Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blessings upon blessings (Edited!)

This week was the beginning of work on our house. We have decided to rebuild. My dear friend, Julianne , and I sat down and worked up a floor plan that would work better for our family than the old house, but still fits on our existing basement. We ended up with a story and a half design, utilizing the basement as living space too. I have been spending a good part of this week reworking the kitchen floor plan (so far, I have 5 different plans! Decisions, decisions, decisions...)

Our original plan was that we would buy used cabinets from someone who was remodeling. But, Monday we stopped in at Lowe's and they have some lovely stock cabinets...which now I am hoping to get for the kitchen. However, we do still need to go to Ziggy's and see what they have.

God has been providing things for the house that are over and above anything I could have hoped for! So far, He has provided:
  • A full size fridge and freezer unit. It consists of a full size fridge and a full size freezer. They sit side by side and look like one unit. I am so excited to have a full size freezer *in* my kitchen!
  • A commercial stove. This is something that Mike and I had talked about, but I needed to find a screamin' deal on one for it to be doable. The stove that God provided, has a 24" griddle, 4 burners, a 30" oven and pan storage! It was a *great* deal, and the guy even lowered the price a bit when we went to look at it!
  • Three tall windows (don't know where they are going quite yet!), that are gridded, and perfect for someplace in my house. :-)
  • A vanity for the kids bathroom. The original plan was to have 2 vanities, one on either side of the bathroom, but now it will be one long vanity on one side and a closet on the other. It's a 5' vanity. It's oak (it does need to be refinished, but good quality!), and it was well under $100! If you have recently looked at bathroom vanities, you know what a blessing that is!
  • I found 2 matching light bars for the kids bathroom for the exorbitant price of $1.17 ea!! 
  • God provided me with a lovely new Kohler kitchen sink. We found it at the Habitat for Humanity store for $25. It's about a $200 sink. I don't believe it's ever been installed ~ there were no tell-tale signs of it. 
  • I shamefully forgot my two new lights this morning! We had decided that we would get nice, but inexpensive lighting for now...changing them out for nicer lights as we could afford to. The exceptions were: I wanted a nice ceiling fan/light fixture in my living room ~ because it will be the room you enter the house in, the pendants over the breakfast bar, and the dining room chandelier. I *love* Craftsman styling, and although we couldn't afford to build a "Craftsman" house, I am trying to incorporate Craftsman details where I can. I also love stained glass. Last night on Craig's List, I found a Craftsman style stained glass chandelier AND a ceiling fan with a stained glass Craftsman light! Both much cheaper than the "splurges" I was looking at at Lowes. Thank you, Lord! Mike picked them up this morning.

I really did not want to rebuild, everyone we know who has built a house, has ended up with lots of stress. And I really don't need 'house' stress right now! However, we do believe that is the direction God is leading us. So, I trust that He will be in the midst of the process, and I won't get *too* stressed about it. :-) He also provided a friend, who is a contractor/builder who is going to be our general contractor on the that will relieve some of the stress.

As I was reflecting on the blessings He has given us so far, I decided that I needed to share them and give praise and thanks to my Heavenly Father. He provides above and beyond our needs. Thank you, Lord!

It's looking like Jethro's surgery won't be until the week of the 16th of August. I don't have a set date yet, but most likely Wed, Thurs, or Friday of that week. Please pray that he will be healthy, and that everything moves forward as planned. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Worship Wednesday ~ The Stand

"I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to Your word! Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord, and teach me Your rules." Psalm 119:107-108

May this be our heart attitude.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

6 Years Ago Today...

I was thrown into the deepest, worst grief I could imagine. At about 6:45 in the morning, our precious son, whom we had waited so patiently for, was born into the arms of Jesus. The first moments of horror, as I delivered a lifeless baby, whose cord had broken just moments before birth...The frantic calls for prayers, praying ~ asking God for a miracle. Pleading with Him to not require this sacrifice of me. The realization that He would not answer those prayers in the affirmative, but that our feet had been placed on the path of grieving. The trail that runs through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

Those first moments when we were surrounded by friends and family. Those who loved and knew us best cleaning up Tucker's precious body, dressing him, holding him, loving him and us.

The most horrible, precious day of my life. A day when God showed up. A day that began a journey of drawing nearer my Father ~ who had brought this "tragedy" into my life because He loves me. Because He desires to mold me into the imagine of His Son. A day that became the start of tremendous spiritual growth on my part.

Since that day, I have learned much of the sovereignty of God. I have learned much of His faithfulness. Of His sustaining power. Of the feel of His arms surrounding me, as I crumble and fall, and can't make it past the boulders in the lane. He lifts me up and carries me, when I can go no further myself. I have learned much of the fickleness of my own character, and longed for the peace that only comes from looking into my Father's eyes and saying, "I trust You." To finally come to that place of peace and contentment. Hard won, but oh so worth it.

I have pondered much that time in these last 9 months. Becoming more and more thankful that God brought us into and through that time. As we once again entered stormy seas with Jethro's diagnosis, I was able to look into the face of my Savior and step out of the boat. There have been times when I have looked away from His face, only to begin sinking ~ drowning in the circumstances I find myself, but then I look again to His face and all is well. I long for him to tell the storm to be still; but instead He looks into my eyes, and says, "Be still, know that I am God. Trust Me." And when I do that, I find that it is even better than if He had calmed the storm.

I long to hold my son. I would love to have the privilege of raising him up to be a godly man, to watch him run and play with his brothers and sisters, to hug and kiss him and to receive all those sweet, snotty, dirty hugs and kisses that little boys give. And yet I know that if his life would have glorified God more than his death, he would be living now. In a way that I cannot comprehend, Tucker's death glorified God more than his life would have. I do not understand. But I trust. I know that God sat me on His lap that morning six years ago, and many times since then, and He wept along with me. Knowing and understanding the pain I was in. How my heart was shattered and how broken I was. And then He took those tears and placed them in a bottle. I cried many, many tears but now, 6 years later, I don't remember them all. But my Father does. He remembers each one.

Today has been a sweet day. Not melancholy as I anticipated. But a day to be thankful. A day of remembrance. A day with chocolate cupcakes to remember a brother that won't be known until Heaven someday. A day to remember that this life is but a breath, and I will have eternity with my son ~ worshiping the One who created us both and loves us dearly.

I'll leave you with a song that accompanied much of my deep grief. There is no video, it's just audio, but it is a precious song ~ and I'm certain if you have lost a child, it will touch your heart.

I love you, Tucker Joe, play in peace sweet boy.

Tucker Joe Dole
July 25, 2004
Into the arms of Jesus

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The viral screen came back negative, but they decided not to take any chances. So, the heart cath and Glenn have been postponed for at least a couple of weeks. So, they discharged him today and we are home.

While I don't "look forward" to surgeries, the fact is that he needs them. And we were prepared and ready for this, so it is a bit of a let-down that it's not happening. However, it will give him a couple more weeks to get better established with his oral feeds ~ which will hopefully mean that getting intubated won't be as much of a setback.

And, I know that God is in control of all of this. If this week was the best time for his surgery, then I know we would still be in the hospital awaiting Thursday. But we are not. For whatever reason, God has a better time for Jethro to have the Glenn. So, we will wait for His timing.

Hopefully an Eventful Week

Jethro and I are at the hospital. He was admitted yesterday. Today is supposed to be a heart cath procedure, and Thursday is to be the Glenn. Which I have been calling open heart surgery, but technically it's not. He will be put on the heart/lung bypass, but they do not stop the heart for this procedure.

Anyway, Jethro has decided this is a good week to get his first snotty nose. This could pose a problem for the procedures scheduled this week. They do not want to open him up with a nasty viral infection going on. They have taken a viral panel, and we are waiting on the results. Then, Dr. Carl will make a decision on whether or not to proceed.

Please be praying that whatever is going on...cold, or allergies...that it will not delay the plans for this week. Jethro is getting big enough that his oxygen sats are a continual struggle. He really needs to have the Glenn done.

I do have a praise! Since our last feeding and growth appointment, Jethro has decided he likes taking a bottle. Day before yesterday he took 78mL of milk and yesterday, he took 85mL! That is right around 3 ounces. It may not seem like much, but for a baby who has never been orally fed, it's huge! And, just last week, I couldn't hardly even get him to latch onto the bottle nipple. I am so excited and looks like we could be on our way to Jethro taking his nutrition orally. Thank you, Lord!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Worship Wednesday ~ Born Again

Do you know what it is to feel the transforming power of Christ? Have you come face to face with the reality of your sin and how desperately lost you are? Do you feel like it's all hopeless?

There is One in whom we can always find hope. One who will take your sins and make them white as snow. One who will take every ugly thing in your life and make it beautiful ~ in a way you will probably never understand. Who will draw you to Himself and show you what truth and faithfulness look like.

Look to the nail scarred hands. They are reaching out to you. Let them pull you in and hold you close. Turn and run to the One who can give you new life. Life everlasting. Know what it is to be born again.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Worship Wednesday ~ By Your Side

I hope to do this regularly. On Wednesday's, I am going to post video's for worship songs that touch me deeply and facilitate my worship of the Lord. Maybe it will introduce you to a new song, maybe it will be a song you are familiar with. Either way, I hope that it enables you to worship, and blesses you mid-week. :-)

This is a song by the band, Tenth Avenue North. It is a song I sing to Jethro all the time. I love this song. It speaks so eloquently of our Savior's love for us...and as a Mama, much of it speaks to my heart ~ I would desire to always be there for my children in this way...even though it's not possible. It has meant much to me since Jethro was born. The Lord has truly given him life...and that is something I always want to keep in focus.

I pray that you would not only enjoy "By Your Side", but that you would worship He who *is* by your side as you listen. Blessings to you.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Jethro's surgeries

I found a website that gives a pretty good, easy to understand explanation of the 3 surgeries that Jethro will go through. The surgery he had at 10 days was to place the BT Shunt ~ in addition to removing part of his right atrium, patching the tricuspid valve and a couple other things. The surgery that is scheduled for the end of the month is the Glenn procedure.

You can read about them here. Jethro is scheduled to be admitted to the hospital on the 19th. On the 20th they will do a heart cath to check out vein pressure, look at the pulmonary artery to see if it needs work, and they will also check out his lungs. Then, on Thursday the 22d, he will have the Glenn procedure, which will be open heart surgery.

We would appreciate prayer for the drs and surgeons that will be working on Jethro during those procedures. Also prayers for Jethro to tolerate the heart cath and surgery well, and that he would recover well.

A Special Visitor

Yesterday, we decided to stay home and have a quiet day. I am gone so much with Jethro, that I have become very reluctant to leave home if I don't *have* to. I had picked up a couple of "new" movies the other day, so we spent the afternoon watching movies while Daddy slept. Horton Hears a Who and Roman Holiday were our afternoon's entertainment.

As Roman Holiday was ending, I looked out the living room window to see an unexpected "guest".
He just wandered around in the field next to the house for probably 15 minutes or so.
Not a very big bear, we figured probably just a yearling. Still, I made sure all the children were in the house.
He was a very cute little bear. And he provided some excitement to our lazy afternoon.