"Well done, good and faithful servant."

Overall, this weekend has been a good one. Due to the New Year holidays it seemed short and I was able to spend lots of quality time with my family. We enjoyed our lazy days playing trains, watching Dora and Diego and several of the Bowl Games, and luckily, taking naps. Today held true to that relaxing pattern as we enjoyed church and went to lunch with friends... Yesterday was slightly different.

Yesterday we attended baby Riley's memorial service. From the moment I found out the details of the service, there was no question in my mind that I would be going. I asked Dusty if he would go with me and without hesitation he said "yes"; although in his voice I could hear some reservation. He has been very protective of me, both mentally and physically, and I think he really feared how I would hold up attending a service of a baby who, in so many ways, seems so similar to Maddox. After dropping off Deacon with our brother and sister-in-law, we made our way to the church for the service.

I really felt fine all the way there, and then, as we pulled in and were listening to KSBJ, the Casting Crowns song "East to West" started playing. My body took over as my arm flung across the dash to shut off the radio... too late! The tears were already coming as I looked across the parking lot to see people walking into the church in their black attire. As Dusty put the car in park, I took off my sunglasses to wipe my eyes. I kept thinking, "I know I can do this... for Christie... for me," but in that moment it all seemed uncertain. Dusty took my hand and looked at me, "I want you to remember something... this is not Maddox's funeral." He reminded me that we were there to support my friend, and although the situations seem very similar, we have no idea what the Lord has in store for us. Honestly, I felt annoyed and undoubtedly he could see it as I replied, "I know, but I would be upset if this were any of our friends..." He said okay and left it at that. What an awesome man! No pushing, or "I know but" in return... just a simple okay~ he made his point and it was valid. It was needed. He was right... this wasn't our situation. Who knows? It could be, or it could be one of a million others... but in that moment I needed the reminder.

We walked in and took seats in the back. I think overall I was in control of my emotions, something I was very worried about prior to attending. It was difficult as Christie and James walked in with their Wesley and I watched her move to the front crying... my heart was (and is) broken for them. However, they did amazingly well and I know that it was due to all the prayers for them. Thank you also to all of those praying for us yesterday, and to my sweet friends praying specifically for peace and control for me... the Lord came through once again in a very evident way.

It was a very sweet service~ short, heart-felt and loving. It was a wonderful tribute to who the Lord called Riley to be in his brief life here, and what He has done through Riley's parents. Their faith and willingness to continue, in the face of great uncertainty, was celebrated. There was a slide show of the amazing time they spent with their little 3lb. 7 1/2oz. boy and a beautiful picture at the front. It was so important for me to be there. To be there for Christie, to be there as a witness to the life they gave this child, to be there for me to see first hand that life does go on, and to remember that through it all, God is still in control. It was a blessing for me to sit in that room with about 40 other people and know that the Lord was saying to them, "Well done, good and faithful servant(s)." (Matthew 25:21)

As I realized yesterday was the 5th of January and we are scheduled for the 5th of February... things have started seeming a little more real. My parents and sisters have booked their flights and hotels to come and stay, we met with the hospital staff and were showed around the NICU and L&D, and a sweet friend has asked to do one more prayer service as we are within the final weeks. Wow... so much going on~ many of these things a family should never have to do to plan for the earthly arrival of their son, and yet needed. We need the preparation and we are thankful for the time to enjoy our sweet boy while he is here with us... his little hiccups and all!

I would ask each of you, as you are lifting up our family, to continue to pray for God's will to be very evident in the decision-making process once Maddox is born. I continue to be concerned that we will know the "right" things to do for this child, so we are asking that He will be ever-present and guide us through. We are also asking that you would pray for steady weight gain. I know that a 2lb baby can survive, but I also know that a 3 or 4lb baby has better chances in all that we are up against. Again... THANK YOU! Your prayers and support have truly been life-changing... one of the many unexpected blessings on this journey we are walking!

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path." Proverbs 3:5-6


Laurie said…
Praying for everything you have asked for Kenzie. I know your presence at Rileys memorial meant so much to his parents and your friends. How hard for you, but you made it. Praying for Maddox to gain good weight and be strong. God has it all in His loving hands and I pray for all of the decisions ahead to be guided by Him.
Peace and love for you, I ask Him to provide.

Love, Laurie in Ca.
Anonymous said…
praying for strength and clarity as you prepare to and actually meet sweet Maddox. Praying that the time you share with him now will not be completely enjoyed and that you would be stilled to enjoy them even in the midst of so many preparations.
Anonymous said…
praying for strength and clarity as you prepare to and actually meet sweet Maddox. Praying that the time you share with him now will not be completely enjoyed and that you would be stilled to enjoy them even in the midst of so many preparations.
Jen in Al said…
Kenzie, praying for your requests is such a joy and a honor. thank you for sharing them. i am so thankful that you and Dusty were able to go to the service for sweet Riley. i have been praying for them too. i am also praying that God will continue to make His presence so tangible and real to you all. i pray you feel Him carrying you, holding sweet Maddox in His hands, ever present every second of every day, giving you clarity beyond comprehension. Love to you all, jen in al
Sweet Kenzie,
I will be praying for your requests. Knowing the right things to do is probably the hardest thing I go back and forth with. We will pray that we will turn over "our" control and give it to God. We know from this experience that they way he controls things is much better for us than the way we would do it.
I know it must have been so hard to go to Riley's funeral. But what strength and support you showed your friend. I have never met or do not "know" Jonathon's parents....but when I found out his funeral was so close to where we lived, I really wanted to go but was too scared at the time (for 1,000 reasons). Didn't know how they would take it - if it was just a family thing, if I could get through it, etc. It's probably something I will regret forever. Chritie will never forget you being there!
I will continue to pray for you and Maddox, sweet Maddox!
With Love,
Angie Luce said…

As I read over your post, my mind jumped back to when Nathan and I decided to go to the memorial service for Copeland about two months before Poppy was born. I remember having those same thoughts and emotions going into it, and then as we left, I remember being so glad we had gone. Glad because I wanted to be there for Boothe and Conor, but also glad that I got a glimpse of God's faithfulness to them, which was such reassurance that He would be faithful to me.

As you are under a month away from Maddox's birth, I am praying for you every day. I'll be prayiing for all of the plans and arrangements, for Maddox to gain as much weight as possible, and for you and Dusty that you will be ready for the amazing time God has in store for you.


Jesse's girl said…
I think it is awesome how God has brought so many families of these special T-18 babies together; whether physically close by proximity, or emotionally close through prayers and empathy.

If we truly believe that God knows all things, then we have to believe that He knew you and Christie would be sharing this road at the same time. As hard as it must have been to go to Riley's memorial, I'm sure it is all part of God's plan to bring you closer with another T-18 mommy. Your support, while obviously still a struggle for you, probably meant the world to her. And honestly, you are probably even stronger for having gone and seen how Christ is carrying her and her family through this difficult time.

Thank you for sharing your heart and allowing us to pray for you.

Melody in North Houston (Spring)
Shane and Devin said…

My heart aches for Christie as I read this, yet rejoices at the way their faithfulness and strength has blessed those around them. I will continue to pray for them, as I know difficult days will still lie ahead.

I am sure that your presence at the service was a blessing to them. I can't imagine how hard that was for you. Thank God that you have such a supportive husband who was there with you.

I will continue to be praying for all of your requests.

Devin in Illinois
So Blessed said…
I will be lifting your requests in my daily prayers...

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Anonymous said…
Acabo de enviar un mail que expresa todo nuestros sentimientos hacia ustedes....
Una vez más..... fuerza y ojalá a la distancia sientan nuestra presencia amorosa acompañandolos a pesar de la distancia que nos separa
Un abrazo enorme
Tu mamá chilena
Emily said…
You are precious. The grace the Lord filled you with at Riley's service is but a glimpse of the work He will do in the days to come. I am so excited that Maddox will be here in a month! I feel like we should a set up Advent calendar-ish things, the excitement of the countdown is so great. :) He will be wonderful. (For what it's worth, Miller Grace weighed significantly more at birth than ultrasounds predicted.) Your time with him will be simply God sent. You will be fine, sweet friend. If ever I can shoulder this cross with you in any way, you know I am here... and would love to be there.

In Christ - our hope, our strength, and our song...


mom to three amazing girls
Emily said…
Oh. And I feel led to tell you the words I never wanted to hear, yet count as the greatest words of wisdom along this path. My sweet friend Cindy, our children's minister, took my hands in hers as I held Miller Grace on what we knew would be the last night of Miller Grace's life, and said these words to me:

"You know you were anointed for this... I know you don't want to be... but you have been. God has anointed you to be here and to do this. And you are doing it well."

Take those words to heart, Kenzie. They're yours, too.
Brian Mills said…
Jennifer was just reading your blog to me (I know i'm too lazy to ready myself)

I just wanted to drope by and say we are praying for you guys and let us know if we can do anything for you let us know..

see you sunday!!!!
boltefamily said…
I just wanted you to know that your site has been such a blessing to me the last few months...in November we found out that we were carrying a baby with many health issues. They originally thought Trisomy but we have found out it is likely not. The doctors are still expecting the worst. It has helped to know I am not alone in all of this. I know God is in control and it helps sometimes to know others are surviving such pain. We are praying for you and your family.


Anonymous said…
My prayers will be with you and your family especially the next month. I pray for Maddox to gain
the weight to help him be stronger.
Love and Prayers

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