blue christmas…

November 29, 2009

” I’ll have a blue christmas without you.” never sounded more true.  it’s been playing in my mind almost  constantly.  like usual, everywhere I go I am aware of what isn’t… what I don’t have… what I’m not buying… who I’m not carrying.  it isn’t anyones first christmas or first taste of stuffing.  I don’t have to be careful about putting ornaments on the bottom of the tree or having chokeable decorations out.  I’m not buying a pair of cuddly soft reindeer jammies or bibs that say I love my daddy.  I’m not carrying luke around. … I’m not carrying luke around.

this sucks.

“to think that Providence would take a child from his mother as she begs, is appalling”, “how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive” … another song that plays in my mind often.  I don’t fully understand it, but these lyrics are exactly right.

yet, somehow… I have joy.  (there is a dramatic difference between joy and happiness… just to be clear)  I make through the days.  I make it through target and the baby rows, most of the time. (I did have to bolt from a favorite pop up toy of mine that I had picked up and started to play with, when devastation started rolling at me like the huge boulder chasing after Indian Jones.)  I can smile.  I can laugh.  it is fleeting and I do have to make an effort, but I can do it.

so, now along with the snowflakes, I’ve decided my favorite christmas color will be blue.  not a baby blue.  a very deep and rich blue.  an almost midnight, but not quite its darkest.  here’s a psychologists opinion of blue, that seems right on and makes me love blue all the more.

[Blue is a cool calming color that shows creativity and intelligence.  It is a color of loyalty, strength, wisdom and trust. Blue has a calming effect on the psyche.]

I think God likes blue.  I think He understands it.  He used it often in building the tabernacle, the curtains, the linens, the hems of the garments.  mordecai wore robes of blue after esther saved the jews.  it’s a good solid color.  I’ll be having a blue christmas… from here on out, until further notice.  I’m okay with that.  I think God is too.

 

 

thankful…

November 27, 2009

I am thankful for…

paid hospital bills

family

good friends, like the ones who are always checking on you to see how things are going

best friends, like the 3 or so that I have that I would give my very own life for

sea salt caramels

iced tea with lemons

my first photo shoot, which was of a newborn (pictured above)

the gift of hiding behind a camera and looking at someone else’s baby

this awesome new toe-ring that I got in door county

meeting my niece, for what seems like the first time

laughing

standing in an assembly line taping shoeboxes shut tight for their big trip across the ocean, for hours

chipotle

kids in bed by 7:45

my dear sweet Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ to whom I owe … … … everything

the mail was full of emotion today.  full!

 

first I opened an anonymous letter that said, ‘your hospital bills at fairview have been paid.  we hope this makes your holiday season brighter.’

tears filled my eyes, my heart soared and I was  left speechless at the kindness, generosity and selflessness of this dear friend, whom choose to bless us without seeking any kind of thanks in return.  there really are good  people in this world. 

brian then handed me a second anonymous letter.  I looked at him with a glimmer in my eye and a smile on my face.  I opened the other envelope to have hatred spill out at me.  it said, ‘wake up dumbass.  brian is having an affair.  ps.  what is up with your retard son?’

my first reaction was just disbelief, like someone must be playing a prank on me or something.  after looking at it for a moment, I started wondering … who would be so mad at me?  who would be so mean as to attack me in such a personal way?  why would they say that about cole?  there really are evil  people in this world.

there was one more card in the mail for me.  a card of love and hope from a dear brown haired friend of mine.  perfect timing.  love wins.

anyway.  I will choose to chase after joy.  to be thankful for the gifts of goodness and generosity that were shown to me today.  I will pray with deep gratitude for the friends who love me and ask that the measure they use will be used on them.  I will choose to forgive the person who hates me and pray that whoever it is that has been so badly hurt, will somehow find Christ this upcoming season.  that if I have offended someone so deeply, I would have the opportunity to ask forgiveness myself.  I will deliberately choose love over hate, especially  when it arrives in the mail.

Do not judge and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Luke 6:37-38

ps.

surgery went well this morning.  they were able to perform both procedures.  I am doing fine.  cramping, but fine.  thanks for your concern.

going under…

November 22, 2009

well first off, it’s not what you think.  I mean ‘going under’ as in surgical terms.  I still seem to be doing all right, which is perplexing to me to say the least.

I will be going in to the hospital bright and early, about 5:30, to have a couple different procedures done… hopefully  a couple.  the first is called an endometrial ablation, which is where they scar the inside of your uterus so as to help relieve excessive blood flow during your menstrual cycle.  this happens by not allowing tissue build up because of the scarring.  and the second, Lord willing, is called, essure.  it is the process of inserting tiny metal coils into your fallopian tubes.  your flesh grows over the coils and blocks off the tubes.  female sterilization.  we won’t know if it is going to work until after the ablation because the doctor has to be able to remove the ‘char‘ (from being burned) in order to see the openings of the fallopian tubes.  so I guess, pray for good char removal??  YUCK!  this is gross!

moving on…

I’ve never wanted to have my ability to reproduce taken away from me.  I always thought brian should go in. (which could still happen if the essure can’t be done.)  but now, I have complete peace about it.  I don’t reproduce well………..  I wish I did, but I don’t.  at this point there are just too many risks.  so, this is the best solution.  if my periods were even half  what they are now and I didn’t have the worry of getting pregnant, my life would be less stressful.  I could use less stressful.  and, if God saw fit for us to have more children in our family, He would find a way to get them here.  I believe that with my entire heart.

so, I’ll be resting for a bit.  I don’t know if that means I’ll have more time to blog or if I’ll just want to curl up and enjoy some doctor recommended down time.  either way, I’ll be thinking about you…  no really.  I think about all of you who check in on me daily or weekly.  I pray your lives are going well and that you are being sustained by God.  I pray that you are going deeper with all of your thoughts and ponderings on this journey that is a fight for joy.

pray for a safe procedure, good char removal and another safe procedure…  peace, comfort and rest.   thank you~

delight…

November 18, 2009

this morning I prayed that God would be my delight for the day.  that somehow, someway, He would show me something that would just delight  me.

shortly there after, gabrielle pulled a pile of old papers out from under the couch.  then she said, ‘mama look, it’s my verses!’  holding one of them up in the air.

to my delight, the verse she was holding up was the same verse I had been thinking of the last few days!  the same verse I used in my post yesterday! 

that particular pile of papers was from 2 years ago when we were studying the book of matthew. 

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

 

“F”…

November 17, 2009

a new blessing has been sent my way by the name of “F”.  let me start back at the beginning.

back on the 6th, after another hard morning with cole, I told a good friend that I was getting to the point where I didn’t like cole.  a very hard place to be. … very.  I kind of poured it all out, talking about how I had always kept mornings just to our family, how I didn’t want someone in the house at 7:00 in the morning while I’m walking around, half-dazed and braless.  I wanted to do things on my own, but was coming to realize that might not be possible much longer.

I got home and had the same conversation with another good friend… then a neighbor who happened to stop by and then again with the aids at school.  a very sad and humbling day to have to admit that I can’t take care of my kids by myself….. that I don’t even want to sometimes… and worst of all that I find myself not liking 1 of them more and more.

but… Providence had other plans. 

one of the aids in the classroom volunteered to come over and help every morning before I could even finishing explaining the whole situation.  she goes by “F”.  (easiest for the kids with special needs to say) 

right there in front of me was an answer to a prayer I hadn’t even gotten out yet.  someone kind and caring, who all ready knows cole and  loves cole, someone who is an early bird by nature, someone who lives close by, someone who won’t care if I have the clothes folded and the house picked up and most importantly someone who would enjoy  doing this.

amazing.  I’m amazed.  I’m amazed  that I am amazed.  shouldn’t I expect these kind of things by now?  shouldn’t I know God will provide?

Matthew 6:8

…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

 

 

you could bless me…

November 10, 2009

well, I don’t exactly how to do this so I am just going to say it.

you could bless me.  it would be a great blessing to my heart if you would make up a shoebox for a little boy, ages 2-4, in memory of luke.  it is a very simple thing to do that could have a mighty, mighty impact on a little life out there.

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here’s what I want you to do.  go get one of those shoebox sizeish reusable plastic totes at target and fill it with wonderful things for a little boy.  like a T shirt, washclothes, a bar of soap, a toothbrush, a mini magnadoodle, crayons, paper, some hotwheels, some hard candies, a ball, some little animals, a teddy bear… things you might have gotten luke for his birthday.  fill it with love and prayers…  put in a small note about your family, write in memory of luke matthews, and the verse luke 12:31.

there are never enough shoeboxes made for the little kids.  ages 2-4.  samaritans purse is always asking for this age group.  the 5-9 group always has plenty.  the plastic totes are nice because they can be used for a long time… maybe even by a mom who has nothing.  if you send soap, put it in a baggie.  otherwise the candy will taste like soap when it finally gets there.  no snakes of any kind.  or any violent toys.

luke means ‘light’.  I pray that although luke’s light seems to have been brief that it will continue to burn on in many hearts and light the way for others to see eternal glory…. that his little light would point others to the one, true Light of the world.

thank you~

update…

I’m so excited to be getting a good response from this post!!  here are a couple links to find out where you can drop your boxes off at…

http://ktis.nwc.edu/article.php?id=6536  … our local christian radio station

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/Drop_Off_Locations/  …

thanks again… it really does make my heart want to sing.  : )

just this week…

November 6, 2009

just this week, I’ve heard the kids talking about luke, been asked about luke and thought about luke everyday.

while we were in the van coming home from school, I called punkin ‘thing 3’.  dawson said something about cole being thing 1, he would be thing 2 and ‘guess who is thing 4?’ …  luke of course.

gabrielle says to me after I drop off dawson for school in the morning,  ‘mom, you wouldn’t be so lonely if we still had luke would you?’.

the insurance lady on the phone is asking me all of the kids birthdays as we are going through some deductible issues and she goes right down the list.  cole.  dawson. gabrielle. luke……….  she actually asked me for his birthday.  it caught me off guard for a couple seconds and then I was able to say 12-31-08.  it very well may be the first and last time that happens.  he is listed on our insurance for this year, but he won’t be next year.  very mixed emotions….  it was nice to run down the list of kids and their birthdays and yet, of course… bittersweet.

another afternoon in the van, and punkin says, ‘I wonder what luke is having for lunch today in Heaven…’.

and so it goes.  10 months later.  he is still with us everyday.  it comes up all the time.  someone says something.  gabrielle is doing some size comparison that ALWAYS leads to how big luke is, was or might be now.  as much as it stings, I think it would be worse if no one was saying anything at all.  because even if the kids aren’t thinking and saying things, I am. … … …  everyday.  … … … just like if he were here and I was carrying around his little not able to walk yet, pudgy, sneezing self.  all dressed in some little soft coat with bear ears sown on to the hood and little brown bear slippers with bells in the toes so we can hear him kick and wiggle and crawl all around the house chasing the cat. … … … 

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I carry him still…. every moment. 

you might think she looked good.  she sounded good.  she smiles…………..  you don’t realize I’m not paying that close of attention.  I’ll forget what you told me, if I heard it at all and I’ll have to ask again later.  I was really thinking about him most of the time. … … … and that was just this week.

 

no more tears…

November 5, 2009

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more; 

neither shall there be mourning, nor crying nor pain anymore

for the former things have passed away.

Revelation 21:4

heaven[1]

every week at my church, bethlehem baptist, there is a ‘fighter verse’ to memorize.  at the beginning of the service the pastor will ask if anyone has the verse memorized and would like to stand and share with the congregation.  someone usually  stands to say it.  this coming sunday, my entire small group, all 50+, plan to stand and say it together.  I am so excited.

I love this verse.  I spend a great deal of time thinking of Heaven.  I can hardly wait to get there.   in fact, if it were up to me, I’d all ready be there.  just think… … no more tears.

no more tears… … …

no more wheelchairs.  no more developmental delays. 

 no more hospital bills, or doctor bills, or anesthesiologist bills.  no more therapies. 

 no more ashes of my baby boy. 

no more mean people.  no more betrayal.  no more deception.  no more fights. 

no more high cholesterol, high blood pressure or high stress levels.

no more apert syndrome.  no more cruel stares and hurtful words.  no more surgeries and sicknesses.

no more gluten-free or lactose intolerant.  no more peanut free rooms.  no more epi-pens. 

no more death of babies or mamas….. or anyone for that matter.

no more strained, awkward, hurtful, complicated relationships.

no more anxiety, worry or fear.  no more antidepressants.

no more headaches, back aches or heartaches.

no more tears…..

maybe the trumpet will sound still tonight.  even though I am excited to stand and say this verse with my beautiful family, all 50+, on sunday, I can’t even imagine the joy of living this verse out….

I hope you are looking forward to Heaven.  I hope you know that you will one day be there too.  I hope you will tell me what you are looking forward to in Heaven.

much love to you~

the moon…

November 1, 2009

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when I was headed over to target tonight, I noticed the moon.  so big and bright… just beautiful.  I always love to look at it.  I try to take pictures, but they never do it justice.  anyway, I thought to myself, the only reason the moon is so appealing is because it is reflecting the light of the sun. … …  it sounds so simple. … …  could I just reflect the light of the Son?  could I please cause others to look and wonder in awe, by the Light I am reflecting?  it is only the Light that is so attractive.  on my own, just like the moon, there isn’t much to see.  there has to be another source.  a greater source.

I was also reading tonight about suffering, in a new book called, ‘If God is Good’.  one of the stories he tells is of a young women who encourages 2 other women who happen to be complaining.  she says some simple things about Jesus and how He knows and sees all.  she seemed so warm and kind.  little did they know that there were all kinds of tramas going on in her life.  even though she was in the storm, she reflected the light.  Lord please let me leave people seeing you and not all the storms I face.  I want You  to be the sweet aroma that lingers with them and encourages them.  that through my joy, that you give me everyday, they would hunger after You.