if only…

December 29, 2010

we went to see the movie tangled last night.  it was wonderful.  of course I cried, but that isn’t really any big news.   I see many parallels with my life,, which I’m sure, other people relate it to their lives as well.  here’s how I felt it fit me… start with this happy couple who has their beautiful baby stolen away in the night.  every year on her birthday they release lanterns to remember her.  there was a scene towards the end where the king and queen are getting ready to send up the lantern for what should be their daughters 18th birthday.  the queen is straightening the king’s pendant and when she looks up at him, he has a tear about to come rolling down his cheek… he misses his baby and wants her back.  he is heartbroken… utterly heartbroken.  that was probably the hardest part for me.  I clearly remember a very similar situation between brian and I.  seeing him hurt and broken is more painful than being hurtand broken myself.  I really wish he didn’t know this kind of pain.

anyway, back to the movie… near the end, ryder is willing to give up his life for rapunzel’s, even as she is trying to sing her magical song over him and  give up her freedom so that he may live.  and even though she can’t save him with her magical hair, a tear of ‘true love’ falls on to his cheek and that is enough to restore him.  joyfully he comes back to life and they fall into each other’s arms and live happily ever after.  if only it were as easy as a tear of true love, or simply singing a magical incantation of your heart’s desire, if only…

‘flower gleam and glow, let your power shine, make the clock reverse, bring back what once was mine,

 heal what has been hurt, change the fate’s design, save what has been lost, bring back what once was mine, what once was mine….’

at a loss…

December 22, 2010

so you know my BSF group is a challenge, just because of the pregnant women and then the addition of a woman due with a little boy at the end of december.  well… she had the baby.  his name is luke.

I’m not saying in any way that she shouldn’t name her baby whatever she wants.  obviously I love that name too and think it is wonderful for a baby boy.  the part that leaves me speechless is just that this whole thing is happening.  I mean statistically speaking… what are the odds?!?!  in all of the twin cities, all the bible studies, all the different discussion groups in each bible study… I’m in the one with the woman who has a little boy and names him luke just as we near what should be my luke’s 2nd birthday.

again with the in your face, all the time, taunting…  it makes me very weary. (not that I wasn’t weary before)  I’m to tired to even think about it.  I’m at a loss…

remember…

December 16, 2010

as I pull my winter jammies out and put on the striped pair from gap, I remember that I was wearing these jammies as brian and I toured the NICU and looked at the other little one pound babies and got all the info on where we would be moved to when we finally delivered…

as I soak in the tub, I remember how I used to sit in the tub for some very long stretches just staring at all the miscellaneous bottles of soap, shampoo, lotion, cleanser and such paying especially close detail to the net ounces of each product and debating about whether luke weighed more or less than these multi=colored bottles scattered around my tub…

as I stare out the window and watch the pretty little snowflakes fall, I remember how it seemed like it was snowing every time I would leave yet another ultrasound or test or dr appointment for luke…

as I buy a size 14 shirt for dawson at gap kids and think about how next year I’ll be shopping adult sizes for this kid, I remember how many years I spent cruising the sale rack at baby gap and how I had just bought the cutest ‘little monkey’ shirt for luke just two years ago…

as I hang various snowflake ornaments all about our christmas tree and house… … … I remember.

my taunting foe…

November 22, 2010

another dilemma has recently surfaced in my fairytale  soap-opera life.  after coming to grips with the woman in my discussion group at BSF who has the 2 year-old little boy named luke and the 2 others who are pregnant, one of which has been in for a level 2 ultrasound just last week and ‘isn’t even going to think about those things that the dr said.’ there was yet one more woman to be added.  it seems impossible to even imagine that she would be assigned to our group, but she was.  she happens to be due in december with a little boy. …(stunned silence)… and the worst part is that now that babies are allowed, I know that she will be back after break… sitting there nursing her brand new little boy… that smells so sweet… and makes all those extraordinary newborn sounds.  I’m thinking… you have got to be kidding me.  you have got to be @%&# kidding me!!  could I have one place where i can let my guard down, where I can refill my cup, where I can enjoy the fellowship of other women believers as they discover and study their way through Isaiah too? apparently not.

so after leaving BSF upset and talking with friends about how upset I am and then requesting that this new girl might be moved because I am upset.  my answer comes back … these groups are prayed about and it doesn’t appear to be an accident… I mean, we are  studying the sovereignty of God and all. … maybe this is a oppurtunity for you (me) to be victorious in Christ. … … …

after crying and feeling ssoo frustrated and tired of what seems like an endless piling on of little things to haunt me and telling brian, “I’m sick of hearing about ‘victory in Christ’… give me a break!”, I went to bed.  it seems very much to me that God likes to pick on me… just trying to see how far this little bruised and battered reed can bend. 

sunday morning, we go to church, through the ice and freezing rain.  I don’t participate like I usually would.  I’m kind of pouting I guess.  I lay my weary little noggin on brian’s shoulder and fall asleep during the sermon.  I decide to sit up and be awake for the remaining part of the service, but I flip through my bible on my own, still not paying attention.  my little rebellion.  I only look for a moment until I stumble across psalm 42, which is all ready full of little notes and underlines.  it speaks directly to me… deep calls to deep… my soul is downcast… these things I remember… ‘why have You forgotten me?’ … as the deer pants for water… my tears have been my food… ‘where is your God?’… as my foes taunt me…  wait a minute, what was the part?  as my foes taunt me…  as my foes taunt me…  hmmm…  I wonder…  could that really be?  am I being ‘taunted’? … by my enemy?

now, I’ve studied suffering.  I’ve studied evil.  I’ve studied what is ‘allowed’.  I’ve studied Heaven and Hell.  somehow, my focus is always more on what God is doing, allowing.  so of course it seems like God is picking on me.  this small verse from psalm 42:10 changed that.  it changed my perspective.  what if all these little things are from my taunting foe?  then it dawns on me for the first time… that is where/why I could have victory.  I feel a little silly even saying that, because it sounds so… … … christianese. 

having said all that, it isn’t like I just feel better now.  it still hurts.  I still don’t want to sit in that group.  I plan to seek counseling to help deal with this post traumatic stress that I deal with.  it’s just that now… my heart feels a little better, I feel a little encouraged, back on the path.  I have identified my taunting foe and I have no plans of succumbing to his wiles.

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.  Psalm 42:11

always watching…

November 14, 2010

I learned a valuable lesson this weekend… one that I know, but easily forget or don’t pay much attention too.  it was good to be reminded and greatly encouraged at the same time.  here’s how it went.

I was at a retreat for moms with kids with disabilities.  after the main speaker, there was a Q & A.  the questions were directed towards us, the audience.  our second question was, ‘how do you keep your faith?’  someone I don’t know, a few rows behind me and to the right, stood and started to give her answer.  she said she had seen something that encouraged her, rather than something that she did herself.  it wasn’t far into her story that I started to cry.  I still can’t say exactly why it made me cry,  but it did.  she told us how she happens to attend bethlehem and on a sunday back aways, maybe Easter, we had a combined service at the lakeville highschool, rather than the 9 and 11 that we would usually have.  so, as she is watching the service proceed, she notices a family up front that has a little boy in a wheelchair.  she said she was drawn to the joy they showed as they were singing.  and then ‘I’ll fly away’ came up and again she felt she was watching something remarkable.  the family was smiling and singing and dancing around… even the boy in the wheelchair had his hands up and was doing his best to sing along.  she was impressed and encouraged to see a family that had obvious burden and yet such great joy.

oh how quickly I knew she was talking about me and mine.  I remember getting to church later than I had wanted and having to walk all the way down to the front row, because there are only a few places to sit with a wheelchair.  I remember the song too.  cole’s favorite!  in my whole time at bethlehem it has only been sung twice.  the week we came back after losing luke and Easter.  I also remember wearing my brave face and doing my best to sing along as I was breaking on the inside, because I really did  want to fly away.  I have a son waiting on the other side of glory and I want to see him.  I remember writing a poem that starts out ‘it still sucks’ after I got home…

so… to hear this story from a strangers perspective was… more than I can put into words.  here she is being greatly encouraged by just watching our little family sing and she doesn’t even know the half of it!  it made me remember that others are watching.  always watching.  and although things can and will be hard at different times, I need to rely on God and trust that He will give me the strength to suffer well.  that His light will show through my tears, through cole’s raised hands, through gabrielle’s twirling, brian’s steadfastness and dear dawson’s tender spirit.  He knows who is watching and what they need to see.

when I sing…

October 25, 2010

music and singing have always been very powerful to me.  it seems that they convey more than meer words are capable of.  lately, I’ve been closing my eyes more when I sing… or sometimes I just stand there and listen to everyone else singing.  it fills me with awe.  I picture Jesus there on His throne with throngs of saints around Him.  (I must have a good seat, because I can see Him pretty well.)  😉   anyway…  He has his eyes closed too!  He’s kind of leaned back, off to one side more than the other and He is keeping time with His foot and His head at the same time.  He’s got a slight smile on His beautiful face and every once and awhile He sings along a little bit.  sometimes He even plays a little air drum or acts like he is the conductor when there is a climax to the song…  and then, as the song is ending, He stands up.  and He applauds.  He cheers for us!  and it is completely genuine because He loves us so very  much and is overwhelming proud of all our little efforts.  think of your own children for a second and how your heart melts when you here them sing, ‘holy! holy! holy!’ in their tiny, innocent voices.  how much more His love for us……  how much more….  this is all going on in my head… when I sing.

here am I…

October 20, 2010

so we’ve been studying the book of Isaiah… which makes me feel very small. …  it makes me look at our country and think, ‘wait!  is he talking about judah  or america?’, because, sadly there are many similarities.  it makes me consider who I am trusting in, who I fear, what idols I am holding onto… 

last week, we looked at Isaiah’s response of , ‘here am I.  send me!’, when God asked, ‘whom shall I send?’.  and that too left me feeling a bit lacking.  I am not that brave.  I am not so confident that I could just stand and say ‘send me’ without knowing all  the details of the where I was being sent… like, where exactly and for  how long and what should I pack and what’s the weather like there and is this going to hurt and how long will the pain last…  I’m a little more like… well, … I’m not sure.  maybe. ..  let me think about it.  are You sure?  maybe someone else should do it. … I want to be like Isaiah in this regard, in his immediate obedience, his undoubting faith… but I don’t feel quite there yet.

this week however, I’ve found a verse that I am thinking about having embroidered onto a flag and staking it out in the front yard.

our questions in our lesson for the week, kind of lead us (me) to, ‘Is Jesus your cornerstone or is He a stumbling block to you?’ and ‘does your  life reflect that?’.  and my answer is this:  He is my cornerstone, my sure foundation, my all-in-all.  I hope and pray that my life is reflecting that.  of my 4 children, 1 is physically disabled and although he is 13, his mind is that of a 5-year-old and 1 has all ready died and waits for us in Heaven… and yet here am I.  I still stand in His camp.  I still sing His praises.  I still trust in His promises.  (mind you, that I do none of this on my own strength or will.  it is only by His grace that I have made it this far.)  I would think that this has to make others look and wonder, especially people who haven’t become believers of Christ Jesus yet…’ how do you do it?’  I know that people think that, because sometimes they ask.  and this is where I want to be able to stop and point to the banner flying bright and bold above my little camp…

“Here am I, and the children the Lord has given me. 

We are signs and symbols from the Lord Almighty.”

Isaiah 8:18

this is a verse that I can wholeheartedly say alongside Isaiah.  this is one that I don’t hesitate with or need to ask any qualifying questions.  it is just honestly where I stand and where I am willing to plant my flag.  and I pray for anyone out there who would read this, that isn’t all ready a fully believing christian (I mean believing with your heart not knowing in your head) that your eyes would be open, not so much by your conscious choice as by the Holy Spirit’s leading, to see the Truth in what I am saying and that you would understand that I only do  this … survive my life … by His unending grace.  my children… all 4… and I are signs of faith.  you know us or have bumped into us, that you might have that one more opportunity to soften your heart to see the gospel of Jesus.

if you want me to…

September 30, 2010

bible study has started.  I’m excited about studying Isaiah this year with good friends, in a new location.  I’ve got a close friend by my side in my discussion group that, sadly, and yet, thankfully, knows my pain.  I feel like I’ve made a few steps forward in this grieving process that is taking way  longer than I want it to.  and somehow, I still almost ended up throwing my hands up and walking out, planning  to never return.  let me tell you about the ‘somehow’.

after a pleasant morning of being thankful for being in this study, thankful to see a flood of new women coming to bible study, thankful for the men who volunteer to get all these women into the parking lot in an orderly fashion, (no really… I am super thankful for them), thankful for the friendly greeter, thankful for the amazing sound of these many voices lifted together in praise, thankful for the tried and true friend who smiles as I walk in to sit by her…  I feel like I get a couple swift upper cuts as I sit down, not guarding myself in any way.  the first of which is the new pregnant lady who sits to my left, which stung a little , but not as bad as before.  the second blow was the one that really took my breath away and caused me to stumble.  the one that caused my body temp to rise and all that queasiness to stir and the desire to run kick in.  the new girl across from me, who looked vaguely familiar, was the same women who happened to be in my house last summer for a bible study.  the one who threw me for a loop at that time as well.  all because she has a little 2-year-old boy named luke. 

… … …

and I guess the thing that upsets me isn’t so much about losing luke as it is about the hurt and betrayal I feel from God himself.  I mean really.  come on.  here I am, trying to draw near, making an effort to study His word, spending my time being thankful and this is what I get?!  a slap in the face?!…  (that’s what it feels like anyway)

well, I stayed in the class.  I couldn’t focus very well for the first half, but I recovered more quickly than usual.  I stumbled, but I didn’t fall.  I caught my footing and was able to move along.  I was still wondering why though…….   still feeling a little hurt…  there has to be a reason….  but what on earth could it possibly be….

after all of that, I got in my van and headed for home, still wondering, but not as upset and remembering that God loves me and that I’ve got a long way to go and that even though this refining is a terribly painful process, the alternative  is much worse.  I trust that the path that He has me on is the one that will bring me home and bring Him the most glory in the process.  I throw out a quick pray to, ‘please help me here’, as I turn on the radio …. …. and when I do, the song from luke’s funeral was on. … …  … and the way I took it was… … …  ‘I haven’t forgotten.  I’m on your side.’ … … … and I really listened to the  lyrics again… for the first time in a long time… .. and I fully agreed with every word.  and I was able to say wholeheartedly, ‘I will walk through the valley, if you want me to.’

first words…

September 16, 2010

we all know them.  we all love to hear them.  not just the mama and dada and baba… the ones that continue  to come along as our littles babes grow and learn.  when they use a word and actually understand what they just said or even use a larger word correctly, I know.  I remember.  gabrielle has been using ‘actually’ correctly for a while now.  and dawson just told me today that ‘he realized he was capable’ of something.  I was impressed more with his choice of words than the thing that he just ‘realized he was capable’ of.  but as the hectic day of school was changing into the hectic night of extracurricular activities I heard a new word that melted my heart and brought tears to my eyes.  a small, but wonderful word that was used in complete correct context.  a tiny little word that I have heard from so many people and yet it never ment as much as it did tonight.

I had just gotten cole set at the table with his supper and his helper and his drink.  gabrielle was all ready skipping her sweet little first grader self to the van to leave for cheerleading and I was backing out the door still listing off instructions as I think I must do all the time.  cole kept looking at me, kind of over  his shoulder and I could tell he wanted to say something.  now, please remember that he is 13, has very limited speech and trying to figure out what he might want to say will make me 15 minutes late to the little team of cheerleaders that are awaiting instruction.  I was backing out and he said, ‘wait’ and put his arms up in the air… this means that he needs a hug before you go.  he’s a big hugger and does this to almost everyone.  I gave him a hug and started backing out and again and he called ‘WAIT’ a little louder.  know he can easily got caught up in these little toddler games and as I’ve said, I need to be moving along.  I just ask what and stay where I am and wait… he looks at me…  for a bit… and then he says, ‘miss’.  … … … as in I’m going to miss you. … … …  I came back in and gave him a big hug and a kiss and then had to go.  I was so blessed and so cheered to hear that small, simple word.  a first word that I will remember for a very long time.

(sigh)

so, I didn’t actually say it, but I was thinking it.  we’re having to do some disciplining that I’d rather not do.  without disclosing too much information, let ‘s just say that my fine young man has some struggles like every other fine young man out there.  it’s so hard …   I just want to ignore it.  or even throw a fit about it and then just move on. … … … BUT… … … it’s time to let him know we are serious.  the issue is serious.  we aren’t messing around.  he’ll be sitting out of the highschool football game where the younger players all make the tunnel for the big guys to run through.  he cried when we told him.

and now…

I feel bad.  I want to cry.  I don’t want to make him sit out.  I don’t want to hold him accountable.  I don’t want to be the parents, the tough parents.  this is actually hurting me!  I want to take him to the game, give him $20 bucks and say go have some fun.  I want to just dismiss his behavior as childish, immature.  I don’t want to ‘expect more’ from him.   (sigh… sigh… sigh)  this is so hard.

and yet… I know… I have been given charge over this boy.  I am the one that must steer him in such way that when he is grown he will be a blessing and not a burden. …  dear Lord… help me.

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.  Psalm 31:24

Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not turn from it.  Proverbs 22:6

I’ve been thinking…

September 5, 2010

so, I’ve been thinking.  a lot actually.  so much has happened in the last few weeks.  more than I can get put into words at the moment.  I still struggle with all things ‘baby’.  my dr. had suggested therapy a few months back for ‘post traumatic stress disorder’… which caused me to do a lot of thinking.  … is that something I could have?  I thought only our precious soldiers had that… but the more I thought about it, it started to make sense.  losing luke was traumatic.  the endless sonograms, never knowing if we would see a heartbeat or a dead baby.  the sheer helplessness of it all.  like watching my child being held hostage, tortured… never enough oxygen, never enough … and all of this going on IN my very own body!  it was a very horrific torture for me… like watching my child behind the glass of an aquarium with a faulty oxygen tank, mask.  and I am the tank.  completely incapable of doing anything to fix the situation. 

anyway…  more thinking…

a few weeks ago, while at camp (another post entirely), I had a few more very thought-provoking moments.  my eyes were opened to some areas in my life that I wasn’t looking to change or expecting to be ‘called out’ on.  my very own twisted version of jealousy.  my lack of discipline in a few areas.  things that are very lengthy posts…  I plan to write about them as I am getting them worked out, as I understand them better a little bit more myself.  I just wanted to update you all and let you know I’m fine.  I’ve just been thinking…

the world pulls hard…

August 17, 2010

it seems like that when I’m having a hard time, the world pulls hard.  by that I mean that, for instance, when my 13-year-old pees on the couch, again, there is a very strong desire for me to run away.  when my daughter and her friend decide to play beauty shop and my friend’s daughter ends up needing an appointment to fix what is left of her hair,  I wonder if there is maybe a different life out there for me.  I want to leave it all behind.

  there’s this crazy part of me that wants to think that if I just drive off, there could be something better… the things this world has to offer.  kind of like the song ‘rock star’ by nickleback.  I feel willing to trade this life for fortune and fame… willing to trade all of eternity filled with joy, just to have some fleshy pleasure for the here and now.  like maybe I could be some super star belly dancer out in vegas… I’d be taller of course.  my life would consist of laying in the sun, poolside, with some ridiculous expensive couture bikini and a fine-looking poolboy to bring me fresh water and put oil on my back… (oh, wait.  I’m keeping brian for this part of the fantasy.  I’ve run this by him before and he has no problem with me being his sugar mama)  I’d still have the poolboy, the trainer, the chef, the personal shopper, the driver, the gardener.  they’d all be handsome.  there would be lots of world traveling and shopping.  an amazing yacht in the mediterranean, a luxe cabin in aspen, some beautiful little bungalow in an undisclosed tropical locale….  I’d be fluent in several languages and pick up new ones as I traveled.  the ‘eagles’ would be friends of mine and they’d do a private concert for me and some close friends….  I’d be closing down all the most popular clubs.  I’d be doing all the things that this world tells me are fun and rewarding.  and it would seem I had not a care in the world………………………..  I want an immediate escape to this live that has’t turned out the way I expected…

I have to make a conscious decision to not focus on the troubles of my little life at this particular moment.  I have to decide to look forward to the day when there will be no more pain, hurt, disappointment, frustration or sorrow.  a day when I am not standing around with empty arms or cleaning up someones poop for the 3rd time today or apologizing for the new haircut.  a day when there will be a new heaven and a new earth and there will be sheer joy!  I’ll be able to see this earth not as this shadow version, but as the ‘more than I can imagine’ version.

maybe this strong desire is actually a desire to go home….  my real home.  I know that the darkness would love for me to think that ‘living it up’ here is as good as it is going to get so I might as well throw caution to the wind and just go ahead and live my rock star life.  evil would have me think that what the world has to offer… fortune, fame, sex, alcohol, drugs is just the kind of medicinal help I need … … … … … the thing is, that my eyes have been opened… and even though the world does pull hard at me sometimes, I know better.

I wanna be a cowgirl…

August 14, 2010

 

there’s my little dreamer… watching the big horses stamp their hoves and roll in the dust as she holds her much-loved stick pony, whitey.  she wants a horse so bad.  of course, at this point she has no idea of the reality of owning a horse.  I’m sure she just imagines herself trotting along through the wide open pasture, stopping to pick some flowers and eat some triscuits and cheese slices…  she couldn’t even understand the expense or time or food or poop that is involved.  … … … kind of like me before I had kids. 

for now, whitey will have to do.  he gets plenty of excercise around here.  she gets him out and brushes him and runs him for laps around the house.  she even plays ‘kitty round-up’ with him, just like a real pony.  (the kitty does not like this game)  and… he’s bought and paid for, eats very little and poops even less.

someday little dreamer… and if not here in this life, in Heaven for sure.

everyday…

July 31, 2010

so you know when people who have lost someone say, ‘I think of them everyday.’?  I used to think that was probably a bit of an exaggeration… now I know that it is not.  I do actually think of luke everyday.  absolutely everyday.  sometimes it seems like I think of him all day long.  I think of him when I do a head count of kids in the van.  I think of him when I see pregnant women, little babies and toddlers.  there are a whole bunch of words that trip me up… like the name luke, anything about pregnancy, anything about death, anything about suffering.  I think of him when I hear songs on the radio, songs about Heaven, songs about loss, songs about suffering.  I think of him whenever we have to drive by my OBs office.

even though I still think about luke everyday,  it has gotten easier.  I don’t necessarily cry when I hear his name.  I can mention him and his life and feel pride and joy instead of just anguish.  I am proud to be the mother of 4.  I do almost always cry when I hear songs on the radio… but that was true before.

I’m not sure why I am mentioning this… maybe just to let you know that people who have lost a dear sweet someone probably do think of them everyday.  if you see someone and wonder how they are, or where they are in their grief… go ahead and ask.  tell them that you still remember that person too.  tell them you remember them at certain times or when you hear certain songs.  I’m guessing they would be happy to hear they aren’t the only one that still remembers or thinks of that certain special someone.

I ran into ‘joy’ today.  it was like meeting an old friend after years apart.  even though I hadn’t seen her for a while… a long while, we were able to come back together like there hadn’t been a significant span of time between our last meeting.  and oh was it good to be in the presence of ‘joy’ once again.  I have missed her.  I didn’t really realize how long it had been since I had felt so excited and happy.  I sense more of a sparkle of hope in my own eyes than the glossed over look of grief.

it feels so good to be happy for someone and the good news that they share.  in this case it happens to be the engagement of a very dear friend.  I’ve been waiting for this news.  but even though I really felt like this engagement would come along at some point, I didn’t anticipate how wonderful the actual event would be.  something to look forward to.  something to talk about.  something to celebrate. 

maybe it’s because it isn’t about a baby… (this news of course could lead  to a baby … and I’d be happy about that too)

and I’m sure of course, that this engagement is so exciting because I love this friend with all of my heart.  we’ve been friends for a very long time.  since first grade… it was the first grade field trip to the hospital when we were assigned to sit together on the bus.  that’s where we meet.  I think we shared a ride to and from school for the next 12 years almost every day.  we would drink kool aid from my thermos on the way home from elemantary school and pretend we were having wine.  we spent lots and lots of friday nights staying up until midnight so we could watch friday night videos.  one particular friday evening we spent our time burning all the valentines we had received at school that day in the fireplace and laughing about the messages on the cards… especially the ones from ‘boys’.  we went to our senior prom together, just the 2 of us in a limo.  (I still can’t believe we didn’t have dates for that event.)  we’ve stayed in touch ever since high school and still see each other when we can.  we’ve comforted each other through some pretty unbearable times.  we’ve laughed so hard… so many times… even during mass.  if ever I had a sister… someone who I had better keep close, because she’d be to great of an enemy with all the information she has on me… this is the girl.

it’s been a long time ‘joy’, but I am so glad to be in your company again.

congratulations my very dear brown-haired friend!  I am so happy for you.  … as I looked for a picture of us, I noticed that we are beside each other in almost all the pictures I have from school… which makes this ‘joy’ I’ve run into today all the much sweeter.  I love you friend…

a little kiss from God as I long for my baby…

a wonderful friend and neighbor came by with 4 blue delphinium for me from the nursery.  I had mentioned how pretty hers were a few days ago and somehow, (I know how) she just felt like she should stop at this little nursery she drives by and pick up a couple for me to plant at my house.

that in and of itself was wonderful.  it made me smile and feel greatly comforted.  and then…

another friend, a fellow cheerleader mom whom I haven’t talked to since november sent me these:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/sharing/shareRedirectSwitchBoard.jsp?token=948661597803%3A1507922308&sourceId=533754321803&cm_mmc=eMail-_-Share-_-Photos-_-Sharee

hopefully you can see these.  I don’t know if it will work or not.  if you can’t, they are pictures of my friend’s family letting balloons go this winter.  she just happened to send me the link yesterday… just happened to.

that’s all.  a small note of encouragement.  I hope that through my encouragement you too will be encouraged.

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement…  Philemon 1:7

one and a half…

July 1, 2010

well… luke would be one and a half.  we would be having a little half birthday party for him just like we do for all the kids.

but we’re not.  instead, I just went to  bed and cried about it.  I want my baby.  here I am with empty arms… just as much today as back in december when he died.  the reminders are always right there.  yesterday, I found this dump truck and monster truck in a crock while brian and I were cleaning and sorting.  they were dawson’s.  I had been saving them… now what do I do with them?

this all started about 3 days ago when dawson asked me how we would have luke’s half birthday when there is no june 31.  I’ve been thinking about it ever since.  I wonder how often dawson thinks of him…

the kids were gone for 3 days.  they stayed with a very dear friend who helps us so much.  she is the only one who has ever voluntarily taken all 3 of them for an extended amount of time… being overnight.  having them gone is nice because brian and I are able to get so much more done, but having them gone also leaves a lot of quiet.  there aren’t any distractions.  and honestly, I think I survive by the distraction right now.  the reality of my life is very heavy.  the road looks very long, very hard … … …

anyway.  I suppose it is good to have to stop and face it.  to look around at how it is, how it is going to be.  to slow down and miss my baby…  to cry over his loss… to realize how much work a disabled child is… to cry over the death of all the dreams I had for him…

… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

brian and I had a great time together.  we got a lot of work done around here.  cleaning, weeding, planting… different gardens around the house filled with bleeding hearts, bittersweet, baby’s breath, coleus and forget me nots…  and although I am physically tired from the manual labor of the last few days and my eyes are red and puffy from crying, I feel okay.  I lean on Christ to be my comforter and strength.  I will not go about as those who do not have hope.  I will hold unswervingly to the hope I profess, for he who has promised eternal life is faithful.  I will fix my eyes on Christ and remember that he is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  I will do my best to consider these trials pure joy, knowing that the testing of my faith will produce perseverance and perseverance must finish its work so that I may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. I will remember that this life of mine is but a mist.

Blessed is the man who preservers under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love  him.  …   James 1:12 

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~

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.