Monday, January 30, 2012

What's On My Nightstand These Days

Getting back into school these past couple weeks since the holidays finished up has been difficult.  I can sense that ever-too-familiar critical and overbearing spirit of the flesh creeping up.  It does this every once in awhile.  Forgets its place.  And I succumb.  Again.  Trying to remember how to live in the moment of grace.  It's a lesson I've learned thousands of times before, yet still I find myself forgetting.  So often I wish this sanctification process would be a once and done thing.  Oh, how easy that would make things!!  But no, it is a daily need to lay all things at the cross.  Day after day.  Moment after moment.  Gathering up my daily manna from heaven. 

Oh, "quiet times" are still there.  Nicely and neatly packaged up - relegated to their own place in the day.  Not to be re-visited until the next morning.  But is this the way He intended it to be?  A small chunk of my day dedicated to Him, while all the other thousands of moments rush by without so much as a second glance?  Don't each of those moments belong to Him also?  Moments where I feel frustration towards my children.  Moments where I feel over-worked and under-appreciated.  Moments where I allow myself and my emotions to take precedence to truth.

As I've wrestled with the flesh this week, I've been so thankful for this book right now by Ann Voskamp.

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

If you haven't read it yet, I'd certainly recommend picking up a copy.  It is causing me to pause a little bit more.  To search for Him in the midst of ordinary life.  To literally count my blessings....One Thousand Gifts.  To quit trying to rush through life.....for now....this week.  A lesson being learned, yet again. 

This is what I am praying for this week....a thankful heart.  One that exudes grace, and beauty, and Him.  I'm praying for eyes that will recognize the Creator in every created thing.  Praying for a desire to glorify Him in my home.  With my kids.  With my husband.  In my attitudes.  In my heart. 

I'll leave you with this quote I came across this week.....

"Yes, give them God's law. Teach it to them and tell them God commands obedience. But before you are done, give them grace and explain again the beautiful story of Christ's keeping it for them. Jesus Christ is the only one who ever deserved to hear, "You are good", but He relinquished His right relationship with the law and His Father and suffered as a lawbreaker. This is the message we all need to hear, and it is the only message that will transform our hearts."
 -Elyse Fitzpatrick, Give Them Grace
Praying for grace.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Well, once again, we are feeling super thankful to our God.  Anna went home last night.....again.  Seems that it was *just* a bladder infection.  Nothing a round of antibiotics can't cure. :)

While she was there, they flushed her bladder for about 15 hours and several clots came out.  A CT scan that they did also showed that the large clot in her abdomen is dissolving and her hemoglobin is stabilizing.  This is ALL great news!!!  Won't you join me in praising the Father?

Thank you Lord that you are ABOVE all things, that you HOLD all things in your hands. Thank you that you only give good gifts to your children.  That when we ask for bread, You don't give us a stone (Matthew 7:9).  Even when it may seem so.  Thank you that we can ALWAYS trust that your ways are GOOD.  We pray that Anna's life would be a testimony to you, God.  To your power.  Your mercy.  Your faithfulness.  Your love.  For the sake of your glory.  Forgive us for our unbelief.  We know that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).  Oh Lord!  Increase our faith and give us eyes to see!

I leave you with a verse that has brought much comfort to Anna for the past week:

"Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress."
~Psalm 71:3

Thanks for your continued prayers for our family.  We appreciate it so much more than you will ever know.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Anna Update

Anna went back into the hospital this evening. :(  I think we all knew that Anna's recovery would be a long, grueling process (after all, in only a matter of days, she went through childbirth, had 5 surgeries, was given 23 units of blood and was sedated for a week), but still, it is hard to hear. 

Earlier today, Brian took her to the ER because she was experiencing blood in her urine.  After a bunch of tests, the doctors have found that her white blood cell count is elevated and a CT scan has shown two pockets of clear fluid in her kidneys and bladder.  They are still trying to figure out what is going on within her body. 

Please continue to pray for her.  She needs peace tonight, as it is very scary anytime there is a setback.   Please also continue to pray for the doctors and nurses who will be caring for her.  Pray specifically that they will be granted wisdom as to how to treat Anna.  Pray that they would be able to determine what is happening, correct the problem, and send her back home to her sweet kiddos.  And as always, please also remember to pray for Brian, their children, and also my in-laws.  My MIL and FIL have been out in CA ever since Anna first had the baby and have been holding down the fort for three weeks now.

A couple nights ago, Charles and I had the opportunity to Facetime with Anna.  Isn't technology amazing?!!?She really looked GREAT!!  She was smiling and sharing some of her memories (or lack there of) from the past few weeks.  We loved being able to talk with her and tell her some of the things that God has been doing in the lives of so many people because of her.  We praise Him for the work that He has already done!  Praying that we will continue to trust Him and His perfect timing, even in the midst of uncertainty. 

Thank you prayer warriors for believing in the power of prayer!!  We love you all!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Well, I'd say 2012 hasn't exactly gone according to plan for our family. :)

For those who followed Anna's story, you certainly know what I am talking about.  Then, just as things began to settle down for her out in California, we heard news from Georgia.  Our three-year-old niece had pulled a chair over to the stove to help cook dinner just as my sister-in-law, Rebecca, had turned her back.  Let's just say, a gas stove and clothing don't mix well.  2nd degree to deep 2nd degree burns all over the left side of her sweet little body.  From her hip, all the way to her armpit.  Here's a news clip of our niece and nephew that literally circulated around the world this week:


I'd say we were the lucky ones of the bunch with *only* one trip to the ER this week with a two-year-old and her dislocated elbow.  Popped it right back in. :)

Yup, it's been one of those months.  And yet, through it all, God has remained faithful to our family.  In each circumstance, He has shown that He alone is God and that we CAN trust Him, even when things don't go according to plan.  The past couple weeks have been hard for our family as a whole. Yet, through it all, we have found ourselves surprisingly encouraged by our trials.  Sensing that something greater is happening that we don't yet see.   My sister-in-law posted this quote that she had read that same day that her baby girl ended up in a burn unit in Atlanta:

"Try to view each day as an adventure, carefully planned out by your guide.Thank me for this day of life, recognizing that it is a precious, unrepeatable gift. Trust that I am with you each moment, whether you sense my presence or not. A thankful, trusting attitude helps you to see events in your life from my perspective.  

A life lived close to me will never be dull or predictable. Expect each day to contain surprises! Resist your tendency to search for the easiest route through the day. Be willing to follow wherever I lead. No matter how steep or treacherous the path before you, the safest place to be is by my side."

                                                                  ~Excerpt taken from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

I talked a little in my last post about not wanting to forget what God has done over the past few weeks. 

His faithfulness. 
His mercies. 
His unfailing love. 

But isn't that what we do so often?  Turn back to what is comfortable?  Life as normal?  I know that is certainly my tendency.

"Be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.  Teach them to your children
and to their children after them."
~Deuteronomy 4:9

A few years back, I decided I did NOT want to forget the things God had done in my life.  In the book of Joshua, after the whole nation of Israel had finished crossing the Jordan River, the Lord told them to gather twelve stones from the middle of the river.  Then God told them:

"In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?', tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord.  When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.  These stones are to be a
memorial to the people of Israel forever."
~Joshua 4:6-7

The memorial was to be a constant reminder of what God had done for them.  Their children would see the stones, hear the story, and learn of our great God.  Enter my stones of rememberance:

Every time the Lord has taught me a lesson, impressed a verse on my heart, or allowed a miracle to unfold before my very eyes, I added a rock to my collection.  Lest we forget or go back to the comforts of an ordinary life lived out in the flesh.  Check out my newest stone:

So, I invite you to mark out a place in your home as a memorial to our God.  A rememberance of sorts of all that He has done in YOUR life. Over and over throughout scripture, God reminds His people of how far He has brought them. 

"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery."
~Exodus 20:2

He didn't do this to pat himself on the back, but to remind His people of how far they had come.  Why?  Because it's too easy to forget His goodness.  It's too easy to look at our current circumstance and wonder where God is in the midst of chaos.  Won't you join me in remembering? 

As we enter through the doors of 2012, my prayer is that we would........that I would.........



Saturday, January 14, 2012

She's On Her Way Home!!!!

Just a quick post to let everyone know that Anna is on her way home as we speak!!!!  Charles just got off the phone with his mom a little while ago.  They were checking out of the hospital and making their rounds to say goodbye to the countless doctors and nurses who assisted in saving her life.  Anna is doing GREAT!! Such an amazing day!!!! 

I will be certain to post more details later, but for now, just wanted to say......

Yay God!!!!


Thursday, January 12, 2012


Just a quick note to make a small correction to my post from last night.  This is from my mother-in-law:

I went to the hospital twice today. And each time I was filled with joy and reverential awe to our God. Anna was much more alert and was able to carry on some conversation. The MRI from yesterday showed no stroke and no bleeding. They did another CT scan this afternoon because she had some tingling in her fingers but everything was fine. When Anna asked when can she go home; the doctor didn't really answer that question, she just said it will take at least 3 days to make the switch from heparin to cumidin. So...there is no time frame for her release from the hospital at this time.

The children got to skype with her this evening and there was much rejoicing and some tears.
Many, many doctors and nurses have stopped by for a "social visit" as they say. The anesthesiologist who did the anesthesia for the c-section stopped by to see Anna today. He came in smiling and said: "I am so happy; I am so happy to see you alive." He went on to tell us that he was the anesthesiologist for both the c-section and the next 2 life-saving surgeries. He said that he had taken her breathing tube out from the c-section and was finishing up when things started going horribly wrong. He said usually in a crisis situation there is more than one anesthesiologist - but things happened so fast that there wasn't time to wait. He said he started saying: "God, help me; God, help me." At that, he felt a "force" take over his hands and work swiftly to do what needed to be done.

I told him that it was the Lord Jesus who helped him. He said, yes, I believe it was God. Then he said he worked in a trauma unit for many years and he had never seen anyone make it with a hemoglobin count of 2.9 which Anna's had dropped to just before the 2nd life-saving surgery. Miracle after miracle, that is what we have had the privilege of not only watching but participating in. To God be all the glory. Amen and Amen.

Please continue to pray for complete restoration of her kidneys and blood levels, no infection, hemoglobin to go up to at least 10 and stabilize, optimum cumidin level, and clearer and clearer thinking and whatever else the Lord lays on your heart to pray for. Once again, thanks so much.
So, just wanted to clarify the information on Anna's going home in three days.  I know that anything is possible, but there is still much that needs to happen first.  Please don't grow weary in the praying!!!  Thanks so much!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Finding God in the Mundane

Well, there have been ALOT of milestones since I last wrote just a few days ago!  Lots of rejoicing going on over here. :)  Here is a look at some of the highlights of the week:

Anna woke up on her own the other day!  This was HUGE and such a relief for the whole family.  At first she was still pretty groggy, as she still had a TON of drugs in her system.  With her kidneys not working at their optimal level, they were a little slow at flushing out all of the sedatives and anesthesia she had been on for the past TEN DAYS!!  There was also a little concern as to whether any permanent damage had been done to her brain.  The past couple days have been filled with CT scans and MRI's.  Great news though!  The MRI showed no sign of stroke and nothing acute.  Anna was able to get up out of bed yesterday and even fed herself yogurt.  Today, she went for a little walk.  She has even been told that there is a possibility of her going HOME in as little as 3 days!!!  Praise God with us today!

What an extraordinary week this has been!  For those just joining us, you can read Anna's story from the beginning here.  Some of my favorite stories in the Bible also deal with the extraordinary.  David and Goliath.  Elijah and the prophets of Baal.  Jesus feeding the five thousand.  They're big and exciting and loaded with larger than life characters who are full of faith.  Kind of like this last week has been.

Take Mary, for example.  I'm certain the day Gabriel appeared to her was pretty awesome, but what about the other 364 days that year??  Or the thousands of days that followed the birth of her firstborn son?  I'm gonna venture to guess that it was filled with some pretty ordinary tasks also, much like mine.  Wiping snotty noses (and bottoms!!), dressing and undressing babies, chasing after toddlers, making dinner, cleaning endless piles of clothes and dishes, sweeping the floor (again!!).    The mundane makes us oh so weary.


This is where we find Anna also, as well as those taking care of her and her family.  The worst is behind.  The dust has settled.  She is on the road to recovery, and this is AWESOME news!!  Now what do we do with this?  How do we process a miracle of this magnitude and where do we go from here?  As the adreneline rush subsides, the earth continues to spin on its axis and life goes back to normal for so many.  But for those directly involved, the monotony of a new normal begins to set in.  And so begins the search to discover God in the mundane.  In the everyday tasks that are necessary for her full recovery.  But that is where He lives.  Where He resides.  In the ordinary tasks of everyday lives.  In the weariness of life.

"Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not grow faint."
~Isaiah 40:28-31

As my father-in-law takes the night shift, caring for three sick kiddos who have the stomach bug, He is there.  As a brother lovingly sits in a hospital room reading scripture over his sister or combing out the knots in her hair from days of bedrest, He is there.  As a husband gets ready to take his wife home, to care for her himself, He is there.  When we choose to honor Him even in the mundane, He is there.  Even when it's not very glamorous or even easy.  He is there.

How will we take then what God has done and allow it to permeate OUR mundane?  After all, if we haven't said it before, we've certainly thought it, "If only I had seen Jesus heal the blind man, or the sea calmed, or a man named Peter walk on water, then I would believe."  But is that true?  Certainly it wasn't true for the Israelites.  I mean, COME ON!  After literally SEEING the Red Sea part in half, the Israelites still wondered if God would provide for them in the desert.  AND, when He did, they complained it wasn't good enough!  Many saw, but then allowed the monotony of life to take them right back to where they had started.  My prayer is that I would allow God to use the extraordinary to transform the ordinary.  To find God in the mundane.  That I would not forget what He has done.  That I would allow it to permeate the other 364 days of the year.  Even when times get tough.  What a shame to have witnessed a miracle and then to return to life as we knew it before!

So, I'm off to clean up my kitchen.....again.  Only to get messed up.....again......tomorrow. :)  But you know what?  That's OK.  Because I'm choosing to look for God in the mundane today.  Hoping you will join me!

PRAISE HIM:  Join us in praising Him for healing Anna!  Loved this post from a friend the other day:

I have been so ministered to by the countless number of people praying for Anna and her family during this very difficult time. The Lord is working in my heart, showing me the extreme privilege it is to be called upon to pray on behalf of a brother or sister in Christ, that somehow, in some mysterious way, our prayers can affect the outcome of God's will. It's crazy to me, that God has a perfect plan from before the foundation of the world reaching into all eternity, and as it is being played out, he wakes me up in the night and says, "Ask for this..." just so that I can be a part of seeing Him answer! What is this but a gift? I love Him for this. He wants me to partner with Him in His beautiful plan for His people. Wow... thank you for loving me Jesus! 1 John 3:1, "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are."  

Thank Him for allowing us to play this role!  Thank Him also for mobilizing the church to pray on behalf of our dear sister.

SPECIFIC PRAYER REQUESTS:  Continue to pray for Anna's blood production to return to normal.  Also pray that she will have a good night's sleep again tonight.  Pray specifically for her husband Brian, as it has been a LONG week for him.  He accompanied Anna into the hospital 13 days ago and has hardly left her side since then.  He has had very little sleep.  Pray also for the extended family that is out in California caring for the children while their mama continues to heal.  Pray that they would see God in the mundane!!  In every diaper that is changed.  In every bottle that is given.  Praying that God would give strength to the weary.  It has been a long week for everyone, and it certainly isn't over yet - not even when she returns home.  Lastly, pray for Anna's children - all 7 of them.  Pray that God would continue to protect their little hearts.  It has been a hard week without mommy.

Thank you prayer warriors!  We are thankful for each of you and the role you have played in praying Anna home.  We are eternally grateful.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Taking a Break...

Ok, so I need to start slowing down in my posts.  Really, this is not my norm.  When I saw what an effective tool the blog world could be in terms of prayer, I took advantage of it.  Now, however, I do need to go back to some sort of normalcy.  Tackle the mound of laundry that has overtaken the upstairs hallway.  Scrub the toilets.  Continue on in our homeschooling endeavors. 

I will still post updates on Anna every few days, or certainly if there are any major developments, but now that things are starting to settle down a little, I will not be updating quite as frequently.  Mama needs some down time. :)

If you are looking for more frequent updates, a FB page has been started that lists daily prayer requests and such.  Email me if you are interested in being added to that group and I will go ahead and do that.  In the meantime, please continue to check back in!  We look forward to the day when we can announce that Anna is on her way home to be with her sweet family.

That'a all for now!!  Heading to the airport in a bit to pick up my husband.  So looking forward to him coming home.  Thanks for all your continued prayers!  :)


Here is the last FB message posted by my MIL:

Dear Prayer Warriors,
Just returned from the hospital.
Well, we have taken a couple of steps backwards but still have some things for which to praise God.

The neurologist said Anna did have a seizure but as a result of that they did a CT scan which showed no clots and no bleeding in the brain. They will do another CT scan tonight to compare them just to make sure. Pray that everything looks norm...
al again. He also said that her brain is under a lot of stress and that she probably hasn't slept in days even though she has been sedated. Please pray that she will sleep.
She is still not conscious but did open her eyes this evening and focused on Dan when he was reading the Bible to her.
She is pretty agitated by the feeding tube in her nose, but they won't take it out until she wakes up and can swallow to eat. So, please pray she wakes up soon.
Please continue to pray for her kidney function to continue to improve, the drainage to stop from her abdomen, her blood levels to all return to normal, and no infection. Also pray that the heparin is regulated to the exact dose that she needs and that her sodium and potassium levels normalize.
Praise God that she continues to fight and her vital signs are very good.
We are praising God for you all and asking God to bless you as you stand with us in our journey.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Year of Gifts

Well, I had meant to write this post a week ago for the New Year, but in light of our week, it never got sent out.  New Year's Eve our little family spent the night doing what we do every year.  We watched old home videos.  We call it, "The Gregoire Year in Review."  :)

2011 (in no particular order).  So, so much to be thankful for.

#10  Spending the week in Duck, North Carolina for a family reunion with Charles' whole family this summer....8 adults and 16 grandkids all under one roof.  So fun!  Here is Gran and Papa with 16 of their now, 18 grandchildren.

 "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior, are sons born in one's youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. "
~Psalm 127:3-5

#9 Spending many a weekend with my parents, Cessa and Pop as they are affectionately called by my children, down at their house on the Chesapeake Bay.  Fishing, crabbing, boating, kayaking, swimming, biking - a child's paradise. :)

#8  Getting to spend one more year with my grandparents.  Truly an unexpected blessing.

#7 Starting a homeschool group in our area.  A first for me, but it has proven to be such a blessing.  The friendships alone, both for myself and my children, have been invaluable.

#6 Our family keeps growing!!!  My kids (as of a week ago) literally have 21 cousins.....and counting.  Our newest gifts this year are:  Nevaeh Noel (ok, she is technically a 2010 baby, but she squeaked in at the very end!), Kensley Mae, Sadie Rose, Zoya Praise and, just last week, Micah William.

"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."
~Psalm 139:13-14

#5 We have been blessed with a WONDERFUL church and have been going there for almost 12 years, since before Charles and I got married.  When we moved further away, we continued to make the trek thirty minutes every Sunday because the people had become like family.  But after 9 years, we began to feel that God was placing it on our hearts to worship with a local body of believers.  Our church had already planted several church plants throughout the tri-state region, but strangely, we felt compelled to pray specifically that our associate pastor and his family would feel the call to move up our way and plant a church in OUR town.  For six months, we, and a couple friends of ours started to pray diligently about this.  One Monday morning back in June, I got a text from my husband.  "Call me as soon as you can."  So I called.  And wouldn't you know!?!!  He had just received a phonecall from, none other than our associate pastor.  He and his family were feeling called to plant a church where WE lived!  Glory to God!  Tomorrow will actually be our last Sunday with our current church.  Mixed emotions.  Excitement to see how God is moving and where His plans will take us, yet sad to say goodbye.  Sad that Charles won't be there.  Thankful that he gets to be in California.

#4  Posted a picture of our pickle jar last year when we first began our adoption journey.  At the time we were unsure how God would provide for our adoption, but we were willing to trust in Him.  Today, we have raised OVER $20,000 in only 8 short months!!!  2/3rd's of the way to our goal and holding fast at #86 on the waiting list. :)

#3  Christmas morning 2011
Spending Christmas with Charles' brother, Dan, and his wife Rebecca, and their 7 kids!!  6 adults and 11 kids all crammed into our little townhouse for a week.  SO.  MUCH.  FUN.

#2  My sweet family
My adoring husband, Charles, and our four littles.....beautiful and sweet Kaya (8), passionate and crazy Joseph (6), sensitive and funny Jackson (4) and feisty and independent Sophia (2).  We are truly blessed!

#1  Thankful that as we enter through the door of 2012, we do so celebrating so much LIFE. 
Old lives.  New lives.  Restored lives.

"The thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have LIFE,
and have it to the full."
~John 10:10


Results of CT Scan

So for those following along on FB, this is old news, but the results of the CT scan came back this morning.  I have been busy with my kids all day, as Charles is still in CA, so I haven't had a moment to post yet.  Here is the latest, copied and pasted off a FB status:

CT scan shows no bleeding! What they believed to be a seizure they now think may have been a physical reaction to low potassium NOT a neurological reaction. The sedative dose they gave her is starting to wear off and she opened her eyes for one second. Dr. Says her brain is under a lot of stress. She probably hasn't slept in ten days despite the sedation, plus 5 surgeries, and gone through child birth. They are increasing pain meds to make her more comfortable. She may be groggy, but not under. Hopefully her brain will be able to rest.  Thanks again for your prayers as Anna journeys the road to recovery.

Thanks for all your prayers!


More Obstacles...

Well, prayer warriors, we need your continued prayers.  It seems that this week has been one of many highs and many lows.  One step forward, two steps back.

Last night we were celebrating the victory of Anna opening her eyes and remaining alert for a full ten minutes.  Just before opening her eyes, she had become very agitated and called out, "Mama!"  My MIL immediately went over and held her hand, to which Anna squeezed it tight and nuzzled it close to her head.  Shortly after, her eyes opened.  She tracked Brian for a little and when he told her that Micah had been born, and was home, healthy, she teared up.  Much joy erupted in the room!!!  Charles called me and I was able to Facetime with Anna over the phone.  How amazing technology is!!!  I went to bed last night feeling hopeful and relieved. 

Fast forward to this morning. 

Here on the east coast we awoke to the news that Anna had had a seizure in the middle of the night.  The celebrating is put on hold while we wait the news of a CT scan sometime today.  Obviously, none of this is a surprise to God.  He knew this would happen and He is STILL in control.  We are trusting this morning in His perfect ways, even when we do not understand them.

Please continue to pray!!  Pray for wisdom and alertness for the doctors and techs.  Pray for Brian, that he would lean hard on the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to him.  And, of course, continue to pray for complete and total healing to Anna's body and mind.  Most of all, continue to thank God for His goodness.  All glory and honor to Him.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Another Praise!

This just posted on FB by my mother-in-law:
Anna opened her eyes for 10 minutes! (9:15pm PST) She was tracking Brian and understanding what he was saying to her. When he told her that Micah was perfectly fine, she teared up and squeezed her eyes. She is perfectly aware! Praise the Lord for this progress and continue to pray for full restoration.
We are praising God tonight!  Not only did Anna open her eyes and begin to wake up, but she did it when her mom, Brian, Charles and Dan were all in the room.  They all got to be a part of that little miracle just now.  So thankful!!  Charles even called me and I got to Skype with her on Facetime.  Praise Him from whom all blessings flow!

Who Is This Jesus?

As people all over the globe have watched this story unfold in real time, I'm sure the question has been asked, wondered perhaps from deep within, "Who is this Jesus?"  "Who is this God who can raise the dead, calm the seas, and bring restoration to a woman named Anna, whom medical professionals did not believe had a chance at survival?"  "Who is THIS God?"  Well, let me introduce you to Him.....

The God that I serve, is one who loves His people desperately.  An even deeper love, if we can imagine such, than a mother has for her child.  He loved us so much so, that He ached for His creation when sin entered the world.  And this sin that entered in the garden at the beginning of time, still wreaks havoc on our world today. Children are diagnosed with leukemia.  Mothers die of cancer.  Babies are left orphaned due to HIV.  Believers are persecuted and killed throughout the world for proclaiming the gospel.  This was never His original intent for us though.  His original intent, was that we, His children, would walk in a relationship with Him, God the Father.  But when sin entered, with it came death, disease and sadness.  Most tragic of all, was that this sin separated us from the Father.  It made it impossible for us to get to Him.  He had to come down.

So, from the beginning of time, God had a plan.  A rescue, if you will.  A Son, foretold through the prophets, thousands of years before He was ever born.  And although some would have expected this great Deliverer, this Savior of the world, to be born into royalty, to be born a King in the most physical of senses, He was not.  Instead, He was born of a young virgin girl in a smelly stable full of animals.  There was nothing beautiful or perfect about his birth from a worldy standpoint.  Yet, that is so like our God.  To use the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. 

This baby grew into a man.  Fully God, yet fully man.  He experienced heartache and sadness, physical pain and sickness, just like the rest of mankind.  Yet through it all, He never sinned.  He became the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  And it was His blood on a cross, that offered us forgiveness of our own sin.  Why?  Because there is forgiveness and ressurrecting power in His blood.  Ressurrecting power that raised His body from a grave after three days in the ground.  And that power still reigns today.  The cross has created a bridge back to the Father.  All we must do is believe in Him. 

So what now?  Where do you go from here?  You can begin by grabbing a Bible and reading through the Gospel of John.  Find other believers, a local church body, who can disciple you and help you to grow in your faith.  And, talk to God as you would a friend.  This is not another religion.  Religion doesn't save.  Only Jesus does.  It is an intimate relationship with the One true God of the Bible.

Real faith is not a manufactured emotion that can be mustered up in our own strength.  It's a faith that develops slowly over time as we obediently pursue Him when times are good.  SO THAT, when the storms of this life come, and they will, we can confidently trust in an unseen God with our very lives.  Knowing that His ways are ALWAYS better, ALWAYS more perfect than ours.  Taking the good with the bad and praising His name regardless of our circumstances.  Trusting always, that in ALL things, HE is good.  HE is in control.  And believing that not a hair on our heads can be touched unless HE allows it. 

This is our God.

"For God so loved the world, that He sent His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life."
~John 3:16


Thursday, January 5, 2012


So, I just HAD to share this email with you.  It is from a good friend of mine who happens to be a nurse.  If there is any question as to just how miraculous Anna's recovery has been, read below:

I will start with telling you that as a nurse I really understood the severity of Anna's condition. First, she was most likely bleeding inside of her uterus when she passed out during labor. So, for baby Micah to have survived that with no complications is a miracle in itself.  Anyway, then I started to add up Anna complications.  The DIC that she had is deadly in itself.  It causes all of your clotting factors in your blood to start clotting, so you end up with clots everywhere. This can cause massive stroke, heart attack, and PE, which Anna does have (although out of all three, I would say that P.E leaves the least residual effect.)  Anyway, while all that is happening, your blood is left with no clotting factors so that is why you can bleed from really anywhere with DIC ( she was  bleeding from surgical wounds).  The procedure in which she had the filter placed above her kidney to keep a larger clot from traveling was extremely dangerous.  They had to puncture her jugular to get a filter all the way down her artery to block the clot if it decided to break loose from the vessel wall.  With DIC it is SOOOO easy for someone to bleed out and for them to directly be able to puncture her artery with NOO complications is really crazy to think about.  With the amount of bags of blood that she recieved she had her entire blood supply replaced 4 TIMES!  Then for her surgical wound to remain open and packed with gauze for days and no major infection if any is awesome!  That tube she had placed is now draining any fluid in her abdomen, so an infection can't brew on stagnant fluid. Oh, and I forgot to mention the 5 or 6 surgeries plus everything else we don't know about. There really is no reason why Anna is still here!
I also wanted to share with you about one of the times I was praying for Anna.  I was washing dishes in my kitchen and I was just crying for Anna and her family as I prayed.  I was begging for Him to heal her and I prayed  that if He healed Anna that I didn't think I could ever doubt his power again. Medical intervention helps, but I truly believe that nothing other than God saved Anna.
Kirsten, to respond to some of the things in your blog:  I know I don't know Anna at all, but I strangely don't feel like a stranger.  I knew God had the power to help her.....but to see it in action, I will NEVER doubt how mighty He is. THOUSANDS of His children were cyring out to Him and He LISTENED!  I truly believe that this event has strengthened my faith more than I can say.  I am in utter and complete awe of our Mighty Mighty God!
Amazing.  Thank you so much Lyndie for sharing!!   She obviously still has far to go on her road to full recovery, but it is certainly nothing less than a miracle that she has made it this far.  In God's kingdom there is no such thing as coincidence, and this is no exception! 
A few highlights from today:  Anna has been taken off the sedatives.  She had her breathing tube removed and is now breathing on her own.  They have been giving her nutrition and her GI tract is working properly.  Her blood levels continue to normalize and her vitals look good.  Her swelling is visibly going down right before their eyes. 
Specific prayer requests include:  Continued kidney improvement, no infection and wisdom for the doctors concerning starting heparin (mediation for blood clots).  Also, continue to pray for the children.
Thanks for praying without ceasing, so specifically and so expectantly!  To God be all the glory!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


A friend of mine posted this on FB yesterday: 

"Facebook has become one of the greatest prayers chains I have ever witnessed.  It works exponentially."

I kind of love that. :) 

For those who have been following along on FB or on our blog, you will know that this story has captured the attention of so many people.  Many more than we could ever count.  One of the most wonderful things that has come from this is seeing God's people rally around to pray for a complete stranger. Working just as the body is supposed to work.  I know God is moving in the hearts of many and this is so much bigger than just a healing of Anna's body. It has gotten the attention of so many and I believe He is using it to pull people closer to Him.  I've received MULTIPLE emails of how God is using Anna's journey to cause them to seek Him trust Him know Him more intimately.  And with each new miracle, we've watched as people have cheered and praised our God.  That God would even allow our little blog to play a minor role in that, blesses me. 

I did have the opportunity to talk with Charles this evening a little.  As you know, he flew out to Fresno veeerrrrrryyyy early this morning and got to spend the afternoon at the hospital with his whole family.  He was very encouraged because Anna has been doing GREAT today!  Her vitals are good, and she has even been opening her eyes and responding to commands some.  The hospital staff believe that she has turned a corner and they are confering as to when she can start on blood thinners.  This would be HUGE!  Her body just needs to rest and begin the healing process.  She certainly has a long road ahead of her, but we trust that our God will sustain her.

In the meantime, please continue to pray.  For Anna, but also for her children.  She has (now) 7 children at home waiting for their mama to return.  Of course there is baby Micah who is completely dependent on extended family to care for him, but also 6 others (ages 9,8,7,6,5, and 2).  There have been lots of questions, such as, "When is Mommy coming home?" and "Why can't Mommy call us?"  Pray that the Lord would protect their little hearts.  So thankful for aunts and uncles and grandmoms and grandpops who can love on them as they wait.  I imagine that my husband is out there starting a wrestling match with those boys as we speak. :)

I'll leave you with a couple pictures....

Peterson Family, pre-Micah :)

Micah William Peterson

Welcome home sign....haha, not sure why the gun, but whatever. :)

The welcoming committee.

Home at last!

Love to all!



Update on Anna

I just returned from taking Charles to the airport and read this on FB from my mother-in-law:
Update on Anna. Today was a very good day. There is no bleeding since removing the packing and they did not have to give her any blood or platelets during the procedure, her blood coagulation numbers are normal, her blood pressure is good and her heart rate is good. The drainage from the tube in the abdomen area is watery and pink as it should be.
This evening they began feeding her a nutritional...
supplement into the stomach through a tube in her nose. They took her off the sedation medication for a "sedation vacation" as the doctor called it because it gives the brain a chance to "wake up". Dr Sherman said he likes to do this daily when the patient is stable. The "vacation" only lasts a little while and they don't let the patient wake up, just stir a little and perhaps respond to requests like "move your hand" etc. Anna's eyelids were moving as I was talking to her and I said: "if you hear me, squeeze your eyes" and she did!!!!
After we left, Brian texted Greg to say that she opened her eyes and raised her hand off the bed a little. You can imagine his joy.

We brought Micah home from the hospital today so… Tonight should be interesting for Greg and I as it has been a long time since we awoke to feed a baby several times during the night.
To be honest, I am kind of nervous thinking I won't hear him even though he is in the room with us.

So dear prayer warriors, I ask that you praise God for the good progress that we saw today. Prayers are needed for the clots to dissolve, her kidneys to efficiently function, for the swelling to begin to subside (she seems at least twice her size), for her hemoglobin to stabilize, for her platelet count to rise.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
PS If you like to read blogs, check out my daughter-in-laws at She gives updates on Anna as well as a wonderful perspective on the power of prayer.
She said that she normally gets 60 – 70 hits following each posting . Yesterday in a two hour period she got 3000 and in the past two days she has gotten over 10,000 hits. People are praying for Anna all over the world and we are grateful.

All praise, honor, and glory goes to God.
Wonderful news!!  I am hoping and praying that Anna will wake up a little while Charles and Dan are visiting and that they would get to talk with her.  What a blessing that would be, I am sure, for them.
Thank you Lord for your faithfulness.  Thank you that you have a long history of being good to our family.  Thank you that you are our "refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).  Thank you Lord, that you "give strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak" (Isaiah 41:29).  Thank you that you say, "Come to me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)  Thank you that you are Jehovah-Rapha, the God who heals.
If you have any verses that stick in your mind of comfort or healing, I'd love for you to post them to our blog or on FB today!!  My mom always taught me growing up the importance of praying God's Word back to Him.  His Word is "living and active and sharper than a double-edged sword" (Hebrews 4:12).  His Word "does not return to Him empty, but it does accomplish what He desires it to do" (Isaiah 55:11).  It is the most powerful weapon we have as believers. 
We ask that you continue to pray, as Anna still has challenges in front of her, but we are resting in thankfulness this morning, knowing that the prayers of the saints have graced the throne room of the King.
Love to all,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thank You!

Well, it has been quite a day for all of us.  Quite a week, really.  Full of highs, and lows.  And hope.  And sorrow.  All twisted and blurred together in one ginormous whirlwind.  There has been little sleep, and much praying.  I can't keep my eyes off of FB and email and text messages.  They have been coming in from all over the world.  Literally.  It has been such a crazy, surreal time....and I can't help but to wonder what God is up to. 

This blog that we started less than a year ago, was originally meant as a tool to be used to share the progress of our adoption journey.  Normally after a post, I'd get about 50 or so hits.  The past three days ALONE, we have gotten over 10,000 hits on our blog.  It is insane!!!  I can't wrap my brain around the amount of people who are watching and praying.  We've had strangers reach out to us.  Neighbors.  Family.  Friends.  A good friend from our small group stopped by tonight with a meal.  My sister-in-love set up meals for us for the entire time Charles is gone.  Our small group raised enough money for a plane ticket.  Friends and family have offered playdates with my kids.  The list goes on and on.

And we are just absolutely humbled and stunned   BY.  IT.  ALL. 

Thank you everyone for your love and concern for our family.  It has truly been confirmation that God's people are meant to be the ministering hands and feet of Jesus.

We haven't heard much in terms of any updates on Anna.  Things remain the same for now.  Surgery went well today, her vitals are stable and there is no bleeding.  The doctor has also said that he feels like she has turned a corner as far as the DIC is concerned.  Continue to pray for NO bleeding, NO infection, for the blood clots to dissolve and for her blood counts to improve.  We did learn that baby Micah was discharged this afternoon.  Charles' dad (affectionately known as 'Papa') took all the kids on a "field trip" today to the hospital to bring their new brother home.  What a sweet time. :)

Well, that is all for now.  Even though my mind is reeling, my body is weary.  Heading to bed. :)


Out of Surgery!

Just heard word that Anna is now out of surgery.  They have closed her up, leaving a tube for drainage.  There is no major bleeding and her vitals are good. The fluid is pinkish, which is what it is supposed to be.  Pray that the fluid would continue to be pinkish and that her hemoglobin does not go any lower than it is now, which is 9.
We continue to pray God's healing hand upon her.  We know He is able!  In the meantime, Charles and his brother, Dan, have decided to fly out to California to be with their parents right now.  Dan leaves this evening, while Charles is looking for a flight now.  We are so in awe of the love and support of so many people.  We have been blessed with an amazing church body who has rallied around us, even to the extent of purchasing Charles' plane ticket.  To God be all the glory!

In Surgery Right Now

Here is the latest update from Charles' mother 21 minutes ago....

Anna's hemoglobin is dropping. They are going to remove the packing and see if there is bleeding. Seems whenever they do anything to help it traumatized her body. Please continue to pray for the doctors to have wisdom, for Anna to keep fighting, for her body to recover, and for her blood to start doing what it is suppose to do. For us to have peace. My heart is racing. Thanks.

Thanks for continuing to pray!  You can also pray for Dan and Charles, as they are considering flying out to be with their parents.  Thanks!


More Specific Things to Pray...

Let's first thank Him for His goodness.  For each and every little miracle and small improvement that is made every day.  There really is no reason that Anna is still here, except that God has sustained her.  She has had five surgeries to date and needed 21 blood transfusions.  She is in the fight for her life.  Yet, over and over we have seen God's hand at work.  His providence.  His mercies.  And oh, how they are new every morning!

As of late last night, Anna had made it through surgery with no unusual events.  Her numbers continue to improve, with the exception of her temperature.  The nurses are encouraged.  These are all great things!  Small miracles in the midst of this battle.  Take a moment to thank Him for those!!  You can also thank God for how He has mobilized the church to bathe our family in prayer.  Thousands are praying and that in itself is no small feat.  God is so, so good, even in times of trouble and so worthy of our praise.

"Shout with joy to God, all the earth!  Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious!  Say to God, 'How awesome are your deeds!  So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you.  All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.'  Come and see what the Lord has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf!  He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot - come, let us rejoice in him." 
 ~Psalm 66: 1-6

Several things you can pray specifically for today....Pray for her temperature to come down.  Continue to pray for no infection and NO bleeding.  Pray that her numbers would continue to increase, that her blood clots would dissolve and for her kidneys to work better.  Also, you can pray that her swelling would go down.  Today is another trip to the OR.  This time to remove the packing and check on the bleeding. 

Thank you all!  We will keep you updated on how her day goes today.  Keep praying for those little miracles and don't forget to thank Him! :)


Monday, January 2, 2012

Continued Prayer Needed

First, I'd like to say THANK YOU all to everyone who is fervently praying for Charles' sister, Anna.  Thank you for re-posting to your FB wall and for passing along to friends.  All day long our inbox has been flooded with messages from people all over who are offering their prayers and their words of encouragement.  It has meant the world to us to know that others are standing in the gap for her.  Here is the latest update, and a look at how her day has gone.

After her surgery last night, Anna's vitals were able to somewhat stabilize.  My in-laws arrived late last night and were able to see her.  A FB post from my mother-in-love (Anna's mom) wrote, "Just saw Anna.  Oh My.  She is very swollen, sedated, intubated, and critical.  She also has several blood clots.  We need some miracles from our miracle-working God.  Thanks for your continued prayers."

In the past two days, Anna has received 21 bags of blood.  The biggest risk she faces now, though, are the blood clots.  Particularly one that is located just above her kidney.   Around 2:30pm PST, Anna was taken back into surgery to receive a filter for one of the more life-threatening clots.  This surgery in itself has huge risks attached to it.  They went through a vein in her neck, which poses a great risk of bleeding out.  The risk of waiting and not doing anything, however, is greater.  We received news around 4:00pm PST that Anna was out of surgery.  There is no word yet as to how they believe she did, although the nurses are "encouraged by her numbers".  As of this afternoon, Anna's platelets were really low - below 50.  In order to be put onto blood thinners, they would need to reach at least 140.  Tonight, after surgery, they are at 104!! This is great news!  So, how can you pray?


"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this
is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 

God tells us to pray without ceasing.  As one friend of a friend posted on FB, "Know that the throne of grace is being assaulted by a myriad of saints on behalf of Anna."  We're asking that you pray without ceasing.  When you sit, and when you rise.  Everytime you kiss your babies.  Anytime God prompts your heart.  Pray.

PRAY SPECIFICALLY - The specific concerns at this time are that her platelet count would continue to increase.  Pray for good kidney function.  Pray for NO infection.  And pray that her blood would do what it is suppossed to do.  Also, pray that existing clots would disappear.

PRAY EXPECTANTLY - Lastly, pray expectantly for God to do great things.  I love that He is a God who desires to make Himself known.  Over and over throughout scripture, we see God strip away everything, so that when He DOES show up, there is NO mistaking who He is.  As the eyes of literally thousands of people are watching, we pray that He would show up big, and that He alone, would receive the glory.  Thank you Jesus for your healing hand.

Just before writing this post, I spoke with another sister-in-law, Rebecca, on the phone.  While her and her family were visiting last week, we had taken all the kids to see "The Miracle of Christmas" at the Sight and Sound theater in Lancaster, PA.  I LOVE how although Rebecca and I are in different states, God placed the same exact image in our minds from that play.  An image of the powers of darkness warring against an angel of God in the heavenly realms.   We know that the same is happening now.  A fight for Anna's life.  And it is a battle waged in the unseen. 

"'Don't be afraid,' the prophet answered, 'Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.'  And Elisha prayed, 'O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.'  Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and
chariots of fire all around Elisha.'" 
 ~2 Kings 6:16-17

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 
 ~2 Corinthians 4:18

Thanks again for all your thoughts and prayers!  We love you all!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Update on Anna

We are seeking desperate prayers for my sister-in-law, Anna.  Here she is with her sweet family this summer at our family reunion in Duck, North Carolina.

Anna, and her husband Brian, with their children, Samuel, Kiah, Kate, TJ, Nathan and Meghan.

Charles' sister, Anna, went into the hospital on Friday morning to have a baby.  Just a routine induction.  The baby, Micah William Peterson, entered the world yesterday morning, December 31st 2011, weighing 9 lbs. 14 ounces.  A healthy baby boy!! 

Anna however, has had a lot of complications since his birth.  She had passed out during the delivery due to massive blood loss and the doctors had to perform an emergency c-section.  While in the OR, Anna continued to lose massive amounts of blood, as well as having seizures.  In order to stop the bleeding, she had to undergo a full hysterectomy.  Meanwhile, we were receiving rapid text messages via my mother-in-law to pray desperately for her.  As you can imagine, it has been a scary ordeal for the entire family. 

After surgery, Anna's vitals began to stabilize.  She was still in critical condition, however, things had started improving.  The bleeding had seemed to stop.  She had begun to wake up and was able to communicate by writing on a notepad.  She was taken off the ventilator and was breathing on her own.  All very good signs.  By last night, they were able to move her to the ICU wing. 

Then, just within the past several hours, the bleeding has started back up again.  Blood clots have been found in her legs and lungs.  She has needed 12 bags of blood.  Anna was immediately whisked back into surgery.  The issue now is that she is both bleeding and clotting at the same time.  She has been re-intubated and is sedated again. 

Charles' parents are enroute to California as I type.  One of the most difficult things for them has been that they live on the opposite side of the country.  In fact, the whole family does.  As everything has unfolded over the past 48 hours, everyone feels helpless.  We have had to keep reminding ourselves that the BEST thing we can do for Anna and her family right now is to pray......and to spur others on to pray for her as well. 

Please, would you pray for Anna right now?  Would you stop what you are doing and take a moment to "lift your eyes until the hills" towards the Great Physician?

"I lift my eyes up to the hills - where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord watches over you - the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."

~Psalm 121

If anyone was ever suited for motherhood, Anna is.  She is a beautiful example of a godly woman who loves the Lord and loves her family.  She is passionate about life and an absolute blessing to those around her.  Just look at Facebook and the amount of people who are praying for her right now.  Literally, all over the world.  Whole churches have mobilized together to pray for her healing.  Small groups.  Friends.  Relatives.  Aquaintances.  Strangers.  All because she has touched them in some way. 

We are thankful for God's many blessings to our family.  He has continually remained faithful.  Thankful tonight that HE is in control.  Thankful that HE loves Anna and our family more than we ever possibly could.  Thankful that HE has our best interests at heart.  Thankful.  And hopeful.  And on our knees praying.  Won't you join us?