Chasing Contentment

Friday, December 22

Keziah posted a comment and asked if Olivia was my granddaughter. I think I'm way too young for a granddaughter (though in all honesty, my own grandmother was only four years older than I am now when I was born... at that age, I'll have a 12- and a 7-year-old), but I'll claim Olivia and her parents as family any day.

For people who don't know me personally, I made deep ties with people and places (which has contributed to the difficulty of this move). We lived in a small Louisiana town, and I was blessed to have my dear friend, Mandy, live two doors down from me with her husband, Josh.

Our friend, Linda, and I were matchmakers for Mandy and Josh, and we still claim some credit for their union, which cracks Mandy and Josh up. My Griff was an usher at their wedding, tiny tux and all.

For years, Mandy and I would meet at the fence or in the road when she got home from work and I got the kids to bed, and we'd chat while the mosquitoes ate our flesh in the humid air. Or we'd chat and stomp our feet and laugh about how cold it was, all the while still standing and chatting.

The love is family even if the blood is not. Mandy and Josh had a hard time getting pregnant, and so Olivia was a little blessing right from the start. Mandy was so sick at the beginning of her pregnancy, but she was a trooper, never complaining. She so wanted that baby that she never expressed that what she was going through was too much.

They had to do an emergency c-section on her yesterday, only to discover fluid in her lungs. They've determined now that she has pneumonia, and she's been kept heavily sedated in the ICU. She has wonderful doctors, and her pediatrician (whom I trusted with both of my babies) assures Josh that he'll sign whatever orders needed so that Olivia can stay in the hospital until Mandy's ready to go home.

This is hard beyond measure for Josh, and I am humbled by his strength, just as I was by Mike's three years ago when we were in a far too similar situation. We're too far away to go help him physically, so prayer is pretty much all I can offer the three of them.

I have this opinion that there's not anyone reading my blog other than about three people who already know me in person, but for right now, I'm asking that everyone say a little prayer for my friend, Mandy, who needs her strength to get well so that she can meet her beautiful daughter.

And if you would, please, post a comment and I'll be able to show Olivia one day just how many people - strangers, even - were praying earnestly for her mama and her daddy and for her.

I humbly thank you, in advance, for those prayers.

(The top photo is of Olivia and her daddy and the bottom photo is of Olivia lying in her daddy's lap, listening to me talk to her on the phone.)

Christmas Eve A.M. Update... Our Olivia is doing beautifully, being held and loved by countless family members. Our Mandy is, however, still struggling in the ICU. We are confident that she will be fine in the end, but it's just taking a little longer than we would have initially liked. Isn't that so often the way God's will is? Thank you to all who have and will continue to pray for this family.

Christmas Eve P.M. Update... Mandy was taken off the respirator this morning, and she was moved to a private room this afternoon where she finally met her daughter. It is the best Christmas gift I can imagine this year. Thank you, for the prayers.

[  posted by Chel on Friday, December 22, 2006  ]


Michele - Oh my! I was so sorry to read about this development as I've been following this story right along this year. (I'm just not good about leaving comments!) I posted your prayer request on my blog. I hope many will see it and respond with petitions on Mandy's behalf.

Blessings and Merry Christmas to you and your family!

By Anonymous Sallie, at 6:37 PM  

I came by from Sallie's blog and am lifting this family up in prayer.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:57 PM  

I came from Sallie's blog. Will be praying for them both!

By Anonymous Courtney, at 7:30 PM  

Mandy, Josh and Olivia are in the Trice family prayers - we know how dear you are to Chel and Mike, so Mandy, get well soon so you can enjoy getting to know Olivia at home.
Love, Stacy and Chuck Trice

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:35 PM  

I came from Sallie's blog and will be praying for Mandy, Josh and Olivia!

By Blogger Kristy, at 8:02 PM  

saying prayers too

A Dusty Frame

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:10 PM  

Thank you, to all of you. They are precious to us, and we are deeply grateful for the prayers on their behalf.

By Blogger Chel, at 8:23 PM  

We'll be praying that all goes well for your friend and her little family!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:54 PM  

Mandy and Olivia,
I have already prayed for you after hearing about your situation on Sallie's blog. God be with your family and provide for your every need.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:03 PM  

I'm also here from Sallie's blog. I prayed for healing for Mandy and continued health for Olivia and Josh. My mother and I and my daughter were all very ill with our pregnancies (hyperemesis gravidarum) and gave birth to big, healthy babies in spite of it. Pregnancies with girl babies are generally worse than boy babies with this condition.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:23 PM  

i came here by way of sallie's blog. i will pray for this family. what a precious baby.

By Anonymous melissa, at 9:49 PM  

I will be praying for you all! Josh may you find peace and rest in God at this time. Little Olivia, so beautiful, may your mummy make a speedy recovery :)

By Anonymous Lindsey, at 2:09 AM  

I continue for pray for the whole family and for the doctors and nurses looking after them. My heart breaks for them. I promise to remember them over Christmas which will be so different for you and them all than they imagined it would be.

(Sorry for the grandmother comment - you just don't give your age on the site!)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:26 AM  

Keziah - no offense taken! I'm 36 and honored that you would think my writing and our little lives here are wise enough to make me sound like a grandmother. I actually take that as quite a compliment. I have had amazing grandmothers. :)

By Blogger Chel, at 3:42 AM  

After being in the opposite situation with little ones (twins) in NICU and me being sent home I know the struggle and the emotions well. Our family will be praying for all of you as you enjoy your first Christmas together. That God may show you His grace and mercy and that you may see even more His love for us in sending His son now that you are also a parent.

By Blogger Jenny, at 6:19 AM  

Happy to pray for Mandy and her little one -

imagine what a wonderful Christmas they will have, all together next year!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:46 AM  

Michelle, I will certainly remember Mandy and her family in my prayers. My dil had a baby boy early Tuesday morning, and her step-aunt had a baby girl later that evening in the same hospital. Her step-aunt also has pneumonia after her delivery, so when y'all are praying for Mandy's recovery, could you add Rhonda's name, as well? I know she would very much appreciate it. Blessings!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:40 AM  

I read about Mandy on Sallie's blog and will be praying for God's mercy and grace to touch this family.

By Anonymous Susan, at 10:51 AM  

I am praying for Olivia, Josh and Mandy! Praying for strength, peace and healing.

By Anonymous Stacy, at 12:28 PM  

chel, thanks for the email. K&I were gone to NYC on our anniversary trip, and just got home. I'm so excited to hear Olivia came just in time to celebrate our anniversary! Let Mandy and Josh know they're in our prayers. Olivia is so very lucky to have such great parents.

By Blogger shoelessruth, at 1:07 PM  

Thanks for the heads up. They are definitely in our thoughts and prayers. I was a total wreck until I got Mel and the girls home both times. I definitely feel for him.



By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:31 PM  

I'll be keeping this family in my prayers.

By Blogger Bernadine, at 7:08 PM  

Praying for Mandy, Josh and sweet baby Olivia. May God bring healing and comfort and peace - quickly!
Karen F.

By Anonymous Karen F., at 9:07 PM  

Hi I'm a friend of Stephen Kidd's and got this passed on to me. Will be praying...
Regan P

By Anonymous Regan P., at 10:53 PM  

I will certainly be praying for this family and will be checking for updates. I came here via Sallie's blog, but I also read your Carnival of Beauty entry earlier and enjoyed it.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:00 AM  

I am praying for Mandy, Josh, and Olivia. Especially for Mandy's healing.

By Anonymous Christian, at 5:36 AM  

I am joining countless other in lifting you up to our Father. I am specially moved to pray for Josh at this time, that God will give you supernatural strength, patience, and peace. We praise God for your beautiful, healthy baby, and pray the day will quickly come when you can all be together.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:00 PM  

I learned of you through Sallie's blog, too.
I know that God is good and His timing is perfect. I am praying and trusting and thanking Him for His care for Olivia and Mandy.

By Blogger Irritable Mother, at 7:25 AM  

This Christmas Day, Mandy, Josh, and Olivia are in my thoughts and prayers. May God continue to work miracles in your lives.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:59 AM  

Wonderful news! They continue to be upheld in my prayers and, I am sure, all those who visit here. A very happy and blessed Christmas to you all!

By Anonymous Keziah, at 4:33 PM  

Just to let you know that I am praying. I read about Mandy and Olivia on a gracious home. I am jumping up and down to hear that Mandy is doing better.

God bless

Ruth Parkinson

By Blogger EnglishRuth, at 1:17 AM  

I'm glad to hear that Mandy is doing better. Thanks to Stephen for posting the link on myspace. Many prayers for Mandy, Josh, and Olivia.

By Blogger Joy Leighanne, at 9:06 AM  

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