Friday, July 27, 2007

"You give and take away."

Pslam 34:1 - "I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips."

(The beautiful roses my husband brought home for me on Wednesday evening.)

It has taken me a few days to decide if and how to post about this. But here I am, oodles of thoughts and feelings racing around in my heart and mind, and now I will try to give them voice. It is my prayer that perhaps some part of what I am about to share will draw you closer to my precious Lord, that He will be glorified.

On Saturday July 21st, I took a pregancy test and it was positive! Those of you who have ever seen two lines in that little window know what joy emmediately filled my heart. I looked in the bathroom mirror at my smiling face with my hand gently covering my stomach. Right away, visions of this little person growing inside of me began to form. "Who would they look like? Was it a boy or a girl? How would we adjust to having three children three years and under?" This baby wasn't "planned", I had just weaned Chloe not even a month prior and really wasn't expecting my body to return to fertility so quickly. After 8 months post-weaning Emma with no return to cycling and then taking clomid to induce ovulation, which God used to give us Chloe, I must admit Travis and I were a bit synical, and therefore not as "cautious" as we could have been. But as shocked and nervous as we were upon receiving this blessed news, we quickly grew into the idea that we would be becoming a family of five in nine months!
My mind started churning with plans for moving Chloe into Emma's room and giving them a girly haven while decorating the nursery for this new little one. Emmediately I was dreaming of those first movements I would feel inside my womb, the dance my hand would do with tiny feet as they moved accross my belly.
Then...Tuesday night arrived. A routine trip to the bathroom brought everything crashing down. Yes, that's when the miscarriage started. I don't think I'll ever look at the color red the same again. It started out slowly, "maybe this is implantation spotting" I thought, "surely it will stop soon." I called my sister, my mom, Jenn each time hoping they would tell me it's going to be okay, this is normal, when deep inside I knew it wasn't. Sleep came slowly that night, after tears in Travis's arms and praying for peace, comfort, and assurance of God's soveriegnty in this heartbreak. My eyes opened Wednesday morning, was this real, was I really losing this baby? "Catch me father, carry me. I will praise you because you are good!" I prayed. The blood test I had taken on Tuesday to confirm that I was pregnant came back and yes, I was in fact pregnant and therefore miscarrying. His peace poured over me, I can't explain it. It was well with my soul.
"Thank you Father, for this beautiful life you created in my womb, for gracing us with this tiny soul. Thank you for creating each life with purpose, be glorified in and through this baby. Lord, as the song says, "you give and take heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be your name!"

Monday, July 23, 2007

Emma's birthday in pictures

We celebrated twice for Emma's birthday, once on her real day at home and again the following Saturday at Water World. Emma never wanted to leave Water World, she even asked if we could sleep there on the car ride home! What a happy birthday you had sweet baby!
For more pictures of our day at Water World, hop over to Jenn's blog.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Happy 3rd Birthday Peanut!

Three years ago today, at 12:02am, so just barely today, you entered this world and changed ours lives forever! Looking into your face for the first time was one of the happiest moments of my life. I envisioned the life ahead of you, knowing that God created you for His pleasure and with great purpose. And it was our privilege to love you as "our own", though you are the Lord's and our immense responsibility to "train you in the way your should go."
During that first year, you taught us so much about sacrificial love and the importance of having the courage to give you the leadership you needed, sleep training was our first test, even though it wasn't easy for us. It was a preview of what all of parenting would be like. Loving you enough to put you through something uncomfortable for the greater good, even when you don't understand in the moment. That first year, we were graced with so many of your firsts, first smiles, first laughs, first words, first steps, what a time of joy!
When you turned one, we could hardly believe a whole year had passed. Daddy often said, "what was life before Emma? It feels like she has always been a part of us!" And oh how true that is! We can't imagine our lives without you and pray we never have to experience that! Your second year gave us the first taste of our role as disciplinarians, the real stuff of parenthood. Thank you! We have learned and continue to learn so much by having you in our lives!
I love you so much my sweet peanut! I feel that our souls are intertwined in such a beautiful way. I know that we were always meant to be mother/daughter and I feel so blessed! Your humor, your nurturing, your strong will, all of who you are, I love you!
Always, Mama
You are daddy's little girl, his firstborn. You captured his heart the moment he laid eyes on you. Your kisses and hugs at the end of each day bring everything he does for our family into immediate perspective. No man will ever love you like your daddy. "Happy birthday my baby girl!"
Love you always, Daddy
Three years old! You're growing up way too fast. We will drink in every moment with you Emma Grace, you are a gift from God!

Friday, July 13, 2007


Elise over at A Path Made Straight nominated me for this award, and I must say, WOW! Thanks Elise! You are one of the first people I think of to nominate myself, so I'm speechless.
Jocelyn over at ~*~Lothlorien, Realm of the Lady of Light~*~
created and gave these stipulations for this award:
"The reason for the title is because this award should make you reflect on five bloggers who have been an encouragement, a source of love, impacted you in some way, and have been a Godly example to you. Five Bloggers who when you reflect on them you get a sense of pride and joy... of knowing them and being blessed by them.

This award is for the best-of-the-best so consider who you pick, carefully. This award should not be given to just anyone. If you're going to do the award don't just write a few words and slap it on your blog. Write real thoughts about these bloggers and what they've been to you, and if the bloggers you pick have already been given the award, don't be afraid to give to them again. They deserve it as many times as it's given."
So, with that said, here go my nominations:

1. Elise, right back at you my friend! Besides the fact that you are an amazing writer and have a way of painting pictures with your words, it is the message in your writing that so inspires me. Your heart for the Lord and your family is a breath of fresh air every time I read your posts. Genuine, passionate, insightful, discerning. These are all words I can use to describe you. I look to you as an older sister of sorts, even though you may not be older than me at all. All I can say is, "Thank you!"

2. Andrea, reading your blog is like stepping into a river of wisdom, letting it wash over me, catching as many pearls as I can hold in my hand. You always give me a new, deeper way to look at things and make me laugh in the process, thank you!

3. Anne Marie, my sweet friend! Your gentle spirit is such a model of Christ-likeness to me. You have a true servant's heart, I don't think I've ever heard you complain, yet you are constantly laying your life down for others. I furthermore admire your heart for reaching the lost. Another sister in spirit!

4. Jenn, my accountability partner for life! No one can pray for me over an email like you can! The spirit of the Lord touches my heart through you all the time, with your encouragement and perspective. I love how real you are, no pretenses, just exactly who you are and how you're feeling. And you are the very definition of laying down your life for your friends. I know there's nothing you wouldn't do for me.

5. Amber(Seed), my "real" sister. There just aren't words for my admiration of you! You are so courageous, a model of peace amidst the storms of life. No one can make me laugh like you can, and there are few who know me better. Thanks for always giving me honesty, love, and your unique, in touch with reality perspective. God uses you to speak wisdom and encouragement into my life every time we talk.

6. Katherine, although FAR too young to be my mother, you have become my "e-mother" of sorts! Everything you write imparts wisdom and inspires me in that I can be more and more refined every day if I will be vulnerable enough to see my need. And your sense of humor is unmatched!

So there they are, please be encouraged and inspired by these beautiful women!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
So here we are at the "end" of the challenge, and I'm needing to wrap up the past TWO weeks. I'm really sorry I've been so late in getting these up. If you read my previous post, you'll get an idea as to why I've been a bit absent. Now Emma is getting over the nasty bug Chloe had. Hopefully in a day or so, we'll be officially DONE with this illness for awhile! We also had company over the fourth weekend, which I'll post about soon.
So now into how I've been doing at honoring Travis in the past two weeks. I know you read this from time to time honey, so you'll have to let me know if what I'm writing is accurate.

Don't use sarcasm!
Well, I can think of a time when I used it last night, so obviously I still need work in this area. But I was pleased to see how quickly I recognized I was doing it, it was actually while I was saying something sarcastic! So thank you Lord for keeping me aware of this so that hopefully I can begin stopping myself before I even say a word of sarcasm. I've also been thinking about when I am most prone to use this dreadful form of communication and it is usually when I am feeling the most hurt, misunderstood, or vulnerable with Travis. In my mind, I am justifying it as the best way to get my point across when other attempts don't seem to be sinking in, and it's usually in a burst of passion and anger. But I think what I need to do in those situations is step away and really think about how I can explain myself and my feelings about something and then come to Travis in a calm, controlled way and, with honor, share my heart. And then, if he still doesn't get it, I need to resolve to pray for him, that he will get it somehow and/or that I will be able to let it go and let God meet my needs if Travis can't at that moment. Even though this is the end of the challenge technically, I really want to keep working on these goals, so I'm going to try to continue to report on them, don't hesitate to ask me how I'm doing.

2. Suggest a free time activity for Travis and create the guilt-free time for him to do it.
Hmm... I'm discovering that I have a long way to go in this department! Lately I feel that creating free time for Travis, without requesting his help and presence at home, is extremely difficult. I think what makes it so difficult is that I have a hard time not expecting the same in return from him. If this truly is a selfless act of putting his needs before my own, blessing him, loving him sacrificially, then I wouldn't be feeling resentful when I don't get the same guilt-free free time or other acts that speak love to me in return. But equality, though pop culture would beg to differ, is not the goal. We are to be an example of Christ's love for us to others, and first and foremost to our husbands. Did Jesus tell his disciples, "I'll die on the cross for your sins, but only if you treat me like royalty first!"? No, we are to "lay down our lives" for our brothers and sisters in Christ in obedience to the Lord and as living examples of the kind of love He as for us. Amazing, illogical, undeserved love! So where does that leave us when we give and don't always receive? It leaves us as poured out jars of clay, ready to be filled with the rich wine of our Master's love and provision. If we are full by other means, we leave no room for his filling. So again, I continue to need pruning!

3. Say good things about Travis, in front of him and when he's not around
It's amazing to me how much easier it seems to produce more good fruit in my life than it is to purge the sour grapes! As long as I am being conscious in my efforts, I see improvement. I have, ever since we moved into our new home, been impressed at how diligent Travis is at taking care of our landscaping and other items around the house that need attention. He keeps a beautiful green, trimmed lawn, vibrant shrubs and bushes, and has become so knowlegable and self-driven about our sprinkler system. I've been bragging on him, both in front of others and when he's not around. I can tell he derives pleasure from taking care of our house, and it makes me feel so loved and cared for. I've also affirmed him about how selfless he is in the night time hours when it comes to tending to sick babies. Since the girls have been sick the past two weeks, I've really seen his colors shining through. He's usually the first to spring out of bed at the first whimper, wetting rags for hot foreheads, preparing syringes of medicine, laying next to Emma in bed until she falls asleep, stroking her hair. I tell you, he reminds me every day of what a treasure he is as my life mate, and it's been my pleasure to verbalize my gratitude to him more often. I'm going to continue to make this a priority.
I guess that wraps up the challenge, but I consider this only the beginning. Christine, I think this should be an every-six-months marriage tune up or something! Thanks for letting me be vulnerable about this. It is my prayer that everything I learn might encourage or inspire someone else!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mothering The Stomach Flu

I'm sure from this title you can tell what kind of weekend we've had. Friday evening, my precious baby Chloe came down with a fever. "Okay," I thought, "here we go with another cold or virus of some sort, no big deal." So in went the Tylenol and out went my worries. By 10:00pm, I knew we were in for a rough night. Up to 104 degrees and throwing up all over the hallway wall, my level of calm quickly faded. For the first time since by choice in grade school, I was up ALL night. No, not one hour of sleep, not thirty minutes of sleep, zero, zip, zulch! and my poor baby and Travis as well. Thankfully Emma was having an overnighter at Grammy and Papa's house that night. The misery was written all over Chloe's face, "save me Mama!" it said, and oh if I could have I would have. What I wouldn't give to be able to take the pain and suffering away from my babies when they are ill. We emerge from the night, only to find Grammy with Emma at the front door at 5:00am. Emma had just thrown up and was looking a bit green. So our Saturday begins. After a morning trip the ER (do worrisome illnesses ever come about during the week?!), and an unsuccessful catherization on Chloe (the poor nurse couldn't get the thing in...several grueling times at Chloes expense) at which point we opted out of a retry by a different nurse and headed for home. $100.00 later, no diagnosis, and still a very sick little baby. Emma's face was in the bucket most of the day, movies rolling, saltines and Canada Dry close at hand. She never got a fever, thank goodness though, so we were pretty certain it was a stomach bug. Chloe's fever never did come down much, 101 at the lowest yesterday with intermittent bouts of "reject!" She wanted nothing to do with her bed all day, only mommy would do. Yesterday brought about thoughts of what hell must certainly be like. No shower, 98 degree heat, no air conditioning and a wonderful combination of sleep deprivation peppered with regular contact with vomit and diarreha. Did I mention that Emma's afternoon nap ended with the later all over her sheets? Add to this the helpless feeling you have when your babies are suffering and you can't take it away and I think you've got the perfect recipe for what eternal suffering must be like, only I'm sure a billion times worse, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic. Okay, okay, enough grossing you out, but have I painted my picture? Now to end a day as truely priceless as this, we could have nothing less than a trip to Urgent Care. After a day of battling Chloe's high fever, which got to 105 at the highest, we decided we needed to make sure it wasn't an infection of some sort that needed treatment. She was flat out moaning at this point, she acted as if she was trying to escape her body, but no which way she moved could she. This was one of those moments as a mother that truly breaks your heart. That look of desperation, knowing that they have full faith that you could take this away, but for some unknown reason you are not. I just wanted to cry! Then came the antibiotic injection, a fourth of which sprayed all over the place as the needle broke away from the syringe. And the grand finale of the night was a urine collection bag stuck to her to sit on for the ride home. Thankfully, either the injection or the contiuned Infant Motrin and Tylenol brought her fever down to a comfortable range for the night. We actually got to sleep a little last night, praise the Lord! Emma seems to be completely on the mend, but the verdict is still out for Chloe. After her fever jumped back up this morning to 103.4, we got a call from the Urgent Care office saying that her urine came back normal, no bladder infection, but that the doctor wanted to do a complete blood count, I'm guessing to check for a possible more serious infection. So at lunch time today, we went in to have Chloe's blood drawn, oh what fun! (See, I can be so sarcastic, I really need to work on that!). Baby's have their blood drawn the same as you and I do, with a tight rubberband around their upper arm and a needle in the crook of their elbow. I had to hold Chloe so tight while two nurses, thankfully quickly, got the job done. Chloe was spent! After all this trauma and screaming and crying, she now has a horse voice. She fell right to sleep in the car on the way home and is still taking a nap as we speak. Thanks for letting me unpack our weekend on you. You may not have wanted all the gory details, but it sure felt good to get them on "paper". Please pray that Chloe's test results will come back soon so we can get to the bottom of this. She hasn't had a fever at all since this morning, so I'm guessing she's on the mend. Ah yes, the trenches of motherhood, that's where I spent my weekend, how bout you? The week is looking bright, surely we can only go up from here, right?