"And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." Deuteronomy 30:6

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thursday night

THANK YOU!!!! I opened my email tonight and had 100 messages in my inbox, mainly comments on facebook. Your comments on the blog encouraged us throughout our stay in the hospital. Your prayers and words mean more than you will ever know! Please continue to let us know when we cross your mind, as this journey will be very long. I could never put into words how your love and words enveloped us.

We are exhausted, and hope that everyone will have a wonderful sleep at home tonight. I hope to type some stuff up tomorrow, but even more than that I am praying that I can write some in Janie Beth's journal tonight.

My heart aches more than I ever thought it could. My arms long to hold her and my lips to kiss her precious head. We were very blessed to have today with her just Joey and I. We actually brought her to the funeral home ourselves. I am so thankful that I got to carry her out of the hospital and hold her in the car. Of course, when Joey took her from me after I had kissed her and hugged her, I wanted so badly to run after them and kiss her 100 more times. She touched me so much in her short life!! I am so blessed to be her mother!!!! I would have rather had this short time with her than to have never had her at all. I will always love her and miss her.

Thank you for your continued prayers!!! We need them. I love you all, and you have blessed me beyond measure.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Good Bye, Janie Beth

Janie Beth is now with her Maker. The Karrs are at peace.


Removing the machines

The last visitors have just come back to the waiting room from saying good-bye to Janie Beth. Joey and Michelle are back with their precious little girl. At this time, the staff is removing all machines. This most definitely will be very difficult. Please pray!


I just had my turn to say good-bye to Janie Beth. She is truly so beautiful. The pictures do not do her justice. Joey and Michelle are holding up well, again a picture of His faithfulness and grace. The machines have not been turned off as of yet, because they are allowing everyone here one more chance to say good-bye. I will update when that actually happens. If anyone else plans to drop by, remember family and friends are in the NICU waiting room on the 3rd floor of Huntsville Hospital.


Visiting Janie Beth

Joey and Michelle are allowing friends and family to visit with and say good-bye to Janie Beth at this time. Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli all went back with Mommy and Daddy and shared some special time with baby sister, Janie Beth. They sang "Jesus Loves Me" to her. Joey said it was a special time and that Janie Beth's heart rate actually went up when they were singing to her. So special!

Slight Change

We are changing her disconnect time to 4:00. Many family and friends have visited with us and come to see Janie Beth. We are completely enveloped in God's loving arms.

Thank you again for your prayers!!

Change in time

Jennifer here. Just wanted to let you know that there has been a change in the time for taking Janie Beth off the ventilator. They will now do the disconnect at 4:00 PM instead of 2:00 PM. Family and friends are gathered in the NICU waiting room on the third floor at Huntsville Hospital in case anyone else is interested in dropping by. We will pray for the Karrs from this waiting room (it's nice and big) about 4 PM.


We will be taking Janie Beth off the machines at 2:00. There are some that are planning on gathering in the chapel to pray, and anyone in town is welcome to join in.

Thank you again for all your prayers!!!! The kids are on their way up to the hospital, and Josiah and Katie Jo will go back and see her. Please continue to pray for them and Eli also as we walk this journey.

Neonatal update

We have talked to the Neonatalogist. Janie Beth does in fact have the Thanatophoric Dwarfism. We are going to keep her hooked up to the machines for a few more hours to let people spend some time with her before taking her off. Then, we will take her off of the machines and bring her to the room and keep her with us for however long she lasts, and probably then some. We don't know for sure how long she will last off of the machines. It could be minutes, hours, or even days.

I am sad that she will be leaving us, but I am excited to be able to hold her. She is so precious and cute. We said this would be easier if she weren't so cute. :) We are so thankful for the time that she has been with us and will be with us.

God is continuing to bless us and fill me with His peace. I am so thankful that He is here!!! May you all continue to pray for God's peace and grace to fill this time. We want God glorified through Janie Beth's journey.

Posting Comments

Hi, Everyone! It's Jennifer again. Joey and Michelle are visiting Janie Beth in the NICU as I write. There's still no word from any of the doctors. But, Joey and Michelle should get an update on how Janie Beth is doing now.

Several of you have emailed and said that you are unable to comment here on the blog. I wanted to let you know that Joey made a change to Michelle's blog that should allow everyone to comment. You should be able to type your comment and then select "anonymous" as your profile. Just be sure to leave your name with your comment.

More later!

What can I say

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!!!! I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and prayers by so many people. My words can not express the way that it touches my heart! Each and every one of you are very precious to our family. I haven't cried at all since we were on the drive over here, and I could easily let loose because of your lovingkindness.

God has been so good to us!!!!! His peace that surpasses understanding is amazing! We got some sleep last night and are awaiting the doctors. The NICU is closed right now, so we can't see Janie Beth until 8. I am doing ok with leaving her in God's most of the time. I am a little anxious for the doctor's report this morning. I am looking forward to holding her when I am able.

Before I order breakfast, I will share a funny birth story with you. We knew that I had a lot of fluid, but WOW!!!!! When the doctor broke it, it started to come out, and then someone turned on the fire hose! I even saw a little fountain while laying down. The doctor freaked out! :) I have not had my regular OB because he is out of town, and he failed to mention my massive amount of fluid to the new doc. The used the blankets on the bed to try to absorb the fluid, and they also had to mop the floor! Everyone declared that it was disgusting. The doctor was completely freaked and he jumped back and ran to the door flaring his arms for some help. Men!! Even the noise of it gushing out was pretty funny. I even had more after Janie Beth was born. There were probably at least 3 gallons in there. Unbelievable!

We will be updating throughout the day. Your continued prayers are so appreciated and welcomed. We don't know what this journey holds, but we know that God walks before us, beside us, and behind us. He is exactly what Janie's name means: God is gracious!!! I am so thankful that He is here and bigger than any doctor.

I love you all!!

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Janie Beth Karr ~ December 29, 2009
4 lbs 14 ozs and 14 1/2 inches long

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
Psalm 139:13-18

Do you know that as of now, Janie Beth has lived over 5 hours more than the doctors ever thought she would! WE PRAISE YOU, GOD!!!

I've learned a few other details about "the birth story", but I'm saving that one for Michelle. I think every Mommy earns the right to share that one herself!

It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

While I'm bragging...

...let me tell you about the big guy in pink! Joey has been such an amazing Daddy tonight! I suspect Michelle will tell you what a great husband he has been as well. Each time he came to the waiting room to talk to the Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli, he was so loving. He made sure to focus on them. He communicate instructions so tenderly. He was an example of what it is to be a Godly father! I know he'll fuss at me for saying all this, but you all know it anyway.

We all love you too, Joey! You are a great Daddy!

Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli

Let me just say that these three were very good tonight! Mommy and Daddy should be very proud of them. This is them just before getting to say good-bye to Mommy. They were so, so tired! But, they were still being very good. Continue to remember these three little ones in your prayers as well. This is all very hard for them to understand.

A tired bunch!

Proud Big Brother

A girl's gotta have her beauty rest! She is not really asleep in this picture, but very close!

And this one refuses to be still, because he knows what will happen! Do you remember how early he got up this morning?

A Picture of Grace

Don't you agree! This picture was taken after Janie Beth was born. We love you, Michelle!!! You are a beautiful Mommy!!!

(I know that I said the last post was my last one for tonight, but this is what a blogger does when she can't sleep!)

Last Post Before Bedtime

Well I promised one last post before I said good night. So here it is. This is still Jennifer. I'm at home. I had a chance to say good-bye to Joey and Michelle before leaving the hospital tonight. They really are a picture of His grace and His loving, tender mercies tonight!!! I know first hand that God gives you the grace when you need it, and clearly He has given them grace. Also our specific prayers for peace are obvious on their faces and in their words tonight. Here are a couple of other promising details that Joey added tonight: while it appears at this time that Janie Beth might have the fatal form of dwarfism, there are cases that surprise the doctors (uh, can we say God!). I would say that Janie Beth has already surprised some folks! The neonatal doctor said tonight that even in the fatal form, there are rare cases when a child lives into early childhood!! Of course, once again, Joey and Michelle desire God's will above all else! As they feel up to it, Michelle or Joey will begin to update themselves. Until then, I will continue to post anything I hear! Good Night!! God Bless!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Waiting 'til morning

Well, it doesn't look like there will be any more information tonight. Janie Beth is stable. She is on a ventilator. She is processing CO2 at a 50-60%, which really doesn't mean anything according to Joey. All indications right now is that Janie Beth does have the fatal form of dwarfism after all. The pediatric radiologist is not here tonight, so the x-rays won't get a conclusion final reading until morning. The neonatal doctor says from his perspective with his training and experience Janie Beth's chest, spine, and thigh bones are indicative of the fatal form on dwarfism. Joey has encouraged everyone to say good-bye to Michelle and go home to get some sleep. They really are not expecting anything more to happen tonight. In the event that Janie Beth does take a turn for the worst tonight (which since she is on the ventilator is not expected), the orders are to not resuscitate. After I say good-bye to Michelle, I will give one more update and then unless something changes I will say good night until morning.


The Latest

Joey and Michelle are with the neonatal doctor now. This is what we know right now. Upon a little further evaluation it is believed that Janie Beth doesn't not have the more common form of dwarfism after all. It appears as though she in fact does have the fatal form. They are preforming x-rays and running blood test to find a conclusion diagnosis. Right now, Janie Beth's stats are fine. She is on 100% oxygen (but that is normal for a preemie). It is important to find out what her CO2 levels are. Joey said that if she cannot get rid of CO2 on her on, she cannot live. Unless they determine something "extremely obvious" tonight, the plan is to continue to evaluate tonight and to do some more testing tomorrow. Joey has gotten to spend time with Janie Beth. He says she is definitely a fighter! She has been looking at and squeezing Daddy's fingers. Joey's words were, "at this moment, we just don't know". We are expecting another report soon including results from x-rays and blood work! Of course I will post it here!

Introducing JANIE BETH KARR....

Isn't she beautiful!!!!

Visiting Michelle

Michelle invited EVERYONE back to see her! Janie Beth is of course in the NICU. These are Michelle's words, "the doctor thinks that Janie Beth may have the more common form of dwarfism, Achonplasia" which is wonderful news!!! Janie Beth could live a fairly normal long life if she does have this form. The doctor also says she has a long way to go. An x-ray should reveal a lot and this should happen soon!

More coming!

Other News

I forgot other news, Janie Beth weighs 4 lbs 14 ozs. Joey had no idea how long she is yet. Several people saw pictures and say, she is beautiful and looks great!!!! Joey just took the other children to see Michelle. I working on getting a picture of Janie Beth, so stay tuned!!!!

Better than expected!!!

Well this is the latest! Joey came out to the waiting room and these are his quotes, "she's trying to breathe some on her own", "she's trying really hard", "fighting", "trying to cry", "head full of hair", "better than we thought". "looks like sumo wrestler". :-) Since Janie Beth is trying to breathe on her own, the doctors have taken her to the NICU and put her on a ventilator to see what she will do. Joey said that Janie Beth is here for at least a couple hours. They are just going to see what happens!!! In Joey's own words, this is better than expected!!


Joey just text me and said that he is on the way with Janie Beth to the NICU. This is promising, remember the earlier post? Text received at 9:27 PM. Pray, pray, pray!!!!


She's here!!!

There's almost 20 of us here in the waiting room. We all just gathered for a sweet moment of prayer. It was a beautiful! Katie Jo put here Janie Beth bear in the circle. Moments later, Joey text and said, "Janie Beth is here". The text was received at 9:21 PM. No other details yet!

It's time!

Joey just text me and said that they are calling in the doctor and that Janie Beth is ready to grace the world!!!!! Michelle is getting ready to push. Please, please, pray!!! Everyone here is going to take a few minutes to pray together here in the waiting room!!! I will update as soon as I hear something more.


Be Glorified

This is still Jennifer. I'm taking a few liberties here, by writing down some of my thoughts. I am just sitting here waiting, just like the rest of you. And, I'm thinking about Janie Beth. One thing that came to my mind is what an impact that this little girl is making on all of our lives right now. Whether we are praying more or hugging our children tigher, we are all being effected by tonights events. No matter what happens tonight, Janie Beth's life will bring glory to her Heavenly Father. In talking to Michelle and Joey I know that their prayer is that lives would be changed because of their special little girl. May God be glorified!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 8:21 PM

Joey text me just now and said that Michelle is "holding a pattern". I'm guessing that means a pattern of contractions and that there isn't much to report. Of course, will keep you posted!

Doctor Arrived Finally!!

As I posted that last update, Joey texted me and said that the doctor arrived and Michelle's water has been broken. They expect things to progress quickly. The professional photographer that works with the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep ministry is back with them. Janie Beth could be here soon!!!!

Still Waiting...

...on the doctor to make his appearance! The nurse has decided to go ahead and check Michelle again. Michelle's blood pressure is still low and she is not feeling so good. Continue to pray...

Just to make you smile!

Well I take that back...

...so much for my report that Michelle was comfortable and relaxing. I just heard that Michelle is feeling a bit queasy and that her blood pressure dropped just a bit. Also the kiddos just arrived and are anxious to visit with their Mommy and Daddy!

Text from Joey

Here's a text from Joey:

"Doc says he will be here about 7:30 PM to break her water and to check her...Needless to say dad is a bit frustrated."

Please specifically pray for peace that passes understanding for the entire Karr family.


Now that Michelle is comfortable, she is trying relax a bit. And like any good blogger, she has her computer up and running. This means she she can also read any comments that you leave for for her. So bring them on, friends!!!


Michelle just got her catheter and epidural! :-)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 5:52 PM

I was just able to see Michelle for a minute. Right now they are waiting for the doctor on call (her doctor is on vacation) to make his appearance. Michelle hasn't been checked again (at last check she was 6 cm). They expect the doctor to break Michelle's water when he comes in. Michelle is planning to get an epidural and is awaiting results from a couple blood test so that she can get that done. She is having some discomfort, but Joey says her pain tolerance is very high. One very exciting tidbit is that the neonatal doctor that Joey and Michelle originally saw a few weeks ago is also the one who is currently on call! This is great news as Joey and Michelle were very comfortable and pleased with this doctor! He has been by to see them, he remembered them for their consultation, and offered a lot of encouragement and comfort. The plan is for the team of doctor's to make a quick evaluation at birth to confirm Janie Beth's diagnosis. If they are able to confirm this the diagnosis and prognosis, they will hand over Janie Beth to Michelle and Joey to spend whatever time she has with them in their arms. If they feel like things might be other that the original diagnosis, they will evaluate and decided if they should do any life saving measures. I'm expecting a new update anytime now. I will update when I know. Keep praying!!! And please feel free to leave comments to let Michelle know you are praying.


A few of us have gathered in the waiting room on the 2nd floor of Hunstville Hospital. If anyone is interested in coming to the waiting room, you are welcome. At this point Michelle is not really in a good position to receive visitors, however they welcome visitors to hang out in the waiting room and pray.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 4:45 PM

Joey just come out and said that they checked Michelle. She has progressed from 4 cm yesterday to 6 cm right now. They staff here at the hospital is still waiting on all of Michelle's paperwork to be faxed over from her regular OB. The staff is in the process of alerting the appropriate specialist. It looks like Michelle is here to stay and that Janie Beth will indeed make her appearance sometime tonight. Please continue to pray!

No news yet and prayer

This is Jennifer. Joey and Michelle were taken back to a room at around 4:00 PM. There's no news yet. As soon as I know something, I will update here.

Before Michelle went back I asked her what her main prayer request was and she said, "peace". Joey and Michelle would obviously love for God to do a miracle, but they ultimately want God's will to be done more than anything else. Additionally, please pray for Michelle's health and safety during labor and delivery and for strength and endurance for the entire family.

More to come....

Going to the Hospital

Hi, Everyone! This is Michelle's friend Jennifer. I will be updating her blog when Michelle cannot. As you know, Michelle has been having contractions and feeling some pressure. She just called to say she and Joey are on the way to the hospital. I'll keep you posted as to what happens once they get there. Please pray!!!


Keep on coming

The contractions keep on coming. The pressure is actually bothering me more than the contractions. We shall see how the next little bit goes. Janie Beth hasn't really moved since this morning, which is not necessarily alarming.

We did get the house somewhat in order. There are still some small things I want to do. I even showered. LOL

Well, I just thought I would let you all know what is going on. I hope you are enjoying your day!!

Nothing much

Well, I am still here this morning. :) I contracted pretty much all afternoon and evening yesterday, and I was when I woke up during the night. I have only had a couple since I woke up this morning. Katie Jo and Eli were kind enough to be awake at 5:45 am. :) Eli is in a phase, at least I hope it is a phase, of not sleeping all that long at naptime or nighttime. I have no idea why KJ is up so early. Thank the Lord I am a morning person!!

Janie Beth has been moving around since I got up. It is so precious to experience and heartwrenching at the same time. I plan on enjoying everything today. Now, that may be different once everyone is up and arguing, but I am going to pray for God to help me absorb all that I can. We aren't planning on much today. The laundry needs to be done and I need to organize the toys. I will go through them better in the future, but right now I need my living room back!

I still want to get some things for Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli for the hospital, but I think we are ready. If I last the day without going into labor, then I am headed to the spa tonight for a pedicure with the ladies from my Sunday school class. I am excited to have this time with them. God has blessed me through my class in more ways than I could count over the last year!

I know this post is all over and doesn't really say much, but I felt I needed to update with something. Maybe later today my brain will be functioning a little faster. :) Right now there isn't much going on up there.

I hope you all have a very blessed day!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

34 week appointment

WOW!!! We will go for an induction on January 6, if we go that far. I am currently 4 cm dilated. My OB will be going out of town tomorrow and will be back Jan. 5. We aren't sure that I will make it that far. I do feel quite a bit of pressure these days. We did an ultrasound and her head is measuring at 37.5 wks or so. Her belly is still measuring with my due date, and her legs are around 20 wks. Her chest has grown, but we really couldn't tell anything. Only God knows exactly what is going on. :)

I have really been wanting to know a time, but then once I had a time it was real. I still have trouble wrapping my mind around everything. I was upset after we left the office. I cried in Dillard's when we went to buy some more lambs. I got upset at Hobby Lobby getting a couple more things. It is so hard! But, as crazy as it sounds, I am beginning to get excited. I want all the time I can have with Janie Beth, but I am also ready to jump this hurdle. If she is going to pass, I am ready to be able to begin that journey with God. As we have been waiting, I feel as though I have been standing in cement, and now we will know which way to step. I want to cherish every moment we have left with her, and I am excited to get to hold her and spend time with her. I feel as though God is really going to bless her birthday. He has some mighty things in store for us through Janie Beth's journey.

I know I am going to have my ups and downs over the coming days, and I am so thankful that God is walking right along beside me. There is no way I could walk this road without Him. Joey's love and support also guides me along. He is out and about right now sorting out some things in case of her passing. God knew what He was doing when He brought us together. Imagine that!?! :)

I could easily just sit on the couch and hold my belly and not move until I go into labor, but I want to enjoy this time with her. I am thankful for friends and family who have rallied around us, and have been God's hands and feet. You all can't see me, but I am on the verge of tears with a big smile on my face. I am so thankful that God has allowed me to see His hand while walking this difficult path. My God is Mighty to Save!!!!

Janie Beth has graciously been active today. I love to feel her move!!!!! She kept me up later last night because she was moving and I didn't want to miss it. :)

Thank you all for the many prayers!!!! I know they are helping us walk this road. I love you all and could never put my gratitude into words.

Love, Michelle

December 28, 2009

Today is a doctor day. We are having an ultrasound to check on things. I packed our bags yesterday. That was a wee bit difficult at times. Katie Jo asked about helping bathe Janie Beth and helping to feed her. She even said that Janie Beth is going to live. Oh, how I wish I knew if that were true. But, God has told me multiple times over the last weeks that I will not know all the answers on this journey. Joey and I also went through a birth plan/comfort care plan for the hospital. We really want that day to go as smoothly as possible. It was hard to discuss those things especially since all of the things depend on her condition. To start out a birth plan with the words, in the event that Janie Beth's condition is fatal, is not something that any parent would want to write. But, God's grace is sufficient. I slept better last night than I have a few nights.

Brother Greg's sermon yesterday was written just for me!! He talked about Mary and Joseph and life after Christmas (Matthew 2:13-23). How they had to go to Egypt and it was a time of uncertainty. We are definitely living in a time of uncertainty in the Karr household. He said the God has a right to change our plans. Isn't that the truth!?! This was not in my plans, but God's ways and thoughts are higher than my ways and thoughts. His next point was that we often don't know the next step to take. Yet again it points right at me. God is telling us only what we need to know for the moment we are in. He wants us to trust Him without knowing what the future holds. God puts many detours in our lives. Bro. Greg's last point was that God is always at work in ways we don't see. I can testify to that one! Things are going exactly according to God's timing and His hand is all over our journey. His plans will prevail, and no purpose of His can be thwarted (Job 42:2). Why can I trust God on a journey that I have no idea where it is going? Because He is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and omnipresent (always present). Jesus always understands, and He came to make a way for me to hope.

This goes right along with waiting in faith! Living by faith is not knowing the next step to take. God said that His word will be a lamp unto my feet. Well, most lamps don't give a whole lot of light and if it is shining on my feet, then my eyes can't really see in front of me. His hand will uphold me in the days, weeks, months, and years to come, and I can lean fully on that because I will remember what He has done for me in my past and the multitude of witnesses He has placed in my life and in the Bible.

Today is kind of scary, but I have asked God to be strong where I am weak and to write my faith for today. More than anything I want His peace that surpasses all understanding to fill my heart and soul. I am so thankful that Joey will be with me every step of the way. God has blessed me abundantly with a loving husband.

I will update this afternoon if at all possible on how the appointment goes. Thank you for your many prayers and thoughts!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


When we got home last night from family we took down our Christmas decorations. Joey and I were ready for them to be down and get the livingroom back to normal. A couple weeks ago I was writing about how I was ready for Christmas to be over so that we could get back to normal, but then I realized that our normal isn't our normal anymore.

Normal is such a relative term. It is different for everyone. We aren't even sure what our normal is going to be in a few weeks or so. Right now we have some normals that haven't changed. We are still waiting. This has been our normal for almost 2 years now as we have been searching for a church. But, now we have a whole new level of waiting. Waiting to see what happens with Janie Beth is a different type of waiting.

But, I must do them both, and I must wait in faith. Psalm 27:13-14 says "that I would have lost heart unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and the Lord will strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord." The word wait in this verse means to wait in faith. Ouch!! How often do I fail that one!?! Until last night the rest of the verse didn't totally click with me. I need to wait in faith, trust God, and not worry, which would be having good courage, and then God will strengthen my heart to get through the journey of faith. Faith also is an active word. Waiting in faith doesn't mean that I just sit around and do nothing. I still have to keep on living and preparing. God is going to give me strength each day if I am willing to wait in faith and trust Him.

I don't know what our normal is going to turn out to be, but I know that God will get me ready for that normal. And I know that that normal is going to be full of the goodness of the Lord.

I constantly have to remind myself that He is in control and I do not need to worry because He is faithful. But, now that Christmas is over and the next thing on our plate seems to be Janie Beth, I find myself beginning to worry and be nervous. I am praying that I can truly trust God and wait in faith so that I may have the peace of God that surpasses understanding in the days, weeks, and months to come.

I pray that those of you whose normal is waiting right now will draw near to God and experience His strength for the journey you are on. This is not something that I have mastered yet! But, I pray I get am getting closer.

It was hard for me to pack up Janie Beth's ornament yesterday and wonder what type of ornament she will have next year. I ran my finger over her name several times before wrapping it up. I am so thankful that we had her with us for this Christmas whether she is with us for the next one or not. I am truly blessed!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Here are Janie Beth and Katie Jo after we saw the Chipmunks 2. Can you tell the sun is in our faces? LOL

Here are Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli before the movie. It was cloudy before the movie. :)

Christmas Eve

I don't think it has really set in that today is Christmas Eve. I still have one more present for Josiah and for Katie Jo to wrap. We have no special plans for the daytime. I have to head to Wal-Mart, with all the crazy last minute shoppers, to get my hospital things because I don't want to go there this weekend. I am hoping for a joyful day around the house of just spending time together.

Janie Beth has been gracious to me this morning and moved around since I got up. I treasure these times. I can't seem to feel her as well the last few days. I am not sure if it is her position and/or the amount of fluid I have. Every movement I feel brings a smile to my face, and often times has my hand going to touch the spot.

We are going to church tonight to sing a few carols and listen to Jesus's birth story. I am praying my children do not embarass me! :) I am thankful that Janie Beth will get to participate this year. More than likely her little big brother will be leaning on her. :)

I am so thankful for my family and my friends!!! God has trully blessed me this year, and this Christmas season. Thank you all for your prayers and gifts!!! I could never put into words my sincere thanks! You are precious people.

I pray you enjoy the next few days with family. And may you not let the little things come between you because life is too precious.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On my heart

First off, I am sorry that I have been away so long! I have several posts going through my head, but I have not had time to sit and type them. :) My notes for a couple of them are in my room, and we are letting Joey sleep out this morning. He has been working extra hard the last 4 days, and the kids and I are very proud of him!!

Last night, Joey and I discussed what we would do Christmas Eve. Some of my family gets together that night, but we have decided to spend that night just our family. This is Janie Beth's Christmas Eve and I want us to spend it just us. We are going to church and then we will let the kids each open one gift. Then, we plan to watch a little movie together, and I think we may load up the car in our jammies and go look at lights one more time.

It hit me this morning that this could very well be Janie Beth's only Christmas Eve. I wish I could see her enjoy this Christmas, and maybe she will grace me with some big movements that we as a family can watch. She let Josiah and I see her in church, which I believe is her favorite place. She moves more there than anywhere. :) She knows who her Father is and Whose handas she is in.

I want to capture every moment of her last days inside me. I don't feel like we have much longer until her arrival, and it saddens me to know that our time together is ending. We are going today to get the last few things for the hospital bags. I go to the doctor on Monday and we want to have everything ready by then. Those bags are going to be so hard to pack!! I also need to make my phone list and list of things I want to make sure we do with her. As I celebrate my Savior's birth, I can't help but think of Janie Beth's impending birth. I am so thankful that my Savior was born and then raised from the dead so that He can take my precious Janie Beth by the hand and lead her to Heaven, whenever that day may be. And that fact that while He is doing that, His hand will also lead me down a path that will be so hard to walk.

But, God is faithful and He gave me an awesome verse the other day. A dear friend gave me a blessings book and it is based on Psalm 84:6. "When they walk throught the valley of weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs." It could not have gone better with my whole flower blooming/garden growing theme I was on the other day. I realized that flowers need 2 main things to grow; sun and water. Well, the flowers that grow from this journey need the Son and water as well. It just so happens that the water for my plants will come from my own tears. From my weeping will spring an amazing garden that will bring God such glory!! Itsn't that the whole reason we are here. No matter how long or short a life, it is all about God's ultimate plan and glory. Janie Beth will bring God glory through her life, no matter how long. She will continue to bring God glory even after she is gone, and this should be my goal as well.

This is not the path I invisioned for myself, but I am thankful that God has brought me on this path. This path is what is best for me and what will bring God the most glory. Janie Beth has answered so many of my prayers, and I will share that in another post soon. She is so special and precious and I am so thankful that God chose me to be her mother!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The countdown

The countdown to Christmas has begun. First, we had Josiah's birthday to occupy us, and now Christmas is all that is next on the calendar. I think I have somewhat dreaded this all Christmas season because I know what comes next. We have Katie Jo's birthday, but I believe Janie Beth will be here before that occurs. This journey feels heavy right now. I am ready for January to be over, but I also want to enjoy this time. Most days it is easy to enjoy, but there are days that are just hard because you trudging through the mud. I found the white baby afghan yesterday and the newborn knit hat that Josiah and Katie Jo wore home. I went ahead and got them both out. She is going to look so cute all wrapped up in the blanket. I need to focus on getting to see her and hold her reguardless of what happens. Those times will be precious, and just thinking about them warms my heart and makes me smile. I am going to focus on getting to meet my baby girl instead of the very real possibility that I will have to let her go.

You know, I was just thinking about how I still feel as though someone else is walking this road while I watch, and I realized it is somewhat true. God is walking this road with me and He is carrying me!!! How comforting that is! He is guiding each step I take and looking out for me ever so closely because He understands exactly how I feel. His Son was born and He knew that one day Jesus would have to die an awful death, but, He still carried that baby to term. My heart aches for those women who chose to terminate the pregnancy because they miss out on getting to enjoy the baby while he/she is inside them, and they may even miss out on an awesome miracle.

A friend of mine wrote about how she wished her son was here and she was taking care of a newborn, but that obviously wasn't God's will. And, it is her desire to be in God's will. That has been my prayer for many months, to be in God's will. If it is not God's will for Janie Beth to live, then I don't want her to. Her life would not be blessed if that were the case. Our family wouldn't be blessed either. I am so thankful that God has taken that choice out of our hands. That is one choice I would never ever want to make because my emotions play too big of a role! I know God's will is all for our good even when we can't see the good at the time. Just like planting a seed in Spring; you don't see the flower bud for quite some time, but you still have to take care of it. God is planting seeds and one day we will see the flowers bloom, and all the while He is taking care of us. Thank You, Father for being so close and taking such tender care of us. Right now God is getting the soil all ready for the seed to take root on our journey, and as any gardener knows that is the hardest part about planting. It isn't fun to get the rocks out and the soil turned over, but if that isn't done first, then the seed will not take root and grow. God is getting my soil ready for the seeds He is going to plant on this journey, and He very well may have already planted some seeds. It is my prayer that God will use Janie Beth's journey to further His kingdom and bring Him glory.

I started out this post somewhat heavy and down, but after God revealed that last paragraph to me, my heart is lifted up. The journey ahead still feels a little heavy and looming, but I am not facing this journey alone. I am not even walking it by myself as God is placing my steps.

I am so thankful that tomorrow is Sunday and I get to go to worship. It fills up my tank to get to the next Sunday. :) I am so thankful to have Jesus in my heart because I really can't imagine walking this without Him. Thank you all for your many prayers!!! They mean more than you will ever know.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Josiah Mark Karr

Sorry for the underlining; I have no idea what I did, but it has something to do with the pictures I think.

It is hard to believe that Josiah is turning 6 today. Where have the last 6 years gone!?! I will never forget the day he arrived. I had been to the hospital on the 17th contracting, but they sent me home because they weren't really doing much. I had a doctor's appointment on the 18th. She sent me straight over to the hospital because I was 6 cm dilated. Well, that wasn't a change from the day before. The nurses and doc on call kept debating what to do because I was still contracting. Finally, Dr. Z said he was going to check the schedule for the next morning for me to go home and sleep and then come back in the morning. Low and behold, they were full the next morning, so he said they were going to do it that night. Joey had to run out and catch my mom in the parking lot before she left since the plan had changed. She was on her way to our house to sleep.

Dr. Z tried to "accidently" break my water. OUCH!!!!! He said he couldn't believe I wasn't screaming. He gave up and got the little gadget they use, which didn't want to pop my water either, but they eventually got it. Once my water popped I began to feel contractions, and I was having to breathe through them by the time they got my epidural. Four hours and 15 min after they broke my water, I was completely ready to push. Poor Dr Z had just laid down. :) I pushed 18 min and there he was. He weighed in at 7 lb 9 oz and 21 in. He was the biggest of all my babies. I fell in love immediately!!

Josiah is now almost 45 lbs. He is so excited to be 6! It is so cute!! He and Dad went to the ROC and played the games that he never gets to play when his brother and sister are with us. Then, they went and ate at Chick-fil-A, which he only gets to eat at without his siblings also because of their allergies. He says that he beat Dad good at ping-pong (table tennis to some). Joey said only one ball actually bounced on the table as it was supposed to, so Dad just had trouble hitting balls that went all over. :) I wish I had been there to video tape!

We will be going to Nana and Poppa's house for his party tonight at Josiah's request. He wanted it somewhere besides his house this year. There is no telling how late he will be up tonight! :)

This day brings many good memories. I could recount his entire life for you. :) But, I will just share a little about him now. Josiah is a sweet boy. He is very thoughtful and reflective. His prayers touch me! Right now he loves to come up and talk quietly to Janie Beth. He isn't one for being up in front of people, but more of a behind the scenes kind of person. He loves boy stuff! Not only does he still love Nascar, but he now loves Alabama football too. Actually, he will watch any football game. He really wants to be a running back at AL. I think he may need a little more meat on his bones! He asked me several weeks ago if being able to feel his bones meant he was getting stronger! He cracks me up sometimes. He told Joey yesterday that Joey just needed to be patient because the mailman hadn't come yet. :) You never know what he will say. He lovingly takes care of his siblings around others and sticks up for them. He is a joy and a blessing and I am so thankful that God brought him into our family.

There are many things going through my mind today, but today is for Josiah, so those can wait until tomorrow.

Here is my young man.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Our photo session...

Thank you all for praying for us this morning! The morning, once we go to the photographers, was full of smiles and laughter, with a few threats thrown in. :) Our ham, Eli, actually got a little shy a few times. I can't wait to get our disc!! It won't be until after Christmas sometime. We even got pictures of the kids with their Janie Beth animals. Kelly Clark Baugher was wonderful!! We are so thankful for her kindness.

We even went out to lunch all matching. :) It was Josiah's birthday lunch a day early. He even got an ice cream sundae out of it. Now, KJ wants to go to Red Robin for her birthday. Although, she got a sundae today too, we just had to pay for it. He was embarassed when they sang to him. I wish I had thought to pull out my camera!!!

We are relaxing now, and it is so nice. Joey and I could nap also, but then we would be up all night. And he is trying to get used to getting up extremely early for working the next couple weeks with a friend. We may not be coherent later. :)

I was in search of a blanket yesterday for Janie Beth because I don't want her just wrapped in a hospital blanket, once she is clean. Well, I didn't really find anything, and I remembered that we have a beautiful white baby afghan made by a church member when I was pregnant with Josiah. She will look so cute wrapped up in it.

Here is the ornament we got for Janie Beth.


Today we are going to get maternity pictures done. This is provided through the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep ministry. I am praying that it all goes well!! I am going to let God help me go with the flow today. :) I am so thankful for this opportunity. I will update later on how it went. I just don't know how I may go emotionally. I am praying that we all enjoy ourselves and it is full of smiles and laughter!

Please keep my friend Jennifer in your prayers today. For God's peace and wisdom at a doctor's appointment, and for her day to be blessed with her husband.

Love you guys!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Will I ever learn...

Joey had to leave early this morning because he is working with a friend for a couple weeks. He came in at 5:40 to tell me "bye", and then I rolled over and went back to sleep. HELLO, Michelle!!! Get your lazy self out of the bed! I am thankful for God's forgiveness. The morning only had one meltdown; I just love the 2's stage. I kept my cool, and I had some God time in the shower. Ladies, I am sure you have all been there! The problem is I kept forgetting what I was doing. I was too busy thinking. I have a routine for my showers, and my mind was elsewhere. I put shampoo in my hair and it wasn't even wet yet! LOL

This kind of showed me how my day goes when my mind isn't focused on God. I am going through the motions, but I am not sure what I have done. I am praying that God will help me get out of bed tomorrow morning for some quality time with Him before the kids get up.

I have re-focused and I pray the rest of my day will be God-focused. Amid the grief that I feel from not getting to experience the pregnancy I would have liked, I hope to enjoy this day and the blessings that it will bring.

I realized that I could easily be very mad at many things, but that isn't going to do any good. It will actually just hurt me. But, then when I am tempted to be mad or overly upset, I remember all that God has done for me so far on this journey. How can my heart not be thankful!?!

"Because He lives I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know, He holds the future. And life is worth the living just because He lives." I love the hymn "Because He Lives", and I am so thankful that God holds the future! It may not be an easy future, but it is the best future for me in God's great big plan.

I have to share one more thing. On Monday I asked for prayers for wisdom and understanding to know God's path. Well, let me share the verse He gave me that night. God is so good!!!
Isaiah 48:17 "Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the Lord your God,... who leads you by the way you should go.'" AMEN!! When I start to worry about Janie Beth's birthday it is because I have forgotten Who is going to show me the way I should go.

I love you all!!! May the Lord bless you and keep you today.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My day...

Well, I said I would update the blog tonight, so here I am. But, I don't know where to start, so I will start at the very beginning of the day. (Anyone else singing "let's start at the very beginning"? :) )

Katie Jo and I were going to go shopping to get her khaki pants and a black shirt and some khaki pants for me. These are for our pictures on Thursday. I don't think I realized how hard this was going to be. I believe I was a little tense and that leaked over into my children. I was unsettled this morning and knew I wanted things different, but I couldn't figure out what. Low and behold, once we are all starting to get ready to go our separate ways (the boys were going to play at church) all the children decided to have meltdowns about something. The tension that was building exploded, and I didn't even know tension was building! I am ashamed to say that there are times I just am walking through the day and thinking mainly about what I am needing to do. When, in reality, I have a husband and children to care for! Needless to say, after about 45 min of getting all the different episodes dealt with, our plans changed. I even had to join in and go to my room to cry! I think it had been building up.

It is hard to buy clothes to wear for pictures that may be our only family pictures with Janie Beth outside of the hospital. I want to be coordinating Christmas outfits for all of us and having pictures done at JC Penney's or something, not finding black shirts for everyone to wear because that looks so good for maternity pics, and it does! I have seen many. But, this wasn't my plan. Once again I am sucked into the MY plan!! You would think that I would learn, but obviously I don't learn very quickly. :) I am thankful that God is so patient with me!!

The kids and I ended up going to Wal-Mart and got Katie Jo and Eli's clothes squared away and did some grocery shopping. This wore me out!! The kids were wonderful at helping unload the car and put up the groceries. They had all recovered from their morning. Josiah was kind enough to ask me why my face was red in Wal-Mart. :) Granted, this is 15 min or so after I had been crying, so that didn't boost my confidence much. ha, ha!! I know I looked lovely since I had on a red shirt also!

Then, my day turned around for me. Can you imagine what would cause that? GOD!?! I didn't get my lazy self out of bed this morning early enough to have much God time before the kids got up, so during naptime was my first true time with Him. I had prayer this morning, but opening the Bible does wonders!! I read various passages, and I felt His loving arms envelope me. I had peace again. He tells me in Proverbs 3:5 to "trust in Him and lean not on my own understanding, but in all my ways acknowledge Him." This is a very hard thing to put into practice, but it has an amazing result when you do!! I don't understand much at all about our journey right now, but God does, and He knows exactly what is going on. I began writing my prayers out a few months ago, again. I go in phases of doing this. I stay focused much better when there are so many things to distract me. This was another big difference between this morning and this afternoon. This morning I just prayed and thought in my head. This afternoon I wrote my prayer. Granted, I started it with I don't know what to say or what I need right now, so please have the Holy Spirit intercede for me. And He did!!! My God is so faithful!!

Katie Jo decided not to sleep today for naptime so I didn't get as much me time this afternoon, but having that God time made all the difference. I have put up my new Bible verses on my kitchen cabinets. Now, I have to make myself read them before I open them. :) This doesn't always work out. But, they are there if I need them, just like God.

I now have to shop tomorrow for myself since I didn't today. This lead to another struggle within me. Joey was going to watch the kids and let me go by myself, but all I could picture was me losing it in the dressing room and not having anyone with me. So, the kids are napping at Poppa's and Joey is coming with me. I have avoided buying maternity clothes. I cannot explain the emotion I feel when thinking about it. But, it is a task I have not wanted to conquer. God often times has us come face to face with the tasks we don't want to conquer! How would we grow if He didn't?
We plan to get an ornament as well. I want one of a couple with the wife pregnant. I plan to have Janie Beth written across the stomach and the year on it. I also still want to find the perfect blanket for her. Once again, we will take the mall by storm. It is amazing how busy it is in the middle of the week right now!

I thank you for sticking with me if you are still reading now. :) If I had to categorize this day, it would fall into difficult, but I couldn't really place a finger on why. It was just hard today. This is all getting more real as we get closer to Janie Beth's birthday, and that makes it harder.

I have some other things I want to "talk" about, but I need to head to the bed because I still have to write in Janie Beth's journal.

I love you all!! Thank you for your prayers!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Doctor's Appointments Update

First off, thank you all for your prayers today!!!!

We started out at the OB. I was 32 wks yesterday, and my stomach measured 34 wks. That isn't too bad, and doesn't really mean anything. :) We will be having an ultrasound at my next appointment on the 28th to check her growth and my fluid levels. Her heartbeat was 146, which is in her normal range, and I gained a couple pounds. We discussed c-section and regular delivery. At this point, my prayer is that God would make it completely obvious if He wants us to have a c-section. One reason we asked for the ultrasound at the next appoinmtent is to check her head size. With dwarfism her head could get too big for me to be able to deliver her. I think if it is only measuring 2 wks or less ahead I will be ok because all my children have had large heads.

After meeting with the OB, we met with the Neonatal doctor. He made me feel good, in that he or his collegues will do everything they can for her. He said that they may be able to tell within a couple minutes if she will be able to breathe on her own or not, but they may not be able to tell for sure. If this is the case, then they may asperate (I think) her, upon our permission, and give her an hour or 2 to see if she "pinks up". If not, then she will be taken off the asperator and brought back to the room. I have mixed emotions about this. I don't want her to be taken away if in the end it won't do anything, but I also don't want to wonder if she would have been ok if they had done it. I feel like if she makes it, she is going to need some help for a bit, so I know a stay in the NICU would be likely in her case. But, I so want the delivery day to go just right! I want to cherish every moment that we have. I wish we knew for sure what type of dwarfism she has so we would know if she had a chance or not. But, God doesn't want us to know everything right now.

Basically, today just brought new questions. It seems as though every time I get an answer to a question, 2 more questions come up. I feel as though I am floating up above everything watching someone else live this journey. I think I kind of had a fantasy in my mind about the delivery day. That it would go smoothly and just as I had planned. Imagine that, things not going as I planned. Maybe I should let God have them go as He plans!!! I pray that Janie Beth's birthday would be filled with peace.

I have several prayer requests as we seek God's wisdom, understanding, and discernment over the weeks to come. I am just going to make a list rather than try to make sentences. :)
--what kind of delivery to have
--how much interference in Janie Beth's attempts to breathe/live
--when to have the other children come in and see/hold Janie Beth
--wisdom, understanding, and discernment for the doctors, both mine and Janie Beth's
--peace through this journey and especially on Janie Beth's birthday
--that God would draw our family together in Him and make us a family after His own heart
--health and safety for me during the rest of the pregnancy and delivery and recovery

I am so thankful for each of you and for all that you do for us. I am going to wrap this up now. It has taken me almost an hour to be able to get his typed up. :) We are going to blow bubbles on this beautiful December day. (Thank you Bethany for our bubbles!)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

And God Speaks...

First, please make sure you read my last post before reading this one so that this one makes more sense. :)

God will never cease to amaze me! When I open up my heart to Him and listen, He speaks!! I was writing in Janie Beth's journal about the day and how I had told God I didn't want to walk on this road, and God steps in. :) He says, "Why don't you want to walk this road? You have no idea where it leads." Ouch! How true! Here I was bemoaning the journey I am on, and forgetting that God is doing what is best for all of us, even Janie Beth. If I were able to change my journey, then where would she end up, or me, or the rest of the family for that matter!?! I think I may need to stop telling God how He needs to run things. ;) His ways and thoughts are higher than my ways and thoughts. The verse at the bottom of her journal page tonight was Psalm 126:3, "The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad." WOW, the Lord is doing great things for us, and while every step on this journey may not make me glad, it will in the end, and there will be many times of gladness throughout. My goodness, I have no idea what this journey truly hold for us. How in the world can I say that it won't make me glad, no matter which side of Heaven Janie Beth's miracle comes. I am not saying by any means that I will not be heartbroken and grieve her passing if we lose her, but I know that my God is faithful and He will carry me through with those Everlasting Arms. I am thankful that God knows where this journey leads so that He can show me which steps to take. He is going before me and lighting my path. God is going to amazing things through Janie Beth's journey, and I am excited to see what all He is going to do!

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2


"JBK", those initials made me sob. I received my care package today from the ministry String of Pearls. As I began to pull out the items, the tears began to come. The ornament to put her handprints on, then the cream for breast pain. The reality that my breast will ache because I may not have her to feed instead of because they are adjusting to her feeding schedule hit me hard. I have nursed all my children, and I love that bonding time. I pulled out the One Year Book of Hope, and then a pretty journal. But, the kicker was a brown book, like a small scrapbook, and on the front were placed the letters "jbk". It took a second for that to sink in. Then, the realization that those are my precious baby girls initials. I lost it. I haven't seen her initials on something yet. She is a real person with real initials. I ran my fingers over the letters and just stared at it. I cannot put into words the emotions that ran through my heart and mind.

The main item I was waiting for was the plaster to make her hand and footprints. I am so thankful that we have it. But, it brought the realization that all of our memories of her will be made in that one day if her miracle comes in Heaven. I looked up online to find some other plaster sets. Seeing all of the different ones online, made me want to do them all. These may be the only thing we have. I want to capture everything about her. I want multiple sculpted hands and feet so that I will make sure to have enough for anything I may want to do with them. I saw one of the mother's hand wrapped around the baby's hand, and I would love to do that. To be able to have a concrete memory. To think that her birthday may be the only day that I get to grasp her hand breaks my heart. To see that scuplture with the mother and baby made me sit mesmorized. How do you capture a lifetime of memories in one day?

I started my lists the Friday. My list of questions for my appointments Monday with my OB and the Neonatal doctor. My list of things for the hospital, for making memories and for myself. The things I want done and the things I want there for Janie Beth. Doing this made me wonder if I should pack a miracle bag. My miracle bag would contain everything that we would need if Janie Beth gets her miracle on earth. I don't know if I could handle having it in the car if her miracle comes in Heaven. How far do you go in preparing? It is such a fine line to walk between hope and preparing for a loss. It tears at your heart.

I will be honest, I have told God multiple times that I don't want to walk this road. But, then I think of the many ways that God has blessed me. How can I be angry with God!?! God is too good to me to be mad at Him. But, I could easily sit on the couch and have a nice self-pity party. And there are times when I do, and then I count my blessings and hear God calling me to find comfort in His Word. I spend a lot of time in the Psalms right now, as well as other books of the Bible God leads me to. He always has just what I need!!! This road may not be the one I want to walk, it is the one God has chosen for me, and with Him by my side I will be able to walk this journey as I Lean on the Everlasting Arms.

Thank you all for the many prayers! They mean so much. It also means so much to me to get emails and calls and to know that others are thinking of us. I appreciate everything you all are doing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Lights

We went driving tonight to look at Christmas lights. The kids loved it and were so excited. I had fun hearing their excitement! Yet, I couldn't help but wonder if Janie Beth would ever get to see Christmas lights. She moved around some while were driving and I am thankful that I got to feel her experience the wonders of being a child. As I am typing this, I realized that if she never sees Christmas lights here on earth, she will see amazing CHRIST lights in Heaven. What an amazing way to celebrate Christ birthday by actually getting to be with him. But, my selfishness rears its ugly head and I want to get to experience Christmas through her eyes.

Joey prayed not too long ago that God would show us hope. And you know what popped into my head before anything else!?! We are entering the season where we celebrate the ultimate hope that God gave, His Son. That is where my hope should lie, in Jesus.

I never knew how hard it would be to try to balance having hope and preparing for what might hurt more than anything I have ever experienced. I fear hoping too much because then it may hurt even more if Janie Beth goes on to Heaven. I could easily get myself in a neverending cycle, but I try to chose moment by moment to lean on God. There are moments that I miss, and it feels so good to come back! He is always there waiting for me. Thank You, Abba!!!!

I hope you all take time to just drive and look at Christmas lights through the eyes of a child. It would be even more fun if you let your eyes become the child's eyes. Following it up with hot chocolate is the best. :)

Just my thoughts for today...

People have told me I am strong. I finally figured out I am the complete opposite. I have learned what God means when He says that where I am weak, He is strong. He is my strength right now. He is also the Author of my faith. God fills me each day with what I need to make it through that day. He never fails me! It is amazing what a trial does in your life. God has brought issues to the forefront that I didn't even know were there, or I had buried far down so that I wouldn't have to remember. I call this Janie Beth's journey, but it is turning into my journey of faith in the Refiner's fire. I think I am going along just fine and don't really have anything major I need to work on, and then God taps you on the head, and light bulb! You see yourself for who you really are, sin and all. Those aren't pretty pictures! God had already been doing so much in my life through the journey of church searching and having to lean on Him for everything, and now it has been taken to a whole new level. There are so many layers to a relationship with God. I am thankful that He takes the time to patiently teach me, mold me, and guide me as I try so hard to do things my way.

Janie Beth, you have blessed me beyond measure and you haven't even left my womb yet. I still pray everyday that she would get her miracle on this side of heaven, but I also pray that God would do what is best for her and us. We go to the OB on Monday, and probably the Neonatal as well. I am praying for wisdom for us and the doctors. I would really like a little more watching of her and how she is doing. I don't feel like I have grown in the last couple weeks, so I am anxious to see what I am measuring.

I love this time in the afternoon when all the other kids are in bed and Janie Beth and I just sit on the couch. She is moves around a lot and I get to just enjoy her. There are days when I wish my belly was see-through so that I could see her. It is nice to take time out to just be with her and relish her presence.

Thank you all for the many prayers!! They are greatly needed and appreciated. God is so gracious to us!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Living the Experience

I just wanted to ask everyone to check out Joey's new blog. I know he would love to have more than just me read it. :) I am blessed to have him as my Beloved! I love you, Babe!!!


Males and females are so different in the way we manuever through life, especially the trials. It helps to see both sides.

Clean and Routine

It is amazing what a clean house and getting back into a routine does for your spirit!! My house hadn't been vaccumed in over a week and the kitchen floor had several days worth of sweeping on it. Now, they are clean and I am feeling refreshed. In order for us to vaccum, we super clean up toys, so things are looking good for today. There are some football men and tools on the livingroom floor right now, but that is ok because the carpet is clean. :) We are just hanging out today. The kids enjoyed playing together this morning (I am praying it continues this afternoon.). The clothes are almost done; the dryer is probably done, but I am settled on the couch with my big watered down lemonade, my computer, and the phone. That will be my last load for today, and I am determined not to leave it in the dryer like I did the whites over the weekend. :)

As I was cleaning some thoughts came to mind. We also have to do spiritual house cleanings. My house is easier to clean when I do a little each day and keep up with the little things. My walk with God is the same way. It goes much better when I do something every day and keep up with the routine things. We try to clean the kitchen everyday and keep the toys picked up everyday, and we do laundry of some kind every weekday. In my walk with God, I need to pray, read my Bible, and spend time listening to Him everyday. How cluttered does my spiritual house get when I don't do this!?! You don't want to know! I believe with all my heart that doing those everyday things for my spiritual house are what help me when life doesn't go the way I planned. If I didn't do the everyday things in my house, then when life gets chaotic it would get a wreck. Doing the everyday things in my spiritual house as well as my structure house, keep me refreshed and clean. It takes longer to get my house clean when I don't the little things everyday, and it takes longer to get my spiritual house clean when I don't do the things needed everyday.

We all function better in our house when we stick with our routine. We have gotten away from doing our chores everyday and just following our regular structure. This week we are going to try to get back in the swing of things. We were going to start back into school today, but our cleaning took a little longer since it had been a while. So, that is on the plate for the rest of the week. I think Josiah is ready to get back also. We need to know that life keeps going even when it isn't going the way we had hoped. It is instead going the way that is best, according to God's will. I am so thankful that He knows what is best for us, and for Janie Beth.

I hope you all enjoy a nice clean and routine day soon. :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Reality is what has hit me the last couple days. I found some people online who have walked this same journey, and it makes it all hit too close to home sometimes. I am thankful to have found them, but sad for the reason I have found them. Reading their stories has helped me know some questions I need to address with my OB, and has made me realize we will probably deliver in early January. I am praying we get through the holidays. I really want to have this Christmas with Janie Beth.

There is a funk over our house right now. The kids are fussy and clingy. I pray daily for wisdom in leading them through this journey. They are the ones that make my heart break. I am so thankful that God doesn't give them, as well as me, more than we can handle with Him by our side.

We talked about the Refiner's Fire in Sunday School this morning. We are in several fires right now. I am thankful that God knows what He is doing! Because I sure don't. :) I am excited to see the flowers that He is going to bloom from the road we are on. He is going before us like the headlight on the train in the dark tunnel. I am so thankful that He is watching us and will not take His eyes off of us while He has us in the fire. And then, when He pulls us out, we will be the reflection of Him. WOW!!! I know right now my reflection doesn't look much like His. The fear, worry, and selfishness creep in all too often. But, I am learning that my God is faithful no matter what!! He has shown me that throughout my life and He is showing me on an even deeper level now.

I am so thankful for all of the prayers on our behalf! They mean the world to me. I am thankful for all the hugs I get, and the outpouring of love from others. These are the realities that I am going to hang on to in the days to come!!!

Lord, may my reality be formed from Your perspective! What a difference Your perspective makes over mine. Thank You for your patience with me as I stumble down this road less travelled. Thank You for Your gentle reminders as I sat in church this morning. Lord, refine me through these fires and make me an image of You. Be glorified through Janie Beth's journey! You have great plans for us; plans for prosperity, a future, and hope. May You bless us and keep us. May You make Your face to shine upon us and be gracious unto us. May You lift up Your countenance upon us and give us Your peace. Father, thank You that all things are possible with You. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

I continue to have good moments and bad moments, and I am so thankful for the fellowship of other believers on Sundays. God is so good to me!!

May you find God's reality today in the trials you are facing and focus on Him. What a difference it will make in your life.

Love always, Michelle

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dress and Lamb

Here are pictures of Janie Beth's dress and little pink lamb. You can't see the dress well in the full shot, but you can in the close-up. It is a very pale pink.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Band Concert

Tonight was my littlest sister's first school band concert. She did an awesome job!!! Janie Beth was still during Abby's performance. I guess she was listening. But, then she had a good time listening to the other bands. I very much enjoyed the evening of getting to feel her moving so much. She fits right into the family with her love of music. We will have to get her to a choir concert so we can see if she prefers the band like Dad or the choir like Mom. :)

I just wanted to share a good memory with you all after my last post. God is so gracious to me!!


What a word!!! It really got to me. My OB called today to let us know what the paper work from UAB said and to give us the number for the Neonatalogist. He said that the paper work said Janie Beth was terminal. WOW!!! That is hard to process. It means the exact same thing as she won't be able to survive, but it is such a precise term. Although, they said that she may surprise us!!!! A better way to put it would be: God might surprise us through Janie Beth's life. It is hard to grasp that someone who moves around inside me, may not be able to do the same outside of me. To talk about her possible death and/or funeral, is so difficult when she kicks and moves around inside. She is very much alive right now!! I pray that if she doesn't get her miracle until heaven, that we will get some time with her here before she goes to heaven. The kids, as well as Joey and I, really want to hold her while she is still with us. I pray that she can grasp my finger, and look at me. I don't know God's plans, but I trust that they are what is best for us as a family. To trust God completely is not always easy!! I must choose it every day, sometimes every hour or even minute because I would love to scream at Him sometimes. Not that I am really mad at Him, although there are times when I am sure I will be, but that I didn't invision my journey in life to be this way. But, how often has my journey gone they way I thought!?! A friend once told me that if she had written out everything she wanted in life, then she would have short-changed herself, because what God wanted for her life is so much better. God is going to have some amazing flowers bloom out of this journey! Most of all, I pray that lives would be saved and people drawn deeper with God, my Father.

Thank you for the hugs I got today, and to everyone who asked me how I was doing, and for the many prayers!

The last couple days...

I wanted to update on mine and Joey's time, and our journey right now. This post may go all over the place, but I pray you can follow it. I am not even following it in my head. :)

Joey and I had a wonderful time just the 2 of us!! Thank you so much to the friends that blessed us with this opportunity!!! May the Lord bless you two-fold for your kindness. We spent time shopping for Christmas. We went and saw "Old Dogs". Thankfully, we were the only people in the theatre because we laughed our heads off! We needed a funny movie. We ate Red Lobster, which is one of our favorite restaurants. We did a little more shopping on Wed, and ate lunch at Cracker Barrel. We enjoyed our time together!!

During our shopping on Wed, we bought Janie Beth a beautiful dress. It is a light pink smocked long dress with a little bonnet. I am afraid her Karr head will be too big for the bonnet, but the dress will be lovely. We also got a little pink lamb. I don't know if it is "the" thing I want to have for myself, but I didn't want to regret not getting it. It made me think of her when I saw it. I will be honest, I got a little upset picking out the dress, and I probably could have had a complete meltdown in Dillard's. It was hard to think of what the dress might be used for. It is hard to know what will fit her since her size will be different. I will take some pictures of the dress and lamb to post.

I decided yesterday that I need to start enjoying this time with her. I think I was trying to distance myself, which is something I perfected many years ago. I want to stop grieving and relish this time. There will be plenty of days to grieve later if her miracle comes in heaven.

Janie Beth was her usual self yesterday and moved around a lot for me. :) She has her first Christmas party today with our homeschool group. I hope she enjoys it! I am looking forward to it, especially seeing our friends!