Monday, February 9, 2009

How Fitting -

I think is most fitting, especially after reading some of the comments for the sadness of the last few days.  I actually responded to a couple of blog reader about this tonight. This was the first time I was able to get to this today, but I thought it was perfect timing in this one arriving in my inbox, for me and for some of my readers. 

Start with the Faith You Have
by Rick Warren

[The boy’s father said,] “... If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!” Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.” No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”
Mark 9:22-24 (MSG)

*** *** *** ***

Is it possible to be filled with faith and doubt at the same time? Yes!

You can have faith that God wants you to do something and still be scared to death. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is going ahead and doing what you’re called to do in spite of your fear.

You have to begin with the faith you already have: it may be just a little, but you start there. A beautiful example of this is the story of the man who brought his sick son to Jesus in Mark 9. Jesus looked at the man and said, “I can heal your son. If you will believe, I will heal him.”

The father then makes a classic statement: “Lord, I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief.”

Have you ever felt like that? “Lord, I have some faith. But I also have some doubts.” This man was filled with faith and doubt, yet despite his honest doubts, he went ahead and asked Jesus for a miracle. And he got his miracle – Jesus healed his son.

Mustard seed faith moves mountains. No matter how weak or how frail you think your faith is, it’s enough to get you through what you’re facing because your “little faith” is in a big God.

Matthew 17:20 says, “If you have faith as small as the mustard seed, nothing will be impossible to you.” That’s not a lot of faith; in fact, it’s just a little faith. But what else does that verse teach? “If you have faith as the mustard seed, you can say to the mountain, ‘Move’ and it will be moved.”

Mustard seed faith moves mountains. Don’t get this reversed; we tend to read this verse backward; we want it to say, “If you have faith like a mountain, you can move a mustard seed” – as if it takes enormous faith to do a very little task.

Everybody has faith. You had faith this morning when you ate your cereal – faith that your spouse didn’t put poison in your granola!

You had faith when you sat down in your computer chair – faith that it wouldn’t collapse.

Everybody has faith; the difference is what you put your faith in.

Sometimes people will tell me they don’t want to surrender to Jesus until all their questions are answered; they don’t want to make a commitment until every thing is understand.

God wants you start with the faith you have; and based on the example of the mustard seed, you don’t need a whole lot of faith to do great things for God. You just need a little.

So here’s a trustworthy equation:

Little Faith + Big God = Huge Results!

· You take your little faith; “Lord, I believe! Help me with my unbelief!”

· And you place your faith in our big God,

· And then he’ll show you how he works out huge results. 


As we spoke about in church this weekend when I was listening and not thinking of Cora and her family.  The main point was that "GOD shows up, when things blow up". Our God is that big, that he can wait on HIS timing, not our and show up when things blow up, and we think it can't be fixed.  That's when God likes to show up most and give us miracles.  But a huge part of that message was this:

1. God does it on HIS timing, not ours..and HIS way, not ours.

2.  God does NOT do magic, he performs Miracles.

3.  God shows up when things blow up.

4.  God wants to see FAITH action steps from you first, for you to receive your miracle, not the other way around. 

5.  So its okay, normal and human to have doubts, but it only hurts you when you don't ask God to help you with those doubts and unbelief's.

I was responding back to a blog friend and I said to her "I feel very confident and solid in my relationship with God and my faith, but don't think for a minute that I am not human and never have a thought enter my mind of doubt or disbelief." It's what we do with those thoughts and moments that matter the most. 

Good Night everyone and thanks for the many prayers and sweet comments you all left today.  

Tomorrow Cora's funeral will start at 1:00 PM.  If you can remember to, please stop and give her a moment of silence and as well as pray for her parents that they have the strength to get through such a sad day. 

Not Me Monday.....

Alright, Alright.... Ill play quickly before I go to bed.  Trying to keep my mind off all the sad stuff out there on my mind today. But then again this doesn't help.....

I did not get beaten by my 8 year old in a Bakugan Battle tonight........ 
(but then again I think it's impossible to beat him if you play by HIS rules)

I then did not get beat by Mark in a round of Texas Hold'em Poker. 
(Why did I say "all in", when I knew I didn't have it?)

And I most certainly did not become a big fat sore loser when he beat me 3 straight rounds in Yahtzee. Then while pouting, put all the games away, put Hunter to bed, fed Morgan, only to have her puke all over me because she does not have the most hyper-sensitive gag reflex I have ever seen next to mine.  The slightest little chunk in her mouth and the girl gags, chokes and then pukes likes the exorcist child.  
And I absolutely am not posting this next picture of a pile of laundry that my husband so sweetly helped me wash just to tease him.  I found my GREEN sweater mixed in with the REDS and PINKS wash...... to later tell him, "honey just because it says pink on it, doesn't mean it gets washed with the pinks." What can I say my husband had a blonde moment.  I guess men have them too!!! 

Unlike me, he was a good sport about it and giggled over it, and said that "I was clever to notice that and made a funny out of it." 

So there you have it folks..... a Not Me Monday carnival.  Now head over to MckMama's blog and get your laughs on!!!!  

Is he a stud or what?

Hunter's dad sent these to me today.  Hunter finally got his uniform for his travel baseball team, the Stars! So far Hunter is hitting really well, isn't afraid to catch anything that comes his way and even had made some Derek Jeter moves with diving full stretched body to catch a ball. Although, this little stud is a Boston Red Sox fan, he looks pretty stylish with that little body of his, in his new uniform.  

PS: And my little athlete shot two goal in his hockey game Saturday morning that I missed while I was freezing in a freezing pool at my photo shoot.  Ill post on that later.  I have so much to catch you all up on with the cruise picture, misc pictures and planning my girls 1st birthday party. isn't often I get to post about Hunter who shies away from the camera these days.  

Although I don't think you can really appreciate them in these pictures with the white pants.  This child has one bubble butt. I don't think I have ever seen a kid with a booty like this kid has.  I mean its so cute, that when he turns sideways out in a field, you can spot Hunter out right away just by his booty.  As Mark likes to tell me, that is how coaches know if you will be a good athlete or football player..... by the small of their back and their booties.  LOL...... 

I have to admit, I am scared!

I have to be honest today.  I have cried all day, night and again this morning. I know this is part of this fallen world, and this sadness happens all the time, everyday. However, some how, some way this little girl touched me and won over my heart the first time I read her blog.  I think it is because so much of her and so many of her photos posted, reminded me of Butterfly. Cora, only one month older than Morgan.  

I was so excited to get on my blog, to click on Cora's blog and see her update yesterday, truly expecting to hear good news.  We were praying that her lungs would start opening all the way so to get her off her oxygen.  The last post that her parents left were with praises that all seemed to be quiet for Cora for the day.  As soon as I opened the blog and read those words "Cora is with Jesus today", I just started holding my face and saying "oh no! oh no!" as I started to cry.  Mark quickly came to see what was the matter with me.  

We were on our way out the door to church and as I sat there in church yesterday, I couldn't stay focused on the message. I kept fading in and out on Cora and her parents.  I can't explain the amount of pain and anxiety I have for them.  You would think that I knew this family and this little girl all her life, this is how much I am struggling with this. 

To keep me a little busy, I went to the hospital to visit my friend and her little girl Madi.  If you remember, I photographed Madi, Lindsay and Brad engagement photos a few months back.  Madi, also fighting an ear infection, had a severe allergic reaction to her medication had put her taking. She swelled up so bad that her finger nails were blue and she couldn't walk on her feet.  Her body broke out with these massive welts/hives all over body.  She appears to be in a lot of pain, and very uncomfortable when the medication wears down. Her little body begins to itch all over and she just claws at herself.  They have kept her in the hospital for 2 nights now to see if they have gotten it all under control.  I stayed for a couple of hours yesterday, letting Lindsay go home to take a nap and get stuff she needed for another sleepless night in the hospital.  Madi and I played, watched Mickey Mouse Club House and I fed her a grilled cheese.  I just wanted to kiss her boo-boo's all over her little body, and make them and the pain go away.  Please pray that she gets to go home soon and that this situation is under control and her body can start getting rid of the rash and painful itch. 

On my way home, I begin to cry again.  I get home and I just hold Morgan as tight as I can, so thankful for my two children.  Hunter is with daddy this weekend. However, I couldn't help but wonder..... wonder because I believe my children are healthy, just as Cora's parents believe she was a normal healthy 11 month old baby, only fighting an ear infection.  Of course my mind and my questions start wondering and consuming my thoughts.  How is it that this cancer could get to stage 4 and the doctors not have noticed it?  Morgan has had check ups every month since she was born because I divided her shots into 2 at a time.  How did this cancer go unnoticed? How can I pay more attention to symptoms in both of my children if there are any underlying things taking place in their bodies? 

What breaks my heart is reading through Cora's blog. Her mommy writing and posting about Cora having a black-eye for "no reason" in some of the Christmas photos.  Now they know why she wasn't getting over her ear infections and why she had a black eye all of the sudden. Her little body was fighting so hard with this cancer eating her away on the inside, while it went unnoticed or visible on the outside.  That is VERY sad and scary to me.  

Not only that, I feel I have to not think about this so much, as hard as that is because if I continue to allow my thoughts to wonder, I find myself with anxiety over it all.  I cried so hard last night laying in bed.  I woke up a couple of times in the middle of the night with anxiety, trying to catch my breath, my heart racing, imagining the mother of this little girl waking up in the dark screaming out Cora's name.  Its almost too painful to even write. The first thing to my mind as I woke up this morning, reminding myself it wasn't a dream and I begin to cry again, only to think about this mother probably wanting God to just take her away too.  I can't imagine getting out of bed today. I can't imagine, the moment they told me my daughter was gone.  I can't imagine the moment they take her body away for me to no longer hold, kiss or touch.  I can't imagine, the pain, the heartache and the shock that this mommy and daddy are experiencing.  Their only child, their first child and a child of only 11 months old.  Thought to have been so healthy, normal and beautiful.  To only have been so sick on the inside for however long.  

It all happened so fast for this family.  They went in with a healthy baby fighting an ear infection, found a mass on her stomach and liver area. Find out it's stage 4-cancer, they check her into the hospital, and have a picture of her smiling as a normal baby would be.  In a matter of days, only days, she turns south, having multiple surgeries, cemo and wires put in and out of her body.  Her body was so little, and too weak to continue and she let go. Only in a matter of days and what was thought to only be a stubborn ear infection. One minute you are holding your healthy baby girl, and the next she is taken away from you forever. 

I don't know enough about cancer to know weather or not that her stage 4 cancer to her liver was able to grow that quickly, or has it been growing since she was born? How can doctors or parents be more aware of this? I asked Mark yesterday, as if he would have an answer or something, "why can't they screen children of small ages for cancer as part of a routine check-up?" 

I look at Morgan, and she has been a huge part of my life for 10 months now. I see her laugh and play, and she seems so healthy.  How can you not wonder about the unknown?  This is where we put our faith in God, but at the same time, you don't want to be in denial or seem unconcerned for your children. 

I prayed to God to help put visions of a happy, healthy and pain free Cora in my head, running around, jumping and smiling.  It only last for a minute and my mind races back over to mourn with the parents.  Almost, as if I feel guilty, unless I am hurting with them.  I ask "is there something God wants us to learn from this?" What are we being taught? Or is this simply another sad situation caused by our fallen world? 

Being at the hospital yesterday and seeing all those families and young children in there.  Oh how I am so thankful for God's mercy and grace he has constantly given me.  I read blogs about families dealing with this and their unbreakable faith.  I only pray that if God chose me to experience something like this, that I continue my faith and walk with Him.  I will be honest, I have said such thoughts in my head, praying that God to please not put me through such test. Not because I fear I will not have a strong enough faith, but simply because I am selfish and I want my kids here with me, alive and healthy. I am so abundantly thankful. 

God, I am abundantly thankful for where my life is today.  That my kids are here with me another day.  That my family is together here anther day.  I know you love us, that you want to prosper us, Lord, and I trust you and I give you my life, my children, my family, my marriage, Lord.  I give it all to you and trust your will and plan for all of us.  

Lord, I pray right now, not only for Cora's parents, but for all the hurting families suffering today.  I know children who are hurting because of lost parents. I know parents who are hurting because of list children.  It is so hard Lord to witness and watch others go through such pain.  I feel so helpless and I wish there were more I can do.  Lord, if there is more I can do, please show me what I can do. How can I be of help, comfort and support, Lord? 

Today, is different, Lord.  I see everything with a little more detail.  I am reminded again to enjoy the small things that at the end of the day are the big things.  To enjoy my children at all times. To enjoy my husband Lord, and not be so quick to snap at them or sulk in my own moodiness for whatever petty reason.

Please, help me to focus on the good along with the bad and sadness of this world Lord. I know my story isn't done, your will for me isn't finished.  How can I be of a servant for you today? How can I show my kids and my husband how much I cherish them and love them today? How can I grow more in my faith with You, today? 

Lord, you have a new beautiful angel with you today, named Cora.  Please comfort her parents to know that she is safe and healthy with you and that they will one day see her again.  Thank you for this little girl and all the children in this world, for there is no doubt that children are your gifts to us, even when so often are undeserved. Thank you for this new day.  Amen. 

Life is just too precious and short! 
Cherish every moment with those you love! 

A celebration of Cora's life will be held at 1:00 PM on Tuesday, February 10, at Grace Community Church, 1600 S. Anderson Rd. Newton, Kansas.
Burial will follow at the Pleasant View Cemetery in rural Elbing.
In lieu of sending flowers, a memorial has been established to construct the Cora Playground, an extension of the children's ministries department at Grace Community Church.

Click here for 'Cora's Lullaby' written for her yesterday. 

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