Sunday, December 4, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
One of the things I found was a journal she kept. There were actually tons of these-where she shared her spiritual insights and ramblings. Things that seem so minor--disagreements with neighbors, feelings towards co-workers and she continued to bring them to the Lord begging for wisdom in her response. In recent years, her mind began to fail, and she began to question if she had a relationship with the Lord. As her family, we brought her back to all the spiritual insights and wisdom she had taught us. We pointed her back to the fruits that were evident in her life. But some took advantage of this opportunity and joined in her disbelief. So she was baptized again and accepted Christ again. It was hard to watch. It was even harder to think about as I read through some of these journals. This woman had such communion with God. I was reading her most personal spiritual thoughts and was still learning from her. We have such a rich spiritual heritage from her. She devoted her life to serving the Lord and volunteering her time.
I am saddened that she is dying, though it feels like she is already gone. About a month ago she was still able to speak on the phone and she thanked me for coming to be with her. "Of course!" I replied. "You are my Nanny and I love you!" and her words will stay with me forever. "And I love being your Nanny." It was a rare moment of clarity for her but a true gift for me. There hasn't been much of a connection for some time but these moments are packed away in my memory box for good.
She will be joining her great-granddaughter in Heaven soon--probably a matter of days. Her eyes will be perfect, her mind will be whole and she will have no more suffering. I have to put in here a quote that I have posted before but it sure seems fitting to use it again.
"I am standing on the seashore. A ship spread her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean. I stand watching her until she fades on the horizon, and someone at my side says , "She is gone." Gone where? The loss of sight is in me, not in her. Just at the moment someone says, "She is gone, " there are others who are watching her coming. Other voices take up the glad shout, "Here she comes," and that is dying." Henry Scott Holland
Blessings to you and your family.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
I may have shared before, but the entire week is tough. I re-live that whole week of learning she had passed, then the labor and delivery and finally the funeral and burial. Then, my birthday. It always is tough that the week right before my birthday is consumed with such sorrow. It isn't that I am without hope of seeing her one day. It is the weight that she is missing from our family.
I heard a song recently that brought back a flood of memories from my pregnancy. It is by "Fergie" and is called "Big Girls Don't Cry." If you haven't been pregnant, listen when I say that you will sing to the baby in your belly. I don't know why but I always sang along to the radio on this one for Callie. I even remember the day that we lost her (or at least found out) driving around and killing time before my appointment and singing this song to her, with my hand on my belly. I haven't heard the song for quite awhile and the other night it came on the radio. Instantly it took me back to that moment. Singing to my baby, and she was already gone. Already in Jesus' arms. But I have to disagree with the song. Even big girls cry.
So as we embark on our week of memories, it is my hope and prayer that we honor her memory and speak a little bit of her life into our remaining 2 children's lives. I'm sure I will post more after our special night on Wednesday.
Friday, June 10, 2011
The "fussiness" is just part of her personality, in my opinion. When she was a day old the lactation consultant came to see us and nicknamed her "punky" because she was so feisty. At my postpartum check the NP commented on how "intense" she was. Those were both true statements and continue to be. She had colic that lasted FOREVER! Every afternoon from 4:00 on I was basically chained to the recliner with her in my lap. As she has gotten older, she is into everything. All the time. We put locks on all cabinets. She climbs chairs and has even gotten onto the kitchen counter. She is fearless. And yet I know that these same qualities that have been so hard to corral and parent will be what takes her so far in life. She will turn into a driven woman who accomplishes anything she sets her mind to! She has a wonderful senses of humor and loves to laugh. Though she is intense she is also intense in her love. She adores her brother and wants to spend every minute with him. She loves to hug and cuddle Mommy and Daddy.
So though the temporary (though sometimes it doesn't feel so temporary!) fussiness is challenging I am trying to remember that these days will go quickly. I'm trying not to compare her to her brother (who was quite a different story). I'm trying to look at her for the little person that she is and is becoming and do my best as a Mom to nurture those traits positively.
I love this little girl so much. We do have a very strong bond because of how much time we have spent together! So she still has my heart :) I was giving her a bottle before her nap and when she decided she was full, she popped her paci in her mouth. I sat there for a minute rocking her and looking at her. "You know Mommy loves you?" She sat there looking at me so intently. Again, "You know how much Mommy loves you?" She smiled such a big grin through her paci and I melted. Yep, even though she's a pistol (as I call her), she's MY pistol.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
There are always things that happen in ministry that can cause you to lose heart. It is such a tough job! You watch your husband give and give and sacrifice family time and then what happens? Criticism. Judgment. You name it. Typically it occurs over something very small but then gets blown out of of proportion. Occasionally an encouraging word is spoken. Why is it that even if encouragement and criticism happen on the same day, you remember the criticism? The negative voices are simply the loudest. This is so true in life, isn't it? In a room full of 25 kids--if even one is talking--you notice because it is disruptive. You forget the 24 that are still paying attention. The one ruins it for everyone else.
I've been really thinking about this lately as we've had a few issues arise in our personal life. It keeps sticking with me. Then I began to think of the voices/ thoughts inside my own head. (Not like I hear voices--please understand!) I think I have expressed my own feelings of guilt over the loss of Callie. I think over and over about how I should have done things differently. I question the times I missed my progesterone pills or my vitamin. What about that time I fell? I should have spoken up when this happened.....I could have done this......the list goes on and on. Why is it that I have such a hard time telling myself that I couldn't have done anything differently. I had no control over this. It wasn't my fault. Yet as often as I say it....those thoughts come back. Again, the negative voices are the loudest.
I don't know what negative voices you are listening to these days but I want to challenge you to stop listening! Listen to the positive voices, the encouraging voice that tell you "You can do it." I promise it will change your outlook on the day and life!
2 Corinthians 10:5 "And we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ."
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Saturday, April 30, 2011
I have been thinking about his comment since I left. Corban and Ellie really do get along quite well. They greet each other with smiles and laughter after being separated--if only for a nap. She follows him like a lost puppy and he most often encourages this!
I'm not saying that every day is perfect--it isn't. They each want the same toy or need to be reminded not to push and hit. But I hope that we can continue to encourage them to be close and loving siblings. I think that as parents it is up to us to help foster closeness between our kids. We can do a lot to help this or to deter this.
Do you have any tips or suggestions for me? I would love to hear them!
Friday, April 15, 2011
Callie was the first granddaughter on both sides of our families. Everyone was excited about the new things a little girl would bring to our family. Dolls and dresses. Ribbons and hairbows. Oh the fun would be endless! I recently came across a very special gift that was intended for Callie from my grandma. My mom is an only child, making my sister and I the only grandchildren. So little girls have always had a special place in her heart. I have many fond memories with my grandma. She took us Easter dress shopping every year and we chose the perfect dress to wear to church Easter morning. Nanny has been suffering with Alzheimer's for awhile now but was recently admitted to a memory care center. We went to her house to pick up a few things and I came across a dress she had bought for Callie. She had shown it to my Mom and the date on the receipt confirmed that this was that very dress. It was a beautiful pink smocked dress with a matching bonnet and pink tights. It would have been the perfect baptism dress. Nanny was preparing for her first great-granddaughter. She had followed the tradition she had with us in buying beautiful dresses. It is now something I will hold on to forever.
John 14:2, Jesus says He is going to prepare a place for us. I imagine it is much the same. He has everything ready for us, as we do for our children to come home to us. I know there is a place being prepared for my Nanny. I wonder if Callie is waiting on her and preparing to meet her. Nanny will meet her great-granddaughter one day soon. For now I am treasuring the small glimpses I get of the "old" Nanny. She is still there.....somewhere. What a beautiful reminder for us to be prepared.
Blessings to you.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Shortly after Callie died we were talking about the family Callie was surrounded by in Heaven. She was greeted by her great-grandparents on my husband's side. She was greeted by her great-great grandma and her great-great uncle on my side. I like to think of her upon my great-grandma's knee being bounced as GG "ditsie dooed" her. It was her little trick with babies as she laughed that contagious laugh. I don't know if that happens in heaven or not. But it brought me great comfort in those initial days.
I have mentioned before a wonderful book, "I Will Carry You" by Angie Smith. I encourage you to read it, especially if you have experienced loss. She shows such raw emotion and is able to put words to emotions I hadn't been able to. I came across a quote as I was going through the book again.
"I am standing on the seashore. A ship spread her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean. I stand watching her until she fades on the horizon, and someone at my side says, "She is gone." Gone where? The loss of sight is in me, not in her. Just at the moment someone says, "She is gone," there are others who are watching her coming. Other voices take up the glad shout, "Here she comes," and that is dying." Henry Scott Holland
What a powerful expression! I often think of when exactly it was that Callie went to see Jesus. I wish I knew when exactly, since she was already gone when we found out. Yet even though I didn't know what was going on, the Saints in Heaven were already on watch and waiting for her. They were calling her home. She is surrounded by more love and beauty that I can imagine. One day when I go to be with Jesus, my daughter will be among those calling to me. What a picture.
I hope this brings comfort to you as you think of those you have lost. Blessings to you.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
In light of these stories, I have decided that the only choice we have is to love well. I have to ask myself, "Am I loving well?" We don't know how long we have with those we love and this isn't limited to babies and children. My grandpa passed away suddenly, almost a year ago. I've been hearing stories of the "unthinkable" happening with no warning.
I challenge you to love those in your life well. We may not have a tomorrow to right the wrongs and treat people differently. I know I need this reminder. I fail so miserably at this!
I'm sorry this is so heavy and is truly a glimpse at my heart right now. If you believe in prayer, please pray for a friend tomorrow whose baby is in his final hours. An ultrasound will be done to check on him tomorrow.
Blessings to you friend. Love well.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
We were studying Revelation 4-5. The particular section is 5:2-5.
"And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to open the book and break its seals?' And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it ; and one of the elders said to me, 'Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.'"
In her teaching, Beth Moore states that God allowed John (the author of Revelation) to feel this void so deeply that he was crying in order for him to appreciate the solution all the more. This hit me hard! How often are we in a dark place do we feel the Lord has left or forgotten us? We feel like life's problems are getting us down. Maybe the Lord is allowing this in our lives so that when He brings a solution to our problem we appreciate it and don't take it for granted!
My children came to mind. I thought of the times we tried for a baby and were unsuccessful. I thought of how we finally felt the Lord had answered our prayers--and we decided her middle name would be Grace--for He had shown us grace. I thought of when we said goodbye to our Callie Grace. I thought of those dark and hopeless times. They seemed to last forever! I wonder if that time and that silence in Heaven felt the same way as the angel was asking for someone worthy to open the book? And then in steps the Lion of Judah! The Answer!! The Solution! My mind then came to the good news of another pregnancy and the birth of Corban. His miraculous little life. I thought of the surprise of another pregnancy and the birth of Ellie Kate. She came home from the hospital with us!! Lord, let me not take these children for granted. Remind me of the dark times--the hopeless times--so that I don't forget to see Your hand in all of this. You have given them to us. They are Yours.
My oh my. What a gracious reminder!
Blessings to you.......and your blessings!
Monday, January 10, 2011
The next blessing was in the fact that we were able to go and visit Callie's grave. As I mentioned in a previous post, this was something I had wanted to do before we moved. Now that my parents are moving it was increasingly important to us. So we went and visited. We said "good bye" to the last spot on earth where she was laid. It seemed surreal. We live 8 1/2 hours away and it seems like a bad memory. Yet as I look at my walls and bookcase I realize it is not merely a memory but a piece of my life and my story that has changed me forever.
What unexpected blessings these were to wrap up this chapter of our lives. To say our goodbyes. It seemed fitting that these events would bring 2010 to a close.
I would also like to take a moment to say that though we have experienced loss I am so thankful to the Lord for the blessings He has given to us. I have been hearing many stories of loss in recent days. Babies with medical conditions who haven't made it. Babies with medical conditions who are still struggling. Babies who never even took their first breath. And Mommies who desperately wish for a baby. These stories break my heart, time and again. I remember how blessed I am. Truly blessed.
God's blessings to you in the new year!