59. Old Friends
60. Heated seats in my van
61. Asa's clear lungs
62. A dedicated and hard working husband - and his willingness to walk to work in all this snow!
63. Watching Matt father our children and teach them about God
65. The opportunity to share Rachel at the public highschool.
66. Emmanuel - God is with me....ALWAYS
67. Unexpected Packages from friends I've yet to meet - I went to the post office to mail a couple of things and decided to go back in and check Rachel's PO Box. I found a beautiful card and this necklace....
68. Being recognized by strangers as Rachel's Mama... at the same post office trip, I had someone stop me (hi, Carla!) :o) and tell me she reads my blog and would be praying for me during my talk at the school. this is such a gift to know that so many people know of my sweet girl and are still with me on this journey. ♥
69. Redemption - in this life and for eternity
70. Hearts, Rainbows and 43's - How He loves me.
71. The work of Options for Women Pregnancy Center
72. The availability of doctors and medicine
73. Nurses with a heart to serve and help people (I've been blessed with the BEST nurses) love you, Kim.
74. The baby loss community - being understood
75. A church family that is so generous with their time, treasures & talents in our community
76. A tunnel in the snow - the kids worked together and built something amazing!
77. The crown of thorns... interesting this landed on #77?? Sweet Forgiveness.....
So, this one has a long story - one that started just a few weeks after Rachel's diagnosis. If you've been with me that long, you'll understand this... if not, (or if you just want to be re-inspired!), you'll want to catch up by reading these two posts - From August 2010 and From December 2010 The quick version is that God has used these two plants (named 'crown of thorns') that I found 'by accident' :o) to remind me that He is a God who is aware of my suffering. These plants have taken my breath away as they have lost all their leaves and flowers during my most trying times in this journey - and then budded as I started to heal... and now, just before Rachel's 1st b-day, the red one (from my friend Anne) started to bloom for the first time in a year! And is now covered in redish pink flowers (reminding me of Anne's daughter, Rose who had anencephaly too) and this week, I noticed that the yellow one (that I found on our family vacation in 2010) that has gotten to be so ugly I almost threw it away a few weeks ago figuring it had no hope of coming back to life... I mean look at it... it's ugly and most of it has died off... but at the top of this one thorn-covered stem.... new life....budding...and blooming... that's my girl! ♥
|early in the week, I noticed the buds!|
|And yesterday - on Friday! - I noticed the bloom!|
|Pretty good for a plant that like warm climates and is in an unheated part of our house in a window in the winter!!|
80. He walked on water....and reminds me
And, since I know you were all wanting to know... the talk at the school went really well. Apparently the teacher had followed our story through the articles in the paper and has read my blog. I didn't know how she had heard about us so I wasn't sure how to approach my story with them. I was unbelievably comfortable, which I didn't expect. The kids asked some really good questions and I showed them the slideshow. They all took a couple of handouts that I made up home with her pictures on them and a story about how God carried me through my pregnancy and her birth - and information on anencephaly, which is so important for awareness.
There were two things that stood out to me as blessing to me - one, I caught myself smiling throughout the video a bunch of times - usually I just cry when I watch it so I've avoided it for a LONG time. It was sweet when I noticed the joy I had looking at my journey with her. And two, God had prepared me to answer one of the questions that a girl asked through a post I did the other day (the one about happiness vs. joy that I felt led to blog even though it wasn't Friday!) A girl asked "what do you think life would be like if she didn't have anencephaly? If she didn't die?" and I was able to share that while I might have the illusion I was happier, my joy would not be what it is - and that happiness is fleeting. I don't think I would have been prepared with my answer had God not revealed that to me just a couple of days before. I told them that most things worth doing in life are hard, take lots of work, perseverance - and even some pain, but that the things I have received through this trial are not things that can be taken away from me....and I'll see her again some day.
82. Thank You Lord for the hope of heaven.