the most amazing friends (including all of YOU) who continuously encourage me and constantly pray for me. And I just want you all to know that I thank God for each and every one of you! Here is another song sent to me by a friend that I again had to share. I know that I am not the only one hurting so I just want to remind everyone that...No Matter What...YES...no matter what may be happening in our lives...God is right here with us!!!

No Matter What by Kerrie Roberts

I’m running back to your promises one more time,
Lord that’s all I can hold on to,
I gotta say this has taken me by surprise,
but nothing surprises you.
Before a heartache can ever touch my life,
it has to go through Your hands,
and even though I,
keep asking why, I keep asking why.

No matter what, I’m gonna love You,
no matter what I’m gonna need You,
I know that You can find a way to keep me from the pain
but if not, if not, I’ll trust you, no matter what, no matter what.

When I’m stuck in this nothing-ness by myself,
I’m just sitting in silence,
there’s no way I can make it without Your help,
I wont even try it.
I know You have Your reasons for everything,
so I will keep believing,
whatever I might be feeling,
God you are my hope, and you'll be my strength.

No matter what, I’m gonna love You,
no matter what I’m gonna need You,
I know that You can find a way to keep me from the pain
but if not, if not, I’ll trust you, no matter what, no matter what.

Anything I don’t have You can give it to me,
but it’s ok if You don’t,
I’m not here for those things,
the touch of Your love is enough on its own,
no matter what I still love You and I’m gonna need You.

No matter what I’m gonna love you,
no matter what I’m gonna need you,
I know that You can find a way to keep me from the pain
but if not, if not, I’ll trust You,
I know that You can find a way to keep me from the pain,
but if not, if not, I’ll trust you,
no matter what no matter what no matter no matter what.

THANKS KAMI!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Keep Me Trusting

A week or two ago a dear friend sent me the song below. And I loved it soooo much that I just had to share!!! So friends know that He IS still God through all the storms of life...

You Are Still God by Scott Krippayne

I've prayed but still don't have answers
At least none I'm able to see
I've tried to rest in not knowing
But not knowing's a hard place to be
But as I return to Your pages
The words breathe new life to my soul
I see You at work through the ages
And know that You're still in control

chorus:
You are still God
You have created the land and the sea
May we applaud
And sing to the wonder of Your majesty
The wind will still blow
We won't always know
Why seasons of life are so hard
But You are still God

Help me have faith in the knowledge
That You're greater than what we go through
And when I reside in the valleys
Help me keep trusting in You
The how and the when You are moving
Were not meant for me to decide
Again and again You are proving
You're there at just the right time

THANKS SARAH!!!

And THANK GOODNESS it's February...a brand new month!  I must say though that I am kind of sad that I now have to add January to the many other "anniversary" months. Although February holds it own memories too...at least they were happy memories.  Last February was a crazy (but GOOD) month. We were implanted AND we found out that we were pregnant...best month of MY LIFE!!! But here we are a year later waiting for our miracle.  But since my God can do anything and I truly mean anything...I will continue waiting for the baby I will take home in my arms!!!  Because He is GOOD and prayer is POWERFUL!!!

God's answers to prayer healed the sick, fed the hungry, stopped the rain, kept the earth from revolving on its axis for an hour, divided the Red Sea, poured forth water from a rock, opened wombs, confused enemies, opened jail doors, made leprous skin reform, caused the lame to dance, gave courage to the fearful, and raised the dead. Jesus said, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you" (Matthew 17:20).

Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:2-3