28 June 2011

32 Weeks!!

The LORD is my strength.
Exodus 15:2

Praise God I made it to 32 weeks! This is a huge milestone in a pregnancy with multiples. My girls can arrive in the world now and be healthy and strong....however we'd like them to wait a bit longer to get even stronger. We had another successful ultrasound yesterday and they look great. They continue to grow at a rate of 2 weeks ahead of my due date. Baby Hope is now weighing 4 lbs. 8 oz. and Baby Genevieve weighs 4 lbs. 7 oz. So I have about 9 lbs of baby in my belly. WOW! My doctor predicts that the girls will be at least 6 lbs or more if I deliver around 36 or 37 weeks. That's exciting! Then they have an even greater chance of coming home right away! Because my uterus is 40 weeks in size, I feel like I'm going to be 40 weeks pregnant forever...I'm feeling the heat and sleeping is getting difficult. But it's all worth it! I will do it knowing the end result is my girls in my arms. The waiting part is getting harder. Erik and I were just talking yesterday about how if we still had our 3 babies, if our sweet Ephraim was still with us, we would be delivering this week. That has been hard and yet another reason why waiting is getting tough. I've been emotional about it, but God is my strength and He gets me through.

I read two great devotionals this week and they encouraged me once again. On Sunday my devotional focused on prayer and believing God when we ask for something in prayer.
The author says: Unbelief continually asks, "How can this be possible?" It is always full of "how's", yet faith needs only one great answer to even ten thousand how's. That answer is - GOD! Prayer without faith quickly degenerates into an aimless routine or heartless hypocrisy. However, prayer brings the omnipotence of God to the support of our petitions. Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except those things outside the will of God.

This is another reminder to me, to pray and believe that God will answer. We have to believe in order to receive. Lately I've been praying my specific requests, but also praying the psalms. There are some beautiful prayers within the psalms, ones you can memorize and recite at any moment. If I find myself feeling anxious, or afraid, or even not trusting God...I recite a psalm and my focus comes back to the Lord.

Yesterdays devotional was also encouraging to myself and to Erik..as we continue to wait.
The author says: "The Lord is my strength" to sit still. And what a difficult accomplishment that is. I often say to others during those times when I am compelled to be still, "If only I could do something!" What a severe test at times. Yet to do nothing except sit still and wait requires tremendous strength.

This seems to be a theme with me...sit still. Well that's what I'm doing and will continue to do because that's God's will for me right now. He's definitely made it clear!

The Lord is my strength.
Exodus 15:2

Thank you to everyone who reads this blog. I pray that it is an encouragement and that God is using me through my words. Thank you again for your prayers, love, and support!

23 June 2011

Some Much Needed Encouragement

My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken
Psalm 62:1-2

I cry aloud to the Lord for mercy.
I pour out my complaint before him;
before him I tell my trouble.
I cry to you, O Lord;
I say, "You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living."
Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need
Psalm 142: 1-2, 5-6

As I study David, via Beth Moore, the psalms that he wrote are truly coming to life for me. A few days ago when I posted I shared that I continue to struggle with fears and the biggest part of that is TRUST. As I've studied my bible this week, God is encouraging me and I pray that the words I share today will encourage some of you too.

The message of Psalm 62 is Trust in God at all times. The key phrase for me is...at all times, in every circumstance. I am memorizing all of Psalm 62, reading it each night before I close my eyes...letting the words be the last thing I remember each night and when I wake the next day. It's powerful. My soul finds rest in God alone...rest - being quiet, waiting, ceasing, stopping. The only time I am truly at rest is when I am focused on Him.

Psalm 142 is a prayer from David when he was in a cave. So, imagine being in a dark place and crying out to God. It doesn't have to be a literal cave, just a dark place in life. Beth Moore raised six points about David from this psalm. David prayed, cried aloud, poured out his complaint to God, rehearsed his trust in God, longed for God's presence, and confessed his desperate need. She points out that the goal for crying out to God is meant to bring us rest. We cry ourselves to trust. When I thought about that statement, I imagined literally crying and God washing his peace over me. These days I cry a lot, at times for silly reasons, but also for real reasons. I cry out and tell Him my heart...he already knows, so I might as well lay it all out. Like David I cry aloud and pour out my complaints and long for God's presence. The area I struggle with is trust. It's as if I can feel God's presence, but hard for me to trust His presence. I know in my mind that he will never leave me nor forsake me, but when my heart is hurting that is hard to comprehend. Each day I must chose to trust HIM and only HIM. I am human and I will continue working on it...with God by my side.

Beth Moore describes David's heart so perfectly:
David's Godlike heart: He viewed his heart as a pitcher, and he poured everything in it on his God, whether it was joy or sadness, bitterness or fear. David not only poured out his heart as personal practice; he urged others to do the same.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:8

Have a blessed day my dear friends! Be encouraged!
Love always,

20 June 2011

31 Weeks!

I just finished a morning at the pool. I left my swim suit cover up on...didn't think you'd want to see me in my swim suit. I got my big floppy hat to protect my face from sun and I am so very pale. I'm use to being pasty white...I never tan, just burn. The pool is such therapy for me, I love it! I've been having more and more braxton hicks contractions and the pool is the best remedy for that. I can walk around and don't have to worry about having those contractions.

Well I am 31 weeks and my uterus is now full grown to 40 weeks in size. So for the next 5-6 weeks the only direction for my belly to grow is out! My non-stress tests are going well. The girls are doing great each time. The nurses often comment that they are overachievers and doing great. I love when people compliment my children! For those of you who don't know what the non-stress test is, let me explain a bit. I am laying down with two monitors on my belly, one on each of the girls hearts. On a screen you can see the heart rates as numbers going up and down, as well as lines going up and down. The nurse is there to make sure the heart rates are going up and down and not dipping too low for too long. They are also looking for 2 movements from the babies in 20 minutes. They do these tests twice a week and the goal is to see whether it's best for babies to stay inside longer or if they are needing to come into the world. So far the best place for my girls is inside my womb....praying for that for at least 5 more weeks.

So I continue to have battles with my mind...the fears are creeping in. God continues to remind me of His presence and yet I allow my mind to hold on to fear. As we approach the birth of the girls...it's just still so hard for me to imagine it as reality. I've been pregnant, I've given birth, but I've never brought a living baby home. Can this really happen? I believe it can...or at least I want to. I see everyone else doing it...why can't I see myself doing it?

From my devotional today:
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
"This is the way; walk in it."
Isaiah 30:21

When we have doubts or are facing difficulties, when caution dictates one approach but faith another, we should be still. We should calm ourselves in the sacred stillness of God's presence, study His word for guidance, and with true devotion focus our attention on Him. You must get alone with Him, where the lights and the darkness of this world cannot interfere.

"BE STILL" - a deeper step in faith and rest.
"Be still and know" your Father does know best
The way to lead His child to that fair land,
A "summer" land, where quite waters flow;
Where longing souls are satisfied, and "know
Their God," and praise for all that He has planned

From Beth Moore study of David:
Our best recourse when negative emotions begin controlling us is to fall before the throne of grace and seek God. Take solace in the fact that Christ knows how it feels to be tempted by feelings. Ask God to make you aware of the constant reminders of His presence in your life so that you can have His assurance no matter what your circumstances.

I think God is trying to tell me something. Be Still, Seek Him...one simple phrase...four words...let it sink in. I will keep pressing into Him...keep praying...and keep reading His word.

For fun!
Thank You Nana Bayer for the new bedding for the girls! It brightens up the nursery even more and the girls will love it!

Genevieve's new bedding!

Hope's new bedding!

Love to you all! Thank you for your encouraging comments and your prayers.

15 June 2011

Thoughts of Father's Day

"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
2 Corinthians 6:18

As Father's Day approaches my thoughts and prayers are with my dear husband Erik. Like Mother's Day for me, Father's Day for Erik has been tough these past 3 years. With babies in heaven and now babies in my womb...there are many emotions. Erik has not left the house on Father's Day since 2008. Father's Day 2008 was his first celebration of being a daddy. I was pregnant with Ivy and he was so excited to be a dad and join the men in his life on this new adventure. Father's Day 2009 came after losing our precious daughter...no celebration that day. Father's Day 2010 brought another loss, a miscarriage...no celebration that day. Father's Day 2011 brings another loss, a father losing his precious son while joyfully celebrating two baby girls. The loss of Ephraim hit us both very hard, but I feel it was especially difficult for Erik. Ephraim was his son and he had always dreamed of having a son. The bond between father and son is a special one and he had a bond with our son from the day we found out he was a boy.

As Father's Day 2011 approaches I know Erik is excited to celebrate being a daddy once again....never forgetting his children in heaven. I pray that this Father's Day will be a true celebration, a day I will celebrate my husband! Erik is an amazing daddy. He works so hard for his family and has so much love for our babies. He talks to the babies and reads to them almost daily. He reads sweet stories from the bible....wanting his girls to know Jesus before they even enter this world. He works hard to provide for us and he takes such good care of me. He's taken on so much around the house with me out of commission and he never complains. With a wife like me who has OCD about the house, I know it's hard to maintain my insane cleanliness. But he is doing so great and I can never tell him enough how much I truly appreciate it. He truly serves the Lord by serving his family each day. I am so thankful for Erik each day...he is my best friend and the man I love with all my heart. There is a photo of him looking at Ivy the day she was born, the same day she left for heaven, and his expression is priceless. As I sit here typing I am looking over at this photo with tears in my eyes. He is looking at her with such love...he was so in love with her from the moment he saw her face. From that day I have wanted to see that expression on his face once again. I can't wait for the day that he sees his two girls beautiful faces and falls in love with them. What a day that will be! I also know that when he sees Ivy in heaven that expression will never fade!

For Fun
Mollie's 7th Birthday was today. She's been with us since she was 8 weeks old...wow how time flies. You dog lovers will enjoy the photos of her below. Those of you who aren't dog lovers, well you may think we are weird...but oh well. We didn't get her a cake this year, but we made her a special dinner. We got her some new food, Erik cooked her up 3 eggs, and added some pasta sauce on top. A feast indeed for a dog!

We even added a candle. Now she doesn't normally get fed at the table like this, this was just so we could get a picture of her before she chowed down. I think it looks like she's trying to blow out the candle. Haha!

Oh that sweet face. I'm sure she's thinking...can I just get my dinner now people...all I want is the food!

Blessings and Love,

13 June 2011

Celebrating Babies!

Me and My Kristen.

Some of our dear friends from church gave us a day of pampering and celebrating our babies.

3 mommies! My dearest friends Kristen and Kristina.

What a beautiful day the Lord blessed us with. Kristen and I were blessed with a delicious brunch, wonderful fellowship, and pampering gifts for both us and babies. It's so fun to share this time with my dearest friend. I pray that our babies will be the best of friends, just like we are! It's so amazing to be supported and loved by so many godly women. All the ladies at the brunch have children of all ages and it's so fun to hear stories and get advice from each of them. It's also such a comfort to know that I have the support of these women as I raise my children and I know that they will be with me every step of the way!

"My peace I give you."
John 14:27

I've been feeling God's peace so much lately and I'm slowly burying my fears. God is continually reminding me of His presence and His peace that passes all my understanding. My study of David has been meaningful this week. Beth Moore says, "God loves us for a singular reason - He chooses to love us." I love that! He chose Me! It's such a simple phrase, but often the reminder that we need.

I will leave you with a poem from my daily devotional.

My peace I give in times of deepest grief,
Imparting calm and trust and My relief.

My peace I give when prayer seems lost, unheard;
Know that My promises are ever in My Word.

My peace I give when you are left alone -
The nightingale at night has sweetest tone.

My peace I give in times of utter loss,
The way of glory leads right to the cross.

My peace I give in agony and sweat,
For My own brow with bloody drops was wet.

My peace I give when there's but death for thee -
The gateway is the cross to get to Me.


My love to you all.

PS - I want to give a shout out to all my friends at Mo-Kan. I heard that some of you are reading my blog and I've seen some of your comments. I miss you all and think of you so often. I will have to come for a visit after the girls arrive! Love you all!

07 June 2011

29 Weeks!

I am now 29 weeks....with a 36 week size uterus. I know it doesn't look big...but it feels really heavy. I've been able to go to the pool a few times each week and it's so wonderful. Feeling weightless has never felt so good. When I get out of the water I feel like 20 pounds heavier. I could stay in the water all day!

We got to see the girls via ultrasound today. It's amazing how big they look on the screen. They are growing so well....the doctor commented they are growing above average for twins. Those are my girls!! Little Miss Hope is weighing in at 3lb. 6oz. and Little Miss Genevieve is 3lb. 1oz. That is 6lbs of baby inside of me.....whoa! Their heads still remain down and right together. Hope was facing us and it looked like she was kissing the top of Genevieve's head. They love each other already. Hope even has a little bit of fuzzy hair on the back of her head. Genevieve was sucking her thumb and it was so amazing to see her little mouth moving. They just amaze me every time I see them.
I also started my non-stress tests today...two of those per week now until I deliver. Oh joy! Today went well and I hope that having these tests each week will give me reassurance that they are doing great.

As I was praying for today and giving my day to the Lord I felt total peace. I lifted up my girls to the Lord and thanked Him for entrusting them to me. He gave me peace that He is in control and He is holding them in His hands. As I was doing my bible study of David the following verse stuck out to me;
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God;
he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.
Deuteronomy 7:9

The Lord is so faithful!
Hugs and Love to all of my blog readers!

03 June 2011

Enjoying A Beautiful Day!

This is the beautiful view I had this morning. What a beautiful morning it was...a little humid yes, but the breeze helped a lot.

Align Center
Mollie joined me outside. Thankfully no dogs walked by on the walking trail. The peacefulness would have been interrupted by her saying hello (barking of course).

I truly enjoy spending time with the Lord outside on a beautiful morning. It's so peaceful with the birds singing and nature surrounding me. It seems easier for me to clear my mind when I'm outside on a quiet morning. As I sat outside this morning, the girls were moving like crazy inside of me...I think they were praising God with me! As I sat there, I read part of Crazy Love and my daily devotional. The Lord was teaching me this morning...an intense lesson.

Francis Chan, author of Crazy Love, asks; "If someone asked you what the greatest good on this earth is, what would you say?" So I thought well this must mean something earthly, like my family, my health. He states that, the greatest good on this earth is God. The best things in life are gifts from the One who loves us. But an important question to ask ourselves in this: Are we in love with God or just His stuff? Now that's an intense question...would you agree? Do you love this God who is everything, or do you just love everything He gives you? I would say I love both, but when I go to God with my agenda...do I truly love God or his blessings?

Often times I think we find ourselves praying for stuff, instead of just giving ourselves to God. We come to God with a list, an agenda, which at times is appropriate. However, how often do we come just to listen and worship. I reflected back on these past few years, when the storms seemed to never end and I realized I often came with my agenda and all that time God was saying...be patient, wait...I know the plans I have for you. I was praying continually for my babies and each time he didn't answer I would feel abandoned or unloved. Looking back I know he was there...I just chose only to see "my agenda" not his. Francis Chan, in Crazy Love, also says; My existence was not random, nor was it accident. God knew who He was creating, and He designed me for a specific work.

Those times of waiting for my babies both then and now are all for a purpose. He has never abandoned me because He created me, He created my babies, He knows what He's doing.

"The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you.'
Jeremiah 1:4-5

Enjoy the beautiful day!
Love you all!

Mollie on bedrest. She looks a little bored huh?