Saturday, August 28, 2010

The promise of release

The last few days here have been filled with promise.
Isn't everyday, really? Each and everyday is new. A new day brings with it the promise of a fresh start, the promise of one more moment to love, the promise of seeing that smile...hearing that laugh...a kiss...a hug...missing someone with more intensity that you could ever imagine...wishing you could kiss him...hug him...
So tomorrow when I wake up, will I have a fresh one more moment...see that smile and hear that laugh...get or give a kiss or hug?  Will I miss him to pieces? Will I wish I could kiss and hug him?
The promise of all of those things is there. Nothing is guaranteed, but there is a reason to hope for or expect these things, which in turn means that tomorrow has promise.
I live in the heart of the south. That means we enjoy HOT summer days and steamy summer nights. 105 in the shade with stifling humidity is the standard by which we have come to live. Most days it is just unbearable. I do not make the boys or even allow the boys to spend too much time outside without a rest and water break frequently.  For those who work outside, summer here can be downright deadly if you do not heed a little common sense. Spring gives way to summer all too quick and those beautiful blooms that signify spring wilt and die under the intense heat. I truly love spring with its newness of life. The beautiful colors and crisp skies renew our spirits after a long, dreary winter. But Fall...Fall is my very favorite time of year. The promise of Fall is in the air and has been the last few days. The skies are not quite as hazy, there is a slight breeze, the temperatures have not been quite as oppressive, and the humidity has been down ever so slightly. The high temperature today was 90 and it was a relief. Fall offers the delightful promise of release from the oppression of summer. Just when I think I can not take it for one more day, the heat subsides ever so gently and in there lies the promise. The promise of release that I so long for by this time every year is a gradual process. Each day from here on out will bring something new...a gradual ease into cooler temperatures and lower humidity. There will be days that will seem to take us back to summer, when the humidity will be up and the temperature will creep back into the uncomfortable zone.  Those days however, will be surrounded by that promise that seem to make them more bearable.
God does not promise us that life will be like spring and fall.  He does not promise us that we will never have dreary winters and unbearable summer heat. He knows our threshhold and just when we cannot take it one more day, He ushers in fall and it's promise of release...
And college football.
Much love,

Saturday, August 21, 2010

He Cried

I remember the day that we met with the funeral home director to plan Eli's funeral. He asked us that day if we wanted an audio recording of the service. We both thought that was an odd request and declined the offer. Why would we want to go back and listen to one of the most gut wrenching services of our lives? Now, I totally regret not allowing them to audio record the service. His service was one of the sweetest worship services I have ever been a part of. Jamie and I wanted it to be as close to a regular worship service as possible. We wanted congregational singing, special music and preaching. My cousin Beverly coordinated the music, played the piano, and sang the specials for us. Our pastor lead the congregational music and my uncle David spoke. We sang Amazing Grace and What a Friend We Have in Jesus as an entire congregation and it was amazing. Be Still My Soul, Great is Thy Faithfulness, and I Will Carry You were the special songs that were either sang by Beverly or played. The music was wonderful and it ministered to my family so tremendously.
The one thing that I regret not being able to go back and listen to is the message that David presented at Eli's service. God gave David the words to speak that day. He knew the words that we would need to comfort us for some time to come. I am just so sorry that I can not go back and listen to these words from time to time, as I need a reminder. It seems that I remember bits and pieces of the message from time to time.
One part of the message that has been heavily on my mind of late is when David shared from John 11 about Jesus, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.
When John 11 begins Jesus' friend, whom he loved dearly, was sick. He was deathly sick. Martha and Mary, whom Jesus also loved dearly, sent word to him that Lazarus was sick. They knew that Jesus could heal Lazarus. They knew that if Jesus made it in time, before Lazarus died, that they would not lose their brother. That is why they sent word to Jesus. But the bible tells us that even two days after Jesus received word of Lazerus' illness, he tarried where he was. After two days, he gathered his disciples and went to Bethany, where Lazarus, Martha, and Mary were. By the time that Jesus got to them, Lazarus was dead. Jesus knew he was not living. He knew he would be dead when he arrived. Martha was the first to meet Jesus when he arrived and she told Jesus that had he been there Lazarus would not have died. I do not feel that was a sign of weakness from Martha, but a sign of faith. She knew that Jesus could have spared Lazerus' life. I can not help but feel that she and Mary both were hurt that Jesus did not come right away to spare them from this heartache. In fact Martha is the only one to meet Jesus when he does come. Mary stayed home. She was too distraught to leave her home at first. I know these women never lost their faith in Jesus, but I wonder if they questioned Jesus' reasoning for not coming to Lazarus quickly. I feel like they did. Once Jesus met Martha and told her that Lazarus would live (now remember he is already dead), Martha went in secret to go get Mary. Mary went immediately to where Jesus was and the first thing she did was fall at his feet crying. She also told Jesus that had he been there Lazarus would still be living. She was broken at Jesus' feet. The bible tells us that when Jesus saw this, he groaned in the spirit for his grieving friends. It says in John 11:35 "Jesus wept". Jesus was not weeping for Lazarus.  He was weeping for his friends who were hurting. He knew that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. He knew that Lazarus would live again. Yet, he still wept. He wept for the people that he loved. The chapter goes on to tell about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead and how this caused those around to believe on Him, that he is the Son of God. It also goes on to tell how this caused the chief priests and the Pharisees to take council against Jesus.
Well today it has been six months since we said goodbye to our Eli and these are the thoughts I woke up with in my head this morning. I thought about Martha and Mary, and how they must have been so hopeful when they sent that message to Jesus, that he would come immediately and heal Lazarus. I once had hopes of a healing. I once pleaded with God to heal my Eli. Just like He did not heal Lazarus, He did not heal Eli. Like Martha and Mary, I fall at His feet and say, "where were you Lord?"  Like with Martha and Mary, I believe that Jesus weeps with me. I believe He does not want us to hurt, to be broken. He loves us and groans in the spirit when we weep. There will be a day when He will wipe my tears from my eyes. There will be a day when I will put my arms around my son and and redemption will take place. No one knows when that day will be, just that IT WILL BE. I wouldn't miss it for anything.   
Much Love,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Part of the "new normal"

I remember the day I left Jay to go back to work for the first time. I cried if you looked at me wrong, heck I cried if you didn't. I just cried and he went to my mama's. I have been very blessed to have my mom fill in for me, while I spent my days at work, with all of my children. Then I remember the day I left my Cooper and went back to work.  Yet again, I was a basket case. I worked in Montgomery at that time and was driving an hour both ways. The hardest thing to do is leave a child to go to work. In many ways, I felt like I was neglecting them or being a bad mother somehow. I am not saying I was just that I felt that way. I longed for my summers home with them and then pined for them when summer was over. When Lucie Rose came, I took the standard six weeks off from work and returned to a classroom where a long term substitute had begun the year. So it literally was the first day of school that year for me. Now, I must say the substitute was the same one I had when I was out after having Eli and she is GREAT! It was just a new year for me and of course if someone looked at me wrong, I cried. Heck, I cried even if they didn't look at me wrong. And I cried, and cried, and cried, and even cried some more. I was depressed because I had to leave my baby girl (Mind you she was with my mother.) to go back to work. I told Jamie after I left her that if we were ever going to have more children, I would not leave them and go back to work. If we wanted more we had to make a way for me to quit and be a stay at home mom.
Then we got pregnant with Eli. As soon as we found out we were pregnant we started preparing financially for me to stay at home. My Jamie was making it work. We put the wheels in motion and I was looking forward to staying home with my new baby and I would even get to home school my other children. Life was good. I had a bun in the oven and three steaks on the grill. What more could a girl want?
Tossed salad...Yeah, my salad got tossed in a big way. Once we found out that my sweet little Eli would not live long after he was born, we started reevaluating our plans. Would I quit work? Would I still stay home and home school our other children? We were just unsure about everything. If Eli was to make his less than 10 % chance of survival, he would be in the hospital for up to eight or nine months we were told. We learned very quick like that no matter how much you plan, you cannot plan for everything.
Well Eli was born and did not beat the odds. So yet again we were faced with decisions to be made about future plans. Ultimately, we decided to stay the original course and home school.
Well, yesterday was the first day of home school around our house. Wow, is all I can say. It is wonderful to be able to teach my own children. I just love it! We do have a set schedule. School begins at 8:00 am. So far so good on tardies. I was able to hand pick our curriculum and could not be more pleased. I am able to sit down and provide the one on one instruction that teachers long to be able to do with all of their students. The boys seem to be really enjoying everything. This is my dream come true.  Well, except  for the fact that a part of the puzzle is missing.
Here are a few pictures of our first day of home school.
This is a before picture of our classroom aka my dining room.
Doing Singapore Math and really loving it!
This is Cooper looking quite dazed and confused. I promise we combed our hair before school. It is just really long and needs to be cut!
Jay is looking through his Apologia science book. Love it!
Cooper doing Wordly Wise using!
Word power!!!
This is Abigail Angel. She was given to me by Mrs. Rice, the school Librarian where I worked the the last four years. She gave me Abigail when we found out about Eli.
Abigail in now a part of our new classroom.

This is all part of our "new normal". Learning to adjust one day at a time to the plans that God has made for us.

Much Love,

Friday, August 13, 2010

Not so random at the moment...

Whew, it has been one of those days. Nine minutes until a new one. I know mama said there'd be days like this but really....
I don't know, just when it seems that things might settle...
Well, it actually started kinda sweet. To explain, I must digress just a little.
How many of you wake up with a song in your head every morning? Me neither, but Jamie does. He finally started sharing with me maybe a year or so ago about this phenomenon. It is one of my favorite parts of the day now. I get up, get the kids breakfast and then check my email to see what the SOTM is. He originally started emailing them to me at work last year and I would check it on my break. He gets to work, gets settled and searches for his song on YouTube, then emails it to me. His songs are completely random. I think the most hilarious one was a Taylor Dane song, followed by a cheesy Michael Jackson one (He is not a fan of MJ.) One morning it was a children's bible song and another morning it was Free by Zac Brown Band. That one was funny because he said he woke up singing, "No, we don't have a lot of money. No, we don't have a lot of money." That one is pretty typical of my very typical CPA hubbie. Any way the song of the morning this morning was You Deliver Me by Selah. Why is that so sweet? Well a while back we discovered that Eli's name is embedded in the word believe. Then yesterday Jamie was thinking about that and also realized that his name is embedded in deliver. Then add the song of the morning into the equation. Well, I've said before...I believe God gives us signs. This was nothing short of a sign.
So, I started out my day with that story, which was really sweet. Then, I don't know, maybe I am just overly tired from lack of sleep. It just seems I have been weepy the last couple of days.
My sweet little LR slapped the icing on the cake for me tonight. Jamie was pulling the quarter round up in the dining room and had it laying in the middle of the floor. He had already asked me to make sure she did not come near it, because it had nails sticking out of it. Well as a three year old can be sneaky from time to time, especially when you tell them to not do something. I turned my back and when I looked up she was in the room and headed for the nails. I scolded her and got her out. Then, I told her that those nails would hurt her and if she got one stuck in her she might have to go to the hospital. Without missing a beat, she headed straight back to the quarter round, grinning from ear to ear, and said, "cause I can go to the hospital and get Eli." That broke me. I cry as I type this. She really, really does think that we left him at the hospital. Her three year old mind just can not reason out why we won't go and get him. I can't help but feel utterly broken in two, knowing that is where her mind takes her. Knowing that she thinks we left him and won't go get him. I really can't figure it. She will tell you he is in heaven. So, I wonder if she thinks heaven and the hospital are the same place. The reasonable part of me tells me that she is only three and she will learn as she grows. The other parts of me scream that I can not stand for her to think we would actually walk away from him and leave him. Does she think we are going to leave her one day? Probably not..hopefully not...dear Lord, I pray she does not think that.
Lamentations 3:31-33
31For the LORD will not cast off for ever:
32But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.
33For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

For a little lightheartedness: If you wake up with a song of the morning, what was your most recent song? Was it something you heard recently or just a random song?
Much Love,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Divine Design

Added after the fact:
Randomness Warning
My sweet hubbie called me a little while ago and said, "I read your blog." I replied, "You did? What dja think? In the sweetest way possible, he responded, "It...was.. alright." So by now I am just ready for him to spit it out. I say, "What was wrong with it." His reply, "It was alright." Now, you must know that Jamie likes to kid around and play pranks a lot, but he wouldn't hurt the feelings of a flea for anything. So, I know he is just trying to be nice. He finally spit it out and told me that it was just hard to follow. Well, I did have to tell him that I posted the darn thing at 1:40 this morning while he was drooling all over his pillow. Anyway, these are my thoughts, maybe they do not make much sense. Believe it or not they don't to me sometimes either and when I write them down they seem to make more sense. This time they are just random.

In my quest to watch only things lighthearted, I watch mostly HGTV and Food Network (lest we forget Toy Story). One show on HGTV that I watch from time to time is Divine Design with Candice Olsen. Man, she is good. Every single detail of the design of a room is planned to perfection. Even the most minute details are thought about and add to the design of the room. Just the right throw pillow to provide a little contrast...just the right everything. Then abracadabra, a beautifully designed room for all the world to see.
Divine Design...
What's in a name? Divine means proceeding directly for God. Design means intend or have as a purpose or plan. So divine design is a plan intended with a purpose proceeding directly from God.
Not really sure why, but that word divine has been floating around in my head for the last two or three days. What could be the purpose for that? Don't really know!! So when I sat down to blog, mind you the sweeties were playing ball in the house because it was just too hot to play outside, the show Divine Design was the first thing that came to my mind. Now it is a completely new day or two and I am sitting in bed next to my slumbering better half, giving this subject a little more thought.
What does it mean that we are all divinely designed? On a side note, when I think of divine, I also think of a really decadent desert. Does that mean that God planned the said desert? Could be...
I know that this earth and all of its inhabitants are part of a divine design. Genesis gives us this information. That means that you, me, and yes, even those people we can only take in small doses and sometimes no doses at all are part of a greater plan...a divine design.
I know as surely as I sit here and as surely as my hubbie slumbers (and snores occasionally) my little man that I am missing with a vengeance tonight is a part of that divine design. His kidneys were not a mistake. He was not a mistake. His little 4lb 7oz body was divinely designed. It was broken here on earth, but it no longer is. Some days I just toss up my hands and say Not my will my Yours Lord, because I do not know what else to say. Possibly, I do not know what else to say because those are the exact words He wants to hear from me.
Colossians 1:15-20
15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Colossians 2:9-10
9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Even when we do not understand, it is part of a divine design. One we will be privy to one day.
Much love,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Let me just preface the thoughts that I am going to share here tonight with one statement.
I have seen firsthand these past several months evidence to support my belief.

We had a guest preacher at church Sunday night and my thoughts have been whirling since. This preacher gave his testimony, which was a true testament to God's awesome provisions in his life. In summary, he shared about being called to preach and the sacrifices he made all the while having faith that God would provide for him. He shared many examples of times when he and his family were in need and those needs were met unexplained by any other supernatural force than God Himself. It was impressive to say the least. While it was impressive there were some things he expounded upon concerning his beliefs that I just have a hard time with.
What I am really having a hard time with is the notion that if we name it, claim it, and tag it, we can take it home. What happens when what we name, claim, and tag is not part of God's perfect plan for our lives?
Maybe someone can give me more insight on this. I think that perhaps He answers our prayers in different ways.
Where am I coming from on this?
Well, November 30, 2009 I began praying and seeking God's face like I never have before. I believed. I had faith. I knew that God possessed(es) the power to reach in and heal Eli's kidneys. There was never a doubt in my mind about that. I prayed, I begged, I named it and claimed it. I even tagged it, but I didn't get to take it home. It was not His will. Until my child drew his last breath, I had faith that God could and would let me keep my child. All along there were signs leading me to the forgone conclusion that I would not have my prayers answered like I wanted them to be. I KNOW that prayers were and are answered. I know that God has gently carried my family through this storm and will continue to. But, it is still not what I prayed for.
Well according to the preacher Sunday night, I just was not either faithful enough, righteous enough, or both. He basically said that all of his prayers were answered because he had an unwavering faith in God and he was living for God. He was following whole-heartedly in God's will for his life. That is why God has made provisions for his family and continues to. I left church upset, thinking that maybe, I am not caring for Eli today because somehow I am out of the will of God. It has really bothered me.
Jamie and I have said all along that if God was not going to leave Eli with us, or even if He was, we wanted this situation to bring glory to God. We have been adamant about that. I fully believe that God has and will use my little guy to further His kingdom. I believe that there is something special waiting around the other bend, and that is why God called him home after his brief life here. I believe that God is allowing us to go through this tribulation for reasons unbeknown to us.
I do not believe that I did not have enough faith or was not persistent enough in seeking His face, so He left my prayers for earthly healing unanswered. I am a sinner saved by the merciful grace of God. I am not perfect, but I do not believe that is a prerequisite for answered prayers either. If that were so even those prayers of that preacher would be left unanswered, because we all sin. It just seamed to me that this man was saying that because he lives right and is a faithful child of God, his prayers get answered. That just does not sit well with me at all. Maybe I misconstrued his message. It has caused a whirligig in my already restless mind.
So, what can I do in this instance but turn to the only infallible authority I have on this issue. In my search for answers and peace about this, this is where God led me.
Ephesians 3:13-19
13Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory,
14For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
So there you have it...
And to answer that question that has been on your mind the entire time you have been reading this post...
A whirligig is an object that spins or whirls, or has whirling parts. This answer is brought to you by the very fallible authority Wikipedia.
Much love,