Where I was…

Lately I’ve been feeling kinda unsettled.  I think because on one hand I’m happy to be home and looking forward to preparing for Christmas with Jason and the kids.  But on the other side, I’m very aware of where we were last year and how we were still waiting for Birdy with the uncertainty of what was going to be ahead.   And I do feel like I want to reconnect with where I was, maybe just to make sense of it all?    So I decided to go back and read my blog from last year.  And I found this post that I wrote a year ago today… and I ended up encouraging myself… isn’t God good?   What I read was such evidence to me of the grace of God that was holding our hearts then, and is still holding us know.  And the best part… a year later I can say that every single word is true.   Having Ava, losing Ava was such an incredible and rewarding thing that we will forever praise God for bringing her into our lives and for the work He did in our lives through the whole process.

So I decided to repost what I wrote, so here it is.   It was entitled “Ruin my Life“….

Oh these crazy followers of Jesus Christ, and the crazy songs that they choose to sing!

Why would anyone sing a song asking God to ruin their life?  Talk about very scary stuff.    And to be honest when we first started singing this song at church I was a little bothered, thinking that I’m not singing that,  I like my life just how I like it, thank-you!

But then we got pregnant with number 5 – that huge surprise.  And we sang the song again at church on that first Sunday after and I cried.  NOT that I was thinking that God was in the process of ruining my life per-see… but that His plans were clearly not my plans.. here’s what we sang…

Woe to me I am unclean
A sinner found in Your presence
I see you seated on Your throne
Exalted, Your Glory surrounds You

And the plans that I have made, fail to compare, when I see your glory…

Ruin my life  – the plans I have made
Ruin desires for my own selfish gain
Destroy the idols that have taken Your place
‘Till its You alone I live for, 
You alone I live for.

Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty 
Holy is the Lord! 

Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty 
Holy is the Lord!   ( Jeff Johnson)

And so it’s kinda become Jason and my theme song through this whole pregnancy situation if you will.    We do now feel in a way like life as we know it has been ruined, I know whatever the outcome of this pregnancy is, we will have been changed forever.   But the amazing part it, we will have been changed for the better.

God is taking hold of our lives.   And even though I cling and I fight and I cry and occasionally think about how my life would look if none of this happened,  I can see that striping all the external stuff away, letting go of all my plans of how I thought things would turn out,  and just focusing on God and doing my best to be obedient and having faith in Him is so incredibly beautiful and rewarding.

There is an amazing sense of peace that God has given me as my time gets closer (thanks for praying everyone!) and I know that any strength I have has come from him.     And we can know for certain that this is His plan and His alone because He has taken such incredible care of us through the past months,  which brings me so much joy because I can know that I don’t have to worry about one minute of one day going forward, He is going before us and will take care of us.

And in this world where the biggest thing seems to be control…where we feel like we always need to be in control…  just know it’s all a sham.  We have so little control.    But don’t despair,   when God starts to move and plans and lives start to be ruined,  it doesn’t have to be negative, just cling to Him and move with him and it can truly be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Amen.

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So thankful

Well I’m sitting here thankful for quite a few things.  First off, for all the support and love that people have sent our way through emails and comments on our blogs the last couple of days… you guys are making me weep (in good ways) – and reminding us over and over that God has not forgotten about us, He’s still laying Ava and our family on your hearts – and even your little one’s hearts –  and so even today when I don’t seem to have much hope in hearing good news tomorrow, we know that God still cares and is being so faithful.

And the verses that you guys are sending!!!  Love them!   Here is one that a friend sent… with her note

Romans 15: 13 May the God who gives hope fill you with great joy.
                               May you have perfect peace as you trust in him.
May the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.
(this is from the NIV bible for young readers…so simple isn’t it?)

It is simple, so simple, but exactly right and just what we need right now,  joy, perfect peace and hope…. all free gifts of God to those who believe in Him and call on His name.  We are so blessed by God even in this crazy situation.

So yes, the situation.   Ava’s echo tomorrow is going to be a sedated echo, so she will be NPO (nothing passes orally) starting from 4:00 am to get her ready for sedation for 9:00.  It is going to be a very thorough echo, they are going to leave no blood vessel unscanned as they seek to discern whether or not Ava’s heart function has improved at all.

As the doctor on rounds said today, if her heart function looks better, we will redo the cath.  If it’s not better, or if it is worse then….  He just stopped talking.  He didn’t need to continue, we both knew what he meant.  It means we need to think about transplant.

But that is still tomorrow’s worries, so I won’t borrow trouble.

I am thankful that my mom could come down and spend a night with me and spend time with Ava.   I’m grateful that the Ronald MacDonald House got us an apartment and that my mom could help me move in and that Jason and the kids will join me shortly.   And I’m grateful that we have such good care at Sick Kids and that Ava’s cardiologists, both in London and Toronto are very caring and compassionate.

And I’m thankful that Ava is doing so well and had a good day and that even though we are in room with sick children we still can laugh and joke with the other moms and nurses and have good days.

And I’m grateful that Jason is doing an amazing job at home with the kids and that friends and family are helping so he doesn’t have to do it all on his own.

But please please, keep praying!  Your prayers are strengthening our faith and God’s power is evident, and whatever comes tomorrow, we know that God will see us through.

Amen!!

Ruin my life

Oh these crazy followers of Jesus Christ, and the crazy songs that they choose to sing!

Why would anyone sing a song asking God to ruin their life?  Talk about very scary stuff.    And to be honest when we first started singing this song at church I was a little bothered, thinking that I’m not singing that,  I like my life just how I like it, thank-you!

But then we got pregnant with number 5 – that huge surprise.  And we sang the song again at church on that first Sunday after and I cried.  NOT that I was thinking that God was in the process of ruining my life per-see… but that His plans were clearly not my plans.. here’s what we sang…

Woe to me I am unclean
A sinner found in Your presence
I see you seated on Your throne
Exalted, Your Glory surrounds You

And the plans that I have made, fail to compare, when I see your glory…

Ruin my life  – the plans I have made
Ruin desires for my own selfish gain
Destroy the idols that have taken Your place
‘Till its You alone I live for, 
You alone I live for.

Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty 
Holy is the Lord! 

Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty 
Holy is the Lord!   ( Jeff Johnson)

And so it’s kinda become Jason and my theme song through this whole pregnancy situation if you will.    We do now feel in a way like life as we know it has been ruined, I know whatever the outcome of this pregnancy is, we will have been changed forever.   But the amazing part it, we will have been changed for the better.

God is taking hold of our lives.   And even though I cling and I fight and I cry and occasionally think about how my life would look if none of this happened,  I can see that striping all the external stuff away, letting go of all my plans of how I thought things would turn out,  and just focusing on God and doing my best to be obedient and having faith in Him is so incredibly beautiful and rewarding.

There is an amazing sense of peace that God has given me as my time gets closer (thanks for praying everyone!) and I know that any strength I have has come from him.     And we can know for certain that this is His plan and His alone because He has taken such incredible care of us through the past months,  which brings me so much joy because I can know that I don’t have to worry about one minute of one day going forward, He is going before us and will take care of us.

And in this world where the biggest thing seems to be control…where we feel like we always need to be in control…  just know it’s all a sham.  We have so little control.    But don’t despair,   when God starts to move and plans and lives start to be ruined,  it doesn’t have to be negative, just cling to Him and move with him and it can truly be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Amen.

Thankful

So rather than blogging, I’ve been spending my time wracking my brain trying to come up with a new blog name.   Just in case you hadn’t noticed, in about 7 weeks or so this blog name won’t be accurate (see previous posts)  as there should then be just the 7 of us.   But that name just doesn’t have the same ring to it,  plus it’s already taken.  So if anyone has a good blog name idea they would like to share with me, please do so and put me out of my lame-blog-name-ideas misery.

But back to this post now that I am actually writing…. we’ve been enjoying the fall here.   I of course love the cooler weather (keeps me from swelling) although when the forcast for this past Thanksgiving weekend showed very cold and rainy – I was worried about it being a little too cool, especially since we had been planning on spending the weekend at the unheated cottage.   But Jay and I always cook our goose by telling the kids days in advance that we are going, and even though we half-heartedly tried to talk them into an exciting weekend at home, it didn’t fly and  so we went.   Not to mention the rest of Jason’s family was going to be there and if we didn’t go we’d miss out on Thanksgiving dinner – and that certainly wasn’t going to happen.

So we went, and were chilly occasionally, but for the most part had a nice relaxing time.   And the turkey was amazing and the pumpkin pie was all that it should be so the cool weekend was completely worth it.  We even got some beach walks in and attempted a picture of all four kids together.  Since our expectations are always low we are never disappointed when everyone isn’t looking at the camera and smiling.  We take what we can get. 🙂

For Jason and the boys this was their second weekend away.   The weekend before they and a family friend Patrick headed up to a canoe/camping trip up North at a place Patrick has been going for over 20 years.  He took his boys when they were young and Jason used to go with them occasionally, and now it’s so cool that Jason and our boys are going.

I had no desire to go camping in my condition, but when I saw the pictures I was a bit jealous,  it was so beautiful up there…

And the boys absolutely loved every minute of it.    And I was so glad that they could spend some quality time with their dad before things get all crazy here and our family gets separated for a while when we’re at the hospital with new baby.

And how are we doing other wise?   Pretty good everything considering.

I’m still dealing with my own failings of not being able to see my own limitations and so I know I’m trying to do too much, and when I do I get tired and cranky.  But there really seems a lot to do!   Being pregnant with number five at my age is no joke in itself apparently.  But God is being faithful and He’s giving me grace to get through each day and even though the first week of December is coming fast, with His help I know I’ll be ready.

And this is the time of year to be thankful… and there is a lot to be thankful for.   I’m starting to realize that in tough times thankfulness and gratitude are great ways to keep one’s heart humble and joyful even when it’s tempting to focus on the problems and feel all discouraged and down.

I was encouraged this weekend when a friend who just went through a tough time had the same thoughts and shared them with me – that it’s so much better to focus on the support and comfort that God has provided during a rough time instead of just being focused on why God isn’t fixing everything for us.   And I think that’s the key for us too.

And there are so many things to be thankful for!  The list would go on and on – and actually I’ve just inspired myself to start a thankfulness list for when I get discouraged – nice!    I’ll definitely be putting on this list that I’m truly thankful for a God who never leaves us or forsakes us.  I’m thankful for so many amazing friends who have come along side me to do all sorts of things, like take care of my kids,  help me pitch my junk,  garden for me, provide emotional support and even shop with me!   And Jason and I are also blessed with four healthy kids and parents that love us and support us no matter what.

How can I not be thankful?

And focusing on God’s goodness towards us does feel much better than focusing on what is going wrong.

And so I can truly say today that even though I’m still sad and it’s not fun to be faced with a baby that’s going to be born  neeeding so much medical attention,  there is still joy and I’m very very thankful for all the good things in my life.

Stuff…

After a day of buying stuff, sorting, organizing and purging stuff – then cleaning stuff, putting stuff away, getting more stuff out, picking the kid’s stuff off the floor, rearranging stuff and thinking of stuff that I still would like to buy –  I read this blog post…

Kelly’s Korner – Ecuador Trip

It’s such a wake-up call to see how a huge percent of the world lives… without stuff.  Without even the basic stuff that they actually NEED, they somehow manage to do without.   Their lives aren’t consumed by their stuff like our lives our,  they are too worried about their daily survival.    Like the family shown in the blog, they are living in abject poverty and for a moment, I’m strangely envious.   Not of their life of poverty and lack of choice, but the freedom of not being fettered down and tied to all the stuff that we hold so dear.   They really truly need God in their lives as they have real needs that they get to see God fill.    We on the other hand don’t think we need God because we can try to fill the God-sized void in our lives with all our stuff.  And stuff can be mind-numbingly distracting.    And the crazy thing is, I can honestly say (because I’ve been there) that for the most part we aren’t any happier than those people in Ecuador.   Isn’t it crazy that our stuff doesn’t make us happy?    But there is joy when God meets our needs.

So if you want a practical way to help  – check out Compassion‘s website and you can sponsor a child in Ecuador or another country where there are children in need – and start sharing some of your stuff today!

P.S. You can trust Compassion  – I worked there for 10 years and we sponsor a boy in Ethiopia. 🙂