Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Saturday 7

I've decided to change the name of these Saturday "quick takes," because - let's face it - there's never anything quick about them!  They shall henceforth be referred to as "The Saturday 7."

1. We had a crazy ice storm this week.  Just when we were starting to think winter was on its way out, it blasted us with one last (hopefully!) storm.  Everything was covered in ice for days.  Even though the sun has been out for the past two days, the trees are still coated! I took these pictures 2 days after the storm:

2. Thanks to my amazing sister, even before Lucy was born, we had a huge stockpile of diapers and wipes.  We added to the diaper stash a few months after she was born, but there haven't been many good deals since then, so we've just been living off what we have.  We just ran out this week!  That stash lasted us almost a year!  I finally broke down and bought some wipes on Monday.  Thankfully there's a semi-good deal on diapers at Rite-Aid right now, so I'm headed there today to get some.  I'm paying $4.79 a package, which is nothing compared to what we used to get them for ($0-$2), but still better than paying full price!! Maybe I should just start potty-training her to avoid having to buy any more. :-)

3. This week, I took the kids to Java Gym.  A lot of my stay at home mom friends have been writing about it on facebook, and I'm always looking for ways to get out of the house with the hoodlums, so we decided to check it out.   It's basically a huge, indoor play structure.  It costs $7 for kids over 3 and $3 for "mobile" kids under 3.  Haha.  So since Lucy is crawling, she cost $3.  Adults are free.  So I paid $13 for a 4 year old, 2 year old, and mobile 10 month old.  There was no time limit or hourly fee.  It was just straight up $13 and we could've stayed all day.  One thing I really liked was that they have workers in the structure to help the smaller kids climb, and assist kids who are stuck or hurt.  Parents can go in if they want, but they don't have to! They even have a small play area for babies, too, so Lucy had some entertainment.  They have a coffee shop and restaurant that was overpriced, but yummy.  It was a fun time! We'll definitely go back.  Although next time, I'm going to have to set up a play date of some sort, so I have someone to talk to!

4. I do some typing for a local company in exchange for in-store credit.  I just enter email addresses into their database, but it's very entertaining.  I'm amazed at some people's email addresses.  I've also come across some crazy names!  Here are some of my favorites:
- (I really hope the misspelling is on purpose!)
- (10 points if you can name that movie!)
People's actual first names: Taquila, Tuesday, Minty.  So crazy!

5. Lucy has suddenly taken an interest in snuggling her toys.  Last night, she sat on the floor with 2 dolls, 3 burp cloths, and 2 toy phones and spent 15 minutes trying to pick them all up and snuggle them against her cheek at the same time.  It was so cute.

6. I feel like I did such a good job cooking at home this week.  Since I spent so much on veggies this week, I didn't buy any meat, so we ate vegetarian much of the week.  I feel like I really slaved over the oven a lot this week, but then when I went back to record what I made each day, I realized we ate out twice this week!  Haha.  I actually only cooked 3 nights this week.  Oh boy. Fail.  Anyway, Monday was spaghetti with garlic bread. Tuesday was homemade chicken fettuccine. Wednesday and Thursday we ate out.  Yesterday was scrambled eggs (with peppers again) and French Toast.  None of those meals is particularly labor-intensive, but is more work than I usually put into dinner.  Haha. Maybe I shouldn't admit that.

7. We had small group last Saturday.  The boys usually drink beer, but the girls rarely partake.  This time, however, we decided to go on a wine run.  Haha.  I used to despise alcohol of any kind, but after a few wine tasting trips in Traverse City with Paul and Missy, I've found a few kinds of wine that I like.  I actually drank 2 glasses Saturday night! What a lush!  I didn't feel it at all.  I don't feel like it relaxed me or anything.  Apparently I hold my alcohol well. ;-)  Haha.  I have no idea if 2 glasses of wine is enough to make me feel anything.

All right, there you have it.  I'm off to upload some pictures for this post.  I'm starting at 9:50 a.m. Let's see how long it takes! *Finished at 10:55 - over an hour to upload 3 pictures!!*

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lulu and Veggie Updates

It's been another big week for Lucy.

Last Wednesday she suddenly took off crawling.  It took her a couple days to perfect it, but now it's her preferred mode of transportation.  I kind of wondered if she'd just stick with army crawling until she learned to walk, but I guess she decided to do the proper crawl after all. :-)

Another exciting first:  I think she might have her first word!  In the past couple of weeks she has figured out to wave when we say "Bye-bye," and I've noticed that she usually says "ba-ba-ba" while she's doing it.  But it's not all the time.  And she doesn't do it on command.  Haha.  So I don't know . . .

And finally, weaning.  We are officially down to 3 nursing sessions a day.  It kind of just happened that she started stretching her feedings out farther.  On Monday, I decided to see how long she'd go before getting fussy. I nursed her at 7:30 am, gave her breakfast and a lunch (though she didn't eat much), and finally at 4:15 I was starting to get uncomfortable and worried about her getting dehydrated!  I've been careful not to let her go quite that long without a substantial meal and plenty of fluids since then, but she was obviously ready to drop a feeding.  So now I'm trying to pair her feedings with meals.  She nurses at 6:30, then after lunch before her nap (usually 1:30ish), then again at bedtime: 7:30.

We've also been working on drinking out of sippy cup so she gets the hang of drinking something besides . . . well you know.  She actually does really well with it and guzzles it right down.

Veggie Update
Thanks for all your recipe suggestions.  I kept them all to try them out.  Although I actually came up with something on my own for the peppers.  I made homemade chicken fettucini and threw red and green peppers and peas in it! 3 vegetables!  I spoon fed it to Lucy so I could sneak some tiny pieces of peas and peppers in each bite.  She spit out the first green pepper, but I think it was just too crunchy.  By the end of the meal, she was eating bigger pieces.  I finally cut up some plain green pepper and put it on her tray.  She gobbled it right down! I ate some too, but didn't particularly enjoy it.  It was fine, just not something I'd eat for enjoyment.

Unfortunately, she wants nothing to do with the cantaloupe.  I diced it all up so nicely and have offered it to her a few different times.  Not gonna happen.  It all ends up on the floor.  I'm not a big fan of cantaloupe either, so hopefully Justin will eat the whole thing! Haha.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Food for Thought

In light of Lucy's distaste for vegetables, I've decided to start trying a new fruit and vegetable every week.  Hopefully we'll hit on some winners for her, as well as us.  I am so not a vegetable fan.

Last week I got a kiwi and a butternut squash.  Lucy loved the kiwi, but I still haven't used the squash.  Any recipe suggestions?

This week I'm going to get cantaloupe and red and green peppers.  Again - any recipe ideas for the peppers?

Stay tuned to hear how it goes!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

7 Quick Takes Saturday

1. I had my first encounter with a Jehovah's Witness this week.  She came to Chase and Lyla's house and I stupidly opened the door to her.  I didn't want to be rude and slam the door in her face, so I listened to her little spiel and took the pamphlet she gave me.  I read through it and was left wondering how exactly JW's are different from evangelical Christians.  Does anyone know?  I noticed a few differences - they don't think the earth will be destroyed in the end times, just that the wicked people will be wiped out.  And they don't think Jesus was crucified on a cross, but rather was "impaled on a pole of torture" or something like that.  Those don't seem like major salvation issues.  What am I missing?

2. I went thrift shopping on Monday.  I've been wanting to go for weeks, so I was excited to finally have the time!  And Lucy did so well the whole time.  She loves riding in the cart, flirting with everyone who walks by.  Haha.  I got some nice books for her at Goodwill.  Then we went to the thrifty outlet (which is just a discount store - not second hand) where I got Lucy a doll for $6 for her birthday and a baby shower gift.  I also picked up a nice big frying pan at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $8! (Thank you 20% off coupon!) It was a good trip.

3. While I was on Alpine, I noticed there's a Carter's next to Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  Where have I been?? I went inside, but they didn't have carts and carrying Lucy and my overloaded diaper bag is too much work for me, so I left.  But I'll definitely have to stop in there again soon.  And then as I was driving home, I noticed there's a sign in front of the old Best Buy saying, "Coming Soon: Salvation Army"!  Woohoo!! It's really a sign of the times that so many thrift stores are popping up.  I think there are 4 already on Alpine.  Not complaining!

4. This year, I gave up country music for Lent.  Honestly, I told myself I'd stop listening to it when Lucy turns 1, so this is just a trial run I guess.  Haha.  I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with country music, but I don't think it's appropriate for kids.  And they're always listening.  I really don't want to hear my toddler start singing, "Honky tonk, badonky donk . . ."

5. The kids and I celebrated "Green Day" (aka St. Patrick's Day) this week.  We all dressed in green (which was surprisingly difficult for Lucy - I only found 2 shirts in her entire closet that had any green in them) and enjoyed green food throughout the day.  For breakfast, I picked all the green pieces out of a box of Apple Jacks.  Haha.  We also had green grapes and green milk.  The kids were amazed that the green milk tasted like regular milk.  Haha.  I couldn't think of anything green for lunch, so we just had green pudding for dessert.  (Food coloring in vanilla pudding.)
Green food and milk. (In green bowls, of course!)

Lyla eating her green pudding.

Lucy's St. Patrick's Day outfit. (Her pants got wet at the park. :-))

6. Thursday night, our friends Bruce and Chelsie came over for tacos and March Madness.  It's funny how involved I get in basketball this time of year.  Usually I couldn't care less about sports, but filling out that bracket brings out my competitive spirit and I have to watch all the games to see if my pick wins!  Unfortunately I've been doing abominably this year.  I always pick the teams with cool names (Gonzaga, Xavier, Villanova), which has worked pretty well for me in years past.  This year, however, both Xavier and Villanova failed me!  Plus, I predicted all the wrong upsets.  It's pretty bad.

7. Hip2Save posted a great deal on a picaboo photo book for new customers yesterday.  I've been wanting to make a book of my weekly pregnancy pictures with my updates from xanga, so I spent literally 6 hours yesterday putting my book together.  And then when I tried to order the book, it told me it would take 127 minutes to upload on my dial-up connection.  Haha.  I'm going to have to go to my parents' or somewhere with faster Internet.

I feel like I have even more to say this week!  But I think I'll save it for another post.  Look forward to a Lulu update this week.  And I really do intend to get my review of Crazy Love written eventually!  Have a great weekend, everyone!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

7 Quick Takes Saturday

I'm going to attempt to do this really quickly.  I'm leaving for Ladies' Night Out in 5 minutes.

1. I saw someone post on facebook the other day that they hate the kids' show "Special Agent Oso" on the Disney Channel.  I heartily agree.  Fortunately Chase and Lyla don't like it either.  They do, however, like another show I detest: The Freshbeat Band.  It's real people who sing and dance and act ridiculously cheesy at every opportunity.  They're "teenagers" (probably actually in their 20s) who think they're soooo cool.  I think I'd prefer the Wiggles (40 year old men) over these dumb kids.  Haha.

2. I had an awful dream last night that my little sister got pregnant and my first reaction was to pump my fist in the air and yell, "Yes! I'm the only one of my sisters not to get knocked up out of wedlock!" :-O  Horrible!

3. Our Valentine's Day gift to each other this year was an outdoor antenna that is supposed to help us get more channels. Justin hooked it up indoors today just to see if it would work.  It does.  We now get CBS and NBC in addition to ABC and FOX that we already got.  And a bunch of PBS channels of course.  The big huge antenna is sitting on the top of the loveseat, though.  It's real attractive.  Hopefully soon Justin will hook it up outside. :-)  We're both so excited about all the new shows we'll be able to watch, though!!

4. I read Crazy Love by Francis Chan this week. (Don't have time to link it - sorry.)  It was very eye opening and scary.  I'm going to write a blog post about it soon, so stay tuned for that.  I've been enjoying reading lately.  I'm hoping to get back into the habit.

5. Today I started Babywise Book 2 - for babies 5-15 months of age.  I liked the first Babywise, and like the premise of this book (instilling morals through the use of age appropriate discipline), but I'm to like chapter 6 and I don't really like it.  It just seems too extreme for me.  We'll see . . .

6. Lucy and I had a playdate with my friend Kelly and her daughter Presley (who is one month older than Lucy) this week.  They actually came over at like 8:45 in the morning for coffee!  That would have been unheard of for me before Lucy came along.  Haha. We had a blast!

7. My ride just arrived for Ladies' Night Out.  We're going to the mall followed by a trip to Meijer, which promises to be a raucous good time! Let's see if the Baptist women's group can get kicked out of Meijer . . . :-)

Friday, March 11, 2011

10 Month Update

I feel like I just wrote the 9 month update.  Crazy!  I'd say time is flying, but it's really not.  Will winter ever be over??? Anyway, I digress . . .

We have made it to double digits! Here's what's up in Lucy Land:

This is the general routine:
6:30 - wake her up, nurse, go to work
7:30 - breakfast with the kids - usually pancakes and cut up blueberries, bananas, grapes, or apples
9:00 - nap
10:30/11:00 - up, nurse, play time
12:00 - lunch with the kids - usually just whatever they're eating and fruit again
1:30 - nap
3:00/3:30 - up, nurse, play
4:00 - snack while I clean the house - banana cookies, puffs, yogurt melts, or cheese
4:30 - go home
6:00 - dinner with us - whatever we're having and then 2 jars of baby food (1 veg, 1 fruit)
7:00 - Baby Einstein movie
7:30 - nurse, bed

After all our troubles with sleeping through the night, we are being rewarded now with amazing sleep.  Lucy is an angel at night.  (Well all the time, but you know what I mean. ;-))  She goes down at 7:30 after a quick routine of jammies, nurse, songs, and prayer.  She lays right down and goes to sleep without a peep and wakes up 12 hours later - almost on the dot.  If I adjust when I nurse her at all, she'll wake up pretty much exactly 12 hours after that feeding.  I'm hoping that will work for the time change this weekend!

Until today, her naps were also a breeze.  I don't even sing her a song anymore.  Just binky and bed. She tucks her arms under herself, turns her head to the side and goes to sleep, usually napping for 1.5-2 hours.  However, today she kept standing up and would not go to sleep.  It was a terrible 45 minutes of CIO before she finally gave in. :-(  I hope that doesn't become a habit.

Lucy has really become picky this month.  I just re-read my 9 month post and was amazed at how much of the foods I wrote about then she won't eat now.  Grrr.  She'll always eat pancakes, mac n' cheese, bread, and cheese, and is usually pretty good with fruit, but veggies are a battle. (Already! Ugh!) I wrote in one of my Lulu Updates recently about how I can't sneak veggies in with other foods - she spits them right back out.  I'm also starting to get really frustrated with her throwing her food on the floor.  She usually does it when it's something she doesn't want, but half the time she will dump half her pancakes on the floor and eat the half that is still on her tray.  So I'm still just going to keep trying everything and hope this pickiness is a phase she'll grow out of.

New things we've tried this month include: strawberries (ok-ed by the doctor, but made such a mess), peanut butter and jelly sandwich (she spit out every bite, not a fan), spaghettios (loved it, but I let her feed herself - yikes!!), pineapple (refused it), cucumber (spit it out), broccoli (spit it out), Brussels sprouts (spit it out), and rice (spit it out).

She's doing really well with drinking out of a sippy cup.  She really likes the new cups with handles, and is starting to get the hang of tipping it up to drink.

I already recorded some of these, but want to have them all in one spot.

1. She is finally recovering from her awful cough.  She probably had it for 2 weeks total.

2. She's started standing in her crib.

3. She rolls her arms to "Wheels on the Bus." (Although that was kind of short lived. I haven't seen her do it lately.)

4. She's pulling up on everything!

5. She's also getting so close to crawling.  She can do it when she wants, but prefers her much faster method of army crawling.

6. She's still working on that tooth.  There's a little white dot on the lower left but it's been there for almost 2 weeks and still hasn't popped through.  She's been super cranky the past few days, though, so I keep expecting it to show up!

This "mama's girl phase" is still going strong!  In fact I think it's worse than ever.  She has to be standing next to me, or climbing on me, or touching me.  I try to tell myself to enjoy it and that I'll miss it when she outgrows it, but it can be exhausting.  We've started "Daddy and Baby Einstein time."  After dinner, I go in the bedroom and read (out of sight, out of mind), and she snuggles with Daddy and watches her video.

She's still not very patient with reading books, but will tolerate a few as long as I let her flip the pages.

She's got some sweet dance moves (inherited from her Mama) that she displays anytime she hears music.

Most of the time, she's a happy, sweet, smiley girl.  We love her so much it hurts.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Another Lulu Update

Today has been a big day for Lucy.  As I write this, Justin is installing her big-girl carseat.  She's going to be so excited.  She hates that cramped infant carrier - and I don't blame her.  It's taken us this long to get it installed because we had to bring my car in to get the brakes fixed.  I only bought one convertible car seat, though, and as long as it's taking Justin to install it, I'm wondering if that was a bad decision.

In other exciting news, I found Lucy standing up in her crib today.  We were at Chase and Lyla's and I had jsut put her down for a nap.  I put the kids to bed upstairs and when I came back down, I heard Lucy screaming.  That's so unlike her.  She always just lays down and goes to sleep.  So I went in there to find her standing in the porta-crib.  Apparently she couldn't figure out how to get back down.  I know this is a common problem, and I remember going through it with Lyla.  Not excited about that part, but excited for her that she's getting the hang of standing up!  I think tonight we'll lower her crib mattress. :-)

In less exciting developments, Lucy is ridiculously obsessed with me.  Sometimes I swear she's trying to climb back into my body.  She has to be as close to me as humanly possible all.the.time.  The thing is, she's great when I'm not around.  She plays happily with her toys, watches her Baby Einstein movie without fidgeting, and is happy to hang out with Justin (or whomever).  But if I'm in her sight, she has to be on me.  And not just sitting on me.  Climbing and fidgeting and trying to get back inside me!!  Haha.  Her new thing is that at night when I'm sitting on the couch, she will come stand next to the couch and just stare at me.  Haha.  She won't play with her toys or with Justin or do anything else. She would rather just stand next to me.  I know, I know. A cry for attention.  She gets plenty of that.  Don't worry. ;-)

All right - off to try the new carseat out!  Have a fabulous Fat Tuesday!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

7 Quick Takes Saturday

Happy Saturday!

1. Good news everyone: I've made the switch to Diet Dr Pepper.  I figure now that I'm 25, it's time to admit I'm an adult and start acting like one.  Plus I've read a thousand things lately about how bad pop is for you and how much needless sugar I consume.  I know, I know - diet pop has aspartame in it.  I'm not scared of aspartame. ;-)  Anyway, my new rule is that I'm allowed to drink the real stuff at restaurants, but have to have diet if I'm going to drink it at home or work.  I've actually discovered that Diet Cherry Dr Pepper tastes more like the real thing.

2. Lucy has an awful cold.  It is so terrible listening to her cough her guts out (although it doesn't seem to bother her).  As a result she is currently embodying one of my parenting pet peeves: the constant snot nose.  I hate when people are out in public with their kids' noses dripping green gunk.  But seriously, I cannot keep up with it.  Although I definitely try.  Even if it results in a little screaming (on her part - not mine. ;-)).

3. Despite the cold, she's been pretty happy, and learning a lot this week.  She's really getting the hang of pulling up to standing on stuff, although she has no concept of how to move her feet to "cruise" yet.  And her new cute thing is "rolling" her arms.  We've been singing "Wheels on the Bus" a lot, and she's got the movement down! It's so cute.

4. Here's my "bad mom" moment of the week:  Lucy's favorite toy at work is Dora's Talking Doll House.  She's seriously obsessed with the thing and will play with it forever.  She always sits like this when she plays with it:

Well one day this week, I was in the kitchen when all of a sudden I heard her screaming.  I went into the living room to find her on her back with this house on top of her.  Haha.  Oops!  The best part is she was wearing striped socks, so she really looked like the wicked witch of the west with her striped feet sticking out from under the house.  I was really tempted to go grab my camera, but decided to rescue her instead.  Haha.  Poor kid.

5. My van is making an awful noise.  At first, the brakes were just squealing, but now they're scraping and grinding.  In my experience, that is never a good thing. Ugh.  So we've been trying all week to get it to the shop.  We just can't do it!  I have to have the van to bring Chase to and from school on Wednesdays and Fridays.  I can't fit all 3 carseats in Justin's car.  Plus, we can just never find a time to get the van to the shop.  We work full time!  We need our vehicles full time!  Such a pain!! 

6. Today we went to the Home and Garden Show downtown.  Lucy loved it.  She adores being in her stroller and just watching all the people.  We probably walked around for 2 hours, and she never made a peep.  Everyone oohs and ahhs over how cute she is.  I always wonder if they say that about every baby . . . Anyway, we signed up for pretty much every giveaway, so hopefully we win something!!

7. After the Home and Garden Show, we headed to the Twisted Rooster - a new restaurant on the Beltline.  We've heard good things about it, so we decided to try it out.  It was pretty good!  We went at like 4 in the afternoon, so we got seated right away. (Side note: it's amazing how we get seated right next to the kitchen every time we eat out these days. Haha.)  I wasn't terribly impressed with our waiter.  He lollygagged.  And he had long shaggy hair that really bothered me. (Don't I sound like an 80 year old woman??)  The menu was smaller than we expected, but the food was delicious.  I got 5 cheese mac n' cheese with chicken.  (Heart attack on a plate!)  It did have asparagus (which I picked around - blech) and peas.  Lucy loved it as much as I did.  It's amazing, though, how I can give her a piece of pasta and a piece of asparagus - both smothered in cheese sauce - and yet she invariably pulls the asparagus out of her mouth every time.  Haha.  Her mother's child.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Prayer: Part 2

Ok, I finally got this entry written.  Be prepared.  It is LONG.  And I copied and pasted a lot, so I'm sorry if the font size/type changes throughout. Haha.

Thanks again to everyone who gave me their input.  I found a lot of it so helpful.  Here are some of the things that really spoke to me:

The most common response was that the reason for prayer is to have an intimate relationship with God.  I certainly agree.  Many times in the New Testament, Jesus is shown going away from the crowd to pray for long periods of time.

As for my questions about presenting our petitions to God, many of you pointed out that God does indeed change his mind sometimes.  Laura said,

There are instances in the Old Testament where God had seemed to decide one thing, but when a righteous person went before Him and asked for something different, He "changed his mind." One example--in Exodus 32:11-14, Moses convinces God to "change His mind" or "repent" (vs. 14) of what He was going to do to Israel. I think there are at least several instances of this type of thing in the OT.

The most popular response, however, was that prayer is more useful for aligning our will with God's than getting our way.  I really like what Karen had to say:

Even Jesus Christ petitioned God to take the burden of the cross away from him, but he finished up with "Not my will but yours be done." Christ knew he had to face the cross, but he asked God anyway, not because he thought he could change God's mind but so that he could conform his heart to the will of his Father. 

That said, sometimes it's hard for me to understand why good things wouldn't be a part of God's will.  What bad can come from God restoring a broken marriage or healing a sick baby? But through a strange variety of sources, I've been reminded over and over that we do not see the big picture.  Many of your comments referenced this, that book I read was largely about this, we even discussed this in Bible Study on Monday.  God has a plan that none of us can see or understand.  Sometimes seemingly bad things have to happen for his will to be achieved.  

To illustrate this point, I'd like to quote my friend Kelly.  She knows what she's talking about.  She gave birth to a baby in 2009 who lived just over an hour before dying in her arms.  She's been through unthinkable pain, yet can still say this:

Have you ever prayed a prayer that hasn't been answered the way you want and been disappointed in the long run? I can honestly say I cannot look back disappointed. I miss my grandma so much and wished she could have lived forever, but know this: that was the single event that paved the way for me to have the clearest and closest relationship with my God. It prepared me to face the unbearable. Do I wish Rebekah (my daughter)would have survived...of course! I don't think of that time as fun...but I am filled with joy and peace as I KNOW God was honored and glorified through it all. It sounds cheesy, but it's true. I FELT His peace, his goodness, and His love. I knew He had felt my pain. In essence God answered my prayers positively - he brought me close to Him, the most satisfying place I could ever be. At the time we pray, we don't see the end - we don't know the answer. But hindsight will be this amazing journey that concludes in a beautiful place.

As for my questions about how "hard" we need to pray - most of your responses can be summed up in Amy's words:  [Quick confession: I have a few friends named Amy and I'm not sure which one of you said this. Lol.]

We often believe the myth that if we pray just the right way or enough times He will answer. He is not a genie and repeating the same prayer over and over does not do any tricks.

I also like what Cara said:

Okay, he's in charge...I really doubt that my laying before him a reasoned, logical argument for why I want that person to survive cancer is going to somehow be better than "God, please save her life. Her kids need her. You know that."

That said, Jesus gave a few parables about being persistent in prayer:  Luke 11:5-13 and Luke 18:1-8.  Luke 18:1 says, "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up."   And of course there's 1 Thessalonians 5:17, "pray continually."  So I guess we have to find the happy medium there.  

Really, though we don't understand it, prayer can't hurt.  And it might help in ways we never expect.  Steve commented that his grandpa prayed for everyone he knew every day and hearing those prayers shaped Steve's life.  You never know who your prayers might touch.

I'll close with one more quote from Kelly.  She reiterated something I've been thinking a lot about.  I recently finished the book Fearless by Max Lucado.  He points out that though we have no guarantee of an easy life (more like a guarantee of the opposite: "In this world you will have trouble . . ." John 16:33), but we do have a guarantee that God will be with us.  Remember the verse I quoted in my original post? "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  I wrote that off, saying, "Peace? I don't want peace! I want answers! I want my way!"  But honestly, peace and a promise that He will be with us is huge! Back to the quote from Kelly:

I want to mention also that GOD FORBID anything happen to the ones we love so much...He does make it bearable...really He does. It hurts soo very much, but it really is an ok place. Pain is scary . . .but in the back of my mind (probably because of what I've been through), I know how much God would comfort me. I know the peace He would give. It would be terrible and I would probably hurt for a very long time. In the end I would see His love with clarity and I would have the most inner joy. It's so strange but I guess that's why having God in your life is so rewarding. 

Don't pray out of fear. Pray out of trust.

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