Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Living water

I am so excited to announce that Blair's well is COMPLETE!! Such a wonderful blessing to have it done before her birthday on November 11 and before her little brothers birthday TBD ;-). I can't even describe the feelings I had when I saw it for the first time. Tears of joy, tears of remembrance, tears of thankfulness, and definitely some tears of sadness too because every time I think of Blair I miss her even more! But I can also say that I was very proud of my little girl as I saw her name written on this well. Her life has purpose and meaning to these people who need life and purpose every day! I can't imagine not having easy access to clean drinking water and for these people in Uganda it has been a daily reality all their lives. Until now....
Now they have clean running water EVERY DAY! Giving them another day of life that they didn't have before. All because of Blair's short life here on Earth. I have always loved missions and seeing lives changed for the good because of the great news of Christ, and while I never thought it would take losing my baby to be apart of missions, I am reminded that everything is for HIS glory.  Whether that be losing your baby, giving up your life and comfort to live overseas as a missionary, giving of your finances in difficult times, giving of your energy and time, and all other kinds of sacrifices. (Not saying that I like it or that I am OK with it, but it's my life and I want to choose to look at it through the lens of eternity). We are all called to share the love of Christ in one way or another. We are all called to be missionaries. We just have to trust Him that His plans are bigger and greater then we can imagine and be obedient. Building this well is also just another way God has brought beauty from the ashes. 

The story of how we raised the funds for this well just amazes me! I knew immediately after losing Blair that we would want to raise money toward building a well. Holden Uganda was started by a dear friend, Sarah Erwin, who was just an acquaintance before losing Blair. I had known about her loss of her little boy Holden in 2010 and was a little familiar with Holden Uganda shortly after. But as of November 11, 2011 she became someone who truly understood what I was going through and a light of Christ's hope as she reached out to me. She has walked this journey with me through losing Blair and in my pregnancy with her brother, and I am so grateful the Lord kindled this friendship. All that to say, I became very familiar with Holden Uganda and was thrilled to be apart of this awesome organization that brings hope to those who need it most. So we started an account for Blair....

I posted on my blog awhile back and spread the word by mouth about wanting to raise money for this well. Friends and family were so gracious to send money to get this started and I am just so thankful. Sometime this summer, I talked to Sarah about how much more we needed to raise and we were $100 shy of our $2,000 goal!! WOW! We had the Shaw family reunion (Clint's side) coming up in August and I thought how great it would be to get the family involved in raising the rest of the money. Sarah then mentioned the need for building an even bigger well in an area that really needed it. There are some areas in Uganda that have water pressure that is too high for a small well and would crumble if made too small, so there would need to be a multiple pipe well to withstand the water supply. However, these villages wait the longest because of the need for more funds. Sarah told us to think and pray about it and see if the Lord lead us in that direction. I agreed that we would pray and see what would happen...

So...we prayed about it and decided to mention the need for these funds to build the bigger well at the reunion, thinking it would at least help us get closer to our new goal of $4,000. And WOW! The Lord answered our prayer in a BIG way! We ended up raising $2,450 that weekend! Our family was so gracious to give to this great cause in honor of Blair and we were just blown away and humbled by their generosity, love, and support! Blair was and is loved so much!! We were able to send the $4,000 to Holden Uganda to build the well and hold onto the $450 in hopes of either starting another well or putting it toward other organizations that help those who have lost babies too soon. 

Words can't express the joy we had and still have that the Lord provided this money through our family and friends! Thank you so much to everyone who made this happen with your donations and prayers! We seriously can't thank you enough, and I hope as you look at these pictures that you feel part of this amazing project done in Blair's honor. You truly are apart of it! God bless you!!

Love seeing all that fresh water running out!!

Love this woman's sweet smile (the Ugandans don't usually smile for pictures unless instructed to because they are not used to cameras)

This picture is just amazing with the stormy clouds in the background and then the suns light shining on Blairs name, bday and verse. SO neat!!

 "In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you don't see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:6-9

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Whirlwind life!

Well I'm sure by now many of you know about our crazy weekend adventure and current living situation...Here is the story from the beginning to now the best I can remember and explain.   

On Friday I had an appointment with my high risk doctor at 9:00 to do fetal monitoring. I was with my mother-in-law, Patty, and we were planning on driving to Dallas to meet up with my sister in laws to shop for the weekend. Clint and the boys were going to New Mexico to go deer hunting. It had rained the night before and was currently raining, so it was flooding everywhere. Yet there were still cars on the road and businesses were open as usual. Except for my doctors office, which was closed and did not call me to inform me of this. Who does that!? So...very frustrated, I called my regular OB to see if I could get in for at least a test to hear the baby (NST). They were able to get me in at 9:30 so off we went. Our baby boy looked GREAT on the NST and all was well, however, my doctor noticed I was having some contractions so she wanted to check me before we went to Dallas. She discovered I was 3 cm dilated and 30 percent effaced. CRAZY! So, needless to say, I wasnt going anywhere! Looking back it was all the Lord because I would've probably gone to Dallas and who knows what would've happened!?..... I was admitted into Labor and Delivery to be monitored and given meds to stop the contractions. They worked off and on, but I continued to have contractions anywhere from 3 to an hour to 2-5 minutes apart. So very irregular, but definitely there. I could feel the contractions, but they were not painful. Just a tightening and cramp like feeling. I didn't change any in dilation, but went to 50 percent effaced, so they kept me overnight to continue monitoring me and giving me meds. I was checked again Saturday morning, and my doctor found that I was 3 1/2 dilated and 70 percent effaced, while still having contractions. So she made the decision to send me to Odessa Medical Center, which has one of the best NICU units around. This was IN CASE our baby boy decided to greet the world earlier then planned, not because there was anything wrong with him or me. Therefore, I was transferred from Dr. McBrayer's care to a new doctor in Odessa, which was hard being that I have grown so close to my doctor through the last year, but it has been a smooth transition and I really like this Odessa doctor. I was in the L&D in Odessa from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening being monitored with the least amount of meds to see if I would naturally stop contractions. I did, so they moved me to a postpartum room Sunday night for less continuous monitoring. At this point, I actually went from 3 1/2 dilation back down to a 2! Didn't even know that could happen!? Praise God! We then were told that we should not leave Odessa because I needed to be as close as possible to the hospital in case labor picked up again. We then began trying to form a plan and some good friends, Bryan & Tasha Creech, offered for us to use their 5th wheel trailer. We found out that the hospital had hook-ups free of charge right in the parking lot!! WOW! Another God thing for sure! we are in our new "home" for the next 4 + weeks! I am now 33 weeks and we are hoping to keep the baby "cookin" until at least 37 weeks. I can even be transferred back to McBrayer if I make it to at least 35 weeks! I will do this by drinking LOTS of water and resting. I am not confined to the bed, but need to be off my feet as much as possible. I'm able to get out, but I just can't leave Odessa. So, it could always be worse, and I am thankful that I am able to have a little freedom. I will be going to the doctor twice a week for NST's, sonograms, and doctor appointments also, so that will be comforting to know what's going on. Clint is going to work as usual and commuting back and forth between Odessa and Big Spring. Turns out to be exactly 1 hour between. We also still have our remodel going close to being done, but still going. So it's a lot of phone calls and Clint going to the house to check in. And a lot of relying on others to help us out. I don't think we have really had "normal" for over a year and a half! AHH! Spontaneity is our new middle name! Crazy to think how much has happened in just a year!? Makes me think....where will we be this time next year!? Hopefully the biggest things on our agenda will be planning our boys 1 year bday party and Blair's 2nd bday in heaven! We shall see....

I have been continually reminded of God's goodness and provision and also how little control I have over my life. The reality of having true faith and trusting the Lord for every step has been a HUGE lesson for me. It has truly been a scary time, but I have also have a peace that I know only comes from the Lord and your prayers. It is the same peace I had when I held Blair in my arms, which shows me even more how real God is. I couldn't humanly handle any this on my own. I have seen what it really means to fiercely love your kids and feel like you would do anything to protect them, however, I can't do this alone. It is completely out of my control. My children belong to Him, and I am just blessed to be their mom, and I need the Lord to be my strength and work through me. Because otherwise I would be a nervous wreck and emotional most all of the time! I would want to find a hole and bury myself in it, not wanting to function with the world. But I have learned to take each moment with a deep breath and prayer, asking God to show me his purpose. I may not know at the moment why, but I know I will someday. I am choosing DAILY to believe God for who He says He is and rest in the truth of His promises that He will never leave me, nor forsake me. He works ALL things for the good if we just love Him and let go! So, that is what I am learning right now, which can be very difficult at times. It's not easy, but God didn't promise that this life would be easy. He just promised that He would help us through it. 

Again, thank you for all the continued prayers for our family. We have been so humbled by the amount of support, love, encouragement, kindness, and provision that has been given to us. You are God's light to us, so thank you!