Friday, March 29, 2013

An Easter Prayer

I love you, Lord.

More importantly, you love me. Thank you.

I want to live the life you've given me with a grateful heart.

It's your love that leads me to repentance, not my guilty conscience.

I repent of taking your glory. I confess I have tried to steal control from your hands. I repent, Lord.

I confess that I have a hard time trusting your goodness and your ability to do what you say you will do. I repent of doubt.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of faith. Thank you for leading me beside still waters.
Help me look to you when I am afraid and anxious and to turn away from what the world (myself included) offers.

Thank you for your Son and it is in His name that I pray. Amen.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


The promise that spring is here shines as clear as the sun that lingers longer and longer each twilight, even if the snow covering the ground says otherwise.

The hope of new life... a promise that life springs forth after death...

This is the week six years ago that we discovered I was carrying a baby, an unexpected and deeply loved baby, who would live and grow and kick inside me for 8 months. You may think it's weird to acknowledge and even celebrate the time I found out I was pregnant with Owen, but...
But it was all we had. Those pregnant days, those 36 weeks 1 day were all we had with him.

Spring calls me to remember hope. I'm so thankful for the yearly reminder that God renews, redeems and resurrects. Yes and Amen.

And one day, one blessed day, those 36 weeks 1 day won't be all we had anymore.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bits and Pieces

Our big girl is now (officially) potty trained. We've been slowly introducing what it means to go potty, and one day a few weeks ago, she just decided she wanted to do it. Since then, she's only worn a couple of diapers. We've had a few accidents, but mostly I'd call it a success! I can't believe how big and independent she is. I think being able to decide when she goes potty and taking care of it herself, she's discovered she has control over some things in her life... and that makes her want control over everything. And this leads to quite a few more tantrums in the house because the girl is not quite as big as she thinks she is!

Our little girl is sleeping much better these days. At least the past couple of days have been much more restful at night. I'd say she's eating three times in the night now, which is great for a 8 pound one-month old! She is starting to smile at us, and it makes me cry every time. I love her sweet little smiles. One of my favorite things is to cuddle up with her in my favorite spot and rock her to sleep.

This may be TMI for some, so just stop reading here if you're uncomfortable with normal body functions....
(still reading??) Well, since I still produce a little bit of milk, I have tried to breastfeed our little girl since the day we got her. But oh my goodness, it has been one of the hardest things I've done to decide that it just wasn't working. She would get so frustrated and angry about the flow of milk and so preferred the bottle to breastfeeding, that I've come to the conclusion this week that I need to stop trying. I know formula is not bad. I'm not going to argue with anyone about that. I just so prefer breastfeeding to formula feeding. I was so thankful that I got to breastfeed Hannah Mae and I wanted to do that for Sissy too. But after five weeks, it is apparent that we're not getting anywhere and it's stressing everyone (me and Sissy) out big time. Little Sissy is healthy, and gaining weight well and is such a precious baby girl. We are so thankful.

Hannah Mae and Sissy are really stinking cute together. Hannah loves to talk to her and tries to play with her all the time. Sissy hears her big sister's voice and turns her head and searches for her. Oh, how it warms my heart. I love having two little girls.

This last semester has been the busiest, most stressful and crazy-flying-by semester of our three years in seminary. I guess adding in a newborn, normal life, plus classes, plus planning for our after-graduation life can do that.
We're really excited about what we're going to do after graduation. Chris has been asked to be the functioning assistant pastor (it's a three year residency) at a new church plant in a really great college town. The church has just started meeting weekly at a location, though it's not open to the public just yet. The core group is growing, and it's really exciting. Since it's a church plant, and not a particularized church yet, there is no real budget for Chris' job. He will get some of his income from the church's budget, but we have to raise the rest of our income. To be honest, that's a bit scary. We have lived off of support these past years here in seminary, but we've also had other sources of income too- like Chris' TA job or his library assistant job, and my babysitting/nanny gigs. But soon, we're going to be living off of support alone... and that means we need to raise the money.

I know I went on and on about how God will provide if he calls you to do something in my post about Sissy's adoption, and I totally believe that. But there is still a little trepidation about how and when he will provide what we need.

We're getting ready for spring break and springtime!! Yay! I am doing a small cleanse after such a stressful couple of months, and it feels good to spend some intentional time focusing on my health and body. I've ditched my shampoo and conditioner this week and I'm cleansing it with a baking soda/water mixture and rinse the ends with apple cider vinegar. I also discovered that you can use baking soda as a facial mask/exfoliater.  And if that isn't enough, you can also use baking soda as a deodorant! I am a pretty stinky girl, and I find that the baking soda actually does a pretty good job. Coconut oil is my new favorite lotion/mositurizer. We started using it on Sissy because her skin tends to dry out pretty quickly and natural lotion can be quite expensive. Thankfully, coconut oil is cheap and a much better moisturizer than most lotions we've tried; and a little goes a long way so it lasts forever!

Those are some of the most random bits and pieces I've probably ever written. Oh well.
Happy last week of winter!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I am a mom

I am surrounded by giggles, squeals, coos, crying and sometimes screaming. I am surrounded by little girls. Little girl smiles, little girl sounds and little girl smells. I am a mom to two little girls.

I brush hair, pull pigtails out of thin air, play with princesses, and gently smooth coconut oil on my sweet smelling girls. My days are full of one little girl calling my name, following me around, endlessly asking me to play people or "watch this!" She asks for snuggles one minute and demands a pink sucker the next. Her hair smells like grown-up, big girl shampoo, and it seems to get longer and prettier each day. I spend my days with a tiny baby girl wrapped up next to my chest. She coos and sighs and smiles up at me. She cries and whines, searching for milk and even more snuggles. Her soft cries wake me up in the middle of the night, and I struggle to keep my eyes open while feeding and shushing and cajoling her back to sleep.

I am a mom to two little girls. I smell like coconut oil, milk, spit up, and sweet lavender lotion. I have a spare pink bow in my coat pocket, and a million tiny elastic bands in my purse. There are princesses, cinderella dresses big and small, and some superheroes thrown in for good measure.

Five years ago, in a quiet, invisible sort of way, I was a mom too.
I did not smell of spit up or diaper cream. I did not have a crib at the foot of our bed or a diaper pad in the middle of the living room floor. There were no toys scattered around our home, no little boy clothes in the laundry... no little boy sounds... no coos, no squeals, no cries.
Our home was quiet, and our hearts were broken.

Five years later, I am a mom to two little girls, and a little boy. Our home is not quiet, yet our hearts still feel the brokenness of his absence. That is something no amount of noise or joy or business or years can affect. This year he would be a kindergartner, a big boy with no time for snuggles or rest. I can't teach him to tie his shoes or learn to read. I don't have grass stains to wash out of his jeans or five million G.I. Joes to pick up off the floor.
Our house is busy and our days are full and loud... but there is a gap, a silence, where a five year old boy should be.

I don't write this way to gain sympathy or pity. I write about him, about the heaviness and reality of his absence because he matters. Because he's always a part of our family, and his absence will always be felt.

I am a mom. I am his mom too.