Thankful

Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. (Psalms 4:4 NLT)

{Deep breath, dusting myself off…}

As you can imagine, these past two years have been excruciatingly stressful at times. Put yourself in our shoes for a moment and imagine what it is like to be given the news that your baby will likely DIE shortly after birth if not before. Unfortunately many of you don’t have to imagine that. You know. We now see that that was not God’s plan for Nora, but every little illness, discomfort or bump in the road threatens to throw our life into a downward spiral. Every visit to the cardiologist, every visit to the pulmonologist could bring potentially devastating news. Fighting that fear that lies there in the back of our minds is almost a full time job. It has stressed us, aged us, affected our health and eating habits. Things are pretty stable and calm right now. But for the oxygen line stretching throughout the living room and the medicine doses 3 times a day, you might look in and think everything is all nice and back to normal!

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Life is very different now than it used to be or that I imagined it would become since the day I found out I was pregnant. It’s still very beautiful, but very different. I do the absolute very best that I can around here to maintain some sense of “normal”. We don’t get out too much anymore and entertaining for longer than a couple of hours can be very overwhelming for me. I am abundantly blessed by the people brought into our lives to help us and by the people who still send encouraging notes. I am thankful and blessed by the people who care enough to follow along on our journey with us and who lift us up in prayer. These are the people who keep me going. You are the people who refresh and energize my soul, loving me despite my flaws and bringing out the best in me.

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In the midst of all of this, and in this season of a Thanksgiving I give thanks and praise to God for the blessings in my life. I give thanks for His grace, His mercy and compassion and LOVE that He so generously doles out on me.

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Love Notes in the Kitchen (none of which I had anything to do with other than noticing them and receiving them) ~

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8 NIV)

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For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21 NIV)

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Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV)

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Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. (Psalm 97:11 NIV)

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I give thanks for my sweet, sweet kids who ALSO give me hugs and “I love you”s out of the blue and who make me laugh with their awesome budding senses of humor. Their creativity and their imaginations exhilarate me ~

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(If that isn’t enough to get a tear welled up in your eye, then I don’t know what is!) Pure sweetness. May they always be these precious overflowing vessels of the Holy Spirit.

I give thanks for my extraordinary and mighty husband – my cherished soul mate, my beloved companion. He somehow manages to run a business, take care of his ailing mother as best as he can, and still stands strong as the head of our household. He has the flexibility to accompany me to most of Nora’s doctor appointments willingly and by choice. He is informed, educated and proactive in our littlest family member’s care.

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I love and admire that about him and was so proud the day that a hospital nurse observed and commented about his involvement. He carves out time for Daddy/Daughter days, refuses to miss any of Gavin’s games, and schemes ways to get me out on dates when ever he can. He exemplifies this scripture beautifully into every aspect of his life ~

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
(Colossians 3:23)

I thank You, Lord for my precious, insightful parents and siblings who are not only my family but my very best friends. I did indeed win the “family lottery”! Everything that has been hurled at us to destroy us has only made us stronger. Through our faith and love we are not victims. We are victorious!

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I thank You for the women and men of faith that you have sent into our lives (which also includes my family) to build us up and to encourage us. May their kindness and compassion always immobilize the depreciating encroachments instead of it being the other way around.

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Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
(Romans 12:21 NLT)

I’m so very thankful and blessed by our in-home nurses (past and present) who care and love little Norns so so much. Their presence affords us restful nights of sleep and the opportunity to get out on occasion. Our Kelly can be included in on that too, except we have the extra added blessing of having her live with us.

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I love the laughter and perspective she brings to our family. In the moments of chaos she is the sound voice of reason, the comic relief to break up the monotony of day to day life.

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With all the experience she is gaining under our crazy roof she will someday be named as World’s Greatest Social Worker!

I’m incredibly thankful for this sweet young lady baby:

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I am so thankful for everything Nora has taught me by just simply being born. She has taught me how to completely surrender to God and to trust His will. She has released my grip on so much of what I benightedly claimed as MINE. Her little and mighty life completely devalued the importance of what kind of car I drive, what kind of purse I carry, house I live in, clothes I wear, what people think about me, etc. She has forced me to reevaluate my priorities to better reflect this fleeting life here on earth. Nora is not guaranteed tomorrow, but neither are we. Through Nora I have come to better understand the futility of fear and anxiety. I still get fearful and anxious, but I have so many instances to refer back to which CLEARLY illustrate its ineffectiveness. That goes back with surrendering to God and trusting His will.

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Nora has taught me to be flexible. Just when I expect to be walking out the door to go somewhere, the very next minute I could be sitting in the bath with her, laundry machines humming in the background. Life is under no obligation to progress according to my plans and to-do lists. When I’m able to put aside my frustrations and aggravations over the u-turns and altered routes — big and small, I’ve discovered there is still plenty to be joyous about and thankful for–the scenery is just different.

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What a generous and loving God you are. THANK YOU.

Here are photos and a couple of videos taken over the past few weeks ~

“Dat’s my brudder I love!”

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“Go, Bengals!”

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Looks like Nornor was secretly rooting for the Browns all along.

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“Who?? Me??”

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“Dat’s preposterous!!!”

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Three Little Birds! (“Tank you so much for my sweet little shirt, María from Spain!”)

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“Uh oh, kitty!! You’re not after my Three Little Birds, are you???”

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Speaking of birds… Here’s William holding an adorable little Carolina wren (after much todo)… because birds just randomly fly into our house through the front door ~

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She’s chewy! Her second tooth is ALMOST through!!!

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She went and got herself all sleepy.

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We found this adorable little hoot owl in the living room. She sure smelled delicious!! We decided to keep this one.

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“My sister shows me tings on da iPad. I like dat!”

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Everybody seems to love her!

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For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. (Psalm 108:4 NIV)

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Brudder is thinking about messin’ with Norns…

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Norns is thinking about messin’ with Sasquatch…

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“Acshully, I’m tinking ’bout a baff for me.”

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“On my mark… Get set…”

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“GO!!!!”

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All squeaky cleaned!

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Girls Night In ~

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Norns is a devoted Bengals fan! She cheers every Sunday!

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Right after Norns put her outfit on, the Bengals made a great play!

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Stinky Cupie Doll

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Getting some last minute loves before school ~

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Sweet cheeks ~

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Various faces of Nornor:

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We finally made it over to Nana & Papa’s house after the Great Poopoo / Puke Debacle of 2013. Freshly bathed Nornor enjoyed some sweet melodies from the homeland with her Oma ~

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Happy “be-earlied” birthday to Uncle Joe who was needlessly apprehensive about distracting from Thanksgiving with his birthday on the 26th! 😉

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Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

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Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
(Romans 12:9-13 NIV)

14 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. Holding back my tears with this post.
    Thanks for the ton of pictures.
    Not sure when Thanksgiving is this year ( today or next Thursday??) but your window kitchen looks wonderfully decorated.
    Pure love and sweetness G&G and Norns are.
    Told my friend the joke about the Browns and Norns’s nappy changing and he told me they’re the Cleveland local team eternal rival of Cincy Bengals. He was cracking up.
    Love you all 🙂 xoxoxo

    Happy belated bday to Joe !!

  2. Aleisa, you are an amazing woman doing an amzing job of being mama, nurse, wife, friend, etc. You inspire me everyday!!! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers everyday!! God bless you all!!! xoxo

  3. God knew what He was doing as HE ALWAYS DOES putting you in a Christian family that can support you when the going gets rough. Nora is such a great teacher and You are such a great professor. Love your family.

  4. THANK YOU for sharing your precious baby and awesome family with us. You have taught me so much about faith, family and Christianity. Blessings and Love to your family!

  5. What a wonderful post. One that brought tears, laughter, smiles, and thankfulness. May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family. As I always say, “Our God is a Good God!”

  6. Missed you…but kept you all close in prayer. Thankful to see all the bright faces of those you are blessed to journey this life with. Day by day, He is always faithful. Always. Blessings to your family in this time of giving thanks.

  7. This is absolutely beautiful and a real tribute to little Nora’s family and her life. Thankyou for this – gives me lots to think about and be thankful for. Bless each one of you in little Nora’s life and thanks so much for sharing your life and your walk with the Lord with others. Blessings to each of you. Jackie Berkey

  8. Aleisa, You are an angel of the Lord ! you bring joy to everyone around you . Thanksgiving is the time of year we all count our blessings . We are so grateful that you opened your heart to the world..and shared your journey with us You have a beautiful soul Love jenny

  9. Little beautiful Nora has so many people (including me) under her spell…..This is an amazing post and I have enjoyed every single word and pictures of your family. Thank you so much for sharing this on this wonderful site. Since I am no longer on FB and seeing posts from you, I have come to love this blog so much. Thank you Aleisa….and I hope you and your entire family has a great and Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. Aleisa,

    I have been following your post ever since Melaine posted the pictures of Nora’s birth. You story has touched me. You have a gift with words. You have taught me about courage and have taught me about faith. Whatever comfort you get by the support of your blog readers is given back to us tenfold!!!

    Thank you so much for taking me on this journey. I am grateful!

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  11. Finally got around to reading this post. I so loved seeing all the precious photos of Nora and family! She is such a blessing! Hope your family has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Robin

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