28 April 2011

23 Weeks!

Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
Psalm 77: 13-14

I am now 23 weeks and it's finally starting to feel like time is flying by. We had a doctors appointment today and we got to see the girls. They are looking great. They didn't do a complete scan this time but they did check out their hearts and umbilical cords, and everything looks great. In two weeks we get another complete scan and I'm excited to see the growth in each of them. Our little Hope is so dainty on the screen, always with her thumb in her mouth. Our little Genevieve is a wild child, she moves so much the sonographer can't hardly get a good photo of her. She did finally look at us and in the picture it looks like shes smiling. She loves having her picture taken, just like her mama! Another exciting day seeing God's miracles....our babies!

My struggle right now, and something that I'm praying about is the reality of the girls being in my arms. Erik and I talk about how exciting it will be when the girls are here and all the milestones we have to look forward to...however sometimes it's hard to imagine it really happening. I don't want it to sound like I don't trust the Lord...but it's hard. When I was pregnant with Ivy I had the same excitement and dreams for her...and she never came home with me. So it's hard some days to imagine the reality of bringing these babies home. When the thought enters my mind I give it over to the Lord. With my emotions on high and thoughts in my head... some days are harder than others. After losing Ephraim it hit home more than ever. Life is truly precious and right now my girls are here with me, even if I can't see them every day. So I will (try) to rest in this time the Lord has given me and have faith for the future of my babies. One day at a time!

Thought for you all to ponder:
The following is a quote from St. Augustine
Suppose God proposed to you a deal and said, " I will give you anything you want. You can possess the whole world. Nothing will be impossible for you....Nothing will be a sin, nothing forbidden. You will never die, never have pain, never have anything you do not want and always have anything you do want - except for just one thing: you will never see my face."

Really puts our love for God in perspective huh?

Bed Rest Book Club
So I finished The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers and absolutely loved it. A story of two women from two different times in history, but with the same struggles in life. I highly recommend it!

I am on several lists at the library for some books that some of you recommended and I have started the Above The Line Series by Karen Kingsbury. I am currently reading Take One. I am still reading Crazy Love. Erik and I reading Crazy Love together so we are going slow and trying to absorb what God wants to teach us through it. My dear friend also gave me the book Choosing to See - A Journey of Struggle and Hope by Mary Beth Chapman. A fitting book for my struggle and my hopes during this time. Stay tuned for more book reviews!

Love to you all.

PS - here's a fun picture of Mollie sunbathing in the living room

20 April 2011

Giving Glory to God!

This is Erik's latest tattoo. It was designed by our brother-in-law, an amazing artist, Ky. It is Ephraim's name in Hebrew, with the design of trees coming out of the letters. I will say it looks even more amazing in person. Erik's tattoos are therapy for him. Ever since we lost Ephraim, Erik felt like he wanted a new tattoo to memorialize our son. We are so blessed to have Ky be the designer and to show off this amazing work of art...God inspired!

This is the tattoo Erik got after we lost Ivy, over 2 years ago. Once again this was very therapeutic for him and I still enjoy looking it and remembering our precious daughter. Both of these tattoos have and will continue to serve a purpose for more than just Erik and I. They are also a witnessing tool. When people see these tattoos they often ask about them and Erik has the opportunity to share the story of our children in heaven and to share the Lord and His love for us. It is constant therapy to talk about our children and to share what the Lord has done in our lives through these children.

I started reading the amazing, constantly talked about, overwhelming book Crazy Love. I have heard so much about this book and after reading only 2 chapters I can agree with the reviews that it is amazing and thought provoking. It also made me think of Erik and his tattoos. The author, Francis Chan, tells us that the point of our lives is to point to Him. Whatever we are doing, we should be glorifying God. It is His movie, His world, His gift. Francis Chan reminds us that whether life is good right now or we are suffering....always bring the glory back to God. Our response to our circumstances is seen by the world. Our part is to bring God glory, no matter what. "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31 I know tattoos can appear to be damaging to the body, but it all depends on how you look at them. Erik's tattoos point to God and bring him glory. I also hope that this blog points to God and brings him glory. It is all about Him....He is everything!

Bed Rest Book Club
I recently finished, Where Yesterday Lives by Karen Kingsbury. I couldn't put this book down, I finished it in two days. I love the way Karen Kingsbury writes. The story is of a family who come back together after the death of their beloved father. It is an amazing story of family, faith, and love. It reminded me a lot of my own family and even had me in tears as I thought about changes that come to our families and how those changes can draw us closer or far apart. Excellent book. 4 stars!

I am now reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan and The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers. I am trying to balance the non-fiction and fiction. I also love Francine Rivers and her christian romance stories.

If you have any book recommendations...I am always up for ideas! I have lots of time to read!

Love to you all!
Whatever you are doing today....make sure you point to Him and bring him glory!


15 April 2011

21 Weeks with answered prayers!

Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
Psalm 77:13-14

I am now 21 weeks and the girls are growing! We had an ultrasound today at the perinatologist, where they checked both girls entire anatomies once again. They are doing so amazing. Praise God! They are measuring at 22 and 23 weeks, ahead of schedule. They are now weighing 1lb. 2oz. These girls are going to be big and healthy. We were so thrilled to watch them on the screen and hear good news. Erik and I were both a little nervous once we got into the ultrasound room. The last time we were here, was the day we lost our sweet Ephraim. We continue to struggle with grief and anxiety. We both know the grief process really well by now and we know that emotions will come and go. We continue to communicate with each other, cry when we need to, yell when we need to, and just sit in silence when we need to. We both feel overwhelming peace from the Lord and we know He will see us through this. I read the following, comforting, words this week; "Though Jesus knows our triumphant outcomes, though he sees the joyful ending just around the bend, he still gets down in the middle of our sorrow and holds us close, mingling his tears with our own."

As I spent time with Jesus this week, I felt very reflective. Being on bed rest gives me a lot of time to read and journal my thoughts. A particular song continues to come into my mind...a song that makes me cry intensely and at times I can't even listen to it. I heard this song on christian radio and the lyrics are so beautiful. The song is titled, Blessings by Laura Story. If you haven't heard it, I encourage you to go to K-Love online and find it. I am going to put the lyrics below. I continue to reflect on these words and on the journey the Lord has placed before me. I encourage you to read the words and I pray the Lord will speak to you through them. I'm crying just reading them now...geez.

Blessings - Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe


When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home


What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

On a lighter note....
Bed Rest 101 - My Essential Bed Rest Items

This is my handy little table that holds all the items I need to get through a day on bed rest...minus food of course.

The top shelf holds my bible (pink!), bible study books, my journal, and my TV and DVD remotes. The second shelf holds several fiction books, a few non-fiction books all about babies, my cell phone (a life line), and my crossword puzzles.

Underneath that I have my kleenexes....I've turned into my mother, who blows her nose at least 20 times a day. Finally my water bottle. They want me to drink 90oz. each day....do they remember I have a bladder with babies pushing on it? Haha!

Thank you all you loyal blog readers. Thank you for praying for our babies. Keep it up! Please continue praying for the girls growth, for my health, and for Erik and I as we continue on this journey through joy and sorrow. God is the only miracle worker and I love seeing him at work!

Love to you all,

06 April 2011

20 Weeks with renewed strength and hope!

I got dressed today for this picture. You wouldn't want to see me in my jammies...my new wardrobe. Haha!

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal."
Isaiah 26:3-4

Thank you all so much for your prayers, love, support, meals, and all you have done for us this past week. It has been a time of ups and downs, but Erik and I feel renewed each day and God's presence is upon us. Our girls continue to do amazing. They are moving a ton and I am loving every minute of it. As I think of how we've been feeling recently it has been so different than our previous losses. As one friend said, we are experiencing both sorrow and joy. We have sorrowful hearts for our son and yet so much joy still for our girls. Some of the hardest moments come when we enter the nursery and see all the little outfits especially for Ephraim and remember all the dreams we had for him. But we know the Lord had a plan for his life and His dreams are greater than ours.

The Lord spoke to me so much this week through the book I'm reading. His timing with this book has been so fitting for what I'm going through. Isn't that how it always is...He knows me so well! I've talked about the book before, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, this weeks chapter dealt with the death of Lazarus and lessons to learn from it. This chapter discussed how God always has a plan, even though it may not follow human logic. Which is always the hardest to understand. From the author, "Trials are real. Bad things happen. But we are given a promise: "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:4)
I have come to rest in this promise and know that these earthly trials will pass. A key to getting through the trials of life is to find scripture to cling to, scripture that shows God's heart and faithfulness. We must remind ourselves that God is our strength and he is the source of comfort. "Yet not one of them is forgotten by God...Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Luke 12:6-7) His ways are not our ways, but God is the one telling the story. We need to trust Him to take the tale in the right direction. We can have faith that everything really will turn out all right. Here is a perfect quote from the book to sum it all up; "Tragedy may come. So will the darkness. But triumph is waiting just around the corner."

I also want to share what my life has been like on bed rest these past few weeks. It's been a huge adjustment, but I must say I am getting used to it. Our pastor came to pray with us last week and said that this time of rest I've been given is a time for me to be obedient to the Lord and to use it spiritually. So that's what I'm doing and he's giving me true contentment in being at rest during this time. As crazy as this is, and you animal lovers will understand, my dog has been a fun source of support. She is my constant companion when Erik is at work and I am home alone. Check out the fun pictures below. I decided to chronicle a day in the life of my dog, Mollie, from my view on the couch.

A daily look out the window to check for other dogs she can bark at.

The daily occurrence of Mollie begging for my snack food. For some reason the word "no" isn't in her vocabulary. Haha!

This is Mollie's meerkat stance, which also looks similar to ET. This always makes Erik and I laugh. She just sits like this and stares at me.

This is my favoirite. My sweet Mollie laying on the couch with me. She looks pathetic...what a rotten dog she is.