Today, I have chosen to trade my sorrows for joy.  Today is not going to be a day filled with sadness and despair but it is going to be a day filled with hope and strength.  I am choosing to have a positive attitude and to not dwell in the negative.  I am choosing life instead of death.  You want to know why? I will tell you why. 

Today is the day that the Lord has made, so I am going to REJOICE and be GLAD in it!
Today my little girls are 19 days old!  This morning, my little Adeline showed me her b-e-a-utiful eyes.  

Today, our Maralee is choosing to fight off the bad guys.  

They are showing strength and progress so I need to do the same. 

Friends, I can not express how gratifying it is to Raleigh and I to know that our family is in your prayers.  We have been given an overwhelming show of prayer and love from all of you and it really is so encouraging to us.  Trust me, we read every comment, wall post and e-mail that you all send us and it really gives us strength.  Thank you for sharing your own stories of hope and suffering with us...it makes us realize that we all have problems and we all have one mighty God that takes time to listen to our needs.

A sweet girl that I have always admired shared the following verse with me as something that helped her during one of her trials.  I will admit that it struck me to my core so I have it written on my dry-erase board on my refrigerator where I can see it every time I go into the kitchen.  The verse is from Isaiah 41:10:

"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"

As you can see from my previous posts, something that I have really been struggling with is fear.  Fear of the worst possible thing happening to one or both of my baby girls.  I realize that Jesus has even defeated Death itself and I believe that heaven is a far better place than earth; yet my heart longs for our little girls to stay here with us.  I want to dress them up in ribbons and pearls, have story time, and tuck them into bed at night.  My selfish desire is for our girls to stay here with us because I believe that God gave them to us as a blessing for choosing to follow Him.  I know that he can give and take away but that doesn't mean that I want him to take them away. 

Yesterday was my first day to visit the girls all by myself.  After a relaxing weekend (can you believe it?) I woke up on Monday realizing that the roller coaster was sure to take a twist very soon.  I don't know if that was negativity talking or me finally understanding that this journey is indeed a roller coaster but I woke up feeling sad.  Mid-morning we received a call from the doctor stating that Adeline had fluid around her lungs and heart so this was causing her to occasionally stop breathing.  We were also told that Maralee's test results were showing that she could possibly have a yeast infection and her platelet levels were low so she would be receiving red blood cells.  There was a possibility that if Maralee's platelets remained low that this could cause bleeding to her brain, which of course, freaked me out.  As I was visiting with the girls that afternoon, I got teary-eyed just looking at them.  Maralee was moved to a room all by herself since she was still on medicine for her staff infection.  That infection is getting better but the nurses want to make sure that no other babies receive it and we all have to wear plastic gloves and yellow robes to even enter into her room.  It made me feel like there was something wrong with her, like she was the kid being told that she couldn't play on the swings with all the other kids.

After leaving the hospital and arriving home to an empty house, I began reading a book about attitude.  Usually, I tend to have a positive outlook on life and I'm the type of girl that chooses to see the glass half-full.  I know you half-empty gals get annoyed at times due to the shiny-ness of the half-fullers but it helps for me to see the good in things.  As I began to read, I quickly realized that I was viewing this situation through a  half-empty glass.  I have been letting my fear bring worry and an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Guilt has plagued me the past two weeks for delivering them so early.  I haven't enjoyed getting my body back because deep down I feel like my stomach should be growing instead of decreasing right now.  I have been dealing with so many emotions and it has been difficult for me to see the joy instead of the pain.

Today, I am choosing to not let my fear consume me.  I am choosing to be joyful that I have been able to spend 19 crazy days with our sweet girls.  Today, I saw the red tape outside of Maralee's door as the blood of Jesus protecting her instead of the mark of satan trying to get to her.  Today, I saw Adeline's progress and not her sickness.  Today, I am choosing to

This IS the day that the Lord has made and with God ALL things are possible!

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

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