Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A new recipe...

Yesterday morning Sarah and I made cookies.  Because she is a monster we made monster cookies.  They turned out wonderful.  I enjoyed the time with her.  She's getting so big and changing so much.

She wants to dump every cup of oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chips into the bowl.  She wants to taste everything.  She want's to help and lets me know loudly "I help", "I do" and Luke and I's favorite, when she is successful we are blessed with her smiling "I did it!".

I watch her and I'm amazed.  It comes so easily her holding that head, reaching that hand, grasping life tightly.  She is unafraid.  I want to be more like her and seize fiercly, live fully in the moment the chocolate on my toungue and not waiting always for the next tragedy.  For the ground to open and swallow me up.

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2 NIV

Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. Isaiah 50:10 NIV

Watching Sarah grab with both hands, exploring the world.  Watching Josie read devotions at bed time, thirsting for more words from her God, longing to know more about her Jesus.  Feeling this new baby thrive and grow inside of me... Knowing that I have a princess in Heaven with dark hair and blue eyes and I will hold her again... knowing that no matter what He's here...  It's okay.  I need to trust.

I need a new recipe.  For the last 20 some months I have been holding my breath.  I have known fear. I want to let it go, to just trust.  To enjoy the blessings fully that I have and not worry about the next thing.   I am ready, and it doesn't feel like leaving Marie behind.  It feels like becoming who she, and God want me to be.  It is time to try a new recipe.

And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again he says, "Here am I, and the children God has given me. Hebrews 2:13 NIV

It was good enjoying that simple blessing with my littlest girl yesterday.  Making cookies, soaking her up.  If you are interested, here is the recipe we made.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Today I stumbled across just what I needed.  Today a friend put her thoughts into words and they said what I have tried to say...

If you know me in person you know that I am shy.  I am too tall and awkward.  Clumsy, silly, and I stutter when I'm nervous.  I blush easily.  I struggle with saying things.  It is hard for me to talk about Marie openly, to talk about what our family has been through.  I struggle finding the words to express how my child was not a burden, how I was blessed to have her.  I struggle to find words to explain what we've been through and how it's changed us.  I try... but in person I fail.  I can write it though and in those words on a page I can lay my thoughts out.  So in person I feel I fail often at explaining just how much I love being the mother to the children God has given.  Just how much God has given me in having them. 

Often I'm asked by strangers how many children I have... I always say three.  I cannot leave Marie out... I don't go into explaining that I have two here and one in Heaven unless the person I'm talking to seems to deserve to know, or need to know.  And now that I'm carrying our fourth I talk about my four children, and I talk about how there were twins at the beginning with this fourth pregnancy because I suppose there are five. And in Heaven when you see me walking I think that five will be there walking with Luke and I too... because although only three are here all of them are in my heart and that's what being a mother is.  It's loving them...

Today I read Clarissa's blog and her words spoke.  The child that died.  BLESSING.  Would you do it again?  YES.  Terminal diagnosis, special needs, 24 hour care, a burden.  NO, I LOVED EVERY MINUET OF HAVING THAT GIRL.  Being around her made me feel better than I have before or after in my entire life.  Being around Marie filled me, and you could see God in her.  And feel God around her... and that was BLESSING.

Having a baby born and a child die less than 24 hours apart?  I don't understand but it was HIS plan and I trust it.  Because of where we walked and how He carried us, and taught us to believe... BLESSING.

Clarissa is one of my best friends.  I am a little selfish and I enjoy spoiling Abigail... because Marie isn't here anymore...  And she lets me.  She is so strong and her faith inspires me, fills me, makes me keep moving forward.  Her words are beautiful...  Please visit her here... today this was my blessing.

And I am blessed, I am one blessed Mama...


Thursday, May 19, 2011


May has flown by.  Below are some pictures of what we've been up to lately.  It looks beautiful in the pictures but the last week and half have actually found us pretty chilly and getting a lot of rain.  Praising God for that.  Luke was talking to his Dad this morning and it might just be enough moisture to carry the wheat through to harvest.  It needs rain to fill the heads with grain and this rain might soak the ground enough to last that long.

Josie and Sarah have been playing together so well lately...

Her hair is getting longer...

Sarah loves being in the new shop with her Daddy... 

One of Marie's many butterflies...

Some of my flowers blooming...

Number Three...

My tomato plants in the ground.  It's been so cool they haven't grown much since I got them in.


Josie handling the knife for the first time.  She was thrilled when I told her she's big enough to cut the leaves off now as long as I'm watching.

Sarah loves helping...

Taking it inside...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beautiful Song...

Yesterday on the way home from bible study Josie and I heard this song.  It is beautiful, and just what I needed to hear!

Blessings, by Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can't satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?


Friday, May 13, 2011


Yesterday was my ultrasound.  I had so much anxiety going into it.  I was praying that this baby just be healthy, I doesn't matter if it's a boy or a girl.  Whatever God sends is fine, just let this baby be growing well.

The nice thing was the the ultrasound technician is from here.  She was raised a few miles west of Luke and they know one another from "way back".  She was wonderful.  She took her time, she explained why she was doing what she was.  And baby, well... Baby is beautiful.

Tiny little hands were moving all over, and she showed us a profile, a little belly, a little spine.  All four chambers of a heart, two beautiful little kidneys, everything growing just as it should be.  And then we got to see the bottoms of Baby's tiny feet.  There is enough room now that Baby was just fully stretched out.  I had never seen the bottom of their feet on ultrasound before.  And then she said the words we had been waiting to hear...

It's a girl.

How blessed are we!!??  God has given us four beautiful girls!  It was wonderful seeing her, and most importantly, seeing that she is growing just as she should!  God is GRACIOUS!

We came home and told Josie our happy news.  She had a moments pause, she had really wanted a brother, but is just happy that there is another baby coming.  She and Sarah played well all night long and Sarah was so proud to show Josie the pictures of "Baby".

My mind kept reeling though.  This is so wonderful, but it is so bittersweet.  This happy news brought with it grief I wasn't expecting.  I wonder when I will begin to get used to that?  There is another little girl I longed to share the news with, to show the pictures of another baby sister to.  And she's just not here.  And that's the bite.  The bittersweet.  The tangle.  With happy comes sad, with rejoicing comes remembrance and longing.  And it's just life now I suppose, and taking the blessing with the pain is something I am learning to do.

 Last night I lay in bed and my mind kept calling images of Little Mama, brown hair loose, blue eyes crinkled, smiling at me.  Will this baby have brown hair?  Will I see Marie when I look at her?  Sarah and Josie favor one another so strongly, favor their Daddy so strongly.  Marie just had her own looks.  She was me, dark hair and skin with her father's blue eyes.  God made her so beautiful...  And I'm glad He lets her face remain so clear in my mind.

Four little girls, so blessed are we.  Four princesses.  Luke is so outnumbered!  I know that he longed for a son but he admits that his daughters have him wrapped around their little fingers.

It is amazing the turns a life takes.  You find yourself where you never thought you would be.  I never thought I would have four children.  I never believed I would carry twins, if only for a moment.  I never thought I would bury a child.  I didn't know pain and joy could be so close together.  I didn't know how deep God's love is until it held me...  We will continue trusting Him...  He blesses us.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Today I woke up and decided I was going to feel better about things and not let myself worry.

I did the dishes.

I made beds.

I aired up the tire on Marie's old BOB stroller.

I walked with my friend out in the country.

I sprayed weeds.

I took a shower.

I made lunch and Sarah actually ate part of her peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  I have been trying to get her to eat them forever.

Sarah and I planted petunias in pots by the front door.

Today I am happy.

Today I am choosing not to worry.

I am comforted by the wiggles from this tiny baby that I felt last night and I have felt occasionally today.

I am choosing HOPE.

Today is okay... 


Monday, May 09, 2011

Living after...

Yesterday was Mother's Day.  It was hard.  Anniversaries are hard.  And my second Mother's Day without Marie here was difficult.

Josie was so excited and gave me a necklace she had made in art along with a folder of coupons, a card, bookmarks, and a picture all talking about how much she loved me.  Sarah was a stinker, but that's sort of what she's into right now.  The terrible two's have hit my little princess early.  Josie made a frame in Sunday school with her picture in it. 

I kept thinking, Marie would have sung in church.  Marie would have made a foam picture frame for me and I would see her face smiling back.  Marie would have some craft she might have made, Marie in a summer dress and sandals, Marie in her Daddy's arms, the farmer's daughter... if Marie was healthy.  If Marie had been doing well enough to go to church.  If Marie felt good it would have been a very good day.  Because in my mind Marie is always as she should have been, and it is because I know she is healed.

Luke worked hard to make the day special.  He did dishes, made lunch, changed stinky diapers.  I sobbed in the car going to the cemetery...  We do it every Sunday but yesterday was hard.  Because I want her in my arms.  I want the rest of the world to see that I have three little girls and they're beautiful.  I want to kiss and cuddle little knees and feet that would be getting kissed golden by the sun because the weathers been so warm.  I can't equate the child that I love, the one that I fought for, prayed for, cried for, would have died for... I can match her up with the cold stone...

Sometimes it all still feels to horrible to have happened.  And it's been a year and half and I think people get sick of my carrying it with me.  But I can't put it down.  It's my cross, the one God gave me.  And I am better at dealing with it now but the pain hasn't changed.  It's deep, in my gut, it pierces my lungs, and it crushes my heart.  And it still feels the same as it did the day that I saw her last, just sleeping.  But she wasn't, she was gone Home.  And that's what I carry.

And I'm pregnant.  And I am so filled with worries.  Having another baby after having buried one is different.

With Josie I was so blissfully ignorant, nothing bad would happen.  With Marie I was too... through her pregnancy I was just so exited to meet her.  At my 20 week ultrasound she was shy, and so we didn't know if we would be having a boy or a girl.  I remember praying a few days before she was born "Lord, please let it be a little girl".  I was so in love with her name, Marie Isabel.  In my mind I saw a dark haired girl, eyes snapping.  And she was.  But I don't know that I ever prayed for Josie and Marie to be healthy.  I was naive and I just believed that they would be, that nothing horrible could happen to me.

And then we found out about Sarah.  And I prayed.  I prayed that she thrive, it felt like too much to ask God to make her healthy.  I just prayed that this child would thrive.  And she does.  She was a surprise too, at the ultrasound the cord was between her legs.  And there she was, another girl and I was in awe of her but worries of Marie were heavy on my heart.  We barely rejoiced at Sarah's birth and despite that she carried us through the darkest days I have known.

And now this baby.  I am 18 1/2 weeks along.  The beginning was scary, they were so cautious because my blood work was off and my numbers were too high.  There was the ultrasound where I saw the two circles, two lives so tiny their heart beats couldn't even be seen.  And then the next ultrasound when there was only one baby.  And I have been sicker, and I haven't gained any weight.  And I felt this baby move later than the others and because I know the dark, I know the fear, I know the weight, I know that bad can happen I worry.  Do I feel this baby move later for some reason?  Is this baby okay?  And I pray.  "Lord, please let this baby healthy".  Somehow now I'm brave enough to ask for that.  A healthy baby.  I ask God to let it grow, let it thrive, let it's life be used for His Glory.  But I'm terrified.  I don't know that I could loose another.  It's too much to consider so I try to avoid the thought.

Carrying a child after you have buried one is different.  There is joy there but so much worry.  Because I know now, I have seen with my own eyes how fragile our children are.  How fragile our lives are.  I understand fully that this child is not my own, it is only with me for me to love while I can.  And I don't want to let it go, let another go, ever.  Because the hugs that I cannot give to Marie make my arms hurt and I don't know that I can handle any more pain.

Every day I seem to do battle with this fear, this worry.  Every day I feel like I could sink into it.  Instead I just want to be happy.  I want to delight in this gift.  I know so many who haven't had one child, let alone the four I have been blessed with...  and I want to have joy.  So every day I feel like I fight for joy against my worry...

It's different living after the loss of a child.  Even though she's not lost, I know just where she is it's not here.  And that is the hardest thing...