"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
- Phil 4:4-7

Today I put pigtails in Audrey's hair and the look in her eyes when I told her how pretty they looked... my goodness am I thankful for her! I have been having a hard time with the idea of rejoicing lately but even on the very worst days I find myself raising these words up in prayer: THANK YOU JESUS FOR THIS SWEET GIRL.  

I may not be in the most joyful of moods these days and I may not feel like praising my God with all my heart, but I cannot escape His love; and I'm so very thankful for that. His scripture has been a gift and a blessing on the good days and the bad days. Little tidbits have comforted me and while I'm terrible at committing those words to memory and even worse at remembering where to find them, I'm always reminded at just the right moment or in just the right way, of exactly what I need to hear. 

That verse in Philippians is convicting and comforting all at the same time. How can I rejoice in the Lord always? How can I not be anxious about anything? That's the convenient part for me to struggle with but the harder part is the next part. It is acknowledging that God is asking for me to submit my requests to Him through prayer (and with thanksgiving...) but He isn't promising to answer those prayers exactly the way I want. Instead, His promise is to give me the peace that surpasses all understanding.

I wish every day that He had answered my prayers, and the prayers of so many people around me, with the answer we all wanted. The answer that gave me a sweet baby to hold and snuggle, even if it was in a NICU. The answer that gave Audrey a baby brother to love on and boss around. The answer that allowed George Mason to live a full and long life on this earth. That's what I wish but God answered differently. Instead of giving me those things that I had imagined when I got the first positive pregnancy test, He took my sweet son to heaven to be with Him after only 16 hours and gave me the promise that I would be given God's peace to guard my heart. 

I guess today that was the excited and proud smile of my almost 2 year old as she admired her "beautiful oinks" in the mirror. Thank you Jesus for this sweet girl