Thursday, June 28, 2012

fifty two Thursdays

hard to believe that this was 52 Thursdays ago

How this little boy changed all of our lives, most definitely for the better.
But how we miss having him here.
How we waited for him to join us
What a beautiful picture for a mother to carry for the rest of her days on of my oldest sons, crying for our youngest son.
forever imprinted in my mind.

I just really don't even know how to process this day, honestly.
It hit me harder than I imagined it would...I feel like I've hit all of the grief milestones expectantly...

I woke up with David and Will at 4 a.m. to get them out the door to Fort Wayne. I went back to sleep.
I woke up later than I had expected but I needed the rest. ( 9 a.m. )

Levi came in to say good morning and he sat with me. As I woke up a bit more, Ethan came into my room with his customarily cheerful "Good morning, Mom!" and I choked. wept for a few minutes, just completely unable to grasp what this day held 52 Thursdays ago. How gigantic that day was in my life.

The Holy Ground we stepped on that day.
The way the Lord has worked in our lives, shaped us and brought things to "light" in each of our lives.

It's just a lot to soak in.

But I am pain-filled sponge. Rejoicing in the Lord for all of the beautiful things He has shown me. He has shown us.

To You, Lord, Thank you for Jack Oliver Young and for bringing JOY into our lives in ways we could never have fathomed.

Thank You.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Garden Therapy...this is for you, Aunt Nan!

At dusk


Angel protector


His little Jack's Garden sign, that I love ever so much. In front of one of the two miniature rose bushes from Aunt Nan, Uncle Frank, Aunt Darlene and Uncle John, my MI relatives. They have given us a lovely springtime display. I also love the red gallardias to the right.

little JOY gnome back by the baby's breath.

side view...the butterfly bush is taller than me, by far. The echinacea (large perennial next to butterfly bush) from Mary Helen is almost as tall. 

the opposite side view.

David's little frog

forget me nots at the front.

lavender and rosemary.
I'll admit, I didn't lay this out very well. I just kind of started plunking plants in this plot.
It will eventually need some pruning and purging but I kinda hope not.

I planted this geranium last spring, while Jack was nestled safely in my womb. I think I will always try to keep this alive. 

hello welcoming gnome

shamrocks from Tammy.
These are my new favorites. They were practically dead but they are flourishing. We love how they fold down for night time.

an early morning view. In this front corner is a hydrangea bush. It's not doing too well...I keep tending to it though...
Mums, Russian Sage, Foxglove from Jodi.

I come to the garden alone

While the dew is still on the roses...

The poor grass around it (it's mostly crabgrass anyways but geez) is dying a slow death.  It's only June and we are drier than a bone out here.  these are early evening shots

I have really come to appreciate this little plot of land.  I sit on the bench (thanks Annette), pray, sing, cry, ponder,  pray some more, pluck, prune, and cry some more. Who'd have thought a garden could be so therapeutic?

I have always appreciated gardens and plants...Grandma Greenhill would sit with me for hours and talk about my someday garden. That woman was a wealth of information that I miss so dearly. I think she'd be pretty proud of this, though it is far from complete.

We have trimmed it out in pieces of terrazzo floor, crunched up straight from Purdue University in W. Lafayette. how cool is this?  little bits of each of us are out here, even Jack.

Ok, I've got children to tend to....
To each of you, faithful readers...I love you. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I'm still here...

my friend, Wendy, is cool. Just plain cool.
She posted this on FB to brighten my day and it did.

love these mugs
and these mugs...
This was on Father's Day. 
We went up to Ft. Wayne to spend the weekend with David and for me to work so I could help pay off some of the credit card debt I've incurred. Thankfully, any product I'm getting is pretty much earned. rock on.
On another note? I'm thinking of becoming a Stampin' Up consultant.
If for nothing more than to help pay for my habits.
I love their stuff.

These pix were taken, rather quickly, for my scrap page for Father's Day, which still isn't done.
I'm thinking I won't get much scrappin' done this week.
The idea here is that I asked each kid what the first word is that pops into their head when I say Dad
or David.

Levi chose funny too so he had to get "creative" and come up with another one.
We truly need to work on our adjectives.

Mel, you are so right.

Forgive poor Ethan...he had a raging case of poison ivy on his face. he couldn't move his lips.

Will had worked all day, hence the deer in headlights expression.
I think they're all pretty darn cute and I'm so eternally blessed to have these five arrows in my quiver...along with the flying arrow that we are preparing to celebrate this coming weekend. ahhhhhh.

I've been needing to blog for a looooong time now.
I know.
But what I actually wanna do is just sit and cry. Maybe have a little (or not so little) pity party.

Like, "Why me, why us, Lord??" or "There are sooo soo many people that don't want their babies or don't "deserve" their babies or leave them in their cribs or for other people to raise, why did you have to take ours? he had a crib, a ready and willing mom, dad, sibling group...." Waaaaa.

i thought I was maybe done with this phase...but every now and then, it rears it's ugly, human head.

Then my reasonable side re-emerges and I can talk myself down off the ceiling and remember that, although it is freakin' sad that Jack was dead at birth, but not the entire day of his birth, dang it, God is using this part of our story to bring Him honor.

For the rest of my days, I will speak the name of the Lord and Jack to those around me. I will praise Him in this stormy time.

For a deeper analysis of my thoughts, fears and hopes, you will need to see my journals. If you know me, you know my thoughts and you know that I'm pretty transparent.

is that a bad thing? maybe to some...but I won't apologize for that. thank you for allowing me to be myself and to vent, cry, even maybe whine a little bit on here and in person.

Onward Ho....

I have soo many things I want to blog about but this is just not THAT week.
I want to blog about how I asked the Lord to be "real" to me, like He is to David. That was my prayer in my complacent days of my final pregnancy. How He arrived, I did not expect, or believe for a few weeks. But He showed up and I realized He'd been here all the time. (I shall break into a rousing rendition of "Footprints in the Sand" now.       or not)
The plans He has for me, for my family, I don't fully know but getting some glimpses into the bigger picture has been......

U    N    B    E    L    I    E    V    A    B    L    E

and maybe, possibly, a blog post or ten for another day. When I'm ready. I am completely open and ready for whatever is next...pain, or joy, sorrow or laughter...BRING IT!

For this week, I'm pretty much nose to the grindstone on getting Jack's Balloon Launch ready...
pray for me....I've already had a few crying jags, which I figured might happen but was still sorta surprised when it hit. And always, always when Untitled Hymn, Come to Jesus magically comes on the radio. which is daily. right Beck? ....when you can't contain your JOY inside.....with your final heartbeat, kiss the world good bye, go in peace and laugh on glory's boy did that. It just never ceases to amaze me...he's not physically with us but he will always be with us...and besides of my own is sitting at the feet of the Lord.


Ok, hoping to get a picture of Jack's garden onto my blog this week...I water that beloved space almost twice daily in these completely rainless days. (we need rain, desperately, Lord Jesus! PLEASE!)

But I shall close for tonight...hope you are all doing so well.

Friday, June 15, 2012

In His hands

and I'm so thankful.

There are no coincidences.
He knows about all of it. how we will respond, what good will come from the fires we go through.
kinda takes the pressure off, ya know?  (doesn't give us a free pass to be a dope though)

Feeling thoughtful for our friends who will have a service for a sweet baby girl today. Just ask Stacey at Byrd's Nest, Sully's mom, Lori at Facets of Life, or Jody at Nitty Gritty, among many other dear women I've "met" in the blogosphere (and not in the blogosphere). That is a challenging road to walk. Praying for you today, sweet momma, grandma, aunties. (not saying that the menfolk don't feel it and hurt just as much). Praying for you daddy, grandpa, uncles, cousins and friends. I know you will be a wonderful support for this momma and daddy. Stay close. Give hugs and shed those tears, and smile those smiles.

Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.  (whatever)

yesterday, I was out running errands with Ethan. Thursday. our 50th Thursday since Jack flew home to Jesus....and naturally, Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus) came on (always) and the floodgates opened up. Crying for us, for them, and just the pure earthly horror of it all.

These are not tears of anger. just confusion. I have to keep reminding myself, as I imagine them navigating these watery, uncertain, painful days, that God is in control. He holds the future and He knows our sorrow. He sends comfort for those moments when we just don't think we can go on.

The Rich Mullins song, "Hold me, Jesus" is on repeat in my head today.

Hold Me, Jesus, 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf.
You have been King of my glory,
Won't You be my Prince of Peace.

God bless you today.

P.S. Please pray also, for our niece, Sophie. She failed two hearing tests yesterday. Praying that it's just fluid in her ears from being in a water sac for 9 months and nothing more.

P.S. x 2 Please pray for my cousin, Tory, her momma, Linda and her dad, David. (code for I need an update, my dear cousin...praying that this means your momma settling in at home and on the road to amazing recovery!)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

bittersweet joy

This is Natalie (of NickNat fame) with her nearly 2 year old son, Ry, meeting his new sister, Sophie Lynne. She arrived on the scene at 3:10 pm yesterday, June 13, 2012. From what we can tell, she is a beautiful, healthy addition to the Young/Shipman enterprises. Congratulations and to God be the glory, Nick, Natalie and Ryan.

I pray you'll forgive my bittersweet post. Why bittersweet?

Wednesday started out well...prayer, Bible time, a little more reading in The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, coffee x 2.

got a call that some friends from church were in the midst of one life's greatest and most unexplained tragedies. Sweet baby girl G flew home to Jesus after only 1 and a half days out of her momma's belly. Please pray for this dear family...I'm friends with sweet baby G's grandma and fact, David and I are in their Sunday night group. This is a pain we know all too well. I'm going through each torturous step with them in my mind. Praying constantly. I will keep their names private at this time.

Shortly after receiving the news about baby G, I got the official mass text from Nat, who shared that she and Nick were en route to the hospital, in hopes of meeting sweet Sophie soon. She arrived at 3:10 p.m., weighing 7 lbs, 3 oz and being absolutely precious. We are SO very happy for them and ask that they give her a few extra little snuggles, sniffs and tears of gratitude to the Lord for this gift.

My brain, which I was hoping would be a little less jumbly by this point, is NOT.

I'm all over the place and I covet your prayers.
i know each of these families do as well.

final thought: God sees the whole picture. This all makes sense to Him. I'm so glad.

That is all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Prayers for a precious family

This is Nate, Gwyneth and Tricia.

Tricia needs you to flood heaven with prayers...her body is rejecting her double lung transplant.

Their blog is linked in my blog list...Confessions of a CF Husband. Go there to read their amazing story and to send them a note of encouragement.

I know they would appreciate it.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mel's Party update

birthday partyers...
Mel got flowers from her Dad and brothers.

our little kitchen chalkboard was even mustachioed


The iced coffee/goody table

the stove was even mustachioed

lovely gang of kids. Molly, Sarah (green shirt), Madison (purple shirt), Hayley (grey sweatshirt), Will,  Ethan, Annie, Melanie...

Hayley had to leave


Miss P, her momma and sis stopped in for some photo booth fun!
Well good evening!
I've got a lot of updating to do but not sure how much I will actually accomplish tonight...I've hit a wall tonight. Plum tuckered. Let's see, what can I throw on here....

1.)  Ethan cut a tree down tonight. whatta guy. I went to the library with #3-5. We all swam in the freezing cold pool today. I'm just full of fun news, ay?
2.) 49 Thursdays ago, we were sitting at Community South at this very hour, passing Jack's shell around numbly, tearfully, prayerfully.  I can hardly fathom that in a smidgen over three weeks, we will be holding his Balloon Launch. Just so ya know, you're invited...I'd like to have a balloon for you, if you'd like to release one, so please let me know if you wanna be here with us.
3.) I accomplished Day 5 of Stage 10 of the Run your Butt Off program tonight. Not sure what stage 11 looks like but I know it won't be less than 2-13 minute sessions. eek. I know the Color Run training program (the 5K we are doing on July 28th) has a stage that has you running two 15 minute sessions and the last one is 30 minutes straight. I have really enjoyed pushing myself, strangely, as I've said on here many times, and get pretty stoked to see how much harder I can run a day or two later...but the whole 30 min straight? yeah....that freaks me out a little bit. (but I am so excited to try it!) dorky eh?

And there is plenty more where this came from...but Levi is waiting for me to read to him and honestly, my legs and body are JUST DONE for tonight.

God bless you...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

It is well with my soul...

even through my tear goggles, which are sooo well worn these days, it is well.

I rest in the fact that God sees the bigger, biggest picture. As one of our pastor's wives so eloquently mentioned in the service (as she gave her amazing testimony) this morning, it's like we see through binoculars, with myopic vision...and God sees the whooooooooooooole picture.  What an amazing picture that is for this ant-sized brain to imagine!

It is well with my soul that HE alone knows what tomorrow holds and He holds my hand. It may seem like He doesn't care or that He is punishing me or whatever, but I don't believe that. For one minute.

I believe these things to happen to draw us to Him.

I'm drawn.

I really want nothing more than to be at His feet and learning, daily, what I am to do and how I am to serve Him. to be still and know. through prayer and reading the Bible, daily. (this is very hard for me, to sit still and read His word. Why? I just don't flesh fails me)

I'm on a great adventure and I release all of my fear to Him. My God is bigger than all of these earthly fears, quacks, people that want to hurt, people that want to slam, and all the stuff that goes along with this.

I'm releasing.
I'm healing but I will never be the same. Thank You, Lord, for THAT!

Jack, thank you, sweet boy.
As Levi reminded me yesterday, "You'll see him again, Mom and so will we!"