Monday, November 30, 2009


I don't think I've ever been able to express how Ella has changed and challenges my prayer life. I wanted you to be able to read my friend Chrystie's blog post about prayer and our little girls. I know I've posted on here about Chrystie before. Her little girl, Ellie, is almost exactly a year ahead of Ella. Please pray for us as we learn how to pray for our children.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


It's 1am and I'm up because Joe is at the hospital. He's sitting and praying with friends who are sitting in the same spot we were 3.5 years ago. They are waiting for doctors to come in and explain what's wrong with their baby, why they can't hold him and why there are no answers. Tonight's prayers and thoughts of our friends have taken me back. Taken me to that room where the doctors and nurses tried to explain what was happening to Ella. Where they assumed the worst and told us out loud what that would look like...if it was what happened. I've remembered the smells of the N.I.C.U., the sounds of machines, the weight in my chest for all that was happening to Ella, and I was helpless to physically do anything for her. We prayed. A lot. We asked for healing...answered. We asked for her to live...answered. We asked for peace...answered...daily. I have faith in our Creator, our Maker and the One who oversees us all. I believe with all of my being that Ella was fearfully and wonderfully made and that she was knit together in my womb to be exactly as she is today. Tonight she sleeps in her bed. Joe and I went in to stare at our children before he left. How grateful am I that my children are in their beds, sleeping, and healthy. Very. I pray for my friend who is getting no sleep and yet it's something she dearly needs. Processing words that she should never have to hear. Imagining a life she should never have to see. It's a cruel world. God told us that it would be difficult. I have to say, as a believer in Christ, it's a lot easier than if you have no faith, nothing to trust in, no hope. What do you do without a God to pray to...whom you believe can heal your child? I remember the sounds of my husband faithfully praying. I don't even remember the words, just the sound as we both lie in my hospital bed, weeping; and the feeling that everything would be alright. Not because Ella would surely live, for that took a few days to be sure of, but because we have a God who is bigger than that situation. A God who could heal my heart, just like He healed my child. A God that gives me pure strength from Him to proceed on the days when I literally just want to give up. It's hard being a parent. It's hard to punish your children when you just want to ignore the tantrum. It's hard to decide on which wheelchair to buy your 3-year-old. It's hard to tell them they can't go outside because it's raining and cold and they are still sick. It's hard to give a bath to a strong child who could drown if I look away for a second. It's hard to love someone so much, and let them belong completely to the God who gave them to me.

That's what my friends are learning now. Complete faith. Faith that God is in control when it doesn't feel like it. That there is nothing they can do but pray. And to trust that God is still sovereign. That he's the same God who bore Sarah and Abraham a son when they were over 100 years old. The same God who protected Joseph, time and time again. The same God who created my child to have differences and difficulty...and allow her life to glorify Him. The same God who allowed His own child to die, because it was the only perfect sacrifice and He knew it.

These are hard lessons. However, I am constantly running over something in my head that the pastor said on Sunday "God can not use us greatly, until He has hurt us deeply". To be molded and refined is painful and agonizing, but we have the choice to come out of the fire looking more like a reflection of Him, and I do pray that my friends will cling to Him so that after this fire they will feel stronger and more purified for having survived it with faith. And I pray for that baby boy...that all of the current problems will be gone and all tests will come back, miraculously, clear.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Big Party

On Friday, November 20th, our church held an event for the Young Married couples...Celebrate the Season: A Downtown Dinner Party. I've been helping plan the event, with my co-chair Stephanie Poage, for about four months. Watching it come together was so much fun and getting to share it with a great group of people who love to fellowship as the body of Christ, was amazing.

Owen's Farm

Ella had her first school field trip, and Kristie, Will and I got to tag along.

Happy Birthday Avery Brannon!

Party for Drew Gonzales

At the park with friends

Great picture

Joe took this picture and I love it:

Family Day

Yellow and Gold

Daddy and Ella in their Iowa colors, playing and laughing.


Sitting Walking And Standing Hip orthotics

So Cool

Pictures on 10/25