11-06-19 Happy Birthday!

Dear Baby E,

I can hardly call you a baby anymore. Today you turned five and I am still trying to grasp how that can possibly be. I still remember in vivid detail the day that you were born. You are a blessing and a gift to our dear family, and I have never met anyone as unique and interesting as you. I love the way that you see the world differently and you aren’t afraid to say it. I enjoy watching you march to your own drum. I pray you always keep your sense of individuality, your confidence, and your deep love for the people closest to you. You have so much to offer the world and I know you are going to do great things!

Happy Birthday, my dear sweet boy. We love you more than you can possibly imagine. May Christ watch over you and draw you ever closer to Him. Sweet dreams.

Love,

mommy

11-05-19 Free Smells

Baby E has hated bread since the day he was born. Well, probably not that early, but since his very first bite. I can count on one hand the number of times he has actually eaten a slice of bread in his life because there isn’t one thing about bread that he finds redeeming.

With that in mind, this past year we discovered his absolute least favorite place in the world- Jimmy Johns. When you first step in you are hit with the overpowering smell of fresh baked bread- which most people find divine. But not Baby E. As soon as we walk in he sticks his fingers up his nose to negate any possibility of even the smallest whiff of baking bread stench to work its way into his nostrils. And there his fingers will remain until we walk outside and he can once again breathe life giving oxygen.

This boy turns 5 tomorrow!!

11-03-19 Conventional Wisdom

“Conventional wisdom masquerading as biblical truth.”

There’s a phrase I run across very often and every time I read it or see it or hear someone use it I cringe. I hear it frequently in the context of Christians (often in name only, but among believers as well) that are going through a difficult trial or trying to comfort someone who is.

Are you overwhelmed with your life?

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

Are you dealing with a wayward child?

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

Are you struggling emotionally or financially?

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

Are you heartbroken over the loss of a loved one or relationship?

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

I can’t find where this line of thinking is Biblical. The big tragedies of life, the earth shattering ones, by their very nature they are too big to handle. The doctrine of ‘God won’t give you more than you can handle’ is dangerous and disingenuous to the person that suffers. One of the main tenants of our relationship with a Holy God is the recognition that without him everything is too big to handle.

Trust me, when skyscrapers fall in your backyard it isn’t because God thinks you can handle it. When you miscarry your child it isn’t because God knows you are strong enough to pull through. When you are hit with the loss of a loved one, it has nothing at all to do with your strength.

I’ll repeat… It has nothing to do with your own ability or strength.

Bad things happen because we live in a sinful, broken, corrupt world where things like murder, disease, and genocide exist. We aren’t built to ‘handle’ those. Ask the Jews in Auschwitz and I think they would agree.

What then?

Christ. The answer is always Christ.

Are you overwhelmed with your life?

Walk through it with Jesus.

Are you dealing with a wayward child?

Walk through it with Jesus.

Are you struggling emotionally or financially?

Walk through it with Jesus.

Are you heartbroken over the loss of a loved one or a relationship?

Walk through it with Jesus.

God gives us strength to go through the things we can not handle, but we must first acknowledge that we are woefully unqualified in the absence of his grace. It is only through Him that those painful things don’t destroy us, but rather aid us on our journey of sanctification.

As believers, let us be wary of “conventional wisdom” that masquerades as biblical truth- and instead let us encourage one another and those around us that their strength is not in what they can handle, but rather in Christ who can handle it for them.

If you have a few minutes, take the time to read the article I linked to above.

10-29-19 A Day of Smiles

October 29th is a difficult date for me and this year I decided that from now on, I want to populate it with smiles and laughter and amazing memories for my kids.

So today we took the day off from school and went on a lovely adventure at a local farm. The visitor section of the farm is huge, chock full of fun activities for the kids. We did a corn maze, saw animals, played on a jumbo bouncy pillow, went down tube slides, tried our hands at a Ninja warrior course, took a wagon ride for pumpkins, and so much more.

I don’t remember the last time we had that much fun and the day was filled with smiles and laughter!

10-28-19 Until That Day…

Tomorrow it will be three years.

October 29, 2016 was the day we lost Hazel.

There are moments when I see a child around the age she should be and my mind wanders to the “what ifs.” What if we could have saved her? Would her hair have been brown like C’s? Her eyes blue like the boys’?

A few months ago, C asked about her. Didn’t you have a baby in your belly that died? Yes sweet girl, I did.

The boys were surprised, but then they weren’t old enough to understand what was going on three years ago. Somehow C remembered, at least a little bit.

They asked me a million questions, none of which I wanted to answer, but all of which I did the best way I could.

Would it have been a boy or a girl? I don’t know, but I like to think girl so C would have a little sister. (That’s why we named her Hazel. The morning we lost her, we were discussing names in the waiting room of the ER as a way to distract me from the pain.)

That baby is in heaven, right? Yes, and one day we will meet her.

How did the baby die? She was in the wrong place in mommy’s belly and she was in that wrong place too long.

Did it hurt? More than you can possibly imagine.

Did you almost die? Yes and no. If I hadn’t already been at the hospital when the ectopic ruptured, I might have. But God had me exactly where I needed to be. (It was definitely the closest I’ve come to dying.)

I hope one day science finds a way to save ectopic babies, so other mothers don’t have this same story to share. I want theirs to be a happy ending, a heartbeat, and a safe delivery. But until that day I’ll share my story so they know they aren’t alone.

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. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. ~2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ESV