Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lessons Learned From a Child

I've been in Oregon for about 5 days, with several more to go.  Enjoying every minute of getting to know sweet Charis.  It's amazing how much of her personality is already developing.
She's a very content baby.
She prefers to be swaddled very tightly.
She loves to be kissed all over her cheeks (well, I like to DO the kissing so I'm just blindly assuming she likes it!).
She enjoys soft music (her favorite so far is "Dreamsongs", a lullabye album by Kirk Dearman).
She's a good sleeper, although she seems to sleep more soundly during the day than she does at night.  But that will get changed around in time.

We've kind of settled into a routine each morning in the Bohler home that I really love.  Around 5:30 a.m. or so, Kelsey brings Charis into me, so that she and Zach can get some more concentrated rest.  Charis will have been fed and I try to keep her happy for 2-3 hours, until her next feeding.  These several hours have been wonderful bonding times for Charis and her Mimi (at least Mimi thinks so :).  We talk about things, sing some songs, talk some more, look around the room as the sun begins to peek through the blinds, then when her eyes start to get heavy, I settle her in to snuggle next to me and sleep.  Precious, memorable, sacred time together.

Charis in a little sleeper Mimi bought for her.  Note the butterflies . . . 

A more awake Charis, during one of our morning talks together

Several years ago, Dick and I wrote a song called "The Lessons Learned From a Child".  The chorus went like this:
I want to learn all there is to know
Cause they're small for just a little while
Let me have the faith to see
Through the eyes of a child

Charis is teaching Mimi little lessons in contentment, trust, resting, unconditional love.
She's teaching me that as we spend time together, we not only bond deeper, but we learn more about each other.  I love this little girl!  And look forward to the day she comes to know her Heavenly Father.  He already knows her, of course . . . 
"I have cared for you since you were born.  Yes, I carried you before you were born."  (Isaiah 46:3b)
And one day, she will know Him.  

The last verse of our song went like this (now, I substitute the word "granddaughter" for "daughter" even though it may not sing quite as well).    :)
As I hold my daughter close to me
I feel her trust and loyalty
She's taught me what love is supposed to be
Oh, the lessons learned from a child
Oh, the lessons learned from a child

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mimi meets Charis

Yesterday afternoon July 20, at approximately 4:40 p.m., I (Mimi) met my first grandchild Charis Lynlee Bohler.  Any words I could write to try and describe the feeling of holding her in my arms would fall so short of the deep, actual emotions of my heart.


Life altering.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Unexpected Blessings

Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God.  How unsearchable 
His judgments and His paths beyond tracing out.  (Romans 11:33)

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways", declares the Lord.  (Isaiah 55:8)

For You created my inmost being, You knit me together in my mother's womb . . . 
All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.  
(Psalm 139:13, 16)

Many of you have probably heard by now that Kelsey had her baby on Wednesday of this week.  4 weeks early.  With an emergency c-section.

Here's the short version of the story:   The baby had been incredibly active all through the pregnancy, up until this particular Wednesday morning.  Kelsey had gotten acquainted with her movements ~ the timing, the regularity, the intensity.  That awareness possibly saved baby Charis' life.

As the morning of July 14 progressed, Kelsey noticed that the baby didn't seem to be moving at all.  She called her doctor, who suggested that she drink a full glass of ice water, and if the baby wasn't stimulated by that in about 5 minutes, they should head to the hospital.  She drank.  Nothing happened.  They made their way to Mercy Hospital in Roseburg, Oregon.

As they were checking in, Zach called to tell us the news.  The plan would be to see if there was still a heartbeat, and obviously try to figure out what was happening.  They hooked Kelsey up to many machines and found that yes, there was a heartbeat, but the doctors weren't sure if the baby was functioning properly.

At this point, prayers began . . .

About 20 minutes later, Zach sent a text saying, "Prepping for a c-section.  Will keep you updated.  Love you."

Prayers got more regular and fervent . . .

A few minutes later, Zach and I began a text conversation:

"Kels is in there.  They won't let me go in yet, but I'll go in a minute.  Kels is having a hard time, but no news on Charis yet."
"What kind of a hard time?  Physically?  Emotionally?"
"Yeah, just emotionally."
"How are you?"
"Okay.  I wish they would let me in."
"Me too, Zach.  Don't understand that.  Hang in there.  Cast your cares on Him.  Be strong in the Lord.  Love you so."

Let me interject this word picture here:  you know the time period when a spacecraft re-enters the earth's atmosphere and for whatever reason, they are not able to communicate with the ground crew?  It's called "blackout time" and it was portrayed intensely in the movie "Apollo 13".  At this point in our day, July 14th, we were experiencing blackout time.  We didn't know what was happening on the other side of the USA.  We prayed, we committed this family to the Lord, we waited . . .

After an ETERNITY (probably 30 minutes) the phone finally rang.  Zach, on the other end, said 6 words that were the greatest words he could have ever uttered.
We have a healthy baby girl!

Charis Lynlee Bohler made her entrance into the world at 12:44 p.m. PST.  She weighed 5 lb., 6 oz. and was 18 inches long.  They did an emergency c-section and as Charis came out, she uttered the cry that her mom and dad were longing to hear.  Zach said that he and Kelsey added their own tears to that moment.

What caused all the drama?  We don't really have the answers we'd like, but one thing that was found during the surgery was that it looked as if the umbilical cord was detaching from the placenta for some reason.  The baby wasn't getting the full oxygen, nutritional connection that should have been there.  But from all indications, God protected her and saved her!

Charis is dealing with a few premie issues, and will have to remain the hospital a few days more than if she had been born closer to her due date.  But all in all, she is just what Zach said ~ a healthy baby girl.

Now, it's time for the pictures!  You can bet that this blog will continue to display photographs of this precious little one as she grows . . . our online brag book!

Charis Lynlee Bohler

Holding Daddy's hand

Proud Daddy and his girl

Mommy and her baby girl

The Bohler family of 3

Charis, you came a little earlier than we expected!  Will this be a sign of things to come?  Who knows?  We're just thankful you're here.  And we can't wait to meet you!  

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.  (Proverbs 16:9) 

Thursday, July 8, 2010


For about 15 years, we were on the road mostly performing concerts in local churches.  The girls grew up traveling with us, meeting lots of pastor's kids, staying in hotels.  It's a life that definitely has its perks ~ getting to know new people, seeing fun places, and of course, the incredible opportunity of using our God-given talents in music ministry.  Through the last several years, our lives have taken a different road . . . we were on staff at FBC, Columbia and Dick has been on the road with Steve Green.

We now find ourselves in this new chapter of life . . . Dick is still playing for Steve, but now our phone is beginning to ring again with opportunities for the two of us to be out and about again.  We just got home from about 10 days on the road together ~ first, at the Lifeway Worship Conference in Ridgecrest, NC and from there, to the Alton Bay Christian Conference Center in Alton, NH.  Here's a little taste of our trip.

At Ridgecrest, Dennis Jernigan was one of the evening concert artists.  A fun connection with Dennis is that his wife, Melinda, and I went to high school together.  Melinda and I were both involved in women's choir, mixed choir, PR groups, piano ensembles . . . lots of music connections. Talk about a small world!

This is Dick with Dennis Jernigan, writer of MANY Christian music favorites . . .
"You Are My All in All" . . . "Who Can Satisfy" . . . 

Mel and Melinda Jernigan, high school buddies

In Alton Bay, we did a concert on the grounds at an open air church.  Talk about quaint and charming!


July 4th was a free day for us, and we tooled around Lake Winnipesaukee (remember "What About Bob?" and "On Golden Pond"?)  We stumbled on to a Fourth of July parade in the oldest resort town in the U.S. ~ Wolfeboro, NH.  Enjoy some highlights . . . 

Beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee

Loved this place for obvious reasons :)

The parade begins

Nothing says America like a Fife and Drum Corps on July 4th

Pretty fun idea!  The Flag People

Many of you know about my new love for butterflies . . . I just had to sit in this chair!

We needed this peaceful day to just take a deep breath and be together.

Little did we know that the next day, when we traveled back to Nashville, our trip would not be so relaxing.  Up at 4:15 a.m., drove an hour to the airport in Manchester, caught a 7:00 flight to Philadelphia, changed planes and flew to Charlotte, one more flight on to Asheville.  We went to pick up our car at a hotel lot and saw that the rear door had been bashed in pretty severely.  One of our suitcases didn't make it (until the next flight an hour later).  And the final blow came when Dick's travel accordion was inadvertently run over by the shuttle driver as he backed over it.  THEN, we had to drive the 5+ hours back to Nashville.

Glad to be home, but enjoyed every minute of our trip (well, except the final day . . . ).  Hope you've had happy summer travels, too!