Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Visitor From Heaven

Six more days have passed.  Six...the number of days that separates the birth of my first daughter from the birth of my second daughter.  Six long days that we anxiously prayed for a miracle.  Prayed that our little Baby B would stay with us.  My dream was that we would tell her that her big sissy had gone to heaven but that God knew we needed her to stay strong.  We stayed strong and focused on Ella for 5 days.  And then we were told we needed to induce.  If we didn't induce my life would soon be in jeopardy.  No parent wants to make that choice.  But then the doctor said that our sweet little baby was already too infected to survive.  We were crushed.  We were devastated.  This was all too much.  But we induced.  And 24 hours later at 9:36am Ella Adrianna Helmholdt made her debut. 

A Visitor from Heaven

If only for a while
A gift of love to be returned
We think of you and smile

A visitor from Heaven
Accompanied by grace
Reminding of a better love
And of a better place

With aching hearts and empty arms
We send you with a name
It hurts so much to let you go
But we're so glad you came
We're so glad you came
A visitor from Heaven

If only for a day
We thank Him for the time He gave
And now it's time to say
We trust you to the Father's love

And to His tender care
Held in the everlasting arms
And we're so glad you're there
We're so glad you're there

With breaking hearts and open hands
We send you with a name
It hurts so much to let you go
But we're so glad you came
We're so glad you came


Untitled

Today I saw you crying
I sent you lots of love
I hope that you can feel it
I'm here just up above

Today I jumped from cloud to cloud
And flew across the sky
And God told me all about you
And why you often cry

He told me that you were special
And your love for me is deep
He told me that one day I'll meet you here
And in your arms is where I'll leap

I met a nice man the other day
He sat me on his knee
He told me that he knew you, Mom
And do you know what else he told me?

He told me all about you
About your pretty face
About your kindness, love and joy
About your sweet grace

I told that man I knew you
Cause we were once so close
I grew in your belly, Mommy
Just beneath your clothes

I told that man you talked to me
And prayed for me each night
And how I felt your love right there
And how you would hug me tight

No, you're not a stranger, Mom
Although we're now apart
It's really not that far, Mommy
I know I'm in your heart

I can't wait to see you, Mommy
God says you'll be here soon
Until then, I'm with you
And I love you to the moon


It's been a rough week.  When to most its just another week.  To me its another week without my girls.  And one week closer to their due date.  I received a letter in the mail earlier this week from a sweet lady who lost 2 children over 25 years ago.  She wrote..."Just think how blessed both of you are that of all the people in the world, God chose you two because of your strength to share these children with.  Wow!  What a compliment from God."  So I will continue to stay strong and fight the fight.  For we believe better things are yet to come.  Happy 3 months in heaven Ella girl!  Mommy and daddy love you so much!

I lift up my eyes to the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

Monday, September 27, 2010

Go Away Bad Days

I'm having a bad little stretch and chalking it up to the fact that in just 2 short weeks my precious bundles of love should have been born.  Which also means that in just 5 short weeks their due date will hit me square in the face.  Lately, I have been having lots of "poor me moments."  I am trying so hard to be strong but right now I am feeling so very weak.  I am tired.  I am sad.  But as my hubby told me today, "We've been bucked off the bull but we need to get back on."  So trying my best to hold it all together.

I was talking to my mom today and she said that she had received a package in the mail.  So I stopped by my parents house to pick it up.  It was from some of my parent's friends from McBain.  There was a letter addressed to my mom that explained that this package was actually from a lady in their church.  Brian and I's names were mentioned in their church to be remembered in prayer.  This lady had lost 2 children over 25 years ago and she felt it in her heart to send us a gift.  This gift came in the form of 3 letters and 3 journals.  The first letter was to both Brian and I, the second letter to me, and the third letter to Brian.  Her thoughtfulness came on a day that I needed encouragement like none other.  One line from her letter (to me) said,  "For me it was feeling like I was being sucked into a black pit of tar and my heart didn't want to work and I cried."  And to be honest some days that line describes me.  But just like her I plan to push through the black pit of tar and see the light at the other end.

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust.
Psalm 18:2

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Birthday Party and Such...

Last night we celebrated (my niece) Cambrey Annette's 3rd birthday.  Three years ago she made her presence known and she has been making it known ever since.  I will never forget the moment my sister called and told me that she had had a girl.  At first I didn't believe her.  I thought for sure she was having a boy.  But out came that lil girl bundle of love and love her I do.  She has been such "good medicine" for me these last few months because she always makes me smile.  And because she loves her Aunt Linney so much!  Unfortunately she came down with the chicken pox about two weeks ago so my other favorites (my other nieces and nephew) were unable to make it to her party (my bro and sis-in-law decided to just play it safe).  So it was a quieter birthday party this year but still fun.  Happy Birthday Sis!

 Me and my "sis" the birthday girl.

 My beautiful 3 year old niece!

 She was so excited about her card...as her mommy says...she thinks its a book and she loves books!

 Just what she asked for...a baby doll!

Tucking her baby into her new sleeping bag...and then she asked me to baby-sit her baby...too cute! 

Working on her new puzzle from Uncle Brandon and Aunt Jana with Uncle Brian.

And one shot of Coley Boy!


I want to end this post and this week with some last thoughts.  This week was interesting in many ways.  Some of which I will not be sharing but some of which I will.  I found out about a couple more people who are pregnant.  Makes me wish I was one of them. 

I received an email from someone suffering with infertility (and suffering is putting it vaguely).  I think two of the worst things in life are dealing with infertility and losing a child(ren).  When I hear about a couple dealing with infertility my heart breaks.  It is such a long and hard road.  One that unless you have dealt with infertility yourself (or if someone really close to you has) is hard to understand.

I also heard this week of someone who has dealt with infertility for years, finally got pregnant, and just lost their baby.  Words don't even begin to describe the ache I feel for them. 

I have had some really good conversations this week.  One of my closest coworkers came back from maternity this week.  Her daughter and Alayna were born on the same day.  I was very nervous about how the first encounter would go.  But I am glad to say it went great.  She was so sensitive and for that I am very thankful.  So that means 3 of my coworkers who had babies around the time I had the girls are back to work and 2 more are yet to come. 

As September ends I am nearing closer to my expected due date which means that all those who were due around me are just getting ready to have their babies.  Praying for God's surpassing peace because I have not been looking forward to the months of October and November and now they are just around the corner.

I also had a great conversation with my hair stylist and one of her clients this week.  This particular client has also gone through IVF.  I am thankful that this client scheduled her hair to be done on the same night that I did.  It was a God thing for sure!  We chatted for over 2 hours and they renewed my spirit and hopes!  God always gives just what you need when you need it most.           

And the last thing I want to share is a story.  One of my patients asked me this week how old I was.  I told him that I was 27 years old.  He then asked if that meant that I was married.  I said well I am but age doesn't really matter.  Then he asked if that meant that I had kids.  I looked at him and said well I have two little girls in heaven.  He asked me why they were in heaven.  And I said well they were born at 21 and 22 weeks and were too little to survive.  He looked at me and said that is really sad...

Yes it is.

My hope comes from him.  Psalm 62:5

Friday, September 24, 2010

Who You'd Be Today

My sweet sweet angel Alayna Joy.  Today you would have been 3 months old.  I still cannot believe that 3 months have passed since I last held you and sent you into Jesus' waiting arms.  I cry as I write because I miss you so much today.  I am having a bad day.  But I suppose it was time since I can't remember my last bad day.  I have had bad moments in days but not a bad day for a long time which I am oh so thankful for.  I am sad and my heart hurts.  In my perfect world you would still be fighting with Ella for room in this momma's belly.  You would still be fighting for 3 more glorious weeks.  And then you would have made your grand entrance into this world and into this momma's waiting arms.  And what an entrance that would have been... 

But your entrance was something different.  I remember the moment I first laid eyes on you.  I was scared to look (at first) because I had no idea what to expect.  But you were beautiful.   Oh you were so beautiful.  You were so very little but so very perfect.  I saw your little heart just a-beating and I fell in love.  I look at your ultrasound picture in my Bible every night and I wonder who you'd be today...

Who You'd Be Today

Sunny days seem to hurt the most
Wear the pain like a heavy coat
I feel you everywhere I go
I see your smile, I see your face
I hear you laughing in the rain
Still can't believe you're gone

Chorus:
It ain't fair you died too young
Like a story that had just begun
The death tore the pages all away
God knows how I miss you
All the hell that I've been through
Just knowing no one could take your place
Sometimes I wonder who you'd be today

Would you see the world?
Would you chase your dreams?
Settle down with a family?
I wonder, what would you name your babies?
Some days the sky's so blue
I feel like I can talk to you
And I know it might sound crazy
Chorus
Today, Today, Today
Today, Today, Today

Sunny days seem to hurt the most
I wear the pain like a heavy coat
The only thing that gives me hope
Is I know I'll see you again someday

Someday, Someday


If Tears Could Build A Stairway

If tears could build a stairway
And thoughts a memory lane
I’d walk right up to heaven
And bring you home again

No farewell words were spoken
No time to say "Good-bye"
You were gone before I knew it
And only God knows why.

Our hearts still ache in sadness
And secret tears still flow
What it meant to lose you
No one can ever know.

But now I know you want us
To mourn for you no more
To remember all the happy times
Life still has much in store.

Since you’ll never be forgotten
I pledge to you today
A hallowed place within my heart
Is where you’ll always stay.

God knows why, with chilling touch,
Death gathers those we love so much,
And what now seems so strange and dim,
Will all be clear, when we meet Him.

I knew you for a Moment

(author unknown)

Love you Alayna Bug!

"The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised" (Job 1:21)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

As I Sit and Ponder

Last night I was just sitting on the couch listening to the rain pour down.  No television on.  No hubby around to make noise.  Just me and the rain.  And I started thinking.  Thinking about life.  So many thoughts about life run through my mind.  Thoughts like...how thankful I am to have my faith.  To have a Heavenly Father who has sustained me with his righteous hand.  A Heavenly Father who has NEVER left my side. 

How thankful I am for all my friendships.  The new friendships and the old friendships.  I am thankful for my "new" angel mommy friends.  Friends who know and I mean REALLY KNOW my pain.  They know where I'm coming from.  Why I feel the way I do.  Why I'm different.  Why I'm not the same Lindsey and why I will never be that girl again.  I am thankful for an old friend from high school (that I have not talked to since high school).  Our struggles are different but at the same time oh so very similar.  I am thankful for my friends who have stood by me.  Who have tried to understand my pain.  Friends who have given me a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. 

And I am thankful for my family.  Oh am I thankful for them!  Parents who have supported us.  Helped us.  Loved us.  My sis-in-law's encouraging notes in the mail.  My sister who still calls to see how my day was.  I always felt bad for girls who didn't have a sister.  Someone who walks the walk with you.  Wants to take the pain from you.  Who is there for you every day you're in the hospital.  I was hoping my girls would have that same bond.  I always told my mom that I if I had one daughter then I would want another because a sister always needs a sister.  I don't know where I would be without mine.  And maybe my story will have two (more) sisters in it.  But if it doesn't that's okay because I have my precious little girls in heaven...just waiting for their momma!
I am thankful for my nieces who have not forgotten Alayna and Ella.  Or as they're known...Aunt Linny's girls.  Which reminds me of a story my mom just told me last night.  Last week when my mom was watching my niece Cambrey they were talking about her birthday party (that's happening this week Friday).  They were talking about who was all coming to her party.  And my mom said something about my girls not being there to celebrate with us.  And Cambrey says, "Yea!  They are in heaven!"  What simple but sweet words that warm this momma's heart.  Because my girls are living the never-ending-kinda-party! 

I am thankful for our church family and the support they have given us.  The friendships we have made through our loss.  The strength a special few have given me to push forward. 

I am thankful for my coworkers and the love they have given me.  For always willing to listen to me.  For being so very supportive of me. 

God has changed me.  Oh has He changed me.  He has made me more thankful for everything in my life.  Because it's so easy for us to ask God for this and ask God for that.  But how often do we thank Him for this and thank Him for that.

And one last thing that I am thankful for...healing.  As I was walking through Hallmark yesterday looking for a birthday card for my niece I came across a birthday card for twins.  No tears.  And as I was walking through Target looking for a birthday present for my niece I came across twin baby dolls.  No tears.  Just a lil ache in my heart.  But I am okay living with that ache cause its always gonna be a part of me.

Our faith is the center of the target God aims at when He tests us, and if any gift escapes untested, it certainly will not be our faith...And only genunine faith will escape unharmed from the midst of the battle after having been stripped of its armor of earthly enjoyment and after having endured the circumstances coming against it that the powerful hand of God has allowed (Streams in the Desert). 

"The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised" (Job 1:21) 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Three Wonderful Years

Exactly 3 years ago from today I went on my LAST first date!!!  Good thing I didn't know what the next 3 years would entail...not sure I would have been ready for the challenge.  Because in less than 3 years we planned a wedding, built a home, endured a year of infertility, went through IVF, and lost two beautiful daughters.  But through it all we are stronger and more in love than ever.  Love you Babe!

(our very first picture together...huge smiles!)

"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, September 20, 2010

A New Day

There are many blessings we will never receive until we are ready to pay the price of pain, for the path of suffering is the only way to reach them.

I walked a mile with Pleasure,
She chattered all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne'er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me.
(Streams in the Desert)

God sees the future.  God knows the final result.  No need to worry about tomorrow for God is in control.

Hope everyone has a very happy Monday.  I will be enjoying mine at Helen's House (AKA...working)!  Hoping for a speedy week which will lead me to my 3 day weekend!  On Friday we get to celebrate my niece Cambrey's 3rd birthday.  Still cannot believe she is turning three this week.  And on Saturday we get to celebrate a 50th wedding Anniversary.  But first a busy week...

And a HUGE answer to prayer (that I just have to share).  An angel mommy (that I email back and forth with) is going to be a rainbow mommy.  I am SO happy for her and her hubby!  So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pray for an uneventful next 8 months.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why Worry

I have decided (within the last few days) that I am NO longer going to live my life constantly worrying.  Why worry since its not going to change anything.  The only thing it does is rob me of todays joys.  I want to be happy every day.  Every day I want to SMILE!  And even if I have bad moments within a day I still want to feel the joys that will surely happen in that same day.  God loves me, cares for me, and wants me to be happy.  So I will trust in His most perfect plan and release all my worries to Him. 

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life (Philippians 4:6-7).

Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today (Matthew 6:32-34).

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged
(Deuteronomy 31:8).

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you
(1 Peter 5:7).
 
The Bible says it BEST!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

GO BLUE

Today Brian and I along with my in-laws headed to the Big House.  This was just my second year attending a Michigan football game.  And lets just say this year was much better than last year.  Last year's game was cold, windy, and rainy.  And to top it off Michigan lost to Penn St.  We ended up leaving after the third quarter.  But this year was just perfect.  The rain stopped just before game time and Michigan (although sloppy) pulled off another win!  Oh how I love Michigan football (especially when I get to go to the game)!

Brian and I pregame

At the Big House!

And after the game we went to PF Changs to celebrate my mother in-law's birthday.  Oh how I love PF Changs (and leftovers)!  And now just snuggling with the hubby on the couch watching a movie.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again:
Rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thankful

I love fall.  I love everything about fall.  Well my hubby could be a lil less obsessed with hunting and football.  But other than that...fall is something to love!  And thats a good thing since fall is in the air!  I was especially looking forward to this particular fall.  This fall my dream of being a mother was going to be fulfilled.  But things happened as we all know and I became a mother much too soon.  So yes this fall will be unlike any other.  Just not in the way I had imagined.

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and
wait for the LORD. 
Psalm 27:14

I was planning on really enjoying this fall but now I am back to work.  And back to work fulltime at that.  At first I was really depressed when I was back at work fulltime but praise God that that sadness has lifted.  And instead of dreading work I have now come to kind of enjoy it.  It gets my mind off what I'm always thinking about.  My daily thoughts are consumed by the girls and what the future holds.  And I like to worry here and there about what exactly the future holds.  But at work my focus is on caring for and helping others.  Not that I don't talk about the girls to anyone and everyone who asks and who will listen but its not consuming like when I am alone.  So tonight I am thankful that God has blessed me with a job that I love.  Something to fill my time until something better comes along...

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and
wait for the LORD.
Psalm 27:14

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Three Months Since "That" Day

Today marks 3 long months since that horrible day back in June.  The day that our world was shattered.  Like any mother who has lost a child, I would do anything to hold my girls just one more time.  I would LOVE to turn back time and walk out of my 20 week ultrasound with a smile on my face.  Knowing that in approximately 17 weeks I would be a mommy to the two most perfect little girls.  But it is what it is and time cannot be turned back.  I am hurting.  I am missing.  I am struggling.  I am feeling oh so bad for myself.  I wanted the happy story that it seems like everyone else gets (which I know not everyone truly gets).  But still I cling to my Father and pray without ceasing for His everlasting peace and comfort.

Twin Angels

Last night two little angels
Came and whispered in my ear.
And this is what they told me
"Don't worry Mummy, we're right here.

It feels like a long time
Since we last felt your touch.
And we wanted you to know
We miss you and Daddy so very much.

We know that you love us
and think of us every day.
And it makes us very sad
That we had to go away.

But we know that our memory
Will never ever die.
And we know that sometimes
when you think of us you cry.

But don't worry Mummy
There's so much here to do.
And every day remember
We are watching over you.

Then my angels kissed me
As tears rolled down my face.
And I knew we'll all be together again
Another time. Another place.

Loving On Our Little Beauties
Alayna with Mommy and Daddy & Papa and Grandma V

Ella with Mommy and Daddy & Papa and Grandma H

Ella with Mommy and Aunt Courtney

“God is good, a hiding place in tough times.
He recognizes and welcomes anyone looking for help,
No matter how desperate the trouble.” Nahum 1:7

Monday, September 13, 2010

I Have A LOT To Say

Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?
Song of Songs 8:5

When I first read this verse I didn't get it.  So I read it a second time.  And then I got it.  Those who are too weary to stand on their own need only to lean on Jesus.  He will be their strength.  I am so thankful for my faith.  Where would I be without it?  Certainly not sitting in my living room typing this post.  He has promised to carry me through this terrible storm and He will not set me down until I am ready to have Him walk beside me.

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along
the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
"You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?"

The Lord replied,
"The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you."

Mary Stevenson

And from my Desert in the Streams Devotional...

Child of My love, lean hard,
And let Me feel the pressure of your care;
I know your burden, child.  I shaped it;
Balanced it in Mine Own hand; made no proportion
In its weight to your unaided strength,
For even as I laid it on, I said,
"I will be near, and while she leans on Me,
This burden will be Mine, not hers.

So I am leaning.  Oh am I ever leaning.

My Random Thoughts...

Sometimes I feel like Brian and I are like Abraham and Sarah.  And my constant prayer is that the end of our story is just as happy as the end of their story.  For just like they were tested so have we been tested.  Brian was tested through cancer and we have both been tested through fertility and through the death of our precious little girls.  And just like Sarah worried...so do I.  I use to be more optimistic but at times I now drift to the pessimistic side.  And I don't like that one teeny tiny bit.  But they stayed faithful and God made good on His promise.  "After waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised." Hebrew 6:15  So we too will wait (maybe not patiently all the time) but we will try our very best...or should I say...I will try my best.  Brian is already a pretty patient guy!

Beloved, God's promises can never fail to be accomplished, and those who patiently wait can never be disappointed, for believing faith leads to realization. Abraham's life condemns a spirit of hastiness, admonishes those who complain, commends those who are patient, and encourages quiet submission to God's will and way.  Remember, Abraham was tested but he patiently waited, ultimately received what was promised, and was satisfied.  If you will imitate his example, you will share the same blessing (Streams in the Desert).

So this past Friday I made another big step.  I went to a high school football game.  Not just any game but the Unity Christian vs Holland Christian game.  Lots of people come out for this game.  I graduated from Unity as did my hubby so we know lots of people from the community.  And we come from a community that really supports high school sports.  I saw a lot of familiar faces at the game and even some acquaintances who had just had babies and I am proud to say I made it...no tears in sight (not that I actually talked to any of the acquaintances but thats beside the point)!

And then I had to work the weekend.  And as much as work has been a great distraction it still troubles me at times.  Especially this particular weekend.  Because I was suppose to be done.  Done working until mid January.  So I was a little cranky on Sunday.  Not that anyone could tell but I knew I was cranky the moment someone said to me..."how is your baby?"  It was towards the end of my shift and I had run up to the 9th floor for something.  I stopped and said well I was pregnant with twins.  (And just so you know this is one of the sweetest people I know and she meant NO harm.  But the comment still stung).  I continued by saying neither of my daughters survived.  She was soooo sorry and said that she thought one of them had.  I almost started crying.  What if Ella had survived?  But that was not the way my story was to go.

Then today it got even better.  How you ask.  Well this afternoon I was picking up my T.R.I.P order and as I was leaving I saw her.  Her is the girl that was due for twins just 12 days before me.  We emailed a lot those first 20 weeks and we were so excited about our double blessings.  But the emails ended when I lost the girls.  I walked out (politely ignoring her) and made it to my car just as the tears fell.  My next stop was to Meijer to get some groceries (with my T.R.I.P giftcards).  And as anyone from this area knows...there is one best way to get from A to B.  And without thinking that is the way I took.  And I don't always think everything through these days.  And A to B led me right past the cemetery where my girls are buried.  So as you can all imagine...out came the tears again.  Why does she get to have her babies safe in her belly and my girls are buried beneath the ground.  I know my girls have it better and that they are safe with Jesus but saying it doesn't always make me feel better.  And then my mom called.  THANK GOODNESS for my mom.  I told her what had just happened through my tears and she said that maybe for the next few months that she should do my T.R.I.P runs...I agreed.  And she said to me, "Linny just remember God has the most perfect plan and we just need to hold tight to that."  Amen 

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Our Chosen Path

This is not the path we would choosen but the one we're forced to take. So we will ...

Sing...to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything" (Ephesians 5:19-20).

"Why didn't God help me sooner?" This is a question that is often asked, but it is not His will to act on your schedule. He desires to change you through the trouble and cause you to learn a lesson from it. He has promised, "I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him" (Ps 91:15). He will be with you in trouble all day and through the night. Afterward he will take you out of it, but not until you have stopped being restless and worried over it and have become calm and quiet. Then He will say, "It is enough." God uses trouble to teach His children precious lessons. Difficulties are intended to educate us, and when their good work is done, a glorious reward will become ours through them. There is a sweet joy and a real value in difficulties, for He regards them not as difficulties but as opportunities (Streams in the Desert).

Thursday should have been my last day of work until mid January.  As I laid in bed Thursday morning that thought and many others ran through my mind.  My mind drifted back to "that" day.  What if I knew that what was about to happen would forever change my life.  Would I have still walked in?  I guess that is why God doesn't give us a crystal ball.  We are not suppose to know the paths our lives will take.  We must walk in faith trusting God every step of the way.

"It's what we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going" (Corinthians 5:7).

I replay walking into my doctor office.  I think about how excited I was.  I replay walking out of my doctor's office.  I remember how scared I was.  But the real truth is I still didn't "get it."  I still didn't get that my life was never going to be the same.  I didn't get the fact that I might end up delivering my babies much to soon.  Even when the new doctor sent me home on strict bedrest I still didn't "get it."  I kept thinking I will just have to be on bedrest all summer.  And then I got it.  I got it the moment I started bleeding.  I was actually going to deliver before viability.  My girls would have no chance.  No chance at all.  I remember calling Brian and telling him that we needed to go back to the hospital because I was bleeding.  And little did I know that in less than 18 hours our firstborn would be here and gone in the blink of an eye.  And in just 6 more days our second born would join her big sissy in heaven.  And somehow Brian and I would have to pick up the pieces and begin again...

"I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live" (Psalm 104:33).


Friday, September 10, 2010

My Husband

You are the love of my life.  And I will be forever grateful that God brought the two of us together.  We haven't had the "easiest go with enlarging our family" but every single day you show me your selfless love.  You listen to me when I hurt and hold me when I cry.  You call to check in on me when I am home alone. You make sure my needs are always met.  But most importantly you have been a ROCK for me and I know you hurt too so thank you my love a thousand times over!  Someday you are going to be an amazing (earthly) daddy and I cannot wait for that wonderful most perfect day!  Love you Babe!
Untitled
(and author unknown)

It must be very difficult
To be a man in grief
Since men don't cry and men are strong
No tears can bring relief.

It must be very difficult
To stand up to the test
And take the calls and visitors
So she can get some rest

They always ask if she's all right
And what she's going through
But seldom take his hand and ask
"My friend, but how are you?"

He hears her crying in the night
And thinks his heart will break
He dries her tears and comforts her
But stays strong for her sake

It must be very difficult
To start each day anew
And try to be so very brave
He lost his baby too.

Alayna with her Daddy

Ella with her Daddy

I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.
Acts 27:25

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Vacation in the UP

Oh cabin how I love you!  Cabin days mean not getting ready, eating lots, napping here and there, playing cards, riding 4-wheelers, watching movies, and reading books!  This year it was a wee bit chilly so no long afternoons outside or campfires but we still had fun and memories were made!

Uncle Brian with Cambrey, Addi, and Kylynn

Me, Kristi, and Court

The "Cupcake Glasses"
Kylynn

Cambrey

Addi
 
Cole LOVES animals...

and kissing his Aunt Linny!

Me with my two nephews...Cole and Easton

Yes this IS how we do 4 wheel rides!

My loves...

and me and my big love!

Now I have two stories that I want to share with you all.  The first story happened one morning at the cabin.  My mom was reading a story to two of my nieces (Kylynn and Addi) and I was sitting on a different couch just listening.  It was a story about heaven.  My mom said who is in heaven and Kylynn said my grandma (actually her great grandma who recently passed away) and Addi said Jesus.  And my mom said who else...and sweet little Addi (she is only 2 and 1/2) said Linny's girls.  Brings good tears to my eyes!

The second story is one my sis-in-law shared with me just this morning.  It happened well they were visiting Tahquamenom Falls this past week.  While they were walking around the falls they saw a chocolate lab that looked like Webber (my puppy dog growing up and later lived with my bro and sis-in-law when they got married).  Anyways my SIL told the girls that the dog looked like Webber and that they would have loved Webber.  Kylynn (my 4 year old niece) asked where Webber was and my SIL told her she was in doggy heaven. Kylynn said, oh there's a people heaven and a doggy heaven. My SIL said that she thought so and out of no where Addi (my other niece) says, she's with linney's babies.  What a sweetheart...she definitely hasn't forgotten about my sweet baby girls!

"And the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away."
Isaiah 35:10


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

When I walked into my parents kitchen yesterday this is what I saw...





 
Yes the little man took my left over strawberry cheesecake jello containter OUT of the TRASH and started eating the little bit that was left.  Oh Coley Boy I love you!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In Christ Alone

Two months ago Brian and I buried the loves of our lives.  It feels like forever ago yet at the same time it seems like just yesterday.  Time moves fast.  And time moves slow.  Dynamite has torn at our very heart, and pickaxes have broken and split us into pieces (Streams in the Desert).  But God is building us back up!!!  He is continually reshaping us.  He is putting the broken pieces back together.  And even though there will always be "some missing pieces" through Christ we have been given the strength to move forward with Alayna and Ella in our hearts. 

Paul says in 2 Cor. 12:8-10, "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong." 

And the side note in my Bible explains what Paul is saying perfectly.  In the midst of trials and suffering we may feel that God is not working things out like we think he should.  Paul realized that often the Lord does not "fix" situations, because through our pain we see him work a better plan.  Not only can he sustain us, but his power can be more clearly demonstrated in our weakness.  If we are willing to submit to his plans, then we can see the Lord accomplish even greater things than we could do in our own strength.

And I need that strength more than ever today.  Brian and I have been trying to pick out the girls headstone for weeks now and we are hoping that today is finally the day to order that precious rock.  The reminder that our girls were born, that they lived, and that they were oh so loved.

In Christ Alone w/ The Solid Rock

In Christ alone my hope is found.
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This Cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace;
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease;
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.

‘Til on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied.
For every sin on Him was laid,
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay.
Light of the world by darkness slain.
Then bursting forth in glorious Day,
Up from the grave He rose again.

And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me.
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.

No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand.
‘Til He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

Whoa I cannot believe its been one week since I last posted. I had to work three 12's in a row last week (being Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) and then we left on Thursday for a 4 day vacation to my family's cabin in the Upper Peninsula with my whole family. And then Brian and I drove home yesterday so I could work another 12 today. But more on our vacation in another post. The one thing that I did want to share was that on Saturday night I realized I had not cried since the previous Sunday and that thought alone broke the dam. Although it was nice to be distracted (by work and vacation) and to not cry for that long of a stretch once the tears came...they couldn't be stopped. I think what really got to me was the fact that I should not have been at the cabin this year. It's a family ritual to spend Labor Day at our cabin and since this year I was going to be 32 weeks pregos we had decided to stay home. And the second thing that might have instigated the tears was watching my beautiful nieces and one of my nephews running around and chasing each other just laughing and giggling. I kept thinking that the girls should be laughing and giggling with them next year. They would have been 11 months old. They would have been a handful but I would have enjoyed every minute of it.  But like I have said before and I will say it again.  I serve a faithful God and he has brought healing...

Healing Hand of God

I have seen the many faces of fear and of pain
I have watched the tears fall plenty from heartache and strain
So if life's journey has you weary and afraid
There's rest in the shadow of His wings

I have walked through the valleys, the mountains, and plains
I have held the hand of freedom that washes all my stains
If you feel weight of many trials and burdens from this world
There's freedom in the shelter of the Lord

And I have seen the healing hand of God
Reaching out and mending broken hearts
Taste and see the fullness of His peace
And hold on to what's being held out
The healing hand of God

And I have touched the scars upon His hands to see if they were real
He has walked the road before me, he knows just how I feel
When you feel that there's not anyone, who understands your pain
Just remember all of Jesus's suffering

'Cause I have seen the healing hand of God
Reaching out and mending broken hearts
Taste and see the fullness of His peace
And hold on to what's being held out

Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you
He's near to the broken and confused
By His stripes our spirit is renewed
So enter in the joy prepared for you

I have seen the healing hand of God
Reaching out and mending broken hearts
Taste and see the fullness of His peace
And hold on to what's being held out

The healing hand of God
The healing hand of God
The healing hand of God

And hold on to what's being held out
And hold on to what's being held out
The healing hand of God, oh, oh

(By Jeremy Camp)

But I am tired and just want to post what I've got so I that's what I am going to do.  Hope everyone had a great Labor Day!