Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry CHRISTmas

Merry Christmas to you all! Thank you for your faithfulness in love and prayer for our family this year and last... and thank you for celebrating the true meaning of this season!

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'"- Luke 2:1-14

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

God Gave Us Heaven

God Gave Us Heaven
A children's book written by Lisa Tawn Bergren

"Papa, what's heav'n?"

"Why, heaven is God's home... the most amazing place we'll ever get to see."

"More amazing than Glacier Bay?" Little Cub asked. "Glacier Bay is the best place ever."

"Yes, Little Cub. Even better than Glacier Bay. God has great plans for you, Little Cub."

"For me?"

"For you. Both here, and later, when we get to heaven. God loves us and never wants to be far from us. He's made a way for us to be with him forever, in heaven."

"When do we get to see heaven, Papa?"

"When our life here is over."

"When we die?"

"Yes, Little Cub, when we die."

"Will I be old like Grandma when I go to heaven?"

"I hope so, Little Cub. I hope you get to live a long and full life before you see heaven. But some of us get to see it sooner than others."

"They do? How come?"

"They get sick or something bad happens. But the good news is that no matter what bad things happen here, nothing bad happens in heaven!"

"Nothing bad at all?"

"No more tears, no more sadness, no more pain. Only good. Only smiles!"

Little Cub thought on that for a while. "Will we eat in heaven?"

"Will be eat? Will we eat! We'll have more food than we need! It'll be the best of all polar bear feasts!"

"Every day?"

"Every single day."

"What else will we do in heaven?"

"Worship God and explore the best place we've ever seen."

"Will we get bored of that?"

"I doubt it. Heaven will be a million times better than even this!"

"Can we take our stuff to heaven?"

"No, we won't need our stuff there, Little Cub." He paused and lifted her backpack from her shoulders. "Feel how heavy that is? Doesn't it feel good to have it off of you?"

Little Cub nodded.

"Sometimes we think we need stuff, but it's just more weight for us to carry. Our best stuff doesn't weigh anything at all- stuff like love, family, friends, and faith. That's where our real blessings are."

"What will God look like, Papa?"

"Hmm... you know what Mama looks like? How she looks like love to us? God will be like that..."

"Cept a hundred times better!"


"Will we be angels?"

"No. Only angels are angels. God made us polar bears for a reason."

"Shoot. I want to fly."

Papa laughed. "Me too. But you never know what we'll get to do in heaven. I bet we'll think it's even better than flying."

"Will I get to see you in heaven?"

"I think so, Little Cub. I think we'll see all our loved ones there. It will be like the best family reunion ever."

"How do we get there, Papa? To heaven, I mean."

"Hmm... Let's say this side of the canyon is life here, on earth. And that side over there- where we find the path home- is heaven. God knew that our bad choices might keep us from him forever. Might even wash us away! He didn't want that. He loves us too much. So he sent his very own Son, Jesus, to be our bridge. All we have to do is walk across it to head toward our forever home."

Little Cub thought on that. "I like Jesus," she said.

"So do I, Little Cub. So do I."

"Will I have a room in heaven?"

"Oh yes, there will be many rooms in heaven."

"Will it be as cozy as mine?"

"The coziest ever, Little Cub."

"Will I sleep in heaven?" she said with a yawn.

It had been a very big day. Papa yawned too and they giggled together.

"Heaven will be full of all the things we love most," Papa said. "And right now, sleep sounds heavenly to me."

Little Cub went to sleep and dreamed of seeing God and his angels, of singing and smiling all day long. Of her best friends and her whole family being with her forever. Of playing, of laughing, of everything good. And she was glad, so glad, that God had given them all heaven.

Happy 11 months, Maddox. We are all so thankful that God has given us heaven, and the promise of eternity with you! We love you sweet boy...

"How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven."- Genesis 28:17

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Song

Maternity picture with Maddox
Suzanne Box Photography

Life seems to be slowing down a bit lately. Maybe it's just in my head because the holiday season, and this week, certainly aren't moving slowly... However, I seem to be catching myself, beyond all reason and amongst the chaos of parties, dinners, programs, shopping and outings, feeling like I can breathe a little bit more... a little bit deeper. The breath that fills my lungs and my sleep-deprived body is the breath of life, and I'm just now recognizing it. New-life. Life on the other side of the dark tunnel. Fuller life. Complete, perfect, beautiful life... Life through my baby girl's middle-of-the-night feedings, my boys' laughter, my friends' calls, my family's voices, my "strangers" prayers, and my God's promises. It's a rich, full life and I'm feeling in many ways that after 17 months of holding my breath, I can finally just breathe.

Thank you, Jesus, for answered prayers.

The healing is so good... so amazing... but in all of this I also don't want to be misleading. It's not even been a year since we met Maddox and sent him on to be with the Lord, and with the breath of life on earth comes the stark reminder of the eternal life of our second child. A beautiful, spectacular, undeserved eternal life with an all-loving, everlasting God, but an eternal life that some days seems like an eternity apart. I know to the very core of my being that what seems like an eternity is just a short time and for us there will
never be an eternal separation... sometimes it just feels that way. Those moments when it still really hurts.

Sweet, yet often times painful reminders bring me to the floor mentally, but now with that freedom of air and breath and life I can permit the tears to fall, and then wipe them away smiling. I think of the journey that we have walked, where we have been, and am more fully able to smile, trusting in God's plan for our family's future. I know that won't ever be complete here on this earth, as a family or as all that God wants us to be, but our wholeness comes from Him filling in those incomplete pieces. My heart will always ache for the precious son I knew intimately for 8 months, but I am so thankful for the time we
did have.

As I have thought so much about the path we have walked, especially during this Christmas season, I have also been thinking about Mary's path... Mary's song. She traveled a wearisome road, caring the Son of God inside her young body. She undoubtedly was confused, surprised, scared and unsure. She felt like no one understood and yet, somehow over time,
she did. She couldn't have possibly known what was ahead on the road but the Lord always remained faithful, revealing things to her in pieces. She asked for God's love, His help, His protection and His peace. I am sure that at the end of her life she knew that God had used her in a mighty way and she was so thankful for His bigger purpose- saving the world through her Son, all God and all man, one precious soul at a time.

When I hear the song Breath of Heaven, it makes me think of Mary's journey... and it makes me think of my own. A journey that many mothers of these special children can understand, but a journey that no one else can own. It's my journey... my path... my song. I am no way claiming to be ANYTHING like Mary, just simply saying that I can identify with so many of the feelings that she experienced. I can identify with the words of this beautiful Amy Grant song, not because my Maddox was the Messiah, but because he too is a son of God and for me, MY breath of Heaven. As we held our tiny son in our arms for those few short hours, we did hold a piece of Heaven. I asked God to help me, to hold me, to be forever near me... to allow me to submit to His plan for our lives. This song is Mary's song, and yet, it also feels so much like my song. Each time I hear it those tears flow freely down my face as I think of my amazing son, now with his Eternal Father.

Breath of Heaven- Mary's Song
Amy Grant

I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary, with a babe inside

And I wonder what I've done

Holy Father, you have come

And chosen me now

To carry your son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone,

Must I walk this path alone?

Be with me now

Be with me now


Breath of heaven

Hold me together

Be forever near me

Breath of heaven

Breath of heaven

Light in my darkness

Pour over me your holiness

For you are holy

Breath of heaven

Do you wonder as you watch my face

If a wiser one one should have had my place

But I offer all I am

For the mercy of your plan

Help me be strong

Help me be

Help me



Breath of heaven

Breath of heaven

Breath of heaven

"In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind."- Job 12:10

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Dusty!

Happy Birthday to my sweet, adorable, amazing, hot-and-sexy husband!! I am so thankful for you... for this life that we have created together. I love you and can't even begin to tell you how proud of you I am for all that you have accomplished. You have given me so many beautiful gifts: your love, our children, the ability to stay home, your friendship, laughter, honesty, truth, faith... the list could go on and on. You are so wonderful to me and honestly, there have been many times I have messed it up. You have given me your trust, and at times I have broken it. You have given me your love, and in the past I have rejected it. You have given me your time, and too often I have questioned your motives. You have given me your very best, and at times I have implied that it just wasn't good enough. But through it all you have just loved me and have continued to walk this road with me. Thank you for always standing by my side... I know the joy will always overshadow the pain, the laughter will trump the tears, and our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will always be the foundation of our life together. You fill my life with excitement, love, laughter and companionship- thank you from the depth of me.

HAPPY 31st BIRTHDAY BABY! I love you.

"Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land."- Proverbs 31:23

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Only four weeks in and God's restoration is beautifully apparent as my precious third child sleeps peacefully on my chest...

Just a few minutes on her tummy... NOT putting her to sleep like this! : )

"From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth."- Psalm 50:2

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Some Answers... and a Question

First of all, thank you SO MUCH for all of the prayer, as well as the emails and comments asking about Faith Clare and how we are all doing. I wanted to wait to update until we had talked to our pediatrician and knew what direction we were heading in... so, here are a few answers to questions about the "episode".

What happened on Wednesday night?
Thankfully Dusty, his mom and I were all up late watching a movie when I noticed her breathing start to change. I was sitting up on the couch and she was laying on my chest so I sat her up and told her "come on baby, breathe" just thinking that she was in a deep sleep. I had mentioned to our doctor before that she seemed to gasp for breath while and after eating and he said that as long as she didn't turn color or go limp that up to 15 seconds of non-breath is normal for newborns. With that in mind, I wasn't overly concerned early on when this happened Wednesday night. However, we quickly realized that she wasn't regaining breath. For about 5 minutes we were trying to stimulate her (as we anticipated having to do with Maddox... never thinking we would have to do it with her)- blowing in her face, rubbing her feet and rubbing her back. However, at one point she started turning blue around her mouth and went limp, arms falling to the side without much response. Thankfully we never had to consider CPR because we could see could see that although the stimulation wasn't getting her to breathe normally, it was keeping her up and gasping when she did try to breathe.

After a little back and forth, Dusty called 911 and we were on the phone with the paramedics for about 8-10 minutes until the ambulance arrived. By time they made it to the house though, she was breathing pretty regularly. We discussed with the paramedics what we should do and they actually didn't think that a transport to the hospital was necessary because she was breathing normally at that point (a recommendation that was much to the dissatisfaction of our doctor I later discovered). After some time the paramedics left and we sat in the living room processing what had just happened. We were both pretty shaken and took turns staying up with her for most of the night to ensure the event didn't repeat itself.

Did you go to the doctor? What did the doctor say?
I was able to get in with Faith Clare yesterday morning to see the pediatrician. Obviously the office wasn't open Thursday for Thanksgiving and I did call the office on Friday to talk to his nurse, but our physician wasn't in and Monday was the first available time to speak with him.

After walking through all that had happened, emotionally I might add, we both agreed with many of you that commented saying it was probably reflux. In addition to mentioning the breathing issues to him last week, I had also discussed my concerns about her probably having reflux (Deacon had reflux and was on Zantac for about 6 months), so this wasn't a new topic of conversation. He said that according to the way things happened, the episode was consistent with a pretty severe presentation of reflux.

Our pediatrician is awesome and responded wonderfully as I broke down about what happened. He knows our history and had met with me about Maddox and the possibility of him coming home last year, so after I relived Wednesday night for him, he led me through what we should do if it would ever happen again. I am SO thankful for his care and concern for my children. Ultimately, he prescribed two medications for her (Prevacid and Bethanochol) and ordered a chest X-ray to confirm that there was no infection or anatomical issue causing the breathing lapses. Thankfully the X-ray came back clear and we are now praying that the reflux is the only issue and the medication will take care of that.

What about an apnea monitor?
I didn't ask about an apnea monitor when we went to the doctor yesterday. My parents bought us a breathing monitor a few weeks ago called the Babysense V, very similar to the Angel Care Monitor. We didn't plan to use it while she was in the bassinet in our room, but obviously we are using it now. To us, although they aren't "proven", it gives us a peace of mind that we didn't have without it.

We are now hoping that all of these breathing issues will be behind us. She got a cold with major congestion a little over a week ago and is still trying to get over that, which also contributes to her breathing struggles, so we are also praying that the cold will resolve soon as well.

Now... well, now hopefully we can all breath a little bit easier and start to adjust to our new normal.

Okay, above are some answers and now for the one, totally-unrelated-to-anything question... or maybe one topic & several questions.

If you have used/are using cloth diapers for your little ones, how did you go about deciding which type to use? How many did you start with? How do you feel about the time involved? Do they ever leak? Do you feel that it is cost-effective? ... Oh, and how do you feel about rinsing poopy diapers out in the potty? I might be able to convince Dusty to do cloth diapers, but I don't think he will go for the rinsing. What about the disposible/flushable liners? Anyone use those?

Thanks for the help and perspective. I've been thinking about doing this for a while... so we'll see how inspired I get!!

"Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand."- Psalm 20:6
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