March 5, 2012

As I get prepared for our appointment with maternal fetal medicine tomorrow, I spent some time reading over the prayer I wrote the day I found out we were expecting this little one. I write to get thoughts out and since Kerry was working and we wanted to keep the whole pregnant under wraps for a bit, I had to sit down for 2 minutes to write out my prayer of thanks the afternoon I found out. This is what I wrote thanking God for this precious gift. It was a good reminder today.
3/5/12
My Dear Heavenly Father,
I have to write this down because my mind is racing so much I can’t even focus long enough to say anything more than the words “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” Thank you for sending your son to die on the cross for my salvation. Thank you Lord for the blessing of children! And Thank you God for allowing me to be pregnant again. I cannot put into words the joy I’m feeling at this moment.
I am so grateful for this moment it’s hard to describe. I thought I would be more afraid of being pregnant after losing Knox, but I’m anticipating it. I’m excited about the prospect. I pray Lord that you will allow me to carry this baby to term and that you will help him/her to grow and develop normally. I also pray God that you will allow me to have a safe birth at home.
Lord, please guide our steps as we make decisions for my healthcare and as we look to the future of this little one. Lord, please bring about a peace as we embark on this adventure. Please help this pregnancy to glorify you and this child and his/her birth glorify you and the grace that you give. God I thank you so much for the precious blessing you have bestowed on our family. Please help us to be good stewards of the gifts You provide for us and to always trust You.
Thank you. I praise You Lord for Your provision and Your grace and Your love for me. Thank you God for the blessing of another child.
In Jesus’ precious name,
Amen.
 

Talk Turkey and pray

November is a special time at our house. Three of our boys have birthdays in November. Gabe is November 22, Otto is November 23 and Zeke is November 19. We lost a baby November 15, 2009. We remember that baby each year because I truly think that God doesn’t let you forget the children He blesses you with, even if you’ve only known them for a short time.
We are looking forward to November for another reason this year. We are expecting our 8th child (5th here on earth) on November 15. We were quite surprised to find we were pregnant in early March. Everyone at our house had a bout of the flu around that time, myself included and I just wasn’t getting any better. In fact, I felt rotten and exhausted. Then coffee made me nauseous and I suspected something was up.
We are excited and to be totally honest a bit nervous. When we lost Knox last December, it was such a shock to our family. While I had suffered miscarriages previously, I had never lost a baby so late in the pregnancy. My biggest fear after he was born, due to the complications I had after he was born, was that I wouldn’t be able become pregnant again.
I am delighted to be pregnant, but I approach it with much more caution and prayer. I have prayed more fervently for this pregnancy, this child and this birth more than I have any of my others. I am nervous about how I will navigate through the weeks of this pregnancy that coincide with the days and weeks when I lost Knox. I will be 15 weeks pregnant with this pregnancy the week I would have been due with Knox (he was 15 weeks when he died). This baby is due the same day we lost another baby, but is also due the same week that we celebrate the births of our 3 oldest boys.
I have learned though and have been reminded, that this pregnancy is not in my control. He has a purpose for this child and his or her life, just as He did for Knox and the other two babies I have lost and just as He does for my 4 boys here on earth. No matter how much I want to cling to them, if God chooses to take them from this earth, it is His will and not mine. We are trusting God for my health and this baby’s health as we progress in this pregnancy. We appreciate and desire your prayers for our family and this precious baby.
This is our first picture of our little one.
I wrote the above post on Thursday night, below is an update from Friday morning…
We got a phone call this morning from our doctor. Below is an email we sent to our family…
On Wednesday we had a sonogram to check the baby and to ease my mind a bit as I’m a little anxious after we lost Knox. At that sonogram, they take a measurement called a nuchal translucency test. They measure the amount of fluid at the back of baby’s neck. Normal values are less than 2.5 mm. Ours was 6mm. They often combine that test with a blood test (which I did, but we don’t have the results for) to determine the risk of chromosomal abnormalities and heart defects. Because our result was so high, my physician called this morning to talk about options and refer me to maternal fetal medicine in Colorado Springs. With a measurement that significant it is unlikely that the blood work would bring the “risk” level down to an acceptable range.

We have a number of options. One option is to have a CVS study (where they take part of the placenta) and do genetic testing to determine if there are chromosomal abnormalities with the baby. It won’t necessarily tell us if there are cardiac defects. This test has to be done in the next week. Or we can wait for about 2 months and have an amniocentesis (where they take amniotic fluid) and do genetic testing. The risks of both procedures are the loss of the pregnancy, which is about 1:200 or 1:225 for both. While it won’t change our decision to carry this pregnancy to term, I very much need to know what I’m dealing with. I have elected to undergo the CVS test next Thursday morning at 0900 in Colorado Springs.
Regardless of the results, I will have a very detailed sonogram at 22-24 weeks and a fetal cardiac echocardiogram to evaluate the functioning of the baby’s heart and screen for any defects there. As I said, the results of these tests won’t affect whether we continue with the pregnancy as we believe every life is precious the test will help prepare us for what lies ahead. If the chromosome studies are normal, but there is a heart defect we will most likely have the baby in Denver where we have access to baby heart doctors. 🙂 If the chromosome studies are abnormal, it will change how we manage the birth in terms of interventions, such as a c-section etc. We appreciate prayers and since I often use this blog to “brain dump” I’m sure updates will follow.
We are trusting God to help us navigate through this really scary time for our family. We also know that our God is big, our God is good and that He loves His children. We trust Him for whatever the future holds for our family and our precious little baby.

 

What next?

When I tell someone I’ve quit my job, the very next question is “what are you going to do?” Well… I’m going to stay home with our children. But I really think the question they’re asking is “how are you going to pay your bills?”
The truth is we have no idea what lies ahead for our family. We took a step of faith (and obedience) when I turned in my resignation. We felt like God was calling me home full time to disciple and school our children. We trust that God will provide for our family because He is faithful to those who are obedient to Him. We have never been hungry and we have always had a home to sleep in. 1 Timothy 6:8 says “If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content”. We have been so blessed that Kerry has always been able to find a job that provides for our needs and that we have both been able to work while homeschooling and have not had to put our boys in childcare. We are looking forward even more to me being able to be home full time. (And can I say when I was younger, I never thought I would want to be a stay at home mom…but that is a whole other post).
So no, we don’t know what lies ahead. We don’t know if we’ll move or if we’ll stay here. Kerry has been called to be in ministry and he would love to be in ministry full time. He is looking for a position that will allow him to be full time answering that call. So if you know of anything…:)
Will we move? Beats me. We are open to moving just about any where, and since I worked as a traveling nurse the idea of a new place is a little exciting. (Although we like it here and are so blessed by a church family that is really FAMILY). Our Kansas family would like us to move that direction, but we really are open to any where. I’ve always wanted to try living in Alaska, but they might disown us if we moved there. Some of our criteria for if we move are that 1. the church be Biblically sound and we are called there 2. I will be able to stay at home and 3. the homeschooling laws/options are doable. We’re not limiting ourselves to certain states or areas (although there are some we’d enjoy more than others).
Saying “I have no idea” sounds so ill advised when people ask the “what next” question. But it isn’t. No we don’t know where we will be, what we will be doing or where we are going. But we do know that we are being obedient and our God is faithful. Both Kerry and I have felt such peace since we’ve made our decision, and because of that peace we know we’re doing exactly what God has called us to do. I may not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future (I think Homer said it). That’s exactly how we feel.

Matthew 6: 25-24 (NASB)

25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes thegrass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 

I’m also reminded of a song we sing sometimes in church. It’s a Gaither song (not usually my type), but it captures why we’re so peaceful about our “unknown future”.

Because He Lives

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives


Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.


And then one day I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives.


Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone!
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives!

~ William and Gloria Gaither ~

 
 
 

Light

Darkness. Sin. Worldliness. Hate. Anger. Hurt. Grief. Gossip.
They’re all part of life everyday. We’re surrounded by them, we’re affected by them and we’re involved with them. This weekend we remember the death of Jesus (and His resurrection). As I read through the story this last week with the boys, I couldn’t help but imagine the despair His followers felt. The hopelessness and darkness. What always astounds me is that they didn’t remember what Jesus told them. They had a heads up. He told them that He would rise again. But they were so surrounded by darkness and the world around them that they didn’t have hope.
We are like that sometimes. We get so wrapped up in the world around us, in the sin and despair that we forget the promises we have from God. We’re not promised an “easy” life, but we are promised that He will be with us every step of the way. We are promised that He will give us strength to endure the trials we go through. But yet we are like the disciples and Jesus’ followers. We forget.
I think too, this weekend of the sacrifice that Jesus made on my behalf. Apart from the fact that He was put to death a completely innocent man, and I think of not only the physical pain and suffering He endured, but the despair He felt. Because Jesus took on my sin and yours, God turned away from Him and poured out the wrath that you and I deserve on His own son. The worst thing I can imagine is being apart from my God. Being isolated, attacked without defense and left alone. I am so thankful that because of the sacrifice of my Savior Jesus Christ, I am able to have a relationship with God. I don’t have to be alone, I don’t have to be engulfed by the darkness that rules this world. I am promised eternal life in Heaven with God.
The light of Christ gives me hope in this dark world. It is His light that guides me and leads me through the trials. I am so thankful that I have hope because of the sacrifice that was made for me. Jesus died on the cross to pay the price of my sin so that I wouldn’t have to. Isn’t that awesome? I have light in this dark world…I have hope and I have a future.