Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pray for me

Oct. 23
I have a prayer request. Last week I told you that my glucose test came back just fine but now it is a different story. Thursday the doctors office called and said my sugar was high and that I would have to see a diabetic councilor to know what to do. I was so confused. The nurse said I failed my three hour glucose test and have gestational diabetes. She said it is serious and effects everything from my brain, eyes, to the baby. Unfortunately, she didn’t tell me what to do other than wait for the hospital to call to set up an appointment with the councilor. I was quite shocked and very bummed. I didn’t want to deal with this. I didn’t want to give up sweets while in Michigan and during the holidays. I wanted to cry.

I knew most of my sadness came from selfish reasons but I also worried. Would the baby be ok, too big, would I have to have a c-section, would I be diabetic my whole life, how can I poke myself everyday…? So I stopped and chose put my trust in God. He was with me and in control. I have nothing to fear. God made my body and our baby and He is able to help us through this. I also praised Him. We are not dying nor do we have any serious disease. We have so much to be thankful for.  

Soon the hospital called but they wanted to get me in two weeks later. I said what do I do for two weeks? She told me not to eat any sweets, fruit drinks and regular pop, stay away from carbs, eat three meal and three snacks a day, and I can eat meat and cheese. She said she would try to get me in earlier too. Two days later she called again and got me in on Monday.

Instantly my eating habits changed and it was hard. Temptation was all around me! We were camping and the first day the family had ice cream, there were donuts out for all to eat, there was a potluck with desserts galore, and the family finished the night with smores. It is hard not eating sweets and watching your carb intake.

So yesterday I had my two hour appointment with the diabetic councilor to learn how to test my blood and how to eat. I was glad Josh went with me to help me with all of this. I admit I was all worried when I had to prick myself and was afraid I might faint, but I was pleasantly surprised how little it hurt and how easy it was. I have to test my blood four times a day so I better get use to it. We went over a meal plan too. I do get to eat quite a bit it is just choosing the right things to eat. (It really made us realize how bad people eat and how many people are at high risk of diabetes.) It will take thinking and discipline. The difficult part will be when we are away from home or out to eat.

It has been less than 24 hours since then but I have already tested my blood three times and they have all been in the normal range. Must be going good so far! Pray for me as I make this life style change. If I stick to my food plan the baby and I should be fine. It is a benefit that I exercise and am not over weight. The only thing I was on the at risk list was over 25 years old. My doctor will keep a close eye on me and the baby too. And in almost all cases of gestational diabetes it goes away after the birth of the baby.

Mom Shaarda also had her back surgery yesterday. It was about 2 and a half hours long and seemed to be successful. If all is well she will go home already today. (Just found out all is not going well and she is in too much pain to go home today.) Pray for her during the next 6 weeks of recovery.

We had a great time camping! It was fall weather with on and off rain and chilly temps but it didn’t stop us from having a good time. And thankfully we had a nice tailor to keep us warm and dry. The kids had so much fun with their cousins and doing all the activities. We played games by the fire in the fellowship room, played ball and ping pong in the gym, craved pumpkins, trick-or-treated, line danced, had camp fires… Camping is great and we made wonderful memories.

We have sung and heard the song 10,000 Reasons many times and every time our family just looks at each other and smiles. It reminds all of us of Elliot and our whole team. We miss and love you all!

The other day Lydia said to us, “sometimes I don’t understand kids here.” I asked her why and she said because they are mean to each other. We had a good talk about how God wants us to treat others and how she can be a good influence.

Now you are updated. Thanks for your continued prayers! (Cause there are sweets and food everywhere you go in this country so I will need prayer to not eat them!) We are thankful to God for His love over us and the way He is working here. Josh and I will be flying to Colorado this weekend for a get away together. We thank God for his love for our marriage and providing this time together. Pray for our kids and their uncle and aunt as they watch them. Blessing!

I realized I may have never put our speaking schedule on the blog so here it is incase you want to come and hear us speak.

Speaking Schedule in MI
Oct. 14 Kellogesville CRC am service
Nov. 4 Ivanrest CRC am services

Nov. 11 Calvin CRC (Mc Bain) am service

Prosper CRC pm service

Nov. 18 Cadillac CRC am service

Nov. 25 Rudyard CRC am service
Dec. 2 Jamestown CRC am service

Dec. 9 Highland CRC am service

Dec. 16 East Martin CRC am service

Dec. 23 Vogel Center CRC am service
Jan. 6 Faith Community CRC am service

Jan. 13 Lake City CRC am service

Jan. 20 Roosevelt Park CRC am service

Jan. 27 Friendship CRC (Gaylord) am service
Feb. 3 Lucas CRC am service

Mc Bain CRC afternoon service

Feb. 10 Georgetown CRC am services




Fall Photos

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall time in Michigan

Oct. 15

Thought I would type another update on this rainy autumn day. Josh’s grandma Stahl’s funeral went very well. I am still processing it all though. I am thankful we could be here for his last grandparent’s funeral. I think we were able to have closure. I realized it has been since high school that I have been apart of a funeral of a relative. Grace didn’t want to go so she stayed with grandma and grandpa Beute and went to school. Lydia and Luka went up to Mc Bain with us after school on Tuesday. Visitation was from 6 to 8pm that evening at church. Lydia played with Luka and her cousin Reka in the nursery most of the time. It was really nice to see all the relatives we haven’t seen in a long time. There were also so many friends and supports from Mc Bain who came. Everyone gave their sympathy then asked how we were doing and how I was feeling. I was impressed with how many people came and came from a ways away. And so many people gave Dad and Mom meals and bake goods. The visitation was pretty upbeat and very few tears were shed. I think most people were thankful with us that grandma was with the Lord.

Wednesday there was an hour of visitation and then the funeral. When we got there Luka asked why that lady slept at church all night (meaning grandma in the coffin). How sweet. I could tell today would be a little bit harder. The service was very nice and evangelistic. Many of us shed tears. Josh spoke and did a great job. He sharing memories everyone had with grandma and told about when grandma shared with us that her family lived in darkness until her father became a Christian when she was eight. Looking around at all the relatives who now know the Lord is a legacy grandma left behind. The other story grandma shared with us is when she sang with her dad at church about telling children in a far away land about Jesus. Her father told her that day that he believed a missionary would come from her family. Over 60 years later Josh and I went to Nigeria. Josh said it is a testimony of God’s grace and faithfulness. The service ended with the Halleluiah chorus. I could just imagine grandma’s birthday celebration in heaven - it was her 89th birthday.

After the service we went to the cemetery. Josh and his cousins where the pul bearers. It was a cold, rainy fall day but the sun peeked out just for us. It is hard to see a loved one put into the ground. It is so final. 

By now my head and sinuses hurt from crying and my face was all red. I pulled it together for the lunch served at the church afterwards. As long as I didn’t think about it I was ok. We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon with Josh’s parents and siblings. I lovw being all together. By evening we were at our church for supper, the kids program, and teaching for the adults. It kinda make everything that just happened serial. The funeral was over, grandma was gone and life moved on. That is a bit hard for me. But God is good and slowly and gentle helps me process and gives me peace.

I had a ruff week medically too. I failed my first glucose test so I had to go for a three hour test a couple days later. Thankfully that test said my sugar level was fine. I also went to the eye doctor and he could not get my right eye to see well so he looked at it. I was shocked to hear him say I have the start of cataracts! He has never seen it in someone so young. He thinks maybe it is caused from 10 years of African sun and having fair skin or from being on anti-malarials for so long. I don’t need surgery now. Typical cataracts is in the middle of the eye and can be 8 years before surgery but mine is in the back and could be weeks, months, or years before it gets worse. I was really bummed. Now that I know why my right eye is so blurry it is disturbing. So wear your hats everyone and get good sunglasses.

I am really enjoying being pregnant here. The cooler weather for one is so helpful. I feel better and my tights I have to wear are not such a bother. Wearing nicer clothes has really help make me feel better about myself too. So many people here ask about my pregnancy and how I am feeling. In Uganda no one talks about pregnancy so I am enjoying talking about it. I am encourage with each person who says I look great. Even strangers will say how cute I look. My great grandma thought I had the perfect like bump. I keep praying God helps me not to grow too much or too fast. The baby continues to be quiet but I love each kick and movement I do get.

Grace celebrated her 7th birthday! She was so excited! We went for pizza and then the girls, two of their cousins, grandma, and myself went to Ballet Magnifica (a Christian ballet). The girls thought is was the best. Later in the week we went to Mc Bain and had birthday cake and ice cream to celebrate with them.

I hate to admit it but I did it. I drove down the road on the wrong side! (In Uganda they drive on the left side.) I had been doing well remembering to always keep the center line at my left. Then one day a car was coming toward me! She must have thought I was crazy. I was embarrassed and startled. Thankfully since then I have not done it again.

We spoke for the first time Sunday. We talked mostly about God’s work in Obulle through Freedom in Christ. And yes, I cried. God has done great things and it moves me to tears. We showed our video too. People seemed to really appreciate it and one lady said it was worship. Praise God!

This afternoon we are going camping! The kids has break for a teachers conference so we are camping with my sisters family and my parents. It may be cold or rainy (praying not) but we should also have fun. There is pumpkin carving, hayrides, hotdog roast, donuts and cider, trick or treating, and more! The kids are super excited.

(More pics to come - they didn't all upload.)

May you to be blessed this week with God’s presents. He loves you and I do too!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Arrived & Settling in

October 4, 2012

Hello from Michigan everyone!  We are thankful for so many answers to prayer.  God is faithful and good!

We traveled to Kampala a week ago Monday.  I had an appointment with the midwife who had to sign a letter saying I was ok to fly.  I had an ultra sound and the baby has filled out and was drinking again.  I love seeing our baby!  I was also thankful to hear everything looks great.  The baby should arrive somewhere between Christmas and New Years (this ultra sound said Dec. 22 and the other one Dec. 30).  The midwife said my stomach is measuring 24 and I was at 27 weeks so there is room for the baby to grow in there.  Tuesday we enjoyed a relaxing, fun day with our kids before flying Wednesday morning.  It was such a nice way to leave.  We all enjoyed our time together.

Our flight schedule was the best we have ever had it.  We flew Wednesday morning and arrive in London at 4pm.  Our eight hour flight went rather quickly.  The kids loved having movies, a meal, pop, and treats in between -- thankfully a nap too.  In London we got a hotel, had supper, a shower, and a great night sleep.  Lydia was so excited to go to London so I asked her why she said because it is like America.  By 6am we were heading back to the airport to fly to Chicago.  We were on American Airlines instead of BA which isn’t very impressive but overall went just as well as the first flight.  Our kids are awesome travelers.  We had a 4 hour layover in Chicago so the kids enjoyed their first McDonalds and played happily for a while.  Luka loved the airport with all the airplanes.  They are all British Airways to him.  I think it tell a lot about our life when our 3 year old knows what BA is.  We arrived in Grand Rapids at 4:30pm to grandparents, uncles and aunts, and a cousin.  It was a very happy reunion!

It is hard to describe all my feelings in this transition.  Already in London I felt out of place, overwhelmed, sickened by the worldliness, yet loving the cleanliness, comfort, and convenience at the same time.  I realize how much Africa has become home and somehow normal to me after 10 years.  Over the years you realize you don’t belong anywhere which is a good thing I guess.  My home is truly in heaven - I do belong with Christ.  The airports are full of people from every nation, background, religion, and every type of clothing expression you can think of.  My heart was filled with a longing to reach out to all people with the love, truth, and healing of Jesus.  The harvest is ripe everywhere.

Our kids are doing really well.  Luka did not really understand where we were going and what we were doing but he is a content little boy.  He recognized people but on the way to our house from the airport he looked at me and said, “I don’t know this place.”  Thankfully he was thrilled with his new house and bedroom mostly because of all the new trucks to play with.  The first few nights the kids would be sleeping before we could say amen.  

We are slowly settling in and organizing.  It takes awhile to make sure everyone has what they need (clothes, shoes, coats, underwear…) and to go through our boxes we have in storage.  The first day the girls and I went to garage sales, Luka played with grandpa, and Josh was on a mission to get all he needed for his hunting trip to Wyoming with his dad and brother-in-law.  They were going to leave Saturday afternoon but when Josh was ready Friday afternoon they asked the wives if they could leave that evening.  We gave them our blessing.  They were like little boys all excited about their trip.  So just over 24 hours after we arrived Josh left again.  Glad it was him and not me.  I was happy to stay put.

The kids and I have been having a special time together.  We went to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch, stayed at the cottage with grandpa and grandma, tried to go to the museum but it was closed, went to Pizza Hut, went to their cousins soccer game, and we hope to visit their school tomorrow and meet their teachers.  The girls started GEMS (girls program at church) and loved it, Luka loved nursery, and I got to go to the adult class.  Lydia and I got our haircuts and I had a doctors appointment for the baby.  I love being with our kids and making fun memories.  They have been so good and I am so thankful for them.

I am pooped by evening though.  I miss Josh and look forward to his return.  Our van broke down while I was on the highway and we have killed two mice since Josh left so I will be more than thankful for all he does when he is back.    

Josh has called a couple of times.  I think overall they are enjoying their time but there have been frustrations - mostly with wind and tents.  Everyone got an antelope but no mule deer yet.

The weather here has been awesome.  It has been sunny and cool and the colors are just beautiful.  I love God’s artwork on the trees.  It makes me praise Him!  What a great time of year.

So overall things have been great.  I feel very thankful.  I can tell I was ready for this break.  I look forward to all God has for us while we are in Michigan.  I have already been able to have some good conversations, plan to meet with some ladies for prayer and Bible study, and hope to be an encouragement to others while State side.

Just in case any of you want to know our phone number while we are in Michigan is 616-802-4312.

Oct. 8

I wrote the above last week but haven’t been able to connect to internet and send it, so let me update you a little.

The girls started school today.  The school tested Grace to make sure she was ready for second grade (she is really a year young with her age) but the test confirmed she should be in second grade.  The girls were excited but Lydia got a bad cold yesterday so she was not quite herself.  I pray God gives them peace and joy at school today.  It is hard for me to let them go.  I am thankful for the break from home schooling but will miss them being gone all day.  So glad they were excited to go.

Josh is home!  No mule deer but he had a great time.  We are thankful he is with us again.  The kids just talk and talk to him and Luka loves his attention.

Yesterday at church I cried a lot.  I know not a total surprise for me.  I am not quite sure why church brings on the tears.  I know I process my year in Uganda being here in Michigan, I am being filled and renewed, we had communion and I thought about our church in Obulle, and I just love my Lord so much and deeply desire for all people to know that amazing love.  Sometimes I wonder why no one else is moved to tears.  I get so embarrassed but know church should be a place where we are feel to worship our Father in tears.  I was thankful for my husbands and others support and love after church.

Josh’s grandma Stahl died last night.  She would have turned 89 this week.  We are thankful she is home with her Lord now.  She just slept peacefully to Jesus.  Please pray for us as we have the funeral this week.  Josh has lost all three grandparents in a year and a half.  This is the only one we have been home for.  Pray for our kids and for wisdom for us to know how to deal with death with them.  We will tell them later today and let them decide if they want to come to the funeral.  We know Lydia will have a hard time and Grace wont want any part of it.  Thanks for praying for us.

I will try to keep you up to date.  Pictures will be on our blog.  Love you all and pray for you.