First, the prayer request. My friend was due with her first child 10 days before me. Her daughter Shula was born six weeks ago at 29 weeks gestation. Precious little Shula is having heart surgery this afternoon to close a hole in her heart. Would you please pray for Shula, the doctors, and her family?
**Praise report: Shula's surgery was successful and she is now home with her family after nearly 8 weeks in the NICU.
And now for the update:
(Ok, so this is last weeks photo, but he's just so cute!)
Not much has changed since last week.
-No trips to the hospital this week, although the OB Homecare nurse wanted to send me on Monday. I was contracting every 2-3 minutes while she was here, but they weren't too painful and I wasn't worried.
- Weight gain: 16 lbs
-Morning sickness has returned - yuck.
-Looking forward to reaching the 34 week milestone on Tuesday. I will take my last dose of Nifedipine at 10PM on Monday and if I go into labor after that they won't stop it. I'm still hoping to make it to at least 36 weeks.
-Feeling the overwhelming urge to rid my house of cobwebs and get all those cute little baby clothes put away - must be nesting. Or almost 9 weeks of bedrest is catching up with me. Either way, the cobwebs will have to wait as I'm still stuck here in bed.
-I'm thankful for everyday this precious boy grows in my womb and not in the NICU.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
The ladies at Faithful Bloggers are hosting a group writing project on Psalm 23. I have chosen to write about verse six, a verse full of hope and promise--yet one that has been terribly misused and over-applied in American churches today.
The Word of Faith teachers have taken the first half of this verse to mean that every day will be filled with happiness. One of the most popular books today is Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen. On page 5 he says, "God wants this to be the best time of your life." But is that true? Is that really what God has said in His Word?
Millions of Christians around the world today are persecuted and even killed for the faith. Is this their best life? Meeting in secret? Fearing for their lives and the lives of their children? Praying that someone will smuggle a Bible? Seeing pastors, brothers and sisters in Christ arrested, beaten or killed for the faith? No, this is not their best life.
The Apostle Peter wrote the following to the persecuted church:
"In this[the eternal salvation yet to come] you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
James 1:2-4 says this:
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
God's goodness and mercy are evident in our lives even in the toughest of times. The trials that come our way, even as believers who are free, refine us and conform us to the image of Christ, preparing us to be presented blameless before Him (Jude 24). We see these truth in Romans 8:
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nothing that comes our way in this life can separate us from the love of Christ. His mercy and goodness will follow us all the days of our lives.
This brings us to the second part of the verse:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Jesus says in John 14:1-3:
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."
So who will dwell in the house of the Lord? The redeemed of Christ. All believers from all eternity. This Psalm was written by King David. He will be there. Jesus was addressing His disciples in John 14. They will be there. But the promises of God are only for believers. All paths do not lead to God.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
For those who have not turned to Christ for salvation, their best life truly is now. The future only holds eternal separation from God and judgment for those who do not believe.
But dear sisters, if you have put your trust in Christ as the only way to salvation, your best life is yet to come--no matter what. He who redeemed you by His blood will keep you until the end.
And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
- John 6:40
We can fully trust in the promises of God. His goodness and mercy WILL follow us all the days of our lives, and we WILL dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Unsure if you're saved? Please watch this short video.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Over the past few weeks there has been the threat of a nurses strike here in MN. Having a Homecare nurse that comes weekly to monitor the baby and administer a progesterone injection on top of almost weekly trips to the Maternal Assessment Center, I have come to appreciate what these nurses do for us.
A friend of mine delivered her baby at 29 weeks and her precious daughter was in the same NICU that my baby will be in if we don't make it another 5-6 weeks. Babies there were be transferred out - many to other states - in preparation for the strike.
Last Thursday I was admitted to the hospital after 13 hours of contractions of three minutes. The first shot of Terbutalene only stopped the contractions for about an hour. When it wore off, the contractions returned. The nurse was wearing an "I Will Strike" button. It was July 1 and the strike was set for July 6.
As I was there it really hit me - having nurses familiar with you and the hospital they are in is not something to be taken lightly. They knew the doctors, they remembered me, they knew what has worked for me in the past. Having substitute nurses (and fewer of them) would not be the same.
While I was at the hospital Thursday evening the hospitals accepted the unions proposal and the threat of a strike was over. It was so neat to be there - to hear the cheer go up from the nurses station when the announcement had been made.
These nurses work hard and really do care about their patients. For so long I have just taken it for granted that the Homecare nurse will just show up at my door on Monday, or that if I go to the hospital the people I have come to know and trust will be there to take care of me.
I am so thankful for the wonderful nurses here in MN and that the strike was avoided.