Monday, February 14, 2011

In Memory of my friend, Janie...

Life is precious and fragile. I've always known this. Sometimes, when I get close enough to Gracie to hear her heartbeat, I'm reminded of that very first time I heard it when she was a tiny 6 week old embryo. It thrills me. I think, life is flowing through her. God is sustaining her. This is a miracle!
Last week, these thoughts came to me again because I lost a friend to cancer. On Monday, we were praying for her to recover from what doctors thought was a bad sinus infection. She was feeling really poorly, and couldn't make it to our Bible Study. On Wednesday she was hospitalized because her husband found her unresponsive when he came home. On Thursday morning she was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia. At 6:30 that night, she crossed over to eternity. All of us who had to joy of knowing her, have been heartbroken at the suddenness of her passing. But, we know she is basking in God's presence and is gloriously healed.
I am more grateful for each new day.
I am more prone to hug my little girl and husband a little longer than I would have a week ago.
I am more appreciative for the times God has spared my life and the lives of those I love.
I am more thankful that God's presence sustains me even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil~for Thou art with me. Psalm 23

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Goings On....

Be prepared for 'bunny trails'.
I just want to post something- anything. I have a lot on my mind right now. First, even though this pregnancy has been a bit more physically demanding, I have really enjoyed not battling fear this time around. When I was pregnant with Gracie, I felt that I was always bracing for something horrible to happen. I was afraid to let my guard down, because I knew that there were no guarantees that everything was going to be alright. We rented a fetal heart monitor and used it quite frequently. I remember God really helping through all of that though. He revealed to me that I could be gripped in fear at every stage and age of my child's life. He asked me, "Is that how you want to live?" Of course it was not. At some point around that same time, I had a very distinct dream. I dreamed of holding my baby against my chest. Her head was resting on my left shoulder. The dream was so real that I could literally feel that sensation when I woke up the next day. It was like a reassurance that everything was going to be alright, and I would hold my little one someday- and of course I did. ANYWAY- I just haven't dealt with fear during this pregnancy and it has been a blessing. Maybe it's because this is my second pregnancy...maybe it's purely God's grace.
Which leads me to the second thing I wanted to talk about. Our chosen name for our littlest lovee girl. Of course, it could be modified once we meet her, but for now we have decided on Karis Joy. Charis is the greek word for grace. It means: that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, favor and merciful kindness. So, we'll have two girls of Grace in the house! We've modified the spelling, which is kind of neat, because Karis has all of the letters of my name- Krisa. My mother in law has always wanted us to name any girls born to us- Krisa. I have flatly refused that idea, but this accommodates that request a little. Sometimes when Byron is talking to or about the baby and refers to her as 'Karis', Gracie says, "No daddy. It's Karis Jo-oy" (Joy has two syllables. We are raising a southerner here in northern VA.)
We've had some sickness in our house this past month. Gracie and Byron both had terrible cases of a yucky stomach virus. Thankfully, I only had a touch of the stuff. And, when I say thankfully, I really mean it. That virus has been nasty. Gracie had a horrible cold last week, and was running a fever for 36 hours this week. I don't like it when my family is sick.
Speaking of sick...I haven't been for some time now. Thank you Lord!!!! I think this weekend will mark the fourth week of being queasy free! I love that! Along those same lines, I had my first, full-fledged craving ever last Saturday night/Sunday morning. I woke up around 2:00 and just had to have grape juice. The desire was so strong, it was almost painful. The problem was that we had no grape juice. Even though I know my husband would have gone out and bought some for me, I didn't want to wake him because he was preaching at our church the next morning which was actually just a few hours away. So, I did the next best thing. I drank a little berry fruit punch, then chased it down with orange juice. I was able to go back to sleep. The next day, we had two gallons of grape juice in our kitchen. :)
Is anyone else tired? I am so beat at the end of the day. I can't even believe I'm still awake at 10:00 pm tonight! I got a call from my OB/GYN three weeks ago, directing me to start taking an iron supplement twice a day b/c my bloodwork showed I was slightly anemic. Maybe that's playing into the weariness. I don't know, but I sometimes feel discouraged by it. I'd appreciate your prayers for strength.
My friend that I told you about in my previous post has now been on bedrest for at least a month. Things had stabilized for her, but she went in for a visit yesterday and discovered that she is dialiated 1 cm and her cervix is shortening again. That's not great news, so please continue to lift her and her twin babies up to the Lord. She is 28 weeks this week. It meant so much to her to read your comments and to know that you were standing with her. So, thank you for continuing to do so!
This week has been kind of emotional for me. On Monday, I found out 25 minutes before I needed to report to work that I didn't have a babysitter for the day. (I have resolved to check text messages a lot sooner than 8:15, from now on.) I can't tell you how panicked I became. The good news is that because of some awesome friends- everything was worked out within minutes! I was so thankful, but whereas I was about to cry earlier because I was so upset, 15 minutes later, I was crying because I felt so blessed and undeserving. I was a bit of a mess for the remainder of the day. I won't even describe the total melt down I had before retiring that night. Let's just say that my husband was trying desperately to calm me down so that I wouldn't wake up our sleeping child. Three hours later was when Gracie started running a fever. The next morning though, she seemed fine, and since my sitter's kids were still running fevers and b/c we were on a 2 hour delay that day- I decided to go to work and take Gracie to the babysitter. I felt guilty all day. At 4, I got a text that her fever had returned...103.4- More guilt. I immediately decided that I would not go to work the next day. You guessed it- she was perfectly fine all day long. Not a 'smidgen of temperature', not a sniffle or cough. I enjoyed being home with my girl, but I hardly have any leave left, so again I felt stressed. Other things happened on Thursday- I won't go into that- but I've just been on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. I'm ready to settle down- spend some time with Jesus, and get perspective again. To quote an old song of the church....
Only Jesus can satisfy your soul...
Only He can change your heart and make it whole.
He'll give you peace you never knew.
Sweet love and joy and heaven too.
For only Jesus can satisfy your soul.