Friday, December 24, 2010

Family Treasures... don't miss them!

Focusing on Christ at Christmas is different for me this year.

This year my home is full of family. Treasured ones I joined when I married my Love who haven't been together for Christmas in 24 years. God aligned every minute of this special celebration and I don't want to miss one minute!

I find myself struggling with MANY opportunities to take offense, get my feelings hurt, overwork myself, be short tempered with the precious men in my life, and hear the enemy's voice in my inadequacies and imperfections.

It is a challenge dodging what seem like bullets (unintentional most of the time I am sure) and keeping my eyes on Christ, the One who came so we could embrace each other in freedom and grace. And, personally, I don't want to be robbed of one minute!

SO - here is what I am doing - with every "opportunity" that arises, I practice my emotional, physical or even mental "cat-like" reflexes :) and grab from my heart and mind a happy memory a Bible verse/promise, or even just choose a grin and press into my Jesus, fully committed to soaking up the Joy He came to deposit!

The treasures He put in my life - those I married into and those I birthed are designed by Him to be gifts in my life and I am going to enjoy every one!!

Joyful and Merry Christmas to each of you!

Friday, December 3, 2010

All Done? Really?

For almost all of my life I have envisioned having four children. When I was a child I wanted four by the time I was 25 and when I got married at the ripe old age of twenty, it seemed reasonable to expect that.

When I reached thirty and there was no sign of motherhood, but a deeply whispered promise in my heart, I was devastated. It was three more years before I would conceive and birth my first son (10 years from when we began "trying"). It was an amazing miracle from beginning to end. After he was born, I was truly grateful for the chance to be a mother, finally.

A few short months later I conceived my second son and all I could think of was Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us". And my second son was exactly that.

I had become a mother for sure! Two sons 14 1/2 months apart, I barely knew which end was up! I was exhausted, felt a little crazy but living my dream. It was amazing and wonderful and excruciating and incredible.


After the two, my Love and I became polarized on how many more babies we should have. He was done. Overwhelmed, exhausted and concerned about my mental and emotional status he was fairly confident we should just stop. We agreed to pray and God showed us both that we weren't quite done.


Almost a year later we conceived our third child. It was the first time I was able to surprise my Love about a pregnancy. The first one, he guessed. The second one, he made me take three tests AND call the EPT hotline to confirm, and so this third one, we wanted but had no idea when it would happen. It was January 3, 2007. I walked into my Love's office, in front of his co-workers and told him I needed a new car. I pulled out the positive pregnancy test and we hugged and every one cheered. It was an amazing day. As we called to tell everyone - the sense of celebration was tangible. I even wrote a little song that the boys and I could sing to the baby. I still hear it in my heart:
     Baby, Baby, we can't wait to meet you
     Baby, Baby, we're thinking about you today.
     Baby, Baby, we can't wait to see you.
     Baby, Baby, we love you every day.
We sang it many times a day for three weeks. And then, after a follow up ultrasound, we found out she was gone. I say she because I begged God to show me who the baby was if He was going to make me walk through the insane grief of losing her. The morning after that heartbreaking ultrasound, before I really woke up, I had a vision of a little tiny face, wrapped in a pink blanket, held in huge white robed arms. The next several weeks I had to sing the song differently with the boys:
     Baby, Baby, we can't wait to meet you
     Baby, Baby, we're thinking about you today.
     Baby, Baby, we know we can't see you.
     Baby, Baby, we know you're in Heaven today.
For months they asked me to sing the song. And I would. I would cry through it. Every time. My processing on this grief could be a whole series of blogs - I journaled all the way through it. I eventually made a scrapbook page with her ultrasound picture - the one with her heart beating and wrote her a letter. We named her Joy.

God, in His infinite grace and mercy gave me another baby within a few months. I was thrilled but terrified. My third son was in my arms days before the first anniversary of losing Joy back to Heaven. He is a precious gift.

For almost 2 years after my third son's birth my Love and I have been polarized again about whether to have another one. I still want more. Just one more. He is completely ready to move past the baby/toddler stage of life and get on with the older fun things to do with his sons. I don't blame him a bit. Part of me completely agrees, especially as I can see the light at the end of the "diaper" tunnel.


I have always had irregular cycles. Since I have been working out and losing weight they have semi-regulated so when I missed one last month I was a little surprised. Earlier this week my oldest son was talking about wanting a little sister. I reminded him that he gets impatient sharing me with his brothers and that would mean he would have to share me with one more sibling. He said he didn't care. He wants a little sister.


My second son piped up from his breakfast to say, "we have a sister, her name is Joy and she lives in Heaven." To which his brother replied, "I know, but I want a sister here with me now." I told them that both Daddy and Mommy only want what God wants for our family. I didn't mention that we feel differently on the issue, even though I have peace about my Love's upcoming vasectomy this month.


So, this morning I took a pregnancy test. It was negative. I cried. I dreamed last night that I watched the moisture move across the window into a plus sign, not a minus sign. I was only dreaming. I have had many friends who have dreamed about coming to see me in the hospital carrying pink. I have held out hope, that even though we are careful, that some how, some way I would have that fourth baby to hold in my womb and then in my arms.


I know we could adopt and foster parent. But, right now, at this minute, I ache for what I've longed for, I am at peace with what is and I wait, trusting, believing, and knowing that my God is in control of my every need as well as every need of each of my precious family members. Today I will worship. Tears falling a bit, but worship the One who provided for me, "exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,". 

Who am I?

My photo
I am a wife and mother of 3. I have been married to my best friend for over 25 years and our children are 12, 11 and 9 years old. I have struggled with infertility, suffered the loss of a baby by miscarriage, and endured multiple career paths. I have experienced a crisis of faith that shook me to the core and lost a dear friend to a tragic death. I have had a personal relationship with Jesus for most of my life. The Bible and my relationship with Christ has been essential to my surviving and even thriving in my circumstances. I hope you will be blessed by joining me in this process of life. I thank you for showing up to read what I have written.