Thursday, March 12, 2015

Moments In Time

This goes without saying, but it still needs to be said. I love my family more than anything.
I love my siblings and parents.... and I love my husband and children.

Life is such a precious gift from our Heavenly Father. Every moment needs to count.
It goes by so fast. It sounds cliche, I know. But it really does.
I feel like it was just yesterday I was asking my dad, "Can you believe you have a 30 year old daughter already?"
~Talking of course about myself.  It has been almost 10 years since that conversation.

It feels like my first son was just born. Now he's 11 years old. Of course I could go on and on. We all could. Those moments that we want to freeze in time. Those moments we want to sort of grab our kids and say "Cherish this moment. Remember it. Because before you know it, you will be an adult with your own kids." Sometimes you want to shake people and make them 'get it.' Get it that life is precious. Get it that life isn't meant to be wasted on the petty and frivolous things. Get it that life should be taken seriously. Get it that at the same time life is meant to be enjoyed.

We want to tell the people that are sad and lost and desperate that Jesus came to give them the abundant life. Please just receive it. Rest in it. We want to tell people that live life wasting their days on the small and worthless things that before they were formed in their mothers womb, God set them apart for a purpose.  God's plan for them is so much better. Please just live out that purpose.

I want nothing more than to live out God's design and purpose for my life here on this earth. That includes how it affects my family, my husband, my children, my church, my friendships, and even my online community.  This life is a gift. It's hard some days. It was hard today.  But I recognize God's goodness woven in all the ups and downs of it and I am grateful for each person, each opportunity, each moment from Him...

And I want nothing more than to give it all right back to him in gratitude and humility.
He gave us these moments.... so we honor Him by giving them right back to him.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Weep // Wonder // Dream

It's March. For the past 13 years now this month has come and gone with a painful memory in my rear view mirror. I can still glance up into it with tears brimming in my eyeballs. I can still blink away those tears pretending that after all this time, they don't still sting just a little bit. Those words. "I'm sorry. I can't find a heartbeat."

I was just a few days short of being 18 weeks pregnant. Just days short of finding out the sex of our baby. My pregnancy was an unexpected surprise. A nauseating, tiresome, but happy surprise nevertheless. I was the only one I knew that was pregnant at that time and I never expected anything would ever go wrong. The thought never even crossed my mind once.

By the following morning, she was in our hands. Not our arms, but our hands. Her tiny 6 inches so fearfully and wonderfully made. Back with Jesus is where she really was. And every year around this time,  I count another year come and gone that our Naomi would have been that much older. A teenager this year.

Five years ago, I saw her. 

All I can really say to describe it is that I had a vision of Jesus carrying me through some of the scariest and heartbreaking moments of my life. I saw Him holding me as I was tossing and turning night after night in tears after losing our first baby. I saw Him hugging me as I sat on my bathroom floor desperately trying to break the chains of depression years later. I saw him protecting me as a child when our family had gotten in a car accident on a snowy wintery day. Then I saw Jesus was walking with me on streets of gold. And she ran up to me. Naomi ran up to me. She looked so much like my 9 year old Jada does now. She had a french braid in her hair...
and that's all I remember. That's all I know about her.

I've lost two more babies since Naomi.
And I have 4 children with me here on earth.
And I am in awe of each of them. The incredible joy I know because of who they are.

So, how are we supposed to feel when we've endured this kind of pain? This pain that no mother ever should have to encounter, yet our lives are still so full of beautiful bits of chaos and good things every single day?

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is no perfect length of time to mourn. It's not wrong to be miss what would have been even when we have so much to be thankful for now. I don't think there is ever a time to 'just forget and get over it.'
We can move on in joy. We can be abundantly blessed with so many good things from our Heavenly Father. We can be filled with gratitude. And we can still think of our babies. We can still blink away those tears. And it's okay.
And it's okay to let the tears run now and then. (Even after 13 years and 4 living children.)

And somebody has to tell you's really okay for you to long for your arms to be filled.
It's not a betrayal to the babies you have lost.

I used to feel guilty. I used to feel like I wanted a baby so badly. I was obsessed with pregnancy after I lost Naomi. Maybe you know the feeling. I. WAS. OBSESSED. But at the same time, I felt guilty. Like I would be replacing her. So guilty.
No child can ever be replaced. No human love can ever be exchanged for something better. But our hearts can be mended. Our broken spirits can be redeemed. Our joy can be full again.

And yet in those tender alone moments, we weep. We wonder. And it's still okay.

Weep. Wonder. Dream.
But let God heal you.

In just a few weeks, Heaven will be celebrating with our sweet Naomi 13 years back in eternity with Jesus.
Happy Birthday, Naomi.

Love, Mommy

For more posts about miscarriage and loss, click here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Making Room [ To Simply Be Me ]

Let me just say this. I adore my husband. I am wrapped around my kids fingers. I love my church. I take great responsibility in all the little roles I play in life. The hats of friendship and motherhood and wife and leader... and chauffeur...and housekeeper...and milk maker...

All of that. I take it seriously. But lately I have found myself wondering if it's possible we take too much pride in all of our hats we wear. Do we take all that we have to do so seriously that we forget who we are supposed to be? Do we glorify our position of mother or wife or leader? Do we forget that deep within us God has woven complex patterns of His design and creativity and desire.

I'm a HUGE believer in doing everything we do as unto the Lord. I can't say that enough. But I always feel sort of yuck when I hear people say things like 'even if you are called to clean the church bathrooms, you can do it for His glory.' Or even if you give a cup of cold water, you will not lose your reward. Not that I don't believe that with every ounce of my being. Because I do. But I never want to diminish anyone's capabilities or gifts to merely cleaning bathrooms or delivering cups of water. Those are more or less God given responsibilities I believe. We all have responsibilities within our homes, within our churches, within our communities. And it's our job to take them seriously. And God sees our faithfulness in those areas (the little and the big) and we are blessed in return.

But I am certain that in every single one of us lies more than the ability to clean a bathroom. We all have dreams and passions. At least I hope we do. Some of us it takes longer to admit or find what those are. (It took me a good 36 years). But when we do, we need to take the reigns of those things and force them to move.

What happens when our very personal God given details remain buried? I think there is a lot of fruit that goes unharvested in our lives and in the Kingdom of God.

I've been certainly feeling downtrodden lately with my hats and to-do lists. I've been feeling like there is no time left for Me. Not Mommy. Not Wife. Just ME. I haven't been able to do the things that I really love to do and want to do for myself. And it's not in a selfish way. It's actually the opposite. The fact is when I am allowing no time to develop those things that my heart fancies, part of me remains empty. Parts of me that God wove into me. Big parts of me. And I am left giving those empty bits and pieces to all the people I serve all the live long day.

I'm giving them empty pieces of me.

As my God given responsibility of wife, mother, leader, etc...Am I not responsible then that the people I serve should be receiving life-filled pieces...not empty stale parts of dreary worn out ole me?
Not only that, but my dreams and passions are designed within themselves to give God glory in some way shape or form. Whether I can use them directly to shine Jesus bright or whether I am simply enjoying the abundant life Jesus came to give me...and letting other people see that~
We are supposed to be making room in our lives to simply be us.
To be the US that He created us to be...

I am not last place. You are not last place. And giving yourself priority isn't selfish.

It's a gift from heaven to be full of Him. It's a gift to be given dreams and talents and callings directly from His heart in His plan. Do you realize that those details in your life that you've kept buried are directly from the heart of God? Those are pieces of Him and so many times we hide them away, in the name of busy-ness or servanthood. Because we think if we let them out, it's giving us priority over others or we are being selfish. Not true. It's giving God priority & ability to work and share his heart through you. It's an honor that God sees you in detail, made you in detail and set you apart in detail for such a time as this.

This is your time, friend. Are you running in circles, busy switching hats and to-do lists? Have you taken time to find the YOU buried deep inside and under and tangled in all those things you are doing? Never doubt that those things you loved and grew up with, those things you forgot you loved so much as a child are still in there waiting to be used for His glory. Of course our roles in life are important and we are to be good stewards of them. But don't try to fulfill empty of YOU or empty of HIM. Let God restore joy into just being YOU, so that HE can overflow to them.

I know vulnerability isn't everyone's thing. And it probably shouldn't be. But I am a wear my heart on my sleeve kinda girl. And it's been rough around here. I'm taking the time after 2 am to force myself to write, because it's been too long. And I miss it. And I know in an hour or two my teething baby will wake up. But I miss me and the things I love to do. I'm trying to make space to allow God to work though me all the things He placed deep within me. I'm trying to weave my way out of all my hats to breathe a little. So that I can be a better me. For me. For Him. For them.

What about you?

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit...
Psalms 51:12

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