snowflakes and time

Can I just say that the snowflakes on the page are kinda cool on the woods picture?  haha!

So, its been 10 years since we said goodbye to our little guy.  Crazy how the memories are still as fresh as yesterday.  My amazing hubby gave me a card today that said life changes, love stays…so fitting.  So sweet that he still takes extra care of me on this day…probably because he is the only one who truly knows how this day feels.  Many relate, sympathize and empathize and have always been great support, but he was there for all of it.  It is also crazy how you can miss someone so much for so long that was here so briefly.  Just goes to show how special each life is, no matter how short.

On a happier note…I am so blessed to have known my little guy, to hold him, to have his wonderful siblings here safe and healthy, to have my family (immediate and extended), friends, and great anticipation for Christmas to celebrate our Savior’s birth.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas a little early in case time flies too quickly before I get back on here.

Doggish Cat

My daughter has a Barbie movie in which there is a cat that is referred to as a “doggish cat.”   Most likely because it is a tomcat and barks.  We all know that cats in Barbie movies are usually girls.  😉

My husband and I adopted 2 tiny kittens a few months after we were married.   Non-pet owners will not understand, but before we had children, they were like our babies.  Unfortunately for them, after we had children, they lost a bit of rank in the house.  😉

One was abused in her first month of life.  The shelter found her on the side of the road with her whiskers pulled out.  Stormy was the size of a snowball when we saw her.  She loved us right away, but would go into hiding when others would come into the house.  She is definitely a cat cat…she has cuddled with me since she could fit in my shoe, but she is a bit overly skiddish and has a mind of her own.  She is beginning to warm up to others now…slowly but surely.

Riley was our doggish cat.  We chose her from the shelter at the same time as Stormy, and though they look identical, Riley was born at the shelter.  She and Stormy were great “friends.”  Riley would come when called, would thump her foot when we scratched her ear, would follow us around, and sleep in my daughter’s bed each night (sometimes as the pillow).  We even were able to play fetch with her when she was young.

We had to say goodbye to Riley this weekend.  Pets are loyal and love you unconditionally, they let you cuddle them when you need comfort and “forgive” you when you ignore them.  It is hard to lose a pet, hard to lose anything that has been a positive part of your life for 13 years, but it is even harder when you have small children.  They knew she was sick, they knew she was not likely going to get better, but in the end she went much faster than we thought.  That is a blessing, especially for her sake.  It was hard to watch her in the end.  Kids are troopers, though, and though they miss her, they have an ability to put things in better perspective than adults sometimes.  Again, I know pet owners, or even simply dog owners, may not understand, but our hearts are heavy this week as we miss our doggish cat.

4.13.13

My heart is heavy tonight.  I see so many lives falling apart.  Christians as well as non-christians are suffering across the world from hunger, fear, abuse, neglect and hopelessness.  Christians, as well as non-christians in my immediate life are suffering as well…they live with children who are destined to a life of health strugglea, they live with the pain of a spouse who has given up on them, they live with the heartbreak of a child who has died, they live with no answers of what is to come.  I am sad for those especially who do not know my Lord and Savior, for without Him I do not see how they can get through even one second of the pain.  I am sad for those who do, too, because they still hurt and grieve, but they have the peace that comes from God and they are able to give their burdens to Him…for that I am thankful.  I am thankful that God knows the end as well as the beginning, the future as well as the past…and that He knows best.  He will forever reign victoriously!  He will rejoice with my friends as they come to rejoice in life’s joys to come and He will rejoice with them even more when they join Him for eternity at the end of their time here on earth.  Praise to God who carries us through and loves us despite our failures!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

weekly update

Oh my goals…they were so close and now seem so far away.  But I am not giving up, I am just discouraged.

Something is causing my body to hold onto extra weight….weight that is not consumed.  I am suspicious that it is a gluten thing, but I am not 100% convinced.  I know that when I am tired and hungry and the scale reads higher than in a long time my mind does not go to happy places.  “Oh goody, I watched what I ate and worked my tail off and look what I have to show for it!  More weight!  Yay.”  Boo.  😦

So I am not posting my weekly stats until I get this thing under control.  As I say a lot, and I hope all who read this know:  My weight is not the most important thing in my life.  If I cannot eat certain foods so be it.  Compared to the bagillions of other things going on throughout the world, I count my blessings.  I am incredibly spoiled…I have a home and a loving family and friends and a pillow and food.  Most importantly I have a loving Savior.  Everything else falls short.  Including the elimination of yummy-ness, as annoying as it may be.   I do want to be healthy though…for me, for my family and to serve God.  I know He doesn’t want me focused on food….He wants me focused on Him.

I am about to embark on crazy necessity.  I am going to begin a 3 week elimination diet.  Basically I can eat chicken, tuna, fruits and veggies…there are some other rules, but that is basically it.  Some eliminate chicken too, but I know I am ok with chicken, so we are keeping that in.  I am sure by the end of the 3 weeks I will be getting pretty creative with these limited ingredients.  I sure hope that it helps me solve my issue.  In the meantime if my dr tells me it is not necessary, I will quickly stop.  I haven’t gotten in with her yet, though, and I know this was where we were headed last time I had these issues, so I figure I will get a jump start on it.

will keep you posted.  And I will continue the weekly updates…even if they are a bit different for awhile.

🙂

12.28.12

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21

 

This year has been a difficult Christmas for so many…with big or little disappointments or even tragedies.  It wasn’t very long ago when my husband and I were going through a dark Christmas with the loss of our Joshua.  Something to keep focused on and to hold dear is that Christmas is Jesus coming to earth from pure perfection for the sole purpose of saving us.  Trust Him.  Believe in Him.  Accept His gift of forgiveness.  Repent and give yourself to Him.  He is all that any of us will ever need.  

12.23.12

My little guy would be 8 years old today.  Sometimes it doesn’t seem real and sometimes all too real.  I miss him.  I know a lot of people out there may think I should be over it.  I’m not.  I gave birth to my sweet son and buried him days later.  Shame on me if I ever got over that.  I love him and always will.  I praise God for taking the best possible care of him.  What an honor Joshua has to live for eternity with his King!

The balloons are all ready to take tomorrow along with his trees and toys.  His place at his “park” (we call the cemetery his park) will be decorated beyond compare!

Below is the passage we put on his website nearly 8 years ago.

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JOSHUA 1:5 ~ No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

We were so blessed to have Joshua in our hearts, arms and lives, even if for too short of a time.  We have memorized his precious face and look at his pictures constantly to give us comfort.  He is greatly missed, forever cherished and always remembered.  We know he is experiencing such joy in Heaven and we know that we will see him again!  What peace that brings!  Though we miss him dearly, Joshua is and will remain a very important and special part of our family.

MATTHEW 19:14 ~ Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Emotions and Blessings

It is a hard week for me.  My Joshua’s birthday is on Sunday and so we will take a family trip to the cemetery.  It will be bittersweet.  We will decorate his gravestone better than anyone’s in the cemetery.  He will have Christmas and birthday balloons, trees, toys, etc.  The kids will want to leave one of their toys for him.  It will be a tender day.  And yet we will smile knowing he is safe in the arms of his Savior.

It was a hard year.  We saw a lot of loved ones struggle either with marriages, loss, health, parents or children hardships.  Every year, every minute sometimes, I realize how fragile and precious life is.

This year, I held onto those precious moments.  I breathed them in.  I felt guilty when I took them for granted.  We are not promised perfect families or perfect health.  We are not promised that life will be pain free.  We are promised eternal salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  We are promised that He will walk through each minute and each pain with us.  We are promised that there is no pain in Heaven.  I ask of anyone who reads this to give your life over to Jesus and spread His word to all you know.

I take photographs often, even when my camera is not around….I take photos in my head.  I know that I am blessed beyond belief with my husband, my children, my parents and family who love me even though I am far from the perfect wife, daughter, sister and mommy.  I thank God and them for giving me chances far over what I deserve.  I pray to the Lord that each of them will live with Him for eternity.   My personal life this year didn’t go through the trauma that I watched others go through, but my heart ached and broke for each one.  Each one made me appreciate each moment with my blessings.

And Then It Hits You…

There are moments that strike you when you love people.  Moments that tug at your heart, break your heart and bring tears to your eyes.  These moments could occur when you love the living, the healthy and whole, the sick, or those who go before you.  Each moment is precious.  This post is going to be about those moments with my children.

My adopted son…it was such a journey to bring him to our home.  There were MANY MANY heartaches along the way…including a little boy who didn’t make it to our home, but whom we still hold in prayer along with his family.  I look at my adopted son often while we are on adventures…days at the lake, days at the amusement park, camping…I think of where he could be if not with us.  It brings me joy to see him experiencing great things and even the “small things” like cuddling on the couch for movie night.  These things he may not have known if God hadn’t brought Him to us.  And where would we be without his smile, his laugh and his crazy energy?  How richly God has blessed us!  We had multitudes of people praying for him and God answered with His perfect plan.

My daughter who we feared would never come…not because she had health issues, but because we had already experienced a loss of a child and my pregnancy with her was a bit stressful.   She is all grace…she is sweet and caring and the moments that strike me are when she tells us of how she wants to please Jesus.  She approaches His feet with genuine requests and full belief.  She came a bit early and the doctors weren’t sure her lungs would be developed when she was born.  It makes me chuckle as I recall having those same multitudes pray for her lungs and she was THE LOUDEST baby I have ever heard.  😉

My youngest.  We had some scares with him.  The doctors were pretty convinced that he would be born with Trisomy or Down’s Syndrome or a heart defect.  He had all the warning signs.  We prayed and again asked all our family members and friends to pray for a miracle and he was healed…we believe he was healed.  Up until the last ultrasound (and there were a lot) the signs were still there for one of those issues and he was born perfectly healthy.  Those memories come back to me in a flash when I see him enjoying life, learning, running and laughing.  Those memories also flood me when I see others in the same place whose news did not turn out the same as ours.

I think God gave me these moments so I would not take them for granted…and I am afraid I still do at times.  But each smile and hug and laugh is precious and bring about more moments and memories.

Finally, my Joshua.  Joshua means The Lord is Salvation.  We prayed for his name and God gave us that name in a very unique way…it came in the mail.  True…very true.  Anyway, I am blessed to know that is the name He chose for my baby boy who went on before me.  So many moments remind me of him.  Of course, just like my other children, I think of him daily.  I don’t cry everyday, but there are still days that I cry for him or my heart breaks for him.  The typical days that bring a flood of memories include his birthday and holidays.  Certain songs will be a trigger as well.  Sometimes beautiful days, good family days and happy times trigger a twinge of sadness also, because I wonder what he would be like or how he would add to our family.  Yesterday was pregnancy and infant loss awareness day…I pray for all who have lost children for any reason at any age.

Despite the ups and downs, the joys and heartbreaks, and even the times when we fell apart…we are richly blessed.  God has given us joy in each of our children.  Each and every one is precious and brings special and sacred memories.  Sometimes going through the days these memories just hit me and I know I have been blessed and that my Lord and Savior holds these children in the palm of His hand.

 

Grief

Yesterday we went to the cemetery.   We always go on Mother’s Day and Joshua’s birthday, and then as much as we are able throughout the year.  We went to the cemetery after visiting our friends who are dealing with fresh grief right now.  They are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.  My heart breaks for the devastating situation they are going through right now.   We have old grief.  Old grief is like a covered wound.  It is concealed and on the surface okay, but can be ripped open at any time and be flooded with pain.  The thing about old grief, though, is that even though pain comes, your tolerance for it builds.  The words our friends said were verbatim to words I have said since we lost Joshua…it is interesting how God gives us similar wisdoms to get through trials.  “…a new normal.”  “…pain won’t go away but will be manageable.”  “…it is really real.”  “…life shouldn’t keep going when ours is stopping.”  The events they are going through this week brought back our events like they happened yesterday.  (I am not saying they are the same, not saying the pain or grief is the same, just saying we both grieved for loved ones).

So with their words swimming in my head with my own recollections I was flooded with memories of our loss.  I remembered thinking I couldn’t pinpoint which day was the hardest in my life…the day we said goodbye at the hospital…the day we had to choose a headstone and floral arrangement for a baby…or the day when life had to continue and he really couldn’t be with us.  I recalled standing at his gravesite after the funeral before he was buried.  The men that were to bury him were waiting for us, I knew.  They kept their respectful distance, but just knowing they were waiting made my skin crawl a little.  I remembered memorizing Joshua’s features in the hospital, because I knew, sadly, that reality and time would make those memories fade, so I studied him and memorized him …not just his pictures.  I remembered how my husband stood by my side and held me up through everything.  I remembered looking back and being so grateful for the shock so I could get through the week.  I think shock is a gift from God.  I remembered feeling guilty the first time I smiled after he was gone.  In my remembering, I also remembered the rays of light that came through this time too.  Multitudes of amazing support from family and friends, God’s unfailing love giving us hope and strength, sweet memories, a way to support others in the future.  Joshua’s life has touched many.  We celebrate that he is with our Lord and Savior even though we miss him.  We try to teach the kids that as well, as we often decorate his spot with balloons and each child takes his/her own toy to leave there…sometimes we even picnic there.  Grief is hard, but often produces beauty on the other side.

As Mother’s Day was approaching on the radio and at church I often heard how difficult it would be for some…I already knew that…having friends and family who are not able to have children, knowing others who have lost moms or children…but I was pleased that they were remembered.  I found it interesting that those who lost mothers were mentioned and those who couldn’t have children, but not those who lost children(in what I heard).  I was not in the least offended…truly…I think it is because it is just not as common…it is just not how we think the world is supposed to work.  Thankfully we are not as smart as God and His plan is perfect!

I have always been one to enjoy parties, holidays, birthdays, celebrations.  But…this year at various events I realized that all these “fun” days always leave someone feeling sad.  Birthdays are hard for the ones who haven’t met goals.  Mother’s Day can be hard for moms (or women who want to be moms) and children…Father’s Day can be hard for dads (or men who want to be dads and children).  At each holiday someone may be missed or someone could hold regret.  I am certainly not boycotting holidays and celebrations, but perhaps being challenged once again to make the most of each person in my life each day.  I should celebrate my loved ones everyday!  They are not just blessings on their birthdays or holidays…they are blessings the whole year through.