Chasing Contentment

Friday, October 15

If we believe in miracles and in God's overarching power and grace, and if we pray earnestly seeking the miracles we desire, sometimes God answers in such beautiful, amazing ways. I've been praying for a friend for months now, for a miracle to happen in her life, one she couldn't bring herself to hope for herself.

I decided that since it was too painful for her to hope for this, I would. I would pray it. And so I did. And it encouraged me to remember that if I believe in God's power enough to pray for this thing that they said couldn't happen, then I believe in His power enough to trust that He has a plan for our lives and will carry it out.

[  posted by Chel on Friday, October 15, 2004  ]

Thursday, October 14

Fashion yourselves after the One who turned down the crown in order to be a servant to others. That is the greatest success in this life, to serve one another.
I heard that quote this morning - though I didn't hear the author of it - and wanted to be sure to remember it.

[  posted by Chel on Thursday, October 14, 2004  ]

Friday, October 8

Dearest Eliza,
A year ago today, you were in the NICU hooked up to wires and tubes and all manner of things. Your body was being kept warm artificially, and you had been given plasma to fix the problems my blood running through you could cause. I was in a room in another part of the hospital being given powerful drugs to help prevent seizures. We were worlds apart and yet connected. I wouldn't meet you for another 12 hours or so.

Today, you crawled your tiny body across the crib to greet me and the morning. You're doing all of these amazing things the NICU doctors warned us you might not do until later. You smile easily but laugh with hesitation. You have to really think something's funny to give us a good laugh, and you seem to think Griffin's funnier than your daddy and me, which is okay by me.

You are a gift to us from God. We always thought it would just be the three of us, your daddy, Griffin, and me. We were surprised to find that wasn't the case. God knew that our family needed an Eliza, and we are so thankful He knew best. But then, He always knows best.

I have such prayers and hopes for you, just as I have for your brother. May you know that love that only God can give, may your daddy and I give you the love you need here on this Earth to confidently pursue your dreams, may you be surrounded by Christian friends, may you find and delight in (and periodically annoy) a good, Christian man, may you always smile easily.

Happy Day I Met You, Miss Eliza.

[  posted by Chel on Friday, October 08, 2004  ]

Thursday, October 7

Today... ah, today. The joy and contentment and gratitude I feel today envelope me. All days are precious. Today is a tangible reminder of how precious life is... my life.

A year ago today, my doctor told me I was very sick, that if he didn't go ahead and deliver my daughter - seven weeks too soon - and deliver her within moments, I would be so sick that I would bleed to death on the delivery table. I don't know that the impact of his words hit me until much later. My first thoughts were of Eliza, of how she wasn't ready yet. Mike says he's glad I was thinking of her because he wasn't, which makes me smile.

My daughter was born a year ago today. I met her a year ago tomorrow. She lived more than 24 hours before I ever saw her, touched her skin. So much difficulty surrounded us all in those days, but the Lord was carrying us.

My mother came to visit the day before Eliza was born, and she was able to stay with Griffin. My friend, Stacy, came to my hospital room moments before the doctor arrived to tell us what would happen, and she was able to stay with Mike so he wouldn't be alone during the surgery. She happens to be trained for these situations, and she was the very best person to be with him at that time. She was also one of my greatest encouragers while Eliza was in the NICU.

My great-aunt Lynda Jane, who travels with her work, was driving through town that night and came to my room late that evening as Mike was leaving to go home to get things for us both to have at the hospital. She stayed with me while he was gone so I wouldn't be alone.

So many things happened in the days leading up to Eliza's birth and in the days after that renewed my conviction that the Lord is in control of all. I am so grateful that my doctor is a strong, competent man who recognized what was wrong with me and was capable of treating me. I am humbled that God chose to give me this second chance on life.

I pray that I make good use of this time He gave me, that I love my husband and children well enough, that I encourage my friends well enough, that I provide myself open to whatever God has for me, and that I strive to be all that He wants me to be. Outside of my salvation, I cannot think of a gift God has given me that is greater than this opportunity to be with my family still.

Happy first birthday, my dear Eliza.

[  posted by Chel on Thursday, October 07, 2004  ]