Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Babies!

Just four years ago today, at 5:33 and 5:40am, my life changed in the most unexpected and indescribable way.  I was expecting babies, I was expecting two beautiful, healthy and amazing babies, which I got, but what I wasn't expecting was the tornado of change and emotion that would blow through our lives following their births, that would change us in ways that we couldn't have ever imagined, not in our biggest dreams or worst nightmares.

Everett was born first, he was 5 pounds 4 ounces and he was pink and beautiful and instantly he was tattooed on my heart, he was breathtaking...

He was cleaned up and taken to be examined, he was new, he was premature, he was a twin, he was a boy, and he needed a little help in the breathing department, not entirely unexpected.

Next came Landon, he was 5 pounds 6 ounces, pink, hearty, fabulous and immediately so very very loved.  He was long awaited like his brother and he was instantly cherished...

I got to hold him a little before they took him away to work on, instant love, my heart was content, my cup runneth over!

Landon James

Everett Andrew

Both boys, warming up, Everett needing a little help breathing.



They were small, but they were beautiful and perfect and they were more then we could have ever asked for.  And on this day four years ago, life was perfect, we were perfectly happy and so filled with joy.  This was a very happy day.

We couldn't have ever imagined how fleeting that sense of perfection would be, or how quickly happiness can be shattered and replaced with grief and pain and loss.  Not in our most frightening dreams did we imagine that the birth of these beautiful twin boys would preceed the loss of one of them by just 20 short days.

But it did.  And today, while we're celebrating Everett and Landon's glorious and joy filled birth, we're celebrating it with Landon alone.  He's beautiful, he's funny, he's sensitive and loving and just absolute perfection.  He's a miracle, he's a joy and he's just incredibly enjoyed and loved, today and always.  And Everett remains adored, and loved, and missed, he's perfect and miraculous and a joy too, though Heaven holds him now, not us.

It's a bittersweet day today, and I hate that the happiness of their births is somewhat overshadowed by the sadness of Everett's death, his absense is felt every single day, but never with more intensity then on the day we remember his birth and the hope we were all filled with that day.

But in life you take the bitter with the sweet, sometimes there just isn't any seperating the two.  

So, happy birthday Landon James!

Thank you for continuing to bring us such joy and happiness! You're amazing and so very loved!

And happy birthday Everett Andrew!

You continue to bring us joy and we love  you so much, we miss you more then any words could tell, you're tattooed on my heart, and I think of you with every beat of it.

I'm unable to say what life would be like it both my babies were still here, but I'll always hold dear the short time I had with them both, blissfully unaware of how quickly life can change and how it felt to be caught up in that tornado that would totally rearrange our worlds.  I'm still grateful for the experience of delivering beautiful twin boys, and I'm forever changed by both of them.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Our family vacation, and a good read!

I'm on vacation with my family right now, and we're having a great time! It's sort of a tradition of ours to rent a vacation home in the Kissimmee area of Florida and stay a week, relaxing and doing a variety of low key touristy things.  Traveling with three young kids sort of redefines what "vacation" means, if you've got images of kicking back and relaxing by the pool, sleeping in every day and strolling along beaches at a leisurely pace, think again! Though it's a great escape from the normal routines of work and school, it's not a break from the every day routine you grow accustomed to when you've got a young family, we just transplant that routine from home to Florida, its the same, but different.

One unexpected thing I got to do while here at our vacation house, is read! And better still, not just a few pages of a magazine, or catching up on a few of my favorite blogs, but a book, an ENTIRE book! That's a luxury I am unaccustomed to these days!  And not only was it a good read, it was an enlighting read, and an inspiring read, a book that filled my heart with comfort and joy, perfect for a vacation read!

This is the book I read:

You can read about it here.

I found it to be a great reminder to have child like faith in Heaven, and I'm so thankful that through the Burpo family God gives so many fresh hope and a renewed belief that Heaven awaits us after this life.  It brought me to tears more then once, from the sheer happiness of knowing that those who have gone before us await us, and will know us when we get there, it was thought provoking and joyful to read, I would recommend it to anyone!

And now the vacation continues, I doubt I'll find the time to read another book and may have to settle now for a few pages of a magazine on the plane home.  We've got plans to swim and visit Busch Gardens and we're hosting some Florida family at our vacation house for the last few days, and it won't be relaxing, this is certainly not a spa get away, but its been one of most memorable, and happy family vacations ever and I am so grateful for it!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

One more recipe, macaroni and cheese!

This is one of my favorite recipes, it's nostalgic, my Gramma has been making it for as long as I can remember, and before she made it for me, she made it for her kids, and I think that makes it pretty special, even if it is a very common dish, and a very simplistic recipe.

She got this recipe from "The all new Purity Cook Book: A complete guide to Canadian cooking", originally made in 1967, and now available on Amazon for a new generation to enjoy! I'm using a battered, torn, flour coated version my Gramma gave me years ago, it looks like this, only much worse...

I would recommend this book to anyone, especially if you're looking for a book packed with no-nonsense basics.  I use to it make cookies and cakes and consult it pretty regularly.

Anyway, here is the recipe I use for macaroni and cheese, as it was written for home cooks in 1967.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cook 1 cup macaroni until tender in boiling salted water.


Meanwhile, melt in a saucepan 1/4 cup butter or margarine

Add 1 tablespoon chopped onion (or omit if you don't like them, I add more when I make mine!)

Cook slowly until tender, not browned.

Blend in 1/4 cup pre-sifted all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
a few grains of pepper

Gradually stir in 2 cups milk

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened.

Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Stir until cheese is melted.

Add cooked macaroni and blend well.

Pour into a buttered 1 1/2 or 2 quart casserole.

Sprinkle with 2/3 cup buttered bread crumbs.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes until bubbly and browned.

Yeild: 4 to 6 servings.

That's it.  So simple.  Now, just in case you were thinking about omiting the mustard powder, don't do it, it's good! And I like to cook the flour and butter mixture a few minutes before adding the milk, like making a real roux out of it first, you don't have to, but I like to.  As for the crumbs on top, my gramma did the coolest thing, and just buttered whole pieces of bread and laid them on the top, and they got so nice and toasty on top.  Each serving was the size of the piece of bread on top of it, I loved that growing up.  I myself like to mix Cornflake crumbs with parmesan cheese, parsly and dried basil and softened butter to make crumbs, then put that on top, it's all good!

Enjoy my hand me down recipe, and keep it going, it's too good not to share!


Recipe! Because I said I would share it....

I posted pictures of my favorite dinner, Indian style butter chicken on Facebook, and a few people were curious about the recipe I use, so I'm sharing it here for your viewing, and potentially tasting pleasure!

Let it be said upfront, this recipe is likely not very authentic, but it's pretty darn tasty.  The back story behind me creating this recipe is that I fell in love with the butter chicken at our local Indian place, and I could eat it every single day if I could afford it, but I can't! So, I set out looking for a grocery store substitution, I tried multiple brands of bottled sauces and dry mixes and frozen ready made dishes, and every single one of them paled in comparison to what I had become addicted to at our local Indian place.  My next logical step, though it was daunting at first, was to make it myself.  I googled recipes, reviewed a bunch, and ultimately settled on this one found here at The Pioneer Woman, you just can't go wrong with Ree, and her step by step directions are amazing!

I made it, drooled, and fell in love, it's true! But, it wasn't quite right, excellent, but not the same as the little Indian place, it was great, but not what I had been searching for, so I started to customize it to suit our tastes.  So, here's what I do differently...

Use WAY more of the spices she listed then she suggests, but you'll have to go by taste, increasing slowly until you know what you think of them, especially if Indian spices are new to you.  Plus, I didn't want want to spend mucho bucks on cardamom, so I skipped it, but I use Garam Masala, and it has cardamom in it, so it's not gone all together.  I also use curry poweder and turmeric, about 1tsp each.

I use a little less lime juice then she suggests, it's only my prefernce.

I don't use the onion anymore, some of us in this house don't like onions, just saying....

I skip the tomato sauce and just use one big can of diced tomatoes.

I skip the fresh cilantro, it certainly tasted nice, and it brought a brightness and freshness to the dish, but the butter chicken at the Indian place was not bright or fresh, it was dense and heavy and deep and flavorful, it was a like a cozy fall evening, not a bright spring morning, so I skipped it, keep it if you like!

And that's about it.  Follow PW's recipe, she won't steer you wrong, and if you want MY butter chicken specifically, then follow my little omissions/inclusions while using her cooking instructions and you'll still be good to go!  Now, I just need to figure out a way to duplicate their naan bread too, trust me, you'll want some naan bread for all that yummy sauce!



Setting up home...

Our family just relocated, same town, new house, and it's been joyful but exhausting!  We've found that with small children, there's more to making a new house feel like home then simply moving in our belongings.  For the first few days, this new house felt like our things in the wrong place.  Nothing looked right, nothing smelled right, nothing felt right and we all felt a little lost.

I have to say, that though it often irritates me, my husbands incredibly energy and drive was very helpful, unstrumental even, in making this new house "home".  We've been here just shy of two weeks, and his hard word and dedication has transformed our new place into a warm, inviting and familiar place, and it's transported us, we are finally home again!  Our things are in place, the walls of our bedrooms are now colors we chose and love, the house smells like us, and feels like us, and when we look around we see our memories, our trinkets and little personal touches we were missing so badly when we were living out of boxes.  It feels so good to be here now, and we can finally start enjoying this new house and the blessing that it is.

We can feel God in our new home, and I feel challenged by him to make this new home a better home, a more comfortable, more loving, more grace filled and more hospitable place to  be, for us, for our family, our friends, and neighbours!

The process of purchasing a new house and moving was stressful and at times really scary, but living here and feeling challenged by God to make a new and better start, that's just exciting!!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Treating trials like challenges...

There isn't any doubt about it, life can be hard! Sometimes life throws us something really unexpected and scary, and we aren't sure why we're facing such trials, it seems unfair and insurmountable.  But in times like these, when life feels overwhelming and difficult, when it all seems uphill, what good does it do to fall to pieces and give up? Philippians 4:6-7 says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Luke 12:25-26 says "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?"  In the face of struggle and hard times, instead of turning to worry and fear, the bible calls us to to trust God with our needs and our circumstances, and to let go of worry, since it doesn't actually benefit us, or eliminate the cause of our anxieties.  Easier said then done right?

Earlier today I posted about having to trust God more and how we were planning on taking on a more frugal lifestyle.  It seems no sooner did I post that, that God decided to test our dedication to that lifestyle.  We hit a finanical pot hole today, it was unexpected and scary, especially on the eve of purchasing a new home, especially because I'm off work now on maternity leave, especially because Elvis has injured his back and is working modified hours.  We didn't want this.  We certainly didn't ask for this, and God knows we didn't need this.  But, we've got it.  Our circumstances are what they are, worry won't get us out of it, neither will fear, or anger or sulkyness.  All those negative and worrisome attitudes get us is a gloomy household, a strained marriage and confused kids who start to worry themselves.  Worry doesn't do us any good at all.  But the circumstance calls for some form of action, because it won't go away on it's own either, I can't waste time worrying, but we can't afford to be idle either. 

God is using our trials to challenge us, to challange and inspire us to change our lives.  We've been careless with our money at times, and we have wanted too often for material things, which has led us to unneccessary spending.  We've got things, but now we've got debt too.  And we're being accountable for that, we did it, and now we need to work together as a team to undo it.  My husband and I are a team, and I don't want to place the burden of digging us out of this financial pot hole all on his shoulders.  I don't want to see him weighed down and stressed because of debt, I want to help him eliminate it.  God is challenging me to break out of my comfort zone, and to do what needs to be done even though I don't want to do it, but to do it because it's for the greater good of my family.  My husband and my children need me to do it. 1 Timothy 5:8 says "Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."  I need to help provide for our family.  Even though I feel like I serve them best from home, I feel called to help financially as well.

Though I intended to take my one year of maternity leave, just like with my previous babies, this leave is not paid, and it's not easy.  Though I want nothing more then to stay home with my children, I know I have to go back to work eventually, and it seems like a year may be unrealistic given our current situation.  We want to give our children a certain standard of living, and we want to enjoy our new house, we want to feel unburdened, we want to delight in our blessings and our family, and in order to do that, I need to make some money, I need to go to work.  Thank goodness it doesn't have to be full time, thank God I can still be a mostly stay at home mom, but it's hard for me to suck it up, change my plans, and let go of my selfish desire to stay home.  I could stay home, I could take my whole year off, but to the detriment of my marriage and my family, and that would be no good, it would feel awful, and it wouldn't be satisfying in any way. 

Another layer to this challenge will be this, doing what needs to be done joyfully.  It will mean stepping up and helping my husband financially, because neither of us intended for this snag to happen, and it's not either of our faults, and doing it with a smile on my face, not grudgingly, not with a pout.  I want to have a good attitude, I want to continue to care for my family properly at home, I want to continue to be a good and supportive wife, I want to be a happy and loving mother, and I want to help remove the weight of debt from all our shoulders.  It's pretty clear to me that God is challenging me, and I know what needs to be done.  So I'm going to channel my inner Proverbs 31 woman, and I'm going to be brave and accountable and I'll do what needs to be done, joyfully.  I'm rising to the occasion, I'm up to the challenge!

I'm taking this trial, which if we weren't careful, could tear us down and pull us apart, and I'm going to see it as a challenge, a chance to grow and mature and build up. And I hope that God will help me to continue to see it this way tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and every day, because He knows it won't be easy.


Its been a while...

It's been a while since I've posted here, and I've really missed it! I got busy with life and the beautiful chaos that comes with having a young family and forgot why I started this blog, and why I was keeping it up, and I'd like to get back to that!

This blog was started so I could journal how I am reading, processing and applying God's word in my life, and how it's helping keep me focused and balanced and feeling confidant, even in tough times. This blog has helped me clear my mind and focus my efforts, and it has helped me relax and just trust in Him in the past, so now that my baby is old enough to set down a while, I'm diving back in!

Life here is in a state of transition, which is both exciting but also a little stressful! We've adjusted well to the addition of our new daughter Stella to our family, and she's a little joy, but now Avery is back in school, and Landon starts Junior Kindergarten on Friday, and to top it off, we're moving! A brand new home awaits us and we're so excited to get in and make it feel like home! I'm day dreaming of Christmas and birthdays and playing in the backyard, and it's so exciting, but at the same time, it brings worries. Moving, unpacking, and getting settled, on top of the financial strain of a bigger home, it's a big commitment and undertaking, and to make it work, and to really be able to enjoy it, Elvis and I need to have a shared vision for our family, and a strong commitment to living in a certain way, that will lessen the burden and the stress of a bigger monthly mortgage.

We've talked about how we'll start being more frugal, and how we're going to make it a really fun sort of project, to see where we can cut back. We're going to tap into our creativity and really try and find interesting, unique and innovative ways to shop, save, and spend differently. But faith will come in handy here, when we're feeling like it's too hard, when we're feeling deprived, our faith will help remind us that God cares for us and provides for us, and will not test us beyond what we can handle. I had originally started a frugal living blog, but I think perhaps I am spreading myself too thin, trying to maintain too many blogs that are really just sub-topics of my life, so I think I'll just merge that blog with this one, and continue to maintain our grief blog (Like a Sparrow Falling), as well as our new blog for our fundraising efforts to help other grieving parents (For Grieving Hearts).

I'm going to try and post here several times a week, to keep myself on track, and to let you all know what God's doing in my life and what pieces of scripture I'm thinking over and trying to apply.


Friday, May 13, 2011


I'm very busy these days.

I didn't anticipate how much time, time for myself that is, that I would be sacrficing for my newly expanded family.

My days and nights are packed full, joyfully so, but I'm still busy and tired from it.

My days are undeniably full of joy and happiness, and the sweetness my new baby daughter Stella has brought to our family, it's fantastic, but I find myself missing my time for emotional and creative release. I miss being able to read, to write and to even think an entire thought. I never realized how important it was to me to be able to express my thoughts and feelings through writing and blogging, and since being too busy, and my arms being ever full of baby, I find my mind reeling trying to process my world and the events of my day without my most familiar and comfortable processing method, words!

But God has, quite graciously, granted me this time, right now, with three kids in bed and two hands free and a silent house all but for the dishwasher running. Here I sit at my computer screen with the delightful opportunity to spill my thoughts out and sort through them! Here I go!

Just about five weeks ago our beautiful new daughter Stella Evangeline made her arrival in this world! It was an experience that defies words. Amazing doesn't cut it. Beautiful doesn't do it justice. I just can't explain how satisfying and awe inspiring it was to deliver this amazing baby and hold her in my arms after a long and anxiety filled pregnancy. Every fear I held while pregnant with her fell away. Every worry I dwelled on evaporated on seeing sweet Stella being placed on my chest just seconds after being born. Pain was forgotten, and joy flooded the room in an instant. She's here! She's beautiful! She's healthy! God is ever faithful and so good to me! Stella is wonderfully unique, crafted to perfection by God and in trust to us, and I could not be happier or more grateful to Him for the opportunity to raise and love her.

We've exited the fear and worry zone and entered into sleepless nights and days filled with rocking and bouncing and shushing, and trying to make Avery and Landon feel loved and involved as well. It's not easy, but it's not been so bad either. Elvis has been a fantastic partner in it all, as always, and has even taken a parental leave to stay home with the kids and I, to truly enjoy this time together as a family. I'm grateful that we have this ability to be together and find our groove and I'm looking forward to what the coming weeks will hold for us in terms of growth and connecting as a family.

Now, that's the happy stuff I've been processing. I'm less excited to process and lay out the negative emotions I've been experiencing, but there are just a few I have to tackle.

Firstly, I want to snap my fingers and be 90 pounds lighter. Oh how I wish it were that simple. I've struggled with weight and self esteem my entire life it seems, it's a chronic condition for me but at the moment it is acutely flared up. I am uncomfortable in my own skin. I am ashamed of how I let myself fall apart. People tend to prickle when I use the word shame, like I should never be ashamed of myself in regards to my appearance, but I assure you I have plently of self love, but I do not have to love being overweight. I do not have to rejoice in the parts of me that are out of control. God wants me to be self controlled, gluttony is a sin, and I am quite guilty. To embrace over eating and laziness would be unhealthy and un-Godly, I think my shame is justified. I burried myself in weight, I've drowned emotions in food, I've spent days hidden away from the world instead of being out enjoying it. I've become unrecognizable and uncomfortable and I am desperate for change while being totally unsure of how to make it happen. Sure I've got motivation, and goals, I've got inspiration out the wahzoo! I want to be healthier, I want to live longer, I want to feel younger, I want to look better, I want nicer clothes that seem to be only available to the slender set. And mostly, I want to be desirable to my husband. Feminists across the world just cringed. But it's true. I want him to want me. I want him to like what he sees when he looks at me. I want him to feel a combination of desire and pride and protectiveness. I want to be the object of his affections. He loves me, but I am not the woman I was when he fell in love with me, not even close. I want to give him back the old me, well a version of the old me, slightly older, slightly wiser, and slightly more tired, but slim, attractive, healthy, energetic, fun and motivated. We both deserve to have her back.

But I struggle so hard with this. I flounder and flop and struggle. I don't understand it. I don't like it, and I feel weak in admitting that my eating issues seem so much bigger then me. It's on my agenda, I've got it on my radar, but I have no confidence that I can do it, I'm working on that.

This brings me to my marriage, which will forever be on my radar, and always on my agenda. It's not something I can afford to ever get complacent on. I've learned over the past years, that when it comes to marriage, you must never ever let your guard down, you can't ever just coast through, you need to be aware and engaged at all times. So we're at a place of transition, with a new baby and the joys and worries that come along with and I can sense a strain, which makes me fearful and anxious, but I am so grateful that God has already showed us what to do and how to do it and he's placed well appreciated resources in our lives to help us stay on top of things. I'm taking all spare moments in my day to focus on my marriage and the needs of my husband so we don't suffer a backslide, so we don't let anything wilt, and so nothing becomes a wedge between us in this time where our attentions are so divided. God put a hedge around us please and help bring us together when the pressures and stresses of the world would have us pulled apart. I'm learning so much about what a husband needs and what God requires of me as a wife, it's enlightening and I am eager to take what I have learned and put it to practice!

So there you have it, what's been on my mind for far too long. It feels so good to spill it out, however incoherant it may have been. I feel so blessed while also feeling so lost at times. I'm fearful still, and lonesome often, though I nearly never alone. I am emotional and undisciplined at times. I've fallen of the wagon more times then I can count, in my goals for my marriage, my weight and my blogging. I'm back on now, for now. I'm perfectly imperfect and begining to accept that, as well as the imperfections in those around me. And I am both excited and nervous when thinking about the months to come and the changes I hope to make as well as the ones I hope to avoid.

I'm hoping to become healthier, more outgoing and more vibrant. I'm hoping to fall in love with my husband all over again and for him to do the same, and for us to maintain it. I'm hoping to cherish every moment with my children and to be a mother worthy of the blessings they are. I'm hoping to grow as a person, as a wife, as a mother and as a Christian. I'm hoping to change for good.

And only time will tell.

As it stands, God has blessed me. His love has been poured out on my family and my cup runneth over.

He is so good to me.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dear Stella...

You're due in three weeks.

The anticipation has moved from comfortable excitement to officially antsy!

I've been feeling you moving for weeks and weeks, now I feel you rolling and burrowing and kicking, and I can't describe exactly how that makes me feel, something like elation. It amazes me, to envision you inside me, a real baby, ready to be born, just waiting for the perfect time to make your entrance into the world. I'm on pins and needles.

And though I can't sleep at night from various aches and ailments, I'm in love with this pregnancy. I'm in love with you. As eager as I am to have you in my arms, I have thoroughly loved holding you beneath my heart all these weeks.

I can't promise you perfection in this life, imperfection is lifes only promise. Life will be imperfect, so will I, but I do promise my love will come with good intentions and it will be unending.

I'm nervous though, in these last few weeks of pregnancy. I'm fearful, but not of pain or of labor, but of ghosts of experiences past. I'm entirely in love with you, but entirely flawed and human and scared of things I'd rather never mention to you. I don't want to burden you with my scars and my wounds, they're not your doing nor your concern. But I can't wait to have you here with us, in our arms and safe and healthy. I can't wait to get you in our home, in your room, safe.

You can't possibly know how loved you are just yet, but you will.


Dear Avery

You are amazing. You are smart and beautiful. You are independent and spirited. You are strong willed and delightful. I can't believe how much I love you, and that love deepens every single minute we're together. We butt heads, and I expect that will also increase as time goes on. You challenge me to be a better mother, and you reward me with your sweet love and dazzling smile. You are one of my life's greatest pleasures, and I am so grateful to God that he blessed me with you. You're going to be a great big sister for Stella, you already are to Landon, I can't wait to see you sisters together. Joy!


Dear Landon

You are heart-melting. You are cuddly and sensitive and funny and precious. You are a joy! I love that you love rockets and air planes and cowboys, I love that you're all boy, but that you kiss boo boos for others and you come to my defense when your sister is being sassy. You're going to be some lucky woman's dream come true some day, you're already mine! I don't know how I got so lucky, just to have you here in my life, you're a gift and you're good for my heart. You're stubborn and strong willed, but so eager to please. You're just like your dad, which is why you butt heads with him and not me. You're special and cherished and amazing. You're a dream come true! Your sisters are lucky to have you.


Dear Everett

God only knows how much I miss you. You're in my heart and on my mind every minute of every day. I wish you were here. I wish you were always here. I haven't forgotten one moment. I haven't stopped grieving you, I never will. I'm still so full of love for you, and grief and confusion and sadness. I still don't know how to be whole, or normal without you, I bet that never changes. I'm still your mom. I can't hold you in my arms, and that is my life's biggest tragedy, but I hold you in my heart all day, every day. You changed me. You inspire me. You made me better. Your death broke me, so God could rebuild me, changed and better. I'd give anything to have done it differently though. We're having a new baby soon. You're going to be a big brother now, and I wish with all my heart that you could be here to greet Stella and welcome her into the world. I wish I had all my babies together here on Earth, I wish I didn't have to wait for a reunion in Heaven. But I will, because you're worth it.


Dear God

You give and take away. I've learned to be gratful for the gifts, I'm still struggling with how to be grateful for the ones you take back.

I'm full of fear and anxiety. You know more then anyone how I worry about loss. It keeps me up at night, the fear of losing another child. You know how nightmares of saying goodbye to another child haunt me. Aparently this fear is a lack of trust. A lack of trust in your goodness and your plans for me and my family. And aparently my anxiety over separation from my children means I'm placing them above you in my priority list. I think that's true. I'm sorry I'm not there yet. I love them that much. I know I need to trust them to you fully, like Abraham did with Isaac, I'm sorry that I can't. I trusted you once before, with my child, with my heart, and you took him. You took my son and broke my heart. I've never been the same. I've been broken ever since. And fearful. I cling to my children now for fear that one day they'll be gone. I can't handle even the thought of it.

Undoubtedly you comforted me. You picked me up and gave me comfort when I was in my deepest sorrow, and I am grateful. Without a doubt I love you and how you've changed my heart and my life. I can see how you made something good from my life's biggest tragedy. I can see how you used my pain to transform me. My son died and I survived. I survived it once. Once. But I couldn't do it again. So I fear rather then trust. I can't hold Avery and Landon and Stella up to you and say do whatever you will with them. I can't hold them up to you and say they're yours and not mine. They're mine.

I'm sorry that this means I'm doing this wrong. I'm sorry if it means I'm holding something back from you. I'm sorry if loving them with the intensity I do is sin. I hope you know I'm still a work in progess. But I don't know if I'll ever be able to give this over to you. This is my heart. You know it, you made it, I hope you'll forgive it.