“My heart pounds in my chest…fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking.” Psalm 55:4,5

It started the minute I put my car in park at the doctor’s office.  A wave of nausea not associated with the pregnancy but with pure anxiety and panic.  I had 30 minutes before my appointment and already couldn’t breathe.

Praying and practicing breathing techniques kept me from throwing up or passing out but the panic overwhelmed me.  It wasn’t mental either, but something physical overtaking my body.  I realized in hindsight this is normally the week the baby’s heart has stopped beating with previous pregnancies and possibly what brought on the mini panic attack.

At one point my 4 year old put his hand on my leg and said, “Oh Mommy, it’s going to be OK.”  Jesus had him say that I just know it (out of the mouths of babes…).  I kept praying for peace and for the feelings to stop…finally they did.  When I saw a gummy bear-looking image on the monitor with a steadily thumping heart.  “Praise Jesus!” I kept saying.

I have the same ultrasound tech each week, and bless her.  She’s been in my shoes before and I’m so grateful God gave her to me this pregnancy.

I don’t mean to put so much hope into this tiny baby’s heart, but I do.  I know my main hope is in Jesus Christ and His Word but there is so much in this sweet baby growing in my belly, too.  And not just for me, but for my whole family.  Jesus is the one to complete our souls.  This baby is the one to complete our little family.

God’s word tells us over and over not to fear (because it is a huge, natural emotion), but what to do when a physical fear overtakes your body?  I realize as I get older I struggle more with anxiety and fear…I don’t like this about myself but I know God can use it and work in it and make me more dependent upon Him.

I go back to the doctor today and I am prepared now for a panic attack but praying I am armed enough spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically for it to stay away.

I know God is good and He is for me and this baby.  He knows what He is doing and I cannot forget that in any and all situations.

“Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” Isaiah 41:10

To Him Who is Able

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20

“There’s no heartbeat, is there?” First words out of my mouth as I saw the ultrasound on the screen.

“Now calm down,” the tech responded, “…I see a heartbeat!”

“And the yolk sac?! Is it smaller!?” I asked anxiously after noticing the circular sac looking smaller than last week.

“It’s perfect,” she said with a smile on her face.

WHAT?!  Wow.  JOY. Relief. Praise. Tears.

Even though my insecurities rose to the surface initially, I really did think we would see a heartbeat.  What I didn’t expect to see was a normal sized yolk sac.  I, of little faith, had honestly gone through every scenario except the one that actually happened.

In early pregnancy, the yolk sac is responsible for providing nourishment to the growing fetus.  At my ultrasound last week, the yolk sac was enlarged which isn’t always a good sign.  This was the red flag that gave us a 50% chance with this baby.  We’ve experienced this before and it didn’t end well; I will share more about that one day.

I truly believe the Lord performed an amazing miracle and we are overjoyed!  I thank each one of you for your prayers.  I don’t know what next weeks ultrasound will show but I do know that God in His awesome grace and love gave us tangible hope by lifting this “red flag”.

I couldn’t quit thinking of Ephesians 3:20 after seeing the beautiful sight I saw.  The Lord went above and beyond my human thoughts and did what He is best at, miracles.  I think sometimes we forget He still does this.  Everyday.  He is able, we just doubt.  He is willing, we just don’t ask.  He is able to do more than we can think or imagine, in any situation.  Let’s start asking Him to do something bigger and better with our prayers than our minds can grasp.

Now to Him.  Be the glory forever and ever.

Just because God can doesn’t mean He will. But just because He hasn’t doesn’t mean He won’t. The bottom line is that He is able~Pricilla Shirer (God is Able)


The Mustard Seed

“…if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” Matthew 17:20

Several months ago, my daughter was having some big questions about God. She was having a hard time praying and believing He was actually there. I wanted to do something, gently, to encourage her in her faith and Matthew 17:20 came to mind. I bought a small jar of mustard seeds at the store and couldn’t wait to pick her up from school, but in the meantime, I wanted to examine my own faith and learn more about this mustard seed.

Have you ever seen or held a mustard seed? They are tiny. TINY. They are easily dropped, never to be seen again…but they are packed full of so many essential nutrients that they are considered an excellent food source (I didn’t know that, did you?).

If you think about it, Jesus could have compared our faith to a small pebble, or even a grain of sand, but he chose the mustard seed and I think this is why: even though it is tiny, it is full of important stuff; good, nutritious stuff. So even if our faith might be small, weak or wavering, even that is considered enough because it is there and it is Him. And in Him are good things.

It is interesting to remember that mustard stains. The seed itself doesn’t, but once ground, the mustard spreads and stains; so our faith, even as small as a mustard seed has the capability to leave a mark and not only on us, but on those around us. It’s hard not to drop and lose a mustard seed, so we must hold it tightly, grounding it in and establishing it to leave a mark.

The definition of faith is reliance, loyalty, or complete trust in God. It’s surrendering, letting go of our own efforts and depending on God.   We need this mustard seed-surrendering-faith to believe, to trust and to see in any and all situations. In a tiny amount of this faith we have hope, joy, peace and Jesus. In a tiny amount of this faith, we keep holding on to the One who never lets go. In a tiny amount of this faith, we gain more faith.

I am quickly reminded of areas where I need more faith, more denying myself and allowing God to take control; funny how a little seed can do that, isn’t it? So I ask of the Lord, as the disciples did in Luke 17:5, to increase my faith. Give me more, Lord, more of you; many more mustard seeds of faith.

When I picked my daughter up from school that day, I had taped a mustard seed to a piece of paper with Matthew 17:20 written on it and secured it to the back of headrest so it would be the first thing she saw when she hopped in the car. She was immediately curious and what fun we have had with these mustard seeds! Most importantly, it’s been special to grow in our faith together.

Click here for the link to the video blog about the mustard seed.        

And So We Wait

Waiting: stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens; used to indicate that one is eagerly impatient to do something or for something to happen.

A few weeks ago, I was up at 4am busily getting ready to travel to a conference. I had almost forgotten about the pregnancy test I had taken that early morning, but thankfully, I happened to glance at it before walking out the door. Expecting to see only one line, I did a triple take when I saw not one, but two obvious pink lines. I didn’t even have to tilt it a certain way or put it under the kitchen counter lights to kind-of-maybe see two lines, but there were two lines, as plain as day, staring back at me.

Shock was my initial reaction coupled with great fear. But then I found myself smiling at Gods amazing timing of it all. I then reminded myself of my past and immediately would be fearful again, not allowing myself to get excited or hopeful.

You see, I’ve had experience studying pregnancy tests (anyone else?)…this is my 7th pregnancy. I hold two of my precious babies here on earth while Jesus holds the rest of them safely in Heaven.

The road of miscarriages is not one I would wish upon anyone, but through it all God has been good and faithful. Even when I’ve wanted to turn my back to Him through the pain, He is good, full of grace, and loves me more than I can comprehend. Even when I have lashed out in anger at the loss I have felt, I know I am not alone nor do my tears or prayers fall empty. They fall into His mighty hands that hold all of me. 

We’ve gone through miscarriages publicly and we’ve gone through them privately and either way it is hard. But I know when I don’t talk about what is going on in my life or when I’m not real about my hearts desires or the pain I have experienced, God can’t get the glory.

So. There is a tiny heart beating inside of me; a life growing rapidly inside my body. This life is a precious gift from God. Just in the few short weeks we have known, this pregnancy has been such an amazing blessing, such a joy; and for that I am grateful. Grateful that the Lord chose me to carry this baby. Whether it be to full term or just a few more weeks, it is a life. A God-given, God-ordained life. And I will praise Him no matter what. Of course my prayer is that this is our baby #3 to have and hold, but I know that God’s ways and plans are not always my ways and plans. I trust Him in this journey. No matter what.  Even when the doctor says there is a 50/50 chance this baby will make it, I will put my hope in the Author of life, leaning into Him and not my own understanding.  I will remember the beautiful sound I recently heard of a strong thumping heart and will never forget the awesome sight of it beating away.

And so we wait.  

His Ways are Higher

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”‭‭. Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Tomorrow we will go to my daughters school to see who her 2nd grade teacher will be.  I have gone back and forth on whether I should request the teacher I wanted her to have or not.   So many people told me I should do it but something just didn’t feel right.  I also heard the sound of a quiet voice saying “Trust Me, Sarah.”  

The Lord knows my heart and my daughter’s heart and knows who we would like her to have as a teacher. We have prayed ferverently on the matter (at times I think I may have begged), but I know in my soul that whoever our little E gets this year is who she is meant to have.

Before 1st grade, we drove by her school once a week and prayed for her teacher and classmates. Her teacher turned out to be a perfect fit,  just who our E needed. She had a great year and we are so thankful!  She made new friends, learned school, life and faith lessons, and we knew, because of our prayers and because of the goodness of our God, that she was exactly where she was supposed to be.

This summer as we have driven by and prayed, I have found peace in knowing God already knows the plans He has for her 2nd grade year.  He was faithful last year and I know for certain He will be faithful this year, too.  This doesn’t necessarily mean we will get who we have been praying for or that everything will be perfect this year, but it means we will be exactly where He wants us … and that is so comforting!

So we are trusting and believing and praying big and bold. But we are also confident God has His mighty hand on this and our baby girl will be in the class He deems the best for her.  I am reminded that as our Heavenly, perfect Father, He truly knows what is best for His children.   And in this, and all situations, I am called to not only trust Him but to listen and let Him guide me.  Never do I want to take matters into my own hands that are better left with the Lord, and this, for us, was one of those situations.

His thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are not our ways.

Father God may we let this verse reside deep in our hearts, souls and minds. Sometimes it’s hard to not think we know what’s best for our children but You, oh God, are the one who knows all, sees all and you are good and love our children bigger and more perfectly than we ever could. Guide us as we parent them and make decisions for them.  Help us look to You, give you the reins in all areas of our lives and to trust You as a new school year is approaching.  Be with the teachers, staff, students and parents all over our city, state and nation.  May we all know how deep your love is.  In Jesus precious name, amen. 

*Please know I do not think it is wrong to request a teacher for your child.  I feel God calls us all to do different things with our children and in your case He may be calling you to specify a teacher. In our case, this year, He has called me not to. 🙂