Thursday, April 22, 2010



Well, this Saturday, April 24th, is the annual March of Dimes walk. Last year, it was just too difficult for me to walk. Besides being pregnant and not wanting to risk it, the enviroment would just have been more than I could handle, still with empty arms from losing Layah. This year though, we celebrate the life that we've been blessed with through Luke. I've gotten T-Shirts made for our family team, "Shelfer Babies Team", and even Tobi is gonna walk this year. I'm praying the rain will hold off until at least lunch time, giving us time to finish the 4+mile walk and get back to the car. I wish more of my co workers supported this charity, either with walking or monetary donations. I know they all read my email that went out because it notified me for each individual. Oh well, it cant be helped. All I can do is ask. We know the Author of Life, but we also know that His hands have been extended by the March of Dimes.

I read a verse this AM and soon after, received an email from my precious friend Amber,updating me on her 12 week doctor's apt. The verse was James 1:12 (MSSG) "Anyone who meets a testing challenge head on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is LIFE and more LIFE."!!! I know she is very anxious in regards to her upcoming cerclage surgery on April 30th. I told her what to expect and hope she will not be in as much pain and discomfort as I was. I told her that I felt that she was having a girl. I was right, this week, with LeeAnn's baby, as she found out Monday she's having a boy and I predicted that. We'll see. I'm just so excited for Amber, and know that if she can get pregnant, so can Johanna.

We had gotten word on Tuesday that Addison, (Matt's sister, Amanda, her husband, Jeremy, his sister's little girl) was to get a kidney yesterday, but after the tissue matching was done and the blood work was done that night, Addi had antibodies in her blood, which meant most likely if she was given this kidney, she would reject it. So, she goes back on the list. I know her parents, Adam and Janna, were devastated. But, we just pray that God will align the mos perfect kidney, even if is from a living donor, that Addi will have for a lifetime. I'm sure the felt like they were on a rollercoaster of emotions.

We also have Nora, Amanda's only child, her 1st birthday party is on Saturday afternoon. Then we have Luke's baby dedication on May 5th-Granny's birthday, and then Granny's 88th birthday party on the 8th. I am so thankful that Tobi has gotten to know Granny. I sure am gonna miss her when she passes, but I know she will be wating for us with Layah, Papa, and her precious child that she lost, Ronnie.

Faithfully His,


Friday, April 16, 2010


Obviously not being from Rome, sometimes I don't "get" things in the new testament. I read something today and want to share it with you. It is from 2 Corinthians 4:1-11 I love the Message Bible, so I'm gonna use that version...

"1-2Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we're not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don't maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don't twist God's Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.
3-4If our Message is obscure to anyone, it's not because we're holding back in any way. No, it's because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention. All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness. They think he can give them what they want, and that they won't have to bother believing a Truth they can't see. They're stone-blind to the dayspring brightness of the Message that shines with Christ, who gives us the best picture of God we'll ever get.
5-6Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we're proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, "Light up the darkness!" and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.
7-12If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best! "

I never understood the "clay pot" analogy until now. The devotional from Our Daily Bread said this, "

It has been said that the Roman Empire ran on olive oil. It was used in cooking, bathing, medicine, ceremonies, lamps, and cosmetics. For decades, olive oil from southern Spain was shipped to Rome in large clay jugs called amphorae. Those jugs, not worth sending back, were discarded in a growing heap of broken shards known as Monte Testaccio. The fragments of an estimated 25 million amphorae created that man-made hill, which stands today on the bank of the Tiber River in Rome. In the ancient world, the value of those pots was not their beauty but their contents.
Because of this, the first-century followers of Christ would have clearly understood Paul’s illustration of the life of Jesus in every believer. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” (2 Cor. 4:7).
Our bodies, like amphorae, are temporary, fragile, and expendable. In our modern world that highly values outward beauty, we would be wise to remember that our greatest treasure is the life of Jesus within us. By God’s grace and power, may we live so that others can see Christ in us."

We had an incident yesterday with Tobi saying " so and so, you need to get skinny..." I just wanted to crawl under my mom's bed when he said that to this person. I talked with him last night about it, and how he would never want someone to say something that could be hurtful about his size, glasses, hearing aids, clothes, whatever. It can be "cute" when they are little and they say whatever comes to mind, but the older he gets, the less "cute" it is, plus I want him to be aware of his words, and how they can affect others. I want him to be honest, but not hurtful.
The verse talks about the "unadorned" pots. I think that as Christians, our pots should be cracked, chipped, dingy, dirty, USED looking...because, after all, we want HIM to be seen-not us. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit (not in the obnoxious way that filled is sometimes thought of ) and the life that we have found through Christ, the light shines through the cracks, the "chip parts" from our trials and struggles, the dented parts from pain and suffering....He is revealed through our pots....not our words and our "BIBLE knowlege" -which is important but is not what most unbelievers are changed by. It's the "pots" that people see. My "pot" sure has had it's better days! But I'm so thankful that it points to my King. He is praised by it. What Satan intendend to be a ball and chain has become a sweet smelling fragrant flower of the life that comes from My Lord and SAVIOR. I think many people, even believers sometimes, carry around expensive "pots" that are decorated with the finest gold, silver, gems, paint, etc (representing their stuff, their careers, their money, their status, their knowledge, their talent), but when you look into the pot, it's empty. it's dark. there's nothing in it. I pray that my "pot" will always represent my best friend, my King, my Reedemer!
Faithfully His,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Pictures from Saturday at Tobi's soccer game, vs Chicago, 12-7 win! and Moss Rock Preserve in Hoover, hiking with Grungie

Sunday, April 4, 2010


040410 (6 mo)


Thinking back this time last year and the year before honestly has been kind of a blur. I thought about how hesitantly excited we were last Easter having had the cerclage just put in, and yet the year before, having not made it to church since I had some symptoms of some back labor. This year, getting to share it with my family, I realized something, I noticed the beauty in Spring, the vibrant colors of the magenta trees. The bright golden yellows and fiery oranges. God's art is such a wondrous creation. I see His life in the trees and flowers and birds all about, while thinking and constantly praying for my dear friends who have lost babies and yet to have one or more.

Johanna's anniversary is Tuesday April 6th, and she had expected to be pregnant by the anniversary of the twins' birth\death. I try to give her hope, causing her to think that maybe a year is not long enough to grieve over 2 babies gone. It's so consuming, grief is. You want the feelings of despair to be gone, so once I was pregnant with Luke, I had something to focus on. Not that the grief went away or I stopped thinking about Layah, but I just had it to consume my thoughts. A "friend" I met through Dana, Kim Kelly, lost quads about a month ago at 23 weeks. I have been in touch with her and she has responded once to me. I cant imagine the magnitude of her loss, as losing Layah was like losing part of my being for many months. Her friend and I have talked as well. I know she's going through many feelings right now and none of them are bad. She feels guilty, numb, sad, angry, etc...everything I felt and more. She has an older daughter, Grace, who is 8. I explained to her that I also felt guilty just for not being able to function and take care of Tobi the month following Layah's death. I just wanted to sleep on the couch all day...and cry. Getting on the wellbutrin was a tremendous help, but also making my self get out. Thank the Lord I did have Tobi to get out with me, otherwise, who knows how long it might have taken me to just go to the grocery store. And thank God for my sweet friend Rachel. I couldn't have gotten through it without her as well. Just being able to talk to her and her know how I felt.

I emailed Kim to share with her just a thought, which was my new perspective of this Holy Day. Having always been overwhelmed with sadness and just really being upset seeing how Jesus was tortured, seeing it from His Father's eyes has been just as emotional. He knows our pain. He knows our despair and our sadness. I know that it seems distant to Johanna and Kim right now, but I pray every day that they will feel His presence, and even if they don't, they will know that He will "never leave or forsake them". When Luke is asleep in my arms and I carry him to his bed and put his cheek against mine, the smell and his soft skin are a piece of heaven, and I am reminded that I would do it all again. I'm sure God has those moments with us, when we make Him proud and He smiles and says, "yup, I'd do it all again, just for you!" His love is just so hard to understand. It's just not given justice with our pitiful English language. I mean, the same word for how we feel about our dog, our spouse and our favorite ice cream? Really?.

Well, as usual, I'm ministered to by a song. It's called More Like Falling In Love and it's by Jason Gray. It's a great song and the words are so true. It's not a religion, it's a relationship. We are made a new creation by a relationship with our King. It's all about that unconditional love He has for us and our commitment to let Him be Lord of our life.

More Like Fallin' in Love

Jason Gray

Give me rules I will break them

Give me lines I will cross them

I need more than a truth to believe I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes

To sweep me off my feet It ought to be

More like falling in love

Than something to believe in

More like losing my heart

Than giving my allegiance

Caught up, called out

Come take a look at me now

It's like I'm falling,

oh It's like I'm falling in love

Give me words I'll misuse them

Obligations I'll misplace them

'Cause all religion ever made of me

Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet

It never set me free

It's gotta be


...It's like I'm falling in love, love, love

Deeper and deeper

It was love that made

Me a believer

In more than a name, a faith, a creed

Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me


Faithfully His,