Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ten Months

It has been ten months today since i last held my little girls. Someone asked me recently if I was beginning to feel things start to really come back with full emotion as I begin to approach the birthday of Annalise and Emmalyn. It did not take long for me to give her an answer. The truth is no. I cannot say that I do because the pain today is just as raw as it was on that day. There are still daily reminders of all the things we will miss. No baby dedication at church, no birthday parties, no dance classes, no double strollers, no extra room needed for vacations, no story time and tickle time and all the other things we remember so fondly about raising Grayson and Evan. There is still great sadness for all of us and tears when I least expect them sometimes. There is still hurt and anger and emptiness and sorrow and wondering and fear and eyes that you just can't see behind. There are still odd interactions with family and friends and coworkers. I still want to hold my girls. But in spite of all that, I know a God of Hope. One that is carrying me through the bittersweet even when I am angry. A God that is in all the details and a God that one day will invite me home to hold my girls. Until then I believe there is work to be done here. Work that I may never have taken on without the brief life of my girls. Work that is truly passion.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back in Business

June 26th; the last post...(also the day before my computer took a tumble off the end of the couch and has been out of comission) was full of things I wanted to remember.  I am happy to report that the day delivered.  Glenn and I were able to spend a little bit of time out in the middle of the lake in the boat just enjoying being alone in the quiet.  And boy was it quiet...I was even able to keep my crying quiet.  I secretly hoped to see a shooting star (or two) but mo such luck.

We had a great vacation at the lake although there were definitely some emotional moments.  We had the opportunity to talk about one trip in particular that Glenn took the kids on when they were much younger (the coke and peanut story) and how that might have played out for all involved had the same scenario had taken place with Annalise and Emmalyn as the back washers.  We all had quite a laugh over that.  Probably the first time I have laughed when remembering the girls.  There were also a few tears and some serious faces and we talked about how the two things that would have made our trip perfect would have been having our girls and a permanent place on the lake.  We had such high hopes of taking them there and so many things we wanted to share with the four of them together.  My greatest comfort during this time was remembering the words of a song by I Will Carry You by Selah:

There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?
And He says:
I`ve shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?
Remembering that God loves my precious girls more than I could ever even imagine possible is not the easiest task at hand; but one that I desperately try to hold on to. 
I am signing off for now as there is a great task at hand.  Wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Help Mate and Friend

Here it is once again that time of night for me and I am wide awake.  Not able to turn my mind off but I am beginning to learn to treasure this time deeply.  I attempted to lay in bed and fall asleep but my thoughts were just chasing circles around in my head so I thought it best to get them out.

This week has been hanging over my head for months now and it has finally arrived.  Our annual return to Lake Glenville.  The exact place that holds such a special place in our hearts for so many reasons especially since that beautiful day God blessed our lives with our baby girls, Annalise and Emmalyn. I have been so anxious about coming back because I knew that this would be such a tender time in our lives.  As I sit here tonight and type this out I am almost ashamed that I worried so over this, because I should have known all along how tenderly God would hold us.  I cried many tears before we left our house for this trip, some behind my sunglasses in the car on the way and some since we arrived, but I am confident that they all have been seen and felt.  Faithful He has continued to be. 

This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says:
I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.
2 Kings 20:5

Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll — are they not in your record?

Today is a very tender day as it has significant meaning for two very different reasons.  It is a day that my husband and I should receive feel such joy as we celebrate our wedding anniversary, but this year will also be recognized as the seven month mark of losing our daughters.  So unfair that this day should have to be shared.  I pray that as the sun rises in the morning that through great sadness God will shine His perfect light.  I so want to honor my husband today.

Today I want to remember the day I first saw him.  The day I knew I wanted to marry him.  The day that he asked me to marry him.  The day we said I do.  The first time he brought me to this place at the lake I have grown to love so dearly.  Our first house.  Our first move.  Our first kiss.  The look in his eyes when he looks at our children.  The look in his eyes when he looks at me.  The laughter in his voice when only the two of us get the joke.  The relief in his breath when work is not a stressor.  The dreams that we dream together.

I want him to know all the things that I love about him:

The fact that he is a great husband all the time
A great father (even when my heart races because I feel he is being to hard or protective and the way
                         it steams when I feel he is being a push over)
A hard worker, way harder than we need him to be

I love the way he looks in a suit (which I get to see almost every day), I love the way he always smells like his cologne (even after he cuts the grass), and after all these years I have even learned to love his snoring (because if I can hear it, it means he's there).

So tonight, when I should be sleeping, I am sitting here at the lake by a dim lamp in the living room at Tranquility Cottage.  It is 58 degrees outside and the only light outside other that my lamp is the glow on the water from the moon.  The crickets are chirping in the distance and two of my children are sleeping peacefully in the same room because they chose to, not because we make them.  The stars are always out and if I look up at the sky long enough it feels like I could reach right into Heaven which I would love to do right now.  But God's plan is different and so I sit here, knowing I am not alone, while I can hear my husband snoring in the background.  The man that is the father to all four of my children.  My help mate and friend.  The love of my life.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Head Over Heart

I have been thinking a lot over the past several days about a book that I have attempted to read now for the third or fourth time.  I mentioned this in a Facebook post recently and one friend actually thought that I was writing a book; so clarification... I am not writing a book, just attempting to finish reading one.  I was deeply honored however that someone thought I had taken that on and even wanted to read it.  (BTW I probably could write a book at this point in my life).

If you have been following my blog for any amount of time, you know that my faith has definitely taken the front seat in my healing process.  No day is easy yet and I truly do no think that it ever will be, but I am confident that God has His hands all over me and this difficult time in my life.  After much internal debate and emotional turmoil, I decided that I needed to seek out a professional therapist that had years of experience in dealing with losses such as ours.  I just simply was at the point that breakdown was on the brink and I needed someone not emotionally attached but qualified to guide me through this unfathomable pain.  I made the appointment and went in to see her.  She assured me that my feelings and emotions are all normal, part of the normal grieving process that happened in different ways and different timing for different people.  Thank goodness because the way some people were acting I was beginning to wonder if I was a weirdo for continuing to be so emotionally distraught over losing Annalise and Emmalyn.  That was a positive outcome of our meeting (as well as some other thins).  Toward the end of our meeting, she suggested that I read a book before I came back to see her and I just had a funny feeling that I knew the title she was going to throw out at me and I was right.  It was a book that I had started reading at the suggestion of another bereaved mother.  I had started to read it and I commonly read in bed at night when I am unable to sleep.  I reached an area of the text that really seemed to bother me and I thought that I had possibly read some portion after taking something to help me sleep and would have helped me to understand what the author was saying now.  So.... at page 127, I started over.  This time sure to be fully awake and paying attention as I read.  I mean really close attention.  However, I reached that same point in the book and realized that the part the was so troubling to me, was indeed what the author was implying.  So once again I put it aside.  But after seeing the therapist and explaining my position about why His position in the text was so troubling to me, she told me that she really thought that if I would continue to read it, (if I was able to get to the end), she felt like I would feel differently.  And boy right now I would do anything, I mean anything to feel differently.  So after a couple of days I started over, again!

This book does have many valid arguments in it, but the one that bothers me the most, is that the authors basic argument is that random bad things happen in life and that God is just not big enough to stop them.  Major theological stump for me!!  I mean MAJOR!  I am truly a believer in a God of miracles.  I do not believe that God caused my babies to die, but I do one hundred percent believe that He could have prevented it if He had chosen to do so.  But for a reason unknown to me, He didn't and now I just have to trust that His purpose in both their lives and their deaths is all for His glory in the end.  I know that some of you think that I am probably totally off my rocker. But I assure you that instead of being off my rocker, I am trying daily to climb into it right in the lap of God and allow Him to be my God of all comforts.  Because may days that is the only place I feel any comfort at all.

I am disappointed to say that I once again have been unable to finish this book and am not sure I will ever even attempt again, but have been given a new one that so far is addressing the same issues in a more biblical fashion.  Thanks to the person that understood my dilemma and offered to let me borrow this new book.  Please pray that as I read this title, I will gain a better understanding of the questions that I have and find great comfort.

These books, however, have allowed me to think about faith in a deeper realm both for myself and for others.  What is in our lives that drawn us to a "less" shakeable faith.  I don't want to say an unshakable faith because the reality is that at times we all get our faith shaken up.  Or what didn't happen in our lives, or has not happened yet to help us develop that "less" shakeable faith.  I can;t imagine not thinking that there was more to life that just what is here on this earth.  To not think that there is life everlasting.  Life everlasting with my girls someday.  Life everlasting with my other two precious children and my husband.  Life everlasting with my parents and in-laws, grandparents and dear friends (oh how I miss you Missy).  How lost I would feel and what purpose would life really have.  What reason would we have to run the great race?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
 let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
 And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Hebrews 12:1

I must admit, that at times I struggle, and especially on the days that I feel that losing our girls was was unfair.  And o the days that I am angry and confused about God's plan, and even more when I can't feel Him close.  But my questions over the pat few days has been troubling to me.  Is it that I truly believe in my heart and am trouble on days convincing my head, or I am I believing in my head and having trouble convincing my heart?

I would truly like to believe that in heart God's truths ring loud and clear, and that bringing my mind on board at times is the challenge.  But I must admit that deep down that is not always the case.  But daily I continue to remember the words found in Hebrews 11:1 (words that my dear friend Missy lived out so courageously until God called her home).

"The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith,
is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living.
It's our handle on what we can't see."
Hebrews 11:1 (MSG)

And I will strive daily to:

"Fix my eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for
 the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat
down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured such
 opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
Hebrews 12:2-3

I pray that you too will examine what it is exactly that hinders your faith.  Take it to God and ask Him to take it away.  I am always willing for you to comment about your struggles and pray for you specifically.  You can even comment anonymously, I never need your name, God know who you are.

Dear Lord thank you for times like these when you really give us great insight into the things that stand between us and You.  Please give us the strength to be honest about what those things are and then be selfless enough to trust you with them.

Just as a side note for those of you that may not be my Facebook friend, I finally completed my journey in finishing reading my entire Bible on May 12.  What a glorious Mother's Day accomplishment that was for me and I can not begin to tell you the comfort my journey brought.  If you have never set out to read the Bible all the way through, or if you have tried in the past and given up,  pick it up again and ask God to see you through it.  I promise He will show up in some BIG ways.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

An Emotional Week

It's been one week since Mother's Day and I still can't really believe that it has come and gone without us having our girls here.  In fact sometimes it is really hard to believe that any of this has really happened.  Chances are if I hadn't held those two tiny babies in my arms I am not sure I would believe it.  Man this is really hard.  Everything feels hard these days.  I still would just love to lay in bed some days and let the time pass me by and sometimes when I am home alone that is just what I do.  I still read and read and read hoping to find a glimmer of hope in my grief.  I still cry every time I get in the car to go to work and in most church services.  It is still hard to see little babies and pregnant women.  Imagine that....the exact group of women that I work with.  Lord give me strength is all I can think about that.  I sure hope God gives me a glimpse of His plan some time soon.

This past month has been very emotional for me.  My baby boy turned 11.  My oldest daughter attend her first prom.  Then she turned right around and turned 17 yrs old four days later.  Where has the time gone?  It seems like just yesterday they were just making there way into this world of ours turning our lives "right side up".  There was Mother's Day and an extremely emotional week at work and then a baby shower and a first birthday.

Yes I attended a baby shower, in fact I helped host it but man was I nervous.  I wouldn't have missed it for the world because it was for a dear friend but it was very hard to feel comfortable.  I am typically a very sentimental type of gift giver, but my heart just couldn't do, so I put together a more practical type of gift.  All the necessities.  Laundry detergent, gas drops, Tylenol, Balmex, A&D ointment, snack cups, spoons, tissues, a book and some music along with a heart felt letter about motherhood.  Thankfully God was looking out for me too.  All the gifts seemed to be practical in nature.  Not so sure how I would have handled a bunch of cute little outfits and blankets.  Actually I know how I would have handled it, tearfully just as I feel now sitting here typing this.  I too am very thankful that my friend understands.  I am so very excited for her and know that she is going to make a great mommy.  Oh to hear that word for the first time again...

Today was also a little emotional for me as it was my little Parker next doors birthday, #1.  I think of all the things Sara and I had talked about our little ones doing together.  We had such plans.  It sure was great fun dreaming while we could.  But as I watched him sit in that little highchair today, playing with balloons, singing happy birthday and the watching him carefully check out his very first birthday cake, I felt all of my dreams for my girls just swirling down the drain.  The number of things that you remember you will miss is just more than you would ever imagine.  Everything from their first sounds to their first prom and way beyond.  It all lies right there under the surface just looking for a tiny hole to escape and believe me it only takes "tiny" for that to happen.  You never know what and you never know when but believe me it is always just right under the surface.  Thankfully today it didn't happen until I was safe at home.

Please God just give me a tiny glimpse of why or even what I am supposed to do from here.  Help me to trust your faithfulness and continued healing (although sometimes it doesn't feel like healing at all).

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I'm fine...(Or Am I)

This week is finally coming to an end and I am extremely thankful for that.  I am not exactly sure how much more I could stand in one week.  So very much has happened and I am frazzled even beyond my own awareness.  Life seems to be just spinning all around me while I am standing still in the middle.

The question I have pondered much this week is what do you do when something like this threatens the very core of everything you know and love?  Everything you have ever wanted to be or do.  Everyone you have ever loved.  How do you pick up the pieces and start over?  How do you get through the day to day much less the difficult things?  How do you continue to live out your dreams when your dreams have been shattered?  How do you face new trials when you can barely handle the ones already in your lap? 

I don't know the answer and won't even try to come up with one.  I do know that there are a lot of things wrestling around in my mind with each other and I just can't seem to sort it out.  I am frustrated and hurt and lonely and broken and yet when other ask how are you I still seem to muster a half smile and say either I'm fine or I'm good.

Why do we do this?  Why do we feel forced to hide our brokenness from each other?  Why are we so selfish that we can barely stand to listen to someone else's brokenness and hurt and certainly never offer to?

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5:16

Below is a copy of something I read this week that spoke directly to my heart tonight as I remembered it and pulled it out to read it again.  It is from the current bible study that I am doing, A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.

"Do we need to grant one another permission to not be fine?

Could we come broken before the Father, and cry out for His mercy and strength?  He did promise to never leave us or forsake us.  Even when we don't feel it, could we still cling to His promise and claim it?

HE knows we're not fine.

Could the trials be the very thing that break the strings holding on our mask, allowing it to fall to the ground so we can cling to Him a little tighter?

The truth is...

We aren't fine....We are forgiven.

We aren't in control....We are held by the hands that control our very heartbeat.

We aren't invincible....We are made to look to the only One who can heal the broken."

How thankful I am at this very moment for those words. 

Lord please help me see how to let you help me.

And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." 
Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of
 Christ may dwell in me.  2 Corinthians 12:9