Monday, January 28, 2013

We're the Praying Kind

Yesterday was the first day I made it past the end of my driveway in a WEEK. I know that some people find this insane, but I'm a little insane, so I don't really mind it all that much. :) I'm seriously a hermit in the winter. I might as well hibernate. (And who in their right mind wants to pack up three children ages three and under and take them somewhere alone? Not this chick!)

We've been enjoying lazy nights at home watching long movies and relaxing - it has been fabulous! For the first time in a very long time Eric and I have been able to watch adult movies (not that kind) before we put the kids to sleep. Evie and Grace are finally old enough to entertain themselves or be set up in another room with a movie of their own to enjoy. It's the little things, but really, we feel like we have a part of our old life back, haha. We ordered take out and just took it easy most of the weekend. Hermit life is kind of grand.

Snapshots from our weekend:

Our girls took their love for the iPad to a whole new level.

The kids had fun at Grandma and Grandpa's on Sunday:

And Reagan turned 3 months old!

Cheese face:


Yesterday we spent the entire day away from home, and it was a wonderful day of family from start to finish. You will NOT believe who was able to come to church yesterday morning! (Unless you were there, of course!) She sat right behind us, too. :) Along with her mom, dad, and big brother, BABY TESSA brought her bright and smiling face to give us a bit of sunshine on a rainy January morning.

Eeeep!! Everyone was SO excited to see her, including me! I've always been at home watching our own babies while Eric has visited Tessa in the hospital and at home, and yesterday was the first time I was able to lay eyes on our niece since before Thanksgiving, when she was diagnosed with Wilm's disease. Anyone who didn't know better would never guess that Tessa had just undergone major surgery to remove tumors from her kidneys - she was smiling with her big bright eyes wide open looking around and taking everything in. What a huge blessing! Thank you, God! Our church family has been praying faithfully for Tessa, and it was awesome seeing her and her family all together again. :)

I will never forget the first time I held baby Tessa in my arms, when she was just a teeny tiny newborn. It was a warm August day, and we were all outside enjoying the sunshine. Everyone else went inside, and I was left alone to cuddle the sweet new addition to our family. Being pregnant myself at the time, I was soaking in every minute of getting to love on a baby I could hold and kiss and cuddle. And I took full advantage of our quiet time together.

Pictures from that August day:

I remember stroking her tiny face and whispering to her that she was a very special gift from God. While a soft breeze blew lazily by, I prayed out loud a prayer that God would watch over and protect her and guide her all the days of her life. We couldn't have known then what would lie ahead for this precious baby, but before a diagnosis, before chemo treatments and surgeries and so many nights away from home, Tessa was being lifted up in prayer.

On the evening that we were given the heartbreaking news of Tessa's diagnosis, I remember my head spinning with all of the information.  It was the night before Thanksgiving, and we were getting into bed when we received the word. Neither Eric nor I had ever heard of Wilm's disease, and it was so hard to grasp this news. But while it was certainly scary and way too much to process all at once, I distinctly remember going to bed that night with a peace in my heart that it was all going to be okay. I prayed for Tessa once again, and I felt an overwhelming response of, "Don't worry, I've got this. I have a plan. Be still, and know that I am God."

We don't know all of the answers just yet. There are results yet to be given and more treatments looming ahead. I don't know what "the plan" is, and really, it's not my job or anyone else's to know. What I DO know, is that there is one. :) And no matter what news is given in the coming days, I will still know and believe with all of my heart that Tessa is in very good hands.

And Tessa is not the only person that I pray for, just in case you're wondering. :) I'm beginning to learn that it is good to let someone know when you're in their court, rooting for them and praying for them. So friends, please know that there are so many of you that I have prayed for, wept for, pleaded and begged with God for. Through miscarriages and infertility, through marriage issues and kid issues, through broken relationships and worries that you have shared - I have always been your silent partner in prayer. Always.

I have enjoyed watching you have those babies, mend those relationships, and get through those tough times. And I have also continued to pray when there didn't seem to be any answers. When life only seemed to get harder. And I know that some of you are still right in the middle of it. I know that you might not have the answers that you want. But just like with baby Tessa, I also know that there is a plan for you. I know it, because I feel it in my GUTS, and also, and much more importantly, because the Bible told me so.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I know that there are readers and friends of mine who don't believe in this stuff - I have the comments to prove it. I have some really, really hateful comments to prove it. :) Guess what? I pray for you, too! BAHA. So take THAT. :D

There are some good friends of ours who are in the middle of a pretty awesome story of their own, and I invite you to check it out right here. <-- When your ultrasound tech asks you if there are people who have been praying for your baby still in the womb, you know that there's something going on!

Yes, it was a sweet sweet Sunday to have Tessa's WHOLE family there with us, and I really hope that they can come again! ;) We polished off our weekend with lunch at Eric's parents house and then dinner at my parent's house - complete with a brownie sundae dessert that I'm kind of wishing I had some more of right about now....

And now, today, I'm going back to high school. For the first time since my college field experience, I'm stepping back into the classroom during school hours - but not to teach. I'm helping my sister with a presentation. We'll see how this goes! Haha. Have a good day! :)


April Maura said...

That's wonderful to hear Tessa was able to go out and about. Thanks for filling us in.

P.S. I hope you take pictures of helping your sister with her presentation. That's exciting revisiting memory lane.

Cassie said...

so happy for tessa.

this whole post made me tear up.

you're a great person lady! you know that! a great person!!

good luck at school today!

Katie said...

One of my friends recently gave birth to a baby girl who didn't breathe or have a heart beat for her first 13 minutes of life. The doctors told them to expect her to have a significant amount of brain damage. Her MRI came back completely brain damage and they got to go home just 20 days after she was born. They're Christians and have been posting prayer requests on facebook throughout the whole thing. As a Christian, I've always SAID I believed in the power of prayer but when something like that happens as a direct result of prayer, you really get hit with how much power prayer holds. We have an amazing God who listens to us and answers us. Glad to hear Tessa is doing well :)


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