Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Rain...

You may have noticed I once again changed the background to my blog. It's sort of a frequent thing for me. Especially now that blogger has more options. Some people could care less what their background is, not me. To me, it's very, very important. It's symbolic. It should reach out to you. Make you think. Make you feel.

For a while now it's been a black background with warm sparks of light. Because it was the best I could choose in mourning. I decided Friday I needed to change it. I searched and searched and searched. I even attempted to pull a photo of Italian scenary from the internet. And then some train tracks going off in the distance. I was searching for insightful. Dreamful. Some hope or vague thought I had. I couldn't master the internet, so I finally found and chose this one that blogger provided. I liked it, for rain fits my mood lately, but not the mountains, because I don't see mountains out my window. Well, it would have to do.

And then tonight....

I read a blog that's named "Bring the Rain" ( It's also a song by Mercy Me, I'll link later. And I am struck by why God allowed me to choose this background. And I think I'll be keeping it for a while.

I need to be honest with you.

I've been angry. There were days in January especially when I was so overwhelmed with grief and anger and emotions I couldn't handle. I brought them to God. I hid from Him. I didn't know how to handle it, so I just struggled through the mud and murk. I've cried out to God and begged for healing. Begged for help and just anything. I've raged and prayed. I've learned God can handle my emotions, no matter what they are. I was afraid to be angry, I was afraid to say "this isn't fair". Because that would be doubting the sovereignty of God. Which I don't. But yet I wanted to. Because I wanted my baby, and He decided this would bring Him more glory. But I've learned that God already knows my heart, so why should I pretend anything else? So I come to Him, broken and angry and weary. I plead with Him to let me release my anger and to heal. Because I can't. I'm not strong enough. But He is. I won't say I've had a revelation, but I will say this. I'm prideful. I've been all about me. And it's not. It's about Him.

And here's the thing, no matter how dark the day, how deep the pain, how great the anger, it never crossed my mind that God was NOT faithful. To give up on Him. That He wasn't much greater than my pain. That He wasn't the same yesterday, today, and forever. That He would leave. That He was mad at me for hurting.

So here's the summary. I'm still getting there. I think and know there were ways and certain things I could have handled and reacted to much better in this journey. But that's okay. God is faithful. He knew how this path and journey would look. And I'm learning and growing. It's His journey. It's my journey to Him.

I love Jesus. I want Him to be glorified in my life. I don't really want or desire to experience more pain, but I believe I can finally say:

"And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain"

I can't promise that will be my heartcry everyday. If there are more given over babies ahead for us, I will cry and hurt. But I pray I will praise Him. And say "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty"

And we will try and hope and pray. Because God has not forsaken us. So Bring the Rain...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oh Be Careful Little Mouths

Do you remember singing this little song as a child?
"Oh be careful little eyes what you see...Oh be careful little mouths what you say...oh be careful little ears what you hear...oh be careful little feet where you go...oh be careful little hands what you do...For the Father up above is looking down in love so be careful little ____ what you ___"
How many of us sang that song not knowing what the "Looking down in love" part was all about and just incredibly afraid of screwing up and getting God mad at us? Oh how we've messed up our minds and theology.

We were at a short retreat at our church with 4 other couples this weekend talking about our "prodigal God". You know the story of the prodigal son? Your Bible, Luke 15:11-31. We focus on how the "prodigal son" comes home. But in context, the story is about the older son, and how his legalistic rule-following tendencies were just as bad as the outwardly rebellious younger brother. The older brother was actually just as rebellious to his father, but in his heart, and he wasn't willing to respond to the Father's love and join him. Oh how we are the older brother.

Our Father God is offering us grace, forgiveness, mercy, and love and yet, we think we can earn His favor. But we can't. We must not casually lean on the cross and tell others they need it. We must be face down in front of the cross with open arms saying "come, come, there is grace here" We all need it and we are all lost without it. So that when we sing of being careful, it is in love, because the Father is protecting us not waiting to strike us.

And a side note, let us be careful little mouths what we say. Because words can hurt, they can alienate you from someone, and break any trust that was there. Our mouths can bring life and love and kindness. Or they can spew hate and hurt and malice.

"Lord, give us the humility to come in to your house, because we are nothing. We have nothing and can do nothing. Let us show your love and be your love. May we dive as deeply as possible into the world without sinning to pull others to safety. May we cling to the cross and share the grace we have received. Because we cannot earn your favor. It is all because of you. And Lord, may our mouths bring life-giving words, not hurt and death."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Time Changes Everything

I wish it didn't, but it does. Time can heal and make things better, it can also pull apart and make things harder. Like marriage. Like me. And my husband.

This is my husband at various stages of our the gotee? Me too...can't convince him to do it again.

And here's my husband at his happiest. Outside and Active.

I've changed that man. God has changed him for the better, but I've had my hand at making him different too, not all good.

I love him, I wish I could always act like it. It scares me who I'd be without him.

He's looking a bit older and more gray lately. My old/baby faced man. I guess stress does that to you. So does life.

He's also pretty much the best Daddy ever.

I love you Andrew Mark. Always and Forever.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Remember When?

You may have noticed that I've added a playlist to the bottom of my blog, mostly because when I'm writing I like inspiration. I'll even tell you why I chose a few of the songs...

~"When did you fall?" (in love with me) Amazingly romantic song by a Christian Artist. And the first song that Andrew and I danced to, and it happened to be our wedding night. So always good memories.
~"Praise you in the Storm" I thought we were in a storm when trying to get pregnant with Levi. That song gave me promise that no matter the outcome, God was in the storm. Now, two years later, I cling to that promise even more.
~"Yearn" and "Be Near" Shane & Shane's honesty seems to always echo the cry of my heart
~"Love them like Jesus" & "Prayer for a friend" What can I say? Again, heartcry. What do we and our friends need? Our prayers and love like Jesus. Not our pat sayings

~"Remember When" Ahhh got to have my bit of country. And really, except for the first verse, pretty much how I want to look at life. No sadness, only gladness for what we remember. How many people do you know that after the children grow up and move away that they no longer have a marriage or even a friendship with each other? Too many I'll wager. And so, that's my heart cry today. I know so soon the little feet running and crawling down the hall will be a distant memory. One I'll want back. I already miss the tenderness of my little 5 pound boy curled up on my chest. But I don't want to long for it. I want to remember when. I want to look at my gray-haired husband and think of the children we've released, and be so excited to have my best friend forever! Like my favorite verse says:
"Remember When, 30 seemed so old, now looking back, it's just a stepping stone,
to who we are, where we've been, said we'd do it all again, Remember When"
That's what I want in 40 years, to look back and see what God has done, where we've come from, and say, okay Lord. And to dance with my sweetheart forever.

And just for your enjoyment, a picture, because I can. :)Val, Will, & Kiernan vistited a few weekends ago, and we had such a great time! As this picture shows, Kiernan had to learn how to keep the dog from licking her face, and Levi just had to learn to walk as well as Kiernan! :) The Dad's went ice fishing, And Val and I? It was so good to be with a kindred spirit.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I've moved into the 21st century, technologically speaking that is.

I now own a cool phone thanks to a dear friend, and a cool laptop thanks to my parents wisdom. And no, it's not a Mac. My budget and conscience said no. But it's still cool. And fast, I can actually upload photos quickly. What does this mean for you? More pictures of Levi of course!! :)

Here's my adorable boy eating popcorn and an apple in his high chair. And yes, he was nawing on a whole apple, because he wanted to I guess. And he didn't choke I promise.

In other news, Levi's been running a high temp all week. I am so thankful for smart nurses who are my family/friends! Also for ibprofen. I actually didn't realize he was old enough for it yet, so again, smart people. And it seems today he's doing better so far. It seems that way anyway. Evenings have been the worst so far, so we'll wait and see. It's such an experience. With Levi's history of respitory junk and many, many, MANY Dr.'s visits, it's hard not to freak out when he seems even a litle bit sick. But I'm learning to relax and trust. Which is hard, very hard.

It's such a balance between being a responsible parent and over-reacting. On the one hand I don't want to ignore his symptoms and endanger him more. On the other, if it's just a virus and a sniffle, I don't want to go running up dr.'s bills. (no offense docs, but you are rather spendy.)
So, your prayers are always appreciated. Because we need them, and grace, and wisdom.

Side Note for the day: My previous rant at the IRS was a bit much, and factually incorrect, as pointed out by my dear friend who has been keeping me sane in all the tax jumble. So Sara, the IRS isn't all bad, and I appreciate all your help! :)

See you soon friends! I'll be posting more now I hope, since it doesn't take an hour...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

IRS, how I despise thine rules.

I know, I'm a Christian, I'm supposed to be submissive to authority. But really? One of the tax books is 295 pages this year. You can't tell me that's a bit over the top. My main frustration? We sold some stocks to officially pay for Levi (you know, pay off those neonatologists that earn a lot of money) and starting this year you have to record what you originally paid for those stocks. Which is insane considering Andrew's owned them for 15+ years. Ugh...Pain!! But we may actually save money by figuring that out so it may be worth our time.
Other note, have 20 kids, the government will pay you to raise them. Or your neighbor who has 1 and pays out the nose in taxes will pay you in refunds to raise them. Either way, not exactly a capitalistic thought. But hey, free money is free money.

Why all this tax talk? Because no matter how many forms we have to fill out, we will get a "refund". And while I gripe and gripe about not even being able to pay my heat bill, for a few months after that glorious tax return, we can breath a little easier. Last year? It helped us pay off a whole bunch of medical bills. So big blessing. This year? I'm dreaming of a Mac. I'm also typing this on Valerie's Mac. I'm in love. I must have one. Yes, must. And I think I actually got Andrew to say yes. Mostly because with Val using our wireless we realized how fast our computer could be if it actually was from this century, make that milennium. They just don't make 'em to last 7 years. Oh so I'm trying to tell my husband. So, maybe we'll splurge. And maybe not. But wow, I love Mac's. Not just 'cause they're cool either, but because I could actually edit my photos.

Ahhh thank you neighbor with no children. Your contribution is much appreciated...

Monday, February 07, 2011


I'm going to contradict myself after my last post. Sort of. You'll see.

I always wondered why people made lists. Grocery lists I could kind of understand. Who wants to be a store that just tempts you longer than necessary? But other reasons to make a list? Didn't understand. Because I remembered everything in my head. Usually.


I get it.

I've lost my mind. So lists are becoming where I store it. You really do have "pregnancy brain" when you are pregnant. You think you'll get your mind back when you have the baby. Nope, it's now gone and you're sleep deprived on top of it. I've decided you really never get it all back. And the part that does stick around/return? You never have quiet in which to use it. Yes, there is a time now at this age of toddlerhood that I have an hour or two in the evening "to myself" or to my husband. But by that point you just want to turn off your brain and get ready to recharge.

Silence. What a glorious thing. I know I just posted about the Silence of God. That's a different kind of silence. You know those fleeting thoughts you have throughout the day? Thoughts like this:
~I should really update my photos on Facebook
~I should really plan my meals for the week
~I should really organize my desk
~I should really blog more regulary. Make a schedule, or at least take a picture every day.
~I should journal about Levi's growth
~I should plan a cleaning schedule
~I should sit down and talk to God
~I should call that person
~I should write thank-yous
~etc, etc, etc...

If you're not married, or if you're not into children yet, you wonder why I don't just do it? It's not that I'm not disciplined, well not horribly at least. I'm working on it, add it to my list. It's that I have no silence. There is always noise going on or some immediate task that needs doing. Or a little boy who needs playing with. I have no time to "sit" and think. I feel as though I have no time to just think.
This isn't a complaint. There are things I need to do about it. It's just realizing how tired my brain is and how overstimulated. I don't always listen to that inner voice anymore. My running commentary is tired. It's slow.

You know where this is leading right?

Earlier mornings. I've tried, I really have. But it's time to try again.
Early to bed, early to rise.
I'm not sure how healthy or wealthy it will make me, but it might make me wiser.
So I'm going to try, to find a bit of silence.
And I'm going to start writing better lists, ones that will actually get checked off. Not just "wish lists" of how organized I wish I would be.

But give me some grace, for you Momma's realize that even as I'm typing this I have a little boy pushing the backspace key on me.

I love this stage, I just need to work on being more efficient with it. Why more efficient? Not just to have more time, but to have more time to play with this joy of a terror. Because I love him, but he keeps growing up...and I don't think he's going to stop.
*wipes away a tear

Saturday, February 05, 2011


I'm still here. No fear. But I really don't have much to share. I somehow thought with the passing of Levi's homecoming day that life would just magically get better. Because really, hasn't it been the hardest year of our lives? Why shouldn't that be limited to just a year? But it's not, because God has no timetable. Maybe my "year" will start fresh on the anniversary of bringing Levi home the second time from the hospital. Oh yes, there was a second time. Or maybe not.
But know this, no matter the hardships, God is there. He just may be silent. I feel as though now is one of those silent times. And I don't have much of value to share because I've been angry, so angry. But that's wrong. I've been wrong. So I need to be silent. I have no fountain of optimism.

A dear, dear kindred spirit said to me recently: "You know, know, know it isn't always going to be this way, right? Just for now. Something is coming."
And I rather sassily answered "I wish I could believe that". I was wrong. I do need to believe that. Because no matter what happens in God's silence, He never leaves. He's here in our valley. And He's on the other side, no matter how long this valley is. It may be years. But He's there. When we're lost and when we're found. He's there.

Enjoy this song from who may be my absolute favorite artist of all times. It doesn't hurt his name is almost exactly the same as my husband's. But really, if you ever get to check him out via CD or concert, DO IT! He's got an amazing voice and startling honesty. He's funny too.