Wednesday, October 29, 2008


These lyrics so closely parallel how I feel:

O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to thee; I trace the rainbow through the rain, And feel the promise is not vain, That morn shall tearless be.

God, the wonder of your hand in my life still amazes me. I'm thankful for...

Your steadfast love.
My beautiful Brilla.
My dearest husband Michael.
My stillborn daughter, Amelia, who is dancing in heaven.
The precious Lamb of God who took away my sin.
Jesus' resurrection that I can have eternal life and see my daughter someday.
My house.
Food to eat.
Money to buy what we need and want.
Dear friends.
Close family.
Good dreams.
Your creation...including Fall leaves.

I am sure there are many more things I have not mentioned, but thank you, God for all of these. You have given me so much. I know your mercies are new every morning, great is Thy faithfulness.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Piano and funny kid story

Tuesday nights are my favorite because that means I'm done teaching for the week (mostly, I still have an hour of teaching on Friday afternoon). Not that I don't enjoy it, but just like any other job, it's fun when you're done! And I got a special surprise today - Angela gave me the cutest piano pen/pencil combo. She didn't even know my birthday was this Friday. Little gifts like that mean so much. It seems the older I get, the more the little things are what stick with me. Teaching takes so much out of me. It's like I am fusing part of my brain to my students', passing on all that I know about theory, technique, etc (with the help of a wonderful music dictionary when I don't know the answers ;P). And I always feel like I am learning right along with them, whether it's finding a new way approach to concepts or motivating students to practice. I am sure teachers of all kinds feel the same way.

I have a funny kid story...about Brilla.

Grandpa gave her a cute chair for the summer. It looks like a mini director's chair that says "Cutter" on it. (Don't know who Cutter is or is supposed to be, but I digress). It has seen better days, with the black almost completely faded. So Mike and I made the decision to throw it out. How did Brilla agree to this? She didn't, we threw it away in the recyle bin when she wasn't looking. I know, bad parents. But anything for extra room. Later that day, I went into the garage trying to find something. Our recycle bin is right inside the garage. I had forgotton about the chair, which was completely in view though inside the bin. Brilla was in the door peering around at different things, saying "Bike", "Box", "Paper", etc. All of a sudden she says, "My chair." I whirl around to see her looking straight at her chair in the trash. I kind of nod and say "yes, chair" with a sort of half awe/half sinking feeling starting at my toes. Then she says with a laugh, "Chair hiding in the traush" (she says her a's like a British person) you know, like "Silly chair, what are you doing in there?" Then she spoke the inevitable,"I waunt my chair in the traush." Interpretation: "I want my chair out of the trash, unfolded so I can sit in it. Though I haven't seen it all day, I suddenly want it. Now." So, defeated, I unwillingly rescued the chair. And it was sat for like 5 minutes until the next more fun thing captured her attention.

Anyway, it was pretty funny. Our daughter unknowingly outsmarted us.

Until this morning, when I once again placed it in the trash and it was later hauled away. It strangely has not been missed :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Double date

I'm so excited...tonight we have a double date with another couple, Josh and Sarah. It's actually a birthday double date because all four of us have birthdays in October. Whee! Funny thing, we don't know where we're going yet. We'll have a blast wherever we end up though. Talking and laughing, catching up with each other. We might even head over to hour house afterward and play a game or two. This would be the selection: Monopoly, Dutch Blitz, Yahtzee, Scattergories, Risk, Apples to Apples, or Mad Gab. Not the most awesome list, but hey, with friends anything can turn crazy. I personally would pick Scattergories or Dutch Blitz.

Yesterday I finished painting Brilla's new room. I was initially hesitant to do it. It was the last major project Amelia and I did together. There were even still a few smudges where my big tummy had smeared the paint. Good memories, but sad ones, too. So though this is Brilla's room, I'm doing this remodeling project really for my daughter, Amelia. A tribute to one of the last times we spent bonded. A tribute to the little steps we can take when we don't let fear run our lives, but let God's strength uphold us.

After painting, I made a scrumptous dinner of oven-fried chicken, corn-on-the-cob and brown rice. The itch for dessert wouldn't leave, so I baked up some snickerdoodles. Why did my husband have to go on a dessert fast during the fall season? This is when I crave sitting by the fire, sipping hot tea, and dunking some kind of yummy. Oh well, we had cookies anyway.
Little Brilla was in a good mood today. She didn't throw any tantrums all day. A first in a while. Can I just say she's in that 2 year old stage where she wears her feelings on her sleeve? It's like she has a bundeload of emotions she doesn't know what to do with. But we love her just the same, cute toes and all. Note to all mothers of infants: kiss those toes while you can because into toddlerhood they get kinda stinky :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One month

It has been one month (4 weeks) since we delivered our Amelia stillborn. Since it was already dusk by the time Mike got home from work, we will be placing fresh flowers on her grave tomorrow evening. We usually do this every week on Wednesday, but tomorrow will be an extra special day remembering her. We love you, sweet girl.
I cried today. It was unexpected and I tried not to, but the tears just came. I was trying to share with 3 other women what God's been teaching me lately, and the sorrow and hard times just overwhelmed me. It's been so hard accepting Amelia's death. I've gone through cycles. Cycles of guilt, wondering what I could have done to cause her to go away, or wondering if it wasn't me, could I have kept better track of her movement and noticed the change sooner. And then I go through peaceful times where I know she's in God's heaven, where we'll see her some day. But then that's hard, because homecoming is so far away. It seems like forever. I want her now, here with me. As I've written in my journal, how can I say good-bye when I never said hello to my daughter?

Then the other day someone said something hurtful to me. Something you should never say to someone who has lost someone dear to them. For some reason (probably the Lord), I was able to let it go and forgive, but boy did I want to yell at them at the time. There are times I've said hurtful things, but to be at the receiving end is a different story.

Sometimes I feel like curling into a ball with thick soft blankets, journaling and letting the tears fall as I write. Then pray, read the Psalms and cry some more. But thank goodness I can't do that whenever I feel like it. I have a toddler to take care of and a husband who needs me, for I'm sure he's struggling, too. In fact, most of the time, I try to keep myself busy, not having too much down time. Or else my thoughts just wander to our loss and relive the painful emotions. Not that I want to forget. I can never forget. But I want to be able to accept God's peace and healing, when it comes, not deny it for clinging to sadness.

Don't know if any of this makes sense. It's all just bits of rambling as I make my way through the fog of my new future without my daughter.

Pathetic excuses, hard hearts, and compromise

Bear with me, I'm waxing eloquent today...

Pathetic Excuses
God doesn't accept our pathetic excuses. When He says, "I need you to do this", no reason in the world why you canNOT is good enough. Moses had some pretty good excuses, and he uses the same one over and over again..."I have feeble lips". It took a while for Moses to realize that God was more interested in his availability than his ability. Besides that, God provided Moses with everything he needed for his challenge; God didn't expect Him to do it in his own strength. My personal lesson is that God can't really use me until I get my eyes off myself and lose all the excuses, even if they seem valid. And my timetable is different than His. I may think "This would be the perfect time for God to use me here", when, in fact, God often calls me when I'm unprepared. This really has been the story of my life. I was going to finish law school by age 20 or so. But that wasn't to be. Instead I had to quit that program and finished the paralegal program instead. I was unprepared to meet and fall in love with my husband, but it was perfect timing with God (and of course, I eventually didn't mind either ;P). Didn't plan on having a troubled pregnancy with Brilla, almost losing her. But God brought us through that and now we have a beautiful toddler. I didn't plan on having a kids Bible club at my house on Monday nights, but His Holy Spirit kept knocking on our hearts until we did. I thought the best time for me to have students was last year when I was ready and willing. But did they come despite all my craigslist posts and telephone-pole-signs? No. Instead, God has brought several all at once right around the time of Amelia's stillbirth. Is God's timing twistedly off? No. I believe I don't have to know all at once what God's plan is, I just have to hang in there for the ride with His strong right arm upholding me all the way. One thing for sure, in all of God's unexpected plans, amidst the pain at times, He's given joy with no sorrow added to it. Someday in hindsight at heaven's gate I will know why. "Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

Hard hearts
Every person is born with a hard heart, God is in the business of softening them. We don't just wake up one day and think "I'd like a soft heart today". It just doesn't come naturally. We are selfish beings at the core. There are actions we can take and decisions that we make which result in our heart softening, but the end result is truly the work of the Holy Spirit. We can't come up with the beautiful work of God in our lives on our own. I've decided that I want to be a woman that asks God to soften my heart, make my heart willing to accept His commands. If you could see my heart, oftentimes the view isn't pretty. The word "harden" in Hebrew means to twist, like twisting a rope or squeezing a sponge. When God hardened Pharaoh's heart, He was just squeezing out what was already in there. As we see, it was full of pride and selfishness. I thought, "How could Pharaoh be so stubborn?", but I was reminded that Pharaoh was a thoroughly modern man...blatantly disobedient, bargaining with God, insincere, and convicted without commitment. Remind us of anyone? Yeah, maybe ourselves. Oh God, soften our hearts!

Satan wants to get at us through the cracks. He knows right where our weaknesses are. One of those is compromise. He has been a liar from the beginning, always giving truth with a little error mixed in. Or vice versa. He'd really like you to quit the Christian life. It's so restricting, ya know? But since he can't get us to quit, the next best thing he'll settle with is for us to compromise. Sometimes it's obvious, but usually it's sneaky. One of the ways is he wants us to be borderline Christians. Worldly Christians. One foot doing God's way and one foot doing what the world wants. But God wants total access to our lives. You know how our microwaves are often the last thing we think about cleaning? Well, He even wants our microwaves. Another lie Satan speaks to us is to not force our beliefs on others. Or to let our kids believe and do what they want, then when they get old enough, they can decided for themselves what they want. Hello? God has given us our children for a reason, to train them in the way they should go. If they have their way and do what they feel all the time, they will grow up to be adults doing just that...doing everything their way, not God's. It's not our fault if they choose to rebel, but it's our fault if we don't be their guideposts in His ways.

I promise, only a bit more.

Another of Satan's lies to us is to hold back: You can commit almost everything to God, but don't be a sellout; have a fall-back plan if things don't work out. The truth is that we walk by faith and not by sight. Often when following God, there are bumps and even ditches on our journey. But all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. No earthly scheme could hold a candle to the amazing finish God has in store. Don't substitute your short-term plan for God's eternal blessing. Be an all out woman or man of faith in God!

I'ved shared with you everything I've been learning in my study of God's word this week. It has been an awesome lesson. I just can't hold His truths inside...hopefully you gleaned something from it like I have :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Need more weekend

The weekends always go by fast. Seems like by the time we get caught up on sleep, it's back to Monday again. Saturday was wonderful. We woke up early to do some yard work and clean the garage. It felt good to get projects done. We were going to go the Home Show in Seattle, but decided not to after all. Brilla would have been bored out of her skull and we simply decided we'd rather do something else. So we headed to Costco for some lunch. Note to self: NEVER go to Costco on a Saturday around noon! I already knew this, but some lessons have to be learned more than twice. I was going to buy a fun magazine, but decided against it after I peeked at the looong lines. Oh well, a nice warm decaf mocha for only $1 made my day :) That, and a yummy churro.

Next we headed to West Seattle to walk along Alki Beach. We love Alki, and we love walking. It was a great combo. I think we walked forever! It was such a gorgeous day (probably one of our last) with the sun out. Normally, I would not have been worn out. But I'm still physically healing so I was downright pooped. It felt good to get exercise though. In the middle of our walk, we breaked at Alki Bakery and got a couple blueberry sour cream coffee cakes. They were delicious!
Sweets are our weakness, especially baked goods. Upon getting back home, we met up with my parents to go on a hay ride down in the valley. Unfortunately, we missed the last ride by minutes :( It was still a great time with eating roasted corn and kettle corn. Gotta love the fall. Brilla just loved the roasted corn. I had to keep reclaiming mine from her! Then we headed to one of our favorite family restaurants, Azteca. Great place for Mexican food. I ordered the fajita burrito and Mike got the chicken taquitos. Leave it up to me to order something twice the size of my husband's. And I ate almost all of it, too. I guess he did have a few bites along with Brilla :P

Today was relaxing. I woke up with a terrible sinus headache, so Mike had to teach Sunday School alone. But I met up with him during regular service. I love meeting up with other believers on Sunday. It's rejuvinating and encouraging all at once. It also helps me when my heart is sad, as long as I don't get the many questions of "Are you doing okay today?" I know people only care, but I get that asked so many times. And it's hard to put into words how I feel exactly. Today was a good day, but that doesn't mean I'm not hurting. We went to Elmer's with Mike's parents and Tim. I always enjoy getting together with them. Many times we miss Dick (Mike's dad) because of his work schedule. They keep him busy up at Northwest Airlines. Seriously. Our Seahawks are so bad this year!! I don't know why they are awful this time 'round, at least our defense anyway. Well, our offense is not so hot, either. There must be some kind of curse on Seattle sports this season. Ugh. But we are faithful fans anyway...always watching with an undying hope that maybe this game will be awesome...Right now we are playing puzzles with Brilla. She likes it better when Mama and Daddy play with her. She calls us 'Mama Joy' and 'Michael Daddy' these days :) Don't know where she got that, but it's cute. This is such a precious age. Poor thing, she doesn't know that in a few minutes, I will be bringing out the jammies and putting this girl down for beddy-bye.

At least this night isn't over yet. Maybe we'll pop in The Office and laugh our heads off, while I finish my spice chai. Might as well enjoy the last few hours of our weekend - even though we need more of it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Remembering Our Little Ones

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

I am praying for moms and dad all across the country who lost a child they loved, either inside or outside the womb. Oh, God, please hold them close and keep the memory of their beautiful child alive. One woman's story stood out to me. Not only did she miscarry, but the miscarriage came not long after the death of her 31-year old husband. Such sorrow. Such pain and grief. What earthly heart can handle such aching? None. So we give this precious woman our tears and ask You to be with her, Jesus. Give her hope.

So many people say "You will have more children" or "It's good that you have another daughter to hug", but no one can take the place of Amelia. She had a separate soul, spirit and body than Brilla or any of our future children will have. She was a destinctly separate human being inside of me. She will always be a missing piece in our lives. As a friend succinctly stated just last night, we will never "get over" her death, we can only accept it, because she really existed and we love her. She is not "in the past", but very much in the present...worshipping her God in heaven.

Amelia, though you're in heaven, we only remember you here on earth in my tummy. You were such an unexpected blessing. I was thrilled to hear you were a girl because I thought you were going to be a boy. Daddy was secretly hoping for another girl; you brought out his fatherly protective nature. And you were healthy. Unlike your sister, Brilla, with whom we experienced a placental abruption because her cord originated on/near the placenta, you were completely normal. Nothing to worry about. In fact, our last ultrasound around July 31, 2008 (20 weeks) showed that you were growing quite healthy and on schedule. I felt great during this time...we went to our annual trip to Priest Lake with you, even went out on the boat and did some swimming. Your dad and I celebrated our 4th anniversary by getting away for the weekend up north (we left Brilla behind, but took you with us :)). We flew to Los Angeles for my cousin's wedding. It was so hot and your heavy weight made me feel extra sweaty and tired, but I had fun telling people about your soon arrival and all that we hoped for. Your aunties even gave you gifts. Your only ones that I will cherish to this day...a nifty lime changing pad, onesies, socks, washcloths, a towel, a rattle, and the most beautiful pink gauzy newborn dress. These gifts made you even more real to me and my happiness grew. In fact, at that point during the pregnancy, I was even more excited than I had ever been. I was enjoying having you inside of me...still had tons of energy. Painting your sister's new bedroom walls, planning to decorate your nursery. Then came your sister's 2nd birthday. It was her first actual birthday party and we had such a blast with family and friends. That day I wore my favorite summer blouse while pregnant with you. Your daddy liked it, too. ;) I was exhausted by the end, but totally happy. That was a week before your tragedy. The final days of your life we had so much fun, too. We went to the State Fair twice. I ate too much junk food. After that, we had a long night visiting with your Auntie Michelle, Uncle Steve and cousins. We ate lots of food and talked bunches. That Saturday we did the 5k Walk for Life, in support of unborn human life. How ironic. The walk felt so good even though I was pretty far along with you. Your daddy and sister had a great time as well. Even though it was sprinkling, it was a gorgeous morning, with the sun shining across the water. It was such a joyous time, void of the future to come. Then on Sunday, the day you may have passed from this life to the next, we watched the second Seahawks game, while visiting with your great-Grandpa Bob. It's probably good I was completely unaware of my little angel struggling for life. Oh, precious girl, I love you so much and even now I am crying because I want to hold you in my arms and sing you lullabies. I wish things did not happen as they did. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry if I did anything that somehow endangered your life, my sweet Amelia. But all of that does not matter. You are with Jesus. You don't have to toil in vain here. This ole' world has not tainted you. Straight from my womb to His arms. What better life is there? Hugs and kisses to you, our dear daughter. May God's love keep you until we can see your smile.

Bible Study day

Today is Bible study. This year we're studying the Life of Moses and it has been so good for me. Bri is enjoying her 2s & 3s class as well. She comes home singing "Clean up time, clean up time" :) Talk about cute. Some of the lessons I learned personally this week: God is relational. He is not only holy, almighty and powerful, but He desired a relationship with Israel (you will be my people and I will be your God) and desires a relationship with me as well. It is comforting to know that the same God who created me, also sent His Son to die for my sins so that I could be redeemed. Isn't that amazing? Who else serves a god like that? I've also learned that despite or feebleness, God is able to work in our lives. It's not about us, anyway. It's about the big God we love and serve. So when we think "I can't do this!!", remember, no you can't but He can do it through you. When God call us to do something, He provides the strength and support for the journey.

I've asked God to show me some glimpses of what He's trying to accomplish in my life (I'm sure there are a lot of shortcomings in me that provide Him with a lifetime project), but I mean through me to others. I'm excited about the new students He's brought into my life, as well as the new kids that may come to Bible club. Perhaps that is a glimpse of something. But whatever it is, I am content with each step I take.

I just read an awesome quote the other day:
"People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, fragrant flowers, the blue curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Anyway, Wednesdays are kind of mommy and Bri special days. So after Bible Study, we'll probably head to Qdoba, then to the kids play area at the mall. She loves other kids! Then we might grab a cookie at Mrs. Fields. Yummy yum.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Singing to Jesus is something I love to do. Do I have a good voice? No. I prefer to sing everywhere except in the shower, the car, outside while gardening, when I'm doing chores. I feel like in those moments I have an even better praise time than at church. I can sing my heart out and no one hears but Him. I think music is an amazing gift. What a unique ability He's given us to create it, to pair poetry and notes. And I can't wait to get to heaven and do it for all eternity. Can you imagine? All the nations singing His praises, bowing down before Him! "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is, and is to come."

Tonight we had Bible club with the kids. Sadly, our group has shrunk. 3 girls in one family moved away because their parents separated :(, 2 boys from different families moved away as well, and 1 boy just doesn't come anymore. So 2-4 girls usually come every week. About a month ago, all 4 of the girls accepted Christ as their Savior. Talk about exciting!! So when summer ended, we felt led to continue through the school year. It was tough setting aside my sorrow, looking outside myself and seeing these girls' need for love and discipleship. I honestly wanted to quit for a month, to give myself time away from it all, then start again after a while. And that may have been fine. But I felt the familiar nudging of the Spirit, you know, that continually knocking that doesn't stop until you've given in? Yep. And it has been SO worth it. Every smile, every sweet, sweet little girl voice that sings those Bible songs with off-key enthusiasm, and those same voices praying to God at the end of our time. Yep. Every bit has been worth it. Thank you Lord for giving us the strength to carry on, many times not for ourselves, but for other lives that need You.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Good buys

I just love Ross. I haven't been in a while because every time I go, it seems so messy and hectic. Kids are always screaming (maybe 'cause I go around nap time?) and it makes me want to go organize my house afterward. But I went anyway. They must have really cleaned up lately because it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected! I forgot how they have a little bit of everything...and how my budget seems to vaporize as I see all the nifty things I want. I only went to get some shiny brown leather-like boots for Brilla (which don't seem to be anywhere in stores right now, suede, yes but shiny leather, no) and ended up with 4 books, a Bible cover, and black dress shoes for Bri. I'm really liking my purchases: a cute journal, Family Bible Classics (illustrated Bible stories, Bri doesn't have one yet), the cookbook Winning Recipes from Taste of Home (awesome, awesome!) and finally, the cookbook Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. I got the cookbooks for under $10 each. Beats Costco! I'm so proud. My husband will be like, "More books, honey?" with a worried look on his face. Well, at least I kept the receipt.

Last night we visited Amelia's grave. But before we reached her spot, another fresh burial came into view. I peered at the temporary inscription "Tessa Joy. Born September 28, Died September 28, 2008." Another stillborn baby girl. My heart cried out first, then the tears followed suit. I felt immediate and familiar pain for that family. How they must be aching! Mike and I got on our knees and said a prayer for that dear, hurting family. We asked Jesus for His comfort and peace in their lives; and if they are not believers, that their little girl's death might have them thinking on eternity. For she is already spending hers with Jesus.

Sleep is getting easier. I used to wake up in the middle of the night, waiting for Amelia's kicks and quickly realizing her absence, cry myself to sleep. This would happen twice each night. Now, I only wake up once and I pray. I silently give God all my thoughts and wonderings. And he puts me back to sleep. Right at this moment, I have a satisfied, content feeling about Amelia's death. I don't ache today. I may tomorrow, but not today. Thank you, Jesus, for your peace.

I am still hesitant being around people. In some ways, I want to talk about Amelia, but I don't want to answer people's questions of "How are you?" or "Are you feeling okay?", "How are you coping?" etc. I don't mind if they are just silent, or if they look at me and simply say "I am so sorry" or "we are praying for you" and then go on about other subjects. But people are people and I have to realize they truly care. They can't read my mind or my feelings. I remember when my friend Sarah had a miscarriage, I honestly didn't know what to say. I didn't like to bring up the subject, I was scared of how it might affect her. I'm glad I didn't say anything "wise" or cliche. At least I hope I didn't, and if I did, I am sorry.

I am not sure if we are doing anything exciting this weekend. Honestly, cleaning out our storage sounds exciting to me right now. I'm easily pleased these days. We might be going to a swim party for a neighbor girl...woohoo, I might have to wear a swimsuit. Maybe Mike can just go in :) But we also might be visiting with my sis-in-law's close friend who's in town, Angela. She brought her baby girl, whom I haven't seen yet! That will be fun. Babies are so precious, and if I get to hold one this weekend, it will have been an exceptional day.

Wow. I could go on and on. Now you know why I've filled out so many journals in my lifetime. And I'm only 26. Happy Friday everyone! You've survived the week!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New future

Today we didn't go anywhere, but just took it easy and organized closets, vacuumed, put away clothing, etc. I finally got up the courage to pack away my maternity clothes...the precious clothes I wore while carrying Amelia. I went into almost a reminiscent trance about Amelia. Thinking about how she felt inside me, the activities I did while she was with us, how we sang and talked to her, the awful day we found out she wasn't with us, the delivery, the memorial, and finally, this "new future" that seems like a fog. In my mind, a new future that wasn't supposed to be. I know that God is omniscient and He knows everything before I do, but I am stuck in the finite and do not know everything. I will never understand why God took Amelia, the purpose it serves, or what awaits later on. Or how long it will be until we see our daughter in heaven. But I don't try to understand, either. That just gets me in a confused mental state that I can't handle emotionally.

Though it's an uncertain future (like everyone's, I guess), I don't want to miss out on the blissful moments God has for me to experience. Though in some ways it feels like happy times have ended, they haven't. God hasn't changed; He is the same today, yesterday and forever. He is the I Am, the beginning and the end. God is realer to me now than He has ever been. His promises are deeper; I cling to them. His tower of strength is the only one I can run into. The sweet songs of worship I sing to Him are prayers from my heart directly to His. Did I mention the beautiful daughter he has entrusted to me already, my darling 2 year old? What about my husband, my best friend, the man I love laughing with, who loves to watch videos on the couch with me and eat bowls of cake and icecream? Amazing how so much happiness and sadness is mixed together. As one song puts it, "pain and pleasure".

I've been using this solitary time as a time to draw nearer to my God. My head is buried in the Psalms, my pen underlining Bible Study notes and verses on the life of Moses, my lips are continually sending prayers to Him, I am always journaling my thoughts and prayers on paper. Please don't even think me godly, brave or wise. I'm barely hanging on, I'm a woman desperately needing Christ to carry me through.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

heartache again

I was going about my business tonight, when all of a sudden, my heart ached again. I wanted to hold Amelia in my arms. So the tears just came, and I cried and cried. And Mike let me cry on his shoulder. Even though she was my unborn 7 month old little girl, I love her with all my heart. Sometimes flashes of her delivery come back to me, the reminder of my hope deferred, and I cry out to God. He has been my ultimate source of comfort, He always hears me. I know I will see Amelia in heaven someday, but oh, that is a long time. In my humanness, eternity seems so far away. Jesus, please take my hurting heart and hold me in your arms. Give me reassurance and Your peace. Amen.

Friday, October 3, 2008

9 days later

It is 9 days after Amelia's delivery and I'm still feeling the physical affects. I'm having some cramps and am still sore. But it's a good time to take it easy - make Amelia's scrapbook and write notes to people. I'm pretty stable emotionally, but there are some days where a memory comes back, or I see a cute baby outfit...and the tears flow. It will take a while for God to heal my heart. So, I have blessed, joyful days, days where I'm not crying but just kinda gloomy, and then days where I need to stop and cry, to ache. But overall, my thoughts of her are filled with simple joy that she's with Jesus; that she's feeling absolutely no sadness, no pain, no hurt. Maybe God has a special assignment for her up there, I know there lots of preparations to be made for that Day. She's where Michael and I long to heaven, in paradise. Wednesday marked a week after Amelia's departure. We went to her spot that overlooks Mt. Ranier and the valley, and laid some beautiful red, pink and yellow roses on her grave. We said a special prayer for our daughter, asking God to say "hi" from us. And remind her that we still love her greatly.

Meanwhile, we are still in love with our precious 2 year old, Brilla. What a delight she is. She brings tears of laughter to our eyes every day. Isn't God incredibly gracious to give us to her? She's getting extra hugs lately. Brilla knew that Daddy and Mama were sad and that we cried. It was good for us to not hide our emotions around her. She learned that we go through hard times, too. We are so thankful she has grandma and grandpas, and aunt/uncle/cousins who love her dearly and showered her with affection.

The latest thing with Brilla is that everything has to be just right. Ha. A perfectionist just like her mama tends to be. This morning, Michael handed me his ballcap to wear and we waited for Bri's reaction. Yep; she pulled it off my head and placed it on the correct head, Daddy's :) Bri's other favorites: being at the play area with other kiddos, drawing on her doodle pad and any paper her hands get hold of, reading books, eating yummies, listening to music, singing at the top of her lungs, and helping clean up. Ah. It's a hard life at 2.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Blog Title

God takes me in His arms, loves me and uses me...just as I am. Hence, the name of my blog. I hope you enjoy the random, everyday thoughts from my heart to yours.