Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sunday's Message

1 What are your thoughts?
I forgot to mention on my last post that Andy got to share a little bit about our God journey at church on Sunday. I did not get to go to church because I stayed home with sick babies, God knew he was supposed to share and not me. If anyone would like to hear what Andy shared, we have a link to our church (Bethany Alliance Church) on the right hand side column. Messages get uploaded every Sunday, so you can listen to November 25th.


4 What are your thoughts?
It has been a while since I last updated our blog. Sorry for those of you who have been checking it hoping to learn more about what has been going on with Nichole and our family.

Two weeks ago, at Nichole's 6 week check-up with her cardiologist, thay did an EKG scan. Everything with her heart looks great, and the doctor said that he could hardly hear her heart murmur, which means that the small hole she has, is closing up very nicely. God is good, and He continues to take care of our little baby girl!

Nichole's blood count also continues to improve, so we are hoping to be done with mediacations this week. This, however, means two more times being poked. We were supposed to have that done this week, but Ellie has been really sick with a sinus infection and is now on her second antibiotic (but this one is working!). Right now we are praying Nichole does not get sick, since Andy and I seem to be fighting this bug as well. It is already Wednesday and we might not make it to the hospital until Friday to get her blood drawn.

So as life was getting in more of a routine, sickness happened, and it has been crazy at the Stumbo house.

The week after Nichole was born, Andy and I were talking, and as I was crying I said, "Well, God does not give us more than we can handle, right?" I had the answer in my head, "No, He does not." And then Andy said, "I think sometimes He does, because it is then, and only then, that we completely trust and relay on God." "But what about that Bible verse?" I asked confused. "That Bible verse is taken out of context because it is refering to temptation, not to the different paths tha the Lord takes us through." Wow! I didn't know that, being married to a pastor does pay off.

I always thought of it as the Christian cliche we all have heard, God will not give me more than I can handle, but here I was, sitting on our bed, realizing that maybe Nichole's condition and health issues were more than I could handle, but also knowing that God intends all He brings to my life for good, and that now, I could experience what it means to trust in Him with all that I have. I think back to when I felt God asking, "Do you trust me?" "Yes Lord, I do." and then with a smile, and with more love than I ever will know He said, "I will teach you how to trust me." And He is doing just that. I think I was getting too comfortable again, getting in my routine, having things figured out. I needed God to remind me that I need to depend on Him, and to trust in Him with evrything that I have. It has been a hard week with Ellie being so sick, I am feeling like I am about to get rally sick, and I worry about Nichole getting sick. It has been days of trying to hold two girls ALL day long and a lot of crying because Ellie's throat hurts whenever she eats, coughs, swallows, or mommy has to feed or change Nichole. It has been draining, and I have found myself thinking, "I don't know if I can handle this." Oh, but when I give myself in complete trust to the Lord, knowing He can do it, then I don't have to hope that I will pull through this sickness time, I know I will, because He is leading, and He takes care of us, oh how He does." And when we are weak, He is strong. "For He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." I am honored that the Lord takes the time to work in me! In me! There was never before a time when I felt God's steady and loving work in my life like these last few months. "All I want is to know Him" and to know Him more and more deeply. What an amazing journey He has taken me through, it is the adventure of a lifetime.

And as if that was not enough, my friend Tina from MOPS called me today saying two of my other friends from MOPS want to bring us a meal. Just today I told Andy I had a dream that someone had left us meatballs on our porch. I actually looked outside the window a few times. God knew I needed that, and He uses people that are dear to us to show more and more of His love. Thanksgiving time, where do I beging to count my blessings?

Our beautiful family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We spent Thanksgiving with my dad and sisters up in Minnesota. (Unfortunatelly Ellie got sick that night). But we did have a wonderful and meaningful time with them.

Always daddy's little princess.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Nichole is 5 Weeks Old!

5 What are your thoughts?
Time flies by! I cannot believe that Nichole is already five weeks old. Life with a second child is finally becoming more "normal" since we are getting in more of a routine.
Well, first things first. Nichole got her blood checked on Wednesday. As of today (Friday). I had not heard from the doctor in Mayo so I called. They told me they had not received the results from Charles City, so we called her doctor in town thinking maybe they got sent to him instead. Well, they did, and we know that her numbers continue to go down (which is good). I called the Charles City lab and the lady that works there said that she personally had sent the repot to Mayo on Wednesday, so I suppose it is a waiting game for us from their end. We are just happy that Nichole is doing better.
I have been doing some research on the internet about Down syndrome. As a mom, I better be an expert on my daughter, right? I came across a poem by Erma Bombeck. I thought she was just a regular mom witha child with Downs, but then Andy mentioned she was actually a well known writer (I suppose she was not big enough to be known in Mexican literature). This is just the end of her poem, it is God speaking to an angel...
"There is a woman that I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a 'spoken word.' She will never consider a 'step' ordinary. When her child says 'momma' for the first time, she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her child, she will see it as few people see my creations.
I will permit her to see clearly the things I see---ignorance, cruelty, prejudice---and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."
I realize some of what she wrote was in a time when people with Downs were not welcome or included in society. Things have changed, but I have already experienced some of the ignorance that she mentioned. I was once of of them! But what an honor to be that woman, and what a strength to know that God will be with me every minute of every day for as long as I stay by His side.

Nichole is alrady teaching us that we really do not know what to expect. She is our "low muscle tone" baby, but she can roll over! She did at 19 days, and on her month birthday she started doing it regularly. She can lift her head and body even better that Ellie could at her age. Wow, so little, and yet she has already taught us so much.
Our beautiful girls. Ellie continues to be a great big sister. She asks people if they want to see her baby sister. She hugs and kisses her all the time. Yesterday at the library a little girl tried to touch Nichole (more like pull on her). Ellie looked at her and shook her finger, "No, no." What a great sister.
This is Ellie's friend "Pam." We have no idea where she got the name from other than one of her Sunday School teachers is Pam, but we never heard her say her name before (sorry Pam, but she must really like you)
She gets kissed by mommy all the time. Ellie is now old enough that she can say "No kisses mommy." So I better enjoy kissing Nichole until she can say that. Luckily for me, it might take a little longer that it did with Ellie :)



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