Monday, December 31, 2012

Out With The Old


I cannot believe we are coming to the close of another year. I blinked and 2012 has become almost a distant memory!! When I was out for my run yesterday I was flashing back through some memories of this past year.  I think one of the most amazing memories I had was spending the day at The Big Ticket festival in June with my sister. Worshipping under the stars with Chris Tomlin singing How Great Is Our God was an indescribable moment! 

It has been a year with blessings, sadness, joys, heartache. It's been a year that we have grown in our faith as individuals but also as a family. I have witnessed what it means to have a child-like faith through each of our boys. Sometimes they simply take my breath away and make my heart overflow with love for how they approach life. Their heart felt, humble prayers may seem so simple, but yet they have taught me so much.

My hope and prayer for you is that you find in Christ a hope and purpose for each day. He can take your tests and make them into testimonies. He can take your sorrows and give you comfort, peace and even joy. He can take your messy days and make them into moments to glorify Him and give Him praise. If I have learned anything about the character traits of God over the past year it is that He is indeed a God of faithfulness and grace.

The top three viewed posts of my blog this past year were:


Life

The Highest Of Highs To The Lowest Of Lows

 
Looking forward to what God is going to write in the pages of our lives in the coming year.....it is indeed a blessed journey!!!
 
 
Happy New Year To You!!!
 
 
 


Monday, December 24, 2012

People Undeserving

Out of nowhere God put this song in my heart tonight. HE is the hope this world needs, the hope WE need. As we celebrate Christmas, I'm just wondering, does this man reside within your heart?? My prayer is that if He does not, that you may fully come to know HIS incredible love!!!! He came for you! We do not deserve this gift, yet He gave it anyway because He loves us so much and needed to give us a way back to Him. Sin does not have the final say~Christ does!


I know you gave the world your only son for us, to know your name, to live within the Saviour's love. He took my place knowing he'd be crucified. You love, you love a people undeserving.



Monday, December 10, 2012

You Want To Sleep Where?




Caleb was bound and determined to make a 'hut' and sleep in it for nap today.  This is what he came up with....

Look What Just Got Delivered!!!


Only the second set of furniture we have bought new in almost 15 years of marriage!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Always



  I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord. 
From the maker of heaven and earth....
I believe it, Lord I need it, cryin' out.....




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thank You Lord

I had a blog post all written out about blessings and thankfulness but felt instead like I should just post this song because really it is how I am feeling tonight.

Lord, I am so abundantly blessed. I am so sorry when I feel like I deserve something more, or forget to give you the praise for what I have in this life.  Everything I have comes from you

Every.Single.Thing.

How could I ever ask for more?  Thank you Jesus!



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Next Big Act On America's Got Talent???

 
Well, probably not, but it is definitely the latest thing the boys
 do for fun.  I wonder what the neighbors think when they
see flashing lights all over out of the living room windows!!! =)
 
 
 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Right, Responsibility and Freedom

I have never heard so many people say that they are not voting in this election because they don't like either one of the candidates.  That their vote really wouldn't matter anyway.  Let me just remind you that 1) YOU have the right, responsibility and freedom as an American citizen to vote. 2) By not voting, you clearly are indeed voting and 3) While neither one of the candidates line up 100% with my Christian values either, that isn't going to stop me from voting for the one that lines up the most with them. There is one CLEAR choice

Oh great God, you are sovereign. You already know the outcome of tomorrow, that doesn't stop me from pleading for mercy for a Nation that has turned its back on you. May we stop and really think about WHO and WHAT we are voting for when we are silent before you in that voting booth tomorrow.  We have become a people of entitlement in America and we have only one hope for this great country~the Great I AM.

Thank you Lord for giving us the freedom to vote. Thank you for all the people past and present who have given of themselves, sometimes their lives for my freedoms that I take for granted.

For my children, for the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriage, for those struggling to make ends meet in an economy that is no better off (actually worse) than it was 4 years ago I will be voting for that one clear choice.

This election is a turning point for our Nation~the power of one can make a difference~be a voice.  VOTE!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Obedience

God spoke to me this morning about studying the word 'obey' during my devotions. This is the verse that spoke to me this morning:

Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice -
I Samuel 15:22

Then I log onto facebook and see in two of the newsfeeds of friends one right after another:

When you need a miracle in your life, remember that miracles happen when you obey the Word. Nothing is impossible with God. {John Hagee's newsfeed}

But if you stay in me and obey my commands, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! John 15:7 NLV {Mylon LeFevre's newsfeed}

I am confident in what has clearly been spoken into my heart these past several weeks and this is just another confirmation of that. Never underestimate what/who God is going to use to communicate something, or how He is going to do it!  I love that God is alive in me and I am so thankful that I am able to have such an incredible relationship with Him!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Last Hurrah

Even though it was a little cold, really windy and incredibly rainy at times we still managed to have a ton of fun camping. This was the last trip of the year....now it's time to unpack the trailer, cover it up for the Winter and say goodbye to another camping season. *Sniff*

We sure did have some amazing times camping this Summer~SO blessed!!!

Caleb is already asking how many more 'sleeps' at home does he have to have before we go again. =)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Remembrance Day


October 15th is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Psalm 139:13-16
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.



9 weeks 6 days
Due January 30, 2013

7 weeks
Due September 15, 2012

8 weeks
Due January 19, 2012




Remembering our babies that are worshipping
 with the Angels.
Every time I hear and sing this song I always think of them worshipping an
Almighty, Amazing, Magnificent, Holy God. 
 I cannot wait to meet you one day
and worship the Lord together.
  Forever.....and ever....

 


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Lover Of My Soul

Maybe my eyes can't see, but you are surrounding me. Here in the wind and rain, the things that I know. Tender and sweet and strong as my need. I know the voice, I know the touch, lover of my soul.
 
 
 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Too Beautiful For Earth

In October 1988, Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.  "When a child loses a parents, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn't a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes."

Baby #6 ~ Due January 19, 2012
I was blessed to carry you for 8 weeks, or 56 days
You were about 1.6cm long and weighed 1 gram
You had eyes, I wonder what color they would have been. 
Your brain was growing rapidly and nerve cells were beginning to
branch out and connect with one another.
The tiny tip of your nose was beginning to develop.
Your hands were flexed at the wrist and met over your heart
You had knees~ever so tiny and your legs may have already been long
enough to meet in front of your body.
 
Baby #7~Due September 15, 2012
I was blessed to carry you for 7 weeks, or 49 days
You grew during this week from 4-5mm to 1/2"!
You weigh as much as an eyelash and
are about the size of a blueberry.
You have elbow joints!!
The arm buds that grew last week now take on
the shape of paddles.
Your heart is divided into right and left chambers
Your appendix and pancreas begin to develop.
 
Baby #8~Due January 30, 2013
I was blessed to carry you for 9 weeks 6 days, or 69 days
From your ultrasound measurement you were an inch long.
You probably weighed 0.7 ounces.
Your fingers were completely separated and would have had the
beginnings of tiny fingernails. 
Your toes were forming and ears were beginning to develop.
You can move
Your beautiful heart was beating away on that ultrasound screen
the day I got to have a 'sneak peek' of you.
It was a miraculous, beautiful,
answer to prayer, joyous thing.
 
 
I was pregnant 3 different times, 25 weeks out of 52 this past year. That's 175 days out of 366 (leap year). I would not trade those days, give back those moments, choose to not get pregnant. I would do it all over again...and again...and again.  God is a sovereign God~nothing I own is mine. He is in control over all my life~including what is hidden in the secret place of my womb.  I cannot take anything to Heaven with me that is on this earth....except the souls of man.  If God so ordains that He needs a soul to be conceived in order for it to enter the Kingdom....and my uterus is the place to have it happen, then who am I to say no. 
 
If God has brought something into my life so heart wrenching as this, to only use it to bring Him glory, then so be it.  I will say Lord, have your way with me.  All of me. I trust in your ultimate plan for each of my days. For all my moments Lord, the incredible times and the times when I feel like I cannot catch my breath. I am not my own....thank you for the gift of life Lord. I do not understand why I've had to walk down this road along with so many others. You see my tears but at the same time you see how it's pushed me into you.  I never want to be out of your grasp.....kiss our babies for us....until we meet one day in the sky you will always be carried in my heart.
 



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dear Mr. or Ms. Anonymous

Thank you for your recent comment on my blog post. You commented on this post but I think you meant to publish it under this post.  I have thought a lot about my response to you over the past several days.  I have come to this conclusion, that I am simply not going to reply.

 
 
"He who restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding."
Proverbs 17:27


Monday, September 17, 2012

Dear Summer

Dear Summer,

Thank you so much for being so absolutely incredible this year. Most days were sunny and hot. We had so much fun playing in the pool, having water gun fights, laying in the shade on the cool grass. We (okay mostly Mom) even loved having to drag hoses all over to make sure our yard tried to stay alive!! We loved picnics on our deck, planting our garden and watching all the stuff grow and we loved eating all the strawberries!! We loved watching amazing sunsets out our back door and having windows open at night letting cool breezes blow in. We loved spending time together as a family.

I am going to really, really, really miss you!!! (Bet you can't guess what my favorite season is huh?)

Can you please come back and do it all over again next year??  =)







Saturday, September 15, 2012

Someday I'll Know Your Name

everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made
Isaiah 43:7
 
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you
Jeremiah 1:5

 
 
Someday we will meet and I will know your name....remembering you
sweet baby on what was to be your due date. Thankful for
the 49 days you grew inside of me.  We love you!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Life

Life has certainly been a whirlwind these past few weeks.  We thoroughly enjoyed our 2 + weeks camping at the Conference Grounds.  Our family absolutely LOVES that place!!  Here's a video of various pictures taken over our time there.

When I worked there one of my many jobs was Children's Activities Director. I grew to absolutely love that part of my job. I was a very quiet, shy person back then (I know....very hard to believe that one huh??!!) But doing that job definitely made me have to come out of my 'shell'.  I still remember having to announce my first activity over the campground speaker....talk about being completely freaked out!!!  Hearing your voice going out over the whole entire campground was definitely a strange thing....that thankfully I got used to very quickly.

I was very, very blessed to have been asked to help lead a few of the activities while we were camping out there.  I had a great time...and oh how the memories of six amazing Summers came flooding back!  (I even got to announce the activities...just like old times). =)

I realized though just how much older I am than the last time I did a wagon ride....just look at the pictures!!!  Fifteen years ago was the last time I had done one...I had less wrinkles, no grey hair, and no cottage cheese thighs. I also could get up and out of the wagon without any aches and pains....not so much this time around!!   


 
 

School is back in full force, the boys seem to be back in the swing of things. Getting back into their routines both in and out of school. I just cannot believe how fast Summer seemed to fly by this year. Faster than ever I think!!

I am having a hard week this week. I thought I'd be able to be strong(er) as I approach what was to be our due date with baby #7, but I'll admit it's not that easy. In fact I've been trying to write a blog post for the past several days but my mind is just all over the place and I cannot pluck the right words out of my head. I'm a jumbled mix of emotions and feelings that simply many cannot understand.

I have had so many comments the last several weeks by people who have learned of our story of 3 miscarriages this year and they've quite clearly shared their opinion(s) of what they think I should be feeling or how to proceed. All I can say to those people is 1) those comments hurt deeply 2) it is between Chad & I and my Doctor to determine what is in our best interest and 3) We're NOT ready to give up on what God can will do. 4) We would much rather have your prayers laid upon us, than your opinions.
 
We have never, ever at any time tried to have 'another' one because we feel gypped that we didn't get that girl yet. We do not want to have another one because we are not grateful enough for the 5 children God has given to us. We do not want another baby because we are such perfect parents (do you hear me laughing!!!) and deserve it.
 
We simply do not deserve anything we have, it is all from our Father above. We are so, so blessed. I look at my life and cannot thank God enough for what He's given to me. But yes, we still would absolutely love to welcome another little life into our arms. So, if I could ask one thing of the people that know our family and love us. Simply pray for us, and if you don't have anything nice to say then just don't say it.
 
Some of you know about the appointment I have coming up....please pray specifically for the time I will be meeting with the Doctor. Pray for him to ask the 'right' questions in the short time we will have together. Pray for my ability to remember anything he really needs to know. I feel like so much has gone on in the last 12 months and he doesn't know any of my history so it's up to me to get it out of my head and into his....and just maybe he will have some idea of how to proceed with me. I am complex!!! =)

Thank you for being a part of my life, for your encouragement. Most of all thank you for uplifting us to a most Holy God. A God who knows the rest of the story...and continues to reveal it in His time.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Good Gifts

Summer 2012
Christian Reformed Conference Grounds
 
I am so, so thankful for these 5 beautiful, precious, amazing blessings from God.  I have been so convicted the past several days on how good God has been to our family. We have 5 healthy boys.  They can walk on their own, think for themselves, express all sorts of emotions.  Each one of them so incredibly unique in the way they were knit together.  God is a giver of such good things.
 
Lord, you chose me to be a Mom to these 5 boys, to keep for a little while on earth. Help me Lord each day to recognize the impact I make upon their lives for eternity. Help me to watch my words, to extend grace, to have patience, to show JOY. I love these not so little guys so very much!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

JOY

Sometimes laughter is the BEST medicine!!
Sitting on the swing with the love of
my life at the Conference Grounds.
So, so thankful for this time....



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Saucepan And Spoons

Today I went to my favorite second hand store in search of a saucepan and spoons. We never have enough clean spoons in the drawer-ever!! Plus, I need a new saucepan for our trailer as I noticed the last time we went camping the teflon is flaking off. I really don't want any extra 'flavoring' in my spaghetti sauce!! I didn't find either of the things that were on my list, but I did find something that God had sitting on a shelf just for me!

If you know anything about me at all, you know I have a little addiction to music. =) Okay....honestly if I were stranded on an island and could have one thing in addition to water, a Bible and an endless supply of batteries, I would pick music. So, you know I can't leave Revive without quickly checking out the CD's. I found this CD by 33 Miles. I was looking at the song titles on the back and the last one is titled Worth The Wait.  I wanted to take out the jacket to read the words. Of course the jacket was somehow all stuck together and I couldn't get it pulled apart without wrecking the paper.

So I bought it, not having any clue what the song said...but with no doubt God was clearly letting me know I needed to hear it. I took it home, popped it in my kitchen radio and played track #10. 

THIS is what I heard....




Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Impossible vs. Possible



Impossible:
incapable of occuring; having little likelihood of happening

VS.

Possible:
capable of exisiting or of being done



He {Jesus} replied, "Because you have so little faith.
I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as 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~

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with
God all things are possible."
~Matthew 19:26~

Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."
~Luke 18:27~

Everything is possible for him who believes.
~Mark 9:23~




 











Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blessed Are The Tears


Source: via Rachelle on Pinterest


Romans 8:25-27
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 
 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.



Blessed are the tears that fall
Clean the windows of the soul
And usher in a change of heart
Bring a joy that angels know
Blessed are the tears that fall
That wash the stains of life away
Forgiven and forgotten now
A new creation's here to stay
 God will send a merciful Peacemaker
Comforter of all of those who mourn
We'll become the pure in heart, the earthly meek
Enduring misdirected scorn
Blessed are the tears that fall

Blessed are the tears that fall..........my tears....struggling today....   
 Thankful for God's unending grace.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Fun In The Dirt

We just got back from the dirtiest camping vacation ever....no wait that was 4 years ago when we were on the dirtiest site in Ludington State Park.  This year we were on the 2nd dirtiest....no jokes aside it was pretty bad.  Loose, black sand that at the beginning of the week just blew everywhere every time you took a step because it was so dry.  Then, the rain came....and it just stuck to every single thing.  Simply said....that makes for a TON more work upon getting home because everything needs a good scrubbing.  (Not just the children!!)

We did have a really good time.  Ludington is our favorite State Park to camp at.  We're never bored (okay, maybe for 5 minutes a day we sit down). Seriously though, we never run out of things to do here. We always seem to joke when we come home that we need a vacation from our vacation!

One of my favorite things I was able to do this time was get out and run a few times.  For anybody that's been to the State Park and done the Skyline trail you'll understand when I say running that thing kicked my butt!!  It was fun though to do some trail running ~ I enjoyed something new.

It was nice to be away, but I'll admit I was a bit homesick. My emotions were a tad out of sorts. I am thankful that this time I knew a little of what to expect, and how I'd be feeling on this camping trip. Keeping so busy was a good thing this time around for sure!

Looking forward to being back there this Fall!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Me

I need to apologize for not updating my blog since our miscarriage and subsequent surgery. Last week was just a whirlwind of trying to figure out what was wrong with me and what to do about it.

The D&C went very well. Out of the three I've had this year this one went the best. I think my Doctor expected me to have a complication free recovery. Well, I am not a 'typical' patient...that has become extremely evident in the past 12 months! =) I had major, major issues last week with blood clots of all things. I will spare all the really disgusting details, but it certainly was a most unpleasant experience for sure.

Thank you for all your continued prayers and concern for my family and myself. I know many have wondered how I'm doing. Physically I think I'm on the mend....although each day I hold my breath just waiting for the next crazy thing to go wrong. Emotionally I know I'm coming into a really, really difficult week. Last week I had to concentrate on taking care of my body. I've been very weepy today so I know what is ahead. Hormones having a hay day, my heart aching for the baby I won't get to know.

I am sad. But, at the same time I have such a peace and a hope. That can only be explained by God's presence in my life. He does not occupy just one little corner of it, He owns all of it. This life simply is not my own. If you're wondering how someone could lose their life to someone they have never seen with their own eyes, I wonder how someone cannot. I could never walk this journey without knowing Christ.

I love this quote by Pastor Steven Furtick:

Real old school faith believes that God can,
and expects that He will,
but trusts Him even if He doesn't. 


That is how I want to live my life! I am so, so thankful that I am HIS child. I trust Him with my yesterdays, today and all of my tomorrows.

Thank you again for all of your love, prayers and thoughts! We are indeed BLESSED!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Numbness And Tears

Thank you so much for all of your thoughts and prayers for our family. We appreciate them so much! We have such amazing, loving friends and family!! Today's feeling can best be described as numbness mixed with tears. To be honest I think part of that is because I still was in such excited awe that I was pregnant, and now I'm just not quite sure where to go with the feelings that I am not.  (Of course it isn't made any easier by the fact I still feel extremely pregnant). It probably didn't help much either that yesterday after my ultrasound while walking out of the hospital there were two pregnant women and a husband and wife just leaving with their newborn. Then when I woke up in the middle of the night our T.V. was still on and a rerun of the Today Show was on and they were playing some pregnancy quiz game.  Seriously???!!  That just HAD to be on at 2:30 in the morning???  Today I had to run to the grocery store....won't even tell you how many tiny babies I saw. 

Today I was thinking how awesome it is that in the midst of all this great grief we're going through God answered a specific prayer. He gave me the gift of seeing my precious child's heartbeat on that ultrasound screen Monday. Oh how knowing what I know now I wish I could go back and stare at it for just a little while longer. What a sweet and blessed gift those few moments were though and I'm so grateful He gave them to me. I am also very thankful that I had a formal ultrasound to check measurements just two days later and learned the news then.  Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have known for another month.

Tomorrow my surgery is scheduled for 11am. The other two D & C's went fine but recovery for the weeks following were both extremely different and very long. The OB that our Doctor has been consulting with will also be involved with the surgery tomorrow to see if we can lessen the issues I seem to have after the prodcedure.

As of now we are at a complete loss as to why this has happened a third time.  I was on progesterone as soon as I knew I was pregnant, just in case a deficiency was the problem. I have had bloodwork done after the last miscarriage to rule out issues with me and everything had come back normal.

Growing a baby is such an intracite process it really is an amazing miracle we have had 5 healthy boys. One little 'glitch' and the Mother's body in most cases knows life won't continue outside the womb so it abruptly ends. Many times, even in recurrent miscarriages a cause is never found. I am at higher risk for miscarriage because of my age, and with each one the risk increases of having another.

We have known those stats all along, but still trust in a sovereign God who has ways that are not our own. Yesterday, today and tomorrow....

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Highest Of Highs To The Lowest Of Lows

As most of you know our family was expecting baby # 6, after two consecutive miscarriages this year. Monday I went in for my first prenatal visit and things looked very well, I even saw little bean's heart fluttering away on the ultrasound screen. We were absolutely THRILLED and so THANKFUL to God for this new little life.

We were unsure however of exactly how far along I was so I had to go for a formal ultrasound today for measurements. I was a little apprehensive for this appointment because I woke up and was spotting just a little.  Still, I had every confidence to believe that everything would look great.  However, that was not the case.  Sometime between Monday afternoon and today baby's heart stopped beating.

Our family is devastated. This is exactly the same time frame as our first miscarriage last Summer.  Add to that I saw a heartbeat just 48 hours ago, something I never saw with the other two pregnancies that ended in miscarriage. I am so heartbroken and do not understand why this has happened again to me, to our family.

I know the next days/weeks will be hard. The emotional toll of a third miscarriage, plus hormones bouncing all over the place will make things difficult.  I know without a doubt this pregnancy was still part of God's master plan for me (and our family), and somehow giving another one up before I even got to hold him or her is part of it too.  Now is not the time for me to dig a hole, crawl in it and forget who I am in Christ. My faith is bigger than any circumstance than life can throw in our path. I will choose to live no other way. I will choose for my children and husband to see me live no other way, because it is what I believe with my whole heart. 

If you could please continue to pray us through, we need it, I need it more than ever.

Much Love from our family,
Chad, Jen & boys

Baby # 8 resting in the arms of Jesus
I love you sweet baby!!!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Never Expected This

Little did I know when I wrote this post, God was about to do something amazing in the lives of our family.

NO WAY was I ever expecting this:


But there is already more to this story:

I was having some pain in the side of my abdomen early on so I went for blood work to check my HCG levels (pregnancy hormone). I didn't hear anything back from the Doctor for 2 weeks so I assumed the levels looked good.  Until this week when I was in with Caleb for his well-child was I informed that in fact my levels did not increase at all like they were supposed to have done.

So I had another blood test, and left the office completely devestated that I never knew things did not look good~and Chad and I prepared ourselves for a third miscarriage.

But then I got this phone call...the Doctor called and left a message yesterday for me (that I had to listen to a dozen times) that said my blood test looked very, very encouraging and he'd see me at my initial appointment, in a few weeks.  PRAISE GOD!!!

So, we are thanking God for this miracle and asking our friends and family to join with us bolding praying that our little one will grow well and we will see a little flutter on that ultrasound screen!! We have complete faith that sometime in early 2013 we will be holding our sweet little son or daughter in our arms.

Thank you for praying in faith along with us for this new little life. We are overjoyed at the things we've already seen God do!


I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end, even when the sky is falling.
I've seen MIRACLES just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what FAITH can do.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

3 Years Ago

3 years ago we were anxiously awaiting baby # 5....



Caleb...he still has those chubby cheeks!!!


I cannot believe my baby is going to turn 3 years old tomorrow.  He is such a joy to our family. He's funny and smart (and yes at times naughty)! He loves to go shopping with Mom, read stories with Dad, wrestle with his brothers.



You are LOVED like crazy buddy!! Happy ~ Happy 3rd Birthday! Thank you God for blessing our family with this precious child.



Thursday, May 17, 2012

This Time Was Different

Last Sunday we sang this song in Church. We've sung it many times, and I've listened to it dozens more over the past many months.  When I was singing it Sunday though, it was different. I had this lump that kept forming in my throat and tears that I couldn't stop from flowing.  Every space around me was filled with His presence.

Those words...
...the greatest love that anyone could ever know that overcame the cross and grave to find my soul

...and in my heart I pray you'd let your will be done
...I'll trust in you

I will live....
...to love you
...to bring you praise
...as a child in awe of you

...You are the voice that calls the universe to be

...You are the whisper in my heart that speaks to me

...You alone are God of all
...You alone are worthy Lord
...And with all I am, my soul will bless your name

Lord, help me to live a life in awe of you and who you are. I praise you with ALL that I am. Not just part of me.  Good and bad times, tears and laughter, joy and heartache. From the time I rise in the morning, until I rest when day is done this has become the cry of my heart. May my life be a reflection of what I believe...


The greatest love that anyone could ever know
That overcame the cross and grave to find my soul
And 'til I see you face to face and grace amazing takes me home
I'll trust in You

With all I am I'll live to see Your kingdom come
And in my heart I pray you'd let your will be done
And 'til I see You face to face and grace amazing takes me home
I will trust in you Lord

I will live to love you
I will live to bring you praise
I will live a child in awe of you

You are the voice that calls the universe to be
You are the whisper in my heart that speaks to me
And 'til I see you face to face and grace amazing takes me home
I'll trust in you

You alone are God of all
You alone are worthy Lord
And with all I am my soul will bless Your name

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Gifts


I've been dropping 'hints' all week to the boys reminding them of what day is coming up. Every time I say "you know what day it is on Sunday", they look at me with BIG smiles and say SHOUT "Mother's Day"!!  A day to celebrate Mom...all we are....all we do.

While I enjoy the celebration that comes along with Mother's Day, what I love even more is the pure gift I have been given by God to be a Mom.  I want to celebrate the who of why I have that title! Not once, but five times with babies living here on Earth with me and two babies in Heaven. I do not deserve anything more than what my salvation, through the blood of Christ has secured for me....but the Lord saw fit to bless me beyond anything I could have ever hoped for, wished for, prayed for.

I love being a Mom more than anything else in the world. It's all I ever wanted to do....honestly.  That does not mean I do not have days that I want to pull every single hair out of my head, or go lock myself in my room and cry because I just do not feel like I have a handle on this 'title' God has given to me. There are many, many moments like that....but for all those 'few' moments of heartache there are a million more JOYS!!! I cannot give God enough thank yous in my entire lifetime for what He has blessed me with.




Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bending Not Breaking

Just so I remember...





....maybe you need to be reminded too?

I don't have to look far to see people I love hurting.
God sees and hears you~don't give up on Him!


The righteious cry out, and the Lord hears them,
he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord
is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who
are crushed in Spirit.
Psalm 34:17-18






Thursday, April 26, 2012

These Days

Lots going on these days in our 'little' family.  Many of us are fighting some sort of Spring 'bug'.  Last week hubby had it and then shared it with me. This week it is strep throat. You just do not know how excited I am to see how many of us get this highly contagious germ. I've been making sure we're taking our vitamins and trying to get to bed on time. Maybe that will help the rest of us to get/stay healthy!

Last week Ethan went on a band field trip and on the way home while stopping for lunch, tripped and hit his head on a curb. So, we nursed a goose egg Friday afternoon and are very thankful it was nothing more than that!


And then there is our sweet little Jackson,  who had us (okay...mommy mostly) worried that his slow growth rate has become an even greater concern.  After plotting his recent well-child measurements from our Family Doctor, JJ's endocrinologist at Devos Children's Hospital was concerned enough to order another bone age growth report. (Simply an x-ray of his left hand & wrist.) Isn't amazing they can determine rate of growth from that?! It seems as if he is still following his same pattern and lags behind more like a 4 1/2 - 5 year old measurement for bone growth.  So, I don't have to specifically call in another height/weight plot until the Fall.  I am very grateful for a Physician who is right on top of things with our child. We love JJ exactly the way God has created him...sweet, sensitive, hilarious, kind and loving, wrapped up in a cute, small package. But, we also want to make sure that we address any concerns!
JJ's present from his
Birthday back in February

Nine years after building our house we are finally finishing the last room. Ethan and Lucas will share this bedroom and they cannot wait for Dad and Grandpa to get things done so they can move in!

Bedroom # 4 in the works...

We're awaiting the warmth that we had back in March to return....or maybe at least a little less wind.  The wind is very, very cold and while we love being outside we would really like to not have to worry about a windchill anymore this Spring!! However, the upside of this is that the inside project actually is getting worked on!! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Is On My Mind

I absolutely cannot listen to this song without crying every single time. Most of you who read my blog regularly know that our family has experienced not one, but two consecutive miscarriages.

One year ago we didn't even know it yet that I was expecting baby # 6...little did we know what the months ahead would hold. It has been a little over 2 months since we found out we lost baby #7. I haven't really shared much about how I'm doing like I did after our first miscarriage. Nobody really asks...and I'm not just going to open up and share standing in the middle of the grocery store aisle. Lots of thoughts running around in my head.  My body is doing crazy things trying to find its way back to 'normal'.  (You can laugh at that....I know there is nothing normal about me!) =)  When you keep being reminded that your body isn't working right it makes the emotional healing feel like an endless journey.

You know how when you get a new vehicle you may be thinking that not too many people drive the same thing....that is until you own one and start seeing them all over the place.  That's the way it's been lately for me with adorable pregnant bellies. They are ALL OVER the place. When I see one I feel joy and sadness all at the same time~it's crazy!  I miss the fact that I won't get to have one of those large bellies to try to squeeze into a maternity bathing suit this Summer. I miss the fact that I am sitting here feeling my tummy grumble due to hunger, rather than fluttering due to those sweet little kicks of my son or daughter's feet. I miss sitting next to Chad at night laughing at the names he's picked out and is certain I will LOVE all of them. I miss those prenatal visits and hearing the thud on the doppler of the heartbeat.

I will miss not giving birth to you my child. I will miss waiting for those first smiles, rolling over, sitting up and those first wobbly steps. I will miss those quiet late night feedings (and I feel bad for ever complaining about them with your brothers!!)  I will miss not watching you interact with your brothers and find your place among our family. I will miss so many things about not having you here on earth with me, but I cannot even begin to imagine all you are experiencing in Glory. I am so thankful that God created you for HIS purpose and until I get to run up and hold you in Heaven I will carry you in my heart all the days of my life here on earth.

I miss you my precious babies....but I love you and I trust in God's plan and I'm so thankful that He chose me to carry you....if even for only a little while.

 
I Will Carry You (Audrey's Song)
by Selah
from the album "You Deliver Me"

Lyrics:

There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?

People say that I am brave but I'm not
Truth is I'm barely hanging on
But there's a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this

[Chorus]
I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One Who's chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness
But I know
That the silence
Has brought me to His voice
And He says ...

I've shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?
[Chorus]


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Same God

It has been a really, really long time since I've sat down and blogged.  I've had plenty of times when I've wanted to, but then somethingone (usually between the ages of 2 and 12) comes up and my thinking/writing gets interrupted. Or, if I start to write at night my brain usually checks out by 10pm and my eyes close shortly after!  =)

There is much going on among our family right now. There is much going on in the lives of other family members and many, many friends.  I love this song and how it talks about that the same God who has entered you into a time of unknowns, of heartaches, of fear, of sadness, of doubt, does not change in the midst of those things.  And when His work is completed, in His time....the same God will lead you out!


God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? ~Numbers 23:19~

I believe that.... The same God with me then, is with me now. The same God who led me in.....will lead me out!!!

I must.... just keep holding on....

What about you? What about what is going on in your life? He is with you! Do you hear Him? Can you see Him? The same God that led you in will lead you out!  Hold on and have faith to believe it!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bits And Pieces

Little bits and pieces of our lives lately.....

Caleb

Wesley

Lucas

Jackson

Ethan

March didn't yield us any snow days...but it did give
us a 2 hour fog day. I took this after the boys got on
the bus~it had lifted quite a bit.

The weather has been so absolutely crazy
beautiful! We ate dinner on our deck on March 19th.

If you look closely you'll see that Caleb
thought he could wash his hands by himself.
Chad hears him while out in the garage saying
'Dad, help me, bubbles overflowing'.....


We have been so blessed with some incredible, record breaking, Summer-like temperatures.  Day after day displays the beauty of early Spring. Sweet, gentle breezes blowing in through the open windows.  It has been so refreshing for our family to have a new season be upon us. We have been enjoying it to the fullest! Playing outside, enjoying time with friends around a campfire, hanging out with the neighbors. Working on cleaning up landscaping at home and our Church. Enjoying and thankful for all the moments God has given us, and totally loving the shorts/t-shirts weather!!

To have July type weather for this long of a stretch in Michigan is unheard of and it will be difficult to go back to 'normal' Michigan weather. 




Friday, March 16, 2012

The Hurt And The Healer

I absolutely love, love, love this song.  It fits my life right now so amazingly well.


...Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here
When the hurt and the healer collide...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

To Think About You

We think about you and your brother or sister often . We wonder what it is like to worship God Almighty, and we must admit that we're a bit jealous you already have met Jesus!!!  We can only imagine the incredible place that Heaven must be.

Even though we only were able to celebrate you growing inside my tummy for a very few short weeks, we fell in love with you. We were all so excited to meet you, and take care of you. To watch you grow and be a part of our family. We know that God's will is not our own and while we do not understand His ways, we trust in Him completely. 

Until we get to meet you, have fun running on the streets of gold with your brother or sister. We miss you, we will always love you, and you will forever remain in our hearts.







Monday, February 27, 2012

I Love This Man


February 28, 1998 was the BEST day of my life. But every single day since then has been even better because I have gotten to spend all of them with my best friend. So, Chad when you read this just know I love you more than life itself and I am so grateful to God for hand-picking you just for me!!! I cannot imagine my life without you. Thank you for taking me on the most incredible adventure and sticking by my side whether we're upon the mountains or hikng through the valleys of life. We are so very, very blessed. Happy 14th Anniversary!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Loud And Clear

For I am crucified with Christ and yet I live.
Not I, but Christ that lives within me.
His cross will never ask for more, than I can give,
For it's not my strength but His.
There's no greater sacrifice, for I am crucified with Christ
and yet I live.

While standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes this morning God so clearly spoke these words to me, I swear He was standing close enough to breathe on me and make my hair move.

I would choose no other way, nor change anything that has happened along the journey. Thanks be to God for sending His precious son to shed his blood so that I may live.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sometimes He Comes In The Clouds



How am I?

Do you really want to know? Do I really want to share my heart?


Honestly, I don't know how I'm doing. (Let me stress this does not mean I do not know WHO I am, or WHOSE perfect will I am being held in). Many of the hours this past week have been spent doing what I always am doing...Mom stuff. But then there are moments that I suddenly get caught up in what just happened again to my heart, to my body and I just weep.

Second miscarriage definitely more difficult than the first. It was much easier the first time around to fully believe that it was random, most likely a chromosome abnormality. After our first miscarriage I had this hope inside of me that it happened for reasons only God knew and I would still be able to become pregnant again with a healthy pregnancy. This time though, I feel like it's somehow more my fault and less of some random occurrence.  Maybe because they both occurred at almost the same gestational time as one another?  Maybe because I've read that the chance of having a second miscarriage is extremely low, and to have another that is caused by a genetic problem is even lower.

How many things in life though cause us to have questions and no answers? After all, God is God and we are not, so there are just some things we will never know, understand or comprehend on this side of Heaven. Praise God my faith follows me into the dark, shadowy places of life.

I think the hardest part this time around is the hope that has been shattered. Scattered into too many pieces to find and be put back together....on my own.  I have to rely on God to find them all and put them back into place. To know that while our prayer for another baby was answered only briefly, that God gives and takes away, my heart will choose to say, blessed be your name. (Did you read that Satan???)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Strong Enough

You must
You must think I'm strong
To give me what I'm going through

Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I'm wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own

I know I'm not strong enough to be
everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
For the both of us

Well, maybe
Maybe that's the point
To reach the point of giving up

Cause when I'm finally
Finally at rock bottom
Well, that's when I start looking up
And reaching out

I know I'm not strong enough to be
Everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

Cause I'm broken
Down to nothing
But I'm still holding on to the one thing
You are God
and you are strong
When I am weak

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don't have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don't have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

Oh, yeah

I know I'm not strong enough to be
Everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
Strong enough
(Strong Enough~Matthew West)


I do not have to have a repeat blood test tomorrow morning.  We are no longer concerned about the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy in addition to the intrauterine pregnancy.  I am scheduled for surgery at 10:45 tomorrow morning. 

Today was hard.  I still feel incredibly sick and I'm very exhausted. The reality of knowing there is no longer any reason behind feeling that way made the day seem very long.




Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Not The News We Wanted To Have To Share

Really not sure how to share this news except just to say we found out today that we have miscarried again. We were blessed to be able to be a vessel to usher this precious soul into Heaven but ache that we will not get to know him or her on earth.

I went in to the Doctor because I was bleeding. After two ultrasounds it was determined that there was no heartbeat and baby stopped growing at 7 weeks.

To complicate matters a tad further my HCG (pregnancy hormone) levels are quite high~enough to cause some concern that there may be an ectopic pregnancy as well.  I also still am experiencing pregnancy symptoms which I should no longer really have.

So, the plan right now is to check my levels Friday morning to see if they are going down.  If they are, we should no longer need to be concerned about an ectopic. If they are increasing however, that is a cause for concern and I would then need to undergo laparoscopic surgery to look in the fallopian tubes.  In addition to this I have chosen to undergo a D & C as I really don't want to wait to miscarry on my own. Hopefully, that is the only thing we will need to worry about and it would then be done Friday afternoon sometime.

PLEASE pray that my numbers go down with Friday's test. 

We are sad, but as with the first miscarriage we still cling to the fact that God is sovereign and in complete control. From allowing conception to take place, to ushering our precious baby into His Kingdom. We will choose to become better, not bitter because of this. We will be a testimony in the darkest night and profess the power of the cross in our lives in the valleys and on the mountaintops.

We covet your prayers in the coming days and weeks and thank you for loving our family.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Long Overdue Update

Our family has been super busy over these past several weeks.  School, Church, Birthday celebrations have consumed much of our lives lately!  I cannot believe we are in the middle of the month of February already.  It's so nice to see the mornings are brighter earlier and the evenings staying lighter longer.

The biggest happening in the life of our family:
Due to arrive September 15.....or so

We are THRILLED and very, very thankful to God for this blessing!!!

The reaction when we told the boys the news was priceless.  I put the big brother shirt on Caleb and told the big boys that Caleb had something to tell them.  As he walked out into the living room Wesley and Ethan saw him first and immediately burst into tears of joy. Lucas had a smile that consumed his entire face. Jackson was trying to read Caleb's shirt and after Chad told him what it said he turned to me and said "Mom, God answered the prayer I pray every single day".

We have known about this pregnancy since the first few weeks I was pregnant.  I had to go in to the Doctor for another issue and had a feeling I could be pregnant.  I swore I saw a second line on a test I had taken (of course I had to look at it from a hundred different angles, in all kinds of light) but I wasn't sure it was not just my mind just playing a trick on me.  =)  So, we did a blood test. That came back at a level that was inconclusive and I had to go back 4 days later for another test.  IT CAME BACK POSITIVE!!!!  Keeping it a secret from everybody for 8 weeks was painfully difficult!

I've been feeling blah and very, very tired.  I can eat one thing a certain day and then the next day can't even stand to look at it.  Trying to plan weekly menus has been fun. I try to go with meals that are easy and can be changed depending on the day.

We are all extremely grateful for this blessing and looking forward to watching my belly grow over the next several months!!  What an amazing, incredible gift we have been given!

And now to go take a nap......