Over and over again

This week as the enormity of what our daughter was facing hit me, my sister-in-law shared this song with me. She started with the disclaimer that "I don't know if this is your type of music or not, but I couldn't stop thinking of you whenever I heard this..."  Though admittedly, Southern Gospel hasn't been at the top of my list for favorite music styles, this song got played 'Over and Over' again that afternoon, through tears, and an eventually encouraged heart that God's faithfulness can be depended on.

It can be depended on when the trials in front of us seem like Mount Everest.

It can be depended on when what we're asked to go through something that seems impassable, like a flooded and stormy river.

It's there when we can't see the next step ahead of us for the tears that blind our eyes.

It's there when questions loom large and threatening, and fears taunts us with it's jeering possibilities around every corner.

It's there when we don't feel like we can go on anymore.

Over and over again, when we fail to trust God implicitly, His faithfulness picks us up, and over and over again He shows Himself strong.

"It's through every trial, each test and temptation, There's one thing that's sure every time...
Jesus is with me, So I'll claim the victory. Over and over again."

All things... Pt. 2

The day for Leana's heart appointment dawned as one of the coldest yet in our winter. A small snow-storm had blown through the day before, leaving the road rather snow-packed and slippery, and to top it off, it was going to be my first time driving to Winnipeg without Joel. I had a bit of shopping I wanted to do as well, and as Joel couldn't take off work, I asked a nearby friend to come with.

I looked forward to the day quite a bit, and had no worries at all about Leana's tests. Routine appointment, routine exams... We'd be in and out of there in no time, and this would soon be something we would forget all about.

Costco got walked through and their samples tasted, the thrift stores browsed through, and baby gifts shopped for. I'll spare you the chaotic story of driving and parking in downtown Winnipeg, but suffice it to say, we made it to our appointment 10 minutes late. :-)

An ultrasound of her heart from all angles was the first on the list, followed by an Echo, and ECG. We were then directed to the waiting room. A few minutes later, the pediatric cardiologist called us back into the ultrasound room, wanting to do a few more tests on her. He spent quite a bit of time on a couple particular shots, then started asking questions about family heart history, and her behaviour when exerting herself or upset.

At this point I started to realize this was going beyond a routine exam, and the visit in the cardiologist's office afterwards confirmed my suspicions. Our little girl has a hole in her heart, known as a Ventrical Septical Defect, (VSD) and most likely would have to face open heart surgery in the near future. The doctor wanted a second opinion though, and said he would send her test results to a surgeon in BC for further evaluation.

I was impressed with his kindness, the amount of time he spent with me, and his overall attitude. This was definitely another good experience that helped my tainted view formed by some of the medical experiences I had already had.

I left there not feeling terribly concerned. Leana had not shown any of the symptoms the Doctor had mentioned, and quite honestly, he didn't act as if it was too serious. I figured the hole must be closing on it's own, and that the likelihood of any action needing to be taken was slim. Therefore when we got the call the next week that they wanted to fly us out to Vancouver four days later for her surgery, my world felt like it crumbled a little bit.

Reality hit at that point, and it hit hard....

Five Months Old!

Opening Christmas presents with mom. 

Trying on a new hat!

First sink bath!
Two of Andrea's sisters enjoying Leana!
Highlights from this month:

  • First Christmas!
  • Her heart murmur was discovered. Referred to a specialist for more tests.
  • First time being sick. Poor baby!
  • Meeting all of Mom's cousins, aunts, and uncles, and many friends on a week long trip to the States. 
  • First time staying with Grandma so Mom and Dad could go snowmobiling. :-)
  • Discovers her feet!

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

How many of you know this man of mine? Quite a few of you, most likely, and those of you who don't, you're sure missing out on a blessing!

Today he turned 32. Today, we've known each other for a little under 2-1/2 years. What a change those 2-1/2 years have brought to my life! Sometimes I wonder what my life would be now if it weren't for Joel, and the tremendous influence and impact he has had on my life. 

Oftentimes, I think Proverbs 20:5 sums up his character pretty well. "Counsel is the heart of man is like deep waters..." 

Just from the surface, one can't always tell how deep a lake is. It's not until you get out and explore it that the enormity of the water that you're swimming or boating in hits you.

Joel is like that. Humble and unassuming on the outside, but a man of rock solid depth and wisdom in the inside. His security in the love of God and his claimed position in Christ has been one of the biggest personal blessings to me. 

I tend to be a very performance based person, and all too often, this tendency translates into my relationship with other, and my walk with the Lord. Joel's example in this way has done more for the relational and spiritual side of my life than any other person I've known. The stability and confidence he's brought to my life is quite remarkable when I look back at the changed person I am from 3 years ago. 

Another thing that gives me so much security, is that he's not afraid to be a needy man before me and the Lord. He doesn't claim to be perfect, and he doesn't try to give that impression to me or anyone else. He has an ear and heart bent to the promptings of God in his life, and when I'm tempted to distrust his judgment or advice, all I have to do is listen to him bare his heart before God, and my confidence in his decisions is completely restored. Is that because they are always perfect? No, but because he's seeking the heart of God, I know they will turn out alright.

I love watching him as a daddy. I've tried my hardest, and I don't think I can recall a man who is as involved in his daughter's life as much my Joel is. I've said to many people that I think he's given her more baths than I have, and I don't doubt that it's true. Watching that evening daddy/daughter ritual of bath, pamper, jammie and snuggle time melts my heart every single time

I can't count the times when, knowing she's been fed, he gets up with her in the night, rocking her, playing, or changing her diaper, just to give me more rest. It happens so often I feel guilty sometimes! But I don't stop it - I love watching how much they love each other.  Leana's little world lights up when her Daddy comes home, and I'll admit that mine does too!

I've never met a man that loves perusing garage sales, but Joel does! If fact, he enjoys most shopping, and this has given us so many amazing times of just being together. Recently, we headed to Winnipeg for a day of shopping, just because it sounded like fun. I treasure times together like that. 

I love how he asks me if it's alright if he goes and does an activity without me. Instead of grabbing his hockey gear with no thought and heading out the door, he finds out if I'm up to a few hours in the evening by myself.  I treasure that thoughtfulness so much! 

There's SO much more I could list, but I'll stop there, lest you go weary of my love-struck babbling. :-) Yup, he's my best friend, and the man I want to walk beside for the rest of my life! I love you, honey!


We are so thankful for a godly legacy!
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