life verse…

July 31, 2009

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if you could pick one verse to sum up your life, one verse to spread the ‘good news’, which one would it be?

  through a strange series of events I discovered a very sweet gem for one of my kids.  a life verse for them.  short, simple … it covers it all.  so let me tell you the order of events.

I was at the pool with a friend and saw someone with a very large tatoo covering her back.  it was of the 2 little cherubs sitting in the clouds just looking around and had some kind of ‘in memory of’ banner on it.  my friend told me it said something about the woman’s son it seemed and then looked at me and asked how I was doing.  I said ‘okay’ and ‘no plans of getting a large tatoo.’  : ) 

now, I have wanted to get a tatoo for the last 5 years or so, but can never make a decision and can’t commit.  I just want something small and meaningful.  so, later on as I’m thinking about a tatoo and where would I put it and what would it be, I remember the lady at the pool and think of her son.  I wonder if she had his name and date on the banner.  this makes me think of luke and his birthday.  luke 12.31 … …

luke 12:31… … …

and then it dawns on me that I have never looked up Luke 12:31.  how could this never have occurred to me?!?!  so of course I go and look it up.

But seek first his kingdom and these things will be added to you as well.

amazed.  again, I am amazed.  of all the verses…. of all the days he could have been born…  what a wonderful verse.  it brought a smile to my face.  I am excited to know this!  I am excited to have this as a verse for luke.  I am happy to be able to have our entire family memorize it and be able to share about their brother and about their savior all at the same time.  thank you God.

about the tatoo… still undecided… still noncommittal

so much to say…

July 29, 2009

I wish I had nothing to do besides blogging… actually, then there would be nothing to blog about.  : )

first off, the potty situation is still going well.  cole sleeps commando and has been dry every morning … a couple pee accidents, including the one where I literally scared the pee out of him when I turned on the blender.  (he’s never liked the blender) …  no poopy accidents…   I still find myself thinking, ‘why am I doing this?’ though as I try to balance his long and lanky 60 lbs evenly on the toilet with drool running down my arm and a constant conversation about how many stickers he has to get before we can go on the ‘rides’. (mall of america)  all in all, a pretty good run of things.

next, the bible study is going well.  I am learning new things and being reminded of others.  like tonight, we went over Psalm 126.  specifically verse 5.  ‘those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.’  I’ve heard this verse many times over the last 6 or so months, but I’ve never really took it apart.  this is a promise that God is making!  it doesn’t say probably or more than likely.  it says will.  ‘those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy’.  I’m expecting to be singing … … … … one of these days. 

I’ve also been reading proverbs with my sister-in-law.  that has been a treasure also.  so  many of them are impressive.  I want to be able to memorize them.  like the gold ring in the pig’s snout, and the dog to his vomit.  or how about the constant dripping of a quarrelsome wife?  I’m working on that.  I think there is probably a proverb for every occasion and situation.  (you know you can read 1 chapter a day for the month … there are 31 chapters)  it has been good.

there is more I want to say, but I need and want to go sit by brian on the couch for awhile… I can feel the muscle relaxers kicking in.  praise God for medicinal help … comfortably numb here I come.  : )

fire…

July 26, 2009

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tonight, gabrielle was having an absolute breakdown about our house catching on fire.  I mean crying and upset,just irrational.  (I’m guessing because she is overtired.) 

‘how will I get out?’ … ‘what if I get burned?’ … ‘what about my brown bear?’ … ‘where would we live?’ … ‘we won’t have any food, because all of your money will burn in the house!’ …  ‘I don’t want to have to drive to see my friends if we have to live in a hotel.’ … ‘I’m just so scared, and nervous, and worried!’ …

brian and I kept trying to reassure her.  to calm her.  I couldn’t figure out why she wouldn’t just believe me when I said, ‘it will be okay.’  ‘we will take care of you.’  ‘these material possessions are all replaceable.’  I even told her simple verses we know about being afraid. 

When I am afraid, I will trust in you.   Psalm 56:3

Be still and know that I am God.   Psalm 46:10

When you lie down, you will not be afraid.  When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.   Proverbs 3:24

I said a prayer with her through sobs and tears and held her close.  at this point, I really just wanted her to go to bed… I still had plenty to do around the house and it was 10:00!  I’m still thinking to myself, ‘she should just believe me. I know more than her.  she is being irrational about something that she really doesn’t even understand!’

… … … … … …

wait … … …  … … this could very easily be the conversation that God is having with himself about me as I finally get to bed at night, overtired, worried, nervous, scared. 

 ‘how will we pay all these medical bills?!?’ … ‘when am I going to get anything done before bible study meets at my house?’ … ‘maybe I should be homeschooling the kids this year’ … ‘what did she mean when she said that?’ … ‘why didn’t anyone ask how I was doing?’ … ‘I really need to do better at planning healthy meals.’ … ‘I really need to do better at brushing my own teeth for goodness sakes!!!’

this is where I changed my attitude.  I layed down by her, I realized I had nothing better to do at that particular moment then just comfort her.  I tried to change the subject, we talked about new school supplies like gluesticks, markers and little pink erasers.  I sang a couple songs with her.  (she picked ‘mighty to save’ bless her little heart.)  she calmed down, snuggled up and said I love you mama.

tonight I am thankful for a God that is all-knowing, comforting, compassionate, calming and ever loving little me through all my fears and frustrations.

the poop scoop…

July 24, 2009

Potty004[1]just so you all know, cole is doing awesome with the potty training!!  he woke up dry every morning this week.  he peed on the potty each morning, went poop on the potty the last 3 mornings after breakfast and stayed dry all morning until it was time to leave for therapy!!  he even called to me once and said ‘ready’ when he had to go … and he actually went!!

it seems to be hard to eat and stay dry … when he has his afternoon snack, and tonight right when supper started (even though we just tried before coming to the table) he pees.  still I think it has been a very successful first 4 days.  I am greatly encouraged.  praise be to the God who can give use immeasurably more than we imagine.

Ephesians 3:20-21 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever!  Amen.

baby mine…

July 22, 2009

sleepy punkin 002you know that song from the dumbo movie… when the mama is rocking little dumbo in her trunk through the bars of her cage.  it always made me cry, still does.  I do really like the song though and whenever I see one of my litte babes sleeping, it immediately comes to mind.

‘baby mine, don’t you cry

baby mine, dry your eyes

rest your head close to my heart

never to part, baby of mine’

as I was watching her this morning, at about 8:15,  and thinking how lovely she is… what a blessing she is… how she makes me laugh… how I just love her more than words could ever tell,  I prayed I would feel the same way the next time she comes crawling into bed with me at four in the morning and kicks off my covers and thunks me in the head with her arm.

pee on the potty…

July 21, 2009

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so, now that cole has turned 12 we have decided to work harder on the potty training.  yes, I said potty training.  you know what it is like when you know it is time for your toddler, say twoish, to start going on the big potty?  how it is kind of exciting and yet it seems like it is going to be alot of work? you know what i mean?  well, now take that toddler and imagine he is almost as tall as you, lanky and stiff… and he can’t exactly say when he has to go or even walk into the bathroom on his own.  you’re going to have to carry him and bend him and balance him and make sure his ‘ding’ is pointed down so that you don’t end up with a warm, wet pair of jeans for yourself. 

I feel bad for thinking this, but do I really want to potty train him?  it kind of seems like it will just be alot of extra work for me.  the majority of this job will be on my shoulders.  watching the clock, keeping track of the last pee and the last poop.  watching how much fluid intake there is.  all that kind of stuff. 

of course, all these reasons are selfish on my part.  they don’t take into account cole’s feelings at all.  you should see his proud and beaming face when he goes ‘whiz’ on the potty like a big boy.  you should hear the joy in his voice as he tells daddy, as clearly as he can,  ‘poop. on. the. potty.’  or ‘I did it.’  doesn’t he deserve a chance to wear spongebob underpants like all the other boys?  shouldn’t he at least get the opportunity to not have everyone around him know that he just pooped in is diaper?  won’t it only give him dignity and a sense of real accomplishment to use the toilet like everyone else?

of course all these thoughts are pretty constant in my head.  the little angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other.  back and forth.  today we just bit the bullet and now we are going for it.  it went pretty well.  he stayed dry most of the time.  peed on the potty twice. and spent more than 3 hours going ‘commando’ without any accidents.  a successful start.  pray it goes well…. for cole… and myself.

loss colored glasses…

July 18, 2009

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we were out tonight, for a bit of a date.  our first stop was bachmans, a floral/home store.  we were there to look for a memorial for luke.  we had been looking for a swing or fountain or chimes or …. we don’t really know what.  anyway, they were closed so we had to go to the next stop which was gymboree to use some gymbucks.

we came to the mall on the north side, which is also where brian and I would meet twice a week, or more, to have our ultrasound on luke.  it was the first time I had been there since the day they gave me the shot to strengthen luke’s lungs and sent us over to riverside hospital right away.  it caused a flood of memories that I would rather not have.

in and out of the mall.  a quick conversation about how we want another baby but ……………..  back in the truck to head to supper.  I’m staring ahead when ‘if you want me to’ by ginny owens comes on the radio.  now I just start crying and drop my head.  this was the first song sung at luke’s service and  it is just a very moving song.  and as we are learning in our bible study, sometimes songs say the things our hearts want to cry out.

one of the things I wonder about that song coming on at that particular moment is, do I take comfort because I’ve gone down that road or should I be encouraged that if I were to go down that road again, He would be there?

the other thing I wonder is how long will I see the world through these loss colored glasses?  every place a memory, every song brings tears, everywhere I go… I realize I don’t have a baby and so many other people do.

I’m sure lots of people are seeing the world through their own loss colored glasses of some kind… divorce, suicide, fire, loss of a pet………….  how long does it last?  what do you do for relieve? 

James 4:10 says ‘Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.’  I guess that is all you or I or anyone of us can do.  go to Him.  pray to Him.  trust Him to carry us on, carry us through.

much love to you, all my friends and readers of this blog.  I truly appreciate your taking time to read my thoughts, it is an encouragement to me.  please feel free to leave comments and tell me how you are.  I’d love to know.

amazed…

July 16, 2009

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so, after all of my ranting and raving… He was still there.  let me tell you how He let me know. 

this week 2 different women that I don’t talk to on any kind of regular basis… one of them I haven’t talked to in person for over a year and the other one has never actually called my house… called me to talk about something and then asked me, ‘how are you doing?’  before they got off the phone.  coincidence??  I choose to believe otherwise.  like I said, these are not friends that I talk to regularly and few.. very few people ask me, ‘how are you doing?’.  I choose to believe that maybe these women were prompted to call me.

then, last night at bible study, while we were watching the video portion of our lesson, the speaker went over Psalm 13.. the one I just used as my vent to my heavenly Father.. and she talked about how God wants us to come to Him with all of our emotions.  He knows them anyway.  now, I didn’t know she was going to use that psalm.  I didn’t even know what her discussion was going to include.  how amazing that what she spoke of was exactly where I was..  what I was thinking.. what I was feeling.. what I needed to hear.  coincidence??  again, I choose to believe otherwise.

I feel better,  I don’t feel so hurt.  I know He is there for me, no matter what I am feeling.  I know He loves me, that He understand my feelings of hurt and betrayal and confusion.  I stand amazed at the wonder of Him..  that he puts up with the constant whining, complaining, tantrums and tears.. the singing, dancing, praising and joy.. the entire roller-coaster of emotions.  He is like the father of an overtired child that doesn’t want to leave the fair, so the child whines and cries awhile, maybe even just throws a fit, and then after being carried through the dark and quiet on the way home, the child gives in and melts into the big, strong arms of her daddy…. she puts her arms around his neck, does one of those shudder sighs that comes after a good bit of crying and says, ‘I love you.’  the father, of course, just smiles softly and says, ‘I love you more.’ as he pushes the matted curls from her wet cheeks and kisses her forehead.

cole…

July 14, 2009

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look at that smile.  and it is genuine!  one thing with cole, he is genuine.  I don’t know that he could fake an emotion, whether it be joy, frustration, fear or praise, he tells it like it is.

cole is about to be 12.  this is hard to believe.  where do the years go … even when the years are hard?

a little more about him…

born at 37 weeks, by emergency cesarean, on july 16, 1997.  weighing in at 5lbs 2 oz.   we spent 2 weeks in the NICU with oxygen, unstable blood sugar, jaundice.  infantile spasms at 6 months.  we were at the hospital or doctor’s office 56 times in his first 52 weeks of life.  we’ve had seizures and surgeries, blood draws and IVs, pneumonia and dehydration.  we’ve bought wheelchairs and bathseats, been to therapy and therapy and therapy.  through it all, cole has been a trooper.  he is always smiling, loves to sing, hugs his doctors and nurses, a friend to all.  seriously.  when we go to target or the mall or any other place, someone knows cole.

his birthday is always bittersweet for me.  of course it is exciting and fun like typical birthdays, but there is also pain.  I relive the day he was born … just like I’m sure many moms do.  except there is alot of wondering, alot of guilt.  … I should have gone into the hospital sooner … why did I wait at home … I should have woke brian up earlier … is this my fault … did I do this … on and on it goes.

and yet, where would we be without cole???  my guess is that we would be an average family, going about our days.  we wouldn’t notice the little things that we do now … like how each word is a big accomplishment, …  ’mama’ wouldn’t sound so sweet.  or how each step is amazing when you think about how many small muscle groups and large muscle groups are involved.  or how the sound of true, uninhibited worship might not sound like everyone else in the choir.  hallelujah.

I’m not even sure if we would have made the jump from knowing in our heads to believeing in our hearts.  which is  the difference between life and death … the difference of heaven or hell.

so, at the end of the wondering and guilt I come back to … ‘this must be the plan for us.’  maybe God knows the best path to bring us home.  maybe that path is through the difficulties and blessings of having a disabled child.

betrayed…

July 12, 2009

I didn’t go to church today.  I’m still feeling … betrayed … by Him…  

one of the definitions of betray is ‘to fail to uphold’.  I think this describes how I feel.  how could He possibly allow such a blow to me?  I mean, come on.  my house is my safe place.  I can’t control the world and who I run into when I am out and about, but I thought  I could control my living room!  I don’t have to have pregnant women or little babies or boys named luke in my house … it is my space to control, to be safe, to not even have to think about being ‘on guard’.  and the part that really, really stings is that this is a bible study!  here I am inviting people over to study His word, taking a step out of my comfort zone for Him and this is what I get?!?!  I don’t even know what to say….  I can only shake my head in confusion and anger and hurt and…… the feeling of betrayal.  the feeling of being stabbed in the heart, as I was happily sitting in my living room, completely unsuspecting, …  by the One whom I love, ……………       He should have been the one to protect me.

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so now what?  well …  I’m fine with ‘luke’s mom’ being in my living room.  I don’t think it will be that big of a deal.  but what do I do with the hurt …. …. … that feels like …. … … He  has caused allowed? 

let me just clarify that I know  He is for me, I know  He always does what is best for me, I know  He loves me more than I can imagine.  but.  that doesn’t change the way I feel … what this feels  like.

how do I get over feeling  angry with God?  

 

How long, O Lord?  Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?

How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.  Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death:

 my enemy will say, ” I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love: my heart rejoices in your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.

Psalm 13

run.

July 10, 2009

run. run away.  I just want to run away.  I have for about 8 months now.  today all I could think was run. so much so, that I grabbed my tennies and headed out.  I don’t know that it helped.  I got home dizzy, hot and still confused.  and now I have an enormous headache creeping up the back of my head. and I still want to run away.

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I started a bible study tonight.  just a small study in my home … 10 women … no big deal.  I was very excited to do this study, to meet some new friends in the area, and be accountable for getting into scripture. 

… … I was broadsided.

the last woman to introduce herself, 1 of 2 that I hadn’t invited myself, told us about herself and her 3 boys, the last of whom, a baby, is named lucien.  …  she ended with, ‘we just call him luke.’

… … what?!?!?!  … … are you serious?!?!?!  … … did I just invite someone into my home, to sit and talk, to be open and honest, that has a baby boy named luke?!?!?! 

… I didn’t hear anything after that.  I watched the video, but couldn’t keep up.  I couldn’t focus.  all I could think about was this woman sitting on my couch that has a baby boy called luke waiting for her at home.  I’m thinking, how could my God, the one I want to learn more about, the one that I brought these women together to study, put a ‘luke’ in this situation???  how am I supposed to learn anything when I can’t concentrate???  why do I have to sit with someone who has a baby luke when I lost mine 27 weeks ago today?!  what am I to gain?!

… … …

the study is on the psalms of ascent, the songs the Isrealites would sing on their way to jerusalem for the 3 great feasts.  it is for those who are hurting, those who are down.  those who are in a place that they don’t want to stay, a place that they are wanting to move away from…. up from.  those who are plodding down a path in search of their Savior.  it seems like a study for me… … … I’m praying that the God of order, the God of detail, the God that brought this small group of women together, will greatly, greatly lead me forward from this place of grief.  that I will learn and grow and be strengthened from the next few weeks  of study as I sit next to ‘luke’s mom’.

“In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me.”

Psalm 120:1

I can’t do it…

July 7, 2009

I can’t do it.  I just can’t.  Not yet.  Someday…  I’m working on it anyway.

I can’t leave him behind.  Maybe that’s not the right way to say it, but that is exactly how it feels.  How could we go on a family vacation without all of our family?  It just won’t work.  The whole time I will wonder what he is doing, if he is sad, if he feels rejected by even his own mama.  Of course all the worst things I can imagine are what I am going off of.  Not all the good things…. like being ‘normal’ for a couple days, like the fact that Cole is much happier at home playing his favorite games and his favorite friends than being outside in the hot and sun. (which neither of are tolerated well by him) 

I know it would be fun for Dawson and Gabrielle to go out with just Brian and I.  I know that it would be good  for them.  I know this from books, doctors and friends that are in the same situation.  It is just a lot easier said than done.

I plan to work at it though…. and more seriously than before.  Maybe we’ll stay overnight somewhere here in the cities again.  Maybe we’ll go to a movie after church and let Cole go home with friends.  Maybe…. LORD give me strength for the maybe.

a year ago…

July 3, 2009

a year ago I found out I was pregnant.  I got to give brian the best anniversary present ever … I told him he was going to be a daddy again, just what he always wanted.

 this year, there is a beautiful, sweet smelling, yellow rose bush in our front yard to remember that baby.  not exactly the way we planned things to go…  and yet our life together goes on.  thankfully, our life goes on well.  there are hard days and tough situations but we make it through.

as we celebrate 13 years of being happily married, I have to stand back and take it all in.  I am amazed that we have made it this far and that we have done so well considering all that has been entrusted to us.  this solidifies for me that there has to be a god … and a great god at that.  only He could get us through things we vowed we would run from.  only He could hold us together as we let our baby boy go.  only He could have known.  only He knows all that is to come and what we will have to look back on in the year to come.    

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  

Jeremiah 29:11

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pic_prescriptions[1]as I stand in front of a cupboard full of prescriptions, a well stocked cupboard I might add, with a debilitating headache, I wonder which one will take it away…. which one would take it all away.  all the hurt, all the pain, all the wonder, all the fear, all the confusion, all the guilt…

I’d like to think there is a magic pill that could do that.  a magic place to go where it doesn’t matter any more … where all of life’s troubles melt away.  but I know better.  I know there is no such place, no such pill, no such drink, no such new shoes.  all these things may help for a brief time, but it will come back.  there is no permanent fix.

knowing all of this, makes me very grateful that I do have something steady to rely on.  someone that is the same today, as yesterday, as tomorrow.  someone that eases the hurts of this world and holds out the promise of no more hurts when I finally cross over jordan.  oh, how I love Him… the One who takes it all away.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Revelation 21:4