Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When there's not much to report, it's good news.

Mattie (We know there is a lot of confusion about the spelling. Amber and I both had family named Martha and called Mattie. We wanted a family name but like Madelyn better. Therefore, Madelyn is "Mattie" for short which fits in with my obsession that names mean something or are in honor of someone....Mattie will probably hate us for making her explain this for the rest of her life! :) Sophie (Sophia means "wisdom")
Sophie is on right and Mattie on left.

Mattie isn't quite as big as she appears in the pictures just yet!

This is the first time I got to hold them together. It's quite a process to get them situated...I'm hoping it will get easier once they aren't "wired"!
I should also mention that the reason there aren't more pictures of Amber with the girls is because she won't let me post any of them!
Don't get too excited. They were positioned like this...they did hold on for a few minutes any way!

The title just about sums up everything new. We went in this morning to be there while the Doctors were making rounds and they had already almost finished. They apologized saying there just really wasn't that much to talk about any more with the girls. That's pretty good news to me. They are still being weaned off of their O2. Mattie is big enough that they have started weaning her off of her bed. (The beds regulate temperature and humidity when they are too small for their bodies to regulate themselves.) Sophie is not far behind and will probably start being weaned soon. It will probably be within the week that they will raise the tops of the beds to see how they do at room temperature. Once the girls are weaned off of their O2, they will be able to try bottle feeding and hopefully nursing not long after that. Mattie is now 4lbs 7 or 8oz and Sophie is 4lbs 3 or 4oz. You'll probably notice they look a little different. We couldn't believe how much different they look with the feeding tubes in their noses instead of mouths. I'm afraid I won't recognize them without any tape or tubes!

Crimson had a much better day for the last two days. He is up to 2lbs 10oz the last I heard and the cyst in his lungs seemed to have shrunk a little which is very good. He is being weaned off his Nitrous which helps keep the lungs expanded. I'll let you know more about him soon I hope. Keep him, Alex, and Stacey in your prayers.
Amber and I went home to Shelbyville last night to get a few more things from the house, but more just to go to Fairlane and see everyone. It's hard to believe that we've been gone for over a month already. I've joked to several people that I can't even remember what my schedule and routine used to be before all of this happened...of course I'm fairly sure that any parent would say the same thing whether they went through the NICU or not!

On Prayer
When we got home, our grass was freshly mowed and the flower bed had been weeded and new flowers planted. The Garrells even came by to water the flowers and we surprised them when we were already there. Our neighbors came out to check on us when they saw we were home and I found out that they have been mowing our yard in addition to people from Fairlane mowing it! Whatever else comes out of this, we know we are truly blessed with good friends and family.

I thought I could give a devotional talk last night free of tears since the girls are doing so well now. I'm not sure why in the world I thought I could do that since I haven't spoken at Fairlane in the past year without getting choked up! For what it's worth, I'd like to share in written form what I tried to share last night...It's a lot easier to get words out without having to speak over tears!

One of the things I have struggled with through all of this is how prayer works. I know the New Testament especially is incredibly plain about the power of prayer, praying without ceasing, praying for the sick, and the "fervent prayer of righteous man accomplishes a lot." My struggle has been how to know what I am supposed to pray for specifically while still leaving room for God's will. So far, every prayer we have asked has been answered for the girls. That's not to say they always will be, though. And I know other prayers that have gone unanswered, when I was absolutely sure I was praying in faith. What about other parents who have prayed for healing and did not receive it? If you haven't read "Where is God When it Hurts?" then you need to. If not to help you when storms hit, then to know how to help others when their storm hits.

Something that Phillip Yancey wrote in this book reminded me of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. When they were ordered to bow before the King's idol at the threat of being thrown into the fiery furnace, their response, I believe, is a statement of their view of prayer. "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." (Dan. 3:17-18).

That verse swept over me suddenly and I have to believe the Spirit had something to do with reminding me of it. For the first time, I felt comfortable in praying expectantly and still leaving room for God's will. These men knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was able to deliver and that He in fact would deliver. That is what they prayed for and what they expected. With that expectation, however, is a realization that we can't see what God sees and we don't see time the way He does. Therefore, if our prayers are not answered at the time we want them to, they will still be answered even if that means on the other side of this life.

Buddy Koonce reminded us last night that God wants children to be healthy and whole. After all, in the beginning, all of creation was good. Since then it has been groaning for resurrection just like humanity. I believe I can pray expectantly. We don't expect anything at all to be wrong with either of our girls. I expect that in this lifetime. We are trying to keep our faith grounded in the fact that God wants that for our girls as well and still recognizing that even if our prayers aren't answered exactly how we think they should be right now, all of God's children will be whole for eternity. This small dot on the "timeline" that we call life will be nothing more than a small dot that we vaguely remember when we are walking with God again in Paradise.

I know most of you have struggled with how prayer works and what our belief as Christians is supposed to be...especially in the light of "unanswered prayer." I'd like to get your input on this subject so that we can all come to a better idea of how we are to pray.


  1. Thanks Josh for the update and thank you also for the sermon. It gave me a good cry. You have such strong faith. Sometimes I wish mine could be as good as yours. A friend of mine in Houston just had grandchildchildren - her daughter had triplets. I pray that everything is going to be ok. One only weighed 1 lb, etc.. I am going to send her your blog to get on. It might help her. Love, Carol O

  2. Josh you and Amber like JD and Amy are such a blessing to Chris and I, so thankful that the Girls are progressing so well and also that Crimson is making some progress as well. I believe when we pray for something we should ask whole heartedly and exspect to receive. however this should be done also with exceptance to God's answer to our prayer, meaning if God doesnt answer in our way or our time doesnt mean he didn't answer or wont answer it just means we pray without ceasing and never stop believing..above all whatever the answer is we except it and know that his grace is sufficient and his plan for us is always better then our plan is. we Love you guys the Kieffer's

  3. Great to hear that there are no significant changes...but great to see they are putting on weight so well! Once they can start nursing they will just pile it on, and Amber will definitely have her hands (and arms) full!!

    So thankful you have people in the community doing acts of kindness for y'all and helping out in ways they don't even know! Wish I were closer so I could...but I'd still love an address where I could send y'all some things.

    I hope y'all decide to keep this blog once life returns to "normal." I would love to keep up with them as they grow into little ladies!

    Prayers and hugs!

    Ellen Moses

  4. Josh and Amber,
    It was great to see you both Wednesday night. I love the pictures of the girls. They are so beautiful (They look just like Amber).

    Josh, you will figure the prayer thing out. One thing I do know is that God knows what we want even before we open our mouths to pray, so we shoudln't be afraid to ask for exactly what we want. He also knows that even when we say "Your will be done." that we really want our will to be done. So, just go to Him in complete honesty and ask for exactly what you want and deal with His will as it comes. You never know He may give you exactly what you ask for. Believe! Do not fear!

    As the mountains surround Jerusalem so the Lord surrounds His people.

    Lord, please surround Josh, Amber, Sophie, and Mattie and heal the babies completly.
    In Jesus Precious and Holy Name, Amen

    We love you and miss you in Shelbyville,
    Katie L