Wednesday, November 6, 2013

day 6: my thankful heart


Today I give thanks to God for:
 the beauty found in rural living

As many of you know we moved to a new city in June.  We are blessed to own a home outside of town with some acreage.   While there have definitely been some adjustments, we have each fallen in love with our house and its location.  It is a good ten minute drive 'into town' and the route provides much to see!  Little love enjoys the journey the most wanting me to slow down to see the cows in the pasture as well as look to see if the horses are out in the fields or in their respective barns.  I love the special time in the car together and talking about God's creation and truly slowing down to embrace the beauty in the small simple things. 

One night on our way home, just about a mile from our house, two horses were out in the pasture.  We stopped the truck so we could admire their beauty as well as the beautiful skyline behind them as the sun went down.  Little love was in all his glory as the brown horse saw us and made his way over to the fence to greet us.  Little love's adoration for horses continues to grow which is fun to view...and it is fueling husband's desire to own a horse!

Not only do we get to enjoy viewing farm animals, we also have the joy of seeing Michigan's beautiful fall season from harvest equipment in the fields to tree lined country roads adorning colorful leaves.  This is a tree in our backyard beginning the beautiful transformation of colors.

We are blessed to be surrounded by beauty.  The only question is, will I still feel this way when it is covered in snow?! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

day 5: my thankful heart

Today I give thanks to God for:
online shopping

That my friends is part of my recent JoAnn Fabric & Craft purchase that was delivered to our house today.  Ah, delivery, it is a beautiful thing!  I was able to take advantage of a 31 cent shipping promotion on Halloween Day as well as use a gift card for my balance making me one happy crafter! I rarely used online shopping in the past; maybe for a book on Amazon or if I wanted something that was not available in the store but since late summer, online shopping has become my new go-to resource for purchasing new items.  Online shopping is convient. I love that I can browse what seems like a limitless selection all in the comfort of my own home. I do not have to chase after a toddler, answer to his screams or tell him for the hundreth time to look with his eyes and not touch with his hands!  I can 'shop' while said toddler is sleeping and not have to make decisions under a time restraint.  While there are shipping costs, when I consider the time to drive to a store, the gas used in my travel and as well as the time spent with my attention on my child rather than the shopping experience, it is worth 'shopping' at home via my computer and paying the shipping costs.  And as I mentioned, you can find some great deals on free or reduced shipping costs.  My favorite part of the whole process is receiving my purchases in the mail! I love opening the boxes to find my new treasures.  It brings a certain joy that a retail store purchase can not bring! I am looking forward to making many Christmas purchases this year utilizing online shopping. Do you enjoy shopping online?

Monday, November 4, 2013

day 4: my thankful heart

Hope you are having a good Monday!
We are still running the emergency heat function at our house today so it is bit cooler than I typically like in our home this morning.  Since we have a heat source, the next available appointment to get our furnace fixed is Wednesday morning...unless of course we want to pay for emergency repair which we do not! Oh the joys! I will not grumble or complain, I just hope that the emergency function does not fail on us!

Today I give thanks to God for:
our fireplace

I am thankful our fireplace is an additional heat source in our home during the last few days while we are experiencing a broken furnace.  I am thankful that it is a gas fireplace so I can benefit from the heat but do not have the added work or cost of needing wood and cleaning up afterwards. I am thankful that I have a mantel to decorate. I am thankful for the visual element it provides for our family room as well as creating a comfortable and cozy atmosphere.

{Monday Motivation} beauty

sheryl sandberg lean in #women #quote  - - #myfitmotiv #fitness motivation #weight #loss #food #fitness #diet #gym #motivation
{source: Pinterest}

Sunday, November 3, 2013

day 3: my thankful heart

Today I give thanks to God for:
the emergency heat function on our furnace

It was brought to my attention on Friday that our air conditioner fan was running which in turn lead to the greater problem - our furnace was not functioning correctly.  Long story short, we turned off the furnace Saturday evening and bundled up for a cool evening of rest.  This morning when we woke it was a about 63degrees which is warmer than I anticipated it to be.  Thankfully we got a recommendation from one of husband's co-workers for a local furnace repair company.  We are grateful for the company's emergency on-call guy who shared enough information with husband to understand the possible problem as well as our equipment to get the emergency heat function working.  Not paying triple the cost of labor and parts in addition to an emergency on-site fee is a beautiful thing.  We will be calling the company again bright and early tomorrow morning to get the furnace repaired as soon as possible.  We have a new appreciation for the blessing of a heated house!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

day 2: my thankful heart

Today I give thanks to God for:
my mother-in-law

This is a special tribute post to my mother-in-law on her birthday!  I am blessed to say that I don't just like my mother-in-law but I love her! She has always accepted me for who I am. She encourages me.  She respects my roles as a wife, mother, and friend. She prays for me. She helps me in time of need.  She is fun! She is a woman of God. I cherish the time that we are together.  I appreciate her insight.  I am thankful she raised her son to know the Lord and to honor his wife.  She is a positive role-model.  She adores her grandchildren.  She is a blessing and I am honored to call her my mother-in-law!

Friday, November 1, 2013

day 1: my thankful heart

November has arrived and winter is quickly approaching! As soon as the calendar turns to November, my heart is always focused on thanksgiving; celebrating life and the abundance of blessings I have been granted.  Today kicks off my November series: my thankful heart 2013. I strive to focus on being intentional and counting my blessings and giving thanks to God for the work He is doing in my life; the people, places, things and moments that make this life worth living.  Each day this month I will document something I am thankful for.  Please consider joining me in giving thanks for the multitude of blessings God has granted you.

 Today I give thanks to God for:
the life of my precious niece, Adalynn

Wow! Where to begin to describe the impact this precious child of God has had on my life!?  This is what I can tell you...

The life of Adalynn had an influence on my absence from writing posts on this blog.  From the time I devoted to serving Adalynn and her parents following her birth, to the loss of words to explain, cope and write something meaningful, to the refocus of priorities and serving God and my family first, I did not devote time for this blog.

The life of Adalynn has brought me to my knees in prayer more than any other life event I have ever experience.  I give thanks knowing that my God has heard every word, wiped every tear, listened even when I didn't know what to say, and has never left my side despite times of frustration, joy, anger, happiness, sadness and all the emotions inbetween!

The life of Adalynn has confirmed that every second of every minute of every hour of every day is a gift given from God.  Treasure each and every moment for we are not promised tomorrow. I am thankful that God has taught me to see the here and the now; the little things matter most.

The life of Adalynn has confirmed that God is in the details. While we are still praying for a miracle, God has shown His faithfulness!

The life of Adalynn has broadened my medical knowledge and understanding. I am thankful for this new perspective as my appreciation for health care providers has increased and I feel more equipped to relate and care for Adalynn and the medical assistance she needs.

The life of Adalynn has confirmed my gifts are words of encouragement and making/creating/doing something for the ones I love.  I give thanks that I was able to show my love by creating 'crib bling' for Adalynn's hospital bed as well as other personalized gifts.

The addition of Adalynn's life to our family has been such a blessing.  I am thankful God picked me as her auntie! 

Adalynn's life has and will continue to impact me with every day we are blessed with her presence. The statements listed above are just the beginning of how my life has been changed.  I thank God for using Adalynn to mold, shape and grow me!

To read my thankful heart 2012 series, click here
To read my thankful heart 2011 series, click here

Saturday, October 19, 2013

10.19.13 Update: Prayer for Adalynn Susanne

Dear Family, Friends, and Prayer Warriors,

                Hello, it’s me Adalynn, writing again to update you on my status.  Dad and Mom told me that many of you appreciated my personalization of the last update, so I told them I would happily write to you again. On October 6, the day after I wrote you last, it was confirmed that I truly had pneumonia.  I was given antibiotics for ten days to help me feel better.  I like to think I have recovered well. My doctor, Dr. Morales, (I like to think I am his favorite patient), said that this pneumonia diagnosis may be common for me even after I go home since I haven’t learned to swallow yet.  He told my parents that they will have to watch me closely and gave them some pointers on signs that could mean I might be getting sick.  Dr. Morales said Dad and Mom will know me better than anyone and will be the best judge of when I might need to see the doctor.  I have to agree with him as Dad and Mom devote time every day to bond with and care for me.  Please pray for Dad and Mom that they will have the wisdom to know when I need to go to the doctor for extra care.
Speaking of home, people want to know when I might get to go home.  Would you believe I am writing you from home right now!! I came home yesterday, October 18th!!  Before I could make my big debut at home, we had to make sure the equipment I need was delivered and ready for use.  Dad and Mom also needed lots of education before bringing me home.  They are bit nervous sometimes about making sure I have everything I need, but I think they will do just fine.  All three of us will have to learn what life outside the NICU is all about; and we will do so together.  Dad and Mom say that’s what family is for…sticking together through the changes in life.  I’ve found out my whole family is good at this.

I understand many of you like specific ways to pray for me.  Below is a list of some prayer requests and praises:

·         Pray for Dad, Mom, and me to adjust to life at home.  I still don’t like a whole lot of extra stimulation so we are trying to figure out the balance between letting me sleep and having people come visit.  For this weekend at least, Dad and Mom warned me that I can’t have friends over yet, so I’ll keep you posted! 

·         Pray for my breathing and need for oxygen support.  Earlier this week, I tried telling everyone that I was done with the oxygen support and that they should remove it from my nose.  Well, I won!!!  I have had no oxygen support for a few days now, so please pray I can maintain my oxygen levels without it on.  The doctors and nurses have warned that I am at a high risk for needing oxygen support anytime I get sick though.  I still have lots of fluid in my nose and mouth that needs to be cleaned out with a suction machine on a routine basis.

·         Pray for me as I continue the long journey of therapy and seeing doctors regularly.  I will receive occupational therapy, physical therapy, and therapy from a speech pathologist. Therapy sessions will assist me to grow strong and make sure I continue to improve to the best of my abilities.

·         Pray for continued healing of my brain and body. Only the Great Physician knows all my needs and can heal me beyond what any earthly doctor can!

·         Praise the Lord!  Please thank Jesus for the opportunity to come home and start life in my house.  God is truly good as we weren’t sure 5 weeks ago if I would ever come home!

·         Praise the Lord!  I have begun finding my voice a little bit at a time.  I still don’t cry, but I sure let people know when I don’t like what they are doing by grunting loudly.  I also have started “sighing” in my sleep.  My mom loves just listening to me sleep with my cute “baby noises.”

·         Praise the Lord!  Just as I am starting to vocalize my dislike for certain cares, I am also learning to squirm away from those cares.  I have started trying to turn away from things I don’t like such as having secretions suctioned out, getting my heel poked to draw blood, or getting my lips cleaned.  I also like to put my arms in the way so it’s a little harder to perform those cares that I don’t like.  I am moving and squirming much more the last several days and they say that is a good thing!

·         Praise the Lord!  I would also ask that you thank the Lord for all the nice doctors, nurses, therapists, family members, and everyone who has helped care for me for the last 5 weeks.  God has truly blessed me and my family with many GREAT people who love and care for me.  I had lots of doctors, nurses, and other hospital people stop in to say “bye” and “good luck” yesterday when I was discharged at the hospital.  Mom and Dad tell me (and we thank Jesus) how grateful we are to all those who have helped take care of me.

Well, I would love to write more, but Dad and Mom say it’s almost time to eat and then its bedtime.  I will keep you updated on how life at home is going.  Thanks again for all the love, support, and prayers you offer me on a regular basis.  Our God alone can heal and has the power to save!  In Him alone we trust!!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10.16.13 Prayers for Adalynn!

Please pray Adalynn's platelets are high enough so she can have a feeding tube placed this morning. Please also pray for Beth & Ransom; that they would feel God's peace and comfort while their precious daughter has the procedure. Thank you for your support and prayers!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

10.9.13 Adalynn Update

Update from my sister-in-law on prayers for Adalynn:
PEG feeding tube postponed one week because of Adalynn's pneumonia. Scheduled for Wednesday morning. Please continue to pray. Thank you to everyone for all the support you have been to Ransom, Adalynn, and me. God continues to show Himself to us on a daily basis. With HIM all things are possible! There is no greater comfort than that!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

10.5.13 Update: Prayers for my precious niece Adalynn

God has gone before us; He stands behind. The God of angel armies is always by our side. We need Him now!

Dear Family, Friends, & Prayer Warriors,

My name is Adalynn Susanne McNeill. Today I am 3 weeks old. Daddy and Mommy tell me that many of you have spent countless hours praying for me. For that, I say Thank You. I have spent the last three weeks in the NICU, a special hospital unit for newborn babies. I am still very sick and haven’t yet completely opened my eyes by myself. Occasionally I will peek out just a little bit to show Mommy & Daddy my blue eyes. I have slowly begun to move my arms and legs. I really like when Daddy rubs my back. It relaxes me and I usually arch my back in a full body stretch it feels so good. I have recently started coughing a few times a day, but I still need help keeping my throat clear of secretions so I can breathe okay.

A nice doctor visited with Mommy and Daddy on Friday about giving me a feeding tube. They tell me I won’t have to have the annoying tube that goes up my nose and into my stomach if I get the feeding tube. I’m told that since I don’t know how to eat yet and I haven’t learned how to swallow, the feeding tube is the best way to feed me long term. If everything goes as planned, I will have this placed on Wednesday October 9. Please pray that I will be ready and that the nice doctor will be able to insert the tube without any trouble.

I love snuggle time and to be held! Here they call it “Kangaroo Time.” I snuggle in with Mom or Dad and as Daddy says, I’m a nap in a blanket. Dad and Mom also said many of you are excited to meet and hold me, but because I am still pretty sick and I require quite a bit of sleep, I am not up for visitors quite yet.

Currently, my brain is still trying to heal, and I am not adjusting to change very well. The doctors, nurses, therapists and my family have seen slow but steady improvement. I still have a long way to go and last night I had a little set back. They tell me that I have gotten some fluid in my lungs from not knowing how to swallow. My breathing is a lot harder now and they are doing lots of tests to see if I have any infections, viruses or pneumonia. This is something that has everyone very concerned; please pray I would get better and be able to handle the fluids in my mouth.

Please keep praying for my miraculous healing. Daddy and Mommy tell me that God is in Control and yesterday found a verse that they want me to share with you. It is Psalm 136:4; “Give thanks to Him who alone does mighty miracles. His faithful love endures forever.”

Thank You for continuing to pray for my healing.

Adalynn Susanne McNeill

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

9.25.13 Update on my precious niece Adalynn

Thank you, thank you, thank you for praying!! God is working!

Dear Family, Friends, and Prayer Warriors,

You continue to humble us by your outpouring of prayer and support for our daughter Adalynn. The past 11 days have been a surreal time in our lives and we praise God that we can write you with an update on how God is continuing to heal Adalynn.

Adalynn is beginning to move her arms and legs from time to time and stretch herself out. She is still very weak and movements are not real frequent without stimulation. The medical staff has been able to lower how much the machines are assisting Adalynn’s breathing. Praise the Lord she is able to do more of the breathing on her own. She is also now being fed through a tube that goes from her mouth down into her stomach. After a rough start, she is now tolerating these feedings well. Another huge blessing is that we have been able to continue to hold Adalynn the last few days since she has been breathing better on her own. Prior to a test yesterday morning, Tuesday, Adalynn had been held continuously since 10PM Friday (9/20) night.

As we continue to pray for our sweet daughter, Adalynn, we wanted to update you with some specific prayer requests.

· Pray for video EEG test results.
Yesterday, Adalynn completed a 24 hour EEG (a brain test that shows brain activity) with video to help determine if she is having seizures, since she is at high risk for having seizures. We anticipate the results Wednesday (9/25) morning. The results will likely determine whether or not she needs to continue receiving medications.

· Pray for continued improvement for her breathing.
Adalynn is making progress and we pray that over time the support being given would no longer be necessary.

· Pray for visible evidence of a “suck and swallow” reflex.
If Adalynn is able to develop this “suck and swallow” reflex, there is hope she could also begin to eat without the tube she currently receives her feedings from.

· Pray for Adalynn’s brain functions.
Adalynn’s brain functions continue to be our biggest concern. Please continue to pray for miraculous healing of the global brain injury she endured in the birth process.

We give thanks that God has surrounded us with people who care for us and our precious daughter. We know God has purpose for Adalynn’s life. We celebrate the ways God is working in Adalynn’s life and those that are praying for her.

Please use this information to update the prayer warriors you called upon and express our thankfulness.

Ransom and Beth

Thursday, September 19, 2013

9.19.13 Update: Prayers for Adalynn Susanne

Family, Friends, and Prayer Warriors,

We are so humbled by your outpouring of prayer and support for our daughter Adalynn.  On Tuesday, 9/17, twelve hours before the rewarming process began on our precious daughter we called out asking you to approach the throne in prayer on our behalf. God provided prayer warriors in the masses and across the globe and we praise God for your prayer commitments covering all 24 hours of the rewarming process. We give thanks that you have and will continue to pray for Adalynn and our family.
Following the rewarming some additional tests were completed. A continued prayer request for Adalynn involves the findings from the MRI of her brain.  This test showed that her entire brain has been affected by the lack of oxygen during the C-section birthing process; specifically the 13 minutes that her body went without a heartbeat. The medical interpretation from this test is that Adalynn will likely not have any cognitive or physical function because of this injury, but we know that God is not limited by medical interpretation.  
The past 36 hours have been a whirlwind of emotions to say the least but our God has been constant. We are clinging to His promises and every victory!  We praise God that we have been able to hold Adalynn for several hours since she has been rewarmed.  Her kidneys have begun to function better and just this morning her breathing tube was removed from her throat. She is now receiving assistance through a special breathing device in her nose. God has done many great things! The doctors are working to improve Adalynn’s breathing and down the road will need to insert a feeding tube for her nutrition.  Once these steps are complete and her breathing is stable, Adalynn will likely be able to come home with us!  We do not know how long this could take, but we praise God that our daughter will come home.  We are so thankful for the beautiful daughter God has blessed us with and we continue to pray that God will continue to do miraculous things in her life.

No words can thank you for your love and support.  God is just beginning to write Adalynn's testimony and we give thanks for her life.

Please use this information to update the prayer warriors you called upon and express our thankfulness.

Ransom and Beth

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The birth of Adalynn Susanne

We need a miracle!!!

On Saturday evening , September 14th, a precious child of God {my niece} named Adalynn was born to Ransom and Beth (Beth is my husband's only sibling). When Adalynn entered this world her heart stopped and it took 13 minutes for her doctors to get her heart pumping again. Since her birth she has remained in the neonatal intensive care unit on multiple life support machines and has been undergoing a special cooling process to help preserve some of her vital organs. Wednesday at 1200 AM (at midnight tonight) the doctors will begin rewarming her body over the following 24 hours. This rewarming period is a very critical period as the doctors begin to see the true extent of injuries to Adalynn's organs, including her brain and kidneys.

Please join us in praying for Adalynn especially during this critical time. Our vision is to have at least one person praying and worshiping God every single minute during the 24hour rewarming time period. We are looking for you to commit for at least 1 hour that you will be praying and worshiping God during this time. We recognize a continuous hour of prayer might not be obtainable in your schedule on Wednesday. While we ideally wish for an hour of your time, we know God hears every prayer and ask that you please pray for Adalynn. Please let Ransom, Beth, Adalynn and our family know of your commitment by sending an email including your name. Also include the specific hour of time that you will be in prayer if you are able to make this commitment.

Email address:

Praying for an hour seems like a long time, but here is a simple guide to help organize your prayer time. For the first 15 minutes spend time thanking God for who He is and the hope and confidence that He has given us by sending His Son to die for us. The second 15 minutes pray for God to touch Adalynn's life and that His plan for her life would be fulfilled. That a miraculous physical healing would take place if it is His will. The next 15 minutes spend time praying for Beth and Ransom as they stand together through this very difficult time at their daughter's bedside. The final 15 minutes thank God for the blessings He has given you. If you have extra time after you have finished praying, sing songs of praise to God. This is only a suggestion of how this time can be spent.

Words cannot adequately express this experience but it gives us great comfort knowing you are praying on our behalf.

You are invited to use this email and information given to enlist additional prayer warriors.
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