Archive for 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas

It's after 10pm on Christmas night.  One baby is fast asleep, one four-year-old is resting soundly and one three-year-old is too excited about spending the night at Grandma and Papa's to close his eyes.  The day has been full, just like any day caring for three little ones (even with a husband and parents close at hand).  I want to remember today because next year these amazing little people that we've been entrusted with will be another year older and I have no clue what the next year will bring.

Laying in bed this morning attempting to pry my eyes open, our ears were filled with the sounds of a sweet little girl bursting with Christmas cheer.  "Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king!  Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!"  We smiled and shook our heads in wonder that we get to know and love the special little girl singing.

Downstairs we finished our Advent calendar...that is, after we caught up from all of the days we've missed (I think we were on December 19th.)  "It's Jesus' birthday!" Owen shouted.  "Can I put him up, can I put him up?!"

Stockings filled with little treasures.  A baby who could care less about her own treasures-only interested in trying to swipe from her big brother and sister.  Excited squeals.  Minor squabbles.  "Can we open another one?"

The family room window declares the glory of God and I can barely take it in-this beauty, this grace, this  abundant life He has given.  Jesus, thank you!  You have come!  You've been born and now I know true life and peace and joy.  I am forever Your daughter.  My sin, though like crimson, has been made as clean as this breathtaking snow.  How can I thank You enough?


The door opens; parents that have loved me before I was born step in and little feet are running, yelling, "Grandma!  Papa!  Come see what we got!"  My baby looks up, eyes full of anticipation and whispers, "Pa-pa!  Pa-pa!" scooting as fast as her sweet little self can take her.  It is full, this heart of mine, but our stomaches are not and so we start cooking.  Christmas breakfast on GG's gingerbread plates; yum.

A couple more gifts (but oh how they wish it would never end) and then we're out the door for a sleepover at Grandma's.  It's past nap-time and some tears come but eventually everyone sleeps while we play with sweet photos and soak in the Christmas rest.  In the blink of an eye everyone's up and energy levels are high, raising quickly with more sugar and the new toys.  Sweet girl's pulling at her ears again, aching with the infection that's not wanting to leave.

We share Christmas dinner and Skype with soon-to-see family and before we know it, the day is done.  Another Christmas has come and gone.  I'm tired and ready for bed but not ready to leave the wonder of today; I have three incredible children, an amazing husband, wonderful parents, thoughtful gifts.  God came to this world as a baby and He grew up to die for me.  Today was Christmas.  How can I possibly sleep?

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
3 Comments

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Photo Shoot Attempt

Merry Christmas Eve Eve from Addie Beth!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
4 Comments

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Completely Adorable

This little lady has completely won me over. I just love Addie Beth so much I can hardly stand it! She spends her time signing "banana" over and over, eating bananas over and over, burping her baby dolls, sucking her pointer finger and snuggling her baby, scooting all over the place, and clinging to her Mama. Oh, this girlie is just too sweet!
Posted by Picasa

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
3 Comments

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mis-tuh Air-won and Mis-suz Heh-thuh

For the past 4ish months we've been blessed to have some friends living downstairs. Some people may think it's a little nuts but we see at as a work of God.  Can I just say that we love having Mr. Aaron and Mrs. Heather (or "Mis-tuh Air-won and Mis-suz Heh-thuh" as Owey calls them) living in our home?  God was so clearly involved in leading us to offer our basement to them at just the right time when it would bring Him maximum glory. We love it for lots of reasons.

We love that because they are here, Heather can stay home with her baby.  We love that because they are here, our kids get to watch two other people live out a life of faith in Jesus.  We love that because they are here, we get to give from what we've been given.  We love that because they are here, we get to have friends around to talk with whenever we want.  We love that because they are here, we get the opportunity to add to our adoption fund.  We love that because they are here, we get to be compelled by their love for the Gospel and those who don't know Jesus.  We love them being here for so many more reasons but I would be lying if I didn't say that this is a big one:  Baby JuJu!

Now, how could a person not love an adorable little dude like this living downstairs?  Could he be any cuter?  I think not.




He is pretty much the best baby I've ever seen.  For sure a MUCH more chill baby than any of my three.  I'm a bit jealous, in fact.  Maybe he will rub off a bit on Addie Beth and help her learn to sleep. (Please, Lord!)

 Ok, be honest.  You wish he lived in your basement, don't you?  Well, you can't have him.  Sorry.

This is one of my absolute favorites.  I don't know how he does it, but he manages to sleep through the horrendous noise of our three loud children.  Wish I could say the same for myself!

We love you, Baby JuJu, and we thank God for you and your parents!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
3 Comments

Thursday, December 9, 2010

God's Care


We have been so overwhelmed by God's kindness in bringing in orders for our store!  Really, each time I see that we've sold something, I feel like it's God Himself handing us the money for this adoption.  He's called our family to step out and trust that He will provide and He's doing just that!

He could do it however He wants, but God has chosen to use YOU, dear friends, to help us with getting the word out about "Already Love You."  Thank you for being His instruments!  I continue to be amazed at each FB msg, blog post, or Twitter that I see about our store.  We're getting more purchases each day. You guys are amazing!

Almost every order has been from someone we've never met that was referred to our store by YOU.  It's very humbling to think of God caring so much about our baby that is yet to be born, such that He would use a little offering like this store to bring in some start-up funds.  It is incredibly humbling to think of God, in love, moving you to spread the word about our store and then moving someone else that we may never have met to stop by and purchase something.  Amazing!

And I know that some of you have been praying for this store to be successful.  Thank you!  He is answering!

p.s.-None of this would be happening without a lot of love and labor from my mom. Can't wait to post more about that to honor her sometime soon!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
3 Comments

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Winter in the Eyes of my 4 year old


Don't you sometimes wish you could be 4 again, if only around Christmas? Yesterday morning, my girl was at her sweetest, gushing with joy about Christmas coming soon and about the newly falling snow. "Mommy! Mommy! This is the most snow we EVER had! Oh my goodness! There just keeps being more and more!" Nevermind that there was only a teeny tiny little itty bitty dusting out there-it was big stuff to my daughter.

I love that Tali is a fresh reminder to me every day that God has absolutely filled our lives with things to be grateful for. Sure, it's cold out. Yeah, there's less sunshine. But my guess is that God's a lot more delighted in Tali's response to His beautiful creation than He is at the way we adults tend to grumble about the cold.

Lord, make us more like children...
Posted by Picasa

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
2 Comments

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Already Love You Give-away

Want to win something cute from our Etsy store?  Stop by In Light of the Truth to find out about a great give-way going on right now.  Much thanks to my college friend, Sarah, for doing this for us! 

And as a side note, I think that Sarah's heart to come alongside us in this is one snapshot into how someone can individually walk out obeying God's command to care for orphans.  One way that she is honoring God's command is by helping us along in our journey to adopt!  If God hasn't called your family to adopt, that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do to love orphans.  I've seen friends follow this command by seeking to become foster-parents.  I've seen others of you follow this command by praying for us as we pursue adoption.  My friend, Jessy, has been talking Christmas pictures for people and giving all the proceeds to us & another couple who are saving to adopt.  Still others are sponsoring a child with Compassion International or giving money to Covenant Mercies or other wonderful Christian organizations. The needs and opportunities are endless! 

If the Lord's stirring your heart to adopt a child, by all means-obey!  But if He's not, ask Him how you can obey His command to care for orphans. There are so many opportunities out there!

If you have some other ideas of how to heed God's call, leave a comment and let me know!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
1 Comment

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Adoption Fundraiser: Etsy Shop is Open!!


Ok, folks.  The time has come!  Our adoption fundraiser store, Already Love You, is officially open for business just in time for your holiday shopping.  Stop on by and check out some super cute aprons, adorable bibs, trendy nursing covers, and much more.  This is shopping with a purpose for sure; 100% of the proceeds go directly into our adoption fund.  This is all for the sake of caring for one of God's orphaned children.

We'll be updating the shop regularly with more items so we've got lots more comin' your way.  (It's taking me much longer than I thought to snap pictures and upload everything.)  Check back often!

And would you mind doing us the favor of passing along the news about our store? 

We're so thankful for you and your care for us.  Even more so, we're thankful for our God who has made our own adoption into His family possible.  What a reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
6 Comments

Monday, November 22, 2010

What about adoption?


Back in the summer before my thyroid went completely crazy, I posted about our plan to someday adopt. (See here, and here.)  Then, I found myself merely begging God for grace to get up out of bed and my plans got thrown out the window.  Pursuing adoption got put even further into the "someday" category.  Thankfully, God's plans are better than mine and His don't change.  In the meantime, Rwanda has closed its doors to International adoptions as they put into place better laws to protect children there. It's unlikely that they'll re-open anytime soon (potentially not even for 5-10 years or so from what I've read).

We've continued to pray and think about what the Lord has for our family regarding adoption.  While we were initially very drawn to Rwanda (and still are), it seems to us that He's leading to Ethiopia instead. We are so excited about that!  So where are we in this process?  Still very much in the "waiting on God" stage.  We're waiting on Him to speak to us about when He wants us to officially begin by starting the paperwork.  We're praying for our future child's birth parents.  We're asking God to prepare our family for the process and the transitions to come.  We're also waiting on Him to provide some "start-up" finances.  If you've ever considered adopting, chances are you've probably thought, "That's wonderful but there's no way we could afford it."  You're not alone. We don't have the money either, but God does.

We really believe that if God calls us to this, then He will provide everything we need to bring our baby home.  Still, we're not planning on sitting around and waiting for money to fall from the sky.  We want to be faithful to do our part so we've been praying and thinking creatively about how we can save and bring in a little extra as well.  We would like to have the first 3 months fees ($3,000-5,000) saved before we officially start the $30,000+ process. (I know; it's so expensive.  But so worth every cent!)

One small way we're seeking to do this is through opening an online store on Etsy.  My mom and I have teamed up to sell sweet gifts for mom's and loved little ones (like nursing covers, bibs, aprons, burp cloths, etc.).  I'm so excited about how it all is looking!  All proceeds go directly toward our adoption fund.  Stay tuned to see how you can check out our store!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
5 Comments

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sweet Baby in a Tutu



Ok, so her animal print pjs don't exactly jive with the purple tutu but that's completely beside the point.  A baby in a tutu?  Absolutely adorable!
Posted by Picasa

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
5 Comments

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Almost a Year of Addie Beth


My sweet and beautiful baby is going to turn one next weekend.  I am stunned that an entire year has passed since we first saw Addie's face.  She has been such a joy amidst months of the dark shadow of illness that I've walked through.  This girl feels like a part of me we're together so much! Simply put, I love her.  So that I don't forget...

Favorite Foods: Chex, chicken, ice pops (she thinks she needs these because the big kids have them)
Clothing Size: 12 months on most things but still wears some 9 months.
Hair: Pretty straight.  Red highlights but mostly brownish/blond.
Eye Color: Blue!
Favorite Books: Where is Baby's Belly Button, Baby Faces, and Moo Baa La La La.
Naps: 2 a day: one is 1.5 hrs, the other is usually 2 hours.
Favorite Activities: playing with baby dolls (patting their backs, snuggling them, etc), laughing at the big kids, being held by Mommy, emptying things, scooting around (just learned to do this!)
Things that make her laugh: Tali & Owen, peek-a-boo, tickles on her ribs
Signs: Daddy, Mommy, eat, milk, baby, more, hi/bye, night night.
Noises/Words: "ruhh" for bears, "eeow" for cats, uh-oh, h-eye, buh-eye, Dada

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
Add a comment

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Warm Fall Days Rock!

Getting 3 little people to smile for a camera isn't easy. This is about as good as I could do given that it was about nap time and we were all tired. I just love these 3 little people! Each one of them blesses me so much each and every day (and each and every one makes me cry out to the Lord for grace!).




Had to include a pic of Baby Girl's first shoes. Aren't they so cute? They might just be magical shoes because after we put them on her, she suddenly went from occassionally scooting around a bit to scooting full speed all over the house! These are apparently her magical scootin' shoes. Side note: when we were buying these the saleswoman at the store brought out a big sneaker-type shoe and asked if it would work for her stage of walking. Walking? This baby has just recently learned to move around a little on her rear! Scooting/crawling is very very new for her. The girl still can't quite master sitting up from a laying down position. Walk? I think we've got a while till we need to deal with that one. :)
Posted by Picasa

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
5 Comments

Friday, October 22, 2010

He Does Mighty Things

"Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man."  
Psalm 66:5

Though I don't feel 100%, I haven't felt this good since before I was pregnant with Addie Beth.  Come and see what God has done!  He is awesome in His deeds!  It is He alone who can heal!

Thank you for praying for me.  If you're tempted to be discouraged about things you're begging God for that He isn't granting, take heart!  He hears His children!  He rarely acts in the timing and exact way that we think is best but He does hear the cries of His children.  Persevere in prayer!  It is a mighty God we serve.  He is awesome in His deeds toward the children of man.  His ways are so much higher than ours..

I am eager to see how He keeps answering the prayers of His people.

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
1 Comment

Thursday, October 14, 2010

He Really Does Hear

You know how sometimes you can keep asking God for something and He's not giving it and you can begin to wonder why?  Doesn't He hear me?  Doesn't He want this VERY GOOD thing for me?  Doesn't He promise to hear us when we call to Him?  Why isn't He answering this prayer? Why has healed other people and He's not healing me?  Should I keep praying for this?

Josh and I have been praying for God to completely heal me of Graves' Disease.  Our small group has prayed with us for this.  Countless friends and family have prayed with us for this-maybe you've been one of them.  And it's been over 3 months since I was in the emergency room and still, I'm not feeling completely well.  Still, I've praying for healing.  Still, I go up and down from day to day feeling ok and then feeling bad.  At times, I've wavered, wondering if God is actually hearing these prayers.  At other times, I've been filled with faith that if He wants to He can take Graves' Disease away from me in a moment.  I've been fighting to trust that if He doesn't heal me, then I can still trust Him.  He's got a good plan. Well, guess what?

Yesterday I got a call from my endocrinologist.  She said, "You're levels are completely normal.  I don't think that you have Graves' Disease."  She thinks that maybe the diagnosis was wrong all along and that I have postpartum thyroiditis.   Well, I don't know if that's what I have or if I really had Graves' and God healed me from it. What I do know is that God has heard and answered our prayers!  I'm feeling much better (not 100% but much better) and that I don't have a LIFELONG condition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for praying for me! God has heard! We've asked Him to heal me from Graves' and He has.  I don't have it.  I will not have to battle this for life.  God is powerful and mighty to heal!  He didn't act in the timing I would have chosen (as in an immediate healing) or in the way I might have hoped (as in, never having allowed me to be sick in the first place), but He is healing me!  Praise Him along with me!!!! I'm so grateful for all He's been teaching me through this and will continue to teach me as I keep healing.

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
12 Comments

Thursday, October 7, 2010

She Makes Me Smile


This is my sweet 10 month old. When I look at her, I can't help but smile. Addie Beth is a bright spot in every single day. Whether I feel sick or healthy, happy or sad, tired or energetic (I will feel energetic someday, right?), looking at Addie always makes my heart swell with joy. I really feel like she's God's tangible expression of His love for me. When she snuggles up to me, it's a tangible reminder of how real and how good God is.  Only an amazing God would give such beautiful gifts to His children. I love Addie and I love the God who made her. Onto other things...

Thanks for praying for me. I keep wondering if I should post how I'm feeling but it changes each day and sometimes hourly. I've been wondering if maybe God is healing me but I don't know. My heart's been racing a bit more this week and a couple other symptoms have been going on. But get this y'all: I HAVE BEEN TOTALLY OFF OF MEDS FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, you read that right. At the beginning of September my TSH level was at 12 (supposed to be between 1 & 2 and it was at .02 when I was in the ER). My medicine throws me into hypothyroid so each time that happens, my dr. has me stop taking it. So I've been getting my blood checked every week or so and surprise, surprise, my levels have not gone back into hyperthyroid yet! I was anticipating being off of meds for 2-3 weeks and then tanking. But that hasn't happened! I don't know if God's healing me or just giving me a little breathing room to figure out where to go from here. Whatever the case, we're praising Him for it!

This morning Tali said, "Mommy, why did God heal you?" I love that she asked that because I've never said that He healed me since I'm not quite sure.  Still, she knows that I'm feeling much better than I've been for a long time. Josh answered her, "Because God loves His children." It is humbling for me to think that if He's healing me, it's because of His undeserved love for me. And if He chooses for me to feel worse again, somehow that's an expression of His love as well.

Please keep praying for complete healing!

Posted by Picasa

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
3 Comments

Friday, September 10, 2010

Praying Psalm 119:67

Thank you for all of your prayers!  Many have asked how I'm feeling so I wanted to try and post a small update.  Basically, my health goes up and down like a roller-coaster these days.  For a couple of days I might feel sort of decent and then the next day, I seem to plummet down again into feeling awful.  It's very inconsistent but the long and short of it is that this is how my body responds to Graves' Disease being treated with PTU. I'm very affected by the medicine, so much so that it's been very hard for my endocrinologist to determine what dosage I need.  Each time we think the dosage may be right and my thyroid levels begin to normalize, I start going into HYPO-thyroid because the meds are suppressing my thyroid too much.

I could go on and on about all that we're trying to decide...are meds best or is a more holistic approach better?  If I do the holistic route, then I probably need to stop nursing Addie.  What's best?  Should I keep waiting to see if they find the right dosage for my meds, even though my dr. said that the dosage will likely need to be tweaked off and on over the next 1.5ish years on PTU? Will I go into permanent remission if I do the full 2 years on PTU even though I only have about a 60% chance of that?  Lots of questions. The Lord knows the answers.

I would so love your prayers. If you're wondering how you can pray for me, please do continue to pray for healing. But also, I would love it if you'd pray for me from Psalm 119:67 and 71.


"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word." "It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes."

Please pray that through this, I would learn more of God's ways and that I would walk in His paths, keeping His Words. Pray that I would rejoice in God, knowing that this is good for me, otherwise He would not be allowing this affliction.  I really want to rejoice in the midst of suffering, not merely try and survive it till it's over.

So grateful for a faithful God who always works for my best.  I know that His purposes are good.  As Psalm 119:75 says, "...in faithfulness You have afflicted me."

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
2 Comments

Saturday, August 21, 2010

He Sees

Dear Mamas at Home, looking back at the week and wondering what was accomplished, take heart.  We work for the eyes of our Unseen Father who knows what is done in secret.

Be refreshed.  Read this. 

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
2 Comments

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Couple Island Pictures

Cousins

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Beach Baby
More pictures to come!  Thank you so much for your prayers for my health during the trip. I felt pretty awful some of the time, but for the majority of our time in Maui I felt well.  God was so kind to do that for me!  I'm waiting to hear back on my blood-work to see where my levels are at right now. Praying that God would heal if He hasn't already.
Posted by Picasa

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
2 Comments

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Been feeling gross. Blood tests showed that my levels are still in hypo so no meds 4 another week. Still praying 4 healing.

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
3 Comments

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mondays Are Awesome

Monday = results from my blood test that will show where my levels are (I don't feel healed but maybe it's a gradual healing...today I feel fairly good).

Monday = Hawaii!!!!! Thanks to the generosity of Josh's parents, we are headed to Maui with Grammy, Pops, Aunt Amy, Uncle David, and cousin Eli.  We are so incredibly excited about making memories together at the beach.  And as a bonus, I am seriously hoping for some great photos to come out of this time. I even painted Addie Beth's toenails for the occasion.

Thanks for all of your prayers for my health. I don't know what God's going to do but I trust that He will use this for my good.

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
4 Comments

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

God Can Heal

This is me before the meds kicked in & I started putting on more weight
Well, the verdict is officially in. I have Graves' Disease.  I was really hoping and praying that postpartum hyperthyroidism was to blame, but nope. Graves' is basically an autoimmune disease where your body attacks your thyroid.  Graves' Disease doesn't really ever go away completely, but you can go into remission. The two main treatment options are to take a radioactive pill to kill my thyroid (then be on meds to do what my thyroid would have done for life), or to take meds for 1-2 years in hopes of regulating my thyroid levels enough to be in remission and off meds for good (or until a flare up comes).  Or to try a completely natural approach.  At this point, we're opting for the meds. My endocrinologist thinks I have about a 60% chance of them working and me going into remission after the 1-2 years.

I was feeling really great physically for about 4 days. My symptoms had decreased significantly and the only real drag was exhaustion and weakness.  But then I woke up Sunday morning and everything started to really annoy me again.  I was extremely tempted to get angry at anything and everything. I started just feeling nasty. My bad headaches came back.  I couldn't sleep.  My heart palps were creeping up again.  I couldn't think.  I was completely overwhelmed and discouraged and trying hard to remember truth about God amidst suddenly feeling awful again. What happened?  Why did I suddenly take a turn for the worse?

Monday morning my endo called to inform me that I needed to stop the meds completely for a week because my blood tests showed that I was going into HYPOthyroidism...in other words, my levels flip-flopped.  That's why I started feeling terrible again.  So now the game plan is to get another blood test after a week off of meds to see where I'm at. Then I'll start up meds again at a different dosage.  Here's what I'm praying everyone: I am praying that God has or will completely heal me.  I'm praying that my tests will come back completely NORMAL.  I'm wondering if God has already healed me and that maybe the meds made me go into hypo because I don't need them at all anymore.  I'm praying for God to give me complete healing.  Would you pray that with me?  I know He is able to do all things and He might not see it as best for me to be healed. But then again, it might be His perfect plan.

How am I doing with all of this craziness?  Well, that depends.  I'm trying to think about what is true in God's Word.  He says that He works all things together for good.  He says that His ways are perfect.  He says that He gives more grace.  He says that His strength is made perfect in weakness.  He says that He keeps in perfect peace him whose mind is fixed on Him.  God is more than enough even if I feel junky forever.  When I think about who He is, I'm fine.  I'm better than fine; I'm at peace and content!  When I think about how I feel today or how I might feel next week or how I am doing the bare minimum for and with my kids and husband, or how my house looks, or how I might have to take these meds for 2 years straight...then I'm not doing so well.  So the fight is on, my friends.  If you want to know how to pray for me, pray for my healing and pray for grace for me to do what I can't do on my own-fix my gaze on Christ and not my circumstances.  I can already see ways that He's using this to conform me more into His image, so for that I'm grateful.

What I really deserve is God's wrath against my sin.  What I have received is His mercy and forgiveness because Christ took my punishment.  That is more than enough reason for me to praise Him tonight!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
11 Comments

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Monday!

Posted by Picasa

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
7 Comments

Friday, July 16, 2010

Have You Ever Seen Such A Sweetie?











Posted by Picasa

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
2 Comments

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Will you get me a blanket?

I would like to issue an apology to anyone that has stepped foot in our house over the past 7ish months.  Though you have been very kind and never mentioned the frigid conditions, I am sure that you were wondering if you would leave with your fingers and toes intact.  I do thank God that no one left our home with frostbite...at least not to my knowledge.

The good news is that last night I asked Josh a shocking question: "Babe, will you get me a blanket?"  He stopped in his tracks and stared.  "A blanket?  A blanket! Do you mean to tell me that you are cold?"  It was a sweet moment in the Fenska home.  For once, I was not fanning myself or commenting about how hot I was.  For once, I was not wishing that I lived in Antarctica.  Ah...relief.  One nasty symptom of this hyperthyroidism has been the inability to regulate my body heat.  I have been unbearably hot for months. I've felt like I was in a sauna all day long. Now I only feel like that about 5 or 6 times a day and that is doable.

I can see little glimpses of healing and we're thanking God for that!  I'm still hot often, eating like a ravenous beast, exhausted, and having stomach trouble, but all of those symptoms are not quite as severe as they were. I think I've stopped losing weight and my hair isn't falling out as much. And the beta blockers are keeping my heart from racing.  Even though I wish that I felt 100% better, I'm grateful for the progress that I do see.

Thank you so much for your prayers, calls, texts, emails, meals, childcare, etc. You all have made it so much easier to focus on recovering.  We are blessed with wonderful family and friends and we thank God for you!  We're grateful that we aren't doing this alone.

If you're wondering how you can pray for me, please continue to pray for complete healing.  Also, please pray that I would trust in God's grace for the many things I wish I could have changed over the months of feeling so sick.  There are many things I wish I would have done differently.  I'm so grateful that God does not treat us as our sins deserve because He afflicted Christ in our place.

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
1 Comment

Saturday, July 10, 2010

His Way Is Perfect...even when it involves sickness

I'm not going to complain about the hospital because:

A. Complaining is sin. And because B.They kept me from going into cardiac arrest.

But still, they didn't explain a lot of what hyperthyroidism is or what treatment really means.  That was probably for the best because I'm guessing that I would have gotten overwhelmed, laying on a hospital bed with wires strapped all over, being told that it could take MONTHS before I feel better. Yep. MONTHS.

The thyroid is sort of a hormone regulator and helps control things like weight, metabolism, body temperature, heart rate, etc. A normal range of the thyroid hormone TSH should be from 1-2.  3-4 means that you have hypothyroidism (your body isn't producing enough of the hormone.) Anything under .7 means that you're hyperthyroid.  Ladies and gentlemen, I was at .02 TSH when I got the emergency room. My thyroid has been producing WAY too many hormones for WAY too long.  Since my level is so low, it will take quite a while for it to stabilize again.  If it was just a little while, it could potentially get better in a couple of weeks. But since it is dangerously low, it's going to take months.

Just in case you're wondering, I am really tempted to be discouraged about this time frame. I have already felt bad for about 5 months and now I have more months ahead of me before I feel better.  I have three little kids and a husband to care for and no energy to do it.  Still, God has a good plan for us, even if I don't understand it.

I've been trying to hold fast to this promise in God's Word:

"This God—His way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him." Psalm 18:30

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
8 Comments

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Beta Blockers and the Screaming Lady

If you were waking up 4+ times a night for about 7 months, how do you think you'd feel?  Not bursting with energy and wanting to run a marathon, right?  Well, I've been feeling awful for months but assumed that it was due to my sleep deprivation. I've been exhausted, weak, hot all the time, starving an hour after I eat, easily overwhelmed, and shaky.  I have never felt so awful before in all of my life.  Each day I was waking up just feeling like I had absolutely no energy and no way to get through the day.  The thought of changing a diaper or doing the dishes just seemed like it required way too much physical stamina.  I spent a lot of time begging God for grace to care for my kids, and counting the hours till nap time.  Not long ago, my heart began racing or skipping beats.  Even in my tired delirium, I knew that heart issues usually aren't from sleeplessness.  I started getting a bit nervous and made a doctor's appointment.


In the meantime, I googled and self-diagnosed that I probably had hyperthyroidism.  I was actually so relieved that I might have something treatable.  Unfortunately, the day of my appointment (yesterday), my heart kept getting worse.  After the appointment, Josh and I went to the emergency room.  My heart rate was in the 140's and blood tests confirmed that i have hyperthyroidism.  Because my heart rate wasn't coming down much, they admitted me.

Now, I'm on beta blockers and a thyroid suppresser to get my thyroid under control.  I am not feeling wonderful, but I feel better than I have in months.  I cannot tell you how grateful to God I am that this has been found!  I am so grateful that He protected me from getting worse and so grateful that He has provided medication to help me.  I am also SOOOO grateful that He has made a way for me to continue nursing Addie amidst it all. I'm so grateful for a husband that has cared for me and helped me during the months that I've been unable to do much. I'm so grateful that he came with me to the dr, hospital, and stayed with me all night. I'm so grateful that God has given me parents that live close by and were able to help. I'm so grateful that I'm home and don't have to listen to the lady in the room next to me screaming at the nurses all night.

As they wheeled me to my hospital room, we passed the Cancer Ward.  I was reminded that hyperthyroidism is something to be grateful for. I am going to get better. It's not fatal. We are thanking God for that!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
4 Comments

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Right now I'm in the hospital. Found out that I have hyperthyroid. I'd love prayers for healing and that I'd still be able to nurse.

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
4 Comments

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

From China to Rwanda

Instead of leaving you hanging, I thought I'd fill in some more details!  How did we get from me having the desire to care for orphans in China to deciding to adopt from Rwanda (hopefully starting the process in 2011)?  Here's the rest of the story...

Before Josh and I got engaged I asked him if he'd be interested in adopting someday. I told him that if he wasn't, I wasn't sure that I could marry him because it was that important to me. He quickly said he'd definitely be interested. :)

We got married and 3 babies came pretty fast.  Five sweet years of marriage passed and life was going at full speed.  I didn't give much thought to the babies without parents; my mind was running wild with trying to care for the little ones I already had!  Then my friend, Misha, started posting some adoption videos on her blog.  One look and all of the hopes and desires came rushing back.  I could not shake the intense longing to do something to care for these children.  I started searching on-line a bit about international adoption and just felt absolutely sure that this was for us.  I sent for a couple info packets from different agencies.  I talked with Josh about it and he agreed that it would be wonderful, but said that it just wasn't the right time for us.  He suggested that we talk about it again after Christmas.

My heart sunk and I prayed. I asked a couple of friends to pray.  And a week later when I brought it up again, something had changed.  We began looking at the details of adopting from various countries.  I'd always thought we'd adopt from China but we fall too short of China's income requirements.  So, we started looking at Ethiopia and Rwanda.

More on why we chose Rwanda later...

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
4 Comments

Monday, July 5, 2010

Rwanda

When I was a little girl, I once caught a glimpse of a news broadcast about orphans in Russia.  My heart was forever changed.  I knew that somehow, someday, I would do something about it.  After college, I moved to Wheaton and began pursuing a Master's Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. The plan was for me to graduate and head to China to work in an orphanage there. I made a friend that knew Mandarin and she tutored me in Chinese.  I wrote papers on the orphan crisis in China.  I watched videos about adoption and researched various orphanages.  I cried about the kids there without families and I prayed that I'd be able to help.

Then something happened.  I fell in love with a guy that wanted to be a pastor.  It became pretty clear that God wasn't calling me to go work in an orphanage (as good and wonderful as that is) but that He was calling me to serve my husband here in the U.S. and build our lives in our local church. And I have not regretted that change in my plans for one second.  But I have wondered what would become of the passion in my heart to serve children without parents.


James 1:27 says, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."  I don't think that James meant that ALL Christians must adopt or that ALL Christians must open their home to a widow.  I don't think that James meant that ALL Christians must go work in an orphanage.  But I do think that God has a heart for orphans and that He wants us to have a heart for them too.

What does that look like?  Loving orphans can take a variety of forms.  For us, it looks like praying and planning to adopt a baby from Rwanda.

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
8 Comments

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday, Babe!

Yesterday, my favorite person turned 30.

You may know him as the smart guy with glasses that loves the Padres, Breyers strawberry ice cream, and studying God's Word.  You may see him most often as a pastor preaching to you on Sunday morning or the dude rockin' out on the guitar during worship.  Or maybe if you're a part of my family, you've chatted with him a couple times but don't know him too well yet.  I don't know exactly what you know of this man, but I can tell you this: my husband is the real deal.

There are plenty of things I could list or describe to show you this but I will attempt to keep it short and just share one example:

On our anniversary this year I was rushing out of the garage to get to Addie's doctor appointment and slammed into the side of  Josh's car. (Honestly, I didn't even see it there!)  I felt horrible and ran inside to tell him.  He gave me a hug and said, "That's ok. It's just a car. I love you much more than my car." Fast forward 3 months to a party with some of Josh's college roommates.  He was talking about the longevity of his car and how it's still truckin' along after all this time.  I overheard him saying, "Someone scraped into the side of it a bit but other than that it still looks pretty good." Then he went right on with his conversation. NO mention of me being the one to hit his car. No making me look bad (even though it was my fault!). No even mentioning my name.  To me that was a perfect picture of who Josh is: gracious, forgiving, forbearing, patient, kind, and always honoring me.

I could also tell you about how he takes the time to play guitar for the kids each night, gets take-out when I'm too tired to cook, listens to what I say and takes the time to really hear, gives up countless hours to love and care for people, spends his day off making memories with the kids instead of just relaxing, and a thousand other things.  But I won't.

I'll just say this: Happy Birthday, Josh! I am so blessed to be your wife!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
4 Comments

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Baby Girl




This is one of my favorite outfits from Tali's hand-me-downs and I couldn't resist putting Addie in it. I love this girl! Oh, and I'm trying to figure out how to make my pictures bigger but I think I got it a little too big. Hopefully I'll work it out in posts to come!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
7 Comments

Friday, June 11, 2010

My Little Ladies

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
2 Comments

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sweet Girl at 6 Months

I have to be honest. The last six months have been the most tiring months of my life because little lady hasn't figured out how to sleep through the night yet. But, I also must say that I am enjoying Addie even more than I enjoyed Tali or Owen as babies. I'm not sure if it's because I'm so aware that this time is going to fly by or because I've had so many extra hours with her at night or what. Whatever it is, can I just say that I am nuts about this girl?! Even though I'm tired, I love the time with her even in the wee hours of the morning. So that I don't forget...

Addie Beth at 6 Months

Weight: 15.9 pds (at 4 months she was in the 45the percentile & now she's over 80th percentile!)

Height: I think 26 inches but I can't remember

Clothing Size: 6-12 Months

Hair Color: Hmm...not sure but it's looking light brown & straight

Eyes: Blue (oh please, Lord, let them stay this gorgeous shade!)

Temperament: Generally very quiet, sweet, and happy...except when she's screaming (this girl knows how to generate some serious noise)

Naps: 3-4 usually lasting about an hour although she did a 3hr yesterday and a 2 hr today

Food:Just started sweet potatoes & nurses about 7-9 times each day/night

Night: Goes to bed at 7:30pm, eats again around 10pm, then wakes up 2+ times

Favorites: Hands down, she is crazy about Owen & Tali. She laughs at them & watches their every move. Loves being outside. Also, she's a mommy's girl right now & just wants me to hold her. She loves shaking her head/rubbing her head and making a big bald spot. :(

Now that Mother's Love herbs have boosted my supply, her weight is up and she seems happier. We're praying that her sleep takes a turn for the better soon and very soon. Even if it doesn't, I could not love her more!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
3 Comments

Monday, May 17, 2010

His Different Plans

You know the old saying, "some days are better than others?" Today falls into the "others" category. Nothing big in the huge scheme of things, but just not my ideal day. I wasn't expecting to give Addie a bath mid morning but poop up her back necessitated it. I wasn't expecting to change Tali's clothes around 10am due to an "accident" but ya can't really have your child running around in the buff. (Quick side note: after Tali declothed herself I heard Owen say as if he was taken aback, "Oh Tali! Yuh not vay-wee mah-dist!" Had to laugh out loud at that.) I didn't expect to look for Owen's bear for a HALF AN HOUR only to find it hiding beneath a toy in the basement. Lots of things I didn't expect, but as my little theologian of a 3 year old reminded me, "I guess God had a diff-rent plan for ya day, Mommy!"

He did have a different plan and His is always best even though I don't always like it. In the midst of the things I wasn't really wanting to do I told God, "I don't really want to do this." Here's what He said in only the loving yet truthful way that God speaks, "Why? Because it's not easy? Jesus never had a break either."

Yep, I am still in this same old battle with fighting my love of ease. I haven't fully learned the lessons God's wanting to teach me here. Jesus didn't have a break. Jesus didn't have it easy and yet I think I deserve that and get angry when I don't get it.

Oh Lord, please change my heart to want to serve like You instead of demanding that my day be the way I want it to be.

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
1 Comment

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Vacation Highlights







Things I will always remember about this vacation in no particular order because once again I am too sleep deprived to think that sequentially:

1) Laughing our heads off at "Nate the Great" audio cds

2) An extended time of praying with my hubby

3) Hearing Tali & Owen talk and laugh together while they shared a bedroom at night

4) Seeing Owen's chubby face with goggles on

5) Watching Tali enjoy hours in the pool

6) Great quiet times that were actually QUIET since Josh took the big kids out

7) Watching some rockin' Food Network stuff with my awesome husband

8) Playing "doctor" and "store" with the kids over and over and over again

9) Two nights where Addie actually slept well...hope they happen again someday

10) Loving being together

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
5 Comments

Friday, May 7, 2010

The sleeping trend was short-lived. Still, vacation is a blessing!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
Add a comment

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I am shocked! Addie had her best night of sleep ever! She ate at 7pm, 1am, 7am! Only up once! We're praising God!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
5 Comments

Monday, May 3, 2010

On the road again! I'm posting from my cell on the way to Door County. Since I've been living very day-to-day lately, I only realized last week that this week is our vacation! Please pray for spiritual & physical refreshment & for sweet family time. Thanks!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
Add a comment

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Don't mess with Texas. We're here in the south enjoying the warm air & each other. Josh is doing our friend's wedding today. Pray that God is glorified! It's such a joy to be here even though Addie only slept abt 4 hrs last night. We'll be home Sunday evening.

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
2 Comments

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Please Continue Praying for Gabe


An update on Gabe...

Ben & Angie received a huge shock last night when they were told that their little guy does in fact have a heart condition. Gabe has Long QT Syndrome and will need to be on medication for life to help his heart from going into arrhythmia. They have been told that he will be able to lead a normal life but will need medication several times a day.

Please pray for these friends and their baby. Pray that God would give them grace to keep trusting in Him and resting in His perfect care for their son. Pray that Gabe would be able to leave the NICU soon and that his body would continue to do well with the medicine. Pray for rest in the midst of the weariness. And pray for wisdom for all the decisions that need to be made right now.

They are grateful for your prayers.

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
4 Comments

Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm Weak. He's Strong.

I don't really have anything much to say except that Josh is gone until Thursday evening and that makes for a L-O-N-G week.

This morning I got up very aware that in every way that I can think of, I am weak right now. I'm weak in the "rested" department. I'm weak in the "refreshed" department. I'm weak in the "patience" department and in the "eyes on the cross" department and in the "joyfully serving" department. I don't feel like I've been doing anything very well or very strongly right now. Weak at housework, weak in organization, weak at friendship, weak at devotions, weak in parenting, weak in trusting the Lord. I am weak. And actually, I'm probably always this weak, I just don't always recognize it.

So my cry today has been, "When I am weak, then I am strong...so Lord, please be my strength in weakness!" And you know what? He gave me more than sufficient grace and strength for the day. Now all three little people are in bed (for the moment) and I'm grateful that God is so much stronger than my weakness. I'm praying that I remember His strength tomorrow too.

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
3 Comments

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Please Pray for Gabe


Well, I didn't expect to be shooting out another NICU prayer request but...

Please pray for our dear friends, Ben & Angie, and their new little guy, Gabe. He was born Saturday morning and everything looked great until some concerns over his heart rate emerged. Basically, he had a very low heart rate that kept dropping and wasn't raising when he was active/awake. He was taken to the NICU for testing and the results have been very encouraging! It appears that his unusual heartbeats/patterns are beginning to resume more normal functioning.

Please pray that the tests that he is given tomorrow will confirm that he is doing much better and that his heart will function completely normally in it's patterns/rhythms/beats. Please pray for continued peace for Ben & Angie; they are trusting the Lord and declaring His goodness and faithfulness! Pray that peace continues to reign in their hearts when they are able to take him home and for the time in between. I can't imagine how hard it must be to go home without your baby.

If you want to leave any comments for them on here, feel free to do so.

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
2 Comments

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!



I'm a bit disappointed that I wasn't able to get all 3 to sit still and smile at the same time...but cute pictures (as fun as they are) aren't really what today's about anyway. So grateful that He is risen!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
6 Comments

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hee Hee!


Oh, and just in case you needed something to make you smile...isn't this photo funny?
Posted by Picasa

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
4 Comments