Friday, December 27, 2013

the most wonderful time of the year....

 We had a great Christmas and there is still more celebrating to come. One of our favorite parts of Christmas besides all the presents and partying is having Daddy home! 

 And of course food...lots and lots of food. The kids and I had fun making these little elves out of grapes, strawberries, bananas and marshmallows!

Mark totally me surprised me with a computer which I am now writing on. Our computer was on its last leg and we had issues with pictures. So excited to be able to blog and write again. Something that has been on my heart to do more of in 2014.
Mark also got me a canvas of the family picture on our header. I love it. Totally one of my favorite presents!
My sister Liz also surprised me with a present that went right to the heart.
The two days before Christmas I was struggling with feeling like a failure as a mom. The excitement levels in our house were high and the kids were literally running in circles. "It's Christmas time" i snapped at them as they were fighting. Okay now who has the issues?
Ugh. I felt like I kept doing what I didn't want to do...
Liz had a jump drive included in her present to me. On it was a video her and the kids made for me. It was the kids saying all the things they loved about me. From the first sentence I was in tears. I sat on the couch at my parent's house and cried. It was a reminder that my kids don't always see me the way I see myself.
I mess up but I am not defined by mistakes.
It is a present I will watch again and again when I need some perspective and encouragement! (thanks again Liz!) 

 "Let the weary world rejoice for yonder breaks a new and glorious dawn..." 
~O Holy Night

don't give up...

The night I came home from my D and E surgery I could not sleep. My body was exhausted and half loopy from the anesthesia but my mind was racing and my spirit was wide awake. I tossed and turned, laying my hand across my empty abdomen. Empty. I thought of how I felt this before. Four times to be exact. I now have five kids in heaven. As many waiting for me there as I have here on earth. Whenever I thought of the babies I lost it was always a blurry picture of some far away children I didn't really know. Even though we had named each baby we lost they still felt far away.
As I laid in bed that night I saw a picture in my mind of my five children in heaven. I saw them clearly and I recognized that they were my children because they looked like MY kids. There was five of them lined up in various ages. They resembled their brothers and sister here on earth and had their same features.They were laughing and happy. I cried and rejoiced at the gift that this picture was to my heart. They were my children. They were healthy and whole. In that moment eternity seemed a bit closer.

We named this baby Benjamin. The verse that I had written and posted above the kitchen sink during the pregnancy was the blessing of Benjamin from Deuteronomy.

"Let the beloved of the Lord rest SECURE, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rest between His shoulders."

These were words I felt to claim over me and the baby. Beloved, Secure, Rest. These were what I longed for myself and this little one inside of me.

Since the miscarriage two different friends have given me the same word at two different times that Benjamin's life was not in vain. That he is impacting the world even in the short time he lived. 

I have yet to know what all that means. Maybe I will see the completeness of the word or only see bits and pieces. But it brings rest to my heart.

The second week of December Mark and I went away with the house church we are a part of. This is our fourth year going and it is always a highlight of our year. This year was no different. It was a time of great worship, ministry times, laughter and fellowship. During the one worship session Mark also saw a vision of our children in heaven. They were various ages and sizes and were gathered around Jesus. They were cheering him on shouting "Go, Daddy, Go!"
a close friend made this banner for me after the miscarriage. his banner over me is love...
These pictures and words are pieces of hope. Pictures of God's heart even in the midst of loss. Promises of His presence and restoration. So when weariness and discouragement set in, I picture my children from heaven calling out, "Go, Mommy, Go! Go Daddy Go! You can do it. Don't give up!"

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Well it is here. It is finally Christmas!
We finally pulled the last link off of the homemade paper chain that counted down the days. 
No more asking "How many more days" because Christmas is here!

Merry Christmas from our homestead to yours!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hopey's Song.

"For unto us a child is born..."

I saw the cutest Mary yesterday at Hope's preschool play. The teacher said she picked Hope to play the part of Mary because she is calm. That made me smile. She took her role of holding baby Jesus very seriously.
Later in the afternoon as I washing the dishes Hope sat at the kitchen table coloring and singing made up songs as she worked. This is part of what she sang,

"Do not be afraid for God is with you.
I believe in God.
Santa Claus is not coming to town because he's not real....yeah."

I love her heart.