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Heartbroken

28 Jul

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and
saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

Last Friday started out like any other Friday – the final day of the work week with the peaceful anticipation of a weekend with no real obligations or commitments. As I drove into work, I let my mind wander to where Tim and I could ride the motorcycle to that evening for dinner … setting the pace for a couple days of relaxing and leisure time together.

At 10:53 am, I heard my phone buzz with a text … as I read it, my heart and my head began to swim with confusion and fear over the message and the possibility of what it meant. There were 9 minutes between the first text and the next, but it seemed like an eternity…

Life happened. The weekend was not leisure and relaxing, but instead it was heart wrenching and sad. I’m going to let my daughter tell this story, for she has already beautifully expressed the emotions and anguish that suddenly consumed our family’s world last Friday morning…

Tuesday, July 25th ~

WARNING: About to get REAL heavy and REAL personal….

Today is the 2nd hardest day of my life….next to last Friday. Today I have to get my lifeless baby removed from my body as it wasn’t exiting on it’s own. Friday at my 11 ½ week check-up it was discovered that our SURPRISE baby that God had gifted us had stopped growing around 8-9 weeks. There was no flicker…no heartbeat…just my little gummy bear motionless on the screen in front of me. I had lost my baby.

When we first realized I was pregnant, SHOCK was the emotion of the hour, of the day, of the week…. Yes, yes, I do KNOW what causes one to become with child… but, we are always so careful…. Apparently, God had other plans in mind! So, Troy and I shifted mental gears and began preparing for our new life as a family of 5! Researching bigger vehicles, making plans to rearrange living spaces, and sharing this exciting news with our children. They could not have been more thrilled….they LOVE babies! Names began flying around, “what about this one mom?” Questions….lots of questions…. hugs, and kisses for the baby were a constant… it was a joyous time.

Friday morning Lillie rubbed my belly, kissed the baby and told it she loved it…. Then I sent the kids to a friend’s house and went on my way to my check-up. Expecting nothing out of the ordinary… we had already had our first appointment, we have our baby’s first picture at 7 ½ weeks, heard his or her heart beating strong… I imagined a quick listen of the heart, questions/answers, and we’d be about our day….

Then my world came crashing down…. Instead of tips to help me sleep better at night I was listening to my options from here. Through tears I drove home – Troy was meeting me there from work- he held me-we cried. All our plans, our dreams, our hopes… the baby’s future…gone. Just like that. Now to tell the kids. Lots of questions…lots of not having answers… lots of not understanding. Heck, I don’t understand. Lots of tears.

Lillie still comes up to my belly and hugs it and says “why did baby have to die?? I wanted to be a big sister so bad!” Those moments hurt the most. Knowing the confusion and the disappointment in my children’s mind. Cole’s biggest frustration is not knowing if it was a boy or a girl… I feel ya, buddy…me too. Last night we had special family time saying goodbye to our baby and again this morning…

Through all this… we hold on to the promise that we will see him or her one day in heaven! We don’t understand why this happened, and we probably never will… I mean…why?! Why even give us this amazing miracle, this incredible surprise…just to take it away before we could even meet them…. But, again, we don’t know. But, I do know God loves us. We are holding on to that. We are holding on to each other. We are holding on to the prayers and the love from our friends and family. Please keep them coming as we navigate through this raw and unfamiliar road of grieving along with our children…. Never take for granted the blessing that our lives are.

I am sharing our story: 1. In hopes to help me heal…talking things out sometimes really helps…. 2. To validate my baby’s life by speaking of him or her…. 3. Not for attention or sympathy, but for prayers and to let others know they are not alone in their hurt.

Kim

*** *** ***

Once I received the initial text followed by the sobbing phone call, I dropped everything at work and drove the hour and a half to be with our daughter and her precious family. The safety and familiarity of the routines of life help to stabilize children and keep adults on track. Prescheduled and important obligations were met and the distractions were somewhat appreciated. As cruel as it seems, time marches on, even when the heart is broken. Even when the loss is still physically present and the world around you has no idea.

For this we have Jesus. This Mimi is so grateful that His mercies are new and fresh every morning. I am counting on the fact that He promises to be close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. And as a seasoned veteran of life, I know from experience that God wastes nothing. A ministry of comfort and healing will naturally take place as God tenderly allows the pieces from our broken hearts to speak love and understanding to others who are suffering.

Your prayers for our family are deeply appreciated.

Until next time,
Debbie

 

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness;

    His mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
    therefore, I will hope in Him!”
 The Lord is good to those who depend on Him,

    to those who search for Him.
Lamentations 3:23-25

 

 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and
saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ,
so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

 

For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from You when I was
made in the secret place, when I was woven
together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written
in Your book before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-16

 

 

 

Happy 30th!

5 Aug

A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come;
but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish
because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
John 16:21

 

It had been a very hot summer so far, and my feet and ankles were beginning to swell by day’s end.  The next day was Tim’s birthday, so despite the heat, I gathered up our dirty clothes and did the wash at the nearby laundromat.  We had also just received word that my sister-in-law was finally in labor, so I wanted to have all of the household chores caught up so I could spend as much time as I wanted during the weekend to visit the new baby and to help out with my young nephew.  Sue was past her due date, and I knew that she was more than ready to have this baby!  I called my mom before going to bed to make sure she would call me when Jay and Sue left for the hospital.   After putting the clean laundry away, I went ahead and set my alarm clock to get up for work, just in case Sue had an exceptionally long labor … all the while hoping that I was going to call in to work so I could take the day off and be with my family.  I then climbed into bed and cuddled my own nearly 9 month pregnant belly up as close as I could to my husband.  Sleep quickly took over my tired and swollen body.

 

A few hours later … Wow!  Something just popped and an unmistakable release of pressure immediately came over me!  I jumped out of bed … the best that I could … and with my hands pressed against my body in a protective way, I quickly waddled into the restroom.  A few minutes of inspection confirmed my speculation of what just took place … and all I could think was OH MY GOODNESS!!!!  IT’S NOT TIME YET!!!  Our baby is not due for another 10 days!   What a shock it was for my mother when the phone rang at 4:00 am and it was me on the other end instead of Jay!  She had said from the beginning that this would happen … that Sue would go late and I would go early and we would end up having babies on the same day.  And to make it even more crazy, this was Tim’s birthday!  So much for the awesome gift of a 10-speed bike that I bought him this year!  I was one-upping my own gift by giving him a baby!

Kimberly Kay  5 lbs 5 oz

Kimberly Kay
5 lbs 5 oz

 

Tim holding his little girl

Tim holding his little girl

Within the hour, I began to have contractions that quickly sent us to IU Med Center … about the same time that Jay and Sue were making their way to St. Francis.  My poor parents were zig-zagging across Indianapolis all morning, not wanting to miss either big event, but not sure where to be at what time.  After only 6 hours of labor, Kimberly Kay was born at 10:55 am, weighing 5 pounds and 5 ounces and 18 ½ inches long … such a tiny thing!  An hour and 41 minutes earlier, Sue had delivered Joanna Sue … weighing in at 8 pounds and 2 ounces and 21 ½ inches long.  The girls have always called themselves ‘twin cousins’.

Sue holding Kimberly next to Joanna

Sue holding Kimberly next to Joanna

 

What a day that was!  Oh, and happy birthday, Tim!!  And as a side note, August 5th is also Tim’s little sister’s birthday, too.  Becca turned 7 years old that year in 1983.  Two of Tim’s cousins have birthdays on this day.  And August 5th was his grandparents’ wedding anniversary.  Through the years, we have accumulated even more names to the list of birthdays on this crazy day in August!

7 year old Aunt Becca holding 3 day old Kimberly Kay

7 year old Aunt Becca holding 3 day old Kimberly Kay

 

Kimberly Kay was and still is a special answer to a lot of prayers prayed. Many years have come and gone since those times of infertility, and we continue to thank God for blessing our lives with the life of this precious person we call our daughter.

 

Kimberly Kay  ~ 1 year old

Kimberly Kay ~ 1 year old

It has been 30 years since that eventful day in 1983.  We have traveled quite a journey together as a family and find ourselves where we are today, still in love with the tiny little girl who has grown up to be a beautiful woman, wife, and mother of her own two precious children.

 

Happy Birthday Tim and Kim!!

Happy Birthday Tim and Kim!!

Won’t you join me in celebrating life?   Whether you know someone with a birthday today or not, find a special person and tell them that you love them!!  And if you have an August 5th birthday person in your life, please drop me a note and let me know!

 

Happy Birthday Tim, Kim, Joanna, Becca!
Have a special day!!

 

Until next time,
Debbie

 

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
1 John 3:4

 

 

 

ONE ~ A Very Hungry Caterpillar

29 Apr

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:15

Big brother Cole and his brand new sister

Big brother Cole and his brand new sister

Happy 1st Birthday to our precious granddaughter, Lillianne Hope!  It’s crazy to realize that one year ago today our world became a little brighter, happier, and lovelier!  I knew that my heart was already full and overflowing with love for Cole, but to add another beating heart … this one trimmed in flowers, lace, and frills has only intensified the reality of Mimi’s love.  And as our eyes meet from time to time when we are together, there is something special that pauses the hands of time for a few seconds as Mimi and Little Miss feels the sweet connection between our hearts … until she finally squirms and giggles out of the moment.  Just like her big brother, she has a soul that is uniquely her own, and words cannot express the gratitude that is mine to know that I have a part in praying for and pointing them to Jesus.

Tasty treats for the Very Hungry Caterpillar and the party guests!

Tasty treats for the Very Hungry Caterpillar and the party guests!

In celebration of this one year milestone, the little momma planned a party that entertained the young and old alike.  The children’s book, A Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, provided a great theme, fun games, creative décor, and if you are familiar with the story, a wonderful variety of tasty treats!!   As Lillie’s Mimi, I wanted to do my part in helping to make the birthday party a success … so Papaw and I had the best job of all ~ keeping the birthday girl and her big brother for a few days, allowing mom, dad, and friends time to bake, prepare, decorate, and set up without the distraction of two little people.   At the appointed time, we arrived with the guest of honor and her escort, both clothed in appropriate birthday party attire.  Within the next 2 hours, sugar levels reached their escalated highs, along with the shrill pitches of 8 tiny voices and excited giggles over the bright and shiny new toys they were all helping Lillie to unwrap!!

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

Lillianne, the birthday girl!

Lillianne, the birthday girl!

Before all the noise had died down and the last party favor taken, Lillie and Mimi got to escape to the quiet recesses of the nursery.  As she often does as I hold her in my arms, she slipped her tiny little fingers in my mouth as I snuggled her close.  Her eyes twinkled as a slight grin formed around the bottle, and I had to look away in order to encourage her to not play, but rather to settle down for a nap.  It didn’t take long and her happy little eyes began to droop, leaving me smiling as I looked at her beautiful eyelashes, tiny features, and to feel her precious body relax against mine. I pray that it will be a very long time before she outgrows the need to sit in Mimi’s lap.

Lillie's dedication service at Grace Pointe Nazarene

Lillie’s dedication service at Grace Pointe Nazarene

As we all know, caterpillars turn into butterflies.  One year has so quickly gone by in the life of our little very hungry caterpillar.  Before long, Lillie will feel more and more confident to use her 8 teeth and more to eat and enjoy the variety of tastes of foods that will continue to help her to grow into our own very beautiful butterfly!  A week ago Sunday, as our entire family stood before God and the congregation at Grace Point Community Church of the Nazarene, Kim and Troy dedicated Lillianne to Jesus.  They testified to two things … first, their own faith in Jesus Christ and second, their desire that Lillie will understand from the earliest beginnings what it means to walk in the way of Jesus and to entrust her life to God. This was a sign of their prayer that Lillie will live and die a Christian.  As her Mimi, my prayer echoes theirs …

Won’t you join me today in celebrating life?  Whether you have a little person in your life that has a birthday, or you have a loved one who is literally knocking on death’s door, please join me today in the unique style of a Very Hungry Caterpillar, that a beautiful butterfly will soon emerge and be the fulfillment of God’s eternal plan.

Until next time,
Debbie

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little
children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God
like a little child will never enter it.”
And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
Mark 10:14-16

  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength.
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you
sit at home and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up.
Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Silent Sweet Germs

25 Jan

Put on the full armor of God
so that you can take your stand
against the devil’s schemes.
Ephesians 6:11 

 No such thing, huh?  I didn’t think so either, until I woke up the other night miserable ~ tossing and turning … my stomach, that is.  An early morning sudden run to the bathroom (pun intended) was the first of many, including body aches, feverish chills, and an extreme lack of energy.  I did have enough oomph about me to try to analyze where this mess came from.  I got a flu shot, and I haven’t been around anyone that has had the stomach bug … or so I thought.

Cole and Lillianne at Papaw and Mimi's house

Cole and Lillianne at Papaw and Mimi’s house

Last weekend was a delightful one as Mimi and Papaw’s house was a lively place, full of little people activity, noise, and love … Cole and Lillianne came for a couple overnights, and oh what fun we had!  So much fun that Cole asked if we could come home with him and sleep over at his new house.  Sorry Bubbas … we both have to work the next day.  Little did I know what awaited me the next morning …

Miss Lillie pointing at you!

Miss Lillie pointing at you!

So, it is now Friday.  By now, we have come to the conclusion that our little stomach bug culprit was Miss Lillie.  She’s such a sweetheart, most always a very happy baby.  She is a very meticulously nosey child, with her pointy finger always out, wanting to poke around and look at things.  We find her quite irresistible … needing to often kiss that little pointy finger, along with her chubby cheeks, and giving her squishy hugs.  Once again … little did we know what was brewing on the inside of this precious child while she was being so irresistible. The convincing proof was some horrific smelly dirty diapers on the last day she was with us, along with some unusually fussy moments.  By then, it was too late.  Besides, how did we know?  Lillie is constantly cutting teeth, having 4 already, and this growth process sometimes causes such symptoms as well.  We never dreamed that she was silently and ever so sweetly carrying around stomach flu bug germs.

So, I know for a fact, that germs can be silent and sweet.  So does Lillie’s entire family, including the dog.  Momma believes that she and Lillie have actually had it twice, since they both felt better for about 2 days then began all over again with the miserable routine.  Bless their hearts!   I’m sure Kim is continually spraying the house with Lysol, trying to get that ol’ bug out of there!   She’s probably also thinking about putting little face masks on her little loves until the flu season is past just to add more protection to their flu shots.    Makes me think about the scripture in Ephesians about putting on our armor …

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Put on the full armor of God
so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the powers of this dark world
and against the spiritual forces
of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God,
so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground,
and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:10-13

 

As the verse above says, our real struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against Satan himself.  For this reason, we do need to stay fully clad in the armor of God ~ at all times!  Just like Lillie with her little finger, sometimes Satan very meticulously will point us out and try to draw us away very quietly and ‘harmlessly’ until all of a sudden we realize we’ve been duped.  Our armor was not on tight, we were missing a piece, or we did not stay alert to the schemes of Satan.

 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled
around your waist, with the breastplate
of righteousness in place,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness
that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all the
flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the
sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions
with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind, be alert
and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:14-18

 

Won’t you join me in the midst of this extremely contagious flu season, to not only often wash our hands and take extra vitamin C, keep the doctor’s phone number handy, but continue to kiss and hug the babies.  All the while, Satan is roaming to and fro seeking who he may devour … let’s keep our full armor on, properly in place, polished, and ready for the spiritual battles we face.

 Therefore put on the full armor of God,
so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground,
and after you have done everything, to stand.

Until next time,
Debbie

P.S.  If you are reading this from the automatic e-mail you received from Morsels of Mercy, please click here https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com/ to go to the actual website and check out all of the extra family photos!

Four Special Ladies

29 Jun

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God;
He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love
to a thousand generations of those who love Him
and keep His commands. 
Deuteronomy 7:9

A special gift was delivered just two days after Christmas in 1937.  Belonging to a family of two young boys and their parents, this newborn baby brought grace, sweetness, and all the other charms only a little girl could bring into their lives.  She grew up in a little town in Brown County, Indiana, later met a young man, fell in love, and they married …

Missing her older brother’s birthday by only four days, this chubby baby was the answer to that young couple’s prayers to have a little girl.  That autumn day in 1960 was only the beginning to her journey of love, family (including a baby brother a few years later), and a relationship with Jesus that has grown more and more dear through the years.

A tiny and perfectly created baby girl was an unexpected and special birthday surprise to her Daddy  ~  that most popular day in August of 1983.  Later joined by a little brother,  this sweet girl grew up surrounded by a family that loved and supported her, and the strength of faith to face the joys and challenges of life …

A most specific request of prayer was answered just two months ago as weeks of a troubled pregnancy finally delivered a beautiful baby girl.  Having been excitedly welcomed into the family by parents and big brother, this special little lady has a lifetime of Love and life just waiting for her to experience …

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The townhome in Baltimore was bustling with activity as the hour finally arrived when the flight from Indianapolis was due.  Mimi Wells was the anticipated special guest of honor.  And honor it was as she held her great granddaughter for the first time.  Once again, love that spanned the years of generations melted four hearts, but this time it was even more special …

Mimi, Mommy, Baby Lillie and Mimi Wells

Since the birth of Cole Michael in 2009, our family has shared in the heritage of four generations.  But we now have a little girl that brings a different dynamic to the celebration.   A celebration that embraces giggles, recipes, hair ribbons, and shopping … and a specific way of caring for those we love.  These four special ladies have each other to go to for wisdom, for prayer, for shelter, and for love.  We not only share in the same heritage of family, faith, and love, we still have today and tomorrow to continue adding to those memories and moments of life.

The wildfires of life are burning out of control all around us … but in the midst of these difficult days, there is Jesus.  Jesus is there, giving us strength, hope, and His very presence in the middle of it all.  And then sometimes, there is an added blessing of four special ladies … with their common threads being Mimi Wells, Mimi, Mommy and Baby Lillie  — all unique and individual, but all connected by love.

Until next time,
Debbie

Four Generations

LILLIANNE HOPE … the story

11 May

Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in Your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:16

Lillianne ~ one name among several scribbled on a note pad belonging to a junior high girl, dreaming of the day when she would have her own daughter.  That name, along with that hope, became reality several days ago when my granddaughter was born.

Purpose was involved for several months ~ what occurred so effortlessly 3 years previous was not going to be so easy this time.  Repeated non success led to disappointment, and disappointment led to frustration.  Perhaps there is magic in the month of August … magic that Divinely and mysteriously combined that school girl’s dreams with hope, and then that hope into reality.  Reality was confirmed and then anticipation immediately hit the calendars for the first week of May…nearly the exact same day that the older sibling had been due to arrive.  As the pages of the calendar began to turn, so did the Momma’s stomach, limiting the items on the menu, and once again not able to even tolerate the aroma of brewing coffee.  Necessary changes were made without much grumble, and the family of three (plus dog) adjusted.  By early December, ultrasound photos revealed the hidden secret of gender and all were thrilled beyond words to officially refer to the ever-growing baby belly as Lillie. Along with her big brother Cole, Lillie had gifts under the Christmas tree, and was quite noticeable in the annual holiday family photo.  The New Year started and with it came some concern from Momma’s doctor which sent her to bed for a couple of weeks.  Those weeks of rest proved to be helpful, but only temporarily.  As spring dropped hints of its existence throughout our very mild winter, Kim’s body began to show signs of early dilation and possible pre-term labor.  Once again, orders were made to rest and do very little … Prayers were prayed, food was brought in, and child care was provided during those long weeks of caution.  For all of this and more, we are so appreciative!  The phrase ‘full-term’ finally made its way into our vocabulary and the little momma received professional permission to emerge from her couch. A slow but deliberate re-entry into activity began to take place, as well as ‘practice’ contractions and pressure.  Substantial dilation secretly moved in on the scene and was detected and announced by the attending physician during the final weekly visit.  A suggestion was made to have all bags packed and to expect a quick trip to the hospital before the scheduled day of surgery.  A fun-filled weekend, including movie night with popcorn and milkshakes, a family picnic on Saturday, and kickball in the park ended with timely contractions and extreme discomfort during the wee hours of Sunday.   A call to the doctor in charge during those sleepy hours instructed the waiting parents to arrive in Annapolis as soon as possible for an exam, at which time the number 8 seemed to boost workers into sudden activity.  The preferred C-section delivery was prepped, as was the patient, and at 5:50 am on Sunday, April 29, 2012, Lillianne Hope was born.

Welcome, Baby Lillie!

Having driven the hour and a half to Annapolis and arriving at the hospital around 4:30 am, I knew there was nothing I could do but sit and pray, so I did everything I knew to do ~ sit and pray.  I received an occasional text from Kim or Troy, informing me of the latest detail … until all went quiet when she said “we are going in soon”.  For the next hour or so, my mind played back to the scene three years before when they rushed my very ill daughter down the hall to deliver her first-born by emergency surgery…6 weeks early.  My heart soared in prayer as the minutes clicked by that God’s presence would be with these kids as they experienced another special moment in their lives together.  An excited text interrupted my sanctuary as the new Dad informed me that Mom and baby were fine and that I would get to come see them both soon.  As I entered that hospital room and saw the glow on my daughter’s face as she sat there holding her own daughter, my heart was full and ready to burst with joy!  No wires, no tubes, no alarms, no special machines!  Although everything worked out and Cole is an active and healthy little 3-year-old boy now … this time, it’s a new and different beginning to life!  Thank you Jesus!

Cole meeting his little sister, Lillianne

I drove back to Cole’s house where he and Papaw were playing and waiting for me to come get them.  We explained to the little guy that Baby Lillie had finally arrived and she was at the hospital with his mom and dad.  As we were getting out of our van to go inside, Cole looked over at me and asked … “Baby Lillie is not in Mommy’s tummy now?”  It was so fun to be able to tell him that she was now out … and that he was going to get to see her eyes, her nose, her hair, and her little fingers!  I believe in his little boy heart and mind, he understood.  Sporting his ‘big brother’ sticker that the nurse’s station handed him, with excitement and the thrill of many, many months of anticipation, Cole squealed with delight as he reached for his baby sister and touched her for the first time.Visitors came and went.  So did the nurses and doctors … providing care, instructions, and advice.  The little family was reunited in their home on Wednesday, just 4 days following Lillie’s birth.  One couldn’t help but remember that it was on day 4 that Mom and Dad were finally able to hold Baby Cole for the first time …still connected to wires, tubes, and machines.   Again, thank you Jesus.

Mimi with Lillie, Cole, and Uncle RyRy

The weekend was extra special as Uncle RyRy and Britt flew in from Seattle to officially meet little Miss Lillianne.  Ryan arrived on Thursday morning, giving us a couple extra days of playtime with Cole at Mimi and Papaw’s house so Mom and Dad and little Miss could get settled without added commotion. Brittany then joined the party Saturday morning ~ allowing this Mom and Mimi to feel blessed beyond words to be surrounded by her entire family for a few days.  It was a busy time – cooking, loving the babies, cooking again, loving all the babies some more, and cooking again.  Sunday night came all too quickly as Tim and I headed back to PA in order to go back to work the following day.  Reality always has a way of interrupting.  The salve to help soothe the aching Mommy heart this time is our upcoming family vacation to Seattle in July!

Another week has nearly come and gone – Lillianne will be 2 weeks old this Sunday … Mother’s Day.  I look forward to spending the day with both of my grandchildren and their parents ~ Mimi and Papaw taking turns to hold the itty bitty one while the other plays with tractors, cars, and dinosaurs.  It will be a special day, full of life, love, and little ones.

Just as her name was first written on a piece of scratch paper many years ago, all of Lillianne’s days were ordained by God and written in His book before one of them came to be … Psalms 139:16.  I count it a privilege and honor to also document this little life’s days in my own journal!  As specific and detailed her tiny ears are, or to hear every squeak and whimper from her perfect little lips ~ may I begin this journey of writing with a heart full of praise and awe of the One who created her.  Won’t you join me?

Until next time,
Debbie

Lillianne Hope … 1 week old

Baby Lillie

LILLIANNE HOPE the announcement

29 Apr

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:13

A simple announcement for a very special little girl …

Lillianne Hope Arndt  ~  born today ~ Sunday, April 29, 2012 ~  at 5:50 am.
She weighed 7 pounds and 4.2 ounces.
She measured 19 inches long.
She has alot of dark hair, chubby cheeks, and very long skinny fingers and toes.

Baby Lillie and Momma’s body have been preparing for this grand event …
God’s timing dictated her arrival one day before the scheduled date of surgery.
Baby and Momma are doing just fine!

Lillie’s big brother is in my custody for a few days ~ or maybe I’m in his custody.  Any rate, we are going to enjoy each other’s company for a while until his parents bring home the tiny new member of their family.

We are anticipating a wonderful time of new adventures and special memories made as Uncle RyRy and Britt come in later this week for a visit and introduction to little Miss Lillianne.

Nothing about this beautifully made little girl is simple  …  except this announcement.  I promise to write a whole lot more next week when Mimi takes her heart back home, total saturated and overflowing from God’s own hand of blessings.

Until next time,
Debbie

  For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you.
Psalm 139:13-18

Mimi and Lillianne Hope

Lillianne Hope

Lillie ... precious!

Bread Bites

21 Mar

Give us this day our Daily Bread.
Matthew 6:11

Definition by Domino’s Pizza ~

Bread Bites by Domino's

Parmesan Bread Bites:
Oven-baked, bite size breadsticks lightly sprinkled
with parmesan-asiago cheese and seasoned with garlic
and more parmesan.  Available in 16-piece or 32-piece orders.
Share them with everyone or no one!

Debbie’s definition ~

Delicious little bites of airy dough balls … the texture reminiscent of a Krispy Kreme donut FRESH from the production line … tastefully seasoned with garlic and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.  Oh SO yummy!

On top of the two boxes of pizzas that were picked up to bring back for dinner, was a bag of piping hot Bread Bites.  The aroma of fresh baked bread and its seasoning quickly filled the vehicle, causing my taste buds and my tummy to turn summersaults in anticipation!  Not to be unfair to the others, I only snitched one of the Bites from the tempting bag, savoring every morsel of garlic and speck of parmesan. That meal was over two weeks ago and I still think about those Bites … but for more reasons than their taste.

The 2nd year anniversary for Morsels of Mercy has come and gone.  I had great intentions of once again finding a new blog theme, freshen things up a bit, and add new pictures, but life has been a little crazy.  Not necessarily bad crazy, but crazy nonetheless.  Just when I think I have a few extra moments to sit down and peruse the various different new blog formats on Word Press, my attention is diverted by something more important.  It’s these little bites of bread in my world that I keep partaking of … seasoned with the spices of life and then lavished with the love of Jesus.  Bread Bites are meant to be shared … so don’t mind if I do!

Kim and Cole

Baby Lillianne … This Bread Bite is the one right up on top.  The months of anticipation have suddenly become weeks ~ with only 6 left at the time of this post.  Six weeks early was when her big brother, Cole, arrived on the scene – in a state of emergency for Mom and Baby.  Momma has done her best at preventing a repeat of circumstances, but sometimes our best is not enough.  Kim’s body seems to react adversely to pregnancy – last time with pre-eclampsia and this time with cervix issues.  After the initial period of moderate bed rest at week 24, permission to resume normal activity was given.  Several weeks later, after a routine OB visit, an exam showed early dilation and cervix issues again.  Prompt attention and concern were immediately put into place as Kim was once again placed on bed rest – this time restrictive.  Her daily routine of caring for her home, husband, and nearly 3 year old son quickly came to a halt as she found herself lying on the couch for hours on end, except when she made her way upstairs to sleep and to shower.  Appreciation beyond words cannot express my heart when I think of those friends from Grace Pointe Community Church of the Nazarene where Kim and Troy belong.  They truly do belong there, for it has been that family that recently blessed them with an overwhelmingly bountiful shower of baby gifts, and has provided meals and extra care for Cole during the week days while Daddy and Mimi were at work.  Kim’s latest appointment with the doctor showed great signs of improvement, releasing her from the bonds of strict bed rest to that of moderation.  Help with meals and care for Cole will continue as these final weeks bring us closer to the birth of our Baby Lillie!

Cole ... on purpose spilling himself.

The world of Mimi … this Bread Bite is huge, sprinkled with a lot of seasoning!  To share every speck of parmesan would require the writing of a book all of its own entitled Cole Michael.  The fun, the laughter, the non-stop chatter, the busyness, the curiosity, the tenderness, the stubbornness, the love, and even occasional frustration …   Need I go on?  With every effort to do all we can to help lighten the load for his parents, Papaw and Mimi have had Cole at their house as often as possible, or Mimi has spent weekends in Baltimore.  Cole’s world continues to be all boy – cars, tractors, stickers, balls, and monster trucks.  Despite the unusually warm temperatures this winter, we were truly blessed with a few inches of snow during an overnight visit from Kim and Cole.  A year makes such a difference in the fun of a little boy … he graduated from his protective and safe little sled to the adult long board, which allowed him to self-spill and tumble out into the snow.  Cole is very excited and shares in the anticipation of Baby Lillie … not quite sure what he is expecting, although the details of tiny, crying, pooping, and sleeping have all been explained to him.  For the moment, Baby Lillie is the existence behind Momma’s ever-growing belly, which he kisses, includes in his prayers, and enjoys her company as he raises momma’s maternity top up so she can also watch the CAR movie with him…the preciousness of a little child.

Another Bread Bite that is full of evening gym visits, lots of energy, and better health is one that I’ve already recently shared.  Tim has been on a mission to lose substantial weight, and has experienced great results … giving credit to his exercise routines at the gym and a change in his eating habits.  He has all but cut out all sodas, which is a huge change for him.  He used to drink at least 5 Pepsis every day.  Fruits and vegetables have replaced chips and Swiss Rolls, and we also recently pulled our Champion Juicer out of the archives of the basement.

Not just one, but a handful of Bread Bites represent my recent trip to Indianapolis, leaving behind the aroma of spices and specks of parmesan all over the place!!  Having arrived Wednesday evening of last week and returning home late Sunday night, the sponge of my heart soaks up as much as possible, but there’s never enough time …

Great Grandma, Great Aunt Debbie with Jaxon ... & Daddy

Baby Jaxon melted my heart as I sat there that first evening holding my great nephew and remembering special times over 30 years ago when his Daddy was this size.  It was a real treat on Sunday for his parents to bring him to my home church so his great grandma could show him off.  Hopefully he was the only one who slept through Pastor Swesey’s message!

There were 16 of us at a friends’ home on Thursday as my ‘Higher Ground’ girls gathered in for the evening.  A surprise bridal shower for another friend provided the reason to come, along with the realization that my momma and I were coming to town!  What a true blessing these girls are to my heart as they still seem to love me and miss me, even though I have been gone for over a year!  Those feelings are very mutual!

Friday and Saturday were  both busy from dawn to bedtime … a special lunch with a dear friend, sorting through bags and closets of my Daddy’s clothes, time spent with family, and some relaxing in front of the TV watching movies and special events that Mom recorded for me.  The weather was exceptional all weekend, allowing me to slip on the flip flops and capris for the first time this year.

It’s always a joy for me to attend church with my Mom on Sunday ~ the church in which I grew up in … where I found Jesus, met my husband, got married, dedicated my babies, my Daddy’s funeral, …  During the Sunday School hour, I chose to sit in the Senior Adult class with those I have known for many years, discussing the disciple Peter and his tragic failure of loyalty … a lesson from the Nazarene spring quarterly.  I chimed in with my own comment that even though Peter failed and made a horrible mess of things, because of Christ’s love and forgiveness, Peter was restored and later had a dynamic ministry in spite of his past.  I’m personally grateful that Jesus does not just condemn and leave me in a pile to rot.  But instead, he is all about redemption and restoration.

A Divine Appointment on the flight home … a pastor’s wife from Lancaster was flying back from Denver where her daughter is attending college.  It was nice to once again connect to a total stranger through the bonds of Jesus.

A very special Bread Bite remains in the bag, filled with lots of yummy goodness and extra spices … Sunday was our son Ryan’s 26th birthday.  There will never be enough garlic and specks of parmesan to express this Momma’s love for her boy.  Someday, I would love to be with him in Seattle for his birthday so we could celebrate him and his special day together.

There’s another Birthday Bread Bite still in the bottom of the bag ~ Cole will turn 3 years old on Saturday.  A low-energy level birthday party is being planned, allowing Momma to participate by sitting and watching while an assortment of little tykes and their parents, along with various family members gather to thank God for another year of growth, development, love, and lots of life in the person of Cole Michael.

As a Morsel of Mercy represents God’s gifts of undeserved favor throughout our everday, I believe that from time to time, my life has a bag of warm and tasty Bread Bites.  Moments that are full of life, saturated with time consuming events, and covered with specks of details.  Every Bite is fresh, warm, and lavished with the love of Jesus.  I just shared mine ~ find someone who needs some encouragement or a friendly visit and share your Bread Bites.

Until next time,
Debbie

 Jesus said to them,
“I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven,
but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is He who comes down from
heaven and gives life to the world.”


“Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this Bread.”

 

Then Jesus declared, “I am the Bread of Life.
He who comes to Me will never go hungry,
and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.”
John 6:32-35

For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of Baby Shower Gift Bags  –  March 2012

Rise and Shine

17 Jan

Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!
Revelation 19:7

 

Rise and Shine

It had been over a month since he had been to our house for a sleepover.  We were so excited as we anticipated the next two days with this little boy who would be celebrating his third birthday in just a couple months.  As the three of us sat down to eat dinner that first evening, with chicken nugget in hand, he looked at me and his Papaw and simply said, “I missed you guys!”  Melt is the word that described our hearts at that moment.  It’s not like Cole hadn’t seen us for weeks and weeks … in fact, we stayed over at his house for New Year’s Eve, and we traveled together to Indiana for Christmas.  But, in his little boy heart, he had missed us.  We knew the feeling.  We had missed him, too.

Wearing the appropriate attire of a John Deere tractor sweatshirt, Cole was more than excited to go to his first Pennsylvania Farm Show.  He had no idea what to expect, but he assumed by the name that there would be animals and tractors there ~ and boy was he excited!  As we entered the tractor display area and he saw other children climbing and crawling all over the machinery, it didn’t take him long to figure out that he could do the same.  Papaw picked him up and placed him on the top step of a very tall green tractor, where he had a bird’s eye view of all the tractors … and he began pointing in every direction.  A few minutes later, he let out a loud and excited giggle as he ran up to an old antique, squealing “Look at the old Farmall tractor!”  He’s not even 3 years old yet …  What does a toddler know about tractors?! 

Cock-a-Doodle Doooo!!

On to the animals ~ the squeals were just as loud and just as excited!  We saw cows, pigs, ducks, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, and horses ~ but his favorite was the rooster.  These birds were all confused, sounding their wake-up calls continuously … and Cole would stand right beside their cage and echo it back to them.  Cock-a-doodle Doooo … followed by a giggle and a squeal!  And on to the next cage!  As we were getting ready to leave, he wanted to know where the hamsters were.  I simply told him that I don’t think many farms have hamsters.  Silly boy!

Even a short period of time makes a difference in a little life.  Since the last time he stayed with us, his pajamas that are upstairs in his dresser drawer fit a bit snug on his taller frame, and his playtime has become more imaginable.  While in the bathtub the other night, he was on his knees, lining up all of his rubber ducks into a row on the side of the tub … separating the yellow ones from the white ones ~ describing each group as a family.  Then each member was turned around and very dramatically dove head first into the pool below.   Once the bubbles had gone down the drain along with little boy dirt, Cole was finally ready for bed.  For 2 weeks now, he’s been sleeping at home in his converted baby bed that is now a big boy bed, so Mimi and Papaw folded up his pak-n-play at our house and simply put a twin mattress on the floor as his transitional big boy bed.  He thought that was the greatest thing!  Not having a pillow in his pak-n-play before, I asked him where he wanted to lay his head and he quickly responded “on the pillow, Mimi!”  He crawled in and laid between the sheets with his head up on the pillow like a big boy – but such a tiny little bundle of a boy in such a big bed.  I know … he won’t stay little very long. 

Cole singing with Mimi

Keeping with the tradition of his usual night time routine at home, I read at least one book to Cole before we pray and he lays down to sleep.  One of his favorite books is not a story book, but a Play-A-Song book.  Jesus Loves Me is the name of it.  With hardback pages, there are 4 songs, complete with pictures and lyrics written out for each and a corresponding shape that matches a button on the side that plays the music to each song.  Jesus Loves Me is a Sunday School favorite, and he has helped me sing that song for months now. 

Yes, Jesus loves me,
the Bible tells me so!

The green circle song …

 Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory!
Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory!
Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory,
Children of the Lord!

 

I was amazed as Cole kept up with the tempo and sang every word with me.  He’s not necessarily singing on tune, but his heart sure is!  I remember singing this little chorus to him on a number of occasions in the past when he was upset, knowing that he would recognize it from our special quiet time before bed … and it has always caught his attention and calmed him.  “Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory, children of the Lord!”

 

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

On the edge of his big boy bed, song book in his lap, one would think he was reading the words as he sat there singing to the music.  Papaw and Mimi were very surprised at how well he had remembered most of the words … and even wondered if he had been practicing at home.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer. 

O what peace we often forfeit.
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

As we sang the final song in his little book, I was reminded once again of the privilege we have to carry everything to God in prayer.  Cole’s momma went to the doctor for an unexpected visit this past week, suspecting something was not quite right with the new little baby growing inside.  Baby Lillianne is ok, but a diagnosis of an insufficient cervix was given and instructions of mandatory rest and leisure time for the next 2 weeks must be heeded.  If after the next exam no improvement has been made, then our daughter will be ordered to bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy.  These are uncertain days for our family … a lively toddler, a potentially serious condition for his momma and baby sister, and several weeks of growing still necessary for a healthy baby.  I believe I’ll keeping singing right along with Cole  … 

“Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong!”

 

“What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.”

 

“For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.”

 

“Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory,
Children of the Lord!”

 

Won’t you join us?

Until next time,
Debbie

For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of Cole on a tractor at the PA Farm Show – January 14, 2012. 

 

MimiX2

5 Oct

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.  
III John 1:4

 

Baby Announcement Cupcake

The little piece of paper said “May 1st”.  I found it at the bottom of the cupcake I was eating.  Was it some random quality control sticker that someone accidentally placed on the inside of the muffin cup, or was it the subtle message of proclamation that I had been waiting for now for several months?  I leaned over to my hubby and asked him if he also had a May 1st slip of paper … and he did!  At that moment, I looked up to see the grins on the faces of our daughter and her husband as I squealed out the question … “Are you pregnant?”  Hugs, kisses, and more hugs were shared freely at that moment as the realization dawned on us, Mimi and Papaw, that another precious little life was on its way!  My ecstatic grandma heart quieted down temporarily in order to listen to the details of symptoms, early morning tests, a doctor visit, and our need to keep this quiet for the next few weeks.  Oh my!  Such a difficult job description for a Mimi and Papaw … but somehow we made it through, and here we are!   We have another grandbaby on the way!

The request of silence was until the tiny heart beat was heard and the attending physician gave the official due date, which is May 6th.  The fascinating fact of this new baby is that it is the same time period that we experienced Cole’s journey.  His due date was May 4th, but due to Kim’s severe case of pre-eclampsia, we were surprised with Cole’s birth 6 weeks early.  We are praying for a different grand entrance this next time!

Soon after finding out that Kim was going to have another baby, Tim and I went on an evening motorcycle ride.  As is our habit of safety, I shoot off a quick text to Kim and let her know that we are going for a ride.  The response read “Be careful MimiX2!”

The Big Brother

As the expecting parents visit doctors, view ultrasounds, and plan for the newest member of their family, this Mimi plans on coming along side to give an extra helping hand … especially with bringing Cole home for more weekend playtimes and allowing some much needed rest for his momma.  Maybe we’ll take a trip to the local library and check out some books about how fun it is to be a big brother!  I know that this grandma is overwhelmed by God’s amazing grace and His mercies which are new for me every morning.  I turn 51 years old tomorrow, and am extremely excited to think that before my next birthday, I will be MimiX2.   Won’t you join me in celebrating life?  The miraculous gift of the unborn child, the rambunctious life of a toddler, and even the life of a vintage woman named Mimi.

Until next time,
Debbie

 

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him.
Psalm 127:3

I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Psalm 146:2

 

For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of fall decorations in my home … October 2011