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Guest Blogger Krista Phillips: Until…it is you.

I met Krista Phillips online through ACFW–American Christian Fiction Writers. When I learned of her struggles with her fourth child Annabelle, my heart ached. I loved her transparency in her blog posts. I loved her ability to hold on through the storm. I loved rejoicing with her family’s victories. Now Krista and I are agent mates. Her debut novel, “Sandwich With a Side of Romance,” releases in September (she’ll be back as a guest blogger then too!), and I couldn’t be happier. 

Krista writes inspirational romantic comedy. She believes a sprinkle of laughter (and a wee bit of chocolate) makes everything a little better! She blogs regularly about life as a wife, mother, follower of Jesus, and mother of a child with a rare congenital heart defect at www.kristaphillips.com. Her debut novel, “Sandwich, With a Side of Romance,” releases in September, 2012.

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You hear the stories about those sick babies, see the prayer requests,  and your heart aches. Yet a tiny part of you is relieved. It’s them. It’s not you.

Until… it is you.

This was us when we had an ultrasound at 26 weeks with our 4th child. Our hearts crashed to the floor as the doctor drew us this ultra simple version of our daughter’s very sick heart.

They give us 70% odds of her survival to age 5.

Friends would say, “70%! That’s good, right?”

But all I could think of was that 30% chance. It haunted me for the next 12 weeks.

Nothing could have prepared me for the reality that we’d be faced with. 5 heart surgeries, including a heart transplant, several cardiac arrests, a total of 355 days in the hospital, 308 of them from birth until 10 months of age when Annabelle went home for the first time.

People ask me all the time, “How did you do it?” Or remark, “I could never do that. I’m just not that strong.”

Here’s the thing.

As a mother, there’s no other option. Sure, I get tired. I’ve struggled at times with depression, and have had my fair share of frank discussions with God, giving Him my blunt opinion on the matter.

God gives me strength for each day. No more, no less. Even now that we’re home and working on pushing through the hurdles that 355 days in the hospital creates, most times I’m still living on my own fumes and God’s  limitless strength-supply.

And oh-my-goodness. The rewards for “keeping on” are HUGE. Every snuggle, every smile, every milestone… with all children they are wonderful, but when you’ve fought so hard for those milestones and hugs, they are even that much sweeter.

Annabelle still has a ways to go. She’s 2 now and just learned to walk. She doesn’t talk yet, although her favorite babble is, “Mamamamama!” This Momma doesn’t mind that a bit! She doesn’t eat, is fed by a tube in her belly because she wasn’t stable enough to try food until she was a year old. B y then, she wasn’t very pleased at the thought.  So eating is a big hurdle.

But I have faith that she’s going to leap over that one any day.

And I have faith that through it all, God is cheering her on with us. I can totally see Him up in heaven doing this massive fist pump in the air, shouting, “Go Annabelle!”

Your Turn: Life is full of trials. Share a time when God’s strength was the only way you could get through each day.

Lisa Jordan
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What Would You Do For Your Children?

 In my newest novel, Lakeside Family, Josie will do anything to save her daughter’s life…even if it means facing a man from her past–Hannah’s father. 

When I brainstormed Lakeside Family, I had to give Josie a good enough reason to want to find Nick again. After all, the man broke her heart ten years ago. Despite the pain and resentment she felt, she knew she needed to put that aside and find him. He was her daughter’s last hope.

As a mother, I would do anything to keep my boys safe. That Mama Bear instinct kicks in and I’m all ready to tackle the world on their behalf. Wouldn’t most parents do the same for their children? 

So why do we think God is different? Why do we put God in a box and think He couldn’t or wouldn’t do something for us?

We are God’s children. 

The Bible is filled with stories of His grace, His protectiveness, His “Papa Bear” instinct. 

And like our own children, we become angry or disappointed when God doesn’t give us what we want when we want it. Would we give in to our children over everything they wanted? No. So why do we expect God to do the same for us?

Positive parenting allows children to develop and grow into responsible adults who understand right and wrong and the consequences of their actions. 

We serve a loving God who wants the best for us. He is the role model for positive parenting. He is our Heavenly Father. And He wants the very best for us…whatever it takes. 

Your Turn: If you are a parent, what would you do for your children? If you’re not a parent, what have you seen your parents do for you? How does your parenting style or upbringing correlate with God’s parenting?

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**Be sure to comment on my Lakeside Family Book Release Celebration post for an opportunity to win fun prizes!

**My sweet friend Roxanne Gray interviewed me on MBT Ponderers. Stop by and comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Lakeside Family.  

Lisa Jordan
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