Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Totally off subject!

I was surfing some of my favorite blogs today when I ran across a WONDERFUL, convicting post. I wanted to share it with all of you.

I don't know about you but I have made big plans for my government stimulus check; new tile, a swing set for Sam, possibly medical bills, lots of ideas come to mind. God changed those plans today! It amazes me at how my life has changed in the past 5 years. After getting married, buying a house and having children, it seems that my responsabilities have dictated the outflow of my pocketbook. Money has not flowed as freely from my pocket as it once did for Kingdom works. For this I am ashamed and ultimately the one who has suffered. I know from experience that I put much less value on material things when I am freely giving it away. I have found that the more I give, the less I want. Is this not the essence of our BACKWARD Christianity? Thank you Jesus for knowing how to make things work for all those involved!

This post reminded me of the old me. I am convicted and moved to do something worthy of His praise with this money. I am praying that we would each be convicted to use all or some of this money to change the world around us for Christ!

Economic Stimulus Payment & Christ April 28, 2008 By: John Piper

For a moment, forget the political puzzle of getting money back when the country is nine trillion dollars in debt. The more immediate question is: How will you make much of Christ with your "economic stimulus payment"? The president says it will be in the mail in time for Cinco de Mayo.

Clue: Nobody in the world will see you spend your money on yourself and conclude that Christ is your treasure. They will assume you are just like them, no matter how loudly you thank God for this boon. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend it on yourself (the way we do with most of what we earn). Not everything we do can look different from the world—eat, pay utilities, fill up the car, wear clothes (even thrift-store clothes). And yes, we hope (somehow) that spending on ourselves in some way contributes to our being more Christ-exalting people.

But do we really need this money? Very few do. We would have gotten on fine without it. If we didn’t know it was coming, we wouldn’t even be feeling the desires we are feeling right now.
May I encourage you to be radically creative and hedonistic. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). And those crazy Macedonians in a “severe test of affliction” and in “extreme poverty” had an “abundance of joy” that overflowed in a “wealth of generosity.” They even begged Paul “for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints” (2 Corinthians 8:2-4). They really believed what Jesus said. Really.

Before the check comes dream of some person or ministry which might make much of Christ because you treasured him above your next home project.

The reason God created money and enabled us to earn it is so that we could show by the way we use it that money is not our treasure, Christ is. That’s why the checks are coming. So we can make Christ look great.

“Be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

And I leave you with another question posed by Piper, "Is His reputation a happy burden to us?"

Monday, April 28, 2008

My epiphany! & my trip to the hospital!

As Josh & I lay in bed, listening to Sam cry last night, God revealed something so strikingly simple, yet so profound to me. For some time, maybe my whole life in Christ, I have struggled with the question, "How could God let his only Son suffer like he did?" This question has only seemed to magnify since becoming a mother. It seems that watching Samara suffer so greatly would be impossible.

I have known since my "birth" that Christ died for me.....that this was real, because He chased me down. I did no go looking for God, He came looking for me. Because the Spirit came in and transformed my heart, my relationship with Christ did not start with head knowledge. As I came to know the Gospel more and more, my heart began to wonder how it was possible to love all of the world more than you love your own Son. I was asking the wrong question; looking at it the wrong way.

As I listened to Samara cry and Josh grow frustrated, I felt the need to remind him that we were letting her cry it out for "her own good." As I watch a friend of the family endure the treatment of leukemia for their precious 3 year old daughter, I think, the only way they could bear this pain is for "her own good." Countless other situations come to mind. Would it not be selfish of us as parents to sheild our children from this timeless statement? To never let them suffer for "their own good?"

This is significant because I finally realize that this was why God was able to endure the torment of his Son. It was for Christ's own good and the good of all of the people on earth for Him to suffer and die. It was the most selfless thing, not only for Christ, but also for the God who watched His Son suffer.

As I read back over what I have written, I realize that what is in my head is almost never what comes out. I pray that this makes any sense at all......I just felt that it was too cool not to share!

After all day Friday, all night that night and then waking up on Saturday morning with contractions and lots of pressure, I decided that I needed to do something. I called the doctor.....who actually called me back (only because she was on call) after never hearing back from the office on Friday. If only I had the results back from my test I could have been at peace, even with the symptoms I was experiencing. No such luck.....the doc wanted me to head up to the hospital to make sure nothing was going on.....better safe than sorry, especially at this point! After being monitored and having yet another FFN test run, I was sent home later that day. The FFN cam back negative and my contractions were deemed "irritation" so nothing that was of concern. There is no doubt that this week and then my trip to the hospital were a clue to me that I had simply been doing too much! My idea of bed rest was doing everything I had been doing except shopping and picking up Samara! Guess my body didn't like that definition and showed me just how wrong I was. Needless to say, I have been spending MUCH more time in bed : )

Friday, April 25, 2008

Our week

I'll just start off by saying that I did too much this past weekend and I have been paying for it. After you have been on "limited activity" for a while your confidence goes up in how much you can handle. I had been doing very well and was doing more than I had anticipated, so I figured I would do a little more. I suppose I got a little carried away with this line of thinking.

It is difficult when Josh is home because he has to be doing something all of the time and if he isn't, he is B-O-R-E-D! Obviously this creates a problem since I can't do much of anything. He wants to be home with me and be supportive but he gets close to pulling his hair out. I, in turn, feel guilty and want to do stuff with him so, this weekend, I did. Bad idea.

I have pretty much done nothing this week simply because I have felt pretty lousy. My poor mother has had to deal with us all week and is probably grateful for the weekend.

I had an OB appt on Wednesday, which was pretty pointless except that they did the FFN test again. I was supposed to receive the results today but they never called. I called twice and they still never called. I am frustrated to say the least. The receptionist is so incredibly rude and everyone seems to be totally unconcerned with the patients.....AAAHHHH!

I honestly want to change doctors.....I have had nothing but problems with this staff. The doctor is's just that the staff that is AWFUL! It makes me so stressed and that is the last thing I need right now. I don't know how wise it would be to change docs so late in the pregnancy, not to mention that I am high risk. Another concern is that I hated Harris HEB and that is where I have to deliver. Harris Downtown was SOOOOO much better AND Cook's is next door in case I did deliver early. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

I changed doctors this pregnancy because i was not happy with the doc.....unfortunately for me this time around, the staff there was AMAZING! All of the preterm stuff I had the first pregnancy actually seemed to be a concern for the nurses and that was nice since I had never been through that before. This time has been quite different and I think things would have been so much less stressful if someone just gave a flip. (sorry for the venting)

All of my doctor issues, along with watching the junk my grandfather has to deal with, I am convinced that we have just learned to accept the crappy medical care we receive and don't know what else to do because we obviously don't have the expertise needed to care for ourselves. I am close to going the natural route....but that will be a huge lifestyle change because I am not really familiar with that. I wish I had started out learning to care for myself with natural remedies but as I talked with my mother about it, she explained that was really looked down upon as we were growing up. I am so tired of doctors at this point and am just ready to try something different.

Please pray that I start feeling better and that I did not start something that my body can't control or that the docs cannot stop.

Oh ya.....Samara has adjusted to her "big girl" bed, but in her own way! We bought a toddler bed because we could not get her to sleep in the big bed in her room. We thought the toddler bed would be more like the crib and be a less difficult transition. After several nights of screaming herself to sleep and having TERRIBLE nights, we decided to put a gate up in the doorway of her room so that she could not get out (she can open doors now). After the first night with the gate, we went to check on her & she had put herself back to sleep in the big "big girl" bed! So, now she is sleeping in the double bed and things are GREAT! Guess she will always be one of those kids who has to do things her way or no way! Look out world! (don't know where she got the stubborness????)

Monday, April 21, 2008

He has a name (we think) is not official....noone can hold us to this, but we have come up with a name that we both like!!!!!!!!!

Spencer Nolan

I like Spencer and Josh likes Nolan so we thought this would be a good compromise....considering he picked out Samara and I picked out Elizabeth (& Jane)! For those of you who don't know, I always call her Samara Jane even though that isn't her name.

For those who are interested......

Spencer means- a steward
Nolan means- champion

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Having been home and off of bed rest for over a week now, I feel like life is almost back to normal! I have still been taking it pretty easy but I am able to do things like see my grandfather who is in a nursing home as well as fulfill my CVS addiction!

I was able to attend church this past Sunday and it was fantastic! Unfortunately I had to give up my position teaching but was able to attend Sunday School for the first time since August! What a strange but wonderful experience. I have really missed the fellowship of my SMBS brothers and sisters, but have LOVED teaching and building all the new relationships that brought. I am going to miss my kids and their parents sooo much, not to mention my fellow workers.

Samara is doing well. She is having a difficult time transitioning into her "big girl" bed, but is slowly getting accustomed to the new room and new bed! She has been SUPER clingy to me, which is very unusual.....she is usually a Daddy's girl all the way! It has been sweet but it is still hard for me not to pick her up when she wants to love on me!

Mom has been coming over most days to do things around the house for us like washing, cleaning and making meals. She is a go getter and wears me out! She doesn't know how to take a break. I am so grateful for all she does and continues to do. This house would be a disaster if she hadn't come in and taken control. THANKS MOM!

I have an OB appt every 2 weeks for the next 6 weeks (at which point I will go every week). They will redo the FFN test each appt. Pray that these all come back negative! I believe that they will stop the medicine and quit doing the FFN test at 36 weeks. They deem a delivery "safe" at this point so there is no longer any need to keep it from happening.

Not much to report since life is back to normal, for the most part! Thank you all for your prayers!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Good news!

Well, I only have good news to report! YEAH!

My sonogram looked great. The doc said that everything looked like it was back to normal! I guess my body is responding well to the rest and the medication for my contractions. They redid the FFN test and that also came back negative so everything is really looking up!

Because everything looks so great, they have given me permission to be on "light activity" bed rest. This is wonderful EXCEPT knowing where to draw the line. They were very clear that I am not able to lift anything over 10 lbs (Samara weighs 25lbs), so that makes taking care of her all on my own very difficult, if not impossible. They also told me that I can't really go shopping or do any kind of activities where I will be standing for long periods of time. They did ok me to go to church so, WOOHOO!!!!!!! I am so thankful for that!

We bought Samara a toddler bed in hopes that she will start sleeping in that.....which will allow me to put her to bed, which will, in turn, keep my Mom from having to spend the night. (I cannot lift her in and out of the crib) She did sleep in there last night so pray that it will continue. Josh and my Mom have both agreed that she still needs to come over and assist me during the day so that I will not overdue things.

Thank you all for your prayers. I am so blessed that things have gone as well as they have and am praying for another 12 weeks of pregnancy!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Frustrated but thankful!

LAZY! That is how I feel. While I realize that I am simply following doctors orders, it doesn't help the feeling that I am just being lazy! It takes everything I have not to just get up when I want something. I have plenty of people around reminding me that I can't do that, so for those of you who are worried that I am doing too much, DON'T! Bathroom breaks, a shower and the occasional trip to the kitchen are about all I get. I am having the same discomfort that I had when I went into the hospital so I know that I can't overdo it at this point. I am praying that will go away with time.

It is such a joy to be home and around Samara all day. She makes me smile and I need that right now. She is still a little confused as to why I can't feed her or get her more juice or pick her up, but I think she is doing much better than when she could only see me 30 min a day. She missed her Daddy a ton (as usual), so she has been soooo happy to have both of us home!

Thankfully Josh already did alot with Samara, so that transition hasn't been too difficult. It is only questions like, "What do I put her in" that he has really had to ask. He brings me the hair stuff so I can fix her hair, so he doesn't have to worry about that. (I'm not sure what she would have looked like when Josh had her if I had to stay in the hospital, but at least she would have been cared for!) He is an excellent Father and I am grateful for that.

As for his adjustment in being the housekeeper and my wait staff, we'll allow a little more time until that discussion!

Overall this is a real challenge, but one I wouldn't trade. Getting to see Sam is worth every bit of the frustration.

Our parents have been amazing and it is a true blessing to have them so close. I would not be able to be home if it weren't for my Mom.....thanks Mom, you're the best! Not only has she been a caregiver for Sam, she has also gotten my house back in order! She's a trooper! From now until this little boy decides to join us, Mom & Dad have volunteered to stay at our house while Josh is out of town (Tues-Fri). As I am sure you can imagine, this is a huge sacrifice and I cannot tell you how grateful I am. Please pray for their sanity and my Mom's mental, emotional and physical well-being. She is still dynamite but she is no spring chicken.....doing the toddler thing is a little different than when she was 20!

It is also very difficult to not be able to do things like make dinner for them when they are doing so much for me.....I feel so useless!!!!!!!!! AAAHHHH!

Please continue to pray for us. I have an appt for both my OB and the paranatologist on Wed morning......please pray that I get a good report from them both.

For those of you who don't know, I have a very good friend who is well overdue with her first child. Please pray for her. She is actually doing really well (much better than I would have been) and I am so proud of her, but I think things are getting close and I am sure that things are getting intense around there. Misty....I love you and can't wait to meet your little Amelia! I am praying for you!

For those of you who have called, I realize that you would like to talk to me. I haven't been answering the phone. I am just trying to get adjusted to all of this and don't want to be negative to anyone when I should just be thankful that I am home. I am not trying to be rude...I am thankful for all of your calls. I will start answering the phone soon.

I have rambled far too long!

Saturday, April 5, 2008


I am going home today! The paranatologist finally did the sonogram about 1:00 and everything looked great. He is sending me home on bedrest, taking medicine to keep the contractions from happening.

News that was just as exciting......I have an appointment on Wednesday to have another sonogram and if everything looks good, they will lighten my restrictions!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't really know what that means but it sounds great to me!

Thank you all sooooo much for your prayers. The Lord has given me favor and I am just so grateful for all the intercession on my behalf!

Thursday, April 3, 2008



I guess you can see that it is going to be hard not to get my hopes up at this point.

Just received word that my FFN test came back negative! Not without a little drama and waiting of course. This is supposed to be a test with results in an hour.......they took the test around 4:30 and I am just now getting the results at midnight! The day shift nurse said that she checked before the end of her shift and the lab told her that they were going to have to repeat the test and then would have the results. What the heck did that mean???? Apparently if you had a positive test and then you come back negative they have to double check! It's pretty funny when God gets to confusing those doctors!

Night shift came in for meds around 9 and I was bugging her for them.......she said they still weren't back. I made her promise she would come and let me know as soon as she knew something. They all know at this point that I am dying for a negative result!

I was exhausted and ended up falling asleep early......which is a good thing since I haven't been sleeping very well (this is not the Hampton Inn, ok). Nurse came in around midnight for another dose of meds and I had to ask the girl AGAIN! They were back.....AAAHHHH.....I thought she was going to let me know as soon as she knew something. I guess it's ok because I was asleep anyway, BUT STILL!!!!! This stupid little test holds the fate of my future for the next several months and it happens to be pretty stinkin important to me!

Anyway.....NEGATIVE!!!!!! So now.....pray, pray, pray that the sono looks good on Saturday and that I will be able to head on outta here. I know that going home will present it's own set of challenges, but I am willing to face whatever challenges those might be to get to see my baby more than 30 minutes a day! That has been heartbreaking!

Tomorrow will likely be a VERY long day since I will just be waiting for Saturday to get here, but I will survive and I am certain that there will be an abundance of visitors and phone calls again.

Thank you all for your prayers.....I know this is the work of the Lord.

Freaking out the family!

Nothing much to report on the baby front today. They monitored me last night and today and didn't see any contractions happening, so that is GOOD!

Another day with a steady stream of people. Haven't had time to be bored yet. I got to see Samara this afternoon so that was wonderful. She seemed a little better with me today but is obviously very confused! I at least got a bye-bye hug and kiss today! (she also blew me a kiss on the way out)

AND a very funny.....or not so funny, depending on who you are......story about my mother and her craziness! I will start off by saying that she got some news last night that she will be having yet ANOTHER grandbaby.....#9! Apparently she was anxious to share the news and so she decided to send out an e-mail to my brothers that said "Baby #9 is on the way". Well, I don't know about you but, they didn't think twice about what number my baby is going to be for her. They immediatly assumed that I was going into labor! As you can imagine, that brought about a bit of panic. One of my brothers got off of work and was rushing to the hospital when he found out that this e-mail was not about me at all! And the other brother calls her and asks what is going on with me.....which was the first clue that she had obviously made a big boo boo! Way to go, MOM!

Here's another page that I worked on today:

During my downtime!

Just thought I would share my latest craze! I am just starting to digital scrapbook and I LOVE it! Josh gets a little annoyed at the new addiction but he's a good sport.....and what else do I have to do now!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How in the world did this all get started?

Monday- March 31- 26 Weeks 5 Days

I was experiencing severe pain in my lower abdomin which had been progressively getting worse for a few days. I suppose Josh had enough of my grunting and groaning and made me call the doc. I got word about 2pm that they wanted me to head up to the hospital to be monitored just to make sure the pain wasn't from preterm labor. I didn't even know where I was going because I hadn't had the "tour" at this hospital yet! Strangely I had just talked this over with Dawn on Sunday, who also delivered at HEB. She had given me a good idea of where it was, so I was able to figure it out.

Samara was asleep when I needed to scoot so I went up there alone while Josh waited for her to wake up. Coincidentally Mom was already at the hospital because of Papaw, so she met me down there. I got checked in and hooked up to the monitor.....which didn't seem to be showing anything. The doctor had ordered an FFN test, which detects a protein that is released in the beginning stages of labor, just to be safe. The test is really confusing so if you are interested you can check it out at

We were sure that they would monitor me until they got the test results back and then send me home. That never happened. Thankfully Josh came up with Sam and Mom took her home so we didn't have to worry about her. After what seemed like forever the nurse came in with a wheelchair and informed me that my FFN test had come back positive and that I was going to have to stay the night in the hospital so that I could see the paranatologist the following day.

Wow, what a blow. Honestly we were just confused. No one told us anything. We didn't know what it meant for us to have this test come back positive! I, of course was dying for more info and I think Josh was just in shock. Josh went home to get some necessities, which of course included my computer. Once he came back I was able to do a little research online for this test and what I found out was NOTHING! It seemed that only the negative test was conclusive. The positive test meant something different for each individual.....AAAHHH!!!!

And the waiting began.....which Josh, nor I do very well. It was a time of keeping ourselves busy and relying on the only thing reliable at that point.....the Lord.

Tuesday- April 1- 26 weeks 6 days

Lots of waiting and lots of calls letting people know what was going on.

The on-call doctor from my OB's office came in and talked with me. She was very informative and made me feel a little less lost, though her news was NOT what I wanted to hear. She was able to tell me that the paranatologist was going to be in charge of my "management plan". She said it would either be bed rest at home or bed rest in the hospital......not quite the choices I was expecting since I was up and running around like normal just yesterday.

I spent most of the day going back and forth between denial and figuring out what being on bed rest was really going to mean......mostly, who was going to take care of Samara and how her and I are going to deal with being apart after having spent the past 9 months with one another basically 24/7. The offers to watch her have been overwhelming and I am so grateful for each and every one. She is very comfortable at Mom's......has her own bed and lots of toys, so she is there right now and doing good.

The doctor was supposed to be here today. Didn't show. Josh was sooo disappointed, knowing he was going to have to leave out on business early tomorrow morning.

Wednesday- April 2- 27 weeks

5am- Josh woke up early and headed out. I couldn't go back to sleep......too anxious about what I was going to find out. Spent some time with the Lord awaiting the arrival of the doctor.

8am- The doc showed! The baby looked cervix was still long, which is what we wanted........but there was some funneling at the top of my cervix and he was able to see me having a contraction. Apparently those were not good things. Soooo, he said they would do the FFN test again either tomorrow or Friday and depending upon the results of that test he would be able to tell me what the future holds. He will be back in on Saturday and will do another sono. He said that if the FFN results came back negative that he would likely send me home as long as he could be certain that I would do NOTHING. If the test comes back positive I will be in the hospital for the duration of the pregnancy.

So here goes the waiting game all over again.....I suppose that is what I can expect until I have him......get used to it girl!!!!!

Visitors galore today! Thank you everyone for your love. I am so grateful for this amazing surrounding of love, support and prayers! I don't think I will have to worry too much about being lonely.....even with Josh gone.

Mom & Dad brought Sam up tonight. I miss her sooo much. She was mad at me and didn't really want to have anything to do with me. I understand.....this must be very difficult for her. I could easily have let it really hurt my feelings but I know that she must be so confused. I am just sad for her and sad because I miss her so much. I pray for her all the time but honestly I am not quite sure what to pray for......comfort, peace, all of that, yeah.....but mostly I suppose I just want her to know that I still love her just as much.....that I am not mad at her and that I didn't send her away. I want her little mind to feel God's love like a covering. I am certain that God will provide whatever she needs. This will probably be a good lesson in independence for both of us.

While this is all very hard, the Lord was able to put this all in perspective when my dad sent me this link which tells the story of the 3 year old daughter of one of my lifelong family friends who has leukemia. I cannot fathom seeing my baby go through all that Jordan has. Please pray for them.
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