Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's a Gal !!

Psalm 71:14 
But as for me, I will always have hope; 
I will praise you more and more.

Normally I have long winded posts 
detailing my feelings that accompany this journey God has me on,  but not tonight.

Tonight,  I marvel.

Tonight,  I am extremely grateful.  Thankfulness beyond 
what mere words can even express.

Tonight,  hope wins.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

days without incident

As mentioned in my previous post,  it is only October and the kids have little tolerance for each other during the morning rush to the bus.    I was watching an episode of the Middle awhile back and noticed one of those Days Without Injury signs.   I suppose this is some type of motivator for safety in the workplace.    At my house it is a motivator for tranquility.   The goal number and subsequent reward is yet to be determined...

I noticed as I was making it that they will eventually use this sign against me.  They will argue that they only have to peacefully co-exist in the morning and the remainder of the day can be a fighting free-for-all!   A whole day incident free?   It is baby steps over here, folks!

Barbies and Legos in MY shower...

and other things that annoy me now,  but someday I will miss...

As i stepped into my shower the other morning and nearly punctured my foot on a StarWars action figure I thought to myself~~  "Arghhhhh!   these kids!!!!"  (or perhaps something not as nice as that)

  • Snack wrappers under the sheets in our bed
  • Grubby hand prints on every light switch, window and door knob.  
  • That one toilet in the house that is always used... but rarely flushed. 
  • The remains of a sucker stick that is permanently fixed to the seat in the van
  • Backpacks half zipped up with food  and important papers falling out everywhere.
  • And it is worth mentioning again...their toys in every nook and cranny of this house! 
  • the literal bouncing off the walls
    • oh my.  the fighting and teasing and pestering.
    At times I get really frustrated with how I can never keep up with their messes,  their laundry,  the schedules and their overall needs.   Those are the days I would be mortified to have someone "drop in" to say hello.    I never imagined  my life with this many children,  and rarely feel that I do this job well.    Especially when I realize that the reason they are like this is perhaps  we have failed to properly teach them how to be decent.

    It is in those moments that i require a new perspective.   We have 4 (almost 5) kids that have been gifted to us.  They are amazing unique creatures God loves and knows.   They are a perfect blend of Dan and I and we have such an amazing job to do.    So,  instead of my dramatic displays of dissatisfaction,  today  I will marvel in my children.  
    • the bedtime conversations had by the boys,  and the fact that they can't sleep without the other in the room.
    • Juliet singing Jesus Loves Me in her bed, in the car, in the corner where she always does her "duty"
    • The way Joy expresses herself through notes, card making, and drawings. 
    • How they freely speak about a sister in heaven.
    • The two moments in every school day that I adore:   When they step foot on the bus.  Everyday I am genuinely thankful  we survived the 45 minute ridiculousness that is the morning routine.   Also,  when they step foot off the bus.  They are so happy to be home again,  I am thankful to have them safely back to me.  
    • How the big 3 adore Juliet.
      Messes,  artwork and even clogged toilets.  These are just some of the things over the last 11 years that have made our house... a home.   For this short period of time I will just have to  watch my step in the shower and see my kids through the eyes of grace.  These minor annoyances will someday be fond memories. 

      Friday, October 15, 2010

      October 15...6 months

      Today is worldwide  Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.   To tell you the truth,  last October I had no idea such a day existed.  This year,  6 months to the day our lives were touched by pregnancy loss we honor April by participating in the Wave of Light.

      I am often asked how our kids have understood,  or felt about the loss of a baby they never saw,  and never got the chance to know.    I would say that as painful as it was for Dan and I,  the kids have not had to feel the intensity of grief.   I thank the Lord for this.    We decided and were encouraged early on to be honest with our children about what had happened and to never close the conversation on April's existence.    Following the loss, I wanted to be strong and solid for them as a mother,   I was afraid my tears and emotional spirals would frighten them.   I knew the first day home that it was not business as usual.   I learned that hiding my emotions and pretending that everything was A.O.K was not going to benefit them as much as showing them the realness of sorrow,   and at the same time point their thoughts and hopes to the ONE who promises to restore our joy.  

      Looking back,   knowing that she was a girl,  naming her and referring to her as their sister has been immensely healing for all of us.
      It did not come naturally though.    I was hesitant to know her gender,   name her,  and accept all the momentos that the hospital staff so lovingly provided.    All of these things made her life as it was,  too real.   At that point all I wanted to do was forget the agony of the loss.   A name,  momentos,  it only reminded me of a life that was never meant to be on this earth.   It was simply too devastating.

      But what was this teaching our children?    Dan and I wanted, if anything for our kids to learn and grow through this experience.   NOT to be left scared and confused with unanswered questions.    In the months that followed each one of our kids in their own unique way as worked through their feelings.    Joy loves to see the teeny, tiny baby gown and April's plaster footprints.   Drew talks often about the memorial at the cemetery and requests to go back there (perhaps it is only to chase squirrels).  Chase is intentional about including her when he talks about his "brothers and sisters".    All three of them have expressed sadness about not being able to have her as a sister yet a curiosity about seeing her again someday.

      I guess that is all I can hope for.  That they have learned a life lesson--THE life lesson-- through this loss.   The lessons that feelings are meant to be felt and communicated when needed,   that life does include deep disappointment,  and most of all that God's promises are true-- they can trust Him when things don't make sense-- He is the road to restoration and salvation!

      Monday, October 04, 2010

      the T-shirt.

      There is a T-shirt of mine hanging in the back corner of our closet.

      It is one of my faves.  I would have worn it all summer except for one thing...

      I don't like to look at it.

      So, you can see that wearing the shirt would force me to look at it and force me to think about the last 3 times I wore it.   Yes,  I am that odd.  I can remember the last three times I wore said T-shirt.

      Well, even though you didn't ask,  may I tell you about the last 3 times I wore the T-shirt that I don't like to think about,  but like so much.

      1. Back in March at a doctor's appointment when Dan and I heard April's heartbeat for the last time.

      2. On Spring Break 2010 when we were in Florida having a marvelous time with our kids and our dear friends.

      3.  On April 13 in the Dr.'s office and subsequent ultrasound that confirmed our baby had passed away.

      I remember burying that thing in the closet as far as it could go.   You might think I would just get rid of it altogether,  but I haven't.   I had the grand idea of bringing it out into the daylight and wearing it  the day I would tell Dan that I was pregnant again.   I wimped out.   It's a good thing too,  because he said he wouldn't have remembered what I was wearing that dreadful day.   It is interesting how we both have individual things that we remember about that day.

      My memory is strong and quirky and easily triggered.   Sometimes this is an asset,  other times I wish I could forget little details like T-shirts,  songs,  smells,  dates,  places,  things people have said.  

      A T-shirt seems like such a non-issue,  but it is representative of a greater struggle.  

      Trying not to push memories and feelings too far in the back corner of my mind's closet because they are too painful.   Trying to be brave and wear with joy the T-shirt (and perhaps this baby bump) without fear.
       only 25 weeks to go!  oh my, that is so many weeks!