Thursday, March 31, 2011

why Guam?

1. It's pretty there.

2. David is being based out of Guam for his job with the airlines. He will upgrade to Captain (woohoo!) and be home almost every night.

No really, he is so excited to be around me!
all. the. time.

3. It's a temporary move with a short commitment of 1.5 years. We could stay longer if we would like, but this is the minimum requirement for them to pay for our move out there. It's not cheap to pack and move two vehicles and household stuff 7500 miles!

No picture for this one because... ummm... I couldn't think of anything.

4. The flying is amazing.

Exhibit 1 is David's landing in Kwajalein. Can you believe people live and work on that tiny little strip of land in the middle of the gigantic ocean?

{It's a slightly dull first minute, but it gets much much better. Just hang in there!}
{There is no Exhibit 2 because uploading to YouTube is too much work.}

5. It's a great opportunity to travel and explore that side of the world. We were blessed to visit both Palau and Hong Kong during our temporary assignment there in January and February. Just think of all the places we could go in 18 months!

I think Noah was embarrassed to be seen with me.
But y'all see why I am making that face, don't you?

6. Family time. What I am looking forward to the most is the time that we will have together as a family. No soccer, no Scouts, no running around doing "good" things... slower pace, fewer distractions, and discovering things together.

These guys are worth it.

Even if they aren't very excited about going for fear of missing their friends too much.
I think they'll change their minds about it once we get there.

If you had this opportunity, would you go? There are lots of pilot families that could go but don't. Wondering if I'm the crazy one or if they are...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

i miss being normal

The dentist office just called to schedule cleaning appointments for Austin, Noah and Christian.

While it's not awkward for me anymore, I felt really bad for the receptionist! I hope she doesn't beat herself up for it all day long.

I have been replaying the beginning of that phone call all morning long in my mind. It was so normal. A part of me wants to just pretend that Christian is still here and I need three appointments in a row, please.

What I wouldn't give to have the extra noise and busyness, one more pile of laundry, one more to teach, tired arms from the holding, and a booster seat in the back of my van!!!

All you tired mommies out there, you have a tough job. You are exhausted and frazzled and wondering if your kids will ever be able to wipe their hiney by themselves.

Stop for a moment.

Look around you and realize that THIS, the crumbs and spills and noise and little tempers and hugs and kisses and stories and dirt and bathtime and pjs and the I'm thirsty mommy! will not always be. I pray that you have more time with your children than I did with Christian, but either way, they do grow up and move out (we hope!) and one day you just might miss it-- at least a little bit. :-)

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. -Hebrews 4:16

It takes a lot of grace to get through the little years and it takes a lot of grace and mercy to get through life. God is faithful to give it, if we would just ask Him.

I need to ask more often. Do you?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

isaiah 40:26

During the darkest days of my life, He held me in the palm of His hand.

Sometimes my sorrow and worries seemed so big, I thought they would destroy me. I was weak, small, fragile.

Everything changed when I stopped looking at how small I was and focused on how BIG my God is! He knows me by name and He never fails! I fully trust Him.

Little ole me carried by the great I AM.

It's still that way, y'know. On the sunniest of days, He still carries me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

bye bye snowball

We're having a garage sale today. It is time to clean house and get rid of some stuff.

I just realized that I have neglected to announce that we are moving to Guam for a year and a half! Why is it that if I post something on Facebook, I assume that everyone knows about it?

Hence the garage sale and getting rid of stuff.

We said goodbye to Snowball the other day. Nope, she didn't die. In preparation for our move, we decided to reduce the amount of work and worry around here. I'm a bit emotionally attached to Snowball. Yes, she irritates me and jumps the fence and stands smack dab in the middle of the doorway when I have an arm full of groceries, but I do kind of like her.

I remember when she was this little.

We wondered if she would ever grow into her ears!

And then the super happy day when my photo made the Top 10 at I Heart Faces.

But what really made me all misty eyed when we said goodbye to Snowball was that she knew Christian. Kind of silly, no? I have this video clip where Christian was surprised to hear Snowball scratching at the back door. *sigh*

But things are things and dogs are dogs and we can't keep things and dogs forever. Especially if we are moving halfway across the world.

I think Snowball will like her new family. They haven't returned her yet so that is a good sign!

Monday, March 21, 2011

psalm 19:7-11

It is good to stop and remember who the Lord is. It puts life in proper perspective.

When I begin to feel that it is all up to me, that I can somehow fix the broken things, I must stop, look and listen.

Stop all the doing and planning and running.

Look to the Lord.

Listen to His voice-- and only His voice.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

psalm 78:35

I don't have to be strong, for He is my strength.

How many times have I shifted, faltered, fallen... and yet God through His mercy and love restores, reigns, redeems!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

holding on to things

We are in the process of getting our house in order. Reading Tsh Oxenreider's Organized Simplicity was a swift kick in the behind! It is time to declutter, clean out and simplify.

While talking about the project ahead of us, David mentioned wanting to park cars in the garage. Imagine that, cars... in the garage.

The IKEA shelves must go. Okay.

The air hockey table must go. Gotcha.

The foosball table must go. My throat suddenly constricted, eyes began to tear up.

I was surprised to find myself crying. I have walked by that foosball table a million times and never gave it a second thought other than noticing that it is in the way and collecting dust. As soon as David said it must go, the memory of Christian at 2 years old popped into my mind.

Austin and Noah would often play foosball in the garage. They loved teaming up against daddy! Never one to be left out, Christian would climb onto an overturned plastic bin to get in on the action. I was always nervous that he would get jabbed in the chest with one of those handles. By the time he was 3, he was quite the little player on his own, laughing as the ball would race back and forth across the table.

So the foosball table is staying for now. We are going to clear a spot for it in the man-cave (aka our old school room and now David's TV and hanging out room). I'm sure it'll get much more use inside than it ever did outside. :)

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. -2 Corinthians 4:18

I do know that this is just a house. And that the foosball table is just a thing. They are not my Christian!

I don't ever want to get so attached to things that they dictate how I live, where I live or how we enjoy our space. It would be a shame to waste grief on stuff that has no eternal value. I can't take those things with me, nor would I want to. Heaven is way better than anything we can possibly possess here on earth!

If the foosball table were to disappear tomorrow, I would not be heartbroken. Sure I'd miss the memory jogger that it is, but the table itself is not the root of the missing. The root is Christian. Not a day goes by that my mommy heart does not long for the feel of him in my arms and the sound of his voice in my ears. It makes me praise God even more for the hope that we have through Jesus Christ! I know that this is not the end. There is more... much more... in due time.

Do you have things you are holding onto? Do those things have a hold on you?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

calling back and sharing HOPE

In the months prior to Christian's passing, our pastor spoke of the loss by stillbirth that he and his wife suffered years before. I remember him saying that sometimes God has us go through trials so we can be a comfort to others.

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

-2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I went home and pondered that thought. Would I ever be able to endure such a trial? Would I place my trust in God even when I don't understand? Or would I be a fair weather Christian, only following God when the road is easy?

As Christians, we HOPE we would respond a certain way when death and difficulty visits us personally, but we don't really know for sure until we go through it ourselves.

It is imperative to prepare yourself NOW. God always offers a way of escape when we are tempted to give up and turn back. I waver between strength and weakness. But God never wavers!

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

-2 Corinthians 12:9

When I was at a low, a crossroads on which way I would turn in my grief, God brought a new friend into my life and into my grief.

Daisy, someone I had never met before, emailed me. Out of the blue. I don't believe in coincidence, so I use that term loosely. :)

She shared with me the hurt in her heart from the loss of her son Mason two years prior. Most importantly, she encouraged me to stay strong in the Lord and testified that God is faithful. I was beginning to think that there was something wrong with me. Crazy thoughts like maybe I didn't love Christian enough because if I did, I would be grieving differently. What a relief to hear that yes, she hurt but she was not turning her back on God.

Oh how I needed to hear those words! Oh how I needed to know that I am not alone in my grief!

To see her two years further down the road living, breathing, smiling, crying, remembering and praising. She was living proof that I could have deep sorrow and still keep the faith.

If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back­;
'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And if, perchance, Faith's light is dim, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.

Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm;
Call back, and say He kept you when the forest's roots were torn;
That when the heavens thundered and the earthquake shook the hill,
He bore you up and held you where the very air was still.

O friend, call back and tell me, for I cannot see your face;
They say it glows with triumph, and your feet bound in the race;
But there are mists between us, and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.

But if you'll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you'll say He saw you through the night's sin-darkened sky,­
If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back,­
'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.

- Selected (Quoted in Streams In The Desert devotional)

Daisy called back to me.

My pastor and his wife called back to me.

I want to call back too!

Daisy and I are blessed to have been introduced to Susan with Haven of Hope Ministries. Susan also knows firsthand what it is like to suffer the loss of a child-- in fact, she has lost two.

I love this woman, y'all. She is real, she is smart, she is transparent with her struggles, and she has a passion for grieving mamas.

Together we are humbled and excited to announce the first annual Haven of Hope Retreat for mothers that have suffered the loss of a child.

"Our retreat is designed to bring together mothers from all walks of life that have suffered the death of a child regardless of that child’s age or circumstances. No matter where you are in your grief journey, we would love for you to join us for a weekend filled with encouragement, good food, and the comfort of new friends that understand."

We covet your prayers as we prepare for this conference. When God calls us to do something, He prepares the way. And when we obey His call, we can count on the devil to do his best to attack and make the way difficult. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!

Please help us spread the word about Haven of Hope!

THANK YOU, precious friends!

I am looking forward to sharing with other moms what God has done for me. And I am honored to listen to their own stories of loss and love and priceless memories. My desire is that God will be glorified in our conversation, that hearts will be encouraged, and most of all that those that do not have HOPE in Jesus Christ will come to know Him personally.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.