Monday, December 24, 2012

Clear Your Calendar.....

Exactly four weeks from this very moment, I fully expect to be writing a new post officialy welcoming Hayden Owen Hoskins into this wonderful world we live in.

As I sit here tonight, reflecting on the past few days, weeks, months, and years, I can't help but smile as this Christmas Eve comes to a close.

We had another appointment in St. Louis on Wednesday, and all went well again. We truly feel blessed and as every appointment passes, our hope grows that Hayden will join us as healthy as can be, despite having a giant omphalocele. As of last Wednesday, he was an estimated 3 lbs 8 oz. Even though this still has him below the 5th percentile, he is growing! As we said before: He is below the "curve", but he is making his own curve! He is also passing his NST's with flying colors. 10 out of 10 points each time. He is still in a breech position, but the doctor said that doesn't really matter because he will be delivered via c-section anyways!

Mom and Dad met us in St. Louis Wednesday morning before our appointment and we were able to see the duplex that Kelsea and my mom will stay in for 2 weeks before the surgery. After he is born, I don't know what our plans are. Mom and Dad are planning on staying down there I believe, and it is two bedrooms, but we also have, if needed, the Ronald McDonald house (if there are openings) and another place similar to Ronald McDonald. Right now, I just can't imagine leaving him alone for the night. We toured the NICU again Wednesday becasue everything was kind of a blur the first time, and there were so many babies in there and very few people. It made my heart sink thinking about those babies and nobody being there with them. However, I know people have to work and not everybody has the resources we have.

This is evident in the "elves" that helped Kelsea and I put some "wants" into Hayden's room. The only thing we are missing now is Hayden himself!

Sitting in church tonight, seeing it jam packed at the 6 o'clock service, I couldn't help but look around think just how wonderful God is. There were many faces there I have never seen before. However, knowing that all of these people were here tonight, whether they are there every Sunday or not, were there to celebrate the birth of God's son, who was sent to Earth so we could be forgiven, was an almost overwhelming feeling. Listening to Matt Cowman read from the Bible, who only a few years ago was a "student" of mine, watching Jenn and the rest of the praise team sing with all of their heart and soul, and listening to Bob talk to us about Resetting, it's hard to not appreciate what all He has done for us.

The past few weeks, Bob has talked about Resetting and refocusing on what is important, such as your home, your attitude, and your perspective. It's easy to get lost in everything, especially when you are thinking about things of the world, or materialistic things such as the bedding set Kelsea and I wanted for Hayden's room. Today, of all days, I lost sight of what is important. We are continuing to visit our budget and look at ways to cut our spending and I got sidetracked (as I usually and easily do!) by the otustanding bills we have from the past three months. As many of you know, it takes a while for medical bills to show up on your doorstep, but once they start, boy do they start! I started to worry again about how this is all going to work out. Kelsea reminded me a day or so ago that Matthew 6:31-33 says the following:

So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

I know I have to trust in the Lord and His plan and I should not question or test it. However, I also know that the bills won't disappear if I just file them in the folder labeled "God" in our filing cabinet! It is about resetting our home and our perspective to follow God's will and the path He has laid out for us. It is not about the traditions of Santa Claus and the Elf on the Shelf (sorry to my friends who use this....I mean no disrespect with my comment...I actually love seeing the pictures of the creative places that people hide him or her....but they still kind of creep me out....think clown under the bed in Poltergeist...don't know why, they just do!). It is about having peace on Earth and bringing goodwill toward mankind. It is about taking my selfish wants and needs out of the equation and putting everybody else first.
For a better understanding, below is the Columbus Road Baptist Church way of explaining things!
On this Christmas eve, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and no matter where you are, who you are with, or what difficult situation you might be facing, that you may find peace on earth and with yourself through the Holy Spirit and continue to put God at the center of your life. And as you lay in bed tonight, drifting off to sleep, dreaming of all of those presents you didn't get as a child (as I still do sometimes) I ask that you say a prayer for myself and Kelsea, that God will give us strength, the two weeks we are apart, and that He will allow us to hear Hayden scream at 9:30, Monday, January 21.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Has it really been 2.5 weeks since I last posted an update? I ALWAYS have the intention of coming home and posting an update from the day. What we experienced, what we saw, what we felt. However, as life usually does, it gets the best of me. Whether it's playing with the dog, reading to Hayden, helping Kelsea clean, cooking gourmet meals of beans 'n weenies, or FIFA, so many times the things we intend to do get put on the back burner. The past 3 weeks have actually been somewhat of a blessing. I felt as though our lives had started to get on with everything and we were leading a somewhat normal life. Baby showers with family and friends, parents visiting over Thanksgiving, preparing for finals week at school, and cleaning the garage and getting 99% of my tools out of the house and basement and into their proper places on the work bench and the peg board in the garage. I think this one makes my parents more happy than it does me!

Kelsea (and Tucker) @ 32 weeks
The past few weeks, Kelsea has had four baby showers. First, over thanksgiving she had with our family and a few friends from church. This past weekend, she had three. Yes, three in four days! She had one at school with her coworkers, then Saturday her friend Kelly had one at her house for close firends, and then last night, the "Church Ladies" had one for her at church. Dana Carvey and Satanatanatan was not there thankfully......not sure if the church lady dance made an appearance...let's hope not (Good 'ol Saturday Night Live days!). Columbus Road Baptist Church, our home away from home, is one of the most amazing places a person could ever ask for. The things they do for their "family" is unbelievable. We are not a huge church, but the resources and the love that flows through its doors is like no other. I cannot imagine where I/we would be right now if it wasn't for this place and the people who show up every Sunday (and the people who don't show up every Sunday!). Several years ago, Bob Cowman helped lead me back to the Lord and there is not a day goes by that I think about that and thank God for putting leading him to Quincy.

There is absolutely no way or no thing, other than God, that could have put so many things in place, over years and miles, that could have better put two people together to help me find my way. For another perspective on this view, this post from October shows just how God is always working. This thought has been prevalent in many, many people's minds the past four days. Many people are questioning how God could let a tragedy happen in Connecticut like last Friday. It is heartbreaking and it makes one sick to their stomach to think about what this person did. However, we can't question God and His intentions. In Luke 4:12, Jesus tells us  it is not our place to test Him. Even though we don't like what we see, we have believe that He has a plan that is far greater than ours and we should not make Him prove it. That is so hard to do, but if we begin to question things that happen in life, it puts us back to square one. The only way to make it to the promised land is to believe that we are saved by grace through our faith. When we doubt God and we begin to question His plan, Satan is winning and we seperate ourselves from God.

Staying strong in your faith and trusting in His plan is what this life is all about. Kelsea and I have done a pretty good job of this over the past few months. However tonight, we had a breakdown. We both have the things we want in life and the things we want for Hayden. While trying to live the normal pregnancy (is there such a thing) while still planning for the reality of what we will possibly be dealing with, the pressure finally hit us tonight. We both want a beautiful nursery with the finest decorations and accessories available to mankind, although we also both know those are not the things we need to have. We both hit a wall tonight emotionally. It sucked! We have become pretty good communicators, thanks mostly to the ONE Marriage class Scott and Allison led us through at church before we got married, but in the hopes of trying to forget about the future that awaits us, we have slipped on letting our emotions out. Well, they came out tonight, along with quite a few tears. The best thing though, was we were right there with each other (along with a dog who was emphatically trying to persuade us that  if we let him have just one of Tucker's toys, he would make us smile!).

Even though things have been "good" I have been living with a huge amount of stress for the past three months (and my neck has told me every day for exactly the past three months). Kelsea helps remind me that God will take care of things and as the title of my blog states, I know he wouldn't lead me somewhere and then leave me to fend for myself. However, it is hard to not worry about how your life will be in the future. For three straight months, I have worried about my wife's health, my unborn son's Omphalocele, will we get to hold him that day, that week, that month he is born. I worry about the helplessness I'm going to feel as we sit in the NICU and he is attached to tubes and machines and there won't be a single thing I can do except watch and pray. I worry about medical bills and house bills, and car bills, when Kelsea doesn't return to work this Spring. I worry about what the future holds if she stays home with Hayden next year because of his Omphalocele and how we will make it. I worry about Kelsea being in St. Louis for two weeks without me. I know, I know. I need to put my worries onto God and He will move those mountains. However, it is hard. I am such a planner and right now, I feel as though I can't plan because I don't knowwhat the future holds.

However, we never really know what the future holds; only God knows this. Even on this night of self-pity, my heart aches for so many people around the world. A dear friend of mine found out that, after a successful surgery over a month to correct TTTS, she recently lost one of her unborn twins. I also think about the parents of the childrent and adults who were killed in Connecticut. I can't imagine what they are going through and how difficult it would be to wake up knowing somebody took the life of your child and they are no longer with you. I pray that they all find comfort in the Lord's unseen plan. I know they say that only time can heal these wounds, but I don't know how time would do that.

I do know that time has flown by the past three months and that these next few weeks will go by even faster. It is scary to think that 5 weeks from right now, I will be sitting in the NICU at Children's in St. Louis, hopefully watching over a sleeping beautiful baby boy. The doctors have set a tentative date for Kelsea's C-section of January 21st. FIVE WEEKS! We hope to get that date in stone on Wednesday when we go back to St. Louis for our next appoitnment. I am also very happy that my parents will be meeting us in St. Louis Wednesday morning on their way home. They left Florida tonight, with Hannah Ho in tow,  (Kelle and Jay's dog) and have no return date set. We are so thankful for them coming our direction and giving up their lives to gives us whatever support we may need. I also want to thank evrybody around the world (literally) who has sent cards, prayers, and love and support. Even though we are not able to respond to every single one of you (we received 11 cards today) I want to let you know how much it means to us when we sit down and read through every single letter, prayer card, scripture, etc.... I am looking forward to the day that we let every single one of you know just how your prayers changed our lives forever! Until that time......