Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Heart Campaign-Open Wide Our Hearts to Christ!


EDIT: Steven Joseph had open heart surgery in September 2011 at age 3.  Surgery successfully closed his ASD and he was only in the hospital for a few days.  His surgery story is HERE. Please continue to pray for hearts in need, and the many children who deal with congenital heart defects.

On January 8th (a month from today) our almost-2 year-old, Steven Joseph, will have a follow-up appointment to check on the status of his heart defect with several scans. In March he was diagnosed with Atrial Septal Defect, a hole between the upper chambers of his heart, which is large enough to warrant open heart surgery. We are praying for a miracle, but trusting that God will heal his heart through surgical intervention if need be. They have predicted he will need surgery sometime during his second or third year.

I have encountered many children with heart defects, both strangers and friends, over the past years. I am truly amazed at how many families this affects. Steven's defect is minor when compared to other conditions, but dealing with heart problems and surgery is a scary thing for all families. So in asking your prayers for my son, I'd also like to ask for prayers for all those dealing with heart conditions, in particular for young children.

And in asking for prayers for the physical healing of hearts, I'd also like to offer prayers for the spiritual needs of our hearts, that we might all have hearts that are open to Christ. As we approach the birth of our Savior, may we all find ourselves open and ready to receive His love and let it flow out to others through our own acts of charity. May we also entrust those with broken hearts to the Lord. "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed." Psalm 34:19

Will you join me in this little prayer campaign?

Put a heart near a door in your home. It could be a heart sticker, an ornament, a hanging fabric heart like the one in my photo, or even just a paper heart taped to the door. Whenever you open that door, remember to pray for hearts to be open to Christ. And when you close the door, pray for God to heal hearts in need of repair and closure, both physical and spiritual.

I humbly ask for you to remember our Steven Joseph in your prayers, that his heart would be healed in whatever way God sees fit, and that we would trust in Our Lord's providence. Please spread the word! And please leave a comment on this post if you'll join me in prayer. I'd love to see a hundred or more names here by January 8th! Thank you.


"Open, open wide the doors for Christ!
He alone has the words of eternal life."
Pope John Paul II

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful idea! Praying and hoping that TONS of people join. Johnna

Jackie O'Connor said...

We will be praying for all those who do not believe! And for your little Stephen's heart...love, The O'Connors

Anonymous said...

Wow, Blair, I hadn't heard about little Stephen. We'll be praying for him and all those in need of heart healing. Advent Blessings to you all! Beth

Anonymous said...

Okay, I have to apologize for misspelling Steven's name in the above comment. I know how frustrating that can be! Peace, Beth

Stephanie said...

We'll be praying, Blair. I also would like to link this post to my blog, if you're okay with that!

Beckemeier said...

A friend from church posted this on her FB status and being as I have a 2 year old with heart defects, I thought I'd leave a comment. I will definitely be praying for Stephen and for you. I know when we were given our son's diagnosis, I so longed for a miracle to heal his heart; that we'd go for a repeat echo and his heart would be perfect. Well, we did get our miracle, but it didn't come in the package we expected or preferred. Our miracle was that the surgeons COULD fix our son with God's guidance. Even 10 years ago, a diagnosis like my boy has would have meant a poor quality of life with little chance for survival to school-age. Now he has the chance to live a normal life! God is good and Stephen is in His hands.

Merry Christmas!
Erin Beckemeier
www.care4conway.com

NelliFamily said...

Steven is in our prayers. Hanging hearts on our doors is a beautiful idea and reminder. Thank you.

Melissa D. said...

Blair this is beautiful. I love the inclusiveness of the prayers related to all of our hearts and the needs of our hearts.

I will ask my sister to make an official button. making the button is easy (well for her), but transferring the instructions to get the link for the button to show up as HTML code has proven a bit more difficult. The good news is, anyone who is capable of downloading the picture, and cutting and pasting web addresses can make it a button b/c blogger now let's you put a link onto a picture just like any other link you might add to a post.

P.S. our good friend Willa (Koehler Spawn) was scheduled to have her second surgery on 12/16, but it just got moved to 12/23. Willa is doing great right now at 6 months old; although it is frustrating for her parents they were hoping the surgery would be done and they would be back home for Christmas . . . it's really a blessing that Willa is doing so well that her surgery is less emergent that others.

Bev said...

You are so full of clever ideas!!! Count the Kloesels in your campaign - we will put a heart on our door (several doors?) and join you in praying.
God bless SJ and all those in need of some type of heart help.

Anonymous said...

Read your prayer today and will begin our prayers today for Stephen for all others who need prayer for their physical and spiritual health.

God Bless
the other BBailey in Richmond

gaelhouse said...

Your Uncle Jim aka Dadan will enlist the aid of your Grandmother Bailey who has a special connection to Our Blessed Lord. Rejoice.

Megan said...

A wonderful idea... We'll be praying.

Jody said...

I've never left you a comment before but have been reading your blog for a while now. What a perfect post to leave you my first comment.

Both of my boys went through surgery and hospitalizations when they were babies. Not for heart problems - one got group B strep and a bone infection when he was 5 weeks old and ended up having hip/leg surgery, was in the hospital for 5 days, and wore a PICC line IV for 6 weeks. He is 4 1/2 now. My other son was born with craniosynistosis (the bones in his head were fused) so he needed surgery to remove part of the bone when he was 4 1/2 months old. He was in the ICU and hospital for a total of 5 days. He is 2 1/2 now. So no matter what the diagnosis it is never easy for a mother to know that her baby will need surgery. It is a very scary thing. But thank GOD for the knowledge and the abilities of doctors. They are amazing people.

Prayer is SO powerful! And know that I will be keeping you, Steven Jr. and your family in my prayers. Good luck and peace be with you!

Anonymous said...

I received an email from a friend of mine telling me your family's story. I have a 22 month old son and I cannot imagine what you are going through. When my son was almost 6 months old he underwent surgery to correct double hernias. While this is a very common procedure I can relate to the stress of knowing your child has to (or may have to) have surgery. You have been blessed with such a beautiful family, I wish nothing but good things for you all! I will have you all in my prayers.

Soutenus said...

Joining you in prayer! AND putting a heart near our front door to remind us to wrap you and others in prayer MANY times a day.
I received your email through the BoL yahoo group.
Blessings abundant!

Pax,
Peggy

kiley said...

Blair and family,
What a beautiful idea!The Ghaddar's will be praying for Steven's miracle, whatever our goog God would have that be. We know too well the anticipation but we also know how this very situation can strengthen the faith of believers and those who aren't quite there yet, "opening their hearts" to the loving arms of Jesus. Thank you for so kindly including all children with heart issues inthe prayer request. Our precious Khloe' continues to be God's miracle but like all heart babies needs continuous prayer. We love you all and are united with you in prayer!

Neen said...

I have added a post and a button in the corner of my family blog. I sent an invitation out about this great idea to all the heart babies I know. My little Moogie is my own miracle and I too was amazed at how many people deal with this.

Thank you for this idea of a visual reminder to prayer for all the heart kiddos and adults in this world. CHD are everywhere. Each defect comes with a precious story of how God loves us even if our hearts don't appear to be perfect.

SJ is such a strong young man. He is a fighter, which I find to be a true trait of all the heart babies that I know.

I remember asking God why Moogie was so strong willed. He told my heart in a gentle wisper. "She is exactly how I need her to be!" The second we found out about her CHD I thanked God for making her so strong.

All my love to every heart issue and every soul that is attached.

uskids said...

Dearest Blair,
A beautiful way to remember our prayers for Joe Joe and all the other hearts that need healing physically, emotionally or spiritually. May God also give us all extra strength to help and support those in need of his healing powers.

Love, MOM

veronica said...

consider it done :) God's will be done!

ME Romero said...

We will hang a heart for your Stephen Joseph Jr and for the intentions you mentioned. Lots of love, The Romeros.

Colleen said...

Fantastic idea, Blair! We'll be praying!

Michelle said...

I didn't know Steven had this. Know that the Perches family will be praying for Steven, your entire family, and all others - esp. those whose hearts have been hurt - either from a "defect" or are hardened from some other "pain/hurt". May God find a home in all our hearts. Michelle

Our Family said...

What a great idea, Blair! Good luck and prayers for your endeavor. CHDs are very scary and the thought of open heart surgery is daunting. I have faith that Steven will do well if he still has to have surgery. Thank you for spreading the word about CHDs. They are scary and they are unfair, but there is a reason for them. I know that our Luke is asking God to watch out for all of his heart friends, including Steven. God bless you!

Bernie Haberman
www.lukestree.blogspot.com
www.lukeslegacy.blogspot.com

Ross and Jill's Blog said...

Thank you Blair. We will be praying for Stephen and all the hearts out there.

Gina Schiltz said...

I will be joining you in prayer!! My 2 year old Fintan is my precious little heart baby so I have a special place in my own heart for these little blessings! Stephen will definatly be in my prayers!

Gina Schiltz

JulieC said...

The Cradys will be joining in with lots of prayers. What a beautiful idea. You always amaze me with your gifts!!

brenvenn said...

I think this is a wonderful idea and I will join you in prayer. I hope it is okay for me to link your post to my blog. Blessings!

Pamela Crespo said...

We will be adding this "heartfelt" campaign to our prayers as we already pray daily for the healing of our 9 y/o Emma's heart. She has Ventricular Septal defect and ssurgery is not needed at this time. You have been blessed with this awesome idea. Deo Gracias!
Pamela

Melissa D. said...

just have a post it with a hand drawn heart on the back door (working for something more permanent), but it is a great reminder. thank you blair.

Suzanne Curtis said...

Love the idea! Will pass it on to widen hearts.

Anonymous said...

I love this and will pray for Steven and all those hearts in need daily!

Jill said...

Great idea! I will be praying! I have a little wall hanging that my mom made me that says, "All Hearts Come Home For Christmas" with little hearts on it. That will be my focal point. :)

Aslynn had heart failure with her whole hemangioma ordeal, so this hits close to home with us.

Ps...Thanks for the great tips on co-sleeping. :) Yep, King bed and carpet sound so heavenly. Until then, I guess I co-sleep in a crib! :)

Anonymous said...

I love this idea, Blair. And of course I will be praying for Steven Joseph. -- Janette S.

Anonymous said...

This is an awesome idea. Our youngest daughter, Abigail, has an ASD. We will be placing a heart on our door, and will be praying for little Steven and all the heart patients around the world.

Anonymous said...

go this link from Beverley.... will be praying for Little Stephen. The hearts on the doors is a lovely idea...... There's nothing God cannot do...
Chichi

Anonymous said...

The Cashion Crew will be praying Blair! Thanks for giving us the privilege of praying for Steven and those around us that we don't even realize need our prayers! You are such a beautiful example of the love of Christ active in our world today. WE love you! The Whole Cashion Crew

Steph's mom said...

Dear Blair,
Steph's mom here. We met in SA a couple of years ago. I will have my boys make some hearts and we will put them up to remind us to pray constantly for hearts of all kinds that need fixing. I didn't know you had your marriage blessed by JPII!!..I see him in the midst of this.
God Bless Stephen Joseph & your family through this journey.
Janet

Janet said...

Blair-
I feel privileged to join in your campaign! Keep us posted and thank you for the reminder to not just think of ourselves at this time of year.
God bless,
the Najvar nuts

Los Hinckleys said...

We'll put up a heart. Our Emmanuel Joseph also has a heart defect with possible surgery in his future. Just thinking about it always brings me back to the prayer that I may be just as much concerned and that much more concerned for his spiritual health than his physical.
Happy Advent!

Claudia2278 said...

I will join you for sure and stick an heart immediately on my door !

Prayers coming your way...

Claudia from Germany (Claudia2278 NFP Board)

TL. said...

I'm in :)
here is my post:
http://amphibianfroggie.blogspot.com/2009/12/prayers-from-heart.html

prayers for you Blair, and for your family.

(TiphaineL from NFP board)

Anonymous said...

Will do!

Sarah Gasper

Nora said...

You got it. We will be praying.

Kimberly said...

Praying with all our hearts for you Blair!

Future Nurse said...

I just found your beautiful blog today. Thank you for writing - I will be reading it regularly.

Clearly, Stephen's ASD is now corrected and gone, but I will keep children with heart defects in my prayers. My youngest daughter had two VSDs diagnosed a week after birth, but we were extremely lucky that they were small and both closed on their own.

Still, holding my newborn in my arms and getting such a scary diagnosis was terrifying. Prayers for all families going through that.

Sending blessings from Canada.
Kate

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