Wandering Mind 

Family and friends-

As I sit at home with Annalise sleeping in her rocker in front of me… my mind wanders. What if she had passed away in the first hour like the doctors predicted? What if, ten weeks ago, we would have gone into the hospital to not only welcome our first baby into the world, but send her off to her forever home? Would I have been okay?

I don’t know.

Would my mind have been filled with anger and questioning whether or not He could have healed her? Would I have been filled with curiosity as to why He didn’t?

I don’t know.

Honestly, I probably would have had those thoughts.

I’ve been thinking about how we as Christians want to have a definitive answer to everything. We want to be ready when someone asks us how we are dealing with loss or trials. But sometimes… the answer to those questions is “I don’t know”.

I’ve come to the conclusion that…We don’t need to feel like we have to have all the answers. We don’t need to fill those gaps when God can. God is perfectly capable of revealing Himself.

I’m sure I would have grieved the loss of what she would have been (and I am sure I will when the day comes- even now- when she goes “home”).  (SIDE NOTE- I’ve been under the assumption that most people still wonder what the doctors predict about her life expectancy… The answer is we don’t know. They say that most babies with this diagnosis pass within the first year… either from some type of infection or from her body outgrowing her brain essentially.  So we are living day to day and cherishing every moment we get with her!)

But we have hope for a reason. I know full well that I do not have to ever wait in vain. I fully believe that He is real and that He is in control. I believe in His promises. I believe He is working everything in my life (and yours) for good. I believe He is who He says He is. This leads me to believe that we are on this journey… Walking the path that leads to Him and her (when that time comes) for a reason. We are here to give Him glory through it all.

Knowing that she will never return to us (when she passes) but that one day, we will go to her is part of the reason we have hope in our Lord. We know that His promise of eternity is real. We are forever grateful for that.

We are also forever grateful that we have been able to spend the last TEN weeks with our girl. That’s right… We have hit double digits! There is nothing else to say but that we are incredibly blessed!

Annalise is still going strong and is definitely gaining a little momentum! ;p

On Monday, she weighed 9lbs and 2.5oz…. so the higher calorie intake is working! 🙂 Her cry is becoming even more pronounced AND she is starting to use it more! She is working her legs more and more and moving her arms around like crazy. She loves sticking her tongue out and absolutely LOVES looking at bright lights. I actually found a play mat/gym that lights up and plays music and she will lay under there forever just watching and listening. It’s adorable.

Yesterday (the 28th), we finally had our evaluation with Infant Toddler (the early intervention/developmental program we are trying to get Annalise into). Everything checked out and she will start seeing a therapist here in a couple weeks! 🙂 The ladies who came to evaluate were actually pretty impressed with how well Annalise is doing. Even though she is 10 weeks old, developmentally she is only a 5 week old baby since she was 5 weeks premature. Crazy to think that she is already doing a little bit more than what a normal 5 week old baby does! But why should I be surprised at that when I know who is in control over this whole situation?!?

Have I ever mentioned how great our God is?!? 🙂

We are so thankful and so blessed to have this little fighter in our lives.

I can only hope and pray that each of you who are reading this blog, find something meaningful out of it. I hope and pray that you realize that our God is greater than anything you are going through. He deserves all the glory and praise through every circumstance. He is faithful.

And as always… I will leave you with a bunch of the most recent pictures 🙂


Have a blessed rest of your week!




  1. dawn knox · April 29, 2015

    You just made my day. Thank you so much for sharing your big miracle! I almost said little miracle, but she is bigger than that. I love seeing her personality come to life in the pictures. Hug her for us all. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  2. Jean · April 29, 2015

    The HEADBANDS. So cute! I’m so glad you’re getting this wonderful time with Annalise! Thank you so much for the updates – I am still praying and praising God for giving you this time and such a beautiful little ‘fighter’. Our God is great!


  3. Codi · April 29, 2015

    Your strength and faith amaze me. I absolutely love readying your posts and seeing pictures of sweet Annalise. She just makes me smile 🙂 God Bless you and your family.


  4. momof3lilmen · April 29, 2015

    That hair! Those headbands! But most of all, that Miracle of a Little Girl!! You are all truly blessed! God is Great!!


  5. R M · April 29, 2015

    You are all a gift from God here to inspire and teach the rest of us what faith is all about. Thanks for sharing your life with us.


  6. scrappingirl72 · April 29, 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing your precious blessing with us. It makes my day to see the awesome pictures of her. I just want to hug her and shower her with kisses. She is so adorable!!!!


  7. Kathy · April 29, 2015

    Thank you for the updates on your precious daughter!….and thank you for sharing that GOD is in control of every moment of her life and yours (Ephesians 1:11). Our first child (daughter- Faith) was born, stillborn and I never got to hold her. Doctor discouraged us from seeing her, because we knew she had died the week before. I know you cherish every day you have with her! Praying for you all.


  8. Annie Johnson · April 29, 2015

    Your love for your sweet baby girl and trust in the Lord is so incredibly inspiring. Annalise is already changing the world through her fighting spirit and your eloquent voice and is truly making it a better place. You are one beautiful and corageous Mamma. You have many praying for you and your beautiful family is an inspiration to all. What a legacy. Thank you.


  9. Nora's grammie · April 29, 2015

    Your posts are so uplifting- I get teary-eyed reading them and feeling God in all of Annalise’s life. What joy she brings. :O)


  10. Christine · April 29, 2015

    Dear Mom and Dad,
    We often want to see God and I want to say I get a glimpse of God through you blogs.

    Thank you and kèep writing
    Christine Hiemstra


  11. erica essick · April 29, 2015

    And God’s people say AMEN!!


  12. czma2004@yahoo.com · April 29, 2015

    Smiling again at the end of my day and all because of your sweet little princess. I absolutely love all her personality, I especially love the photo of your four selfies…adorable. Thanks for sharing your story, life and family with me.


  13. Taryn · April 29, 2015

    You are living an amazing testimony! Your faith is an encouragement and a challenge to all who are following your story. God is using you to reflect His glory! Just beautiful!


  14. Ruthie Richards · April 29, 2015

    I so appreciate you sharing your faith in God through the miracle God gave you named Annalise. He has faith in you also or God would not have entrusted you with her precious beautiful life. Give her a kiss on the forehead for me. Blessings.


  15. Deborah Desmond · April 29, 2015

    All of the pictures you post of Annalise, she looks bright eyed, and inquisitive. Usually, if a baby is retarded, they do not have that look in their eyes. I am no expert, but in my opinion, Annalise is as intelligent as any baby her age. I believe you will be amazed at how she will develop. On one of the talk shows, back in the ’90’s, there was a mother and her daughter there. The daughter had the same diagnosis as Annalise. The doctors told her she had no brain. However, they sent her home with her parents, who had to pump the fluid off her brain every 2 hours. I do not know what kind of shunt she had, but it had to be manually pumped. Everyone was amazed at how that baby developed. As the fluid was pumped off, her brain expanded. At the time of the program, the little girl was 8 years old, with close to normal intelligence. There was no more swelling of her head, which was normal size.
    I love seeing the pictures of your sweet baby, and never give up hope for her.


  16. Marietta Bolz · April 30, 2015

    I cannot begin to tell you how much more I Love God and am in Love with Him because of this little Blessing and the Love her parents have for her and their God!!, I know beyond a doubt how real He is and each post reveals that truth even more!!
    There are no words or explanations for the feelings i have when I read your posts and see the updates on your lives with sweet Annalise…
    You have been given a gift dear parents and I know for a fact God knew you would use it to Glorify Him as hard and great as it is…
    God has given us a glimpse, no a huge glimpse for me of heaven through each of you and your bsby.
    Thank you for sharing such an intimate personal relationship with Him and each other with us.
    You have my prayers and humbly thank you for sharing God’s Love to us through your precious baby girl… I truly am in tears with so many good things because of your writings and relationship andpictures and mostly your undying Love for your Lord, thank you for everything.
    It is making a difference in so many lives.
    I believe you could do a book with each post being a chapter of the book this world needs to see and read to know God’s Love and Hope!
    Blessings to you all and again thank you…
    I Love each of you, and I Love God more because of you!!


  17. Rebecca · April 30, 2015

    She’s beautiful! Thank you for sharing your journey!


  18. Sarah Sides · April 30, 2015

    You don’t know me, but I saw your story on KMBC, so of course, I had to find your blog. Your story hit home like no other and brought tears to my eyes instantly. When I was pregnant with my first, my husband and I learned our unborn baby boy had hydrocephalus (excess fluid around the brain; his brain had split like it should have). Though it was considered a mild case, we were still referred to Children’s Mercy for a fetal MRI and to meet with a team of specialists, learn about the possible long term complications, and discuss surgery to implant a shunt. It was scary beyond belief and I cried for days. Miraculously, through lots of prayers, the issue resolved itself and our firstborn was born a healthy baby. Nonetheless, your story stirred such emotion inside of me. I am amazed by your strength, courage, and hope. Annalise is beautiful and she is very lucky to have the two of you as her parents. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family from Lenexa!


  19. Kassy Paris · April 30, 2015

    God is so awesome. Your journey with Annalise is a testament to show the world that God is in control. As Deborah Desmond above said, you can see intelligence and awareness in Annalise’s eyes. Such beautiful, brilliant blue eyes. God is shining through those eyes. Bless you all.


  20. Alyson · April 30, 2015

    Such beautiful curly hair!!! Will keep praying for you all xx


  21. Antoni · April 30, 2015

    Hello again, thanks for sharing your journey. Little Annalise is just so precious. A precious gift from our Lord. I believe God is a healing God and I wanted to share this information with you just in case you were ever in Lagos Africa. I have seen many many many miracles from the spirit of God moving within the people of God in the Synagogue Church Of All Nations. Many people from all over the world go for healing and deliverance. I’ve even seen an American woman journey there who was def in one ear and as able to come back to the USA completely healed in the name of Jesus. I pray that your faith will stir up after seeing some of the videos in the link below and if money permits, take a trip and see God move. Come back home with a GRAND testimony!!! I wish I had the money to give to you all just to go and fellowship their one Sunday service. However it’s according to your faith. They pray over the airways as well with viewers. ok enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxYz5elkpKA


  22. Laura · April 30, 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with complete strangers like me. I originally saw your blog on Facebook, and have been getting it for a number of weeks now. Your faith and courage are and inspiration. I love hearing and seeing how Annalise Hope is growing. Please know that I pray for her and for you regularly.


  23. Jack Ogden · April 30, 2015

    Looks like most of the comments are from ladies. If you will, allow an old man to say how much her pictures make my day. The different expressions on her face and the twinkle in her eye just bless my heart. Thanks for sharing her!


  24. Ruth Quiring · April 30, 2015

    Annaliese is absolutely adorable with her facial expressions and obvious awareness of what is going on around her. Such a blessing to hear about your journey. Your thoughts about “the life she would have had” and grieving that reminds me of how we felt with our two stillborn daughters. And of course that is hard and sad to think about. Normal grieving. You obviously are taking it all day by day and being flexible with your plans and expectations. So admire you. Hope you are also taking good care of yourselves.


  25. Jennifer · May 1, 2015

    I am so blessed to have run across this article. All glory to our God for His beautiful creation. I work with many children like your precious daughter and I praise God for every one of them. Thank you for sharing your families story and faith.


  26. larisha · May 2, 2015

    she is soooooooooo cute I what her


  27. Sherri Hatch · May 3, 2015

    She is seriously the cutest little girl I have ever seen!!!!


  28. Christina May · May 4, 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing your story it dances on my heart strings! The faith you have is so to be admired. You and your family are a HUGE testament of true Faith in the Good Lord above. …and that little one is adorable. I love love seeing her pictures her little feet her expressions the headbands cute but even the wild hair is cute. 🙂 She makes my day she’s sweet. May God continue to surround you!


  29. Teresa mathews · May 5, 2015

    What a wonderful post this is, thank you for sharing your heart with us. Annalise is a beautiful reminder to me of God’s grace and beauty, and also lets me know that He is still in control. Doctors don’t the last word, HE does!! Keep these precious posts and pictures coming. 🙂


  30. Susie Vanderpool · May 5, 2015

    god knows who to give these special angels too ❤


  31. Joy DeKok · May 5, 2015

    Amen! And she has captivated the heart of this stranger – although because you share her and your story so generously (I love that about you!) I feel closer than a stranger. Perhaps it is our faith. Or her beauty. Or yours. Likely, it’s a lovely combination of them all. Thank you for giving us her story and yours. It matters – here on earth and in heaven. I think you are living out Psalm 103:1 “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” We are blessed. He is blessed. Thank you.


  32. Sandy Cain · May 5, 2015

    What a sweetie, and so expressive! You are blessed!


  33. Matt Mattingly · May 5, 2015

    What a precious, tiny, beautiful little girl. You’ve touched my heart with your post.


  34. ANN*H · May 5, 2015

    Loved the pictures . Her face shows so many expressions. Her beautiful blue eyes and her adorable hair – I love it. Shes such a amazing little girl. God bless her.


  35. Debbie Clark · May 6, 2015

    Your sweet little princess Annaliese Hope is living up to her middle name. No matter how long you are blessed with her, she gives you hope. I love that pink dress as it brings out the blue in her eyes so well and those headbands are the cutest! As usual, I read your blog and see the darling pictures and it brings me to tears. What a precious gift she is!


  36. Ashley · May 7, 2015

    What a beautiful girl! The photo with her hand on her chin! So perfect!


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