Thursday, December 30, 2010

a confession.

Wow, I just realized a really strange contradiction in my mind.

One of the things I've been SO grateful for over the past three years of crazy trials, junk, difficulty, adversity (whatever you want to call it!) is the base of Christianity I was blessed to embrace as a kid. ... the key word in that is "embrace." Somehow by God's grace I embraced my relationship with God and made it personal at a young age. That foundation has kept me steady and grounded in the middle of this, and I'm so grateful for every service, message, moment spent in God's presence in the first 20-some years of my life.

In fact, I've purposely thought, I want people younger than me to have that same type of foundation built in their lives. I want them to have the foundation I had so that when difficulties come, they can face it. (P.S. I think a lot of that foundation comes from being in the presence of the Lord!!!)

Here's where the contradiction comes. More recently I've found myself looking at people younger than me who are all enthusiastic about Jesus and look totally sold out to Jesus worshiping Him and think, "Well, they wouldn't be quite like that if they've been through what I've been through. Just wait until they face crazy difficulty like I have...."

The contradiction probably seems obvious to you, but it took me a while... I have wished and wanted and prayed that people younger than me will take time to grow the base of a relationship with God that I did... and now I'm watching and wishing they were going through the same questions I am.

Totally wrong. And, yes, I'm being perfectly honest and blunt, so no judging. :)

I do pretty good at reminding myself that everyone has their own trials and no trial looks alike from person to person. These people I see and am perhaps jealous of might have already gone through worse than me. They might even still be in the middle of it. They may never go through something as traumatic.

Don't get me wrong. I don't wish that anyone will have to deal with the deaths that I've had to deal with. I know people won't. I also know that some people will... that's the nature of life. You and I will always find someone who has gone through something worse and something better than what we've gone through.

But I think the bigger thing is that I need to remember what Paul wrote in Romans 12:15. You and I need to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.

For me, I think the "rejoice with others" is really tough for me at times. I'm not sure why. Probably that big old "p" word... pride. My pride wants attention. I want the good things.

Yikes... it's dangerous to post something this blunt. Perhaps I'm not alone though. Pride is a deadly killer and comes in the most insidious ways.

Well, if I go back to a previous post of mine , every good thing that happens to other people is actually beneficial to me, especially when they are part of the body of Christ. As the body, we support each other and if another portion of the body gets stronger, in essence, I get stronger because I'm a part of the same structure.

Interesting how that works.

Lord, please forgive me for being jealous of others who haven't been through what I've been through. Help me to remember we all have our own share of adversity and it all looks different. And help me to remember to change my focus from earth to heaven... (that can be so tricky!) especially when I'm sad or frustrated.

Remind me and all of my family and friends that they are loved by You today.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

writing news!

I hope you all had a nice Christmas and are getting ready to have a nice New Year's! This week between holidays is always kinda relaxed, isn't it? Or I suppose it may be crazy depending on what job you work. :-)

We had a nice Christmas with both of our families. Relaxing. Enjoyable. Played our second game of Quelf and yes, I got a rule that during the game I had to snort every time I laughed. And the global rule was that all of us had to end our sentences with "izzle." Glad I had my flip camera with me. Fun times... and if that all makes no sense to you, play the game Quelf with family or close friends and you'll find out!

So my big writing news is that I have been published again! YAY! I am a contributing author in the book Heavenly Humor for the Chocolate Lover's Soul (published by Barbour Books). Three original writings/devos of mine are in the book... and stories about my dad, mom, Erik, and his friend, Drew. Click here for the publisher's info sheet on it.

God has been so good to me in my writing adventures. He's been faithful to bring me writing opportunities I never dreamed I would have... I'm excited to see what He has in store for my future!

Friday, December 24, 2010

thoughts on the glory of Christmas

You know, the more I live, the more simplistic my prayers become as I realize I don't know how to interpret life correctly. I only can do my best to present what I know before God and trust that He will follow through as He knows best.

It's easy to think we know how prayers should be responded to, but if you look at the Christmas story, it was nothing like Israel expected. When they heard the Messiah was coming, they were expecting a king and a kingdom, not a baby and a manger. The answer Israel had been looking for came in a way they never expected.

In addition to that, Jesus came in the humblest circumstances possible. He was born in a stable and visited by the shepherds, some of the lowliest people at that time. Think about Mary's pregnancy... it had a cloud of shame over it as people all around watched an unwed mother go through pregnancy--intensely frowned upon at that time.

What people didn't know was that God was working a miracle in the middle of what they saw as shame.

I wonder how often God is answering prayers right before our eyes without us realizing it. Two thousand years later, we look at Christmas and we have the benefit of hindsight (hindsight is 20/20!). We can see the full truth. In fact, we even take the Christmas story for granted.

The fact of the matter is... Jesus has been, is, and always will be. He is eternal. He is God. Yet He came to earth in the form of a baby. It's incomprehensible that God came and became human to save us from eternal damnation.

I know, it might not sound as revelatory on paper (okay, the computer screen) to you as it is to me, but maybe it will spark a few new thoughts for you. :) Today,

I'm pondering the wonder and the glory of God that is revealed through that act of sending Jesus to earth. Jesus became human. Erik and I are reading a book right now that talks about Jesus and says that He is the glory of God, and I think, the Christmas story really is the embodiment of that phrase. Jesus' coming to earth really is the way that God has shown us His glory. True, the earth and creation declares the glory of God (Psalm 19:1), and really, God could have stopped there and only allowed His glory to be seen through that, but He didn't. He chose to show us His glory by giving us Himself, both in Jesus and in the eternal life we can have with Him when we accept Him into our lives.

All of these ponderings really make me grateful for my salvation. God didn't have to save me. He didn't have to send Jesus. He didn't even have to make me. But He did. He chose me. He chose to provide me with salvation. He didn't have to, but He did because He is pure love. He radiates love for you and me. He is love.

Plans don't always go as expected here on earth; the Christmas story really is a bunch of unexpected turns of events tied together to make the most beautiful story of all time.

God is the Master Planner, and even when we can't see His plan being revealed, even when hurt or shame surrounds us, He is there working. Try to imagine experiencing a God-given pregnancy before marriage, the lowliest of people (shepherds) having visions, Mary and Joseph experiencing death threats on their baby, the mass destruction of a generation (all babies under 2). Nothing of that sounds good. So many conditions of this story don't line up with what we call the picture of a good God... but it is again the most beautiful story tied together by the Master Planner and set in the middle of a world filled with evil.

Wow. I could ramble on and on about this, but instead I'll end with two things... First, I don't know who all reads my blog. I assume it's mostly my friends and family, but in case there's someone who reads this who doesn't yet know about God, you have one of the greatest opportunities ahead of you: the opportunity to accept God into your life. I could lay out what I believe here, but you can also call 1-888-NEED-HIM or visit www.needhim.org. I know they can help you get where you need to be.

Secondly, it's Christmas tomorrow and Christmas Eve today. Whatever you are doing, go ahead and take a moment to think through your idea of the awesomeness of God. What's your favorite puzzling moment of the Christmas story that just makes your head tilt and think, God really is amazing? I'll be thinking about that today too.

I didn't plan to go rambling on like this, but it's helped me a lot this morning as I head into a Christmas that Erik and I really hadn't prepared a lot for because of all that we've been through physically and emotionally. It will be a good weekend because we're celebrating our Lord.

I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating Christmas. :-)

Merry Christmas!!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

more about monday

Brody has the honor of being buried right near my brother. My great-great-grandfather purchased the plot over 100 years ago. Crazy that it's being helpful to us so many years later. When we had the service, since it was snowing, we couldn't see any of the grave markers. I was really happy when my dad uncovered Brian's grave marker during the service. I said, "There he is!" :) It made me happy walking up to the grave that my brother was going to be there.

The little casket had something very special on it: a heart that said "loved and cherished." I love that. Very special to me.

Last night I was pondering the phrase from Psalm 23 "the valley of the shadow of death." I used to think that meant death wouldn't come to Christians because it was only a shadow. After thinking through some things (including Brody's passing and Brian's passing), I wonder if that means that death will come and affect you as a Christian and a child in God's care, but it's only a shadow of what death really feels like.

Think about what a shadow is: it's an outline of something, but it has no harm attached to it. That "thing" it is a shadow of is there, but the shadow is harmless (except if you are a photographer and it is blocking your sunlight!). Shadows don't hurt. They have no sting. (See 1 Corinthians 15:55.)

For Christians, death hurts because its presence means the absence of something else, but thanks to God, death is only a shadow of what it could be because Jesus defeated it on the cross when He made way for us to have eternal life with God. Death does bring hurt, but as David explained in Psalm 23, even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we don't have to fear evil because God is with us. His rod and his staff (shepherd's tools) will comfort us.

 I like that a lot. 


I'm sure musings from Monday will continue to come, but for now, I'll head on to other things... one reason I love my family is because they surround you with fun at just the right time. On Monday after Brody's service, we had food and shared stories and a ton of laughs and then made Danish pastry in the kitchen, thanks to my mother-in-law and her recipe. It was delish and definitely not lo-cal. Yay for good food!

We also had fun doing ballet and clogging and singing... oh the things you do with family (and I don't think I'm supposed to share that on a blog that can be seen by anyone!!! Heh heh...). Oh and the guys were there, but we didn't get their picture while they watched the Vikings not do well. Erik did help make the Danish pastry, although we didn't take his picture. He's an amazing husband who thoroughly enjoys helping bake and cook. He actually did most of the work of rolling out the pastry dough - thank you, honey!

On another fun note, my sis-in-law, JoLynn, stayed in town for the next couple days and we headed to the dollar theater to see Megamind on Tuesday. I'd maybe rate it a 2 out of 4 stars. It was rather predictable and reminded me of The Incredibles and other such movies quite often. It had an original twist to the movie, of course, which is why it was made. I have some random thoughts on that movie, which I think I'll post another time.

Hugs to you and may God bless your day and this Christmas week.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

happy one month in heaven

Hmmm I wrote a wonderful blog yesterday about Brody's graveside service, but I don't think it saved or posted!!! Too weird! I'm bummed because my carefully typed words from yesterday have evaporated into the technological space of nothingness where lost documents go... oh well. (Who knows, maybe it will randomly appear somewhere...)I'll try to recap it for my own sake...

Erik's status update yesterday was well stated. "One month ago today we met our little Man for a brief few moments! Today we say a temporary goodbye!..."

Our little Brody man was born November 20, 2010. Yesterday was December 20, 2010, and we had a small graveside service with my parents and Erik's immediate family. It provided closure for me that I didn't realize I needed. It was our time to honor his life and the imprint he's left in ours. His life, although short here on earth, was a gift of life from God and now he's blessed with the gift of eternal life in heaven.

By the way, Brody has been a month in heaven according to earth time. I wonder how long that time looks like in heaven!

Yes, it snowed, and driving to and from the grave site was really bad weather. But at least it was an adventure... of some sort. :) There was something oddly special about the falling snow during the service. We all had umbrellas to block the snow (thanks to my dad!). It was short, but very personal and perfect to remember Brody by. It was a reminder that Erik and I entered a new season of life, one unexpected. I suppose it's like a snowstorm in the middle of July--you don't expect it at all. As we journey through this new season, it's important to let the positive and the painful memories be worked through mentally and emotionally.

Psalm 23 is the verse that has provided stability for me, all through the week at the hospital and yesterday as I was picking out my clothes and thinking, No one should ever have to pick out clothes for their son's funeral. And it was cool because our pastor friend who did the service used that verse without realizing that has been one of my lifeline verses.

I don't remember what else I was going to say... so I'll write again another day. Until then... here's Psalm 23 from the KJV.

-----
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Friday, December 17, 2010

my recovery continues

My physical recovery is continuing to go well. The doctors said it will take six weeks for my body to go back to pre-pregnancy state and I'm almost four weeks through. Yay!

My strength is gradually coming back. I still need to be careful and drink lots of water and take iron pills... I'm not quite there yet, but I'm feeling more like myself and love being able to do stuff again.

And the reason for the post is because I was finally able to make dinner again - and not just help Erik fry up fish or put lettuce in a bowl for a salad. I made some soup for Erik to have in his lunches and I want to recommend the recipe. :-)

Here's the link to it: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Vegetable-Beef-Soup/Detail.aspx

Erik and I both really liked the broth and the veggie mix seems very flexible - read some reviews for opinions and thoughts on what can be altered. Also, I followed one review's recommendation to double the liquid, Worcestershire, and dry mustard, and that gave it enough liquid.

So if you need a good recipe to add to your collection, this is an easy one for which you may just be able to use food already in your pantry and freezer. (Oh and that was the whole point... I was trying to find a soup I could make with stuff in the house and this worked!) Oh and I didn't have parsley, so that wasn't in our soup.

Super glad the weekend is here! Yay!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

my favorite Christmas carol... in a funny way

My favorite Christmas carol is Carol of the Bells. (My other favorite, especially for singing, is Joy to the World.) There's this one version of Carol of the Bells that is a family favorite. I can picture my parents and Brian and I watching this many times growing up.

Mom and Dad... this one's for you! :-)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

where strength comes from

Stumbled across this video. I've seen it before, but thought I'd share it today. I know God didn't "take" Brody or "take" Brian as some people might say if they were in a similar situation (and I think the songs says too), but both things did happen... so I need strength to deal with them. 





Some verses I've been drawing strength from:

Eph. 6:10 (Amp.) "In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]."

Phil. 4:13 (Amp.) "I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency]."

Monday, December 13, 2010

molecules, waterslides, and the body of Christ

 Life can be so hard sometimes. It's funny; I remember sitting in church services growing up and hearing the preacher (even being the preacher) who says, "I know some of you are going through a difficult time right now and frustrated with God"... and I remember wondering what that would be like.

Well, I understand a lot better now. I'm not frustrated with God, but I am frustrated with my limited mind. I guess that's the best way to put it. God is an infinite God who is perfect in all He does. That part I get. What I don't get is sometimes how to connect all the dots of what He says in Scripture.

Yes, I know the Holy Spirit can help us, but when natural things overwhelm you (as they have been for me recently), it's hard to recognize what the Holy Spirit is saying. And, yes, you could burst in here and say, "You need to stop and listen for Him." True, but it isn't always that easy. It's like when you are sliding down a waterslide, water is spraying in your face, and someone is yelling at you at the end of the slide saying, "Look at me, look at me!" Or someone is throwing water balloons at your face, and another person is trying to get you to smile for a picture. You know someone is trying to get your attention and you will look at that person as soon as you get a chance, but you can't do it at exactly that moment.

This is where I think the body of Christ comes in. The picture I had in mind this morning looks something like what I posted here. This here is some type of molecular structure. All of the circles and lines are holding each other up. That reminds me of my support system. When I am weak, I have people surrounding me who are holding me up.

What would happen to this particular structure if any part of it were removed? It would be weakened or fall apart. And really, if I remember my oh-so-long-ago science classes, if you remove any part of a molecule or even an atom, it changes what it is completely.

I think this is a good representation of how the body of Christ works. We support each other when we're being blindsided by difficulty. When I was moaning to my friend yesterday about how its hard for me to be the one receiving from everyone, she reminded me that in the middle of others supporting me, somehow I'm supporting them too. It's a mutual thing, and really, when the body of Christ is working together, it works well because that's how God structured his body to work: all together as one.

All that to say, our human minds are extremely limited when it comes to difficulty and reconciling it with a loving God and the promises we see in Scripture. Everyone can make a case for their view of adversity. The interesting thing is God brings us the views and input we need to hear when we need to hear it. He knows what we need.

I'm not sure that I have a grandiose ending to these ramblings, so I'll just leave it at that and add more another day as I continue to process what I'm walking through in this life. :-)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

God's greatest promise to us

Last night Erik and I went with a friend to see Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I was super excited to see this movie because I grew up watching the BBC versions of these movies and loved them. I love stories and I especially love stories that have Christian angles/analogies to them.

I was much happier with this movie than the second Chronicles movie. From what I've read and after watching all three movies, I've gathered that the producers (or whoever in the production team) pulled back from the subtle Christian analogies in Prince Caspian (the second Chronicles movie). They were there, but not as much. Well, that movie "tanked" according to their standards (pulling in $450 million worldwide doesn't sound like such a bad job to me!) and they put back in these Christian analogies in the third movie.

That brings me to the reason I'm writing. I almost pulled out my cell phone in the middle of the movie to write down some quotes from the movie. The thing that has stuck with me from the movie and in a sense "confirmed" what I've been hearing and thinking over the past few weeks is that God's greatest promise to us through this world is the fact that He will always be with us.

God says in the last part of Hebrews 13:5, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."(That's from the good old King James Version.)

The Amplified says, "I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]"

In the Chronicles movies, Aslan isn't always by the side of the kids in Narnia or in the real world. In fact, they never see Aslan in the real world, but as Aslan states in the movie, "In that world, I go by a different name." (I love that!) Those kids face all sorts of dangers, wars, difficulties, and evils in both worlds, and I think it's no different from what happens to us in the real world. We're facing difficulties because the Devil has been handed the keys to this world (think Adam, sin, disobedience to God). This is, in a sense, his realm. Another quote (okay, it's not exact, but close!) from the movie is "Evil has been given the upper hand for a time." And although God truly has the upper hand in this universe and through all time, in this natural world, evil exists and is rampant.

Of course, that doesn't mean we are helpless against evil. God empowers us with the strength to face it and defeat it. And when we're tempted beyond what we can handle or evil almost gets the best of us, God can step in and remind us of who He is and who He's created us to be. (Again, reference to when Aslan shows up in the movies at exactly the right time... literally not a moment too soon or a moment too late.)

I'm laughing to myself now because this little "soapbox" has come from a movie... again, I absolutely love stories that have Christian analogies to them!!

I'll end with this thought... before I go downstairs to eat some lunch. Hebrews 13:5 in the Message Bible says: "Since God assured us, 'I'll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,' we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I'm fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?"

God is with us in this world. He helps exactly when we need it and even when we can't see it, He is carrying us. Over the past few weeks, that's exactly what I've felt. I didn't necessarily even pray that I'd be held by God (I bet a lot of you, my support team, has), but I was. I was held by Him and He is bringing me through this adversity, no matter how long it takes me to heal. He is good.




Friday, December 10, 2010

back to reality?

It's starting to sink in that reality is returning, and I'm not sure that I like it. I remember going through this after Brian passed. It's so hard to get back into a regular routine and see life happen as normal all around you when you've just had a big tragedy happen. You want to stop and scream, "Something horrible happened in my life!"

I'm grateful that I'm not alone in this feeling. I know it's completely normal to think like this, and right now I don't have those feelings quite as intense as they were with Brian. I think it's because I know life will return to normal, but it's a new normal. Something has changed in Erik and I and Brody's life will always be a part of us. In fact, one of our desires is to have Brody's life keep speaking here on earth, even though he is in heaven.

The only way to really deal with these feelings of "Ack! Reality!" is by taking it slow, one day at a time. I still have an official three more weeks before my body gets back to pre-pregnancy, so I do need to be aware of that. I also need to know that even though reality is returning, I can still heal. It's okay to cry and have moments of processing my grief. I just can't wallow in it!

I'm reminded of something that happened to me years ago after I had gone through a bit of difficulty and was having a bunch of bad days in a row. I was taking the bus to my internship at the time and I looked around at all the people who were in the bus with me. I thought, "How many of these people are going through something traumatic right now and no one knows because they have to get back into reality?"

How many times have I criticized how someone was acting not realizing that their mom just died or they just finalized a divorce or something tragic just happened? Obviously, you can't justify sin because of someone's grief, but you can give them grace for a bad attitude or an imperfect response to your question. Everyone is facing difficulties. Even though our difficulty is the most obvious one to us, always remember to give people a lot of grace for they might be going through something difficult too.

By the way, I know that there aren't any good words to say about what just happened to Erik and me, and that's okay. If you want to ask how I'm doing next time I see you, that's okay. If you want to ask about Brody, that's okay too. If you don't want to say anything at all, that's okay. Here's a link to that blog I mentioned in another post where she talked about how to help a grieving friend. I haven't read all of it, but the parts I did read helped a lot. Maybe it will help you too - not just for this situation, but for any situation where one of your friends is grieving.
http://mollypiper.com/2008/03/how-to-help-your-grieving-friend/

God is with me and God is with you, even in our grief. Hugs.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Brody's name

I just looked at my past blogs and realized that I never posted about our 19-week ultrasound, so I want to backtrack a little. Erik and I REALLY wanted a boy. We both had good experiences with older brothers -- he loved being the older brother and protecting his sister and I loved having an older brother. I ALWAYS wanted to have a boy first because of Brian.

Within the first few moments of the ultrasound, the technician asked if we wanted to know the gender. We immediately said yes. Well, within a few moments, we saw clearly that it was a boy. It was super funny because the moment came and went so quickly that I had to blink and blink again then look at Erik a few minutes later and mouth, "We're having a boy! Ack!"

I was SO excited. I think one of my favorite parts was the fact that my brother, Brian, would have a little boy who could be named after him. It just seemed right to have his name carried on somehow. We had been thinking about names for a few months. We had debated a few different options because we wanted a unique name, but I did like the idea of honoring Brian somehow.

I knew I couldn't name my baby, Brian, for a first name because that would be too weird to have a Brian in my house. When we came across the name Brody, Erik and I didn't immediately throw out the name. Something about it stuck, and we kept going back to it. We considered some middle names to put with it, and when we paired it with my dad's name, it seemed perfect. Brody Mark Wegener. The reason it was perfect is because my brother's name was Brian Mark Baker. Brody Mark seemed like the perfect way to honor my brother because the name was similar to his, but unique, and it honored my dad at the same time, who played a huge part in Brian's life, especially as Brian walked through the last few years here on earth.

I looked up what Brody meant and found out it meant muddy waters or something funny like that, but then in one specific language it meant brothers, which again just made me think of Brian. 

Oh and on a fun note, the initials of Brody Mark Wegener are BMW. :-) Both Erik and Brian LOVE cars and BMWs and fast cars and cool cars. I figured we'd nickname him Beamer. Heh heh... Uncle Brian is probably calling him Beamer up in heaven or something!!!

Anyway, after we made all the phone calls to family that we were having a boy, we looked at each other and decided Brody Mark Wegener would be the perfect name for him. So glad we decided that. I love the name and it's perfect for our little boy.

Hugs to you, Brody. I miss you and love you! Tell Uncle Brian I said hi and love him and that he needs to take good care of you! Also, tell Jesus that I love Him. So glad you are with Him. He'll take the best care of you.

Friday, December 3, 2010

processing my grief

My lovely friend, April, passed on to me a blog she thought I might enjoy. The mom has a bunch of kids on earth and one daughter in heaven. www.mollypiper.com

She posted this after posting a happy picture of her and her husband when she was 36 weeks along with her baby girl a few years ago.

Today, memories like this [picture] make me cry—hard. We had no idea that we were a few weeks away from one of the worst tragedies we’ll ever face.
So if you’re a mom like me, living without one (or more) of your children, take heart that this is indeed one of the hardest things you will ever live through. But that also means that you lived.
The lines around your eyes will deepen. But that also means you’ve seen. You’ve seen the chaos of pain. Your eyes have and will shed tears for people in their pain that you could’ve never understood before. This is a blessed gift.
Hold on with me. We’re gonna make it. We might not be the happy-go-lucky gals we used to be, but our lives here will tell stories of indescribable loss and the love of a God who made us to be exactly who we are—every line, every gray hair. None of it is wasted.

I'm reposting that because it helps me right now. I'm having a rough morning missing Brody and missing the what ifs and the could have beens and memories that we were going to make with him on earth.

Here's another post where I put my name in where appropriate: 

I want to assure you that I feel really held by the Lord. I feel safe. ... So there’s got to be something for me in this. There has to be. ... I want to see the beauty of what God has for me here. It means that some days are really hard. It means that I’m going to places in my soul that I didn’t know existed before this. It means that I’m a different person. But I’m getting more comfortable with the [Laura]  who’s been asked to bear this grief. I’m relaxing into the transformation a little more now.
I wish every day that [in the future] I would get to hear [Brody's] new words, listen to [his] post-nap singing, change [his] stinky diapers. Yet I know that losing [him] has changed me more than getting to raise [him]would have. That’s a hard reality, but it’s the reality I live with.
Lord, make it something beautiful.

I'm reading through her blog backwards (recent posts first) so I still have plenty of posts I can read that will surely help me as I walk through missing Brody.

I just wrote to someone, I feel guilty for being happy that he's safe with Jesus, but I feel selfish for wanting him here. It's an odd paradox that I'm just not sure what to do with. This author who I quoted has had almost 3 years I think to process her loss, and I'm going on a few weeks, so I know I have a long way to go, but I remind myself of a few things.

1. One of our good friends told us in the hospital on Tuesday morning (the day after my water broke) that God believes in us. He believes we can make it through this journey. He believes we can make it through without falling away from Him or become a worse-off person than before. That phrase "God believes in me" has stuck with me.

2. God will never give us more than we can handle - 1 Corinthians 10:13. Yes, I sometimes feel like screaming out, Are you kidding me? I can't handle this! But God obviously thinks more of me than I think of myself. (Again, see point #1.)

3. One of my pastor's favorite verses in James 1:2-4. It tells us to consider it joy when you fall into various temptations/tests/trials because the testing of your faith worketh patience. I get that. We can be happy when we grow in our faith, even if it means going through a difficult time. Beyond that though is verse 5. I've never really made the connection between verses 2-4 and verse 5, which says that God gives wisdom to those who ask. The time of a trial in your life is exactly when you need wisdom, because any time you go through something difficult, you will hit those times of "I don't know what I'm supposed to do now." That's when you can ask God for wisdom.

My mom is here now to make lunch. I think we'll watch something on Food Network too. All for now~

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

in case you want to know...

One reason I'm a tired girl right now and get tired very easily is because I did go through labor with Brody. Because he was born early, parts of it actually were worse than normal for me physically. One of the effects I'm dealing with right now is that my hemoglobin is low. It was low enough that they could actually have done a blood transfer, but it wasn't dangerously low where they would have to do a blood transfer (thank you, Lord!). In order to get my blood back to normal, I opted to take iron pills and do my best to eat iron filled greens and meats and other foods. One of the effects though of the low hemoglobin is tiredness. It's pretty crazy because I can do stuff around the house for a half hour or hour and I'm wiped and ready for a nap! So my challenge over the next few weeks will be to figure out how to get enough sleep, take care of my body,  and not overdo it.

All for now... working today, but highly contemplating a nap!!!