Saturday, July 30, 2011

Have you ever noticed?

This is an excerpt from a devotional I read every morning. It's just so perfect, I had to share.
Date: July 29, 2011

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials   1 Peter 1:6

Have you ever noticed how hidden in the midst of hard times are unforeseen blessings and unbelievable lessons? Recently my family went through a difficult situation - not any harder than others have experienced, and a lot less than some people have gone through - but that doesn’t lessen the pain. Coming through it, we learned some important things about ourselves and about our God, lessons that I never want to forget. God reminded me that I am very, very small in contrast to His greatness. It seems that when life is cruising along smoothly, I forget how truly small I am in this universe. In fact, there are times I think of myself as being kind of large and important – able to do things on my own with very little need to “bother” God. Small I am and small I hope to remain if it will enable me to experience God’s greatness and with it, His peace.
I’ve learned that not asking for help is one of the most selfish and self-centered things I can do. Being stoic and self-sufficient means that I keep others from being blessed as they help, and I miss the blessing of being helped. God provided help by unexpected and surprising means. It made me feel less lonely and encouraged me that we would get through this. Had I been unwilling to be helped, I would have missed out on some amazingly wonderful times in an amazingly uncomfortable period.
Lastly, prayer and the promises of God’s Word meant more to us than anything else. We knew there were people praying for us, and this knowledge made the situation bearable. I promised God that if anyone ever asked me to pray for them, I would – at that moment, throughout the day, and into the evening – like people did for us. I will never again take the privilege of prayer lightly; it is the most I can do for someone. It removes fear, worry, loneliness and helplessness and shines God’s joy and peace in their places.
I can now say that I am thankful for the trial we went through - the blessings outweigh the “light and momentary afflictions.” We are different than we were – and I’m glad. I like the change and am determined to remember what I’ve learned so the next time I will shout “hallelujah” sooner.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Road Trip

We just got home from a 3 day road trip to Lancaster, CA. Nick was pitching in the Saturday night game so I decided to load up the kids and make a weekend out of it. We are exhausted but we are so glad we got to go and watch Nick pitch another great game and spend some quality time together....in tight quarters.

We were so blessed that it worked out that we did not have to pay for an extra hotel room for the weekend because Nicks trainer was nice enough to work that for us.  BUT- all 4 of us in the same room makes for some interesting sleeping arrangements.  Trying to get a 4 yr old and an almost 2 yr old to take a nap in the same room together is near impossible. After about an hour of playing peekaboo with each other they finally did fall asleep but only until one of them woke up early or had to go to the bathroom or got too hot or heard a loud noise or someone sneezed or something else along those lines.  Then we were up and headed to the ballpark again...

Lancaster is a very windy place. I only packed enough clothes for three games so what I packed is what I had to wear. My sundress choice was not one of my best ideas.  Spent most of the game holding my dress down and when I would let go of it, it was only for a second while I combed my hair out of my face.  Today the game was at 11 am so I was actually grateful for the wind since we were in the heat of the day but none the less....still a little annoying. 

I met some really interesting people this weekend at the games.  Some were really nice, some were really not nice.  A little girl even got up in Mason's face and yelled "We are not playing with you!" She's lucky I didnt get a hold of her. Nobody should talk to my sweet little angel that way. haha. I told Nick after the game last night that the fans there were either "super fans" or just downright mean.  We were riding in the car laughing and talking about how one day we are going to look back at all of these memories and laugh.  Our hotel was even conveniently located right nextdoor to the California State Prison, no big deal, I bet the people in there are all real nice :)

Tomorrow we have an off day! WooooHoooo! So looking forward to a day free of baseball and just relaxing with some friends by the pool.  Glad to be back in our Host home, and if you think about it this week,  send up a prayer for our host mom, Mel. She lost her father this past week. Such a sweet lady and great friend.

If you want to see how Nick did his last outing you can check it out at stormbaseball.com. or you can just trust me when I tell you that he is awesome.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This is Baseball...

Nick finally completed his 12 week rehab from his shoulder surgery back in April.  He threw in several games in the Arizona league and he is back pitching in California now.  He is doing well and feeling good! It has been really nice to see all of our friends in Lake Elsinore and catch up with everyone, although we do miss our friends who are playing elsewhere :)

I have been a little "out of the game" for a while...meaning, I haven't been sitting in the stands with my kiddos since we have been in Arizona rehabbing. Last year Drake was still little enough that he would sit through most of the game in his infant carrier and sleep through about half of it.  Things are MUCH different this year.  I am packing more, moving around a lot more, and am completely exhausted by the end of the game.

Just to name a few- here are some of what I pack to take to a game. 1) mason's backpack. Inside of it will be 4 fruit snacks, 2 packages of crackers, 2 sippy cups of water, a bag of suckers, a bag of some other sort of snacks, about 10 matchbox cars, paper and pens so they can color, Masons lightning mcqueen sticker booklet, and any other randomness we can throw in to make it a little heavier. 2)Drake's backpack. Inside of it will be diapers, wipes, diaper bags, pacifiers, tylenol, a hat, and a jacket.  3) My purse- inside of it is way too much for me to mention. 4) My camera bag- this is actually another backpack. 5) Mason's Thunder Paw that he wears on his hand so he can wave at daddy. 6) There is not always a 6, but last night I had a Target back filled with other random items and some jackets and a blanket.  7) My stroller- I have been leaving it in the car but I have to take it in case desperate times call for desperate measures and I just have to push Drake around the whole game. Can you please just imagine what it looks like when somebody has to go to the bathroom and I have to load all this stuff up and carry it to the restroom so no one steals it? Thank goodness for nice people who sometimes offer to help.

California is 2 hours earlier in time so we have had a little bit of a hard time adjusting to the time change. Also, the games start at 7pm so we have had to adjust our nap schedule to where the boys can make it until around 11pm. Gosh, just typing that makes me cringe. They are usually in bed at 8 at home so this is pretty hard on them....and me. We are 3 games down and holding up, hoping it will get easier everyday. 

We are just so grateful to be here. We are so blessed that Nick has been able to come back from both of his surgeries and play again. Nothing short of God's amazing grace.  I am trying to focus on that and not on what a huge production it has become for me and the boys to make it through 3 hrs of baseball everyday.

Several people have asked for an update on my beautiful baby niece. Charlette made it home from the hospital yesterday!!! She was in the hospital for a total of 12 days but she was a trooper and pulled through and is now safe at home.  Thank you so much for everyone who was praying with me for her progress. Another answered prayer - God is so good.

If you want to follow Nick the remainder of the season you can do so by visiting stormbaseball.com.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Prayers for Charlette

July 4th my beautiful sweet little niece was welcomed into the world by my sister in law, Jessica.  Little miss Charlette Lorraine was almost 3 weeks early. She was a little over 6 pounds but her lungs weren't quite ready to breathe on their own.   She has been in NICU for 3 days on oxygen and is being fed through an IV. Doctors are waiting to see see her rate of respirations go down before they will take her off the IV.

If there is anything Nick and I have learned about over the  last few months, its the power of prayer.  We have seen some pretty amazing things happen in our own lives and now we are praying to see progress in this sweet baby's life.  Please help us in praying for Charlette that she will make a speedy recovery and that she will be safe at home  very soon. Also,  pray for her mother Jessica for strength and comfort that God is working to get baby Charlette good and healthy. 

Thanks everyone for prayers.- Jill

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