Saturday, July 24, 2010

Missing.




Sometimes I just hate distance. I wish I could keep all my dear friends close by... instead of across the state, country, over the ocean, or around the world.

Can you all just move closer to me?

Thank God we will be together in Heaven. It makes me happy.

I miss you Kelsey!

Sucker.





Sometimes there's nothing like a lolly.

(Pics taken in January 2010)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mind the Bump.

Feeling pregnant. I mean I know I'm over halfway there at 22 weeks but recently I just really feel it. Now yeah, I've been sick and dizzy and have to go to the bathroom FREQUENTLY, etc. but now it's that round firm tummy that reminds me, "Yep. You're really pregnant girl."

I just visited a very dear friend of mine who just had her first baby. A beautiful, healthy girl. I was smitten as soon as I laid eyes on her. Little Simone was wrapped in blankets her hair was soft and beautiful and dark... and her little blueberry eyes were active and interested in all around her. What a dolly.

As I stood rocking her I imagined, "what if this pregnancy is different? What if I get to hold him after I give birth? What if he's not strapped down with tubes protruding everywhere? What if he comes home without the accessories of an apnea monitor, oxygen or feeding tube? What if he's healthy? What if he's full-term..." It all seems unreal and dreamlike to me... but I hope. I really hope that would happen.

Wouldn't it be nice to have an uneventful labor and delivery? I mean, what if I was normal? The thought makes me smile.

YET I choose to believe that God is good no matter what happens. Even if he comes pre-mature. Even if he has health issues. ETC.

Letting go of my false sense of control is a good thing. It's in His hands.

I'm sitting in Starbucks right now and am crying openly. I'm listening to Held.

Held- Natalie Grant

Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling
Who told us we'd be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We're asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it's unfair

[Chorus]
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow

[Chorus]
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held
[Bridge]
If hope is born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our savior
[Chorus]
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held
We'd be held

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

This is what it means to be held.....


This song resonates in my heart. I know what it is for the sacred to be torn from my life and survive. I was reminded again today. Every time a close friends baby is born I am reminded once again... my sister didn't make it. My nephew didn't make it. There is this mixture of absolute relief that my friend and baby are fine. There is the pain of "Why not Libby?" Complicated, huh?

I feel so full of layers of emotions. The happy, the sad, the anxiety, the relief, the grief, the joy- I'm just this crazy mixed concoction... you never know what you're going to get with me.

Someday I will be on the other side. Til then, holding onto God... really, He's holding onto me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Some words.

Days are long and hard. Hmmm... what do you expect when you have a lot of little ones with lots of "little" needs.

"holdie! Holdieeeeee" Ian shrieks at me... as if stuck on a repeat button.

Libby, "Mommy, can you change her dress again. Can you put the dolls dress on the hanger. Mommy are you resting again?!"

"I want Nilk. Mommy, can I have some nilk? Nilk please????" Samuel.

"Eeeeee. Eeee. Mama." Michael bellows.

Kick. Kick. Kick. The little one within is telling me hi... or something.

Yesterday was a wild and fun day. I took the kids to the Y. I worked out in the pool, another water aerobics class. Grabbed a shower and dressed. Took the kids to Harris Teeter bought yogurt, applesauce and some muffins. We ate lunch at Barnes and Noble and the kids played at the train table for a while as I read Libby barbie princess books.

Ready to collapse when we got home. But it was the good kind of exhaustion. The one where you still have a smile on your face at the end of it.

We got some sad news today. Aleya's grandfather passed away last night. She will be flying to Idaho to attend the funeral. Will you please be praying for her. I hope we can provide some kind of comfort for her. She's so dear to us!

Okay, on a mini date with Mike so I better go and enjoy it.
We received unexpected blessings yesterday! Thanking God for provision. He is Good!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Picture Perfect 4th.

If I was on staff, writing for Martha Stewart's Living Magazine or a Better Homes and Garden's writer for the 4th of July I would have been in heaven yesterday. Talk about a picture perfect event.

Mike and I drove to the Northern Neck of VA yesterday for a family reunion. I had the kids decked out in red, white and blue. We arrived to a beautiful home by the River and enjoyed a fun day of eating, swimming, and boating. The kids had a blast. Everything was amazing to look at. Beautiful day.

I was struck by the coordinating 4th of July theme. The red, white and blue cups, napkins, plates, balloons, pin-wheels in a vase of M&M's. Star decorated cookies. And little American flag hacky-sack balls. It was really cute.

The great thing was I was too busy enjoying it to take a single picture. I enjoyed getting to see Mike's family... it had been some years since we had the opportunity to see them.

I had home-made peach ice-cream... out of this world.

The kids left tired but happy and Mike and I enjoyed watching random fireworks on the drive home.

I was thinking about things that are picture-perfect. I know personally I'd like to have a picture-perfect life. I'd love to have it "all-together". I want people to think I'm a great wife, mom, friend, etc. BUT the truth is I'm not. I don't have it together... not even close. And it's good. I think if I did have it all together I would be self-righteous, judgmental, and less dependent on God. I mean, if you're already "god" who needs God?

The other temptation is to see others as having it together... it looks like "that" person has a picture-perfect life. Maybe they have a large home or the car you've dreamed of, the perfect job, spouse, or children. The perfect body. Or the perfect giftings/abilities. BUT guess what, they don't. We, each of us, have our own fallings, failings, pitfalls, struggles, imperfections. We are each tempted to be dissatisfied and discontent with what we have. We long for more, we long for other, we long for what we don't have... or we long to NOT have what we do.

I know I'm tempted to look at other people's lives and wish I had it as "easy" as they have. I then stop and think, "Do I really want their life?" I haven't walked a mile in their shoes. And I rejoice in the things God has shown me with what He has given me.

There are moments I don't want to be a parent of special needs children. There are times I struggle with wishing we were financially secure or had a reliable vehicle. But God is using the opportunities in my life to remind me of Himself and my need for Him and that He will supply all my needs.

In days that are dark there is the temptation toward hopelessness. I fall into the comparison pit and think, "Why can't just something go right or be easy?" Ha. How many things are right in my life?! My children and my husband are alive. We don't have terminal illnesses. We have a home to live in, food to eat, and clothes to wear. And He provides above and beyond what we need. He gives us luxuries and little treasures and presents. He's given us salvation and hope. He's given us friends and family. He's given us comfort in mourning. He's given us Himself.

So, if only I can remind myself to stay in a place of gratitude right?

It's not that simple though. Life is hard. It's challenging. It's difficult and complex. And I realize that I'm human and it's okay to struggle. God isn't shocked. He isn't surprised. He's faithful and good and He lovingly brings me to Himself time and again.

And maybe my longing for picture-perfect is a small glimpse or taste of my longing for the One who is picture-perfect. Maybe part of my craving for perfection is because there is One who is perfect... and He's calling me to become more like Him.

I don't know if what I'm saying makes sense. I hope it does. This tired, weary pregnant woman is trying her best to express herself. So, there it is...

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Tough questions and a trip to the ER

I was awoken just shortly after 5 this morning. We got a call and thought something was wrong. Thankfully nothing was up but the phone had been pressed early in the a.m. and we were the recipients. All is well.

But Libby had been slapping and kicking me for most of the night and Samuel was begging for a "bar" to eat.

So I find myself up, unable to go back to sleep. The mist is rising over the pond and dew is still on the ground.

I thought I'd have time in the quietness of this morning to write...but just as I sit down at my computer I am interrupted by a little, "Hello, Mama." Samuel has come to join me at the table and is working on a puzzle.

I came down bleary eyed and practically stumbling. I open the fridge... I don't even know why and glance at a bowl of freshly picked tomatoes from the garden. I close it. I stroke the leaves on my lamb's ear plant which always comforts me.

Currently I am being serenaded by my four-year olds rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." He's observant to ask if the sun's coming out. It already is out though. It's been out for a while in fact. I had no idea the sun was already "out" this early.

All last week I had this headache that would not go away. Sometimes it was just annoying and other times it was migraine strength. After talking with the doctors office they told me I can take Excedrin Migraine. It's Tylenol based (aceteminophen) and I'm in my second trimester. Thank God. It really helps.

Two nights ago I ended up in the ER. I was having contractions and sharp abdominal pain. I discovered that I had an infection and was dehydrated. Now for those of you who know me well you know I'm a HUGE water drinker. I constantly have a water bottle with me and am perpetually drinking from it. I was surprised to find I was dehydrated. Apparently because of my pregnancy and the summer heat I'm supposed to drink 10-12, 12 oz. glasses of water every day. Holy Cow. That's well over a gallon. So now I'm kicking it up a notch. I drink until I have water belly. You know when you can feel the water sloshing inside you.

The baby is a little mover and shaker. He loves to move. This morning I felt like he decided to run a marathon... or maybe just gallop around for a while. He's already moving so hard Mike could feel him moving LAST week. Crazy, huh?

It's the first of July today. Where is the time going? It's escaping like sand between my fingers. It passes on whether I feel like it's going too slow or too fast. It has no regard for what I feel.

It took it easy yesterday. I was tempted to go to my water aerobics class but thought better of it. If my uterus was just contracting I should probably give it an activity break.

I must confess while I was laying in the hospital bed tears kept streaming down my face. I was struggling with fear. I knew if the baby came it would be too early. I knew he wouldn't make it. I once again had to consider what do I really believe about God. Do I really think He's in control? Would I still think He's loving and good if he took this baby away?

Libby asked my Mom a tough question that night when I was in the hospital. "Is Mommy going to heaven tonight?" Glad I wasn't the one to be asked that question. Whew. There's my poor Mom watching all four kids and being asked if her daughter is going to die. My Mom told her "Not tonight." Libby's response was "People do die." My mom nodded in agreement.

Yes, indeed. Do I know that well. Do we know that well. People do die. One thing I learned with the loss of my sister is that people do die. The "worst" can happen. We're not protected from suffering and loss just because we're Christians. The Sun shines on the just and unjust and all that.

So I lay in that hospital bed knowing that even though God is in control, if it was His timing, this baby was going to go. How would I respond? I'd like to say my heart was full of thanksgiving and praise and trust and that my faith was exploding in my soul. No. My response was grief. My thoughts were more like, "God I want to trust you but that would be really hard and I don't think I could handle it." and "Please Jesus don't take my baby." and "Oh shit. Am I going to lose something precious to me once again?"

I can't begin to express my relief that I was sent home with a prescription for an antibiotic and told to drink water, drink it some more, and drink again until my pee was clear. I loved those instructions. Do you know how hard that is when you take a pre-natal? Prenatals make your urine yellow. I can't remember if it's B vitamins or what it is... BUT, Okay, I got the point.

So the thoughts that linger now are... is this a preview of what is to come? Am I going to be on bedrest? If so, who will care for my children? Am I going to be hospitalized... again? The temptation for fear, worry, and honestly, dread are on the horizon. So I have to fight. Right now, I am NOT on bedrest. Tomorrow might be a different story but I need to dwell on today and how God is going to meet and provide for my needs TODAY. Let my tomorrows take care of themselves. They are in God's hands.

I interrupt these thoughts to... you guessed it, drink some water.

I think I'm going to go back to bed. Being up this early is making me uber nauseous. Maybe I can fall asleep now... before the day truly starts.