Monday, May 21, 2012

Big Praises!

Hello Friends and Family!
First, I just want to thank you so much for your prayers. God does hear the prayers of His saints and HE IS ANSWERING THEM!
 The ultrasound appointment today was indeed the best by far! Some aspects of it really just bring me to tears. First, I went today planning to ask for the same ultrasound tech I had last time and she was there! Yay! This lady is so sweet, kind, and SOOOOO encouraging! I really believe that it was God’s divine providence that we had her again. And then my baby girl….oh my baby girl. She looks SO good. Her head, abdomen, organs, and bodily functions, once again, are right on track. Her heart is growing and beating great, her lungs, stomach, kidneys, and all other organs are growing. Her head and abdomen are measuring right where they should be. All wonderful news.
 But then it gets better. All the bones in her arms are measuring straight now. Straight people! In the very first ultrasound we had, all the bones in her arms were very bowed. In the last ultrasound only some of them were straight. In this ultrasound they were ALL straight! Next, the two bones that the doctors were most concerned about were her femur (hip to knee) bones. In the first ultrasound they were both extremely bowed (the most bowed out of all her bones) and one of them even looked like a boomerang. Today….one of the was straight and the other only slightly bowed. Next, the long bones going from knees to ankles in her legs (please excuse the lack of technical names here)----one leg’s were straight and the other only slightly bowed. In the very first ultrasound these bones were also extremely bowed. Some of her bones are measuring a little short, but nothing of real concern. She is pretty much hanging at the low end of normal range. She is in the 30 something percentile for growth---which is not that bad! And she ways two pounds now! My amniotic fluid looked great as well. The ultrasound tech was also saying that for children with dwarfism the head measures very large and the forehead protrudes out. But Anna’s looks completely normal.
 One of the most AMAZING things I observed today was my precious girl practicing breathing. Her chest cavity was moving in and out! Her lungs are growing and working! I just want to weep over this little miracle because this was what the doctor’s were so concerned over (and what would be lethal for her) is for her rib cage to not grow properly and her lungs to not be able to grow and function. But, all that looks great!
 Then the doctor came in and also said that she looked great! Can you believe it?! He was the doctor we saw after her very first ultrasound and I think he was very encouraged with how well Anna is doing and the difference we see in her. He said it could just be how her bones are growing and not a disease. He even laughed and said that Josh and I may be very put out with them (these doctors) because Anna could be born and be perfectly normal and they would have made us worry for nothing! I am seriously still in shock that a doctor said that she could be born perfectly normal! He, of course, said that she still may possibly have skeletal dysplasia but he was not saying that she definitely did. That is the first ANY doctor has said to us. If you will remember, it was only at 17-18 weeks that Anna was at high risk for a lethal disease, they were wanting to know if we wanted to keep the pregnancy, and that she definitely had a skeletal dysplasia of some kind.
Now please don’t get me wrong. I am not banking on Anna being perfectly fine. She may or may not be. Only God knows and that is fine with me. But what is so incredible to me is how God is so evidently working. I know you could try to explain this away medically some how, but I really feel like I see a miracle taking place. I really believe God could be choosing to heal my baby girl. And while I would choose to praise him even if He did not do that for Anna, my heart is filled with such humble gratitude when it is looking like HE IS! I mean, there isn’t even an urgency right now that I deliver Anna were there is a NICU. The ways things are looking I will most likely take her HOME with me when I leave the hospital! These are all miracles to me. I see God’s hand so evidently working. I know that only He knows how Anna’s story will unfold and I can trust whatever comes from His hand---so I will not put my hope in Anna being perfectly fine and healthy. But I also want to give glory where glory is due. And I PRAISE my Heavenly Father for his work in my little one’s life. So, thank you all for your prayers. God is hearing and answering them! And please KEEP praying for us and our baby girl!
 Oh, and to leave on a slightly humorous note, Anna is completely breech! This is really not surprising to me since all of her kicks are LOW. But she is low and is sitting in my pelvis---bottom down. It took quite a lot of effort on the ultrasound tech’s part to be able to measure those little legs today! So, maybe the next thing we can all be praying for is for Anna to turn herself around! Mommy would be so happy! I think I could do with a little less kicks to the bladder. And I would be happy to avoid a c-section if I could (not that there is any worry about that now). ☺
 Thanks again everyone! Much love to you all!
 This is a sweet picture taken of our Anna’s face today. You can see those chubby cheeks, chin, and nose!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hello Everyone! I just wanted to let you all know that I have my next ultrasound for Anna tomorrow at 1:00.
 Here are a couple of things to pray for:
1. Continue to pray for God's healing and protective hand to be over Anna. Pray that her bones would be growing strong and straight and that her organs and bodily functions would be growing and developing as they should. Pray for protection for Anna against these lethal diseases. And mostly, pray for God to be claiming her as His own and giving her a heart to know him.
2. Pray for our hearts to respond with full faith and trust no matter what we see on the screen tomorrow or what we may hear. Pray that our hearts would be set on the Gospel---that Jesus is our Hope and Peace and that we have everything we need in Him. Pray that we will be believing that He is directing our steps and forming Anna perfectly. He is not making a mistake and we can trust Him completely.
3. Pray that God would give us the ultrasound tech and the doctor we need for this visit.
4. Pray that we would be bold in sharing the Hope that we have in whatever opportunities that arise.

 Also, a little more of a detailed report from my Doctor's visit in SC last week. As I said before, the doctor is a believer and he was very calm and gentle. He did not treat Anna as a problem but as our baby and was very compassionate. He took time to ask questions and answer any that we had. He normally delivers at St. Francis Hospital in Greenville which does not have a neo-natal intensive care unit. But, he said that he could deliver Anna at Greenville Memorial (which does) if we thought we needed that closer to delivery (this was a huge answer to prayer for me!). He also thought that Anna looked good and didn't think she would need a NICU after delivery based on what we have seen thus far. He is also getting me to see a Maternal Fetal Specialist (and I was told my a friend that this doctor is wonderful as well) who will monitor Anna and we will work together to determine her needs closer to delivery. I will be seeing both of these doctor's regularly once we move to SC in the middle of June. All I can say is that I see God just really going before us and providing for us and Anna. This doctor has far surpassed any experiences we have had with doctors/midwives here in Raleigh. I feel so peaceful about them caring for us and Anna when we move. I am just rejoicing over the Father's obvious loving care for us and our baby. Thank you so much for your continued prayers!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


A couple of weeks ago, a friend shared her desire to use her time more wisely. As she was asking for prayer and accountability it really made me think…. “how am I using my time?” While contemplating this question, I discovered that we spend our time on what we value. These values are not always righteous and holy, and these unholy values come from sin within our hearts.

 There are so many things that can war for our time throughout the day. There are good things like (when thinking of myself): spending time in the Word, caring for my husband some particular way, structuring my daughter’s day well by providing her loving instruction and care, caring for my home, caring for a friend or someone in need. Then there are many ways I am tempted to NOT use my time wisely (watching TV or allowing my little one to watch more TV than she should---what a temptation for me!). And then there are all those gray areas….writing a blog entry can be so good for me. Sometimes it is so helpful just to process my thoughts through writing. However, this is NOT a good use of time if I am neglecting mommying responsibilities to do it. Checking email is good and necessary, but there are also times when it is unwise to do so---doing laundry may be more important at that time.

 It is very sobering when I think of what my little girl sees as she goes throughout her day. What does she think I value? Does she think I value the TV, or the computer, or the phone? Does she think I value Jesus, and her, and caring for my family and others? When I remember that she will most likely value what I value it really makes me pause and evaluate our days. What does she see that Mommy loves most? Our family is heading into major transitions. As we weather all these changes (be they difficult or easy), does she see Mommy persevere by the help of the Holy Spirit to remember what counts for eternity? Or does she see Mommy take an easy road…. “it is a hard day so watch one more TV show, Cara.”

 The motives of the heart are deep waters and sometimes it takes time to wade through them. It wasn’t until I read this expert from “Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith” by CH Spurgeon that I felt some light was shed into my heart.

 He says, “The cure for envy lies in living under a constant sense of divine presence, worshipping God and communicating with him all the day long, however long the day may seem. True religion lifts the soul into a higher region, where the judgment becomes more clear, and the desires are more elevated. The more of heaven there is in our lives, the less of earth we covet. The fear of God casts out envy of men.

 Spurgeon communicates very well what the cure for envy is, but isn’t this the cure for any sin that is in our hearts? When we are constantly communing with the Lord, when we are treasuring Jesus and what He treasured, when we are abiding in Him, our perspective shifts and we see things through an eternal gaze---we see things as He sees them. It all goes back to “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Am I setting my mind on truth? Am I in prayer, constantly running to the assistance of my loving Heavenly Father? Am I remembering that I can do NOTHING in my own strength and that I am in desperate need ALWAYS of my Savior? DO I covet the things of this world? Do I long for an easier road that the world tells me I deserve? Am I insisting on my own way and neglect dying to myself? Am I imitating Jesus? Do I love what He loves? Oh yes! I am in major need of a heaping host of heaven in my life. I need more and more of Jesus to fill up and cast out my sinful, selfish desires. And the wonderful news is that Jesus is ready and willing to grant that desire. Yes, He is my able Helper. He is everything that I am not and everything that I need. He is there to offer forgiveness and grace when I fail and strength and joy to persevere. He gives the gift of time. And He will lovingly guide my steps in the using of it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Not Forsaken

My heart has been so encouraged recently as I have been reading in John. I have LOVED just soaking in the life of Jesus. In John 14, verse 10, Jesus says that he and the Father are one. That means when I see the love of Jesus, the wisdom of Jesus, the compassion of Jesus---it all shows me what the Father is like as well. And I have seen the PURPOSE of Jesus. He was carrying out the plan of redemption set before the beginning of time. He says in 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Again, I am blown away at the LOVE of my Savior. And I have really needed to be sitting on that recently. I really believe that when trials come we can so easily believe that God does not love us and that He is not for us. But that is completely opposite of what God's Word says. God purposes trials for our good. He bends then and shapes them to fullfil all that He has lovingly designed for us. And I am really thankful for the Spirit's help in clinging to that truth. When the future looks uncertain and not laid out as clearly as I would like, when I am not sure if my sweet little girl will live when she is born, I still find my rest in my God who KNOWS and is LOVING and WISE in the knowing.

 Here are some thoughts that were encouraging to me from the sermon on Sunday:

 1. "If it were best for us, God would say you will have no more trials. But, that is not what is best for us. What is BEST for us is that God is WITH us in our trials."

 2. "Because God will not forsake you, you will not forsake Him." (It all goes back to God and not to us, right? I LOVE that! It doesn't depend on my strength!)

 3. Spurgeon, on Joshua 1:5, "I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee"
It would be woe to us if Jehovah could fail us; but, as this can never be, the winds of disquietude are laid to sleep in the caverns of divine faithfulness. On no one occasion will the Lord desert us. Happen what may, he will be at our side. Friends drop from us, there help is but an April shower; but God is faithful, Jesus is the same forever, and the Holy Spirit abideth in us. Come, my heart, be calm and hopeful today. Clouds may gather, but the Lord can blow them away. Since God will not fail me, my faith shall not fail; and, as he will not forsake me, neither will I forsake him. Oh for a RESTFUL FAITH!