Friday, February 28, 2014

Valentine's Day...

This Valentine's Day I needed a project, something to get my mind on happy things and so just know, I know this was more for me, than Solon ;)!  I love to craft and do cutesy things!

We actually had a Valentine's snafu because this is our first go-around and I didn't purchase them early SO when we went to get the coveted "Planes" valentines they were sold out.  A little quick thinking and enthusiasm and Solon was sold on the space valentines with accompanying bouncy balls.  I am not a huge fan of gobs of candy...I know kill joy!
So one naptime I whipped up these little tags on my silhouette after downloading a space-themed font for free.  Thank you dafont.

And I had so much fun, I decided to whip up some teacher tags and heck I even made some little card tags to go on our gifts we get the kids.  I am horrible at buying cards, they are just so expensive and end up in the trash....so sentimental, I know!

The final product was a space valentine and Solon hand-wrote his name 23 times (it took 2 nights and he tried to get his dad to do it for him ;).  Our kids love bouncy balls and lucky for them there were about 15 leftover that they launched off the 2nd floor balcony...that provided an evening of winter fun in celebration of hand-writing his name that many times!

And then we made dark chocolate brownies for the teachers and tied the card to theirs...something small and disposable.  I knew they would get a lot of little stuff and if they aren't chocolate fans, they could share it or toss it and it only cost me the cost of the mix and the little boxes ;)!

For Valentine's Day we do a couple of little gifts for the kids and leave them wrapped outside their doors when they wake-up.  Vera got a clearance flouncy, fluffy tutu that she hasn't played with once (fail) and Solon got his favorite little microdrifter cars which he plays with constantly.  They also each got a Reese's PB heart that they got to eat for breakfast, they were giddy with excitement!

I actually surprised Scott with tickets to Phantom of the Opera which he really wants to see and had been hinting at for a while.  They weren't on sale to the public but I had a code to buy early so he was quite surprised.  We don't normally do much but it is fun to surprise him with a good gift when I can!  He brought home tulips, I would take spring flowers over roses any day of the week!  Especially this winter ;)!

It was a great Valentine's Day 2014!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Family Movie Nights...

Scott and I both have fond memories of watching the Disney family movie on Sunday nights when we were kids and now that Sunday night TV is not G-rated, we have turned either a Friday/Saturday night into our family movie night. We have been even making our own stove-top popcorn (made with REAL butter and coconut oil - sweet and savory - and healthy too!)

Another fun thing we do is squish our 2 couches together to make a big bed-like couch and get lots of blankets and pillows and cuddle in.



So far we have seen --
The Lion King
The Little Mermaid
Planes
Cars
Mary Poppins
Cinderella
Sophia the First
Tangled


We can't wait til we get our copy of Frozen in Mid-March!  Grandma loaned us a few more classic Disney movies so we have several more movie nights worth :)!  It is a fun way to spend the evening together and make sweet memories.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Setting something straight...

I got a lot of comments like this yesterday after I shared my miscarriage story, "Wow Erin you have so much faith" or "You are so brave to share", so I wanted to set something straight.

I am not brave.

I have faith the size of a grape seed.

It is ALL God folks.

Remember I shared this verse...I would have been swallowed, overwhelmed and burned if it weren't for HIM!

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.  Isaiah 43:2


When people say I have this "amazing faith" I feel like I get undue credit and the spotlight goes from God to me and it makes me downright uncomfortable because I can't possibly live up to those standards.  God alone holds this hot mess together (and I am still a warm mess ;). 

The reason I share the hard stuff is quite simple -- so people can see God at work in my beautiful mess of a life.  Even though I have Jesus in my heart, I am still imperfect and I still go through tough stuff like everyone else and I am not immune to pain and heartache.  So often as Christians, we sit around trying to find our place on the pedestal, barking our beliefs down their throats, wanting people to see how  perfect our lives are in Christ and rather than bringing people to Him, we push them further away.  No one wants someone holier than thou preaching at them, at least I don't.  God doesn't say fix the sin and then find me, He says come in whatever shape you are in and I will help you.  He dined with everyone, didn't care what they had going on in their lives and for some reason we think we should fix the sin before they find Christ.  We have it BACKWARD folks!

What people want to see is someone like them, who struggles, who hurts, who has real problems, pains and frustrations in this life and can relate.  AND then we can show them that we survive this messy life for one reason and one reason only, because God has us in His hands and He is faithful and loving and then they might just start to wonder if this God can help them.  

So the one thing I want people to understand is I am an open book so that God can be seen in my life, that when I hit hard times and my faith is strengthened, not broken -- it's because of Him.  That I have greater hope in him and don't blame Him for the circumstances in my life -- it's because of Him.

So although I appreciate the amazing love, shout outs and support I received, I hope above all else - God gets the glory and He shines BRIGHTER than me because He is the one that we all need to survive this crazy thing we call life and I want to serve Him faithfully with my whole heart and luckily He will use this hot mess also known as Erin  :)!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

We are alive, I promise...

Gosh this month - grr....February!

Well we are about to say c'est la vie to it and with it I hope it means fresh beginnings.

I made a sign this weekend that says "think spring".  We keep peeking at our rock pile, er, landscaping to see if any bulbs have poked through but still nothing.

The recovery post-mc has been a little longer than I expected.  I have been tired and have had nightmares, trouble sleeping and headaches.  They say its "normal", I swear they just say any crazy symptom is "normal" and should subside post first period.  Here's to hoping.

I have extremely high expectations of myself and when I can't keep up, I get frustrated and discouraged so this month has brought some challenges.  No one else in this house cares as much as I do, and that isn't a bad thing!  Scott is willing if I ask, I just hate asking...

We will get through this, this too shall pass!

Hang in there, we are living life and having fun and I have pictures to prove it.  I will be back to share what we have been up to.

Until then...hugs!

Friday, February 14, 2014

One of My Dreams....

Let me share a little known secret about myself, I love to talk.  I know, I will wait, while you recover from the shock.  I also love to write, surprised? Me too!  Kind of.  I have always had the gift of gab and became more interested in writing in high school when I wrote and edited my high school paper (I hate to edit my own work now so forgive the thousands of typos I know are there....).  Word and I we get along.  Talking does pose problems with listening though and so I have to work.very.hard to be a very good listener.  But when I get in front of people I light up and glow.  Many people would do anything to NOT get in front of a group and then there is me over in the corner with both hands raised, bouncing off my seat just waiting for the chance.

So one of my dreams is to be able to speak more with a purpose.  One of my favorite parts of my last job was being able to speak and motivate teachers.  The politics - not so much.  SO I am going to put it out there that if you ever need someone to speak, I would love to be your gal.  I am humble enough to say I know a lot of absolutely nothing but love to talk about everything.  I am educated but does that matter? My passions are kids, teaching, marriage, family, encouraging women/mothers and of course God.  I have this burning desire to share His love and encourage people in this thing we call life....

So there you have it - one of my secrets....I would love to be a motivational speaker...not sure if I would motivate anyone besides a mouse to get out of my garage especially since I spend 24 hours a day motivating toddlers to no avail...but what I find with God is when He gives you a passion, He will create opportunities in due time.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Building a Biblical Marriage...

I have the privilege to help lead and teach an extraordinary group of God-loving ladies who yearn to grown in their walk with Christ daily!  We have a lot of fun, we challenge each other and I have grown so much over the last 2.5 years I have been a part of it.  Scott thanks God daily, I am pretty sure, because our marriage and my life have benefited.  

I married a VERY VERY patient man and I was SELFISH and still am in many ways but I am a little more aware of it these days.  God laid it on my heart to teach on marriage, not sure why, but you know when God lays something on your heart its normally for GOOD reason so I obeyed.  I really wasn't sure what to say, but you know what, God daily would give me more insight on what He wanted me to say and voila, we had ourselves a fun, albeit blushing at times, hour and 15 minute talk on how to build a biblical marriage.

I set the tone by having the ladies listen to THIS SONG by John Waller.  I seriously can't get the words out of my head and find myself singing the lyrics throughout the day which is fine by me, because I count it as praise and worship and prayer for my hubby which I need more of both in my life!

Much of the time I feel like I am an outcast in society.  Much of what God tells me to do is in strong conrast to what society says.

Love others more than yourself vs. stand up for yourself
Love your enemy and bless them vs. stand up for your rights
Be selfless vs. do what you can to get ahead
Boast about your weaknesses vs.  show them how strong you are

It is hard to teach my children, let alone myself, when every fiber of my flesh agrees with society.  We are selfish to the core but I think that is where our marriages break.  We are two imperfect people trying to form a perfect, fairytale, romantic comedy marrige that is unattainable.  We rest our hope on our spouse hoping they will fulfill us in ways we can't fulfill ourselves - security, love, and more!  But we will never be fulfilled by our spouse in that way.  We can't elevate them to God, it won't work.  God is God and perfect, stainless and sinless and no matter how amazing our spouse is they will fall short and fail us at times and what we have to understand is that is okay.  It is okay.  

We must give them grace.  

I haven't always been grace-filled.  I will never forget the time I was pulled over pregnant and on my way to a very important interview.  The officer informed me my car registration was expired by several months and issued me a ticket.  I made the interview but boy did I let Scott have it,  he was in charge of that after all, how could he make such a silly mistake.  I failed BIG time in giving him grace.  I have since apologized, you know why?

Because God gives me grace and we are to imitate Him.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you. Follow God's example, therefore as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love. 
Eph. 4:32-5:1a

Another area many of us struggle with at this point in our lives is making sure we prioritize our relationships correctly AND that our priorities match our actions.  

Love the Lord your God will all your heart, mind and soul.  Deut. 6:5

Wife, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body of which he is the savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. 
Ephesians 5:22-25

Our relationship with our spouse should be second only to our relationship with Christ.  Just as Christ loved God first, his second love was the church.  In the same way, we must imitate Christ.
I struggle with this, I won't lie, the loudest bird gets the worm and it ain't Scott squawking around the house.  Our days are filled with little people who need our attention so our husbands and God often get the short end of the stick.  Now I am not saying to follow this command we must give more time to our husbands and God then our children, that is just not possible BUT what I am encouraging myself to do is to be more purposeful in my actions.  Do I pray as much for Scott as I do the kids?  Do I think of him and his needs above the kids and my own?  Do I spend time worshiping God and learning from Him?  Often times the answer is no and as long as I know that and grow towards the goal of being more purposeful it's okay because God gives us grace and He will prick our hearts in an area and help us grow.

But how do we show our husbands we love them and submit to them?  Submission isn't a scary thing, society has made it into something nasty and it is not.  The definition of submission is being obedient, understanding and respecting authority.  Respect means to admire someone and understand its value and importance.  

Scott is important and I do value him so I want my actions to reflect that.  I want to submit to him because God gave him to me.  I submit to Christ in the same way because I know His ways are better than mine.  It's a complex thought and if you aren't ready to say the word submit at least get on the "respect" your husband bandwagon.  Our husbands feel loved when we respect them (if you don't believe me read the book "Love and Respect").

So how can you respect your husband more daily?

Make a point to discuss important things with him first (or God first and then him), don't let him hear about important things from a 3rd party, include him in your decisions (pray together about them).  We have a rule around here, since I spend the majority of the money, that I consult him first before I make any large purchase (not groceries of course).  It is not that I can't make the decision on my own, I am capable, but I want his input. God gives him wisdom sometimes that I don't have.  I learned that the hard way when I convinced him 7 years ago to buy a car that we didn't technically need at the time and we paid a large to us payment on for 5 years.  At the time I wasn't thinking of staying home but one income and a large car payment meant we had to sacrifice in other places.  I should have listened to him, you better believe I listen to him now.  We make wiser decisions together.

If you have a calendar item ask him, you would be mad if he made a commitment without consulting you.  I have recently made a point of asking Scott before I have people over.  99.9% he says yes but he feels valued when I ask.  This is our home together.

Communicate.  I grew up with a dad who was fine with calling a repairman and Scott grew up with a dad that did it himself, both are fine.  When we decided to put a back-splash in our first home's kitchen, I immediately called the neighbor to do it.  He did a fine job but Scott was annoyed because he was capable and I didn't value his capabilities, I wrongly assumed he wanted me to hire it out.  I still make those mistakes but have learned to ask him first and communicate.

Men equate sex to love.  They feel loved in that way.  Women generally, not so much.  This is a family blog and my dad reads it so I won't go in depth but know that selfless love means putting your husband's priorities above your own, scripture even says our bodies are our spouses (1 Corinthians 7:4,5).  For men sex is a physical stress release not just an emotional one (really I promise).  I have not always done a very good job in this area and our marriage suffered because of it.  Christian women tend to be mute on this issue so we are left feeling alone in an area that is critical to a healthy marriage.  Because of our busy schedules and young children, we do not thrive in this area and we leave our relationship open to temptation.  Men are visual, ladies!  You can pray to God to help you in this area, there is nothing wrong with that and God will help!  (you will just have to seek me out in person for the rest of the details here but I felt alone for a long time and am thankful some Godly women shed some light on this for me :).

Someday all too soon our kids will grow up (sniff, sniff) and it will be us and our husbands.  If we aren't purposeful in loving them now.  We might wake up strangers.  Remember spending money on date nights, trips for the two of you and babysitters are an investment in your marriage.  I know I spend an awful lot of money on stuff for my kids, invest some into your marriage. There will be a great return on your investment.  If you aren't sure how to love your hubby, take the 5 Love Languages Quiz.  We all like to be loved in different ways.  Scott knows he is sure to be "thanked" if he helps around the house.  I am an "Acts of Service" sort of gal these days.  He loves when I toot his horn to others, he feels respected and loved because he is a "words of affirmation" sort of guy.  Be purposeful and thoughtful in the way you show love and don't wait for him to love you the way you want to be loved first....be selfless just like Christ was for us!

And be okay with being different.  God even says don't conform to the world's ways (Romans 12:2).  People might think you are weird or different but they are watching and no one aims to go to divorce court.  We all want to say "Until death do us part and mean it".  I have seen first hand the tremendous pain that comes with divorce.  

Spend time nurturing your relationship.  Take a proactive approach.  Love your husband more than yourself and if that is hard, and it is for me, pray for God to help you.  He is always faithful and He wants our marriage to thrive.  He didn't set up this union to make us feel caged, he set it up so we would have companionship and joy.  Grow your relationship with God and your other relationships will benefit.  And know it is always a work in progress...no one has a perfect marriage.  Keep your focus on Christ and He will direct your path! (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The Science Center...

In case you didn't know it has been cold around our parts....um like really cold.  So we have been getting creative and taking advantage of our resources.  We went to the science center downtown with some good friends.  We all had fun building lego cars and racing them....the boys played here for a long time until some bigger boys came along ;)!
The girls were content just building and playing.
The kiddos played in this exhibit the majority of the time.  We made and flew rockets.  Luckily, even though daddy wasn't there, mommy still made an amazing rocket, phew!  There was a lot of fun things to do including some water and the planetarium is fun too because it is dark and the boys could lay down next to each other and chat.

We also had perfect timing quite by mistake and the boys made it on the local news during the weather segment.  They tape everyday at the science center.  We tried to explain it to Solon that he was on other people's tv but he was impressed he could see himself and that was about the extent of it.  I enjoyed watching the weatherman stand in front of the green screen and do his thing.  It was about a 5 second delay from "live" tv which was interesting too!

We finally pried the kids out of this exhibit and all the native Iowa animals and had lunch at Noodle Zoo downtown.  The highlight for Solon was we got to ride with the Porter's in their van.  4 car seats and 2 moms in one car - it was a thrill!  :) We sure love to find adventure with the Porter's!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Little Miss Sassy Pants...

Oh Vera....I say that a lot!   She went into the nursery which is currently vacant and found a little coat my mom just couldn't leave at the store despite not knowing the sex of the baby (before we miscarried).  Vera found the little jacket and thought it was meant for her.  That coat is a 0-3 month mind you....I couldn't believe she got into it and it really wasn't tight just cropped.  We tucked it away for now....someday we will need it, I am sure :)!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The duality of feelings...

Gosh just when you think you are done grieving, something hits you like a ton of bricks.  I am really contemplating leaving facebook behind for a few weeks.  There are so many wonderful announcements that leave me feeling as though I got punched in the gut.  I have been so excited in the past about our own children that I have posted too, so I am not saying they shouldn't and they should be free to announce joys of pregnancies and births.

It really is odd that you can have two feelings at once - complete joy for someone else and heartache for yourself.  I am a very reflective person and sometimes spend too much time digging into why it is I feel the way I do.  This time I think it is because my life seems to be standing still while everyone else is moving on with theirs.

I am dreading the day someone asks me, "Do you want more kids?".  I have asked that very question to others so once again I can't blame someone for asking, it comes out of a loving place.  I just don't know how I would respond....yes we want more, we have had one more but he or she is in heaven now.  I am sure the other person would turn ashen with that response...so I think a simple yes will do because we do want more kids, more than they will ever know.

For right now, I am fighting the duality of feelings that comes with this uncharted territory.  I have had guilt over being so broken over a miscarriage, 1 in 5 women of have them, the doctors say it really is quite common but somehow it still hurts.  I have tried to forge ahead and forge ahead we have but there are moments that just stop time where I am struck with a sliver of pain.

My guess is that sliver will always be there in my heart as a subtle reminder of the deep love for a child I never had the chance to meet.  When I talk with others who have been through this, many still weep over their own loss.  Even if it is common and happens "all the time" we need to grieve, because for us it doesn't hapeen all the time and to us this was a child knit together in my womb.

For now I struggle with feeling unbelievably thankful to be in God's family and showered with love and being frustrated, angry and sad.  The human heart is capable for many feelings all at once and for the believers' heart some are felt in the flesh and some in the spirit.

The duality of feelings.

Grandma Came...

Grandma Wetherbee came for a visit to help spice up the doldrums of winter.  She always brings a little something and this time she brought some fun new books that of course the kiddos had to read right away!  We went shopping for Solon's new bunk beds and bedding, had take out, finished hanging things in Vera's room, got a few deals and steals at Baby Gap and played.  Grandma even watched the kids one evening while I was at a church event and Scott had a meeting.  We all had fun!  We certainly were sad to see her go but we get to see them and their newly renovated house soon.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Horse-y Rides...

When Daddy arrives home, he barely has a chance to change before there are wrestling matches, basketball games and horse-y rides.  The way Vera rides around Scott's neck, it looks more like an elephant ride.  They ride around waving as though they were in a parade.  It really is the most precious thing in the whole.wide.world.  I remember taking horse-y rides as a little girl too!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The good days...

I am sure you all have been wondering if I have come out of my hormonal funk and thankfully the answer is a resounding yes.  It was as though God heard my prayer of normalcy, renewed His mercies and filled my mind with unexplained peace.

Friday was a GOOD day filled with the missed rounds of Candyland from the previous day, a long session at the library playing and picking out piles of books and finished with our good friends the Porter's with dinner and bowling.  I fell asleep with a joy-filled heart and God ended a difficult week with a "happily ever after" or close enough when you have a 2 year old who pees on the floor at the bowling alley.

Just like the snow that blankets the cold barren Earth...God is faithful in covering our hearts.  Every day this week we had friends showering us with love.  When people ask how I am doing?  My answer is INCREDIBLY and UNDESERVEDLY loved!

God reminded me of this verse yesterday as we walked out of the library...

Be Joyful in Hope, Patient in Afflication, and Faithful in Prayer.  Romans 12:12

Scott and I have had opportunity to pause and give thanks, draw on each other and God for strength and talk about our hopes and dreams.  We don't always give time for these things with 2 little munchkins who draw much of our time.  Life is full of the good, the bad and the ugly.  The difficult days make us give thanks for the many good days in between.  

I saw a friend who we have been praying for to receive a baby, they can't have any biological children and yesterday at the library I saw her with a beautiful baby in her arms.  I rejoiced with her and cried tears of joy.  God is faithful to those who love and seek Him.  It was a reminder to me, God has good in store for us and it is WORTH the wait.  Until then we will draw on God and be comforted in His scriptures.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.   Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mad...

Yesterday was one of those days that no matter if 100 people did sweet things for me and I hit every green light in town, I would have been mad.

Yesterday I was mad.

I was mad my body was out of control.  My kitchen was a mess.  Vera wouldn't stop crying.  I nearly got in a car accident.  The roads sucked.  My wedding ring went missing.  Solon spilled milk.  Scott got home later than I wanted.  The fridge was too full.  3 friends announced pregnancies (such an odd emotion, so incredibly happy for them but makes me ache for me, hope others understand).  And life was just not going my way.

I was just mad.

By the end of the day, my family was tired of tip-toeing around me and retreated downstairs for several rounds of Candyland, which they didn't ask me to play.  Not that I wanted to play anyway.
I  just wanted to be mad.

I told them to pray without me, I didn't want to seek God or talk to God and I didn't want to hear them talk to Him either.  I went searching for my wedding ring for the 1000th time that day and lo and behold I found it where I looked a million times before.  Relief flooded my heart and my hardened heart started to melt...God had answered the prayer of my 4 year old son, even though I didn't deserve the answered prayer.

Grace.

I went in and apologized to each of the kids and then went and took a long, hot bath while listening to one of my favorite artists, JJ Heller.  Tears silently crept from my eyes and down my face.  

Each tear for the lack of control I have felt this week and the inability to even control my emotions due to my hormones taking a nose dive.  Even with the doctor's assurance I would return to normal one of these days,  I hadn't felt normal in nearly 4 weeks and now it was for nothing more than a monumental period.

I was mad I wasn't me.

I had spent the day in a temper tantrum with God.

And laying in that tub, tears streaming down my face, I returned to God, letting Him put His loving arms around me as words from a friend lingered in my mind.  "He is big enough for your anger and pain, let Him take it."

After the bath, I went down and apolgoized to Scott for my behavior and curled up in his arms and he responded with...I understand and I give you grace.

And with that I decided yesterday's chapter was meant to be closed in anticipation that God's mercies would be new in the morning.

And they are....

Who knows what tomorrow will bring or the next day but until then I have to trust God will bring us through, even if my head knows He is trustworthy but my heart is hurt and having a hard time catching up.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

We are thankful for today Lord...

Every night we start our family prayer time, gathered in one of the kiddos beds, with that statement.  "We are thankful for today Lord!"  Yesterday those words stung as I said them.  I pondered that thought quickly before proceeding with the rest of our prayer because the next thing we do is list some of the events and things of the day we want to give thanks to the Lord for.  Was I really thankful for the day we miscarried? Then, just like that, God flooded my mind with more positives than negatives.  Yes we lost the baby, there were tears and sadness but God showed up in big ways...So here are some of things we thanked God for yesterday.

Kind and compassionate doctors and clinic staff.  They got us in RIGHT away and diligently cared for us.  The doctor herself called with the results and acted like she had all the time in the world for us.  We thank God for their wisdom and cautious approach.  We feel blessed to be in their care and pray we can be a light to them.

My friend Emilie, who I called with 5 minutes notice, to tell her the kids were coming.  I literally dropped them in her entry with nothing but their coats and shoes and clothes on their back - no extra clothes, sippys, etc and she took care of them ALL day (and even bathed Vera because of poopy accidents) and sent a delicious meal home with Scott and the kids at the end of the day.  Caring for 4 kids under 4 at a moment's notice was so selfless and thoughtful!

The many emails and texts and scriptures and prayers and offers of service, meals, watching the kids....the list goes on and on that we received.  On the most difficult of days, we were reminded what truly amazing people God has surrounded us with and how incredibly blessed we are.  I really do not feel worthy of the fuss they are making and I assure every one of them all we will pay the blessings forward in time.

I cannot tell you how much more intensely I cherished Solon and Vera and praised God for them.  Scott and I had a long talk last night.  We were reminded what a true gift they are to us and they are from God.  He gave them to us and life is so fragile - we relish in the 2 gifts we can care for on this Earth.  I have kissed them about a billion extra times in the last 24 hours and held them a little longer and tighter.  When we had Solon, we didn't give it a second thought and boom we got pregnant and had him and the same with Vera....this experience has given us pause to praise God for his gifts he has graciously bestowed onto us.  It is not of our flesh but of His lavish love!

Our Father in Heaven.  I can.not.begin.to.explain the feeling I have today.  My primary emotion today is really odd (besides being extremely tired and sore ;) -- JOY **know that joy and happiness are two different things to me - I am not happy necessarily but I have the joy of the Lord, feels more peace-like then happiness, hope that helps put into words my feelings.  That is not of my flesh folks, I really think it's God carrying us through and reminding us of all we have instead of what was lost.
And one last thought, even as a believer I have always been relunctant to want to go to heaven.  I know, I know.....but today I was reminded that on top of spending eternity with Jesus, someday I will be able to embrace a sweet baby he knitted together in my womb.  As I held Vera today, I teared up anticipating that joyous moment.  It gives me peace that surpasses all understanding.

Scott's last prayer of thanksgiving last night struck me...."Thank you Lord for the time you did give us with our child."  Sometimes in this life, it is about seeing the glass half full when really you are 99% sure it isn't even 1/2 empty.  Scott challenged me in that moment and I AM so thankful for the time we DID have and WILL have someday!

Thanks for your prayers, we truly are beyond humbled.  Things are progressing as they should.  I am tired and sore but I have two fun snuggle bugs to keep me company, a beautiful blanket of freshly fallen snow that covers peacefully and a God who is BIG enough and got bigger to me in this moment and friends who are doting on me more than they should ;)!

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.  Isaiah 43:2

It was God who helped us walk through yesterday without falling into a million pieces...he is faithful and His words are truth.  If you don't know the God I talk about, seek Him.   Our greatest prayer is that out of this God would use it for His good.

And sometimes it is about trusting God even when you can't see why he is doing what he is doing.  I have learned in my short time here, that nothing is mistake by God even if his plan is not mine...I love this song...."Sometimes life doesn't make any sense.....I don't know what you're doing, but I know who you are" and "You know what it is like to lose a child" - and that understanding is enough for me today and God will take care of the rest...

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.  John 14:27

O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.  Psalm 59:17

Monday, February 3, 2014

Typing my feelings out...

Blogging for me is cathartic.  Sometimes I find myself typing blog posts in my mind as a form of internally processing my emotions.  The last few days several blog posts have been typed in my mind.

In case you didn't know and how would you, we didn't really announce....we were expecting.  We had been praying for God to bless our family with more children and anxiously anticipated the day the pink lines would appear on the test and they did....boy we were excited.  I made a little sign to let Scott know...."Baby is brewing" and we went out for a celebratory dinner.  I had all the regular symptoms every pregnant woman has - the good, the bad and the ugly.  We shared with a few friends and relatives and even purchased a ceremonial maternity shirt.

Fast forward to 6 weeks 5 days (Saturday).  We had a fun day out planned. Friends had given us ISU tickets and Solon and Scott were going to attend while V and I did some fun shopping in Ames.  We were to rendezvous for dinner.  Around lunchtime I noticed blood...I didn't freak out because I bled with Vera but I did tell Scott and we continued with the plan.  It was a Saturday and I really didn't think it was worrysome enough to spend all day in the ER.  By that evening I was in major pain and cramping.  I relegated myself to bed, cancelled singing on praise team the next day and prayed this was not what I knew it might be....

Sunday was spent resting and my husband donned his superman cape and we patiently waited as our dear friends prayed for us - we felt them.

Unfortunately this morning I awoke to larger amounts of blood and a heavy heart, I just knew this wasn't "normal" but I prayed God would be my strength in my time of need.  I was feeling so weak in my flesh.  I just wanted to curl up and cry.  I rushed my 2 kids to a dear friends house and went to the OB, Scott right by my side.

As we sat in the room with what felt like a million pregnant moms, each one looking more uncomfortable then the next, how I ached to be them and not me.  How I prayed I would not burst into a million tears right then and there...

Of course the minute the nurse closed the door and asked what had been going on, it was like a fire hydrant went off....tears bursting off my face.  As I prayed that I could regain composure....

They checked me and it was inconclusive so they did bloodwork which was also inconclusive.

I waited 2 hours for an ultrasound and I will never forget sitting staring up in the darkly dimmed room knowing the reality of the situation and knowing my baby was already in the arms of Jesus.  There was no heartbeat.

The depth of the pain in that moment, I would wish on no one.  It hurt to lose a child and look at Scott and know the pain we both felt.  Somehow, I let guilt and the feeling of failure creep in...

The tears of mourning have come, to us, there was a baby and we are mourning the loss we will never meet him/her this side of heaven.  The hope we have is that WE WILL MEET them when we meet Jesus and we will have eternity with him/her....what hope I find in that.

Of course the journey is far from over.

There are more tears to be shed I am sure.  I prefer to just not talk about it yet.  It will take time. Unfortunately the last snag is that they can't rule out ectopic pregnancy SO we have to go back in for more testing Wednesdsay.  Our greatest prayer is that we miscarry free of complications and for strength in the process.

The brightest spot in all of this is God's great love shown through His people.  We are incredibly and remarkably blessed with some selfless, loving, and servant-minded individuals.  I have felt every prayer and know God is at work in our lives.  Not once today have I doubted His plan for us...today stinks, I am not going to lie but in this life we know there will be trouble.  I am just so thankful I don't have to journey it alone.  He promises to be right by my side and His words have given me such peace and hope on a day that is so dark.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  Matthew 5:4

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."  Matthew 19:14

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.  Psalm 55:22

We covet your prayers and will keep you posted.  We know God has our best interests in mind and although we don't know what that is, we know He is faithful and loves with a great father's love!
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