Saturday, August 27, 2011


Yesterday was a really hard day.  I wasn't sure how to communicate what I was feeling, so I just put up nursery pics.  Saying goodbye to Caleb and my well as a hard conversation with the doctor...and the move from the hotel to the Ronald McDonald House...all added up to a very emotional day. 

Today was significantly better.  We had plenty of good things to celebrate (which I will share later). People we love came to visit from Cruces as well as from across town. We had relaxed time to spend with Baby Boy, and I got to hold him for the first time since moving back to Pres. :-)

Tomorrow is still unknown.
We are learning about hope.  What is it that we are hoping in?  Are we hoping in Jude's progress?  Does our hope rise and fall with each new piece of news the doctors share with us?
If we are placing our hope in anything else but Jesus, our foundation is nothing but shifting sand.  We can't place our hope in our little guy's oxygen levels or platelets or MRIs.  In Jesus alone can we place our the One who is the same yesterday, today and forever.

"Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine
and puts them into practice is like a wise man who
built his house on the rock. 
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew
and beat against the house; yet it did not fall,
because it had its foundation on the rock.
But everyone who hears these words of mine
and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man
who built his house on sand.
The rain came down, the steams rose, and the winds blew
and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
Matthew 7:24-27

Tonight, we're celebrating:  
  • Jude opened his eyes today!!!  Brandon was with him when he first saw it, and I got to see it later in the evening.  What a blessing to see those sweet little peepers, and for him to see his mommy and daddy!  Thanking God for that tonight. 
  • His platelet levels increased again on their own.  This is such a victory, and we're very happy with this trend.
  • His MRI didn't reveal any more bleeding. It looked pretty much the same.  We're thankful for that, and we are still praying that the Lord would bless the areas damaged by the bleeding. 
  • They removed his umbilical artery line.  This was partially used as a blood pressure monitor that tracked him moment by moment.  With his stability in this area, it is no longer needed.  :-)
  • The Ronald McDonald House.  What a blessing this place is!  They provide dinner and breakfast...along with free laundry and a great place to stay.  And, we don't have to pay anything.  Thanks, Lord.
Tonight, we're praying about:
  • His right lung. It hasn't shown much improvement yet.  They started him on medicines today to try and break up some of the mucus build up.
  • Surgery next week.  They are thinking they will do it on Thursday or Friday.  We have yet to meet with the surgeon, but that is the plan as of now.  Praising God for that!
  • His kidneys. They had to stop the treatment they were using to help him get rid of fluids because it was affecting his kidneys.  His creatinine level has been climbing.  Please pray that his kidneys will function as they should and that everything they gave him to help him get rid of his fluids was sufficient to get his system jump started.  
  • Hope.  We're grateful for the improvements, and we're praying about the needs.  But, we want our hope to be built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.  We want our days to be characterized by His faithful love for us and not our circumstances or those of our sweet little baby.  The song below has been playing in our heads since yesterday.  He is our solid Rock and our firm foundation.

 "This Solid Rock"
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.


Kellie said...

Mandy, Brandon, Caleb & Jude,

I enjoy spending time with you each night, even though I'm in a different state. When I wake up to pump or feed Evelyn each night, I first turn on the computer to check your blog. That way I will know what to pray about as I pump. I love doing it - it is such a quiet time with no other distractions, and I feel like God can hear me better (which isn't true, but it seems like it). Thank you for inviting me on your journey, it is a privilege to spend time with you in spirit each night.

Caleb - I have a present for you, buddy! I'll send it to you when you get home from Illinois.

Julie said...

Mandy, I have just recently caught up on the journey of life for you. Through tears, know I am praying for you, Brandon, Caleb and Jude. Praying. Praying. May your heart rest in Jesus as He holds your family.

love Julie Hufstetler (Fleishour)

Angela said...

I'm celebrating with you that you got to see Jude open his little eyes! We will be praying for you all today, and every day, during our Breakfast and Bible time. We love you all.
Marrty, Angela, Maegan, Ryan, Addie and Tony

Kelly said...


I continue to be gripped by your vulnerability and your rawness before Jesus. Thank you for sharing so honestly about the ups and downs. My heart aches as I read your story, as it is a purely sobering perspective of this amazing Jesus we serve, where our blessings lie, and how our comforts and blessings in the life are not our own...we simply cannot take what he has for us for granted. Your story bleeds the Gospel and the love of Jesus. May little Jude and your family's journey greatly impact others for Jesus. Thank you for allowing me to be on this journey with you. We will continue to pray for his improving health, for Caleb's time in Illinois, and your stay at the Ronald McDonald house!

Holly said...

Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.
Psalm 119:114

Liz W. said...

Thanks Mandy and Brandon for sharing this journey. We are praying for you all along the way and it so helps to know what to pray and how to pray. Thankfully the Holy Spirit always fills in the gaps too! That hymn has always been my favorite since I was a little girl. Extra special meaning now. What a challenge to each of us. Love you all so much!

The Washburns

Anonymous said...

Mandy-Yesterday when I was thinking of you I couldn't get the word "hope" out of my head. I was thinking about the hope necklace from our infertility days and the meaning it held then. Now that hope has come full circle as we trust Jesus with the lives our precious little men. I love you!

I'm not sure if you remember, but the Lord laid Romans 5:2-5 on my heart then and I'm praying it for you now. "And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
Love, Laura

PS-Happy Happy Birthday, dear friend

julie wolfe said...

Mandy and Brandon,
I am so happy to hear that Jude was able to open his eyes. Praying for the upcoming surgery. You all are in the palm of Jesus' hands and I am praying that you don't miss Caleb too much! I was so encouraged myseld when I read your blog on hope. I needed to be reminded of that. Praise God that you are able to stay at the Ronald McDonald house and I am praying for your fianances as well. Take care of each other and give Jude a kiss for me.

Julia said...

Happy Birthday Sis!!!

Kel said...

Amen. I soo wish we could come and see you. Your pictures and words are encouraging to us. We see the Light of Jesus in your eyes/ hearts. What a blessing that God chose you to have little Jude. God is good. We are praying for you all. For peace...for His hands to hold you. Giving you a virtual hug friend.

P.s. I have to tell you that the security word that I have to type in to publish is Mandiess.......just a little humor your way friend. :)

Angie Bentley said...

Oh, Peltons! What a road you're walking. I just caught wind about little Jude's heart and got on your blog. The hope that Jesus empowers you with is so very evident. Praying for you guys. (And LOVE the nursery. Oh. My. Word. Might have to redo one of Lizzy's walls and do the shelves.)

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