Monday, January 31, 2011

Week 11 - Healer of my Soul

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Psalm 103: 1-5
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Week 13's readings definitely ties together with week 12 that I would like to consider this a continuation of what I have already written. Although God may not choose to heal the person we love in the way that we would like, he has done the ultimate healing. That is so hard to remember when my arms ache for my sweet girl, and I wonder "why?", but that is why it is so important for me to have scripture known. Because my mind so often needs to remind my heart of what I know to be true. Magdalena is healed, and I believe that she is dancing with a pink tutu on right now along with a pink silk bow to hold her hair back. (That is just how I picture it, but The Bible really doesn't mention tutus.) She is dancing to praise our God.
I am not going to even try to reword what Nancy Guthrie, the author of The One Year of Hope, has already written as my prayer requests.
  • Praise God for being the Healer of your mind, body, and soul.
  • Remember and thank God for the healing he has accomplished in your life.
  • Tell God about the healing you need in your body, your mind, and your soul. Ask him to heal you and to show you how you can cooperate with him in faith.
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Looking outside my window right now you would not think that we had such a beautiful Saturday afternoon, but we did! The bright sun shining with a touch of wind made it a beautiful day to go to the park. Walt is beginning to become more confident in his walking, and when he walks he usually has a huge grin on his face. I think I am smiling even bigger though because I am so proud of my little man! Here are some fun shots of the weekend! It rained all day Sunday, but we were so thankfully to have a few outside days to enjoy!

Here is a shot of Walt saying "hot". If he sees you with a mug he likes to touch it and say "hot". We are still working on the meaning of the word because he enjoys saying it so much that his cheerios are hot along with the oven, fire, and coffee mug.

Walt loves his cousins Emma and Laura, but we had just arrived at the park when this picture was taken. He was not quite sure what was going on! The girls were so sweet to him!


Emma played one of Walt's games with him. He is enjoying the freedom more now!

The pictures of him in his swing are some of my favorite. The day before we went to the park I had tried to get him to swing at Mimi's house where there is a kid's swing, but he cried so horribly I just knew he was going to hate swinging. I think he must have felt more confident in Emma's hands because he laughed the entire 30 minutes (minimum) that he was in the swing.



Walt with his cousins swinging just before we left to return home. You can see that he is much happier now, and he definitely had a good time at the park!

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

James Study

2 Corinthians 4:18
as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

With a few other women I am studying the book of James with a guide by Elizabeth George. Everyone's trial is different, one not greater or worse than the other. God uses each one to mold us and to draw us nearer to him. Even in the midst of my personal trials, God has blessed me with the freedom to study His word publicly and write this blog! God has been laying on my heart to pray for those who are suffer persecution in the world for being a Christian and to count it as a blessing that I may love him openly without fearing for my life.

James 1:2-4
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

After studying James 1:2-4 Elizabeth George writes "A List of Withouts" that I thought was a pretty neat perspective that I wanted to share with you.

Without trials there can be no maturity.
Without clouds there can be no silver lining.
Without clouds there can be no appreciation of sunshine.
Without rain there can be no vegetation.
Without the stress of the storm we cannot realize the worth of an anchor.
Without darkness there can be no rest.
Without night there can be no sunrise.
Without threshing we cannot use the wheat.
Without injury and irritation the oyster will not produce a pearl.
Without a hammer and chisel the stone cannot become a statue, a work of art, a masterpiece.
Without crushing flowers there can be no perfume.
Without trials we cannot be like Jesus.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rabbit Hole

It seems so strange that they made a movie about grieving parents. I found out about it through an article in WORLD, a Christian Magazine. Although I am not sure that I could sit through the movie, I am curious to know how the parents survive and how much they bring God into the movie. Grieving without God is grieving without hope, and that would be the most painful grief.

"If knowing the answers made it easy to escape the land of sorrow, none of us would spend time there. There is no right way to navigate this foreign country, no magic incantation to find release. The only way out is through. This film beautifully and heart-shatteringly demonstrates that fact."
WORLD Magazine, January 9, 2011

If you choose to watch the clip, don't forget to push pause on the blog music at the bottom of the page!




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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

SEEing

The reason we read books by those who have lost a child isn't so that we can cry more, although we do, but it is so that you can feel understood. We read that someone has the same emotions, so we are not crazy! Also, it is encouraging to see how those who have lost deal with the pain and that they do in fact survive. Mary Beth Chapman's Choosing to SEE isn't just for people who have lost a child, it is encouraging for anyone who is struggling with God's plan for their life when so many "bad" things come with it. She definitely lets us all get a peak into the closet that so many of us, including myself, try to keep the door locked. I was thankful to have received this book as a Christmas gift so that I could take my time reading it, and although it will bring tears to your eyes should you choose to read it, it will leave you feeling hopeful. That is why we read books written by grieving parents. I too need to be reminded of the hope that I have in Christ, especially on days when my grief may be more overwhelming than the other days. My prayer and hope for writing on this blog is so that someone may be encouraged and reminded of the hope we have in Christ just as I am when I read other's writings and dive in the The Bible.
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Sugary Sweet

Walt has learned so many sweet things to do and sweet words that I have a hard time deciding which one is my favorite. He gives slobbery kisses, says thank you, and shares his favorite foods. He is the sweetest little man ever! Once he gets to walking a whole new world is going to be at his fingertips. I think that it is going to come just in time for spring so that he can run around outside. He is going to love getting dirty and into trouble!

We enjoyed an amazing weekend filled with people we love! Friday morning a dear friend and her daughter came over to have coffee, play, and talk. She has opened a can of worms though because I am definitely going to want more time with her! Then, in the evening a friend of mine and her husband came over to watch the movie Twilight. I don't think that would have been their first choice of movie because it is a little cheesy, but their names are in the book! When I first met her I knew that I was going to have to expose her to the characters because I am sure when anyone meets her they are thinking "wow!" her name is in Twilight! Noah built a fire for us so we could roast marshmallows and watch teenage vampires. And can you believe that is not it? The fun continued with my sister-in-law being in town! We celebrated her birthday with a meal and family! Thankfully, Walt is a social bug and ate up all of the attention from everyone!

As our house slowed down on Sunday when Noah returned from preaching at a church and Walt and I from worship, Noah built a fire, and we watched an amazing Steelers game with Grandmom, who is a big football fan herself. ( I watched part of the game and worked on To Kill a Mockingbird. )

What a fun, awesome weekend we had, and it is on these days where I see God's many blessings of friends and family. I was thanking God for it all this morning, and I realized that this would be a great Psalm to pray to God not only on the good days where the blessings are obvious but also on the worst days to remember His goodness and that he has not left me. That is where He grows me and His mercy shines.

Psalm 9: 1-2

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Week 12 - Miracles

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John 20: 30-31 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

As I am writing this I am praying for the words I use. A miracle is a "supernatural event that defies the laws of nature". When Jesus displays his power to perform miracles there is nothing that the people did to deserve it, and in the opposite direction for those he did not heal, there is nothing that the people didn't do. If we center on the actions of the people we lose our focus on what he to be the center of our attention, JESUS! Jesus performed these miracles so that people would believe that He was the Messiah (John 20:30-31) (page 92). The most important miracle is that God works a life changing miracle within us so that we lives our lives fully committed to Him.

God didn't choose to heal Magdalena on this earth, but she has been forever healed while with Him in heaven. God continues to bless me in showing me how valuable her short life here was, and how it glorified Him.

Thank you, God, for an amazing daughter whose life you continue to use to change me. Thank you for the miraculous days that doctors claimed to be impossible and the things she did that she shouldn't have been able to do with her sickness.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Walking Update

Walt walked a few steps on 3 separate occasions today! Woo Hoo! Maybe it helps for me to scream at the top of my lungs in the highest pitch known to man while jumping up and down!

Also, I made a batch of the yummiest cookies last night, and here is the recipe! I HIGHLY recommend that you double the recipe so that you are more willing to share them with others!

HERSHEY KISS PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
2 c. Bisquick
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix milk and peanut butter. Add Bisquick and vanilla. Mix and roll into 1 inch balls. Roll or shake balls in granulated sugar.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 6-8 minutes. Place kisses on top as soon as they come out of the oven.

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Dish Fairy

Ephesians 5:25 - Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

Last semester I would sometimes leave a dish or two from cooking soaking in the sink thinking that I would finish it in the morning. Morning would come, and the dish would be washed, dried, and put away. It was amazing. I never got to ask Noah about it because he would leave the house at 6:30 just as I was getting up. Now, because I am waking up at 6:00 I have caught the dish fairy in action! Now, it is becoming a little joke around our house that I had to share with you! My husband is just too sweet to me, and he definitely knows my love language. It's the small things that lets me know he loves me, appreciates the work I do, and takes care of me.

Have you seen that McDonald's commercial with the oatmeal and fresh fruit? It looks yummy, but when I go to McDonald's I don't go for something healthy, so it was hard for me to imagine going there to buy this delicious looking oatmeal. This morning we made some for ourselves! We made plain oatmeal and added about 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar. Then, we topped it with fresh apples and raisins. I also added honey as a dab extra, but that may be too much sugar. Either way it was delicious, and I highly recommend it to everyone out there! You could really add whatever you want!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Song

We have a KLOVE radio channel where I live, and although the play a lot of the same songs
very frequently, we do enjoy it. And that is where I do hear new songs that are encouraging, reminder,s and worship songs. This song was beautiful, and I couldn't let a day go by without sharing it.

Untitled Hymn
Chris Rice

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for Love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden’s lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain...so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don’t be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk, sometimes we fall...so
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain...then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can’t contain your joy inside...then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on glory’s side...and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!
Copyright 2002 Clumsy Fly Music (ASCAP)

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Monday, January 17, 2011

The Weekend

It seems as though the weekends fly by! Sometimes I look back and wonder "What did I accomplish this weekend?". This was one of those weekends that I felt like so many wonderful things took place, many of which could not have been planned. It began Saturday morning with a delicious chicken biscuit from Chic-fil-a and conversations with sweet neighbor friends. Then, I returned home to pull snot out of Walt's nose, and this was on going the entire weekend! Walt needed some more attention because when a person doesn't feel well there is nothing better than being held! As Walt took his morning nap I baked bread and ate a homemade chocolate chip cookie while drinking coffee in front of a fire that my husband built for me. Yes, it was still morning , which made the cookie taste even better!

Walt became a champ at having the snot pulled out of his nose that I am going to have to videotape it! I just smile at him with the red dragon in hand, and he sits there without screaming and lets me get it! Is this an age or personality thing? I find it amazing considering how many times we had to hold him down in the past to accomplish this task.

The weekend continued with seeing old friends, getting back in routine (excluding a few things), cooking, and baking! What a way to kick off the semester! So here we go! We are beginning a New Year and here are the things that I plan to do:

  • Cook New Dishes
  • Read The Bible in a year (through an organized plan)
  • Read more books! (not sure what my goal should be for this, yet)
  • Finish Walt's Baby Scrapbook (scrapbooking with a friend weekly)
  • Write more hand-written notes to friends
  • Get up earlier (This is happening now but I want to keep it going!)
God is continuing to bless us through the smallest things, and this weekend He gave us so much!!

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Homesick

Just as I was folding towels today God gave my heart a little present. I want to ALWAYS be happy that Magdalena is with her Jesus never to suffer the sins of this world, but when I am not happy it doesn't mean that I am sad. It has taken me some time to realize this emotion because I get a guilty feeling for sometimes lacking the excitement of what she must be doing right now in God's presence. (I always imagine her with a pink tutu on dancing as a way of worship.) But shouldn't I be homesick because feel odd to be in this world? If I am too comfortable maybe I am being too worldly. This life is so short, and we never know how short. Shouldn't I be more outspoken, more demanding that my time be Christ-centered?

This Mercy Me song came on that gave me the correct adjective. I am homesick, and I will be praying that my life will become more Christ-centered so that I am even more homesick. By Jesus Magdalena and I are able to meet again, and on days like her birthday, death day, and other holidays those feelings of being homesick are only magnified.

Thank you so much for your many prayers, and it helped lift the weight off of my heavy heart. Please listen to the song if you have a moment....it is beautiful.

Mercy Me's HOMESICK

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Celebration of Life Video

So many of these pictures have memories behind them, so I had to share the video we played at Magdalena's Celebration of Life Service. It is kind of long, but I was thankful Pastor Pierce told me we could make it as long as we liked. There isn't a picture I could leave out! Just click on the following link. Thanks for sharing in this special time with me.

Magdalena's Celebration of Life Video

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Hope is in the Lord

Lamentations 3: 22-24 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."


Jeremiah encourage us in this verse that in the midst of our world falling apart around us, we can have confidence in the Lord. What a sweet reminder of our confidence when our hearts are breaking. It is so important for me to dive into scripture and saturate myself in God's promises when my heart tells me lies (Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful"), so that my mind can override it with what I know to be true.

These two videos are so sweet to me because they are a constant reminder of what a huge blessing my family was to us. They would come and love on Magdalena with all their might. Grandmom always captured Magdalena's attention even when so tired like she was in this video having just eaten. Lori would come during her off block (she had permission) to check on Magdalena often, and Magdalena adored her snuggle time with her Loli. That was their special bond.


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Monday, January 10, 2011

Possible

Matthew 19:26
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Both Noah and I agreed that we wanted to share some of our favorite video moments with our sweet Magdalena over the next two days. This isn't so that you will cry more than what words will cause, but so that we can really praise God through his beautiful handiwork that we see in every moment of her life. We were told all that Magdalena would not be able to do, but through her short life we saw how God truly can work the impossible. He gave us so many moments of her little abilities. Magdalena's pediatrician, Dr. B, always encouraged Magdalena to the next step within our comfort zone and cheered her on the entire time. Dr. B showed us ways to work on her neck strength at about four months old, and we enjoyed showing off her moves the next visit. In the following two videos we see Magdalena's neck getting stronger. Mimi tried working with her too, but who wants to work when Mimi is around? That is the time to relax!
If you Google Trisomy 18 or Edward's Syndrome it will give you a long list of what the baby can't do, but God has created each of us individually perfect in His image, and only He truly knows what we can and cannot do.
James 1:17 "Every good and every perfect gift comes from above"

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Snow?!

We were pleasantly surprised last year when we got a few inches of snow here, which is usually unseen, but this year we have been anticipating the return of that beautiful whiteness falling from the sky. The weather people told us that we were going to get our wish this past weekend, and along with snow we would have a "wintry mix". We got our flashlights ready (just in case), clothes washed, and made a pizza to be ready for our weather. It is Monday, and I have yet to see a snow flake. I was looking forward to Walt building a snowman, or really seeing Noah build one and Walt knock it down as the game goes with Walt's blocks. The streets were iced over yesterday, so we watched a televised sermon instead of driving to the church twenty minutes away that we have been attending.

A little Walt update: I wish that I could say that he is walking, but no, that has happened, yet. However, he does say his version of "all done" when he has finished eating. This has replaced whining about 70% of the time. And this morning on my coffee mug we worked on saying "HOT!", which he had a ton of fun with. I think that he will end up having conversations we us in a language we understand before he walks!


If you have been reading this blog since the beginning of its existence you know what is coming, so my posts may be a little more reminiscence, sad because although the day isn't quite here, the days leading up to it I think about how we had to say goodbye to our big girl. Honestly, it is a blessing to have these "sad" moments because they are memories not everyone is given. Noah and I were together and together we said goodbye. I will be forever grateful to God for that blessing. Please don't read the upcoming posts as simply sad days but sad days that are hopeful. They are not fully of despair because I know that she is with my Jesus. But God puts this love in a mother's heart and here it lies without her here. Noah and I always acknowledge these days in some way, but we haven't quite decided what we will do this year. Please pray for us as we approach our "Good-bye" day.

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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Walt Eating Ice Cream

Have I ever commented on how much I love my new job? Well, I do. This last semester I began to teach online classes for a local community college so that I could stay at home with Walt. It was a gift handed to me from God. I was supposed to go and sign my contract to return to a high school for this school year, but I really could not stand being away from my sweet little man for so long during the day. With the work hours and commute there was little time and energy for him at the end of the day. I made many, many, many phone calls within a week, and on Thursday I called where I work now, and by Monday I had a new job. There were many obstacles that existed and God worked them all out. I love my new job because I do it before Walt gets up in the morning and during his naps. He is just too much fun to leave! So as the upcoming semester gets started I have more work to do initially, and so, my Mom took Walt with her to Hobby Lobby and to get some dinner. He had a blast, but what other kind of fun is there when you are with your Mimi? One of the special things he always gets with her is a little ice cream cone, so I had to share this cute picture with you! Oh, how he loves his Mimi time and his ice cream! And I was able to finish setting up one of my classes, so that means more park time with the Walt Man this spring! Woo Hoo!


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Friday, January 07, 2011

Full of Moves

Can you believe that Walt is 15 months and 1 week old, and he still is not walking! I didn't think anything of it because he is still my baby, and to me, babies crawl. Then, I got the email from babycenter.com with updates, and 90% of babies at his age are walking! He has walked while holding onto something since August, but he refuses to let go. He is fully capable of walking, but just refuses to do it when he can get somewhere faster crawling. When he thinks noone is watching he takes a few small steps, but if he feels pressured to do it, he drops his weight and won't put his feet down! I hope that I remember this in case his personality stays this way. Well, while we continue to wait we find him doing the cutest things. He got so many great toys for Christmas, so I went and bought these storage bins from Target. They help everything to have a place in the house. Walt saw it and thought that it was another toy! Of course, he did all of this when he thought noone was watching!




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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Our Kind of Camping

My parents gave us an incredible, fun gift this year, a fire pit! Woo hoo! We like to have free fun while Noah is in seminary (you may hear a lot more about our free/fun adventures this year), and think that this is going to be just the thing for us this semester. So we invited the neighbors over to cook out hot dogs and marshmallows...yummy! Then, we put the kids to bed and sat outside to talk around the fire.


Walt eating his roasted hot dog. He did not want to sit down, and enjoyed being a big boy with everyone.

Walt enjoying the fire while munching on an animal cracker.


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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Free Chicken!!

Don't forget that this week Chick-fil-a is giving away Spicy Chicken Biscuits, but you have to make a reservation! It was good, family fun, and YUUUMMMYYY!!
I hope that you get enjoy one too! They even give a coupon for a free spicy chicken biscuit when it comes out in a month!


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