Saturday, June 29, 2013

JOY and peace He brings

How are you?
I hope you are doing well.
I have something I wanna tell you.
My life changed on Thursday June 30. 2011.
I thought I was welcoming my sixth child, and I did. but not in the way that I expected.
I still, on the eve of Jack's second birthday, cannot believe that he didn't make it.

He didn't make it here...but man oh man, he's made it.

You can too. Because of Jack, my eyes were opened. really opened. to so many things, my own self most importantly.

that sounds selfishy doesn't it? what I mean though is that my eyes were opened to the condition of my heart, to my life and to just how much I wasn't living my life for Jesus.

If you knew me then, you'd say (to me anyways) "Ohhhh, but you were a Christian, you went to homeschooled your kids, you prayed as a family and read your Bibles"....and on and on you could go. And I would've agreed with you back then...

so clueless.

I'm not saying that the Lord took Jack to "teach me a lesson". I won't know that here or ever, for that matter. But for whatever reason, Jack died. What a sad situation I find myself in. Yes, I weep for him regularly (like tonight for example...on the eve of what would've been his second birthday) and wonder why this happened and relive that day so many times throughout my days. Like when I cleaned out the tub he was born in, earlier today. oh man.

I do know this. I prayed for the Lord to do a work in my life, and in my heart before we even considered having Jack. It's been a very long process and it has taken some very unexpected turns but I praise Him for each painful, joyful, sorrowful, triumphant step...He is shaping me into a vessel fit for HIS use. far from perfect but looking upward each and every day.

I find myself wanting to fill my days with talk of Him. To be sure that the ones I love and call friend or family KNOW Him. really know Him. Really put off the things of this world and put on Christ. His Yolk is easy and His burden is light.

All that the world offers is death and indulgence, wickedness and denial. Selfishness and separation.
Jeremy Camp's song "Give me Jesus" has become a very important song to our family...go check it out on Playlist. Simple but profound...In the morning when I rise, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, just give me Jesus.....

Chris Rice's Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus) Jack's song. go give that a listen too.

We have a playlist of sorts that we all use to praise and worship our Heavenly Father...Matt Redman's 10,000 Reasons (which goes along so nicely with Ann Voskamp's 1,000 Gifts). The last verse of that song, I can barely choke it out..
"And on that day, when my strength is fading, the end draws near and my time has come. Still my soul will sing Your praise unending....10,000 years and then forevermore!! FOREVERMORE! Bless the Lord, Oh my soul....Oh my soul, worship His holy name. Sing like never before, oh my soul, I'll worship Your holy name."

side note but really so not a SIDE note!! >>>isn't it just so cool to know that my little boy is in the presence of his Creator and Heavenly Father?? and that one day, I will be with both of them. he's probably met Keith Green, Jim Elliott, my relatives, Pastor Mills, Tim, Ramie,  Lydia, Boston, Savannah, SULLY, and so many others!! that blows my MIND!

My direction is moving forward...I'm being shaped and molded by the Lord Jesus Christ. it's a little bit painful. but totally worth it.

Tomorrow, I will recall that sweet sweet boy....I will smells smells and recall steps and shock, the feeling of being HELD and on holy ground. I will rejoice that, though I wish he'd stayed, He is such a lucky lil ducky to not have to endure splinters, spankin's, Obama, fights, tears, Molly...I could keep going.

At six p.m., Sunday June 30, 2013, we will be meeting at Forest Lawn, at Jack's release balloons. I suspect we will do this every year. I also suspect that we will have different people over the years. I probably won't cry there because, as I did last year, I've cried enough this week, and tonight, to make up for crying on the spot.

When the balloons are released and we've all cried and sniffed and said goodbye to Jack's lil spot...we will head back to our house for some refreshments, hang time and swimming if it's not raining or chilly. If you can make it, we'd love to have you. If you can't, it's totally understandable.

Thank you for letting me ramble on and on here...thank you for visiting my blog and for encouraging me in the ways that you do. I consider it a great treasure.

I will be back later with pictures and more chopped up thoughts.

Happy night before your 2nd birthday in Heaven, little Jack the Bear. We miss you so so so much!

Because of your life, my life is richer, deeper, more purposeful...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

the little boy that follows me..

in reference to the above title...I found a story on one of the babyloss sites I visit...written by a mom of a little boy who left...and it's sad, precious and somewhat hopeless. If left to my own devices, I would wallow more...and somedays I do...but I am anchored in HOPE.

This picture was taken on June 30, 2007...roughly nine days before Molly's arrival. oh the things we take for, living babies. I am so blessed to be the mother of six of the most amazing kids in the world. Each one so unique and chock full of memories. (YO, Big lady!!)
this was taken right before my due date two years ago...that little boy had a knot in his cord. it caused him to die. I still just can't believe it. almost 730 days later, I still just can't wrap my head around this part of my story.
We are so many days out, and most of the time, it seems like someone else's life.
If I really engage my head, I go to that place where once I'm in, I can't step back out the door.
I have to relive those sacred moments.
The sheer and utter pain that that beautiful, valiant boy, never ever took a breath outside of my womb.
and just how perfect, precious and adorable he was.
I'm a puddle on the floor when I go there....
Most of the time, I can squint and only remember tidbits.

I drive by the fire department that took him EVERY DAY.
I see an ambulance and I freeze. cry. pray.
always remember.
wonder what the EMT's were thinking. he watched them work on his clone.
I'm sure he was floating on the sacred bubble.

how I couldn't wait to kiss his rib-violating feet and smell his hair and baby breath.


I can't believe it.
So these are the days that I start to really recall those days, leading up to thee day.
10 days till we launch balloons heavenward.

And all I can really do at this point is just thank the Lord for this road...and pray that because of Jack, we can encourage, lead, point others to Jesus Christ.

Help me, Jesus Christ...You're our only hope. Praying that the days to come are chock full o' hope.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

up, up and away

I will blog more on this picture above at another time. but I will tell you that they are from a lovely balloon launch for an even lovelier little girl. Yesterday was Greyson's first birthday.

I'm pretty sure no parent ever wants to celebrate their baby's first birthday this way. I mean, it's a beautiful thing to do, but I know li'l G's momma and daddy would've rather watched her squash a tiny cake or toddle around all of her aunts and uncles. Please continue to pray for this family.

If you have the ability to do so, love, snuggle, cuddle and hug your babies. I hear of so many people that have to say goodbye to their kids. Why does it seem like it happens so much more often? Just more aware, or people put us in touch with other folks that have gone through a similar loss...for whatever reason, I'm thankful...I don't always (usually, ever) get it, and sometimes I feel "stronger" than other times...but mostly, just learning to trust Him more and more every day.

Thankfully, we have HOPE, which is as an anchor of the soul, sure and stedfast...Jesus Christ.

Another name I never want to be ashamed to say.

Praying for the M family
Praying for Shellee and Duane and all 10 of their li'l birdies in their nest
Praying for friends that I know are eagerly, if not anxiously, awaiting new arrivals.
Praying for special people that have encouraged and lit the way for me in this babyloss community, like Lori Clark (Matthew's momma), Jamie Reese (Sully's momma), and many, many others.
Praying for my brother, as he prepares to move his family to Indy. And for my sister, who is flying out to CA to drive back with him.
Praying for friends that I don't get to see as much as I'd like to.
Praying for my cousin in MI who stepped on a nail and needs surgery...

I could seriously go on and on. Someday, I will be able to do so, when I am old and feeble and I sit here and wait for grandkids to come and visit me, or for someone to come and feed me and take me out. Haha.

Until then, seize the day. Choose JOY. Watch what you say. Show love to the ones you are blessed enough to have. Praise the Lord.

He is worthy.

Good evening to you.

Monday, June 10, 2013

happy monday, whether we want it to be or not. Immanuel in June.

thought you'd enjoy these little treasures I found on the YFF laptop. You've got to love Photobooth. Or do you?? I know my parents will despise these pix...haha. the one right up there, with Molly and the kitty eyes....hahahahaha.

I needed a good laugh to start this week off.

For this week marks the one year anniversary of our friends' precious daughter's sudden home going. Sweet baby G left suddenly and without much explanation. You can visit Myssi's beautiful blog...on my blogroll....called Finding GEMs. There is nothing like watching another person go through this kind of loss. just nothing. Please be praying for Myssi, Adam, their family...and also the precious little sister to Baby G that is nestled safely in her momma's womb. I know they'd deeply appreciate the prayers.

I wouldn't wish this on anyone. but for some reason, God allows this to happen. We will probably never know while we walk the earth but it is sacred ground. It has opened our eyes to new things. Sometimes to more pain, sometimes to JOY but always to God and the gift of Jesus Christ.

All things become new. Things of this world fade...doesn't mean we don't want to have fun but you want to focus more on what is important. Like people, relationships and talking about Jesus, talking about your sweet child and making sure to remember our heavenly ambassadors every day. everything becomes a little bit clearer.

trying not to pine to be there with them.

this Thursday marks Jack's 100th  Thursday. not like I'm counting or anything.

Which brings me to his balloon launch on Sunday, June 30th, 2013. We are having it out at his spot again...and we are letting go of balloons again, asking people, if they come, to bring their own balloons. 6:00 pm at Forest Lawn. and hoping to release them at 6:08, which is his time of birth, though I've never seen any documentation on his birth (that reminds me).

If you want to join us, we'd love to have you. We will then proceed to our house for refreshments and swimming. Anyone is welcomed to join us, just let me know.

I'm getting more and more behind on my many things to update, like Shellee's new baby boy and David, Will, Ethan, Adam, Jonathon and Jacobi's camping trip, Mel's trip as a middle school co-counselor at camp last week, her 15th birthday, the continued pool debacle of 2013...ahhhhh. I just totally overwhelmed myself....

so on that note, here's to another chock full week (where did my lazy summer go??)

On your marks, get set, go!