Monday, December 19, 2011

A son who saves

The life of Jesus reaches new depths in my heart. His birth, his life, the ultimate sacrifice brings tears of pain and undeserving joy.

I play the song Mary Did You Know with a heavy heart. A young woman carrying the Savior of mankind in her womb. I imagine the fears she chose to replace with faith as she showed pregnant to the world. My heart aches for the pain she must have felt as her son hung on that cross. A believer yet so human in her motherly pain.


Matthew 27:45-55
"...darkness came over the land. About the ninth hour Jesus
cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachtani?/
-which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'
...Many women were there watching from a distance.. Among them Mary"

Could she even stand? Could she bear to watch? Surely she heard his cries.

God knew, he knew every detail of what was to come. Not only the birth of his innocent child, but the way in which Jesus would leave this Earth as well. Yet the ultimate sacrifice was made. For you, for me..

Let us celebrate this gift
Merry Christmas


(I added the song for you to listen to onto the play list to the right)


Monday, November 28, 2011

A New Home

We're moving Lucas. And my first thoughts were of your room. The place we prepared for you. I didn't want to leave it. I didn't want to touch it.

I thought the only reason I'd ever put away your things would be for the joy of putting another baby in there. But that is not the case.

It makes me sad because this is it. These are the last days your room here will ever exist. For there is no reason to set it up again. We'll take it down and it will be no more.

I sat on the floor of your sweet blue room so many nights. Nights with you kicking in my belly and nights where you had already left this earth. I rocked in your chair dreaming of what you would look like on the day you were born and rocked there sobbing with heartache. I tucked each of your new outfits away in your drawers wondering when you would wear each other them, and weeks later I stacked cards of sadness and condolences in those very same drawers.

But you see Lucas, this Earth was never meant to be your home.

John 14
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

I dream of the sights your eyes have seen and long for the day that we will all be together again.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Elephants for Lucas

I spent hours ( I know, way too much time but true) looking for the perfect boy bedding online. I was all over the place and couldn't find anything just right, nothing was perfect enough for our sweet baby boy. I fell in love with a fabric of sweet blue elephants and that's where it all began.

I ordered the fabric and got to sewing.. oh how I love to make things :) After many late nights (and several mess ups too) it was done!

These tiny blue elephants became the inspiration for the rest of his room and a very special day to celebrate his arrival.
It was the most beautiful day

Complete with all things blue.. and elephant peanuts too
My sweet Lucas Michael
....
So since he has left this earth Elephants have a very special place in my heart. Wonderful & thoughtful family have given me some sweet ways to keep his memory alive.


 We took Christmas pictures with all the grand kids from my side of the family. Anytime all the kids are together I can't help but feel like Lucas is missing. Just a little emptiness amongst the toys, laughter & chaos of being together. I wanted to include our memory of him in the pictures and so did his sisters





Friday, November 4, 2011

Tears from Heaven

A rainy day it is and how fitting it feels. Sorrow and pain weigh heavy on my heart today. These days are fewer as the months pass and I praise God for that. But nevertheless in a month full of sunshine comes a rainy day.

Tears poured from the Heavens this morning just as much as they streamed down my face. I sat snuggled in between my two favorite ladies on this gloomy day as my 4 year old Rylee assured me we will get to go to Heaven one day and see Lucas again.

The bible story that came to mind was brought into context for me by one of my favorite books.

In John 11 we read about Lazarus' death.
Mary and Martha sent for Jesus when their brother was sick
 but Jesus did not come in time.
 When he finally had come Lazarus had been in his tomb for 4 days.

 21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus,
 “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

Mary joined Martha at Jesus' side

33 When Jesus saw her weeping,
 and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping,
 he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.

and then

35 Jesus wept.

So they rolled the stone away, Jesus called to Lazarus, he rose from the dead and came out alive.


Lord, even though you know the glory that is to come you weep. At my pain and sorrow you are troubled. You care for me and all that I feel, all that I am, my life and every moment or every day. Thank you

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Butterflies

Lucas, since the day you left this Earth the butterflies have been everywhere. In those first few days I remember laying in the grass as your sisters played, my skin being warmed by the sun and the butterfly that hovered around us. It was as if he was dancing, fluttering between the girls and staying around long enough to be noticed. They continued.. I was stopped at a red light and at the very moment your song came on the radio the most beautiful butterfly hovered over my windshield. It was as if time stood still. The song played on with the words "I will praise the God who gives and takes away" and that butterfly kept dancing, joyfully.We went to the Sequoias, our most favorite place where we spread your ashes. There were butterflies all around us. They were scattered through the meadows and over the fresh water creeks. I had never remembered seeing a single butterfly there in the 25 years past.

I have shared with several people about the sweet butterflies and I call them your "little hellos." I decided to look up if there was anything about butterflies in scripture and the tears began to well up in my eyes. This is what I found..

The Butterfly - A Symbol of New Life

The change from a larva, a worm like creature, to a lifeless looking chrysalis, to the emergence of a magnificent, winged butterfly has often been used as a symbol of the resurrection.

We are earthbound creatures with limited views of what the future might bring. Christ promises us a new body which will not know the limitations we have now. The butterfly symbolizes this change from an earthbound creature into a new form.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Comfort

We've been through so much, haven't we? So many moms have lost babies, early on or at the end. We have all suffered pain.

I got to chat with a mom last week that lost her sweet girl at 41 weeks. A complete stranger until our connection, our common ground, our common pain.

There is no feeling like sharing with someone who knows exactly what you are feeling. Whether the loss of a child, a parent, or something totally different but still a feeling of pain.

We can ask 'why?' and never fully know. For His plan is so different than ours.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord.

Issaiah55:8

I can begin to see the glimpse of an answer, a little insight into the big picture, as to why we each experience our own pain

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
 the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
  who comforts us in all our troubles,
 so that we can comfort those in any trouble with
 the comfort we ourselves receive from God."

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Let Lucas' life not be lost in vain. May I glorify the God of comfort and healing through which we are blessed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Who made your mouth?

I have started the study Knowing and Doing the Will of God. Going into it I felt God already leading me towards His purpose. His purpose for all for all of this. For my job in Labor and Delivery, for the 8 week hospital stay during my pregnancy with Raegan and Rylee, for the loss of Lucas.

When I can see past the hurt and the darkness, when I can see past the grief, I get a glimpse of His plan.  His plan for me, and for each of us is so far beyond just us.

After having the girls I became bitter, I was mad at all the pregnant women who walked around not knowing what others suffer through. Not knowing that some spend months in the hospital.. and why God did we have to go through all this? Until my very first day back at work. There she was, a beautiful twin mom, in preterm labor, in my very same hospital room that I had just spent months in. She had already been there a month herself. I went in, I sat down and there was it was, this open door. A connection I would never have had otherwise, an opportunity for God that never would have existed unless I too had been in those exact shoes, that exact circumstance.

I began to see the picture, and I began to heal.

Then we have Lucas, and we lose him. I am sitting in a labor bed, with his lifeless heart and body inside me having these thoughts. A bit of God's vision. Aside from this extreme hurt, there are women He is going to use me to connect with, this is an opportunity for God that never would have existed unless I too have been in these exact shoes, this exact circumstance.

I have had it on my heart to speak. To speak to you, to many and to share His story. Sometimes it is so hard to tell the difference between our thoughts and God's. The study has been leading me into being able to tell the difference and obey. So I wanted to share a bit more in this journey.

Tonight I finished my study, packed up my things and could feel the Holy Spirit tell me to get my bible back out. I began to turn the pages in the direction I feel I'm being lead and am instantly brought to this

Acts 19:25
"Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent."


Thursday, September 22, 2011

A New Place

I can remember those first days, that first week, dreading the night, the darkness and the silence. Afraid of falling asleep because it would mean I would have to wake up and realize once again what has happened, that this is reality and not just all a terrible dream.

I remember the sun rising each morning and thanking God that it does, each and every day. Thankful for the light shining into the darkness of our room.

The last couple weeks I have felt different, I feel like I have come to a new place with it all. Moments are still frequently hard. It is almost as if I forget at times. But then a baby cries, a car seat strolls by or I hear someone say that word death, and I am brought back in an instant. But into that dark place, in the middle of Target, His light shines. Into the depths of my heart, the depths of the sorrow the light shines and the warmth heals, one day at a time.


Psalm 113:3
From the rising of the sun
to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised

Sunday, September 4, 2011

God's Strength

I had a really hard night last week. Being honest with some of my emotions brought me back to the wounds that busy days had me brushing past. I went into Lucas' room, sat on the floor and took in every detail. I looked at his clothes, his hand prints and all the reminders we have of him.

I felt shocked at how painful it all still felt, how deep and fresh this wound still is. I was surprised that in an instant the pain can feel as real as the moment we saw his heart lifeless on the ultrasound.

----------------------

We went to the beach a few days later. Tractors worked to build up large sand berms in anticipation of even greater waves, bigger than their already tremendous size.

I sat atop a mountain of sand as the girls climbed up and down over and over. I watched in awe of the force of the waves and could literally feel the earth quake beneath me with each crashing of the waters.

Wave after wave they came, with such strength, such consistency, set in motion long before man ever stepped foot on this earth.

Genesis 1:9
And God said "Let the water under the sky be gathered in one place, and let dry ground appear. And it was so. God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters "seas." And God saw that is was good.

The God that parted the seas, allowed the crippled to walk and brought the dead to life, is the same God that cares about every detail and decision in our lives. He can do anything..

A lesson I am learning is not only that God can do anything but that He is deserving of the same glory even when He chooses to do nothing.

God your plan is so much greater than mine. What better a planner than the One who knows the beginning, the end, and all the chapters in between.




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Sequoias

I have been camping in the Sequoias since my very first camping trip at the age of two. My parents took me, my brothers and sister there in the summers. I have amazing memories going there as I grew up. Laughter at the picnic table, playing card games by lantern light, swimming in the lake and fishing (but never wanting to actually touch a fish).

Fact: A little (or a lot of) dirt never hurt
Me & my Daddy hiking the river                                         

Danny and his family spent many summers in this very same place and it had a special spot in both our hearts. We decided to take the girls here as their first BIG camping trip at 8 months old. If we survived that trip I think we can do just about anything. It didn't stop us and we have been back every summer since.

                                                                 2008

2009

2010                                                                                     

2011






This year was supposed to be Lucas first trip, his very first time camping. Knowing my due date, we excitedly planned for months to bring our precious newborn to our very favorite place. We made special reservations and I envisioned our overflowing car packed with 3 car seats and all the baby gear one buys in hopes of a sleeping baby.


Proverbs 16:9
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."


It was bittersweet going up there without him. Sitting in the front seat as we drove it was hard not to think about the little car seat I so badly wished was in the back row.

We cremated Lucas after his birth and the decision to spread his ashes or not laid heavy on our hearts over the past few months. With much prayer we decided this would be the only place we would like the last physical pieces of our son to be.


The Lord truly answered our prayers and prepared our hearts for this moment. Danny and I sat alone in a beautiful place. We read scripture and prayed.


Romans 8:28
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

I can say now I feel good about our decision. It is another step on this road to healing. Thank you Lord for the beautiful earth you have created for us to enjoy, if this is how you have made the land I can't begin to imagine the sights of Heaven.




Friday, August 12, 2011

Faith

"You catch yourself doing things that a sane person wouldn't do, and yet it doesn't seem like there's another logical option. It's really a delicate balance between letting yourself grieve the way you need to and functioning in a world that keeps reminding you of what you have lost."
 - Angie Smith I Will Carry You

In the weeks after we lost Lucas I decided to return almost of all the gifts we had received for him. My intent is to keep all the gift cards in hopes of getting to use them someday for our next baby. Danny joined me for most of the returns, many people offered to do it for us but I found it to be 'a part of the process.'

I entered an adorable baby store to return one single outfit of Lucas's. This time without Danny,  just me and the girls. Before I brought it to the counter I circled the store and dreamingly stared at the most adorable, ruffled, pink little newborn outfit. I pushed my hopes aside, returned his outfit and left with a gift card.

I kept thinking of that little pink outfit, what chubby legs could fill it, and the sweet baby I could hold wearing it. I returned to the store, almost as if in disguise, not wanting anyone to know my thoughts, or what I was doing. I purchased the little ruffled adorable piece of goodness, and even asked for it to be gift wrapped. (Mean while the girls are tugging at my shirt asking who it is for). I plan to keep it wrapped, & at the time to keep it to myself, feeling that the world may just think I'm crazy.

I get home and as Danny and I are getting ready for bed, I blurt it out "I bought an outfit for a baby girl!" After a little laughter and a few tears we had the conversation that our next child will most likely be a girl. And if that day comes we will name her Faith.

So Faith, this outfit sits atop your brother's empty nursery dresser waiting for the day you can come to us and wear it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

His Promises

Philippians 1:6

"Being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Lord, thank you for your promise. For your promise not to leave me here, not to be done with your work in me. So that I will not stay in this place of hurt and pain. Thank you for doing a good work in me. This is the hard part Lord, the difficult terrain on the path. I cry out for help, and even in the hardest of steps to take I will look ahead at your promises, knowing that the journey does not end here. There will be easier days and I will be healed one step at a time.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What ya doing today Lucas?

I asked the girls recently what they thought brother might be doing in Heaven today. At the same time they wholeheartedly answered "learning!"

I read the book Heaven is For Real , it is a 3 year old child's account of Heaven. He was severely sick, with surgery and all, and woke up with a memory of visiting Heaven. Anyhow.. at one point after his dad has realized what his son is trying to tell him he asks Colton, "well what were you doing while you were in heaven?" and Colton answered "learning." He explained that Jesus was his teacher and he was learning. Now obviously my 3 year old girls have not read this book, nor did I prompt them in their response that Lucas was spending that day learning. It warmed my heart.

So what ya doing today my sweet boy?

Sisters said you are spending your day up in Heaven under a rainbow, helping to make rain. Hope you are having fun in the most beautiful of places. We love you!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

In My Dreams..

Oh Lucas, I held you in my dreams the other night. My beautiful baby boy. You were so warm in my arms, so alive! Your soft brown hair covered your precious head, and as I laid you back and cradled you in my hands, your beautiful green eyes looked deep into mine. A dream so real I could feel every second.

Your sister Rylee cries for you. At night before prayers she lays in her bed with her arms reached up to heaven, calling for you "brother, brother!" So we pray, we pray together that she can play with you in her dreams and see what you are doing way up there in that beautiful place.

I thank God for blessing my dreams.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 25, 2011

 On a day I thought few remembered and little found important... Blessings and love poured down like rain. It was Lucas' scheduled c/section date, the last day we would have had to wait to meet him. I found myself sad just in anticipation of this day approaching, knowing what it would have been.

The morning started off with a flower delivery, phone calls and messages came in from friends and family who shared their love for Lucas. Later more flowers & a package arrived with this beautiful picture frame made just for him. Along with the Willow Tree figurine perfectly entitled Guardian Angel.
 I wanted to do something special for Lucas on this day, something I could keep. So we made him a stepping stone (which I would love to place below a tree we plant for him). Daddy wanted to help so we waited until he got home.
 Daddy was able to recreate Lucas' little footprints for me & the girls put in all the stones.
I find myself just wanting to fill our home, our surroundings, with little details of Lucas, the memories we have of him. Thank you to my beautiful friends and family who let the love pour down on us!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What Would Have Been

This has been a hard month, filled with dates where Lucas would have been full term & come home with us. Throughout the entire pregnancy I reworked my whole future in my mind with him in it, anticipating every memory I wanted to make with him. I find myself not only grieving the loss of my son, the baby in my womb, but I am grieving the loss of each of those memories I would have made.

How your cry would have sounded in the operating room the moment you were born

How it would have felt to have you lay upon my chest, sleeping peacefully with your head on my shoulder

How you would have laughed that baby laugh as your sisters danced and made silly faces at you

How excited we would have been as you took your first steps

It goes on, the memories I wanted don't stop here. They come to mind at the most unpredictable of times and it is as if I mourn each of them individually.

God knew, God knew Lucas would never take a single breath here on earth. This was his plan for Lucas' life, for my life, since time began.

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your request to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

And so I know Lucas that one day I will enter the gates of Heaven, I will hold you tight, I will hold your hand again, kiss your forehead, tell you I love you and .... never say goodbye again

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Never Say Never

I never thought my child's name would sit engraved on his urn. The name we spent months debating over, imagined yelling down the hall in full when we meant business, and I so lovingly said as I rubbed my growing pregnant belly.

I never thought hello would also be goodbye

I never thought praying for no NICU stay would mean no stay in this world at all

I never thought I'd be a part of such a painful club, a member of such sorrow

I never thought we'd be pregnant again but I so badly can't wait to be

I never thought this would be my story

Friday, July 1, 2011

My Heart

Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds"

I have seen a heart in the open chest of a man. Not beating but red with life as surgeons repaired each delicate vessel that fed it. He lied there cold, still, waiting to be fixed, healed and turned into a new man. But first the new vessels must be taken from another part of his body, but first a sacrifice, whether willing or unwilling, taken from his body.

I feel broken, even empty and cold at times.. I need to be still as the ultimate surgeon works, as He repairs my heart. With the purpose of turning me into a better woman, with more life, more love, more faith and more hope being fed into my heart. All of this wouldn't be happening without first being broken, without pain and without a sacrifice being taken from my womb.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sisters

Your sisters miss you so much Lucas.

They found joy when we told them that you were walking on streets of gold, playing hide and seek in the most beautiful garden and that you met a man named Noah, who told you about the very first rainbow. They love to hear about all the wonderful things you get to see and do.

Raegan & Rylee are teaching us what it means to have faith like a child. Mathew 18:3 "And he said: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven."

They think of you often. Blow kisses to you up in Heaven and ask when you will get to come home. They draw you pictures and hold them up to the sky for you to see. They talk about all the things they want to teach you when they meet you one day. They ask if you are still small or if you are big.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Time

Time has this awful way of marching on when we're not ready. When we're not ready to be another day, not even a moment further away, from when I still had your life growing inside me, when we got to hold you, and see you last. I don't want a single memory to fade, not a single detail to disappear.

I want to keep everyone lesson we are in the midst of learning forever. I don't want to forget the heart ache and the sorrow, so that I can love deeper and appreciate joy in a whole new way, for all the days of my life.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My sweet Lucas..

It is strange seeing a picture of myself before you entered our lives.. before we ever knew we'd feel such a loss, before our hearts were broken.. before God gave us a choice at this split in the road. A choice to be bitter or joyful, angry or humbled, turn away or seek His face.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Our Growing Family!

Welcome 2011! The Girls: Raegan & Rylee are enjoying their opinions and boundary pushing minds that 3 year olds tend to find. They love to love and love to bug each other, as I like to say. We are currently working on their "big girl" room and they are SUPER excited. This would not be complete in their minds without pink and purple wall color of course (are you surprised?). They are loving their new bikes from Santa and have gotten quite fast on them. A crash here and there but just wipe away their tears and they hop back on for more.
The Baby: I guess our blog address can no longer just be dannyandlyndseystwins.blogspot.com. Any suggestions? I am 10 weeks along with our single peanut. As I have said for the last 3 years of my life this will be our "single full term boy". Thinking maybe if I said it enough it would come true? Well.. so far so good. Singleton (check), full term (looking good, a whole lot less complicated thus far), boy (one more month and we shall see).

Us: We are loving our life, our family, and all that we get to do together. We are so blessed. We get to see our dear family often and I have wonderful friends that make living here truly feel like HOME. Our jobs are going well.. life is good, God is great!