Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The BIG News Unveiled...FINALLY!

Hey everyone!  So, the latest BIG NEWS in the Hirsch family?!?!... YES, we are expecting again!

We are due November 3rd. I am 12 weeks along already. With all that's been going on, we haven't been able to spread the news as quickly as usual. Everything is looking good. The usual yucky-ness in the beginning, but so far, not nearly as bad as any of the others. We have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, so we should get a better idea on how things are going.

Please pray with us as we prepare for another little blessing in our family.  We are so thankful to the Lord, as we had sought Him on having another, got the answer, and were pregnant in our first "try." (Not that we were expecting to get pregnant so soon...but, God knows best!) Praise Him with us, and pray with us as this little life grows within.

We're headed to a home school convention tomorrow evening for the weekend. Hope everyone has a great one!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Tooth Fairy Passes By the Hirsch Home

So, in light of Bekah's losing her first tooth, quite a few people have asked us, or her, if the Tooth Fairy came to visit. Being parents who want to train our kids in the Lord, we want to always be truthful with her and never give her reason to think we lie to her. Especially since we teach her the things of the Lord. However- we DO want to have fun as a family too. 

So, after her tooth had fallen out and she showed both of us, we told her she could put it under her pillow and the "Tooth Fairy" would visit, taking her tooth in exchange for $1. Her eyes got wide-HUGE- and she said, "NO WAY. I'm not letting the Tooth Fairy take my tooth. I want to show it to everyone!" We were cracking up. And then we told her it was just playing pretend and that Daddy and Mommy were the "Tooth Fairy". She still insisted on putting her tooth somewhere else, where the Tooth Fairy couldn't find it and steal it, she said. It was SO funny. So, she doesn't think $1 is worth it.  :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bekah, minus a tooth

The latest in the Hirsch family- Bekah has lost her very first tooth! Last night, a friend from TX called (Lis- sag!) and she got in on the drama. Bekah came running downstairs, freaking out, because her loose tooth had fallen out while brushing her teeth before bed. She was so excited, but when it finally happened- there was blood! So, it had her a bit shaken, but it was all good. She was so excited. I can't believe our baby is old enough to have teeth falling out- she'll be turning 6 in May!

Family Fun- Much Needed Down Time

So, last night we skipped "church" (yes, we did!) for some needed down time as a family. We packed sandwiches and had a picnic dinner at the park, played, fed the ducks, and even stopped at DQ afterward for Blizzards- mmmm- and we had a great time. Some pics of the cuties:

Belle, the adventurous one (gotta watch her closely!-she's a mess):

Bekah, cautious and motherly (LOVES doing stuff together as a family- she told us about 100 times last night):

And Bethany, the one who's trying to figure it all out (like how she got into this family!):

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hirsch Family Pics

So, here are a couple pictures- from the meal at our house after Jeanni's funeral. There is Grandma with all 11 (yes, eleven!) of her children who all made it home for the funeral, as well as a picture of Grandma, Dad Hirsch, and our ever-growing family.  

Monday, April 14, 2008

God is Good, ALL the time!

Well, the weekend of busy-ness has ended, and we're left to process and recover from the whirlwind. God has been very good, faithful to be our strength, peace, and comfort in the midst of it all. We have seen His hand and have experienced His very real presence. What a good God!

Gary did an INCREDIBLE job at the funeral. Of course, He was very concerned about it and if he'd even make it through it. He said he definitely sensed the very real presence and supernatural strength of the Holy Spirit. I can't imagine trying to preach my sister's funeral. (not that I'd preach anyway!) But, the Gospel was clearly presented and it went very well. 

The meal at our house afterward was pleasant as well. Everyone got along and there was plenty of food. All 11 of Gary's Grandma's kids were here, as well as many of Gary's cousins, many of whom we hadn't seen in years. Funny how it takes something so tragic to get everyone together. 

My parents were so very helpful, doing whatever was necessary to help us- from food prep to dishwashing (my dad was the main dishwasher!) to babysitting...whatever. I am SO blessed with them. Our church family came alongside of us, with so many preparing food to be brought for the meal, phone calls, visits, was overwhelming to us have all the support. Just to know they were praying and willing to do whatever was needed. Some of our friends drove all the way from Springfield just for the funeral and had to go right back. It was very meaningful to us to have them there. The love of Christ was definitely poured out on us, and we pray, was clearly seen and overflowing to the rest of the family as well. 

One awesome God-thing that we'd experienced through Jeanni's death- Jeanni died on the day that one of our former youth (which happened to also be Gary's 1st wedding he's done) gave birth to their first born baby girl. It was such a blessing to know the day He chose to take Jeanni, He ushered in another little girl.  This same family had experienced a loss on the day that our baby girl Belle was born. So, this was a sweet reminder of God's grace in our life.

So, we knew after a long weekend, we'd have Sunday coming, with some hard things within our church family. Our pastor announced his retirement, effective in August, and our discipleship pastor and good friend announced his resignation, which actually is effective tomorrow. There is much going on within the church, we believe a weeding out of sorts, and a challenge- do we desire God, or tradition? Will we insist on our own way, or trust God? Will we be willing to learn together in love, or demand that others change to our beliefs? It is hard to go through, but necessary for growth. We're praying that the church body would run to Christ and follow in obedience. We will see. We've been praying for the past month or so on what God wants us to do, with things stirring. Now we're seeking clear direction. 

In the midst of it all, we know God is good. We know that He is worthy of worship regardless of circumstance. We know that His ways are better than ours. And we know that He will work all things out for His glory and our good. So glad we can count on that!

Thanks again to everyone for the prayers and support. Much love to you all!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Hard Week Ahead

Jeanni went home to be with her Lord yesterday around 9am. We were all in the room with her, and it was peaceful. As we've gone through this process with the rest of Gary's family, it has brought up so many things for us: what we'd want in this situation, thinking through if this were our child as we watch Dad, how faithful God has been in the midst of this in each detail, so many things...

The rest of this week is filled with funeral arrangements and planning, wanting to help make this time as meaningful as possible, as well as full of the Gospel. Dad asked Gary to do Jeanni's funeral. This will be one of the hardest things he's ever done, but wants to as well. We will also be hosting the meal after the service at our house. Please be in prayer as we prepare for these things. Continued strength, healing, peace, and rest in Jesus for everyone. May Christ be lifted up! 

Monday, April 7, 2008

Trusting God

Hi all-
We are in Springfield right now, with Gary's sister Jeanni and the family. Things have gone down hill with her, and we are just waiting for the final word from the doctors after they check everything to be sure there is absolutely nothing else they can do for her. She's on life support, kidney dialysis, etc. Most likely, they will be taking her off the machines today and she will be wholly healed.
We have been mostly concerned about her spiritual condition and for the family during this time. Praise the Lord, we found out that Jeanni had been led to the Lord by a friend she'd worked with in the past. There is much comfort in knowing that she is leaving us, but going home.
Of course, this is just hard on the family, as it's been a long 10 months of battling her cancer, and all the complications that have come with it. We are praying that God be glorified.
We are tired, worn out, but have much peace. We are thankful to God to see His mercy through all of this- our church family and my family has been so supportive and helpful. We definitely could not have done this, been here and available to the family, without all their help. We are so grateful to God for you all.
Thanks for praying...and please continue.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Abiding in the Midst of Life

My parents gave me a devo for Easter, "Becoming a Woman Who Walks With God" by Cynthia Heald. Yesterday I read this concerning Mary and Martha in Luke 10:

"Jesus wants us to focus our lives on being with Him rather  than on busying ourselves with doing for Him. He calls us to abide- to sit at His feet and listen to His words. Like Martha, we are called to change our center of attention from ourselves to Jesus. This change enables us to offer service freely, not grudgingly. In fact, when our first priority is abiding, we cannot help but serve the Lord. Mary's heartfelt desire to be with Jesus later prompted her to serve Him by anointing Him with oil. Jesus praised her act and proclaimed that wherever the gospel was preached, it would be remembered (see John 12:1-3). Because Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus, when she did rise to serve Him, her ministry was profound."

What a GOOD WORD. I SO needed this in the midst of life at this moment. As I'm busy cleaning house, doing laundry,  trying to de-germify (like that word?!) from the flu and we're catching up with the business stuff from being sick and Gary's sister in the hospital...(see previous blog)...

I needed to remember that. Even though serving my family is serving Christ and is noble- being WITH Him is so much more important. And if I really want to serve Him by serving them, I need first to be empowered in just resting with Him. Sometimes I get so caught up in all there is to get done, I try too hard in my own strength and end up burnt out. No wonder!

Please continue to pray with us. We got word this morning that Jeanni will be having surgery either today or tomorrow to remove her colon and part of her intestines. They can't wait any longer. She has the worse case of c-diff, an antibiotic induced colotis that has killed her colon. They're worried that if they wait too long, she'll go into septic shock as well as her leukemia coming back full blast. We're trying to decide what we need to do, when we need to go up. Pray we'll rest in Jesus and that the family will know Jesus, that they can rest in Him too.