Sunday, August 9, 2009

Staying Afloat

One of the many blessings that comes with having four babies entrusted to us at one time is that we have learned quickly that very little is in our control when it comes to raising these precious children.  We went from a high risk pregnancy to months in the neonatal intensive care unit in the hospital, endured three surgeries and then went home with heart monitors for all four babies. If there was anything to learn from all of that it was that God is in control and protects our family every step of the way. Still, there are numerous times I have to be reminded of that as I catch myself worrying daily. Worrying whether the kids are eating enough, or if they are going to be cranky all day, if their tantrums will ever end, or if I'm capable of keeping them safe from darting into the street while they ride their trikes & cars in the driveway.

Daddy and "Blonde Daddy"
All this Water and Still Dry?
Noah, Cohen, Mommy, Finn, Sophia

Yesterday was one of those worry-filled days and funny enough, I started my morning reading a chapter from The Bathtub is Overflowing but I Feel Drained by Lysa TerKeurst. It was entitled "A Mom's Greatest Fear" which talked about how God tells us not to fear (the phrase "fear not" or the equivalent is in the Bible 365 times!) but instead turn our worry over to God and trust in Him to provide and protect.  So when we took all of our little ones to a family reunion in Galveston, which was on the water and also around a pool, I was trying my best to give up all of the worries and just enjoy the day.  We hadn't been there more than 30 minutes when the kids found the pool and wanted to check out the water. I let them sit by the pool and put their feet in while Chris went to get their swimsuits.  Sophia was kicked back, striking the cutest little supermodel pose on the pool deck. I was laughing at her and then turn to check on Noah & Finn who had walked back behind me - sticking their hands in the hot tub. As soon as I turned back around I saw Cohen floating face down about 3 feet out into the water.  Of course I squealed and jumped in to grab him. He looked at me with confused and startled eyes like as if I had pushed him out there. I was shaking, he was shaking, we were both soaked!  Right here is where I should've been singing Hallelujahs and praising God.   Instead I was thinking I knew, I just knew it - this is dangerous, this is all my fault, there is no way we can ever get back into the pool nor around any other pool...ever!  Chris came back and interrupted my little worry-fest with swimsuits in hand.  He was hardly phased by my story, just said "well thank god you were right there" and then went on putting the bathing suits on the kids. There were no more incidents all day - Cohen got back in (with his swimsuit on this time) and was a happy little fish. 
Taking in the View
Daddy & Sophia
Holdin' on Tight
Noah, Daddy & Cohen

We came home with an exhausted group and put them to bed. I was trying to go to sleep but couldn't get that image out of my head. I just kept thinking - what if this or what if that had happened? So now I was worrying about the past also! Worrying about something that could've played out but didn't!  "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?" Matthew 6:27  That verse popped into my head and I thought, what am I doing drowning myself in fear? I started my way overdue hallelujahs and praised God instead; for protecting us, for comforting me with Jesus's words.   My mind quieted and I was able to join Chris in sawing a few logs before morning. 

Love Fest
Sophia, Mema, Noah, CJ, Pepa, Madeleine, Cohen & Finn
Mema's Candid Cookies
CJ, Finn, Cohen, Noah, Jordyn, Madeleine & Sophia
Blackened Feet are a True Sign of a Great Day


quatro_mama said...

Oh mama! How your words (and the Scripture) spoke to my own heart to night. I'm thankful for a faithful friend, who is with me in the trenches of raising quads. Love you, mama!

Alaine said...

Mari, you tell the story with your heart, and God's love shining through! I rejoice that you know He is always there-"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Luke 12:6-7
Thank you for the time last week, I had a blast-my love to all of you. Give them each a hug for me.

KelNosz said...

There's no doubt I was lead to your blog tonight. I lurk sometimes, but especially felt the need to click your link from another blog instead of heading to bed. My 5-year-old daughter is going to a pool party tomorrow without me and I've been a nervous wreck about it.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful faith and family!

Stephanie said...

Your faith is so strong and amazing. Thank you for always sharing little bits of scripture with us! It always hits home with me!
How scary that it happened, but like Chris said, thank goodness you were right there!
WOW-look at those feet...definitly a good day! ;)

The McNulty Family said...

Oh Mama!

First, I needed to hear your words today.. so badly! Then, reading your story just made my heart stop. I love you with all my heart and love your grace under pressure. You are such an amazing mommy, wife and friend. THANK GOD for YOU!


Anonymous said...

I know that horrible feeling. I took my twins to a Halloween party. What can go wrong...they were 7 years old. My daughter was eating gummy things..fingers, tongues, know scary stuff for Halloween. Well, the eyeball got stuck in her throat and she was choking. The bad choke where she couldn't breathe. I ran over to grab her and I screamed "She's choking". My cousin's husband ran over and stuck his finger down her throat and pulled out the eyeball. No..not the safest way to dislodge an item but I don't think he was thinking. Like you, I sat there shaking and just holding my daughter. After we came home I just cried and cried and held my daughter. I wrote the gummy candy a letter, telling them to please discontinue making the eyeballs because another child may not be as lucky. I'm so glad your baby is okay and mine too.

Shannon said...

Huge hugs, Mari! Love you girl.

ANSLEY said...

So thankful CoCo is ok!! We love you mama!

Happy Birthday Chris!!

Suzanne said...

oh sweet mare! i forgot that THIS was the reunion weekend. my goodness gracious. thank God for his timing. LOVE your ability to see his presence in every you so much!

joe and i are looking at our "date book" for this fall!!! can't wait for a weekend with the G's in our "1st love home town"!!!


Anonymous said...

WOW...amazing! God is truely AMAZING!! Those words and God's word you put in this post is something I have been needing to hear. Do NOT worry. I love this saying Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. :) Thanks for these words and most importantly Thank you God for allowing you to look back when you did. :)

I have a family is coming down to Houston/Galvaston this Wednesday-Sunday and we are going to Schlitterbahn, Moody Gardens, and NASA space center. I am wondering if you know of any good deals we can get on tickets. There are 6 of us going and every little bit helps. Thanks for the help in advance. If you want you can post it on here or you can email me at Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh Mari - I can't even being to imagine what you felt - thank God you looked up and Cohen is ok. Viewing the incident from the outside I think of God's grace urging you to look up at the right time, yet I know when you are the one living the experience it is so easy to self blame. Love all the pictures and glad the day ended up alright - and gotta love Finns feet!! Love, Debbie

Chelsa said...

We were at a friends house last weekend (on sunday evening) and us moms were upstairs talking and we thought our two boys (both 4 1/2 years old) were downstairs in the basement w/ our husbands, their daddies. that is where the playroom is and we thought they were down there playing... somehow they had snuck out and were outside "fishing" by their pond. our husbands happened to go outside and see them. they both got in trouble, because they know they aren't supposed to be be down by the pond... but not before there was much love give and many thanks and praise given to the Lord for protecting the boys... one of them could of fallen in so easily and we didn't even know they were out there! everytime i thought of it it just made me feel sick to my stomach...