Saturday, September 29, 2007

Making do


Well, I am struggling. There is a line between being thankful for every little thing I have and still struggling for the situation I find myself in. In light of my last few postings about Copeland Farley, this post will seem trivial. But eventhough I am trying to be grateful, and I have changed, my life is still my life. This is where the struggle comes in.

Because of our current financial situation, Stephen has to ref soccer to make extra money. This isn't something he has a choice about, but something he is doing to keep me from having to work, which I am so thankful for. But this means that he isn't home a lot. He was gone before we got up this morning, on a Saturday. And he won't be able to go to church with us tomorrow. Do you know how hard it is to take four kids to church by yourself? I do it, because I know it is important. But by the time we get home, I am so tired and that just makes me grouchy towards the kids, kind of like I am this morning. I am glad Jordan and Claire are playing soccer; I really am. But most of their games this season are at the same time, so I spend my time running back in forth between fields. Doesn't sound so hard, right? Try doing it with a 2 yr old who doesn't like to walk, or stay off the fields, and a baby and a stroller and a camp chair. Tired yet?

I love my life. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Satan is using this time, though, to make me complain. To make me wish I was somewhere else. He is making me mad at Stephen because, eventhough the reffing is work, he enjoys it. So he is getting to do stuff he likes to do and I'm not. Do you see why I am so frustrated? Not that Stephen is getting to do things he enjoys, but that Satan has me mad at him for it. I know Stephen would rather be home playing with the kids. He HATES having to be gone so much. But he is doing all of this for me and our family.

Well, my venting is over for now. At least until I have to get all the kids ready and in the car to get to the fields an hour early for pictures. Life goes on, and eventhough I struggle, I do know how blessed I am.

Remember the Farley's today at 1:00; they are having a memorial service for their baby girl.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I'm so proud.

Just in cast you were wondering what it was like to work at State Farm...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Copeland Fair Farley

The Farleys lost their precious baby girl tonight. I can't imagine what they are going through. Please lift them in prayer tonight and for the next few days. I don't think I will ever stop praying for them. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My cup runneth over...*update on Bennett below*

First of all, let me update you on a couple of sweet babies. Please pray for Bennett tomorrow; the plan is to extubate him sometime tomorrow. It is so amazing to think that he is over a month old and his parents, Travis and Kelly, haven't heard that first cry yet. Pray for him to have a restful night so that they may hear that sweet cry they have been waiting for. Also, Copeland Farley is still here and doing well. I continue to be amazed at that family. Everytime I go to check their blog, I think that it couldn't get anymore amazing, but God is working in that family. Tonight we are praying that she stays pink and has a restful night. Simply amazing.

As for me, I feel God working in my life like never before. I can't believe that he is using a tiny, 4 pound baby named Copeland, whom I have never met, to change me. But then again, I can believe it because my kids are everything to me. And I know God wanted me to see how blessed that family is with Copeland; why shouldn't I act blessed with my kids? Why shouldn't I treat them like the greatest blessings in the world? Thank you, Boothe and Conor Farley, for sharing your sweet family with me. I will be forever changed and grateful. I know that whatever comes my way, I am blessed. God is good. So very good.

UPDATE: Bennett had other thoughts in mind when he wanted to be extubated. Last night during the shift change, Bennett yanked his tube out and the nurses found it on the floor. He is now on CPAP, the next step towards coming off assistance all together and doing great! Apparently, CPAP is annoying to the babies, so he is agitated, but they are thrilled to be here at this point. It was kind of like God letting Bennett do the honors of removing his own tube!

Friday, September 21, 2007

I hear you, God.

"I am so thankful that God's grace is stronger than my faith." This is a quote from Amy Wilhoite, a woman who was my age when she died last week from a long bout with leukemia. I continue to find blogs/websites of people who are going through extreme crises, only to be incredibly strong. And joyful! It just blows me away. I did remark to Stephen yesterday that if anyone questions whether or not God is real, they need to read the blogs I have been reading lately. There is no way these people could endure such hardships if their faith wasn't being reassured by God himself.

I feel God pursuing me. I am listening because I desperately want to know what He is saying to me. But on my bad days, on the days where I am just tired, on the days where I struggle, I am so thankful that God's grace is stronger than my faith. I am thankful that I don't have to be perfect for Him to want a relationship with me. I am thankful that He wants me just where I am. I love Him so much.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I hate money.

Although I wish I had more of it. We are in the midst of a financial struggle right now. Some of our own doing, some not. Please pray that we get it together and use some self-discipline. Pray that we let the Holy Spirit guide us as we look to get out of this mess. Also, please pray that we can do it without me going to work. I can't imagine leaving my babies everyday.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I just wanted to take a minute and ask you to pray for the Farley family today. They are one of the sites I listed in my last post, and they live in Franklin, TN. They are having their baby girl, Copeland, today. She has trisomy18. They have been on my mind all day. I don't know them, but the life of this precious baby, and her parents, has changed me forever.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Blown away...(added another site to pray for)

For some reason, I have found all of these blogs of people who are grieving. Some in different ways, but still grieving all the same. Mostly from losing their babies/children. My heart has been so heavy for these families, and I have been praying for them. But my heart is also been filled. I have realized that everyday is a gift. I don't know why God chose me to be Jordan, Claire, Luke and Campbell's mom. I don't know why I never had trouble getting pregnant or have never had any miscarriages. Several of my friends have and it just kills me. I don't know why all of my kids, eventhough they were ALL born at least 4 weeks early, had no problems. Claire had to stay in the NICU for a few weeks, but she was healthy just the same.

I have been humbled beyond words by the things God is allowing me to see. I am so grateful to Him for the gift of my family. But now, more importantly, I am grateful that He is teaching me to enjoy each minute. He is teaching me to discipline with His heart and guidance. He is teaching me about the special gifts that each of my children has. So, for those of you who are getting ready to experience great pain and grief, and those of you who have in the past, know that I pray for you and know that your strength amazes me everyday. I know I am blessed and I don't take it for granted.

Please pray for these (and the others I couldn't find again). These families have touched me and changed me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hey Stephen, ha ha.

Looks like I had camera batteries after all!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My, oh my

I was sitting here trying to read blogs, and I have a million things going through my head. So, I thought I would get them down. This will probably be incoherent to anyone but me, but read on anyway if you wish.

1. Bennett Speck is doing so good! He got his chest tubes out today, so they are one step closer to holding him. You can go to his site for the latest. Please keep them in your prayers.

2. Campbell is done nursing and it has made me sadder than I thought it would. But I just wasn't being a good mom to the rest of the kids because I was so tired. So, this is the decision I have made. I am feeling guilty and depressed, but I know a lot of that is the hormones talking. I am proud of myself for sticking it out for almost four months.

3. My stress level is having a very negative effect on my oldest, Jordan. His behavior is really trying my patience. The thing is, he is perfect at school. His teacher wrote on his homework the other day, "You are my shining star!" But when he gets home, I feel like all I do is discipline him. It is very tiring. He has so many great gifts, but I am having trouble focusing on those at the moment.

4. I love my family so much it hurts. When I look at my kids and my husband and realize how unbelievably blessed I am, I just ache. My heart couldn't be more full.

5. I miss God. I feel Him right now, but I miss the Bible study time I am used to. I want to lead another one, but I don't know where I would find the time. I don't have a very good prayer life. But, I have found that I can pray a lot during the day without even knowing it. And I have been doing that a lot lately, which is why I have been feeling God walking me through each day.

I have a lot more that I could share, but I need to go and hold Luke before he goes to sleep. He is watching Dora and Campbell is asleep on Stephen, who is also asleep. If my camera batteries weren't dead, I'd take a picture. It is pretty sweet. It reminds me of that quote, "Life isn't measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Couple of updates

First of all, Baby Bennett experienced a miracle today! Go to his website to read the journal entries from today; Keep praying for this sweet baby and his parents; I have been amazed and forever touched by their strength and faith.

Also, our family friend Bobby Coss, only had 7 bypasses, not 12. Sounds funny to say only 7, but it turns out I just misunderstood my mom on the phone. Continue to pray for him as well.

I have about a million thoughts running through my head about my life. Hopefully one of these days I will have time to blog about them.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Praise the Lord!

The latest journal entry on Baby Bennett was good. For those of you wondering if prayer really makes a difference, go to and read the latest journal entry. Keep praying for his heart and lungs. This morning as I was nursing Campbell, I just couldn't get Bennett off my mind. Everytime I hear of a baby, child, or anyone really who is so sick and having so many problems, it makes me want to fall on my face in gratitude for the blessing of my healthy children. They were all born early and could've potentially had so many problems. I don't know why I, of all people, have been so blessed. It is certainly nothing I deserve. Remember Bennett today, and also our family friend Robert Coss.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Continued prayers

I am posting the latest journal entry for Bennett Speck below. Please pray for him tonight. Also, a close family friend, Robert Coss, had bypass surgery today after suffering a heart attack. He had 12 arteries that were blocked 95%. The surgery was successful, but he has a long road of recovery ahead of him.

September 6th - Day Eighteen, 6:30pmposted on 09/06/2007
Family and friends, I know we've said this before, but now is the most crucial "hour" for our precious boy. The next several hours and throughout the night will determine many things.
We just met with the wonderful team of doctors again. His lungs have responded better than they thought they would to being temporarily taken off ECMO. The lungs haven't responded anywhere near perfect of course, for they are still too weak. But the lungs did respond, so the decision has just been made to remove Bennett permanently from ECMO. There were a few other reasons why they wanted to take him off ECMO, including the fact that the machine had a major clot in it, but the main ones are because his lungs are functioning a little better now and to reduce his bleeding. Once he is off ECMO, he cannot return. This will significantly reduce and/or eliminate his bleeding, but it will also significantly reduce the assistance he was receiving. It's now entirely up to his lungs and heart.
So, can you see where we need prayers right now? Two main organs: his lungs and his heart. They now have to carry the burden of sustaining him, so please pray for the strength of his lungs and his heart. His heart is also of major concern because it now has to start acting like, well, a heart. But his heart has been hibernating over two weeks, so there is significant concern about how his heart will respond to the "shock" of having to work again. They will be giving his heart several drugs and steroids soon to try to kick it in gear.
The surgery option right now is still just an option. If his lungs continue to expand and strengthen, then surgery may not be needed. This would be ideal. But even if surgery is performed, the risks are much lower now because the heparin and excessive bleeding should no longer be issues. As you can imagine, so much is happening right now, and it's happening very quickly. Essentially what it boils down to is the healthy functioning of the lungs and the heart.
Before the doctors re-entered the NICU to head over to Bennett, we told them that we and several hundred people around the country are praying for them and for Bennett. They thanked us for that, and reminded us that faith is essential during times like this because their expertise can only go so far. Your prayers are sustaining us, the incredible medical staff here, and our precious son, and we ask that you once again join us in prayers for the doctors and for Bennett's lungs and heart. His has fought like a warrior, but his strength will be tested now more than ever.
We will most likely be here for the majority of the night, and as more updates become available we will let you know. As always, thank you for all your love and support.
Travis, Kelly, and Bennett

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Bennett Mitchell Speck

Some friends of ours we used to go to church with have a new nephew that is in the hospital. The journal entry for today listed some new problems he is having and I want as many people as possible lifting him in prayer. The NICU is a scary place sometimes. And Claire wasn't even really sick when she was there. I just can't imagine what they are going through right now. Please pray for Travis, Kelly, and Bennett. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Labor Day 07

Here are a few pics from our weekend. I was way busier than I thought I'd be so I didn't get many pictures. We had a great time, though. The kids had a blast! We went to the aquarium in Chattanooga on Saturday. Luke made it through the first half and slept through the second. We played at the campground the rest of the time. We rode paddle boats, fed horses, played in the dance hall, ate a lot, just had a great time. Thanks Grandma and Papa!