Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Headed again to Denver!!

Tomorrow night I am once again headed out to Denver to visit Karlena!! It is going to be a short trip - just through Sunday afternoon but I am so glad that we get to have a few days together.

Karlena was moved home from the hospital on Saturday after almost a month.  Kerry, her husband, told me yesterday that they were working with Karlena's "team" to get hospice services set up in her home. This way she can be as comfortable as possible and also enjoy the comforts of home and family close by.

From what I understand she is doing MUCH better than she was when things were so critical in the hospital. And I am so thankful for that. But the truth of her situation is that her Ataxia makes any other medical problems she may have even more difficult, and it is draining on her body.

But Karlena is in good spirits. She knows that when God calls her she will be ready. Only He knows the day and the hour. Until then I am so grateful for the opportunity to love on her in person for a few days. To have those conversations and say those things that I need to say once again....just in case.

I don't want to sound like a downer here. I would love to be super optimistic and tell you that in 5 or 10 years that she and I will look back at this post and laugh at my ignorance.  I just don't know if we have that time and I can't take the time we have now for granted.

Dominic has been super supportive of me too and encouraged my "family leave of absense" again.  I would love to take Elijah along with me because Karlena would get a kick out of seeing him walk all over but it just can't happen for this visit. I do have a little surprise for her though. I printed out a year's worth of pictures of Elijah and Isaac and Gabriel and put them in an album for her! That way when I am terrible about posting pictures here she will have something with her to look at instead! :)

So please pray for safe travels for me tomorrow night at 8pm and Sunday afternoon at 2pm!! And pray that my time with Karlena is God-filled and that we might both be blessed by our time together!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Just the boys



Just wanted to share a couple of pictures of our boys! Have a wonderful Friday!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

13 weeks

Today we had our first doctor's appt. in 5 weeks. It was a LONG wait but well worth it. We don't have much to report but we do know that as of today Baby Smith is healthy and very active.  At 8 weeks the baby looks like a small bean. At 13 weeks it looks like a baby. We were able to very briefly see the spine and 2 arms and 2 legs. At one point my doctor said that baby was sucking its thumb!

We got a couple of pictures, but they aren't the best because the little fart just wouldn't stop moving. Fiesty! But I shouldn't be surprised with all the fiesty Smiths we have in our home so far! :):)

The heart rate was 172 - nice and strong. It is just nice to have confirmation that everything is good today. Now we just have to wait another 2 months before the "official" ultrasound when we have the chance to see if this one is another boy or our chance at a girl. Time will tell I guess....but what do you think? Any guesses??

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fathers

In anticipation of Father’s Day this Sunday I have been reflecting on the fathers that I have in my life today. I really feel so blessed by these special people and I just wanted to take a minute to share them with you!

My earthly and biological father is a true hero to me. He made the comment once that he doesn’t think he was much of a father when we were growing up and was giving my mom all the credit. And while I won’t disagree that my mom played a crucial and critical role in making me who I am today – my dad also had an important part to play as well.

I remember my dad cooking us fun Sunday morning breakfasts. Mickey Mouse pancakes with chocolate chip eyes, all the bacon we could eat and toad-in-the-holes. I think a couple of times we even made homemade donuts….back when cooking with a Fry Daddy was still the “in” thing to do!

He found ways to make the ordinary more fun. They had one of those cool apple peeler/corer things and we would pick hundreds of apples from our tree out back and then take turns at the apple machine cutting up the apples. We would sneak pieces here and there while we worked and would have stomach aches by the time we were done. Then he would cook up this huge batch of homemade applesauce that today still can’t be beat by any of the store brands.

On vacations it was “anything goes” and we played games like “I spy” or the “license plate game”. Vacations usually meant a lot of driving but also a lot of fun. He now is making memories with my kids in the same way!

Today he has a passion for missions and he and my mom both are generous to a fault. He has always wanted to take flying lessons but put that dream on hold to invest his own time and money into starting the KAH packing site in Sioux Falls. Today children in Haiti are being fed because of his selflessness.

He shares with others how God works in the most desolate of places. He is a reminder to me that God will not leave us and that regardless of where we live or what we are doing we are important to Him.

My children’s father is a man who loves our boys and takes the responsibility of a father very seriously. He is always looking for ways to teach our kids and to be an example to them.

He isn’t afraid to admit his mistakes and apologize in front of the boys, showing them that everyone makes mistakes and the honorable way to take responsibility and make amends.

He looks for teachable moments in the everyday stuff of life. He talks to Isaac about things to be aware of when driving, giving examples so that Isaac understands. He shares his wealth of knowledge about all things and engages everyone in conversation making even the longest of car rides interesting.

He has fun with the boys too, and is the first to suggest playing a card game or a board game. He is more than willing to put aside what he wants to satisfy what one of the kids might want instead. He shares his passions with them and encourages them to explore those things they might be passionate about.

And every night when the kids go to bed he goes down to pray with them. He shows them that it is important to honor God and lift up our praises and prayers to Him.

My father-in-law is a man who has welcomed me into the family from day one. He has always made me feel like I belong.

He has been supportive of both Dominic and I – even during the times when it was probably really difficult to be supportive. He celebrates in our joys and comforts us in our disappointments. He finds a way to be encouraging and positive towards us.

He is very knowledgeable about the Bible and he shares what he knows with us and with others in our church. He is a reminder that we should always keep learning about the One who created us.

My Heavenly Father has all of the best attributes of each of the others and then much, much more. Although I am so very blessed by the different fathers I have here on earth it is always comforting to know that my eternal Father is with me every moment of the day. He is someone that I can turn to in joy, in anger, in sorrow and in hope.

He has never let me down and has walked with me when I questioned Him, allowing me to understand and trust in His plan instead of my own.

He is the One who gave each of my fathers to me. He placed in my life some very special and important fathers. Fathers who all reflect in their own ways pieces of Him. Each with their own story and perspective, yet each seeking to do His will.

So I encourage you to spend time thinking about the fathers in your life. If you have the opportunity to share with them what they mean to you – please do it! And if you don’t have a relationship with the One, true Father today please consider taking that first step and ask Him to be your Father today.

Heavenly Father,
I thank you today for all of the fathers, the dads out there. I am grateful that You are the holy example of who a father should be. I admit that I have fallen short of who You would have me to be. Thank you for loving me like only a father can and for making that sacrifice in Your only Son Jesus. You provided a way for me to be with my eternal Father forever. I pray especially for anyone who doesn’t know You today. May their hearts be stirred by Your presence and may they be encouraged to seek You out. You are the giver of life. Thank you for allowing me to find life in You! Amen

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

His Presence

I can't explain it really but today I have just been struck with the overwhelming feeling that God is with me, with our family.  We are excitedly anticipating our next doctor's appointment a week from today where we will have a chance to see and hear the little one that I am carrying right now(almost 12 weeks!!).  We have some possible big things coming on the horizon, but nothing is certain at this point.....and yet I can feel that God is present - like He is right in the middle of all of it.

I am a worrier by nature. I am usually certain that the worst possible outcome in a situation will happen to me and so often I walk in fear. But today I just feel calm, feel peaceful and know that no matter what changes our family will go through in the next year that God will be walking alongside of us...and hopefully even more so in front of us - guiding us by His will and not our own.

I am so encouraged by the fact that God wants the very best for us and blesses us when we seek out His will. I don't always go headfirst into trusting God wholly, so today I am enjoying this feeling and am hopefull that this is a new pattern of behavior for me and my relationship with my God! Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, June 7, 2010

GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS!

The bold lettering in my title doesn't say it enough but GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS!!

This weekend has been rough. Karlena has been in the hospital since Tuesday evening and on a respirator since Wednesday.  When I talked to a few different members of her family yesterday I heard that she was not responding even with decreased amounts of sedation, she continued to fight her respirator tube but yet wouldn't wake up!

The doctors said that they couldn't figure out why she wasn't responding. Karlena has some specific directions on how she wants the end of her life...when that comes..to be handled and so because of her condition they were having to discuss all of those options.

I felt so helpless being here and not being there and so all I could do is pray. And this morning I prayed that something dramatic would happen today. Either way, that God would make it very clear what His plan for Karlena was.

And boy did He make it clear!!! Linda, her mom called me about an hour ago and she was awake, responsive and off of the respirator!!! She had been fighting the tube all night and they finally got her to respond and decided to take out the tube and see what happened.

I can't even hardly put into words how amazed I am at all He can do. He deserves ALL the glory and I am so very grateful. Thank you for all of your prayers!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Karlena

This post is going to be short, but I need to ask you to pray for Karlena.  If you have read my blog you would know that Karlena is my best friend that lives out in Colorado.

She is in the hospital right now and on a respirator.  It is a very scary and stressful situation for her family.  Our prayers are that she will be able to get off of the respirator this weekend and will turn the corner to recovery.

If not some difficult decisions will need to be made next week. We are praying it doesn't come to that and my heart is heavy as I write this.  I would give more details but honestly right now I don't have the energy to. It has been an emotionally, exhausting day....and I am not even there at this point. I know it is even more so for her husband and son and her parents.

So please pray that regardless of the outcome, God will grant peace into the hearts of those of us who love her and for rest and healing for her as well.

I will try to post more as I have it. Thank you in advance for your prayers. We all appreciate it!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Different "Club"

For many years, as we struggled to conceive both Gabriel and Elijah and experienced a miscarriage, I found myself in a “club” of women who had been where I was. Women that understood the pain that was often involved and women that knew how to support one another. It was never a “club” that I wanted to be a part of – just because of the reasons that got us there – but it was somewhere that I felt normal and safe once I got there.


Safe to share all of those crazy thoughts that I would have. Safe to share frustration about someone else’s joy and feeling envious about it. Safe to share that I didn’t understand why it has to be so easy for “those people”.

Now I am one of “those people”. People that get pregnant when they aren’t trying or planning or charting. One of “those people” that I struggled with….and it is an interesting and unusual place for me to be.

I shared with a few women at our church that even though I am joyful about our pregnancy….I also feel a sense of guilt about it. Almost like I don’t know why I “deserve” this now….when so many other women are desperately trying and not getting pregnant.

I know that if I were on the other side of it…I would tell someone else that it isn’t about “deserving”. But it is something that Satan uses to deceive me. It worked before too. When we struggled I felt that I must not be “deserving” enough, and now on the other side of it I feel like I do not deserve this.

I know that they are lies whispered to me that I should not believe, and most of the time I can stand firm on my faith in God and His truth. But at other times the guilt creeps in and I believe the lies…even if just for a moment.

So I find myself in this new “club” now and a part of me feels like I don’t really fit in….like I don’t really belong. But I am so glad that God doesn’t give me grace because I deserve it. I would never receive it if it were based on what I do or who I am!!

So instead of being in the “easy pregnancy club” or the “difficult pregnancy club” I should focus on being secure in the “God is my rock and my salvation club”. And when those lies start to creep in my focus needs to be in God and who I can be because of Him! There is freedom found there I am sure.

So what lies about yourself do you believe today? Bring those things to the feet of Jesus and replace the whispering lies with the firm foundation of Truth found in Christ!


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