Thursday, January 31, 2013

Overcoming the Spirit of Fear

This week I have been super busy preparing for surgery, scheduled for February 7th. I have know for a while I have a kidney stone. I see a urologist frequently due to a combination of urological problems. My doctor decided it was time to operate to remove the stone so I do not end up with a horrible infection like I did in 2009. I have to admit fear has gripped my heart as I anticipate next week.

When I was five weeks pregnant with Shayla I had a stone stuck that resulted in a kidney infection that leached into my blood stream and was quickly leading to sepsis. I was extremely sick and spent a week in the hospital, I had two surgeries and a stent placement. It was the most physically painful thing I have ever experienced.

I guess knowing what I am in store for is what is really creating fear. I have gone through this before and it was AWFUL I am just hoping that somehow it will be different this time. I had zero tolerance for the stent last time and could not walk until it was out. I will have a stent for a week this time(sigh).

On top of it all this happens at a time when our home is in upheaval because of all the projects we started. I suspect I will be totally out of it for at least a week and not fully recovered for four to six.

I have been so full of fear the last few days.... fearful of being put to sleep, fearful of the pain, fearful of my kids getting cared for, fearful of the added stress it will put on my husband and fearful of the way it will all work out. Just plain fearful. 

These are the scriptures that I am clinging to and whispering to myself several times a day. 

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind
~2 Timothy 1:7

So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. 
~Matt 10:31 

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. 
~Joshua 1:9

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
~John 14:27

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 
~Psalm 56:3

Dear Lord, 
Help me to not have the spirit of fear but of POWER and LOVE and a SOUND MIND. I know that I am worth more than many sparrows and that you have commanded me to be COURAGEOUS. I know that I have your gift of peace, help me to rest in it. When I am afraid I WILL put my trust in you my SAVIOR my JESUS.

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you
~ Psalm 91:4-8 
One of my favorite Christmas photos, just because it makes me smile :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

WWY Overcoming Guilt ~ Embracing Joy

This week we are taking about guilt and joy.

I have experienced lots of guilt since Jonathan went to Heaven, at first it was paralyzing and consuming. I was convinced I killed him and desperately wanted proof or to hear the audible voice of God to say it was not my fault. The doctors told me it was not my fault but it was not good enough, I wanted to hear it from God.

 Some moments and days the guilt was so overwhelming I could barley think of anything else. My husband preach to me and I preached to myself trying to bring comfort in this area. I wrote posts like this one trying too get out of the pit of guilt. I can't put my finger on an exact moment of healing, where the voice of God pardoned me from this gripe of grief. I guess it was a slow process of hearing it was not my fault and reading scriptures about God being in control. 

I remember one particularly bad day, I was wailing and crying that I had killed Jonathan. My husband cupped my wet face in his hands he drew my eyes to his and whispered '"Tesha you don't have that much power....God is in control of our lives" I completely dismissed this and went on a campaign of examples of mothers that had in fact endangered the lives of their children and they had died. Jimmy must of been so weary at this point and wondered if his wife that was once full of faith would ever return.

 I would not allow myself to be comforted in the area of Guilt. For a long time I wanted to feel the sting, the pain of guilt....somehow it was almost easier than the pain of Jonathan's death. 

Sometimes when I would see his little urn sitting in our bedroom I would become slightly hysterical....wailing....I can't believe all this happened, I can't believe he is dead. Sometimes the pain and the guilt of blaming myself, felt safer that tiptoeing into the territory of, WHY God? I mean if I knew I did it my Jesus could still be good, it was my fault not his.

I read a blog post about a mommy that dropped a TV on her young daughter when she was moving. The little girl died. I remember thinking how awful this mommy must feel, so guilty. But did I think she was guilty, NO of coarse not. It was a sad accident and as I reflected on it I concluded, that ultimately God was in control. He could have saved that little girl but his plan was that it was her time to come home. I think this is were I began to think God is in control of Jonathan's life. HE knew, HE planned, HE gave and HE took away.....but could I still say, "blessed be HIS name"? I read the book of Job many times in utter disbelief. How did Job have such faith and love for God when he had allowed Satan to sift him so violently? How? Why can't I?

I allowed myself to ask the hard question like, why? I let God lead me to scriptures and help me work it out, then I would preach to myself again.  (If God is good, Why) What can I say, I tend to listen to myself best:) God did meet me, he did help me work out some hard things in my heart. He began to really speak grace to me. It is so different when you read or hear about grace then when you LIVE it. Once you have lived Grace you are never the same.

Over time the guilt begin to lessen, it was still there but it did not dominate my thoughts. Joy began to ease back in. At first I could only take joy in small doses, there was also guilt over joy and smiling. I thought, I can't smile and laugh my baby is dead, his ashes are in a box next to my bed.

My husband had a dream and in the dream he saw Jonathan. Jonathan hugged him and said, "Tell mommy I want her to be happy" This voice from Heaven was confirmed because my S-I-L emailed me to say she felt she had a message from Jonathan and it was that he wanted me to be happy. I believed it with all of my heart. I believed Jonathan was supremely happy and he DID want me to be happy also. The problem is, a lot of thing are much easier said that done. So now I know Johnathan wants me to be happy but that dose not take away the relentless sadness.

At this point I often struggled with weariness and depression and felling guilt not only for his death but for the sadness as well. It seems like a vicious cycle of grief. I had a kind of secret fear that if I was happy then everyone would think I was over Jonathan and I could never return to grief again. I thought people expected me to go in a strait line of healing and if I didn't they would not let me go back. I mean if I am happy and smiling today and sobbing tomorrow won't they think (I thought she was doing better or past this already)?

I shared this fear with my husband and he so wisely said, "Who cares!? "Who cares what anyone thinks, you have walked a path very few have endured and you alone know where you are. It's OK to let yourself be better and it's OK to let yourself go back....just keep going!" 

I also thought my healing and joy would take me far away from Jonathan and I would lose a part of him by healing and laughing. I got a strong revelation at this time (safe in my heart) that Jonathan is mine forever just like NOTHING can change Jesus's love for me NOTHING can change my love for Jonathan. I must keep living, loving and forgiving.

SO that's what I decided to do... some days, laugh and smile and some days cry. I jokingly called my blog bipolar, you just never know what you will get. That has been my life a lot this year. Although I have gotten better in the last few months at controlling my emotions.-- I could of written that last sentence with complete confidence, except for the fact that I spent a couple days this week in bed in a mess of tears.

I still have moments of guilt and intense sadness. Moments when the pain and grief stabs straight through me. A lump rises in my throat and hopelessness is at hand. But then, oh then, Jesus comes to my rescue, whether it is a friend that prays for me or a scripture that speaks to me. Jesus finds a way to renew hope and I do my part to contend for healing and joy.

I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. 
~Jeremiah 31:13

My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. 
~Psalm 38:4

For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. 
~Jeremiah 31:25

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Love for Jonathan

On Jonathan's Birthday I came down with an awful headache, body aches and chills. Our balloon release plans and cake had to be postponed because I was feeling so bad. I was surprisingly OK most of the day emotionally. To my delight from morning until night I got a steady stream of love....emails, cards, phone calls and gifts. They literally seem to come all day.

The day after (Friday) It was like someone turned on a faucet and I could not find the off button. I cried ALL day. Just as I had no control over the falling rain outside, I had no control over the relentless stream of tears. I had to go to the store and started balling right there in line. It was awful, just pure raw emotions that I could not stop. All these tears and sharp grief took me by surprise I guess I thought I was past such intense sadness (sigh).

I am feeling better physically and emotionally today. In truth there were some tears of disappointment and forgiveness required because some of my expectations were let down. That's just one of the beautiful aspects of my son Jonathan's life....always helping mommy grow and become more like Jesus. 

Thank you so much for all the love and all the prayers, I FELT them! Jesus has so blessed me with amazing people in my life!!!

Here is the Jonathan LOVE that came my way

This beautiful name board was made by my dear friend Kathy. I am so exited to display it in our home and use it for pictures!
Thank You Kathy your the best friend a girl could ever ask for!

Love this precious, puppy flower arrangement. I don't know why but it seems perfect for Jonathan and reminds me so much of him. Thank you to my dear sweet sister-in-love and family!

My Pastors wife (yes I still have one even though I am one:) brought me this beautiful Orchid.
Thank you Jennifer!

Tabitha my sister made this amazing crochet block, which perfectly represents Jonathan's 1st birthday. It has his initials, the number one and a heart on top.

Thank you whoever was so sweet to leave an anonymous balloon with Jonathan's name. Your kindness is seen by God and so appreciated by our family.

Kyla made these two beautiful items for Jonathan (LOVE)! You can request a painted rock on her blog.
Thank You Shauna for remembering Jonathan and the beautiful pictures!

This is the sunset on Jonathan's Birthday taken by Kim. How amazing that she was thinking of us all day! Kim you are a dear sweet friend.
 Thank You KIM!

Sweet Christine requested prayer for me on her blog.
You are so very thoughtful, thank you Christine!

Thank you Holly and Ashley for remembering Jonathan's birthday on your blog this month!

Thank you everyone for all the comments and emails!
 They each and every one were special and encouraged my heart!

My AMAZING Jesse (11) delighted my heart by writing poems to each person in the family from Jonathan. My heart was overwhelmed with joy. Thank you Jesse my love!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Jonathan!

I have written many letters to Jonathan for his birthday, some seem to light and some seem to heavy. I feel they all fall short of conveying the great love I have for him and the impact he has made on my life. If I could pour my heart out into a computer or a journal, it still would not be enough. Jonathan is worth so much more than words and mine are inadequate to express my love for him. Do not read this but hear it.... feel it.... a mothers heart, clinging to and crying for her beloved son Jonathan

Dear Jonathan,

Today is your birthday little boy. I am so very thankful for the 19 weeks I carried you in my tummy and the hours I held you in my arms here on earth. From the moment I knew of you, I loved you! I dreamed of you, I planed for you, I prepared for you. There is no truth in you being wanted any less because you were sixth in line. Quite the opposite at 32 and with five others under my feet I know full well what your life would mean. A tiny face peeking out of a warm blanket, kisses on a little nose, Cuddled up sleeping on the couch, nursing you warmly next to me, brothers and sister tugging at your sweetness to get a peek, late nights just the two of us in the rocking chair....that quiet place were love is all we feel.

Then days would turn to weeks and you would be cooing and blowing bubbles. How I missed you being passed around to the big brothers and sister as they proudly show you off. How I wish I could see your first step or silly face the first time you taste carrots. 

All these little things can be taken for granted, Oh what I would do to have just a few of these experiences with you.....

Late night nursing propped up on fluffy pink pillows with my precious little one cuddled on my chest. We have missed the rolling and scooting, we have misses the walking and the cooing. We have missed first words, first baths and first trips to the beach.  We have missed diaper changes and wrestling on the carpet, We have missed Shayla rocking you and Joseph beating you up:) We have miss all that you are and all that you would become.  

We did not just lose a baby, we lost a son, a brother, a friend, and a lifetime of memories when you made your early departure. I trust that God knows full well what he is doing. You life most certainly did have a good plan. It is beige fulfilled even now, you live in heaven and in my heart. You live in me because you reminded me to be tender to the broken and love the lonely. You live in me because I carry you with me wherever I go. I talk of you often and tell your story to all that will listen. 

You are my special boy and I will always feel deeply connected to you. How I will rejoice on the day we meet again. You have all of my heart I do not fear it being broken because broken it has been, yet Jesus has healed it. No amount of time on this earth will take you from me, I will always love and cherish you. Jonathan you will always have my heart and all of my love. I have missed you for 365 days and today we are one year close to being together again.

Love, your Mommy

A few special first moments we have missed this year with Jonathan (Pictures provided by brothers and sister)

First cuddles at home in bed
First diaper change
First trip to church
First time to be held by a brother or sister
First time you kiss daddy
First baby portraits
First bath
First Easter
First time wrestling
First trip to Tenn.
First outing
First Christmas
First bath with sibling
First Halloween
First time swinging
First tummy time
First fourth of July
First foods
First meal in highchair
First smile
First time hiking 
First steps
First time standing
First time in the ocean 
First family portraits
First Birthday cake
Jonathan, I see you in all these these pictures. All we have missed and all that God will someday restore.

I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you.
 ~Joel 2:25-26

I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful

~2 Samuel 1:26

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Day Before Jonathan's Day

This time last year I was packing my bag for my induction to take place tomorrow. I had spent the day in the hospital where it was confirmed that our baby boy had gone to Heaven.

This has been an extremely busy week for us. My husband has been preaching a revival and I joined him for all the services but one. At first I was a little bummed that I did not have more time for reflection as Jonathan's birthday approached but now I realized it saved me the dreaded anticipation of when He died. I have not felt major anxiety over his birthday, however I did feel overwhelmed thinking about the day he left us. I think it is only natural to wondered if he suffered and what I was doing the moment his spirit slipped into Heaven.

Looking back I did notice a major decree in his kicks in the days leading up to my doctors appointment, where I heard "no heartbeat". I was worried and drank juice several times to stimulate him. I though his lack of movement was because I was very sick. When the doctor began to listen to his heartbeat we both felt a very big bump in my tummy. I thought it was a big kick or him turning over, it was really his little body being pushed from the probe. Sometimes thinking of that moment will instantly make me cry. When they sent me to the hospital I fully expected him to be OK. Even the next morning before the induction I made them do another ultrasound to make sure he was really gone. I was convinced I had felt him moving. 

There are moments it seems likes yesterday and moments it seems like a lifetime has gone by.

As I sit here alone tonight I feel sad, but I also feel peaceful. Don't get me wrong I have experienced some true anxiety and sadness this week, but right now I feel the prayers of those that love me carrying me through. I am praying and trying to keep my expectation low for Jonathan's birthday. We are planing to release some balloons at the beach, have cake and watch his slideshow together as a family. I guess I just really do not want to expect people to remember, so then I am not let down. I have already received a few messages of love and prayers and I am so thankful for that. Most of all I am thankful for Jesus and his unending love.

No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm-I will come to you.
~John 14:18 

Monday, January 21, 2013

WWY Stepping back into life.

This week we are writing about steeping back into life.
In one aspect I never really stopped living....I mean how could I with five living kids to take care of. On the other hand to really live fully and love with all of my heart took a while. I guess for many months I went through the motions, numb except for the sadness. I did not want to be around people because they seemed to say the most ridiculously hurtful things. I tried to tell myself they could not help it they did not know better, but at night their words would haunt me . So I stayed away as much as possible. 

When we had our annual pastors conference in June I did not really want to go. I was only sleeping two hours a night and Was exhausted most of the time. I was faced with many days of being around A LOT of people and seeing my new nephew that was the same age as Jonathan. This was my breaking point and what propelled me to step back into life. I went with a lot of fear that things would go terribly wrong and to some degree they did. 

Some things that I thought I could do with ease ripped my heart out and some things that griped me with fear were not so bad. By far the worst feeling was my desperate need for someone to understand, to love me and show compassion for the deep anguish in my heart. At bible conference Jesus once again became that someone.

 I also came to a place of true thankfulness for Jonathan. I was thankful that Jesus asked me to carry him for as long as I did. I was thankful that I got to hold him and spend time with him. Most of all I was so thankful I did indeed have another son waiting for me and Jesus has provided a way for us to spend eternity together.

I had the revelation that this is a path I would mostly walk alone with Jesus. I could share Jonathan's story but in truth very few people would understand. Many people would say foolish and hurtful things and I would have to forgive them and love them over and over again. Sermons spoke to my heart and I let go and began to recklessly forgive and give grace to those that did not deserve it. After all many had showered me with grace that I did not deserve over the last six months.

One of the quotes that really spoke to me at conference was from our head pastor he said, 

" Do not get caught in the dark world of introspection." 

This is from man that became paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident when he was a very young pastor. He easily could of became trapped in an introspective world, asking why and wallowing in grief for the rest of his life. Living without his legs is a life sentence just as living without Jonathan in our family is a life sentence for me. God gives us a time to grieve, he gives us grace during that time to deeply mourn but we can not remain in that place. Comfort and healing is the purpose of grieving.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted
Matthew 5:4

 I knew that Jesus was calling me from mourning to dancing once again. I faced the fear that joy would take me far away from Jonathan and I realized healing would not end my love for him. In the last months I have healed and Jonathan is never far from my heart. When deep grief threatens to settle in I start thanking and praising for God for my son in Heaven.

I feel compelled to add at that time I did have the assistance of my doctor to break the patter of sleeplessness. After much prayer and contemplation I went on a prescribed amount of sleep aid for one month and then tapered it off. It worked like the doctor said and my sleep pattern returned to normal. This really improved my outlook and my attitude. True sleeplessness is devastating to the body and mind in so many ways. I have been criticized for being a Christian and resorting to medication but I have to say it what was best for me at the time. With my sleep restored everything got better and my heart and mind felt clear after living in a thick fog. I also started attending a local support group and did not need so much online support.

Around July I began to feel true joy instead of just pain. I went to Tenn and then we took a family vacation and spent countless hours at the beach. The smile in my eyes returned and joy began to outweigh the sadness.

As I approach Jonathan's Birthday there have moments of great pain. The sting in my heart of living without him can be brutal. I still have to forgive foolish comments because I choose to share Jonathan with the world. I know Jesus will carry me through, just as he has in the past. I need not fear the grief or the healing there is a time for both and Jesus is faithful to see me through it all.

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
5 a time to mourn and a time to dance,

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time

Ecclesiastes 3 1,4,5,and 11

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Heavenly Portrait

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him 
~1 Corinthians 2:9
Beth recently did the most beautiful drawing of Jonathan in Heaven. My husband saw it and said "That's exactly how I see him!" I am so very thankful for Beth, her writing and art are a true blessing to the baby loss community. I am never disappointed in any of Beth's beautiful work!

You can order your babies Custom Digital Remembrance Art HERE!

THANK YOU Beth a MILLION times!!!:)

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
~Luke 12:32

Thursday, January 17, 2013

An Unexpected Delight

My mom had a job interview near our home and she was able to come and visit for two nights. She lives in Tenn and if she gets this job she will be visiting several time a year. It was a delight to unexpectedly get to see her. My kids loved her so much and it's hard to go six months to a year without a visit. It would be a wonderful blessing that we are able to spend more time with her.

Love you Mom, I am so thankful for you!

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
~Matthew 19:26

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Jonathan Shaped Spot In My Heart.

Yesterday I sat in the room where it was confirmed that Jonathan had gone to Heaven, it was also the room where they gave me pill that would begin to induce labor. I did not cry but there was a lump in my throat the whole time, I talked myself through each moment taking deep breaths. A few hours later the tears came and I was afraid they would not stop. They did stop and I felt the prayers of  those that love me comforting me.

How I wish I was in that room because we were expecting our rainbow baby but I was there to have a conformation diagnosis of endometriosis. There will be no rainbow baby for a while. I feel sad, yet I fully believe that God is in control. He has a plan for our family, I might not like it but I trust him.

I have to ask myself..... why do I desire a rainbow baby so badly? I said this to my SIL and she wisely said "You have love in your heart that you were unable to give Jonathan" My favorite song after I had Jonathan was Smallest and Wingless. There is a line in that says, "Sadness is just love wasted, no little heart to place it inside." I have given all of my heart to Jonathan and poured love out on him in various ways, yet it is not the same as if he were here.

Whether or not I ever have another baby, there will always be a Jonathan shaped spot in my heart.

Craig Cardiff - Smallest Wingless

Dear Son we've been waiting for you.
thrilled, beside ourselves you've arrived.
white coats came in heads held low.
talked for a bit, shuffled outside.

we closed the curtains, held each other and cried.
said hello at the same time we said goodbye.

smallest and wingless
leaving as soon as you arrived.
sadness is just love wasted
with no little heart to place it inside.

we closed the curtains held each other and cried.
said hello at the same time we said goodbye

My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever
~Psalm 73:26

Monday, January 14, 2013

This time last year.

One year ago on January the 13th we found out we were having a baby boy. He was squirmy during the ultrasound and it took a long time to see that he was a little boy. That next day, one year ago today, we finalized his name Jonathan Anthony and told his big brothers and sister. The boys rejoiced and said "Hooray another member for the boys club!" (an all boys club of cousins started by their beloved Papa). We were all so excited to welcome him into our family. I was feeling sick and spent the next week on the couch I had no idea that all to soon we would say goodbye to our son.

Jonathan's sweet little face in 3D

Dear Jonathan I loved from the moment I knew of you. I was excited to watch you grow up with your brothers and sister. You were so wanted and so loved. You will always be my baby boy.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
~Psalm 139:13-16

Walking With You: Clinging In The Pit

This week in WWY, we are talking about life in the pit of new grief. 

In the first weeks after Jonathan's birth I was very physically sick, I had many DR appointments and one trip to the ER. I kind of zoned in and out of reality wanting it to all be a bad dream. I had some seriously scary panic attacks and horrific nightmares, that I still can not talk about. The pain was so deep at moments that I can not find words to describe it.

 A few weeks after his birth I got passionate about sharing Jonathan's life. I did things like start this blog, join online support groups, sent out birth announcements and I talked about Jonathan to EVERYONE! I was always writing about him in journals and on my blog. Everywhere I went I would speak of him.

 I can not believe all the love and support I received in the pit. On the flip side I can not believe the awful heartbreaking things some people said, unfortunately even dear friends. 

About three months after Jonathan's death I had what I will call my breaking point. I was not sleeping at all, like two hours a night. I felt everyone was over hearing me talk about him and ready for me to move on. It began to sink in that people were really uncomfortable hearing about a dead baby that was born at twenty weeks.

I got lots of rude comments because my openness in my grief. In fact family members were ashamed of my blog. People that I asked repeatedly to call Jonathan by name would not. When I mentioned him I could see people shifting in their seats and turning their eyes away, they often would changed the subject. I was heartbroken and felt very abandon by many. One lady actually had the nerve to tell me that many people did not think of Jonathan as a baby but a blob. I swear I almost threw up right then and there. A lot of people totally ignored him and my grief. Many people said nothing at all, still even to this day. 

What really hurt the most was how many people dismissed Jonathan because I have so many healthy Children. I CONSTANTLY heard, "You can have another baby and your so blessed". My heart broke each time I heard this, feeling that Jonathan's life was easily replaced. If I had ten kids none of them could take his place in my heart. He was our precious, wanted, loved and valuable little boy. I have not gotten pregnant this year so easy answers do not always pan out. 

 All this kind of hit home and the realization that I should have a new baby sunk in. I acted and reacted way out of character during this time. I felt like everyone abandon me, this was not true but it was how I felt at the time. looking back I can see that the lack of sleep and extreme grief had an effect on my emotions and reasoning. I think most everyone had my best interest at heart but I could not see it because of the pain. There were some legitimate offenses that came during this time and I am so glad that Jesus has helped me to completely forgive.

 I would end most nights crying alone after I put my other kids to bed. I stayed up ALL night reading, praying, and writing. I went up and down from crying out, desperately clinging to Jesus, to being so numb it was hard to do anything. I am so blessed that many were praying for me during this time. It was their....(your) prayers, that help me make it through. 

I would never want to relive those early days so much hurt and pain surround them. There were days I wanted to scream Where are the people that care, why aren't helping me? Where is my Jesus, why won't he rescue me from the pain?

The truth is... there are some dark nights of the soul that we will walk alone, this was mine. It is in these times of life that God becomes our all in all and we are drastically changed. Jesus took me on a path of offenses to bring me to a place of mercy and grace. Looking back I see Gods hand and sovereignty in all that happened and I love him so much for his goodness.

I am now especially draw to mommies that are new to grief because I felt SO alone. I am determined to someday find a tangible way to reach out to mommies in fresh grief to let them know they are not alone. (hopefully I will become a NILMDTS volunteer ) I have to say that I am extremely thankful for the people that did support me and even more than support, gave me lots of grace during the most trying time of my life.

The capacity to give one's attention to a sufferer is a very rare and difficult thing; it is almost a miracle; it is a miracle. 
 ~Simone Weil

I am worn out from my groaning.
All night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.
 My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
~Psalms 6:6

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
~ Isaiah 43:2-5

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me
~Psalm 139:7-12

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows
~Isaiah 53:4

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Joseph Celebrated!

We celebrated Josephs 2nd birthday with our family and Mam. We went out to a local restaurant my husband has eaten at since he was a kid. Joseph was antsy but did mange to eat a little. We came home to have cake and presents. He didn't  really need anything because he was just blessed by Christmas. He loved the few gifts we got him and dance to the music while teckdecking and driving a car. 
Shayla just had to pose ;)
Time for cake, Jo Jo could not quite figure out the candles he just said hot.
This is his embarrassed look when is not sure what to do he looks up and hides under his bags.

A few presents!
 Time to take a ride
That ended in a crash and yep you guessed it, then ended in a HUG
One last strawberry before bed mommy after all I am two? Jo Jo dose not really talk but I could read it in his eyes:) 
Joseph we love you so much your life brings so much joy to our family I Know God has big plans for you little boy!

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy Second Birthday Jo Jo!!!

Joseph Malone
Joseph entered the world five weeks early. He did remarkably well and only spent one night in the NICU.

A highlight of his birth was that my Mom and Mamaw were able to be with me in the room when I had him. This was a pretty special gift because it was the first birth my Mamaw had witnessed. She adopted all three of her children and then later adopted her granddaughter.
Shayla was beyond thrilled and adored Joseph.
Jo Jo a few days old
First Christmas
First Birthday
First Step

HELLO Two, let the fun begin!!!!

Joseph you are not saying a lot of words but you always seem to be able to get what you want.  You can say eat, light, Jesse, mine, more, ball, sissy, no, DaDa, MaMa, out (outside) cookie. I know there are more but I am tired:) You also love to skateboard and text deck. You are pure joy and delight to my soul. I am so thankful that you are in our family. How I will always miss seeing you grow up with a close baby brother. That's why I love this last picture, the bear represents Jonathan in our photos and when we ask you to carry it to us you flung it up in the air over your head. I had to smile thing of you wrestling Jonathan.

You are a good boy JO JO and we LOVE you so much!!

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. 
~Psalm 16: 11
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