Saturday, December 30, 2006
We made it through Christmas!! I wondered at many points during the week if I was going to be able to go through with all of it. I think it helped that we were snowed in for 3 of the days before Christmas, unable to get out in all the hustle and bustle. Just the 5 of us at home, playing in the snow and being together. I missed Pearl , but knew her presence was with us as we celebrated with the kids. Man, she celebrated Christmas with JESUS! What a time she had....do you think there will be video of that? I hope so! There has been a peace and a hope that settle in my heart sometimes...when I am not fighting it. Sometimes the waves of fear overtake me and I feel as if I drowning in fear again and He cannot hear my cries to Him. I need to remember just like in the real ocean that you have to go with the waves, dive under them and wait calmly, knowing the wave will pass and I will not drown. Sometimes waves can even be fun if you can stay calm......I want to be able to trust Him and rest knowing that I will not drown and He is there with me. I want the fragrance of heaven to be lingering in my nose.....I want the fragrance to linger when I have left the room....I want my children to be thinking about heaven and all that there is waiting for us when we have left this confusing, painful place. I want to be thinking about heaven when the waves of fear and doubt overtake me. As a new year is almost here there is so much that is behind us...oh what a year! But, there is so much that is ahead of us too. I want to take hold of all those things with hope in my eyes and heart as well as the scent of heaven in my nose.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
I am not liking the feeling of everything changing. I have had enough change in my life the past 5 months haven't I. I thought by changing the color of my hair I would be changing something I had control over and now I don't even like that anymore. Too much change!! The weather is changing...we had our first snow yesterday and I even went sledding with the kids today. Fun, but now that really means my days in my black flip flops are over. I think that as the season changes I am once again reminded that time is still moving forward and at times without me. We are getting new carpet, yes a good thing, but another change. The house is in shambles and I think I am getting a tic. I need consistency in my life! J has been talking about some new things too. Yikes! More change and maybe a big one. I want to do what is going to make him happy, but I am not sure I can go through any kind of a move right now. Even a move that is an hour away. I love the school we are in, good friends and I feel like we are settling into the community there. I guess what I do need is for God to change my heart....I need to trust Him more and to know that it is not about where we are, it is about the people that God wants us to meet. Who does God want us to touch? Today when I was cleaning all the stuff out of closets making a huge mess to prepare for the new carpet, I came across a really old planner of mine. Remember those big Franklin Covey planners? Yes, that one with the cool leather cover. Anyway, I found some of the notes my mom had written me as I prepared to leave for another semester of college. I sat on the floor and cried. I thought of all the things she said to me about God preparing me for what will lie ahead in my life and I cried out to God and asked why I thought all those things were so hard compared to this!? If I would have known 10 years ago what I was going to go through in 2006 I may have left on a ship and never came back. But, then I would have missed so much more....an incredible husband, 4 beautiful children and so much more. So, in the end is change a good thing? Even the painful things? Does change always have to hurt? I think I am like my dad when it comes to change and I know R is just like me. I am certain of one thing that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever! Aren't I a good Foursquare girl? :) I am ok...I will be ok and maybe soon there will be a change I am excited about! I just need to remember all the things that will never change:J, R,O,Z&P too, my family, God....all big things that I could never live without. "But there's one thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God's loyal love couldn't have run out his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left. " Lamentations 3:22 I guess the winds of change will keep blowing if I like it or not...just please blow softly and slowly, we are still recovering from the tsunami that changed the landscape of our lives.
PS- One more picture of the Princess...I couldn't resist. Where are the boys when I have my camera out. I promise next time it will be the boys.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Today as I bent down to tie my shoes I had a frightening flash back of the last time I wore these shoes and bent down to tie them.....we were in a cold, dark ultrasound room and the ultrasound tech had just told us that she was seeing something wrong with our baby's brain. I don't even have to close my eyes and I can remember each second of that morning. When she told us that I jumped off that table so fast that Josh did not even know what was going on. All I kept saying was, "Let me go, I am going home". I remember bending down to tie my orange shoes...something so simple and at that moment I knew that our lives would never be simple again. Those shoes were the only cheery thing in that dark room that day. As I was tying my shoes Josh continued to ask me what was wrong and I remember grabbing his face asking him in a hysterical voice, "What are we going to do? Our baby does not have a brain" I will never forget the look on his face for as long as I live....I knew at that moment we were changed forever....even tying my orange shoes would never be the same again. Today as I bent down to tie my shoes I started to feel me heart race a bit faster and my breathing be a bit labored. I was scared again and the tears came freely once again. I miss my baby today...seems like somedays the pain is bearable and other days it is all I can do to not just get back in bed, hold her lovie and cry. To think that all it took was the simple act of tying my orange shoes to set me off today. I will never forget...I don't want to. Each time I wear these shoes I will not only be reminded of what that day meant for us, but also where those shoes have carried me. I am walking on the road that will "lead me through valleys of sorrow to rivers of joy" (Jars of Clay- The Valley Song). I need shoes on to be on that road and when I get to the river of joy I am going to have my toenails painted bright pink with my comfy flip flops on.
Friday, October 06, 2006
I have been thinking today about what going through this kind of pain is really for. Why in God's sovereignty did he allow such a thing to happen to us? Why were we chosen for this? In this fallen world we live in as Satan watched this plan unfold did he really think that we would turn our backs on God? Did he not know that God was going to get the glory either way? How could he not know that the Bible asks death where it's sting is? Does he not know that the victory has already be declared? God in his sovereignty has already showed Satan the end. He knows that he is going to lose and is trying his best to make sure that there is a crowd to go with him. I have been thinking as I watch other friends go through life changing events, marriages being rocked, babies dying and others that what if we are raising the generation who is going to see Jesus return? What if we are telling our children about the things of Jesus and they are going to be the ones who hear the trumpet blast!? Of course Satan will be attacking families to break things apart, make children question if there is a God who loves them, bring doubt into their lives and plant a root of bitterness at a young age. These are the children that will be telling others about Jesus and if there are enough of them that come from broken homes, sad and angry places and have deep wounds in their hearts why would they want to serve a God that they think has caused all that. Mission accomplished for the enemy....BUT I want you to know that this is not going to happen. I believe that God is raising up a remnant that is not going to stand for these plans of the enemy, we will not be bitter because of the sorrow that has been brought into our lives, we are not going to let our marriages be pulled apart, we are going to take a stand and let the enemy know that no matter what He is still the one we have chosen to serve and we will teach our children of the depth of GOD's love for us. We serve a powerful God who is trustworthy and does love us.....that is the message that needs to be told and engraved on the hearts of this generation that we are raising. I know that even the short life of Pearl will be a testimony to this generation. What Satan meant to harm us has only made us stronger, it is because we are weak that He is strong. This is all something that I cannot do on my own. I want God to use this and I want him to use us however he needs to. I want to be part of the message of redemption that is at the very heart of God. I want to be a living example of how God can use people who have had the sacred torn form their lives and survive. I don't want the death of Pearl to be for nothing....please God use me.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Well, time for another milestone date in the calendar, 4 months today we said hello and goodbye much to quickly to our baby Pearl. Seems like yesterday and like so long ago all at the same time. I was thinking how at 4 months so much changes with a newborn....they start to babble, move to a 4 hour feeding schedule, sleeping all night consistently, and so much more. Their little personalities start to come out and those cheeks get even more kissable. These are things I am missing today. I am mad that I am not trying on clothes that are 3- 6 month size and boy did we have some cute ones to pass down! I am missing holding her tight in my arms as I do the 4 o'clock shuffle around the house. Strange how when I close my eyes and think of her she is still curled up in my arms with her lovie on her cheek. I know tonight I will hold her lovie even tighter than normal because it has been 4 months since she touched it.
At the same time I am also praying that this 4 month mark will be a milestone mark in our lives without Pearl. I know that each part of her is woven deep in our hearts and we will never forget, but there are moments that I can think of her and not cry. Our hearts are being made whole again....not just this quivering mass of bleeding flesh but a heart that is being firmly held by Jesus and being made whole again. We are longing to continue to see things from an eternal perspective not from this cloudy view that we see things here. I cringe when I hear people talk about the things that ruin their day.....I had someone tell me that I took all the fun out of them being pregnant and being able to tell people about it because I told my sister she was pregnant!!! Let me tell you what takes the fun out a pregnancy...or maybe I shouldn't. I want to remember to keep a realistic perspective on the events that happen in life. I look around my house and think of the things that use to bother me and ruin my day and I just smile at the dust on the dining room table, snicker at the water spots on the faucet in the bathroom...then I turn around and decide to go and read some more with my kids. I don't want to let the little things ruin my day...I want to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and run away from the things that would hinder my ability to see Him clearly. I am thankful that Pearl was here to teach me these life lessons and I pray that others will see the importance of an eternal perspective too. Let's be real with eachother, let's make people feel comfortable enough to share their real hearts and not be afraid to cry with those that are crying and laugh when they are laughing.
I know there are those that are crying with me today and missing Pearl with us.....I hope that they are taking a good 4 month picture of her in heaven today because I can't wait to see her. Early this morning as I lay in bed I was remembering what it was like as I held her and watched as her heart stopped breathing.....I wondered again what it was like when she saw Jesus for the first time and I was longing once again for her to take me by the hand and take me to Jesus. I can't wait to run my hands through those black curls and have her show me around. We miss you Pearl and here is a big kiss for those soft, sweet cheeks from mama and daddy. We love you
PS- Josh and I both have our Pearl tattoos now....he got his last Friday night on his arm, it is Kanji for daughter and I got mine 3 weeks after she was born! She is permanently engraved on our hearts as well as our bodies now!
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Here is my toothless 1st grader! His teeth are so cute...some big and some small! Yes, I am no longer blonde. I decided I needed a change in my hair for fall...
Another fall season of TV has begun and I actually sat down and watched a show on Thursday night....drum roll please....UNINTERRUPTED! So great to sit by myself with the remote in my hand and in control of the FF button as the commercials came on. Hmmm, do I have some issues? Anyway...I was not prepared for how this show was going to move me. Grey's Anatomy was the show that I was watching and was teary for most of the time. I do like this show because of the complexity to each person...makes me think, unlike so much of what else is on TV. Each character was going through so much, but the whole episode was about time and what we do with the time that we have been given. I have obviously been thinking a lot about time and how that small word affects every area of our lives. I was especially relating to Izzy....at the end of last season her fiancee died from some medical complications. She was laying on her bathroom floor for most of the episode talking and replaying so many of the memories that were coming back to her. She was in the same clothes she wore when her finance died. As I listened to her talk, I began to realize that I think so many of the same things....What am I going to do now? Why does is seem like I am the only one moving in slow motion and the rest of the world is spinning by? Why does this hurt so bad? She did not want to change her dress because that was what she had on the last time she saw Denny. I started crying as I remembered coming home from the hospital without Pearl and not wanting to change my shirt that she was laying against, not wanting to change my bra because there was still blood on it firm the delivery and not wanting to wash the lovie that I had with me because Pearl had touched it and I had wiped her face with it. I so could relate to wanting everything to stay the same. But, it does not....time does move on, if we are ready or not. By the end of the show Izzy slowly stood up and said,"I'm ready" and Meredith unzipped her dress for her. I too am getting off the bathroom floor and saying, "I'm ready". I don't want this world to pass me by, I want to be a part of what God is doing....I'm ready for whatever comes my way...only because when I am weak He is strong, and man am I ever weak. Oh, by the way, I still have not washed Pearl's lovie and the bra I had on at her delivery still has so much of her on it...it is in my box and will never be washed. PS- Go download the Mat Kearney song "All I Need" , close your eyes and breathe......
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I am doing a Pre-K homeschool with O this year and loving it! He is so hungry to learn and I have loved having him home with me and not having to share my little ray of sunshine with anyone! Painting is his favorite and each warm day we will paint outside...painting inside is not my favorite!
The last few days I have been feeling a bit better....I think. It is almost as if I am holding my breath waiting for the hole to appear in front of my feet. I am hoping that my feet are making their way to the greener pastures and moving out of the darkest part of the valley. I know that there will be dark days every now and then with those shadows that seem to haunt me at times, but maybe just maybe I am out of the darkest part. Not sure what is making this a bit more bearable, but maybe I am actually feeling the prayers of some of my friends. I know so many are praying for me and I am feeling a bit of that strength. I finally feel like I am going to make it.....I have a few new friends that are on this journey with me and I know that has helped to make this burden lighter. I am seeing how much He really does love me even in the midst of the hardest times. "I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit- not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength- that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test it's length! Plumb the depth's! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. " Ephesians 3:14-19
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
It all seems to be going way to fast...and in some ways much to slow. I took Z to her first ballet class last week....how did she get to be so big? My little ballerina continues to melt my heart daily! I am trying to get out more and let people know where my heart has been and where it is going. Each day I find myself being so thankful for the new friends that God has brought into my life since Pearl has been here. What a gift it is to me to have people around me that understand how I feel. Now...this next comment does not pertain to all of my friends I had before Pearl...just some. But, I must say some of my old friends are the ones that feel farthest away from me. I try to tell them how I am feeling and it is almost as if it scares them. My friends who have had tragedies in their lives are the ones that seem to get it. My friends who have never treated me any different also get it too....they treat me as "just Laura" who is just a little more sad then usual. Did I do this to myself by not being around a lot of people for the last 4 months? I guess people have kind of forgotten and moved on...which is alright, people need to get on with their lives and I really am fine with that. But, I am on a different path than I was before March 22nd and I will never again be on the same road that I was on before. Not that I miss that other road...but, I do sort of miss who I was before that. More carefree, joyful, rested, not skeptical, content and with a few less wrinkles. How do I reconnect with those who have not followed me closely on this journey? How can I let go of my hurt that so many don't seem to understand where I am? I can't expect everyone to try to know how I feel ......I need to lower my expectations. I need to just go with how I am feeling and not let others dictate how I should act. I so want others to feel comfortable around me and I want to be with some of my old friends. Maybe to much time has gone by and things will never be the same.....I guess that is my own fault. I love the new friends that God has brought to me and pray that I will be able to be a good friend to them too. As well as continue to be a good friend to my old friends too. Just remember when you are talking to someone who is in the midst of grieving...just be yourself, there are no words needed just a big hug and to let them know you are thinking of them and really care about them. I hope I am learning to in this process how to be a better friend to those who are grieving. This is just another piece of what it means to bury a child. I know that I look at so many things differently. I know I hug R,O&Z tighter everyday and each day try to remember all the details of my precious Pearl...how we miss her. The ache is getting better somedays and I feel as if just the thought of her doesn't make me cry in an instant. That feels good to be able to control some of the tears. Still so looking forward to the day we will hold her in our arms again.....with all of our family and friends around us....loving all 6 of us.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
On Tuesday the 5th it was 3 months since out little visitor from heaven was here. In the mail that day we received the pictures we had taken as a family the week before she was born. These are so special because this is all we have of all 6 of us! I can hardly believe it has been that long and at the same time I look at the calendar and think how short that really feels. So much has changed since then....I know I even physically look different. Ok, not just the fact that there is no longer a baby in there, but my eyes just feel like they look sad. I hate the way I see things with sad eyes now. I know that is going to get better eventually.....I will be able to look at babies and other pregnant mamas without being sad, but maybe I'll never be able to look at them without that crook in my arm aching. I think that the twinge in the crook of my arm must be what phantom limb pain is.....such a strange sensation. Even my other 3 kids look different, they look so much more grown up to me when I think all they have seen in the past 3 months of their lives. They are so brave and I am so proud of them. Today Oliver was home with one of the girls in our neighborhood while I went to go get Roark from school. When I came home Oliver told me he showed the girls "Pearl's movie" because he wanted to show them his baby sister. He is so proud of her and who she is to our family...he has no shame in the fact that she is no longer here physically in our home...he just loves her. That melted my heart that he is not afraid to talk about her to others....this challenged me as well because I would rather just hide out at home than have to go places, run into people and answer questions! Am I dishonoring Pearl by staying holed up? Am I making the wrong decision by choosing to stay in so I can avoid the stares and avoid making others feel uncomfortable with me? Do I need to be like Oliver and just get out there and not be afraid? I guess it is just hard to be putting myself physically out there. I know that with each day God is shaping us to be who he wants us to be....even as time goes by and the floodwaters recede, we are seeing around us the new landscape that our lives have become. It is now up to us what we will do with that......will I share this new land with others? Will I water it and make it an inviting place? Will I let it dry up and become barren? Whatever decision I make I want to honor the life of my precious baby as well as honor The One who is carrying us on this journey.
Monday, September 04, 2006
We went on a great hike yesterday......the boys did the whole 2 miles with no complaining and J had Z in a backpack the whole time! Actually J may have complained more than the boys did about the little princess that he was carrying. I know she had a great time having her daddies undivided attention all day. I wonder how many times he heard the ABC's? I was just watching the whole scene from the back and all the sudden I was once again overcome by the obvious.....there was one of us missing. It seems as if these family outings have a gaping hole in them....I miss the fact that there should be a baby with us. I should have been carrying Pearl in a Bijorn and having to stop to nurse her in the great outdoors. When will the obvious hole be less painful? When will I not be looking around and feel like something is missing? However, as we walked in such a beautiful setting I was reminded of how wide, how deep and how long God's love is for us......we are never missing from his sight even on some of those days we feel forgotten. We had a peaceful time as a family....now if only I could bottle up that feeling and bring it to my house with me to carry me through the "everydayness" of it all. I guess all I need to do is look at those 4 beautiful smiles that are looking at me each day and know that Pearl is smiling at the face of Jesus too......then that peace will continue to be there. I know that all in my head I just need my heart to catch up with all that.....just going to take time!
Friday, September 01, 2006
Ever feel like eating a bug? I guess R did! He is my brave one that is always pushing the limits....but very carefully. I love how he lives life....always looking for the next adventure but careful to calculate the risk as well as the reward. He knew this would make a great picture, but not a great experience....chomping on a bug. I guess this is kind of like life too....not everything is as it seems. This time that we are going through has always been one of my greatest fears...having to bury one of my own children. But, I am living through my greatest fear....I am living and I will continue to live. That is why this is not as is seems it should be....if the devil had his way I would have let this kill me and not have me asking God to tell my heart what my head knows is true. Yes, there are days I want to be done with all of this and I am still so profoundly sad, but I am going to make it. I have to tell myself this often...God is trustworthy and will take care of me. Hmmmm maybe I'll go and have a bug for dinner!
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
smiled when my 2 year old princess came downstairs wearing her brothers underwear and shirt
talked on the phone to my most precious friend for sooo long!
took a shower
stood and laughed as I watched my 2 year old daughter wrtie all over herself with purple marker
made banana bread
signed up for The Walk to Remember in October....just for Pearl
talked with my husband
put duct tape on the warts we are trying to get rid of on my 5 year olds body
sat and smiled as I watched my kids play outside together!
Tomorrow I will try to do much of the same and maybe a little more laughing in between....at least there was no large glasses of wine involved in my day! Maybe later ;)
Saturday, August 26, 2006
I held a baby for the first time since Pearl died, on Thursday this week. I was with a friend who has 6 month old and was staring at him in front of me for a while. Before I knew it the words, "Can I hold him?" were out of my mouth. I couldn't beleive it. I had him in my arms and snuggled in on my shoulder in a second. All of the sudden the sobs began to wrack my body.....I then felt that physical ache in my arms again to hold a baby. I physically remembered again what it was like to hold my Pearl as my chin rested on her head....I could feel that black curly hair rubbing on my cheek. I guess the good thing was this baby boy is bald or I may have run off with him ;) My arms so ache to have a baby in them again and patting that precious butt with my hand. As I was sobbing I apologized to my friend and her baby just nuzzled his face in my neck. It was a good few minutes for me to have a baby in my arms. I am so looking forward to the day I will have another one in my arms.....are we really going to do this again? Will that emptiness in my arms ever go away? Maybe for a second that day my arms felt full again.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Does anyone have a 5 year old that is constantly asking for things? I do! He is in the middle ring of this circus and keep us all showered in kisses as will as drowning in questions. From the moment he wakes up, "What are we going to do today? What are we having for breakfast? Can we go to Chuckie Cheese?" All of these questions are asked before I have time to wipe the sleep out of my eyes. Even when we are doing something really fun he asks, "Mom can we go here?" I look at him, smile and say, "We are here Oliver, go play!" His last words at night to me sometimes are, "What are we having for breakfast?" He has the best heart but is learning to be content with what he has. Today as he was asking me for the 10th time if he could have treat (it was only 0830)...I yelled at him a loud no and walked quietly into my room for a moment of peace. I was then wondering if that is how God feels sometimes.....when we are constantly asking questions of him, "God, why is this happening to me? God, why can't I be holding Pearl right now? God, what are you doing to me? God, when am I going to be better? God, will you protect my other kids?" Maybe as I am asking all these questions as Oliver speed he is taking a deep breath and telling me to be content with where he is leading me. Just like we tell Oliver to be still and trust us, we will always take care of him, maybe God is telling me the same thing today.....although he probably didn't yell at me! Hmmmmm