Monday, April 28, 2008

That's Perfect

Lilly Faith is just over 3 weeks old now and she had her first session with my favorite photographer, Allison Muirhead, last week. When I look at Lilly Faith, I see perfection. However, there are some imperfect things about her. For instance, she has some "stork bites" on the nap of her neck under her hair and some "angel kisses" on her face (both of those are surface-based birth marks which fade over a year) and she has a hernia around her belly button. Even with all of that, I still see perfection.

I've noticed the word "perfect" is used 13 times in the book of Hebrews. Several times it refers to the Old Testament system of sacrifices that were not perfect. But when referring to what God did in Christ, He says it was "perfect". Hebrews 13:20-21 says, "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." What Christ did for us, brought us into perfect fellowship with the Father. Jesus' blood produced a perfect righteousness that enables us to stand before God free from sin consciousness. By faith in the blood of Jesus we enjoy perfect fellowship with the Father God and in His presence we have perfect peace that He will perfect what concerns us. He is working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight. His perfect will for your life will come to pass through faith in His blood. He is able to get you in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. You will have to give God thanks and say, "That's Perfect!"

Friday, April 18, 2008

This & That

As you can tell, I haven't been blogging during the week since Lilly Faith's arrival. I'm trying to spend alittle more time with my family and more time studying scripture. I will return to blogging regularly as I settle into a routine and go back to work later in the summer.

Confession time: ok, I gained 51 pounds during this pregnancy..the most I've ever gained with any of my children. To date, I've lost 31 pounds in 2 weeks. That's ALOT of water weight and only goes to prove just how much fluid I was retaining. Now I'm working on getting the other 20 off, some of which is still fluid. When I got home after delivery, I started walking the block and am up to walking one mile every day. Before I found out I was pregnant, I was training to run in my first 5K run in honor of my brother. Although I haven't been "cleared" by my doctor to exercise, I can't seem to sit still for very long.

I haven't really wanted to get out much in public. I still have the new mommy pooch on my stomach and I've been afraid of the comments I would get. If it weren't for my husband's insistence on getting out, I wouldn't have gone out to eat last Saturday night. We met some friends at a local Japanese restaurant and sat down for our orders to be taken. The chef went around to each of us and asked for our orders. When he looked at me, he said, "Oh, you're going to have a baby?" My worst fear came true: someone thought I was still pregnant! My husband quickly spoke up, "No, she HAD a baby one week ago. Here she is," pointing to little Lilly Faith fast asleep in the car seat beside us.

I've received many emails while I've been away for the last couple of weeks. Coincidentally, many of them want to know when I'm coming back to work! Just like this one:

Hey Barbie, We all can't wait for you to come back to work. Please hurry back! Sign, The Rushings

My emails have gone from "please get off the tv and go home" to "please hurry back"! Others are wondering how I'm going to be able to do it all.

Barbie, I enjoy watching your weather reports. I am curious about one thing. As much as you are on the news, seems like you don't have a lot of time with your family. I'm not being nosey.....just curious. Signed, Melissa

Now with 3 children under the age of 4 1/2, I've found my postpartum emotions faltering a bit. I have my moments of crying fits, second guessing myself, and wondering if its time for my retirement from WLBT. But with the lack of sleep, middle of the night feedings, sweet smiles and a few extra pounds left over, you couldn't pay me enough to swap places with anyone else on the planet.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Praise the Lord!

It hasn't even been a week since my brother Doug had his quintuple bypass and he's home! Over the weekend, he was promised to move from ICU to a private room, but that was delayed because there were no hospital rooms available. He spent Sunday in a private room and was discharged today. The cardiologists and nurses were amazed at his progress. Interestingly enough, most people experience a certain amount of pain associated with this type of surgery. Doug said he hasn't had much pain at all. He was expecting his leg to be sore where they harvested the veins for the bypass but he hasn't had any nor has his chest hurt him.

When I talked with him on the phone, I mentioned that not too many people get to see this type of healing here on earth; some have to wait until they get to heaven to see healing. I don't know why Doug has had this miracle, for the second time, but we're all grateful. Perhaps God has allowed Doug to experience this dramatic surgery and recovery so others could see his faith, our family's faith, or perhaps so others could see what prayer can do. Then again, maybe it's so Doug can get even healthier to do more witnessing to people. I don't know. But I do know that we are all missionaries for Christ. No matter our circumstances, no matter our health, or our economic status, God expects us to be a missionary for Him. If you call yourself "a Christian", you are automatically "a missionary"....all the while many of us will never leave this city, state or country.

What circumstance has God brought into your life that He is wanting you to share with others? What glory does He want you to give Him to those watching? What kind of witness are you leaving for others to see and hear? I think of 2 Corinthians 4:14-15, "He who rasied up the Lord Jesus will raise me up also with Jesus and bring me into His presence. For all things are for my sake, so that the more grace extends to more and more people and multiplies through the many, the more thanksgiving may increase to the glory of God."

And remember the nurse who gave my sister-in-law the bad news last week of how my brother would never make it, would need to get on disability because he would never be normal again, etc? Well, she apologized. She just hadn't witnessed a miracle before. If she only knew, this wasn't the first miracle, and most certainly won't be the last....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday Update on My Brother

Yesterday was a great day for my brother. The doctors had planned on taking him off the heart pump machine today, but Doug was doing so well that they took him off the machine yesterday afternoon! His heart is now pumping on its own. They also took him off the ventilator and hope to take one of his IVs out sometime today. Although he is still in ICU, they tell us it's a matter of time before he gets moved to a room--something we were told not to expect until this weekend! Doug is sitting up in his bed, drinking water and eating Jello.

The doctors asked him yesterday if he knew he was alive. Doug replied, "Yes, I know that I'm alive. I've got an awesome God!" Doug then asked the doctors, "Did you give me 2 to 3 years like you promised?" And the cardiologist who did the surgery said, "I gave you more than that!"

Doug is still being sedated for the typical pain after surgery, but seems to know who is in the room with him at various times of the day when our family goes in to see him. He is doing much better than expected and once again, the doctors and nurses attending to him are blown away by his progress. I've sent messages to him that my "blog reading friends" are praying for him. He is aware of every prayer and can't wait to read your posts.

"I am confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in me will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wednesday Update on My Brother

I couldn't sleep much last night, but I can't really blame it on Lilly Faith. Last night around 9pm, a nurse attending to my brother told my sister-in-law that Doug was not doing well. The nurse suggested Doug immediately file for disability because he would never live a normal life and would never farm again. She suggested we get the will updated and had nothing positive to say at all concerning Doug's condition. He was also still on the ventilator, which was not a good sign. Needless to say, my sister-in-law was thrown into a tizzy of emotions along with the rest of us.

Between overnight feedings and diaper changes, I tried my best to sleep, but God wouldn't let me. That usually means something! I found myself praying for my brother most of the night. At one point, I even drifted off to sleep and dreamed Doug died. I woke up and once again started praying. Now, I know that Satan likes to play mind games at times like this. I know that Satan likes for us to think of the worst case scenarios anytime there is a crisis in our life. But like a still, small voice, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me, "You didn't name your child Lilly Faith for nothing!"

When I spoke to my mother today and got an update, it seems she was experiencing the same sleepless night that I was. My mother said all she could do was pray last night; God would not let her sleep! Then the good news came early this morning: Doug was taken off the ventilator and was sitting up in his ICU space talking and drinking water. In addition to this, the doctors had been able to ween him off some of the medications. The nurses were in awe, including the one who gave my sister-in-law the bad news.

Sure, he's still on the heart pump machine which he will stay on for another day or two. But there was a reason why God would not let mom and me sleep. God wanted us to pray and pray we did! And we believe your prayers are being heard, too.

"In you, O Lord, do I hope; You will answer, O Lord my God." Psalm 38:15

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

An Update On My Brother

Many of you have emailed and asked for an update on my brother. So much has happened since last Thursday. Not only was I having Lilly Faith last Thursday morning, but my brother was in Oxford for another heart procedure to determine why he was retaining fluid and having shortness of breath. I instructed my parents and family to go be with Doug, his wife and children as I knew it would be several hours before they could see grandbaby #9. They went to be with Doug and drove to Jackson after he was in recovery to meet our Lilly Faith.

It seems the doctors in Oxford had done everything they could for Doug, so they had him transported to Memphis last Friday, which is where he is now. The cardiologists in Oxford wanted the Memphis cardiologists to see if more could be done. We were told last Friday afternoon that Doug is NOT a candidate for a heart transplant because he is too tall and just over 200 pounds. Our only hope for him to live a somewhat "normal life" was for Doug to undergo a heart bypass, assuming his heart could survive the procedure.

This morning at 7am, the Memphis cardiologists did a quintuple bypass (that's 5!). The doctors tell us he is much healthier than they originally thought and they believe he will be driving a tractor in the field in 2-3 weeks--which is what Doug loves to do! However, Doug is being kept alive by a heart pump machine now. This machine is pumping his heart so it doesn't have to work on its own. He will remain on the heart pump machine, in ICU in a sleep-induced coma for 2 days. The doctors are hoping to wake him up by Friday and should take him off the machine to see if his heart can work on its own; at that point, the recovery can begin. The doctor tells my family that he came through the surgery just fine today and they found no surprises.

Meantime, I can't be there. It's too early for me to travel as I'm having some difficulty moving around from the c-section. I'm staying put and praying alot. As always, Doug appreciates all of your prayers and I will print off any posts so he can see just how many prayer warriors he has out there.

This is Doug's prayer: "I shall not die but live, and shall declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the Lord." Psalm 118:17

Monday, April 7, 2008

Here She Is...

This is the moment I've waited for (and many of the disgruntled viewers longed for). I've disppeared for quiet some time to come, but I can assure you, it's all for a good cause. I am recovering and we are all enjoying this sweet little girl we named Lillian Faith. We will call her Lilly Faith for short.

Some have already asked about her name. All 3 of our children have been named after old hymns I grew up singing. Grace was named after "Amazing Grace"; Will Christian was named after "I'll Tell the World That I'm a Christian"; and Lilly Faith was named after "Have Faith in God". If you don't know the words to this song, let me share them with you:

"Have faith in God when your pathway is lonely. He sees and knows all the way you have trod; Never alone are the least of His children; Have faith in God, have faith in God.
Have faith in God when your prayers are unanswered. Your earnest plea He will never forget; Wait on the lord, trust His word and be patient. Have faith in God. He'll answer yet.
Have faith in God in your pain and your sorrow. His heart is touched with your grief and despair; Cast all your cares and your burdens upon Him, And leave them there, oh, leave them there. Have faith in God though all else fall about you; Have faith in God, He provides for His own; He cannot fail though all kingdoms shall perish. He rules. He reigns upon His throne.
Have faith in God, He's on His throne, Have faith in God, He watches over His own; He cannot fail, He must prevail, Have faith in God, Have faith in God!"

Gracie and Will got their first peek at Lilly Faith a few hours after she was born. You can almost see the awe in their faces.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Happy Birth Day!

Barbie has gone into the hospital to welcome baby girl Bassett into the world. You can watch more of her arrival tonight on WLBT and on .

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Prayers Needed

My brother needs your prayers again and so many of you were so diligent in praying for him when he had his heart attack last July (see archived July 12, 2007 blog entry and those following that week). We found out Monday Doug, my 48 year old brother, has to have another heart procedure. He has been so faithful with his exercising in getting his heart back up to speed and losing weight but here lately, he's been out of breath and retaining fluid. It seems when he had the heart attack last summer, the heart surgeons went in and fixed the "bad" portion of his heart with a stint and defibrillator as a priority, not expecting Doug to live but just a few days---long enough for us to say good-bye. Now that "bad" portion of his heart has healed, much to the surprise of the cardiologists. He had some blood work done earlier this week and the results were not good. The doctors looked at this chart and found where he had another part of his heart that had blockage. They knew this back in July, but they prioritized the worst portion first to save his life at the time. Now they've decided to go back in and do either a stint or open heart surgery with a bypass tomorrow morning thinking that's why he's having trouble breathing and retaining fluid. Unfortunately, they can't tell us which one they will do (stint or bypass) until they get in there tomorrow.

To be honest, my brother's spirits are high; he is not worried at all. He says he's "been through this before and it can't be any worse than it was the first time around". It's the rest of the family who is on the edge!

I will be claiming Job 10:12 for him, "You have granted me life and favor, and your providence has preserved by spirit." I know Doug will appreciate your prayers and we'll witness a miracle once again!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Activating Faith

I received several emails from blog readers on yesterday's post "God's Lipstick". Just as we can say the wrong thing and cause hurt to ourselves and others, there is something to be said for saying the right thing with our mouth.

There are many illustrations in the Bible of people who said the right thing. One of those is the woman with the issue of blood. Mark 5:25-27 says, "And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years. And who had endured much suffering under many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was no better but instead grew worse. She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment."

This poor woman had suffered greatly; and no one had been able to help her. Surely this woman was being attacked with thoughts of hopelessness! When she thought about going to Jesus, she must have heard, "What's the use?" But she pressed on past the crowd that was so thick on all sides that it was suffocating. She touched the hem of Jesus' garment, and healing virtue flowed to her, and she was made well. But there is a part we don't want to miss in Marck 5:28, "If I only touch His garment, I shall be restored to health." Notice she kept saying, she kept saying; do you get it? She kept saying!

No matter what she felt like, no matter how much others tried to discourage her, even though the problem was twelve years old, and the crowd looked impossible to get through, this woman got her miracle. Jesus told her that it was her faith that had made her whole. Her faith was released through her words.

Faith has to be activated if it is to work, and one of the ways we activate it is through our words. Keep saying----and don't give up hope!