a few good men…

June 20, 2010

I don’t have nearly the time or energy that I’d like to devote to this post, but I’m going to do what I can.  here goes.  I’d like to take this small moment to acknowledge some simply wonderful men in my life.  let me start with my brother.  I wouldn’t have every really expected to be acknowledging how great my brother is in any type of public forum, but I am… because… he is.  he is a great husband and father.  I know he devotes lots of time to maintaining and bettering his family.  he isn’t stopping at the bar every night after work or things like that.  he’s picking up his daughters and heading for home.  he plays with them.  a lot.  and he seems to be enjoying it.  they love him for it too.  the last time I was down there he had cut out some paper dolls and colored them in as all the disney princesses and I was jealous.  they were awesome!  apparently he got the ‘how to cut out paper dolls gene’.  which brings me to another great man.  my dad. 

my dad used to cut out paper dolls for me.  I remember.  he used to crawl around on his hands and knees pretending to be a pony, he would spin use around in our sleeping bags, he took us sledding in the winter and swimming in the summer.  he taught us how to stack wood and how to criss-cross cut the potatoes and carrots for the beef stew.  he also worked very, very hard.  long hours out in the hot sun.  day in and day out.  all across the midwest.  it was a great way for us to spend the summers.  we got to camp all over and go on new adventures almost every day.  and he was working… up to 80 hours a week sometimes.  all that being said, you’ll probably not be able to guess what it was that I was thinking about him this morning in church.  I was thinking how thankful I am for the decision he made to let me be born and to marry my mom and stick with us.  I can’t imagine what it is like to be 17 and have a 14 year-old pregnant girlfriend…  to have someone suggest that maybe you should end the pregnancy… 

he kept me.  he married my mom.  he was and continues to be good to me.  thank you dad.  I love you.

last but not least, the daddy to my own 4.  again while we were at church, I was listening to a video clip about the release of a book on disability.  it made me stop and think about how fortunate that I am that brian even stuck around after cole was born.  many daddy’s don’t.  they don’t have time or desire for a broken child.  not only has he stuck around, he has been absolutely amazing, never faltering.  he remains steadfast in his love for his family and works hard to provide for us.  he works lots of hours, 2 jobs if needed.  he isn’t out with the boys or drinking his sorrows away (and Lord knows he has had plenty).  he comes straight home.  he says he just wants to be here… home.  I am his best friend and he loves these kids.  I know he still would love to have 1 more.  I know it pains him the same as me when little ones come around our house or cross our paths at church.  I know he was broken but remained steadfast in his best attempts to be able to protect and take care of me and the kids as we lost our littlest member.  he was strong all day and into the night until I had cried myself to sleep… and then when he thought everyone was down for the night he would throw up out in the kitchen sink hoping not to wake anyone, being conscious of us even in his own deep loss and sorrow.  it breaks my heart that I am not able to give him that 1 more…  he’s such a good daddy. 

thank you sweet man of mine for not only sticking with us, but loving us and providing for us.  you truly are the best.  truly.  I love you. … …  love. you. 

happy father’s day to a few good men in my life.  may God bless you and keep you~

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all four my first…

June 18, 2010

I have always been very proud to say that each child of mine has been my first.  cole being my obvious first-born.  dawson being my first able-bodied child.  gabrielle my first girl.  and last night as I lay awake, it occurred to me that I can still say that.  luke was the first I had to let go of.

this sunday…

June 14, 2010

sunday again.  I do love sundays.  I love that it is a different day for us.  it isn’t the rush, rush, get out the door, check that thing off the list so we can have some time to ourselves.  it doesn’t ‘waste’ our day to be in church for the morning.  it is different from all the others.  it is set aside as something a little more important than your average day.  what would it be that I have to do that is so important anyway…  nothing.

it isn’t my easiest day of the week.  it is tremendously emotional.  JOY.  there is joy.  there is peace.  there is healing.  there is hurt.  there is comfort for the hurt…  there is the shock and awe that someone as vile as myself would be called ‘the apple of my eye’ by God himself.  and there is still… anger, betrayal …  confusion.  I just can’t understand.  I’m accepting that there is a good chance I’m not going to understand this side of heaven.

all that being said, I just wanted to give you a little rundown of what all happens in that hour and a half that we come to gether to worship with our fellow believers in Christ.

*we arrive and sit in the folding chairs against the wall because that’s where you sit when you have a wheelchair.

*as we sing praises cole hits all the important words as loud as he can, like hallelujah.  ( I hope others aren’t thinking that he is just screaming and then remember that God knows his voice and realize that this may be as close as I get to completely unashamed, honest worship from another person.)

*also while we are singing, punkin stands in front of me dancing to the songs, twirling and clapping and raising her hands while she holds mine.  (I hope other people aren’t thinking that I should not be letting my daughter whirl around and such and then I remember that I don’t care what they think.  she’s doing a little dance of joy for Jesus.  wouldn’t church be more fun if we all did some twirls together down the aisles and danced for the One who saved our souls?)

*as we sit I notice that the little boy right in front of us still has his name tag on from nursery.  his name is luke of course.  really.

*looking over to punkin who is 2 over to my left, I notice that she has brought her whole artists workshop along including scissors, glue sticks, pencils and colors which she is presently setting up on the empty chair next to her.

*I see dawson on his ipod sitting on my left and think ‘why did we let him bring that?’ and then notice that he is quickly looking for the bible reference the pastor just read and…. he found it!  he glances at me proudly.

*cole is quietly turning the pages of his dora book.  surprisingly he can sit and be quiet for that long.  I’m always surprised.

*I switch places with dawson so that I can help punkin put away the craft store.

*I notice brian has his head leaned against the wall and appears to be asleep.

*a mom with a little boy wrapped in a soft brown blanket with a silky edge gets up from in front of us to go nurse I would assume.

*dawson is wiggling around trying to itch his back which is really dawson trying to say ‘mom will you rub my back’.

*I rub dawson’s back.

*punkin shows me a picture that she has drawn.  a heart with ‘GOD’ in the middle and to luke… from punkin on the back.

*brian is helping cole straighten out his dora book.

*dawson wants to know what ‘chaffing’ means.  (I think, at least he is listening to the sermon because I just heard the pastor say chaffing.)

*brian appears to be sleeping again.

*during a sermon on how self-centered we are, I think about how I  can’t hear anything because I’m  helping my little brood.

*the words to the songs play on in my heart and mind…

All I once held dear, built my life upon,

all this world reveres and wars to own,

all I once thought gain I have counted loss,

spent and worthless now compared to this.

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You.

There is no greater thing.

You’re my all, You’re the best, You’re my joy,

my righteousness; and I love You, Lord.

well with my soul…

June 7, 2010

another changing of the bandages at church this sunday.  it happened while we were singing.  I often cry while we are singing anyway.  others’ hands go up and my tears start to drop… big solid drops falling directly from my eyes and leaving little splats on my sweater or bible.

this time we happened to be singing ‘it is well with my soul’.  just as we get to ‘whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say…’  I happen to look down from the screen where the lyrics are and notice that 2 rows in front of me there are a pair of big blue eyes staring at me over the top of their daddy’s shoulder.  a completely innocent little face of around 1-year-old.  he’s got a mess of blonde hair, sucking his 2 middle fingers of one hand while the other is hanging over his daddy’s other shoulder all balled up in a pudgy little fist.  now his eyes are just locked with mine and he isn’t looking away. … … …

… … …

and in my heart… … …

I was able to say, to know… that it actually is well with my soul.

oh how it hurt to say it, to think it.  and at the same time, I felt better comforted.  the tears fell, my voice left me.  the little boy looked at me a bit longer and then laid his head down on his daddy’s big strong shoulder and went to sleep.

some sweet day,  I’ll hold my little pudgy fisted boy and sing praises over him as he drifts to sleep… or lean my head against brian’s strong shoulder and rub luke’s little back as he sinks into the soft and safe arms of his daddy.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul

 

the majority…

June 3, 2010

okay… so I know that the posts that I usually put up are not all rainbows and butterflies.  (welcome to real life)  I don’t want them to be.  I’m trying to give you a very realistic look into the life of this broken yet beautiful life of mine.  and honestly, if you told me that your life was all sunshine and happiness, I’d have to wonder if you were being completely open with me… or yourself.

for today though, I just want to talk about the majority of my days.  most days are good.  I am well-loved by my husband and kids.  I get hugged and kissed.  I smile and laugh and play and work and laugh and love.  I’m blessed with some very wonderful friends.  we meet for lunch or go out for happy hour.  we talk and laugh and love and encourage.  yes, the majority of my days are of the red-letter variety. 

 the thing is, I don’t often blog about all of those things.  I don’t run to the keyboard when everything is going my way and tell you all about it.  instead, this is where I come when I can’t get the words out, when my thoughts are overwhelming, when the anxiety builds and it feels like the dam may break.  you mostly hear the bad, sad, mad stuff.  which is very therapeutic for me, but leaves you feeling bad too or wondering if I’m really  okay…  … …

 I am okay.  really.  this child of weakness knows where to turn at the end of the day.  I know the One who continues to give me the strength to rise each morning to face a physically and emotionally challenging day.  I know Who hears my cries and showers me with mercies anew.  I know.  I do.  and I’m just fine… for the majority of the time.

oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead.

oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead.

oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead.

oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead.