Thursday, June 28, 2012

Details

My Mimi has been going through quite the medical adventure over the last few years and has come to a point in the road where the Lord has called her to slow down and wait for Him to pick her up and take her home. It has been quite a crazy few years and there have been some major ups and downs. I have seen my Mimi go from a thriving, busy, up and going woman to a very confused and non-mobile woman. We say we trust the Lord and he has our life in His hands, yet why does He allow such a Godly woman to suffer in ways that she didn't want to? I think it is the same with Mimi as it is with Noah. This time in her life is not a mistake, it isn't easy, but it isn't for nothing. Noah has a heart condition that isn't going to be easy to deal with, but it isn't for nothing and it isn't meant for his harm. I don't think Mimi is going through this last part of her journey for herself, I think if anything, she is going through this last part of her journey, for her Jesus. She has always had a love for Jesus that shines through all other aspects of her life. I know that just yesterday my Mom told me that a new nurse came into her hospice room and she asked her if she was a Christian. :) She asks everyone. I'm thankful for that example and to see that genuine concern for everyone's eternal life. I need to learn from her and catch hold of her passion. She is showing everyone around her that even in her last part of her life, she is concerned with other's. Mimi isn't gone yet and I am not writing a tribute to her for that reason at this point, she is just on my mind and as we talked today in her room, I couldn't help but think of all the things she has taught me and shared with me over my 27 years. I just wanted to share some of the things that stick out in my mind and heart.

My mimi taught me how to cook and more than that, enjoy cooking. She showed me how to love people, especially my family, through cooking and that it can minister to people. Including myself.

Mickey Mouse pancakes. mmmm :)

Grapefruit- with sugar on it. She also showed me how to cut out the little segments. :) she had a special knife for it, in fact.

Fresh bread- every meal had fresh bread. I need to take the time to enjoy that like she did.

A day planner- mimi scheduled her plant watering, meetings, bible study time, baking, meal prep, etc. :) I feel that so many of my planning traits and need for details come from mimi.

The need to share/teach the Word. I have not found my place in this yet, but I know that I have taught before and would love to again. She taught many many many years of sunday school and bible studies and poured into her studies each week.

The little things. Mimi always noticed and enjoyed little things. details.
For instance, Christmas Eve dinner....the snack a thon we all enjoy...wasn't just a table full of snack foods. It was planned out vigorously and she enjoyed picking and choosing all the dishes, dips, meats and cheeses, etc. cheesecake and cherries for travis, shrimp for my mom, cheese ball for dawn, chicken tenders for us girls, etc etc. ketchup and more ketchup for the boys :)

I guess to sum it all up, I ask Jesus to hold my mimi and love on her as she is in this part of her life journey. She has mastered so much in her life from being an amazing wife, mother, grandmother, friend, business woman, community servant, volunteer, etc etc. She has come to the end of this road and I pray that she takes her Jesus' hand and is escorted into his Kingdom and into her special place he has prepared, with excitment, joy and awe! She loves Jesus with all she is and I know that being side by side with him will be her dream come true. Love you Mimi. :) I will cherish all your kitchen items, recipe boxes, silly memories and serious life lessons, always.

Please pray for my Pawpaw as he is at this ending place with her. Please pray for my Mother and for my Aunt as they are also at this place. I know this is a bittersweet time for all.

Last, I want Noah to know that he was loved and prayed for by his Great Mimi and when he eats meatloaf, a home made cinnamon roll or fresh baked bread, part of his Mimi is in each dish, because she shared herself with his  mommy.. :)

blessings,
shaina

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Glory Revealed

I can never think of titles it seems, until after I have sat and written. Yesterday was rough. I had no extra energy...in fact I really didn't have the energy for regular day to day activities. I was hot. I mean, I understand being hot in the summer, but this 100+ degree day, running around town, 26 weeks pregnant and carrying and chasing around a 1 yr old about did me in. At one point I just wanted to bury my head in my hands, cry a lot and give up....but, that is not possible at this point. I don't get to give up and have a pitty party because I have responsibilities to maintain for our home, my husband, for Ava and ultimately right now for Noah and I together. I mean, I try to give myself the  means to rest and not over-do it during the day, but emotionally I cannot muddle in my weariness or my lack of energy. I have to grab hold of Jesus, gain strength and power from Him and keep going.

So, today I take a deep breath, prepare for 100+ degree weather, work on household chores and things, organize my calendar as I prepare for the next ft worth trip, put up clothes, wash clothes, wash dishes, play with Ava, pay bills, pick up junk that somehow just appears everywhere...haha and I
"just keep swimming" as Dori from Finding Nemo puts it.  oh and then go to work from 7-11 tonight.

Being a mom is an automatic accountability partner in so many ways and I'm thankful for that. I have become more disciplined than I ever thought i could be, I have been able to lay down my wants and needs for Ava's and now Noah's more so than I thought possible, I have also grown space in my heart I didn't know was there, for the love and care I have for them. I know all you mommies out there understand. I feel that the last year has been the hardest and yet most rewarding year of my life and I look ahead and just can't imagine how I could have a harder year ahead, but I know the Lord is preparing the way.

Isaiah 40:3-6
A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord[a];
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.[b]
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 

Isaiah 40 has been a huge passage for me lately. I have been shown on multiple occasions in different settings, from the Lord, in Isaiah 40, words of encouragement, words of conviction and words of power. I know this road we are on is not easy and he didn't say it would be. The next year of surgeries, appts, trips to ft worth, keeping Ava and Noah both healthy and well, not being out and about as much, being the parent of a baby with a heart condition, etc will be HARD. It's going to be the hardest thing we've ever done at times and yet overall it will be the best thing that has ever happened to us. First of all because Noah is a miracle and God can still do miracles and will do miracles in his life. Second because our family unit is covered by so much prayer and love and support and I know we will make it and beyond making it, we will thrive. Third, God IS and all is well. Thanks DadT. Still don't like that statement sometimes because I want answers and explinations, but I still latch on to the wisdom of it because it makes it all make sense in His way. not mine.

Guess that is all today. I have to really get back to playing catch up on the house. :(

thanks for prayers. no new updates yet. Just an appt with my regular obgyn tomorrow here in amarillo.
much love,
shaina

Monday, June 25, 2012

My little rock star..

We bought Noah a little onesie set that says "daddy's rock star" on it and it has a drum set. :) we thought it was quite appropriate!
This morning the scripture in my daily scripture is this:



Lift up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name,
by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power
not one is missing.
Isaiah 40:26

I could not help but think of Noah and how much the Lord loves him and his intracacies he is forming. He has called him by name and has not forsaken him as some might think, but he has given him a purpose before he even enters the world; to make the Lord known. Of course I think of Ava and Nick and even myself as I read that scripture as well, and I am very encouraged by it in general because he has his eye on us and if he has called each star by name, he has named us as well and knows where each of us are. Noah is one of our Father's stars and I'm thankful that he is allowing me to carry him and know him.

As far as an update on everything, we are still just planning our next trip to Ft Worth at this point. My appts are on July 5th. So the 4-6 will be our trip days. Prayers for covering are appreciated, in all aspects. I have such a sweet and supportive family and I am thankful for their prayers, finanical support and love. So, I just have to make some details set in stone, but for the most part I am not nervous about this trip, just ready to discuss with Dr. Howard about a delivery date and also having a detailed echocardiogram with Dr. Roten, a pediatric cardiologist at Cook's to look closely at Noah's heart.
Thanks again to all of you for your prayers and love. I'm getting excited to have a little boy. All the new clothes and new things not to mention this new little person we will add to our family are exciting. I am also realizing that this first year of Noah's life is going to be a wild ride. Multiple surgeries, trips to ft worth, dr appts, keeping him away from crowds and pretty much most public places in general, etc etc. Keeping Ava healthy in order to keep Noah healthy, etc. It is going to be a wild ride. thank you for your prayers and support through it all!!

Thank you thank you!
love you all,
Shaina

Monday, June 18, 2012

Noah's Kairos Time

Most all of you know that my family has been a part of Kairos prison ministry for many many years now. Nick and myself have been involved together for a few years and the last year Ava was able to be a part of it all as well! This ministry is not only a ministry that does amazing things for the Lord and through the Lord as we minister to the Brothers in White at the Neal Unit. This ministry has become as close if not closer than family. (At least some i know) :) Truly though, this body of believers both outside and inside the Neal unit Kairos community, have become a close knit portion of the body of Christ and we are thankful to be a part of it.
Nick and I love our families so deeply, our church is part of a solid foundation of support we have as we go through this journey with Noah and now more than ever, I feel and see our Kairos family being another huge part of our lives but in a different way this time.
For months before each Kairos weekend we meet a few times to prepare and plan. These meetings are a blessed time of fellowship, preparation, prayer and planning. Many times we bring burdens and family needs with us and are able to share with each other, so that we may bear them together.

Galatians 6:2 - "carry each others burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

This last weekend Nick went to reunion (monthly time with the guys at the Neal unit, for prayer, sharing, a lesson and fellowship). He came home telling me that they had a very sweet time of prayer for Noah during reunion and that there were many many brothers in white that would be lifting up our baby boy to the Father. Besides the fact that our kairos family here on the outside is praying, which is humbling and means so much, we have many brothers on the inside who are lifting up our baby. I know some of you out there are thinking, "seriously, prisoners? these rotten guys who deserve slop and nothing good are "praying" for your baby? ok, you enjoy that." I suppose you are right in some respects. They do deserve to be there. They committed wrong. They made conscious decisions to disobey and they are paying the price for those decisions. (and they know that full well) BUT, I do wrong. I've done wrong. I strive daily to try to not to do wrong and to follow Christ and there are men in the Neal unit who are doing the same thing. There are men who are solid men of God, who have met Christ while in that cell and are bringing other men to Christ and sharing the love of God in one of the darkest places. I am proud to call many of them my brothers and to have their prayers is a blessing. I just can't help but imagine Noah being lifted to the Father at all times during the day and night, since a lot of our brothers out there at the Neal unit have weird schedules. So when I might be asleep and not praying for Noah, someone else is. amazing)

The next leader for Kairos, which is in October (most likely the week or so after Noah is born), emailed the team and said that at the first meeting they had lifted Noah in prayer. The first part of the email, before any announcements or information, he mentioned our son. I couldn't help but let tears run down my face because I am not sure I have ever felt more humbled than to know that our family of brothers and sisters in Christ took time out of the meeting to lift up Noah and our family as we prepare. We have all prayed for each other, we pray for each other very much before each Kairos weekend and throughout the year as we all have needs come up, but for some reason, it's just different when it's you receiving the blessing. It is amazing that people would pray for us. we're so blessed.

I want to urge you as some of you wonder where you belong, what your purpose is, what could you possibly do for the Lord, if you even follow the Lord. There is a place for you in Kairos. No, you don't have to be an inmate in a TDCJ unit across texas. You can find a place in the body of Christ on a team of messed up, crooked and crazy folks who have found Jesus and rely on him daily for their provision, grace to get through, strength to endure and wisdom to make hard decisions. I challenge you to find your place in the body of Christ. Sometimes it is not easy. In fact, there will be times that the church hurts you, that you feel betrayed and think that some people don't belong in the body of Christ...and honestly none of us deserve it. BUT, when you extend grace, love beyond the mess and start to see what Christ sees, God does big things in your life. He gives you a family who you can count on, rain or shine, day or night, in happy times and in sad times, in life changing events and in the mundane. He allows you to be a part of something bigger than yourself, for more than your selfish wants. Whether you find a place to dig deeper in your church, whether you need to find a church, or whether you are just looking for a place to serve the Lord in a different capacity than you have before, be an active member of the body of Christ. Choose it. Live it. And before you know it, you will be blessed beyond measure and humbled beyond words to have support, love and prayers of people who know you would do the same for them. If some old, messed up, sometimes lonely men in a dark, cold place like prison, can find hope, family, love and empowerment in the body of Christ. I assure you; you can. You have to put forth a bit of effort, but God blesses that effort and will overwhelm you with blessings through it. You will have the opportunity to not only be blessed and be the recipient of many good things, you will be able to extend blessings, grace and love to many in the process.

Kairos in greek means "God's special time". There will be a point in Noah's life where he will understand all of this and the importance of the body of Christ and how they have already played a huge part in his life, even before he meets the world. I know He will learn to "listen, listen. love, love." as he has a whole army of believers, praying the way for him.

Shaina

Also, thank you to all of you for your continued prayers. Our  next dr appt in Fort Worth is July 5. I will be extending my travel a bit that week so I am not as fatigued as last time, with a lot of driving in one day. My ankles will appreciate it! :) Please pray for july 4-6 as I travel, staci and I travel, as we see the pediatric cardiologist at Cook Children's and as I see Dr. Howard, as he said we will be discussing a delivery day, etc. So far my blood pressure has been great, I have not gained much weight at all, (a miracle in itself hahaha) I have been resting well and staying active (how can I not with a 1yr old? haha) I am thankful for these things and ask for continued prayers as I get further along!
Thanks to all! much love!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Brightness

This weekend and next weekend are looking incredibly wonderful! In the midst of the darkness I feel some days with everything we are facing, I try so hard to see the good in all things, everyday. I am especially looking forward to this weekend and next for a few different reasons!
This weekend has started out lovely with a Donut Stop date with Jada and Ava, errands and then chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes for lunch. (one of my favorites) :) Tonight we go to Jada's softball game and then we're having dinner with some family for my birthday, which is tomorrow. (no big deal really, at all) haha. Tomorrow I get to play florist again as I do the wedding flowers for a sweet girl we had in college group years back. I am looking forward to that and seeing the end result! Church Sunday and probably some more family time that night, with some water play that afternoon. Ava got some fun water presents for her birthday so we need to try them out!
Next week I have a fun play day with my bestie, for our birthdays (since she is moving in a couple of week and won't be here for her birthday) Haircut that morning and then lunch and pedi's with her that afternoon. maybe some shopping around perhaps?

Next weekend marks 5 years of marriage for Nick and I. I am looking forward spending some much needed hubby time with Nicholas as we shop, eat out, go to a movie, lounge around and SLEEP. :) hahaha!  It is kind of crazy to think how far we have come in the 7 years we've been together and the 5 we've been married. We make an awesome team! I thought I would share some pictures of our journey for those of you who haven't known us that long and those of you who have and would like to reminisce with me. :)







































Seems as though the last 5 years have flown by and especially this last year. Ava has brought an element to our marriage that is beyond a blessing. She has drawn us closer, made us more confident and has shown us more about ourselves and our marriage than anything has yet. I know little Noah is doing the same thing as I write this. He has already begun to help us learn more about ourselves, our strength as a family in Christ and in our marriage first. God is good to us and I am thankful for the last 5 years and all the other years to come! 




Tuesday, June 12, 2012

God is bigger than the "boogie man"...

There is a Veggie Tales episode that is titled, "Where is God when I'm Scared?". I remember watching it when I was younger, mind you, they didn't come out when I was Ava's age or even elementary school, but yes, I have seen basically all the Veggie Tales at least once. :) Anyway, Jr Asparagus sings a song that says:
"God is bigger than the boogie man.
imgres.jpgHe's bigger than Godzilla or the
monsters on TV.
Oh, God is bigger than the boogie man
and He's watching over you and me!"
Cute huh. :) I thought it was cute and catchy. I'm sure that it helps little ones to not be as scared of monsters under the bed or scary shadows on the walls at night, etc. There is something for all of us in it though.


On May 16, 2012 we surprisingly found out that we were pregnant. Woah God. How did that happen? Well, obviously, but we didn't think I was even able to try to have kids due to past problems. Ava was a miracle to conceive. So, all of a sudden we are pregnant. Ok, Lord, You've got us in your hands and this will be awesome! The kids will be close in age, but that is ok and we will adjust as needed as we always have before in our life. Fear subsided for the most part and excitement set in as we thought of all the things we would experience again, and now with a toddler. hah!
A few days later we had our first sonogram and another shock occurred. I was not just a few weeks along as the blood test seemed to say. I was half way through pregnancy. I just laid there waiting for nick to get to the sonogram room as the tech was asking, "do you want to find out the sex of the baby?" what?! seriously?! All of a sudden, we were having a boy and all of this became even more real. Excitement and nerves came again, but more excitement than anything. One of each and we're done I'm thinking in my head. haha! We left the sono office and began to plan how we were going to tell family and friends, etc.
Noah James began to flood our hearts and mind with excitement and joy.


The next day, I got a phone call from Dr. Chandler saying she didn't get a good pic of the heart and she wanted me to go over to Dr. Holmes at Texas Tech to look closer on a new sonogram and decide what was going on. If anything. So, we went to her and did another sonogram with their techs and then Dr. Holmes came in to talk to us and look for herself at everything. She is a sweet Dr. and was very kind and informative. She explained to us what she was seeing and what she believed the diagnosis to be. Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. The right side of Noah's heart is great and doing fine. In the womb, Noah is healthy and doing well because he does not have to oxygenate blood for his body, the placenta give him oxygen. The left side of his heart is not developed and medically she said it will not get better on its own. Surgery is a must. We know that God is more than capable of healing his heart in the womb, if he so chooses. We also know that if he chooses to heal him with surgery he can and will do that too. Either way we trust. So, Noah will have heart surgery as soon as he is born. I'm not sure if it will be that day or the next but very very soon after his birth he will have it. Of course there are possibilities of complications and there are always things that could go wrong, but we choose to continue to trust and not dwell on what has not happened yet. Here is a link to explain more of what is going on with Noah's heart. HLHS


Hopefully that will help explain some of this to you. It helped us to get a beginner's idea on the whole ordeal. It shows a normal heart, a hypoplastic heart and the three stages of surgery Noah will need.


Some of asked "how are you holding up?" "I can't imagine what you are going through"...and I'm thankful for the thoughts and the concern. The day we found out, I had a rough night. Things like changing Ava's diaper or just the thought of something small like bottles or onesies made me breakdown and cry. I was fearful, distraught, upset, angry, sad, confused, worried and any other emotion you can think of because I was so shocked and curious as to why God would allow this to happen to my son, to our family and at this time. I could not get in my head why God had this road set up for us and I was mad and hurt. Have you ever felt like God has hurt your feelings? I felt that I didn't deserve to go through this, that we are faithful to serve Him, to give, we are raising Ava in his Word and we were rocking right along in life knowing He is good and He provides. We had just gotten through some other difficult circumstances and felt that we had "passed the test" and were on the uphill finally. That friday night was one of the most pitiful and ugly tantrums I'm sure God has seen, at least from this child. I was upset and selfish and I know he understands and didn't judge me for it. He just loved me through it and held me tight, even though I felt he as further away than anything I could imagine. I woke up Saturday morning after we all three had slept in (thank you Ava) and decided I had to figure out a way to function as a wife and mother, besides a person in general. I could not sit and wallow in my confusion and hurt and anger. I made a conscious decision to get in the Word and seek Him out. I thought about how much I needed His words to calm me, soothe my heart and clear my mind. He led me to two different passages about His character.
James 1:2-18


Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstablein all they do.
Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heatand withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
He showed me that there is a purpose to this whole time in our life and that Noah is a good and perfect gift from above and the giver of this gift does not change. God was not surprised by this diagnosis. In fact, as my mother pointed out very early in the process; this isn't necessarily a detour or a wrong thing that has happened, God has planned things this way from the beginning. I believe that because He has prepared us in ways we would not have imagined before this whole ordeal started.  This road is one that we would never choose for ourselves, but if you think about it, none of us would choose the hard road on purpose. We are wired selfishly as humans and our nature is to sin and to be away from God. So, God chooses roads for us that will purposefully keep us close to him. I am convinced that this journey we are on is one that has been walked before...I think of Mary and Joseph and their journey to meet their son. Just like Christ was not their own, even though they birthed and raised Him, he was ultimately the Lord's and they knew that. Noah is not our son, even though we will birth and raise him. He is the Lord's and we know that. We trust that and I rely on that to keep me focused on what is ahead. 
The other scripture he gave me was in Romans 8:18-30

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h]the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been calledaccording to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
These scriptures just confirmed in me that this whole diagnosis, the process we will go through, the journey we will travel is not for nothing. It is not satan's doing...I refuse to give him any credit for things that God has put in place. This entire process and journey is completely for the will of God to be done in our life and for other people to see God's hand work, for His glory. For this reason, I am confident in this: I will see the goodness of the Lord. I do not have to figure everything out. I do not have to be alone. I do not have to "deal with" this on my own or in my own power. The Spirit is my helper, directly from the hand of God. He has also given me my husband, who always has a calm about him that keeps me at peace even when my heart struggles. God has given me a precious daughter to keep me active, busy and laughing. She has kept me going so much the last few weeks because she doesn't know what is going on and she knows that I will feed her, change her and take care of her without knowing that she knows that. Does that make any sense? I want to trust Jesus like she trusts me. Unconsciously. I want it to be my nature to say, "yes Lord, I trust you" but without having to get myself to say it by trying so hard. He has also given us amazing family that are supportive in prayer, finances and love. They are here for us and are willing to do so much for us in our needs. We are thankful more than they know. He has placed us in a church that believes in the power of prayer and powerfully lifts us up to the Father knowing and trusting in His hand and the work that He is doing in our family. They love us and are supporting us as well through it all. They encourage us weekly, sometimes daily and they know that God's hand is heavy upon us and they remind us of that when we need it most. To all of our friends, mainly through facebook who stay connected to us and Noah through that venue, thank you for your comments and messages as we go through this. There have been times when I get a comment or message at just the right time. 


I have finally been able to find a minute to really sit and process and write all this that has been on my mind and heart and I thank you if you read through it. I have a couple of things I specifically request of you as you pray for us (trusting that most of you guys do because you have told us you are)
1. pray for Noah's heart. for complete healing. a miraculous sign of medical mystery. (I ask that because until he is born I will petition the Lord to show himself in that way)
2. pray for Me (this is very hard for me to ask because I feel selfish and very "needy" as I ask, but I'm trusting you know my heart and my reasons) I ask that you pray for my body. I have done great with very little weight gain, with great blood pressure and with resting as needed. I ask that you pray that I can say no when needed (that is hard for me), to rest and relax as needed and to also remain healthy and active in order to give Noah all he needs from me. I ask for prayers for continued focus and peace as I cling to Jesus during this time. 
3. Pray for Nick as he works and leads our home. He will be staying in Amarillo as much as possible until the birth in order for him to not miss much work before then. I know he doesn't like to stay behind, but God has provided ways for him to stay back as I go until then. Just pray he will be able to remain the pillar in our home and will have outlets for his concerns and fears from Godly men who will keep him lifted. 
4. Pray for Ava as she will have to adjust to many new things in the next few months. First of all adjusting to me being gone more (pray for both of us there), as I travel back and forth. Pray for her to stay healthy and that she continues to develop and grow beautifully as our routine changes. Pray she stays well through the fall/winter months because that will be vital to Noah staying well. Pray for childcare options for her around the time Noah is born. Whether that be for family to take shifts in ft.worth, for when we come home (i will most likely need some help at first)etc etc. Please lift that up. As a mom, I am really trusting that God will have my baby girl taken care of.
5. Pray for the medical staff overall. I won't go into details, this blog is long enough today, but just pray for doctors for me and noah, surgeons, etc. 
6. travel safety and for travel planning- self explanatory 


Maybe you have figured out why I started out with Jr Asparagus? :) God is bigger than this. I cling to that. 


Thank you doesn't cut it when it comes to trying to tell you how much I appreciate your love and support. I know if you are reading this, you care and I pray God's deepest blessings over you. 
Shaina