Monday, October 28, 2013

Life with Graham

I gave Graham some cinnamon toast (there were a few leftovers on the plate from Grace) and he LOVED it. He kept asking for "mow sugah peese"  ha!
When Graham wakes up he loves to cuddle or have his back rubbed.  It's so sweet. 
He's getting very good at writing and coloring!  See the upside down face?  That's Daddy. :)

Riding with Daddy

While at Moneto Daddy gets to mow with this bad boy.  We took a walk to see him and he gave each kid a little ride.  They LOVED it!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Audrey Bunny

Wanted to share the candle I lit for our Ella last night.  We are down south and this picture sits on our mantle.  I love how it looks with a bit of "fall" wrapped around it.  She was so beautiful. 

I got online this morning to catch up on blogs (surprised anyone?!) and read Angie Smith's post about the new children's book that has just been released.  It's a story about "Audrey Bunny".  Her daughter Audrey passed away about 5 years ago and this book is a sweet tribute to her.  We have one ordered from Amazon (you can get yours here) and I'm excited to have it for our collection.

Please read her words. They are perfect.  I couldn't have written them any differently.  Well, I would have actually.  They would not have been nearly as eloquent. :)

I am praising God today- going to do my Thankful Thursday a bit early as I haven't done well keeping up on this blog!  Today I am thankful for:
  • being in the beautiful fall tree tops.  This house sits perfectly so every window shows a burst of fall color.  the leaves are just starting to change.  Hoping for some more brilliant color before the weekend.
  • hearing my two oldest playing on the stairs.  In between the spurts of fighting and yelling, they are getting along so well.  I just heard one say "you cannot go over my side!"  that brings back so many memories of my sister and I!
  • this big cumbersome belly.  I love that it means there is a new life inside me and even though I feel frumpy and dumpy and it's hard to sleep, walk, bend over, etc.  I am so so grateful.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 15th

Today is National Infant Loss and Remembrance Day.  Funny how I never would have thought of it much before last year but today it means something.  I'm thinking about Ella and the sweet little ones that have been born and gone too early to my friends, some of whom I've met, some who have just become internet connections.  I am thinking of the little ones who were just beginning and a dream for  some of us, who we didn't even really get to know.

But the word "loss" doesn't really fit.  I was emailing back and forth with a pastor recently and he commented on how our little ones are not "lost".  We know exactly where they are.

"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

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Better Days Ahead

I should have written this last Sunday.  But time is getting away from me lately.  Could be because my littles keep me running, could be because we are sorting and organizing a house full of 6 plus years of stuff.  Could be because I'm 30 weeks pregnant and like my sleep and am starting to waddle like a duck  and get tired just walking to get the mail!

Last Sunday, I had one of those "God moments".  You know the kind where you are listening to the Pastor and you are like "yes! That's it! YES!" and then writing furiously on your bulletin to fill the pages?

I haven't had one of those in a long long time.  I'd guess to say at least two years.  Not because I haven't heard worthy sermons that were full of God's message.  It wasn't because God wasn't speaking, or trying to get through it me.  I have been hurting and sad so often, and church has been a place where it feels the most raw, even on good days.  I have sat through amazing worship times and wonder if I'll ever feel the joy of worshipping again or wondering if it will always be tinted with pain of Ella not being here with me.

Last Sunday started with some great worship time.  The songs weren't too familiar to me but the attitude and spirit of worship in the sanctuary was powerful.  It was hard, if not impossible to not feel God being glorified and honored there.  Then the pastor spoke.  His message was short as he was leading into the vision for the next two years of the church, but he talked about our own vision and focus.

In order to move forward and see what God has in store for us (our family, our future, etc)the pastor shared that we must not let our hurt get in the way of our hope.  Now, I may have heard this many times before. I know I have.  I am sure I've heard it since Ella was born, but it was the right time and place because I completely felt God speak to my heart that this was for me.  I would have told you before this that I was doing well.  Fifteen months from the birth and death of Ella, I'm doing alright.  Thanks to my amazing family, supportive husband, many praying souls, some sound counseling, and our loving God, I am here, and the pain isn't so raw and hard.

But hearing this message made me realize that I had a big step to take with my grief.  I have been holding back.  I've been hanging on to my pain and letting it keep me from moving forward.   I don't mean physically or socially, but spiritually.  I've been avoiding Bible study, even praying to God other than short prayers for others or with my kids.    God wants more from me than that.  He wants ALL of me.  I haven't felt like I was ready to serve again in ministry and have expressed that to others, that I was focusing on healing.  (And a time of rest and stepping back is ok!  There is most definitely a season to do that in all our lives).

But I think that the Lord was telling me last Sunday, that my time of quiet, and rest is over.  We all have pain.  It can be from a death, from a loved one hurting us, or from things in our past.  Being hurt is hard.  Let's be honest. It sucks.  But God doesn't want us to stay in our pain. Phillippians 3:13 talks about moving ahead and forgetting what is behind us.  While I won't ever "forget" what has happened, I can most definitely move forward.

Isaiah 43:18-19 "but forget all that- It is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new.  See?  I have already begun! Do you not see it?  I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."

This verse was part of the message and on that Sunday morning. I "saw" it.  I feel a great sense of freedom and excitement after last Sunday.  I know that I need to step it up and focus on what the Lord has in store for me, for my family in the coming future.  I know that in the midst of the grief of losing a loved one, God can work and move and that he can use me and our Ella to help others.  I am looking forward to seeing how He choses to do it and am praying that He will open doors to show me where to step in and serve and help.

And just because there aren't enough opportunities to share her pretty face. :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Camp life in pictures :)

Thankful for camp life

My kids LOVE playing at the cabin across the street.  Thought you'd like a look for yourself! :)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Apple Festival!

We went to the Apple Festival in Nappanee a few weeks ago.  The kids love it and we love the fun atmosphere and great food!

This was Gracie's favorite part!

Do you see my littles and their fun faces?  They LOVED the dragon ride!