Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Thankful Heart

Ok, so I am keenly aware of the value in a person being authentic, but it was interesting to me today that our sermon at church kind of focused on that very idea. It was said today during service that a person who is not being real, being authentic, cannot allow the kingdom of God to unfold before them. We as "Christians" are often so concerned with putting on our brave face and hiding what is really behind it all so that others think we have it all together that we lose sight of the fact that if we are honest and open with anyone, it should be with eachother. This is how we grow.

All that said, I have to say I am still struggling with God. I have so many questions. As I stood for worship in church today the questions raced through my mind. I know God is here. I know He has my best interest at heart, I know he has provided my family with a peace, a love and a comfort unlike any other. I know all of that and yet I was unable to "single mindedly" worship our God. My mind was everywhere else. I feel like I have been beginning to put a wall up. A wall between me and God. I don't understand Him despite my best effort and so I was going to distance myself. I want to yearn for his word and yet I find myself disinterested. I no longer get up and go to church because I cannot wait to worship the God who has blessed me so much, I go out of obligation. I know I should.

That is me being authentic. Then tonight I have gained a bit of insight as I watch Bruce Almighty. (I know, I know, just bear with me) In the movie he says this, "God is a mean kid on an anthill with a magnifying glass, and I am the ant. He could fix my life in five minutes if he wanted to, but he'd rather burn of my feelers and watch me squirm." And as I listened as "Bruce" exclaimed this I chuckled at how ridiculous that sounded, and yet when I thought about it....I think that is kind of how I have been feeling and acting.

Kind of like a two year old. I know I have so much to be thankful for but I also have so much hurt. I know God could have fixed that hurt. He chose not to and that is a tough reality to deal with especially when it seems like he certainly does it for so many others. Sometimes I feel like I have been singled out, like God just continues to burn my feelers. I have no one to blame so I blame God, the thing about that is that I KNOW God is blameless! He knows what is best and I need to accept that.

In my last post I wrote about how I could not be thankful for my sons' deaths. I am thankful for many things that have happened as a result, I am thankful that God has covered us with his grace, peace and love during the tough times, I am thankful for the friends I have made on this journey, the comfort I have received and given, I am thankful I was able to meet such amazing little guys and that I was chosen as their mommy. I am thankful for so much about the situation, but I cannot be thankful for that, not that they are dead. I cannot say the words. I have been trying to reconcile that since writing the post on Thanksgiving. I mean SHOULD I be thankful for the deaths of my children? Is that really what God wants? I have asked and asked for God to answer me. And I will say I have a little peace about the issue now.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

As I reread this scripture I got to thinking, I think the most important thing is to have a thankful heart. We need to open our hearts and allow God's peace to rule there. It is a decision. It says "let" the peace of Christ rule in your heart. That means it is something we must do. We must make the decision to be thankful in all things.

I think it has less to do with being able to thank God for the death of my children and more to do with being thankful for the other circumstances, more to do with finding the good amidst all of the pain, more to do with choosing to continue to follow my God, knowing He knows what is best for me in spite of the pain. There are some things my mind can just not comprehend. So much about God I do not understand. I don't know why it was in my best interest for my boys to be in Heaven, but I do trust that God doesn't make mistakes and that he will work all of this out for my good.

I think for now, God knows my heart and He knows I am working through all of this. I can rest assured that some day ALL of this will make more sense. That is where I am at right now. I am still wrestling with the idea of prayer. I know God will answer those questions also in His time and until then I will continue to pour my heart out to Him, giving him my authentic broken self.

Tomorrow is an ultrasound for baby Bolte number 5. We would really appreciate your prayers as we continue to learn more about who this next member of our family will be and how God has knitted him (or her)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful for EVERYTHING?

So a few years back we started this tradition in our household. I had found this cute little journal at Target that had leaves all over it and on the cover it says "Giving Thanks". This is our thankful book. Each year at Thanksgiving we get the book out and every member of the family makes a "top ten list" of what they are thankful for this year. As I got the book out this morning for the activity later, it really got me thinking.

Now some of it is kind of silly...since Ben has been too young to make his own list for the last two years we have let Luke tell us what HE thinks Ben is thankful for. As I look back over our lists it is funny how we all have the big things listed like, God, grace, salvation, church, family, friends, job, home etc. but then we each have some of the little, sillier things that we are thankful for, diapers, bouncey seats, cars and trucks blankies, Baby Einstein.

Here is where the thinking comes in...

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.. Colossians 3:15

According to this verse, we are to be thankful to God for EVERY detail in our lives. EVERY one. On the surface that seems appropriate but then I got to thinking, I am thankful for each and every one of my children. I am thankful for what Isaac and Asher brought to our lives and home. I am thankful that God chose us to be the parents of each of these amazing kids, I am thankful for how they have changed our lives, allowed us to serve others, and realize the gift of a moment, but thankful for their death. Um...I don't think I can even muster the strength to say those words even halfheartedly. Really, I don't. And even if I were able to SAY it, I wouldn't mean it.

I know the Bible is true and I so want to follow it's instruction and align myself with God's will for me, but being thankful for the death of not one, but TWO of my children....I can't do it. I wish I could. I wish I could be so focused on eternity that I was grateful for God's plan even when it means so much pain, but I am just not there yet.

I am thankful that if my boys cannot be with me, they are safe in the arms of Jesus. That is for sure, but thankful they died I am not. There is still so much that I am trying to figure out and wrestle with God, I am trying to figure out how to be obedient in this. I know there have been many times that I have not wanted to worship or have not wanted to pray but because I know He commands this of me I do it anyway. There is something to be said for just plain and simple obedience even when you don't feel like obeying.

I think about it and sometimes I will ask Luke to do something, say for instance, clean his room. He doesn't WANT to do it, he doesn't think he should have to do it, but he does it anyway. I personally don't care so much that he doesn't want to...just that he obeys. I can remember resenting having to do those same chores, and now I really truly value a clean house (perhaps to a fault).

Maybe this is kind of the same. Maybe even if I can get myself to thank Him halfheartedly he will allow that to over time grow. Maybe. I don't even pretend to know how all of this works, I am just trying to figure it all out.

I am learning to praise Him when He gives as well as when He takes, I am thankful for a lot of things, I am just really struggling with this ONE. So my prayer this Thanksgiving is that God will help me see my stumbling blocks. He will allow me to grow in my hurt. He will help me work through all of this. I need Him to teach me to pray better, and be thankful even for my hurt.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2

I also want you all to know that I am so thankful for this was this time last year that I started the blog and I could not have even imagined the little journal I started to keep family and friends informed would have grown to something of this magnitude, I would never have imagined the friends I have made and the encouragement I have received. I am thankful for every one of you. Thankful for your prayers, your support, your encouragement and your friendship!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Get Behind Me Satan!

"Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Matthew 16:22-24

I would be lying if I said the past few weeks have not proved to be tougher than I expected. I have hit that stumbling block time and again. I am wrestling with God. I have been hesitant to post any of my feelings, because I have been afraid of how they might be seen. But after a recent conversation with a friend I have decided to keep it real. I have always been pretty open and honest here and as I have reminded many before this is MY blog and my place to put my feelings into words. I want to be authentic so here goes!

When I first found out that I was pregnant, on October 1, 2008, my initial gut instinct was to isolate. To retreat and keep it a secret. I thought that if I could just keep it a secret long enough and avoid the doctor long enough, it would reduce the stress that comes with the reality of the situation. The reality is that there is likely a 25% chance we will have another baby that goes straight to Heaven. The reality is also that there is a 75% chance that the baby will be perfectly healthy. 75% is a pretty high percentage. That said, many people would choose not to take that "risk". And that is ok. What is right for one is not what may be right for another in that respect. For me though, I knew what God was calling me to do and it was something that many people in the world would consider foolish.

I knew God was reminding me that ALL children are gifts from Him, and that my desire to have more children though it may be seen as foolish to much of the world, was anything but. It was not some selfish desire. It is so much more than that. I honestly do not believe God would give us a child He didn't mean for us to have. God doesn't make mistakes. Now I don't pretend to know the outcome of this pregnancy, but I know God is in it, I know we are following Him and so I know everything will be ok.

I know all of that!

I do, but that does not stop Satan from sneaking in at every opportunity he gets to steal my joy! Man he is sneaky. I really feel like he is working on me every chance he gets in this situation. I am wrestling with God but that doesn't mean I have lost faith. I am just trying to figure stuff out! I mean I have seen and heard of people who have been healed by God, people often claim it is the power of prayer that healed them. I am struggling with that.

There were thousands praying for Asher. We prayed harder than ever before and though he is healed and whole in Heaven, we did not get to keep our sweet boy. So that brings up questions...why does God answer prayer for some but not for others? Or does he? Is it that prayer healed those people or didn't heal others, or is it that that was His plan all along and despite our prayers His plan is what matters. If that is the case why pray, if not how do I better pray? I know I have brought all of this up before, but I feel like maybe I didn't do something right in praying for Isaac or Asher and I want to get it right for this baby. (I do know that sounds silly. I am just trying to get a grasp on all of this.) I know there is no magic formula. If only! Right?

I also am still struggling with those who roll their eyes and think we are foolish. People who think we are "asking for it". The thing is that even if Isaac and Asher WERE here some people would still judge. We live in a world where it seems ideal to have two kids spaced two or three years apart. Large families are not valued as they once were. But these are WORLD views. I want the Lord to be in charge of my family and how large or small it will be. Had we stopped having children after losing Isaac, we would not have Ben and would not have been blessed to spend 35 minutes with Asher. This next child will hold his or her own place in this family. I can't wait to see what that is.

Monday is our next ultrasound and doctor appointment. We would greatly appreciate your prayers for these appointments because an ultrasound that was once a fun way to peek at the baby is so different now. My prayer is that the worry will not overcome the joy of this new little person. I do pray for a healthy baby, I want that more than anything.

I am overwhelmed by the great amount of support we are already receiving, while there are those who think we are foolish there are also so many who "get it", who know this is not just about us and decisions WE make. It is about surrendering ourselves and our lives to a God who saves, a God who deserves all the glory. We are trying to live in but not of this world. We seek to glorify God alone even if that means some will think we are foolish. The fact remains, children ARE a gift given by God and we have surely been blessed.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What Would You Be Like at 9 Months?

I often wonder...
Asher Joseph Bolte
February 22, 2008

We miss you and love you so much!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Box Lurking Behind the Door

I am having a hard day. I woke up with a fog surrounding me. I couldn't put my finger on what it was, but I knew it was going to be a hard day. (It may have had something to do with the fact that I have not slept a full night in DAYS because my boys keep taking turns having "nightmares" and though they are wonderful to cuddle with, sleeping with them is like sleeping with a violent octopus!) I digress.

So, my heart heavy, I got up and began the day. I prepared breakfast for the boys but I haven't been able to shake the immense heaviness and sadness I am feeling. It is kind of interesting because just yesterday I was sharing at Bible study how at peace I am about this pregnancy and how God is pouring his grace upon me and I am enjoying the gifts he has given.

When I get sad or anxious I tend to clean. I don't mean pick up a bit, I mean scrub with fury. I mean I begin throwing things away. So, I decided I would opt for that method of therapy today and I began on our bedroom which is ALWAYS the biggest disaster in the house. As I was moving things to sweep, I saw it. It is always there, I walk by it every day, but I typically walk right past without a second thought. Today it was glaring at me. A cardboard box hiding behind our bedroom door. It was overflowing and beckoning me. I grabbed the box and put it on the bed. I began to pull all of the things out of the box. A lock of strawberry blonde hair, tiny perfect footprints, endless cards, photos, newspaper clippings, it is Asher's box. I ran my fingers over his footprints. Tears began to flow.

He doesn't have a room in our house filled with his things. He has a box. Everything tangible that reminds us of Asher all fits into a small cardboard box. It doesn't seem right. it doesn't make sense. I looked through his memory book where I had written all of the details of his time with us. Now, I must also admit that Asher also has a bag, it is filled with his blankets, hats, and his outfit he wore, along with stuffed animals we took his picture with. I have NEVER opened the bag. It is a white plastic bag with the hospital logo on it. It hangs in my closet, but I cannot bring myself to open it. I know that opening that bag will unleash emotions I am just not ready to deal with and so it will remain sealed until I am ready. I still have NOT opened Isaac's bag so I do not expect this one will be opened anytime soon either.

As I continued to look through the contents of the box I found an ultrasound picture. It is dated November 20, 2007. That is ONE YEAR ago today. That is the date of our first appointment at the hospital in Pittsburgh. That is the date that our fears were confirmed. It is a date that I hope to never have to relive. We were told that our baby had "issues" and that a counselor would be in to discuss our options. I was 22 weeks pregnant. I heard our options and immediately became filled with rage. That moment when the words termination and my baby boy came into the same sentence was the only moment of my life that RAGE is the best word to describe how I felt. My heart hurts so deeply but I cannot imagine for ONE moment my life without any of my children. All of the hurt and anger began to well up in me again today.

How could ANYONE say that Asher's life didn't matter? Yet, statistics say that 90 percent of the time when such a birth defect is found that a parent will terminate the pregnancy. I feel that many moms are misinformed. Termination is often presented as the only REAL option. Families are not often supported by the medical community to carry a baby to term despite their "issues". This my friends is something we need to work on. Parents need to know there IS an option. Either way they will hurt. But by chosing LIFE they are chosing to give it to God and when he writes the story amazing things happen through suffering.

Each of my children has been given to me by God. Each of them is a special gift. I have been blessed FIVE times now and I am so grateful for each of the lives God has trusted me with. They each matter. They matter to us, and they matter to God. Children are all a gift. Not just some, not just the ones the world sees as perfect. ALL children.

That box lurking behind the bedroom door reminded me of where we stood on this date last year. I am thankful for that box and thankful for the life represented by that box. Though the tangible memories of Asher's life can be held in that box, the impact he has had cannot.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Carrying Eachother's Burdens

I have written posts before on how blessed I have felt over the past few years that so many people have come along side us and helped us "carry our mat" or how thankful I am to all of the "stretcher bearers" in our lives. All of that is so true. I feel like in the midst of a most painful experience, I was able to SEE the body of Christ in action. I felt His love through His people and it has been an amazing journey.

Today, I feel like I had the opportunity to serve another family in this same way and though my heart is heavy for them, I feel so blessed to have been able to come along side them and carry just a little of their burden.

As I told you before, good friends of ours, had their baby Friday. The baby was born at just 17 weeks gestation and could not survive. It all came as such a shock to everyone. We were able to go and take the family dinner Saturday and just be with them for a few hours. It was great. It was great to just be with them and see how God was working. They were hurting, but they too were feeling God's love, and seeing His people become His hands and feet. I watched them in awe as they handled everyone and everything with such grace.

I was blessed enough that they trusted me to organize much of the memorial service that was held today. They shared with me pictures of their sweet Nolan and I was able to have a sweet friend turn them into professional looking AMAZING memories for an amazing family. I gathered the necessary items for a memorial slide show and got them to a person who is gifted in that area, and asked some friends to do worship. The service was beautiful and I was so honored to have been allowed to be a part of their beautiful story. I am humbled beyond words.

Several times today, some thoughtful people would approach me and ask how I was doing with it all, commenting that it all must have been so painful for me to do all of this. I gave it a lot of thought because it really wasn't and I wondered if it should have been. I knew that this was THEIR story, it needed to be told. I just wanted to lighten their burden the way ours had been lightened. God was so clearly at work and I was just honored to be used. I felt that this was truly an incident where our suffering was to be used to comfort others with similar suffering. I really didn't DO anything, just called on others to do what they do. I knew who to ask because we had been there before. It felt weird to be thanked so much today for something that was so clearly God's doing, it certainly wasn't me. His people all came together to help a hurting family and it was beautiful. It wasn't about any of us, it was about Him, and he shone through this family today in such a beautiful way, I am just glad He allowed me to be there to witness it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

In a Moment

It was on this day, November 15 last year that our world, our hopes our dreams changed in just a moment's time. We went in for our anatomy ultrasound hoping to find out healthy boy or girl, and found out boy, possibly not healthy. We were sent to Pittsburgh the following week. It just got me thinking this morning how all it takes is a moment for life to change completely. We went into that ultrasound confident in the fact that God would certainly NOT ask us to walk that road again. This baby would be fine. We had no doubt. In a moment we learned how wrong we were.

Asher Joseph Bolte

In a moment two lines appeared on a HPT

In a moment I became a mom again

In a moment hoping and dreaming began

In a moment our families began to hope and dream

In a moment our boys became brothers

In a moment we learned we would have a fourth SON!

In a moment our hopes and dreams would have to change

In a moment our fourth son came into this world

In a moment he changed our lives

In a moment he changed the lives of many others

In a moment he returned to Jesus

In a moment we were left broken and shattered

In a moment God provides grace and comfort

In a moment two lines appeared on a HPT

Everything can change in a moment, yet God NEVER does. Though the pain is still real, there is comfort in knowing One Thing will always be constant.

It is crazy to stand where I stand and look back at the unfolding of the past few years. After losing Isaac I can say that we were shocked to find out that Benjamin was on the way and though Ben could NEVER replace the Isaac shaped whole in our hearts, he brought hope, he brought healing, he showed us that life was going to go on and that we could continue to live even with the hurt.

I am beyond thankful for Benjamin and what he brings to our family. He is our "funny guy" and he has brought more laughter and joy to our home than I imagined possible. Each of our children bring something unique to the family. Luke is our loving kind hearted always wants to cuddle guy. It goes without saying what Isaac and Asher have brought to our family.

I stand here, carrying the baby brother sister of Luke, Isaac, Benjamin, and Asher and I know that this child will certainly not replace anything that has been lost. Each of these children holds his own special place that could never be taken by anyone else. Our Asher sized hole cannot be filled either. I do have hope though, hope that we will again hold a baby, get to bring a baby home and though that does not change the moments of the past, it gives hope to the moments of the future.

I am so hopeful and yet I know better than ever that we are promised nothing. We have today and for today I am going to revel in the fact that God has blessed our family once again with a gift unlike any other.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Prayer Request

Ok Faithful Prayer Warriors...

I know I have asked much of you all already, but really good friends of ours were expecting their fourth child this spring and yesterday at just 17 weeks he was born and went to be with his Heavenly Father. They are feeling His peace, but I know they would covet your prayers. Their names are Dave and Christy and this sweet little boy was Nolan Samuel. It would mean a lot if you could pray for them and their family! They have been such amazing friends to us through EVERYTHING and my heart is broken that they are having to feel this intense pain.

Love you all!

A Gift

So...many of you have noticed my new blog layout! I would like to thank Nikki at Blogs for a Cause for doing the work and Amanda for treating me to this luxury!

I must admit that you all are mighty observant! Yes, there are five children pictured in the header because there is a FIFTH Bolte child on the way.

We are so excited and surprised by what God is doing in our lives! It has come with much emotion especially since tomorrow marks one year since receiving the news that Asher would likely not come home with us. We did not expect God to bless us in this way so soon, but when does God EVER do what we expect!? We know that there are no guarantees and we are just rejoicing in the miracle God has created. We know he will be faithful.

We are thrilled and yet guarded and would covet your prayers over the next six months.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Faith Is HERE!

Faith Clare has arrived! 6:24 PM.
6 lb 11oz 18 inches!

She is doing well, but is having a little trouble with her blood sugar. PLEASE PRAY!

It is so exciting! I got a text message a while ago and Kenzie Stanfield is currently in labor and delivery awaiting the arrival of the newest member of the Stanfield Family. Please pray for this amazing family. Head on over to their blog and let them now you are thinking of them. You will be blessed by Dusty's post on their blog...he is quite funny!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Discouraged (warning...this is just me whining!)


Thanks for all of your encouragement and for listening to my whining. All issues from yesterday have been resolved. The bank was great about reversing the charges and all babysitter/vehicle issues are taken care of for the moment. Praising God for the little things tonight! Today has been a good day! Thank you for your prayers!

I don't know if seasonal affective disorder is hitting early in our home or what but the best word I can use to describe the last 24 hours is struggle. I feel like even the simplest of things these days are a huge struggle for me and I am tired of struggling.

We are still getting by on one vehicle, which has been fine, but this week we have quite a bit going on. I have a doctor appointment the kids have doctor appointments, and I have Bible Study. So that means babysitters and borrowing vehicles three days this week. I thought I had everything lined up for the week, and my plans came crashing in yesterday and I am scrambling to find a way to get through the week. I discussed options with Howard last night and found myself simply discouraged by it all. There is no easy answer. It just seems that such simple things should not be so difficult. I am content to stay home with the boys all day every day, really I am, but this week it is not a possibility. We need to get these things done.

So this morning as I was working on ironing some of those details out I decided to sit down to do my banking only to find SIX yes SIX overdraft charges on my account. Now I will admit that since February I have been a bit more lax about this stuff, but I still keep GOOD record of my account so I was stunned. We have really been struggling financially, and I know that these fees will kill our budget so I have been overly cautious. Well, the banks are closed today so I cannot go and get it resolved and it is driving me nuts. I spoke to a national representative from my bank this morning and she said that what happened was that on Saturday I deposited a check and wrote our mortgage and the mortgage check was cashed before the check I deposited was credited. I was unaware that this would be an issue as I handed them the deposit first. They both happened on the same day, they just chose to cash my check before depositing the other! ACK! It adds up to about 200 dollars in charges. So I have to wait until tomorrow to go in and see if they can reverse the charges this one time. I am hoping they will. I just hate having this looming over me.

I know I am whining and complaining and I don't blame you a bit if you don't read a word of this. It just feels like nothing can ever be easy for us. Nothing EVER goes smoothly. I feel like I can never be at rest because I am always averting the next disaster. I feel targeted and am really struggling with God. We are working it out but there is much I just cannot understand. I mean He could certainly cut us a bit of a break somewhere. I guess I am just tired.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Prayers for Another Sweet Family

Hello faithful friends!

I come to you tonight asking you to pray for another family who had to say goodbye to their little guy too soon. His name is Lane Reegan Landers and he is just about the sweetest little thing EVER! God created him with Trisomy 18 and he was with his amazing family for 27 amazing days. I encourage you to head over to their site and let them know you are thinking of and praying for them. I know how much it has meant to me to have so many sharing in my boys' stories and praying for my family. I am sure it would mean the world to them also! Though they know he is with his Heavenly Father, I am sure their hearts are aching. Please pray for the Great Comforter to wrap his arms around them during this painful time.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


So last weekend was my birthday. Howard and I had a nice weekend, we went to Cleveland overnight while a good friend kept the boys. It was nice to have time with Howard and we had a great time playing at Dave and Busters and relaxing in our Sleep Number Bed, but I have to be honest. I was slightly disappointed. I feel guilty even saying that because it is the first time in about three years that we had a night to ourselves. What disappointed me was that I had to plan the whole event. I felt like since it was my birthday that Howard should have taken that over...He did not. I was disappointed.

If I am being honest I also must share that two nights ago I shared that disappointment with him sort of in the form of a baby fit! :-) I mean, it WAS my thirtieth birthday and he hadn't so much as made me a cake! (not my finest moment)

Well, yesterday he called me from work and told me not to start dinner because we were going out. I was irritated because he KNEW eating out this weekend was NOT in the budget. He seemed excited about a new place he had "heard about at work" that had "great kids specials on the weekends". So I got the kids ready and got myself ready and out the door we went. My irritation welled up again when it took us fifty minutes to get somewhere that should have taken about twenty five and that he was texting while driving! Really safe I know!

So we got to this "new place" and Luke and I walked up to the door, where inside I saw several of my favorite people! As we stepped inside the door the kids all jumped out and yelled "SURPRISE". Ha! It was a surprise party, for me and another of my good friends who's thirtieth birthday is also this week.

I was shocked I must say and it was a great night! I got my birthday cake and got to be with some of my bestest friends in the world. It was fun. The kids had fun, we all had fun.

So, on the way home Howard explained that he didn't know what to plan because my friends were determined to do this and he thought it was a great idea so he let me be disappointed so I could be more surprised. (not sure I believe that, but oh well). :-)

But if any of my friends out there who had anything to do with this are reading...THANK YOU! It was great! I had NEVER had a surprise party before! You are the best!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Point of Prayer

On this journey of grief, it seems to me that very often we take two steps forward only to take three steps back. I felt like I had been doing pretty well, and now, I seem to be at a bit of a stand still. We have a lot going on in the Bolte household right now and I find myself busying myself with all of those things and again I find myself leaving God out of the equation. I know he needs to be the center of it all, but I am struggling with that right now.

Howard and I had a talk recently about prayer. In this discussion, I thought I was pretty solid, but Howard's questions brought up a lot of stuff. I could not answer ONE of his questions. I mean, what is the point? If God already has a plan that He is going to work out anyway, why pray? More than that though, we know we are supposed to pray, but feel like we must be missing something. I mean, how are we supposed to pray? What are we supposed to pray for? Are we ALWAYS supposed to pray for just God's will or are we supposed to give him specifics. He knows our hearts, so do we need to give specifics, does he really care about the specifics anyway?? I mean He is going to do what he is going to do anyway.

I know this all seems cynical. But it is where we are at right now. We wonder why some prayers get answered and some do not. Some people pray for healing and get it while others pray the same prayer and they do not. I know many of you might say, ALL prayers get answered. We just don't always get a yes, or we don't always see what God is doing. I get that, but it all seems kind of random. We prayed harder for Isaac and Asher than we have ever prayed. We developed a faith in Him that surpassed any faith we had known previously and our children died! He could have saved them. Yet he chose not to. They BOTH died anyway. That is a hard truth to swallow. It seems so unjust. I hate to sound like a whiner here, but we prayed, thousands prayed and our babies still died. We had faith. We trusted God, and yes He has pulled us through this far, but our children are dead. That is a fact.

I am not saying that I don't see the beauty in our story. I am not saying I don't understand why suffering happens. I am not saying why me. I get all of that. I know that NO one is exempt for suffering. I know this story we are living out is written by our creator. I know that none of this is a surprise to him, but why do we pray for healing when God is going to carry out His plan as He sees fit.

I often hear, "so and so was saved by the power of prayer." Really? I don't get it. Does our praying change the plan God had for a person?

I guess I am just at a place where I need to better understand what prayer is, what God wants us to use it for, and what is the point? I know that it is about our relationship with our savior and not just some request we are asking him to grant. It is not a wish list. I know that it is supposed to be something we do because He wants to know our hearts. But he does. He knows. I am not understanding where to go from here. I don't know what to pray for. I seem to have an easier time praying for others than I do myself, and I want to know how to pray for myself and my family again.

Any insight?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thank You For Your Prayers!

Just thought I would post an update on Ben. We are so thankful that so many of you were concerned and prayed on his behalf.

It was a rough night. We were up most of the night as Ben's fever spiked at 103.5 in the middle of the night and just to make things interesting Ben ALWAYS refuses medicine and will throw up if you force it. So, I ran and got some chewables thinking he might think it was a smartie or something, which he did and we finally got to sleep a bit, with a restless toddler between us.

Howard called off work this morning because we are trying to make it on one vehicle right now adn when I called the doctor he wanted to see him today. So we headed in to the doctor's this morning. His fever broke sometime early this morning and the vomitting has stopped. He has still been complaining of his eyes hurting, which was what was worrying it turns out he as an ear infection and was misguided as to where the pain was! They did do a strep culture and the rapid culture came back negative and we are waiting on the other, but either way he should be covered because they put him on an antibiotic for the ear infection. He is in much better spirits today and is eating and playing which are things he did NOT do yesterday.

So I think he is over the hump...Luke on the other hand is now coming down with a we would love for you to pray for him if you would!

Thank you all!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Please Pray for Benjamin

I don't have much time as I am caring for a sick child, but I thought I would come here and ask for your prayers for Ben. He woke this morning with a fever and bellyache. He has since complained of just about everything hurting. He is drinking and eating crackers. We are just hanging out togehter snuggling for the day, as a mom though I know it is likely just a virus of sorts, I worry. Please pray for sweet Ben, that he would get well soon! Thank you all!