Thursday, October 30, 2008

The road less traveled

I often refer to our life with grief as a "journey" or on the "road" that we are on. I do it a lot. And people usually look at me weird, so here is a little insight into my crazy brain. When you are getting ready for a trip you tend to lay out the map and decide the best possible route to your destination. As we get older we are able to "map" out our plans for life, college/no college, married/not married, kids/no kids. The path of life is usually the interstate, many traveling the same way you are, but when you start to decide the next route...the road splits and you are down a different path. But, sometimes we get a detour...a route we did not plan on, which leads you down a totally different road...always with the intent that you will be lead back to the original road.
When we took our beloved trip to Colorado this year we too mapped out our trip...interstate to highway...highway to county road...county road to gravel road...gravel road to the road less traveled. Gravel roads in Colorado are rough...but the roads less traveled are even worse. They are full of rough terrain, rocks, loose dirt, mud, sometimes falling rocks. The worst is the one way up, you can rarely see what is around the next curve. All this builds to fear, uncertainty, concern, sadness, anger, frustration. Grief to me is like this road less traveled. Sometimes we choose this road through poor choices, but usually it is one that we would not choose for ourselves. The way up the road is full of emotion, helping me learn about myself and the person God is molding me to become from this traitorous journey. As we traveled up that road this summer...I kept thinking; "what" are we doing? We had been up this road in the past, but it seemed changed, almost worst than the last time we traveled it, and it was taking us much longer to get to the top. I felt trapped...not able to see anything but this terrible road and the tops of the trees around us...still we continued. At last, we neared the top of the road, but we looked and it was worse. How could the road be worse that when we first started, it seemed like many had turned around and headed back down, never getting to the destination. I can't blame them the road was terrible and how great could the top be? Would it be worth all this beating?
I won't keep you waiting any longer...we made it. Oh how awesome it was at the top. God had truly blessed us with a wonderful view of his majestic creation. The road led to a lake that was crisp and blue with what looked like gold flakes in it. The water appeared slick as ice except for the trout jumping high into the air trying to fill their hungry bellies. The air was so fresh and crisp but not cold. The sky was the bluest sky with only a few billowing white clouds that were so close I felt like I could touch them. And the mountains...what can I say about them...although we were "in" the mountains...there were still more amazing ones further in the distance topped with clean white snow.
Though we never would have chosen this road of grief...God has placed us gently on it, quietly walking beside us, guiding us up the road, knowing that the terrain is rough and sometimes painful. He gives us his encouragement though his word that we will not leave us alone on this road. As we work our way along the road less traveled, we are blessed with the sight of his GLORY at the top.
Remember "the road less traveled" is only there because others have traveling it prior to you, making the way up to grief and their way back down through it.

Matthew 7:14
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Luke 3:5
Every valley shall be filled in,every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,the rough ways smooth.

Psalm 44:18
Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path.

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A new site I found

Here is the address of site that I found. It seems like something I wish we would have not sure if all areas have access to this, but please pass on. The only problem is you would need to know about the site and its services before you needed it, so if you ever have a friend who loses a child, hopefully you could connect with them ASAP...this is kind of time sensitive.

This is a site that helps connect families with a local photographer to get pictures of the family and baby that has passed or is dying. Sad to think of but without pictures it makes thing much harder...I know the few pictures we have are memories that we all cherish.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One foot foot in.

Lately, I have come across many people who are worried about loved ones who have "one foot in and one foot out". I know...I know, what am I talking about? Well, to me it can mean very different things, mostly one foot in pointing towards GOD(living for him) and one foot out pointing out (living for yourself and for this world). This could be a person who makes sure they show their face church on Sunday but, lives the rest of the week like any other day; or one who "believes in God" but, does just that only believes in him(you do know that Satan believes in God too...sorry just a little humor). These people come to know him...just usually not on our time table.
For me along this journey of pain and grief the last few years I have witnessed a different kind of "one foot foot out". I don't want you to think that I am the only one who has experienced grief the last few years, many around me have lost people close to them and have joined me on the "road". But, have handled it very differently, where I grew closer to my "Father", they curse him while at the same time expecting their loved one to be with HIM. I am most worried about people that feel this way.
If you are one that thinks that way...I ask that you just read on for a few more minutes.
When people around us die...we just say that they are in heaven (not going to get into a real discussion about that at this time) but, then some will curse and hate God...the one that they are hoping that their loved one is with. Just think for a second, if I told you that I was going to have your loved one, or your child live with me forever would you not want to know everything about me? If I said that there was a book that would tell you everything about me would you not want to read it?? That this book would answer your questions about me? Would you look me up on Google or ask your friends to see if they knew anything about me?
Am I a good person, am I KIND, do I help others in NEED, am I a good PROTECTOR, a COMFORTER, PROVIDER, HONEST, but most importantly...will I LOVE them?
So, if are hoping that your loved one is with GOD, would you not want to know everything about him? Would you not want to read a book about him to learn all you could...instead of cursing him and hating him?
I am not wanting to hurt anyone or be "churchy" in this entry...more just me working through my thoughts about has been eating at my heart and I have been struggling with it for some time. I am open for assistance or thoughts about it...all comments are welcome. I was just hoping to make people think about things in a different way and investigate about God a little bit. OR...maybe...believe and jump in with both feet...
If you don't have a bible and want to look things
is a great site.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A day to remember

Today (October 15th) is the National Day of Remembrance for pregnancy and infant loss. Which includes all babies who have died due to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or all other infant related deaths.
Please say a prayer for all of those who you know that have lost a child. Take a moment to ask them about their little one. It is not often that we(parents who have lost a child) get to utter their name or share a memory with someone about them.
If you are wanting to get involved in honoring these little ones, many communities are remembering these children through walks, balloon releases...etc.

If you are reading this blog and have lost a child...I pray for you today(and all the days ahead of you) that God will give you comfort. The road of grief is a long and rocky one. God's promise is not that we will not have trials or struggles, but that when we do... HE will be there with us every step of the way.

From him, through him and to him are ALL things.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My walk

Since I have started this blog, people have assumed that I have always been a believer or that I became a believer because of the death of our son. Neither of these is true, my walk with Christ and our Father began many...many years ago. I know this journal entry is going to be boring and will most likely be the condensed version since many things in my life that brought me to Christ are very private, but here is the short version of my walk with him.
About 8 years ago, a gal that I was doing my internship slowly became my friend. On our many drives across the county we live in she asked me "Where are you on your walk with Christ?" And I could not answer her...yes, I did not have an answer. She was not judgmental or mean like others had been in the past when talking about this whole "God thing".
I slowly became a in layers, going to church, being feed with the word (which I had never heard), but most importantly, changing my life to honor the one who gave it to me. I remember a sermon one weekend that talked about opening up your heart to Christ, excepting the gift he gave for you(Jesus dying on the cross for our sins) and letting my pride disappear. I finally figured out that I was always trying to do everything for myself and by myself...and I needed to give it all to the Lord. I was amazed the peace and love that was in my heart when I gave it all to him. All these years I was waiting...waiting and hoping that God would choose me...thinking that I was not good enough for him to choose...but all along he was the one who was waiting...waiting for me to CHOOSE HIM. I don't want you to think that a halo is over my head and that I am perfect...just the opposite...I know all my down falls and sin and struggle daily to be the person that God created me to be. My goal now in this life is to serve him...instead of serving myself.

The magnitude of my "true" faith was not shown to others(or myself) until my son died...I was always very private about my faith. Many people would ask me questions like..."how can you love God after he killed your baby?" I was not really sure how to answer a that question, but here we go...God is not evil, he is love. Can he make miracles happen? Yes...can he allow trials to creep into our lives? Yes...
But if you listen, really listen you can hear him say...Trust me...this too is for my GLORY.
Maybe the miracle is so big that we are too close to see it...that only God can see what awesome things will unfold because of one little, brief life. That is my TRUE FAITH.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dreading the day.

I am a worrier, I worry about the weather, if I get the best deal on something, or if I will make it somewhere on time. You name it I worry about it. I have always struggled with the "little stuff". So when big things come up, my tendency to worry kicks into overdrive.
As it is now October, and I can no longer fight it...December is, I do not dread it because of the Christmas shopping or decorations craziness...December is when we lost our son. October turns into November which turns into December.
For some reason the last couple of years once we hit October I start to dread "that day". If any of you have lost someone dear to you, it seems like things always circulate around certain dates. Our son was delivered on December 29th, and when we were finally able to get pregnant..our next child's due date was...yes, you guessed it December 29th. We were anxious to have to celebrate the memory of our son on the same day to celebrate the birth date of another.
I struggle so much with not worrying or being anxious. Sometimes it is just so hard. I hear the voice of the evil one trying to test and shake my faith, only to be protected by FATHERS word. I read the next three passages sometimes...ok often..ha...hope they will offer comfort to your heart if you also struggle with worry, anxiety or dread. Remember, bring it to HIM(ha), open your heart and ear to HIM and he will hold you closely.

Ephesians 6:10
John 14:1
[ Jesus Comforts His Disciples ] "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me.

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Ephesians 6:10
The Armor of God
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the
sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The beautiful rose

I looked outside today, and even with the weather getting colder, I saw a small bud growing on my rose bush outside my window. WOW...I was so excited. This rosebush has caused me much grief over the years, not budding to overgrowing the room allowed. But today was the day...should I capture it's beauty and cut it and bring the bud inside or wait a day or two. By late after noon the flower had bloomed and was gorgeous. In just a short period of time it's life was half over. My curiosity could not be contained and I looked one more time before night fall. Could it really be true...that was it...the flower was starting to wither. I kept one more day, why so fast. Everything in my life seems to be rushing by. Every year goes by quicker than the last. We too are like that flower...offering what we can to those who pass us by, but not knowing how long we will be in bloom. I hope that I am able to offer simple treasures like that rose gave me today...I was able to have one last glimpse of summers beauty before fall comes. Even though it was for such a small time I gained so much from it's presence. I could only hope that I am able to make that small impression on those around me.

Psalm 102:11
My days are like the evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.

Isaiah 40:8
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever."

Saturday, October 4, 2008

What is in a name?

I just had a friend(yes you know who you are) who just had a baby. With the excitement of the birth comes the duty of naming the baby. This is no easy task. My husband and I struggled for sometime with this with our little ones. With my daughter we were told by the nurse that we needed to choose a name "now", really no pressure to decide something that will be with them forever. Though you have many months to decide you still want the perfect name, a name that fits the babies looks, personality, and sometimes family history and heritage. This is no small feat. Some people choose trendy names, some biblical, some just because the met someone with the same name and loved it. All this fuss makes me think. What really is in a name? When I think of the name Molly, I think of a little girl with red hair and freckles and sweet like pie. When I think of the name Tanner, I think of a little boy who is athletic and funny. We always had long lists of names ready to take with us to the hospital ready for that day. When we found out the news about our son, and that he had died, we didn't really look at the list this time...we chose Elijah. Many people showed their distaste for our choosing this name, and we were OK with that. We know why we chose the name...the long version(2 Kings 2) the short version is this. In the bible God took Elijah to heaven to be with him. He went up in a whirlwind. God allowed him to enter heaven without experiencing death. Cool don't you think.
So what is the meaning of God's name...I am not the best at decoding things but, I looked up a few things...Hebrew version could be Adonai meaning LORD, or my favorite is Yahweh...which is just sweetly..."I AM" not anything more. What...that's it..I am...what does that mean...ok...maybe it just means, I am. I am your father, your creator, your comforter...I am everything...I am all...I am (insert here). Maybe his name fits him perfectly, and simply. OK maybe I am thinking about this way too much...but maybe it is the perfect definition of his name (who am I to second guess GOD???)
I am...he was, he is, and he will always be. Sounds like the most powerful, sweet and comforting name to me. Maybe there is something to, "what is in a name?"
Exodus 6:2-3
Exodus 3:15

Friday, October 3, 2008

Calling all Girlfriends!!!

Hey,this blog entry is mainly for the "women" that are reading you know what time it is girls??? Oh, yah it is October(breast cancer awareness month) and that is a great reminder to do your self breast exam...or to schedule to get your mammogram. I know...I know you would rather have a root canal done, but really girls early detection is key. And who knows your body more that YOU. I also would rather do anything than "that", but believe me it will ease your mind knowing that your are doing it regularly. Here are some great resources for you all.