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10 years later

When a child loses his parents, he is called an orphan. 
When a spouse loses his/her partner, they are called a widow or widower.

When parents lose their child,

there isn't a word to describe them.

I am one of these parents without a word.

I remember the day of his silent birth.  It was 10 years ago today. The hospital room felt so empty with just my husband and I present.  I felt the nurses' pain as they were terribly saddened and knew that I was there to give birth to a baby that had already been carried in the arms of eternity.  We all were solemn and the grief hung like a dark cloud brewing in a storm.  I was numb and living in complete disbelief that I had lost yet another baby so late in pregnancy.  My body was ever so weary from the severe morning sickness that lasted all day and endlessly for months and months.  The thought of laboring a baby I would never hear cry, seemed impossible, but it happened.  He was born so tiny and so perfectly formed.  Just as I had done with my other babies, I counted all 10 fingers and 10 toes.  His body was so frail and I was afraid to touch his thin pink skin.  Every detail was being etched in my memory and treasured, because I knew I would have to say the final goodbye to his earthly body that was silently resting the palms of my hands that shook so violently.

It was such a dark season in my life.  One, that despite having loving support, felt like the loneliest moments I've ever experienced.  I deeply wanted to mourn his little life and the siblings lost before him.   I wanted to feel the pain and really mourn this horrible loss. These babies deserved the full attention of the broken pieces in my aching mama's heart.  Each piece felt shattered beyond repair.  It wasn't depression as in the medical sense, but instead it was a vast ocean full of grief that had waves that crashed unexpectedly.  My faith was pulled out to the drowning ocean waters on many occasions.  I cried until I had no more tears left.

I shed so many tears and screamed at God.  

But, I was communicating with Him and that was most important.  

If I had stopped talking to Him, I wouldn't be where I am today.  He listened, and was always there for me despite my toddler-like tantrums and my utter lack of any understanding.  This very lack of understanding is exactly the description of faith.  Believing without proof or understanding and gripping hold in blind trust.

10 years later, I still remember.
10 years later, I won't forget.
10 years later, I feel blessed that I had 22 weeks of his little body carried with me.
10 years later, I know that I was the only one who felt his little movements of life.
10 years later, I still miss my babies not with me.
10 years later, I have a changed heart.
10 years later, I see things through a different set of eyes.
10 years later, I have great empathy for others that share this grief.
10 years later, I look back and feel blessed that I took the time to mourn.

Blessed are those who mourn, because they shall be comforted.

Matthew 5:4

 10 years later, I am blessed by the Father's comfort in this time of mourning.

Mercy {Psalm 138:8}

I need to cling on to His mercy today.  I'm struggling to keep up.  This Sunday morning came, and I sadly, just didn't feel like a rushed morning to go to church.  I'm sitting here feeling a burden of guilt for not going.  It's a privilege to go and I gave it up for selfish reasons.  Exhaustion is hard and I need to learn to prioritize better so that our week starts with fellowship instead of ending.  I will work on setting this goal in the upcoming weeks.

Dear Father....
I'm so sorry for my choice.  I know I prayed for so many years to find a family to fellowship with and You provided, and yet I sit here at home.  LORD, please help me regain my strength and give me a burning desire to be among the Body of Christ to learn and grow and praise You.  I trust in Your plans and humbly accept Your mercy that endures forever. Restore me to Your ways.   ~amen

Gratitude - making it count

  135  | living more in the "real" vs. the time spent on the computer
  136  | nature walks at a favorite local animal rehabilitation zoo
  137  | little grand daughter's comical statements
  138  | a husband who is very patient
  139  | books - I know I've said this before, but reading with my children is peaceful
  140  | the spring warmth and sunshine
  141  | birthday bouquets with hydrangeas and lilies
  142  | family gatherings
  143  | a cross for the wall - a symbolic reminder of what our lives are all about
  144  | baskets that help organize the clutter
  145  | my new watch (FitBit) that is helping me add a little steps to exercise
  146  | selling some books
  147  | a new to me computer arriving today since this one keeps shutting down
  148  | sleep - I've been going to bed earlier and able to usually fall asleep faster
  149  | homemade candles that flicker with my prayers
  150  | the ability to give more
  151  | open windows with a fresh air
  152  | days of Disney with my girls, grand daughter, and mom - magical moments
  153  | a year back of being home again
  154  | the growth of learning as my girls are now independent readers - teaching is a gift
  155  | the desire to simplify more instead of get more
  156  | the forgotten little things that are important - like a hairbrush and toothbrush
  157  | a homemade paper bouquet of flowers made by my two little girls - so creative!

"...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of the God in Christ Jesus for you."

1 Thessalonians 5:18

4.10.2017 Journaled Thoughts

  • In my life this month…

  • I'm "re-trying" the FitBit movement after my last watch started glitching.  I went to exchange it and they were out of stock, so I had to wait for a replacement to arrive in the mail.  Despite the slow exchange, I was excited to be able to upgrade at a very minimal cost special, to the gun metal edition that I had really wanted.  I've had it now for a little over a week and I'm back in motion and working hard to improve my steps.  I hope to have the strength and endurance to go on outdoor walks and tackle some of the nearby trails.  
  • In our homeschool this month…

  • We've been slowly doing the basics while I've been working behind the scenes on finishing strong this year and planning an exciting upcoming school year. It's been hard to keep the concept of "less is more" in the forefront, but I'm really excited to see the layout of things come together!
  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

  • At the end of March, we had a memorial gathering in memory of my mother-in-law. It was simple and casual, just as she would have liked. It was nice to meet up with family we hadn't seen in years and catch up on the latest news.
  • My favorite thing this past month…

  • A mixture of weather! Little hints of warm spring days, mixed in with rain and some days with wind that chills to the bone. The wild flowers are painting the hillsides and the puffy white clouds blanket the sky and the promise of a new season is warming the air.  The girls and I love to watch the tall wild grasses running with the breeze on the mountains around us.
  • What’s working/not working for us…

  • My ears are still bothering me, but I am home and that is still something I give thanks for every day. The mountain elevation plays havoc with my energy levels because of the constant ear pressure changes, but besides slowing me down, I am seeing little bits of progress being made around the home and I'm choosing to find joy in each day.

    We didn't get as much read aloud time in the past few weeks as I would have liked, but this coming week it's back in the plans.

    Ugh...the dread of clutter. I'm in the process of going through shelves and closets, and cupboards and trying to help keep things at a minimum. I'm struggling with the weighted decision of what to keep and what not to keep.
  • Homeschool thoughts I have…

  • Books are arriving and box days are fun! My outlook is simplifying the school year ahead and to use more art in our learning.  The girls are so creative and I want that to come through in our days ahead. Both girls have made great strides in reading and we are going to work harder on the area of writing. {Restore} the continuity and rhythm back into our learning days is a top priority, but organization needs to be in place for this to run smoothly and keep the love of learning alive.
  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

  • I made candles! ...a mother culture type of moment.
    This was my first attempt to make soy candles and I love the way they turned out. I am calling them "Prayerful Scents" with a tag line "Hand poured with prayer".  I found some Kraft brown labels that turned out really nice and I especially love that they are removable so that I can reuse my jars very easily without having to soak off labels each time.  This is something I've wanted to do for quite some time.  It may just be cutting way back on blogging is making things like this possible again.  ....and to note that it will ultimately be a nice cost saving hobby to my love of candles habit.

In loving memory

Every year, for as long as I can remember, I place a bouquet of flowers on my table for my sister's birthday.  I pause to whisper, "Happy Birthday" in my heart.  Small tears sting my eyes as I light some candles and remember our childhood days together and realize all the years I've had now without her unique personality and quick wit that she always carried wherever she went.

It's become tradition to remember her on this day.  Someone in the family always gets the flowers -- myself, my husband, or my daughters.  This year is was daughter M who picked them out and brought them home.

I wish I had more memories in the making with her now . . .  I miss you, Kim.

Gratitude - making it count

  101  | fresh summer salads
  102  | slow moments
  103  | siblings playing together
  104  | a very small garden finally planted
  105  | new bedding
  106  | dishes in the sink - a time to reflect at the kitchen window watching the sun set
  107  | a well with water
  108  | the cool air from the swamp cooler
  109  | buttered popcorn
  110  | a bit of "me" quiet time alone
  111  | hot coffee topped with whipped cream & cinnamon sugar brought to me in bed
  112  | bare feet and painted toe nails
  113  | peanut butter & jelly - quick & easy meals
  114  | helpful little hands {carrying laundry, sweeping floors - all without asking}
  115  | ice cream cones topped with chocolate chip cookie dough
  116  | a friend sharing a Bible verse
  117  | a restful moment reading Life Beautiful magazine cover to cover
  118  | a walk with my family through the garden section of a store
  119  | a lunch date with my husband
  120  | the opportunity to serve a neighbor {show her love}
  121  | having hot tea in pretty cups with my youngest daughter
  122  | being spared from a down power line fire really close to our property
  123  | sobering moments that bring a flood of thoughts and prayers
  124  | worship songs playing in my head throughout the day
  125  | thoughts of my favorite season {autumn} to come
  126  | the smell of freshly cut basil
  127  | secretly watching my daughter squat down to water a young strawberry plant  
  128  | fellowship
  129  | little printed books of memories
  130  | daughter's safe travels
  131  | braided bread prayers
  132  | family traditions
  133  | friends sharing a book with me
  134  | wild huckleberry tea

"...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of the God in Christ Jesus for you."

1 Thessalonians 5:18

{restored from 12th June 2016 & 10th November 2016}

3.5.2017 journaled thoughts

  • In my life this month…

  • I am trying to add some exercise back into my life in hopes that it will improve the chronic pain that I suffer with from ruptured disks in my lower back. I am using a Fitbit and counting steps to inspire me to be in shape enough to hopefully be able to walk outdoors when the weather allows it.  I overdid it this week and I am feeling the pain.  I need to be careful and ease into this a little more slowly.
  • In our homeschool this month…

  • We are working hard on a biographical approach to learning American History. We are enjoying each and every book and are making read-aloud time a priority.
  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

  • We started off the month with a "no school" week for a birthday. It was filled with the magic of Disney and beautiful smiles all day!
  • My favorite thing this past month…

  • February brought many days of needed rain. I loved listening to it and watching it turn from raindrops to snowflakes as the temperatures dropped.
  • What’s working/not working for us…

  • Happy dancing that everything at the moment is working for us. I love having the girls learning together again and have been able to find ways to challenge them at their own levels.
  • Homeschool thoughts I have…

  • Because everything is running smoothly at the moment, I am thinking that we will just continue moving forward and advance to the next levels when the time comes. I'm currently looking through Life of Fred math to add as a supplement
  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

  • Smiles from Disney!
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