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Monday, March 25, 2013

Jalapeno Popper Dip

2 - 8 oz fat free Philadelphia Cream Cheese
6 oz grated sharp cheddar
1 large jalapeno, chopped finely
1- 4 oz. package of bacon bits
8 oz sour cream
2 bunches green onions, chopped

Mix, heat 3 minutes in microwave, and serve with chips or vegetables.

This was  so easy and really yummy!

Ungrateful, Whiny Kids!

Have you ever dealt with ungrateful, whinny kids?
We just look at them and think, "What are you whining about, you have it sooooo good?!"
I cook for them, clean up after them, do their laundry, entertain them, cart them around and do anything else they need.
Most of the time, I love to do for my kids, but when they complain, I tend to resent it.
I think God must look at me sometimes when I'm having a whiny moment and think the same thing. He has to be just shaking His head!
I know I am just like Elijah when he climbs up in that cave!  God has shown Himself mighty before the prophets of Baal!
God has delivered him from armies and enemies! And Elijah is laying in that cave complaining, forgetting all that God has done.
Sometimes I am like that.
And then....God comes to me, not in the wind, not in the earthquake, not in the fire, but in a still quiet voice....
His still, small voice whispers to me, "Did you forget that I love you?"
He whispers, "Did you forget the many times that I have delivered you?"
He says, "Maybe you forgot how much I have blessed you?"

And I am ashamed of myself....

I've been sitting there with my lip stuck out, pouting about this or that trivial thing and forgetting how blessed, loved, delivered and redeemed I am. I forget to be grateful just like my kids.
And I forget that the Creator Himself loves me and is ready to hear my needs in prayer. I have nothing to complain about!
Do you ever have moments like that or is it just our kids?
Tell me about the times God has delivered you! Or tell me about your whiny moments and how God speaks to you about that!

This is a great passage. Here it is for your reference and convenience......


17 1.Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”....

18 After a long time, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.” So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab.
Now the famine was severe in Samaria, and Ahab had summoned Obadiah, his palace administrator. (Obadiah was a devout believer in the Lord. While Jezebel was killing off the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water.) Ahab had said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs and valleys. Maybe we can find some grass to keep the horses and mules alive so we will not have to kill any of our animals.” So they divided the land they were to cover, Ahab going in one direction and Obadiah in another.
As Obadiah was walking along, Elijah met him. Obadiah recognized him, bowed down to the ground, and said, “Is it really you, my lord Elijah?”
“Yes,” he replied. “Go tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.’”
“What have I done wrong,” asked Obadiah, “that you are handing your servant over to Ahab to be put to death? 10 As surely as the Lord your God lives, there is not a nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to look for you. And whenever a nation or kingdom claimed you were not there, he made them swear they could not find you. 11 But now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ 12 I don’t know where the Spirit of the Lord may carry you when I leave you. If I go and tell Ahab and he doesn’t find you, he will kill me. Yet I your servant have worshiped the Lordsince my youth. 13 Haven’t you heard, my lord, what I did while Jezebel was killing the prophets of the Lord? I hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water. 14 And now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ He will kill me!”
15 Elijah said, “As the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, I will surely presentmyself to Ahab today.”

Elijah on Mount Carmel

16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”
18 “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. 19 Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
20 So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
But the people said nothing.
22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left,but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. 23 Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God.”
Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”
25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” 26 So they took the bull given them and prepared it.
Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28 So they shouted louder and slashedthemselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.”32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs[a] of seed. 33 He arrangedthe wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”
34 “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.
“Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will knowthat you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”
40 Then Elijah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.
41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” 42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.
43 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked.
“There is nothing there,” he said.
Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”
44 The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”
So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’”
45 Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rainstarted falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel. 46 The power of the Lord came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.

19 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.

The Lord Appears to Elijah

And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of theLord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anointJehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

Monday, March 11, 2013

Dirty Laundry Secrets

We long to be white as snow, even as the our sin natures perpetually plague us. Oh that my heart would be as He would have it to be. I wish it weren't such a long process. I seem to see my sin more clearly every day, but don't often seem to have succes reigning my problem areas in.
Alene Snodgrass is a talented bible study teacher and today begins a new study called, Dirty Laundry Secrets. Hop on over to this link and join in today.

This week is the last week to join! You will be blessed. The book is only $4.99 to download and there is a facebook group for discussion. She also has periodic webcasts to join in.
I loved Easy Street, her last study!
If you have a hard time getting out of the house for a bible study, this is a good alternative!
For the next two weeks, I will be following Tracie Miles on her marriage challenge. Tracie has a gift for cutting to the heart of the problem. I followed her 10 day stress detox followed by her book, Stressed Less Living. Prepare to be changed.

Marriage Challenge Kickoff: PREPARE YOUR HEART

The randomly drawn winner of Friday’s giveaway of the book The Man Whisperer is
Linda who posted on March 8, 2013 at 11:57 am. If this is you, email me your address!
Several years ago I was at the hair salon and a young girl in the chair beside me spent thirty minutes excitedly talking about her wedding.
Oh yes, she had everything picked out. She explained to her hairdresser, in great detail I might add, what her wedding dress looked like, the color and style of the bridesmaids dresses, what the groomsmen were wearing, the flowers, the cake, the music, the guest lists, etc.
None of this seemed out of the ordinary for a bride-to-be, filled with excitement and anticipation about the most special day of her life. Until I heard her exclaim as she was leaving the salon, that as soon as she could find a man to marry her, everything would be perfect.   Huh?
You see, she had spent months, maybe years, planning for the wedding, but had given little, if any, thought to the reality of actually being married.  She seemed oblivious to the fact that marriage is a life time commitment, not one fairy tale day, and unfortunately, I believe that many brides set out in their new marriages with the same misconception.
As a glowing bride, we are in love, we have overlooked our fiances faults, we envision a life of bliss and mutual happiness, and look forward to our spouse meeting all of our needs while we pour our love upon him every day….only soon to discover that marriage is nothing like we expected.  Not to say that there aren’t wonderful, happy and fulfilling days in marriage, but when we expect all of our needs to be met by our husbands, and fail to acknowledge that our husband may also expect us to meet all his needs,  we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.
So many times, when disappointment hits hard, women keep their marriage problems hidden inside their hearts, fearing what other people will think if they found out.  They think they are the only one with problems, and that everyone else’s marriage is just fine. What a tragedy that is, when so many marriages are hurting, and so many women desperately need a shoulder to lean on and someone to pray for them.
That is why I am so excited that nearly one thousand women have committed to walking through this 14 day Marriage Challenge with me, because marriage is hard work and we need each other for love and support, and there is power and strength in knowing that we are not alone.
So let’s get our minds in the right place as we pray about moving forward, by thinking back to when you first met your husband. Try to recall the feelings that you held in your heart, and the tingles that spread through your body whenever he called you, kissed you, or did something super sweet. Then reflect on your wedding day, and consider all of the thoughts that were running through your mind on that very special day. Maybe you’ve been married a long time, and it’s hard to think back that far, so ask God to bring memories to mind that you may have forgotten.
I bet you would agree that, just like that young girl in the salon, as you stood in your beautiful wedding gown staring into the eyes of your soon-to-be-husband and reciting heart felt vows meant to last a lifetime, that you were not thinking about things such as: dirty underwear and socks on the floor in the bathroom, razor stubble, nights out with the guys, hurtful secrets, dirty dishes, dirty floors, dirty diapers, snotty noses, long hours at the office, heated arguments , discouragement, and restless nights of trying to keep the pillows strategically placed in the center of the bed so that your man cannot get anywhere near you – am I right?!  And in the worst cases, no bride expects infidelity or pornography to painfully divide the relationship and cause a deep sense of betrayal and emptiness.
Despite all that may have happened, God is the only one who can fill that spot in our hearts that feels empty, needy and alone, especially when we are not getting the affection or love from our husbands that we so desire. God is the only One who can help us find peace, in the middle of a stormy relationship and He is the only Way to find the strength and desire to persevere in our marriage, especially when we feel like throwing in the white towel of defeat.
Unfortunately, today’s culture thinks marriage is a disposable commodity, rather than a covenant to treasure. But this mindset can be changed – one saved marriage at a time. God is the only who has the power to full restore what has been broken.
Sweet sister, whether your marriage is going along great, feeling a little stale, or on the brink of divorce, my prayer is that God will work miracles in your heart, your husband’s heart, and your marriage as we seek Gods wisdom and intervention through the challenges we will embark on over the next few weeks.  I believe with all my heart that God desires to see each one of us enjoy the joy and love that marriage is intended to bring, and that no matter what our problems are, our God is bigger.
The first daily challenge will be posted tomorrow, March 12th. But I want to encourage you to begin praying now about what God will speak to your spirit in the coming weeks. Prepare your spiritual ears to hear His voice, and open your heart to feel and see Him at work in you, your husband, and your marriage. Pray for humility if God steps on your toes, courage to walk in love, and grace for when you try and stumble. There is no guaranteed fix for any relationship, but with God, anything is possible.
We’re in this journey together friends. Let’s get our hearts ready for something incredible.

Special note: Over the next few weeks, my prayer is to offer tools, thought provoking insight and biblical support for improving your marriage and witnessing the power of God working in your heart and your relationship. However,  in many unfortunate situations, women are abused emotionally, verbally or physically, and any kind of mistreatment such as this is not blessed by God and certainly not biblical.  God does not expect anyone to endure this type of treatment and it is never deserved or justified.  If you find yourself in such a situation or you feel threatened or harmed in any way, please consider contacting your pastor or Christian counselor for advice immediately. You can also send a prayer request to ourProverbs 31 prayer team.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Hope of His Calling


Ephesians 1: 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might
20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,
23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible, if you can have a favorite in this book full of hope, love, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness!
But, "the hope of His calling,what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe,"; these words fill me with such hope when I look at situations in my life that seem hopeless .  Ponder the words, "the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe"....
This is the power that raised Christ from the dead after The Father sacrificed His only Son for us because of His great love for us.



Those are ours in Him. 
When looking at the problems you face, keep your eyes on your Great God, not on the problems that you face. We can't question His love. We can't question His power. Our problems are in His hand, and He loves us...

Friday, March 8, 2013

Isabella's Story

Isabella's Story


I am 50. I have 4 children. Sarah is 23 and married; William is 19;Rachel is 17 and Isabella is 2. I waited 20 years to return to work as a pharmacist after having my children and decided to return to work in 2009. My start date was December 7th. Earlier that year, my sweet husband decided that I was close enough to menopause that pregnancy was not a danger for us, though I assured him that I  was still having regular periods! I prayed every month that God would protect me from getting pregnant! I thought I was too old and I had finally gotten over my chronic case of baby fever. I have had baby fever all my life! I would say, "Lord, thank you so much for my period this month. You are so wise and good. You know this is not the time or the season for a pregnancy. Thank you for protecting me." I firmly believe  only God can create a life!
Well, on December 6th, I realized that I was a couple of weeks past due for my period. I thought, "Surely not!"
Sure enough, the pregnancy test was positive! I can't believe I cried, as much as I love babies, but I was not prepared! My oldest was engaged to be married in June. I was returning to work. I was too old! My husband looked like he was going to die. He was NOT happy.
I said to God, "Lord, I know that I always said you ripped me off and that I should have had more children. But I meant earlier, not now! I really was just kidding You. Can't You take a joke. I think I could audibly hear Him say, "Can't you?!"
I waited until the 12th week of my pregnancy to schedule an appointment. The chances of miscarriage at my age in the first trimester were 95%. The chances of getting pregnant at that age, I read, were nearly nil. I didn't think I would be having a baby.
Sure enough the sonogram showed a 12 week old fetus. My blood pressure went really high. My doctor was worried, but I told him that if he just found out he was having a baby at 47, his blood pressure would go up too!
At that point, I began to get excited. Maybe I would pull a Sarah and Abraham in my old age. I sure felt old!
Every month, my husband would say, "Are you still pregnant?" in his Eeyore voice. I would answer, "Yes, I am still pregnant!"
By 18 weeks, I was so happy with my pregnancy. I had no clue what was in store for us.
I went for a detailed sonogram, the one where the check the baby for any problems.The technician asked if I wanted to know my baby's sex. The baby was enough surprise for me, and for the first time, I found out before delivery what I was carrying. It was a girl!
At my 18 week visit with the perinatologist, they did a sonogram with high resolution and they found a large cystic hygroma and an echogenic bowel. And it was a girl. Her head circumference was measuring a few weeks behind as were her long bones. Her overall measurements were a week or so behind, He couldn't see her heart or face. He classified hygromas as and small, medium and large. It was 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the babies head and extended all the way down her back. The perinatologist said that the chances of survival were slim to none and offered me an abortion. He wanted to do an amniocentesis, but said that it wouldn't help the baby, so I declined.
He said that the hygroma was septated and that those almost never resolve even when they are small, but that he had seen things he didn't think would get better get better. But he didn't want me to have false hope. I told him hope was not a bad thing. After we left his office, I broke down in tears. I had finally decided that I really was going to have a baby and I was really excited. Now it seemed that I would lose her. I was heartbroken. I researched online and found that the statistics for survival of a small, nonseptated hygroma were not great, but large, septated hygromas had almost no chance of resolving. I prayed to God for her life. We named her Isabella, which means, “God’s promise,” and her middle name is Grace and encompasses all that God is , His power, love, mercy, forgiveness, healing and unmerited favor.

I wanted anything I could hold on to. I prayed that God would spare her and prayed almost daily for some sign from Him that she would be OK. I never really felt that I could hear God clearly about her. But as time wore on and she was still with me, I began to feel that He might be saying, "Yes."I lived for her kicks and flutters.

I also found the website, I found the story of Louise Foster Flannigan and her daughter, Rosie, who had a cystic hygroma with hydrops. And Laura Dawson was pregnant with her baby Rosie as I was pregnant with Isabella. Laura’s baby’s hydrops was resolving. I watched as week by week her Rosie beat the odds. There was hope
Every other week, I would listen to Isabella’s heart, still beating and hope that the hygroma was going away. At around 22 weeks at the perinatologist, the hygroma was no worse and possibly better. The long bones and head circumference were again behind as were her overall measurements. She might survive. Then he said that he thought that the baby had trisomy 13 or 18. Those are fatal chromosomal abnormalities and I was devastated. I couldn't understand why God would give me a child to take her away.
As time wore on, I understood that she was eternal. That I would always have her even if she didn't survive to term or after. That she was fearfully and wonderfully made just like my other three children and that I would have her for an eternity even if not here. I prepared for Down's Syndrome, T-13, T-18, Turner's and the death of my baby.
As I read about Down's Syndrome children, more and more friends came to me and said those were the sweetest children ever born. I read story after story of how these children blessed their families. I read stories of mother's that lost their babies to T13 or T18 and heard how their babies blessed them no matter how short the lifeI read stories of how all these babies blessed their mothers even if they didn’t make it to viability. They were loved, wanted, and eternal. ( And I read stories of survival with T13 and T18, babies that beat the odds and were so loved and cherished. My friend, Julie Stahl’s baby, diagnosed with T13 inutero while I was carrying Isabella, is thriving and developing normally. As it turns out, she has a partial T13 and is not as affected as first diagnosed. I read Rosie's story and Laura's stories again and again and felt hope that a hygroma could be overcome.
At 24 weeks, her echo of her heart appeared normal.

At 26 weeks, my oldest daughter, Sarah, got married. My youngest daughter, Rachel, sang a song at the wedding that she had been singing to Isabella and as she sang, Isabella kicked the entire song. The song was “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need.” I knew she heard it.
At 28 weeks, the hygroma was completely gone. I believe this was the visit where he said that one of her kidneys was polycystic and that the other was probably functioning, but that he couldn't guarantee what would happen with her kidneys. Her measurements were following the same pattern with an overall 33rd percentile. He again said that he thought the baby was T13 or T18. The sonographer said that she thought her feet were swollen. I certainly hoped so as that was a sign of Turner’s and not of T13 or T18. I was still devastated that he thought it was T13 or T18. I knew that God would bless me with either outcome, but so wanted to keep my Isabella. I prayed for what I wanted, a daughter to keep for a lifetime.
At 32 weeks, her measurements fell to overall 15th percentile. He thought she had rocker bottom feet and again said that he thought she was T13 or 18. Her head and long bones had fallen even further behind normal. Again the sonographer thought the feet just swollen. I was suffering from preelcampsia and there was a possibility that the placenta was not functioning optimally with her further decline on the growth chart.
She was delivered at 34 weeks due to preeclamsia. The placenta was 25 to 30 % abrupted and I would have lost her at 40%. Two of the happiest moments in my life were when I heard her cry when she was born, she came out furious and screaming, and later when the perinatologist came in and told me that she appeared to have Turner Syndrome. I cried tears of joy. I would get to keep her. She was 4 pounds 1 oz. and 17 inches long. Isabella went straight to room air. She had to have some time to be able to take nourishment. They started with 5cc every 3 hours and in 10 days had her to 2 oz every 4 hours. She came home at 11 days old and 4 lbs 6 oz.
As a tiny infant, she is a beautiful baby and a joy to have. We all adore her and can't imagine life without her. She is so sweet to hold as she snuggles into you when she sleeps. She loves to be held, talked to and sung to. She expresses her wants clearly. She makes the sweetest sounds and squeaks when she is enjoying being fed and snuggled. She says "Unh-unh" forcefully if you do something she doesn't like. And of course screams her head off if you really upset her. We all exclaim over her all day and she never lacks for a willing set of arms.

Don't give up hope. The doctor's are often wrong. They don't know your baby’s future.
Hang on.
Sing to your baby. Read to your baby. I did. Do all the things you would like to do with your baby now. Enjoy your baby and your pregnancy as much as you can.
Don't let this steal your joy. I am sorry for the times I let the trial steal my joy. Enjoy this baby. You may have all you want and more. It can be better than you ever imagined.
And your baby is eternal, whether held here for a short time or for a lifetime.

Update April 2011:

Isabella is now 9 ½ months old, 8 months old adjusted for prematurity. Her heart is fine. She has one kidney that is slow to drain, but that seems to be resolving, it was not polycystic, it was hydronephrotic, meaning that it was not draining properly, but fully functional. She sits alone, babbles, says Mama, and is still the light and joy of the entire family.