web stat counter

I lived in such a deep depression for many years of my life.  So deep I never thought I would crawl out of it.   During those 10-15 years of my life I struggled to understand how God could really love me…personally.  I believe the Bible.  I believe when He says He loves the whole world.  For whatever reason I couldn’t fathom that I was part of that “world.”  I never felt like I belonged.  Maybe that’s just part of how some adoptees feel.  I remember thinking often while growing up that if I wasn’t good enough for my own mother to want me why would anyone else truly want me…including God.   That was a lie from the pits of hell, but that’s what the devil likes to do…shoot those fiery arrows with awful lies straight at our heart.  I wonder too if people who deal more with depression are people who feel just a little bit deeper than those who aren’t depressed.  Many, many, many times throughout my life people have said something in passing that hurt me to the core.  Something that they probably never gave a second thought, but something that about destroyed me.  One thing that has helped me during those times was claiming John 10:10 The thief (that’s the devil) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I  (that’s Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  What’s so exciting to me about that verse is that God doesn’t just want me to have a life.  He sent His only Son so that I could have an ABUNDANT life.  When I think of abundance I think of being drenched in goodness.  You know how you can buy a cheap frozen pizza and you take it out of the box and you can literally count each piece of grated cheese.  That is NOT abundance.  When my teenage son puts cheese on his pizza I wonder if we should invest in a cow just to supply him with enough cheese.  It’s crazy folks.  His pizza probably weighs more than any of my children at birth.  Now that’s abundance!!!!!

Almost two years ago my brother-in-law and sister-in-law welcomed a 3 day old baby into their home.  I honestly couldn’t wait to see her.  I had no idea what she was going to look like, but it didn’t matter.  I loved her already.  I finally was able to see her about three weeks later.  She was perfect!  To my surprise she even had brown skin.  I honestly couldn’t kiss her and snuggle with her enough.  I remember leaving their home the next day wishing I could kiss her just a few more times.  Every time we went to visit I fell just a bit more in love with her.  From day one she was part of our family.  It didn’t matter if she had been in my sister-in-law’s womb or not.  It didn’t matter that she had brown skin.  Nothing mattered.  She was in our hearts.  She was family.  Over the past year or so there have been a few fearful times that she would be adopted or put back into her birth family.  Each time God showed himself faithful and graciously answered our pleadings to allow her to stay in our family.  We continue to pray, and He continues to hear.  1 John 5:14 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him (Jesus), that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  I believe with all my heart that He has heard our prayers and I thank Him for that.  It looks like this sweet little toddler is soon going to leave our family and go back to her birth mom.  I’m sure in some cases this could be a great thing, but in this particular case it is not.  Not just because we want little S to stay with us, but because we know S won’t have the stability, love, and care that she has now. 

Knowing that S will be leaving any day makes me want to crawl into a dark hole and die. I know Satan is hoping I fall back into a deep depression, but I refuse to give him that satisfaction.  I know that God understands.  He tells us He does. Ps. 147:5b says, “His understanding is infinite.”  I also know that I don’t think like God.  Isaiah 55:9 says. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My (God) thoughts than your thoughts.”  One of the reasons His thoughts are higher than mine is the fact that He is perfect and can see it all.  He sees the beginning and the end.  He already knows S’ future.  We only know how much it will hurt when she leaves.

A friend of mine said the other day that she is so sick of the devil.  I wholeheartedly agreed with her.  She also said that she didn’t believe that S leaving our family was God’s Will but the result of us living in a sinful world that the devil is having a field day running.  I again agreed emphatically.  I’m sure there will be people that don’t have something encouraging to say like my friend did.  They’ll say this is God’s will.  They’ll say she’s better off.  They’ll say it’s ok because she wasn’t really family.  When my son passed away so many people said he was much better off in God’s arms than in mine.  OK, this is true, but it was the very last thing I wanted or needed to hear.  I understand that God loves my children more than I’ll ever be capable of loving them.  I also realize He can care for them far better than I can.  That does not mean I want Him to take them all to Glory to be with Him now. Sometimes the best thing to say is, “I don’t know what to say”.  

With little S I know that God knows her future.  He knew when she joined our family what was going to take place this month.   When something hurts us that doesn’t mean He isn't in control.  He is in control.  He does care.  He hurts right along with us.  He sends the Holy Spirit to comfort us.  I also believe that God can move mountains.  He can make a way for S to stay in our family.  I will always have that hope.  I refuse to let the devil take that away.  If God cares about a bird, or the grass in the fields, or how many hairs I have on my head than I KNOW He cares about S.  He cares about how we are hurting.  He hears our pleas.  He understands our sorrow.  He’s collecting our tears.  He feels our grief. 

I saw S two days ago presumably for the last time.  As my sister-in-law pulled out of her driveway with little S in the back seat my family and I stood in her yard waving and blowing kisses.  S peeked her little head up and could barely see out of the backseat window.  She waved.  She giggled.  She blew kisses.  She had no idea.  I’ll never forget that happy little brown face as long as I live.  I’ll never forget kissing her soft feathery wisps of hair on our first visit.  I’ll continue to praise my heavenly Father for allowing us to love her. To hold her.  To watch her learn. To see her grow.  To hear her giggles.  To hear her say “thank-you” in her sweet little way.  To watch her take her first steps.  To see her  welcome her baby brother into the family.  To rock her to sleep.  To comfort her fears.  To sing to her.  To tickle her.  To pass down clothes to her.  To just plain enjoy her.  Because my God is good.  He’s fair.  He’s just.  He’s sovereign.  He’s perfect.   I know the devil is trying to steal S from us. I know the devil is hoping to kill our belief in God.   I know the devil is hoping to destroy our faith over this.  But Satan will not get that satisfaction.  We hurt but we don’t give up.  We cry but are comforted by the Comforter.  We are even fearful at times, but we KNOW God is fighting for us and He will win!

Be anxious for NOTHING, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication, with THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6&7

I don’t consider myself a Proverbs 31 woman.  I feel like I have such a long way to go to achieve that status.  I do, however, feel that I’m on that path.  Sadly it took me way too many years to set that as my goal.  I always felt like it just wasn’t attainable.  I remember my high school principal giving devotions each morning from the book of Proverbs.  Whenever he would talk of the Proverbs 31 woman, he would make mention of his mom and his wife.  They are/were the picture of that chapter!!!!! I loved them both so much but I knew I wasn’t anywhere close to their godliness.
As I prayed for my children this morning, I thanked God for blessing me with such precious treasures. Each time I knew I was going to be a mommy again, I prayed something specific for each one of them.  Some things were spiritual and some things were…well…selfish.  God answered each silly request.  I think I may be one of His favorites.  ;-)  I often feel that I fail them as a mother.  They in turn remind me that they think I’m pretty awesome.  This continues to make me shake my head.
For Phebe, I asked that she would have dimples in her cheeks.  Phebe is 22 and I often tell her I want to grow up to be just like her.  She has the patience of Job.  She NEVER complains. She refuses to gossip.  She ALWAYS sees the best in others.  She is an encourager, a teacher, a helper, and thankfully my daughter.  I tell myself many times a week that I couldn’t do my job without her.  Today in her card to me she said she hopes to be half the mom I am.  Isn’t that funny?!?!? I want to be like her…she wants to be like me.   God knew what He was doing when He brought us together. She is beautiful inside and out.  Proverbs 31:30 says, "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." Thank you Phebe for being the one who made me a momma!
For Abner, I prayed that he would have lots of energy and be filled with happiness. These were two things that were lacking in my life at that time.  Abner is now 16 and let me just say, "WOW, parenting a teenager is REALLY difficult!!!!!"  Don’t get me wrong…I love this kid completely!  He’s just in that stage of life that he has to learn so much big stuff that it’s hard to cram it all in.  I mean who really wants to be learning ALL THE TIME?  We all like to goof around.  We all like to not be “adult” at times.  So being an “almost” adult is crazy hard.  This guy has taught me to really think before I talk.  I’ve learned that he can only hear so much from me.  If I start to lecture him, all he hears is Charlie Brown’s teacher…Waw Waaw waw. How many times does it tell us in Proverbs to essentially keep our mouths shut or to choose our words wisely?  LOTS!  Proverbs 31:26 says, "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and her tongue is the law of kindness." So thank you, Abner, for helping me to learn this very difficult virtue.
For Uriah, I prayed that he would point others to Christ.  Uriah…how could someone who was on this earth for only 2 days make such an impact on my life?  It’s amazing how much he taught me.  I learned so much about God’s peace, love, grace, and mercy through his short life!  Uriah was so beautiful!  His skin was a little dark, he had crazy curly hair, big round eyes, and a cupid lip!  I could have never asked for anything more.  I can still feel him in my arms.  I can still smell him. I can still hear his final breaths.  I still love him.  I still miss him.  I still hurt for him. I couldn’t be happier about where he is.  I never have to worry about him.  I never have to wonder if he is going to accept Christ as his Savior.  I never have to wonder if he will be hurt or hurt others.  He lives in perfection.  He lives with my Lord.  He’s waiting for me. Proverbs 31:25 says, "Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come." Thank you Uriah for being such a wonderful little soldier for Christ!
For Asher, I prayed that he would love Jesus with ALL his heart.  Asher is 5 and boy does that little man love Jesus.  Asher is able to convict me like no other.  I remind him occasionally that he is not the Holy Spirit.  ;-)  The other day he said to me that he was trying to find things every day that he can do to help others.  He says this is what God has created him to do, so he must be faithful to his job.  Well, I’m here to say little Dash Dash has not missed a day of work.  ;-)  When he told me about this it made me stop and think about myself.  Do I daily look for ways to help others?  Um, yeah…he keeps me on my toes.  I seriously make decisions based on what Asher would do.  Is that insane or what?  The kid is 5.  He was my healing balm after Uriah went to heaven.  How could I ever live my life without this little soul winner? Proverbs 27:11 says,  "My son, be wise, and make my heart glad!"  Thank you Asher for making me want to be a better Christian!
For Selah, I prayed for blue eyes and curly hair.  Selah Grace, my little 3 year old.  Woe, let me just tell you this.  If I wasn’t saved and loved the Lord with all of my heart this little girl would make me consider beating children. OK, not really, but she does get on my last severed nerve many, MANY times throughout the day.  She’s one of those people who will be doing something wrong and just look at you with a big ole smile on their face.  She KNOWS she’s going to get in trouble, but the consequence never seems to deter her from her sin.  I guess I better come up with some better consequences. She’s amazingly independent and loves to accomplish things that seem impossible for someone her age.  I honestly think she thinks she’s in her twenties.  She is one of my favorite people to hear pray.  She’s so genuine and sincere.  She thanks Jesus EVERY day for her family and especially her baby brother.  If she knows someone is sick she thanks Jesus for making them better before she asks Him to heal them.  It’s the cutest thing!!!!  She loves her daddy more than anything in this world.  She’s quite certain that the sun rises and sets on him.  I love seeing how much she loves my man!  Proverbs 15:29 says, "The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous." (She's not righteous yet, but I know the Lord is working.) Thank you, Selah, for helping me be a better prayer warrior!
For Baryk, I prayed that he would bless others, through Christ, for all his days. Baryk L. will be a year old in just a couple weeks.  I cannot believe how fast this last year has gone! This little guy is the happiest baby I’ve ever seen.  He laughs all the time.  If he wakes up in the middle of the night and I go to get him he holds his little arms out to me with the biggest smile.  Once I pick him up he giggles like I’ve just tickled him for ten minutes.  How can I be upset that he wakes me up?  He is a smart little guy too.  He says far more words at this age than any of my other babies.  I know he will be walking soon.  I’m sure as a momma I’m supposed to be happy about that, but it brings tears to my eyes.  I’m very well aware that as soon as they take their first step that it is their first step walking away from me.  I know that my job is to raise them to live for Christ, and allow them to live an abundant life God has in store for them.  Knowing something and wanting something are two very different things. Bear was our little surprise, but oh what a blessing he is.  Hence his name…Baryk L. = blessing from the Lord.  I’m so thankful that God knew I needed this little smiley mister in my life. Proverbs 31:25 says, "Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her who bore you rejoice."  Thank you Bear for making me smile all day (and sometimes all night) long!

Last, but surely not least my moms!

My mom who carried me.  Thank you for loving me enough to send me away.  Happy Mother's Day!  Love you so much!!!!
                My mom who raised me and told me about Jesus.  Thank you for teaching me                
                 so much about being a godly momma!  Happy Mother's Day! I love you! 

My mother in love.  Thank you so much for loving me just the way I am.  You always make me feel like I'm doing such an amazing job!  Happy Mother's Day...love you bunches!!!!!
Asher is now four and has an amazing imagination.  He LOVES to play new made-up games.  His newest pastime is pretending to be someone and acting out a play…preferably with someone else.  Today it was all about David…King David…before he became king. 

“Dad, you’re going to be Goliath and I’m going to be David. So go get a sword and a shield.”

My hubby complied and stood in front of Asher and said, “Fee Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an Israelite!”

Asher was immediately furious. “DAD, that is NOT what Goliath said.  He said, ‘What am I - a dog?’ and then he laughed like this ‘HA HA HA!’ Now try again.”

My poor hubby!!!!!

So Jesse said in quite a quiet manner, “What am I - a dog? Hee hee hee.”

I thought poor Asher was going to come unglued. “DAD, loud….Goliath was very loud! WHAT AM I A DOG? HA HA HA HA HA!”

Jesse eventually did it right.  ;-)  Asher has no problem telling you when you are doing something incorrectly, but he also doesn’t have a problem with telling you when you do something right.

A few weeks ago Asher complained throughout the day that his tummy hurt.  I gave him a little extra attention but since he had no symptoms I didn’t do much else. It had been a very long day.  Everyone was finally in bed.  Jesse was getting ready for bed and I decided I would sneak downstairs and watch a little TV all by myself. :-)  I don’t think I had been sitting there 5 minutes when I heard Asher screaming his head off.  Now let me explain what I mean by that.  This kid has THE shrillest screech you have ever heard.  In fact, when he was just a baby he woke up crying from his nap with that scream that can wake the dead.  The neighbor was sleeping in his house and said he sat straight up in bed thinking the house must be on fire. No, it was just my son next door letting me know he was ready to get out of bed.  :-/

So I’m hearing this screech and I instantly know he’s up there vomiting.  I took a deep breath and settled back in the chair.  I convinced myself at that moment that my hubby could handle it.  Just nominate me for “mom of the year.” After five or six minutes of this gut-wrenching crying I finally headed upstairs.  It’s funny to me now, when I recall the sight.
Jesse is a very patient man and also VERY quiet.  So the man I saw that night sort of shocked me.  He was forcefully trying to get Asher to bend over the toilet to vomit.  Very loudly stating, “BEND OVER BEND OVER!”  Asher only arched his back and sprayed the bathroom with……YUCK! FYI ladies…guys weren’t meant to do stuff like this, and it’s ok.  

So I ran to Asher’s side and told him how sorry I was he was sick.  I started to rub his back and repeatedly told him what a brave little boy he was.  The next time he needed to up-chuck he bent right over the toilet and did his thing.  I continued to sooth and comfort him.  Then I put him in a nice warm bath with peppermint oil. He laid in there and just relaxed.  It was so sweet.  I ran the water over his tummy with my hand and kept telling him he was such a big boy…handling all of this so well.  My poor hubby was cleaning the bathroom while this was going on.  Poor guy!!!!  Although I think he much preferred it.

Asher ended up in bed with us.  I snuggled in close to him and massaged his tummy with oils.  He started to nod off. Then he turned to me smiled and said, “Momma, you take such good care of me.”  Then fell asleep.  Oh the guilt I felt!  I knew I wasn’t the great mom Asher thought I was.  For crying out loud I had just sat in my lazy boy forever before deciding to help him.  UGH!

My children teach me something nearly every day.  I love how the Lord uses them to do that for me.
I’ve talked to some different ladies the last few weeks, and was astonished by what they said.  They were struggling in the same areas as I was.  They said things like:

I’m worthless as a mom.

My family would be better off without me.

I can’t figure out why my husband even bothers to stay with me.

I’m the worst wife ever.

I’m ugly.

I’m fat.

I don’t know how to cook, dress, decorate, clean, care for my children.

I’m unworthy of love.

My kids deserve a mom who gets up and devotes more time with them.
WOW, who is telling us women this crap?!?!?!?!?! It sure isn’t God! I think it’s the stinkin’ rotten devil.  I believe with all my heart he is very jealous of moms. Why?  Because it is something he can never be.  He can never feel that little one grow inside of him. He can never deliver a baby and feel that fulfillment of being a woman.   He can never feed a baby from his breast.  He can never comfort like a mom because he can never be one.  So what does he do?  He torments us with lies.  You know what WE do?  We listen.  Why?  Because he’s very convincing.  I know with all my heart I’m not even close to being the woman Eve was.  Yet, he was able to confuse and convince her of a very big lie.  Do we really think we are better than Eve?  She was a woman who actually walked and talked with God. 

Then we silly women keep all of these hurts, lies, feelings, and struggles to ourselves. We convince ourselves that we are the only ones who feel this way.  HARDLY!  Ladies we need to share how we feel.  We need to talk.  We need to cry.  Why are we hiding?  Why are we hurting alone?  The devil is enjoying this so much.  He’s over in the corner laughing his fool head off at us.  How about we stop giving him that satisfaction!?!  How about we speak the truth!?!  How about we take every thought captive!?!  If we would just do the simple things that God encourages us to do, life would be sooooooo much better.

If God wants us to have an abundant life how can we have that if we are listening to a bunch of lies? We MUST speak the truth!!!!!

I am a princess of the most high King.( Romans 8:17)

I am His favorite. (John 17:23)

He loves me completely.  (Ephesians 3:16-21)

He has a plan just for me. (Jeremiah 29:11)

I am holy and without blame. (Ephesians 1:4)

He sings over me. (Zephaniah 3:17)

He knows my heart. (Psalms 139:1-2)

He says I’m beautiful. (1 Peter 3:3-4)

He will never leave me. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

I can stop the devil. (Ephesians 6:16)

Sometimes the truth hurts.  Just ask my poor hubby when Asher “instructs” him. Other times the truth will lift us up.  The truth will bring us closer to Christ.  The truth will set us free from the lies of the devil.

Who’s with me?  Who will stand with me today and SPEAK THE TRUTH!!??!!
Lupus, what a joke! 

I was diagnosed with this horrible sickness five years ago.  I had been dealing with many of the symptoms for ten years prior to this.  I couldn’t find a doctor for TEN years who could figure out what was wrong with me.  Ten years….ugh!  I honestly began to wonder if I was losing my mind.  They kept telling me I was just dealing with depression.  As if depression is not a big deal.  The problem was I wasn’t dealing with depression…I was dealing with lupus!  I remember dealing with headaches, a rash all over my face, fatigue, and memory loss. Can someone explain to me how this is depression? They would say to me that there was nothing wrong with me.  They also said it was all in my head.  Really?  REALLY?????

I finally found a doctor who was willing to do some extra bloodwork.  What did he find?  You guessed it…Lupus!  He sent me to a very good rheumatologist that confirmed the diagnoses along with fibromyalgia.  What a bittersweet moment.  Finally, an answer to all my strange symptoms I dealt with on a daily basis.  However, the realization that this was something I would be dealing with for the rest of my life was very disheartening.  L The strangest thing that happened was I was not able to realize I was in constant pain until they mentioned it.  I still don’t comprehend this, but I KNOW that the daily pain is VERY real! I’ve read that this happens to lots of people…strange.

The rheumatologist prescribed a medication that would help with many of my symptoms.  He told me it would easily take 2-3 months before the meds would work.  Well, three months later I was pregnant and all the medications stopped.  I was so miserable during that pregnancy.  I couldn’t wait for it to be over.  My OB had told me that because of the lupus I would be followed very closely, specialists would be involved every step of the way, and they would most definitely be inducing at 37 weeks for the safety of the baby. I honestly didn’t know what he was talking about.  The misery of the pregnancy did not allow me to think clearly.  I just went to my appointments and counted the days.

No one told me the dangers of lupus and pregnancy.  No one told me the huge possibility of stillbirth.  The only warning they gave me was that the baby could very possibly have a heart issue.  So they monitored his heart very closely.  I went to my 37 week appointment with bags in hand and my hubby at my side because we totally anticipated being induced.  The other OB in the office said she didn’t have a clue what I was talking about and they would not be inducing that day.   This happened every week for the next three weeks.  I was beyond depressed.  At almost 41 weeks I went into labor naturally, but it was too late…the baby died.

Not one doctor told me this was probably because of the lupus.
Six weeks later I was pregnant again, and of course no meds for the lupus.  In fact, my rheumatologist moved away.  The pain was excruciating. There were many times my ten year old son had to lift my legs into the bed because I couldn’t physically do it. Abner helped me so much through that pregnancy. I remember crawling through the house because I couldn’t stand the pain to walk.  The many doctors that were following me through this pregnancy even prescribed narcotics for my pain.  I refused to take it because I wasn’t willing to take anything that may hurt this baby. This baby was born at 34 weeks.  He had some issues breathing but he lived.  J

When this baby was four months old I fell down a few steps and broke my ankle in three places.  It was such a simple fall it made no sense that my bones broke so easily.  I was just told by my new rheumatologist that it was because of the lupus.
I was so busy during this time that I didn’t take the time to take care of myself.  I didn’t eat right, I didn’t look for a new rheumatologist, and I didn’t even think about my symptoms.  I had way too many other things to deal with.  Before I knew it I was pregnant again.  This pregnancy wasn’t as bad, in fact, my bloodwork showed that the lupus was in remission.  This is what happens in most lupus cases.  It had just never happened with me before this.  That is not to say this pregnancy was easy.  I was still dealing with fibromyalgia pain as well as gestational diabetes.  I had switched OB’s for this little one and they insisted I be monitored closely as well as be induced by 37 weeks. This baby was born and had some issues with her lungs but didn’t need to go to the NICU. 

After she was born I tried everything I could think of to lose weight.  Nothing worked.  It didn’t make any sense.  In fact, I was gaining weight even though I was eating right and exercising. The weight just piled on and the pain magnified. 

I finally listened to a friend’s advice and went to see a holistic nurse.  She explained that I was dealing with a very severe case of candida.  Before going to see this nurse I remember telling my husband I felt like I was dying.  I was quite sure I was going to have a heart attack or a stroke. The nurse explained that the candida was so bad that I could very easily have a heart attack or stroke.  She told me I could no longer babysit and I needed to find someone to take care of my little ones for at least two weeks while she tried to get this yeast overgrowth under control.  She was amazing and things started to look up.  The problem was I couldn’t afford all of the supplements she suggested.  So another friend told me about a natural doctor she was following on YouTube.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt.  So I started listening to his advice.  His suggestion was to eat only fruit.  This sounded crazy but by this point I would have eaten dog poo if it meant I would feel normal again.
The fruit worked!  I had NEVER felt so good in my life.  I lost fifty pounds without even trying. I was always full because I could eat as much fruit as I wanted.  Then I found out I was pregnant.  The fatigue came back with a vengeance.  Even worse than the fatigue was the morning sickness.  I was a mess. I was sick 24/7.  Not just nauseous but SICK!  I had no idea one could be this sick ALL the time.  After a couple months of barely being able to leave my bed I decided to contact the holistic nurse again. After listening to a friend tell me I REALLY should!  Of course, she had the answer.  She put me on some supplements and within 48 hours the sickness was tolerable. 

The fatigue and pain only worsened.  I was literally sleeping 20 hours a day. Try doing that with four kids.  J  I again saw a new OB because the last one had moved.  This OB was a God send.  He totally put me at ease and actually listened to me.  He has called me at home just to check and see how I was feeling as well as personally giving me my test results.  Knowing your doctor cares means so much!  A couple of months ago he asked if I would be willing to see a rheumatologist.  I told him I would rather not.  He was so kind about it though that I agreed to see the rheumatologist.  Boy, am I thankful I did.
Two weeks ago I went to see her.  She was amazing!  She spent over two hours explaining the effects of lupus on my body.  In my head I thought I was feeling better.  I didn’t want to admit I felt like crap again.  She started listing off symptoms…probably close to 15…I had 10 of them.  She also explained that since I was not taking any meds for the lupus that it was amazing that I was still alive in my 40’s.  Most women who deal with lupus and don’t medicate generally die by the age of 40.  Lupus causes your body to attack itself.  It likes to attack organs.  Apparently it likes to attack my heart, which would now explain all my chest pain and fatigue.  I’m not one for taking prescriptions at all!!!!!  However, I really felt that this time I needed to rethink that choice.  One of the reasons I decided to take the medication is because many pregnant women who have lupus have stillbirths.  I CANNOT go through that again. 

I have not been writing on my blog because I didn’t have the mental capacity to write.  In fact, I couldn’t even read.  Well, I could read but I couldn’t understand what I was reading.  This is very difficult for someone who used to read a book a day.  Since being on this medication I actually read and finished a book.    This thrills my heart.  I  READ A BOOK PEOPLE!!!!!!!  I have no clue if what I wrote today makes any sense but I wrote it nonetheless.  This makes me smile. J 

I hope and pray I will be able to continue with reading and writing.  It makes me feel soooooooooooo good!  Thank you Lord for bringing the right people into my life at the right time!     
Recently my three year old has been begging for a bow and arrow set.  Frankly, I chose not to purchase one for quite some time because he tends to be a bit uncoordinated. He’s an amazing kid in so many areas. He’s crazy smart and very gifted when it comes to reading and writing. I decided, recently, since he had his heart set on the bow and arrow set that I would comply and buy him one. It’s moments like these that I wish I had the power to see into the future.  Had I been able to see Asher’s frustration in trying to shoot an arrow I’m not sure I would have given it to him.

This has reminded me how God’s timing in my life is absolutely perfect.  There have been so many things that I have prayed about for years.  Quite honestly there have been many times when I’ve wondered why God has taken so long to respond to my requests. I wasn’t asking for millions of dollars or to be famous.  I was asking for things like finding my birth family, to be out of so much physical pain, and having babies. All very good things in my opinion.  ;-)

 I started praying to find my birth mom when I was in elementary school. I recall writing letters to my mom telling her how much I loved her and that I understood why she had to give me away.  I tried to imagine what she looked like.  I wanted so much to have someone…anyone who looked like me.  It has been about 35 years that I have prayed this prayer of finding my mom or someone that was related to me.  I began to realize that this probably wasn’t going to happen.  I figured that my mom had probably already passed away.  The worse scenario I imagined was that I would find her and she wouldn't acknowledge me as being her daughter.

Last year sometime I bought a piece of black poster board and a silver marker.  I had decided to make one of those posters you see on Facebook quite frequently.  I’m sure you've seen them…requests to help find a birth family member or a long lost loved one. I came home with the poster board and literally prayed over it.  I slipped it behind our piano and told the Lord to please let me know when He wanted me to actually post it.  It was almost a year before I felt He gave me the “OK.” I had looked at that blank poster board many times.  I noticed it had become quite dusty and the corners were a little curled.  I came across the silver marker quite often.  I was nervous it would get used and I wouldn't have it when I needed it.
On my birthday this year my hubby and I went to a home-school expo.  This was not something I had been hoping to do on my birthday but it just happened to be the same day.  We returned home late afternoon and I had about an hour before we had to leave to have dinner with some friends. I can’t explain why I suddenly felt the need to grab that poster board but I did.  I silently prayed and asked the Lord if I was doing the right thing.  I quickly filled it out and had my hubby take my picture. I cropped it and posted it on FB and we left for our evening out.  As I climbed into bed later that evening I wanted to see if anyone had shared my picture.  I was shocked and amazed to see it had already been shared hundreds of times.

Two days later a gal in Wayland, Michigan saw my picture and showed her co-worker Troy.  She said, “Troy, this sounds just like your sister you’ve told me about.”  He checked it out and agreed.  He sent me a private message, but I never saw it.  Later that night Troy was in bed falling asleep when his wife began to shake him quite vigorously and say, “Troy…Troy…she has your cheeks.  You MUST contact her!!!”  He lazily leaned over to see what she was talking about.  He saw my picture and casually said, “Yeah, I know…I already sent her a message.  I’m sure it’s probably not her.”

The next night I was getting into bed quite late…very normal for me.  I grabbed my computer to check FB and see what was going on with my post. By this point it had been shared over three thousand times.  That totally baffled my brain. I then checked my messages.  I had a LOT!!!!  I came across one from a guy named Troy that made me sit straight up in bed and made my heart beat a little faster. It read: “Hi I saw your post and have a question. Are you black and white? Sorry if this is offensive. My mom gave up a mixed baby in the late 60's early 70's. She was also adopted through DA Blodgett.

I had received lots of other messages from people that were a total waste of my time but this one actually caught my interest.  So I went to his FB page and looked at his picture. Upon seeing his face my heart hopped into my throat.  I grabbed my computer and ran downstairs to show my husband.  I said, “LOOK JESSE…HE HAS MY FACE!!!!!” Jesse looked at me as if I had lost my mind.  He looked at the picture a couple of times and said, “Hannah, I’m not seeing it.  I think your sleeping pill has kicked in.  You really need to go to bed and get some sleep…it’s late.” 

I was instantly mad.  Seriously?  Did he really think it was even possible for me to sleep at a time like this??????

“Jesse, really?  You can’t see that this guy looks like me?  Dude, He has my FACE!!!!!”
“Babe, it’s late.  I know you want this to be your brother or whatever but I really think once you sleep and look at this picture in the morning you’re going to see things differently.”

“Jesse, I just messaged this Troy and he said I can call him…TONIGHT!  I’m totally going to call him!”
“Hannah, are you serious?  You are half asleep!  I really think you should sleep on this!”

“Jesse, I couldn't sleep right now if my life depended on it. I know I’m supposed to obey you so could you please change your mind on this so I can give this guy a call?”

“Ha, fine…call him…but don’t get your hopes up!”

The last part of that statement was heard by me half way up the stairs.  ;-)  Hee hee…not get my hopes up…too late for that!!!!!

It was probably after one in the morning at this point.  I truly thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest.  I took a couple of deep breaths and prayed.  “Lord, if this isn't what I think it is please show me.  Please be with this conversation and help me to discern the truth.  Help me to not give more information than I should.  Thank you for carrying me through all of this.  Lord, I’m scared… I need Your strength.”  I didn't close that prayer because I knew I would be praying through my whole phone conversation.
I can’t explain how much I wish I could have seen God’s face at that very moment.  I can’t compare myself to God but when I think about how excited I was when I gave Asher his silly bow and arrow set it makes me wonder how thrilled my heavenly Father must have been for me at that moment.  There really is no comparison, BUT I couldn’t wait for Asher to try and shoot an arrow.  Can you even begin to imagine how thrilled God must have been for me to talk to a possible brother?  He probably elbowed his Son and said, “You’ve got to watch this! This is going to be one of the biggest moments of her life.  She’s waited so long for this, and prayed for so many years.  I sure do love to see how happy she gets when We answer her prayers!”  OK, I don’t have a clue what He said, but I love to imagine things.  ;-)

The conversation with Troy was beyond wonderful.  Troy was
and is my brother.  

I finally had someone that looked like me…you see…he had my face. 

I struggle all the time with what to wear.  I rarely feel like I’m dressed for the occasion.  I often feel either over or under dressed.  I loved it when I was in school and we all wore the same uniform.  Absolutely no stress at all…same red, white, and blue outfit every day.  I didn’t even have to think about it.  My biggest concern was if I had a clean uniform or not.
Someone asked me last week if I was “wearing” the suit God had chosen for me or had I donned my own ensemble? I didn’t really know what she meant at first, but she went on to explain that often we wear what is comfy instead of what is given to us.  If we're talking actual clothes, you better believe, I’ll be choosing sweats and a t-shirt every time!  I’m comfy for sure, but not at all attractive.  ;-)  Don’t get me wrong, occasionally I enjoy getting all dolled up and adding all the fun accessories. 

She, however, wasn’t talking about my everyday attire.  She was talking about who I was as a person…my character.  What am I wearing?  I didn’t even know how to answer the question.  I’ve seen at times in my life that I slid into the “victim” jacket.  I think when many areas of your life go awry it’s very easy to be the “victim.” Well, at least it is for me. When you wear that jacket you often begin to believe the lies that get whispered by the devil.  “You aren’t worth anything.”  “You deserve to be treated badly.” “No one really loves you…it’s all an act.”  The whispers become so deafening that soon it is all we can hear, think, and believe.
What about the coat of pride?  You know, that comfy feeling of entitlement.   After all, we’ve trudged our way through the muck and mire of life…don’t we deserve to be treated with respect?

Oh, and let’s not forget the cloak of passivity.  You know, that cloak that fits so nicely and no one really ever notices you.  Because if you’re not noticed then little will be required.  Life is so full and busy…not to mention HARD!  If we wear that cloak life will be easier, and maybe a little quieter.  Sometimes we just want to be left alone. We really desire to go unnoticed.  That is until we do something WE feel should deserve a bit of praise.

I often like to shrug on a shawl of depression.  I can wrap myself up in it…engulf myself in its darkness.  I snuggle right down and take a nice long nap in its warmth.  When I’m down and out I can isolate myself.  I don’t have to worry about responsibilities, or the demands of life.  I can wallow in my own yuck.  I can roll around in my self-pity, get dirty in my “woe is me” attitude, and fling about a few “if only” phrases.  It’s downright disgusting!

Today our pastor was talking about dying daily to self.  Choosing to die every day to my own desires and wants.  Choosing instead to live my life for Christ.  Sometimes I don’t have a clue what that even means. Thankfully, like pastor said, all we have to do is slip into His yoke.  Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me. For I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  I NEED a teacher.  I’m not a good leader.  It is music to my ears to know that I won’t have to lead when I choose to wear the yoke with Christ. I need someone who will gently lead me.  I don’t do well with cruel treatment by authority.  Then He adds that if I choose this, that I will find rest for my soul.  Come on…who doesn’t want that?!?!?!  For myself, I like to try to convince myself that when I’m wearing the shawl of depression that I’m getting peace.  That is the furthest thing from the truth.  There is NO peace when I’m depressed.  There is no rest.

So I’ve made a decision today.  I’ll continue to wear my comfy sweats when it’s appropriate…only around the house.  I will also choose to wake up each morning and thank the Lord for a new day and then slide into my side of the yoke. I can’t wait to see what my wardrobe of life will look like once I start doing this.  No more the frumpy attire of sin but instead I’ll be able to wear the armor of God. My closet will be full of truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation. I believe then I’ll even have the beautiful accessories of the fruit of the Spirit He talks about in Galatians 5:22-23 For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Who wouldn’t want to wear those gems?????

It’s such a nice feeling not having to worry about what I’m going to wear tomorrow.  I already have it picked out!  
Dear Uriah,

Happy fourth birthday, big guy! I was wondering, if you were still with me here on earth, what I would have given you for your birthday gift this year. Four year old little boys are pretty easy to buy for.  It would just depend on what your likes and dislikes were. Now when your older brother Abner was four he would have wanted anything with Bob the builder, or a gun.  I think when Abner turned four I gave him a Gator truck…he LOVED it.  In fact, he still talks about it. He would drive that thing all over the place.  He would drive over to Grandpa and Grandma Snyder’s house all by himself.  He thought he was pretty big stuff!  Your little brother, Asher, is completely different than Abner.  I think when he turns four this year he will want books, or puzzles, or maybe some cars.  So it makes me stop and think about what you would have liked.  I have a funny feeling you would have been more like Abner.  You never stopped moving while you were inside of me…just like Abner.  I think you probably would have liked a bow and arrow set, a bouncing horse, or your very first BB gun.  

I’ve been given some amazing gifts in my lifetime. As a little girl one of my favorite gifts was a music box.  I would sit and listen to it for hours. My favorite gift for Christmas this year was a memory book about you. I love it so much. It makes me cry, but it makes me very happy too. I only cry because I miss you.  I’m thrilled that you are in heaven with Jesus, though. Our heavenly Father is amazing, as you well know. He always does what is best for us. He gives and He takes away, but only for our good.  God has given me the most amazing gifts ever.  He gave me the gift of salvation.  I’m so glad He offered and I accepted.  He gives me unconditional love, grace, and favor. He has given me 5 beautiful babies. He gave me your amazing daddy! He gave me YOU!  I had you inside of me for 41 wonderful weeks, and then He let me enjoy you here on earth for 2 whole days. Many, many mommies don’t get to enjoy their babies for that long so I’m extremely thankful for that gift!

I want to tell you why you were such an amazing gift to me.  When I found out you were growing inside of me I was beyond thrilled.  The sad part was that at that time I didn’t love Jesus and I didn’t believe that He loved me.  I had loved Him for many years, but people here on earth had hurt me very badly.  People who had told me that they loved Jesus but sure didn’t act like it.  So I had made up my mind that I didn’t want anything to do with people that pretended to love Him, nor did I want Him.  The great thing about God is that He never leaves us…even when we feel like we don’t want or need Him.
For many years I had told myself that I was unlovable. I told myself that people and God didn’t and couldn’t love me.  When you tell yourself something long enough you believe it.  It can be the biggest lie on the planet but we believe it anyway. God gave me another gift during that time.  It was a person who REALLY loved God.  His name is Pastor Dan Mead.  Every single time Pastor Mead saw me he would smile.  He would hug me. He would tell me he loved me. Don’t tell him this but I didn’t believe him.  Probably because of that big ole lie I kept telling myself.  Anyway, he would also tell me how much God loved me. He even tried to prove it to me by reading me verses from the Bible that proclaimed God’s love to me.  I still didn’t believe. I told him that God loved EVERYBODY but for some reason He had chosen to stop loving me.  During this time I rarely took my eyes off of the floor.  My head was always down.  Probably because I didn’t have the strength to look up.  Also, I didn’t want to see all those hurtful people around me pretending to live a life of love.  Pastor Mead would put his hand under my chin and make me look at him.  I didn’t much like that, but it was needed.  Week after week and month after month Pastor Mead repeated those words and verses to me.  When I would leave his office I would feel a little bit better but I still wasn’t able to accept that gift.

Then I started feeling you move and grow inside of me and I knew I had to change my thoughts.  I didn’t want you to grow up feeling unloved.  I knew how that felt and I didn’t want you to ever feel that way, so I made a decision to try one more time.  I was going to try to accept that love again.  The funny thing was that love was always there…I had just refused to take it.  Then on November 15, 2009 my eyes were finally opened and I saw the truth.  Not only did I see it but I accepted it and felt it.  What an amazing thing God’s love is.  Ha, I’m telling you something you already know full well.

Six weeks later you were born, and two days later you died. You know what I think?  I think God knew I needed you in order to accept that love from Him and live the abundant life He had for me.  I don’t know why you had to die and be with Jesus, but I’m thrilled that you are there. You’ve never had to feel unloved.  You’ve never had to feel unwanted.  You’ve never had to feel betrayed by those who say they love you. You have lived in perfection from the moment you opened your eyes.  That is the most awesome gift ever.  I have a feeling you are very thankful for it.  

So even though it is your birthday and I didn’t get a gift for you, I want to thank you for being that little wonderful gift for me.  You were the perfect gift that made me realize how much Jesus loves me. Well, you and Pastor Mead. ;-)  Thank you Uriah…I love you so much and I can’t for a second imagine my life without you…even if it was only for a short time.

Your loving Mommy

This is your Christmas ornament this year.  :-)