Friday, August 1, 2014

Four

Dear Hope,
Today is your FOURTH birthday! It was a great day celebrating you and all our wonderful memories of you. 

Your brother Logan is two years old. When I found out I was pregnant with him, I had one sad thought, that he would never know who you are. Little did I know, Logan is much smarter than I anticipated and absolutely does know who you are. It makes my heart smile when he looks at a picture of you and says "Baby Hope!". He even sang "Happy Birthday" to you tonight when we visited your grave. 


video




Your sister Macy turned 6 a couple of months ago. Her heart is so connected to you still. I sometimes wonder how she still remembers and loves you so when she was only 2 when you were born. She says she misses you quite often and even cries sometimes when she thinks about you. She loves you so much.



Your brother Taylor is 7 years old. He doesn't say much but I know he misses you and holds a special place in his heart just for you. He has been saying "I love you" to me and giving me lots of extra hugs the past few days. I know its because his heart is sensitive to mine and knows I need the extra lovin around this time of the year. 

Sometimes I let myself wonder what it would have been like if you had lived. What it would it be like to have you as a four year old. I can't even picture it since you were so tiny! My thoughts never get too far because I'm reminded that you were not meant for this earth. I think about all that you were spared and how much you lived in those short two weeks. I'm still beyond grateful for all that I have learned and gained since we first found out your diagnosis. I'm not the same person I used to be! God has shown me characteristics of Himself I never would have seen otherwise. I have learned to trust Him with my whole heart. I've learned to let go and not hold onto earthly things (I still have to be reminded of this though..). Your dad and I have been doing foster care for six months now. I still have a hard time every time one of them leaves us. You leaving us was so hard and every time one of these children leaves it opens my emotions to remember what that felt like. It's hard, very hard. God is so gracious though to sustain me. He gently reminds me that He will equip me and that He is so very faithful. He tells me to REMEMBER. Remember what He has done. Remember how HE has brought us through. Remember that He gets the glory through us pointing to Christ through life and through death. Remember.





I love you baby girl. I miss you. Happy fourth birthday sweet baby Hope.

Love, 
Your Mommy

Monday, February 17, 2014

Comfort

"Why do bad things happen to good people?" I know we've all heard that question. It's a question that can even keep people from believing in God. But think about it... in reality, if we all look deep inside ourselves... not a single one of us is GOOD. At least not by God's holy standards. Sure, we might consider ourselves good compared to some around us. But we are not. The Bible says in Romans that "no one does good, not even one." Why am I thinking about this?? Because lately I've had to explain to people why it's ok that my family has gone through what some might consider HARD THINGS. Here it is though, I know who I am. I know I'm a sinner that looks "good" on the outside. I'm nice, I'm friendly but I sin. I do not deserve anything but what the true penalty of sin is... death. But GRACE. Amazing grace has covered all my sin. I now have a hope of a future place where there will be no sin, or pain or death. And I believe that in my very core. So yes, life is guaranteed to be hard but having a trust in God and BELIEVING He is who He says He is... we have HOPE and COMFORT

Speaking of comfort.... I've needed it lately. :) And I have received it! I pray that others know the comfort that only God can give. It's the best! Seriously. There is nothing like it. Only He knows our thoughts and the true ache of our heart. 

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

How are we to comfort others if we ourselves have never experienced true comfort? God continues to grow our family through trials. Three weeks ago we were extremely excited to find out that I was pregnant with baby #5. That is such a joyful moment for me when the test says "pregnant"! A week later though I began to experience symptoms of a miscarriage. I'm still physically going through it but we have lost our baby. 
Job 1:21 "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."
God is comforting me so well. He's really good at it. And my family and friends are a comforting blessing as well. 

 The announcement


Are you surprised that this happened to me? Haven't I been through enough? Surely I've had more than my share. :) These thoughts have been through my head and others. But I am quick to say that God has NEVER said we will not go through hard time after hard time while we are here on this earth. He HAS said that He will never leave or forsake us. 
Psalm 46:1 God is our REFUGE and STRENGTH, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:10-11 Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Yes, I am so sad and disappointed that I will not have this baby. I am not devastated or destroyed. I wholly trust God's sovereign plan for our family and He has proven to be faithful. So I can say with confidence that God is GOOD and I am not. I can praise Him and thank Him for trials knowing that they are refining me, teaching me, molding me, and growing me. And now.... I am able to comfort others who will go through this because God has comforted me. 

Pray for us please as we continue to seek to glorify God though the way we live our lives. 




Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tonight

My words for tonight:



per·se·ver·ance  
Noun
  1. Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
  2. Continuance in a state of grace leading finally to a state of glory.



faith  

Noun
  1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
  2. Strong belief in God based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.



hope  

Noun
A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.


My song for tonight:

"Everyone Needs A Little"
              Kari Jobe
Come all ye weary and ye broken
Come to the table of the Lord
Come sing the song of the forgiven
Come lay your burden on the word

Come and find peace
Everyone needs a little rest
Everyone needs a little joy
And a song to sing in the darkest night

And life even when it gets you down
Hope will turn it all around
But love is the greatest of these
Everyone needs a little

Sing all ye saints and ye sinners
Call upon the mercy of the Lord
Come sing the song of redemption
Sing about the hope that is to come

Come and find peace
Everyone needs a little rest
Everyone needs a little joy
And a song to sing in the darkest night

And life even when it gets you down
Hope will turn it all around
But love is the greatest of these
Everyone needs a little

He will lift you up
He will lift you up higher than sorrow
He will lift you up
And cover your soul with healing

My scripture for tonight:

Romans 8:18-19 
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 
Romans 8:24-28
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

AMEN!



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

3 Years

It's that time again... 
Time to get my thoughts out in writing so that my head doesn't explode. :)

Three years has passed. THREE years! Can it be true? This year has looked alot different than last year. I was down last year during these two weeks in August but this year I would say it's sorrow. I keep up a good front most of the time... I do have three kids, a husband and friends to serve. I don't have time to wallow (and that's good). Even with this deep sense of sadness, God is revealing to me more and more His purpose in my life and His purpose for Hope's life. 

Because I believe the Bible is God's word; because I believe that God provided a way to be saved from our sinful selves; because I believe that the work that Jesus did on the cross by taking our sin on Himself is the only way we receive salvation and ultimately Heaven... I also believe and have been taught that perseverance in Christ is the evidence of our salvation. I believe that by God allowing us to experience everything that came along with Hope's diagnosis, her birth, her short life, her passing: He gave us a gift. I am sure that I am a believer. I am sure of my future in Heaven. Again not because of anything that I have done. Only because of what Christ has done. But by His grace we have persevered. It's not over though. We have to continue daily. 


James 1:2-4  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

I get it now. I really get it! "Joy comes after mourning" "Count it all joy"... it's all true, it all makes sense! Joy may look like sadness sometimes but I have joy knowing my future. So what may look like trials or hard times can actually be a true gift if we persevere. I pray you do.

Hope is thought of and mentioned daily still in our house. Still miss her, still love her. That won't end while I am here on this earth, but I have the promise of eternity and that's what I'm living for.

Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in thatwhile we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him fromthe wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Love

I remember that night like it was yesterday. I even have a headache like I did that night. My head is so full of thoughts, memories, conversations... My head hurts. :) For some reason, I won't let myself cry. Not today.

Any time I remember Hope, my thoughts are soon followed by thoughts of people who walked with us through the pregnancy and the two weeks of her life. I will never be able to express my full gratitude for all of those who loved on us and Hope. For the people who stood around us this night, two years ago. I can still see your faces as I looked around the room. The room was full. Full of love, sadness, grief, smiles, tears, encouragement and friends. It was full of friends. I can't imagine what it looked like from their perspective. I must have been a mess. But I felt so loved, so cared for. So tonight that's what I choose to dwell on... How incredible is the gift of friends. God in His goodness filled the room with people, faces that I can see even now. Thank you to my friends for being my friend. :) Thank you God for giving me these friends. Thank you God for my Hope.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Two

Happy 2nd Birthday baby girl! Mommy loves you and misses you so much that it hurts. You have forever changed my life but more importantly have drawn so many closer to the wonderful creator who made you. You are never far from my mind and often mentioned in our conversations. So many happy memories and moments. I can't thank God enough for your life and the way your story lives on. You will always be my sweet, baby Hope. 


Love, 
Your Mommy
video

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Remembering

Today as I was washing dishes, I looked out the window in front of me that overlooks our deck in the back yard. I noticed a bird hopping around the porch and as I looked closer, I realized it was hopping around the tiniest, newborn bird I've ever seen. The baby bird was laying on our deck flapping it's barely there wings and chirping its' sad little cry for help. I went outside to get a better look. It must have fallen out of a nest nearby but I couldn't figure out from where. It looked like it could only be a few hours old and was in a serious struggle to survive. I was so torn because I've heard if you touch a baby bird its' mother will no longer have anything to do with it.. but it needed help! Thinking a little longer, I realized that I didn't even know how to care for a baby bird. So what good could I possibly do? (This story doesn't have a happy ending... sorry.) I went back inside hoping the mother bird would swoop in and save the day but she never came. I kept watching and slowly the baby bird stopped flapping it's wings and eventually stopped breathing. My heart was sad. :( It was a couple hours later when I was looking out the window again (it's not something I do all day, I promise!) when I thought about my sweet baby Hope. Thinking about Hope is something I do VERY often but it's most often the sweet, joyful moments that I replay. Today I remembered what it felt like to hold my baby in my arms as she breathed her last breath. Yet still, mingled in with the sadness I felt, all I could think was how grateful I am that God gave me that moment. I'm not sure what I would have felt if someone else had been holding her at that time or if she just been laying in the bassinet. Even in that moment God was caring for me. He is so constant. With all my ups and downs, emotions and questions, He is steady, sure, faithful and secure. I cannot keep it to myself! How selfish would I be if I did not share with those who are hurting that there is hope? God alone is enough to sustain even through the toughest of heartaches. 

So... God can use even the tiniest of birds to take my heart on a journey that leads me straight to Him. 


Psalm 139:1-18
You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. 
You know when I sit and when I rise; 

    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
 
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways. 
 
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely. 
 
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, 
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?

    Where can I flee from your presence?
 
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
 
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
 
even there your hand will guide me, 
    your right hand will hold me fast.
 
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being; 

    you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful, 
    I know that full well.
 
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
 
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
 
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! 
    How vast is the sum of them!
 
Were I to count them, 
    they would outnumber the grains of sand 
    when I awake, I am still with you.