Monday, March 23, 2009

Sweet Ayla

I posted this 6 years ago today....

Today my precious baby girl turned 2 years old! (yesterday we had her little party and she was definitely the little "belle of the ball") Memories of her birth flooded my mind all day as I played with her and held her and just stared into her beautiful blue eyes. I am so thankful to God for my darling girl.

When I found out that I was pregnant with her, Joe was convinced that we would be having twin boys. I didn't believe the ultrasound technician when she told me it was a girl. We actually had five confirmations through ultrasound and I still didn't believe it until moments after her birth in the delivery room. My pregnancy was very similar to the other two except that I was more nauseous with her than I was with the boys. After going for my 20 week ultrasound appointment my doctor informed me that the radiologist detected that her brain ventricles were "mildly prominent" and that she had a choroid plexus cyst. He told me not to worry but to schedule a level three ultrasound and to make sure my appointment had the genetic counselor there as well. The hospital could not get me in for three weeks. I was in agony. I was so worried about my baby and could do nothing but wait and pray. Of course I googled and looked up everything I could on the internet about this condition which only scared me all the more. Everything from developmental delays to hydrocephalus popped up. I remember specifically one evening when I was crying to Joe about how upset and worried I was and he looked at me with a wisdom that I never before had seen in his eyes and said,

"If God chooses to give us a special needs child, He will. He has a reason for everything and if it's His will, it's His will and it won't change the love I have for her already, as a matter of fact I'll probably love her even more!"

He had this reassuring peace and strength that I did not have. I remembering blaming myself for wanting a girl so badly and thinking this is what I get for wishing for her.

Before I got pregnant with Ayla, a friend from church came up to me and asked me when I was having my little girl. I was like What? How do you know I'll have a girl? She told me that she had envisioned my Joe, the boys and me with a little girl standing in front of a church and she had a feeling that I was going to have a girl one day. ...a couple of months later, Ayla was conceived... So after finding out about Ayla's condition, I ran up to her at church and in between sobs managed to explain what was wrong. She laid hands on me and prayed with me and as soon as she did, I felt this peace just come over me. That sick feeling in my stomach disappeared and I was at ease. At that moment, my faith grew more than it ever had before. I knew there was a God. The "God who sees me" saw me right then and there! So many people were praying for my baby. They were praying for God's healing and for His will at the same time.

So the weeks past and I went to my appointment. The genetic counselor wanted to be in the room and the technician scanned me and looked me straight in the face and said ,

"Her brain ventricles are completely normal and there is no cyst."

I started bawling my eyes out! I was so relieved! The doctor came in and scanned me and said it was probably an error. He said that they probably measured the wrong area of the brain. I thought, maybe...or maybe, just maybe...God performed a miracle and healed my baby. Why? I don't know why. All I know is that my God, "El Elyon": the Name, is the God who sees me. He hears my cries and calms my fears. He is Jehovah, God and through His precious son chose to give me life and I will forever praise his most holy name!

Lord, today as I celebrate the birth of my sweet Ayla, I thank you for hearing my cries and calming my fears. Thank you for my precious girl. May her life continue to be a testimony of your grace to an unbelieving world.

And today she turned 8...our sweet girl has blessed us more than words can say. She is passionate, kind and determined. I love watching her grow in God's love and grace...She truly is our little miracle.. My friend, Deb, who prayed over her that Sunday so many years ago has now gone to be with Jesus. She's not with us anymore but her prayer of faith lives on in my precious girl. I think of her often but remember her especially on Ayla's birthday.  I am still encouraged by her boldness to step out in faith even when it wasn't natural. She listened to God's voice in her life and obeyed. May I be 
able to trust and obey Him in that same way, even when it's out of my comfort 

I pray the same for my darling girl... 

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring...well almost

Spring is almost here!!

Today I am thanking God for:

-the sunshine and the chirping birds

-the sound of Micah's street hockey stick scraping the cement of our driveway

-Ayla's sweet little voice asking to ride on her bike

-sweatshirts instead of coats

-time with Micah to make mac and cheese from scratch (at his request)

-that today is the first day of Spring Hockey (yes I am actually thankful...more on that next post...)

Oh the anticipation of SPRING...

Maybe we will actually have one this year instead of going from winter to summer, here in Michigan, like most years!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wedding Dresses

My little sister is getting married in October. Recently, I went with my mom, her and her fiance to sample the food at the place they are considering to have their reception. The chef brought us out appetizers to try and I felt like we were on the Food Network or something, it was so much fun! I love helping her plan the wedding and she is totally NOT a "bridezilla" but I think I am being one for her! She is so practical and I am so traditional, it's funny how different the two of us are, but we have been having a blast and I just love the whole wedding thing!

We have gone out looking for Elizabeth's wedding dress a couple of different times. There are so many options. Satin or silk, beaded or plain, bustle or train, off the shoulder or strapless, straight or flare. Choices, choices! We have found one that she really likes, but she's not 100% sure it's "the one" yet.

Shopping for bridal gowns has reminded me of a song by Derek Webb (now solo, formerly with Caedmon's Call). Bear with me as I take this post in a whole different direction. I don't know if any of you can relate at all, but these lyrics just really touch an ugly but honest side of my sinful self that I really do struggle with.

The Wedding Dress

If you could love me as a wife,
and for my wedding gift, your life
Should that be all I ever need
Or is there more I'm looking for

And should I read between the lines
and look for blessings in disguise
To make me handsome, rich and wise
Is that really what you want

I am a whore I do confess
I put you on just like a wedding dress
and I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle
I'm a prodigal with no way home
but I put you on just like a ring of gold
and I run down the aisle to you

So could you love this bastard child
though I don't trust you to provide
with one hand in a pot of gold
and with the other in your side

I am so easily satisfied
with the call of lovers so less wild
That I would take a little cash
over your very flesh and blood

Because money cannot buy
a husband's jealous eye
When you have knowingly deceived his wife

Pretty shocking words, offensive words, I know. Unfortunately, I can relate to many of the comparisons that he is making in the song. As the Lord compares the nation of Israel in Ezekiel 16 to a prostitute because of their sin and detestable acts that they took part in, I am explicitly reminded of my own sinful acts and unrighteousness.

I'll never forget the feeling that overcame me when I saw "The Passion" for the first time. I was weeping uncontrollably and was literally stuck with my face into the rug on my living room floor because I felt the weight of my sin, my shame, in a way that I never had before. I felt completely and utterly unworthy to be called a child of God. I believe that the Holy Spirit allowed me to experience that burden of uncleanliness and ungodliness for a purpose and for that I am extremely grateful. God put me in my place and Him in His place, if you know what I mean. And even though I am unfaithful, my Redeemer is faithful, Praise His Holy Name! And even when I question how God could call me His child, He still does!

John 8:34-36
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."

Please forgive me Lord for not completely submitting my whole life to you. Thank you for your freedom, help me to accept it and help me Lord to live for you, not for me.

In closing, I'll leave you with a quote that Beth Moore gave in her Esther Bible study.

An excerpt from "The Queen and I" by Ray Stedman:
"When, because of your faith, your life too becomes perceptibly different; when your reactions are quite opposite to what the situation seems to call for and your activities can no longer be explained in terms of your personality; that is when your neighborhood will sit up and take notice. In the eyes of the world, it is not our relationship with Jesus Christ that counts; it is our resemblance to Him!"

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hockey, Hockey!

Two hockey posts in a row. I just had to share these pictures. We had the Mother/Mite game last Saturday also and even though the long blond hair may resemble me, I hope you can tell that is Joe dressed up to help the moms win against the boys. It was so cute! And as you can see, my mom played for me. Jonah thought it was the coolest thing to have his grandma playing against him. The boys still won by many goals even though we made them play with their sticks upside down, mini-sticks, brooms, even and even huge dog bones at one point. We all had a riot and if you have to know why I did not participate, well hockey is definitely not my forte and my competitive mom was just waiting on the sidelines to step in. She used to joke around with Joey about how if she played hockey her whole life like him, she could beat him! Ha Ha!! Needless to say we had a blast!
...and Grandma scored!! Of course she would!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Say What You Think!

We're going to the JOE! ...That is the Joe Louis Arena. Jonah's hockey team made it to the Championship game. They won the semi-final game on Saturday. We all were so proud and excited! Jonah got the first goal and ended up getting the game puck. Afterwards in the locker room he was so excited that he could hardly contain himself. He stood up on the bench and asked for everybody's attention so he could make an announcement. (This isn't unusual for my Jonah, he is always announcing something in the locker room) He said something along the lines of how he was the number one player of the game and let everyone know who numbers two and three were as well. One of the other little boys on the team told me that Coach Joe (otherwise known as my hubby) told him to be quiet and sit down.

Tonight was Micah's first hockey game. He has played scrimmages before and been practicing all year, but this was the first game against another team. He was born in '03, so he will be considered a mini-mite this spring. They only play on half of the ice and three on three. Micah was tearing it up out there tonight! He got 8 goals and one assist, and played goalie for two of the shifts in between all of that! Jonah was screaming in the stands,

"Oh my gosh, he got two hat tricks, OH MY GOSH!"

Micah comes off of the ice, after and lets me know immediately and extremely loudly,


Oh let me tell you, I was shushing him all the way to the locker room. I whispered in his ear,

"SHH! I know you did really good, but the other kids did really good too!"

"But mom, you tell me I'm the star when we're at home. Daddy and you tell me I'm the best!"

"I know, but you shouldn't say it in front of the other kids!"

And, so, that's where I'm at tonight, TORN. How do I encourage my kids and build up their self-esteem, yet teach them humility all at the same time without confusing their little 5 and 8 year old minds? (and how do I get it through their heads to STOP BRAGGING??) Kids, at least my kids, are so honest. They are just "out there" with their feelings and really don't always understand how to take others' feelings into account. I guess I could really learn a little something from them because I worry too much about what other people think. ...But I know there is a happy-medium somewhere. (I just don't want my kids to be THAT KID that nobody wanted to be around or play with because he or she was such a bragging brat!)

Guess I'll just have to "let go and let God".

*I know that I have written before about how sweet and compassionate Jonah is, and HE IS! He is extremely aware of other children's feelings, most of the time. That being said, he unfortunately has inherited his mother's "speak before you think" problem. ...and Micah, well he's 5, need I say more?