Monday, April 30, 2007

This is Rachel, Adrienne's friend and she has asked me to post a prayer request for her.
She is at Rose Hospital with friends Steph and Nick. This afternoon, after picking up his daughters from school, Nick drove himself to the ER because of sudden chest pain. After collapsing in the ER hallway, his heart almost stopped and Dr's acted quickly to drain water surrounding his heart. They found a bloodclot in his his mesentary vein. He went into surgery at about 7pm and is now in the ICU. Please pray for his wife for peace and for his two daughters, Kate and Annie, who saw their father collapse and are scared. Please pray for healing and this family. Thanks-

Friday, April 20, 2007


Em's blood work was BEAUTIFUL! Thank You, Lord!

For those catching up, there were words, there was drama, there was misinterpretation, then miscommunication, then reconciliation, and hopefully now lots of healing. In everyone's best interest, I hit 'delete'.
"You've never truly lived until you give something to someone for which you can never be repaid." -Unknown

Today we are going to Florida. We have been given a tremendous blessing and will be spending a few days in Celebration and some at St. Pete's beach. Our pastor and his wife are friends with some people down in Celebration that put their hearts and resources together to bless Jason, Em and myself with a change of scenery. Em knows about the beach, but has no idea that she gets to go see Minnie Mouse and Cinderella. We've known now for a couple of months, but we weren't about to tell her such exciting news too soon or the kid would not have taken a nap or gone to bed due to visions of princesses dancing in her head! One time she went to California with her dad on a business trip and stayed with her aunties, uncles and Nana. I told her THAT morning before she left the house! I was pregnant with Noah and it was a little late in the pregnancy to fly, so my best friend came out and we mini "extreme makeovered" Em's room while she was gone. So much excitement...

Anyway, believe me, I don't feel sorry for myself, but being at home with Noah's bedroom door shut for 3.5 months now wears on me at times. I know I have to organize it, especially since we put a contingent offer on a house pending the sale of our own, so now I have to clean it, but sitting here day in and day out does not inspire me to do so. I think leaving the house for a week will give me new perspective and drive to get things in order. I decided about a month ago that I'm not actually going to power organize through all of Noah's things just yet. I am going to pack them in boxes and go through them in time at our new house. I don't want to make rash decisions, and I especially don't want to be rushed making the memory box of treasures that I want to put together for Emily.

Regarding the beach...I know we said that we are going to take Noah's ashes around the world with us and spread them in different oceans, but we're not prepared to explain what we are doing with a 'box of dust' to Emily as of yet. We want her to be a part of that at some point if she desires, but since she's 4.75 (yes, she tells people she's four and three quarters now...), we just aren't ready to go there...

Yesterday I took Em in to Children's to have a CBC done because she's had dark circles under her eyes for about a month and a half and has a little pea sized lump in her lymph nodes on the back of her neck. The doctor wasn't worried about it, but ordered the blood work because, well, I asked him to, and two, he didn't feel it was out of the question to cover our bases. I'm not paranoid because of Noah, but I know too much now about the medical world. We've gone to visit the nurses several times since Noah died and it hasn't been difficult, but yesterday I had to fan my eyes several times to choke back tears. I was sad that my daughter was so comfortable there and knew the building like the back of her hand...

Anyway, some friends and I were at dinner the other night and on our way home were praying for one another and our families. One thing we were praying for was a 16 year old boy in Colorado Springs with Hodgkins Lymphoma who just had a large lump removed from his neck. After we were done I told the girls about Em's little lump and her tired state, and that I wanted to get it checked out but also didn't want to. We prayed again and they encouraged me to take her in the next day. I had already been doing research on mono and other stuff, but, you know, the last time I took my kid into Children's for an out-patient visit...

So, I'm on hold right now waiting for those results...

We are looking forward to family time in Florida and to meeting people we don't even know who have loved us and prayed for us over the past many months. We'll take lots of pictures and post some when we return. I can't wait to sit by the ocean and be in awe of God's creative hand. Have a wonderful week!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Today's earlier post was not intended to cause strife or anything of that nature. My heart was to expose judgment within the church and to try to encourage everyone to get along, knowing we will never all agree on the non-essentials in life. Love is the hardest of all of Christ's commands, especially when we don't feel like it and especially when we don't think we are worthy of receiving it. I love my family everyday. I don't always like what they say or do...they don't always like what I say or do, either. One thing Jason taught me early in our relationship is that it is okay to disagree on non-essentials. That is my heart in my previous post. This is the one time in blog history that I am glad that 'anonymous' was anonymous so that none of us lost our salvation (not really) by going and bashing that person in defense of another. I pray that whether we blog or share face to face, talk on the phone, write emails, speak publicly, whatever, that we do it with the gifts God has given and we do it for the glory of God, not our own...the only problem is we are flaky humans and we all make mistakes...

My biggest mistake today was getting so worked up about judgment that I spent a lot of time thinking about the 'anonymous' comment and could have been spending the day praying for families in Virginia and the surrounding areas as there has been a major loss of life, and many eyes saw things today that will remain in their hearts forever. Lord, please comfort the students, faculty, and staff of VA Tech and their families, friends, and loved ones...I pray that their hearts and minds would find healing in Your loving peace and that people would surround them with tangible hugs and encouragement from around the nation and world, just as you sent us for Noah. You are Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, and I ask that You would supply the needs of the students, faculty, staff and their families as only You can...Lord, show us how we can be a tangible help in their tragic time of need...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Real living

Three months ago today I died.
You see, when we had the big ethics meeting back in November or December, I sat in there with a bunch of people, some family, some friends, loving caretakers, and some random strangers, and in the midst of feeling like I was pleading for someone to step up to the plate and take a chance to try to save our son, whether it be experimental or what, I said out loud, "I am going to die if my son dies. I know I won't be able to live..."

Well, I can honestly say that on January 12th, I died along with Noah. I died to the life of 35 years that I had previously lived. I died to myself, and though I was born again for eternity 20 years prior because of Christ, I died to my own selfish pursuits in life.

I'm so happy I died. I feel like I can finally live!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

These are pictures of Noah's first bath at the hospital when he was born. Both my kids could be bawling one minute and then peaceful and sleeping the next. When we took Em in for the heel prick genetic screening at 2 weeks she bawled so hard, she passed out. Noah cried, too, but they actually couldn't get his blood at the lab so we had to go over to the hospital lab where he was born and have someone else draw it who specializes in infants.

Anyway, the reason I mention this is that floods of memories and visions have come in the last two days. Yesterday I went in for my 'annual'. I hadn't been in the building for 8 months now and when I had, Noah was with me. One of the doctors asked if Noah was okay? I said that we were going in that afternoon for an appointment with a neurologist at Children's to have him checked out...that was August 2nd.

I had a good visit with my doc and got a hug from one of the girls on staff there that we love. It wasn't traumatic or difficult to go in there, just surreal, I guess. I always would take Em to my appointments so she could see 'the girls' and get a piece of candy on the way out. It was good to see some familiar faces. (It wasn't good to jump on that dumb scale again...)

Anyway, today, Em and I headed to the blood lab in the same building as my Ob/Gyn's office. I had to take her in for more blood work regarding her allergy panels. Well, as we waited in the lobby for an hour and 20 minutes (!), a brand new baby was bawling for a good 30 minutes while the lab people squeezed the heck out of the poor kid's heels. It took concerted effort on my part to, one, breathe deeply and practice patience, and two, not walk into the lab and suggest they cross the street and go to the experts who draw babies' blood every day! The 'Twilight Zone' part was that the brand new baby was a boy and his big sister was 3, almost 4, sitting patiently with her nana in the lobby, just 10 months later.

After Em got called in, it took them another 30 minutes to draw her blood because both she and Noah were 'blessed' with mom's veins! (I'm sorry!) The guy poked one arm with no success and then called the other tech in to try the other. She was brave, once again, and they got what they needed. Since they had no kid bandages, stickers or treats, I took her to see 'the girls' and get a piece of candy up there. The only catch was that she couldn't eat it today because she's 'fasting' from sugar for a couple days since she woke up with hives from too much Easter candy...which is why we are getting all the testing done in the first place! What is Emily allergic to?! We'll find out soon!

When we went back to my Ob's office, one of the girls told me she had talked to my doc yesterday and he told her that we were going to start traveling and sharing. She asked what about specifically. It was a great question for me as I have thought about it some, but it kind of all came together in my heart and mind at that moment...perspective, perseverance, and hope for the joy set before us. The hope of heaven and life in God's physical presence. In essence, Hebrews 12...every last word of it. I want to share about the hope that we have in Jesus that life is not about here, and no matter how good or bad it is here on earth, if our perspective isn't eternal, we'll always be disappointed...There isn't one thing in Hebrews 12 that does not give me hope and peace, even the discipline part. That part just humbles me to know that He'd love me enough to discipline me.

So, I'm grateful that what should have been a 20 minute lab draw for Emily today turned into a 2 hour teaching moment for mama. If they had had cool kid bandages, stickers or treats, we never would have gone to see 'the girls' for a treat and the question that has been bumbling around in my mind would not have been so eloquently put into words by Shea who helped spur me onto this epiphany moment. Thanks! Good things do come to those who wait...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Reasons I blog...

The main reason this blog was started was to update family and friends while we were at Children's in Denver of Noah's critical care. We were on the phone too much and wanted to spend our time cuddling Noah, encouraging Em and researching the endless world of medicine instead of sitting idly by assuming everyone else knew what they were doing...

The blog proved to be a great resource for people to check in and get updates and learn how to specifically pray for Noah's and our needs. Jason and I are both open people (though we do cherish privacy, as well) so sharing these things in such a venue was not difficult for us. Up until January 12th, the blog's main purpose remained as a bulletin board, if you will, for whoever by that time was checking in and praying for Noah, but it had also become my outlet. I had forgotten how much I loved writing and the blog was my pseudo journal of conversations in my head, heart and between me and God.

Some might ask why I would put such private moments out for anyone to see. I have no intentions of keeping this blog for attention's sake. I write my thoughts and ideas because in the course of Noah's short life, people who were asked to pray asked others to pray and told others about Noah. As a result, some of you have fallen in love with the little man who taught me about deeper love. Therefore, I write not only for myself, but to encourage whoever needs it that day. I know that we are not the only parents to experience such joy and heartache and I also know that many aren't ready to write or share those feelings. I am. I want those people who have faced what looked like the most devastating circumstances to know that they aren't alone and that there is hope and healing.

I write when I feel like writing. I write what I feel strongly led to write and when I don't write, it is my time for privacy. It's my day off. But I will continue to share, not only my processing, but stories and pictures of Noah, too. And in all of this, my hope is that honor will be brought to God and that healing will begin to take place in other peoples' lives where brokenness has set up residency in the place of hope and joy.

I will continue to be real as there are a lot of Christians who think that if you don't speak positive faith statements at all times then those bad things will happen in your life. I think that's a load of crap (that's a whole other blog entry...). If that's the case then mind over matter should rule the world and the war would have ended before it began and there would be no murder or cancer or car accidents. My point is, in being real, I am only trying to convey to you that walking with God in your life on earth will be hard at times. He can handle your true feelings since He knows them anyway. Just don't stay mad at Him since He's good, He's lovely, He loves you more than all creation, and He can't wait to be physically reunited with you in eternity. And, whether it's you walking through a hard time or someone you know, or have only recently met, I hope this blog helps you graciously endure through the thick of it.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Emily often asks me to describe details of Jesus' crucifixion. I only leave out the details that I didn't personally witness, but I don't usually paint a pretty picture since it wasn't the best day on earth...Every time she asks about Jesus' death, I try to be lovingly graphic, but not to the extent of Mel Gibson because, well, geez, she's 4.5, but she knows that He was beaten so badly that people could barely recognize Him. She also knows that He was stripped down to his underwear (you could see the wheels turning in her head this morning when we talked about it, so I said, "Not boxers like daddy and not 'Cars' underwear like was more like a wadded up white sheet wrapped around Him to make underwear...) Anyway, she always brings up the fact that He had to carry the very cross He was to be hung on all the way across town after He had been beaten, and she always points out the guy who helped Jesus carry His cross. She thought that was really nice of him, very helpful.

Today she said, "Those bad guys killed Jesus. They had the devil in their hearts."
I said, "Em, they didn't think they were bad guys and they most certainly didn't think they had the devil in their hearts. They thought they were doing everyone a favor."
Em: "Well then, why did they beat up Jesus and nail Him to a cross? He just went around sharing and loving people and even healing them."
Me: "They didn't believe He was Who He said He was. They thought He was a liar. They read the scriptures, but the people thought their King, Messiah would be a royal King that was rich and a bit more socially acceptable than somebody like Jesus."
Em: "Yeah, He was born in a stinky old stable."
Me: "Yep. Sometimes people who are kings and queens are so rich and priviledged and set apart that they think they are better than other people who don't have as much as them. They think more highly of themselves...By Jesus coming as a baby in a stinky old stable, He never got the mindset that He was better than anyone else. He came for everyone."
Em: "Why did they stab Him?"
Me: "Just to be mean."
Em: "Geez."

We then talked about how sad His mom must have been watching everything happen. She said, "Why did she watch?" I said, "Jesus was Mary's son on earth. She loved Him so much and didn't want Him to be alone, just like we never left Noah alone at the hospital. Jesus knew He had to do this hard thing, but His family and friends still stuck by His side."

Anyway, on this anniversary of the reason I live and breathe, I want to wish you all a blessed time of celebrating the fact that even though Christ endured the cross and was buried, death could not keep Him in the grave. The reason we have hope that Noah is at peace in heaven and given the opportunity to come back to see us, he wouldn't, is because we know that Jesus defeated eternal death over 2000 years ago. We are so grateful for the hope set before us...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I am one proud Mama. In the middle of the top picture is a hot pink spot. That is Emily with her daddy next to her skiing in perfect 'edgie wedgie' form. She did ski school the first day so Jason and I were able to ski together. But, the second and third day, Em and daddy went and had a great time. Jason is the most patient man I know. They took the super chair lift up to the top. Emily said, "No one is going to believe I went all the way to the top of the mountain!" So, as you might imagine, last night when we got home, Emily's bedtime adventure story included her soaring down the mountain, racing Curious George, who she beat, of course, since he stopped to eat some bananas someone had hung in a tree...

The other story was Emily helping a little girl on the slope who had taken a tumble. Her devotion was about sympathy yesterday, so the story was Emily sitting with the girl, encouraging her, while her parents, who had gotten a little too far down the mountain, hiked back up to get their child. I always watch her face to see her 'imagine' her bedtime stories. She really thinks about, not only the setting, but the feelings of the people she 'helps' and her own role in the story. Though most of 'Em and Noah's great adventures' take place overseas, when we've been on a recent adventure, I try to incorporate that setting so that the memory is more vivid in her mind.

My earliest memories are from when I was 3 years old, so not only do I want to encourage good memories for Em to recall later, but I am aware that this time in her life will not be forgotten. I've always thought of ourselves as blank tapes onto which we record scenes and memories. Many are good, but many are bad and others we wish we could erase. The reality is that we can't erase those 'recordings' but we can fill our hearts and minds with things that have meaning and eternal perspective, like God's word. I was reading a book the other day that was actually talking about the brain and its storage capability. (I am intrigued by the brain since Noah's was shrinking but no one knew why.) Anyway, the author wrote a sentence that vaguely brought back a scene from a horror movie I snuck (is that a word?) to see in junior high. Though that 'scene' in my head was 20+ years later and the fear and emotion did not show up again, the fact is, it came to my remembrance.

If there are things you wish you could erase from your memory, don't be discouraged that you cannot. As we draw closer to God and read His word and spend time in prayer, our hearts and minds are transformed and renewed. We can't erase those bad memories, but we can record over them, in a sense, by moving forward and looking to God for eternal perspective. We usually have the choice as to what we put into our heads, but often kids do not. That's why we all took turns reading the Word to Noah so he would have that in his, in light of this entry, think about the power of your words to them, what you allow yourself and your kids to listen to and to see. There is power in the tongue to give life and to kill. There is also power in our eyes to give light to our bodies or make it a gate for darkness. It may seem like a long way out, but I try to pause and think about what Em or Jason or anyone I speak to for that matter, might look back and reflect on in 20+ years, and with all my strength, I try to choose to use the loving words instead of the ones that wound their hearts.