Friday, January 27, 2012


It's one of those Fridays where I join Gypsy Mama in writing for five minutes straight. No editing, no previewing, no proof reading. Just writing.

Today's topic: Tender


Soon after my husband and I married, my Uncle, one of my most favorite people in the world, said, "He's one of the most gentle men I have ever known."

He was speaking about my husband.

My husband, the tender one.

He is also one of the kindest men I know. He would give his left arm to help a total stranger. He always wants to help and give where he can. Not because he wants to be a hero, but because that is just who he is.

He has always been sweet . . . tender with me. He really has no idea how to be mean.

I always knew him to be sweet and kind and gentle but I didn't know the extent to it until I witnessed him with our first born. He treated her and still does, as a delicate flower. All of the things he does with her and for her are purposeful and kind and tender.

I was blessed to be able to witness that tender spirit with Emmerson and Vivienne. How he loved them while they were with us. How he talked to them and told them stories. How he told them the things he would have done, as their father, for them. How he told them, with a soft, tender kiss, that he loved them, and always would.

He has no idea how to be mean or rough or harsh. Every motion, every word, every thought, is a tender one.



Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Way To Mark Time, To Keep Memories

I have a TON of pictures! I love taking them. I love having them. But that is where the love stops. 

All of those pictures I have taken over the years sit in my computer. They are not in an album. They are not in a scrapbook. They just sit, all lonely, with no one to view them but my husband and I, in our computer.

I like the idea of scrap booking but to actually do it . . . the thought alone overwhelms me. Just thinking about doing it, causes me to get all anxious. 

I will do it though, one of these days, I will get around to putting all of our pictures in a pretty little book. Where I can sit curled up in a ball on the couch, with child in lap and flip through the pages, looking at the years that have already been lived.

I have always been a lover of history. I have always been a lover of books. I have also always been a lover of a pen and a blank page before me.

I love to write. Somehow, I can communicate better through writing than through speaking.

I don't have a photo album for my daughter to look through.

I do, however, have some things for my daughter. Right now, she is too young to appreciate them, but it is my hope, that one day, she will.

When I became pregnant with her, I immediately went out and bought, The Pregnancy Journal. I wanted a way to document every detail of that time with her.

I filled in all the spaces it allows for such pregnancy things like morning sickness, cravings and that dreaded weight gain.

I also filled in a lot more. I wrote her little notes. I told her how excited I was. I described doctors visits, maternity clothes shopping and my baby shower with her.

I wrote it all down because that is something I have always done and because I want her to be able to look through it when she is older and know how much she was loved before I ever got the chance to hold her in my arms. I want her to know that I loved her before first sight.

And, right before she arrived, I bought a Baby Book. Again, I filled in every detail of her, every milestone she reached and much more. I am still writing away in that book. A way of documenting the history of her. A place to describe who she was at two months . . . at two years.

Now, I write her little notes, long love letters, what amazing thing she did, and about the ups and downs of motherhood. This journal that is mine and hers is something sacred. I won't share what is written in this because it is hers and that is for her to decide. I write because I love her. I write because I want to always remember her at every stage. I write because life moves fast and I need to keep up but I also need a way to preserve the moments too.

I don't know when I will give these three things to her. So, for now, I will keep them safe for her and continue to jot down the ways I love her. I would like to give these to her when Motherhood awaits her because that is when she will fully be able to appreciate the ways of a Mom. But one never knows, I may hand the journal that is mine but ultimately hers when she is a teenager, driving me crazy and doubting if I really love her. Maybe I'll give it to her then, and she'll know, be reassured that I'm not out to ruin her life and that I do, always, love her.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How Do You Love?

All those years ago, he saw me as a trusted friend. He respected me. He came to me for advice and I did the same with him.

All those years ago, he began seeing me in a different light and I, him.

The different light remained. We promised each other so much . . . our love for all of our life.

He sees me in the morning, hair all frizzy and no make-up on and he calls me beautiful.

He sees me when my anxiety has gotten the best of me and he remains calm. Always calm, that one.

He sees me when my temper has flared, and he remains rationale.

He sees me broken and questioning and he holds me. He remains silent in the ferocious whirl of emotions. He offers no answers, no advice. He just simply holds me and lets everything flow without redirecting it, damming it, or trying to fix it.

And through it all, he loves me.

I know these actions . . . his actions, to be love.

How do you love, show you love, when life gets hard? When it hurts?

I will be honest, I don't know. I'm not sure I know how to do it or if I am even able to.

This hurt has taken so much out of me. I feel most of the time, that I have nothing left in me, nothing left to give. It frightens me to think I have failed the ones I love by not loving them the best I can.

I try though. Even when I am feeling too weak to move, I try.

I offer a hushed whisper of thanks in the dark of night. Hoping my husband hasn't drifted into the sweetness of sleep and he hears. He hears far beyond the word spoken to all the ones that were not.

I smile. 

I do the dishes.

I fold the laundry.

I buy the necessities at the grocery store.

I make dinner.

I read a story to the little one.

I tuck her in at night and say prayers with her. Always thanking the Lord for her. That is my biggest prayer, that she hears me thank our God for her.

There is a Love known as Agape. It is an unconditional and self-sacrificing love. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son . . ." (John 3:16).

God loved, so He gave. God loves, so he gives . . . Agape.

I don't know if I am doing this right. I can only hope. But I do know this: I love them and I give them, everyday, pieces of myself.

I hope that this is enough. I hope they see the pieces given and know it to be love.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Chosen You

Still Would Have Chosen You
By Terri Banish

If before you were born, I could have gone to heaven and saw all the beautiful souls
I still would have chosen you
If God had told me, "This soul would one day need extra care and needs"
I still would have chosen you
If He would have told me, "This soul may make your heart bleed"
I still would have chosen you
If He had told me, "This soul would make you question the depth of your faith"
I still would have chosen you
If He had told me, "This soul would make tears flow from your eyes that could fill a river"
I still would have chosen you
If He had told me, "This soul may one day make you witness overbearing suffering"
I still would have chosen you
If He had told me, "All that you know to be normal would drastically change"
I still would have chosen you
Of course, even though I would have chosen you, I know it was God who chose me for you

Friday, January 20, 2012

Meet Me Here

When your soul peers into the drops of love spilled, your heart searches and reflects.

The actions, the love poured over, that preceded "It is finished" is the love consumed.

He meets us where we are. 

In the arms lifted in praise. The creases of a smile. With friends. Alone. Head hanging in sorrow. Cheeks soaked with grief. He meets us right where we are. Always.

He met his disciples right where they were, gathered them, and continued walking. He does the same for us. He walks with us, not on the path we chose to journey, but the path of His choosing.

Regardless, He is always there. Always here. Never two steps behind or three steps ahead but right by our side. Right where we need Him.

He journeyed alone before hanging on the cross that was perched between two men who were not worthy. He journeyed crowded streets being mocked at and ridiculed, but still alone.

I could have been among those that crowded the streets. I have been one of those who have ridiculed and mocked the Savior.

But still, completely unworthy, I have never been left alone. He is always there. Always here. Right by my side. Holding me. Sometimes carrying me.

All the while, completely unworthy.

But wholly grateful.

When The Love that was broken is consumed in order to show and grow from the inside out, to be a reflection of the All Mighty Love, consumed in order to consume me, I hope to meet Him there . . .

. . . at the cross. Where He was left to die, alone, to be eternally with us.

I hope to meet Him there. Where He was. Where He chose to be, for me . . . for you.

I hope to meet Him there when I consume drops of love. To bow on blood soaked and tear stained earth before the cross, where Love at first sight was demonstrated and lived.

And in death, made whole.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Homemade Yogurt Parfait

When my daughter was a baby, I made all of her food. All of it except for prunes. The prunes just seemed like too much work. And if I had been in my right mind when I bought the blueberries, I would have bought the baby food jars of that too. Making the blueberries into baby food was a JOB.

I loved doing it. When I was pregnant with her, my husband bought a cookbook on making baby food. Me, being the book lover and reader that I am, read it front to back before she was born. I'll read anything. If I go in to get my car worked on and all they have are mechanic (or whatever you call them) magazines, I'll read it. Every article. Anyway, I decided, right after I got done reading the cookbook, that I would make her baby food. I did it not because I am one of those, "only organic, blah, blah, blah, food" moms, I did it because it was cheaper than buying the jarred smelly stuff.

So I made her baby food and I loved it! And it didn't have the stench the jarred stuff has. My husband was surprised by this because I hate to cook! Seriously, despise it. I would rather scrub toilets than cook a meal. My husband is the chef in this family. I was surprised too, that I enjoyed it so much. I loved going to the grocery store and strolling through the produce section and choosing food that I had never heard of before. My daughter ate like a queen. She had been exposed to almost every kind of food out there. Every food other than boxed and packaged artificial food. Oh my, I became one of those snobby food mommies, after all.

I truly received a lot of satisfaction from making her food. I felt like it was another way I could pour my love out to her, in a tangible way. I think that is one of the reasons I loved nursing her as well. I didn't choose to breast feed because "breast is best" but, just like the homemade baby food, it was a lot cheaper. So cheap, it was free. When I first made the decision to nurse, I thought it would be something I would girt me teeth through but it turned into a great a way to bond with her. I treasured that time of closeness and knowing my body was doing something amazing for her. I believe, as mother's, we have an inherent desire to give our babies the best of whatever we can offer. I was just a mommy trying to give my baby the best start possible, in any way that I could.

This morning, as I was making my daughter her breakfast, I experienced that same exact satisfaction I did two years ago. She wanted yogurt with fruit in it so I made her a homemade yogurt parfait. She was so excited at what I had done for her and my heart swelled as she expressed her thanks.

That child of mine, she is such an appreciative girl.

So, I realized that I receive a feeling a satisfaction from feeding her well. As any mother of a toddler will tell you, that is huge! The baby that ate so well two years ago, barely eats anything of substance now and I sometimes feel like it would be easier to go into combat then try to have a meal with her.

But I wonder, shouldn't I desire more to feed, to nourish her soul?

Do I feed her soul?

Do I give her words that truly nourish to chew on? Do I give her behavior that is worthy of imitating? Do I give her words of Truth to live by?

Isn't what I'm doing as a mother go far beyond her nutritional status? Deeper to the soul to give her more, teach her more that will truly be the nourishment of growth and morsels to sustain?

Doesn't parenting go far beyond the food and the home and the school and the sports?

Doesn't it go far beyond the satisfaction I feel from doing good for her?

For a few years now, every child, when participating in a sport, receives a trophy or some type of medal. Whether or not they win or lose.

I don't think that is right. I actually don't like that at all.

If you win, then you deserve recognition. If you lose, you don't deserve the same as the winners.

Life is not about the hardware.

Here is the reason I dislike how a child receives a trophy if they come in dead last: it is an opportunity missed.

Life doesn't always go the way of our plans. We don't always get what we worked so hard for. We often times don't even get what we really wanted. There are wrongs done that are undeserving. There are hearts broken and dreams shattered.

If a child does not receive a trophy when they come in last, good. Grab that opportunity and your child and do something with it.

Teaching your child that life is hard and then how to handle that when you are disappointed because things didn't turn out the way you had hoped . . . because your heart is broken . . . that is hard.

It is hard but very necessary. If you don't teach or show your child how to handle those small disappointments that seem huge when they are small, how will they ever know how to handle those earth shatterings later?

Trophies for everyone, homemade baby food, homemade yogurt parfait . . . that's easy.

Teaching, demonstrating, living when a moment, a phase is ugly . . .  that's hard.

I want my daughter to be healthy, I want her to enjoy those moments of winning. To savor those moments of satisfaction and accomplishment. But I also want more for her.

Someone told me recently that all they really want for their children is for them to be happy.

That is good. That is what I wanted for her before I didn't receive my dream of bringing my girls home.

Now? Now I want her to know true joy. I want her to know that she can withstand the winds that bang and rage when broken dreams rain down. Because they will come at some point in her life and I won't always be able to make it better, to offer her a trophy.

I want her to be happy, but more than anything, I want her to be able to see her God when the storms cause blindness and for her joy to rest in her Maker.

Happiness and trophies, they are fleeting and based on circumstance.

When you hold the Promise of the King, you can have joy, regardless of winning or losing . . .

. . . with or without the homemade yogurt parfait.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guilt? What Guilt?

I came across a post from a mommy blogger the other day. I loved it! Since becoming a mom almost three years ago, this is the first time I felt another woman was being a hundred percent honest about
Motherhood. It was refreshing.

For those of you who won't click on the post to read it, I will give you a brief overview. But seriously, if you don't read it in her words, you are really missing out. Anyway, the gist of the post is that a lot of people (mainly, women, whose children are grown and out of the house) will tell those women who have small children still at home in the throes of being raised, to hold on to and cherish EVERY moment. Glennon went on to say that parenting is hard. And since it's hard, it's hard to enjoy every second of it.

Seriously, just read the post yourself.

It is no secret (actually, there are very few secrets I have. I tend to be an open book) that for five or six years, my husband and I struggled with infertility. Those tests, medications and the waiting really got to me. I became bitter. I couldn't stand to see pregnant women. I wondered what I had done in my past that was so awful that God was punishing me. I dreamt of Motherhood before I dreamed about my wedding. I didn't understand why I couldn't get pregnant but women who were really girls and at that, addicted to drugs, could. Side note, if you are struggling with infertility or have lost a baby, I don't suggest working as a nurse in a NICU or OB unit. It doesn't help. Anyway, during that time, I dreamed of what Motherhood would be like and how my husband and I would parent. All I heard for all of that time we spent trying was, "Being a Mom is THE BEST thing that ever happened it to me", "I feel so complete now" and of course, this, "I love every second of it. Just wait! You will too".

Guess what? I didn't love every second of it. I still don't. But the guilt! I punished myself when I became frustrated when she wouldn't go to sleep because, I myself, was so tired. I consumed myself with guilt when I would daydream about running errands . . . ALONE! And I felt like a terrible human being, undeserving of having a baby when I just wanted a couple of hours to myself, no interruptions. 

I felt like I had failed. I felt like there was a reason we were unable to get pregnant and that reason was because I was not cut out to be a parent. Do you see where that sense of failure came from? No one ever whispered to me how hard it was. No one ever told me that time to yourself becomes a thing of the past. No one dared to say how you would wish for your old life. And NO ONE told me how you would cry in frustration because you just wanted the day to end. 

All the mothers I saw (or noticed) were put together, declaring that they "relish every moment because it goes by so fast". They had it all together and they would say how they "can't stand to be away from their child for a second!" Nope! Sorry! They couldn't recommend any sitters to me, because their children go everywhere with them

Ugh! Seriously?! What am I doing wrong?

The sleeplessness of the infant stage passed and then she didn't need to be nursed as much and things got a little easier. I relaxed a little. I wanted to freeze her in certain moments because I didn't want the moment to pass. But please know, I am emphasizing the word moments more than I am the word relishing. There were just as many moments that I couldn't wait to end.

About a year ago, we moved, there was a job change, a pregnancy and then another job change, Stay-At-Home-Mom. Pow! That's one for the resume.  

A lot more changes to adapt to. I found that working outside of the home gave me some time away from my child and therefore, enjoyed more moments with her. They were, for the most part, quality moments. That all changed when (due to a lot of discussion and what would be best when the twins arrived) to stay at home. My days, EVERY. ONE. OF. THEM. were consumed with home and child. There was no break. Just monotony. And when your husband is gone for days on end, the days just mesh into one another and there isn't even that break in the day, when your husband walks through the door and you are able to go to the restroom by yourself. 

So, naturally (for me anyway) the guilt came. "Why am I not enjoying every second of this?" "Most women would kill to stay at home with their children." "What is wrong with me?" "Why do I need a break from my own child?

And there was more guilt, from other areas that compounded it. I quit a job I had just recently started. Why was I letting my nursing education go to waste? Even though, my husband and I had decided that it would not be beneficial, financially or otherwise, for me to keep working and put three children under the age of three in daycare just so I could work. My other source of guilt was as my pregnancy with the twins progressed, I counted down the days until I wouldn't be pregnant anymore. With my first pregnancy, I loved every second of it. Seriously, I really did. I annoyed other pregnant women around me because I loved it so much. It wasn't that I had a perfect pregnancy. I didn't. There were aches and pains and sickness but I still loved it. My pregnancy with the twins was a difficult one. At the beginning, I had the normal pregnancy symptoms but by the time I was 8 weeks along, everything just started getting worse. I was in a lot of pain. I'm not really a complainer so the only one who was really aware of this was my husband. It was becoming difficult for me stand and do dishes and fold the laundry, let alone, work a 12 hour shift where I was always on my feet. That was just one of the factors that went into me quitting my new job. All of this made me feel awful that I was not enjoying the pregnancy like I had with my first. Again, what was wrong with me? I knew just how fortunate we were to have gotten pregnant completely on our own, so why was I not enjoying it? 

Here I am, ten months later and everything as I once knew it has changed. My world, my life, my sense of time, everything. Everything, that is, except the guilt. I am a Stay-at-Home-Mom and I have days where all I want to do is scream. I have days where all I want to do is to run and hide. I have days where I count down the hours until bed time. 

I must add that I am grieving and I know many of these emotions are due to the grief.

This makes me feel awful. This brings on a whole new category of guilt that I never knew existed. How can I count down moments to when I get to put her in bed and have a few moments to myself, without her, when there are two little girls I will never have moments with again? How? How could I be so blind and rude and selfish to want to have moments without my living daughter? It hurts me when I need or want time without her but it is an honest feeling.

I hear things like this a lot: "Well, at least you have one, some people don't even have that." "You think you would be ever so grateful just to have her." "Aren't you thankful for what you do have?" 

I know these people mean well but I really want to slap them! I have yet to hear something like this from one who has buried a child. I am very grateful for what I do have. But as everyone knows, there are always two sides to every coin. Just as I am thankful and grateful for my husband and living daughter, I grieve and am sadden by the loss of Emmerson and Vivienne. 

And could someone please explain to me why people who have never suffered the loss of one of their children, treat other's children like an insurance policy? Since when, when you lose one, does your living child replace the one that was lost? Isn't everyone unique with their own souls? I sometimes want to look at those who say things like that to me and ask them, "Well then, let's put your theory into practice, shall we? Give me one of your children. After all, you still have another one."

Yes, I know, sometimes I think cruel thoughts but I also desire to make a point to these well intentioned but ignorant people.

I'm going to hop back on the topic of guilt. I have felt a lot of guilt since I lost Emmerson and Vivienne. Enough guilt to last me the rest of my life. I have guilt over losing them and I have guilt concerning my living daughter. When people say those well meaning things to me, they don't help. They make me feel worse. Like I said, I am fully aware of what I have. I don't need someone to point that out. I'm mourning. Not stupid. And I truly believe, you don't know how much you stand to lose until you stand in the middle of what was lost. 

When people say well intentioned but hurtful things like that to me, I have to resist the urge to punch them (even though it would make me feel great) and put it into perspective. They have never stood before a freshly dug grave and said goodbye to one of their children. They are ignorant in the ways of grieving. They have no idea what its like and for their sake, I hope they never do. 

I thought for the longest time after my loss, that I should make my whole world about my living daughter. I couldn't. I still can't. Mainly because all of me doesn't reside in her alone. I love many and so there are many pieces of me with those loved ones. I felt guilty when I didn't cherish every second with her.

I don't anymore. I allowed myself awhile ago to release all of that. I have allowed myself to feel the magnitude of gratefulness when it comes, to allow His mercy to wash over me when it doesn't and by His grace, I am learning how to be grateful in everything. 

That last one is tough. How can you be grateful when your child is screaming in a store and you just want to beat them? (By the way, I don't beat my child.) My coping mechanism in public, when my daughter is throwing a fit, is to cast a glance in her direction, like everyone else, give a disapproving look, make that "tsk, tsk" sound and ask, "Where is that child's mother?"

In all honesty though, why are women, especially other mothers, so mean to each other? By mean, I mean, not being honest with one another? Why do we lie and act like our children never act up? Why do we act like we have it all together when we see another mother struggling? Why is it when a child is acting up in public that it is always another mom who shakes her head with disgust?

Maybe she's the one mom who got lucky and her children actually are angels.

I really don't think Motherhood would have so much guilt and shame attached to it if we were just honest with one another and extended grace to the other.

After reading Glennon's post, I'm going to feel the full weight of those, I-could-keep-you-like-this-forever-moments and take in a deep breath in the midst of ear piercing screaming, let it out slowly, before I tell my daughter for the fifth time that morning, that M&M's are not cereal, and rest in the knowledge that this too, shall pass. 


Monday, January 16, 2012

My Sweet Girls

I wish . . .

I could hold you both, once more.

I could kiss your foreheads, your hands, those sweet, chubby baby cheeks.

Be a witness to your wonderings.

To watch you grow.

I look for you and I see you . . .

In the rays of the light of the sun.

In the evening sky that has been painted in those vibrant colors by your delicate hands.

In the light of the moon.

When life pushes through the dirt and beauty blooms.

I feel you . . .

In the whispers of the wind.

In memory where your hearts remain beating.

In my heart, for that is where you live. Always in me. Always in my heart.

I hope . . .

In the promise of the Cross.

In an unchanging God.

In heaven, now your home. Hope to meet you there, where we will live together forever.

My sweet Emmy and Vivi, I miss you so much! But I love you more. Please know my heart aches for what I have lost and missed but not for a second, what you gained.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nameless Emotions

It is late and I am very tired. To say the least, it has been a looooong day.

Why is that hospitals have the ability to make time stand still while simultaneously making it seem as if a year as already passed?

It was an emotionally rough day as well. I had not stepped foot into a hospital since I had lost Emmerson and Vivienne. So that, in and of itself was something major for me today.

I feel like I held everything together pretty well. However, on the ride home, I broke down. So many emotions of loss, gain and gratefulness just overwhelmed me.

I am thankful my dad made it through the surgery. Extremely grateful! And with that, I guess I realize how easily things could have turned out differently.

Because they did.

A little over six months ago, when I stepped into that hospital, I believed that the surgery would fix things and I would get to take my girls home.

Things turned out differently than what I had expected six months ago.

So, today, when I entered the hospital, I didn't enter with any expectation. Just hope.

My tears are falling as I type these words. So many emotions that really don't even have a name. So many emotions I don't know what to do with.

I am a daughter who is glad her father made it through a major surgery. Tears of joy.

I am a mother who grieves the loss of two of her daughters. Tears of deep, indescribable grief.

I am a person who feels like I have been dragged through a wringer. Tears of bone tired exhaustion.

I will be able to joke around with my dad and be able to hug him again. So why can't I get to hold my precious babies once more?

So many tears of emotions with no name.

My dad made it through the surgery. Before I left the hospital at 9:00 pm, his breathing tube had been removed and he was breathing on his own. He was talking, rather hoarsely, but he was able to talk and I was able to hear his voice again.

I was able to hold his hand and he was able to squeeze back. I don't take these small miracles for granted. 

He made me laugh without intending to. If anybody knows my dad, he almost always intends to make someone laugh or at least, smile.

He kept begging for something to drink and pleading with his eyes. He was persistent with his request. It made me laugh because he reminded me so much of my living daughter when she so desperately wants something.

I didn't leave until I saw that my dad had received his ice chips. Those small miracles I don't take for granted.

He told me his side hurt. I told him that was good. I told him that it should because that was where he was cut open.

The pain is good because you can't feel pain unless you are breathing in air. Unless you are alive.

I left with a smile because my dad made me laugh. I drove home with tear flooded eyes because I am grateful, because I have lost, because I grieve, because I am blessed. Always blessed.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Dad

He's the first man I fell in love with. He's the one who would play hide-n-seek with my sister's and I. He's the one who would join in races with us. He's the one who would deliberately hurt himself whenever I got hurt, so I would not have to be in pain alone.

He's the one who taught me to not make fun of others for I did not know the road they have traveled.

He's the one who taught me that there is no shame in a man that provides for his family, regardless of his job description.

He's the one, the only I would let console me, the first time a guy broke my heart.

He's the one who gave me away the day I married the one chosen.


He's the one who, when it was just he and I, cried when my mom was battling breast cancer. He didn't want to lose her. He wasn't ready to live this life without her.

He's the one who, when everyone else was casting their first glances at my first born, came right up to me and gave me a kiss on my forehead and told me he loved me.


He's the one who, when I gave life twice and then said goodbye, took Emmerson and Vivienne, held their heads with one hand, and their bodies with the other, took them over to the light to examine them and talk to them, just like he had his previous seven grandchildren. It touched me that he did that. He treated them just the same. With that action, he was saying that they were his. That he loved them just the same. And then I saw his shoulders shake as he sobbed.

He's the one whose shoulders so many of my tears have fallen.

He's the one who caught me when I fainted at Emmerson and Vivienne's funeral.

He's my dad.


He's the one who truly gets my sense of humor because it is his.

He's the one who is funny and makes my sisters and me laugh.

He's the Harley Rider and the coffee drinker.

He's honest when he is not joking around and he apologizes and admits when he is wrong.

He's a big heart of compassion.

He's the one who suffered a descending aortic aneurysm a year and a half ago. The first time he experienced the excruciating pain, the doctors dismissed it as a gallbladder attack and shortly thereafter, he had it removed. The second time the pain hit, a month later, my mom rushed him to a nearby hospital and later was life-lined to another. When my mom asked if everything would be alright, a nurse told her that they didn't think he would survive the five minute flight.

He's the one who did survive that flight. He's still here with us.

Tomorrow he will be cut open front to back and have a five to seven inch area of his aorta repaired. Actually, replaced. He will be in surgery for at least six hours.

I am the one who is scared. I know at any given moment these past 18 months, he could have died doing a simple everyday task. But it is now, that I am ever so fearful.

I don't want to lose my dad just yet. I know there will come a time when I will have to walk this earth without him but I am not ready for it to be now.

I know I need to trust His ways. But I am pleading with my King to protect my dad. To leave him here with us for a little while longer.

He's the first man I fell in love with. He's the one who has always been there. He's my dad.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Pretty Tough

People tell me that I am strong. Some people even tell me they are amazed by my strength.

I don't know about that. And if you lived with me every minute of the day and witnessed the ways in which I struggle, you too would doubt my strength.

I do not, for a second, believe that I have endured what I have because God saw me, and thought, "she's pretty tough, so I will allow this to happen."

I believe that He allowed it to happen for reasons and ways that I do not understand. But I do not believe he allows certain things to happen because He thinks one is stronger than another.

I believe things happen because we live in a fallen world. I believe things happen for a reason.

Here's the thing: I believe everybody is strong.

Thank you, Pinterest!
Source: via Brenda on Pinterest

Circumstances do not arise based on our ability of our own strength. Our strength arises when circumstances leave little room for anything else.

I believe, when it comes down to it, you don't know how strong you are or how strong you can be, until a circumstance draws that strength out of you.

I believe most people are amazingly strong.

I think a lot of people do not realize the strength they have that lies within.

There have been many days, many moments, sometimes before my feet ever hit the floor in the morning, and I utter, "I can't! I just can't!"

"You chose the wrong girl, Lord. I can't do this! I don't want to! I am not able to bear the responsibility of this!"

It doesn't matter. No matter what I say. No matter what I think, it doesn't change what happened.

And most times, that is such a strong, bitter reality to realize.

And so most days, in the early morning light, in the darkness of the night, the only thing I can utter to my God, the only prayer I can whisper, is this, "Lord, I need You to sustain me. I need You to meet me right here where I am, for I cannot take a single step towards You."

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand."
Isaiah 41:10

". . . I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."
Isaiah 46:4


Friday, January 6, 2012


I love these five-minute Fridays with Lisa-Jo! There is something so neat about uninhibited writing.

Today's topic: ROAR

When I saw what the topic for today was my first thought was The David Crowder Band's song, Like A Lion.

~My God's not dead, He's surely alive. He's living on the inside, roaring like a lion~

Love that song! As a matter of fact, I love the David Crowder Band.

Isn't true though? How He really does live within us and roars. Sadly, we quench the silence with our doubts, our fears and our own plans.

It's a new year, this I know. Even though I didn't feel much like celebrating it (I actually didn't acknowledge the New Year with the typical fanfare) I am aware that it's a new year.

I've seen and I've heard all the typical stuff one usually sees when the first of January is upon us. I'm not quite sure what it is that bothers me this year. How we tend to think when the clock strikes mid-night, ending the 31st of December and beginning the 1st of January, why we think much will change or be different.

Just because its a new year, doesn't mean we leave everything behind us. It doesn't mean that nothing but good lies before us.

God roars! He roars gently. He roars ferociously. He roars in new ways. He roars in old ways.

I've heard the silent whispers from Him this past year and I've heard the ear piercing roars as well.

I've had a hard time with the sentiment that what happened in 2011 also remains there.

I've experienced a lot in 2011. A lot of joy and a lot of pain. And because of both, my eyes and my heart have become opened to things that have always been but became new to me.

God roared and I listened.

I have had a hard time with the sentiment that we need to leave this past year behind. 2011 is the precious, never-going-to-forget-year, I met Emmerson and Vivienne and also the heart wrenching year I said goodbye.

I don't want to leave all of that behind. I want to take it with me. Every drop of it. Because of what I have experienced, it has changed me. I can't leave that behind.

He roared like a lion and I chose to listen.

He roars like a lion because He's still alive.

~Let hope arise and make the darkness hide~


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I Want To See

She spoke so sweet. From the silence that rarely occurs, she sweetly spoke.

On a crisp, clear winters day, her voice broke the silence.

"I see Daddy in the kie (sky)! Do you see his aipane (airplane), Mommy?"

"Yes, sweetie."

"Hi, Daddy!"

Some more silence then . . . "Is Jesus high in the kie like Daddy?"

"Yes, but higher and also everywhere. He is in the sky with Daddy and He is here with us."

More silence. A couple of minutes more and then this . . .

"Daddy's in the sky so he can get Vivienne and Emmewson. Okay, Mommy?"

The sweet sound of those words brought tears to my eyes.

Even she is trying to make this make sense.

A few days later, we were all in the car together. Again, there was silence from the backseat. And again, very strange.

The sun had already started its descent, closing yet another day. The evening sky was beautifully splashed in oranges, yellows and pinks.

I was staring at the sky, lost in thought, thinking about Emmerson and Vivienne. Wondering what they were doing at that exact moment. Wondering if they could see me. Wondering if they had a part in making the sky so pretty.

From the back seat, "Look! The kie!"

"It's beautiful, isn't baby?"

"I see him!"

"You see Daddy? But he's right here."

She says this a lot whenever she sees an airplane in the sky. So you could understand my confusion.

"No. I see him!"

"Oh! You see Jesus?"

"NO! I see them! They wight there!" She proclaims with some frustration mixed with excitement as she is pointing into the sky.

And then she sweetly says this, "Hi!"

She then proceeds to talk about anything and everything, just like a two year old does.

I am left speechless yet again.

Why can't I see them?

How? How is it so easy for my two year old to acknowledge them and talk about them and see them but it doesn't leave her hurting more? Asking more questions? She is satisfied with the little knowledge she has and the glimmers she receives.

How and why is it so easy for her to accept? To accept that they are gone? To see and acknowledge the morsels of peace and know them for what they are?

Why does it seem that this is easy to accept for everyone?

Everyone but me?


Monday, January 2, 2012

Where We Live

One tends to think about the days to come on the first days of a new year.

We think of all the things we can do different, all the things that will be better.

We think of the goals we will achieve in the coming days and months.

We set goals. We close our eyes and we dream.

We think and dream of the days to come. We never stop to think that the dreams we dream can form another shape. We never give our selves the grace to think that the goals we set, could actually make way for other more meaningful moments to sneak in when one is busy planning and trying to achieve.

We sit. We think. We dream.

We try to plan our days and with the planning, comes questions.

So many questions!

I am the worst of offenders when it comes to the asking and the planning.

We ask the questions and then desperately plead for the answers.

So many questions!

And more often, the answers never find us.

Questions. Some big and some small but still so many.

I read once that if we had all the answers, life would be boring.

And isn't it really in the folds of the not knowing where we truly live?

Where life takes command without us realizing?

If the memories made are made in the curves of a question mark, then I will ask away.

I just hope that I don't get so caught up in the planning for fear of the unknown, that I miss the memory of the moment lived.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

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Out With The Old...

The New Year . . .

There have been many.

And when the end is reached, we tend to stop and look back.

We look back prior to taking that last step to stand on the cusp of new.

We look back and take stock . . . we review. We list things as good and things as bad and then we tally up. We see the final total. We see and we determine if the year was a good one or a bad one.

We look ahead. We wipe the slate clean. Somehow believing that a single stroke can undo the mess . . . the hurt.

We set new goals.

We envision different dreams.

We set new and wipe clean because we can't possibly let the unmet plans and swallowed dreams to follow us into the new.

Why do we feel there is a beginning and an end?

Can't we just take everything, all of it, from days gone by and we see if for what it is?


Can't we just cradle it all, the beauty, the tears, the joy, the ache and carry it with us? Let it be apart of us, like it was always meant to be? Not to define us, but to embrace it, to accept it.

Let all those little pieces, that we so readily want to dismiss, and let them become parts of a whole?

Because in all of those pieces, in all of those moments, they build and they create.

Because in all of those moments that were, was God.

And in all of the moments that will be, will be God.



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