Category Archives: Faith

Faith

On my way to Cali

About a month ago, Sarah and I started a discussion. I’ve been in my current role with the Apple store for about 4 1/2 years. I love my job, I LOVE my company, and I love my co-workers. But one thing was lacking… Room for growth. I really don’t want to be a manager, I don’t want to be a lead genius, and I never thought that Sarah would be okay with moving out to California.

So, I asked her what she thought of the idea of moving to California. She responded with “I’ve always wanted to live in San Francisco, and as long as I’ve got Truett and you, I’ll be just fine.”

Well, needless to say I was quite surprised, but excited at the same time. Apple has some opportunities in KC, but not many, and with my skill set, they just didn’t seem to match up. With that said, I applied and sent in my resume to the recruiters. I got a response back from two different teams letting me know that they’d like to have some phone interviews. I had two phone interviews with two different teams. One team decided to go a different direction, which is okay, as the second interview didn’t go as well as I would have liked. But the other team liked me well enough that they wanted to bring me out to Cupertino (Apple’s HQ).

Sarah and I told our families, to which the response was quite positive. (although there are a few reservations on both sides – Who would be excited about the cutest kid in the world moving away from them?)

So here I am, sitting on a plane, typing this on my phone as I gaze down at the grand canyon. I miss my wife and my little man more than anything right now. (and I’ve only been away from them for about 4 hours) And I wouldn’t put them through this if I didn’t think that this could be an amazing career move for me us. I want what’s best for my family.

So I guess besides the informative nature of this post, I would ask that you pray that we have wisdom to make the right decision, if we’re presented a choice.

Matt

One year ago at this moment…

So…..exactly one year ago today (even at this very time) my wife and I had a wonderful anniversary… We spent the day together, we went to dinner at Johnny Carino’s (one of our favorite Italian places), and then came home. We loved to watch the storms that were passing through town. Not a ton of rain, but man was there some awesome lightning. It was quite a site. We watched while we ate and even contemplated leaving the windows open all night, but thought it wasn’t a good idea, due to rain coming in.

We showered, and got ready for bed. I prayed for us, and it was strange that Sarah felt the urge to also pray (usually just one of us does per night). She prayed that God would send his angels to protect us. She didn’t know why, or how she prayed it, but she did.
It was lightly raining now, and I wanted to check the weather, just to make sure everything was safe. (We don’t have a basement, so if we needed to, we could go to our friend Lisa’s house – She only lives across the small town of Gardner). Well as I was checking my phone, I heard a noise that didn’t settle quite right. We live near an air field, and about 1/2 mile from railroad tracks, so we’re used to hearing loud noises at all hours. But this was no ordinary noise. It was wind. It was more than wind.
I realized what it was immediately, and screamed at Sarah “Get Down! Get Down! Get Down!” I yanked her off of the bed, pushed her to the ground, and shoved her up next to the bedframe, trying as much as I could to cover her. Sarah began praying. I know you’ve heard it before, but it really does sound like a freight train coming through your house. It felt like an eternity, but really only lasted about 30-45 seconds.

As soon as the awful thing was over, I immediately called 911. I’ve called previously in my life to report non-emergent situations, like drunk drivers, but I’ve never called to say just what was about to come out of my mouth: I think our house was jut hit by a tornado.

The operator on the other end proceeded to doubt my situation.
“Did you see the tornado?”, they asked.
“No, I was on my bedroom floor.”
“It was probably just wind, but we’ll send someone out just to check.”
“Thanks [you moron].”

Now at this point, anyone who knows me knows that I’m quite blind without my glasses or contacts. It just so happened that I had enough adreniline running through my system to forget completely about the whole sight issue, and ran outside to find out what the damage was. I flung open our front door, and could easily see that Sarah’s car was demolished. I didn’t know how, but something had smashed it. I realized this after I walked through a waterfall. Our gutters had been removed by the tornado, and it was now pouring. I noticed I wasn’t the only one outside. I started yelling to all the neighbors across the street to find out if they had been hurt. I gathered that no one had, and my wife finally got me to come back inside.

After this, I called my parents. It was about 11:30. I got the machine. The message went something like this:
“Hey guys, you there? Ummmm…. Our house just got hit by a tornado, please call us back as soon as you can.”
My dad returned the call, made sure we were alright, and informed me that they’d be there first thing in the morning. I got a call about 2 minutes later from my parents house. Apparently my dad wasn’t going to tell my mother that the ordeal had happened. Of course, she asked what happened, and my dad told her nonchalantly that the house had been hit by a tornado, and that they would leave in the morning. Well, of course that sent my mother into a panic. She called me, and made sure we were okay. Sarah was on the phone with our friend Lisa, who didn’t know anything happened (no sirens or any kind of warning), to have her come pick us up, as both our cars were totaled.

We also called our friend Jason (a barista at Starbucks & CSR at our insurance agents’ office). He said he was on his way. At this point, water had started pouring in, as the tornado had ripped off a chunk of the roof. We gathered our essentials, and our most valued possessions. Our family photos that couldn’t be replaced, the backup of our computers (for pictures), and our toiletries.

We stayed at Lisa & Brent’s house that night, and I slept a little. Sarah didn’t.

We walked out of what could have been the end of our lives, unhurt, and completely trusting that God can and will take care of His children.

I believe that (even though it may be cliché) everything happens for a reason.
At the time that this happened, Sarah and I had been trying to get pregnant for over a year, and had started fertility treatments. We didn’t realize that God was getting our house ready for our baby. We conceived, and lost a baby, within the next month and a half. We were devastated.  We had prayed that our baby would be an offering to the Lord, and after we lost him, we knew that his name should be Samuel.

We were debating on whether to continue trying fertility treatments. Was it worth the stress? We now had the burden of rebuilding a house over our heads, as well as anxiety about any rumblings in the sky. Did we want to add another layer to that?

We didn’t have to answer that question. About 2 months later, Sarah though something might be a little strange. We had extra home pregnancy tests, and she used one. It was a little older, and the stripe on the “positive side” was ever so faint. I was skeptical. I knew that older tests had the potential for false positives. Sarah couldn’t wait for me to get home from work. We had a meeting for the tech staff at the store, and she showed up with a smoothie for me. It was quite a surprise, as the store is 20 minutes away from home. She pulled out her phone and showed me the picture of a recently purchased pregnancy test, and there was no doubt about it – she was pregnant.

The rest is all history, and you can read about most of it here. But our sweet little Truett is here, and I can see that God prepared all of this for him, and for us.

Anytime I start to doubt, I just remember how close I was to something that could have wiped me off the face of this earth, how we were so close to having the child we’d dreamed of, and how God reminded us that it wasn’t medicine, but His grace, that gave us this sweet little boy we hold in our arms.

Lord,
All I can say, with the deepest gratitude, is thank you.

Matt

 

 

 

{related: Video of tornado damage}

Weekly Update…

We had our weekly appointment with the Dr today. Got my lovely shot, had our sonogram, and visited with the Dr. Everyone is very pleased with how things are looking. So far there has been no change in my cervix which is great news! After 4 weeks of bed rest, since I’m not having any bleeding or contractions and things are looking stable. Dr has given me permission to start getting up and doing things as I feel I can.  I am even allowed out of the house, including shopping! YAY! I’m not allowed to lift anything heavy, and I can’t return to work, but I can start doing somethings around the house and actually start having a social life again!

Truett is looking great! He is growing and changing each week. He spent most of our sonogram today with his hand up by his face waving at us! He is still way up high under my belly button, but has decided that my bladder makes a fabulous trampoline. Got to love that!  We did get another look today and he is a boy! Matt is just thrilled! He can’t wait to have another boy in the house… I hope that means I won’t get picked on more…

The plan as of now, as long as everything continues this way, is to take my stitches out around 36 weeks… So chances are Truett will be a little March baby instead of April. I’m not going to complain about that though. I don’t think I will quit worrying till our sweet baby is safe in my arms and I can see and touch him and KNOW that everything is ok.

Matt took me to Hobby Lobby when we were done at the Dr so I could get a few things to start getting Truett’s room ready. I have to say by the time we walked to the back of the store, I was ready to come home and take a nap! Not only that, but my ab muscles were so sore! I’m not used to carrying around this baby belly I guess.

We are so blessed to have such a great Dr who truly cares about us and Truett. We feel so comfortable with her and know she is doing everything she can to keep our baby safe!

Thank you all for your continued prayers!

Sarah

Tomorrow…

Tomorrow is our weekly Dr appointment… I always have mixed feelings about going. I love that we get to see our little one every week when we do our ultrasound! It is so fun to get to see how big he is getting and watch him kick and squirm around! Knowing that tomorrow I have to go in, also makes me nervous and terrified. We never know what is going to happen.  Obviously, the first week we went in we had no idea that there was an issue at all. The second week I really thought we would go in and they would say that I had done a good job being on bed rest and that things were fine… I was so wrong. Last week we got a good report, but there is no guarantee that it will continue to be that way…

We are trusting God that His plan for Truett is best. We know that our God is Healer, He is powerful, He’s will is perfect. We know those things and we believe them, but sometimes, it is still so hard to let go of the worry. To just leave it at His feet and walk away. Oh, I’ll lay it down, but 2 minutes later, I’m carrying around again. I frustrate myself!

So, please pray for us tonight. Pray that no matter the outcome of tomorrow’s appointment that we will just be content knowing that God is in control. That we will remember that God love us and Truett more than we could ever imagine. That we would have peace.

Thank you so much for being part of this journey with us. Your prayers and love for us and our precious baby mean so much!

Sarah

Daddy’s Buddy

Our little Truett Matthew (pronounced True It) sure loves his Daddy! Maybe it’s because he is named for his Daddy, or maybe it is because his Daddy has been yelling in my belly everyday for months, or maybe its because he just knows how amazing his Daddy is. It astounds me how even at an age when a baby can’t survive outside of the womb how amazingly perfect they still are! For weeks now, when Matt gets home from work this little man starts kicking the minute he hears his Daddy’s voice!  It is just so cool that Truett recognizes who his daddy is so quickly!

The other day, Truett must have just been tired. He didn’t move nearly as much as he usually does all day. So before I went to bed, I was trying to get a response out of him. I layed in bed poking and rubbing my belly, talking to him for at least half and hour… no response at all. Matt got out of the shower and looked at me like I was nuts! He walked over, leaned his head down by my belly and said, “Hello in there!” and immediately I got kicked. I giggled, so Matt kept talking. With each sentence he said, Truett got more and more excited and started kicking harder.

I can’t wait to see my two favorite boys together someday. What an amazing moment that will be!

This precious little boy has brought so much joy to our house in the few short months that we have had him. We can’t wait for the day he is finally strong enough to be born so we can hold him and tell him about all the amazing people who have daily been lifting him up in prayer and love him so much even before he was here!

Thank you for your continued support and prayers! We wouldn’t make it without you!

Sarah

Introducing our little man…

The day we went in for our “BIG Ultrasound” where we were supposed to find out what we were having, we got a bit of a surprise! We were so excited to FINALLY know what we were having… but we would have to wait a few more weeks. Just a few minutes after this sweet picture was taken, we found out that something was not right!

Sweet little praying hands 11/24

After measuring some of babies parts the sonographer, Kelly, (yes we are now on a first name basis with her) was trying to get a look at what gender our little one was since it was hiding behind my belly button. That is when she noticed that my cervix was looking funny. After a closer look her fears were confirmed. My cervix was funneling. You can see it in this next picture.. those sweet little feet with ankles crossed are pointing down to the big black hole that is supposed to be closed up. But aren’t those feet cute?

Love those sweet little feet! 11/24

Needless to say, we were very worried. It was a long week of waiting, but we were so blessed by our friends, family, and church family. It was all worth the long week, the tears, and all the prayer when we went in the next week and saw this….

I'm looking at you! 12/1

As creepy as baby looks here with the black holes where it’s eyes are, this momma was never so glad to see that little one alive and well. I was never so happy to hear the bomp, bomp, bomp of it’s little heart. And after checking out my cervix to see how it was fairing, I could have listened to that heartbeat forever. My heart broke as Kelly groaned. I knew without looking that it wasn’t getting better. Pretty sure as Kelly was pointing out the even bigger hole than the week before that she had tears in her eyes. My cervix had gone from being closed 2.4 cm to only being closed 1.6 cm.  This would be where I lost it. Which made my sweet Matthew cry, and my sister who went with us started crying too.

So crazy how so many thoughts can go flying through your head in one split second. I prayed, I got angry, I was so scared! I felt like a complete failure. I had done everything that the Dr had told me to do, and my baby was in bigger danger than it was before! They moved us to a room to talk with Dr Estrada. We talked about our options, and she put another call in to the perinatologist. They didn’t have much advice, but we decided that a cerclage (stitching up my cervix) was our best option. So the next morning that is what we did. The surgery went beautifully other than it taking 4 tries to get my spinal block in. OUCH! We both came through with no complications and have been home praying our little hearts out this week!

I was so scared and nervous to go back into the Dr today, but  I knew I had to! Kelly measured my cervix first thing. It is closed .9 cm which is exactly what was stitched shut. Had we not done the surgery, our sweet little one more than likely wouldn’t be with us today. We were so blessed that they caught this and got it fixed as soon as they did.

Here is our picture from today. It is officially a boy! We are so excited!

12/8

As I’m laying here typing this, I’m being kicked and punched by the sweet little man growing inside me. The joy that those kicks bring is indescribable… even when he uses my bladder as a trampoline. I am in constant awe of how God’s plan is so perfect, even when we don’t see it. Sure the next couple of months are going to be hard. They will be spent not doing much but laying around, getting weekly shots, and they will be tough financially because I can’t work, but I am blessed beyond measure. We have the most amazing daddy taking care of us, and I have the joy of knowing that my son is still at this moment safely tucked away growing and changing. We also know that we have an amazing Dr doing everything she can to keep this baby where it needs to be for as long as possible.

We may not understand fully, but if there is one thing this year has taught us, even if we don’t understand things, even when we feel like we have been stripped of everything we have, even when our hearts are totally broken, we are still being held by the hands that formed the world. We still serve a God who is a mighty healer, who has amazing power, and whose love can do anything. If there is one thing that has gotten us through  and will continue to get us through, it is His love.

Thank you all for you love, your support, the meals, the gifts, phone calls, emails, texts, etc. All of those things have meant SO much!  We love you all!

By His Grace,

Sarah

Trust…

So, I may not look like it, but I can be pretty introspective. Things may only ever seem to hit the surface with me, but I really do think alot about deep things.

Where do I start?

Well, Sarah & I have been trying to get pregnant for 2 & 1/2 years. It’s been a long road, and we even went so far as to going to get fertility treatments. Finally – after about 4-5 months with fertility treatments, we got pregnant. We were so excited! We were finally going to be parents. We didn’t have any idea that anything would go wrong.

And then, in the middle of the night- about 8 weeks into the pregnancy, Sarah started having horrible contractions. And that’s when our world shattered. Everything that we’d been hoping and praying for….gone. We lost our precious baby.

We were both heartbroken. It was more than what we could handle. We both fell into a depression. I had to do something. I wanted to feel some physical pain to match that which was in my heart. So, I know it may sound stupid, but I got a tattoo so that I wouldn’t forget. We named our baby Samuel. (1 Samuel 1: 22-28) This baby was from God, and we wanted him to be God’s.

Sarah's handwriting of our baby's name

Sarah and I didn’t know what to do. We had a hard time deciding whether or not to start actively trying to get pregnant again. We didn’t want to go through this heartbreak again, and never wanted anyone to feel this pain. Soon after, though, we didn’t have to decide.

We found out we were pregnant again! How awesome. God was so true to his word. He, once again, gave us the desires of our hearts. We were so excited for this.

Then, on November 24 (The day before Thanksgiving), we went in for a scheduled doctors appointment. We were to have a sonogram to measure the baby, and (hopefully) find out what “it” was. But the news we got was terrifying. Sarah’s cervix was “funneling”. This means that it was opening from the baby’s side outward, and that we may lose the baby. So Sarah was put on bedrest.

We made it though Thanksgiving (with 22 guests at our house) – I made most of the Thanksgiving meal. I had a great coach from the livingroom, though. (Who would’a thought you could make a pecan pie just by having someone read you the directions?). And we had another appointment the next week.

Since Sarah was on bedrest, and I was at work ALOT, her sister came to help out. She made food, did laundry, cleaned, and made my life a whole lot easier (Thanks Christi- Love ya!). She even came to the sonogram with us. I’m glad she did.

We found out that Sarah’s cervix was opening even more, and that we needed to perform a cerclage (stitching the cervix shut), to prevent losing our precious baby. Sarah’s sister was the moral support we needed, and the prayer warrior to keep us from falling apart again.

So we went to the hospital the next day (Dec 2), and had the cerclage put in. We stayed the night in the hospital, and they monitored Sarah, and the baby, too. All went well, and seems to be up to this point. However, we’re not yet all in the clear. I do worry about my baby, and my wife, too.

But today, I was listening to some music on my iPod, and “randomly”, the song Beautiful by MercyMe started playing. I was listening, and then was almost brought to tears. I’ve been struggling with the though of “Why would God take our first baby, and come so close to taking this one?”. I got an answer. He’s not trying to. He doesn’t want us to feel this pain – that’s why He did.

“Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You’re the one He madly loves
Enough to die! “

He has never wanted us to suffer. I guess what I need to do is just trust. I need to trust him to guide our steps. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to fight for our baby like crazy, but it does mean that I’m going to give Him everything that I can to take care of it.

Matt