The Question Game

The Question Game

As you have heard before, I went to the illustrious Berry College (LETS GO VIKES) for two years. Since there isn’t much to do at Berry besides count deer and go to church, we had to find other ways to entertain ourselves. So my friends Marcy Jo and BFF Jen invented a game for us to play. I actually can’t remember who came up with the game but it definitely wasn’t me so it’s gotta be one of those two.

We called our game the Question Game. It’s exactly what it sounds like: One of us asks a question and we all answer. Not complicated. It’s like a really tame version of Truth or Dare without the dare. We played it pretty much every time we went out to dinner. Marcy Jo always had awesome, deep questions that made us search our souls. Jen’s questions were always exciting and fun. My questions were along the lines of, “If you could be a cloud, would you be a fluffy cloud or a REALLY fluffy cloud?” Real thought-provoking stuff. But it was fun and we enjoyed our game so much that we still play it when we get together (hint hint, Marcy Jo!). We even have a book that has questions in it for when we get lazy. We are SERIOUS about our fun.

It had been a while since the last time I got to play the question game, so a couple of weeks ago I explained it to Daniel and asked if he wanted to play. It was easy for me – I cheated and used the questions I’d been asking Marcy Jo and BFF Jen for the last eight years. Daniel played very well in spite of the many physics questions he asked me before realizing that was a dead end.

Then one of us – I can’t remember who – asked what was by far the most interesting question of the night: If we could change what had happened over the last few months, would we?

I thought I knew the answer to that one. I was ready to say yes, absolutely, of course I would change it, no question about it.

But as I thought about it more, I realized that wasn’t true. I wouldn’t change it. I hated it. But I wouldn’t change it.

I believe God has a plan. I have always believed that. But over these last few months, I started to wonder how this could be part of any plan. Why did it happen to us? Why did we have to stay for so long? Why did God allow our baby to go through so much?

I still don’t know the complete answers to any of those questions. But I still believe things happen for a reason. I believe in God’s plan and while I might never understand why things happened the way they did, I know it was part of a purpose. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future.'” Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Those two verses really say it all. God has a plan. I have faith in His plans. That doesn’t mean I can comprehend them or that I even like them. I wanted to make the plans myself; I wanted to tell God how things would go and then let Him make it so. But faith doesn’t work that way. True faith is understanding that you probably won’t ever understand, but the only things you have to know are that Jesus died on the cross for you and God has a plan for a hope and a future for you.

The funny thing about this whole experience is that I never thought Joshua would die. It crossed my mind and it freaked me out, but at the end of the day I knew he would live. I realize now that that is how I kept my faith. Even when I couldn’t pray, even when I thought God had abandoned us, He was still giving me peace and comfort without me knowing it. He was faithful to us. Joshua is home. He took a long and winding road to get there but he made it. And I can’t look back on this experience and think it was coincidence or bad luck or anything other than God’s sovereignty being shown through these struggles.

And now, I wait. I have waited a lot for the last few months but this time it’s different. Now I am waiting to see how God uses what happened to us to reach other people, to show that He is still God even when things are bad.

So here’s the deal: Jesus died on the cross for you and for me. God sent His son to take sin from us so we could worship with Him forever. If you don’t know that Jesus is your Savior, don’t wait any longer. Talk to a pastor, talk to a friend, talk to me if you want. God has incredible plans in store for you – don’t miss out on them.

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You Might Have A NICU Kid If…

You Might Have A NICU Kid If…

How can you tell if you have a NICU kid? Are you wondering why your baby does the weird things he or she does and if it’s possible they’ve spent some time in Baby Prison? Don’t worry. There are easy ways to tell the NICU-ers from the non-NICU-ers:

If you’ve ever said the phrase, “Honey, don’t forget to plug the baby in,” you might have a NICU kid.
If you have to reassure frightened children that the beeping they hear isn’t a bomb, you might have a NICU kid.
If you own more than three rolls of medical tape and wait for it to go on sale, you might have a NICU kid.
If your response to someone wanting to know the age of your child is “It depends,” you might have a NICU kid. 
If your spouse reminds you it’s time to take your baby to the doctor and you’re not sure if it’s the cardiologist, ophthalmologist, or the “regular” doctor, you might have a NICU kid. 
If your fridge is half-filled with baby bottles and the other half is filled with prescription meds, you might have a NICU kid.
If you have a sign on your stroller warning people that touching your child will bring about a swift death, you might have a NICU kid.
If you plan on staying indoors and never speaking to a single soul for the entire winter season, you might have a NICU kid.
If the only other parents you see are NICU parents that also Lysol their house on a daily basis, you might have a NICU kid. 
If you can watch tv while a shrill beep goes off in your ear for twenty minutes and still follow the plot of your show, you might have a NICU kid.
If you’ve ever said the phrase, “Don’t worry; he’ll breathe again in a second,” you might have a NICU kid.
And if you can load a stroller, oxygen tank, monitors, car seat, and baby into your van in five minutes or less, you definitely have a NICU kid.
These are just some of the signs. The NICU baby can be elusive and hard to spot. Please spread the word and add your own signs.
Babies Are The Enemy

Babies Are The Enemy

I hereby dedicate this post to Dawn W, who has requested some entertainment while feeding her twins at 4 am. She is so needy.

I’ve learned a lot about babies since Josh came home. I mean, I knew some stuff, but I had been concentrating on which bottles are best and when to let your baby try solid food. You know, the stuff that everyone tells you about. I didn’t know that I should have been researching ways to combat the sinister tactics of the micro-preemie terrorist and their extensive array of weaponry. I should have been studying their tactics and battle plans, their offensive strategies and impeccable timing. It’s too late for me. But it might not be for you. This knowledge is my gift to you. Read it and use it well.

We all know babies are cute and cuddly, right? Wrong. Babies just want you to think they are cute and cuddly. They grab your finger and coo and bat their teeny tiny eyelashes at you and you just know you’ve found love. Do not fall for this trap. This is merely one of the many ways they are trying to get you closer to them. The object of this exercise is to get your face close enough to vomit on – or, heaven help you, your mouth close enough to vomit in. Once you are drawn to their web, they will re-gift their lunch to you in a spectacular fashion reminiscent of a Fourth of July fireworks celebration. Sometimes they act pitiful after they spit up. This is another trap. They are asking for more cuddles so they can restart this vicious cycle.

Another lie babies love to tell you is that farting is adorable. Babies are so tiny that pretty much everything they do appears adorable to the untrained adult. This includes farting, otherwise known as tooting, princess air, passing gas, and in the Flerl family, sitting on a frog. Babies give a little toot and you giggle, delighting over how hilarious flatulence is when it comes from such a tiny little bottom. This is yet another attempt to get you to let your guard down. The end goal for these babies is to present you with a surprise dirty diaper at 3:45 in the morning. See, if you get used to the little farts, you start to automatically assume that each time a smell wafts your direction, your perfect little cutie has just tooted again and you laaaaugh and laugh. Then, when you’re the absolute sleepiest and must go back to bed before you fall over dead, they fill up that diaper and trick you into thinking it’s only a little gas, thus ensuring the diaper will overfill and spill onto their clothes, the changing table, and basically everything you own.

The final and perhaps most terrifying way babies trick you is to pretend to be asleep and then scream at the most inopportune time possible. For instance, the other day my sweet baby was sleeping in his Rock N Play and and I was napping on the couch. He woke up and cried. It was a little early for his bottle but I thought maybe he was hungry. I got up to check on him. He was sound asleep. Hmmm. I went back to the couch and was juuuuuust about to fall asleep when he cried again. I waited to see if this one was fake, too. He kept crying so I got up. I looked at him and he was asleep again. I turned around and had literally just pulled the covers on me when he cried again. I went to him and – sing it if you know it – he was asleep. So I stood over him for a few minutes, thinking he would wake up again and I could give him his bottle. Nope. He slept with me standing over him for a solid five minutes. I walked over to the couch and had barely touched the cushion before he opened his eyes wide and screamed. Then I saw it. It was barely noticeable but it was there. A tiny, evil smile in the corner of his mouth. He knew what he was doing. And he was enjoying it.

So what can you do about these terrorist babies and their lies, tricks, and gas? Nothing. They are too crafty. As soon as you figure out their plan, they develop a new plan. If you try to prevent their evil ways, they just use other evil ways to thwart you. They. Can. Not. Be. Stopped. But you can prepare. Do your research. Know your baby. Exercise. And, for the love of humanity, buy a gas mask. That stuff is foul.