Saturday, March 15, 2008

Urgent prayer requests

*** Peace in our hearts

*** Wisdom for the choices we need to make over the next few days

*** Oceana - she's freaking out and crying all the time. She doesn't realize anything's wrong with Joshua, and hasn't noticed he's not around. But she's crying and screaming and whining about everything. We just don't have the patience for it or the emotional stability to handle her.

*** Matt came down with the flu this afternoon after Joshua was gone. He is in agony with stomach cramps, and other gastrointestinal issues.

** Me, I'm feeling a bit under the weather. I can't decide if it's a stomachache due to the stress or if I'm coming down with it too. My mom and dad both have it as well.... It's not a 24 hours bug either, it's like 4 and 5 days long!

It just doesn't seem fair that we can't just have one catastrophe in a day...

I just want to go to bed and sob... but Matt's sick and will need my help. Since my parents are both sick too, it's only my brother and I who aren't ...


  1. Praying for you, with so much love.

    -- an Aussie reader

  2. Hi Susie. I emailed you earlier and thought maybe you could use some company now. I'm sorry your family is sick with both grief and illness. I will pray for healing on both counts.

    I'm sure Oceana has picked up on the differences, though she surely doesn't understand any of it. Perhaps she doesn't feel well either. You need to eat yogurt if you will help those nasty bugs be on their way.

    Be paitent. This too shall pass. You have faced your greatest fears today. A chapter has been written and another has begun. Be strong. Take this to God and let Him guide you. Be wise. Rest as much as you can, eat as much as you can tolerate and know that you have the support of (at last count) more than 50,000 people!

    Lots of love,

  3. Dear, Susie, I'll pray extra hard for you all right now. I'm so sorry that you are going through illness in the family on top of losing Joshua. You're in the hard part and I'm so very sorry you have to hurt like this.

    I realize you might need to be near Oceana at this time, but perhaps if you have a trusted friend take her for a few hours, she'll get to play away from the stress of things at home and you'll get a chance to focus on what you need to, and, perhaps, rest. She's too young to understand the significance of what's going on around her. Children this age have only two concerns: themselves and themselves in relationship to mommy. This is normal, but may be hard to take right now.

    Please call upon your church family at this time. Does your church have a quick way to organize meals to be brought in, etc...? If so, do take advantage of that if it's there.

    It's just as blessed to give as to receive, so please, please let people help you right now so that you are free to focus on the most important things. If people's condolences are too much for you right now, choose one person to accept things on your behalf and don't open the door or pick up the phone.

    My heart aches for you right now. Take care of yourself as best you can and be well.

  4. Oh bless your heart! I am sorry that your husband is sick on top of this, and that Oceana is having such a hard time...

    I am so sorry about Joshua. I just found your blog through a friend on Thursday, and read straight through all the way back to his birth. I used to work with special needs kids, kids with hydrocephaly and cebereal palsy, but I had never heard of encephalocele. I hope that maybe since your little baby made it so long that the doctors and nurses who helped you know more about it now, and how to care for babies with it better. And maybe they can teach it to other doctors and then they'll figure something out.

    I wouldn't be surprised if you're feeling sickly from the stress and that that is also making your immune system weaker. Fun, right? I wish I was there to take care of all of you and make chicken noodle soup and to help you with Oceana and just... be there.

    I think you are an incredibly brave and strong person. I hope against hope that I will never be tested as you have, but I pray that I will do half as well as you. I don't know if I could have kept my anger in check through all this. Your spirit is amazing, and Joshua chose YOU to be his mother for a reason...

    I hope you get your chance to cry your eyes out. You need it.

    Again, so sorry for your loss and nothing but admiration for you. I know you don't feel strong, I know you're probably feeling thin as tissue paper right now, but you ARE strong. You'll get through this. God bless you.

  5. I will pray for you... the first time I have prayed in a long time. May you have peace... may you ALL have peace. Jodi x x

  6. Oh beloved! Yes, it does seem unfair.

    I found this in my wanderings today, and thought it may strike a chord for you...

    But! Remember I mentioned I saw rubies in Joshuas crown? (It's ok if you dont *smile*) I found these biblical definitions of them plus a few other interesting facts. It blew me away.

    Biblically, rubies stand for preciousness, of great value, costly glories, wisdom, prized treasure, courage, purity, difnity & power.

    It is the first gem on the first row of the breastplate of Aaron.

    The gem was highly prized for crowns.

    There are only 4 precious stones, Diamond, Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby.

    After diamonds, Rubies are the hardest of the naturally forming gem stones.

    Typically, they have cracks on their surfaces. All natural rubies have imperfections in them, including colour impuritirs, and inclusions of rutile needles inown as silk. Gemologists use these needle inclusions to didtinguish them from fakes. Almost all rubies today are treated in some form, with heat treatment by far the most common practice. However, rubies that are completely untreated are still of excelent quallity and command a large premium.

    I thought this so apt for Joshua!

    Make sure you do have time to sob, precious heart. Run yourself a bath, submerge yourself and scream, if you have to. Rage at God, (He's got a pretty big chin, He can take it)cry, sob, scream, sing, laugh, dance; whatever your heart and soul needs to do. And then, you will find rest.

    "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

    He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:28-31

    He loves you. He is there with open arms. Clooapse into them dearest. They are stronger than anything you'll ever know.

  7. Bless you all. I have been following your days with a heavy heart. What a darling and courageous little guy Joshua was. Go gently in the coming days and months.

    I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious boy.

  8. Susi,
    I just came on to tell you I'm praying for you as the 15th is almost over in NZ - only 20 more minutes of this final day of Joshua's life.
    I was going to tell you I was praying that you could sleep and praying for peace for you
    Now, I'll tell you that I'm also praying for healing for Matt and your parents, protection for you, strength for you and praying for Oceana.

  9. You and your family are in my prayers. You did a wonderful, beautiful job raising such a beautiful boy with what little time you were given. He was blessed to have parents like you!

  10. I pray for everyone in your family to feel better, and for you to stay well.
    I pray that you are able to make all the decisions you need to make with a clear mind, and you are able to grieve as you need to.

    thank you for sharing your beautiful boys life! He is well now.
    Im praying for you, I think about you and your family all day long.

  11. Oh no, none of this is fair :( I am sorry to hear you have illness to deal with on top of it all. I hope there are people nearby who can help you and your family practically. You deserve to be able to attend to your grief. You poor darlings.

  12. I am praying. Sounds like the flu has you all. God will strengthen you. He loves you so much. Children can pick up on tension, she may not be able to voice it, but she knows things have changed. Just give it some time. Today isn't every day. This will pass. Get some rest, when you can.

  13. Prayers coming your way. But hon, Oceana DOES know on some level and that's exactly why she's freaking out and crying. If nothing else she's reacting to yours and Matt's stress and sadness.

    Not to compare it to your situation - but when I had a miscarriage several years ago (a baby we hadn't told my daughter about) my daughter was EXCEPTIONALLY badly behaved in the aftermath. I realized in hindsight it was a reaction to my feelings.

    Peace and grace and HEALTH to you all in the days to come.

  14. Thinking of you and your family through this hard time.

    Joshua has touched more people than you can imagine.

    Boo, AUS

  15. Oh Susie! I'm so sorry that everyone is sick on top of it all. I have had you in prayer for a long time, and I'm not about to give up now!

    As for Oceana, She might not notice he's "missing," but I'm sure she senses the mood and the tension in the air. I know it is hard to deal with, but she's trying to understand what's up with everyone too.



  16. We pray you find strength to get through this.

  17. I am so sorry you are all so sick. I have been reading your blog for some time but have never posted. I am praying for you, for peace and rest beyond anything God has ever given you before. I am praying for Him to be so obviously present with you that no one can deny it is HIM! And, on the practical side I am praying that this nasty bug will go quickly. I can not imagine the loss you must feel, I feel honored to be able to pray for you as your sister in Christ.


  18. GRACE, GRACE, GRACE!! God, please give Susie, Matt & Oceana grace! Oh Susie, I'm so sorry this is all happening. I am praying for you guys...

  19. I'm praying for all your needs as requested...also praying that Satan would be bound and kept away from your family. May God grant you all the things you have requested.

  20. Oh, Susie. Thanks for letting us know how we can be praying right now.

  21. 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
    4who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
    5For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
    6If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
    7Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
    2 Chorinthians 1 :3 – 5

    Praying for you guys at this time.

  22. Dearest Susie
    I think I can speak for all the nearly 60000 visitors - consider your prayer request done! I'm sure it the stress of the loss and all the emotion that is wreaking havoc on your family right now, but this too shall pass. You have an incredibly large prayer circle. And be rest assured, we will all be praying for you. Much love to you all.

  23. "When you pass through the water, I will be with you; in the rivers you shall not drown. When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned; the flames shall not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior." Isaiah 43:2-3

    I am praying for God to give you strength.

  24. I have prayed for the flu to be taken from your family in Jesus' name and for Oceana to have a spirit of peace. I will continue to life your family up! I am sorry you are going through such a rough time....I wish there was more I could say to make you feel better.

    God loves you...and He will see you through this. Hold onto your faith!

  25. Just keep hugging your little girl, ...She does know but this is probably her way of showing emotion...she's so young that she can't express herself like we adults can. I have been praying for you and yes, crying for you. I pray this 'bug' will be gone before the timeframe that you stated.
    Love in the Lord,

  26. Susie,

    I am praying that God will give you all the strength to get through the upcoming days. My deepest sympathy goes out to you and your precious family. Thank you for sharing your story. You have been a witness to thousands! Lisa in NC

  27. I so wish I could be there to spend time with Oceana and allow you to rest and grieve.

    I'm so sorry to hear that your family is sick in addition to the loss of dear Joshua.

    I am praying for you Susie. I am truly praying for you.


  28. Praying for you all and sending a big hug from Michigan.

  29. Oh Susie I will pray for you all. May you find the peace and calm that you need right now. I pray that you all recover soon from this illness and that Oceana can draw strength from our prayers to give her what she needs to cope with this huge adjustment in her life.

    Your little boy was born on my baby son's birthday and grew his baby angel wings on mine.

    We will forever remember Joshua and his beautiful family.

    God bless you all xxxxx

  30. I'm sure the stress you guys have been under is beginning to take its toll on all of you. I pray for your healing, both physically and emotionally. Poor little Oceana, she just doesn't understand yet what all that has happened. I know the Lord will give you all strength to continue on this journey. You take care of each other and we will all be praying for you!

    Debbie Lionberger
    Illinois, USA

  31. I am so sorry for your loss . I lost my little girl at 23 days. There is a great grief group on when your ready feel free to visit. They are great support . (((HUGS))) May Joshua watch over you and guide you from heaven.

  32. God be with you. You, Matt, and Oceana are in my prayers. I pray He will bring you some peace for your grieving.

  33. Oh Susie, how horrible that you have these added things to deal with.
    Little kids are very sensitive to their surroundings, Im sure she senses the saddness and knows somethings wrong. Do you have a family friend that might be able to take Oceana for a little bit, so you all can rest and grieve? She might also feel better if shes out of the house for a little bit. I will pray for you all to have the peace that passes all understanding, and for you all to start feeling better!
    My heart is breaking fou you... I wish I could give you the biggest hug.

  34. Girl I wish I was there to help you out or babysit for you! I am praying for you....Just lean on God and cry your heart out. I am so sorry catastrophes happen to you all at once...when the devil works he doesn't give up. Just keep your eyes on God and hopefully you can have a break for you and your family! I look up to parents like you and your husband! I will pray all day for you!!

  35. you are all in my prayers...

  36. ~praying for your family~

    I have no idea what over the counter medicines are available there or if you guys are even "into" taking them- but if you can find something like Imodium AD for Matt, it will probably really help him. My husband gets wicked bad stomach cramping/IBS symptoms when he's over-tired and under large amounts of stress.

    Could it be possible that Oceana is reacting to everyone else's saddness? Maybe she's freaking out and crying because she knows something has changed and she knows that something is sad but she's unable to really figure out what's going on? Is there a way someone can help her put words to it? It could be a good distraction for her. Is there anyone other than the two of you (perhaps someone from Church) who can take her out for a playdate while you and Matt get some much needed alone/grieving time?

    As for yourself, this is probably going to be the hardest few weeks of your life. You are probably going to test your very strength as a human being. Life just doesn't get much worse than losing a child. Take care of yourself as best as you can. By all means, go to bed and cry- but make sure that you stay hydrated while you do so. If you can find some Emergen-C to add to some water, the added Vitamin C boost might prevent you from getting sick yourself.

    The fact that this happened now might just be a blessing in disguise. Better now than yesterday.

    You guys did a fantastic job- your son went to God with love, dignity and panache that never would have been awarded to him in a hospital. Now it's time to take care of yourselves. You are a wise woman for your young years- I don't doubt for a second that you have the wisdom to make the correct choices in the upcoming days.

    Hang in there Susie. Try to take it one day, one hour, one minute at a time. Take a walk if the weather permits.

    Love, Prayers and Hope from NYC.

  37. Susie,

    I was directed to your blog, via another blog. I hope that you don't mind strangers prying into your life. I have completely enjoyed reading your blog today. Even more so, I have loved getting to know your precious little family through your journals. And your creativity is absolutely one to be marveled. >:0) I'm in awe over the things you can make. Wow!

    On a more serious note, I thank you for sharing your journey, this amazing journey that God has lead you to and guided you through, with the world. Joshua's story will touch and, I believe, change the lives of those who read your blog. You honor your son and your Father, well, in each blog posted. >:0) Thank you for helping me to wake up and spend a little time with God this morning!

    Sending up prayers for you and your family. Praying for the Lord's comfort to rain down on you all. Praying for His healing hands to nip that nasty flu bug in the bud. Praying that God continues to use you to invite the rest of the world to know Him as you know Him. Fervent prayers going up on behalf of your entire family. Praises be to God for His beautiful children. For never making mistakes. For showering us with unconditional love. For teaching us through the lives of sweet babies such as your precious Joshua. Blessings to you and your family.

  38. Praying now...with love.

  39. Susie, we are praying for GRACE and healing for all of you, especially Oceana. We love you, though we've never met. God's love for you is SO BIG right now - and He has everything of His available to you today.
    Love, Melanie

  40. Praying today for wisdom, peace, comfort, and physical wellness. Also praying for some degree of normalcy for Oceana.

    I find a lot of times in my life that my body holds off an illness at a time when I need strength the most, and at the earliest possible time, allows itself to get sick. Matt was probably becoming "sick" a few days ago, but his body just wouldn't let him feel it.

  41. My heartfelt condolencense to you and your beautiful family. It just seems so unfair to want something so bad and be denied when so many others take it for granted or even kill a precious gift from God. I have lost 3 babies myself(miscarriages)no living babies yet.
    But I know God has His reasons and a Greater plan for each and everyone of His children here on earth. I know that your precious Boy is up in Heaven with my babies and they are all happy and waiting to see us one day.

    Please God watch over this family and ease their pain and sickness.
    They need your love and strength now in this difficult time.


  42. Oh Susie...

    I am praying for you all. I am so sorry to hear of the illnesses that have reached you all in such unfortunate timing. I will continue to pray for God's mercy on you all and pray that he brings peace into your household. I understand how the timing seems so unfair...I know that you will perservere...May God's love and strength be your all in all...

    God bless! Thinking of you all.
    San Diego

  43. Susie, sweetie. I don't know you except from this blog. I'm a mom & a grandmom. So, I'm going to offer you a grandmother's solutions. Just imagine that I am right there beside you and I am putting my arms around you and giving you a big hug. You can put your head on my shoulder and cry if you need to. You and Matt and Oceana need lots of hugs. Oceana knows that something is wrong, because she can feel that you and Matt are sad. She probably just needs someone to pick her up and hold her. I bet there are lots of your friends who would be glad to do this for you and her. Hugs and prayer will get you through this. Keep writing, sweetie. This will help you too, to talk. Know that we all love you. God Bless, Jan from Texas

  44. Father God I thank you for this wonderful family that has been walkinging with you through all that you have put on their plates of life. I thank you for the witness that they have been of your love through this blog to both Christians and Non-Christians as I have witnessed the thousands that have seen your love through this famiy I pray that you would bless them in this time of need. I pray for peace right now for this family I pray that this stomach ailment in this family would leave their bodies right now so that they could deal with all the other issues they need to deal with. Father I pray for Oceana that you would help her and her family understand the coping skills she is going through right now. I pray that your peace would surround her. God I pray that if there is someone close to the family down there that they would just show up at the door and take Oceana out of the situation for a bit so that the parents could do what they need to do for a couple of hours even if it would be just sleep or cry. I pray for Susie & Matt that they would be able to make the right choices in the next few days and just give them the peace in whatever choices they make in Jesus name Amen.

  45. I am thinking of you. Sending you good wishes and strength.

  46. Praying for your family...for health, peace, comfort, wisdom, patience, and endurance. I am so sorry to read about Joshua's passing, and can't wait to meet him someday in heaven, this strong little boy who touched so many hearts.

  47. Oh Susie,

    I am so sorry this is all crashing in around you right now and will be praying for PEACE right now for all of you. Praying that the Lord provides just the right people there to come and help you with whatever you need so you can rest. All of this seems so unfair for you to have to deal with. Asking Him to calm Oceana as she does not understand but knows something huge has happened. I am so sorry Susie and my heart is heavy for you.

    Laurie in Ca.

  48. I wanted to let you know that I posted a prayer request for your family on my blog and am trying to get a whole army of believers lifting up your family at this time!
    Know that people from around the world care and are praying for you! xoxo

  49. Know that you and your family are in my prayers. You have been an inspiration to me as a mother and a christian. Your faith has touched so many through this incredibly difficult time. Parents all around the world are in awe of your strength.

    Christ is touching hearts across the globe through your story.

    Father cover this family with your love and bless their lives Lord. Wrap them in your arms and give them peace.

  50. If there were a way I could be there to help you I would in a heartbeat. I am so sorry you are going through so very much. I pray that you will have peace in your hearts and the wisdom necessary to make the needed decisions. I pray that Oceana will realize that although things are different that she is safe, loved and will be taken care of as always. She is definitely aware something is going on and will need lots of cuddles, love and patience to get her through. Thinking of you all, praying for you and wishing I could do something to help you through all of this.

  51. when it rains it pours :-( My prayers for Health and Gods grace during your grieving process


  52. May others words be of comfort at this most difficult time. Prayers for sickness to be lifted and for a calming in Oceana's life so that you can focus. Prayers for you for as you said ... peace in your hearts.

    I am praying for you in North Carolina.

  53. I'm so sorry to hear you are all sick on top of everything else. My prayers are with you! As for Oceana, she is probably reacting because she senses that something isn't right with you guys. You know how children feed off their parents' emotions. *hugs* to you all. Lean on the Lord and He will help you get through this difficult time.

  54. Dear Matt, Susie & Precious Oceana,
    I just read your story in my Cafe Mom group,it was posted in Prayer Partners,,I just first want to say to you, how truly sorry I am for your loss,, and the one for sure thing we know is that your Beautiful, Precious Baby Boy Joshua, is at this moment being Cradled in the Loving Arms of our Precious Lord Jesus, and that he is waiting for the day when you all will be re-united in Heaven,, we serve such a Loving , Caring Father,, who protects us,, and will never leave us,, you are in my Prayers,,,
    PSALMS 61:1-2- Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

    May God Cradle you in his Loving arms,, may you feel his Warm Enbrace,,,,,
    Trisha Herom
    Moses Lake,Washington

  55. One moment at a time Susie, you can do this. Lean on your faith and take each thing as it comes. We do recover, this I know for sure. *hugs*

  56. Susie,
    I TOTALLY do not think I know what you should do. Except this is screaming at me: This is a Body of Christ issue. I think God is being very clear with you, that you need to be freed to recover. That means that someone else (not Matt, not your folks who are also grieving a HUGE loss that has been progressive), and certainly not you, should be allowed to love on Oceana. I think her neediness is a protective thing for you, to put this in your face. She needs more than you can give her right now.

    She will NOT have some memory years from now that her mommy or daddy were absent from her. She will remember being loved and doted on. She will remember never being forgotten at ALL, and probably wonder at how anyone managed to keep her so protected from the feeling of abandonment. I am writing this KNOWING you are part of a local body (sounds like a huge one) ... so please allow them to step up and do what they were created to do for you and for Oceana.

    Allow yourself this time that God is calling you to. Time to come away (even if enforced from illness), time to rest, time to see Him take care of ALL the things you believe you are "supposed" to do.

    Also, there simply IS no rule about arrangements for a service. Defer to people in your church body who love you, to hear your preferences and handle things if you cannot.

    I am not writing this out of my head, but from experience. Last month my daughter was hospitalized for almost a month, and I believed I "HAD" to stay right there, even though it meant several nights of no or almost no sleep. A friend even emailed me that she felt compelled to tell me I should take care of myself and allow God to care for Mallorie - and I read her email and knew she was right, but struggled with the "how." And then I got sick, vomiting and unable to stay awake, for a full day, .... God took care of it all, in a way I could not allow him by my own choices or will. I slept, didn't even drink or get up for hours ... and awoke better able to cope and confident of one thing, that I could trust God to do all that I couldn't. And that most of it was His responsibility, not mine ... something I'd forgotten while I was busy doing it all (or pretending to myself that I could).

    You are so much loved, so ask. Or accept whatever someone around you has already offered. :)

  57. Dear Susie, I have learned an important lesson about myself in the last month or so. I know how strong prayer is, I have my whole life, but until recently I have never prayed for someone I don't know. I will pray for you and your sweet family that you will have the strength to get through all of your trials. How my heart aches for you and your family. You are so young and having to hurt so much, thank you for sharing your life, and so courageously. I am not sad for your little Joshua for he has secured his place in heaven and I know you will be together again as a family one day. May the Lord Bless You! Sheila in Nevada, USA

  58. Oh, and I just re-read your post, where you wrote:

    "I just want to go to bed and sob... but Matt's sick and will need my help. Since my parents are both sick too, it's only my brother and I who aren't ... "

    I know you need space, but if someone feels right to be in the house and not intrusive, please consider they might be able to care for Matt, too. They can be sure everyone has fluids & soup, field phone calls, etc. It might not feel possible for someone to be in there with you and still have the privacy you need, but I think it could be possible, with the right person.

    Could you consider that? Matt probably doesn't need you to care for him in this sickness as much as he needs you to care for yourself so you don't become too ill. EVEN THOUGH you're all the Mother Earth girl and apparently a natural born caretaker for others, ... **SMILE** :)
    love, connie

  59. You have my continued prayers. May you feel the peace that passes understanding and physical strength to endure this journey.

  60. I am so sorry you are having to deal with all of this at one time. As far as Oceana, children have a different and their own way of handling emotional issues. She may not fully understand, but she probably senses something is wrong. Just try to comfort her as much as you can. I wish there was more I could do!

    Love, Dana in Virginia

  61. Thinking and praying for you guys constantly. Hoping for a fast recovery for Matt and your parents.

  62. I only found your blog this morning, linked from a friend's blog. I immediately went back to the beginning and have spent the last few hours reading all of your posts.

    My heart was already breaking for your family - and then I discovered that Joshua was promoted TODAY. It was almost as if someone knew you needed more prayers and I was led to your blog today of all days.

    My prayers are indeed with you. By reading all of your journals, I feel that I have come to know you. I admire you and Matt so much for not only being there for your two beautiful children, but for each other as well...and for setting an example to the world.

    May God be with you and give you strength. Little Joshua will live in you forever.

    God bless you,
    Kelli Hogg
    Dallas, TX, USA

  63. Praying for your family...
    God Bless you all from SC.

  64. dear ones.... grandma candy is praying for you in grand rapids michigan.. i know that the Lord hears every detail of prayer lifted up to you... i will continue my prayers for each of you...susie, matt and oceana, hourly...

    psalms 60:1... O God, Listen to me! Hear my prayer!
    for wherever I am, though far away , I will cry to you for help. When my heart is faint and overwhelmed, Please Lord. lead me to the mighty rock of safety.

  65. Susie- Our arms are too short to reach you from this side of the world but our prayers are not! Praying for His work. Contact your church family. They might be in a better position to tend to the folks with the flu and even Oceana so that you can rest. It might be that Oceana is coming down with the same thing..or maybe she is just reflecting the moods she senses in everyone else. Allow your church family and friends to come and minister. Holding you close in prayer.deb

  66. i'm so sorry for your loss, know that you are in my prayers.

  67. We are continuing to pray for you guys.

  68. Oh dear Susie,

    I am so sorry you have all these other things on top of the grief you feel after the loss of your precious Joshua.

    I am praying for healing for all who are ill. Praying for God's protection over you and your brother that you both would remain healthy. Praying for sweet Oceana, who knows SOMETHING is going on. And praying for grace, peace, wisdom, and God's comfort for all of you.

  69. Susie-
    Hugs praying that you will stay healthy, that Oceana will not get it either and that she will not be whiney and crying. Praying that Matt does recover quickly.
    Praying in PA

  70. My prayers are with you. May you all be well and in peace.

  71. Sending you prayers and faith and love from Pennsylvania!

    I have been checking back on Joshua since I found your journal, and I have been back three times today hoping that I would read something different, I'm very sorry for your loss. My son was born on 12/17/07, so he is very close in age to Joshua. My heart breaks for your family.
    Much love,

  72. your all most definitely planted deeep in my constant prayers.
    with heaps of love,

  73. I'm so sorry that your going through all of this on top of everything else going on. You guys are in my thoughts and prayers.


  74. Dear Susie, Matt and Oceana,

    Please know we are praying continually for you.

  75. May the strength of Christ be with you today and in the days to come...

  76. Praying... near Atlanta, GA

  77. Stay strong sweetie. My prayers will be with you all for a long time yet.

    Make sure to take a little time for yourself. Can anyone else...a neighbour, a church friend, take Oceana for just a little while so you can rest?


  78. Matt, Susie & family,

    Having gone through losing family members here on earth as they go to be with The Lord ( just recently my father-in-law), we know that this is the most difficult time. So many feelings, emotions, and decisions as life must continue. When all we want is for everything to STOP. Know that we are still praying and thinking of you just as I'm sure many others are as well. We are praying for TOTAL and COMPLETE healing for you family from this virus...FOR BY HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED. We pray that as you make the decisions that need to be made Gods PEACE, WISDOM, & COURAGE seep over you and that HE would just sustain you through this time. We pray that The Lords PEACE just COVER Oceana as she goes through this time expressing the only way she knows how. Find a spot and put a worship song that has been a strength for you, then as you just hold her in your arms so that she may feel your Love and security may The HOLY SPIRIT just embrace you both that through this you may begin to feel HIS HEALING touch and PEACE.
    All our Love The Alvarez Fam.

  79. Oh Susie . . . there are no words. Hugs, tears, and thoughts to you and your family.

  80. Hang in there Susie, you have a lot of people praying for your strength right now.

  81. I am sure Oceana feels all the pain in your heart & doesn't know what to do with it. It must be so hard to be able to go on right now. I know God will give you all the strength even though you must feel at your very weakest.
    I really doesn't seem fair I want to yell out 'WHY' for you. I want to pound my fist in the air & scream to the heavens to give you the peace you so disparately need.
    God will bring you that peace & I will pray that happens sooner rather than later.
    What you all are feeling is so real so raw. It feels that way because of the immense love in your hearts. The love you all have for one another & for of course Joshua.
    My heart & prayer will be with you for a long long time.

  82. Susie, there are no words to describe how sorry I am for your loss. Having illnesses on top of everything else just seems unfair. I have read your blog for some time now and have continued to pray for Joshua and your family. Please stay strong and have continued strength to conquer what is yet to come. I have told many people about you and your family in Maryland. Please take comfort in knowing that there are so many who have your family in their thoughts and prayers.

  83. "You are my wonderful God who gives me courage..." (Psalm 3:3) ~ this I pray for you all this day and all those to follow ~ as a new journey begins know He is still beside you, and will always be ~ "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me..." (Phil 4:13) ~ know that many in prayer shall continue to be with you, and His angels shall surround you with their wings as a shield of comfort and peace... sending angel hugs from Alaska, J.Douglass

  84. Ooooh, I am praying for you all in Ohio. The devil is just trying to get to you...don't let him wear you down. Stay strong. Even if it's just going through the motions, do it, and later you will have times where you feel God's grace and strength. I am praying that you all will keep going strong. You can do it.

  85. I am praying for your family to have respite from your illness so that you can be allowed to grieve.

    I am so sorry that this bug is happening to you at this time!

  86. You have been in my thoughts all day. We are praying for you, that you will be given the strength you need, when you need it, and that the sickness bug won't last long. I know you are half a world away, but I am sending you a hug, from one mum who has lost her little boy, to another. We WILL hold them again one day. I know that doesn't ease the pain right now, but we have the sure and certain hope that one day - we don't know when - but one day, we will catch up with our boys again, sweep them into our arms, and never have to let them go again. Take care of each other, and be gentle with yourselves. So many people across the globe are praying for you right now. With much love, Alison x

    'There is no night without a dawning,
    No winter without a spring,
    And beyond the dark horizon,
    Our hearts, once more, will sing.
    For those who leave us, for a while,
    Have only gone away,
    Out of a restless, careworn world,
    Into a brighter day.'

  87. i cant stop thinking about you guys
    i hope everythings okay and there's some sense of serenity

    much love,

  88. Hey guys, I'm Seth's oldest brother and although I haven't posted anything thus far, I want you to know that we celebrate the life of Joshua with you. Although we never met you or your precious little guy, I know from our experience with Gideon, that you are wracked with pain but that you also are excited to celebrate the beauty that is the life of your son and I want you to know that we celbrate his beauty with you.

  89. I said a prayer for your health and peace. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you.
    God bless.

  90. I also posted a message about you on my blog and a link to your page as well. Keeping the prayers coming!!!

    Love, Dana in Virginia

  91. I am so sorry you are going through all this, that your family is being put through so much. Please do not let all this stress build up on top of your grief. Your faith is strong and God will not let anything happen to you that he knows you cannot handle. That was one of the many things I have learned since I found out about Joshua and decided to go to church and start my walk with God. If I could take any of the pain and stress out of your life right now I would in a minute, I will pray and hope for your healing to be much easier. In my thoughts and prayers <3

  92. I'm praying for you guys right now.

    Angela in central Ohio

  93. Matt and Susie,
    Your FOL family loves you and we are holding you up. Remember when Moses stood with arms up for so long he ended up needing others to hold them for is our time to hold you up...We love you guys and wish that we could physically be with you to uphold you but please know that spiritually you have been taken right to the throne room of our Precious Heavenly Father and He will comfort and heal you, Matt, and Oceana!

  94. Im sorry that your family is now sick through all of this.. Children pick up on their parents feelings and emotions quicker then we would like to believe. Im sure even though she is so young she knows something is going on. She may not feel well along with your husband.
    I know that its hard to deal with your emotions and deal with her needs right now.. Just hug her hold her kiss her and love her.. I will keep all of you in my prayers and hope that this bug passes as quick as possible so that you can move on and take care of what needs to be taken care of now.

    God Bless

  95. Our prayers are with you all.

  96. You and your family are in my prayers. Joshua fought a good fight. He truely was strong and courageous!

  97. You and your family are in my prayers. Your family amazes me with their strength and dignity.

    God bless.

  98. Our prayers are still with you...


  99. Susie, Matt & all the rest - we're praying for you all - for health - and for God's touch in EVERY aspect right now. Wish we could physically help somehow - instead we'll lift your arms in prayer.

  100. Hi Susie! You don't know me, I'm a fairly new reader to your blog and haven't posted a comment. I just wanted you to know you are prayed for. God woke me up at 5:15 my time with your family very pressed on my heart to pray for you. I'll admit, I thought it was crazy because I have never met ya'll and I'm still new to your blog, but I did only to get on this morning and find out about Joshua. I'm extremely sorry for your lose, and can't fathom what you're feeling, nor will I pretend to, but I cry with you guys!!! I pray you can take comfort in Psalm 147:3 - He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. My thoughts and prayer are with you in each step of this!!

  101. hey people
    If you would like me to come down for few days to b e in the background, but keep up with washing etc, play with Oceana, take her for walks, organise lunch, tea, field phone calls ..............but stay over night at Bob's parents please say. I would be honoured to be asked but understand totally if you don't want me to. up to you! Just need 2 hours' notice to be on your doorstep

  102. It's a new day here and I see you haven't posted. I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you and praying for you and hope that everyone is as well as can be expected right now.

  103. I have been thinking and praying for your family all day. I will continue to do so. May you find peace and serenity in your hearts. May you find rest and health so that you can cope with the coming days. May you find patience to help Oceana grieve the loss of her baby brother. She may not be able to verbalize it, but she understands that sadness is cloud hanging over her family. May God Help her see his light. May your tears cleanse you and heal your heartbreak. May you all find peace, comfort and tranquility.

    Little Joshua has touched so many lives through you and this blog. I feel blessed to have read each and every word. Thank you again for sharing your life and his with us.

    Jennifer Bray, Spokane,WA USA

  104. Thinking and praying for you and your family.
    A friend in Tennessee:

  105. Thinking of you and praying in CA.
    There are not words to describe my sympathy and sorrow for you.
    From another mom.

  106. I am on the other side of the world, but think of you each and every day. I am praying for you and wish I had words that could somehow make this easier. I too have been there, (twice actually) and I still don't have words. I also wish I knew why multiple bad things happen so close together. After losing Asher we too got the flu (and had our basement flood) which is why we took off...we didn't stop an hour away we drove 16! Please know that your family is loved and being prayed for!