Saturday, December 29, 2012

No source of Income



Good Morning,


It has been a rough night. I didn't sleep much and am exhausted at this moment.

I have so much to share and have been so busy. There has been crazy up and downs to share with you. Moments of worry and moments of joy. Right now we are down. I am scared.

My husband came home early yesterday from his new job (yes, that right NEW job. I have so much to share) and well...informed me that he had been let go!!!

What?!? Say that again??! Yes, that's right we have $2,300 to our name, rent and a car payment that is due and no source of income.

Let me tell you, this is a scary place to be in!

I'll be very honest...I'm scared!! I'm struggling with trusting God. I feel ashamed for struggling with trusting Him. He has shown me over and over again, that he will provide! Why am I having such a hard time with it?

I like to plan and control things. I know that! :( But, God has continually ripped control over many if not all area's of my life. Was it wrong of me to get excited, that we are together as a family, that we where looking to rent a home, and talking of buying one in the near future? No! But I am struggling with not being able to plan our next move!! 

I question why right after Christmas that it happened? If it was before, we could have both tried to get part-time jobs during the Christmas season. We could have taken turns being home with the kids. But then again that is another area of taking matters into my own hands and not relying on God. Did He allow it to happen after Christmas, so that my husband and I will solely have to rely on Him?? 

I think if it didn't happen in the winter, I could see about growing a garden in someone's yard. I could harvest wild herbs for  my natural products on my etsy shop and for my family. Perhaps God has allowed it to happen during the winter, so that I can't and will have to learn to solely rely on Him.

I question, why I haven't sold anything in my shop. I can't expand and add new products if I don't sell any and bring money in! Has God not allowed me to sell anything, so that I will not have that "safety net"? But will solely rely on Him?

I know God is not cruel and would not make things more difficult on purpose  for no reason. So please don't think I am saying that. I just believe He allows things to happen or not happen to teach us to grow and to learn to rely solely on Him and not on ourselves.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

It's unsettling not knowing what's going to happen and where our money is going to come from. But I KNOW it comes from God and He WILL provide for us!


For His glory,



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Operation Christmas Child




     This is the last week for Operation Christmas Child, a ministry near and dear to my heart! Every year since I was a little girl I have filled out a shoe box to give to a child. I continued that tradition with my oldest. Praise the Lord now my church participates as well! 

     Since we have 3 kids I like to fill 3 boxes one from each child. It's a "small" way to give to others during the Christmas season. This year we are FINALLY including letters to the child. I have always wanted to do that, I heard it's one of their favorite things to receive.

     If you don't know what Operation Christmas Child is, you fill a shoe box with items for children all over the world. Lots of these kids have never received a present. which is so neat to provide a child with their first gift and to share God's love. 

     If you would like to fill a shoe box but don't know how, you can click on the link and it will take you to the website with instructions. Instructions to fill a shoe box . If your church doesn't participate and you are looking for a drop off location you can click here for drop off locations. Not sure what to pack? Here is a great blog from, Faithful Provisions on 101 things to pack into a shoe box. Don't have time to fill a shoe box but would love to help out? No problem! Click here for instructions to build a box from your computer!

Our Shoe boxes this year.


I hope you will participate in this wonderful ministry! 

If you pack shoe boxes, what do you typically pack? Is there an item you always pack? What item do you think is the most important? I would love to hear from you!

For His glory,



Friday, September 21, 2012

One Year Later Part 4


“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.” Psalms 139:13

Cross stitch I made while on bed rest.
         Welcome, for those of you just joining us today is day 4 of my son, Josiah's story as of yet.
You can read the first 3 days by clicking here: 

Day 1    Day 2     Day 3





Under the blue light therapy. During 1st week.
    


      Since I reacted to the spinal tap, I didn't get to see Josiah much that first week. I spent most of it lying flat in the hospital bed with an ice pack on my head. That was really hard but at the same time a relief in a way. I wanted to see and visit him, especially since I was already there at the hospital. But it was always so overwhelming in the NICU.   

Terms I didn't understandQuiteAlarms going off..Blue lightsNo touching or handling himTubes and wires everywhereantibioticsBlood transfusionsfluid in the lungs

     I could write several posts on life in the NICU, but there's not enough time for that.I will do my best to make this post "small." *smile* If you ever have questions about premature babies or NICU life, If you want to know more I'd be happy to share later on. It's crazy looking at the pictures he looks so much bigger then he was. It was skinny and about the size of perhaps a squirrel. 


Right after they stabilized him. His eyes where open !


     The NICU is quite expect for the ring of bells and alarms going off (Oh and crying babies. *smile*). There is an area for the stronger babies, that are not in an incubator and a dark even quieter area for babies who are. All the little babies in incubators start with blue ight therapy because they have such high amounts of jaundice and they wear little black eye shields. The incubators have blankets over them to keep them even warmer, though each incubator is regulated at it's own temperature. You are not allowed near another baby, for their needs are all so different.


“And the Lord, He IS the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”  Deut. 31:8


     From the beginning the doctors marveled at what a little fighter Josiah is. I'm not surprised, God gave him that personality to survive through it all! Even that first night, the doctor said he was wiggling and thrashing his little body. While in the NICU they had to constantly strap him down (gently of course), because they didn't want him to hurt himself and he was using up too many calories! They wanted him to gain weight, which was VERY important in order for his lungs to develop.   


7 days old. They unstrapped him, so he could stretch and say, "hi."


     Risk of infection and sickness where always a BIG concern. You have to scrub up and wear a gown before entering the NICU. We eventually could stick our hands into the little holes to touch his hands. But you always had to sanitize before touching him. You could leave the little doors open to quietly talk to him, but could breathe on him.


7 days old, fighting an infection.



But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:7


     Almost right away they realized that he was fighting an infection (a parents worse nightmare). They discovered that's why I went into labor. He was on antibiotics for several weeks until it finally cleared. Praise God for diligent nurses, they noticed two minor things (I can't remember what they were), that change and checked for infection. Who knew that something as simple as wet diapers or body temperature changing by a degree or two could indicate something so serious?! Because they caught it at the beginning he had a fighting chance and got through it within a few weeks!!


Kangaroo Care.


     Though it was scary, our struggles could have been worse. His heart had a valve that didn't close off (it does it in the womb). After a few days and rounds of a medication, the valve closed.Once again God spared us! I couldn't even think about heart surgery. He also had bleeding in the brain, but it was small and healed on it's own. Thank you Lord! 

15 days old. He LOVED to hold things. They made him a little toy to hold.

      When Josiah was about 1 week old, we found out his lungs where filling with fluid. They had to puncture one of his lungs and insert a tube. If it didn't work and his lungs continued to fill with fluid, it would be too much pressure on them and they would collapse one after the other and there would be nothing they could really do. If that where to happen, it would cause his heart to collapse and he would die. Talk about SCARY news!! I could only concentrate and think about the present moment though. Once again the Lord spared us much heartache, and the tube worked, the fluid drained, and they where able to take the tube out! Every time I see his scar, it reminds me how fragile life is! It's a reminder that we are here today and gone tomorrow. Am I investing the time that I should into my children? Am I living my life for the glory of God?


“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day [is] its own trouble.” Matt. 6:34


     After that he continued to slowly grow and get stronger. I got to finally do kangaroo care (snuggle him up against my skin)!!! I can't even begin to tell you the JOY of finally being able to hold your child. Quote from scrapbook, "Mommy got to do kangaroo care for the first time! Sat. Oct 1 (day 14). First time I heard you make a noise! You squeaked (like a mouse) then settled in and fell sound asleep on Momma!"


The nurse took our picture. I was trying not to cry. It was SO awesome but terrifying at the same time!

      My husband and I spent as much time as we could visiting and reading to him, (so he would recognize out voices). I didn't get to spend nearly as much time with him as I would have liked, which was REALLY hard. It was also REALLY hard to see him react to his main nurse's voice more so then mine. I wanted to cry, "I'm your mama, not Mary!" But I'm and always will be grateful for her loving care and treating my son as her own.





He continues to grow...

Feet Day 1
Feet Day 30 (a little bigger)





















     I got sick and couldn't see our little guy for 1 1/2 weeks! Augh! That was hard. But when I got there he was wearing an outfit (besides dressing up for (Halloween) for the first time! I remember thinking he looked like a "real" baby. Oh, course it was WAY too big even though it was a preemie outfit. But oh so cute!




     In November he got to move to the more mature preemie section. Yeah! After Thanksgiving he drank a little from a Haber-men feeder (a special bottle for cleft palates). And almost immediately they gave the green light to have him transferred via ambulance to a hospital closer to home. We were SO excited! The hospital he was being transferred to was the same hospital I delivered my girls at with my midwife. That excitement was soon squelched!




Sleeping with Daddy! 

“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, And He who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;” Isaiah 44:24


     To make a long story short, it seemed half the nurses were rude, the head special care doctor was VERY rude to me (she made me cry after meeting her for the first time), the wouldn't allow the girls to visit, and they had crazy rules as to when you could visit! St. Elizabeth's encouraged you to visit whenever you could, even if that meant coming in at 1am and leaving at 5am. You could visit whether it was feeding time or not, as long as your child was stable you could hold them. Not at Holy Family. They only wanted you to come during feeding times and if I couldn't make it they made me feel soooo guilty. I WANTED to visit my son, but I had to find people to watch the girls and it had to work out that they could do it at the same time as his feeding, plus I had to calculate Naomi's nap time. Augh! I couldn't wait to get him out of there!


First Christmas at Holy Family




“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” Jeremiah 1:5

      Joseph was having a hard time drinking and still got most of his food through the tube down his throat. He would gag and choke because of the cleft palate and he would get tired very quickly due to his lung disease. He was marked failure to thrive. He spent his first Christmas at Holy Family and was then transferred to the NICU at Children's Hospital in Boston. Praise the Lord!! I couldn't wait to get him out!



     Children's hospital was awesome! Just like St. Elizabeth's they work with as a parent and understand that this is a difficult time and that perhaps you have other children. Once again the girls could visit him. To top it off, they allowed Dakota to hold Josiah!!! Oh, the excitement! *smile*



     After about a week Josiah had surgery to have a G-tube put in his stomach. Woohoo! One step closer to going home. Exciting and scary! Then the girls and I got a stomach bug and had to wait a week to see him. The hospital needed the bed space so as soon as I was better, i came in to train on giving him his medications, feeding and care the g-tube, how to work the feeding machine and oxygen machines, and all the risks and what to do in an emergency. Whew! It was a lot to learn in two days! On January 16, 2012, after 3 NICU's, 4 months and weighting over 9lbs, Josiah Benjamin got to come HOME!!!!



Right after surgery. He had an IV in his head. Yuck!


Josiah waiting to go home!


“I waited patiently for the Lord, He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire; He set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:1-2 

Tomorrow I will wrap up this week by sharing what life has been like having a child needs at home and where we are today.

For His Glory,

Christen



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

One Year Later Part 3


     
     For those of you just joining this is day 3 of a week long series on my son's story so far.

     After a month at my parents house my husband flew home for a weekend. I spent that Sat in bed at our apartment, while he took care of the girls and I. That night I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t sleep, so my husband took me to the E.R. Everything seemed normal, so they sent me home. A few hours later I woke up to blood all over the bed and when I went to the bathroom I left a trail. Back to the E.R. we went! After 2 ultrasounds; many hours waiting for answers; and the hospital trying to reach my midwife and the hospital I was suppose to deliver at, I was informed… that my uterus was full of blood...my son would dieif I started hemorrhaging there I would bleed to death (they didn't have enough blood on hand to save me). Thankfully a better equipped hospital was willing to take me as their patient. They had enough blood on hand for the transfusion I was told I would need and they are more experienced. Looking back I see God’s hand in everything, from them believing my uterus was full of blood, to my husband being home that weekend.


Josiah

                I was then rushed by ambulance into Boston (an 1 ½ hour drive with no traffic). I had to sign a consent that stated we wouldn’t hold the EMT liable if I died along the way. I remember begging God for the life of our son and having peace, but also terrified. I also remember hugging my husband and two girls good bye and wondered if that was the last time I would see them?! The EMT’s were clearly nervous and informed me that if I became unstable, they would go to the nearest hospital for treatment. I felt so numb; I couldn’t wrap my brain around everything and also couldn’t have handled it at that moment. Every time we went under a bridge the siren made a wailing sound and I remember thinking that was the sound my heart was making!!! Please God save our son!





     Praise God for Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital!! Immediately their staff was so much better, they helped calm my nerves and I immediately loved the doctor that agreed to take me on! She brought an ultrasound machine right to my bed and immediately calmed my nerves. She discovered my uterus was NOT full of blood! Praise God! She had a hunch my water broke, which they discovered was indeed the case. Due to the bleeding it had stressed my body out and caused my water to break. God is sooooo good!! I found out the earlier your water breaks the most likely you will stay pregnant longer (go figure).


                I had to stay on bed rest at the hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy and they wanted me to lie on my side to help my uterus retain as much fluid as possible (which is NOT comfortable 24/7). Things didn’t suddenly go smoothly and problem free. It was lonely; I hardly saw our daughters or anyone for that matter. My husband took our one year old daughter down to MS with him and my sister in-laws and mother in-law helped care for her while he worked. My mother took my oldest and cared for her. Thank you all for caring for my girls as your own!! *smile* My husband would fly in on the weekends which helped make the week go by faster. My uterus wasn’t retaining enough fluid for our son’s lungs to develop properly, it kept leaking out. When your water breaks there is no barrier to protect you or the baby, so I was monitored 24/7 for any signs of labor or infection (infection can cause you to go into labor). I struggled with feeling grumpy, from constantly being woken up.

Dakota visiting me at the hospital. :)
      About 2 weeks in, the nurse was helping me settle into my bed to eat dinner (I could only get up to use the restroom and take short showers). Out of nowhere I was in intense pain and it wouldn't go away! I’m still not sure exactly what happened…it was all so fast and I was in so much pain. The short of it is, I became unstable, was dilating (it was too soon for our son to survive!), but there was no sign of infection (praise God!). I would feel panic and at those moments I would hand our son’s life over to God the giver and taker of life. When I would do that I would have “peace that surpasses all understanding”


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your

 requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will 

guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7


     They told me they could give me something that should stop the dilating and hopefully stabilize me.  But a doctor that I had never met before was concerned about a possible infection later. He stated we could kill our son (in his word’s abort him) and save my uterus or take the meds and put both of us and my uterus at risk. I remember sobbing and saying I wanted my husband! A nurse was so sweet she helped me call my husband on the phone and they took over from there. The next thing I knew was I was semi waking up with excruciating back spasms (due to the meds). The next day I awoke to find out I was still pregnant! Praise God!! But was on STRICK bed rest for 2 days (a catheter was place and everything)!! It was decided that it would take a miracle of God to make it to 24 weeks. It's "funny" with my other pregnancies I didn't necessarily pay attention to how many weeks I was along, let alone days...but with Josiah was anxiously counted down each and EVERY day. Each one counted. 



     Many, many people where praying for God to have mercy and save both our son and I, people half way around the world, that I didn’t even know. I got such sweet letters, with words of encouragement and verses. God is so MERCIFUL! My tear healed while I was in the hospital! My placenta previa cleared up (shortly before I went into labor) so the worry about bleeding to death was gone! Actually we learned that if Josiah wasn't breach I could birth naturally (which i prayed for). God allowed me to be pregnant a few more weeks and at 24 weeks and 5 days, I went into labor (any sooner than 24 weeks and he wouldn’t have survived).I can't tell you what rejoicing we had when I reached 24 weeks! What a relief! Our ultimate goal was to get to 32 weeks (which they said would be a miracle). I had been worried that something would happen when my husband was not there and once again God is so GOOD



      My husband had flown in late the night before and that Saturday we finally got to visit the NICU (they had been too busy before. Once again I can now see God’s timing) and met some of the parents. All day I had been feeling funny (which wasn’t unusual), around dinner time, I told the nurse I was having contractions, the problem was it wasn’t showing up on the monitor. The doctor was busy and couldn’t come right away and I kept insisting that something wasn’t right and that I was having contractions. Within 2 hours I was in full blown labor being wheeled about to and fro, trying to get an I.V. into me and to find out if he was breach or not. 




The following verse is the verse God gave me while I was on bed rest and I clung to this verse and read it over and over again:

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for theefor my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 

     Josiah was breach and had to have an emergency c-section (I never want one again, I reacted to it and had the WORSE headaches ever due to swelling on the spine). I remember thinking how quite it was when he was born, no baby cries and I had no idea if he was alive or dead.  Praise the Lord; he was alive, though they did have trouble getting him to breath at first. Our little man was born 3 ½ months early and only weighed 2 lbs 6 oz, but he lived!            



Tomorrow I will share our story of Josiah living in the NICU and having a special needs baby. 
Have you ever had the peace that surpasses all understanding? Have you ever had a baby in the NICU? I would love to hear about it! See you tomorrow...

If you missed the first two click here:
 Part 1      Part 2



For His Glory,



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One Year Later Part 2


   Be still my Soul
1. Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
By: Catharina von Schlegel 

      My husband and I knew I was pregnant almost right away. You see we had gotten pregnant when our youngest was 6 months old and hadn't realized it. My symptoms where completely different then my first two. Actually I thought I had a parasite and started a cleanse. About a month later I had an unexpected miscarriage (not that any are expected, we just didn't know that I was pregnant).  Since we leave our family size up to God, we knew it was a possibility that I would get pregnant and well, we did *smile* and I knew it almost from day one. So it was no surprise when the test said positive! It certainly didn't take away from our excitement though or our nerves. After having a miscarriage we decided to wait and tell people in case we miscarried again.

     At about 8 weeks over Memorial day weekend, my husband was able to come home and we had fun plans for that weekend! That Monday we decided to start the day by heading to the mall for some fancy coffee drinks and to check out the sales on maternity clothes (oh the irony!). Shortly before leaving I didn't feel right and went to the restroom and to my horror I was bleeding!! I remember frantically yelling for my husband to come into the ladies room and told him I was bleeding. I could see the panic and fear on his face. He told me to take the kids and head out the closes door and sit and wait for him to come around with the car. When I stood up to get into the car blood ran down my legs and onto the ground! I will never forget the look on my husband's face while he quietly drove us home all the while holding my hand. I just sat there and silently cried while whispering, "No,Please God, I don't want to lose another baby!"



     We decided to go home, because if we where miscarrying, there was nothing the hospital could do. After getting me settled land ying on the couch (with a tarp under me *chuckle*), the bleeding stopped at some point! There was hope! Plus, I also wasn't having contractions like I had, had during my previous miscarriage. We prayed, ALOT and snuggled and talked after the kids where in bed. The next day we headed to my midwife's office to announce we were pregnant and that something was wrong....

     We had an ultrasound done and discovered I was not miscarrying and that our baby to our surprise was still alive! Praise God!! But there was a tear. I still don’t know if that is the correct term. Placenta Abruptio is the term for when women are in their 3rd trimester (when it usually happens), it is when the placenta (my child’s source of nourishment) detaches from the uterus wall. They don’t know why it happened and if it would get worse or better. There was a chance it would shrink and heal, but there was an even greater chance (especially as he got bigger) that it would get bigger and fully pull away. The risk was so high of losing Josiah that they didn't even start treating my pregnancy (as a "normal" one), they just took it day by day at first. 

     The next 3 months were scary and frustrating. I was suppose to take it easy to try and allow it to heal, but we were in the middle of moving and my husband was away. I was left to care for three girls, pack, move, and unpack, virtually by myself all the while trying to not lift anything and stay off my feet. Ha! 

     Life was up and down with our now "normal" weekly ultrasound results. One week it looked liked it had shrunk a bit, the next time it had gotten bigger. I continued to bleed on and off. One moment the bleeding was good (old blood flushed out by it healing) other times bad (it had gotten bigger). Round and round it went. I'd be lying if I didn't question God at times. I knew He was in control, but I struggled with the fear of losing another child. I never before cared about how big or little a centimeter was (that is how they measure the size of the tear)! 


Josiah's sweet little feet. 

    At around 16 weeks, we discovered an abnormality during one of the ultrasounds. It looked like our baby had a cleft lip. Honestly I was surprised but not upset. I kept thinking it could be worse,  it could be his heart or brain. It was all overwhelming though, we had just lost our 3 year old daughter a few weeks before, very suddenly and I kept thinking how cruel for that to happen at the same time as all of this. 

     After discovering the possibility of our child having a cleft lip, we had to see a specialist. During that visit we confirmed the cleft lip and found out it also included the palate. We also found out we were having a boy!! *Squeel!* Our first son (which I already knew since God kept telling me we were having a boy. I also firmly believe the child we lost was a boy) it was so exciting and scary at the same time)! We got even more bad news though…I had placenta previa.  (Placenta previa is a complication of pregnancy in which the placenta grows in the lowest part of the womb (uterus) and covers all or part of the opening to the cervix.) Placenta Previa is what almost killed my mom with her last pregnancy. If you go into labor, there is a VERY good chance you will bleed to death, the doctors can’t stop it. It was only by the grace and literally a miracle of God that my mother’s bleeding stopped.


It's a boy! :)

     So here we were at about 18 weeks along, I have a tear that won’t heal (it actually had gotten bigger), a child that is going to be born with birth defects and need special care, struggling with the loss of our daughter, we had just moved, and now the concern of losing my life. It was all a scary whirl wind, all I could do was cling to Jesus! My husband works 1,200 miles away, we live in separate states and now I had to go on bed rest. So our 2 girls and I moved into my parent’s house, I spent the next month mostly on their couch, trying to parent a 6 and 1 year old! Things were about to get even scarier though....



I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13



Tomorrow I will continue to share Josiah's story and God's unwavering love and mercy for us. Have you had any difficult pregnancies? I would love to hear about them!

In case you missed it, you can read part 1. Click here:
Part 1

For His glory,


Monday, September 17, 2012

One Year Later

Josiah Benjamin! :)

I can't believe it, today is Josiah's first birthday!! We made it to one year!

For those of you who don't know, my pregnancy with Josiah was sketchy to say the least, there where time when we almost lost him. There where times when we could have lost him after he was born. So today is a day of celebration!

You see Josiah came rushing into this world at 24 weeks, 5 days! To translate, that is 3 1/2 months early!!

It is so crazy to think that on this day one year ago, I was lying in a hospital bed, not sure how much longer I would be there! Here is my hearts desire for him...


Dearest Josiah:

All the glory and thanks be to our loving and merciful God,
Today you turn one!
Your journey here on earth has not been easy
but the Lord has been our peace, joy, and strength .

God will save.
The Lord supports.
Jehovah has healed.

Are all meanings of your name, we did and do hang unto the meanings of your name.
We trusted that the Lord would save you and He did!

"Josiah was eight years old when he became king...
He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked
in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside 
to the right hand or to the left." (2 Kings 22:1-2)

Your father and I pray the same for you my son! We pray that you will follow the Lord
all your life and never turn aside to the right or to the left.

"Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law,
that he tore his clothes... Thus says the Lord God of Israel: 
"because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place...you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I have also heard you," says the Lord. "You shall be gathered to your grave in peace." (2 Kings 22:11,18,20)

My son, may you also weep at the lawlessness of man in sin! 
May you humble yourself to the Word of God and follow it.
For if you do, you will be rewarded eternally.

"Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him."  (2 Kings 23:25)

Josiah I pray that you live your life fully for God. That after you are no longer on this earth
people will remember you as someone who turned to God with all his heart, soul and strength. 
That all you do, will be for the glory of God!

I cannot wait to see the man you will become!
Your father, sisters and I love you "to the moon and back"!!!






This week I have dedicated to sharing Josiah's story as of yet. It has been a long road and it is not over yet. So let's rewind and start at the beginning...



For His glory,



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Potato-Broth Bread





     I have been wanting to try this recipe for quite some time now. But, wasn't sure how tasty it was. I mean come on! Potato-broth bread?! According to my husband it sounded disgusting. *smile* But I really liked the idea of using up the water you cook the potatoes in. It totally encompasses "using it all up."

     To my delight it's pretty darn good! It is very moist, which is great!



Potato-Broth Bread

3 cups warm potato water                       
   1 package dry yeast (about 1 1/2 tsp)
1 cup mashed potato, warmed or at room temperature
2 1/2 tsp salt                               
  3 tablespoon (about 1/3 stick) butter, softened
  2 tablespoon sugar                                             
    7 1/2 to 8 1/2 cups flour


     Stir the potato water and yeast together in a large mixing bowl and let stand for a minute or so to dissolve. And the mashed potato, salt, butter, and sugar, and beat to blend well. Add 6 cups of the flour and beat vigorously. Add enough additional flour to make a manageable dough, turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for a minute or two. Let rest for 10 minutes.

     Resume kneading, adding just enough additional flour to keep the dough from being too sticky to handle, until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until double in bulk.

     Punch the dough down, divide in half, and shape into two loaves. Place in greased loaf pans, cover loosely, and let rise to the tops of the pans. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool on racks.

Enjoy!!


For His glory,



Monday, September 10, 2012

Quite Down Cobwebs



     I thought I might scream if I heard my name being called one more time. "Mommy, see! Show you!" Came the little voice over and over again.

     I want to yell, "Leave me alone! Don't you know I'm busy?!" So much to do, so little time. The "to do" list mocks me.

     "MOMMY, watch me! I show you!!" That's when I stopped and looked down at the sweet little chubby hand held out for me to take hold of. I stop and look at the sweet little face looking up at me, with pleading eyes and a tentative smile wondering if she would get "brushed off" again. That's when it hit me, like a knife through the heart.

      That's when it "hit" me. My sweet Naomi needs me!! The "to do" lists can wait. The floors can be swept later, the laundry can be put off. But my sweet children cannot! They are growing before my eyes, before I know it they wont want me to watch what they are doing. They wont want me to be part of their every moment! Before I know it, it will be too late!

Song For a Fith Child, by Ruth Hamilton. 1958
Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
and out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
but I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.


     Is  running a house and home important? Yes. Should a  strive to have a clean organized home? Yes. Is it eternal?  No. Is my children's salvation eternal? Yes! Investing my time and energy into my children, is what is eternal!

     "Come Naomi, I want you to show me. I would be happy to watch you!" My heart burst with joy at her delighted smile.

MY HANDS WERE BUSY
My hands were busy through the day.
I didn’t have much time to play.
The little games you asked to do,
I didn’t have much time for you.
I’d wash your clothes. I’d sew and cook.
You’d ask and I’d read from your book.
I’d tuck you in all safe at night,
And hear your prayers; turn out the light.

Then tiptoe softly by your door,
I wish I’d stayed a minute more.
For life was short, the years rushed past,
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at my side,
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away.
There are no longer games to play.

No Teddy Bears or misplaced toys
No sleepovers with lots of boys.
No goodnight kiss, no prayers to hear.
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands, once busy, now are still.
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to do.

Anonymous

     Let's all try and remember to spend more time with our children. There will always be laundry, dirty floors or dishes waiting. But our children cannot wait! They grow up so fast!

Do you remember to slow down and invest more in your children? Or like me, do you struggle with always wanting to accomplish your "to do?"



For His glory,




Monday, September 3, 2012

Joyful in Trials

Image via Barry Skeates/Flickr

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.
James 1:2


Have you ever had one of those days (or perhaps more then one *wink*), where you feel overwhelmed and frustrated? I know I have!

Josiah has been teething and is cranky. He only wants to be held and screams LOUDLY and angrily!

I prayed to have more patience and God has answered!...Now my 2 year old is pushing the boundaries even more the past few days. She is constantly whining and wanting my attention. Ha! God is trying to teach me patience through her. *smile*

My oldest spills a mess on the freshly cleaned floor. I want to scream!!

Then I remember, James 1:2. I am to find JOY in all my trials. I don't know about you, but when I hear the word trial, I think of BIG trials, not "little" trials. But God doesn't say to find joy in only "big" trials (which as a family we are going through some now.). He says to find joy in VARIOUS trials.

That's when I stop and think, I am so THANKFUL that Josiah alive! That his lung are strong and healthy enough to make sounds, let alone scream! I remember when he was too little to make noise. The first time we heard him make a noise was in the NICU and they had to reinsert his breathing tube and he made some little noises like a mouse squeaking. I WEPT for JOY and the fact that he was getting strong enough to make sounds.

 I thank Him for this time of instruction and that I am able to be home to instruct and discipline her. i find joy in her wanting me to be part of her life (even if it is 24/7 *wink*).

I thank the Lord that He has allowed me to stay home and home school Dakota.I am joyful that she is home with me and her sibling during the day.

Don't forget JOY!! What are some trials that you have dealt with lately and how did you find joy in them?




For His glory,



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