Before Jade & I received the news about Ollie's health I was a Christian.  I have been a Christian for a long time, I think I made the decision in Jr. High - slid away from it, and firmly decided in High School that God was real.  I had not however been a faithful follower.  Don't get me wrong I always believed that Jesus died for our sins, but I didn't attend church regularly, I didn't tithe, and I didn't see the importance of a church family or home all of the time.  It was all on my agenda basically.  I wasn't really walking the Christian life or path & if I had to account for my life  before God I would have been greatly ashamed of myself.

Luckily we found the church we call our home over 3 years ago when I was pregnant with Everett.  I love this church.  There are about 900 members and 3 services so we can go at a time that works for our family.  It's casual.  The music is loud & fantastic.  No one looks at you like you are in their pew, no phone calls or letters if you  miss a week or two, and everyone is truly happy to see you.  The messages are awesome.  They are truly based off biblical scriptures and the agenda comes from God through prayer.  Our spiritual leaders are awesome in every way & each week they give a message that truly connects & makes you think.  Jade & I always leave with a new fresh perspective.  The best part of our church is the dedication to the youth.  The kids are in the nursery with pre-screened adults so anyone that isn't safe around children isn't allowed around the children & only you or someone you appoint can pick up your kids.  This may sound funny, but at a big church by an interstate - talk about peace of mind!  Their programs for children are just jaw droppingly awesome - they are so dedicated to the next generation and have a huge facility for Jr. High & High schoolers and it's making a difference in so many lives.

Ever since we found out about Ollie - God has changed me.  I now crave church every Sunday & tithe religiously.  I have always had faith, but haven't demonstrated it until now.  Trust me I have a long way to go in my walk with God, but I look forward to walking with him!  I honestly still worry about Ollie, but not all the time, not all day every day because I'm trying my best to fully turn it over to the Lord.  I have maybe one day a week for 20 minutes or so where I am sad.  Sometimes I cry, and sometimes I cry hard because it scares me.  Then Jade hugs me and off I go again until the next week.  I couldn't do this without faith - I seriously can't imagine where I'd be without God by my side through this.  I also couldn't do this without a faithful husband like Jade, I am so blessed to be his wife.  I still at times am shocked by my faith.  I truly believe everything will be ok.  I'm well aware that I'm going to have absolutely awful days in the future.  I dread open heart surgery with every fiber in my body especially on my baby.  I worry that she won't be healthy until she has surgery, I worry about nursing, and so many things.  I haven't quite wrapped my head around how it's going to feel yet because how do you really grasp that, but when it's here I'll know. 

 However, I still believe it will be perfectly fine.  I believe I am stronger than I think I am.  I believe Ollie will be healed by God or by surgeons graced by God.  I know she will have a long life with us, and that my kids will adore her and her them.  I think God will bless my entire family & hopefully others through this process.  I know I have a strong marriage, but he's going to transform it into an awesome marriage and I look forward to that.  I look forward to him changing my perspective as a parent completely.  I look forward to gaining more patience and letting my house be messier as I focus more on my family - which trust me I need more of this.  There is so much he will gift us in this process, and I'm anxious for it to be revealed.  Until then we wait to meet beautiful Miss Ollie which she still needs a middle name.

So pray for us tomorrow & Wednesday as we go off to face endless tests at Peoria tomorrow & St. Louis Wednesday.  Pray that we know the right hospital for our family & the right doctors for Ollie.  Pray that her heart is growing the same on both sides because this is a continual worry right now - my biggest worry.  Pray that Jade & I stay strong with few tears & have two good days in a row with doctors.  Also pray, that we bless someone else in this process because it's a tough thing to face for young parents & there are many more out there like us not handling it as well.  Thank you for all your prayers in advance & for letting me journal openly.  When it comes to things like this I'm fairly private in my feelings & this is a good way for me to get it out, get it wrote down, and keep the history of this process at the same time.

PS - I'm leaning toward Ollie Faith which is cute with her sister Aubrie Grace, but I've yet to convince Jade so you can pray on that one for fun if you'd like!