Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Baby's grow up...

Well, today is Kirby’s birthday. My baby is 4! It has me thinking…how on earth do they grow up so quickly right in front of us? Don’t get me wrong, I learned a long time ago that if I spent all my time wishing they’d stay little then I’d miss all the new things as they grew up. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed just enjoying (most of the time) each new stage as it comes. Right now I’m really enjoying the ease of going to do things together. Things that we wouldn’t have dreamed of doing 2 years ago is no big deal now. It’s so much fun to go out as a family & make memories! As Kirby turned 4 today it hit me though that babyhood is long behind us. I know I’ll miss each of those baby & toddler stages…but I guess at the same time it makes me more determined than ever to enjoy the kids NOW instead of looking back at what has passed or ahead at what’s coming.

I love the way Benjamin thinks of others. He gets soooooo excited to do something for people who have less…Santa’s Anonymous, Operation Christmas Child…even just reading a story about someone he starts talking about how fortunate we are!

I love Amanda’s perseverance & ability to take things as they come. With the setbacks she had early on with speech, she has done amazingly well. We’re so proud of her for each step she has made to catch up & reach her full potential!

I love how Kirby is so affectionate & can make me laugh. He not only loves cuddles, but will come up to me any time of day just to give me a hug & say “I love you”…warms a mommy’s heart!

Thank you Jesus for blessing Ben & I with Benjamin, Amanda, & Kirby! Please help us not to take them for granted or get so busy with life that we miss the joys of growing up. Please give us wisdom in raising them to know & love you with all their hearts!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A crazy week...and answered prayer

Well, this has been one crazy week! I want to testify to God’s grace & wonderful answers to prayer…so I’m going to cut & paste a couple of things together to give you a picture of our week. This is a bit long, but I’d love it if you’d join us on this ride called “life”…and see how GOD has been working!!

I knew coming into the week that it would be a crazy one & asked early for prayer from our church family via the prayer chain…this gives you an idea of what we had up…
I would appreciate your prayers for our family this week. On Tuesday Ben goes in for an MRI on his shoulder…something that’s been an issue for many years, but it’s only recently gotten bad enough that doctors are pursuing it further. Pray that we would be able to trust whatever the outcome…if he needs surgery, for income during that time…if he doesn’t, that he would be able to continue working without damaging it more.

Some of you may remember just under 2 years ago when I came to church holding Ben’s glasses. I was so thankful that Ben had been able to receive the gift of site through laser eye surgery. On Thursday Ben goes for touch up surgery…a completely normal step when eyes are as bad as his were. We would appreciate your prayers that the surgery would go smoothly & he would heal quickly. I would also ask that you pray for peace for Ben…going in knowing what’s coming is harder than going blind.

Lastly I would appreciate you lifting me in prayer this week. In September I became overwhelmed with everything going on in my life…I was trying to do too much. I have made a very conscious effort ever since to step back & be willing to say no. Well, this week everything has come together very unintentionally…starting school with Benjamin, first Kid Connection after Christmas, plus these 2 appointments…I’ve been very aware of not wanting to end up where I was emotionally in September. I am striving to trust that God is going to get me through this week…but in my imperfect human state, it feels like every few hours I feel anxious about it again & have to give it back to the Lord.

Thank you in advance for your prayers for our family
I have been learning what it means to pray with expectancy…expecting that God is going to answer prayer instead of being surprised when He does. I guess I need to keep working on it
J When I sent that prayer request, I truly did believe that it would be answered…but I was still surprised at how quickly God started answering it. Check out all the answered prayers (***) in our week!!

I started school with Benjamin on Monday morning. It seemed kind of strange that I hardly got any emails all day, but I was focusing on school, so I didn’t dwell on it. It wasn’t until 8:30 that evening that I realized we didn’t get our weather emails…I hadn’t received any email since 9:00 that morning. After restarting the computer & the modem I received 22 emails…2 of them being from our church family letting us know they were praying for us. It was very apparent to me that even though I didn’t see those 2 emails till nearly 12 hours after they sent them, God had begun to answer them already. By receiving no email all day I was able to focus on school with Benjamin & instead of ending the day feeling overwhelmed & discouraged as I was expecting, I felt hopeful & very positive (***). Thus began day 1 of answered prayer.

Tuesday was a bit hectic getting the kids out the door early, but we made it to the MRI on time (***). The MRI was more painful than Ben had expected (it didn’t help that I had forgotten to tell him that they had mentioned something about injecting fluid into the joint)…and it was good he wasn’t planning on working (***), because it took a full day before his shoulder started to feel normal & usable. We’re still waiting for results from the MRI. Day 2…answered prayer.

The first Kid Connection after Christmas went much smoother than I expected (***). We only had about 20 kids, so smaller than normal, but it went well. It was very nice to know the routine & how things worked…but I was still expecting it to be more hectic…and it wasn’t thanks to those who were praying! Another answer to prayer was having some extra helpers (***) as well as a possible third teacher (***)! Day 3…answered prayer.

Ben’s eye surgery went well (***)…it’s been a lot easier for him this time because they were only doing one eye, so at least he can see out of one eye (***). It has been a long time it seems since we had time to really talk…with no kids…God is faithful…we had a WONDERFUL talk on our way home from Calgary Thursday night (***). Day 4…answered prayer.

Ben started getting a cold Thursday morning before we left for the surgery. It appeared to be just another cold, but early Friday morning his ears started hurting. Just after lunch his right ear started oozing fluid…at first kind of orangey, then pinkish, then reddish. I called health link & they said he should go in to the ER to get it checked right away…not to wait till morning. Because of the meds he’s on for the eye, he can’t drive so my dad came over to stay with the kids (***) & I took him. I have NEVER been in & out of the ER as fast as we were last night (***)!! Ben’s right eardrum had burst…quite badly. It’s bad enough that the doctor wants Ben to make an appt with his doctor in a week to make sure it’s healing properly. The left one is still really pressured so hopefully it doesn’t burst too. With all that going on, the eye thing has seemed pretty minor this time around (***). Day 5…answered prayer.

One thing that I didn’t mention specifically in my prayer request was work. As of this past Thursday we have no work. We had thought we’d be just fine…had jobs coming up. Then contractors starting calling & postponing jobs till spring. We’re left with only one potential job for the winter & we don’t know if or when it’ll happen. It’s pretty stressful…especially for Ben…not only is he trying to provide for our family…food, bills, house, etc…but we have business payments & bills to worry about too. Ben decided to call a friend that we did a foundation for this fall to see if he wanted help putting up his shop. He called Ben back yesterday & said he’ll hire Ben & Jonny (our employee) for a month (***) & if it’s going well then he’ll do another 2 months (which should put us to where we’d have work again) (***). The coolest part of the call though was when the friend said, “you must have been praying for work, because I’ve been praying for someone to help me with the shop”…..woohooo, it’s a God thing (***)!!! Very cool confirmation for us…probably me especially…because it still does leave uncertainty, we still won’t make enough to cover all the business bills…but if this is where God wants us right now, then He’ll take care of the rest! Day 5…more answered prayer.

All in all…not once this week did I get that feeling of being so overwhelmed…Thank you Jesus!...Thank you for each one who prayed for us!!!

A few things that we’re continuing to lift up in prayer…we’d love it if you feel led to join us…
-that the results from Ben’s MRI would be conclusive & they’d be able to fix it easily with not too much time off
-that God would use me & the other teachers at Kid Connection to touch kids’ lives for Him…and their families!
-that Ben’s eye would heal up quickly
-that Ben’s ear would heal fully & the way it needs to so it doesn’t affect his hearing too much
-that we’d be able to get a job or 2 to supplement this hourly work so that we can pay the bills

Last Sunday Kent talked about James 1:2-12…vs.2-4 were such an encouragement to me! “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have it’s perfect result, so that you may be perfect & complete lacking in nothing.” Wow Lord! Yes, we’re going through these trials, but you are producing endurance in us…making us one step closer to being perfect & complete! Amazing! I am so thankful for a God who loves me & cares for me enough to make me perfect & complete in Him!

I want to end with a prayer…a prayer that I received & was such a HUGE blessing to me. On Monday evening when I received all those emails this was among them…from a dear friend of mine who can’t be here right now, so this was the next best thingJ.

"Lord I lift up Ben and Heidi and the kids to you right now and ask for your incredible and irreplaceable peace to be upon them. You know their every need and you will provide for their every need. Lord I pray that you would grant them your perspective and bless them as they are trying to trust in you through this time that seems so uncertain. We know Lord that none of this is a surprise to you and indeed you have ordained this for them for this time and place, all this oh Lord has passed through your loving hands. We know that you have all the control and power, and our only job to praise you always, even in the storm. Lord bless Ben and Heidi and help them to rest in your everlasting arms of love. Lord I pray that you would calm Heidi's spirit, I pray that you would give her your peace and reminder that she only has to do today what you have placed before her. Your grace IS sufficient for today and tomorrow your mercies are new again. Praise you Father that you have told us we need not to fret or plan endlessly in our minds for the future, praise you that you are going to work all things for good. I pray that as Heidi begins to tackle all the things she has to do, schooling, kid connection, trips to the city etc. that you would place joy in her heart, for the joy of the Lord is our strength. I pray that you would help her to get the rest she needs so she has the strength and positive mindset to face the day. Grant her nights with sound sleep and the kids too. We praise you sweet Lord that you care deeply for us and thank you that you are guiding our every step. Keep our eyes fixed on you in Jesus name I pray"

The most wonderful part about this prayer is that God answered each & every one of these requests this week! Ben & I have had peace about work, his shoulder & his eye. Our needs have been met…it has felt amazingly easy (no it shouldn’t surprise me) to get through this crazy week. None of this was a surprise to our Father & He is using it all to bring us closer to Himself. I felt an amazing calm this week through all the craziness…& I was able to take it one day at a time…His grace IS sufficient!!! God did work things together for good! I did feel joy this week…something I don’t think I was expecting because of the craziness…once again I allowed myself to be surprised… Although we have had some sleepless nights because of Ben’s surgery, He gave us the joy & strength to face each day! I am reminded by each detail of this week, that Jesus was guiding every step! My prayer is that I will continue to remember what He has done for us…not to slip into the routine again & forget where He has brought us.

Please Jesus help me to remember & hang on to all you’ve done for us! Thank you Lord for your faithfulness!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Kaitlyn Marie Werdal

I will still post more pictures from Christmas, but wanted to get these pics up right away because one of Kaitlyn's aunties is very anxious to see her & won't be able to hold her for quite some time yet...these are for you Cheri:)

Our first niece was born on New Years Day 2009...she's the New Years baby for Olds! Her name is Kaitlyn Marie Werdal, born to proud parents Nathanael & Brandy Werdal, weighing in at 7 lbs. 12 ozs. & measuring 20.5 inches long. We went to see her for the first time yesterday.

Byron was there holding her when we got there...about 5-10 minutes after we arrived they all started laughing...they'd been guessing on how fast I would go over & snatch Kaitlyn from Byron...but I was holding out:) I did get my turn though!

After Brandy fed her, Manda wanted a turn! She held her for AGES & didn't want to let go! It's sure special for her to have a girl cousin! I'm sure they'll have lots of fun doing girl things as Kaitlyn gets older!

Kirby was next asking for a turn...very proud, but a quick 2 minute hold was enough for him:)

Benjamin is growing up so much...I could see it in his eyes that he understood a lot more of what has just transpired & how special it is to have a new little one!

Benjamin's the only one who would give Kaitlyn a kiss right away, I think the other 2 were too intimidated by her size still:)
On Manda's second turn holding Kaitlyn she decided it might be alright to give her a kiss:)

I just couldn't resist stealing her away for a few minutes to take some pictures:)
With Brandy's help, I finally got a few with her eyes open:)
And one priceless tongue shot to end it off:)

After all that we decided it was time to go & Nathanael realized Ben hadn't held Kaitlyn yet! He got a quick cuddle in while the kids got their jackets on:)

Jodi's Birthday

We celebrated my sister, Jodi's birthday on New Years Day because she won't be here for her birthday in a few days. My mom had bought some cool candles that were attached by a string so that you just had to light one end & they all light. Jo wanted to light them herself because she thought it would be fun...and she knew it would bug her boyfriend:) She decided to light the string right in the middle so it would go both ways & was quite surprised by the result!

She still left one candle lit for Matt though...even though she was teasing him:)

The kids had a lot of fun watching the whole thing:)