"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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Please Remember

Please don't forget my precious Janie Beth! Her journey continues even though she isn't here. She had miracles too. She touched lives too. She is loved too.

My journey matters even though I am still in the storm. I will stand on the promise that the sky is blue behind the clouds when I can't see a break in the storm.

I know this doesn't really make sense, but this is where I am after church today. Please don't avoid me if I have a break down. I need a hug more than ever at that time. I still hurt 2 months later, my grief journey isn't over. I will always miss her!! I will always love her!!!

God, please crucify my ego. Take away my selfishness and make me selfless. Help me be happy for those that are getting the miracles here on earth. Lord, mold my heart and bind me back together. I need You!!!!! Please hold me close and carry me. I love You! May I truly live my life for You and the Kingdom, even when it hurts. Thank You for loving me! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Here it is...

Janie Beth's stone, as Katie Jo calls it, and I like that too.

I still miss her so much!! I wish we were buying her cute spring clothes instead of taking pictures of a headstone. Yet, I am so thankful that it is here. I love her and I want everyone to know who she is. This journey is still really hard some days. I take steps forward and then take twice as many backwards. God graciously picks me up and helps me forward again. He is Mighty to Save!!! I have had several moments lately. I got an invitation for a baby shower, and it hurt that we never celebrated Janie Beth. I cried. I am so thankful that MOMs club is having a celebration of Janie Beth for me. It means the world to me that others want to know about her and not forget! Watching my dear friend have her baby girl safely in her arms and knowing that she is home trying to adjust to life with 4 kids is hard. It brings a smile to my face for her, but a tear to my eye that it isn't me. I try hard not to compare, but it is hard sometimes and the sadness just fills me. As another mommy said on blog, I just miss her. Sometimes those are the only words to say. I just miss her! I say that quite often to Joey if he asks me how I am doing. I still long to hold her and kiss her and tell her I love her. But, I am thankful that she is with someone who loves her even more than I do. And He loves me too!!

Right now I am trying hard to let go and let God. In reality that means I am trying my best to trust Him and not try to control where God will send us. To make my desire about the Kingdom and not me. Everytime another place pops up as taking resumes I look at how it will affect me, my family, my time with Janie Beth, instead of looking at what God could do through me there. It is a slow process to let go of yourself and your ego. But, it is my prayer right now. It actually hurts in a way to become selfless. It requires God breaking you, and that is never easy.

This says it best: From

Have you ever heard of the “Teacup Story?” I have heard speakers tell it a few different times, but I am not sure who the original author is. Let me retell it, as best I can!

A couple walks into an antique shop looking for something exquisite to purchase and bring home. Their eyes immediately fall on the most delicate and lovely teacup they have ever seen.

As they were admiring the teacup, she spoke to them, sharing her story.

“I haven’t always been like this,” the teacup said.

“There was a time when I was a hard, ugly lump of gray clay. No one wanted me….except the Master Potter. One day, He picked me up and began to work me in His strong hands, molding me, pounding me, and rolling me in His grip.

I cried out, ‘Stop that! It hurts! It is too painful! Leave me alone!’

The Master Potter smiled gently and simply said, ‘Not yet.’

Then He put me on a wheel where I began to spin and spin and spin. I felt sick. I felt dizzy. I wanted to slow down. I wanted to get off! All the while as He spun me, He continued to shape me and mold me. I screamed, ‘Let me get off! Stop! Stop!”

But, the Master Potter just smiled and said, ‘Not yet.’

Finally, He took me off of the wheel. As I was admiring my new shape, the Master Potter scooped me up and put me in a large furnace. This oven was hotter than I could have ever imagined. I began screaming!

Help me! I am going to die! I can’t take it! Don’t you love me? I can’t survive this! Get me out!’

But, the Potter just watched through the glass. I saw Him kindly say, ‘Not yet.’

Just when I thought I would be destroyed from the heat, the Master Potter took me out of the furnace. I was relieved until He began to paint me. The paint was horrible. I began to choke on the terrible smelling fumes.

I cried out to the Master, ‘Please, please, please stop!’

He smiled gently and said, ‘Not yet.” And then, He put me BACK INTO THE FIRE!

This second firing was twice as hot as the first. I was certain that I would be destroyed in the heat.

I gasped, “Please let me out!”

The Master Potter simply said, ‘Not yet.’

After what seemed to be eternity, the Master took me out of the furnace and put me on a shelf to cool. It seemed like I waited and waited and waited for an eternity. It was then that I caught a glimpse of myself reflecting in a mirror.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I couldn’t believe how much I had changed.

I was completely new. I was a totally new creation, looking nothing like I did in the beginning. The Master had transformed me. When I was a lump of clay, no one except the Potter would even give me a second glance. Now, after the pounding, the molding, the shaping, the spinning, the heating, the painting, and the waiting, I have become a beautiful, priceless treasure, sought after and desired by many.

I remember that as the Potter gingerly picked me up, He whispered, ‘Now you are what I had in mind when I first began you.’

I knew that I am a treasured possession.”

Author Unknown
Sometimes it is excruciatingly painful as He molds us and shapes us and brings us to the fire. But, we must remember that He is molding us into the very image of His Son, Jesus Christ. We can never truly reflect the Light of Christ and His glory until God brings to completion the good work He begins in all of us.

Abba Father, may You mold me and shape me and bring me through the fire. Thank You for never taking Your eyes off me while I am in the fire, and for taking such care to make sure the little details of my life are just the way You want them. Father, please make me a true reflection of the Light of Christ and His glory! Thank You, Lord, for counting me worthy to be Janie Beth's mommy. You are so gracious. I love You!! In Jesus' holy and precious name I pray. Amen

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Fully Rely On God...FROG

That is where I am today. I am doing my best to fully rely on God. Joey and I went up to the hospital to visit the newest member of the Rodgers family. We didn't get to stay long because she was ready to eat a little more. :) I held her for just a moment. It felt really good. She was so warm. Until holding her I had not thought about the fact that Janie Beth was never warm when I held her. Actually she was really cold. After everyone left on the 30th and I was holding her, I even told Joey that I felt like I should bundle her up even more because she was so cold. Oh, how I miss her. I think I could have spent the entire rest of the day with the Rodgers. :) I am not sure I would have given them much chance to hold their own baby. LOL On our way home, and even now, I am longing to hold a precious warm baby. I would love to hold my Janie Beth, but I won't get to do that until I am in Heaven, so for now I will settle for holding the babies of friends until God decides to give us our own.

I believe that God surrounded me with pregnant friends to help me step forward. We went to the hospital. We held a baby. I cannot explain how the joy and sadness coincide through those experiences. The only way I did those things was by fully relying on God. We even parked beside the spot that we had to park in when we went in to have Janie Beth. There were no others. The walk inside was a little long feeling since my last walk through that parking lot I was carrying Janie Beth in my belly. As we walked up to where cars pull around to pick up patients, I pictured us carrying Janie Beth out to the car. I remember it like it was yesterday. The same security guard was even down there. The one that had to explain that it was ok that I was getting in the car holding the baby and not putting her in a carseat to a lady who was pushing a cart full of baby items.

It is sad to see the stark differences in my hospital stay and Julie's stay, but there are some differences that I am thankful for eventhough they are different because Janie Beth didn't survive. I got to have bigger room. :) And I was not constantly bombarded by nurses and doctors coming in and out of my room every 15 min. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have had to deal with those things! But, I am thankful that Julie and I have those differences because I would never want her to be walking in my shoes.

God is gracious to have given me a friend who gave me a huge hug when I went to visit her!!! She just about broke all my defenses by doing so. If I had had much more time in there with them I know the tears would have started falling, and they did after I left and as we walked to the car and came home. Tears for the fact that my journey is so different. Tears because Janie Beth wasn't warm when I held her. Tears that my arms wanted to still be holding a baby. Tears because my heart hurt. Tears of thankfulness for the Rodgers. Tears that I had made it through the visit and the return to the hospital. Tears that it was all over. Tears because tears are needed sometimes.

We went and visited Janie Beth before going up to the hospital. We brought her flowers for her vase. It looks really pretty. I do want to go pick some different flowers at Hobby Lobby, but these work fine for now. Her headstone is now in and it is very final feeling. Yet, it is so beautiful. I am thankful that now everyone can see who she is. I will get pictures uploaded and share them in a post soon.

We have had some beautiful sunshine here the last several days!!!! I am so thankful that God has graced us with it. The sunny days make me want to visit Janie Beth more. That sounds a little crazy, but it is the way I am. :) I look forward to the spring and being able to stay a little longer. We are even going to picnic there and walk around. It is weird to be teaching my children cemetary etiquette, but I pray that it will give them compassion for others.

I think I am going to be on the lookout for a special frog to remind me to Fully Rely On God. It is only through brokenness that I will learn how to truly live that way. I am thankful that God is breaking me. I want to love Him more genuinely. Abba Father, please continue Your good work in me. Help me love You more. Help me walk in love. I want to love my family the same way I love Janie Beth, without reservation. Lord, wrap me in You. Thank You for walking with me today!!! Thank You for Your grace!! May You continue to heal me and fill me. I will rest in You today. I love You. In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen

Here is my precious baby girl. I was hoping to have a picture of me with Rosemary but it wasn't meant to be today, so that one will have to wait.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Please keep us in your prayers today as well as the Rodger's family. Precious Rosemary is on her way. I am full of emotions!! Thank you all!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Katie Jo and I were coloring and I was letting my mind wonder. Of course, Janie Beth crossed it! :) I thought of her as we started coloring because I will never get to color with her. But, then I started to think about storms.

Our pastor has been preaching about storms the last 2 Sundays and he is one more Sunday. Last night we had a good old fashioned thunderstorm. As I was pondering storms, I realized that every part in the storm that is scary is also a blessing. How crazy is that!?! Crazy enough that God did it!! :) The lightning crackle is loud and scary and the cloud to ground lightning is pretty creepy looking. But, you know what it does for you if you are out in it? It lights the way, even if just for a second, it will give enough light to show you the next step to take or the next shelter to move to. The thunder is loud and can make your heart skip if you aren't prepared for it. But, you know what it does for you? You can count from the lightning strike to the thunder to know how far away the storm is. Isn't it great to know if you are in the center of it or on the outskirts! You feel a little safer when you know you aren't in the center. It lets you know that the storm is moving and won't be there forever, and you may be able to tell which way you need to go to out of the storm. The wind is wild and crazy! You can feel it and see what it does to the things around it, but you never actually see the wind itself. The wind is like God. You can feel Him and see what He does in people, but you never actually see God Himself, you see His effect. How awesome!!!

We are walking in a storm in many ways. But, God gives us lightning strikes to show us the next step to take or which way His shelter is. He gives us glimpses of blessing that show that the storm is moving, and not staying right over us. God gives us direction through reading His word. The Bible is the thunder and shows us which way to go to get out of the storm. God is the wind that is changing us. We can feel His presence just as we can feel the wind, and I pray that others can see the change in me that the Wind is doing. And there is always the promise of blue skies. They are just behind the clouds that are producing the storm. The only way to make it through the storm is to hide in the shelter of the Almighty! He will guide us through it or help us soar on wings above it. :) I am going to let God decide the route we will take through the storm. If I choose, then I will miss out on His blessings and the changes that the Wind makes.

Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage for the Lord your God is with you."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thank You, Abba

After reading others stories, I want to share some of the things from our days with Janie Beth that I am so thankful that we did, and maybe a few things I wish we had done.

I am so thankful for:
-my Abba Father carrying me!!!!
-having a friend share everything via my blog
-having wonderful nurses
-having an awesome neonatalogist
-having a fantastic photographer through NILMDTS
-having my husband by my side
-having so many family and friends there for support
-having 20 hours with Janie Beth in the NICU
-having her alive with us for just over an hour in our room
-getting to have her siblings and mommy and daddy hold her alive
-keeping her with me overnight after she died
-making multiple imprints of her hands and feet
-making multiple handprints and footprints
-making a mold of her hand and foot
-spending 17 hours with her out of the NICU (16 of which she was in Heaven)
-driving her to the funeral home (I carried her out of the hospital and held her in the car.)
-putting her footprints on the shirt I was wearing that day
-for the prayers!!!!!
-for the hugs
-for the love poured out on us
-for the pictures!

Things I wish I had done:
-asked to hold her in the NICU
-taken more video (we forgot the tripod!)
-been a little more selfish sometimes (not that I regret a single thing that we did because I believe whole heartedly that those days went exactly as God had intended :) )

How in the world can I not be filled with gratitude for the days December 29 through December 31!?! When I see my tiny list of things I wish I had done compared to my thankful list, I am amazed at how God blessed me!! I could have written even more in my thankful list! God's grace is beyond sufficient!!!! My baby girl is such a blessing to me!!! I am so thankful for having my love for her in my heart.

Those days with Janie Beth are on the forefront of my mind right now. I am blessed to have a dear friend having a baby in the next day or 2. It is a bittersweet walk I am on. The difference between her final pregnant days and my final pregnant days are extreme. But, I am so thankful for getting to walk these days with her. It has helped me in some ways to be excited for a baby that is healthy. But, it makes me wish my Janie Beth had been healthy and able to be here with us to have her picture taken with her new best friend. :) How different these days would be for me if she was here!! Thank You, Abba, for filling me and letting me enjoy and not mourn as I walk through these days. Don't get me wrong, I still cry!!! I wish my days had gotten to be like my friend's days, but it is the Lord's will that prevails. I would not want her to walk my days!!! I am excited to get to hold that precious baby girl in the next couple days, and we all know that I will cry. I just pray it isn't uncontrollably. :) I am thankful for a friend who knows that I will cry and isn't going to take it personally. I am thankful that she is willing to let me come and hold her baby, and for the privilege of watching her other precious children who warm my heart incredibly! My Father has blessed me and my family beyond measure through this precious family!!! We love you guys!!!!

Please pray for them and for us. She has been contracting for over a day now, and I am anxious to get a report this morning to see how things are going. Pray for me as this will be my first time back at the hospital and my first time to hold a baby since Janie Beth. Only God can make sense out of the massive amount of emotions going on in me!!

Abba Father, I love You!!!! Thank You for loving me and for the privilege of walking with Julie through these days. Show me the steps to take. Please don't let me drive her crazy! :) May Your mercy, grace, love, and peace reign down on her and her family as well as ours. Thank You for being big enough to do all that!! This is Your day, Lord. May You be lifted up and glorified. Please write my faith for each moment today and give me the strength for each moment. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Friday, February 19, 2010

Trying to Step Forward

I have done some things in the last week that would be considered steps forward. That is hard to write. Stepping forward feels like I am moving further and further from Janie Beth. I do not sleep with my pink lamb anymore. I actually held onto it longer than I needed to, but I didn't want to stop because that meant I was continuing to move on. I know there will be times that I will need to hold it, but I do not need it everyday anymore. That wrenches my heart out sometimes!!! I am not clinging to my baby girl anymore. Not that she needed me to let go of her so that she could soar. She has been soaring since she died. It is me that needed to let go so that I could soar, but I feel as though I am soaring with a broken wing.

I have gone to Wal-mart and storytime with just me and the kids. And I haven't had a breakdown, but that doesn't mean that the next time something won't get me and I will. But, I do wonder how I would do things if Janie Beth was here. I think about walking into the library with a stroller, and trying to carry her carseat and hold Eli's hand going into Wal-Mart. I look into the back of the van and picture what it would look like with Janie Beth added. When we went to Wal-Mart I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the headrest that would have a mirror on it if Janie Beth was here. There was a sting in my heart.

I guess everyday I am taking steps forward. That is bittersweet, but necessary.

I went out last night with some friends. I really enjoyed myself. Yesterday was a good day, so it wasn't as difficult to be around ladies with babies, one of which is only a day younger than Janie Beth. I carried Janie Beth there on my necklace. That hurts. I wish she had been there for others to see and talk about how adorable she is. It is crazy that I can move forward but still miss her so much. My love for her doesn't die as I leave her in the past. I just wish I had her in the present and future. The reality that I had a baby but don't have a baby hit me this morning. How the tense of a verb can change things! Often times, I don't realize how hard something is until the next day, or I let my thoughts run and self-pity and selfishness set in. Last night I determined before hand that I would walk in love and not think constantly about myself and my circumstances. But, then today I replay the whole scenario if Janie Beth had been there. Why do I do that to myself!?!

I am working on taking all of my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus. There are times that I just want to feel Janie Beth and I let my mind picture her being here or the last weeks of pregnancy. I am so thankful that God gave us Christmas together!!!

I am trying to learn how to step forward without guilt, and learn how to enjoy the days even with Janie Beth's love in my heart. What a mess I probably look like on the inside! :) Thank You, Abba, that You can untangle the mess that is Michelle!!!

Today I will live for Jesus. I have been sent here not to do my will, but to do the will of the Father (John 6). I will crucify my ego and let Him shine through me. Father God, I lift up this day to You. May You lead me and guide me. Direct my steps, thoughts, and words. May You fill me and provide me with all that I need for each moment today. Thank You for friends who are willing to walk this journey with me. Thank You for a loving family! Thank You for my Beloved!!!! May You continue to use Janie Beth's journey to mold me into the woman, wife, and mother that You want me to be. Be glorified in me and through me today, Abba. Thank You for helping me step forward. May You continue to help me make sense out of myself and trust You in the things that I can't. I love You!!!! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

May You be Glorified

Last night I read through my journal that I wrote after we found out Janie Beth would probably go onto Heaven. On November 19, 2009, the day we went to UAB, I went to the bathroom before we left and told God that I didn't understand, but I pray that He would be glorified through all of this. Little did I know the ways He would be glorified. Throughout those final weeks I prayed that God would be glorified through Janie Beth's life. I really wanted Him to be glorified by healing her. :) I wanted to be in control of the things that are only possible with God. Many are the plans of a man's heart, but it is the Lord's will that prevails. (Proverbs) Man, am I thankful that His will prevails despite my plans!! I do not even want to know where I would be if He always let me have my way. I continue to pray for God to be glorified through Janie Beth's journey, and through my journey as I walk this road without Janie Beth. I do not know where this road leads, but I do know that it is all being worked out for my good and His glory.

Twice now, God has brought me to passages about leaving all to follow Him. It takes a tragedy like this to really look at my priorities and set myself in line with God and His calling on my life, not the call I want Him to have on my life. My devotion this morning said it this way...
But because you have been shaken to the core, you see clearly that if you bling to your own plans and desires, you will never discover the freedom and joy found in losing your life for Jesus. (p. 52 of the One Year Devotion of Hope)
He is calling me to let go of my desires and seek His desires. This is not always easy to do!! But, my prayer is that I will walk worthy of all the callings that He has placed on my life. In order to do that, I must take up my cross daily and follow Him. Daily is one thing that I have learned on this journey. I must take it a day at a time, if I look ahead too far fear sets in and I try to take the reigns from God.

I took the reigns from God recently and He had to gently show me that I was being lazy and selfish. OUCH!! He is constantly having to remind me of my own words. I cannot tell Him that I do not want to walk this road because I do not know where it goes! God has done exceedingly abundantly above all I could ever ask or think through Janie Beth's journey and in my family, and I am so thankful that He will continue to do so.

One of the main focuses in our lives right now is finding the job that God wants us to have. God has provided for us in amazing ways over the last 15 months that we have not had a job. We have not gone without. Before Janie Beth we were praying for God to bring us to the church that He wanted Joey to pastor. Now, we are praying for Him to send us where we can do the most for His kingdom and where He will be glorified through us the most. It is not about my desires. I am here to point to the Potter who made me. God knows the desires of my heart, but He also knows what is best for me. To the kids it their desire to ride their bikes in the street, but in reality that is very dangerous on our road. The desires of my heart may actually be very dangerous in the grand plan of the Master. But, you know what!?! His plan will fulfill desires in my heart that I don't even know are there! The Spirit knows far better what to pray for me.

Abba Father, I am choosing today to let go and follow You. I will take up my cross today and follow You. I will cling to the promise that You are working all things together for our good and Your glory. May You continue to be glorified through Janie Beth's journey and through my journey. May You continue to go deeper than my pain and mold me back together. Thank You for knowing the deepest desires of my heart that I don't even know. Thank You for doing exceedingly abundantly above all I could ever ask or think in my life and in my family. Lord God, we are in Your hands. May You guide us on Your path. Bring our desires into one with Your desires. Fill me with You, Abba. May You be my strength for each moment and write my faith for each moment. I continue to need You. Thank You that the Holy Spirit continues to intercede on my behalf because the pain is still very deep. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Feb 16, 2010

I am adding this after typing this post the first time. As I was scrolling down my blog I noticed the name of my previous blogs, and the just missing her popped out huge!! That is where I am many days right now. I wonder what she would be like right now and who she would be looking like now. I long to hold her and kiss her and tell her that I love her. I will carry her forever in my heart! Thank You, Abba, for the privilege of always being able to have her in my heart even if she isn't in my arms. Father, go deeper than my pain and bind me back together again.

Here are a few Janie Beth names. I am pondering what God wants me to share today. Although, there are no guarantees that I will make it back on today because I have to get my stuff together and priced to sell at Kid's Market. Thank you for your continued prayers. Some days are easier than others. There is usually a battlefield in my mind! I am working on taking every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 10:5), which is not easy to do! Here is our verse for this week, "A soft answer turns away wrath" Proverbs 15:1.

Janie Beth in Matthew 12:22-24
Janie Beth in heart candy. The messages are great! I think it is so neat to see letters with nature and other things.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Janie Beth in more snow

In her backyard
With Katie Jo in the Backyard
With Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli in the front yard
On Daddy's Car
On Mommy's Car
In her Front yard
It was hard to go out and write her name in the snow at her house. It was a reminder that she isn't here to play herself. I love you, Janie Beth!!!!
We are snuggling up at home today. I should be productive, but I think the clothes will be all that get done today. :) At least will be able to get dressed tomorrow. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Janie Beth in the Snow

In Colorado: Don't you love the mountains in the background!!!

In Pennsylvania
In D.C./Mass. area
In Cullman, AL
In Oklamoma
In Washington, D.C. area
THANK YOU!!!! I can't wait to see others. You all have no idea how much you have blessed me! :) I will do more posts as I get more pictures.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Just missing her...

My precious Janie Beth, I love you!!! I miss you so much!! Abba, please hold me close. I need You! It hurts. Wrap me in Your preace and love. Fill the hole in my heart with Your grace. Mold me through this journey. I love You, Father! Thank You for being here and giving me the strength to make it through. Thank You for understanding!! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Hi, this is Jennifer. I need your help!! Don't miss the chance to get in on a little project for the Karrs!! Check out the new post below "Furtherance of the Gospel".

The Furtherance of the Gospel

I am not sure where to start as I have multiple things rolling around in my head. Surprise, Surprise! :)

Last night Joey and I read in Philippians 1. There was one verse that really stuck out to us. It was verse 12, But I want you to know, brethern, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. How powerful!! Everything that has happened to us has turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, and it will continue to do so. Not just Janie Beth's journey, but also our time here as we have had to rely solely on God while we wait for the place of service He has for us. He has taught us and molded us and revived us in ways that never could have been done had we not suffered. Ouch, there is that word no one likes to here. Suffer! We are just like little children who have to be disciplined. Do children learn what to do and get molded into "good" little children by being allowed to do whatever they want? Nope! Well, neither do we. If God didn't give me these times, then He wouldn't be able to use me for anything. I would be a dust covered, cracked piece of clay that sat in a corner looking hideous. It is during these times that He makes me a beautiful piece of clay that shines the Potter's hand when I am displayed. Just like someone who walks by a potter's shop and wants to know who made that beautiful piece in the window, others should look at me and wonder Who made her and got her through that.

Now, does the piece of clay have a say so in where it is displayed? It could, but it might want to be displayed in a crystal store where it would look hideous compared to other merchandise. Or it might want to be displayed in an auto parts store where it would shine way too brightly. Or it might want to be displayed in a home decor shop where it would blend in and not reach its potential. The potter knows the best place for the piece to be displayed. The place where it can reach its full potential and touch the most lives. I could tell God where I want Him to display me, but I may chose a place that looks pretty (like the crystal store), or a place where I think I will stand out and be noticed (like the auto parts store), or a place where I think I will fit right in (like the home decor shop). Would I be reaching God's potential for me there? Not if He didn't put me there. God is molding me to put me right where He can use me and further His gospel. Right where others will look at His workmanship and marvel at the Potter, not the piece of work!!

In Luke 9:57 a man tells Jesus "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go." Jesus goes on to talk about those that want to go back and do one more thing before they follow. One wants to bury his father, and another wants to say goodbye. The caption above these verses is "The Cost of Discipleship." I was reading another blog that was about this topic and it really got me thinking. Am I really willing to leave it all for Christ? Am I willing to let go for the furtherance of the gospel? Am I willing to do more than just pay lip service to God?

These are hard questions for me to answer right now as we search for the place God wants us. I have gotten comfortable where we are. I finally have friends in the same place in life as me. My children have friends here. My baby girl is here. Can I really leave her and follow God? Am I willing to trust God that He will bring me the friends I need wherever we go? Do I trust that He is thinking of my children too? Could it be that my family has reached its fullest potential here and it is time for us to move on? Wow! What a thought! Can you reach your fullest potential somewhere? Yes, believe you can. That doesn't mean that you have to move far away to move on, but would you be willing?

Janie Beth has left a hole in my heart. There is a skit for youth where there is one person who has a hole in their stomach and they try to fill it with different things. Nothing will work until they try God. It is a God-sized hole. After leaving the cemetary today, we put up a pretty flag and some garden flowers, I was pondering if God could ever fill Janie Beth's hole because I will always love her and miss her. He can fill it with His grace. If He calls me to move away, then He will fill that hole with His grace. He will fill the holes that will form from leaving so many friends and family. Does that mean that they are gone? No way! It just means the relationships change. The old song about make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold. God is calling me to let go and be willing to follow Him. That doesn't mean that I will really have to leave, but I should always be willing because it is about the furtherance of the gospel, not the furtherance of my selfish desires.

When I wrote down the verse from Luke on a notecard, the last few words didn't turn out very pretty and they are somewhat close together. I was going to write a new one, but I realized that it symbolized what it would look like for me to follow my Lord wherever He goes. I will stumble because some of my steps will be close together as I try follow. Some of my steps will be ugly because I know there will be some that I will take with the wrong attitude! But, if I allow my heart to be soft enough for God to mold He will change my attitude. Just like right now. I must allow my heart to be soft enough for God to mold it into a heart that is after His own heart and not my own. A heart that is willing to let go and follow God. He is faithful and He will pull me through the waters!!! Will the road God choses always be easy? Nope, but He promises to be with me!! Thank You, Abba.


Hi, Everyone!

This is Michelle's friend Jennifer. I have hijacked Michelle's blog today but for good cause. I don't have permission to being writing here anymore, but maybe she will forgive me if you all help me in a little project to show her and the family that we are still thinking of and praying for them! Here's what I have in mind. The project is called, "Janie Beth's Name Gallery". Let's remind the Karrs that Janie Beth's short life was not in vain. She lived and was loved and is still loved. Let's remind them that we haven't forgotten them or Janie Beth. The idea is that you write or create Janie Beth's name in a unique way, photograph it, share something special, and then email it to Michelle. I'm going to give you a not so great example that me and the kiddos did yesterday.

Janie Beth's name in crayons.

Again this doesn't look great, but it was just something I did in a hurry to give you an example. I chose crayons, because it's the first thing I thought of that I had on hand. As we were working on this, a couple thoughts came to my mind. This is my something special: I've heard in accounts of people who passed away and were then revived that there are colors in Heaven that we don't have here on Earth. I cannot imagine the beauty that Janie Beth is experiencing in Heaven. I'm sure there are no gray skies. I wonder what the colors in heaven are like? Also if you look really closely, you can see that some of the crayons we used were broken. But there is no brokenness in heaven! Hallelujah!!! Nothing broken only beauty!

If you would like some examples of another name gallery, please check out these links:




Here's an example that another friend sent Michelle several weeks ago.

Michelle has specifically mentioned recently that she would love to see Janie Beth's name in the snow. If anyone reading currently has snow or knows someone who has snow, this would truly bless her!

Your something special could be a thought, a prayer, what Janie Beth has meant to you, how she has changed you, what this journey has meant to you, why you took your picture where or how you did, what's special about your picture, anything! Joey and Michelle have been so open and honest and have poured out their hearts to us. They've shared so much with us. It's our turn to share with them!

OK, so I need your help to stay out of trouble here! Get busy on Janie Beth's Name Gallery. Get creative. Let's get her name everywhere, anywhere, all over! Send your emails to michelle@thekarrfamily.net

If you have any questions, please email me at jmminor@hotmail.com
Thank you in advance!! I cannot wait to see how creative you all are! I'm sure that Michelle will want to share your pictures. If you would like your comments to remain private, please let her know.


And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Galatians 6:9-10

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Update on my night: I got to sleep sometime between 4:30 and 5, and then I got up at 7:30. I should probably be napping on the couch right now, but I am enjoying the peace and quiet in my house while everyone is sleeping!

The last few days I have just been blah. I cannot tell you exactly why, except that I miss my precious Janie Beth so much it hurts and I love her immensely. Her actual due date was not too bad. But, as usual the following day was. It seems to crash down on me after the fact. But, once again God was gracious and I was much better by the afternoon on Monday. Tuesday wasn't proving to be any better. Sheesh, what is my problem went through my mind quite a bit. I told a lady on our way into the church for Bible study that I was trying not to complain, but I was really ready to see the sun shine again! I think my mornings started out rough when I looked at the window and it was still cloudy. Outside was matching my life, and I wasn't too fond of that. My life has just seemed cloudy and rainy lately. Janie Beth has been on my mind almost constantly. I sat and watched her slideshow yesterday because I wanted to experience her. Of course, I cried. :) But, sometimes it is nice to cry, it melts the overbearing pain to a more bearable pain.

So, this was my mood when a friend called me to check on me since I hadn't posted in a couple days, and I told her about my desire to see the sun. We chatted for a bit and then I went on to fixing dinner. I remembered I had clothes to get out of the dryer, so I got some things started in the kitchen and then went to get the clothes. I walked into my room with the basket of clothes, and do you know what I saw!?! The SUN!!!! Yes, I cried! :) It was shining right through my window!!! I went into the bathroom, opened my blinds and watched that patch of blue sky and sun blow across the sky until I couldn't see it anymore. I thanked my Abba so much for shining on me!

Not only did the sun shine down on me, but there was blue sky peaking through. There are times when it is only the sun that shines through and you can't see the sky behind the clouds. God was reminding me that behind the clouds the blue sky is still there. It doesn't go anywhere. The sun come out again and the blue sky will shine again! The Son of God is shining behind and through the clouds in my life. He will burn through the clouds and let His light shine and the blue sky radiate through my life. How awesome a promise!!!!

The sun left behind the clouds again for a while, but it later came out again and I opened my kitchen blinds to let it shine in. I kept them open through dinner even though the sun was in Josiah's face. But, he didn't complain a bit. I told Joey I was going to let the sun shine in as long as it was out! God blessed me incredibly!!!!

Today was going really well, but then I went to Wal-Mart. Love is everywhere! Roses are out all over the place. Pink roses were the last gift Janie Beth and I received before her birth and death. I had some silent tears streak my face as I walked to get the milk. All the little stuffed animals in the Valentine aisle made me think of Janie Beth. (I didn't go down the aisle for torture, I was getting Valentines for Eli to give out on Friday. :) ) The hole in my heart seemed huge! The urge to scream that my baby is dead hit me a couple times. But, God graciously carried me through.

I got home and Joey held me while I cried. I read in my devotion book and felt a little better, but still not doing too well. Joey held me while I cried some more. Then, I had perfect peace come over me. The peace that only God brings. This will sound crazy, but my peace was to send Joey to the movies and just have some blessed time with my Father. And, as Joey was leaving, you know what happened!?! The sun began to shine again outside and the Son began to shine in my heart.

God will always meet me right where I am. My devotion spoke to my heart. This is from a new devotion book that Jennifer gave me. It is called "Streams in the Desert" by L.B. Cowman

When nothing whereon to lean remains,
When strongholds crumble to dust;
When nothing is sure by that God still reigns,
That is just the time to trust

'Tis better to walk by faith than sight,
In this path of yours and mine;
And the pitch-black night, when there's no outer light
Is the time for faith to shine.

I read this before my second crying session. :) It was going through my head right before God's mighty peace set in. I will Lean on the Everlasting Arms!!! They are strong enough to hold my pain!

I love you, Janie Beth, you are my little Valentine. You will be spending Valentine's Day with the one who loves you more than I. What a privilege! You are so precious to me. Abba, thank you for the privilege of being Janie Beth's mommy. Thank You that I get to love her even though she isn't here. May she continue to teach me how to love Joey, Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli. Thank You Abba for loving me so much! Thank You for meeting me right where I am and blessing my socks off! I love You! In Jesus' holy name I pray. Amen

I have to share a picture of my littlest Valentine.


I am still here! :) Please pray for me today because I woke up at 1:15 am and here I sit at 3:45 am having not gone back to sleep yet. I am hoping that getting up for a few will help and when I lay back down I will go back to sleep. I have a post I want to write, but I don't think my brain is up for that at this hour of the day. :) Let's just say that God is awesome!!!! He met me right where I needed Him yesterday!!!

I pray you all are sleeping well right now. ;) Thank you for your continued prayers as we walk this journey. Some days it really is easier but others it is not. I don't miss her any less today, 6 weeks later. But, the wounds are not quite as raw.

I will type at you later! :)

P.s. Will one of you folks over run with snow write Janie Beth's name in it and take some pictures to send me? I would love it!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February 7, 2010

Today was Janie Beth's due date.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

God's Grace is Sufficient

Let me update the doctor's appointment first... I was doing ok as we drove up and walked in. I did start crying once we entered the building, but just the quiet tears sliding down your face crying. Then, we went into the waiting room. At first I was clueless, but when I turned I was hit in the face with massive pinkness around a baby girl. I lost it! Joey held me and the reception went to tell the nurse to get me a room. Joey held me until the family left. We sat for just a minute before the nurse brought us back. They checked the normal stuff. I still have 10 lbs to go before I am back to my normal weight. My iron was good.

My doctor was great! When he came in he even told us that he knew that it sucked to be back there. :) We brought some pictures to show him, and he took one to put on one of his baby boards. You have no idea how much that touches me!!!!! He told us taht he looks forward to seeing us if we are still living here when we decide to have another one. I left the appointment very peaceful. God has it all handled. He will continue to guide our journey.

After we left the doctor we went by the cemetary. It was raining a little but we still got out. They filled her up with dirt and she was looking much much better!!! Joey brought up not having to use the empty plot beside her, and I told him that even if we do God's grace will be sufficient.

That phrase has been stuck in my head ever since then. My devotion yesterday was even about God's grace being sufficient. You think God is trying to tell me something!?! :)
Here are some key points from Nancy Guthrie's One Year Devotion of Hope p. 38
the grace God provides is all you need--it is enough--for whatever you face. It will be delivered to you in the form and quantity and timing your circumstances require...The grace God provides to you is enough for whatever suffering He allows into your life, not just enough to survive but enough to equip you to emerge from your suffereing with faith intact and hope for the future. What God siad to Paul He also says to you: "My gracious favor is all you need" today and for everything you will face in the days to come (2 Corinthians 2:9).

Do I believe that God truly is enough? Is Jesus really the answer? YES!!! He has proven Himself faithful in my life throughout my past and I will trust Him with my future no matter where it goes. God's grace is sufficient for me as I experience my friend's pregnancies. God's grace is sufficient for me as I watch their babies come into this world and grow. God's grace will be sufficient for me when they put up an expectant mothers bulletin board at church. God's grace is sufficient for me as I face the mother who has children that are the same sex and almost the same age as all 4 of mine. God's grace will be sufficient for me if He calls us to move away. God's grace will be sufficient if/when we decide to have another baby and the journey that will be. God's grace will be sufficient for me tomorrow as I walk through the day that was Janie Beth's due date. Is it a coincidence that her due date was a Sunday? No way! God knows what He is doing. God's grace is sufficient for me today, tonight, tomorrow, and all the days in my future.

Jehovah Jireh
Jehovah Jireh, my Provider, His grace is sufficient for me, for me, for me.
Jehovah Jireh, my Provider, His grace is sufficient for me.
My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory
The Lord shall provide Himself a lamb for sacrfice
Jehovah Jireh takes care of me, of me, of me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

February 4, Check Up Day

It is here. Today is the day I go back to the doctor for my post partem check up. I am going back to the doctor's office that Janie Beth always went to with me. A place that is supposed to be filled with joy. The place that we saw her multiple times and heard her heart beat strong. A place that has pictures of babies all over!! Abba Father, help me!!!! This is going to be a hard morning. I wish I could just skip this appointment. I wish I was bringing Janie Beth to show off like all the other mommies do at their check ups. The walk from the car to the office will feel like the green mile. Just driving up the parking garage will hurt. We will be so close to the cemetary too, and we will be right by the hospital where Janie Beth lived. I pray it isn't raining so we can stop by and see her for a few minutes after the appointment. This winter has been very rainy and I haven't gotten to visit as much as I would like. May you all please lift us up in prayer today.

Added to this I got our list for the Valentine's Day party for our homeschool group. By the name Karr is 2,3. Two for the adults and 3 for the children. Oh, how I wish that 3 was a 4. I would love to have her here to get a box of valentines because is she is loved so much. That party will be bittersweet just like so many other things in our lives right now.

Janie Beth is never far from the forefront of my mind. I am forever grateful for all that she is teaching me. It takes a tragedy to look at yourself honestly, and she has made me do that. May my heart continue to be softened toward God so that He can mold me through this journey.

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

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I am so full of thankfulness that I had to put it here. I am so thankful that God knew exactly how our time with Janie Beth should go. I am so thankful for the time we had with her in the NICU. I am so thankful for the time we had with her in our room after disconnecting her. I am so thankful for keeping her with us overnight after she passed. I am so thankful that Joey and I spent the following morning with her and drove her to the funeral home ourselves. I am so thankful that God blessed me so much in those 3 days!!!

Today God is teaching me to love without reservation. I am choosing to love Janie Beth completely. When I do this I can still feel her in my arms. When I love her fully it brings a smile to my face. I believe I had begun to try loving my husband and children less over these last few weeks in order to protect myself. Well, today God showed me that I need to love. God and I are going to work on love, the first fruit of the Spirit. I am excited about all that He is teaching me and showing me. It hurts to be confronted with yourself, but it is freeing too. I am trying to allow God to mold me into someone that loves. Someone that loves others as myself. Someone that builds others up and encourages them because I love them. I pray that God will continue to grow love in me!!!! May I not do something or say something about anyone else that I wouldn't want done or said about me.

Father God, please mold me in Your image. May You continue to teach me. I love You! Thank You for chastising me as Your daughter. Thank You Lord for working all things in my life and blessing me so much!!!


Thank You all for your prayers!!! I need them! I am trying to sort through the lies of the Devil and the truths of God. I am wanting to only cling to the truths of God and throw away the lies of the Devil. I am a sinner just like everyone else, and there are times when that is all I seem to do. Ever felt that way?? But, you know what promise we have!?! God works all things together for our good. He takes what the Devil means for evil and turns it to good. No purpose of God's can be thwarted by man!! Thank You Jesus!!!!! This doesn't mean that I won't pay consequences for my sin, but He is merciful to me. I never get what I truly deserve. I think the worst part of sin is how it affects those around us. Face it, sin is selfish! When I do it, no matter what it is, it hurts someone else. Sometimes the only other one hurt is God. I forget that. I think that if no one in my family or any of my friends are hurt then it is ok. How wrong!! It should hurt me more to hurt God than anyone else. Father, may I love You more!

Thank You Jesus for Your sacrifice that allows me to be forgiven and cleansed. Thank You for taking all of my sin on Your back when You had done nothing. May You always be on the forefront of my mind. May I be in tune with the Holy Spirit so that I hear Your voice and know Your will. Tame my tongue, Abba!!! It has always gotten me in trouble. May You be glorified through my mistakes. I am in need of the Savior. Change me and create in me a new and pure heart. Have Your perfect will in my heart and life. May I allow You to mold me. Lord God, thank You for Your patience with me. Forgive me for hurting You and not thinking about You. Forgive me for my selfishness. May You reign in me today. Fill me with all that I need for today. I love You!!! Thank You for all You are teaching me and showing me. Thank You for taking the time to mold me and take such good care of me! You are amazing!!! In Jesus' holy name I pray. Amen

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

This Week

This week is proving to be a sad one for me. This is the week leading up to Janie Beth's due date. I go to the doctor for my check up on Thursday. A dear friend is further along now than I made it with Janie Beth. We have passed the one month mark and Katie Jo's birthday. I received Janie Beth's visitation and Celebration of Life pictures today. WOW! It really happened!?! I miss her so much! She was so beautiful.

When does the pain ease up? How much longer will I have a deep aching in my heart? Will I ever desire to do the normal things again? Will there be a day when cooking dinner isn't hard?

My devotion this morning was about God having compassion on us and hearing our prayers. I will stand on the promise that He is here and will never leave me nor forsake me whether I feel Him here or not. I will cling to the promise that He hears my prayers even when I don't see the answers yet. I will lean on the promise that He is working all things together for my good and His glory even when it doesn't feel like it. I will be thankful for all that God is doing in my life, marriage, and family. I will be thankful for the friends God has placed in my life. I will remember that I am not on the road alone and many are praying for me even as I feel like I am alone sometimes.

I realized last night that God hurts when I hurt, so no matter how alone I feel He is there and He cares. As I feel forgotten, God sends me a phone call from a friend. God is still taking care of me even as I struggle trudging through the mud. It will get harder as the mud piles on my boots, but there will come a day when they will land on the Rock and the mud will fall off and I will be able to take steps without pulling my legs up. Thank You, Abba, that Joey is trudging along with me hand in hand!!! Thank You, Father, that You are holding my other hand and lifting my head and guiding me with Your hand on my back!!!

Almighty Father, go deeper than my pain and begin to mold me back together. Thank You that You can penetrate that deep! Thank You for Your promises and Your faithfulness!! Lord, write my faith each moment of this day and provide all my other needs as each moment comes. I need You! Be with me as a consuming fire, Lord Jesus. Thank You for the Spirit that fills me. May He have access to every part of me. This is Your day. May You continue to bless us and keep us. Make Your face to shine upon us and be gracious to us. Lift up Your countenance upon us and give us peace. In Jesus' holy name I pray. Amen

Monday, February 1, 2010


Well, I have made it to February. This is the week leading up to Janie Beth's due date. I am going to try hard to get us back into school and Bible verse work. Just thinking about it seems overwhelming and sad. I don't know why doing the things makes this all feel more real. If we aren't doing the ordinary things, then I do pretty well, but the days when we do our regular things wear me out. Janie Beth crosses my mind more on those days I guess. I don't know; I can't figure myself out. :)

There are multiple things that God is trying to help me with and change me. This is another journey that I have to take one day at a time because it is too daunting to look at the complete road ahead. One of my main issues right now is envy with those that got pregnant once we found out Janie Beth would die or after she died. For some odd reason those that were pregnant with me from early on do not bother me as much. But, it does hurt when I think about them getting ready for delivery and meeting their little ones. God gave me a verse when I asked Him to show me how to deal with everything. It is from Psalm 109, "give yourself over to prayer". OUCH! So, then I started praying about praying. :) God had to tap my head and say, "Ok, now you need to pray for them". But, God. "Just do it". I then embarked on praying for others. I even cried my way through many parts of it. I will be the first to admit that my prayers have been incredibly self-centered lately. But, one of the ways God changes your heart is through prayer, so I need to pray for myself but also the others on my heart.

Abba Father, please help me continue to lift others up in prayer and change my heart. Come into my heart and go deeper than my pain. Lord, it still really hurts! Mold me back together again. Give me strength for each moment today. Write my faith for each moment today. Father, please bless the wonderful pregnant women in my life and their precious babies. May You keep them all healthy and save and be glorified through their journeys. Thank You for a beautiful first day of February. Please be beautiful through me. I need You, Father. I love You! Thank You for the amazing things You are doing in my life, my marriage, and my family! You are too wonderful for words, even when I have to be chastised in order to get me in tune with Your will. Thank You for carrying me and holding me close. In Jesus' most holy name I pray. Amen