"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, January 31, 2010

Worship and Adore Him

To worship and adore Him is my desire this morning at church. I pray that that is my top priority. God is working on many things in me, and I am so thankful. Sadly, I didn't realize just how dirty I looked!

Father, I pray that I would experience You this morning. May my focus stay on You. Help me into an attitude of worship and adoration. May You be my greatest desire. Keep my perspective on You and let everything filter through You. May You help me to take all my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. May You be lifted up and glorified through me. I love You, Abba!! Thank You for walking with me and carrying me when the pain is too great. Thank You for loving me so much to care about all the little things and all my needs!!!! You are awesome! In Jesus' holy name I pray. Amen

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kathryn JoAnn Karr

The first smile we caught on camera.

Katie Jo is 5 years old today!!!! I can't believe it. We watched her birthday video yesterday. I am ashamed to say that I thought more of Janie Beth as I watched than Katie Jo. It reminded me of all that Janie Beth didn't do, so I have to work hard to pull my mind back to what she did do!

Katie Jo's birth was very similar to Josiah's. I went into the hospital the day before with contractions and was 4 cm dilated, but they sent me home because I wasn't dilating anymore. The next day I continued to contract and finally, after much debating and frustration for Joey and my mom because I couldn't make up my mind :), we went back to the hospital. This time they decided to go ahead and break my water since I was still contracting. (God gave me a mega thick bag of water with all my children, and I believe it is because He knew Janie Beth would need one!) After 4 hours it was time to push. She had me do a practice push and quickly told me to stop. Then, they had to get after me for laughing because it was pushing her out. The doc made it in and I pushed 2-3 times and she was out.

Katie Jo was 5 lb 14 oz and 19.5 in. She was tiny! People had to go out and buy her premie clothes. :) She couldn't wear what I had brought with me to the hospital. A friend bought the sleeper and bonnet. It came with a blanket that looks like a rag now because it is one of her "nigh-nights" (blankies). She had a head full of hair.

Kathryn JoAnn is a miracle of God. When she was born, her cord barely had any blood in it! She was born 4 weeks early, but my doctor's office had me at 37 wks. If they had had my due date right, then they would have stopped my labor or sent me home. I am thankful for the way that God works all things!! The doctor said that he had never seen anything like that before. The following year we would find out that I have a blood clotting disorder, and who knows if that might have been the cause. Only God knows exactly what was going on.

Katie Jo never meets a stranger unless she is in one of her moods. She is assertive (bossy :)). She is compassionate and caring. She also has a temper. She is a little mother waiting to happen. She still talks about Janie Beth and blows her hugs and kisses. She takes care of her Janie Beth panda like she would have Janie Beth. She is a special, precious little girl!!!!!! I am so thankful that God has loaned her to me and thought me worth enough to be her mother.

Please continue to pray for me today. This is a bittersweet day, as many are right now. Please pray for the peace of God in my life, and that He would mold me into the woman, wife, and mother He wants me to be. I have seen a glimpse of myself through God's eyes, and it isn't pretty. Thank You Lord for only showing me a glimpse. Please cleanse me from all unrighteousness! I love You, Abba!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Prayers Please

Friends, I need your prayers today. I feel like I did on Sunday night in the bathroom. Please surround me with your prayers as the precious ladies surrounded me that night. It has really been a good week. I had no idea her 1 month birthday would hurt so much.

I know that everyone else's life isn't perfect, but I feel like everyone else is getting good news while we sit in sorrow. I want to be happy for everyone else!!! Lord, help me! Surround me in Your love today. Give me strength to make it through this day. Raise me up on eagle's wings.

Abba, I need You!!! It hurts.

One Month Old


Janie Beth would have been 1 month old today. We haven't even reached her due date yet! I wonder what she would have been like at 1 month. What would she sound like? She only squeaked during her time on earth. What would her smile look like? How well would she hold up her head? What would our routine be? So many questions, but no answers.

Instead, we are finding our new routine. It is a much better routine, and the one God wants, but it is still hard. We were in Target yesterday and I could have stood there and stared at the baby girl things. There is the cutest sunflower dress at Wal-Mart that I can just picture her in. I am thankful that she will never go through the pain and sorrow of this world and that she is so happy and joyful in Heaven. But, I still long for her to be here.

I am not sure what today holds for us, but the One who holds the day does! We were going to go putt-putt at an indoor place for Katie Jo's birthday, but she is sickly. So, we will change our plans, and ask God what His plans are for today.

My Abba Father is doing wonders in our midst at our house! He is amazing!!! I pray that you experience Him and His love, mercy, grace, and peace today. He really longs for you.

Abba, hold me close today. The tears are sitting on the rims of my eyes. May Your loving hand wipe them whenever they fall. May You continue to go deeper than my pain and mold me back together into beauty from my ashes. May You continue to be present in my life, my marriage, and my family. Thank You for all You are doing for us!!!! You have done exceedingly abundantly above all I could ever ask or think!!!!! May You continue to do so. I love You! May You bless this day! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sad, but so greatful!


Janie Beth has been heavy on my heart today. She has been on my mind a lot, which I don't mind. I love to think of her! I can almost feel her in my arms and feel the wrinkles on her forehead. She is so precious. I miss her so much. Tomorrow she would have turned 1 month. WOW! Has it been that long!?! Are you sure it hasn't been longer!?! How silly does that sound? Katie Jo's birthday is Saturday, and maybe that is compounding my thoughts about Janie Beth too. Katie Jo really wanted Janie Beth to be born on her birthday.

Even with the sadness that fills my heart, I am so greatful!! I have God's peace in my heart. Janie Beth has done so much for me. God's power through her tiny body is amazing!!! She has touched me, my marriage, and my family. My life wouldn't be the same without her. She has revived my marriage, brought my family closer, and challenged me. How does someone so tiny do all that!?! Through God, that is how! She has touched so many lives, and will continue to do so through mine and Joey's lives. Oh, I would love to hold her and have her touch lives by being here, but she wouldn't have been able to do as much for the Kingdom from earth. Thank You, Abba, for showing me flowers that You are growing in my new garden!!! When I look at Janie Beth's picture where she is looking at me and holding my finger, I feel as though God is reaching out to me.

He never brings sorrow into my life that isn't good for me. Everything that comes my way must be filtered through His hands. Through my sorrow I am learning to faith God more and have a true reverence for Him. Those things don't come through the easy times, sadly. I am reading a book by Nancy Guthrie called "Holding on to Hope". She lost 2 babies to Zellweger's Syndrome, they each lived around 6 months. She journeyed through Job after losing Hope, her second child first loss. It is almost like she read my mind. LOL I am so thankful for all that God has done in my life up until this point!!! I am thankful for the grieving process that I had to through in my childhood, teenage years, and even early twenties. (It took me a long time. :)) That prepared me for this. Going through the "Believing God" Bible study by Beth Moore taught me and showed me God's hand in my past. AMAZING!!!! I have no doubt after seeing His hand in my past that His hand is all over my journey and working it all for my good. Thank You, Lord God Almighty, that You know exactly what is coming and exactly what I need to be prepared!! Thank You for Your grace and mercy. Thank You, Jesus, for being my Savior!!!

My Tribute
How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me?
Things so undeserved, yet You gave to prove Your love for me;
the voices of a million angels could not express my gratitude.
All that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee.

To God be the glory,
to God be the glory,
to God be the glory,
for the things He has done.

With His blood He has saved me,
with His power He has raised me;
to God be the glory for the things He has done.

Just let me live my life,
let it be pleasing, Lord to Thee,
and if I gain any praise,
let it go to Calvary.

I love You, Abba Father!!!

Romans 8:26-28

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

These verses have turned up twice for me this morning. Do you think God is trying to tell me something? :)

I feel somewhat overwhelmed this morning at the length of the journey ahead. We are trying to find our new normal. We have tried a couple that didn't work, but I think we are on God's path now. It is amazing to watch how He is moving in our family!!! I am so thankful that the Spirit is interceding for us according to God's will!! Where would we be if He wasn't!?! My prayers are selfish prayers, but the Spirit knows what I need and prays accordingly. Thank You, Lord, for the promise of the Holy Spirit.

I need to continue to look at life only a day at a time. But, I find myself looking ahead and trying to figure out what we will do when we get back in a rut again. Hello, Michelle!!!!!! Stop!!!!! What would life look like if we always just looked at it a day at a time? Would we grow weary of the journey? Would we stop leaning on God for everything? Right now I have to lean on God and I feel close to Him as He refines me. A day will come when I turn to my own devices, and I will fall again. I want to continue to live my life forever a day at a time leaning fully on my Savior. Can you imagine what that kind of life would look like? Allowing God to be strong where I am weak everyday, and allowing Him to truly direct my steps and guide me everyday. WOW!! I pray that I get so in tune with God that that is the case.

Father, thank You for working all things together for my good and Your glory no matter what I do!!! I know I mess up everyday, and I am thankful that You can take that and use it for good in my life. Where would I be without You as my Rock!?! Come fill me today. May I stand on You every minute today and allow You to be my strength and write my faith. Thank You for the wonders You are doing in our midst!!!! Thank You for the many flowers that are coming out of Janie Beth's garden! You are amazing!!! I love You! I need You! Help me to lean on You and not let my mind get ahead of me because that is when I get anxious. Take my fears, anxiety, and doubt. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!!! Thank You for the blessings of today. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

update

HI!!! I just wanted to pop on and let you know I am still here. :) Joey let me sleep in this morning. Love you, Babe!! And then, we have just been having family time, so that hasn't left any computer time. I am hopping on now and then we are having family movie night.

Thank you all for your continued prayers! Our biggest prayer request right now is the spiritual battle. God is big and He is winning, but we still need prayer!

I hope to have a real entry tomorrow. Love to you all!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1 John 4:4

"He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."

Can I get an AMEN!?! :) Whatever Satan tries to use for bad, God will take it and turn it around for good. Amazing! Thank You, Abba!!! My God is Mighty to Save!!!! AMEN! Selah! (Think about that...)

Janie Beth is blessing us in incredible ways!!!

God answers

God always answers our prayers!! You may want to be careful what you pray for. :) The Father knows best. Even when we don't pray it out loud, God hears our hearts. He knows our needs before we ever ask. Isn't He good!?! He gave me that ray of Sonshine the other day because He knew I would need to cling to His promise that He is with me and will never leave me even when the sky is full of gray clouds. Thank You, Abba!!!

It is amazing to look back and see God's hand and know that He was working all things for such a time as this. He has answered my prayers every time; maybe not the way I wanted, but He answers. My God is faithful!!!

Thank You, Abba, for all you have done in my life and for all You are going to do in my life. Thank You for the beauty that You will bring from these ashes. Thank You for the joy You will bring from my sorrows. Thank You for loving me so much! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Monday, January 25, 2010

Here I am today...

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That sums it up!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

God Shines

Joey and I started our time by going to visit Janie Beth. It was a cloudy day yesterday and extremely windy (bringing in the storms that we are having this morning, I gather). We were there for a little while and then were hugging before we left. You know what God did!?! The sun shone right down on us through the clouds!!!!! The rays hit the side of my cheek, and I turned my head to see. The Son was shining on me!!! It was only on us! It happened again right before we left but larger this time. It warmed my heart so much! Even through these awful clouds, God is shining down on us. His hand is on me just as the sun's ray was on my cheek, so tender but lifts my head! God's hand gently caresses my cheek and lifts it up when it gets too low. How amazing!! He cares for me so much. He truly is my Abba Father. Just so you know, the sun didn't shine on us again for the rest of the day, but the Son sure did!! It was such a blessed time to be together, and I could feel the presence of God with us.

We are changing up our Sunday routine beginning today. Joey and I are going to find a couples Sunday School class and start going to the later service at church. We are very excited to go to class together!!! This doesn't change Katie Jo or Eli's schedule, but Josiah will change Sunday school classes as well since he goes to big church with us. KJ goes to children's church right now. This is part of our new normal. This is a change God wanted to make in our lives and it took Janie Beth to do it. Yet another blessing of Janie Beth. Isn't she great! :) God is changing our family, and I am thankful! He is Awesome!!

I pray that you all experience God's presence in worship this morning! Let Him shine on you and caress your cheek ever so tenderly. It feels really good, and warm too!

Thank You Abba for meeting with me yesterday! Thank You for the freedom to worship you in church today! Thank You for changing our routine and bringing a new normal. Give my baby girl a squeeze for me! I love her! Thank You for the privilege of loving her! Thank You for loving me so much!! May I bring glory and honor to You today. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Beloved


Joey and I are having some time just the two of us today. YEA!!! It has been a while since we had some us time. The only thing written in stone for the day is going to the cemetary. I am praying it isn't raining. Thank you Nana and Poppa for allowing us to have some time without the kiddos today.

Father, may You bless mine and Joey's time together today. May Your peace, love, and comfort surround us and fill us. May You be lifted up and glorified through our day. I love You!! Thank You for bringing me my beloved, my friend!! Please mold me and help me be the Proverbs 31 wife I am to be. May I be a blessing to Joey today. Draw us closer together through You, Lord. Thank You, Abba, for Janie Beth who has brought our relationship to another level. I love her, Lord! I love You, Father. I love You, Jesus, my Savior. I love my beloved, Joey. You have blessed me, Lord God Almighty!!!! Thank You! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Friday, January 22, 2010

God is in every Friday

This day was shaping up as a very hard day!!! I felt like, and still do somewhat, a piece of porcelain that is on the verge of falling off the counter and breaking into a thousand pieces. I cried out to God, literally, for quite some time this afternoon. I forged ahead in my Bible study afterward and got better with each reading of Ch. 7 in Daniel (in precept you read it multiple times). I have peace in my heart, but my pain is agonizing today. When you continue to lean on God and focus on Him, have no doubt that Satan will step up his efforts to get in! He is throwing darts at me right now. I am holding up my shield of faith and my sword of the Spirit and praying that the rest of the armor doesn't fall off! I guess I should say that I am more like Moses when his arms were getting tired during the battle and a man had to stand on each side of him and hold up his arms. God and Jesus are holding up my sword and shield today as I am weak and fragile. Thank You, Abba!!!

An aquaintance (which I hope will become a friend :)) left me a Bible passage to read. I had forgotten until I read my email again after I finished my Bible study. God really shows up when you need Him! She left me 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, and true to form I had to add 15 & 16 too.
For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

WOW! Everything God does in my life is for my sake. It is by His grace and for His glory! He is renewing my inward parts (my heart) every day!! Thank You, Abba, I need it more now than ever! This journey is working in me things that are eternal. God is doing mighty things in my midst. This helped my perspective as God knocked on my door to remind me that life is not about the things which are seen, but about the things that are not seen. My pain is still very deep today and my peace feels very shallow. Even so, I will press on and hold onto the promise that God is with me and He will never leave me, and I have victory in Jesus. He has armed me with strength for the battle! Today I am in survival mode as I do the army crawl again, but that is ok because I will have days like this.

Father, take my fears and turn them into love. May You continue Your good and perfect work in my life. I need You desperately today! As David said in Psalm 40:13 & 17 "Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me!...I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks upon me, You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God." Fill me with You and help me trust You so that my mind is stayed on You and You can fill me with Your perfect peace for in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Thank you all for your prayers today! You are a blessing to me!

The Library

Today we are heading back to the library. We haven't been since the week before we went to UAB. There will be a sense of loneliness as I walk through the doors even though I will be with my family, one of us is missing. It breaks my heart. I miss her so much. Janie Beth is so precious to me and she holds a piece of my heart. The feeling of can anyone see my pain will be on me and the desire to scream may crop up as well. All this from just going to the library!?! Another step on this journey. In another week or 2 we will go to storytime. Right now I can only manage going to the library, but I am not ready for the stares of the storytime goers because many of them don't know so there will be questions too. Father, begin even now to prepare me for that day!

I covet your prayers today as I recover from an attack from Satan yesterday. He doesn't like when I have good days. But, my God is mighty to save!!! From the song "Mighty to Save":
Savior. He can move the moutains. My God is mighty to save. He is mighty to save. Forever, Author of salvation. He rose and conquered the grave. Jesus conquered the grave.

Thank You, Abba, that You rose and conquered the grave and that You can move the moutains that loom in front of me!!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dreams

Here I sit and I don't know what to type. I made it through yesterday and I awakened today. I will make it through today and then go through tomorrow. At night I thank God for getting me through every minute of the day and pray for His blessing over my sleep and dreams. Every morning I awaken and ask God to give me faith and strength for every moment of this new day. I am trying to start getting up before the kids so I can have some real God time before they are up. This doesn't always work out! This morning I got on my knees and got my thanks for the new day out before Eli started fussing. Sorry Father I didn't get up the first time you woke me up!

I have started dreaming after I wake up to go to the bathroom between 4 and 4:30. This morning I dreamed about having to go up this steep high walkway thing to get into a hotel/hospital place. There were other details, but I can't remember completely. The walkway I was on was scary. It had slits in it that I had to be careful not to fall through. I couldn't look through them because I was getting high up. I was doing pretty good walking up, but then it got harder and I had to hold onto the side and pull myself up. After pulling up for a bit, I couldn't go anymore and the walkway began to move up like an escalator and it through me off at the top at the door.

After I woke up, I realized how much that dream is how my life feels right now. There are large cracks/slits on the side of this canyon that I very carefully walk over so I don't fall through, at least I feel like I am trying not to fall through cracks. The side of the canyon is very steep and the top looks very high. There are times when I feel I am climbing up ok, and there are times I am pulling myself up, and then there are the times that I feel I can't make it up anymore and God carries me like an escalator. In reality, God is carrying me the whole time, but there are times when He is cheering me on beside me, times He is up ahead pulling me up as I pull myself up, and there are times He is holding me in His arms and letting me ride on His feet. The difference between my canyon and my dream is that the walkway in the dream always went up, but as I climb the canyon I go up and down and I stall on a little level piece for a rest.

This journey definitely hard and steep. I dreamed the night before last that I was screaming. That is all I can remember, I don't remember anything else about the dream. There are times when I could just scream at the top of my lungs like I did in my dream! I miss Janie Beth so much! In my good moments and hours you will look at me and think nothing is wrong, but when I am still during those times the pain is still there amidst the good times.

Father, help me through this day!! My heart is heavy many times and tears seem to be on the verge most of the time. Thank You for friends coming to play today! May You bless our time together. Thank You for a special little friend that drew me some Wonderful pictures and blessed my heart incredibly!!! You are too good to me! I do not deserve the mercy and grace You pour out on me daily. Thank You!!! May You continue to cheer me on, pull me up, and let me ride on Your feet. I love You! Help me be the wife Joey needs today, and the mother Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli need. Continue to help me take little steps. Thank You for this new day! May You bless us and keep us. May You make Your face to shine upon us and be gracious to us. May You lift up Your countenance upon us and give us peace. This is Your day. May You be lifted up and glorified. I love Janie Beth so much, Lord. Wrap me in Your love today!! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

WOW moment

Joey has a sermon that he talks about having a WOW moment. He always relays the story of Josiah's WOW moment, which was when Joey told him that he didn't have to start over at 1 again after turning 5 because he had another hand. :) Josiah had been upset that he had to start over at 1. After Joey told him he had another hand, Josiah said "WOW".

Well, God just gave me a WOW moment. I read I Timothy 4:7-8 in my study and it was talking about "exercise yourself toward godliness". It doesn't just happen you have to work at it. I am doing a lot of spiritual exercise right now, and I am so thankful that God got those spiritual muscles stretched and ready for this exercise. Thank You, Lord, that You have helped me to do my quiet times with You and spend time in Your word and in prayer almost everyday. If I hadn't my spiritual muscles wouldn't have been ready. That is a WOW moment right there! Thank You, Jesus!

I went looking for the verses in Philippians about pressing toward the goal. I read Philippians 3: 12-14. These verses are so true for me right now. I read somewhere that it takes twice as much energy to get through the day when you are grieving, and boy were they right! I know that this canyon is deep and it will take me a long time to crawl completely out of it, but I will exercise myself toward godliness, and I will press toward the "goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" and "reach forward to those things which are ahead."

I thought I was done reading, but God pulled my eyes to the passage right above, Phillippians 3: 7-11. WOW!
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."

This journey is not about me. Christ must be my greatest desire. Am I seeking Him above all or am I seeking someone else or something else above all? I have been praying for God to draw me closer and bring me to a point of falling in love with Him, not just loving Him. I prayed to be a woman after God's own heart. In other words I have been praying that "I may gain Christ, and be found in Him." WOW!!! God is answering my prayer! I have a new love for Christ that I never had before, and I "know" Him in ways I never thought I could. I see Jesus in a whole new light as I walk this journey. He truly understands my pain and suffering because He has been there. I have a whole new perspective on Jesus' final days here on earth. As He road that donkey into Jerusalem, I can imagine the thoughts going through His head. "Don't they know the road I am walking"; "can't they see the pain on My face". I can feel part of His pain and sorrow in His prayers in the Garden. I by no means will ever fully understand Jesus' pain and sorrow and the road He walked, but God has given me just a glimpse and brought a new love and reverence for Jesus that I never had before. This journey is bringing me closer to "knowing" Him and the "power of His resurrection". The word "know" is the intimate form here. Truly learning to know Jesus takes work, just like a marriage or friendship or any relationship. God has graciously answered my prayers and given me the desires of my heart. Janie means God is gracious, and I see His graciousness everyday through my precious Janie. Thank You, Abba, for answering my prayers with such a precious baby girl. Thank you Janie Beth for touching my life so deeply.

Isn't God good!?! He is so faithful and I pray that He will never cease to amaze me! Is this the way I wanted my prayers answered? No, but I wouldn't change a thing. I can't imagine my life without Janie Beth being my daughter. If I hadn't prayed those prayers, I may have never met her. Thank You, Lord, that she looked at me and held my finger!!!! May I never forget. God, I love her so much. Thank You for growing my love for You and my Savior through this journey!!

My Girls

Please continue to tell me how Janie Beth has touched your life. I really need these on hard days, which tends to be every Tuesday and Wednesday right now with a few more thrown in for good measure. :) I don't have much to say this morning, so I wanted to share pictures of my 2 beautiful girls.


Here is Janie Beth...

Here is Katie Jo at a couple weeks old...

Here is Janie Beth with Josiah's Janie Beth bear. Look at her hair!



Here is Katie Jo's head full of hair!! She is only a day or so old.



I don't have any more words because it will make the waterfall pour to think about the friends they would be and how Katie Jo would have taken care of Janie Beth.



Hold your precious ones closer today!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

God is in every Tuesday

I wanted to show you another picture of Janie Beth because I love her so much. If you have a moment will you leave me a comment or send me an email to tell me how she has touched your life. I hope to do a post soon of many ways she has touched my life. You can call me or tell me next time I see you too. I want to talk about her.

God is so faithful and gracious. He has shown up in multiple ways today and I keep that to myself! :) First He had something come up this morning that took my mind off leaving the house, so we were able to leave without much ordeal from my emotions. I put some kids cds in the car, and it warmed my heart to hear my precious kiddos sing, especially "Jesus Loves Me". It brought back singing to Janie Beth, but it touched me and the rivers didn't flow. We made it to church, and there was a parking spot open at the front. WOW, that never happens! I didn't want to park where we had all last semester and God answered my prayer. There was a huge hurdle when I walked in the door, but God graciously allowed 2 precious ladies to be there and hold me. Thank you, ladies, and thank You, God, for putting them there! At that moment, I wanted to run and run and maybe I would be able to leave my pain behind. Thankfully, my kids were with me and I had a task before me, so I had to move to the next moment.

God was even gracious enough to have my Bible study in a different room than last time. This is cool when I think about it! We had to change rooms last time to give a different class some more room, and we barely fit in the room we were moved too. My thoughts of Janie Bath being with me were in the other room that had a couch in the back. I don't believe that there is a coincidence in us having to move to a different room last semester! God had a new room waiting for me this semester. He knew what was coming and He was working all things together for my good. Thank You, Father!!!

We introduced ourselves today since it was our first class. Debbie was gracious enough to introduce me and share my story with the new comers. She did great!! She brought one of my old blog entries to share a special part that had touched her. She ended up touching me! If you read my last entry I prayed for God to refocus me, I think. She read from my entry on December 12. I had written about my struggle with God and how I had told Him that I didn't want to walk this road. Then, God said how do you know?? You don't know where this road is going. OUCH! I needed that today! God is working all this for good for me and my family, as well as His glory. It made me excited again to see what God has in store for us and the beautiful flowers He is going to grow in this garden. It filled me with peace. My pain is still very deep and open today, but God's peace is covering it.

This day continues to be hard, but God will keep me in perfect peace if my mind is stayed on Him and if I put my trust in Him, for in Yah, the Lord is everlasting strength (Is 26:3-4). There was a point when I thought my lamb was lost at church, but once again God showed up. Eli had actually carried my lamb into the house from the car, not put it down at church somewhere. He had kindly put it in my bed. I am thankful for people who were willing to drop what they were doing to go look for it! I am thankful for Joey who came home and held me!

I realized another blessing in disguise, or better yet God graciously showed me one of His reasons for surrounding me with pregnant friends. I am not fit to be surrounded by infants right now, so He has surrounded me with pregnant friends. He is easing me into the infant world slowly. All the babies are not coming at the same time and He knows I need to crawl higher out of the canyon. He also knows how hard it will be and He will once again be my strength where I am weak. Each one will get a little easier, I hope, and God will walk with me all the way. It still hurts to find out another one is pregnant. I want to watch my Janie Beth grow up with all their babies, but God sees me fit to walk this journey and He is going to shine His glory so bright!!!

Lord God, please shine some light on my path. Show me where to place my hand on the slippery slope to pull up a little higher. Help to not slip down as far next time I slip. Thank You for showing up in my hard day. Thank You for giving me 22 hours with one of the sweetest little girls in the world. I wish I had spent every moment possible with her. Please help me to forgive myself and not regret any decisions I made. Lord, help me to take a step forward as it feels like I took 10 steps backward today. Thank You for burdening me people to pray on my behalf. Thank You for hugs from friends today. Thank You for an awesome husband who is willing and ready to walk this journey with me. Thank You for the happiness that fills my heart from Josiah, Katie Jo and Eli. Thank You for the ways Janie Beth has touched my life and changed me. Thank You that I have the privilege of loving her and being her mommy forever. I love You!!! Thank You for Your peace in the storm. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

It is Tuesday

Yesterday was a good day, but today is proving to be harder. My heart hurts today. I long to have Janie Beth here and starting this new Bible study with me. I have been looking forward to going, but now that it is here it hurts more than I expected. I do not understand God's plan, but I know at His right hand stands One who is my Savior. Carry me, Savior, it hurts. I want the excitement and joy of my baby girl instead of watching everyone around me be excited. Lord, change my focus. I need You!

I need prayer today for multiple reasons. Some days I am great with the massive pregnant world God deems me fit to walk in, and other days I struggle. Today I am struggling. I am struggling with going to Bible study when it was my plan to have Janie Beth with me. I am struggling with questions I don't need to answer until the future, but they still swim in my head. I am hurting.

Thank you for your prayers!! You and I will never know how much they help me!

As I wrote the title for today I think I may have a clue as to my pain today. Janie Beth would have been 3 weeks old today. God, is every Tuesday and Wednesday going to be hard. I miss her, Father, and I love her so much. Wrap me in Your love and fill me with Your peace. Go deeper than my pain and begin to heal me, Abba.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Past

The stark reality hit me today as I realized that Janie Beth is in my past and not in my future. Only her memories and my love for her are in my future, but her precious little body and life is not. We went back to church today in our normal routine. It was really hard! I didn't even realize how hard until I left church. How do I continue to do what I have always done without Janie Beth here? It feels like she was never here when I keep doing what I have always done. I so wanted to be showing off my baby girl yesterday. It hurt more than I let myself feel the hurt, if that makes any sense. Thankfully God didn't have many infants pass me; I can't even think of one. He knew just how fragile the walls were that I had built up to protect myself as I walked through the day. Help me, Lord!!!! I need Your strength and faith. Since I didn't let myself feel yesterday, I feel as though I could break right now as the weight of yesterday comes crashing down on me.

Why do I do that to myself? I perfected the art of building walls around my heart way too young. I really thought I had stopped, but I could tell by the numbness yesterday that that was exactly what I had done.

I am trying to get my kids back into a routine and schedule. Just like going to church, it is hard to do what we have always done since Janie Beth is not here. I need my normal routine, but I also need a new normal routine. How in the world to I walk that fine line!?! God showed me last night. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells me to "trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding, but in all my ways acknowledge Him and He will direct my path." God knows exactly what our new/old normal should look like and I need to trust Him and let Him guide me. He is calling me to step forward and I am reaching for His hand while my head is turned facing the past. That isn't going to work, I have tried that before!

Help me, Father, to face forward just as my feet face forward. I am clinging to You, Abba! Hold me up and help me crawl. Please take away the guilt that tries hard to rear its ugly head as I try to move forward. Help me trust You and lean not on my own understanding, but in all my ways acknowledge You so that You can direct my path. Guide me in the routine that will work best for my family. Change me, Lord. I need You. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Here I thought I was done with this post and I go to label it. It is so hard for me not to label my posts as Janie Beth. They aren't really about her anymore, but not labeling them with her shows that I am moving forward. How easily I could wrestle God like Jacob did, but that wouldn't get my anywhere except hurt. And then I wonder if that hurt would take some of the pain away. The answer is NO. God, please help me let go and let You!!!! Only by Your strength can I walk this journey without my precious Janie Beth beside me. Comfort me, please. Show me which step to take today.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My new post

My new post is actually The Army Crawl (going deeper). I started it Friday but didn't get it posted until today, so it is down a bit. It isn't hard to find, and you can just click it on the right if you would rather.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Thank You!!!

Thank you for your prayers and comments! I can feel your prayers. At this moment I am doing better than the last moment, but that doesn't mean the next moment will be better. Please read my previous entry to know a little better why I wrote this one. This is a roller coaster! I miss my precious Janie Beth and I love her so much, she is always on my mind.

Thank you, Joey, for holding me!!!! You are my beloved! I can't imagine this walk without you, and I don't want to! Thank you for being a person with skin on that will hug me and hold me whenever I need it, even if it means I have to wake you up! I need you. I love you!

Thank you everyone else who hugs me and holds me and shows me Jesus with skin on! I need you all too. We are truly the body of Christ! I am blessed by my friends.

Thank You, Father, for giving me exactly what I need! Thank You, Jesus, for understanding my pain! This journey has brought a whole new perspective on the journey You walked. You are amazing!!! Thank You for blessing me! I love You!!!

IT HURTS

I started to write my post yesterday to share some more of what God has shown me, but I do not have the heart to finish it this morning, so it will be posted when God is ready.

I don't even know where to start. IT HURTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel so alone. It seems as though God has pulled every one I have leaned on out from under me. He wants me to only lean on Him, but I want to wrestle Him and tell Him I need someone with skin on. God says, you know who had skin on that knows exactly how you feel, Jesus. But, God I can't feel His arms around me. And He says, then feel your husband's arms around you. I do, but I always want more. Why can't I ever be satisfied!?! I want someone who has walked in these shoes beside me and walking with me. And they still are, but it isn't the way I wanted it. I want so much to be able to rejoice with all my friends, but instead it brings the pain up even closer. God, how I am supposed to do this?? He tells me to look at the name of my blog, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, and I must do that a moment at a time. If I look further it hurts too much to see how long this road is that stretches out in front of me.

Thank You, Abba that You are with me every inch of the way. I need You. Help me to lean on You first, my husband second, and then everyone else. Please, I beg You, to go deeper than my pain and begin to heal me. Begin to mold me back together and give me beauty for ashes.

The words "help me" come from my mouth constantly right now in my cries to God. I do not see how people walk this road without Him. He is the One holding me up and binding me together.

I believe that I am in need of church tomorrow. It will be incredibly hard to be there for the first time with the kids and doing our normal routine. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it, and I have finally stopped crying for the moment. But, I also need to feel the Spirit of God in the fellowship of other believers. Please do not avoid me and my pain. Please acknowledge my baby girl!!! I need to know you care and you are praying. When I am standing at the train table and look 10,00 miles away, please give me a hug. Don't worry if I have tears constantly streaming down my face, they won't hurt you. They are for the cries in my heart on the outside.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and for continuing to check in on me. Please let me know, especially when I don't see you. Thank you for acknowledging my baby girl and my pain! If I cross your mind, please say a prayer, and if you get a chance drop me a note somehow or give me a call. I am trying to lean on God, but I also need to know you are with me still as I embark on the harder part of this journey. As we get back to our routine a little more as we go, it gets harder.

I don't know if this post even makes sense. I just typed what was on my heart this morning. I love you all!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Army Crawl (going deeper)

This is the post that I started Friday night and I just now finished. Thank you all for your many prayers yesterday! Please continue them today. Father, walk with me into church and down every hallway and into my pew. Do not leave my side because I need You!!! Thank You for the promise that You will never leave me.

After I talked about the army crawl the other day, Joey did some thinking about it and shared some things with me that I want to share with you. The army crawl is much more than just slithering around on the ground trying to pull your body with your arms. For a soldier it is a life and death matter. It keeps them below the enemy fire. God knows that I am weak and need to stay low below the enemies main fire right now. God is hedging me before and behind (Psalm 139).

Soldiers have to have physical training. Many of their physical training activities are to get the muscles ready to do the army crawl. The exercises are to prepare them and tone them for the crisis time that they will possibly endure as they go into battle. I am amazed when I look back at my life how much God has prepared me and toned my spiritual muscles to get me ready for this battle and be able to crawl as I begin to slowly climb out of this deep canyon that I am in. God has brought me further than I ever thought He had. I have been through multiple Bible studies that have changed my life and helped me through some issues in my life. He has shown me through some Bible studies that His hand has been on my life before I even knew He was there. He has proven Himself faithful in my life!!! He has worked all things in my life and He is completely in control. When I really look at myself I don't even recognize me because He has changed me so much, and when we are through this battle I will recognize myself even less.

Who am I that He would chose to draw me closer? In John 10:10 Jesus says that He came that we may have life and have it more abundantly. Janie Beth is experiencing the maximum abundance of life!!! And through her life I am learning to experience life more abundantly. How amazing that God can do that!!! I love her and miss her terribly, but she is having an AWESOME time and I would never want to really take her away from her heavenly Father where life is as abundant as it can get. God made my body able to grief her and be joyful for her at the same time.

I am a little numb this morning. I have no doubt that I have put up some walls as we face our first normal Sunday back at church, and I also have no doubt that they will tumble very quickly, probably before I even get there. Yet, I am excited to go to worship as well. God is really working on changing my perspective on my journey. For more reasons than I will ever know, God has surrounded me with pregnant people. I have decided that I will look at this as a time that I can minister to each of these precious women and walk their journeys with them. There will be many tears shed, but I will rejoice with them, and one day maybe they will rejoice with me. Only by the grace of God can I even begin to change my perspective. Or maybe I should say that God is changing my heart because that is something that I cannot do on my own accord! I am much to weak for that, even on "normal" days.

Thank You Abba that You have prepared me! Thank You, Father, for allowing me to see Your hand in my life through my past and even in these difficult days. Thank You for the hugs I will get today. Thank You for an awesome church family. Thank You for helping me crawl through this danger zone! Lord, may this morning be a time of worship. May You be lifted up and glorified. May lives be changed through Janie Beth's continuing journey. Lord, do exceedingly abundantly above all I could ever ask or think today. Thank You for already doing far beyond my imagination. I need You!! Please help me through today and carry me as we do the army crawl together up this muddy slippery canyon. Write my faith and give me strength for every moment. I love You! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

The Cup

Here I sit and I don't even know what to say, which those that know me well will know that doesn't happen often. :) God has taught me some neat things, again with Joey's help added to the insight God has given me. But, I am not ready to share right now. Yesterday, I got up before everyone like I used to and I really thought that would continue today. Well instead I was dreaming that I was getting up while in reality the boys were getting up! It was even sunny in my dream while in reality it was still somewhat dark. Due to their early arising, or my late arising, I have not had God time yet. I find that I need God time multiple times throughout the day! I cannot live on bread alone, I must have the word of God. Continually I have to re-focus and look to God. He is so graciously helping me bear this burden, yet it still feels oh so heavy!

The cup that I have been given cannot be taken away, so I must stand on the promise that God has equip me and will continue to equip me to drink this cup. I now can somewhat understand Jesus' anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane. His grief and despair are more real to me now. I could easily pray with anguish to let this cup pass from me, but it is already in my grasp and it is not time for me to put it down. I don't know if I will ever put it down because I feel as though I will grieve in some form or fashion for the rest of my life. While Joey and I were talking last night, we discussed that this journey would get easier at some point. I said that it would without us even realizing it and one day we would realize that it is easier than it was, and I said that then I might cry because it is easier and we are moving forward. I know this would be Janie Beth's desire for us, but it still hurts!! Joey's blog post is amazing and says so well what we discussed last night (
http://drjoeykarr.blogspot.com/). I try, Janie Beth, to rejoice with you instead of cry for you, and I know as my pain is remolded by God into beauty that I will be able to do that more, but right now my pain is too deep.

I hope after some God time this morning once Joey is up that I will feel more like sharing God's other treasures He has shown me. Please continue to lift me up in prayer, as well as Joey and the kids. I need them more than you could ever know!

Abba Father, please go deeper than my pain!!!! Please begin to remold my pain into beauty. Write my faith for each moment today, and be my strength where I am weak, which is everywhere! I need You! Thank You for equipping me for such a time as this. Thank You, Jesus, for understanding the anguish and grief of wanting this cup to pass from me. Come in and fill me today. Help me through this new day. Lord, may lives be changed through Janie Beth's journey, and souls saved. May her short life and this incredible pain be for good somehow! I need it to be for good because it hurts so much. Thank You for loving me and being so close to me right now. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Broken Beyond Measure

My army crawl is so low right now that I could suffocate in the mud. And then rapids from the river in this huge cavern rage against me and the mud gets more slippery and all I can do is cling to God for dear life. I did not know that pain and sorrow could go so deep. I did not know that my heart could be in so many shattered pieces on the floor. This is something only God can fix!

I knelt at my green couch this morning. I can not tell you how many times I have knelt there before, but this time was different. I am broken beyond measure! I am Humpty Dumpty who fell off the wall and no one can put me back together. In pouring out my heart, God showed me that being on my knees before Him is how the tears will water my garden. I have been praying, but it has been a while since I got on my knees. Pregnancy had made it difficult for me to do, and my pleadings for Janie Beth's miracle came in the way it was supposed to instead of as I wanted it to. As I knelt my tears watered the couch. I prayed for God to show me at least one flower He is growing in this garden that He is making with manure because it sure does stink! He reminded me that last night, for the first time, I smelled the flowers that sit beside my chair in the kitchen. I could smell them without seeing them. I may not see the flowers yet, but I will be able to smell of their existence. Right now I can't look up from the ground at times, but the scent of the flowers can overpower the scent of the mud that my face is so close to.

This is not the journey that I wanted to be worthy to walk. I don't want anyone I know to have to walk this journey, but why did He have to choose me to walk it? Why was my baby the one He chose to take? I am doing my best to trust God and lean on the promise that He is working all things together for my good and His glory, but it doesn't take the pain away.

I pulled out my Sunday School material this morning to try to catch up because I need the ladies in my class right now on this journey. Well, low and behold, it was just what I needed, even though I am 2 or 4 wks behind. God does this all the time! He always says just what I need even if it is something I should have read long before.

This is from Ralph Douglas West's "Finding Fullness Again" (I changed it to make it personal and it came from several different paragraphs.)
God cares about my broken world. He has come to my side to uncover, recover, and redeem. He is taking my fagmented pieces and synergizing them with mosaic healing. Christ is holding my world together, and once the pieces of my brokeness are assembled by God's origin in my life, I will see Jesus in the pieces.

Abba, my pain is so deep and my brokeness is beyond measure. May You, the Great Physician, come into my heart and go deeper than my pain. May You mold the pieces back together more beautiful than they were before. May You fill me with what I need for every moment. Please let the rapids that beat on me become smaller! I need some time to catch my breath. Lord, carry me because Your understanding is beyond measure. I need You more than I ever thought I would. Forgive me for my ignorance! Thank You, Jesus, for allowing me access to the Father! Here I am Lord, fix me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Army Crawl

Last night I realized that I should have called yesterdays post the army crawl instead of our first steps. The army crawl describes the way that I make it through some days better than steps. I am on my belly pulling myself along with my arms. I know this will turn into a crawl on all fours followed by cruising along and then I will walk, run, and dance. I realized that I will hit all of Janie Beth's milestones in my personal spiritual walk instead of watching her hit the milestones. And like a child, I will fall. Even as I survive by the Army crawl right now, there are times when I make it on all fours, sometimes even take a few steps, but I fall back down and have to roll over and pull myself along again. I know that when I am crawling on all fours I will also fall as I learn to cruise along (usually holding the hand of family or friends). As I learn to walk I will trip and fall and have to pick myself back up again. Actually that isn't correct! God will pick me back up. He will reach down His hand and take mine and help me rise again while His other hand is resting on my back to guide me.

I felt that Hand on my back just a few days ago. I was having a hard moment and was crying out to God. I felt that I needed to go in the kitchen and read through the Bible verses that I have posted in there. As I walked from the living room into the kitchen I felt His hand guiding me along with each step. He was giving me strength to do what I needed to do at that moment. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" phil 4:13. It was so comforting, and after praying through the verses I was full of peace and hope again.

I shared with Joey what God had shown me as far as my milestones on this journey, and he had a Bible verse to go with it. It couldn't be more perfect in a myriad of ways.

Isaiah 40:28-31
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall,
but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.

God is everlasting! I can always depend on Him! "His understanding is unsearchable" Only God truly understands how I feel and how to best to heal me. He gives me power. I don't have much might sometimes right now and He gives me strength. I will fall on this journey, but I am waiting on the Lord and He will mount me up with wings like eagles. He will help me learn to run and not be weary and learn to walk and not faint.

We enjoyed our morning today. It is always easier to be with friends because I don't think about Janie Beth as much. There were still a few moments that she got to me. :) I look forward to seeing friends at church tonight, but it pains me to go without Janie Beth. It will have hard moments, but God will bring me through. He will even bless me as He does! How awesome is that!?!

Father, may You bless us and keep us. May You make Your face to shine upon us and be gracious to us. May You lift up Your countenance upon us and give us peace. Abba, be my strength and my might as I walk, or crawl, through the rest of this day. May Your presence guide me. Please bless our evening in fellowship with believers. Lord, may You continue to be glorified through Janie Beth's journey! Thank You for blessing me with such a precious daughter. I miss her and love her so much. Please go deeper than my pain and begin to mold my heart back together. Thank You for Joey who is walking beside me and praying for me. Thank You for Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli who love me and help me laugh. You have blessed me beyond words!! I love You! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Thank you Kelly!!

This will be brief because we are going on a field trip this morning to Sci-Quest with our homeschool group, but I wanted to share my favorite picture with you. Janie Beth is looking right at me and squeezing my finger. It melts my heart! She is so precious. I love her so much and miss her incredibly. When we are out and about I want to scream to everyone that part of our family is missing, can't you tell!




I am so beyond thankful to Kelly Clark Baugher!!! She was our Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer (an awesome foundation!). I can not put into words how thankful I am to her and how much we will always love her. She will always be a part of our family! If you ever need pictures taken, please call her. She is awesome! Here is the link to her site http://www.kellyclarkbaugher.com/
THANK YOU, Kelly!!!!!! We love you!!

I will hopefully be back later to share some cool stuff God showed me, with Joey's help of course. If I don't make it back today, please pray for us this evening. Not only does today make 2 wks since Janie Beth died, we are also going back to church fellowship dinner and Wednesday night activities. This will be hard to do without Janie Beth! Thank you!

I need to get to making our picnic lunch for our field trip! TTYL (talk to you later)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Our first steps

God started out our day yesterday with the garage flooding from the washer. It definitely distracted us. :) It turned out to be no big deal and it didn't cost us anything. Thank You, Lord!!! We even caught up the laundry! Yea! My Mom spent the day with us, and we enjoyed her company! A friend brought dinner over and was visiting and then some more friends came over loaded down with pink balloons, one for every hour Janie Beth was alive on this earth. It was so nice to have the house full of people! Then, they all left. WOW! Talk about a sinking feeling.

I had to move my feet to do what needed to be done. My husband, children and I all needed to eat dinner. For some reason, over the last couple weeks we have not all sat down at the same time to eat at the table. Here we go, another First!! The empty chair stared at me. There are no words to explain the deep pain while I sat there eating dinner. During dinner I decided that I would ask God to fill that chair with His love and presence since Janie Beth's presence won't fill it. That hurts more than I ever thought it would. My baby girl will never sit at the table with us and eat. But, one day we will sit at a huge table and celebrate together in the presence of the Lord! Thank You, Jesus for allowing us to have that honor!! Thank You, Lord for turning my mind back to You and showing me that I will one day sit at the table with Janie Beth.

Since yesterday started out of the ordinary today has really been our first day of the new normal. I tried to get back to doing things that I used to do. I made pancakes for breakfast. This brought a sorrow to me. I don't believe I have made pancakes since we found out Janie Beth would probably die. The fact that I was making breakfast without a baby in a sling hit me. I enjoy cooking and baking usually and I enjoy holding the little ones while I do so. But, I am holding Janie Beth in my heart and I must remember that!

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me" Philippians 4:13. This was our Bible verse this morning. We did our prayer and devotion time this morning. This another thing that has been put aside the last few weeks. How appropriate for God to get us back into His word with this verse as we face such a rocky journey. Thank You, Father for Your living word that always says just what I need! I will make it through this day because Christ will strengthen me!

We are going to bring Janie Beth's 22 pink balloons to the cemetary and let them all go but one. We are going to wrap one around her little name stake that marks her spot until her headstone comes in. Joey asked me if I was ready to go back. I said that I don't think I would ever be ready. The kids are excited to go see her. I am too, but sad at the same time. I never knew you could be filled with such conflicting emotions at the same time! Only God can make sense of it.

Your prayers mean so much to me/us! It is hard to trudge through the mud that cakes this road we are on, and your prayers help us more than you or us will ever know. God is gracious! Janie means God is gracious, and her name was the only one that I have been intent on what it means. I have no doubt that God was behind it all. Her name will remind us daily that God is gracious and He is helping us through her journey. It doesn't take away the pain, but it sure helps to know that God is with me.

Bare with me...

As we start our new normal, I am going to have to find when my new blog time will be. I will get on at some point today and type a real post. I made breakfast this morning when I normally type. Thank you for your prayers as we try to find our new normal.

Isaiah 48:17 "I am the Lord your God... who directs you in the way you should go."

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Normal

I was all ready to get on and talk about journeying into our new normal, but then I decided to read updates on other blogs first. Joey wrote Thank you, Janie Beth ( http://drjoeykarr.blogspot.com ). It melted my heart! So, I have no idea where this post may end up. :)

Yesterday we celebrated Janie Beth. It was beautiful!! Thank you to all our family and friends for celebrating with us, and especially to those that helped with something in the ceremony. Joey carried her tiny casket everytime it had to be moved. What a sight! He did it with such love and compassion. It really looked small sitting on the table at the cemetary. Josiah wanted to stay and watch them put her in the ground, but we decided we would just go in a couple days to see her. They are very excited for her stone to come in. They were upset that it wasn't there yet. I am excited to see it too, and excited to be able to go sit with her. I know it is just her body, and I prefer to think of her in heaven, but it is comforting to know that I can sit with the body I held and kissed, that looked at me and squeezed my finger. I am so blessed to have those memories!

Janie Beth has touched my life so much!!! Thank you, Janie Beth, for being so strong! Thank you for teaching me how to walk by faith and not by sight. Thank you, Janie Beth, for making me a better wife and drawing your Daddy and Mommy closer together. Thank you, Janie Beth, for making me a better mommy to Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli. Thank you for the love that fills my heart because you entered into it. Thank you, Janie Beth, for bringing me some great friends. Thank you, Janie Beth, for drawing me closer to God. Thank you, Janie Beth, for doing such amazing things in this world in your short life. Thank you, Janie Beth, for letting me continue your journey. Thank you, Janie Beth, for looking at me and sqeezing my finger! Thank you for letting me hold you and caress your sweet little face. Thank you, Janie Beth, for all the cherished and precious memories! I love you and I will always love you and miss you!!! You are my precious Janie Beth and you will always live in my heart as you live in heaven.

Thank you, Janie Beth, for changing your family. I have been praying for God to make us a family after His own heart, and Janie Beth is changing our normal. We have to get back in the wagon of life today. The wagon is painted a little different and the track is new, but God is the one pulling it and we will be better for riding in this wagon. She has made me re-evaluate how I am a wife to Joey and a mother to my children. Her imprint will forever be on our lives. We will change the way we do things and I pray in the process draw closer to God as a family. I may not have wanted a new normal, but I believe we needed a new normal! I am saddened as we start this new normal without Janie Beth physically with us, but she is in each of our hearts and is totally a part of our new normal. She caused our new normal, and I must remember that and grateful for all she has done for me. Oh the many blessings I would have missed if she hadn't entered into my life. Thank you, baby girl!

Thank You, Abba, for bringing Janie Beth into our lives! May You guide us into our new normal. May You continue to guide this wagon that we are riding in. May You continue to provide everything I need for every moment of this day. May You continue to draw Joey and I closer in You. May You continue to draw our family closer to You. Guide me in being the wife Joey needs and the mother my children need. Lord, be my Strength and my Refuge in this time of deep need. Life keeps going and we have to keep going, and I just want to sit with my memories. Draw me close, Father and direct my steps on this path. I need You! Thank You for Joey and all that he means to me. Thank You for my children and that they make me keep going. This is the day You have made, help us rejoice and be glad in it. I love You! Thank You so much for Janie Beth and the love You are lavishing on me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Beach

A friend in Australia took these pictures. Only God knew that I wanted Janie Beth's name written in the sand on the beach!!! Isn't He good!!! Thank you, Sam!!! You did awesome!!







January 10, 2010

Last night went easier than I though it would be. It re-enforced that Janie Beth's life is in Heaven and her body is just a shell. It was easier to leave her with that reality in mind. I prayed earlier in the day for God to show me the lies I had been believing and replace them with His truth, and I believe without a shadow of a doubt that that is what He did. We were blessed by the many family and friends that came by. I pray it isn't that long before I see some of them again. I hope Janie Beth will make me a better friend! (Please send up a special prayer for a special friend, God knows. :))

Katie Jo kept going up to Janie Beth and touching her and singing to her throughout the night. I pray that I never forget those memories. She would have been such a loving big sister to Janie Beth! She was so excited. Thinking about that makes me want to scream WHY God. We love her so much! And He gently reminds me that it will be ok and His plan is for hope and a future, not disaster but for good. It doesn't make the pain better, but it makes it easier to bare, at least for a little while until He has to remind me again. Thank You, Father, for patiently and gently guiding me and carrying me. Thank You for not giving up on me, but instead for loving me more during this time and watching me even closer. You are my amazing Father, my Abba!!! I love You, God!

Katie Jo had a hard time leaving Janie Beth. I know being tired played a part too. All the kids went to bed without a single hitch, which is rare! She told me when I went in to give her hugs and kisses that she didn't give Janie Beth hugs and kisses bye. So, we blew Janie Beth hugs and kisses last night and we gave each other more hugs and kisses since Janie Beth isn't here. How I would love to give Janie Beth hugs and kisses whenever I wanted to, but that isn't in the plan right now and one day I will be able to do that. My heart yearns for her and rejoices for her at the same time. It is a crazy thing! Only God can make something like that possible!

I ended up in bed with Eli last night. I think he had a dream of some sort. It crossed my mind that I would never get to do that with Janie Beth, and after that thought I thanked God that I can with my other 3 children. I have 3 children on earth and 3 in heaven. The pain this time is much deeper and different than my miscarriages, but the other 2 are mine as well. I told Joey last night that it is awful but I am thankful that we lost those 2 or we wouldn't have Eli. I will never know everything and/or everyone that Janie Beth's life has touched and will touch or what she has changed and will change, but God sees it all. I am so thankful that He sees the big picture while I am just looking at my own snapshot. I can't imagine trying to work everything for everyone's good and His glory! How mind boggling.

Today we will celebrate Janie Beth's life. I am excited for the worship service. Janie Beth has blessed me so much and answered so many prayers. She is a very special little girl. I miss her terribly, but I am thankful to be her mother! I will cry as I leave the cemetary, but it is comforting to know that I can go back. The kids already have things that they want to put on her "stone". It will be a bit before it gets here, and I look forward to seeing it! Today will have its difficult moments, but I am ready to face it and move on to the next step on this journey. This week will be harder for me because it is all over and there is nothing else to plan for Janie Beth. God is ready to start writing the next Janie Beth chapter, and I am excited to see what all will come from the rest of Janie Beth's chapters. God is not done with her journey through us, and never will be because she is woven into our family and lives very intricately, something that God graciously gave us.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

It is here

The weekend, that is. Today is visitation for Janie Beth. This afternoon/evening will be one of the hardest ones I have had to live. I have looked forward to seeing Janie Beth again, but to know this is the last time on this side of heaven is heartwrenching. A friend asked me if I would hold her, and I said I didn't know. I would love to hold her, but I don't know that I could put her down. I believe today will be even harder than tomorrow. Today we say "goodbye" and tomorrow we celebrate her life, however short. She has blessed me beyond words! If she had lived here on earth, then I would have missed out on these blessings. The pain is very deep, but I don't want to trade it because then I wouldn't be able to remember her. I would rather have the pain and the time I had with Janie Beth than to erase it all. She is so precious and her mark on this world is already so big, and I cannot even imagine what God is going to continue to do through Janie Beth's journey that continues through us.

God will provide for my every need in each moment today. He is going before me, and He is hedging me behind. He is strong where I am weak, and He is writing my faith. Why He chose me to walk this path with Him, I do not know, but I am honored to have the privilege to know Him more intimately as we trek this road together. Not only is God drawing me closer to Him, but He is changing my marriage and my family. Joey and I are learning to walk in faith together and being 3 become 1 with God in our marriage. Are we stumbling? YES! This is uncharted territory. Will we help each other climb out of this valley? YES! We need each other. God planned us as a couple before we ever knew each other and He knew exactly what we would go through. God is changing our parenting. I have been praying for God to make us a family after His own heart, not just individuals after His own heart. How could He do that without having us lean on each other and Him!?! Janie Beth has answered so many prayers. Oh, how I wish He could have answered them differently, but then I wouldn't have met Janie Beth and she wouldn't have changed my world. I am a better mother because of her. It doesn't feel like it right now as I trudge through the mud, but God is refining me and I won't even recognize myself one day. I already don't recognize parts of myself from previous Refiner's fires! Isn't God amazing!!!

He chose a broken vessel to trudge this path, but if I wasn't broken then I wouldn't be worth fixing! Thank You, Lord, for finding me worthy to walk this journey and be Janie Beth's mother. You have already done exceedingly abundantly above all I could ever ask or think, and I am thankful that You will continue to do so. I am excited to see the flowers You will bloom from from this garden that You have been tending to. It may hurt, but joy still remains. Father, I love You! Please help me through this day. Be my strength and write my faith for every moment. Thank You for Joey's tangible arms to lean on and for his love for me. May You mold me into the wife he needs. Thank You for Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli. They are special kids! Thank You for Janie Beth and the way she has touched my life and the joy she brings to my heart. Lord, thank You for walking this day with me. May You bless us as we walk this day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Friday, January 8, 2010

So sad

A deep sadness and pain have set in my heart. I can't really explain it at all. It is a pain that only my Abba can heal and mold. I am thankful that He will hold me so gently and do His mighty work in my life. The weekend somewhat looms over my head. I do not want to say goodbye to my precious Janie Beth. I know she is already gone, but I want to hold her and never put her down. I will cling to God's promise that through His mercies I am not consumed for His compassions fail not, they are new every morning!!! I have to quote scripture to myself quite often as the days get harder. I have multiple verses up around my house, but I need to quadruple how many are up so I can find one from anywhere at anytime. God's Word is true medicine and it can reach deeper than my pain just like God. Thank You, Father, for showing me this truth! I have to focus on God's truth and not my own lies as I start this journey of grief.

It snowed yesterday, and that was hard. Janie Beth was here last time. We didn't go out except for once just for a few minutes. I feel bad for cheating Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli of that joy. But, God has graciously left snow for today too, so I will bring them out to play for a while. And, I will try to have fun too.

We watched the AL game. ROLL TIDE!!! #1 I cried as the team ran out and as the National Anthem was played. I can't give you a reason, but it hurt. Yesterday was a rough day. I had my first milk leak as I went to put some cabbage on and a few tears trickled down my face. Oh, how I wish I could feed my baby girl.

I also put up my maternity clothes. It was hard as I was flooded with memories of things Janie Beth and I did when we wore different things. Those are really the clothes she wore during her time here. I know one day, or more than one, I will cry as I open my closet and see that they aren't in there anymore. This road looks so long, but I am going to chose to cling to God moment by moment. That is the only way I will make it on the long and hard, bumpy road.

We didn't make it to the store yesterday so that is on tap for today. I also want to find something nice to wear on Sunday. I mainly have black stuff and I don't want to wear black as I celebrate Janie Beth. And I want to look my best for her celebration. I will lean on the Everlasting Arms today! I will cling to the Old Rugged Cross today! Each and every moment I will make that choice.

In the midst of the pain, I can still smile. I can still laugh, and I am thankful for Joey, Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli who provide ample opportunities to do so!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know Who holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives!!! God lifts my spirits with music more than I can count. The old hymns have touched me greatly with their words. We will be singing a few on Sunday at Janie Beth's celebration. I am thankful for the men that allowed God to write through them!!! May we all go around singing "Because He Lives" today because that is reason enough to rejoice!

Thank you all for letting me write this all! It lifts my spirits many times because God shows me things as I type. He has lifted my spirits higher than they were when I started this post. Thank You, Father!! You are the One writing for me. Thank You for allowing me to share this journey with others.

Abba Father, may You please provide my every need for every moment today. May You continue to do exceedingly abundantly about all I could ever ask or think through Janie Beth's journey. Help me to wait in faith and be of good courage and trust You, so You can strengthen my heart. May You continue to bless us and keep us. May You make Your face to shine upon us and be gracious to us. May You lift up Your countenance upon us and give us Your peace. Thank You, Jesus, for Your sacrifice. Thank You, God, for raising Him from the dead. Thank You that because He lives so can I and so does Janie Beth!!!! To God be the glory for the things He hath done! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Firsts

Janie Beth says ROLL TIDE!!!! This is a picture of Janie Beth and Mommy watching the AL v AU game.


Yesterday was a day filled with firsts. The firsts are HARD!!! Yesterday made it one week since Janie Beth went to Heaven. I drove for the first time. We went to our home school group for the first time. We played on the playground for the first time. I had a very difficult morning. I know there are many more firsts to come, and by God's grace we will make it one at a time. I was blessed to have hugs from friends and after chatting with a few, not just about Janie Beth, I felt so much better. Thank you, ladies!!! You will never know how you ministered to me just being there talking to me! I was able to go home and nap and the afternoon and evening went much better. I even cleaned out the bassinet. We will be giving all of our baby furniture things to my sister, who is due August 13. I also told the kids that she is expecting. I know I will have many moments as we walk the journey of her pregnancy, but I pray I can enjoy it. My main fear is her baby replacing Janie Beth in the hearts of my kids and family. Once again, God will guide me through. He is faithful!!!

It also hit me in the early hours this morning that in a few days I will see my precious Janie Beth for the last time here on Earth. I could cry just sitting here thinking about it. I long to hold her so badly. It has only been a week, but it feels so long ago! This weekend will be very hard and I covet your prayers in the final preparations and living those days. It is supposed to snow today, but I am hoping to get to the store for Katie Jo to buy Janie Beth's baby doll. I received a mother daughter bracelet set yesterday. I can't wait to put Janie Beth's on and have her hand and my hand with our bracelets on in a picture. I haven't decided if I will leave the bracelet on Janie Beth or not. They are so pretty!! I may order one for Katie Jo in the near future too.

Today has another first. We will watch our first Alabama game without Janie Beth. I am pretty sure her pink lamb will watch with me. :) If it snows, it will be the first snow without Janie Beth. She even got hit by a snow ball when it snowed last time. :) I will forever cherish those memories.

Lord God Almighty, please hold me close to Your heart today. May I be thankful for this day a week ago when I got to hold my baby girl and cherish her and bathe her. Thank You for allowing me to take her for a walk and a car ride. I will forever be thankful for the time You gave me with her. Thank You for making me Janie Beth's mommy!! Thank You for making me Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli's mommy. They make me smile and laugh everyday! Abba, keep my focus on You as the days get harder. May Your hope and peace and love continue to fill me and surround me. I need You!! Thank You for being so real in my life! I love You, Father! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen