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

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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Doc Appointment

AAAHHH!!! Well, I am 2cm and 50% effaced, very soft, and she is low. I went to L&D for a steriod shot (Can I say ouch!?!). I am also on semi-bedrest and medication to keep me from contracting. :( We are hoping to get to 36 weeks.

I didn't gain any weight and I am still measuring 34 wks, so I am glad I didn't really grow any, but I think part of that is the fact that she has dropped.

I hope to get a belly pic later.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


There are certain things that remind me of Janie Beth, and lavender is one of them. The baby wash and lotion that I used when I bathed her were lavender. They are in the trunk that I have her stuff in, as well as the other kiddos baby things, and I love opening it up and smelling the lavender. I am flooded with her scent and feel. :)

A while back I was working childcare at church and there was lavender GermX in the room. I loved it!!! Ever since I have been on a quest to find lavender GermX so that I can be reminded of Janie Beth in another little way each day.

I have finally succeeded!!! I was walking through the diaper and baby bathing stuff aisle at Wal-Mart, and there it was on the bottom shelf. I could have jumped for joy! :) I was so excited. I bought 2 bottles, one for each bathroom.

I am so thankful to have another little reminder of Janie Beth in my day. :)

I just thought I would share. I hope to do a belly pic and update after my doc appointment tomorrow. I plan on being checked because I can tell things are going on down there. :O We shall see. I am 32 weeks today.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Joey's Dad

I thought I would update that Joey's Dad, Jim, passed away around midnight Sunday night. Joey is on his way home now. :) The funeral will be next Tuesday. Thank you all for the prayers during this time.

This will be my first funeral since Janie Beth and it will be in the very same sanctuary with some of the same people participating. I really am not sure how this will affect me. I believe I will be fine during the ceremony, but I have a feeling my mind may wonder back to Janie. I think it will be draining for me, but I know my God is awesome and He will carry me through!

I will update with more details as I have them.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Joy Michelle Update

I will be 31 weeks tomorrow. It is hard to believe that I am that far along!! To think that just 3 weeks after that I delivered Janie Beth, and 5 weeks after that I delivered Katie Jo. That is slightly scary!!! I am not sure I am ready for that. :)

Preparation for her is coming along at home. Her bed is all made up with an adorable bedding set that my sister had but didn't use. Her name will be monogrammed on her blanket and hung over the bed. I need to take pictures of it to show, especially once the blanket is done. All of her other furniture is set up, the swing, bouncy seat, carseat. We won't mention that sweet Gwyn has been using it to make sure it is all works just right. ;) We are blessed to have Gwyn joining us on Monday, and I pray she and Joy will grow to be best friends.

Her clothes are all in a box. LOL I need to sort and get things put up, but we are looking for a bigger chest of drawers for the girls to share. The current one only has 4 small drawers, which just won't work for 2 girls. :)

Eli talks about how cute Moy Schelle is. Yes, that is what it sounds like when he says Joy Michelle. :D He asks about her alot, especially if it is raining. He is quite concerned that she will get wet. lol

I am going to have my hands full with help!! The kids love when Gwyn is over and want to hold her and take care of her constantly. I think I may have to hire them out to give me a break. ha, ha! I look forward to seeing them with Joy Michelle. They do still talk about hoping she gets to come home, and we pray daily for her safety, health, and development.

I am measuring 3 weeks ahead. Yikes! This is not unknown territory for me, however. My contractions have begun to creep in on me again, but not enough to warrant worry or meds at this point. I want her to stay in there until she is healthy enough to stay with me! I have a slight fear of her having to go to the NICU. I am going to the doc every 2 weeks, and I just have to say I love my doctor's office!!!

Dr. F gave us a peak at Joy Michelle because I wanted to make sure she was still measuring well. She was in a good position, so he switched over to 4D for a minute and printed us a pic. I am amazed at how she looks like Janie Beth and Katie Jo. I just stare at her picture. It makes it more real even though I feel her constantly. It makes my arms itch to hold her when I look at her cute little face.

Although, she appears in the picture to have 2 horns. LOL We believe she has a head of hair like her sisters so only pieces of her scalp showed up. :)

Here she is... Joey took a picture of the picture so it isn't the best quality, but you can get the gist.

I need to get a new belly pic. I will upload one Josiah or Eli took, but it is fuzzy. I was 28 wks in this pic, so I really do need a new one!

Some Hard Times

We are going through some hard times right now.

Joey is flying out to CA this evening to see his dad one more time. He, Jim, came home Monday with Hospice from rehab. He is tired of fighting, and is fading extremely quickly. He is not expected to make it to Thursday. Joey's mom passed away in 1998, so Jim is his last living parent. Please keep Jim and the family in your prayers over the days and week to come.

We have also been having major car issues. UGH! We are currently driving my mom's van and she has Joey's car because we cannot fit in Joey's car. An amazing man came and picked up our van yesterday and thinks he knows what the problem is. Praise the Lord!! We are still praying for God to provide a bigger vehicle in his time that will hold 5 carseats because my sister's baby girl, Gwyn, will be staying with us during the day starting next week. But, I know God is fully capable of meeting all of our needs.

The first mommy friend that I have that shared her news of being pregnant after Janie Beth just had her baby girl a week ago. It really hit me harder than I expected. Due to our car issues I haven't gotten to meet the newest addition to their family, but I know in God's time. I pray that in God's time it will get easier to watch others have babies. I really am happy for them because I don't want them to sit in my shoes, but it still hurts my heart for my journey to be different.

Being past 28 wks has put me into a cherish every moment state. I am in the time frame that I was trying to cherish every moment I had with Janie Beth. I miss her so much as I feel Joy Michelle kick and move around. I miss her as the cool mornings are coming. I miss her as we prepare for Joy Michelle to prayfully come home.  I miss her as we approach 9 months since we held her. But, I also rejoice for the time I had with her! I am thankful for the life growing inside me.

We even got a peek at Joy Michelle last week. :) She looks just like Janie Beth and Katie Jo, which means she looks like Eli too, but we are only going to talk girls. :) She is measuring great! I can't wait to meet her and hold her!!!

I am trying to leave all my fears in God's hands! As we approach the end of the pregnancy and the death of Joey's dad, I fear someone else getting sick or dying. I fear Joey not making it home safely. Every little ailment in my children I start to head down the road of something major being wrong. I have to constanly take my thoughts captive! I am learning to let go and trust, yet again.

I miss God. I haven't had as much time with Him over the last week or so as I usually do and I long to get back. That is my prayer, to have some quality time with God this evening once I get the kids in bed, and then for Him to wake me in the morning for quality time before the kids get up. I know He is here and I know He is carrying me and being my strength and my faith. As I miss Him, I also feel close to Him, as crazy as that sounds.

I have several posts in my head, and I hope to get them typed up in the coming days. I also want to upload the picture we got of Joy Michelle at our appointment. :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Live It, Walk the Walk

I was challenged at church in Sunday school and in the worship service this past Sunday.

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.

Woa! Am I ready to give a defense for why I have hope despite my circumstances? Where does my hope come from? Many people would look at my life and think that I must not grieve. They do not understand how I can have hope when I have a heavenly baby and we are out of work. It is in the hard times that we are challenged to live out our faith. You have to live it during the good times in order to have it to live in the hard times, but living out your faith in good and bad times differs.

I thought about what I would say if someone asked me where my hope comes from. As far as Janie Beth goes, I have hope because I will see her again. Do you know why I have that hope? It is because I know Jesus died for me and for her. I know that I am a sinner and I asked Jesus to come into my heart and forgive me of my sins. Because of the sacrifice God and Jesus made, I will one day be in heaven and hold my baby girl. I have hope because I have seen how much she has impacted my life. I have hope because I know her life was worth something and had/has a purpose.
As far as not having a job right now, I have hope because I am in the Word and I know God's promises. My hope doesn't come from what man can do for me. It comes from what God can do for me. God has done amazing things in my life before I even knew He was there. He has provided for us the entire journey. I hope in the promise that God "works all things together for good for those who love the Lord". I hope in the promise that God will never leave me nor forsake me. I hope because God is my Abba, and He takes better care of me than any earthly father ever could. :)

This journey has challenged me to live my faith. I have clung to God's promises in ways I never have before. I have learned again, as I did during my 2nd miscarriage, what it means to hold fast to the Lord! It is in the valley's that we grow, and we are held closer than we can even imagine.

When I was standing in the worship service it hit me that I was 28 wks and 4 days, the same as the day I went to UAB. Tears stung my eyes and my cheeks, which is very usual for me in church during the singing, but my heart had tears too. We sang "God is Good All the Time". WOW!! I had to compose myself, and think, do I really believe that? You know, the answer is Yes! I realized that I didn't need to feel overwhelming sadness, but instead to rejoice in the fact that I was getting to worship my Father on this day and feel Joy Michelle moving around in my belly. My mind rushed through November 19, 2009.

It stopped in the bathroom before we left the doctor after finding out her diagnosis. I told God that I didn't know what He was doing, but may He be glorified.

As Bro. Charles opened his sermon, he read from John 9:1-7
John 9:3 Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him."

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure

God answered my prayer that day in the bathroom on November 19, 2009. He is being glorified. Janie Beth came so that the works of God could be revealed through her tiny body. Not in the way I would have wanted, by her staying here miraculously, but by those left behind learning to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. We can talk a good talk during the good times, but there comes a time when God calls us to go deeper and walk the walk. He calls us during good times too, but that walking is usually being His hands and feet and getting out of our comfort zone. His calling to walk the walk during hard times is learning to truly live by faith and have hope when it seems all hope is lost. The call to believe when you cannot see the sun shining behind the thick storm that whirls around you.

I have a long way to go, but I felt God telling me that I am on the right path. I am taking those steps of living my faith and walking the walk beyond just talking the talk. I had reassurance that this journey is worth it all. I was given hope. As I trudge through this mud, I will have hope, and I will walk the walk and be ready to give a testimony of my hope so that maybe somebody else may find hope in God and realize that He is there.

I am thankful that I went back today and looked through, in my heart, the things God taught me Sunday. I need to be reminded sometimes. There are so many days when the fight gets old. There are days when the hope fades. There are days when my focus is wrong. There are days when I fall into self-pity. But, I am striving to become a woman after God's own heart. I am trying to let Him mold me and refine me.

I Walk By Faith
I walk by faith
Each step by faith
To live by faith
I put my trust in You
I wallk by faith
Each step by faith
To live by faith
I put my trust in You

Every step I take
Is a step of faith
No weapon formed against me shall prosper
And every prayer I make
Is a prayer of faith
And if my God is for me
Who can be against me

Monday, September 6, 2010


Time has been on my mind a lot lately. I have been meaning to blog about it for over a week. I also have another post that I hope to get written today or tomorrow because God touched me yesterday! But, the kiddos are up this morning, so only time for a short thought. :) I know, short thoughts and Michelle don't really go hand in hand, but maybe I can do it. :)

Time meant a lot at the end of my pregnancy with Janie Beth. I was doing my best to cherish every moment. I was trying to make a lifetime of memories in what turned out to be 6 weeks.

Time seems short as we search for a job. As we watch the bank account diminish, we wonder when this time in our lives will end.

Time makes my memories of Janie Beth not as fresh. I cannot feel her in my arms anymore. I have trouble bringing to mind how her little fingers felt around mine. It hurts my heart, but it also makes me realize time keeps going and I can't stand still as it moves.

Time is watching my children grow. I cannot believe Josiah is almost 7!!! Where has the time gone!?!

Time goes too quickly! And it only gets faster the older I get.

Time has brought Joey and I closer than we ever were almost 8 years ago when we got married. Has it really been that long already!?! Once again time ran away from me.

Time is nearing the end of Joy Michelle's pregnancy. I am cherishing every moment just as I tried to with Janie Beth. I do not take these movements for granted. I love the hiccups. I long to hold her, but I know she needs more time to grow. Her time to enter the world is not here yet.

Time will show what God's call is for each of my children.

Time, Time, Time! We will be learning about telling time this week as we school. The second hand just keeps on ticking.

God reminded me last week that His view of time is far different from mine! Here I keep asking Him to provide soon, but to Him soon could be a minute or a thousand years. I have to trust His time! His time sees the entire picture. His time works all things together for good. He makes all things beautiful in their time!

This journey we are on has not reached the point of beauty in God's eyes yet. I believe He is making Janie Beth's journey beautiful by changing me and my family. We are not who we were last year. Time is molding us into God's image and a family after His own heart.

Once again, I am called to change my perspective. I must look at what time has done for me instead of what it seems to be taking away from me.

I will look for the beauty from ashes that time is bringing. I will not think about the time I have missed, but look forward to the time that is here and coming. Without time I wouldn't be who I am. Time isn't always easy, but that is when I grow. Faith comes in the hard times.

Time may be diminishing my memories, but it is making my heart fonder. I realize the beauty of time and I strive to cherish every moment. I will allow God to mold me into someone that uses time as an ally and not an enemy. I will not ask for more time; I will make the most of my time each day.

It amazes me how God has changed me over time! I do not even recognize the person I was 10 years ago, and I am thankful!!

Thank You, Father for the time You have spent on me and continue to spend on me. I need Your touch and molding. May You continue to refine me and use this time in our lives to draw me closer to You. May my focus be You and using my time for Your glory instead of my own. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Tight Rope

My heart started out somewhat heavy today. Today I sit at 28 wks 2 days. Only 2 more days and I will be 28 wks 4 days, the day that I found out Janie Beth would not live without a miracle. God will graciously allow me to worship Him on that day this year at church. How neat is that!?! But, it still hurts.

Joy Michelle had the hiccups this morning. :) It was the first time, and it made me realize Janie Beth never had them. All of Joy Michelle's movements make me miss Janie Beth's little movements that I tried so hard to cherish those last 6 weeks.

I also got a call from the NICU this morning. A nurse was calling to get my information for a premie party. I had to tell her that my baby passed away. She was completely taken off guard and I felt bad that it happened to her, and I was doing ok at first. Now, I miss her terribly. I wish I could be going to a premie party to celebrate that she made it, but instead she is having an awesome party every day to celebrate her Savior. I can just picture her little self dancing and singing. :) It puts a huge silly grin on my face as tears streak my cheeks. She is so precious! God has molded each of my children perfectly!!

I feel as though the last few weeks I am just taking steps and trying to make it through the day. I am enjoying my days, but I feel lost sometimes. I want to feel God close like I did in the first days and weeks after losing Janie Beth. To feel Him like I did those last 6 weeks of carrying Janie Beth. I know God is calling me deeper, and I am trying, but I feel like a lost sheep in a dark forest. I know He is showing me the way and lighting my path, but there are days I want a brighter light. I have begun doing a couple of books on prayer, and I know that it is His will and I see Him answering my prayers, but I still feel as though I am in a corner and He keeps telling me it isn't my turn to come out yet.

We have changed our curriculum for school. We are doing what we did last year. Katie Jo is doing My Father's World Kindergarten and Josiah is doing MFW First Grade. We are really enjoying delving back into it, but it was a step. I think the main reason I wanted to move away from it this year was because it was what we were doing last year when Janie Beth was around. It is crazy some of the things grief makes you do. I do believe this is a step in going deeper.

We are also entering the Fall, as I have mentioned before. Football starts this weekend, and I am so excited, yet sad. I have a picture of me watching the AL v. AU game with Janie Beth in my belly, and we called it her Alabama-Auburn game. Football will always bring memories of Janie Beth now.

I am also pricing things to sell at consignment. This is not my first one since Janie Beth passed away, but it is different because we know Joy Michelle is a girl. I had just found out I was pregnant during the last sale. I had the thought yesterday that I will be looking for similar Christmas dresses for Joy Michelle and Katie Jo. Right after that thought, it occurred to me that the last sale I thought how I would be buying similar Easter dresses for Janie Beth and Katie Jo.

There are so many babyloss mommies that use butterflies to symbolize their heavenly babies, and that isn't something I have really done. But, the last week or so there have been random butterflies around us outside. I think it is God reminding me that He is still here, and a beautiful butterfly will come from this cacoon that we are in right now.

I truly believe that I have been on a tight rope of emotions as all these things have been building. The NICU call today brought the tears, after it all sank in, that have wanted to come out for a couple weeks now.

Here, God called me deeper just last week, and I believe He was preparing me. He knew I would need Him in an extra special way these next few months. I do not think that I will realize how deep I have gotten until I come out on the other side. Right now I will be clinging with my fingers grasping the side of the cliff. I will be "holding fast". I need to begin praying for Him to be strong where I am weak again, and for Him to write my faith. I know He is carrying me and helping me take each step. I feel like I am trucking through mud. It takes all my strength to pull that foot up to take another step because the mud is so thick. God will bring to a new level through this part of the journey. I need to be thankful that He is working in me, and not fret about the fact that He isn't really using me right now!! We all have to go through the Refiner's Fire. I do believe I am in it again. I can see ways He has been working in my heart as a wife and mother over these last couple weeks, and I know that we will need a whole lifetime to get me sorted out. :)

I do hope to begin blogging again. So often, when I don't it is because I am in that building up to falling off the tight rope time. I miss writing. It helps me. I look forward to having some fun posts too because life around here really is fun. :) How could it not be with Josiah, Katie Jo, Eli, and Joy Michelle!?! I am sure we keep God and Janie Beth laughing with our clumsiness of trying to learn to walk on this earth!

HAPPY FALL everyone!!!! It is going to be a blessed one! I don't know what the blessings will be, but I know they will be there!

I do have to leave you with a funny! Eli wanted to take a picture of Joy Michelle. :) Yes, that is my belly button. LOL