Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A muddled mess

A muddled mess...that about sums up my thoughts right now.  I hate having big decisions to make and not being at peace with either choice. I am not a wishy washy person by nature.  I normally am able to make a decision and defend it.  November 30th that all changed.  There have been so many decisions since then...I have prayed more for God's discernment these last few months than I think I have in my life. He has provided answers and peace for those answers in mighty ways.  In this situation, I can not get peace. I have prayed over and over for it. I decide one way and beat myself up for one set of reasons.  Then I change my mind and ultimately beat myself up for the flip side of those reasons. I wished that I could share this "big decision" right now and get your sound advice, but I can't. I just need someone to tell me what to do, like my parents used to.

It is not bad enough that my world stopped and life went I have to chase that life that didn't stop for me. I do not know if it is normal to feel physically worn out when you have not accomplished anything, but I do.  The "chase" is wearing me down...or maybe it is just life in general that is wearing me down.  I don't know anymore.  I have a few days where I think the fog is lifting.  Then it creeps right back in, thicker than ever. This is where I stop and think that if I could just pack my broken family up and get away it would make it all better. But then we would carry the brokeness to our get away and eventually would have to come back to reality anyway. So I have no choice but to face it, whatever it is.

I warned ya...a muddled mess.

I love this song! Make sure to turn off the playlist at the bottom of the blog.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I got a blog award and thought I would post it. Thanks to Elena at Lilly Elizabeth. Elena's daughter Lilly Elizabeth was diagnosed with anencephaly. She was born February 22, 2010 and went to be with our Lord on February 28, 2010.

The rules of this award are:

1. copy and paste the award on your blog.

2. list who gave the award to you and use a link to her/his blog (or hyperlink).

3. list 10 things that make you happy.

4. pass the award on to other bloggers

I like this award because it gave me the chance to sit down and think about happiness.  I do not do that near enough here lately. So here goes...
10 things that make me happy ...hmmm
1. Jamie - He is an amazing husband.
2. My children - Jay, Cooper, Lucie Rose, and Eli
3. Rachel - She is the best sister one could ever have.
4. Family - I have an awesome one!
5. Friends - They are pretty awesome also!
6. The beach - I long to go so bad right now.
7. A clean house - not happening too often here lately.
8. Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Macadamia Nut ice cream.
9. Sunshine
10. Spring

So now I have to pass this award along. I look forward to finding our what makes you happy!
1. Tina @ A Delightful Inheritance
2. Katie @ Praising the Lord in All Things
3. LeAnn @ Missions Girl for God

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Two months in the arms of Jesus

Today marks Eli's two month anniversary in Heaven. While these have been the most difficult two months of my life, I imagine that Eli is having a grand time.  When I picture him, it seems to be as a toddler.  Not sure why that is...I just picture him climbing trees, running around, playing ball, and doing the things that little boys do.  He left me as a baby, so I do not know why my thoughts take me where they do. I know what Jay, Cooper and Lucie Rose do on a daily basis and I love watching them grow.  I love the growing up process (for the most part). It can be bumpy from time to time. I can only imagine what Eli is doing on a daily basis, so I let my imagination run wild.  I imagine that he likes to read, as my other children have all liked books. Wonder what one reads in Heaven? I imagine that he likes a good practical joke (he is after all part Floyd, and his Granddaddy Floyd, uncle Ray Wilkes, and cousin Mitch are there with him). Floyds are known for their love of pulling a good one on someone. I imagine that he does not rest very much.  Why would he need to? His little body is now perfect! I have daydreamed so often about him.  I bet he likes to swing and have grand adventures. Imagine the adventures to be had in Heaven.  I bet he likes the beach! He went there before he was born.  I bet he swims in the purest ocean and jumps the highest waves.  He does not have to worry about sunburn or clouds stealing his fun. Wonder how many snow balls he has thrown? I wonder if he has gone to the beach and had a snowball fight in the same day? I have so many questions that I know he will answer for me one day.  Heaven is so very sweet tonight!
I also wanted to share a "wink" from God with you.  I have always loved tulips. They are just simple and beautiful to me.  My amazing sister and her amazing husband sent us flowers Friday.  They were just gorgeous!  There were jade roses, lilies, daisies, and tulips in the arrangement. We all know that over time cut flowers wilt and die. I noticed maybe Sunday that the tulips were taller than they were Friday.  Again on Monday, I noticed they were even taller. While the other flowers were dying, the tulips continued to grow.
Friday when I received the flowers the Tulips were even with all of the other flowers. Tulips are unique in that they will continue to grow once they have been cut. They will grow for a few days as long as they have water and light. They generally grow toward the strongest light.

Those tulips began as any other flower. A seed. Someone took that seed, planted it, and tenderly cared for it until it matured to the point that it was cut. Once cut from their lifeline, the roots, they began to die. Yet they are still beautiful and continue to grow.  Those tulips had a purpose.  Their purpose was to be put into a beautiful arrangement of flowers to bring joy to my family. They fullfilled their purpose and will to continue to long after they are gone.
You know, my sweet little Eli was only here for a few brief minutes. He grew in my belly for 32 weeks. We tenderly loved him while he was growing. Once he was born, he had fullfilled the purpose for which God sent him. I have no doubts that he is absolutey beautiful in Heaven and will continue to prosper there. He brought such that will last a lifetime. He "grew" toward the stongest light. God.
1 John 1:5
5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
In my quest to discover what I could about tulips this week, I also discovered that they have a very unique meaning.  Tulip means perfect love. A Journey of Perfect Love...What an amazing wink from God on this two month anniversary.

Make sure to take a peek at Eli's name gallery.  I have added some photographs. You can find it on the sidebar. If anyone else would like to send pictures for the gallery, I would love to add them. 
Much love,

Friday, April 16, 2010

Today was his due date

For nine months the excitement builds and builds.  You go from morning sickness to cravings, from utterly tired to sleepless, from wishing for a big round belly to wishing your big round belly would go away.  You go to your first doctors visit and discover when your little one will arrive.  You go next time and hear his or her tiny little heart racing.  You go have an ultrasound to determing the sex of your little one.  You go from monthly to bimonthly and then finally weekly visits to your doctor.  Each time you learn how much weight you have gained and on and on until finally the day comes that your little blessing arrives. That is probably the most anticipated day of all.  That day you find out who your baby is. 
Today was supposed to be that day for us.  Eli was due to arrive April 16, 2010.  One day after tax season.  Jamie and I as well our entire family should be holding, loving, and learning a new baby today.  We should be bracing ourselves for many sleepless nights.  We should be worried about all of the things that parents of a new baby worry about.  Instead we are broken.  Broken in a way that will never be fixed here on earth.  It is almost too much tonight.  I find myself asking why so often.  I feel like I should not be asking this question of my LORD because he has taken such tender care of us and carried us so graciously these last eight weeks. He has given us His peace and blessed us so mightily.  But I still feel shattered.  I still do not know why God has chosen this for us. I'm torn because I know Eli is perfect now and will never know the pain he would have certainly known here but I want to hold him.  It is not enough tonight to hold him in my heart and memory. The ache in my arms is almost physical. My friend Amy told me that I would crave my baby and I do. The pain of lossing a child is not as intense as it was eight weeks ago I must admit.  It is different.  It is a longing for that which was lost. All that is left of him are pictures, memories, and a scar I wear on my belly.  A scar which my children have lovingly named Eli's smile.  That name came about right after I came home from the hospital.  The boys being curious wanted to see my incision.  Since it was on my belly we decided it would be alright for them to see.  Jay commented that it looked like a smile, so Cooper immediately came back with, "that's Eli's smile."  Being that I had staples at the time my witty little Jay then added that his smile even had braces. That may sound silly to most, but it is almost comforting to me.  It is just one way that the boys chose to remember a brother they only got to know briefly. A brother they should be holding tonight...

We went to the cemetary this morning and I found myself wanting to do something for my son.  I wanted to tidy up his grave...but there was really nothing to do.  I felt helpless just standing there wanting to do something but having nothing that I could do.  It hit me then...there is nothing that I can do for Eli.  His heavenly Father has taken care of him. He has done more for him than I ever could.  He has kissed his hurts and made him all better.  Eli will never have need of a bandaid, a kiss from me, or my arms around him and that hurts deeply. So I am going to pray tonight that God would put a bandaid over my heart until He puts it back together. Not just my heart, but my entire family's.  We all miss him.  
My friend Corie sent part of this passage to me yesterday. 
Matthew 11:28-30
28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
It is a beautiful invitation from God to allow him to carry the heavy load.  All we have to do is give it to Him.

Much love,

Monday, April 12, 2010


I teach eleven and twelve year olds and have done this for almost eleven years now.  Through the years I have learned a great deal about children of this age group.  One thing I have observed is that there seems to be a phrase or word of the moment. I can think of a few that stand out in my mind...The "word on the moment" now seems to be random.(or maybe I am behind the times already???)  People love to use the word random.  Thoughts, actions, words...everything is random.  I looked up the definition for random and it means having no purpose, direction, method or aim.
I can think of a few things that are random.  Cravings when you are pregnant are random.  Before Eli, I never really had cravings.  With Eli I craved baby carrots, the smell of Fantastic all purpose cleaner, the smell of Gain laundry detergent, and other random things. I have noticed that even though I have not been pregnant now for seven weeks, I still have these random cravings. This is stange, I have never experienced it before. What is even more random is that the smell of these cleaners is so good to me that if I did not know any better I might try them to see how they taste.  It is that little warning that is printed on the back that says harmful if swallowed that really deters me.
Another random thing here lately... My thoughts.  They are very random.  Sometimes it is hard to focus on one specific thing.  My mind is constantly on things other than where it seems it needs to be.  I have caught myself having to have things repeated. Jamie has had to tell me that the kids were talking to me or that he was saying something.  I completely understand how it would feel to have an attention deficit. This is frusterating to me as well as others, I am sure.
My emotions are pretty random.  It is really beyond me how I can be up one minute and bawling the next.  I never know when it will hit right now.  I just have to be prepared with tissue and an exit stategy wherever I am. Sometimes there are triggers, sometimes not.  I passed an amubulance the other day on the road and it just brought his birthday flooding back. All I could think at that moment was "I was not ready, I did not want it to be over. I want him back safe and sound in my tummy, so I can feel him move. He was not supposed to be here yet." Why, why, why...why did I have to give him up?
Stop for a minute and think about that word...random. Life is filled with randomness, but one thing that is not random is the plans that God has for our lives. Our lives are planned down to the second by the master planner.  It was not a random act of cruelty that gave Eli to us and took him from us. God purposed Eli just for us. He planned for me to carry him to 32 weeks and give him back to him.  There is nothing random about it.  It was His plan all along.  I cannot say that I understand now or ever will.  I cannot say that I will ever stop trying to understand.  I am human after all.  I have no doubts that God blessed us with Eli.  I have no doubts that Eli is in Heaven with Jesus.  I have no doubts that I will see him again.  I also have no doubts that getting pregnant with a beautiful baby boy, learning that he had a condition that made him incompatible with life, carrying him for 32 weeks, giving birth to him, holding and loving him, then giving him back to Jesus was as far from random as you could possible get.  The way God works through us and in us is amazing and so completely purposed. He has a plan and has from the beginning.  Sometimes it is just a little difficult to understand how I fit into that Eli fit into that plan. 

Ephesians 3:12-21
12In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

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.
20Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen

Anyway, enough of my randomness for one night. Except on a completely random note...I would like to start a name gallery for Eli.  I did borrow this idea from another blog.  It is not original, but I loved it.  So basically what you do is look for his name in random places. Street signs, store signs,  are just a couple...or you could write his name in the sand at the beach or in the snow.  Any creative way will do.  Then you take a picture of it and email me the picture.  I will then add that picture with your name to his gallery.  My email is on the sidebar of my blog.  Please, please, please help me with this.  It is really a neat idea.  I look forward to what you guys come up with.  

Much love,

Monday, April 5, 2010

Beautiful Baby Boy!

Yesterday was six weeks...six weeks since Eli went home to our LORD.  It is hard to imagine him not being a part of our lives.  He always will be.  I honestly do not know where time has gone.  I know I have said this before, but it is almost like time is standing still in my mind and heart and flying by in the world around me.  Sometimes I feel like I am being left behind while the world moves on around me.  I feel like it should stop and rest for a while, but know that is not possible.
I want to share Eli with you.  I want you to see for yourself the beauty and love that is...Eli. 
The songs that are set to the slideshow are Love Never Fails by Brandon Heath and I Will Carry You by Selah.  Lucie Rose loves to sing with Love Never Fails.  In one part of the song, the lyrics are love is alive...Lucie Rose instead sings love is Eli. 

I Corinthians 13:4-7 & 13
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Make sure to scroll down and turn off the music on the playlist before beginning the slideshow.

These pictures were taken by Lisa Smith.  She is amazing.  You can check out her work at . Thank you Lisa!

Much love,

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Born To Die

Imagine with me tonight a young, teenage girl.  Her name is Mary and she does not come from a privileged family. She is engaged to a young man named Joseph. She is ordinary just like you and me. I am sure she thinks Joseph is the man of her dreams. I am not sure man is the correct term here, for he is merely a boy by our standards. One boy, one girl, so used of God...
Luke 1:26-38 & 46-55
26And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

46And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

Can you even begin to imagine Mary telling her parents, friends, Joseph...that she is pregnant? She is a virgin, with child. Can you imagine the disgrace that this brought to her?  Can you imagine the grace with which she handled such a situation? She knew that she was carrying our Lord in her belly.  She knew that the child in which she carried was born to die.  She could only imagine the heartache that she would know as the mother of a perfect, sinless man that would be scorned, ridiculed, murdered...

She knew He was born to die but she carried Him...she loved Him...she delivered Him.
Luke 2:4-7
4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

She delivered him in a stable with no medication for pain.  Can you imagine the love of that mother the first time she layed eyes on her precious son.  It did not matter at that moment where she was.  I often wonder about the first time Mary felt Jesus move in her belly.  I wonder if Jesus got hiccups in him mama's tummy.  I wonder how far along Mary was the first time she felt that tiny little baby squirm in her belly.  I wonder if He was an active baby.  Did he move a lot or a little? I wonder what types of foods Mary craved when she was pregnant. I wonder what she talked to her baby about while she carried him.  Did she tell him she knew he was born to die?

Matthew 27:26-50
26Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.
28And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
29And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
30And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
31And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
32And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
33And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,
34They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
35And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
36And sitting down they watched him there;
37And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
38Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.
39And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
40And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
41Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,
42He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
43He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
44The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.
45Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
47Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.
48And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
49The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.
50Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

He was born to die.  He was born to die for you...for me...for our sins. He was born to die that we might have life eternal.  Mary watched as her son was spit on, stripped, and made to wear a crown of thorns.  Mary watched her son die.  She knew when she carried him in her womb that this would be His life. Yet, she chose to carry Him.  She was chosen to carry Him.  Mary, a poor, scared, frightened, brave, young girl was chosen to carry Him. She looked on as her son was beaten, mocked, and died. What hope did she have?

Matthew 28:1-6
1In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

Mary was not without hope.  For as her Son died, He also arose.
Never before have I been able to truly imagine Mary's heartache.  Because of Eli's life and death, I have a completely different perspective this Easter. I knew as I carried Eli in my belly that he would be born to die.  Not for the same reason that Jesus was born to die of course.  I am in no way comparing Eli with Jesus.  Mary knew from the beginning, conception...that her Son's life on earth would be brief. I knew from 20 weeks that my son's life would be brief.  I now know the heartache of seeing a child pass from this earth too soon. I only wished that I had the grace Mary exhibited. I absolutely believe that Mary grieved Jesus' death.  How could she not...She was human.  Although she carried and raised a sinless child, she was like you and me.  She willingly, lovingly, and obediently gave her body and life to be used of God.  It is hard to fathom that.
From the moment I knew I had a baby in my belly, I loved it. God chose Jamie and I to love Eli.  He chose me to carry him in my belly.  He chose us to be his parents. We do not know the reason Eli was sent so briefly.  I do know that while he was here he blessed my life so tremendously. I could not even begin to imagine not carrying him.  What joy I would have missed...I am so thankful that God chose us to love Eli.  I miss him terribly.  I long to hold that sweet little baby in my arms. I feel like a part of me has been ripped to shreds.  Did Mary feel this way?
Because God sent his Son to earth, I am not without hope...
I will hold my son again.

Much love,