Monday, November 21, 2011

belly, blanket and backwards bbq

{is it just me or is that picture up there so blurry it hurts your eyes?}

27 weeks!

Due to my history of early babies, my doctor is concerned about the high risk of preterm labor. I'm not having any contractions and I'm not on bedrest... Just taking it easy, staying on-island, and adding omega-3 fish oil to my daily dose of vitamins. With no NICU/PICU on the island, Ian needs to stay put for another 10 weeks. Will y'all pray for my little guy?

{I still can't believe I'm mom to 4 boys! Eeeeeeeeeee!!!}

My little sis had her second child this past week-- Jude Christian.

I am *sniff sniff* and honored that they would make Christian part of his name. Just writing that out makes my eyes well up with tears. {Thank you, Lele and JRay.}

This is the first niece/nephew that I have not seen almost immediately after birth. :( Hence no pictures of him to share.

But I did get off my butt long enough to make him a cute little doggie baby blanket. Yay me!

{It's a good thing the pic up there is resized, lest ye have the desire to zoom in and see the uneven stitches and laughable attempt at mitering corners.}

Many of y'all are enjoying the cooler temps that come with November. While living in Guam is a beautiful experience, summer is the season that lasts all. year. long.

It's warm, humid, and breezy here... So when you are wishing for autumn and the need for s'mores arises (and you live in a condo with an electric stove and no yard), you do what you gotta do...

Gather your supplies...


A bit laughable but the results are still deliciously the same...

What is your favorite Fall treat?

And does anyone have any special tips or tricks for binding a quilt and getting those corners right?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

romans 5:1-2

"Faith is a thread
Slender and frail,
Easy to tear;
Yet it can lift
The weight of a soul
Up from despair."

-Matthew Biller

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Another Birthday and Unfinished Cornices

Three years ago, I never could have imagined meeting this day-- Christian's 7th Birthday. Three birthdays with him and now four without him.

Grief and tears were a huge part of every breathing moment back then.

Today, grief is still present, but the burden is not so heavy and it doesn't threaten to consume me like it once did. Tears which were once a constant stream now only burst forth unexpectedly... like when another mom's blonde headed 4 year old boy looks up at me at the grocery store, when It is Well with My Soul is the church hymn, or when a towel is brought out of storage still bearing the scent of baby powder and blue eyed boy. (Oh how I miss even the smell of him. Although at 3, he smelled more of dirt and fwogs than baby powder!)

Thank you, Lord, for giving me Christian's birthday to celebrate. The day of his birth brought such excitement and wonder to our family! Thank you for the joy of being called mommy. Thank you for carrying me through three years of grief with my family intact. Thank you for giving me an eternal perspective, even on the days that I wanted to pull the covers over my head and be swallowed up by my sorrow... You have never left me and you have always lovingly reminded me that I can trust you and look to the future with HOPE.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

There is an Orthodox Jewish tradition of leaving your house unfinished as a reminder that this world is not our home, that we are pilgrims here.

I am not Jewish but I have my own unfinished cornice to remind me...

...I am not a Settler, but a Pilgrim.

To be daily reminded of the eternal is a blessing of brokenness.

It helps me to keep my focus off of the here and now, off of the missing, the longing, the aching. It makes me look to the future. It encourages me to seek not only God's plan for my day, but seek His purpose for my life.

"The one true God does not promise to take your pain away. Instead, He promises that in the midst of that pain, He will change your life. He will give you real life, a life in which you can experience true joy side-by-side with hurt and agony."
- Rick Taylor, When Life Is Changed Forever

I am different now. I am forever changed. It continues to be the most difficult thing to endure in my entire life, but it has been for the better.

Happy 7th Birthday, Christian! When I see you again, may you find me even better than I was when we were last together.

I love you.

Friday, November 4, 2011

what to say and beyond today

When I have the most to say, that is when words seem to escape me.
Bullet post to the rescue-- I just need to get this out of my head!

-My Uncle Blaine passed away on November 1st. Please pray for his wife Barbara and his sons, as well as for my G-ma. I can't imagine saying goodbye to three sons... and for my dad and Auntie Ann, who have said goodbye to three brothers.

Uncle Blaine talked about seeing my Uncle Terry, who had passed away in 2003... It just has me thinking... a lot...

-Christian's birthday is coming up. I can't believe he would be 7 years old. I am not dreading the 12th at all this time, but I am feeling emotional nonetheless. I'm not sure if it's being far away from family when there is loss, as well as when there is life (my nephew Jude is due Nov 13th!)... or if it's just a crazy hormonal thing (can you have PMS when you're pregnant?).

-Having three points here would make this post neat and tidy, but I don't know what else to say. My mind just goes back and forth to Blaine and to Christian and to baby Ian (who is kicking up a storm right now) and then to family and friends that have suffered deep loss.

Wandering thoughts and a restless mind makes me a little crazy. I think this calls for going to bed early and praying myself to sleep.

Isn't that the best way to end the day, handing all your burdens and worries over to the Lord?

If We Could See Beyond Today

If we could see beyond today
As God can see;
If all the clouds should roll away,
The shadows flee;
O'er present griefs we would not fret.
Each sorrow we would soon forget,
For many joys are waiting yet
For you and me.

If we could know beyond today
As God doth know,
Why dearest treasures pass away
And tears must flow;
And why the darkness leads to light,
Why dreary paths will soon grow bright;
Some day life's wrongs will be made right,
Faith tells us so.

'If we could see, if we could know,'
We often say,
But God in love a veil doth throw
Across our way;
We cannot see what lies before,
And so we cling to Him the more,
He leads us till this life is o'er;
Trust and obey.

-Norman J. Clayton

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

-Isaiah 55:8-9