Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I've got diamonds on the soles of my shoes

Some inspiration from Paul Simon.....

People say she's crazy
She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Well that's one way to lose these
Walking blues
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes

I've got diamonds on the soles of my shoes! I've got something beautiful between me and the path I'm on. I've got something fabulously valuable cushioning my every step, everywhere I go. It may seem crazy, to boast to those on the outside looking in, that the soles of my shoes are special, that they've got diamonds on them. But these diamonds beat those walking blues, they make every step a little easier to take.

I like this part too:

She's a rich girl
She don't try to hide it
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We're graduates!

Graduates of Marriage University that is!

And by that I mean, our stint in marriage counseling is over.

Now, you don't get grades in marriage counseling, but I have to say I think we passed with flying colors ;)

But seriously, marriage counseling has been a profound blessing to us. It provided us with insights, information and opportunities that we wouldn't have otherwise had in our re-building process. In fact, our rebuild wouldn't have even gotten off the ground if it weren't for our fantastic counselor, who graced us with God's word, and enlightened us with God's plan for marriage. After all, God created marriage, and when one is broken, it makes perfect sense to consult His instruction manual. Why didn't we think of that?

So, just seven months ago, we were what seemed to be irreparably broken, and here we stand, mended. Healing from the inside out. Rebuilding. Nearly rebuilt I would say. And it feels better then I could adequately describe. God has a brilliant, and beautiful way, of taking the biggest wrongs in my life, and making them right. He has healed deep wounds, eased incredible pain, and removed the heaviest of sorrows. I could not be more grateful to Him, or for Him.

Walking out of our counselors home today, I was proud, so very pleased with us. It's impossible not to think back on the severing of our old selves, that night where we fell completely to pieces. It's even more difficult not to remember our separation, and the fear and sadness and anger that came along with it. And looking back on that, and then being present in the right now, it's undeniable a miracle was performed, it's impossible to not recognize that we experienced divine intervention. He cares for us, for Elvis and I, so deeply, He stepped in and intervened, and prevented us from tearing down, what he lovingly brought together.

Of course we realize that the real work is just beginning. We suffered a wound, a great big awful wound, and with God's help it has healed, but the challenge now stands, don't do it again. Don't forget, don't become complacent, don't backslide, don't wound each other any further. But now, we have "tools" in our proverbial marriage tool box, now we know things we never knew before. Marriage counseling was really a school of sorts, and we learned the art of communication, and of fighting, and of romancing, and of caring, and of respect. We learned the biblical definitions of marriage and the roles of each spouse. We had "ah ha!" moments, we stored those away, pondered and prayed on them, and we're changed. We're smarter now then we were before when it comes to what exactly marriage is and how it is to be managed. I know better now who I am in this partnership, and better understand who Elvis is. So, I think we've earned our good report card, and I can't wait to get out there and start my career in "Happy Marriage". Eyes wide open and fully aware of all the ways the world has to trip a couple up.

When I started this blog, my biggest ambition was to better my relationship with Elvis and rebuild what we slowly let break down. So I am understandably happy that we are doing so well. What I set out to is working, our efforts are paying off and confirming to me that we are capable of great and wonderful change when we take God on as a partner in that change.

I am rebuilding.

We are rebuilding.

And the healing and strength I feel is exhilarating tonight.



Yesterday I got to take some photo's of my son, which is quite an accomplishment as two year old boys NEVER sit still. EVER. With patience and bribery (hence the sucker), I was able to get some really sweet shots of my little guy, that capture his energy and his boyishness, and the pure joy that he exudes about 23 hours a day ;)

Just look at him! Who does he think he is? He's a boy now, not a baby, but he's a joyful boy, so I guess that's okay.....

He's a bit of a clown too, a real little goof ball. He makes me smile, and laugh, he's good for my heart.....

And he's beautiful, inside and outside, he's amazing. He's a gift. And a joy. I hope he grows up knowing how cherished and delighted in he is. I think he will.

He doesn't look like a boy who lacks in that sort of confidence does he?

Not for one second of any day do I forget how blessed I am to have my beautiful children, the ones I have to raise, and the ones I don't. They're incredible gifts, and they enhance every aspect of my life. Is it any wonder my heart calls out for another? Well, not from where I sit!


Sunday, March 28, 2010

What it's all about.....

Really. This picture just about sums up why every hardship, struggle and disappointment in life is not enough to take the shine off of how great it is. This picture (and pictures of Landon that will eventually follow) sums up the depth and breadth of God's blessings in my life, and this picture sums up why I will always be grateful and blessed, even when I'm hurting.

Seriously, she's amazing!

I had intended to take pictures of both kids today, but Landon took an earlier then expected nap and missed his photo shoot (hopefully we'll do him tomorrow), so I just did Avery's photos. And while I was editing them, my heart just swelled with love and joy, and a sense of gratitude so big and so powerful, there aren't adequate words to describe it.

Psalm 127:3 says:
3 Children are a gift from the Lord ;
they are a reward from him.

How true it is! Each of my kids, a gift from the Lord, and the most priceless, amazing and irreplaceable gifts I'll ever receive. Uniquely crafted by His design, and lovingly entrusted to our care on earth. How blessed am I?





Blessings. Gifts. Miracles. And what it's all about.

They're fantastic little beings that take the sting out of so many of life's ailments. It's cliche for sure, but it's true, they fill the day up with sunshine! And joy, and laughter, and smiles, and hugs, and kisses and cuddles. At the end of the day I hardly give thought to the messes, fights, dirty diapers, laundry, dishes, tantrums and marker on the new couch ;)


I'm showcasing Avery's new pictures, but all my kids have stretched and grown my heart, and made me more loving, more grateful, happier and more patient. They've improved me over and over. And I am grateful.



It's been a while...

Since I've had time to get on here and blog. Life got busy there for a while. But a good busy, a happy and contented sort of busy.

This week seems like it will be no less hectic, but I need to make time for writing because it keeps me centered and sane and focused! It's vital!

This week Landon is due to start Nursery School, and I am both excited and panicked at the same time! His pediatrician and occupational therapist have recommended it, to help get him ready for Junior Kindergarten in September in 2011. They think it will help with his speech, gross and fine motor skills, and socialization skills, and I'm happy they're thinking ahead and getting him ready for his next big adventure. And he's so excited! He has a brand new Cars backpack he wears around the house, he toured the facility and immediately fit right in, he's going to have a blast! But this Mama is nervous! He's my baby!

How the heck did my baby get so big so fast?

It truly does happen in the blink of an eye. In a split second they go from wearing preemie sleepers to backpacks. And we're just left sitting there stunned wondering what the heck happened.

Our precious little Avery continues to thrive and learn in school, and I am quite certain that her reading abilities will surpass my own in the next few years! We're so proud of her and have been brainstorming ways to feed her voracious appetite for knowledge and books and keep her progressing like she has.

I've been working more regularly and am enjoying it more and more. I'm really enjoying the relationships at work with my co-workers, relationships that are hard to form when you're there so infrequently. But I am really starting to enjoy my co-workers (not that I didn't before) and going into work more often. I'm also enjoying the new level of significance I feel in my job, when I relate it to my faith, and try and care for my patients and their families from a Christian point of view. It makes me more patient, more sympathetic and more loving then I usually am, and I can feel the difference in myself, I enjoy it more.

Other things that have been keeping me busy are, Stella & Dot, socializing with family and friends (one of my new year goals), my kids, my husband, my house, our puppy, chores, shopping, and planning for Easter. It's a full, busy and completely fantastic life I have!

Dieting seems to have fallen off my radar for the time being, so if you pray, please pray that I can get that back on track!

Anyway, for now, that's all I have time to say ;) But I will be certain to get back at this blogging process more regularly in the near future!


Friday, March 19, 2010

Old holiday, new outlook...

Easter is approaching!

I love Easter, I always have.

The Easter of my childhood included egg hunts with cousins, chocolate, little presents, sometimes even big presents. It was anticipated with almost as much excitement as Christmas, it was "little Christmas."

It was good.

It was fun.

It was family and tradition and love.

And this year I hope to include all that for my kids, and also to build onto the Easter of my childhood, by adding a huge heaping dose of Christ to the mix.

I'm excited to marry my favorite Childhood traditions with our new and flourishing faith, and celebrate an Easter that is both fun and exciting, and humble and grateful and full of worship.

I'm feeling that same old child like excitement at the thought of how I'll make this Easter special and meaningful for all of us!

As a child growing up, I understood, only very minimally, what Easter was all about. The basic concepts were there, both my Gramma's were Catholic and explained, to a small degree what the holiday was all about, but out family holiday's never focused on their religious origins, though they were always acknowledged. So, I've had to do some research on my own, to fill in the gaps not yet filled by our church going.

Easter is a very big deal! It celebrates the events that Christianity is founded on.

Christ was sacrificed so that we could be saved. He died for our sins on the cross.

He was buried in a tomb and three days later he was risen from the dead. Giving hope and a promise to all those who follow him. Christ conquered the grave and promises that if we believe in Him, we too can have eternal life in Heaven.

The resurrection is what it's all about.

1 Corinthians 15:17 says...
17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.

If we don't acknowledge and celebrate Christs rising from his grave, overcoming death and assuring salvation for all who believe, what do we as Christians really believe in? This is the cornerstone of our faith. The faith I am working on strengthening and building each and every day. I would be remiss to miss a chance to really and truly honor Christ and deepen my faith and my family's faith this Easter.

I'm brainstorming now, on what traditions other Christian families use to celebrate Easter. I'm asking around, reading blogs, looking for books, I'm really interested to see what fun and meaningful Easter traditions are out there!

Have any ideas or traditions you'd like to share? Please do! I'd love to hear what you're doing for Easter this year!

This much I know for sure:

We'll go to Church, hopefully to both Good Friday and Easter Sunday services, but to one at least.

I'll do an Easter supper, as a family, at the same table, and that's a big deal for us!

I have a Devotion book for Passion week (Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday) that I will hopefully be able to read to the kids, but if not, Elvis and I can do it together.

The kids will get either a new children's Bible, or Christian story book for an Easter gift, as well as a stuffed lamb and some candies. I'll hide it all because that was always my favorite part of Easter as a kid, hunting!

I'll make Avery some "Avery-safe" chocolates so she doesn't miss out on that fun tradition (I have a chocolate bunny mold somewhere).

I think that's all I have planned. Mix that with work and school and it's a full week leading up to Easter Sunday, and I really hope that some of the teachings on the origin of the holiday will resonate with the kids. And I hope a more meaningful celebration will resonate with Elvis and I and grow our faith a little more.

And because I like this little piece of scripture, I wanted to share it:

1 Corinthians 15:53-55
53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

It's not really about Easter, but it is about Christs promise to us being fulfilled. When we believe in Jesus, and accept that through him is the only way to Heaven, and that we need him to be our savior, he promises us eternal life in Heaven. He promises that death with have no power over us, because we'll have eternity with Him. When we clothe ourselves in Him, we defeat death.

Where, O death, is your sting?

Now, I've felt deaths sting, and one of the great reprieves that my faith has brought me, is that I don't need to grieve the death that has already touched us, or fear our own impending death. Belief in Christ has made it abundantly clear to me, that death will not have the last word. So we can grieve when needed, but otherwise be filled with hope in Christs promises. I rest assured.

I am continuously impressed and excited over the countless opportunities Faith presents me with to grow and flourish and deepen my relationship with my creator and savior.

I'm excited for a Christian Easter, for the very first time, and I will keep you updated!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chasing my tail.....

Going round and round and round.

Always back where I started.

Ever set out in pursuit of change, no what needs to be done, plan to do it, and then do the exact opposite?

Ever pledge to change a behavior, promising yourself that you'll replace it with something more positive, something better, but then fall back to your own ways?

That's me. I can never quite break free of myself and my ways.

I know what I should and shouldn't do, it seems logical/simple enough, but I always end up doing what I was trying to avoid or change. Looks like I'm not alone though....

Romans 7:15
I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate.

Some things are just so hard to change.

Especially where your heart or passions are concerned.

What do you get when you combine jealousy, distrust, anger, and hurt? Me doing things I hate.

Being angry.

Being distrustful.

Being jealous.

Being hurt.

I wish I could say that earlier today an opportunity presented itself for me to put into practice what I've been learning in counseling and in scripture, and I rose to the occassion. But I didn't. I instantly gave way to my sinful inclinations, and before I could do what I know I should have done, I did what I hate, what I should not have done.

I reacted hotly. I reacted based on my fears, and hurts, and reservations, and not on Godly principals. I may have felt justfied, and like I should assert my will, in fact, that's what I did. But that got me nowhere fast. With some reflection and prayer, I immediately knew I was going about it in the wrong way. I was fixated on the wrong things. And I was doing something that would only get me where I don't want to be.

I had to choose to switch off my negativity. Put away doubt, anger and jealousy and bring out trust, forgiveness, love and faith. The biggest thing we've been learning about God's will for us, is that we're to love like he loves.

Specifically in marriage we're learning that we are the people in our spouses life best suited to show them God's love for them. We are to be the funnels God uses to pour his love on our spouses.

How does God love?

He loves always, even when it isn't deserved.

He loves deeply.

He forgives everything.

He is faithful.

His love is unconditional.

And we are called to love our spouses like that.

So here I am this afternoon. Angry, shaken, suscpicious and concerned, deeply, deeply concerned about something. And there I am pouring out negativity, guilt, anger, and distrust all over Elvis. At the time, I felt like I was justifed. I felt like it was called for. I felt like it was productive. But, when that completely backfired, and I went to my room to pray on it, it occured to me, I had it all wrong. Suddenly I remembered the books and the scripture and the advice from our counselor, and I realized, that even though I knew better, I was doing all the same negative things I had set out to change.

So, I prayed for the ability to love like God.

I prayed for the ability to love even when I didn't feel like it.

I prayed for the ability to forgive, everything, always.

I prayed for help banishing anger and jealousy.

I prayed for God to work on my heart and help me be a more loving person in general.

And I prayed that He would be at the heart of our marriage, working all things for our combined good.

Am I still a little angry? You know it! That stuff doesn't go away just because you want it to. God and I are still working on healing that particular wound.

Am I still full of hate towards someone/something? Uh huh. Working on it though. Trying to get through it, past it, over it, whatever, I'm trying to get that hate out of my heart, it feels ugly, and makes me project all kinds of ugly onto others.

Is it hard to "suck it up" so to speak, and love and forgive when you feel like you shouldn't have to? When you feel justified? It is. It's really hard. But whoever said loving like God was easy?

But it's worth it. Especially when you feel God pouring his love right back on you, directly through Him, and through your spouse. It has it's rewards along with it's sacrifices.

I know I'm being vague about the "issue" that brought about this epiphany of mine, but that's okay. It was a marital issue, they happen in nearly every couple I suspect. One of those spats where a wife could become "nagging" or clingy or defensive or pushy. That was my first reaction, but the Bible is full of warnings against this. Particularly good advice in Proverbs I find, here are some good ones...

Proverbs 19:3
3 People ruin their lives by their own foolishness
and then are angry at the Lord .

Proverbs 19:11
11 Sensible people control their temper;
they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.

Proverbs 21:9
9 It's better to live alone in the corner of an attic
than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.

Proverbs 21:19
19 It's better to live alone in the desert
than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.

Proverbs 27:15-16
15 A quarrelsome wife is as annoying
as constant dripping on a rainy day.
16 Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind
or trying to hold something with greased hands.

Sure, I was trying to defend my reactions, plead my case, make my point. But honestly, my approach, though genuine and heartfelt and real, made me very hard to listen to, and really be understood. In trying to impress my feelings and opinons on Elvis, I was really causing him to shut me out.

We've learned so much, but we have a long way to go.

I have a long way to go.

But slowly, and surely I am learning, that love is an action, and a choice, not a feeling or an instinct.

And I suspect this little lesson is something I will learn and re-learn over and over again througout the course of our marriage.


Friday, March 12, 2010

This post may break your heart, be warned.....

*WARNING* This is one of those posts, where I start out with nothing in particular to say, and I just let my mind wander where it will. Tonight I started out with noting to say, but my mind took me down a very sad path and I fell into some unexpected grieving. These things happen. What I've posted is nothing new. The emotions have all been felt and expressed before. But, I did post a picture of Everett after death. It's not graphic, you may not even know it if I didn't tell you. But consider yourself warned. If you don't want to see it. If it will upset you, or cause you pain, don't read on.
I want to have something profound, or relevant to say tonight. But I don't.

It's 7:26pm. Elvis has gone to work. The kids are in bed, and the puppy's napping.

The TV's muted and I have some music on. I'm sitting here at the computer willing words and feelings to come out, but I'm struggling. Something's stirring inside my heart, or mind, something that definitely needs to be expressed, but I can't quite nail down what I'm feeling well enough to articulate it.

I started my morning off wrong today, with a dream about Everett that seeped into the day. Though it's a gift to see him in my dreams, the way the dream haunts me through my day is a side effect I could do without. It leaves me saddened and fixated on my grief and the dream and how I wished it was reality.

And it rained. It was a grey day, which hangs like a wet blanket over us.

And I feel the strain of rifts in some relationships, and I felt lonely today though I was never alone.

Today is the anniversary of the passing of a good friends sweet baby boy. His death impacted my heart in a huge way, and today my heart hurts for my friend, who longs for her son in a way I know all too well.

Sadness seems to have set the tone for my day. Sadness and frustration.

And I have so much to say, but my brain can't get it together well enough to get it out here.

What I wouldn't give for a clear head and an unburdened heart.

What I wouldn't give to be her again....

Loss never touched her.

Grief was something that happened to other people.

Hope and excitement filled every day.

Joy and blessings were everywhere she looked.

She had so much to look forward to.

What I wouldn't give to be her again......

She has all she ever wanted.

Her cup runneth over.

With joy.

With love.

With children. Healthy, beautiful children.

Loss never touched her.

Grief happened only in the news.

Hear heart was full of praise and thanks and hope.

Her children have bright, healthy, full lives ahead of them.

All of them.

God bless her, and her ignorance.

It's true what they say, it really is bliss.

What I would give to have never been her....

Oh God. What I would give to have never, ever been her.

To have never known what it was like to hold your son after his heart beat its last beat and his lungs took their last breath. It didn't hurt at the time, it felt natural, it felt comfortable, it was something I'd been longing to do, for so long.

But I'll never regret him.....

Not in any stage of his time with us.

Not him.......

Not him.......

Not him.........

He changed me, permanently and for the good.

And I'll always, always, always want him back.

I crave him with every cell in my body.

Thoughts of him, memories of him, play like a movie reel in the back of my mind.

Every minute of every day.

Losing him was never supposed to happen.

It hit me like a Mack truck.

Shattered me.

And I look at these pictures and I can't help but think how much he looks like Landon. Which is expected because they are identical twins. And damn. Damn it. I'm supposed to have identical twins! I carried two babies! Two babies for 34 weeks and fully expected to be raising both of them.

How could he have been so sick? How could he have had such a bad heart? Its not fair.

I don't remember what it felt like to hold him. Or touch him. I never got to nurse him. Or dress him. He never saw his nursery. Or slept in his crib. Strangers never got to fawn over him. He's not in any family pictures. And I'm so angry. Because as much as I love and trust God, now, I still can't wrap my head around the "why's".

Why would God allow me to conceive, carry and deliver two beautiful boys and take one back?

There is no consolation.

My faith is a by-product. It is a guide post and a comfort.

But there is no consolation for losing Everett.

And there never will be.

I can't un-lose him.

This hole in my heart will never be filled.

This pain will never truly subside.

The injury will heal, but there will always be a scar.

A big, red, flaming, painful scar.

And I like it that way, if I can't have him back, then the scar is good, and the pain is too, because it keeps me connected to him, through my memories and pain.

I'll always be connected to this....

Be it two, or ten, or 50 years later.

I'll always be a Mama with a gaping whole in my heart and one less child then should be here.

I'll always ramble like this. I'll always have the tendency to start off one one train of thought and end up right here, pained and tearful and missing Everett.

I'll always be broken, and struggling, even when I'm happy, I'll always be changed by him.

I don't have a graceful way to wrap this up.

I wish I did.

But so you don't think I've fallen off some cliff of despair. Don't worry.

I've been here before. More times then I could count.

Even when I'm swallowed up in the darkest, stormiest waters, I have my faith.

I don't understand God, or why this happened, but I believe in Heaven, and that Everett is there, and that I will have my reunion.

God lets me grieve, wildly and passionately, and then He pulls me back.

If this post caused you pain, I'm sorry, let Him pull you back too.

There's comfort to be had, even in the midst of life's biggest tragedies.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010


It's happening again. It always does. My resolve is fading, my dedication wavering, and I'm slipping into old habits and old comforts.

I'm failing, again, at a life long struggle.

And I don't want to.

I don't know why I find losing weight so difficult. I know exactly what needs to be done, I know how to do it, but for some reason, I just can't do it. I can't make myself do what I know needs to be done. I can't get past the "feelings" and get to the actions that will ultimately bring success.

I had a few good weeks, and I got going really good there, lost 12 pounds and was feeling pretty victorious. I was feeling particularly blessed because I had asked God to join me in my endeavor to lose weight and gain health, and I truly feel he has.

So, why now do I feel like I'm backsliding? Why am I giving way to "feelings", like deprivation, anger, envy, guilt, loneliness and shame? Why am I letting these emotions win? And who's responsible for causing these emotions? Dare I say it? Some of you may snicker or scoff when I do, but I truly believe that Satan is as invested in my failure as God is in my success. Some people aren't as comfortable talking about the reality of the devil as they are of God, but he's just as real, and we are of interest to him. I feel like Satan pits me against myself, making me self loathing and self sabotaging, so I never experience the triumph and elation of God's success in my life. And because I am weak, and human, and sinful, I let him.

I want to succeed. I want to put my hopes and dreams and desires in God's hands and let him help me overcome my weakness and sin and failure. So, though I feel I'm slipping, perhaps what I am feelings is the tug of war between Satan and God for me, but I feel it internally, and it feels like conflict and strife and confusion. Thank God, for God, who guides me now in times like this, where in the past I was totally lost.

I'm wandering off of God's path. But now I can see it, and I can get back on track.

I'm wavering from God's truth in this matter and am letting Satan sway me and delude me, and thankfully I can see it, and I can turn a deaf ear to his lies, and listen only to the word of God who has never steered us wrong.

It's the cravings and the deprivation I struggle with in weight loss. Those treats and indulgences that in the past have soothed hurts and frazzled nerves and lessened the sting of loneliness, that even though I don't need them anymore, I think I do, or I think I should, and it's a hard habit to break.

1 John 2:16 says....
16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.

These cravings, these emotional desires, they're not from God, but from the world, and Satan has rule of this world, so it's not a big stretch of the imagination to think they are from him, to confuse and mislead me, to keep me struggling and unhappy.

Man, how I'd love to break free of this struggle. This constant, ongoing and never fully won battle I fight with my weight and self image. God has a lot to say on these matters, and I already know all things are possible through Him, so when will I learn?

This struggle reminds me of a favorite song of mine, and it's probably a favorite song because it reminds me of me and my life. It's called Trouble by Cat Stevens, and it's so fitting.....

Oh trouble set me free
I have seen your face
And it's too much too much for me

Oh trouble can't you see
You're eating my heart away
And there's nothing much left of me

I've drunk your wine
You have made your world mine
So won't you be fair
So won't you be fair

I don't want no more of you
So won't you be kind to me
Just let me go where
I'll have to go there

Oh trouble move away
I have seen your face
and it's too much for me today

Oh trouble can't you see
You have made me a wreck
Now won't you leave me in my misery

I've seen your eyes
and I can see death's disguise
Hangin' on me
Hangin' on me

I'm beat, I'm torn
Shattered and tossed and worn
Too shocking to see
Too shocking to see

Oh trouble move from me
I have paid my debt
Now won't you leave me in my misery

Oh trouble please be kind
I don't want no fight
And I haven't got a lot of time

Sounds like "Trouble" is Satan, and he's pleading to shake him off, its not easy to do. Not alone anyway.

I'm trying a few things to shake "trouble" off of me.

I'm embracing God, His word and His will, and asking for his support and guidance in my endeavor.

I'm practicing disclosure, and making this private battle more public, because hiding it in the shadows increases the shame and the guilt and only perpetuates this vicious cycle. I'm being honest about who I am and how I struggle daily, in the hopes of gaining support and encouragement, but also to maybe provide some encouragement to anyone who may be experiencing a similar battle.

I'm trying to tune out the nagging doubts and "feelings" that trip me up and bring me down, and I'm trying to not give up, or walk away when I feel its too hard or too much, it's a trick, I don't want to fall for it again.

"God give me strength to go on, to keep trying, to embrace my failures and to try again and again, and again if need be. Help me to not lean on my own understanding but to use only your word and truth to guide me. Give me the courage and heart I need to make sacrifices and to endure when it becomes uncomfortable. Let me not be swayed or fooled. Help me to achieve this personal goal, and give the glory to you alone."


Monday, March 8, 2010


I've been thinking about people.

I'm always thinking about people.

I'm fascinated with the world behind their closed doors, and the world behind their eyes.

People are unique, multi-faceted, incredibly complicated, self contained universes.

And each one crafted by the hand of God, each one carefully planned and placed in this world to carry out His will.

It's mind boggling. So many little universes, so many purposes walking around this earth.

But none of us is an island (wrap your head around that!). We're all part of an ever greater solar system, where our universes collide to carry out even more complicated and involved purposes that God has in mind. We're interdependent on one another, whether we like it or not, we need other people.

We crave other people, relationships are so vital, and again, so varied.

There's family, friends, co workers, neighbors, social groups, online friends, people you go to church with, professional relationships, etc...

There are so many kinds. Some appear to have less importance then others. Some feel more significant, some we think we can do without, and some we know we can't possibly do without.

Some frustrated us, repeatedly.

Some are rewarding.

Some are validating.

Some are maddening.

Some are warm, some are cold.

Some are fresh and exciting.

Some are wilting.

Relationships are complicated.

But likely the most important aspect of human life.

Our relationship with God, the most vital part of Christian life.

But, most things, problems or joys, can be brought back to a relationship.

This is my Gramma.

My relationship with her, is one of my most significant and life shaping relationships, right up there with the relationships I have with my parents. She's a pillar in my life. My relationship with her has been warm, loving, frustrating, maddening, validating and incredibly rewarding. She's been a fantastic teacher, and source of love and guidance. Without a doubt she's helped me live out God's plan for me.

I wish all my relationships could be so definable. So easy to assess. So, easy.

But they're not.

I've got people in my life that I want a better, or different relationship with.

There are people I want something more from.

People who are frustrating, limiting, distant, vague, people I wish would give more, or share more, or want more.

There are people out there, in my little solar system, who are just there, but we're not relating, and that frustrates me, in my new years pursuit for more meaningful friendships.

I want my family relationships to be warmer, closer and deeper.

I want my friendships to be more consistent, and more reciprocal, and warmer too.

I want to open my home to my people, those people God placed in my life. And, rather then just knowing people, I want to interact with them, relate to them, spend time with them, and share life more with others.

We're not islands, none of us, but sometimes it seems that way. Everyone's so busy in their corner of the world, distracted by the daily grind, that we fail to realize that our relationships with others outside our immediate circle of family and friends are wilting, or fading, and becoming less and and less authentic. Their relationships in title only, but the heart is going, or gone.

I'm so guilty of this. I'm so busy trying to better so many areas of my life, my weight, my marriage, my income, my talents, my "me" time, that I'm neglecting people. And that becomes painfully apparent when we're trying to think of people to drop in on and visit, and we can't think of anyone, because we don't have friends like that. How sad is that? We don't have friends to drop in on, or friends to invite over for dinner. We're isolated, and we did it ourselves.

We keep waiting for someone to make the effort to reach out to us, but they're all just as afflicted by the "busyness" we are, what makes us think that our people will think to think of us? While we're having the revelation, it's our responsibility to do the reaching out.

So I'm going to.

I'm going to stop letting my relationships slide.

I'm going to open my home to old friends and new. And family too.

I want my home to become a hub of family, friends and fun, and activity.

I want to broaden our circle of friends and connect more with family.

I'm excited about this!

If I've invited you over recently, I hope you'll take me up on it, and if not, well, I'll ask you again soon!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

In the springtime.....

.....comes the thaw.

At last!

Beautiful, new, fresh things are blooming. Making their way to the surface after a long, and cold winter. Both literally, and metaphorically speaking. The cold is giving way to warmth, and beautiful new things are coming to life. It's invigorating.

My marriage has gone through a harsh cold winter "season", and though the last few months have been full of improvements, I now finally feel like "spring" is dawning, and the last of the chill is melting away. It's joyous and exciting and indescribable, to see the buds of love, trust and romance peeking through once more.

And with this springtime dawning on our marriage, the foundation of our family life, the warmth is spilling over into our kids and our home and we're reaping so many beautiful blessings these days, and I am incredibly thankful, and am quite aware of who the glory belongs to.

Faith is blooming too. Just when you think that your faith or your gratitude can't get any bigger, it does, I have so much capacity to grow in my knowledge and love for God. We went to church today, as a family, for the first time in what feels like forever. Apparently our fellow church members felt the same way, as we got several looks today, looks that say "welcome back prodigal believers." But that's okay, they were friendly looks, welcoming looks, and I appreciated knowing our absence was noticed, as was our return, I think that just means that we belong, and we have a church we call home.

And, beyond the metaphors, spring is on the way. It's warming, it's thawing, and the sun is shining more and more. It's beautiful, and full of hope and promise of things to come!

Life is good!


Saturday, March 6, 2010


We got a puppy!

Her name is Wylie and she's really precious and tiny.

We're in love.

Puppy love!

It's really special to see your kids interact with a dog, they're like magnets, just drawn to each other, it really pulls the heart strings. Well, it pulls mine.

Avery just loves her, I think they're going to be really good friends.

Landon hasn't made up his mind yet, but I think he'll love her too, once she stops biting him, he doesn't tolerate that from anyone, not even a sweet new pup.

Henry Ward Beecher, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The dog was created specially for children. He is the god of frolic.

Not that I think Wylie is a God, because we know there's only one, but I do think that very special bond between man and dog, and children and their dogs, is God created. Maybe dogs are God's gift to children? To enhance childhood? To provide companionship and cuddles? I think so.

Welcome home Wylie! I can't wait to see the joy you'll bring to Avery and Landon, and of course to enjoy your love and cuddles myself as well! I hope you'll be a great walking buddy!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Something I need to work on......

.....Being happy when someone else gets what I wanted.

I'm not talking petty jealousy.

I'm not talking about coveting belongings, or money.

I'm talking about twins.

Something I'm supposed to have but don't.

Something I want more then words can explain.


My twins, together, happy and healthy.

I'm getting considerably better at dealing with the news that someone I know is expecting twins, but it still feels like something I need to cope with, or brace for, it's not something that I handle with grace yet. I need to work on that.

Several ladies I know have had twins since Everett died, and if you could see how I process and handle the news that someone else is getting what I used to have, you'd see how much I've improved over time.

I used to be bitter and angry.

I used to ignore and pretend that twins just didn't exist.

My inner sadness and grief really manifested into some emotional ugliness that I'm not at all proud of, but it's real and it's a part of my journey.

And some of those women that were having twins after me, had losses, sad and tragic losses, and I was able to switch from feeling overwhelming jealousy to overwhelming sympathy for them, and I took a step in the right direction, away from envy and towards acceptance, acceptance of the things that I cannot change and do not understand. There are many.

Now it seems that my eyes are open more to the instances of twins, and they seem to happen all the time, everywhere I look. Very wonderful friends of mine have had, or our having twins, and because I love these ladies, and because no one deserves a baby, or babies, more then they do, I'm trying to bury the ugly in me, and be nothing but happy for them, and do nothing but thank God for blessing them so richly. God's chosen them to have twins, like he chose me, and it's not for me to understand why my twin experience was so brief and so dramatic, but if I'm to be obedient, and a good Christian, then I need to simply accept that God's will is absolute and perfect and His grace is sufficient for me.

Being jealous implies that I am not satisfied with what God gave me, and I don't want to be ungrateful.

But its hard, its so hard to suffer over my own loss and be happy for someone else.

The apostle Paul understood suffering, he pleaded with God to take his suffering away, and God said no, because God can use our suffering to complete His will, as said here in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9:

8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

His grace is sufficient for me, it's all I need, and His power is made perfect in my weakness. So, this is why I'm explaining my battle with envy and bitterness, it's a daily battle, but God's power is made perfect in my pain. He's using it. He grows my character, He increases my capacity to celebrate the joys of others, He strengthens me, and He heals me, everytime I suffer over the loss of Everett, He does something good for me.

So, if I ever made you feel I was less then happy over your good news, if you're one of the lovely ladies that had a beautiful set of twins and I didn't rejoice with you accordingly, I'm sorry, and I'm learning to deal with my own personal ugliness, and jealously is just one area of that struggle.


Consider it pure joy.....

When things go our way, when they unfold exactly as we had planned, we feel a sense of satisfaction, we feel victorious and accomplished, sometimes joy.

When things deviate from the plan, when hitches happen, and things go off course, we tend to feel disappointed, deflated, or defeated. And when our plans are derailed, it's easy to wallow and lament and mourn over our hopes for what we wanted, rather then make good use of what we ended up with.

I'm struggling with this concept greatly while we're here on vacation. It seems to me it's been calamity after calamity since we departed from home. It has not been at all the idylic, relaxing, fun filled holiday, but rather it's been filled with stress, illness, and bad weather.

We arrived on Thursday, we got lost on the way to the vacation house, stress (and it's cold)...

Friday, we grocery shopped and laid low, nothing bad, just nothing good either (it's still cold)...

Saturday, my mom and sister left for home because my sister was sick and needed to go home (cold)...

Sunday we went to Gatorland, had fun mostly, had lunch at McDonalds on the way home, made a delicious homemade pasta dinner, enjoyed a good visit with family, went to bed feeling vaguely unwell, and spent the entire night throwing up. I never throw up. Only when pregnant, and only once per pregnancy, so this is a particularly cruel form of torture for me.

Monday, it's a beautiful day, absolutely gorgeous, and we're doing Disney today, but Elvis and I feel horrible. I can't eat a thing, I can't walk 10 feet without having to sit down, but we try and tough it out. Elvis's sister and her husband take Avery on a handful of rides before we have to call it quits and leave after just 3 hours at the park. I feel guilty and sad for ruining this day for my kids.

Tuesday, this brings us to today, and I feel slightly improved, but it's grey and raining out and not a good day to go anywhere. If I feel a bit better later we may go to Target or WalMart, maybe Cracker Barrel if I'm feeling really adventerous, but otherwise we're laying low again.

It's not been what we hoped for, or planned for. It's been disappointing, and at times really upsetting, it's not been a dream vacaton by any means, but, it's our vacation.

James 1:2-4 says....
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Consider it pure joy, when you face trials of many kinds. Take your struggles and disappointments and be joyful for them, because they test tyour faith and make you able to persevere. Let this experience work on you, and test and strengthen you, so that you can be mature and complete and not lacking anything.

Can I take joy in the circumstances of our vacation that have disappointed me? Can I be happy inspite of being unwell and having our plans derailed? Can I view them as trials of my faith and as building blocks to make be better able to persevere? Can I view all the little hitches as learning experiences? Can I trust that God is using them all for our good?

Sure. I just need to overcome one big obstacle. Me.

I need to overcome my human need to rationalize and wonder why?

I need to get over my need to control and manipulate every situation to suit me.

I need to stop thinking that my world and my life should revolve around my wishes and my wants.

It's not all about me.

Sure we planned to go on vacation and be in Florida at this time, but God's plans override our own and He is working in our lives, no matter where we are or what we want to be doing while He does it.

So, if I can get used to the idea, that I'm not in charge, that I'm not the director of this movie, or the conductor of this train (or whatever metaphor you prefer), then I can give control over to God and let Him work all things for our Good. And I can take joy in, and celebrate the trials we face, that serve to build character and strengthen us. And in time, I can see the good they do, each hardship brings about something positive as a result.

When Kerry and my mom had to leave, we were so emotionally effected by it, that we actually cried and hugged and said "I love you" to each other, which may seem pretty insignificant to many, but for us, for our family, that's a big deal. It was an emotional outpouring that we just don't do, not because we don't feel it but because we're not good at showing it. And even though it's sad that Kerry was sick and that they had to leave, and I wish they could have stayed, we got to share and show some love that we may not have otherwise, and our relationships may have all been strengthened just a bit by that unfortunate circumstance.

I haven't figured out what's good about being sick, or about cutting Disney short, but I'm confidant that in time God will reveal what His purpose for these things were. I'm still dwelling on letting my kids down, and on disappointing them by ruining the day they were looking forward to the most, but I'm trying to get past that. I'm not in control, I can only do my best with what we're given, and I think I did that.

We have two days left of our vacation, and I'm praying that they're good ones. I'm praying for good weather and for good health, but most of all, I'm praying for the ability to take whatever we're given and make it good for the sake of Elvis and the kids, so that they can go home and feel like they had a good time away, so that we can look back at our trip fondly, and so we can laugh about the trials we faced while we were here.

Afterall, this time in itself is an incredible blessing.

We're all here together, away from the snow and the cold of Ontario's winter, away from the demands of work.

We're sharing this time with our family, members from both sides.

We're staying in a fantastic vacation house, with all the comforts of home and all the luxuries a vacation brings.

We've had some fun, and more to come.

When we were at our sickest, we had family to rally together and care for our kids when we couldn't, and they cared for us too.

We've had a break from the every day.

And we've learned our capacity to endure under pressure, and we're learning to make the best of what God gifts us with, because that's all we can do.

I want to learn to be joyful and grateful, even if what I get is not what I expected, it's always more then I deserve.