Look What God Has Done

Look at what God has done–
He has given me a son.

Look at what God has done–
      He has given my son oxygen.

Look at what God has done–
      He has delivered Caleb from the evil one.

Look at what God has done–
      He is the Strong and Might One.
He is the Ancient of Days, the very present One.

The Lord contends with those that contend with me.
He will save my children.

The Lord plants my son by the waters.
The Lord pours His Spirit out upon my son.
The Lord is my Son’s strength.

Look at what God has done–
He has given me a son.

In recent weeks I faced a struggle feeding my son. While toddler feeding battles are nothing new, for us it is particularly hard given our history. In some way or another I have struggled on and off to feed my only child since his first hour of birth starting with the inability to nurse correctly due to his undetected tongue tie. This has been traumatic for both of us, with feeding, breathing and swallowing difficulties that seem to manifest in so many different ways. An extreme sensitivity to textures, flavors and to the experience of the spoon or the cup is common in tongue tied toddlers. For me the trauma of everything we have been through creates an emotional tangle and a world of weariness that is hard to get out of when I face yet another fight in determination for my son to continue to thrive which is in accordance to God’s will. To continue to eat and to drink. Something so simple can become so hard.

Sometime during the twilight of this battle I heard or I read the verse in Psalms “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” The desire of my heart was for my son to eat and for his gut to be healed with GAPS so he can eat all the foods God has given to him to be blessed by and to eat in abundance without fear or trauma. I have to admit I have spent a lot more time raging at how something that should be so simple as eating has been so hard and how it stole the what was supposed to be a delightful newborn away from me and so forth…When Lazarus died Jesus wept. Even though He had known Lazarus would die and He knew Lazarus would raise from the dead He still wept. He wept as He saw Mary and Martha weep. The brokenness of death. Life wasn’t supposed to be like this in the beginning. The curses we live under, including death, they create sorrow, they create anger and rage because they aren’t supposed to be that way. We know when something is wrong. When it isn’t right. However, God has convicted me that anger and vengeance belong to the Lord. I suspect that God is angry too every time a newborn baby struggles to breathe or to eat because of a tongue tie. Every time a mother becomes trapped in a swirling vortex of a screaming, projectile vomiting, sleep deprived nightmare this is not good, this is not a blessing, this is not from God. When my little one was about 6 weeks old is when I realized this was not from God and I sought deliverance versus just trying to cling to Him to get me through. There is a difference between enduring and escaping. Jesus was trapped on the cross so we could be set free, by His stripes we are healed. He became a victim so we could have victory. When I “woke up” to the need for deliverance versus endurance is when God revealed to me that my baby was not sleeping because he was hungry and that he was hungry because he was cutting off my milk supply. God provided the special needs bottle that Caleb needed to thrive. But the anger, the vengeance. They belong to God. Judgement belongs to God. When I take the anger into my own hands and rage at my situation then I become guilty because righteous anger and judgement belong to God. He alone I feel can “rage” in perfect love and perfect judgement.

Anyway, I need to spend more time delighting myself in God. No matter what. No matter how the day went. I am to delight myself in God. Well I finally spent time delighting myself in God after two weeks of struggling to just try to get my now toddler son hydrated enough each day, and God provided. He showed me a way and Caleb started to and praise God has continued to eat again. Life is not perfect and I have to spend time every single day delighting myself in God, without him life is certainly to harder than it should be, and there is much to delight in.

Martin Luther once said “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer”. I used to think he was exaggerating, or that just ’cause He was Luther he could somehow have a prayer life like that, but I am starting to realize that Luther got it. He truly got it. He got that the more he had to face, or the more he had to surmount that day, the more He needed the Holy Ghost. The more He needed to move and groove in the Spirit…He needed God’s very present help. God taught me a long time ago, when I was just a teenager how when I would sacrifice something in order to spend time with Him, especially when it required faith to give up that time to pray and also be able to finish a research paper or something…God always helped me to get everything I needed to get done on time, but when I skimped out on God and chose not to walk with faith or sacrificially in prayer then I truly struggled! We can get to the finish line, but Jesus said His burden was light. We make it heavy and burdensome when we don’t delight ourselves in Him. I seem to have faltered in that die hard commitment to sacrificial prayer somewhat. I have been staying up into the wee hours or all night pumping, cooking, cleaning, doing everything within MY power to get me son’s situation straightened out…But the thing is –MY power is never going to be good enough and quite frankly is waning thin into weariness. I don’t need to and should in fact be intentional to not spend all my time on MY power, I need to spend time with THE POWER, the ONLY power that really will help, to spend time with God. He knows the way. Just like He knew how to get Caleb back on my milk when I was told it would be like winning the lottery. God knows how to heal Caleb’s gut and how to get him to eat. God’s way. God’s leadership. Me spending time with Him.

Whether the desire of your heart is for your baby to eat and to thrive or something else just know this, God loves you and desires to bless you and your children. Spend time with Him. Delight yourself in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart. When we delight ourselves in God He transforms us by the entire renewal of our minds and our desires come into alignment with His and His will is able to manifest in us. When we delight ourselves in God we are no longer fighting against the goads. We cannot successfully hold up the rage or the sorrow in us, railing and fighting and shaking our fist in confusion and at the same time be blessed. We need to release everything to God. We need to let Him be our Shepherd, including letting Him use his staff to fight our enemies on our behalf instead of running between Him and the bear bleating in fear. Let Him fight your battles.

So I realized I needed to start being intentional about “delighting myself in the Lord” but wondered exactly how I should go about it, this intentional practice during my time with God. Then I heard the answer in passing on the radio (ok God is so awesome in His grace to answer my heart’s query like that isn’t He!?):

“How amazing are the deeds of the Lord!
    All who delight in him should ponder them.”
Psalm 111:2

So there we go: ponder the amazing deeds of the Lord. Delight myself in Him.

I delight myself in Him as I ponder how He:

  • Gave me a baby boy to grow within my womb after 5 years of unsuccessful attempts at conception.
  • I delight myself in the Lord for giving Caleb the breath of life after his first intubation failed at birth, hallelujah!
  • I delight myself in the Lord for gifting Caleb an Owlet oxygen monitor through an Instagram contest right before He was born ’cause God knew his oxygen would be affected by his tongue tie!
  • I delight myself in the Lord when I reflect on the velcro swaddles God gave Caleb through the same contest because He knew the struggles we would go through trying to get Caleb to sleep as a newborn, God knew ahead of time.
  • I ponder with great amazement and eternal gratitude that God provided a professional grade oxygen and heart monitor that literally saved my son’s life, waking me up with it’s alarm to audibly hear and find my son choking on his back in his bassinet, then again in his rock ‘n play.
  • I delight myself in the Lord as I ponder how amazing it is that He healed Caleb at 12 weeks of age from whatever it was that was specifically causing the low oxygen, whether it was narrow airways, or whatever, God healed Caleb!
  • I ponder in amazement and immense gratefulness that God revealed to me that my son was tongue tied after many medical professionals including a lactation consultant and ‘feeding therapist’ missed it! God showed me, I kept on praying and He showed me after generations in my family have suffered on a spectrum from this in one form or another, the veil has been removed!
  • I rejoice in the Lord and remember that God told me not to give Caleb omeprazole. Even though I did, God warned me. He warned me, even though He knew I would disobey, He still took the time to warn me…
  • I rejoice in the Lord as I reflect on how God provided a free hospital grade breast pump to me even when my insurance referral was rejected time and time again.
  • I rejoice and give thanks to the Lord for prodding me forward to keep on pumping even in the middle of the night for 40 days and 40 nights without my baby drinking any of the milk because it turns out my milk has essentially “saved my baby’s life”.
  • I rejoice and give thanks to the Lord as I reflect and remember on how He led me to an online retailer for grass fed grass finished water processed lamb that would ship all the lamb we need for Caleb to Alaska for only $7.50, for real!!!!
  • I give thanks and rejoice in the Lord for providing free ready to feed alimentum to get Caleb through the time when I was pumping and storing.
  • I give praise and delight myself in God for revealing and showing to me that my baby had food allergies and intolerances at just 12 weeks of age even when a medical professional scoffed at the idea until my son’s oxygen improved the rest of the way and his lips turned red and then he tested positive for corn and a trace for wheat.
  • I delight myself in the Lord for giving Caleb shoes as a newborn through a gift that have turned out to be the only type of shoe we own so far (without having special ordered) that fits Caleb’s feet and his orthotics and keeps his feet warm at the same time.
  • I rejoice in the Lord and give Him eternal praise for providing corn free soy free goat kefir grains for breastmilk kefir, which has turned out to be a MAJOR key for healing Caleb’s gut.
  • I ponder with great thanksgiving and wonder that amazingly God has provided some corn free soy free goat colostrum for when his body is ready to handle it in order to further bless his immune system healing.
  • I rejoice in El Roi, the God who Sees who showed me that my son needed the prebiotic in my breastmilk to defeat the pathogenic bacteria in his body.
  • I rejoice and give thanks to God for increasing my milk supply with the hospital grade pump and for helping me to wake up and cluster pump etc. and still have energy to cook for Caleb’s gut healing diet and for therapy.
  • I rejoice and give thanks to God for showing me the GAPS diet when Caleb was just 5 months old to heal his gut and to reverse all allergies and intolerances as well as neurological sensitives.
  • I ponder in amazement that 7 years ago when we purchased our home in Alaska from Okinawa, Japan that we purchased a home without a smart meter attached to it and in a bit of a dead zone for a meter given our city location. This is a blessing of providence. There are so many examples of God’s providential love that I could continue to think of them forever and write them down.
  • I reflect in amazement and thanksgiving on how God has give me and Caleb life, in the image of God himself. I now choose to walk humbly before God in holy stewardship of this image of God that I reside in.
  • I delight myself in God for giving Caleb everything He has ever needed. For healing my son. For being our strong and mighty Shepherd through the rocky, craggy, high places. He is leading us to green pastures where we can rest and thrive. I rejoice and I delight myself in Him.Hallelujah.
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Take it Back

Sometimes we wish we could go back and do something different, other times if needed we wish we could go back in time and do something that was hard, uncomfortable or of great sacrifice all over again in an instant because the outcome was worth it. Today I feel both. I wish I could go back in time and never have given my son omeprazole. Today I would in an instant choose to go into labor and give birth to my son all over again cause he is worth every bit of pain I went through in my all-natural dry birth. He would be worth me going through that to give him the bacteria his body so desperately needs. I can’t go back and go through labor again for my precious little one. I can’t even give my own life for his healing. BUT there is One who Has given His life for my son’s healing and His name is Jesus. Caleb was worth it to Him too when we was scourged, beaten, ridiculed, spit upon and nailed to that cross.

I haven’t posted a blog update for a while. God has been doing some amazing things that I need to talk about, and will…but today’s blog needs to be about one thing. Setting the record straight. In my last blog I am guilty of false testimony. I accredited God with something He did not do, something damaging and destructive. God DID heal Caleb of whatever was going on with his oxygen, his lips turned red and whatever was causing it to be low or dipping down frequently associated with choking, gagging and apparent struggling to breathe went away. God also revealed to me that Caleb had a food allergy, at just 3 months of age. What God did NOT do was tell me to give my son corn-free omeprazole. God DID tell me to call the pharmacy when the first doctor prescribed corny omeprazole and tell them this: “God healed my son and so he will no longer need omeprazole, so you do not need to worry about getting it ready.” I was nervous to do this because I didn’t want to sound weird, even though I knew God healed my son, the Holy Spirit was testifying to me that He had…I made the phone call. I told the pharmacist just that. Then Caleb’s oxygen monitor seemed to dip a bit in oxygen from the 98-100% it had been resting so beautifully and continuously and miraculously at for two whole weeks! Again, I knew God had healed my son ‘cause the Holy Spirit was making sure I knew he did. I had the confirmation and testimony of the Spirit even when this happened. At first I just resolutely responded in the spirit realm by saying my son was healed. But temptation to doubt began to hit me hard. What if God had only healed the oxygen and not the reflux…”WHAT IF”…then when the next doctor we saw prescribed corn-free omeprazole instead of telling the specialist to his face “no, God has healed my son, he doesn’t need the medicine” just like God had already told me to tell the pharmacist, what did I do? I began to listen to the voice that said “DID GOD REALLY SAY”. Sound familiar? Eve heard that same voice in the garden…“Did God really say?”… and she ate the fruit, she convinced herself to take a bite, she took the bait. She listened to the lie. So did I…so did I. I convinced myself that it must have been to protect Caleb from the corn allergy, surely that is actually what God meant. Boy was I wrong. God is clear. He is not confusing.

I cannot even begin to explain to you the regret I have. The sorrow upon sorrow, the tears I have shed. What I have learned and now know is that when God does something miraculous, something amazing, like healing…when God does that Satan will try desperately to do three things: 1) cast doubt in other people’s minds, 2) cast doubt in your own mind and 3) try to get you to be the one that casts the doubt. What happened when Christ rose from the dead? The enemies of God wasted no time in spreading false testimony, lies, and doubts. I figured out after a month of confusion with red lips and testimony from the Holy Spirit that Caleb was healed, but weird oxygen readings that didn’t fit, was that the reason the oxygen appeared to have lowered again was because his foot had grown fatter and the monitor was giving a false reading! It was all smoke and mirrors (another tactic of the enemy, beware)! Who is the author of confusion? Not God. A test of my faith, who would I listen to? Would I walk by faith and not by sight? By this time I had already posted on Facebook that my son’s 02 was dropping still based on foods (another must be)after having posted God healed Caleb (which he did!). I allowed myself to be used to plant doubt about God’s amazing miracle he had done in my son AND I allowed myself to doubt…not only that but when I gave doubt a foothold and disobedience a foothold I also gave legal authority to Satan to land a new form of curse or oppression. You see he had none left, the serpent was drowning in the blood and he couldn’t get to me or Caleb anymore because God had removed authority for oppression when He healed Caleb’s oxygen and showed me what was up with his food. The serpent’s oppression had ceased, his foothold had been destroyed. His last ditch effort before going under was to get me to create a new foothold for a new curse, a new form of oppression.

Why was it so important to the enemy to convince me to give the omeprazole? My son’s gut microbiome had already taken a hit when he was put on two rounds of completely unnecessary antibiotics in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit starting at just 7 days of age. The gut microbiome takes 21 days to reach a point of establishment after birth, the gut takes 2-3 years to mature. Antibiotics don’t just kill good bacteria. Then after 3 months of caffeine that created outrageous silent reflux God revealed to me my son’s allergic responses to corn in his throat. Then came the omeprazole. Omeprazole lowered my son’s stomach acid ph blocking his body’s ability to create two key hormones that trigger the creation of digestive enzymes and also prevent food from being digested enough before being deposited into the lower gi tract where the enzymes were now out of whack in addition to the previous bacteria hit, not to mention the new ph created an environment perfect for pathogens to thrive. My son’s baby poop had still been perfect and seedy prior to the omeprazole, even after the PICU and caffeine. It wasn’t until the omeprazole that things changed. My 13 month old would be eating a lot more than just lamb stock, pureed lamb, hypoallergenic probiotics and breastmilk from my limited diet right now if I had stood firm in my faith and obeyed God, instead of convincing myself to believe a lie and then spread lies and false testimony by having the audacity to say “God must have…” and accrediting God with destruction. No. I repent. I redact. I declare that I lied, Satan lied. Truth was smeared. I sob.

And yet God has been so kind and gracious, God is love, even when we are in desperate straits or in the wilderness. I think sometimes we like to think that we are immune to consequences under the new covenant, but we are not. Curses and consequences are alive and until we confess, repent and seek the blood of Jesus in court the judgments stand firm. There is only One thing that can stand in the court of God to break the power of our sins, transgressions and iniquities and that is Jesus. “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus was pierced for my transgression of the omeprazole. He was crushed and bruised for the iniquity that runs in our family’s bloodline of dishonoring our bodies, the images of God, with food and destructive pharmaceuticals. He was chastised so Caleb could be well and at peace, He was scourged and wounded so Caleb can be healed. Jesus made a curse, was made to be sin so we could bring our curses and our sins to the throne to stop the enemy, to remove the stronghold, to destroy the foothold. “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

God is my son’s healer. Not me, not my tears, and not even my zeal, though it be great. None of these can heal my son on their own. But—GOD can. The LORD is my son’s healer. The LORD is my son’s strength. The LORD is my son’ hope and REDEEMER and DELIVERER.

“For thus says the LORD: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children” (Isaiah 49:25).

“And my soul shall rejoice in the Lord; It shall exult in His salvation. All my bones will say, “Lord, who is like You, Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?” Psalm 35:9-10

My confession is so important, to set the record straight, not only in God’s courts, but here on earth. I don’t write the story. I don’t figure out “what God must be doing.” I should not credit God with things so easily. I believe we as humans need to be very careful with what we credit God for. All too often we give occasion to the enemy to blaspheme by declaring false testimony about situations or conditions in our bodies or minds, our children’s bodies or minds, relationships, life, everything! Declaring that something that is actually a form of demonic deception and oppression to somehow be God’s blessed will is definitely something we need to have the fear of God in us about! God ordained each of our days before we lived even one of them. He purposed them, He thought about each one of them. He decreed His will for them. Many days, many bodies, many situations, many families, many bloodlines get hijacked and the ordained will of God desecrated and blasphemed because we give legal authority to darkness instead of light. To lies instead of truths. We need to stand firm. We need to fight. We need to endure in this race. As the author of Hebrews says in chapter 12 verse 12 “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.” Stand FIRM. Seek to enter God’s courts. To state your case. Press in and be careful what you attribute to God. My job is to listen, to trust and to obey. To follow even when I don’t understand why or where or what. God is the author of my son’s destiny. Psalm 139:16 says that God ordained each one of my son’s days before they existed. God took the time to do that. With godly fear I seek to humbly raise my son in God’s way. Not my way. Not my story. God’s way. God’s story. God is the author. God does not need PR. God does not need a spin to make a good story. God needs honesty, humility and truth, even when we don’t know the explanation yet. We don’t need to be able to explain something to stand firm in the truth of it. We don’t need to be able to explain something God has commanded us to do to obey it.

When the Israelites were in wilderness God took care of them. He turned bitter water into sweet water. He led them to 12 springs…12 springs, 1 for each tribe. I love that. God knew the Israelites would end up spending a long time in that wilderness and even though He knew they would disobey Him with the golden calf and have to be punished He still created ahead of time springs at Elim for them for when they first entered into the wilderness which would become the wilderness of their disobedience.

“There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”

Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.” Exodus 15:25-27

Who knows, maybe He even created those springs at the beginning, or during the flood! God knows way ahead and provides way ahead before we can possibly even ask Him. That is called God’s providence. How beautiful is His providence. He met their needs, time and time again even though a whole generation would die in the wilderness. God gave them manna and quail. He led them by fire at night and cloud during the day. God was with them in the wilderness. God knew they would try His patience, He knew they would build the golden calf, but God still delivered them from Egypt, still promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob even though he knew of the rebellion that would come from the many generations ahead, He still chose Abraham. He still chose the Israelites to fulfill his purposes, His destiny to bless all peoples through Jesus Christ the Messiah.

Just like I would go back to the pain of labor and delivery of my son and do it all over again for him in an instant because he is worth it, Jesus I feel would go back to the cross in an instant and do it all over again for me, for us, because He loves us so much. God knew every sin that we would ever commit, He knew everything we would say, think or do in disobedience even after becoming a child of God, and He still went to the cross. I acutely remember my son’s labor and birth, this is a memory that is strong and mighty in my relationship with my son. I will always remember that night and day as part of my identity in my relationship with my son, no matter his age. Jesus gazes at us, the experience of the cross acutely vivid in his heart and mind. His dripping blood hot on the cross of calvary. Furthermore Jesus exists outside of time, He is God. He is omnipresent. This vivid experience of the cross is something that He is acutely aware of at all times in His relationship with us as our Lord, Savior, Redeemer and Intercessor. He knew everything we would do, and He still endured the cross for us, He still loved us. God knew I would listen to the enemy’s “Did God really say?” in regards to the omeprazole but He still healed my son’s oxygen.  He still prompted me to push through temptation and to keep on pumping so my milk wouldn’t dry up. He still showed me the GAPS diet to address my son’s gut before I understood the terrible thing I had done. He didn’t decide I wasn’t worth it because I would ultimately disobey Him. He still provided a free medical grade breast pump to me even when I hadn’t yet found a supplier to fill my insurance referral. God still revealed to me that my son had tongue tie and lip tie at the end of July (more on that in another post to come). After I tried and failed with corn free chicken and pork, God still provided a company that will ship the grass fed and grass finished lamb my son needs to Alaska for only $7.50!! God still provided free DNA stool tests to show me the condition of the bacteria in my son’s gut and to give me a picture of what we are up against.

We only see a faint reflection. God sees it all clearly. We will never gain enough knowledge to make the right decisions without God. We don’t even need our science and technology. When God created us at the beginning He said it was good and He meant it! It was good. It didn’t need to be “made better”. We can trust God without knowing or understanding it all first. In fact we must because we never will attain such a thing, there is only One God, there is only One voice to heed, there is only One word we must listen to: God’s.

Prayer Need:
Like I mentioned above, we desperately need’s prayer support in order to break the power of the pathogenic bacteria called b. fragilis. The DNA tests have revealed a serious situation of growth by this antibiotic resistant and pathogenic bacteria. The silver lining is that between the two tests the corn free soy free goat’s milk kefir grains that God has provided recently have helped to diversify my son’s gut. I believe these are a very important part of the battle strategy pray so please pray for them to stay healthy and for my son to have plenty of kefir. Please pray for God to protect my son’s abdominal organs, his brain, blood, lungs, entire gi tract and more. Please pray especially for this pathogenic bacteria to stop growing, for it to be evicted and to be brought under control by the good bacteria! This is a serious and urgent prayer need for Caleb. Please pray also for my milk supply to substantially increase or for me to find a donor whose milk works for him so it can feed the good bacteria called bifodum longum and to make plenty of breastmilk kefir. Please pray for me to hear from God and for me to be brave and prompt in obedience and for all of Caleb’s needs to be provided for as we stand firm even if our knees shake at times. Please pray for innocent baby Caleb’s gut to be restored, for what was robbed from him to be given back to him and then some. For his body to no longer be held captive, but for him to be set free, for him to be able to eat all foods, more foods. For food to be a blessing and not a curse. For His gut microbiome to be a blessing and not a curse. For him to be healed and not oppressed. For him to be blessed and not cursed. In Jesus’ name. So be it.

Also, I am at the end of a study on curses and based on what I have learned about word curses or blessings I must ask that if you pray or share this blog, please be careful to not make declarative statements about me or Caleb that align with the enemy’s plans. Also, please be judicious with who you share this information with and with what motive. We need prayer. We don’t need to be a sensational story, topic of conversation, or spoken of with firm statements or phrases that confess or agree with our plight. Please just choose your words carefully to bless us according to God’s plans He wrote in our books before we were even formed in the womb vs words that agree with curses against us or that give the enemy an opportunity to revel or delight or curse even further.

Thank you.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:13-16

 

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Red Lips

I didn’t know my son had red lips until he was 12 weeks old…He is now 13 weeks and I still am taken aback (in a good way) by his red lips, they look so out of the ordinary–so absolutely beautiful because red lips means oxygen and oxygen means healing, divine and supernatural healing.



When I posted my last blog I talked about how my son and I were hidden together in the Rock of Ages, but I had no idea how much I was going to learn about what that means over the next few months, nor how much I would learn about God’s providence or God being my son’s strength…Around the time that I posted that I had started to realize that my newborn baby boy was not sleeping enough. Out of desperation to sleep I had started to look up how much a newborn should on average be sleeping, my son was barely sleeping at just under a month. I thought it was the caffeine medication he was on and I started to try everything in my power to help him sleep from swaddling and rocking him on the yoga ball or in the dark with the water running so long that my arm would get stuck in a pain from holding him. I wasn’t even able to eat or go to the bathroom unless I let my baby cry or unless my husband was home and able to make me a sandwich to bring me while I nursed or rocked our son. We even moved my husband’s beer fridge out of the garage into the nursery in another desperate attempt to help me grab a snack (2 months later I threw out the food that was in there) because I hadn’t had time to eat it. Something was wrong, I just didn’t realize how wrong. In addition one of my breasts was badly cracked, 4 cracks, one of them right through the middle and a portion of the nipple had come off. I had even received special supplies from the wound care clinic to try to help it heal, but nothing was working. I didn’t understand why God wasn’t answering my prayers for my nipple to heal or for my son to sleep. I knew that scripture says that if we pray something according to God’s will it will be done, so how come it wasn’t God’s will for my baby to sleep or for my nipple to heal?

During this trying time of almost no sleep, no self care, and a crying baby that would scratch at my chest and scream and try to nurse even though he just had almost every time I tried to get him to sleep in a wrap God gave me a scripture to hang onto:

Do everything without murmuring or questioning [the providence of God], 15 so that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish in the midst of a [morally] crooked and [spiritually] perverted generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights [beacons shining out clearly] in the world [of darkness]. Philippians 2:14

This scripture became my lifeline, every time I was tempted to despair I would remind myself to trust in God’s providence even though this didn’t seem to have an end in site or any solution that worked. I hated sitting in the dark with him to get him to sleep, but any light would stimulate him and make him stare at it. One afternoon when I was rocking him in the dark with the block-out curtains down in our room I had left the door open because I didn’t want to be in total darkness – not again. It just so happened that the light from the sun moved onto the door and that little light softly and beautifully illuminated our room as my son slept and I bounced…I had been using the time on the ball to pray, and I felt like God was telling me that it may be dark on the ball on this side, but in the spirit realm we were a ball of light because the Holy Spirit was in us and all around us.

Finally when my baby was six weeks old I decided I had to pump and bottle feed in order for my nipple to heal. This led to 2 things, I researched how many ounces a day my baby should be getting and solutions for how to get my baby to stop pinching my nipples. That is when I read that a baby that pinches a nipple can constrict the flow of milk so that it is like they are drinking out of a coffee straw…then later that night I saw an article that listed signs of a starving baby – stick like limbs, green watery poop etc. I conducted some experiments with changing his nursing position and did conclude that he was constricting the flow, my heart felt so heavy, broken within me. Sure enough once I started bottle-feeding he started sleeping!!! I had brought him to the doctor several times in January but it was never caught that he was failing to thrive because God gave Caleb strength to stay awake way more than a newborn should to eat constantly and for long periods of time in order to survive and not start losing weight. I don’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t had that strength, I don’t want to know, God gave him what he needed. Praise God that HE knew and HE provided a shot of caffeine everyday for my baby to help him stay awake and keep on fighting. The LORD IS my son’s strength.

During this time of serious sleep deprivation I learned a lot about the cleft of the Rock. It is not a hard, cold place, like a cold but safe cave in rock. It is not just a safe place, or just a comfortable place, it is literally being held in the arms of God Himself. He did provide, even in the tough times and the smallest of ways throughout that time. We each have a choice whether or not to radically trust God even when it feels like our prayers aren’t being answered and when we are under intense physical and mental pressure. If we do decide to set our heart on trusting and obeying Him then He WILL provide. He IS Jehovah Jireh. It may not feel like he is providing, it certainly didn’t when I gave my non-sleeping baby caffeine everyday and when my breast continued to get worse than better – but God used that breast to make me pump and bottle-feed, and that was what my baby needed.

The bottle-feeding honeymoon didn’t last long, my baby had a constant stream of milk coming out of both corners of his mouth and he would scream and scream when he was eating from the amount of air he was swallowing. Apparently his high palate made bottle-feeding difficult, not just nursing. I felt desperate, how was I supposed to feed my baby! I resorted to using a syringe, but once again God stopped in and helped me find the haberman bottle online, the first time I tried to buy it I got the notification that it wouldn’t ship to Alaska. But then a few hours later apparently that company changed their minds cause I got free expedited shipping with Amazon Prime. Then a few weeks later I found a place where they were on clearance locally, still expensive, but cheaper than Amazon! Once again the providence of Jehovah Jireh saved my baby and made it easier on me than having to just wash and clean 3 bottles over and over, 5 was much easier to handle. 🙂

Then the snacking began. The new bottle prevented air intake and decreased the choking, sputtering and gagging, plus the flow of milk all over out of his mouth, neck and chest, but then it felt like we were going back to eating all the time and having a hard time sleeping. I started researching online and I found a blog about silent reflux. It sounded like what was going on and would explain the intermittent projectile vomiting, the on-going coughing – both without any indication of sickness…the gagging and choking. I made a same day appointment…but the doctor wasn’t so sure, but he scheduled a swallow test. In the meantime the snacking and everything continued. I felt like I should try to put him on a schedule, but he was a newborn still and feed on demand was what I was told over and over. It wasn’t until his therapist had me try to get him to eat faster and he started to projectile vomit again that we were given the green light to a feeding schedule vs the rooting. Apparently silent refluxers may eat to comfort themselves and tend to overeat! This made a huge difference, my son started to actually eat, play then sleep – at two months old we finally started to leave chaos behind and enter into a lifestyle that would allow us to leave the house and get more sleep (we were getting more than his first moth, but his naps were so short still and the nights were still frequent waking as well because he was never full from the snacking habit). Miraculously my baby even started sleeping 6 hours sometimes, and then by 3 months 8 hours at night! This was the same baby that pretty much did NOT sleep his first month of life without major intervention and then not well at all his second month…miraculous!

Around the time that I started bottle-feeding my baby’s oxygen started to desaturate again, the car seat, the changing table, while he napped. This in addition to coughing, gagging, choking. The doctors were not sure what was the direct cause of the desats and he stayed on the caffeine. Grunting in his sleep, cyanosis, and his heart heart had started to drop on top of everything. Things were going to start getting invasive if the doctors couldn’t find an answer soon. On March 1 sent out a prayer alert asking for prayer for quick answers, that night I started to cry as my son slept soundly with oxygen at just 92% for an hour and pale…but then I felt like I should praise God in faith and so I did. Then the next night that song, the one from his birth, came on and I felt like God wanted me to sing that song again, I was tempted to go brush my teeth and pump etc. but I started to sing “There is Power in the Name of Jesus” and to pray, and to declare healing for my baby – and I felt the Spirit move. I prayed hard over every part of him, for his heart, his lungs, his throat, his brain, his mouth, his tongue, his larynx, his esophagus, his trachea, his bronchial tubes – to be under the authority of the Holy Spirit – in subject to God and for there to be complete and utter healing – here is the email I sent out the next day:

Thank you everyone for praying, I’m putting my faith in God for complete and utter healing and deliverance as of last night in, as Laverne says the immaculate name of Jesus Christ. I wanted answers,  but now I just want the upcoming tests to be ones that show this healing and for his pulse oximeter to be redeemed from a device of alarm and fear to be one of joy, a testimony of the power of our Jesus Christ. Pray for me as I rely on God’s strength to keep my shield of faith raised over my household in praise of our God. Thank you Terri for the words of promise in Psalm 91 to pray over my son, God is good and He WILL be massively glorified through Caleb Gabriel. Praise the Lord for His providence, for His healing and for His authority over our every breathe.
For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen. —‭Romans‬ ‭11:36

God answers prayer. Caleb’s oxygen started doing well, really well, 96, 97% except one night when I struggled with fear and it was at 94%. The quick answers also began. The green watery poo had come back and I was suspecting the fat content in my milk was low because we had been busy with appointments so I had allowed myself to go long periods without pumping because I was getting enough volume for multiple bottles. I decided to do formula for a few days so i could get my pumping back on track and the fat content back up. I noticed Caleb’s fussiness increase a lot. Then my husband accidentally bought a pro-sensitive formula. I decided to give it a try. We immediately saw a decrease in fussiness and not only fussiness but his grunting while he was eating, plus the raised patch of dry skin between his eyes started to look better and more like just a patch of dry peeling skin versus raised like a wart or something….I decided to buy some liquid alementum and try that for two weeks instead of the pro-senstive…before my eyes I watched the skin between my sons eyebrows turn smooth  in just an afternoon, even though I’d been putting oil on it for weeks…AND his oxygen shot up to 98, 99, 100% at night during deep sleep!!!! PLUS his lips turned red, dark beautiful red! I’ve looked back at past photos and can find some with color in his lips, but most of the time they were pink, or even less than pink sometimes…I had just gotten used to seeing pale lips…my heart breaks when I realize this but then deeply and profoundly rejoices because again GOD KNEW what color lips he gave my son and GOD SAVES and if our GOD IS FOR US WHO CAN BE AGAINST US? Once again God used what looked like a problem with my milk to provide an answer, once again I was floored. There IS Power in the Name of Jesus, let me say it again — there is POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS, to break EVERY chain!! I immediately started an elimination duet and decided to ask the doctor once again to let Caleb go off the caffeine and to not start a new medication that was already at the pharmacy – but get this had been delayed so that we had to wait to pick it up AFTER the weekend that my husband bought the wrong formula. That’s right. In light of the obvious change linked to diet we got to go off caffeine – cold turkey – no weaning, this is after a .10 ml a week weaning had been scheduled and then postponed. Praise the Lord!

THEN on Sunday the 12th I had determined to meet a friend at her church, it would be the first time Caleb and I went to church since he was born. Another friend Barb had told me she went to another church and I decided I would visit that one the next week with her. Well God had other plans, he had a divine appointment you see for Caleb and I to testify. It is by the blood of the lamb and our testimony that we triumph over the enemy! Caleb was crying and the other church was closer so I decided to go there instead of the one I had planned on, turns out it was a testimony service. Caleb and I had never attended that church before, but I felt like God wanted me to get up. Fear and doubt didn’t want me to so I made sure to get up and be the very first person to go – obey God fast and let the Holy Spirit to the talking (can I get an amen?!). Later during the testimony service the pastor actually stopped and said he had a song to sing for someone, a promise from God. I believe this was a promise for Caleb and I. I had never heard this song before, but now I’m declaring it, not just singing it!

Be not dismayed whatever betide
God will take care of you
Beneath His wings of love abide
God will take care of you

God will take care of you
Through everyday o’er all the way
He will care for you
God will take care of you

Through days of toil when heart doth fail
God will take care of you
When dangers fierce your path assail
God will take care of you

God will take care of you
Through everyday o’er all the way
He will care for you
God will take care of you

God will take care of you
He will
God will take care of you
He will

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10

Praise God. Again I say praise Him and rejoice. Dance and sing for joy!

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Caleb Gabriel

THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH
At my baby shower I spoke about my son’s name, Caleb, and how his name will forever be a reminder to me, and to him, to remain wholly devoted to God whether we are entering a promised land or a wilderness. Either way it takes courage to follow God, to fear Him versus fearing our situation. These are things that God used infertility to teach me and the Biblical heritage attached to my son’s name is a reminder of these important lessons. That leaves Gabriel, which means The Lord is my Strength – how beautifully and how powerfully this name has become intertwined into my son’s legacy. During labor I talked about my son Caleb Gabriel and was able to focus on God to be my strength, speaking my son’s name and its meaning over me as the power of the contraction would take over my body. However no one had any idea what was to come at delivery – how this name that my husband chose for our son really in a sense was prophetic because it was the strength of God that saved my baby. It was God, who after my son did not breathe at birth, when the oxygen mask failed, a failed intubation attempt, it was God who finally used an ER doctor who was rushed into Labor and Delivery to successfully get my son to respond during a second attempt at intubation. During this entire process I did not stop calling on the name of God, crying out loud to Him to save my son, declaring that He is good and He is the authority over my son’s life, crying out that every chain was broken in the name of Jesus and crying out to my baby to hang on, mommy was there. It was shocking watching tube after tube being inserted into my baby and tons of people swarming in and around him as my own OBGYN continued to work on me to deliver the placenta and to stitch me up. Time stood still for me, I noticed nothing but my son on the “baby spa” and focused on God saving my baby until finally about 45 minutes later my baby was placed safely in my arms.

PROVIDENCE
Just a few hours before breaking my waters on my due date to send me into labor God placed some verses strongly on my heart. I wrote this to a friend who was praying with me in preparation for labor:

“I was just praying my list of verses and two of them in particular feel like they are extra important for me to be praying:

‘For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.’
Isaiah 49:25, NKJV

‘ The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’
2 Tim. 4:18
Out of the two Isaiah 49:25 was most heavily impressed upon my heart. I did not realize how literally this promise would be fulfilled within the next 24 hours…nor did I realize how God had providentially provided to save my baby from low oxygen levels once we got home from the hospital.
Just a few days before God brought my baby into the world I got an Owlet oxygen and heart monitor in the mail that I won on CyberMonday through an Instagram contest sponsored by TempTraq… After 3 consecutive red alarms and low oxygen lasting 15-20 minutes as my son soundly slept early Sunday morning, 8 days after my baby was born we found ourselves in the ER and then the Pediatric ICU with oxygen desaturation episodes. If it hadn’t been for that monitor at home that God provided me with through a contest who knows? Now, with a medical-grade pulse-oximeter it is so wonderful to see great oxygen levels as my baby sleeps in his bassinet.
The Lord is my baby’s strength. When the tubes from delivery put my baby and I behind with feedings due to his sore throat and a resulting poor suck reflex – the Lord was our strength. We overcame, we met a 24 hour deadline for weight gain and no more meconium. My son is brave, he is courageous, God is his strength – these are his foundations: grounded, founded in the Lord. Where does my baby’s help come from? His help comes from the Lord the maker of heaven and earth.

HOODWINKED

So where does that leave things, how am I handling all this? To be honest the question “why” has been on my lips before God. It is ok to ask God why, as long as we are willing to wait for His correction, correcting our perspective to align with his. Often we don’t get an explicit, “x,y,z” answer, but instead the strength to simply trust in Him as our Sovereign Lord and our Good Good Father. I don’t know why we were in the hospital more than home the first 2 weeks of my son’s life, or why he had to get an IV and a lumbar puncture, why he didn’t breathe right away when he was born or why he has to be on caffeine, but what I do know is that God saved my son’s life, God knew there was an oxygen problem and provided, God has blessed me with a reward, a gift, a heritage, a son precious beyond words. My son is actually a very healthy little boy. The hospital ran the gamut of tests on him, ultrasounds, x-rays, he is brave and strong. I have a lot to be thankful for.
Something his pediatrician told me this week has really struck me. He said he wanted to reassure me and give me some good news so he ordered a test that he really didn’t have to that I was worried about. He said this should be a really good time in my life, celebrating the birth of my baby boy. When he said that it struck me, all of these events and tests had really put me in a place of concern to the point that I was spending a lot of my time researching every possible thing about it all to the point that I was worrying about things I didn’t have to worry about. It is natural of course given the circumstances that I would find myself researching things and looking for symptoms – but the bad thing is I was letting it rob me of bliss – of simply enjoying these precious weeks where my baby is so tiny and brand new. I wasn’t resting in the Lord or in His joy, I was being robbed of this. I felt hoodwinked by it all – God has answered my prayers. He has given me a precious son, He has saved His life. God’s got this. I can trust Him with my baby just like I trusted Him with my barren womb. Now it is time for me to enjoy my blessing. Now it is time for me to enjoy my son. We are hidden together in Christ, in The Rock of Ages-The Rock Eternal.

You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
Isaiah 16:3-4

NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES 
There are two songs that now are strongly linked in my memory to the birth and delivery of my son and interestingly enough they both have to do with names. Just as my son’s first and middle name have become very significant testimonies, there is another name that stands above it all – God’s name. I have an entire playlist that played on repeat during my labor – but there is one song that sticks out to me starkly – it brings me back to those moments of thanking God for the contraction, accepting the contraction, and relying on God’s strength to get me through. Interestingly I only had a vague knowledge of the song when I added it – really only it’s name and the images of Time Square – not the song itself, but the sound of it fit the mood I was going for. Now, however, it is part of my story, part of my son’s story. There is truly No Other Name. The second song I sang as a prayer out loud as I begged God for my son’s life at his birth, There is Power in the Name of JESUS to Break EVERY Chain! Amen.

Naomi’s Baby Story

I told my baby story at my shower – I didn’t know if I’d every have a baby shower, and I’m so thankful to God that I did. I hope you find the story of my journey through infertility encouraging to you no matter if you face infertility or not. We will all face something that feels crippling or overwhelming at some point in our life. We are all busy with the building of our household whether it has children in it or not – who will you trust with the building?

God Knew

When my husband and I started to try to have a baby in 2010 God knew that it wouldn’t be until 2016 that we finally would conceive our son Caleb.

When I was in my mother’s womb, God knew that I would struggle with infertility issues when I grew up, but that didn’t stop Him from planting the desire to be a mother deep in my heart from a young age. That didn’t stop Him from placing me in a family where I was the oldest of six, surrounded by babies and younger children–I’m so thankful for those years that I feel prepared my heart for loving and valuing children – whether they “are mine” or not! All children belong to God first and foremost as their Creator*. He gets to see their first smile in the womb, their first grimace, their very first movement, their “firsts” belong to Him. God gets the first fruits of our life in the secret place of our mother’s womb. Even today with the advancements of ultrasound technology we come no where close to the 24/7 intimacy God has with our precious little ones as He tenderly and lovingly knits them–as He knitted us –together.

God doesn’t make mistakes. God is on time. God is perfect.

In January of 2013 I created a business card for a dear friend of mine as a class project for school. I needed to created one and she had a business that needed one. She created cute, lettered cloth blocks by hand. I borrowed one to help me with my project and I ended up never giving it back to her before she moved out of state. Flash forward to 2016, God has blessed my womb with life and another blessing of a friend graciously and kindly offers to take some photos of me to help document this miraculous time in my life. That morning before we met up for breakfast and photos she wanted to know if I had any wooden blocks with letters on them to help with the photos, I had none but thought maybe we could go by Walmart and grab some after breakfast. Anyway I remembered though that I had a cloth block in one of my office drawers somewhere…I just couldn’t remember the letter on it! I hoped it would still be in the drawer that I thought I’d last put it in, it was — way in the back.

Lo and behold the letter on the block was the letter “C”. In the bold color red, just like the shirt I had chosen to wear that morning for photos.

Before the beginning of time God knew me. He knew all of my paths that I’d take and every moment of my life. He knew that my husband and I would come very close to choosing to stop trying to have biological kids before He would open my womb. God knew that we would have a son and that we would choose to name Him Caleb. In 2013 He knew this and the cloth block my friend gave me to help me with my project had the letter “C” on it. How fun it must be for God, like a big surprise, 3 1/2 years earlier and He is the only one that knew as she handed me a block of cloth, both of us clueless how meaningful it would become. How amazing and how loving is our Father in Heaven truly is!

NHodawanusGodKnewBlogPost.jpg

Picture by Magdalena Ferrandino

 ” I could ask the darkness to hide me
  and the light around me to become night—
     but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.”  – Psalm 139:11-16

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” – God speaking to Jeremiah (the prophet) 1:5

* Whether we accept the price God paid to adopt us as His child and become our Spiritual Father is different than God being our Creator. See John chapter 8 and Romans chapter 8.

Joy in the Wilderness

During my journey through the wilderness of infertility God was with me every step of the way. He led me in, just as He has led me out. Just as He provided for Elijah in Kerith Ravine, God sent me His Spirit and His truth to feed me and to sustain me even as my womb remained barren and void of life, like a drought – a drought I had been born with. When the test results had first come back showing that I wasn’t ovulating and that I wasn’t creating the hormone levels needed to create nor sustain a pregnancy I had a choice. Would I decide what I was going to do next, or would I let God decide what I was going to do.

God tests us in the wilderness to see if we are truly fully devoted to Him, if we have a heart toward Him like Joshua and Caleb had even as they marched back into the wilderness away from the Promised Land. To be fully devoted to God is to be fully devoted to His authority, to His Lordship over everything, including the decisions we make. I determined to wait upon the Lord and to only do what I felt sure He was OK with me doing in my efforts to become a mom. Ultimately I was brought to the crossroads that even though this had been a dream of mine my whole life that if it was not God’s will, then God’s will be done. I had to submit to the pain of a failed attempt at pregnancy over and over again and declare that God was good, no matter what. The thing that amazed me in all of this was that God taught me about His goodness in the midst of the wilderness. He taught me by allowing me to experience the depth and the love of His goodness when I all I had was Him. He taught me that He was more than enough.

When I took that really hard step and declared that God was good, as I cried and sobbed my heart upon the floor I should add…God responded by bolstering me up in Him, by doubling my portion of faith and by filling my heart with joy–joy in Him. We can have joy in the wilderness. It all just depends on whether or not we will say:

Have your way in me oh Lord.

A few weeks ago a pastor in my life, Clay Gatlin, shared a message out of Proverbs and spoke about God’s authority and determination of “our vat”. How big our vat is, and whether it is overflowing or not. This could mean a myriad of things for each of us, our income, our health, whatever our lot. For me it was my womb, God has spent almost the past 6 years teaching me and bringing me into a deeper awareness of His authority over my womb and over my fertility. He did this through a womb that remained barren and lifeless year after year. It has been a journey of sorrow for sure, but one that I’m thankful for because God brought me so much closer to Him and to a place of trust. He taught me about the great wealth of His goodness as He challenged and grew my faith in regards to His love and goodness. When I stepped out and declared God’s goodness over my circumstances, no matter what–I felt such an immeasurable level of peace and joy in the Lord, a peace and joy that sustained me and healed my heart even in the midst of a barren “vat”.

I’m so excited to tell you that my husband and I are expecting. After 5 1/2 of trying, and almost to the end of the time I was willing to go through the emotional roller coaster anymore, lo and behold God has filled my vat to overflow with life! When Pastor Clay spoke about how some of us have small vats and others have big vats and that we shouldn’t compare our vats that really resounded with me because God doesn’t want me to compare my vat with with other women’s vats, other women who will be blessed abundantly in their fertility. I just need to keep my eyes on God and rejoice in Him during this most amazing season in my life as my vat is literally bursting forth (my belly is surely growing and I love it)! I love the my vat is physically growing as a living testimony of God’s perfect timing and goodness. 🙂 I am soooo incredibly thankful to God for my baby and I love him so much already.

We each have our place to serve and to bring glory to God in the kingdom before He calls us home. I rejoice with women who have been called by God to bear many children. I rejoice in God for the place that He has for me in His kingdom as well. I rejoice with all women for the place that He has for each of us as His dearly beloved bride. Oh how deep and how wide is the love and the passion of our bridegroom for each of us. Lose yourself in Him. Catch your reflection in His tender gaze. We are each so precious in His sight, the apple of His eye.